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what about, those humans that were populating other worlds? could they not have evolved/mutated to survive better in there environment? over generations of course
 

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i think as the rules of natural selection appliy, humans would vary greatly, take the two biggest imperial guard (im talking popularity) cadian & catachan.. the catachan are bound to have a more muscular build, mabey longer more ape like arms. Then theres the cadians, they live in the shadow of the eye of terror, so im guessing a larger populus of mentaly adept,also, the phisical apperence of cadians wold most likely be smaller, paler skin and eyes more ajusted to darkness.

ive said all i can.. goodbye
:D
 

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You're refering to Punctuated Equalibrium, Sasha - and like many people you have it slightly wrong.

PE (if it even occurs, and there is significant doubt) is pretty rapid compared to 'vanilla' evolution. PE can occur over hundreds of thousands of years, instead of millions.

I'm not familiar with the minnow experiment you describe, but it's not terribly relevant to the discussion at hand due to the tiny population of the fish tank. Whilst the colouration was no-doubt a survival trait the fact is that in a small enough population qany aberation, beneficial or otherwise has both a much higher chance of appearing (small populations encourage double-recessive traits to manifest) and flourishing (due to lack of genetic competition). Case in point, there is a village in Africa with no collar bones (cleidocranial dysostosis) - hardly a survival trait, but that's small populations for you. A sailor with the condition visited them in the 19th century, knocked boots with a local woman (or ten) and the whole village has it now.

Long story short, 38'000 years ain't long enough by an order of magnitude.
Actually, it seems to me that Sasha's point is relevant. At least its relevant to when the humans in 40K were colonizing other worlds. Most likely, they would colonize the world with a small population. So over the generations, the genes would change and the humans on that planet would be able to better survive on it. In my mind, no one would colonize a planet with a relatively huge population. Sure with a smaller population colonizing a world would take hundreds to possibly thousands of years to fully colonize it, but by then, most, if not all, humans on the planet would have different genes and traits that allow them to live longer and survive better. This effect would be reversed with a larger population colonizing the same planet. Fully colonizing it would take less time, but the genes and traits needed to survive would possibly take longer to develop.
 

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what about, those humans that were populating other worlds? could they not have evolved/mutated to survive better in there environment? over generations of course
There are simply not enough generations. Evolution works over millions of years, not thousands. This is especially the case when one considers that for much of this time, the colonies had access to the STC systems that made environmental factors much less critical to survival.

Actually, it seems to me that Sasha's point is relevant. At least its relevant to when the humans in 40K were colonizing other worlds. Most likely, they would colonize the world with a small population. So over the generations, the genes would change and the humans on that planet would be able to better survive on it. In my mind, no one would colonize a planet with a relatively huge population. Sure with a smaller population colonizing a world would take hundreds to possibly thousands of years to fully colonize it, but by then, most, if not all, humans on the planet would have different genes and traits that allow them to live longer and survive better. This effect would be reversed with a larger population colonizing the same planet. Fully colonizing it would take less time, but the genes and traits needed to survive would possibly take longer to develop.
A small population increases the chances of any given gene coming to dominate. Unfortunateloy, it also decreases the chance of a mutation (beneficial or otherwise) arising (arising, rather than manifesting), since there are simply fewer individuals in which a mutation might occur. Small populations are a double-edged sword for people who want to champion punctuated equalibrium.

Again though, even PE's most optimistic fans will still tell you that it takes hundreds of thousands of years, rather than millions.


Long Story Short: If you colonise Valhalla with sub-saharan African humans and come back 38'000 years later, the people living on Valhalla will still be tall, dark-skinned and lithe.

If you land a bunch of Eskimo on Tallarn and come back 38'000 years later, same deal.
 

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Still, you do get mutants caused by unnatural factors that then breed that mutation into the population. Take a look at the Orygan, Catecan, and ratkin. Sure they're still human, but oddball factors have made them fairly divergent from normal stock.


Still. genetically we were roughly the same as we were back when we were butting heads with neanderthal over living space. I'd say if somehow you took a 40k person and plunked him into 'now' you'd still have a genetically similar human... barring radical chaos borne mutations.
 
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