Depending on what other people think, I may open the list of organisms as a collaboration.
Date: 02 Feb 2013 16:09
Number of posts: 14
RSS: New posts
I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's very… well, the meat manages a clinical tone somewhat, but there isn't a lot of interesting detail. The second half reads like a grocery list of anomalous development; you describe how the basics of things work, but not why we should be interested in those things. While you do give some things that I'd like to read more about (like the semi-transparent camouflage turtle), you only hint at the intrigue, and don't expand on it. Take, for example:
Evolved to feed off psychic energy. Reportedly is extremely painful.
This, in and of itself, isn't very satisyfing. I want to know a lot more about this thing: what kind of animal it is, what relationships it has with other species, what its physiology is, how that property you described works, whose psychic energy it's feeding off of, and so on.
On the other hand, the prelude hinted at something good, but again, the level of detail feels minimalist to me.
Oh, uh… also, don't forget to announce this.
Your edits improved this, and while there are a few minor, superficial and subjective parts I still don't think quite mesh, I'm going to put that down to the idea of "Legacy-as-a-group-has-bad-presentation" and upvote.
I'm just not feeling this. This piece has some weird tonal problems for scientific (or trying to be scientific) paper. It also has this weird habit of jumping to conclusions without showing its rational, data or evidence. Why do these organisms "appear to have some sort of guiding sapience behind their designs"? What makes the author think that "that they seem to have an end goal in mind.". Nothing about the table of organisms makes me think that there is a "they" a "mind" or a "force" behind these organisms, especially since they don't have overlapping ranges. For all this guy knows it's just coincidence.
I know that the first thing that will come to mind is that "all of these organisms are involved in volcanoes somehow" so obviously they go together but the author explicitly states that they don't have an overlapping range and then contradicts himself in regard to the bacteria.
Furthermore where is this "thousand years" thing coming from? How has this guy established when these organisms diverged from ancestor populations within a thousand-year timescale? A thousand years is practically nothing in evolutionary time. The best you're going to get is tens of thousands of years unless you explicitly state that you are using some kind of magic to establish this or are doing this in the future with sufficiently advanced technology.
I'm not going to downvote this (because I think it's salvageable) but it needs major fixes and expansion before I can upvote it.
I mean that it has problems with clincal tone and phrasing in some places, which is, as I say, subjective, and easily rationalised away with the idea of Legacy being to the scientific method as a shark is to a trot.
I mean, this isn't the Foundation. It's not like a group that is, by design, more of a zoo than a laboratory is going to get all its research right and achieve a perfect objectiviy about everything. In my mind, Legacy is a group of animal-enthuasiasts, mostly magicians and the like, with few or no qualifications in biology trying to play scientist. And I'm happy with that.
1. I mentioned 'time travel' and 'remote viewing sessions' which is basically implied to be scrying. The fact that they have a direct video feed from thousands of years ago would also seem to indicate magical abilities.
2. It's not intended to be of a completely scientific tone. It's closer to what you might get if you were reading something from a pop-science writer, like maybe one of the columnists in Scientific American or Discover (not one of the main articles, though). Except that the writing quality probably isn't as good.
3. Okay, I made a mistake with 'all'.
When one examines the influenced organisms, they fit together to form ecosystems that, on an evolutionary and ecological level, make rational sense. Nigerian lava cats, Hawaiian lavaskippers, various archaebacteria species, and Bergman’s firenewts, for instance, all fit together to create an ecosystem that all models have shown to be self-sustaining so long as energy is added in the form of heat.
To the best of my knowledge concerning ecology, that should not happen for a bunch of random organisms. You should not get half a dozen organisms that are evolved to live in volcanoes, some of which evolved in what is geologically less than a blink of an eye, that, if you put them all together, don't drive each other extinct.
Bunton's analysis of Legacy is correct, I might add. They have a few (read: one or two) people who have qualifications, but they aren't going to waste their time writing up a formal scientific paper intended for the guy whose job it is to feed the lava cats. Legacy deals with dangerous animals and anomalies (not like Foundation-dangerous, but 'big cat'-dangerous), and some of them would have pretty odd metabolisms or anatomies, so something like a college education helps, but even that isn't strictly necessary.