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Old Jan 16 2008, 02:23 PM   #1
Brenda
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

I was really only skimming ED's overlong quoted replies, but I have one major objection to the following:

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Lady M beat me to the post on picking up an a ref from Dragonsdawn about the original colonists. Which basically came down to, eveyone was expected to contribute to the next generation - regardless of there sexual orientation. So clearly, and obviously not all the colonists were straight and hetrosexual. In fact Telgar makes reference to that. Obvioulsy being gay wasn't an issue to signing up for being a Pern colonist. In fact I doubt that sexuality would have been an issue at all in being able to join the colony. Take a look at the short story "The Second Weyr;" no one blinks an eyelid at the fact there is an openly gay blue-rider.
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Yeah about that passage...that's a bit disturbing. "Look Bob, I know the idea of sleeping with a woman totally revolts you, but you signed the contract, so get in there and take one for the Colony!" "I'm sorry, Mary, I know you're totally not into this man-woman thing, but it says right here you're going to contribute to the Colony's growth, so take it off! Chuck's waiting! And heck, it'll all be over in nine months...this time. You will, of course, be expected to squeeze out a few more to hit our growth target." C'mon! How many ways does the very idea violate a person's rights? Effectively, the only way it couldn't is if no strict homosexuals (only bisexuals) were permitted to join the Colony. Maybe we all ought to forget that one exists...rather like F'nor's idea of seduction, eh?
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As I've pointed out in another response, that's a disturbing passage. There is simply know way it can do anything but violate the rights of strict homosexuals. Bisexuals would be okay with it, but strict homosexuals...?

Would we require heterosexuals to engage in homosexual affairs against their will? Why would we consider it right to force homosexuals to engage in heterosexual affairs? So either the Pern Colony recruited only heterosexuals and bisexuals, or it didn't much respect individuals' rights, particularly strict homosexuals.
During the immediate period after Landing - throughout Dragonsdawn, and probably further - they are using artificial insemination on all their livestock. Why in the world wouldn't they be able to use that to increase their own population, rather than putting people in the position E-D seems to think would be necessary?

I just remembered the name of the book I was trying to remember - Mirabile, by Janet Kagan - which involves a struggling planetary colony, in which even people not suited for parenting still have to contribute to the gene pool (by AI) and those who are, foster the extra children. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?
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Old Jan 16 2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Thing is, and this is something I don't get is why they didn't widen the genepool with donor eggs and sperm from outside that of the colony by bringing a wide range with them?
Then those that wanted multiple children (and there appeared to be quite a few of them) could be encouraged (extra land grants etc) to act as surrogates.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Could/Should this be snipped into a new Thread? It's quite an interesting topic on its own!
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Old Jan 16 2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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Thing is, and this is something I don't get is why they didn't widen the genepool with donor eggs and sperm from outside that of the colony by bringing a wide range with them?
That could very well have been due to their extremely limited and stretched funds - maybe that would have broken the bank.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 05:52 PM   #5
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Why in the world wouldn't they be able to use that to increase their own population......<snip>
I would imagine that they would have used that technology for as long as it was able to have been used, the same for any other. Wind Blossom had proper surgical theatres until well into the 1st Pass. I'm no fertility expert, and have no idea of what standard instrumentation you need (I'm thinking a really good microscope helps!), but I'm thinking that it would be possible to get at least 2 generations produced that way before it all went down the drain.


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<snip>......which involves a struggling planetary colony, in which even people not suited for parenting still have to contribute to the gene pool (by AI) and those who are, foster the extra children. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?
From Mairi's experiences in DDawn, fostering was going on from very early on in Pern's history, and it is clear that it carries on until the 9th Pass. I should think that she as not the only one, and if an "official" statement of encouraged wasn't produced I would be very surprised! I wonder if I have DD upstairs in a bag ..... I think I might do. I'll check for any mentions of fostering etc!

We know Lords foster, and it's commonplace amongst the Weyrfolk, but is it as common in Hall and Hold by the 9th Pass? Or would that depend on the parents of the child?

But I think it's a great idea! Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and not everyone wants to be a parent. But fostering is a great way to spread the genes without the hassle and burden of children (some people do find children a burden).

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Old Jan 16 2008, 06:06 PM   #6
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I would imagine that they would have used that technology for as long as it was able to have been used, the same for any other. Wind Blossom had proper surgical theatres until well into the 1st Pass. I'm no fertility expert, and have no idea of what standard instrumentation you need (I'm thinking a really good microscope helps!), but I'm thinking that it would be possible to get at least 2 generations produced that way before it all went down the drain.
Egg donation is obviously a lot more invasive than sperm donation, but the technology for the latter is really pretty basic.

Give me another six months, and I'll fill you in on all the details of (non-donor) IUI!
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Old Jan 16 2008, 06:33 PM   #7
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Give me another six months, and I'll fill you in on all the details of (non-donor) IUI!
Firstly, all the luck in the world to you! (If I've read what you wrote correctly!)

Secondly, thank you!

Thirdly, just flicking through DDawn, and have come across something odd. After Sorka and Sean first Impress their dragonets, Sean takes his home and his father, Porrig, says of some snakes: "One of the blue mottled ones took a huge chunk out of Sinead's babee last night" and Sean, a week or so later remarks "M'da made me bunk in with the babees".

Now, the colonists had only been on Pern a matter of weeks by this point. Surely Sinead or any of the other travelling folk couldn't have given birth already? And would they have put a heavily pregnant woman into deepsleep for 15 years? What's the youngest person on the Colony register? I know there are at least children as young as 6 - but are there any young enough to be described as a "baby"?

I haven't got there yet, but I'm sure that it's not until later that the first human birth on Pern is mentioned (with the dragonets humming and all)?

Has anyone else come across this?

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Old Jan 16 2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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I was really only skimming ED's overlong quoted replies, but I have one major objection to the following:

During the immediate period after Landing - throughout Dragonsdawn, and probably further - they are using artificial insemination on all their livestock. Why in the world wouldn't they be able to use that to increase their own population, rather than putting people in the position E-D seems to think would be necessary?

I just remembered the name of the book I was trying to remember - Mirabile, by Janet Kagan - which involves a struggling planetary colony, in which even people not suited for parenting still have to contribute to the gene pool (by AI) and those who are, foster the extra children. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?
Why wouldn't it be done with humans, and with this batch of humans (Pernese)?

1) Humans aren't cattle and most don't appreciate being treated like cattle even if it might be the "logical" thing to do under the circumstances. People have objected to such things throughout history--frequently with great violence.

2) The Pernese colonists were atavists. For all we know they may have had some moral or philosophical objection to having such done to themselves.

3) As a recent topic of Gidget2's points out, some of these people had previously been tampered with (or their ancestors had) and maybe they didn't think it was such a great thing (rather like people who were experimented upon by the Nazis).
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Old Jan 16 2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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That could very well have been due to their extremely limited and stretched funds - maybe that would have broken the bank.
Not an unreasonable thought. Certainly this colony was not planning on undergoing any sort of deadly aerial bombardment on this world, so why bring the materials for the contingency, especially on strict monetary, volume and mass budgets.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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I would imagine that they would have used that technology for as long as it was able to have been used, the same for any other. Wind Blossom had proper surgical theatres until well into the 1st Pass. I'm no fertility expert, and have no idea of what standard instrumentation you need (I'm thinking a really good microscope helps!), but I'm thinking that it would be possible to get at least 2 generations produced that way before it all went down the drain.




From Mairi's experiences in DDawn, fostering was going on from very early on in Pern's history, and it is clear that it carries on until the 9th Pass. I should think that she as not the only one, and if an "official" statement of encouraged wasn't produced I would be very surprised! I wonder if I have DD upstairs in a bag ..... I think I might do. I'll check for any mentions of fostering etc!

We know Lords foster, and it's commonplace amongst the Weyrfolk, but is it as common in Hall and Hold by the 9th Pass? Or would that depend on the parents of the child?

But I think it's a great idea! Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and not everyone wants to be a parent. But fostering is a great way to spread the genes without the hassle and burden of children (some people do find children a burden).
People who think children are a burden simply shouldn't have any children, not fob them off on someone else. "Oh, this is just too much for me! Here, you raise my child. Meanwhile I'm off to do my thing and if I have another, I'm sure you'll be happy to take care of it for me." We see attitudes verging on this in the welfare state, and the present narcissism of our society and it is not benefiting the children. This is akin to say that divorce is good for children because it gives them more parents. I think not.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 08:34 PM   #11
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Thing is, and this is something I don't get is why they didn't widen the genepool with donor eggs and sperm from outside that of the colony by bringing a wide range with them?
Then those that wanted multiple children (and there appeared to be quite a few of them) could be encouraged (extra land grants etc) to act as surrogates.
These colonists were atavists and that attitude may well have influenced them to forgo such technology and/or eschew using it more widely. Given the idea of running a low technology colony, this may have been something they simply didn't want.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 05:02 AM   #12
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ED,

Whatever does give you the idea the colonists were atavists?

Where do you get the idea they were experimented upon by the Nathi?

What do you mean by "tampered with" the prostethics Paul Benden and Kenjo Fusaiyuki had? Or did you have in mind the recent find of Gidget? (cf. the empathy thread).

They certainly did have the technology -- and far more than that -- of IVF, sperm and egg donors, it seems on a much more sophisticated level than we have now (and I'm not even thinking of/mentioning the Eridani techniques) and they certainly had high tech availability in every aspect. It was the intention to go back to a low tech society but don't make the mistake that they started out as one
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Old Jan 17 2008, 05:13 AM   #13
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3) As a recent topic of Gidget2's points out, some of these people had previously been tampered with (or their ancestors had) and maybe they didn't think it was such a great thing (rather like people who were experimented upon by the Nazis).
You seem to be conflating bog-standard fertility treatments with the atrocities of the holocaust.


Don't.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 05:31 AM   #14
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ED,

Whatever does give you the idea the colonists were atavists?

Where do you get the idea they were experimented upon by the Nathi?

What do you mean by "tampered with" the prostethics Paul Benden and Kenjo Fusaiyuki had?

They certainly did have the technology -- and far more than that -- of IVF, sperm and egg donors, it seems on a much more sophisticated level than we have now (and I'm not even thinking of/mentioning the Eridani techniques) and they certainly had high tech availability in every aspect. It was the intention to go back to a low tech society but don't make the mistake that they started out as one



Beat me to the post on this Hans...

Obviously, and without doubt the Colonists had very sophisticated IVF technology. They had the equipment to alter, and tailor life to there new world. Major references exist in Dragonsdawn to the IVF technology used to bring forth farm animals and the like - so the point is moot, they had the technology and the knowledge to use it, that's a given fact.

The possibilty that they used IVF equipment on people - well, why not? Just becasue it's not mentioned in the books, doesn't mean it never happened, and couldn't have happened. Certainly Anne has nothing against it - and fair enough I am refering to the stories with in The Ship Who Sang...

I would imagin that the colonists were screened to make sure that they were all fit and healthy - and that, in practical terms, there would be no need for IVF. But I would also imagin that as a safe guard the equipment, and techniques would have been taken with them.

As edith pointed out, there is no reason why some of the sperm and eggs brought with them couldn't have been from humans - as a safe guard.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn to the fact that some of the colonists had ansestors who had been enhanced by the Eridani techniques - but that was before the "Pure Human" reforms.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn that there are men in Landing who only prefer men - but they, like everyone else, were expected to contribute to the next generation. I would assume that anyone signing up for the colony would know what's expected of them... so actually, they would have a choice.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn to the fact that marrage - as we know it, did not exist, and that couples contracted time together, and set the terms of such contracts. It was not a requiment that couples contract together for the sake of children, or that they raise the child together, just that arangements were made for the childs wellbeing.

Emily Boll was past child rearing, and in fact unable to have children anymore (ref Dragonsdawn). In fact none of her children came with her to Pern. So she and her hubby never had kids - so whilst there was an expectation that everyone should contribute to the next generation, obvioulsy some people couldn't - and obvioulsy the colony charter was flexable on that point.

Atavists? Well I know you can't possibly mean they are genetic throwbacks - so I assume this is a reference to the way society deveoped on Pern. I suppose broadly (very broadly) defined you could state that something along those lines had happened - but it's streatching the point, and I'm not 100% sure that the term actually correctly applies.

Certainly the original Colonists themselves were not Atavists. They wanted to have a more low tech society - not a society free of technology. Obvioulsy they planned to keep a decent level of technology. They wanted to avoid the problems of Earth, and bascially lead a quiet peaceful life. They were people who had had enough of war.

But atavists? Hummmm, as I say, broadly defined you might be able to get away and say that's what ended up happening - but it does not appear to have been the intent behind the formation of the Coloney.

I'm sure our resident Archivist will correct me if I am wrong, but didn't fostering start out on Pern as a way of spreading the gene pool? Or am I thinking of a reference from the DLG?

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Old Jan 17 2008, 05:37 AM   #15
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The possibilty that they used IVF equipment on people - well, why not? Just becasue it's not mentioned in the books, doesn't mean it never happened, and couldn't have happened.

I would imagin that the colonists were screened to make sure that they were all fit and healthy - and that, in practical terms, there would be no need for IVF.
Even if they could and did screen and fix all the many varieties of infertility, there's still the issue of what to do when your co-parent of choice shares the same gender. They'd have had the scope to use it, I'm sure.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 05:43 AM   #16
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Even if they could and did screen and fix all the many varieties of infertility, there's still the issue of what to do when your co-parent of choice shares the same gender. They'd have had the scope to use it, I'm sure.
Indeed - if they could create an entire new species, such a thing would be a doddle to them.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 06:41 AM   #17
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People who think children are a burden simply shouldn't have any children, not fob them off on someone else. "Oh, this is just too much for me! Here, you raise my child. Meanwhile I'm off to do my thing and if I have another, I'm sure you'll be happy to take care of it for me." We see attitudes verging on this in the welfare state, and the present narcissism of our society and it is not benefiting the children. This is akin to say that divorce is good for children because it gives them more parents. I think not.
Trouble is, that was what was needed, and was still needed in the Ninth Pass. The population has to be maintained, but there are a lot of highly-intensive jobs. You can't look after a child and run a weyr and maintain a dragon, neither can you do that if you've got a colony to build and a vital job. You might not want to, but the childcare is taken out of your hands by necessity.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 06:54 AM   #18
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People who think children are a burden simply shouldn't have any children, not fob them off on someone else. "Oh, this is just too much for me! Here, you raise my child. Meanwhile I'm off to do my thing and if I have another, I'm sure you'll be happy to take care of it for me." We see attitudes verging on this in the welfare state, and the present narcissism of our society and it is not benefiting the children. This is akin to say that divorce is good for children because it gives them more parents. I think not.
In it's early years, a colony's main and over-reaching desire is to have it survive long-term. That means to have as many different children with as many different genetic differences. Yes, all colonists would have been expected to add to that genetic mix.

Inevitably there will be some people who wouldn't, in the grand scheme of things, actually have children. However, signing up for a new colony means just that - having children.

I don't know if you've read the Freedom books, ED, but the subject is also mentioned there. However, Pern had the technology to sidestep the awkward having-sex-with-others part that Freedom had to resort to. They had the ability to use fertility treatments to get the genetic material spread around, so they would have used it for as long as it lasted.

Anyway, just as inevitable as those who would not have children are those who just can't have enough! And fostering is a way for those two imbalances to be smoothed out.

It's not a case of "fobbing off" your children to someone else. It's a way of stepping up, doing your duty and the colony as one big society also doing right by you and doing the best for the future of the colony. It's not something that is going to create children worthy of Jerry Springer, and nothing like the welfare state.

If you take into account how highly-respected the Eridani are in pre-Pern culture, then any treatment or method would not be seen to be "tampering".

Sorry ED, no cattle, no atavism, no tampering.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 07:57 AM   #19
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People who think children are a burden simply shouldn't have any children, not fob them off on someone else. "Oh, this is just too much for me! Here, you raise my child. Meanwhile I'm off to do my thing and if I have another, I'm sure you'll be happy to take care of it for me." We see attitudes verging on this in the welfare state, and the present narcissism of our society and it is not benefiting the children. This is akin to say that divorce is good for children because it gives them more parents. I think not.
Do you actually read the books?

Fostering started during the First Pass becasue key people had to spend more time at there jobs (which benefited the coloney as a whole) and had to ask someone else to look after there children. After the Fever Years it became a nessacity - too many children had lost parents.

Fostering continued on Pern as a way of spreading the gene-pool between the different communities, and because again; key people had to spend the time doing criticle jobs. It was also a way for children and young adults to learn about different parts of Pern, and strengthen relationships between the Holds.

With Dragonriders it comes down to need - the need of the dragon coming first, even over any children they have. But the Weyr community is set up to deal with that. Look at F'lessen - Lessa and F'lar's only child, he was fostered becasue they didn't have the time.

That's not to say that some people on Pern don't just simply pass there children off to others... Kylara springs to mind (but again, she was a dragonrider). And to my mind it's one of the strengths of Anne's books that not all parents on Pern are perfect (Yanis and Mavi anybody?).

It seems that fostering grew out of need, became a tradition - that ended up working well on Pern.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 08:39 AM   #20
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I completely agree with you, Gidget. The original colonists signed up to start a colony, and I'm sure they knew everything that was expected of them.

I too am disturbed by the (seemingly recurring) comparisons to nazi experiments. This is nothing like that.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 08:45 AM   #21
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WAIT!!!!!

Post #8 - I call Godwin's Law here too!

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Old Jan 17 2008, 09:02 AM   #22
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HA!

Kath and I were discussing whether it should be called earlier...
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Old Jan 17 2008, 09:13 AM   #23
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HA!

Kath and I were discussing whether it should be called earlier...
Still, I feel no need for it to spoil an otherwise decent Thread! Let's just keep things away from Nazi experimentation, and we should be fine!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 09:39 AM   #24
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totally agree with you!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 12:06 PM   #25
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Thirded! I don't want this board to come up on a google search on those two words!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 12:39 PM   #26
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So, yes, fostering obviously made its presence felt on Pern very early on, and it clearly works very well otherwise it wouldn't have worked for 2,500 years! Clearly not everyone fosters their children away, but those who ride dragons and are in otherwise key jobs would do (including the Lords Holder there, obviosuly).

And like Allana and myself said, the colonists signed up with total knowledge that they would have to, in some way, reproduce.

Although, clearly, there were members of the group who were past child-bearing and rearing age (mainly women), but were considered to have skills more relevant and helpful to the colony than mere DNA. Despite Paul Benden's eleventh decade (described as late middle age) he was still expected to "do his duty", although Emily Boll wasn't as she had passed that threshold and was more valued as a key leader individual.

I am still of the opinion that there would be plenty of ways around the gays-breeding issue that don't involve a ..... close your eyes and focus elsewhere aspect. Although that way may have worked for some people!!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 12:45 PM   #27
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They definitely had the facilities- look at how the dragons were bred!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 12:48 PM   #28
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Exactly - as Jayru said this morning, if an entire species is able to be produced then a "simple" thing like a fertility treatment would be a doddle!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 01:15 PM   #29
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Default Re: Pern Colonist Genepool topic

Although in truth, it's more likely that the people would be encouraged to have kids the old fashioend way, simply because Pern was not ever going to be over reliant on such technologies. So I think all the colonists went into it with an open mind. But yes, for those overly squimish at the idea, I guess IVF would work just fine. Or turkey baisters. After all, that's a low tech option
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Old Jan 17 2008, 01:23 PM   #30
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Surely whilst the technology existed, they'd make use of it though, right? They just weren't going to replace the technology as and when it faltered and fell out of use, not put a big kybosh on not using it at all as soon as planetfall happened.

But you're quite right - alternatives would have been sought first and foremost, as those are what theyd have to come back to rely on later anyway!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 03:19 PM   #31
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I don't think the colonists would have been adverse to using IVF/baisters at all.

I think with the advent of Threadfall, and the loss of valuble technology during the drive to survive, they would have had to fall back on the more simpler options.

I think Lady M hit the nail on the head when she posted about it being part of peoples duty to add to the next generation, and without our current hangups regarding sex, and sexuality, I don't see what that would be a problem.

All jokes aside, baisters would be something they might have in the Ninth Pass - whether they would know that was an alternative...
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Old Jan 17 2008, 03:45 PM   #32
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Default Re: Pern Colonist Genepool topic

I think that the idea of fostering is a good one. It is not matter of dumping your kids off on some one else because they are a burden. It is a matter of doing what is right for the child. Most of the time it is only for a number or years. I also think that for some it is a very good idea. A foster will not let a child get away with as much as their own parant will. If a parent is overly indulgent it is just as bad as one who is neglectful. Also if it is wide spread than there is nothing bad about it. So even those people that would not make good parents could have children & let someone who wants some, but can not have any raise them. Who realy thinks that Avril woud have made a good mother. If she had had a child that one would have been much better off with anyone else.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 04:50 PM   #33
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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Originally Posted by Gidget2 View Post

I haven't got there yet, but I'm sure that it's not until later that the first human birth on Pern is mentioned (with the dragonets humming and all)?

Has anyone else come across this?

Well, I have noticed that in some old novels, toddlers are referred to as babies... this could be what Sean meant. Maybe there were some, just not mentioned directly elsewhere.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 06:12 PM   #34
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all round!

I like the point about Avril, and I had thought of it myself!
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Old Jan 17 2008, 06:19 PM   #35
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He's just a kid, babies could be used as a derogatory term for all the children younger than him.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 06:29 PM   #36
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That's what I was about to suggest, Edith!
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Old Jan 18 2008, 09:08 AM   #37
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LOL Sounds good to me! I didn't really think that she could've given birth already on Pern, so, yes, perhaps a child under 5 or 3 or something?
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Old Jan 19 2008, 12:08 AM   #38
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Default Re: Pern Colonist Genepool topic

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ED,

Whatever does give you the idea the colonists were atavists?

They willingly chose to forgo their current standard of technology for something more primitive. Admittedly, that notion got carried a little farther than planned by circumstance, but they definitely had the intention to retrogress a bit.

Where do you get the idea they were experimented upon by the Nathi?

I never said anything about the Nathi, and I was responding to another poster's mention of their ancestors being treated with Eridani drugs.

What do you mean by "tampered with" the prostethics Paul Benden and Kenjo Fusaiyuki had? Or did you have in mind the recent find of Gidget? (cf. the empathy thread).

Gidget's.

They certainly did have the technology -- and far more than that -- of IVF, sperm and egg donors, it seems on a much more sophisticated level than we have now (and I'm not even thinking of/mentioning the Eridani techniques) and they certainly had high tech availability in every aspect. It was the intention to go back to a low tech society but don't make the mistake that they started out as one

I never said that they didn't have the technology.
Nor did I say that they didn't bring it with them.
Nor did I say that it wasn't more sophisticated than our present standard.
I was merely answering the question of why they might have chosen not to employ it.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 12:16 AM   #39
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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You seem to be conflating bog-standard fertility treatments with the atrocities of the holocaust.


Don't.
No, I'm not. I'm referring to Gidget's post about their ancestors being treated with Eridani drugs, the exact circumstances of which were not specified. If, in fact, the effects of that work were not entirely beneficial, or appreciated, or the administration of such drugs was not entirely voluntary, it might explain why people might chose to forgo other procedures. It is also possible that such experimentation may have been undertaken with the best of intentions and have gone wrong. Whatever the circumstances, it might make people leery of similar, if lesser treatment, or they might reject such things on moral or philosophical grounds. This group of colonists had already made a moral/philosophical decision to pursue a less technologically advanced existence and for all we know they might have considered using such technology on themselves as part and parcel of that decision.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 12:21 AM   #40
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Beat me to the post on this Hans...

Obviously, and without doubt the Colonists had very sophisticated IVF technology. They had the equipment to alter, and tailor life to there new world. Major references exist in Dragonsdawn to the IVF technology used to bring forth farm animals and the like - so the point is moot, they had the technology and the knowledge to use it, that's a given fact.

The possibilty that they used IVF equipment on people - well, why not? Just becasue it's not mentioned in the books, doesn't mean it never happened, and couldn't have happened. Certainly Anne has nothing against it - and fair enough I am refering to the stories with in The Ship Who Sang...

I would imagin that the colonists were screened to make sure that they were all fit and healthy - and that, in practical terms, there would be no need for IVF. But I would also imagin that as a safe guard the equipment, and techniques would have been taken with them.

As edith pointed out, there is no reason why some of the sperm and eggs brought with them couldn't have been from humans - as a safe guard.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn to the fact that some of the colonists had ansestors who had been enhanced by the Eridani techniques - but that was before the "Pure Human" reforms.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn that there are men in Landing who only prefer men - but they, like everyone else, were expected to contribute to the next generation. I would assume that anyone signing up for the colony would know what's expected of them... so actually, they would have a choice.

Passing reference is made in Dragonsdawn to the fact that marrage - as we know it, did not exist, and that couples contracted time together, and set the terms of such contracts. It was not a requiment that couples contract together for the sake of children, or that they raise the child together, just that arangements were made for the childs wellbeing.

Emily Boll was past child rearing, and in fact unable to have children anymore (ref Dragonsdawn). In fact none of her children came with her to Pern. So she and her hubby never had kids - so whilst there was an expectation that everyone should contribute to the next generation, obvioulsy some people couldn't - and obvioulsy the colony charter was flexable on that point.

Atavists? Well I know you can't possibly mean they are genetic throwbacks - so I assume this is a reference to the way society deveoped on Pern. I suppose broadly (very broadly) defined you could state that something along those lines had happened - but it's streatching the point, and I'm not 100% sure that the term actually correctly applies.

Certainly the original Colonists themselves were not Atavists. They wanted to have a more low tech society - not a society free of technology. Obvioulsy they planned to keep a decent level of technology. They wanted to avoid the problems of Earth, and bascially lead a quiet peaceful life. They were people who had had enough of war.

But atavists? Hummmm, as I say, broadly defined you might be able to get away and say that's what ended up happening - but it does not appear to have been the intent behind the formation of the Coloney.

I'm sure our resident Archivist will correct me if I am wrong, but didn't fostering start out on Pern as a way of spreading the gene pool? Or am I thinking of a reference from the DLG?
See my reply to Hans.

Definition: atavism: a tendency to revert to ancestral types.

It is a term used when referring to genetics, but also when referring to culture. As in, reverting to a previous, more primitive form thereof.
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