Having finished chapter 1 where Jdayha has informed Lilith that intelligence combined with a hierarchical nature is a fundamental human flaw that Oankali can and will modify genetically, my skepticism has returned.
I continue my skepticism of Jdayha’s claim that the Oankali are non-hierarchical. Well! Surprise, surprise! In chapter 2 on page 50 Lilith is musing to herself:
“…And in spite of Jdayha’s claim that the Oankali were not hierarchical, the ooloi seemed to be the head of the house. Everyone deferred to it.”
I suspect that the Oankali are lying. The cluster of genetic characteristics that leads to hierarchical structures is not a fatal flaw and the Oankali know it. I would speculate that the Oankali are on the verge of an existential crisis as severe as Earth’s war and their mission on Earth involves a desperate attempt to save their own species. Whatever it is that they need from humans requires them to alter human genetic structure. A side effect of the necessary alteration will render humans incapable of forming hierarchies. The Oankali want the humans to believe the alterations are for their own good.
It is unlikely that humans will advance beyond the cave dwelling stage without the capacity to build hierarchical structures. I would even question the ability of humans to survive as food gatherers without organizing around a hierarchical structure. The Oankali are altering the human genome for their own benefit and at humans expense while seeking to convince humans that it is being done for their own good. My suspicion is based on comments that Jdayha made to Lilith.
I consider it a possibility that the Oankali have determined that left to pursue its natural course of evolution the human genetic structure will eventually produce characteristics that will allow humans to defeat Oankali. Could that be the real reason that they intend to alter that structure?
I shall find out if I am correct as the story unfolds. I appreciate your recommending it to me.
I note the similarity between the term “ooloi” and the term “eloi” from H.G. Well’s “The Time Machine.” Beyond phonetic similarity I can find no other connection.
In Asimov’s “Foundation’s Edge” there is a population of primitive subsistence farmers who follow a traditional life style; they are referred to as “Hamish.” In the region where I live there is a population of primitive subsistence farmers who follow a traditional life style; they are referred to as “Amish.” Coincidence?
In the Stargate series, the Ancients’ technology would only respond to a specific gene. All of the Ancients had the gene, but only a limited number of moderns had it.
Many years ago, when I was following DC Comics, Superman was stranded on a world where the laws of magic were internally consistent the way the laws of physics are in the real world. That was my introduction to the concept of internally consistent laws of magic. Many years later I discovered Ursula Le Guin’s “The Wizard of Earth Sea.” In the first few pages I recognized that it too was a world that operated on the basis of internally consistent rules of magic.
If I remember correctly, didn’t The Flintstones use birds for telephones? I believe theirs were small flying dinosaurs.