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From: "Tony Ellis" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Liev's Postpostulate
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 18:40:40 +0100

Adam Stephanides wrote:

>I think you're right, though, that there must be a larger reason why Victor
>cites Dollo's law. I'd suggest that it's connected to his statements that
>he is an animal and does not really speak: having raised (he thinks) as an
>animal, he now cannot become a human, but can only imitate a human.

That's Nurture. The law he is citing concerns Nature, or heredity.

> But in any
> case, I don't think he's referring to the evolution of the Annese' hands.

Neither do I. He's talking about why he could never  write when he held a
pen properly. I think he is either citing Dollo's Law as an analogy for what
has happened, i.e.: 'just as an organ can atrophy during evolution, so can a
higher, human, capability', or the 'organ' he is thinking of is the human
brain (or some tool-coordinating part thereof).

Either way, having spent the best part of a page begging the question 'why
can't I write when I hold a pen conventionally?' Victor concludes with a law
which specifically concerns evolution.

Of the spot-the-alien theme:
>It's a key theme on this list; I'm not convinced it's a key theme in the
>book itself.

In the story we are discussing it is precisely what Marsch has come to St
Anne to do.


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