Nonmen Society

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MG

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« Reply #135 on: December 31, 2014, 08:48:10 pm »
i wonder if there are genre limitations for combining evolution and high fantasy?  i don't remember ever reading fantasy that included evolution except for something by Pratchett.  does fantasy and epic/high fantasy in particular mandate a non-evolutionary origin in order to resonate with the readership?

Evolution falls into a similar category as gene-manipulation, and as such is a subject that is more akin to sci-fi. I'm not sure authors feel like one belongs in the other? But, imo, its a thin line anyway.

i can't think of evolution happening in a fantasy story, and i don't think it would work for me.  i would prefer Genesis or a big ole' unexplained black hole of knowledge where evolution could have occured but there are no authoritative texts about it

i guess i prefer a Genesis account because it would mean that inside the world, everything has it's place, because everything is ultimately anchored to a meaningful beginning (maybe not 'meaningful' in a nice way).  in an evolutionary setting, the ultimate origin of everything hinges on coincidences.  we get bipedals on earth, maybe tripedals on some other planet.  i think good fiction works because the author creates a story that is unlike the random reality we live in.  that is, even the random things that happen in the story still mean something towards the final trajectory of the characters and stuff. idk wut

Wilshire

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« Reply #136 on: December 31, 2014, 09:26:34 pm »
That's a fair opinion/assessment, but I still think it can fit just as well as anything else if the author writes it down. The genesis is the writing of the story ;)
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Inshallabel

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« Reply #137 on: January 02, 2015, 05:29:58 am »
i can't think of evolution happening in a fantasy story, and i don't think it would work for me.  i would prefer Genesis or a big ole' unexplained black hole of knowledge where evolution could have occured but there are no authoritative texts about it
Genesis isn't an "unexplained black hole of knowledge".
It constructs the Universe in a very ordered, rational way {for the audiences of the time}.
Similar to the way we do today.
It merely places "God" as the Ultimate Source of events as opposed to "the Singularity" which is as close as Physicists seem to be able to come to a "beginning".

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i guess i prefer a Genesis account because it would mean that inside the world, everything has it's place, because everything is ultimately anchored to a meaningful beginning (maybe not 'meaningful' in a nice way). 
But this is one of the questions being posed by The Second-Apocalypse Saga, isn't it? 
Whether or not anything is inherently "meaningful" or if "meaning" is ultimately just an heuristic utilized by a series of phenomena which could ultimately be material and without "meaning" in the traditional sense? 
Also, how does a non-Biblical account of our Origins counteract the idea that Everything has it's Place? 
In a non-Biblical view, everything is just the grand-baby of protozoan bacteria using DNA, inching its way through the world and into geographical environs that gradually sculpt its descendants into divergent species...  Every species on Earth quite literally has its place, has been filling its Place for millennia, and continues to do so.

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in an evolutionary setting, the ultimate origin of everything hinges on coincidences. 
Not really.  Evolution does not concern itself with the Ultimate Origin of Existence.
It is merely a tool for observing the processes by which different Species came into existence. 

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we get bipedals on earth, maybe tripedals on some other planet.
Yes but there would be geographical reasons for the development of bipedals, tripedals, and quadripedals.  Variables and factors that generate organisms that precede and encompass their existence.  And each of these creatures on each of these planets would literally have been evolving for millennia to fill their "place" in an optimal way.

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i think good fiction works because the author creates a story that is unlike the random reality we live in.  that is, even the random things that happen in the story still mean something towards the final trajectory of the characters and stuff. idk wut

Assuming that the reality we live in is "random" is a large assumption based on no evidence whatsoever.

All that being said, Bakker's world is one wherein the principles of Science, Evolution, and Technology seem to have some discernible influence...
i.e., the Inchoroi, the Consult, and the Tekne. 
{as opposed to Morgoth and Sauron from Tolkien's mythos}.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 05:34:31 am by Inshallabel »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #138 on: January 02, 2015, 02:42:29 pm »
Quote
i guess i prefer a Genesis account because it would mean that inside the world, everything has it's place, because everything is ultimately anchored to a meaningful beginning (maybe not 'meaningful' in a nice way). 
But this is one of the questions being posed by The Second-Apocalypse Saga, isn't it? 
Whether or not anything is inherently "meaningful" or if "meaning" is ultimately just an heuristic utilized by a series of phenomena which could ultimately be material and without "meaning" in the traditional sense? 
Absolutely agree. The idea that there is some kind of objective meaning to the Earwaverse, and where it came from if there is (from what darkness...), is central to the entire series.

As for the rest, I think you extrapolated a bit on MG's post, both in tone and substance, and somewhat missed the mark.

Evolution and/or non-religious genesis seems pretty much like coincidence to me. From the very start, coincidence that singularity or whatever blew up and made all the things.

Fast forward to the set of circumstances that created our planet. Right distance from sun, right number of comets depositing water on the surface after it cooled, Jupiter to shield us from most asteroids.

Then life,  primordial soup with enough organic material to spontaneously form amino acids, single cells forming, single-cells evolving into everything.

I'm sure that if you look at it all as a whole, its a giant chaotic system, which to me is the scientific equivalent of coincidence. If this rock didn't hit that boulder 5 billion years ago, the earth never existed.

I think his idea was that in the context of fantasy/fiction writing, it would be more meaningful to have something more ... well more meaningful than that described above. Though, as you pointed out, that in itself is a matter of opinion, since there are clearly those that feel that there is plenty if meaningfulness in the Universe without any kind of divine intervention whatsoever. Given that meaning is a central question to this story, I'm not sure which way it will turn out.

Assuming that the reality we live in is "random" is a large assumption based on no evidence whatsoever.
If you're looking to debate scientific semantics, check out the Science subforums, theres a lot of good stuff there (and potentially a few other persons who might engage you there). Though, it might be good form to cite some evidence yourself if you're calling out someone else for not doing so ;).
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MG

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« Reply #139 on: January 04, 2015, 01:46:36 am »
hi Inshallabel!

lol, i don't think Genesis is a black box!  i like it a lot--i agree with you!  so much polysyndeton in the KJV :)

i really excited to see how the series turns out as far as everything you said

btw, what does your name mean?

Also-Genesis humor!
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/client-feedback-on-the-creation-of-the-earth

Inshallabel

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« Reply #140 on: January 16, 2015, 06:13:35 pm »
The name I just made up, although I realize now it is close to "Insha'Allah", meaning God Willing in Arabic.
Final element "bel" could be taken as "Abel", which descends from Hebraic "hevel" or "havel" signifying "breath."
So perhaps God's Willing Breath, although I hadn't considered any of that when I came up with it.

But since we eventually came into occlusion with Genesis-type fantasy-myth, it again occurred to me how common the theme of Nonmen generally are, if you think about it, across widely divergent civilizations.

In the Popol Vuh of the K'iche people of Central America, it is said that the Gods first attempted to create subjects, which included animals, men made of mud, and men made of wood, but these prior creations they eventually scrapped or abandoned due to their lack of intellect, speech, or soul... to pave the way for Men.

Similarly {yet dichotomously} in Greek Mythology there are the ages of the Gold Men, the Silver Men, and the Bronze Men which predate the age of the Iron Men {our epoch}, with each move away from Gold signifying a sort of devolution or generational removal from divinity for mankind.

Perhaps Nonmen are similar in this respect, beings Created, and then rejected by the Gods, in order to "pave the way" for Mankind?  {Somewhat similar to Noldorin Elves in Tolkienian mythos}.
Or perhaps Nonmen themselves are simply the "Silver Men" to an even more Ancient Race of "Gold Men", who would be as far from Nonmen as Men are to them...
The Nonmen originally stumble onto the scene of an even more archaic and profound species of "Men" {who are mighty and yet somehow at odds with the gods or vagaries of circumstance}, yet eventually genocide them in their waning years, and in the process of doing this they become the Nonmen...
Awaiting the inevitable influx of the "lesser" Men, or Bronze Men {the Five Tribes of Eanna} who could be considered to be well on their way to becoming the arcane and archaic race for a still younger influx of "Iron Men" {who are, during the time of the Kellian Empire and the Great Ordeal, a species of Men in their savage infancy in the unknown regions of Eanna}.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 06:16:55 pm by Inshallabel »
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #141 on: January 16, 2015, 10:39:00 pm »
Ishallabel...  much liking of what you just said about the devolution of races.  love it.
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The Sharmat

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« Reply #142 on: February 02, 2015, 06:52:54 am »
Evolution via natural selection exists as a force in Bakker's universe. Of this I am quite certain. Any exceptions to this are probably specifically down to the unique properties of the world in which Earwa is located, which seems to possess a special place in the cosmos. The Inchoroi once had a consummate understanding of Biotech to the point of extremely advanced synthetic biology. Further, Aurang reflects upon a time long ago when the Inchoroi themselves could be classified along lines of genera, species, and race. These are, in a civilization as advanced as the Inchoroi, phylogenetic groupings that describe evolutionary relationships.

Given their ability to interbreed (limited though it is), it is highly unlikely that Cunuroi and Humans are products of convergent evolution. Far more likely is that they have a fairly recent (on the order of one or two million years, perhaps) share a common ancestor. I myself would conjecture that Nonmen are the result of the occasional evolutionary phenomenon of a single species giving rise to its own parasite, and that Nonmen are the result of a population isolated by environment (in this case, caves) beginning to speciate and specialize in exploiting other Homo sapiens, eventually resulting in a stable sub-population of people that only bred with each other and began receiving selection pressure for traits that allowed them to more effectively exploit other humans (keen senses, nocturnal lifestyle for nightly slave raids, great strength) and to resist reprisals (cave adaptation) by angry kinsman of the people they were exploiting. This sort of segregation and divergent evolution wherein a species splits into parasite/predator and prey is seen multiple times in the evolution of eusocial ants. In most cases, ants that live by hijacking the larvae or colonies of another species are found to be extremely closely related to the species they prey upon.

Of course hominids are not eusocial insects, and hymenopteran genetics are...weird, to say the least, from a human perspective. But there are some parallels.

Wilshire

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« Reply #143 on: March 03, 2015, 03:38:20 am »
This is a great post TS. I have nothing to add, but greatly appreciate the insight. Hymenopteran genetics, eusocial insects... very interesting.
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The Sharmat

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« Reply #144 on: March 03, 2015, 10:05:51 am »
Like I said, Hymenopterans are not Hominids, and their genetics are quite unusual from a human perspective (their sex determination system and capacity for asexual reproduction in particular). That said, the more evolutionarily advanced hymenopterans are, along with the isopterans (termites), some of the only species on the planet besides humans that build cities and practice large scale agriculture. So I think some useful comparisons can be made.

Simas Polchias

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« Reply #145 on: March 03, 2015, 09:28:43 pm »
eventually resulting in a stable sub-population of people that only bred with each other and began receiving selection pressure for traits that allowed them to more effectively exploit other humans (keen senses, nocturnal lifestyle for nightly slave raids, great strength)
There is one disturbing thing about natural cause of cunuroi & halaroi difference. A cunuroi lifespan, which was around 400 years. Even if this is a legacy of a common ancestor, either men or nonmen changed in too damn multiplicative manner, something is not quite right there.

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« Reply #146 on: March 03, 2015, 09:41:27 pm »
I'm also a pretty firm believer that, broadly, evolution exists and functions within the Bakkerverse more or less as it does in our world. The Inchoroi's entire backstory kind of requires it. I do, however, think that the situation's slightly different on Earwa. I expect that life's evolution there was at lest semi-teleological, whereas elsewhere in the universe this was not the case.

This also makes the case that virtually every other "ensouled" being in the Bakkerverse (which the Inchoroi prove can exist without originating from Earwa) is likely damned. So basically an inconceivable amount of souls in that universe are going to Hell for the simple fact that they did not evolve on Earwa, and thus have no way of even beginning to understand which acts are sins and which are not.

There is one disturbing thing about natural cause of cunuroi & halaroi difference. A cunuroi lifespan, which was around 400 years. Even if this is a legacy of a common ancestor, either men or nonmen changed in too damn multiplicative manner, something is not quite right there.

It also raises the question of why the Nonmen's ashes have seemingly magical properties, though I expect this may simply be a result of the immortality graft they received from the Inchoroi (it follows that this same substance -- whatever it is -- would have "degraded" effects in the form of qirri).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 09:44:11 pm by Francis Buck »

The Sharmat

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« Reply #147 on: March 03, 2015, 09:55:32 pm »
It's not always at all obvious just from "common sense" what changes are easy or hard to evolve. For example, limb duplications IRL (a very gross physical change) are trivially easy to derive from simple mutations. I wouldn't write off Cunuroi longevity as being too much of a change for evolution to explain.

The Nonmen's ashes aren't necessarily magical properties. Could be that cremation denatures some macro-molecule still present in trace amounts in the ashes in some specific way to fuck with certain receptors in the human brain. Coincidence, sure, but that kind of coincidence is what some real world narcotics derive from.

But yeah, I expect some normally "Supernatural" elements probably played a role in evolution on Earwa. But it's still evolution.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 02:13:33 pm by The Sharmat »

MSJ

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« Reply #148 on: March 04, 2015, 03:59:16 am »
Can someone please explain the 'jin=treachery & betrayal? Is it because the one Norman who turned to the Consult (Nin'janjin' I believe), and killed Cu'jara Cinmoi,  so it's anyone from his seed? Or,  that it's a suffix they attach to the name of a traitor or turncloak?
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #149 on: March 04, 2015, 01:51:21 pm »
I always read it like you're first suggestion, anyone from his house is forever a traitor.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 02:47:46 pm by Wilshire »
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