Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books

Tal Cohen writes:
(Spoiler) Motie Biology
I didn't include this in the main review, because it's a spoiler, but:

On the one hand, given that genes are selfish, a biology of multiply-or-die seems much more reasonable and likely to survive than our own, where proliferation is done mostly for fun.

On the other hand, even Darwin realized that survival-of-the-fittest happens because life increases in exponential numbers, here on Earth. So stronger mechanisms are not really needed.

The gripping hand is that fast proliferation is likely to be a common thing among interstellar life (if it exists). Ergo, even given a practically unlimited number of planets, and friendly intentions, aliens can be a great risk purely due to their biology.

Other than that, the biology presented by Niven and Pournelle had some big holes in it -- in particular the Watchmakers. Tiny brains, supposedly un-intelligent, and can improve on technologies they've never met before? That's just too much, and doesn't fit in the otherwise hard-core book.
[66] Posted on Monday, 11 December 2006 at 12:15 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

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