Yeah, I know, the thought of twenty-eight men and one woman seems right out of a porn movie but…that’s where the story went in Regression. I am a science fiction reader, so that sort of thing perhaps doesn’t disturb me as much as someone who has never read the odd and perhaps awkward situations deemed acceptable on other planets or in other cultures created by scifi authors. Same with the age of the main character…although that will be the topic of another blog.
The men of Three Eleven are all excellent scientists, but even more importantly, they represent the various alleles within the human genome. One man and one woman would not be able to retain the multitude of individual traits present around the globe, since each would only contribute one allele for each gene. Obviously, Adya could only contribute two possible alleles, so the plasmid had to step in to create greater variability by forcing the polar twins instead of simple fraternal or less diverse identical twins. And, although it hasn’t been called for as the story developed, it was my plan to have the plasmid suppress any expression of Adya’s genetics. Babak continued that thought anyway, with his secretive Pluman production in Evolussion taking into account the genetic background of the mothers to dilute Adya’s influence. She also was composed of mainly recessive genes which the plasmid would control future inheritance to maximize variability, so her influence was to be minimized as the generations developed.
Sanctum was designated a type of Noah’s Ark, but there would have to be significantly more than two animals per species to preserve the world as we know it. There were not grown animals deep below the surface, rather, some female embryos, then lots of sperm and ova. Some species likely have less variability, so would need fewer samples, but essentially you would need to have a speciman for every single allele to ensure you preserved what we see in the world around us. Just in breeding my bulldogs, I’m amazed with the genetic variability within the breed. I’ve always loved genetics, and getting to play with them while playing with puppies is awesome. Watching the recessives (we found out the hard way that the short tail is recessive when one of our girls got ‘accosted’ by a border collie while living with a foster family…no more foster agreements for a decade), predicting the outcomes of the crosses, is all fascinating. But humans have significantly more variability than a breed of dogs (perhaps not more than the canine species, though), so I know that even my 28 representatives of the human cline would unfortunately still lead to some loss of traits unless they spontaneously re-emerged through mutation. So, generational ships, arks, Sanctum, or any other attempt at preserving our species will never be able to retain the full spectrum of uniqueness.