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    The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

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      Native inhabitants of Arrakis, descendants of the Zensunni Wanderers

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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 06:53

    Hunchback Jack wrote: Regarding sandtrout, I tend to think that wherever they came from, either the sandworm cycle did not exist there, or it existed in a substantially different form from that of Arrakis, and did not include the existence of melange. Otherwise it becomes a problem as to why there's not two spice planets, why more people don't understand the sandworm life cycle, and why attempts to transplant the sandworms from Arrakis failed. It's even possible that the sandtrout evolved since their move to Arrakis, since extreme changes in environment can lead to rapid evolutionary change. Not *too* much change, though.

    HBJ


    I happen to agree with this theory.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 06:58

    SandChigger wrote:The question remains as to what environmental pressure could have resulted in the evolution of the sandworms. If the lifeforms are artificial, why would the worm stage be necessary? It's the sandtrout that produce the spice. (This assumes the spice was the ultimate objective.)


    Could they not have been brought accidentally? The planet the sandtrout came from could have been too wet for them to ever progress to the sandworm phase. The sandtrout may also have had a natural predator on their planet of origin that prevented them from achieving numbers sufficient for desertification (if that's a word).

    The fremen used predator fish in their qanats to keep the sandtrout out.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Jul 2009 11:44

    Or perhaps there was a sandworm stage on the old planet, but they were little bitty sandworms that lived in wetter environments. I think it would be hard for the sandtrout to evolve a whole new stage in their lifecycle after moving to Arrakis. There wasn't enough time.

    No textual evidence for any of this, of course, I'm just speculating.

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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby SandRider » 30 Jul 2009 11:58

    I've been halfway following this thread,
    but with little interest ... maybe we need to
    have a discussion of "hard science fiction" vs
    whatever it is you want to call Frank's work.

    I understand the fun & entertainment in pondering
    the scientific realities of a "science fiction" novel,
    but for most works, it's just a vehicle for story telling.

    the all-powerful transporter technology in Star Trek
    is a good example. Scientifically bullshit, but necessary
    for furthering the plots. Think too hard about it & you
    "lose the magic" of the story. (JRR Tolkien talked alot
    about this, the "willing suspension of disbelief", but also
    the care an author had to take in his fictional world to be
    internally consistent, else he would risk losing the reader's
    "suspension of disbelief", and the story would fall apart
    under its own weight. (Hi there, Kevin !!))

    anyway, I kept looking at this thread with Spinrad
    in my head :

    Norman Spinrad, from Introduction to Dune wrote:The so-called ecological theme of DUNE does not stand up to serious scrutiny because the ecology of Herbert's fictional Arrakis is extremely simplified and unrealistically schematic. Arrakis is a vast planetary desert, its ecospheres only varying somewhat in degree of dessication, and indeed the main native food chain seems to consist of only two organisms--the tiny ones that produce the raw material of the "spice" and the huge Sandworms which graze upon them and convert it into the precious melange.


    and this, from the Jacurutu Interview :
    Spinrad wrote:certainly DUNE is not primarily an ecology-themed novel. Indeed, with the depicted ecology of Arrakis consisting of the Worms, the Spice, and humans, it's hardly a novel with ecologial sophistication on a scientific level.

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1112&hilit=Spinrad
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 12:18

    Hunchback Jack wrote:Or perhaps there was a sandworm stage on the old planet, but they were little bitty sandworms that lived in wetter environments. I think it would be hard for the sandtrout to evolve a whole new stage in their lifecycle after moving to Arrakis. There wasn't enough time.

    No textual evidence for any of this, of course, I'm just speculating.

    HBJ


    But there is! In Chapterhouse the worms were very small, Sheeana claimed it was because of the moisture.

    But the sandtrout don't turn into worms until they have created a dry enough environment for the worms, so it is possible that if predators prevented them from doing that, the worm stage would never develope.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Jul 2009 13:26

    I understand what you mean, but its unlikely that something would have a separate lifecycle stage that never occurs in its natural environment. There'd be no advantage to sandtrout having the ability to turn into worms if they never actually did so on the planet they evolved on.

    Unless, of course, the conditions on their original planet changed, and they *used* to turn into worms, but then no longer did because their planet got wetter. But that's a distinction without a difference, I would say.

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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby mrpsbrk » 30 Jul 2009 13:40

    Freakzilla wrote:But there is! In Chapterhouse the worms were very small, Sheeana claimed it was because of the moisture.

    But the sandtrout don't turn into worms until they have created a dry enough environment for the worms, so it is possible that if predators prevented them from doing that, the worm stage would never develope.


    Do you mean that the "reproduction stage" would not look like a worm (even though it was, more or less, a similar thing)?
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby mrpsbrk » 30 Jul 2009 13:49

    Hunchback Jack wrote:From this definition, it's clear that the inkvine was not some variant of a plant from Earth. It was found on Giedi Prime when Giedi Prime was discovered. Since there's no way it could have evolved from any Earth plant and migrated to Giedi Prime itself, it must be non-Terrestrial in origin.


    But why couldn't a very different vine from earth be taken to Giedi Prime, and there become by it's own means what will later be called inkvine?
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 13:50

    Hunchback Jack wrote:I understand what you mean, but its unlikely that something would have a separate lifecycle stage that never occurs in its natural environment. There'd be no advantage to sandtrout having the ability to turn into worms if they never actually did so on the planet they evolved on.

    Unless, of course, the conditions on their original planet changed, and they *used* to turn into worms, but then no longer did because their planet got wetter. But that's a distinction without a difference, I would say.

    HBJ


    That's assuming they came from their original planet. :P
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 13:51

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:But there is! In Chapterhouse the worms were very small, Sheeana claimed it was because of the moisture.

    But the sandtrout don't turn into worms until they have created a dry enough environment for the worms, so it is possible that if predators prevented them from doing that, the worm stage would never develope.


    Do you mean that the "reproduction stage" would not look like a worm (even though it was, more or less, a similar thing)?


    No, they would simply remain sandtrout and not grow to be worms.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Jul 2009 13:54

    But why couldn't a very different vine from earth be taken to Giedi Prime, and there become by it's own means what will later be called inkvine?


    It could, but I'm not sure you would consider it a "native" of Giedi Prime. "Native" implies "indigenous".

    HBJ
    Last edited by Hunchback Jack on 30 Jul 2009 13:56, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Jul 2009 13:55

    Freakzilla wrote:That's assuming they came from their original planet. :P


    Whoa. I think my brain just exploded. :)

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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby SandChigger » 30 Jul 2009 14:36

    Freakzilla wrote:That's assuming they came from their original planet. :P

    Transferring multiple times, arriving on Arrakis "by accident" ... how do you reconcile either with how difficult it was to get the spice cycle started on another planet after Arrakis? ;)
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Freakzilla » 30 Jul 2009 14:38

    SandChigger wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:That's assuming they came from their original planet. :P

    Transferring multiple times, arriving on Arrakis "by accident" ... how do you reconcile either with how difficult it was to get the spice cycle started on another planet after Arrakis? ;)


    It was only difficult because they were transplanting worms to desert environments instead of transplanting sandtrout to wet environments.

    They just sat back and watched on Chapterhouse.
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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Jul 2009 14:58

    Freakzilla wrote:It was only difficult because they were transplanting worms to desert environments instead of transplanting sandtrout to wet environments.


    Clearly they had read McDune, and thought the worms created the spice. ;)

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    Re: The Fremen, Shai-Hulud and the changing of Arrakis

    Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Aug 2014 16:03

    There are some facts we know:

    1) Arrakis was already a desert planet prior to the discovery of the spice, and was also catalogued and even had people there before spice was discovered.
    2) Humans in some way brought the sandtrout to Arrakis before it was a desert, and didn't stick around to observe and record the results..
    3) The humans who first brought over the sandtrout didn't know what would happen when they left them there, or they did know and bloody well kept it to themselves and died with the secret.

    The people in the Duniverse would not have been as mystified about Arrakis as they were in Dune had they been aware that it had been terraformed by sandtrout, and so we assume this knowledge never existed or was lost. We therefore assume that the earliest settlement on Arrakis was after it had become a desert. Maybe the sandtrout were imported there because the sandtrout had fucked up a colonized planet through desertification, but people there still didn't want to eradicate an entire species and so they displaced them to an uninhabited planet? Why that far-off planet, of all places, is anyone's guess.

    How about the possibility that the native nutrients where the sandtrout are originally from allowed them to survive, but were metabolised differently and produced an excretion without the properties of melange? Since we know that "M-class" planets are capable of supporting the worm cycle, and that when living in that environment they produce spice, perhaps by fluke the sandtrout originated somewhere with oddly constituted native flora and fauna. Since the sandtrout themselves are quite odd this isn't an unlikely conclusion to draw. Once introduced into a more Earth-like planet their excretion would be melange, instead of what it was like on their native planet.

    It's also possible that melange was discovered before the origins of the Guild and the BG (but after space folding) and that the people who found it just didn't know what it was or that random shit in the sand could be useful when ingested. I get the impression that humanity's 'psychedelic breakout' sort of began at the same time as the founding of the mental schools, and that the use of awareness-enhancing drugs became more than for recreational use at around that time. The freeing of itself from machine culture would seem to have been a logical time for mankind to begin exploring ways to enhance the capabilities of the human mind past what was possible without drugs, but could have previously been achieved using machines. If the spice had been discovered prior to this psychedelic culture arising then probably it would have been shrugged at and forgotten as some blue crap on the sand. It might have only been centuries or millennia later that it would be rediscovered and determined to be another awareness enhancing drug (as well as a geriatric one). When the spice might have been first discovered is a topic for another thread 8)
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