[TGO Spoilers] Whale Mothers

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themerchant

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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2016, 05:00:16 pm »
Yeah i noticed that as well, and was pondering whether it meant as you say or he had 12 sons and picked one.

Wilshire

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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2016, 05:07:56 pm »
Also, I've only the Westerosi or Wilshire to look to for really in-depth articulations - though, there was a thread on r/bakker too - about the biology of it all. What does happen to a broodmare? What happens to generations of broodmares? Doesn't Esmenet's composition affect matters at all? Certainly, Kellhus is much less likely to have a girl resembling the Whale-Mothers with Esmenet?
Did I answer the questions at all?
If it was strictly a DNA thing, it gets harder to justify, but not impossible. As described above "double recessive" seems like a vague term but accurate.
Basically, in order for a specific physical trait (phenotype) to be exhibited, you have to have a corresponding genotype (genes/dna/etc.). However, it doesn't have to be, and rarely is, a 1:1 relationship. So, for the Whale-Mothers, you'd have to assume that there is a whole slew of recessive genes that need to line up for get the desired phenotypes. One of those genes would likely need to be on the X chromosomes so that you could make it gender specific. All male dunyain could be carriers after a time, but if you assume you need specific pairings of XX, then once they breed with a world born, you'd necessarily lose one of those X chromosomes, and thus negating the possibility of receiving all the necessary recessive genes for whalemotherism.

"Founder's Affect" is also likely happening. Even if only a tiny subset of the Earwa at-large human population has a certain recessive, or even a rare dominant trait, if but 1 of those original founding families had that trait it would likely exist far more frequently in the Dunyain population. Throw in breeding programs that are intentionally selecting for specifics traits, be it intelligence or whalemotherism, and even the rarest genes can be cultivated.

As for broodmares specifically, it would be extremely difficult, imo, to designate a specific family of females that did not become whale mothers. You'd have to always keep them separate from the genepool, basically running an entirely separate breeding program for them, which would get more and more difficult as the centuries went by. Probably not worth the effort unless there was some specific reason to have special subset of females running around.

This is why I invoked Wilshire's perspective.

Also, Wilshire, now that the book is out in the open we should check out your mind-map as the Survivor ruminates on the "twelve Germs," which are implied to be the twelve seed groups the Dunyain started with.
12 is, I believe, more than sufficient. I'd have to go back and check, but I think my original theory specified an absolute minimum of 8 genetically diverse individual families as genetic stock (ignoring alien genetics).
One of the other conditions of possibility.

EkyannusIII

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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2016, 12:24:05 am »
Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?
What is reason, but the blindness of the soul?

R. SCOTT RAP3ZT TERRIBLEZ LOLZ.

if Kellhus was thinking all of this, he's going to freak out when he get's back and Kelmomas is all "i lieks to eatum peeples da"

the whole thing is orchestrated by Kellhus who is wearing a Bashrag as if it were a suit

themerchant

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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2016, 02:47:39 am »
I don't know enough about genetics to know it is a problem. Do linguists have the same problem when hearing that semantic purity can allow you to speak in peoples dreams? Does the impossibility of that jar the same way?


Titan

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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2016, 07:46:36 am »
Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?
This is can buy. Remember that Kellhus was only able to get living offspring with Esmenet (all others were died and/or had stillborns or severe defects), so he must be aware that she carries some traits in common with Dunyain women. Dunyain pregnancies are apparently very difficult, so perhaps they bred form females that would be ... hardier ... In child birth.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 07:48:16 am by Titan »

Cosi

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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2016, 01:02:17 pm »
Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?

It's got to be related to the whole "the seed is too strong" deal. Esmenet could barely deal with bearing half-Dunyain children, and literally all of them were defective to some lesser or greater degree (except maybe Kayutas). To me, that implies that a strongly specialized host is needed to carry Dunyain children. One flaw in this is the existence of Maithanet. He had no obvious flaws (he was even of the few), and he was the son of a random Fanim woman as far as we know. I also remember (though my memory is somewhat spotty) him saying there were only a few failures, although that may be counting only live non-mutant births.

Titan

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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2016, 10:48:23 pm »
Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?

It's got to be related to the whole "the seed is too strong" deal. Esmenet could barely deal with bearing half-Dunyain children, and literally all of them were defective to some lesser or greater degree (except maybe Kayutas). To me, that implies that a strongly specialized host is needed to carry Dunyain children. One flaw in this is the existence of Maithanet. He had no obvious flaws (he was even of the few), and he was the son of a random Fanim woman as far as we know. I also remember (though my memory is somewhat spotty) him saying there were only a few failures, although that may be counting only live non-mutant births.


But who's to say how many times "Moe" tried to get offspring, until he succeeded wth Maithanet? I suspect Moe took great care in selecting his mother, just a like Kellhus selected Esmenet.

But you are right that Kayutas seems to be the only "normal" one that is the most similar to Maithanet. I hope we'll have something from his perspective in TUC.

Cosi

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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2016, 03:53:19 am »
But you are right that Kayutas seems to be the only "normal" one that is the most similar to Maithanet. I hope we'll have something from his perspective in TUC.

One thing to note is that unlike Moe, Maithanet, Kellhus, and Koringhus he is not of the few. I'm not completely convinced it means anything, but there's a mounting pile of evidence that pure/not-defective Dunyain (at least, of the Anasurimbor line) are all of the Few. Possibly a result of the Dunyain coming close to grasping the Absolute. Do we know if Inrilatas was one of the Few?

RedSetter4570

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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2016, 04:51:08 am »
Was Esmi of one of the Few?  I don't recall, but I would suspect she did.  So to have Dunyain kids, a world born mother would have to have the mark, which would be impossible to see for normal folks, but not necessarily for Khellus.  If they have the Mark, that probably means they have Nonmen traits, which means they could, probably, maybe have a Tall recessive trait.  Which explains the Whale Mothers.

Mimara's kid or kids are going to be awesome.
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2016, 04:20:02 pm »
Also, I've only the Westerosi or Wilshire to look to for really in-depth articulations - though, there was a thread on r/bakker too - about the biology of it all. What does happen to a broodmare? What happens to generations of broodmares? Doesn't Esmenet's composition affect matters at all? Certainly, Kellhus is much less likely to have a girl resembling the Whale-Mothers with Esmenet?

Did I answer the questions at all?

You inject a level of plausibility in a conversation that's been otherwise, seemingly universally, simplified as implausible ;). Thanks, friend.

This is why I invoked Wilshire's perspective.

Also, Wilshire, now that the book is out in the open we should check out your mind-map as the Survivor ruminates on the "twelve Germs," which are implied to be the twelve seed groups the Dunyain started with.

12 is, I believe, more than sufficient. I'd have to go back and check, but I think my original theory specified an absolute minimum of 8 genetically diverse individual families as genetic stock (ignoring alien genetics).

Excellent - I'll have to check the quote again for the number. Other than confirming what's still there and what's obviously not and thus must be purged from memory, I need a reread :).

EDIT: Because I quoted it for the other thread:

Quote from: TGO, p407
And yet he had found himself in the nursery without thought, scooping up this very babe without thought, the one that smelled of him, of Anasurimbor, the most promising of the Twelve Germs.

How many were the original Dunyain refugees?

Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?

I don't understand enough (anything, really) about human biology except what gets you by with an anthropology minor but I imagine stacking continuous or near-continuous pregnancies over a hundred generations selects for some strange traits.

I don't know enough about genetics to know it is a problem. Do linguists have the same problem when hearing that semantic purity can allow you to speak in peoples dreams? Does the impossibility of that jar the same way?

Probably. They have a hate-read thread going on somewhere too ;).

Here's a question - why would whalemotherism emerge at all? I can't see why gigantism would be stimulated as an outcome by the conditions of Ishual, and I don't see why the Dunyain would want it, unless every Whale Mother was also meant to be an Octomom. Theories?

This is can buy. Remember that Kellhus was only able to get living offspring with Esmenet (all others were died and/or had stillborns or severe defects), so he must be aware that she carries some traits in common with Dunyain women. Dunyain pregnancies are apparently very difficult, so perhaps they bred form females that would be ... hardier ... In child birth.

Somewhat unrelated to your point, Titan, but using this a jump-point: this is something I genuinely don't understand regarding this conversation.

If Kellhus has bred with a Whale-Mother (which he obviously has), then they would have any range of defectives, including the representative Whale-Mothers and Dunyain-Fathers (as only the best can so wield the Legion to win-out in the Tracery ritual). And he and Moenghus the Elder can have defectives/abominations with the worldborn (which they did), Dunyain-Sons, but not Dunyain-Daughters... because why? How does that invalidate in-world mechanics, if the Dunyain-Daughters born to worldborn women are not Whale-Mothers? Is it assumed that the information based on by Kellhus' X chromosome somehow completely trumps Esmenet's X chromosome in combination?

[EDIT: For quote and link to Wilshire's thread.]
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 04:55:48 pm by Madness »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2016, 01:04:36 am »
Why would whalemotherism emerge?

Because thats what they selected for. My guess is that they were selecting for woman that could consistently bare children with minimal damage to mother and child.

This means they'd want them to grow children to term quickly, start at a young age, be breedable until near death, have minimal time between pregnancies, and have large birth canals making for easy delivery. The selection for this or any other set of hyper fertile criteria evidently selected for whalemotherism.

What does a woman look like when she is pregnant? Big. Everything gets bigger, they put on weight everywhere. Now imagine if a woman was pregnant 95% of the time her entire life. She'd never lose "the baby fat". That alone would likely make them huge. Adding in selective breeding and it's a pretty small step to whalemotherism, imo.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

EkyannusIII

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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2016, 04:52:47 pm »
Maybe Wilshire, but do the Dunyain want them preggers all the time?  That seems contrary to their very clear eugenic intentions. It also raises the question of how many people Ishual could support. Breeding like rabbits seems like something for the worldborn.
What is reason, but the blindness of the soul?

R. SCOTT RAP3ZT TERRIBLEZ LOLZ.

if Kellhus was thinking all of this, he's going to freak out when he get's back and Kelmomas is all "i lieks to eatum peeples da"

the whole thing is orchestrated by Kellhus who is wearing a Bashrag as if it were a suit

MrGanondorf

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« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2016, 04:03:46 am »
I've been surprised that there's been so much attention for the whale-mothers.  I guess I just assumed that world-building terminates somewhere.  Kind of a world-building dilemma: i think i would be bored if Bakker dwelled on the point any more than he did, but others find the lack of explanation a strike against plausibility.  He's got to draw the line somewhere and not everybody's going to be pleased.

I guess Bakker could always say something belief making real in Earwa.  I wonder if any of the nameless ones where whale-motherish?

It was very pointed that The Fathering is described as having sarcophagi -> No-God connection?  Mimara's pov compares Dunyain and Consult, so maybe there's more there.  The comment about sadism in the abence of desire struck me as kind of like Shauriatus musing about committing atrocties in The False Sun.

Parsh

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« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2016, 03:34:32 am »
Maybe Wilshire, but do the Dunyain want them preggers all the time?  That seems contrary to their very clear eugenic intentions. It also raises the question of how many people Ishual could support. Breeding like rabbits seems like something for the worldborn.

It seems likely that they have a ton of children but they ruthlessly cull out not only the defectives but the less good. Somebody has to have their facial muscles twitched into the display of an emotion. Otherwise, how will the little ubermenschen learn to dominate the worldborn? The more kids conceived, the more choices available.

Wilshire

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« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2016, 05:17:06 pm »
Maybe Wilshire, but do the Dunyain want them preggers all the time?  That seems contrary to their very clear eugenic intentions. It also raises the question of how many people Ishual could support. Breeding like rabbits seems like something for the worldborn.

It seems likely that they have a ton of children but they ruthlessly cull out not only the defectives but the less good. Somebody has to have their facial muscles twitched into the display of an emotion. Otherwise, how will the little ubermenschen learn to dominate the worldborn? The more kids conceived, the more choices available.

Yeah they'd want lots and lots of kids. Whether they know it or not, they are sifting through genetic material. Squeezing as many generations into as small a time period as possible would be crucial in any eugenics program that is selecting for some specific goal. Especially for humans and other populations that have a long gestation period. The longer that period, the more critical it is to shorten it as much as possible.

As mentioned, defective are killed off. I assume birth defects are pretty normal, and those kids are killed off. More are killed off in training up to the ultimate guillotine of the Thousand Thousand halls. Birth rate has nothing to do with sustained population.

As per population, the birthing chamber held less than 12 (right?), and that meeting to determine who would breed only had a bare handful, again less than 12. Its not unlikely to me that those were potentially ALL the adults in Ishual. Some number <20. Plus 0-2 living kids per mother at any one time, add another 10ish. So you get 30.

30 is not that many.

If survival rate/defect rate is higher, there might be an average of <1 kids per mother at any time.

In addition, whats the advantage of keeping around older dunyain when you have prodigal sons every generation?

You need a couple of guys around to teach, a couple of the most promising 20-somethings thinking and working in TTT, and those that are too old to think/work breeding. Once a son is identified that will likely surpass one of the elders, I'm sure they'd kill off the elder.

4 to 8 dunyain adults, maybe only a half dozen mothers and a few children. Could be as little as 10 - 15 people at once.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 05:19:31 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.