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Vashkoda writes...

Hi Greg. I don't mean to be annoying, but with all the studying I've been doing for my Boards exam, biology has sort of taken over my life. I know that stone hibernation is unknown in the rest of the animal kingdom, but gargoyles still have to obey fundamental biological laws, on which my questions are based:

1a) When gargoyles turn into the stone-like substance, does this include all of different cell types in their body (muscles, nerves, blood, bone)? 1b) I've seen their hair and nails transform as well. How do you explain this, as these cells are already "dead", and shouldn't respond to any signal made by the body? 2a) What happens to the water inside gargoyle's cells when they turn to the stone-like substance? 2b) What happens to the water in the gargoyle's blood when they turn to the stone-like substance? 2c) If the blood or nerves have solidified into the stone-like substance, how is the gargoyle "biological clock" able to send signals to the rest of the body that tell it when to transform? 3) Are cells that have turned into this stone-like substance active in any way? Please explain this in terms of how: a) gargoyles supposedly don't age when they sleep b) gargoyles can still dream when they sleep c) gargoyles can convert sunlight into a storable form of energy when they sleep d) gargoyles can heal wounds while they sleep. 4) If you said there is no water in the blood and tissues, there can be no diffusion of vital ions and molecules into and out of cells. How then are they able carry out the processes mentioned in question 3? 5) Gargoyles are obviously frozen and cannot move their lungs to breathe when they sleep. Therefore, where do they get the gases needed to feed the cells that are working so hard to store solar energy while they sleep? 6) Are you still certain that gargoyles turning to "stone" is a process done naturally and without magic (except their clothes and personal items)? =)

Greg responds...

1a. They all turn into an organic monochrome stone-esque substance, but that doesn't mean it's all a single substance. Maybe there are differentiations. I don't know. But none that you'd notice with the naked eye.

1b. Maybe their hair and nails do.

2a, b, c. Don't know. Hey, I've got an idea! Instead of using your bio-knowledge to nit-pick, why not use it to come up with an explanation!! (I know that sounds snide, but I'm serious.)

3. Probably.

a, b, c, d. Don't know. (As you can tell, I'm NOT studying for my boards.)

4. Huh?

5. Got me.

6. YES. Look, Vashkoda, this post is INCREDIBLY ANNOYING, despite the fact that you claimed you didn't want it to be. It's also BEYOND arrogant. I admit I know next to nothing about biology, but do you really think that you or even modern science is currently aware of EVERY POSSIBLE PERMUTATION that evolutionary paths COULD have taken? Look at all the miracles in nature which we take for granted because we're used to the idea. Chameleons. Electric eels. The EYE. (These just off the top of my head.) You will say, "Yeah, Greg, but those conform to the fundamental biological laws." To which I respond, that the fundamental biological laws have been written and rewritten to include this stuff. And they're constantly being rewritten again, almost every day. Cuz almost everyday, I see an article in the L.A. Times about some knew startling discovery about dinosaurs or deep-deep sea life or whatever. So don't tell me that the Gargs don't fit "fundamental biological laws". Aside from the fact that they are fictional, my response is that science hasn't caught up to them yet. Didn't have a reason to or an awareness to even try until after "HUNTER'S MOON, PART THREE". And even then, they haven't had a lot to work with.

I've said it before. Gargoyles are a species native to this world. The basic processes they go through are organic and natural and have nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with magic. Unless by magic, you mean the miracle that life exists at all.

Sorry, for the rant, but it felt like you were writing JUST to try to push me in a corner and make me admit a "mistake".

I apologize if your motives were pure.

Response recorded on August 18, 2000