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dioscuri

Bonding and its Implications

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I've mentioned bonding, mating pairs, mates etc. several times. There seems to be a great deal of information and some mis-information about this subject.

  1. Croal for all his genius, works basically within the model which came from Earth. His genius for creating "new species" isn't something that came from out of the blue. What he has done is managed to understand how evolutionary processes molded humans and other species into what they are now.
  2. Croal and Jonas of Amodon have realised that the forces of evolution are inherently based on a complex and what seems on the surface to be a chaotic system.
  3. Part of their genius is in realising that they must work within the system and not against it. They are not god or God, and not the fathers of any kind of intelligent design.
  4. FInaly, they took what was there, in the genetic soup of his world, and gently nudged it in some ways. At every step there is the chance of an unexpected outcome.

What can we conclude from that? I believe that everything that Croal did or produced, was already in existance in some form or other. The Icarian bone structure is described the way avian bone structure is described, for instance. Even the idea of Jamies screen which is a repository for a huge amount of data has already been at least thought of and the very small beginnings of it are present in our technology today. We aren't even close to it yet however.

We still are being surprised at discoveries we make about the human brain. Researchers were shocked to find out that music cognition predates linguistic cognition since it is already present in the unborn foetus. An newly born infant is capable of comprehending a melody and comprehending right and wrong notes even though language is clearly beyond the grasp of the new born infant. We still do not understand what music means unless it is associated with words or a description. That it has meaning is not in question. It is also unique to humans (that we currently are aware of). This has lead genetic evolutionary anthropologists to revise the way evolution gave rise to human intellignece. The development of Music now comes before the development of language. There is still controversy over this, but it does go to show that science must be ready and willing to admit when it is wrong and willing to revise its own theories.

We already have a genetic model for the kind of bonding which we think Croal designed into the Icarians: It is present in Parrots. Large parrots such as African Greys, Blue & Gold , Red & Green, Hyacinth and Indigo Macaws all form permanent bonds.

To date there has been little research on the intelligence of birds. The concentration has been on large brained mammals. The Chimpanzee is held to be our nearest neighbor and on of the few animals capable of understanding human language. The reasoning for this is that the size of the brain is an indicator of intelligence. The use of human language by large Parrots (and also corvids -- that is crows) is held to be nothing more that the mimicry of sound. There is no proof of this, just an assumption on a large body of the scientific community.

Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence to the contrary is simply dismissed as anecdotal. Yes, that is a circular argument on my part but none the less true. Many times scientists (and our M.D.'s) refuse to accept anecdotal accounts because of what they are. However, you cannot simply dismiss evidence on this basis because all of our scientific knowledge began as anecdotal accounting.

Follow this link to the Conservancy of the Phoenix, and read something that might change your mind about how these animals with tiny brains (compared to ours) can learn and speak human language, how they can bargain and trade for things they want, and how they communicate with sound and with gestures. It turns out that an African Grey can match or out match a chimpanzee in the ability to learn language!

This type of bond is a special one, its not just for procreation its much more than that. It is the reason why I chose NOT to have a parrot as a pet. They do not make good pets, if you own a parrot and are treating it the way you should it is your partner, your mate, your friend; you are its partner, its mate, and/or its flock and it forms a permanent bond with you. The death of a human owner is devastating to many of these large parrots. I've seen just a few of the results of this kind of loss to a parrot. The tragedy is that many parrots outlive their human owners, leaving a grieving bird, which may or may not recover fully or at all from the loss of its only partner in life. The bird has a bigger chance if it has not only a partner, but also a flock to which it belongs.

If you have ever seen a parrot little or no feathers, it is because the bird has plucked itself bare. Plucking is an extension of preening. Parrots (and all birds) must preen their feathers because all new feathers emerge coated with a cuticle-type coating which the bird nibbles oif as it preens itself. It is assisted in this process by its mate or flock. I've seen more than a few birds in this state, and it is next to hopeless to stop this kind of behavior. If you see a bird like this you can be sure it has been mistreated or mishandled in some way.

Since Croal said he used Avian DNA in creating the new Icarian species, it is not a great leap to see how this might have been accomplished quite naturally.

There is yet another reason why this pair bonding would be easily accomplished without any outside intervention. Bonding of the type implied in TSOI has its origins in the history and mythology of the "home planet" (Earth of course).

"... Plato argued that pairs of homosexual lovers would make the best soldiers (symposium 178E-179; cf. Aristotle Politics 2.5.5) and the Thebans actually formed an army of such pairs in what turned out to be an extraordinarily successful experiment..." [
Boswell, John,
Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality
, University of Chicago Press Ltd, London &c 1980]

So, Croal's nudges towards bonded pairs comes from two sources, human beings and from the avians he wished to obtain an enhanced immune system. We also know that there was other things thrown into the mix. Remember, this is all part of Croals 7 sided dice! He is upsetting the apple cart so to speak in ways even he does not know of.

Ultimately, how Icrians deal with their natural affinity for bonds of this nature is unkown at this point. We have herd of the results of disunion. Loran is an example. He is currently attempting to be both himself and Alexander at the same time, both King and Wizard. I think he will be just a tad upset when he finds that Alexander has given the staff (meant for him) to Jamie!

What is on the Icarian's side at this point is that everything is an unknown, they can create what they will out of the ashes of Earth's history and their own history. The question is, are we capable of leaving behind the hatred and homophobia of our past?

Hopefully this opens up some discussion about TSOI rather than just speculation on the story's outcome. The "Enlightened Ones" Charles likes to speak of, those who were the recent ancestors of those who comprise the "Empire" have turned out to be less than Enlightened when measured against what we know and what they surely knew about life and its origins. It then also calls into question the ethics and morality of the humans that inhabit that planet.

By the way, if there is one thing you do not want to ever encounter, that is a pissed off Macaw or Cockattu! Yes, they can do damage to your body, but the destruction they are capable of wreaking on the contents of a home or apartment are truly amazing (or appalling if the property is yours). These birds are for the most part gentle and affectionate creatures, and will only respond in that destructive manner should they or one they consider to be a partner mistreated! How very Icarian of them!

We, as a species, come out with a failing grade when it comes to the treatment of these highly intelligent creatures. The illegal trade in Cockatus from Australia and S.E. Asia, and Macaws from South and Central America is appalling. Despite their capability of creating a sustainable population, poaching and the destruction of habitat is slowly but surely pushing them to complete extinction.

On that note, I'll leave off, but continue in another related thread.

cheers,

dioscuri

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Hhhmmm, I can't say I agree with your position.

As I read it, Croal knew exactly what he was creating with Jamie, Niklas and Charlie and probably Giovanni and Jonathan as well. The chaos element was in their having powers and attributes far beyond the empire's understanding and thus beyond the empire's ability to control them. This is particularly so with Jamie and Charlie, thus introducing the seven-sided dice, roll them expecting them to have six sides and the result is completely unpredictable.

I do not think birds of any species represents a model, genetic or otherwise, for Icarian bonding, to me it is clearly a 'soul sharing', or whatever you want to call it, type thing.

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Hhhmmm, I can't say I agree with your position.

As I read it, Croal knew exactly what he was creating with Jamie, Niklas and Charlie and probably Giovanni and Jonathan as well. The chaos element was in their having powers and attributes far beyond the empire's understanding and thus beyond the empire's ability to control them.

No! No! NOT! Complexity and chaos theory were principals that Croal and Jonas of Amodon built into all their work, not just two or three Icarians. The principals of complexity go down to the very nature of the evolutionary process. Evolution itself is complex and chaotic. That is why it had the success it had. The whole Icarian race was conceived using those principals. What Croal realised after creating Loran was that one of the essential chaotic and complex things in the creation of a living being is the environment in which he/she/it is raised. That is why he chose to create Jamie and Charlie in his own secret lab away from Gold Glass and raise them at home. To the scientists at Gold Glass this was interfering in the controlled situation they had in the lab and outside of the lab no results could be trusted.

Croal understood that he was dealing with living sentient beings. To Croal, none of the Kalorians or the Icarians were experiments. They were not lab animals, and needed to be treated with the same respect the children of their own species were treated.

This is particularly so with Jamie and Charlie, thus introducing the seven-sided dice, roll them expecting them to have six sides and the result is completely unpredictable.

I do not think birds of any species represents a model, genetic or otherwise, for Icarian bonding, to me it is clearly a 'soul sharing', or whatever you want to call it, type thing.

As I mentioned above, the whole Icarian race was created bearing in mind the theories of complexitiy. As for the seven sided dice, yes, Croal did some things genetically with Jamie and Charlie partially because of advances he had made himself since creating Loran and partially be cause he did add some new genetic material (from the Ghroum). Croal careful chose a VERY FEW traits to control, leaving 90% of the rest up to chance, up to the complexity of evolution.

Remember that the only parts of avian genetics Croal purposefully built into the Icarians was their immune system. Nothing else. The fact that they had wings that worked was the result of chance. Their extended life span also was an unintended consequence, the result of complex systems interacting.

What is a soul? What is soul sharing? Who has a soul? How do you know Parrots or Dolphins do not have a soul? You are treading on thin ice here, you blur the lines that distinguish religion from science. Science and religion do not mix at all. Mostly the mixture is explosive. To put a point on it, Focus on the Family now has a position on animal homosexuality. Of course they'll relate it to bestiality and a whole host of other half truths they've tried to paint the gay community with.

That group of people under the banner of Exodus is trying to cure gay people of being gay using all sorts of unauthorized methods administered by unqualified people. Canada just booted someone from South Africa out of the country for his use of eletro-shock therapy in treating gay men for their homosexuality. That's what happens when you attempt to use a religious tomb of dubious origins as a book of science!

Perhaps I've now just kicked the wasp's nest as General Zakaria might say!

cheers,

dioscuri

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No! No! NOT! Complexity and chaos theory were principals that Croal and Jonas of Amodon built into all their work, not just two or three Icarians. The principals of complexity go down to the very nature of the evolutionary process. Evolution itself is complex and chaotic. That is why it had the success it had. The whole Icarian race was conceived using those principals. What Croal realised after creating Loran was that one of the essential chaotic and complex things in the creation of a living being is the environment in which he/she/it is raised. That is why he chose to create Jamie and Charlie in his own secret lab away from Gold Glass and raise them at home. To the scientists at Gold Glass this was interfering in the controlled situation they had in the lab and outside of the lab no results could be trusted.

Croal understood that he was dealing with living sentient beings. To Croal, none of the Kalorians or the Icarians were experiments. They were not lab animals, and needed to be treated with the same respect the children of their own species were treated.

As I mentioned above, the whole Icarian race was created bearing in mind the theories of complexitiy. As for the seven sided dice, yes, Croal did some things genetically with Jamie and Charlie partially because of advances he had made himself since creating Loran and partially be cause he did add some new genetic material (from the Ghroum). Croal careful chose a VERY FEW traits to control, leaving 90% of the rest up to chance, up to the complexity of evolution.

Remember that the only parts of avian genetics Croal purposefully built into the Icarians was their immune system. Nothing else. The fact that they had wings that worked was the result of chance. Their extended life span also was an unintended consequence, the result of complex systems interacting.

What is a soul? What is soul sharing? Who has a soul? How do you know Parrots or Dolphins do not have a soul? You are treading on thin ice here, you blur the lines that distinguish religion from science. Science and religion do not mix at all. Mostly the mixture is explosive. To put a point on it, Focus on the Family now has a position on animal homosexuality. Of course they'll relate it to bestiality and a whole host of other half truths they've tried to paint the gay community with.

That group of people under the banner of Exodus is trying to cure gay people of being gay using all sorts of unauthorized methods administered by unqualified people. Canada just booted someone from South Africa out of the country for his use of eletro-shock therapy in treating gay men for their homosexuality. That's what happens when you attempt to use a religious tomb of dubious origins as a book of science!

Perhaps I've now just kicked the wasp's nest as General Zakaria might say!

cheers,

dioscuri

Your arguments don't convince me. Jamie and particularly Niklas are virtually clones of De Valan and Agramos, not much left to chance there.

Nor do I dispute that the underlying theories of Jonas and Croal's plans are based on chaos theory. As I see it the chaotic element was in creating a species with sufficient potential to break the empire and then standing back. After all, if the majority of Icarians turned out like Hippolito, entirely possible with chaos theory, well things might not have been so rosy.

I certainly agree that Croal saw Kalorians and Icarians as people rather than things and that normal socialisation was an important element. But don't forget, the majority of Icarians exhibit the best traits of humanity despite their upbringing and training, so nobility must be part of the innate Icarian character, although Hippolito and no doubt others were certainly lacking. And don't forget Croal was a terrible 'father', manipulating, continually spying on and controlling his 'sons'. I wouldn't look at him through Jamie's eyes, reality says he was 90% scientist and 9% revolutionary. Not a lot of loving left there. He may have been on the side of right as we see it, but he was just as ruthless as anyone else in the empire.

I can assure you I certainly do not confuse religion and science, nor blur any lines, intentionally at least. I am 99% atheist with 1% agnostic as nothing is completely impossible. I see no validity in any religion, to my mind they are all obviously human constructs without spiritual foundation. I use 'soul' because as a word it is understandable as being the fundamental, essential, innate essence of a person's sentience, everything that makes them what they are. I also think it has more to do with chemistry than anything spiritual. I consider humanity to be no more than the top tier of higher animals, so on that basis, yes, many animals do have a 'soul'. Anyone with a cat or dog will recognise curiosity, playfulness, pain, irritation, anger etcetera, even perhaps nobility and self-sacrifice on occasion, all of which fits my interpretation of 'soul'. I will be pleased and amazed if there turns out to be an afterlife, but I doubt very much there is.

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I know we're getting a little off topic here, but speaking of religion. In the past time line, there has been no mention of a dominate religion. The only religion mentioned is in the current timeline.

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I know we're getting a little off topic here, but speaking of religion. In the past time line, there has been no mention of a dominate religion. The only religion mentioned is in the current timeline.

Well, Altinestra, if I recall correctly, was settled by scientists who were most likely non-religious as a group. Even if there were some with a powerful belief I doubt the majority would have accepted any organised observance or shown any interest. Also one can assume there was little 'unknown' among the original settlers, not understood, perhaps, but not unknown. Religion depends on ignorance and the fear of the unknown to take hold, in my opinion, of course and I have no problem with other people having a belief, provided they don't use it as an excuse to interfere with me.

It is interesting that religion wasn't present post the fall in the current time line either, not until Sarjanus got the wrong end of the stick, as it were, when the world had been reduced to an iron age state. And his religion did initially have good effects, introducing a measure of morality and safety into everyday life, reducing war and oppression. As would be expected it became perverted after, but initially it was a force for good and thus attractive to those on the lowest tiers of society.

The analogues with real world religion are obvious, so I won't say more. Nor would I wish my atheist views to offend, I very much believe in each to their own.

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I know we're getting a little off topic here, but speaking of religion. In the past time line, there has been no mention of a dominate religion. The only religion mentioned is in the current timeline.

Basically the argument at Gold Glass amongst the scientists was between complete control of a system and those who espoused very little control of the system. Since the system involved here is life itself, this is simply an argument between evolution (complexity) vs. complete control (Intelligent design). How can you see it differently? Yes, it is couched very nicely outside the realm of religious dogma, but it still comes down to who pulls all the strings? Can anyone control all possibilities?

From the very beginning, almost everything about the rise of the human population on this planet seems to stink. Life for those who re-awoke after stasis on the generational ships, awoke into a world utterly unlike any world they had imagined. Right there the seeds of discontent have been sown.

If you want to put it in political terms, notice that the society created by the original human settlers on the planet as essentially a Feudal system. The land was all taken, pre-owned when those in stasis re-awoke. They awoke into a world taken back to 1000 C.E. instead of being able to take advantages of all the experiments in government since then.

A truly open system which allowed things to progress without someone in complete control evolves into something quite different than anyone would imagine.

Just look at what happens when a few thousand software developers join another in making a project called Linux. Large corporations sneer at these "amateurs", but these amateurs happen to be qualified enough to be called professionals during their 9-5 jobs. Open Source has revolutionized the modern world. The Internet is another complex system which many would like to control for their own ends. The Internet remains living just so long as it is free to develop along the lines it would naturally develop.

The unforeseen consequence of the development of the transistor, then the Integrated circuit was the Internet. No one foresaw what the Internet would do. Nothing puts into contrast the difference between things that can be valued monetarily and things that have no value at all monetarily but which people value in other ways.

Open ended systems, systems with many untoward consequences are the ones which have the most chance of success!

One other observation, before the fall of Kuronos, Icarians were quite likely to refer to themselves as angels. Where does that come from? Certainly they cannot have been as aware of the cultures from the "Home Planet" and just simply leave out religion. I'm not saying they'd have to accept it or that it would have to be some driving force, just that you can't have the cultural things they seem to have inherited without some of the other things that directly influenced those cultural events or creations.

cheers,

dioscuri

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Your arguments don't convince me. Jamie and particularly Niklas are virtually clones of De Valan and Agramos, not much left to chance there.

I think that genetics and DNA in particular are more complicated that you make them out to be. Just having the same genes doesn't automatically make you a carbon copy of yourself. Everything that happens in the womb from the time of conception affects how the DNA present will be expressed. Yes, we have some observations that Jamie reminds people of the original de Valen, but then they didn't know him. All they have are stories. As far as Niklas being a carbon copy, all you have is the exclamation of one Ghroum who states: "... It is as if they just put wings on him!". We don't know what basis the Ghroum has for saying that. We do not know the life expectancy of the Ghroum. They, themselves are not sure.

Nor do I dispute that the underlying theories of Jonas and Croal's plans are based on chaos theory. As I see it the chaotic element was in creating a species with sufficient potential to break the empire and then standing back. After all, if the majority of Icarians turned out like Hippolito, entirely possible with chaos theory, well things might not have been so rosy.

Either a system is complex/chaotic or it is not. It is not as if you can choose to have one or other chaotic elements. Croal and Minnoton's argument goes to the very structure of the universe they lived in. Minoton and his disciples attempted to control their environment along strict guidelines. They quickly got it thrown back in their face when one of their genetically engineered crops failed completely due to a single parasite. Minoton had developed a species without the means to adapt to the conditions in which it found itself. Minoton would believe in intelegent creation. That is, that the world we live in was created by someone or something who set parameters within which things would work.

Croals whole point in complexity is that the less control you exercise over any given species, the more likely it is that the species itself will find ways to adapt and keep thriving. This belies intelligent creation and points towards evolutionary forces ... the forces of complexity.

I certainly agree that Croal saw Kalorians and Icarians as people rather than things and that normal socialisation was an important element. But don't forget, the majority of Icarians exhibit the best traits of humanity despite their upbringing and training, so nobility must be part of the innate Icarian character, although Hippolito and no doubt others were certainly lacking.

And don't forget Croal was a terrible 'father', manipulating, continually spying on and controlling his 'sons'.

And which responsible parent doesn't have one eye on their children at all times? Children do not always make the most responsible choices. Also if I recall, it was Castor who kept his eagle eye on Jamie and Charlie, not Croal.

We do not see much of Croal interacting with people, mostly we hear about what people thought he was like. I think both sides of these pictures of Croal are skewed, which way its hard to tell. One thing is sure, Croal loved his two sons and was as demonstrative as he could be. Where he knew he would fail, he made sure that his sons had other roll models. If you ask me, he was a loving and responsible parent. No parent is perfect! Croal knew his short comings all to well.

I wouldn't look at him through Jamie's eyes, reality says he was 90% scientist and 9% revolutionary. Not a lot of loving left there. He may have been on the side of right as we see it, but he was just as ruthless as anyone else in the empire.

I think you are being unfair to Croal. Croal as abundantly clear on his short comings as a parent, but you will notice that he surrounded his sons with others who could and did provide that loving and caring environment. Croal was not unloving or unkind otherwise he would never have cared what happened to his creations. I think Jamie saw behind the hard edged side of Croal and saw his more loving side.

To compare him with people like Savaron Loka or Henrik Blackwell is going way to far. Those two are completely self serving and ruthless. Croal, unlike the Emperor and his lapdog Loka, had a concsience. It was Croal who left Gold Glass because of the way Loran was being treated. It was Croal who took the chances with his own life in order to give his sons a chance and the rest of the Icarians and Kalorians. Croal went into the creation of Jamie and Charlie not only because he loved them but becuase he knew that through them, some of the wrongs done over the centuries might be righted. Croal knew from the outset that he would be assassinated somehow. Knowing this, he went on ahead with what he knew was right.

I can assure you I certainly do not confuse religion and science, nor blur any lines, intentionally at least. I am 99% atheist with 1% agnostic as nothing is completely impossible. I see no validity in any religion, to my mind they are all obviously human constructs without spiritual foundation. I use 'soul' because as a word it is understandable as being the fundamental, essential, innate essence of a person's sentience, everything that makes them what they are.

OK, but the problem is that the word soul has no scientific meaning. It does, however, have religious implications. If by soul you are talking about sentience, use it in place of soul.

I also think it has more to do with chemistry than anything spiritual. I consider humanity to be no more than the top tier of higher animals, so on that basis, yes, many animals do have a 'soul'. Anyone with a cat or dog will recognise curiosity, playfulness, pain, irritation, anger etcetera, even perhaps nobility and self-sacrifice on occasion, all of which fits my interpretation of 'soul'. I will be pleased and amazed if there turns out to be an afterlife, but I doubt very much there is.

That you consider humans on the top tier of life is your theory and one that is as yet, unproven. I don't think we, as yet, have found a way to communicate with any other species using the other species method of communication. If there is communication between species, then it must be using our language. They must learn our language before they can say anything to us. You have obviously never owned a parrot or been around one of the larger species of parrots. Their kind of intelligence is utterly unlike a cat or dog. There is most definitely something more happening inside those parrot brains than most scientists are willing to admit

We do not know if Parrots have their own language or not. Nor do we know chimpanzees have or have not a language of their own. I think science itself is partially to blame because it has encouraged the belief that mankind is at the top of the evolutionary heap which is just another way of saying that we are superior to and so forth. I would argue with those scientists who claim that dogs and cats do not have emotion. I would not like to be the one to place a ruler marking at the place where sentient life begins here on earth. The real honest answer is that we do not know.

We have been surprised over and over again when we discover some new fact about a species we didn't know before. Who knew in Darwin's day just how whales communicate. Did anyone in the scientific community in Darwin's day think that dolphins might have their own language?

Science has its own biases, its own attachments to theories it thinks are correct. Much time, effort and money has been poured into research on the intelligence of chimpanzees, admitting that Parrots may in any way equal or surpass their chosen species does not go down very well. Scientists do not like to be proven wrong. Perhaps that was one of the major failings of Gold Glass!

After all said, everything we create now is created on top of what came before. Without what came before, what is now couldn't possibly be. Is that a theory or a basic truth statement? I don't know. I know for sure it is true in music, everything you hear that claims to be "new" is based on what came before it.

cheers,

dioscuri

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I know we're getting a little off topic here, but speaking of religion. In the past time line, there has been no mention of a dominate religion. The only religion mentioned is in the current timeline.

It was not my intention for this post to have anything to do with religion. I was drawing links between Earth's history (the home planet) and events at Gold Glass.

As I have learned more about animals and biology in general, I have been astounded by what has been discovered, then even more astounded by what has been covered up in the name of preserving what can only be called ethnocentric ideas of the distinction between humans and animals and humans and other species.

I did mean to bring into question the reaction of the human population to the Ghroum simply because they embody everything that we are, except that they express it in exactly the opposite manner. This brings to a point how we will communicate with an entirely new species.

In bringing up the issue of Parrots and also Corvides (Corvides are family from which crows and ravens are from) who are turning out to be exhibiting more and more signs of intelligence once only thought to be found in humans and perhaps chimpanzees. Scientists for some reason have been loathe to investigate these most interesting developments and they remain for the most part controversial.

I have in the past owned cats, dogs and parrots as pets. They relate to humans in entirely different ways. Cats and dogs are more similar to each other than either of them are to Parrots. With cats, its questionable who adopted who as pets, cats or humans. Certainly it is an arrangement of convenience for both species. With dogs, it should be humans who become the alpha of the dog's pack (family), but walking down the street, it is quite obvious that many dogs are taking their humans for walks not the other way around.

With dogs and humans, humans are alpha IF we choose to be alpha. Being Alpha to a domestic dog has nothing to do with the human's gender simply the leadership role they play.

Cats, when possible, maintain a lion like pride hierarchy, with females collectively caring for kittens, and males completely excluded from the process. This gets interrupted constantly by the way in which we keep felius catus as single pets.

When it comes to birds and specifically parrots, things change dramatically. Neither dogs nor cats wild or domestic make permanent bonds on a regular basis the way parrots do. The connection between two birds or one bird and its flock seem to be in some ways interchangeable. A parrot's natural home is usually a hole in a tree or split in some large log. That's where they sleep, not where they spend their waking hours. I think that it is interesting that my little sun conure (a miniature relative of the macaw) would crawl out of its cage in the dark, scramble into the bed and snuggle into bed next to me in what looked at first like a hole in the sheets and blankets.

What is odd about that behaviour is that birds naturally go to sleep as soon as it is dark. Staying conscious long enough to crawl across the apartment and into bed with me is quite remarkable. Cats and dogs also do this but cats are at least partially nocturnal and dogs would naturally seek their pack. There's nothing about darkness that acts as a sleeping draft for them like darkness does for birds.

I began to realise just how different having a parrot was from having a dog or cat. It is almost as if your parrot wants or is a part of you. Your parrot wants to be with you all the time. It wants to know where you are at all times. It became very clear to me that Parrots saw their owners in a completely different manner than cats or dogs. That was borne our by all the reading I did.

I had a friend who owned the most beautiful Molucan Cockatoo, (Moluccan Cockatoos are white, with and orange crown which usualy only shows when they are excited. Their natural habitat is northern Australia, and the South East Asian Islands north and of course, the Island of Moluccai) Peaches he called him/her. However, Howard eventually admitted he didn't have the time needed to devote to owning a Cockatoo. He would have to be mate and flock to the bird.

Leaving aside personification (that leaves out LOTS of behaviour) and looking at each one as a different species, you gain a deeper insight into what you now and what you do not know about them. All of a sudden the gap between you and your pet gets wider and wider. You realise how much adaptation they do to accommodate you, not the other way around.

What I refuse to acknowledge, is that we are at the top of some hierarchical triangle of intelligence. I think intelligence shows itself in many different ways. In fact, there is no reason why a species should choose technological development against remaining closer to its own environment. What I am saying is likely going to be seen by all sides in any argument as flawed. I also have nothing to replace that hierarchical triangle with.

What I'd like to see is real communication with another species. I'd like us to learn to speak Parrot (whether its the Macaw or Cocktoo dialect) AND the parrot learn to speak our language. Then I might admit there was some communication. Cats and Dogs are at a disadvantage there because they do not have the mechanical means for speech, just like the Ghroum do not.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to lean Dolphin as well. How many accounts are there of Dolphins saving swimmers from sharks? Why? what was in it for the Dolphin? Did this exhibit altruism? We do not have answers for these questions, any scientist who claims to know the answer is covering up his own discomfort at how close to human these other species really are. (quite frankly I'm sick and tired of the way scientists and academics view anecdotal evidence, it doen't just border on snobbism, it IS snobism... and for absolutely no reason either.)

Now, back to what Croal did genetically with the Icarians. According to the accounts, the only attributes he carefully activated in the Avian DNA was the immune capacity. Any other manifestations such as wings that worked was an untoward result. Pair bonding capacity may have been one of those untoward results perhaps serendipitously!

I did not mean my post to have any religious implications. I did mean, however, to question the perceived top of the heap hierarchy with humans at the top. I did mean to question any kind of better than or worse than comparisons between other species.

TSOI very clearly brings those assumptions into the foreground, but only if you are willing to look at them honestly and study the available data on the subject.

cheers,

dioscuri,

Remember the two stars looking down upon you as you travel during the day (or night).

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With cats, its questionable who adopted who as pets, cats or humans. Certainly it is an arrangement of convenience for both species. With dogs, it should be humans who become the alpha of the dog's pack (family), but walking down the street, it is quite obvious that many dogs are taking their humans for walks not the other way around.

With cat's, I've always heard that you don't choose them, they choose you.

I've seen several episodes of a show on Animal Planet, It's Me Or The Dog, where the humans try to regain the control of the home from the dog(s). When I go back to Indiana to visit, I usually stay at my brothers home. I'm appalled at the things his two small dogs are allowed to get away with. For example, when he sits down in a chair, or the couch, with a plate of food, one dog will sit on the floor and stare while the other one will either sit next to him or in his lap begging. The dog will sometimes brazenly take something off his plate. He'll yell at and that's about it

I think that it is interesting that my little sun conure (a miniature relative of the macaw) would crawl out of its cage in the dark, scramble into the bed and snuggle into bed next to me in what looked at first like a hole in the sheets and blankets.

Reminds me of Spinoza who bonded with Jamie.

I've also seen shows where it's been proven where birds are intelligent. In one show, they set up a puzzle for some Ravens and in time, they solve it.

In The Scrolls, Jamie has brought a lot of different issues into the story, issues that people may or may not think about and discuss. We have politics, science (of different types), a little religion, and more. Personally, I'm not one to discuss politics and religion very often with anyone. I've seen how they can get heated and get out of hand.

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Well, Altinestra, if I recall correctly, was settled by scientists who were most likely non-religious as a group.

I think that's a bad assumption to make. You never hear scientists talk about religion unless they are directly asked. Scientists know enough to make the distinction between religious faith and scientific theories based on evidence. Scientific theories change, and change radically based on research. As the theory is tested, the parts of the theory that are proven wrong are changed. Facts gained by experimental means must be able to be repeated.

Miracles cannot be tested. Miracles can only be claimed by the person for whom the miracle has occurred, therefore it cannot be repeated even if the circumstances could be reproduced.

Many scientists have some sort of religious belief, but they do not allow these beliefs to cloud the work they do in their area of science.

Even if there were some with a powerful belief I doubt the majority would have accepted any organised observance or shown any interest. Also one can assume there was little 'unknown' among the original settlers, not understood, perhaps, but not unknown. Religion depends on ignorance and the fear of the unknown to take hold, in my opinion, of course and I have no problem with other people having a belief, provided they don't use it as an excuse to interfere with me.

From what I gathered, many of the colonists, in deep cryogenic sleep for as long as they were suffered from Longer Term Stasis Memory Loss Syndrome. Many of them could not remember who they were let alone help or make decisions about their government.

The analogues with real world religion are obvious, so I won't say more. Nor would I wish my atheist views to offend, I very much believe in each to their own.

By the author's design; I don't think you can make an corresponance with any of the religions of our world. If anything, the Sarajanus religion is a kind of combo mix of the worst characteristics of them all.... with none of the good. Very cleverly crafted I think.

My point with bringing up animal intelligence and questioning our own definitions of intelligence was meant to make people think. Remember, anything we create or discover new these days is built on something that came before. About the only people who can discover something new are physicists. Even they are stretching neat their limit.

Creativity is not dead, it is what it always was, based on what came before and a reaction to events in the present. I am reminded of that every time I have to explain to a rock musician about modes, what they are and where they came from. Its me, the musician who does all that music of those dead white men who they come to when they want something which doesn't seem to fit in explained. They to, are building on what came before --- or even resurrecting it! But always remember, we do not know everything and its dangerous to look back and consider ourselves "more advanced" than some species or civilization.

cheers.

Dioscuri

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