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Eugenics

Page history last edited by 1nfinite zer0 9 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations, you have been selected to undergo breeding restrictions.  By choosing a gender identity which is symmetrical you have a 50% chance of being sterile.  This sterility can only be overcome with increased breeding groups and the permission of the reproductive institution.


What are your gut reactions to being told you do not have the right to reproduce?

 

Did you know that it is for the greater good?  The world can only sustain a certain number of people comfortably without straining its resources and causing imbalance.  So then, why you?  Well, nothing personal.  The genetics of assymetical gender identity individuals has been observed to be higher, so a proportion of those of us without such a condition are randomly ineligible to breed.  Like the rest of our social system, there is room for flexibility.  Upon the submission of a breeding proposal, your eligibility will be re-evaluated.  Note that you can only make one such request in your lifetime.

 


Enactment of breeding restrictions

The breeding conditions were laid out as a result of the Evolution War.  The main point was whether we as a species wanted to be conscious of our reproduction and resource use as it spiralled out of control.  The Red nation held the opinion that all should be able to breed freely and that harsh selection could optimize the species within a shorter time.  The White nation felt that breeding should be restricted and planned, along the well-known principles of plant and animal breeding which has been established for many thousands of years. 

 

Outcast Nations and some of the early Mecenasnuro tribes opposed them both.  They felt that controlling the breeding was wrong and that all should have the freedom to make whatever use of the environment as they pleased.  As the war waged on, the outcast nations and the mecenasnuro became marginalized, and became the target of Animal nations as a result of perceived injustice.  The Dual supported the establishment of breeding oberservations, but wished to remain impartial of the war.  They did supported the animal nations, which eventually lead to the exile of the Outcasts.  Some of the Mecenasnuro fled to the Outcast continent, others fled half way to a sizeable island which they declared a sovereign nation independant of the world government (but still distinct from the outcast nations politically) and some tribes stayed in the mountains of the main continents.  Those continental Mecenasnuro living adjacent to Red and White nations agreed to impose limits upon their breeding.  However, the way the alienation and family group restructuring had already gone through this war meant that they did not desire to breed profusely, nor expand.

 

Present Practices

In present day, the breeding practices of Red and White have achieved general consensus with a bit of regional variation.  The Mecenasnuro follow suit, but the Outcasts still insist they should be able to breed as much as they damn well please.  As a consequence, their continent is highly over-populated and fiercely competitive.  There is a greater division of castes and unequal distribution of wealth.  Every so often the Outcasts will send ships (or refugees flee) to the main continents or the Mecenasnuro sea land.  These ships can apply for immigration if there is enough space and resources available (10% chance), otherwise they are given two options:

  • Go back to the seas and find your own home
  • Volunteer for the Demon Siege and be given provisions and a permanent home at the Demon Gates
    • Individuals and groups who have committed 20 years to the Demon Siege are given full world citizen status
    • This is not necessarily a death sentence, as they can work within the supporting communities rather than the front line
    • The term can be shortened if they aid in a major military campaign
    • Temporary visas to travel the main continent are available
      • Those who do not return on time are considered fugitives, and forfeit all rights under the law.
      • The vigilantes are swift in tracking these individuals down and getting them exiled permanently

 

Not every ship will agree to these rules, and sometimes peaceful refugees are whipped into an unfortunate passion which turns them into pirates.  However, coastal cities are some of the best fortified, and port cities are generally understood to be dangerous and shifty places.  The laws are sometimes loosely enforced by sheer necessity of the chaos within them.  The chaos is not allowed to leak out though, and there is a secret agency of bucaneers who pride themselves in bringing justice to the waters and peaceful fishing villages.

 

Origins

Eugenics is a very controversial issue for any species. It raises the distinction between the rights of the individual and the rights of the species (or biosphere if the species behaviour is such a threat, like overpopulation/over-consumption). Does every individual have the right to reproduce merely because they can? Is there a need for everyone that wants to reproduce if they can be provided for without offspring? How does one decide which individuals or characteristics are more eligible for reproduction than others? How can this even be enacted impartially? Eugenics has raised these difficult questions. In human history it has been misapplied, abused, and the breeding processes of humanity not well enough understood to even make impartial judgements which are not racist, classist, or otherwise prejudiced.

 

The Shashnimyn perspective has always been more long-term, allowing the rights of the species and the biosphere to have higher stature in public debate of these issues. To discuss how they've developed in Shashnani'i history, here is a quote from a key eugenics paper from humanity:

 

First, it must be made familiar as an academic question, until its exact importance has been understood and accepted as a fact.  Secondly, it must be recognised as a subject the practical development of which is in near prospect, and requires serious consideration.  Thirdly, it must be introduced into the national conscience, like a new religion.
Nature May26, 1904 pp82 -abridged except from a note before the Sociological Society on May 15 by Dr. Francis Galton 

 

  1. The public discussion of breeding quality in the Shashnimyn became a very heated topic in its scientific history. They are gifted biologists, and aritificial selection and domestication programs for animals and plants are extensive. Their understanding of populations, genetics and heredity exceeded ours, being a primary focus before much industrialization. The large variety in Shashnimyn phenotypes has historically had racist consequences (which thankfully are all but resolved in the present day) and this spurred the question of whether one phenotype was "superior" to any other. Being astute evolutionists, it was agreed that superiority is highly subjective and can only be decided when there is a specific selection context. Since selection pressure and the needs of a population change over time, both diversity and specialization are valued. Thus, the core belief that every Myn is equal is supported by a scientific tradition in addition to moral and religious assertions (and gameplay-wise everyone starts with the same points, neat yeah?)
  2. The necessity of Eugenics as a system to improve the breeding quality came about when population began to outstrip the availability of resources. Technology and magic were advancing slowly; conservatism against inefficient prototypes was very strong. This conservatism was a direct result of the principles in the Founding Book, which were meant to prevent the feudal warfare and imbalance of power the world was recovering from. So, in this longterm spirit, it was considered important to reach a sustainable equilibrium but enhance the populations of Shashnimyn. Incidentally, there was also an increase of myn-eating predator populations in these centuries, which made villages at higher risk.
  3. The constant discussion of eugenics beget the introduction of practices which eventually led to The Evolution War. Olympics between nations including not just physical aptitudes but games of wits, magic, etc, were started to find individuals "better" than others. Discussions of ideal phenotypes for each village or region were common. In all, these practices became intensely popular, but also divisive, for it opposed the religious beliefs of equality. Two major schools of thought dominated, that which would breed as normal, but increase selection pressure (to use negative eugenics to reduce poor traits) or those that held breeding above romance, and selectively bred individuals for the good of the village.

 

After the escalation and extremism that led to the war, a moderation of all views has been adopted. It is still valued to have longterm thinking about reproduction, but it is no longer so militant. The shift of the family unit into a larger community structure has led to a mixing of offspring. It is harder for any set of parents to know which Innocents were borne of them, and thus they are parents of all that cohort. It takes a village to raise a myn after all.  On the flip side, the rates of mortality and accepted death have been increased. Help and aid is still given to Innocents and Youth, but there was a further decrease of parental care (Shashnimyn's biology has always had more precocious independence than human children).  It is also considered quite honourable to be sterilized.

 

Important to note, the Shashnimyn are not prejudiced against those who have genetic problems. Diversity is valued, and the strong belief in reincarnation allows the acceptance of one's current body as it is, with the knowledge that it is not an eternal disadvantage.  There has also been an interesting phenomena with the development of phenotypes humanity would consider highly disabled. Things like Autism or mental disorders which we would expect to result in their selection have evolved to the point of being unique gifts. With the proper support, other Myn can tap into their, often magical, extraordinary abilities and allow them to lead a rewarding and interactive live as a citizen.


Relevant links

 

Shashnimyn Reproduction

The Evolution War - one of the Three World Wars

embryology - developmental biology of Shashnimyn

new evolutionary reproductive biology

 

Disclaimer: Eugenics is a volatile topic. Please remember this is fiction. But, we would love to hear your impassioned opinion on a specific discussion page or forum thread. With our modern understanding of genetics and limiting resources, Eugenics is being discussed again. Thus it is important that a compassionate debate be engaged lest history repeat it's indignations.

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