[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: SV: Evolution in science fiction

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Jeff Hecht
> Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 8:20 AM
> To: dedmans@iinet.net.au
> Cc: 'dinosaur'
> Subject: Re: SV: Evolution in science fiction
> Stephen -
> Thanks. These references and summaries are a great help. - Jeff
> At 8:25 AM +0800 7/10/09, Stephen Dedman wrote:
> >Larry Niven's 'Known Space' series describes attempts to 
> influence the evolution of sapient species by selective 
> breeding and other interventions. Humans on Earth have 
> attempted to halt overpopulation by restricting the right to 
> have children, though registered geniuses can have as many 
> children as they wish, and there's also a lottery for 
> everyone else. The Puppeteers consider the lottery as a 
> method of selectively breeding for luck, and recruit a woman 
> descended from a long and unbroken line of reproductive 
> lottery winners as a talisman for the expedition to 
> Ringworld. It's also revealed (probably also in Ringworld, 
> though it's been a while since I've read it) that they're 
> trying to influence the evolution of the warlike Kzinti to 
> produce a more docile race by manipulating them into starting 
> wars that will kill off the young and most aggressive males 
> before they can breed.

But on the flip side: in the Known Space stories humanity and possibly the
other higher primates are NOT native products of Earth's evolution, but are
the result of mutations from populations of lost Pak breeders [what we call
Homo habilis] who crashed on Earth millions of years ago. Thallium oxide
being rarer in the outer regions of the Galaxy compared to the Core where
the Pak homeworld is, the Pak population could no longer produce the
intelligent protector ontogentic stage properly. And instead, what we see as
anatomical and physiological changes with senescance are incomplete versions
of the transformation from breeder to protector stage.

(Also, yams are not native to Earth, either...)

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA