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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v013.n008
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 11:55:39 

From: m.driussi@genie.com

>But I thought that the English moths of Industrial England were
>always cited as textbook examples of evolutionary process?  That is,
>when the environment changed (through sooty pollution, in this case),
>some moths had camouflage and some moths didn't--those that did,
>survived, until all remaining population (or majority, at least) had
>the same advantage.  Then when pollution was reduced, the process
>reversed itself.

What would Dollo have to say about that?  Did the Peppered Moths' (as
they are called) coloration actually "revert" or did they simply
evolve their white color a second time?  If we introduced large
amounts of red soot into their environs could they evolve into red
moths (Cayenne Peppered Moths) or is the range of possible mutations
only black and white?

From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>

>First of all, it seems likely that a great many people on St. Croix bear
>"Wolfe genes" perhaps most of the general population. This is why there is
>a "St. Croix" planetary face (which is Number 5's/Maitre's/Mr. Millions.s
>face). This is due to Maitre's (and his predecessors', we can presume)
>practice of selling off his (their) "pratice" clones in his (their) role as
>child broker or slave broker. There is probably a higher percertage of
>Maitre's genes circulating in the St. Croix gene pool than is true of any
>other individual on any other planet in the 5HC universe.

I guess that would depend on the status of the children born of slaves
fathered (or mothered) by the owners.

>There seem to be a lot of "Wolfe genes" among government functionaries: all
>three of the government representatives waiting for Marsch in his room when
>he is arrested look "Wolfe-ish". 

And they're also "shape-shifters" or at least "job-shifters", or so
they say.

Re: Borski's Hypothesis about Aunt Jeanine

I like it for two reasons:

The shriveled legs.  Why?

The fact that we hear precious little about the Shadow Children except
in "A Story" and so some vague, inutitive notion about balance and
symmetry suggests to me that they are an important part of the two
novellas that they don't seem to participate in directly.

Re: Tool using

Isn't it the case that to be a tool user is to not just use an object
for some external purpose but to *modify* it for such use; in other
words, the chimps who use a twig or a blade of grass to retrieve ants
from an anthill aren't necessarily tool users.  Rope?  Perhaps it's a
tool for those who make it, but for those who simply come across it it
could just as easily be a vine and could be used accordingly in ways
that don't really involve modifying it.  But tying a knot is surely a
modification?  But they might be half-abo and so have *some*
instrumentality.  V.R.T. *does* learn to write after a fashion, but
imagines that should he be required to teach, blue mimeo sheets could
be used.

From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>

>In fact, there seem to be as many mysteries about 5HC as there are about
>the whole BotNS. I think this may be mainly due to the fact that in 5HC
>Wolfe means to leave many mysteries unsolvable; I mean it's all very well
>(and very true) to say that when Wolfe leaves somwthing unsaid it's
>important, but there is just so much left unsaid in 5HC that I cannot
>believe we are supposed to be able to unravel all of it or even most of it.

Yes, I believe that 5HC is deliberately ambiguous and open to multiple
possible interpretations.  I think that BOTNS is mostly watertight
with a few leaks that are either mistakes or deliberate provocations
that don't mean much, but might mean something.

BTW, one last thing:

I think that the name "Aubrey Veil" is very interesting.  Why do I
keep thinking about the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (who on more than
one occasion drew masquerades I think) and the siginificance of Beards
that we've discussed?  A coincidence surely, and yet I also find
myself thinking of Aubrey, the little girl in Frederic Brown's
remarkable story "The Geezenstakcks" who was called Aubrey and who
controlled the destiny of her family with dolls.  What does the name
mean exactly?

Okay, it's a stupid idea.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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