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Author Topic: Genes and Evolution  (Read 3235 times)
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Cruciform
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« on: 07 October 2010, 23:03:22 »

So, I've been looking around, and I don't see too much mention of genes or anything. There have been a few occasional allusions to it, but nothing that outright says, "This happens because BIOLOGY IS AT WORK."

Is this because of the application of Gods and Deities to the world? Does this prevent evolutionary science and biological science from "existing" so to speak?

What I really want to know is what the protocol for mentioning genes and evolutionary setbacks and advantages? I mean, nowhere in the Beasts or Plants Entry Templates do I see any mention of, "Don't just tack things on because it seems cool to have it."

Animals in real life are only as smart as evolution has allowed them to be. They're only as strong and fast as evolution has allowed them to be. And if they're still around today, it's because evolution has allowed them to survive.

So, my second query is, even if evolution is not an inherent attribute of Caelereth, shouldn't the idea of Natural Selection still be a prevalent factor in creating beasts and plants? I mean, if a beast or plant is clearly not fit for survival from its initial conception, and such that it needs to be changed dramatically, doesn't that inherently lower any realism and ruin suspension of disbelief?

I mean, humans have survived so long because when we began to survive, only the strongest males would breed, and so we would have stronger offspring. As time moved on, we survived more on intellect, because humans have a superior mental capacity to nearly every other species on the planet, and so we can adapt to nearly any environment.

That's natural selection at work!

So, to recap, I'd appreciate explanations (and opinions) of genes and evolution on Caelereth so I can figure out the limits and bends in my future entries. Thank you. :) Much obliged, gents. And now, I'm going to bed.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #1 on: 08 October 2010, 00:30:55 »

Great to ask this, but as I understand it we have NO genetics etc. You can say that something is "perfectly adapted", but there is no concept of evolution - we have no variation between parents and offspring, so although UNsuitable species would be weeded out, species cannot become more suitable. I'm sure this is written down somewhere...

Yes, in the Bestiary Resource Book (click on the link "Create Beasts" on the left of the page) it says

Quote
In the same respect I guess we can't emphasize enough that though evolution and belief don't necessarily have to contradict each other in our world of today, it was impossible to think of such things 1000 years ago. Especially in a fantasy world like ours I think that we should forget about evolution in the Darwinistic sense completely. We have other explanations why the original landmass split into various parts (Gods/War of the Chosen) and a typical evolutionary theory doesn't fit too well  to our mythical concepts.

So, no evolution. Sorry. Just assume that animals will migrate and die if unsuited, but cannot change - therefore natural selection does not improve species.
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« Reply #2 on: 08 October 2010, 03:10:19 »

First of all the concept of "evolution" or "genes" is an advanced concept/theory/understanding not understood by any beings in Caelereth.  So such a concept should not be mentioned in any of the entries. 

However this does not mean that we as Earthly developers are not aware that it exists.  In essence we should develop creatures that make sense and could survive).  If we give a beast a crazy horn on his head we should explain how that horn is used.  If we don't know how it is used we can explain that as well.  We would not try and explain how a species evolved over time and developed the horn.  As far as we know all the creatures are how they are and have always been that way.

A bit of caution- we are not all biologists and we are creating a fantasy world.  So we do NOT have to explain everything about every creature.  For goodness sake, there are creatures in our own world we do not fully understand.  Imagine trying to understand a massive dragon living in a cave in the highest mountains with no scientific instruments or modern vehicles to assist you. 
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« Reply #3 on: 08 October 2010, 03:38:33 »

Thank you for pointing that out, Athviaro. I overlooked that when I read through that page. I was looking under the actual template headings, however. I didn't go further. My mistake.

And that certainly answers both of my questions.

Seeker, as for your point of: "we are not all biologists and we are creating a fantasy world."
I do not see this point as anything other than a little redundant. Biology is a very very easy subject to understand, and much of it is as simple as common sense, and even if it is a fantasy world, that does not rule out the concept of common sense, especially where humans are involved.

However, seeing as there is something that mentions it, I thank you for the information.
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« Reply #4 on: 08 October 2010, 04:17:34 »

Yeah, there is a certain middle ground we have to find here with creating a fantasy world - we cannot have all the laws of Earthen biology and related to that concepts like genes and evolution let dictate what we develop. We need to have that strong fantasy portion in our entries, even in our descriptions of beasts and plants Myth/Lore is as important as anything else. On the other hand the fantastic stuff should also not completely dominate a beast entry e.g., because then it gets entirely unbelievable. In that middle ground we need to operate.
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« Reply #5 on: 08 October 2010, 04:20:02 »

Except in certain places of Caelereth where the laws of physics and evolution don't exist. Then, anything goes.  evil

Such as Mira's house.  :D
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« Reply #6 on: 08 October 2010, 04:30:24 »

I think that Seeker reacted quite a lot to this proposal grin

I think it was reasonable, but you try explaining evolutionary theory in one bestiary entry, o&a all the stuff it needs, without disrupting the flow or swelling one part with needless information, and I'll take my hat off to you and eat it.

Seriously, just say "XXX is very useful" and don't even try to explain how it came about. I'm not a senior Devver, but I think that maybe "Without YYY, the ZZZ would not have survived" is probably OK, but saying "The ZZZ developed YYY over several millenia by means of natural selection, wherein gradual variation caused by geneitc combination and imperfection..."etc. might not work.

The Catholic Church accepted the theory of "Micro-evolution" before that of "Macro-evolution", which I think we can do. We can of course understand breeding and bloodlines - especially experts - but still not extrapolate this to evolution. All species have existed in MORE OR LESS their present forms from the start.

Anyway, that's what I think/gather/understand.

Athviaro
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« Reply #7 on: 08 October 2010, 04:31:58 »

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Biology is a very very easy subject to understand, and much of it is as simple as common sense
I would disagree unless you are referring to basic High School biology class.  Even the concept of evolution can get very complex.  Origin of the Species is not an easy read cover to cover (yep I read it). So I read from your comment that you really are just referring to basic biology concepts and i think we can agree these concepts should be adhered to in a middle ground as Art suggests.
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« Reply #8 on: 08 October 2010, 04:39:04 »

LOL

Quote
Biology is a very very easy subject to understand, and much of it is as simple as common sense

I'll show that to my daughter and ask her, why she has no better marks at university! ;)

Oh, I know the answer:  It is not a matter of understanding but remembering a huge quantity of stuff..  and not biology,  but physics, chemistry and so on.. ;)
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« Reply #9 on: 08 October 2010, 04:54:55 »

Biology is a very very easy subject to understand, and much of it is as simple as common sense,

I must be dumb then, because I never understood biology, even at primary or high school :)
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« Reply #10 on: 08 October 2010, 06:22:49 »

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Biology is a very very easy subject to understand, and much of it is as simple as common sense

LIES! I have Biology this year and I only keep my A in it because I have the easy teacher!

Anyway, I think Santharia may have a basic belief of biology/evolution, it wouldn't be science but more of a philosphy. I.E. 'only the best survive' could be rather reasonable, but it would be more of a philosphy than an idea.

Would Santharia have any proof of evolution/natural selection?
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« Reply #11 on: 08 October 2010, 08:09:23 »

I'll rephrase for you all, then. :p Biology has easily understood subject matter. "Subject" clearly gave some misdirection.

LIES! I have Biology this year and I only keep my A in it because I have the easy teacher!

I got an A++++++++ C in Biology last year (that's just a year 11 and 12 course), yet I understood every inch of the course perfectly. I don't do well with structured education, however.

I still stand by my admission that Biology is easy. And while Origin of Species may not be an easy read (I haven't managed to find a copy or the time to read), Darwin's theory of Natural Selection is easily understood. (Well, not by everyone. There was this one girl in my class who never seemed to understand anything... ever, no matter how well it was explained).

Regardless, I will persevere to explain any and all of my future beast/plant entries anyway! I'm too finicky not to.

And no, I won't be in-depthly referencing evolution; that was never my intention. I will persevere to make my beasts and plants feasible, however. *Perseveres!*
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« Reply #12 on: 08 October 2010, 08:36:52 »

I think what you are saying is perfectly fine if I understand you correctly. I think I was under the impression you were going for more scientific things like Chlorplasts, ribosomes, micro-tubules, etc, which wouldn't mix with a fantasy setting.
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« Reply #13 on: 08 October 2010, 08:58:21 »


Quote
Regardless, I will persevere to explain any and all of my future beast/plant entries anyway! I'm too finicky not to. And no, I won't be in-depthly referencing evolution; that was never my intention. I will persevere to make my beasts and plants feasible, however. *Perseveres!*

I think in a round about way we are actually agreeing.  For me what you are saying here sounds great.   These kinds of conversations would be so much easier in person.  alas  undecided
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« Reply #14 on: 08 October 2010, 09:35:11 »

I think what you are saying is perfectly fine if I understand you correctly. I think I was under the impression you were going for more scientific things like Chlorplasts, ribosomes, micro-tubules, etc, which wouldn't mix with a fantasy setting.
That is what I was saying.
These kinds of conversations would be so much easier in person.  alas  undecided
QFT.
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