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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

A recent question about the relationship between Hudson and Demona got me thinking...

There was one off note in the question (the rest of the analysis was pretty cool)- Hudson would not have any discomfort at the idea that his rookery children were mated to each other. Given that the chance of multiple births is statistically zero and the strong predilection to marry within ones own rookery there is nearly no chance of biological incest ever happening so there would be no sibling taboo.

I recalled a factotum that caught my attention a few months back- Even the most gung-ho kibutzes in Israel got rid of true communal child raising in the 70's because their children were forming sibling bonds and not marrying. Of the thousands of children raised in the system, about 30 married within their own community and not even one married within his or her age group. (err... I suppose, by definition, two would be the minimum for that....) These children were raised with the intention of being future potential spouses but humans are hardwired not to look at siblings that way, even none biological siblings. A similar problem arises in some endangered animal sanctuaries - I remember a documentary mentioning that if male and female rhinos are housed together they eventually stop mating completely - it may have been anthropomorphizing, but they called it developing a sibling relationship. Obviously there are degenerates and incest does happen, Egyptian royalty was designed with sibling marriage, but we are biologically wired against it even when it is not based on blood and therefore dangerous on a Darwinian level.

It makes sense that Gargates, having evolved as very different species with different circumstances would be fundamentally different at times, but they are so very similar in some ways is it surprising when the differences pop up.

1) Do gargoyles have an incest taboo or does it just not come up?
2) If they do not have it, or, at least no strong one, what do they think of it when it occurs with humans? (I don't mean abuse, rather, for example, if they read about Egyptian kings marrying siblings does it give them pause or it just passes as an oddity.)
3) Are there any other instances that come to mind of there being a basic difference between humans and gargoyles? Not a culturally based one - or if it is culturally, it as outgrowth of their biological reality.

Sorry this last one is so vague. It is hard to think of examples. You once answered that racism puzzles Goliath. It makes sense that a species that seems to have nearly uinlimited skin color possibiilities even within a small and relatively isolated population would think the human skin tone based racism is plain odd. (Granted, gargoyles might have their own version of nonsensicle racism that makes no sense to humans.) I can think of where similar differences would be rooted- they are completely nocturnal, they have wings, the do not share the sleeping experience in any way etc…- but it still seems more the sort of thing that occasionally pops up and surprises you. Maybe...a creature with usable wings would be hardwired against agoraphobia or fear of heights. err. Maybe, not so much, they can still fall if their wings get bound up, so at minimum the concept of falling might lurk somewhere even in their minds.


Greg responds...

1. For the biological reasons you stated above, it's a non-issue. Obviously, some rookery siblings develop sibling relationships. Others do not.

2. It depends on their understanding level.

3. Not at the moment.

Response recorded on November 06, 2010