When we became moties...

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When we became moties...

Postby Roadkill » Sun Dec 21, 2003 12:49 am

In a book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle entitled The Gripping Hand, a species was introduced that deviated from the standard design that evolution has given us today.

We have bilateral semitry, with one half of our body mirroring the other.

The moties, however, were asymmetrical. They had one ear, 3 hands, and 2 legs. 1 arm was on one side, and it was massive and muscular - which was contrasted by 2 arms on the other side that were thin and precise in their movements. The ear was far more delicate than a normal species would have. Such a body design would naturally put it on the list for extinction. Yet they thrived somehow.

the theory proposed in the book (which is probably the truth for this fictional world, since the authors introduced no other), was that there was no competition between organisms, and the right to survive, and a genetically deformed version of the species was allowed to breed, and contaminate the gene pool with its dominant traits.

Naturally, this could not have happened. But, the original species had created so perfect an environment for itself that it did happen.

Think about it. As a member of the human race, we are brought up to help one another within our species. If this were to really happen, it would effectively create a perfect, protective bubble around our species -- where, for as long we kept that behavior up -- anyone within that bubble would thrive. Including genetic variants. And mutations.

Not something really to debate, but its something interesting to think about.
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Postby Neerowolf » Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:07 am

Wow, I see where it is going, and I don't think it couldn't happen. Anything is possible within the range of science, things can be improbable and still real, so the theory of the asymetrical humanoid is quite possible in my eyes.

I heard that in another universe, creatures so weird to us could be alive, as long as they could survive within the environment. Its all down to evolution, at first, people looking back would say that the fact that life was created out of nothing was impossible, if it hadn't happened. :lila
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Postby Dracofrost » Sun Dec 21, 2003 5:22 pm

Well thing is, while nothing happens to kill off those with deformities or mutations much anymore thanks to science keeping them alive, but still, would someone fall in love with them? I doubt it.

So does this mean that humanity is evolving to be pretty now? Now there's something to ponder...
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Postby Neerowolf » Sun Dec 21, 2003 5:33 pm

I think draco is breaking up into another subject, but he is totally right. Today's view in society is that you have to be beautiful to succeed. I mean, theres a fact that while we evolve, we'll all lose our toes because of they're uselessness, as they were used previously to hang from trees.

So with logic, you have to say that we'd begin to evolve in ways that make us seem "more beautiful" but when it comes to the deformities, I don't believe someone can't love them because as long as they have personalities and intelligence of normal people, I'm sure someone will love them.
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Postby Roadkill » Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm

that's one thing that can be counted on -- someone will breed with it, unless it is mutated beyond our sense of beauty. The fact that beauty was not something much to the moties allowed this to come about.

Evolution, as we know it, has to involve some differing in the entire genetic code to allow for the species to evolve. SO the firt of the evolved species is a genetic mutation in its own right, who breeds with those of his former species, and spreads his traits. Which, through gnerations of breeding, would eventually become a dominant in producing this variation, if it was not dominant to begin with.

The protective bubble created by species behavior enables greater genetic variations -- which, when introduced into the gene pool, introduces survival risks.

The aspect demonstrated in moties was physical and dominant, and thus not as threatening over time. But genetic variances could negatively effect things such as IQ, the coordination of you trillions of cells, defects in vital cells such as nerve cells. In an evergrowing and interacting gene pool, these genetics defects or diseases can be extremely dangerous to a species.

The moties were lucky, as they were in space when this physical defect became the dominant trait of the species -- evolution could fine tune it all down to survival in space, where bilateral symmetry is not important.

and other mumbo jumbo like that. WHile we may be trying to breed the perfect human, the ever growing and interacting gene pool promoted by this environment , and the safety it ensures for everything within that gene pool, we must not forget that benefactory defects are so rare, and the failure of one peice of an organism whos cells and functions must each do his work to support the other functions of the entire body, any defect can be lethal, or can force evolution to work the other way -- where we evolve back into primates.

this environment is perhaps exciting to scientists, who wish to observe the defects that do occur, and hope they are proved beneficiary, but in temrs of species survival and forward evolution, it is quite harmful. Right now, i see our evolution at a stand still, where we have no where else to go because our environment is not pushing us anywhere.
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Postby Javafrost » Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:17 pm

What an interesting topic! Really cool ideas relating to the interactions and effects between species and their environments. Some of my thoughts...

As things are, we are only roughly symmetrical on the outside. We are not symmetrical on the inside.

Plenty of deformed and/or mutated beings have survived and procreated without the "protection" of this religion called "science".

"Pretty" is in the eye of the beholder (and so is "intelligence", imo).

See, I think that a species behavior change happened already that really veered us off nature's course by drastically changing our environment and causing huge changes in our species ... the use of fire. We greatly changed the amount of light we are exposed to and caused serious modifications within our own bodies.
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Postby Roadkill » Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:54 pm

But being symmetrically even on the inside has no bearing on how the species survives (except the starfish, which depends on it for a mode of reproduction). rBilateral symmetry evolved on land because it was kind of hard to move with a leg at any random place... they had to be evenly placed and coordinated, else the creatures own body weight distribution (the orginization of its internal organs, basically) could kill it.

mutations are not always bad, but because of the immense coordination of the body, they often are -- at first especially. If it does not immediatly or quickly kill the host, the bad parts of the mutation can be rid out through the generations.

This could make a good arguement for genetic engineering. We are off of nature's course, and have no environmental factors to encourage evolution, so in order to protect against de-evolution we must advance ourselves through genetics.

Bleh.
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