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  1. #26
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    Well, thank you for all the replies. Probably im a "logical" person so i think everything must have "rule" and "mechanic" to work properly. But this seem like this is a choice of the heart, not the brain, so there is no "mechanic" for it .

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Its like an exception of the rule, but seems it did happen.



    I agree, elves and men are like different species so yes the offsrping could be elves or man in characteristics, but there is a possibility they could have both elf and man characteristics it also happens in genetics,

    For example, I could see combinations like these:

    Half-elf that has the tallness of a man but has the eyes of an elf maybe pointy ears.
    Half elf that has the tallness of an elf but has the eyes of man and hair of the house of haleth (Blonde)
    Race or subspecies, but in essence, yes.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Race or subspecies, but in essence, yes.
    Race is just differentiation of a species, a sub species in tolkien would be Hobbits.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Race is just differentiation of a species, a sub species in tolkien would be Hobbits.
    I know what a race is (which is in fact an outdated term for a subspecies in biology, although race can be used on humans and domesticated animals as having a different meaning). Humans and Elves must be races/subspecies of the same species, since they can interbreed with evidently enough fertile offspring to sustain a population. They aren't plants that can oftimes crossbreed between species, they are clearly animals.
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Jul 10 2013 at 01:23 PM.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Race is just differentiation of a species, a sub species in tolkien would be Hobbits.
    Not in context, as Dwarves are a 'race' as well and they're not related to the rest.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    I know what a race is (which is in fact an outdated term for a subspecies in biology, although race can be used on humans and domesticated animals as having a different meaning). Humans and Elves must be races/subspecies of the same species, since they can interbreed with evidently enough fertile offspring to sustain a population. They aren't plants that can oftimes crossbreed between species, they are clearly animals.
    cross breeding between animals renders a combination of traits just like Plants. In essense yes.

    As for dwarves, in context they are also a species, different from man or elves but still a species. Not a race.
    Last edited by Al.; Jul 10 2013 at 11:35 PM.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    As for dwarves, in context they are also a species, different from man or elves but still a species. Not a race.
    People refer to Dwarves as a race all the time and what they mean by that is clear enough so it's fine to call them that; the term is not exact, it has various meanings. Don't make the mistake of dragging scientific terms like 'species' into a discussion about a fantasy. That's the context, we're not talking about anything real.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    cross breeding between animals renders a combination of traits just like Plants. In essense yes.
    I know, my point is that plants can do this interbreeding cross-species in some cases, while animals (in this case Elves and Men) cannot. At least not in the way Tolkien writes it, with their offspring evidently all fertile. So they must be of the same species (but whether they are in a state of speciation or whether Eru intended them to be like this forever, we don't know).

    But as Rad says, it's fantasy. Ad on top of that Tolkien's scientific knowledge is at least half century old, if not a full century from his own school days. I'm just happily geeking out over a fantasy world with real-life science (biologist-to-be here, just 2 more years to go).
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    I know, my point is that plants can do this interbreeding cross-species in some cases, while animals (in this case Elves and Men) cannot. At least not in the way Tolkien writes it, with their offspring evidently all fertile. So they must be of the same species (but whether they are in a state of speciation or whether Eru intended them to be like this forever, we don't know).
    Men and elves been Children of Iluvatar, they can cross breed between them, but for all purposes they are species.

    But as Rad says, it's fantasy. Ad on top of that Tolkien's scientific knowledge is at least half century old, if not a full century from his own school days. I'm just happily geeking out over a fantasy world with real-life science (biologist-to-be here, just 2 more years to go).
    Yes but tolkien meant to be species, because elves, men and dwarves are physically diferent except men and elves which are nearly identical.

    Race is like Black, White, Asian radhruin I think you knew that, dwarves are Children of Aule and can't interbred with elves and men so they are a species within the lore tolkien wrote about.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Yes but tolkien meant to be species, because elves, men and dwarves are physically diferent except men and elves which are nearly identical.
    That's how you choose to interpret it, but the differences between Men and Elves were supposed to have their root in their differing relationships between body and spirit. It's therefore couched in terms of magical thinking rather than science so it's a bit odd to start throwing scientific terms about.

    Race is like Black, White, Asian radhruin I think you knew that, dwarves are Children of Aule and can't interbred with elves and men so they are a species within the lore tolkien wrote about.
    It's not exclusively defined that way. To quote the Merriam-Webster, race can be defined as "a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock" whereas you're thinking of " a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits". And as the difference in the Dwarves is in any case put down to them having been a separate sub-creation by a being of near-godlike power, that too reflects magical thinking and so again, it's not in any way scientific in inspiration.

  11. #36
    One thing that may or may not be relevant to discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the rings - The Passing of the Grey Company
    The company halted, and there was not a heart among them that did not quail, unless it were the heart of Legolas of the Elves, for whom the ghosts of men have no terror.
    Note that it does not say 'unless they were the hearts of Legolas and the sons of Elrond'. As a result I think the half-elves still have at least some of the weaknesses of men.

    We don't know enough about Prince Galador to comment, even if it wasn't just a legend. For all we know, he may very well have had the choice and chosen to be a man.

    Given that Arwen and her brothers were all over 2000 years old before Aragorn was born, could they delay their choice indefinitely?

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Men and elves been Children of Iluvatar, they can cross breed between them, but for all purposes they are species.
    That's my gripe.
    The very definition of a species for these types of organisms is just that; being able to reproduce with each other. If they can do it, biologically speaking they are the same species. But I suppose anything is possible when magic is thrown into it.



    Yes but tolkien meant to be species, because elves, men and dwarves are physically diferent except men and elves which are nearly identical.
    But obviously not for Elves and Men. Observed species of animals are classified first and foremost by their ability to produce offspring, it is only when this area becomes grey (mostly due to speciation) that physical differences matter (in which case the groups can be determined as either seperate species or subspecies). Elves and Men can clearly produce plenty of fertile offspring, making them the same species in the eyes of modern science. Whether Tolkien meant for them to be different species or whether he meant for them to be different races/subspecies, we don't know.



    Race is like Black, White, Asian radhruin I think you knew that, dwarves are Children of Aule and can't interbred with elves and men so they are a species within the lore tolkien wrote about.
    Yes and no. In everyday speech, race can indeed mean a group of humans with certain physical characteristics. However, in biology it means a subspecies, such as ourselves; We as &&&& sapiens sapiens are a subspecies/race of the species &&&& sapiens, which also includes the subspecies &&&& sapiens neanderthalensis and &&&& sapiens idaltu (and soon possibly one or two others, the taxonomy of the entire genus &&&& is still being highly researched and debated, things are still changing).
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    That's my gripe.
    The very definition of a species for these types of organisms is just that; being able to reproduce with each other. If they can do it, biologically speaking they are the same species. But I suppose anything is possible when magic is thrown into it.
    Not always, some species of animals can reproduce with another species but that renders a mule, which is a sub-species that doesn't have fertile offspring

    In case of Man and Elves, they are same species, which in tolkien calls them Children of Iluvatar, basically elves and men can be treated like Asian, White, Black (Races) it just a differentation of traits.


    But obviously not for Elves and Men. Observed species of animals are classified first and foremost by their ability to produce offspring, it is only when this area becomes grey (mostly due to speciation) that physical differences matter (in which case the groups can be determined as either seperate species or subspecies). Elves and Men can clearly produce plenty of fertile offspring, making them the same species in the eyes of modern science. Whether Tolkien meant for them to be different species or whether he meant for them to be different races/subspecies, we don't know.
    Yes elves and men are same species, yuou got it right, I think tolkien meant it that way even.



    Yes and no. In everyday speech, race can indeed mean a group of humans with certain physical characteristics. However, in biology it means a subspecies, such as ourselves; We as &&&& sapiens sapiens are a subspecies/race of the species &&&& sapiens, which also includes the subspecies &&&& sapiens neanderthalensis and &&&& sapiens idaltu (and soon possibly one or two others, the taxonomy of the entire genus &&&& is still being highly researched and debated, things are still changing).
    No race is essentially a species in modern science, sub-species are the ones that branch off the main tree line like Neardertals, sapiece, erectus. Race think it this way is just traits (Blonde hair, Black skin, blue eyes).

    Rad got it wrong as dwarves are race of dwarves hence species of dwarves literally speaking.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Not always, some species of animals can reproduce with another species but that renders a mule, which is a sub-species that doesn't have fertile offspring
    Please read my first post again. i already said that.
    (and a mule is one specific hybrid, there are many others)



    In case of Man and Elves, they are same species, which in tolkien calls them Children of Iluvatar, basically elves and men can be treated like Asian, White, Black (Races) it just a differentation of traits.
    Exactly.



    No race is essentially a species in modern science,
    No.
    Race != species.
    Race is an outdated term for a subspecies. Outdated because of various factors, but the most important one is that race was used to determine subspecies based on their phenotype. However, that changed after WWII when genetic sciences kicked into gear.



    sub-species are the ones that branch off the main tree line like Neardertals, sapiece, erectus.
    No.
    Please consult your local biology professor. H. (forum blocks the word) is the genus, not the species. H. erectus and H. sapiens are the species, not the subspecies. Neanderthal is a correct subspecies. (H. sapiens neanderthalensis, suspecies of H. sapiens)*

    *for now at least




    Race think it this way is just traits (Blonde hair, Black skin, blue eyes).
    This is correct when used in common speech for humans and some domesticated animals. But in biology race is no longer used in that way.



    Rad got it wrong as dwarves are race of dwarves hence species of dwarves literally speaking.
    Not exactly. Race in common speech is still used for that, and it certainly was during Tolkien's lifetime.
    As an example, "The human race" is still used in common speech, even though clearly the species is meant.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  15. #40
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    Yes, I forgot Earendil and Elwing, of course, but his fate was special. I need to read all that over again. Also, wasn't there something about Tuor coming to be counted among the Firstborn? I need to revisit the Sil.

    In any case, we're veering far afield by connecting modern, genetic notions of species with the distinction between Elves and Men, because the metaphysics involved - the fate of the soul - have nothing to do with science at all. Earendil didn't just end up immortal - he became the planet Venus! That won't make any scientific sense at all, ever, so it's really a moot point.

  16. #41
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    To BirdofHermes.

    You are wrong completely, Race=/=Sub-species. Because Blacks are still H. Sapience Sapience.

    Sub-Species only apply to individuals that became a new branch in evolution, like H. Erectus thats a sub-species.

    Race=Species, because they can interbred and produced fertile offspring.

    Just ask this question:

    Is Black a sub-species of H.Sapience Sapience?
    No.
    Then Black is not a subspecies.


    To Aestivan

    Well, Tolkien works are full of magic thats true, but when you imagine an offspring of an elf and man, you definetly need genetics to see how it could end up.

    Tolkien even said how they reproduced and so other info, science should be taken as important just like magic.
    Last edited by Al.; Jul 12 2013 at 04:55 PM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Well, Tolkien works are full of magic thats true, but when you imagine an offspring of an elf and man, you definetly need genetics to see how it could end up.

    Tolkien even said how they reproduced and so other info, science should be taken as important just like magic.
    No, we really don't need genetics or any other sort of science because we're talking about fantasy of a highly traditional style, meant to be reminiscent of myth and legend, and that simply does not mix with science. Yes, he made notes for his own benefit on what happened when Elves married and had children but that was because such things could have consequences for a story and none of it employed scientific terms in the way you're doing.

    When stories include things like, say, enormous flying dragons or Eagles the size of airliners it's generally a hint that science is out the window and you're in the realm of pure fantasy. Wise up, already.

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Just ask this question:

    Is Black a sub-species of H.Sapience Sapience?
    No.
    Then Black is not a subspecies.
    Ignoring all the other scientific errors in your post, I still have to ask you a question.
    What the heck is H. Sapience Sapience? A sub-species of H. Heatonensis?

  19. #44
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    Tell me how else does a Half-elf look without genetics view point?

    Also I meant H. sapiens.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Tell me how else does a Half-elf look without genetics view point?

    Also I meant H. sapiens.
    A Half-Elf looks like whatever Tolkien would choose a Half-Elf to look like. Barring any definitive description, the reader would create his or her image, which would no doubt be influenced by his or her stance on the great Elvish ear debate . No genetics beyond that of basic Mendalian principles (of which even people who have never heard of Mendal possess some intuitive understanding) are required in the same way no astronomy is required to determine the Sun and Moon are angelically-steered pieces of arboreal flora in the world Tolkien created.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceredig View Post
    A Half-Elf looks like whatever Tolkien would choose a Half-Elf to look like. Barring any definitive description, the reader would create his or her image, which would no doubt be influenced by his or her stance on the great Elvish ear debate . No genetics beyond that of basic Mendalian principles (of which even people who have never heard of Mendal possess some intuitive understanding) are required in the same way no astronomy is required to determine the Sun and Moon are angelically-steered pieces of arboreal flora in the world Tolkien created.
    The problem is, when you try to imagine an image of a half elf, you either take genetics into it or make assumptions based on a very vague idea which may or may not be Tolkien-wise.

    You see even if the Sun and Moon are angelically move through the sky in tolkien works, seems reproduction and genes in family are very important too like specific linage, half elves, you name it.

    So yeah you can imagine the half elf as you wish, but Tolkien hinted by "Half-Elf" Mendalian principles like you did.

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    The problem is, when you try to imagine an image of a half elf, you either take genetics into it or make assumptions based on a very vague idea which may or may not be Tolkien-wise.

    You see even if the Sun and Moon are angelically move through the sky in tolkien works, seems reproduction and genes in family are very important too like specific linage, half elves, you name it.

    So yeah you can imagine the half elf as you wish, but Tolkien hinted by "Half-Elf" Mendalian principles like you did.
    Al, Tolkien did not hint a thing. You have engaged in speculation. Half-elf is NOT a scientific term. If it were, then genetics, not choice, would have determined which heritage the relevant characters adhered to, a heritage which is spiritual in nature and not genetic. Arwen and Elros were still considered Half-elven even though there heritage was not a 50/50 split between Elf and Man and even though they renounced that spiritual 'trait' which distinguished their Elvish natures. Furthermore, their choice did not require a resequencing of their genome.
    Rather than speculating, why don't you listen to what Tolkien has to say:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tolkien
    I suppose that actually the chief difficulties I have involved myself in are scientific and
    biological — which worry me just as much as the theological and metaphysical (though you do not
    seem to mind them so much). Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they
    could not breed and produce fertile offspring – even as a rare event : there are 2 cases only in my
    legends of such unions, and they are merged in the descendants of Eärendil. But since some have
    held that the rate of longevity is a biological characteristic, within limits of variation, you could not
    have Elves in a sense 'immortal' – not eternal, but not dying by 'old age' — and Men mortal, more
    or less as they now seem to be in the Primary World – and yet sufficiently akin. I might answer that
    this 'biology' is only a theory, that modern 'gerontology', or whatever they call it, finds 'ageing'
    rather more mysterious, and less clearly inevitable in bodies of human structure. But I should
    actually answer: I do not care. This is a biological dictum in my imaginary world. It is only (as yet)
    an incompletely imagined world, a rudimentary 'secondary'; but if it pleased the Creator to give it
    (in a corrected form) Reality on any plane, then you would just have to enter it and begin studying
    its different biology, that is all.
    Tolkien did not delve into the 'science' of the issue the way you have. He acknowledges that immortality and longevity would be a major biological issue distinguishing Elves from Men if Elves actually existed. But because he is the creator of his own world, he, in his own words, does not care about how these issues operate in the real world when discussing his world, because he decides the biological rules of middle-earth.

    Let me reiterate: Tolkien might find your argumentation interesting, but he would dismiss it as irrelevant nonetheless.

  23. #48
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    The notions of parentage, ancestry, and heritage are much, much older than our understanding of genetics. We know the heavens in Arda were not our astrophysical cosmos. Varda created the stars, the Sun and Moon were vessels steered by Maiar, et cetera. There is no reason to suppose reproduction is based in what we understand of biology, and good reason to suppose that it isn't. Feanor's mother put so much of her vitality into bearing him that she wound up losing interest in life - plainly more is going on here than genetics.

    It is as it is in the story, because that is the story. It is the way of things in that world. Trying to justify it in terms of scientific understanding is not just pointless, but actually an obstruction to understanding Tolkien's themes.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    To BirdofHermes.

    You are wrong completely, Race=/=Sub-species. Because Blacks are still H. Sapience Sapience.
    Are you being serious?
    Please read my post again. FOR THE THIRD TIME, and read very carefully this time because I won't repeat it again: the word "race" has several meanings in english, one of them being an outdated term for subspecies. Another meaning is the one that you are talking about, that of human ethnicities, the two meanings of which became seperated for the reasons I listed earlier. A third meaning for the word "race" is a contest of speed. Same word, several different meanings. Got it now?
    And if you think I'm completely wrong on this, you'd better come speak to my professors biology...they've been approving of this for years.
    In fact, Biology Online lists Race as a synonym for a sub-species (as do most biology and university websites even though the word is now outdated) while at the same time providing 8 different definitions of the word.



    Sub-Species only apply to individuals that became a new branch in evolution, like H. Erectus thats a sub-species.
    No. I've explained this to you, H. erectus is a species which has many subspecies of its own (here's a quick list to see which, although some are still being debated. Normally I intensely dislike Wikipedia, but for this sort of work it is handy because it is regularly updated when something in taxonomy changes, which it constantly does).
    In that same way H. sapiens is a species with various subspecies of its own.
    The genus is H., but you seem to think H. is also the species. It isn't.

    To put it in perspective, the current phylogenetic taxonomy on H. erectus goes like this;

    Regnum: Animalia
    Subregnum: Eumetazoa
    Infraregnum: Bilateria
    Superphylum: Deuterostomia
    Phylum: Chordata
    unranked clade: Craniata
    Subphylum: Vertebrata
    Superclassis: Gnathostomata
    unranked clade: Teleostomi
    unranked clade: Euteleostomi
    Classis: Sarcopterygii
    ~phylogenetic rift~
    Superclassis: Tetrapoda
    unranked clade: Amniota
    unranked clade: Synapsida
    Classis: Mammalia
    Subclassis: Theria
    Infraclassis: Eutheria
    Ordo: Primates
    Subordo: Haplorrhini
    Infraordo: Simiiformes
    unranked clade: Catarrhini
    Superfamilia: Hominoidea
    (continued below)
    |
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    v
    Familia: Hominidae
    Subfamilia: Homininae
    Tribes: Hominini
    Subtribes: Hominina
    Genus: H.o.m.o
    Species: erectus
    Subspecies: erectus, georgicus, yanmouensis, soloensis, pekinesis, lantianensis, nankinensis, palaeojavanicus, tautavelensis
    So as you can see, H. erectus is a species, its subspecies are thus named H. erectus erectus, H. erectus georgicus, H erectus yanmouensis, and so on. I hope this makes it more clear.


    Race=Species, because they can interbred and produced fertile offspring.
    No, as explained above and in previous posts. A race in biology is (or ather, was) a subspecies, and therefor not a species.




    Just ask this question:

    Is Black a sub-species of H.Sapience Sapience?
    No.
    Then Black is not a subspecies.
    Correct. Have a biscuit.
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Jul 13 2013 at 01:21 AM.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  25. #50
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    From letter 153 from J.R.R. Tolkien to Peter Hastings:

    "I suppose that actually the chief difficulties I have involved myself in are scientific and biological- which worry me just as much as the theological and metaphysical (though you do not seem to mind them so much). Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring- even as a rare event: there are only two cases in my legends of such unions, and they are merged in the descendants of Earendil. But since some have held that the rate of longevity is a biological characteristic, within limits of variation, you could not have Elves in a sense 'immortal'- not eternal, but not dying by 'old age'- and Men mortal, more or less as they now seem to be in the Primary World- and yet sufficiently akin. I might answer that this 'biology' is only a theory, that modern 'gerontology', or whatever they call it, finds 'ageing' rather more mysterious, and less clearly inevitable in bodies of human structure. But I should actually answer: I do not care. This is a biological dictum in my imaginary world. It is only (as yet) an incompletely imagined world, a rudimentary 'secondary'; but if it pleased the Creator to give it (in a corrected form) Reality on any plane, then you would just have to enter it and begin studying its different biology, that is all."

    And that, I think, is that.

 

 
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