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Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 09:41:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) Marble's prophecy

--- maa32  wrote:
> Has a prophecy ever failed to have two meanings in Wolfe?

That's a reasonable point (though I think the answer is probably "yes").

> Someone pointed out 
> that the beast with three horns is instantly discredited by the
> narrator.

I think you misunderstood.

> I have determined that Wolfe never writes with Occam in mind - let's
> face it, 
> he likes to complicate things. ...

Actually, you should be in favor of the literal Occam's razor--that
entities shouldn't be multiplied unnecessarily--because in your
theory there are fewer entities (two planets instead of four, one
large female submarine creature instead of two, etc.).  However, I
think that your theory involves more explanations than the other.

> and isn't that picture of the frog from my 
> previous post pretty cool? Now that I look at it again, I see the one
> one the 
> left is 2N, the one on the right is 4N.  Note that the front limbs of
> the frog 
> also have three little digits that should be one (like three
> psuedo-hands or 
> something)  If you click on the arrows at the bottom of that page of the
> presentation, you can see the whole 31 slides.  There are other hybrid
> species 
> produced through polyploidy, including lizards and flies.  The flies
> also have 
> a doubling of the hind legs that is pretty interesting if you advance a
> few slides.

Thanks for the information about polyploid animals!  I learned something
already today.

However, on the subject of multiple limbs, I think you're
misinterpreting.  The tetraploid _Xenopus laevis_ has a big hind foot
with a translucent web connecting four toes--not four separate legs.
You can see the four toes at
.  Note
that the web can look transparent or opaque depending on the lighting.
As for the front legs, they have four digits in the picture of the
diploid _X. tropicalis_ at , which also
shows that the anatomy of _X. laevis_ and _X. tropicalis_ is much
the same.  Finally,
 has a lot
of information about _X. laevis_ from a pet owner's point of view,
but nothing about doubled limbs.

The flies in that lecture weren't hybrids or polyploid; they were an
example of speciation in progress caused by recent ecological change
(the introduction of apples in North America).  They didn't have extra
limbs, either.  I think you must have been interpreting marks on the
wings as legs.  The left hind leg of the fly in the picture (there's
only one picture, repeated in several slides) is visible between the
wing and the abdomen.  It's just as thin as the other legs, not thick
like the wing markings.  The right hind leg is hidden or missing.

So all the polyploid animals I've seen so far have normal anatomies,
with the normal number of limbs.

Jerry Friedman

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