(urth) Seawrack and the Mother

DAVID STOCKHOFF dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Oct 1 07:33:26 PDT 2012

> From: Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com>
>To: "urth at urth.net" <urth at urth.net> 
>Sent: Monday, October 1, 2012 8:18 AM
>Subject: (urth) Seawrack and the Mother
>>David Stockhoff: Parent-offspring incest would then follow. It's conceivable, but sounds 
>>deliberately perverse, like something Lovecraftian or Milton's Satan.
>In nature, the more common scheme is for a parthenogenetic mother to produce male and female
>offspring (usually in times of environmental disturbance) and it is the siblings which mate.
>I think that is a function of lifespan though. If the mother remained alive long enough I'm
>sure there wouldn't be any moral barriers to mother-son incest.
>---True. I'm skeptical that this was observed much before the modern era (I think the original discussion revolved around "religious" views of the universe) but it's certainly real and fits the bill in our current context.
>Anyway there is Abaia and his undine "daughter-brides" to consider in this discussion. Makes 
>me wonder what the relationship is between Apheta and Tzadkiel. She claims to be "larva" which
>suggests an insect nature, while Tzadkiel very specifically compares him/herself to sponges.
>Perhaps a general invertebrate kinship is being suggested. Certainly giant beings like Abaia
>and Tzadkiel (and Zeus?) who are said to be as large as mountains and islands, don't have an 
>internal skeleton in their natural state.
>Perhaps it is we humans (and our fellow vertebrates) who are perverse in the greater scheme
>of things, with our extreme separation and distinction of genders. Perhaps Wolfe is recognizing
>this.  I've had lifelong interest in both zoology and mythology but I'm not sure I'd ever have 
>recognized the parallel between the sexual/asexual reproduction of invertebrates and the ancient 
>gods without reading Wolfe.                           
>---Interesting take. I think that the various adjectives should be taken as suggestive rather than as real clues to a hard xenobiology. (Lots of invertebrate families have larvae.) Also, if Tzadkiel compares himself to a sponge, then he can't BE a sponge. But something is clearly going on there. 
>I like the idea of the human approach to sex as "special." Certainly sex allows faster evolution by increasing the rate of combinations, which is directly relevant to the theme of incrementally evolving moral progress. It also is related to "mortality," from which humans famously suffer but gods and others do not (including those ever-present fairies who always need humans to serve them as kings etc.).
>Internal skeletons might indeed be useless in a very large sea creature. But then, sponges don't get that big either. The best way to be big while minimizing the effects of both gravity and pressure might be simply to float. Back to you, Naviscaput!
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