Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Timelord Victorious, Nov 10, 2013.
Except the lemur doesn't have more than two eyes either.
^Yes, I know. I'm pretty sure I already said they're clearly meant to be related.
The various Banshees also appear to only have 4 limbs. They're the only other species that do as far as I can tell. So apparently losing two limbs has evolved at least twice, assuming the monkey-lemur-squirrel-things aren't also related to the giant flying bird/lizard apex predators.
It makes no sense, lets just leave it at that. Someone didn't think that 4-armed Na'vi would be as appealing so they half-assed an excuse with the four-forearmed lemur and called it a day.
^Did they though? I may be wrong but I thought the fore-wings had a second smaller wing. Again though, it's the eyes that bother me more than the limbs since that's the kind of thing that's established early on in evolutionary terms. The eyes themselves may change but it'd take one hell of a selective mutation to loose two without a trace and have it still be a positive survival trait. The closest terrestrial case I can think of are creatures that became subterranean or deep cave dwellers and went blind over millions of years...and even then they still have their eyes, they just don't work any more.
Anyway, yeah, as I've said several times I know it's just a production thing, but I find it interesting to speculate if something more can be inferred in light of Cameron apparently dead set on doing more films.
Say what you will about Cameron, but to date he's always done something interesting with his sequels...admittedly he's only done two and only one of those was to his own film, but nonetheless they're both considered among the best films of all time, sequel or otherwise.
All flying creatures had two sets of wings as far as I can remember. But yeah, the second pair of some was small enough, so that can suggest that the third set of limbs might disappear in certain species one way or another.
Another difference are the breathing/blow holes in the creatures chest area.
The Na'vi totally lack those, too.
The second pair of wings were their legs.
Could be worse, they could have one on their back, near a large fin. How alien would that be?
Not very, since it is a homologous organ adapted from one present on pretty much every animal it is related to, going back about half a billion years in the evolutionary tree.
Well, I think all this is saying is that things happened differently on Earth. Things aren't weird because they're what happened.
If something different happened instead, that wouldn't be weird to us instead.
Things did happen differently, but those events are still dependent on the same rules that have driven life on earth. The fact that they have DNA at all for creating hybrids means it is very similar indeed and DNA may be due to some universal constant for life. The major differences appear to be in the environmental factors. The atmosphere is thicker for one (and due to this, the winds are more forceful), and the gravity lower for another. This seems to have encouraged some very tall and sturdy trees, which has in turn and in combination with the other factors encouraged arboreal and aerial/gliding life. Another factor seems to have rewarded very strong bio-luminescence in spite of it never actually being completely dark on the planet. This might be due to early life evolving in conditions where it was more necessary and later life forms adapted it for communication, warning off or confusing predators, etc. but whatever the cause it was useful for enough species for long enough that nearly every species shows some form of it. I'm sure there are plenty of other patterns that someone who has seen the movie more than twice will have picked up on and that the people making the film did quite intentionally.
They also involved in a world where you can plug your tail into a tree and download your memories. There's an interconnectivity on Pandora that makes me hesitant to say that one isn't likely to gain or lose something simply because that didn't happen on Earth.
That just means that it was never beneficial enough for any of the species we saw with them to lose their neural link organ, or that those who did were not successful long-term. Particularly if the neural link organ plays a part in mating, it would follow that it would remain long-term.
Pandora is supposed to be a satellite of a gas giant is it not? Perhaps the bio-luminescence is an adaptation to extended periods of darkness that would occur when they move into eclipse?
Another piece of evidence that something more is going on with the Na'vi's evolution just occurred to me. It's so obvious I wonder why I didn't think of it sooner. That is to say the mere face that they were discovered raises some questions.
Think about it; even ignoring they they're bipedal, two eyed tetrapods on a planet of *mostly* four eyed hexapods AND overlooking the DNA compatibility thing. The mere fact that they were discovered in the closest neighbouring star to Sol AND are of comparable intelligence to humans seems very suspicious.
Sure, it's entirely circumstantial and statistically possible that two very similar, genetically compatible races could evolve simultaneously right next door to each other...but what are the odds?
The planet and the other moons give off/reflect enough light that it never seems to get much darker than earthly twilight, even deep in the jungle.
The odds don't matter once the result is known.
From what I gathered, the Na'vi themselves weren't any more genetically compatible than any of the other Pandoran life (that is to say, you couldn't breed a human and a Na'vi to create such a hybrid), but rather the similarity in form made adapting them to the human mind that needed to go inside more readily viable.
The fact that they are roughly human shaped and intelligent tool users you mostly have to chalk up to the needs of the story. It wouldn't have nearly the wide appeal that it does if the Na'vi looked or behaved in truly alien ways. That evolution has shaped humanity into this form shows that it is a plausible form for such life to take. That is enough.
And how exactly would you know this just by looking at them for a minute fraction of a two hour movie?
Avatar is like a documentary about an area of a planet maybe the size of Rhode Island (if even that). How many native species of Rhode Island have only two legs and two arms instead of four legs and a mostly vestigial tail? How many have arms at all? How many are tool-using? How many lack fur over most of their body? Yeah, didn't think you could come up with a big number there.
If roles were reversed, I'm sure Na'vi would be bitching about how illogical all those alien humans are when all the animals on the planet Earth are five-limbed creatures (cats, dogs, cows; nevermind that one of those limbs appear to be all but useless -- who the fuck did the research on those weird ass creatures?!?), winged two-legged no-armed creatures (birds), and/or multi-legged multi-eyed creatures (insects), with absolutely no other signs of two-legged two-armed tool-using furless humanoids to be found whatsoever. God forbid they got a look at any of the shit underwater just off the coast.
Hell, expand the area to the size of Europe. How many primates are native there again versus every other species? I can't seem to remember. Surely it's at least 50-50, and closer to 99.99-0.01. I mean, that's what you seem to expect -- sorry, demand -- from this stupid movie. So surely it must be true on Earth, too. Especially in Rhode Island or Europe.
For a second there I wondered if the reflected light would be the result of the systems other star, but I don't have a clue how often a binary system would align so that Pandora is in eclipse when it's primary and both stars are all in direct alignment.
Can't be often enough to justify such an adaptation, especially not the plant life since you think any length of time in that situation would be like a mini-winter and the vegetation is more likely to die back than anything.
Perhaps int he case of the animal like it's more of a camouflage thing, since a dark silhouette against a glowing background would make an easy meal for any predator. Of course you still have to account for what the plants are luminous in the first place...Something to do with the insects maybe?
And yet coupled with everything else it's highly suspicious.
First off, they specifically say that the avatar bodies have human DNA spliced into them. They didn't say the Na'vi bodies have been adjusted to be mechanically compatible with human neural patterns. Not just any DNA either, but the DNA of the person intended to link with it. The *only* person who can link with it. Hence Sully being the only one capable of filling his brother's shoes.
On top of all of that the Avatars' faces actually look like their human pilots, which if you think about it shouldn't work with a totally alien genome. Even if DNA is universal for carbon based life, the codes should be unique and totally incompatible.
They're not just "roughly human shaped" they're almost anatomically identical. As I mentioned before, the shape of a creature doesn't just tell you what environment it's adapted to, it tells you the life history of it's ancestors. There were an innumerable number of decisions along our evolutionary path that resulting in the form we have. Change any one of them, and you'll end up with a different creature. It's all based on chance and timing, so the chances of another race following not only the same final shape, but the same journey to get there? Again, possible but very unlikely.
Ultimately, while you can dismiss any one thing as coincidence, all of these factors added together seems to indicated that *maybe* Gaia and Eywa have already met.
whatever, missed a word, disregard this
I'd rather say it's a writer's misunderstanding of genetics, and not a fully fleshed out story about some alien conspiracy that makes humans and Na'vi related.
It's just a movie.
Yes, they took a lot of efforts in the design of the flora and fauna Pandora, but only so much.
I never suggested there's any conspiracy, just that the (most likely unintentional) inconsistencies may give a clue as to where Cameron may take the sequels if they do as he's suggested, take place on other planets in that system.
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