zompist bboard

THIS IS AN ARCHIVE ONLY - see Ephemera
It is currently Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:28 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 55 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Evolution on Almea
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:11 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:38 pm
Posts: 285
I don't see why the behavior of the Eynleyni and other subjugated peoples is so objectionable. Some of you guys seem to be assuming that the Almeans are just like us, but it should be bourne in mind that they are aliens with a different kind of lineage who exist in a universe with different (albeit superficially similar) physical laws. The pace of evolution might be different, and anyway Zompman already said that the Almean races have brains that are unlike ours.

Edit: forgot to mention that there has been civilization on Almea for tens of thousands of years and this domestication process may have started in human prehistory, but not the ktuvoks'. Also the extant humanoids are already highly diverse by our standards, as there are four different species of hominid, and it's not at all hard to imagine that the "human" species is also more diverse internally than humans on Earth. It could be that what the ktuvoks cultivated was already a distinct variety of the species.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Evolution on Almea
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:57 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:15 pm
Posts: 79
Location: Washington state
This post reminds me that I forgot to reply to Melend about how it was impossible to breed new traits into humans in anything less than "tens of thousands of years" (his words), despite obvious exceptions like lactase persistance and all the other traits mentioned in The 10,000-Year Explosion. And this was in large populations with ample gene flow from outside, and nobody was even trying*.

Hey Melend, did you read that Silver Fox experiment page I linked you to? In twenty generations they had bred a new type of fox with markedly different physical and behavioral phenotypes. Twenty human generations is about six hundred years. Imagine what a team of knowledgeable and determined ktuvoki could do with an Eynleyni population that was mostly closed off from others and under their complete control for millennia?

Know what I think? People dismiss this sort of thing out of hand because it is scary and ungoodthinkful.** They just don't want to believe that sentient beings could be genetically affected by long histories of agriculture, white-collar work, or slavery--just like every other type of animal is.

*As far as we know (!?)

**Apparently, they even dismiss it when the "humans" in question are fictional space aliens. The topic is that incendiary.

_________________
Io wrote:
Seriously, do you take it as an obligation to be the sort of cunt you are?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Evolution on Almea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:44 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:38 pm
Posts: 285
Any agreements or disagreements with me or Brel?

_________________


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Evolution on Almea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:47 am 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
It's an intriguing idea, and I hinted pretty strongly in the Count of Years that the iliu and ktuvoks were both doing some genetic engineering.

Brel is right that evolution can certainly occur within historical time frames. It's still important whether the right pathways exist, though. Diamond uses the example of almonds vs. acorns. Both in their natural state are too bitter to be palatable. We've bred tasty almonds, but no one's really made the acorn palatable. Part of the problem is genetic: bitterness in almonds is controlled by a single gene, but in oaks by multiple genes. So it's just much easier to breed a non-bitter almond. (The other problem is that though non-bitter acorns do appear, it's hard to preserve the trait as oak reproduction is much more under the control of squirrels than of humans.

Among terrestrial humans, at least, cultural domination seems far more effective than breeding programs. There are parallels for most Eynleyni behavior. But I wouldn't rule out some long-term taming either...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Evolution on Almea
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:07 pm 
Sanci
Sanci
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:36 am
Posts: 45
Brel wrote:
This post reminds me that I forgot to reply to Melend about how it was impossible to breed new traits into humans in anything less than "tens of thousands of years" (his words), despite obvious exceptions like lactase persistance and all the other traits mentioned in The 10,000-Year Explosion.


Things like lactase persistance are extremely simple and straightforward, genetically. The known neurological examples of genetic diversity apparently being heavily selected for recently are also simple, like that brain section which helps interpret letters being different in populations that had a historical legacy of possessing scribes.

But complex psychological traits are much harder to develop.

Quote:
Hey Melend, did you read that Silver Fox experiment page I linked you to?
No, because it's a very well-known, even classic, experiment, and I'm already quite familiar with it.

Quote:
In twenty generations they had bred a new type of fox with markedly different physical and behavioral phenotypes.
It would be more accurate to say that they bred a new type of fox with an impaired stress-response system due to a failure to respond effectively to a particular hormonal signal in development, and that messed-up signal had a wide range of behavioral and phenotypical consequences.

Producing those phenotypical changes, without disrupting basic aspects of endocrine functioning, would be much, much harder; more to the point, it would take longer than twenty generations.

Quote:
Know what I think? People dismiss this sort of thing out of hand because it is scary and ungoodthinkful.** They just don't want to believe that sentient beings could be genetically affected by long histories of agriculture, white-collar work, or slavery--just like every other type of animal is.


Certainly, but it's not an issue in this case. I'm one of the people arguing strongly for the opposite: that genetic inheritance has effects on pretty much every aspect of our cognition and thus our societies and cultures. But the differences are still pretty small in an absolute sense; although some differences are very important, they're subtle.

As fascinating as I find the ktuvok, I don't think we're provided without enough information to draw any strong conclusions about what's going on; there's only one person who can make the decisions that would permit us to rule out the various possibilities. 'Psychic' powers are possible, but require a leap we can't make without creator impetus; selective breeding is most likely involved to some degree, but I don't think it can come close to accounting for what we've been told.

Of course, if things were clarified, we couldn't have these discussions... :c)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 55 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group