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Ulchishy
16-08-2010, 15:49
Hi everybody . I've noticed some fluff elements that have left me a bit confused , especially regarding orks and other races .
Orks can do space travels at super-luminal speed , can carry inside and outside planets big asteroids , using hi-tech weapons emitting gravitational beems etc... Now , making a comparison between the warhammer 40k universe and reality , I suppose that the orks are at a technological level far more advanced than that of nowadays . But the orks act as savages , walking practically naked and constantly waging war against each other . Isn't this strange ? So , have the orks developed their technological level by their own or have they simply looted alien technology ?
Or the kroot . Although they have spaceships named warspheres , which travel across the galaxy in order to be employed by some faction as mercenaries , they live as savages , completely naked and in a tribal society . But I'm almost sure that their super-luminal speed spacecrafts are not tau technology .
What I want to say is that it seems that technological discoveries don't have a practical relapse , which is impossible because scientific progression has a deep social impact .
I would like to read your thoughts on this matter . Thank you very much .

Tak
16-08-2010, 15:53
Well Iv'e heard that an ork can point a banana (for example) and, just because it believes it can, fire it like a gun so nothing that the green 'uns can do would ever surprise me.

Oh and don't they have some kind of inbuilt genetic coding that makes some of them 'propa gud' at mech stuff?

Green-is-best
16-08-2010, 15:55
I'm not really sure what wearing clothes has to do with technology....

Lord Damocles
16-08-2010, 15:59
A certain amount of technological knowledge is built into Ork genetics.

Kroot assimilated Ork genes (by eating them), and gained some of this innate knowlegde - allowing the construction of Warspheres etc. ('Index Xenos: Savage Evolution' [Kroot] in White Dwarf 264, pg.95).
The Kroot's relatively primative society is also [at least partly] out of choice (White Dwarf 264, pg.96).



Well Iv'e heard that an ork can point a banana (for example) and, just because it believes it can, fire it like a gun so nothing that the green 'uns can do would ever surprise me.
Ah. Anzion's theory... (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177559&highlight=anzion)

The fact that Ork weapons and vehicles work in the hands of humans (Armageddon Ork Hunters for example) shows that they do *actually* work, as opposed to working on some 'clap your hands if you belive' principle.
The fact that Orks actually *have* guns also suggests that just beliving that a stick is a shooter, or a rock is a grenade doesn't seem to work...

Shamana
16-08-2010, 16:02
I think it was said about the Kroot that their society had been more technologically advanced (maybe due to the Orkoid genes they assimilated, maybe not), but they consciously regressed to a pre-industrial society. In the wake of almost being killed off by the orks (iirc that was where the Tau helped them and forged an alliance with them) their shapers decided that technological advancement had made them weak, and that they should revert to the ways they had before.

On the other hand, they still iirc make warpspheres, and yes, it is a technology unique to themselves as far as I know (although it might have similarities to ork Roks, there isn't so much known about it) - and one they do not share with the Tau, alliance or no.

Kage2020
16-08-2010, 16:03
I guess the first question would be to ask what you mean by "savages?"

Kage

spetswalshe
16-08-2010, 16:19
But the orks act as savages , walking practically naked and constantly waging war against each other ...
Or the kroot . Although they have spaceships named warspheres , which travel across the galaxy in order to be employed by some faction as mercenaries , they live as savages , completely naked and in a tribal society.

As opposed to humans (both real and in 40k), who constantly wage war on each other and align themselves based on geographical and ancestral tribal lines - but at least have the decency to do it wearing trousers?

Kroot and (as far as we know) Orks don't have external genitals. They are also both quite a lot more resistant to variations in temperature than humans are, and have significantly tougher skin. Why would they bother wearing clothes in the first place? If humans didn't require clothes you can damn well bet we wouldn't have invented them until recently - and we still probably wouldn't wear them in battle, where they are a liability (excluding armour, they're just an extra thing to get set on fire).

I think Warspheres were already around when the Tau turned up - which makes their low apparent tech-level pretty bizarre, assuming that they'd put as much effort into weapons as they would into giant warp-capable spacecraft - but the Lexicanum article (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Kroot#Technology) suggests the limited tech use amongst common Kroot is deliberate, suggesting that the Krootuminati prefer to have their boys gaining biological strength through feeding rather than rely on technology like the soft humans and Tau.

Ulchishy
16-08-2010, 16:51
Technological advancement is made in order to live better . Since the Stone Age , humanity built artificial habitats inside the natural habitat in order to remove itself from the natural selection process : they discovered fire and with it illuminated their caves and made the night day , they built wood huts and weapons in order to defend themselves from athmospheric agents and from beasts . Technological discoveries have a deep impact in the way of life of a population : today , due to the discovery of petrol , we use nylon to cover ourselves , while yesterday we used leather . The men of yesterday are savages compared to those of today , as those of today will be , compared to those of tomorrow . This is what I mean for savages : when the way of life of a population is obsolete compared to that of another . But technological progression goes ahead gradually : first you understand how to build a wood ship , then a steamboat , then a metal ship and then a spaceship . You cannot travel faster than light without knowing how to build a hut or to sew a pair of slips . What I wanted to underline was that their way of life was obsolete compared to their technological level . Certain amounts of technological knowledge are built into Ork genetics and Kroot consciously regressed to a pre-industrial society 'cause their shapers decided that technological advancement had made them weak : these are the answers I searched for . Thank you very much to Shamana and Lord Damocles for the explanations .

massey
16-08-2010, 17:13
The thing you have to understand about Orks is that they're a designed race. They were built as a genetic weapon, and as such, they've got some understanding of technology hardwired into their genes (yeah, I know it doesn't actually work that way, but it's sci-fi), presumably as a recessive trait. What that means is, the more orks you have on a planet, the greater the likelihood that you'll get one who knows how to build a car.

Let's drop a single ork on a planet. He looks around and finds a rock. The first thing he's going to do is pick up the rock, and go and find something he can try to kill. So he walks over and hits an elephant with the rock. It steps on him, and that's the end of our ork. Six months later, a patch of mold has grown in the shade where our ork took a dump (before he got squashed by the elephant). In another six months, a pod has formed in the dirt underneath that mold, and it soon gives birth to another ork. He's going to wander off and get himself killed in a similar way. But now there are two patches of mold growing in the shade. After a decade or two, you'll have a small ork village. The biggest ork will be the one in charge, and they're going to pretty much operate like cavemen, going around chasing dinosaurs and getting eaten by things bigger than them. But their tribe will grow because, well, orks poop a lot. They are leaving spores pretty much everywhere they go, and while not all of those spores are going to result in a fungal colony, some small percentage of them will.

So now let's say you've got a thousand orks or so. Eventually, one of them will pop out of the ground, and the critical mass of orks around him (whether it's pheremones, psychic energy, or whatever) will trigger something in his brain. And he's going to have some innate sort of understanding that you can dig up metal out of the ground and use it to make things that stab. This realization will trigger something in his tribe (pheremones, psychic energy, whatever), and they'll actually listen to him. So this tribe of orks is going to go from throwing rocks to carrying spears and axes. As time progresses and the ork population grows, more of these "mekboyz" will be born, and ork technology will advance. They'll build catapults, and other medival style weapons of war.

Eventually, orks will do one of two things. They'll either stumble across some old Imperial weapons and vehicles, which will sort of trigger an accelerated technological curve for them, or they'll spread across the entire planet, and eventually begin developing that sort of technology on their own. Something in the ork DNA knows what sort of infrastructure is available, and mekboy "inspiration" occurs at levels the ork population can support. It doesn't do you any good to know how to build a tellyporta when you only have sticks and rocks available to you. Eventually, ork "civilization" grows to the point where one mek will have a breakthrough, and his genes tell him how to build a spaceship. Now, understand that most orks still haven't developed much past the caveman stage. You've really just got a handful of guys who effectively get visions from the gods telling them what to build next. Other orks never really show an interest in learning how any of this stuff works.

The kroot basically hitch a ride on ork DNA. They take genetic traits from those they eat. And, well, they ate some ork flesh. One of those orks was a mekboy, and then suddenly there were entire generations of kroot who were born with the knowledge of how to build an ork-style spaceship. Like the orks, they never developed a more advanced civilization or culture. They didn't have to build it from the ground up. They just got a free ride to the stars, but their society never had to change to develop the kind of environment where you normally see that sort of technological innovation done.

baphomael
16-08-2010, 23:40
Hi everybody . I've noticed some fluff elements that have left me a bit confused , especially regarding orks and other races .
Orks can do space travels at super-luminal speed , can carry inside and outside planets big asteroids , using hi-tech weapons emitting gravitational beems etc... Now , making a comparison between the warhammer 40k universe and reality , I suppose that the orks are at a technological level far more advanced than that of nowadays . But the orks act as savages , walking practically naked and constantly waging war against each other . Isn't this strange ? So , have the orks developed their technological level by their own or have they simply looted alien technology ?
Or the kroot . Although they have spaceships named warspheres , which travel across the galaxy in order to be employed by some faction as mercenaries , they live as savages , completely naked and in a tribal society . But I'm almost sure that their super-luminal speed spacecrafts are not tau technology .
What I want to say is that it seems that technological discoveries don't have a practical relapse , which is impossible because scientific progression has a deep social impact .
I would like to read your thoughts on this matter . Thank you very much .



The 40k universe has Orangutans who build digi-weapons.





What it comes down to is that the Orks (or Krork, as they were known when the Old Ones created them) had certain knowledge programmed into their genetic code - certain Orks have an instinctive grasp of certain technologies. A Mekboy can create a gun that teleports snotlings through the warp into your stomach not through reason and empirical research, but because he was born with the instinctual knowledge that putting certain bitz together makes something 'dead killy'.

As for Kroot - its more a lifestyle choice, I'd say. Tradition and culture are valuable things to a society - afterall, plenty of societies in the real world eschew much of the trappings of modernity and, some, can be accutely hostile towards it's encroachment.


By-the-by, I find your use of the term 'savage' questionable. It sounds arrogantly ethnocentric, little better than the classical Greek use of 'barbarian'.

Ulchishy
17-08-2010, 06:59
@ Baphomael : for savage I mean obsolete , there's nothing arrogant in this in my mind .
@ Massey : wow , that's really an exhaustive explanation .
Thank you guys for the feedback , you have illuminated me .

Hellebore
17-08-2010, 10:46
I do not think it means what you think it means. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk)

Clothing was originally a means to protect ourselves from the elements. Later it was a means to control us through communal religious guilt. Now, it's mainly just a way to get us to consume in order to keep the economy running. Although for some it is still needed for elemental protection - and guilt for that matter.

As the orks seem to suffer none of the above conditions, they therefore need not worry about clothes.

Societal progression need not and indeed probably should not be identical amongst disparate intelligent species.

The Kroot are amish luddites who intentionally abandoned their technological way of living because it was causing environmental and spiritual decay.

Hellebore

Philip S
17-08-2010, 14:24
They were built as a genetic weapon, and as such, they've got some understanding of technology hardwired into their genes (yeah, I know it doesn't actually work that way, but it's sci-fi)
I always figured that the Orks link to their gods (Gork and Mork) and access the knowledge stored in the minds of their gods.

This would mean the knowledge is not encoded into their genes, but encoded in the minds of two super powerful warp entities (Old Ones?).

Making a link would be down to psionics, and that has a genetic component (to build the mind that can link to the warp), but I reckon that is the limit of the genetics side of things.

Philip

Sai-Lauren
17-08-2010, 14:52
Orks are almost idiot savants - they can produce and use very high tech items, but they don't really understand how any of them really work. Their natural level of aggression leads them to putting it to use in weapons, and not in other ways.

Philip, were that the case, Mekboys would be popping their skulls like Wierdboyz - I would put their technical know how hardwired into their genes (with any variations being the result of mutations).

Hellebore, for Orks, clothing would also be a way of obviously belonging to the group - clan colours for example (and we use clothing for the same things - be they kilts, replica football shirts, band/ logo'ed t-shirts, the "old school" tie or whatever), or a status symbol - for us it's designer labels, for an Ork, it could be something dyed in brighter colours than everyone else has, or an enemies item of clothing (eg. Spikes coat in Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Philip S
17-08-2010, 15:48
Philip, were that the case, Mekboys would be popping their skulls like Wierdboyz
That doesn't follow.

Not all Orks are the same; they manifest powers in different ways.

In this theory: the link to Gork and Mork would be low level, low power, but there could be some energy transfer from the warp via the link: that is what the wierdboyz are for - like a grounding wire, they discharge warp energy from the group (the waaagh!).

I imagine most Orks link only goes as far as language and psionic links to each other (via their gods).

A Mekboy is merely a individual with a stronger link than most, and perhaps the waaagh! enhances the link (and perhaps stabilizes it). The more Orks in one place the more links can be made, more knowledge as a group, and in and amongst their number some Ork access other's links, they become a focus (a node in a network).

In a way the Ork Gods are acting as (warp side) servers to an Ork network, with Ork running around with the psionic equivalent of wi-fi - that kinda sounds like Old One technology, and it gives a lot of advantages.

All the important information is stored in a place that no enemy can reach - certainly not the C'Tan and Necrons (which were once the great enemy the 'Orks were made for). Only one spore needs to survive and grow to re-establish the Orks.

I suspect small groups would make small, low level links, and be more about survival and how to make simple weapons (savage Orcs). As the group grows in power, the links become stronger and greater knowledge is opened up to the group (WFB Orcs). Once they dominate a world they form the most powerful links and specialists appear - now they are Orks (40K).

In their DNA is the genetic coding to access this network, but there may be a lot of built in safeguards - Gork and Mork may not be dumb servers - they may be smart and can screen links (warp firewall - probably keeps the chaos gods out too :p).

All pure speculation but it makes sense - kinda :D

Philip

Kage2020
17-08-2010, 16:24
It would be consistent with the 'fluff' on, say, Vaul and the construction of specific technologies by the Eldar. Of course, one might question why a warp god would have knowledge of technology, but the idea that they do seems to be a staple of (high) fantasy literature...

Kage

barrangas
17-08-2010, 17:01
Technological advancement is made in order to live better . Since the Stone Age , humanity built artificial habitats inside the natural habitat in order to remove itself from the natural selection process : they discovered fire and with it illuminated their caves and made the night day , they built wood huts and weapons in order to defend themselves from athmospheric agents and from beasts . Technological discoveries have a deep impact in the way of life of a population : today , due to the discovery of petrol , we use nylon to cover ourselves , while yesterday we used leather . The men of yesterday are savages compared to those of today , as those of today will be , compared to those of tomorrow . This is what I mean for savages : when the way of life of a population is obsolete compared to that of another . But technological progression goes ahead gradually : first you understand how to build a wood ship , then a steamboat , then a metal ship and then a spaceship . You cannot travel faster than light without knowing how to build a hut or to sew a pair of slips . What I wanted to underline was that their way of life was obsolete compared to their technological level . Certain amounts of technological knowledge are built into Ork genetics and Kroot consciously regressed to a pre-industrial society 'cause their shapers decided that technological advancement had made them weak : these are the answers I searched for . Thank you very much to Shamana and Lord Damocles for the explanations .

We have never been taken out of natural selection and more primitive ways of life are far from obsolete. Even in the modern age there are plenty of cultures that still guard against wild animals that are very much a threat to their survival. their are plenty of tribes in Africa that still keep watches at night because they have to keep lions and hyenas out. There are plenty of places in the world where man has to watch for certain water dwelling reptiles that will still consider us food.

Sure there are many cultures in the world who have moved away from this way of life, but what happens when modern convience gets taken away? This isn't just some mythical threat, as Hurricane Katrina proved with Louisiana. So, in times of disaster when you can't go to a supermarket and supplies aren't coming, who'd be better off: the programmer who has no idea to hunt or the primative who can and know how to preserve the meat without refrigeration. In a way, its possible that our technological level could be rendered obsolete. The only way to get removed from the process of natural selection is the way you don't want.

Honestly Kroot and Orc techology doesn't seem that far fetched to me. We have a setting that has starships. The possibility that a culture becomes adept at looting technology or willingly regresses to a simpler way of life when their current society has proven to be weak doesn't really stretch my suspention of disbelief too far. High level of technology doesn't make a culture advanced. Modern day humans can be pretty brutal and scary.

Green-is-best
17-08-2010, 17:51
That doesn't follow.

Not all Orks are the same; they manifest powers in different ways.

In this theory: the link to Gork and Mork would be low level, low power, but there could be some energy transfer from the warp via the link: that is what the wierdboyz are for - like a grounding wire, they discharge warp energy from the group (the waaagh!).

I imagine most Orks link only goes as far as language and psionic links to each other (via their gods).

A Mekboy is merely a individual with a stronger link than most, and perhaps the waaagh! enhances the link (and perhaps stabilizes it). The more Orks in one place the more links can be made, more knowledge as a group, and in and amongst their number some Ork access other's links, they become a focus (a node in a network).

In a way the Ork Gods are acting as (warp side) servers to an Ork network, with Ork running around with the psionic equivalent of wi-fi - that kinda sounds like Old One technology, and it gives a lot of advantages.

All the important information is stored in a place that no enemy can reach - certainly not the C'Tan and Necrons (which were once the great enemy the 'Orks were made for). Only one spore needs to survive and grow to re-establish the Orks.

I suspect small groups would make small, low level links, and be more about survival and how to make simple weapons (savage Orcs). As the group grows in power, the links become stronger and greater knowledge is opened up to the group (WFB Orcs). Once they dominate a world they form the most powerful links and specialists appear - now they are Orks (40K).

In their DNA is the genetic coding to access this network, but there may be a lot of built in safeguards - Gork and Mork may not be dumb servers - they may be smart and can screen links (warp firewall - probably keeps the chaos gods out too :p).

All pure speculation but it makes sense - kinda :D

Philip

I thought it was pretty clearly established in the fluff that Ork technology is the product of "racial memory" and is literally stored in their genes. There's nothing unreasonable about that. A hermit crab's DNA tells it to find a shell to protect itself. An Ork's DNA tells it to make tanks and guns and titans and look for a good scrap. No need to muck that up with psychic powers or whatever.

MortalTurky
17-08-2010, 19:52
The orks were created by the Old Ones, to form some kind of army/weapon, and to ensure its efficiency the old ones made a certain level of technological understanding from birth, which would later be completed with acquired experience, hence the form Mekboy/Big Mek.
Big Mek are kind of masters in their craft, while mekboys are apprentices.
Not all orks have this, and therefore there are the rank-and-file Boy.
The society where created to form an effective army, not a center of art and theatre. They were made for war.

/ MortalTurky

baphomael
17-08-2010, 21:09
@ Baphomael : for savage I mean obsolete , there's nothing arrogant in this in my mind .
@ Massey : wow , that's really an exhaustive explanation .
Thank you guys for the feedback , you have illuminated me .

Except, savage doesnt just mean obsolete. It means uncivilised, barbarous, backward, uncultured. It carries rather ethnocentric connotations of cultural superiority.

massey
18-08-2010, 00:06
I think we can get away with the term "savage". I doubt we're being offensive to any actual orks out there.

Balgora
18-08-2010, 00:12
It's not easy being greeeen...

Anyway, is there any room in this thread for other societies? Tau for example, or whether chaos is able to make any real technological progression from the warp.

Sai-Lauren
18-08-2010, 09:29
Not all Orks are the same; they manifest powers in different ways.

In this theory: the link to Gork and Mork would be low level, low power, but there could be some energy transfer from the warp via the link: that is what the wierdboyz are for - like a grounding wire, they discharge warp energy from the group (the waaagh!).

Ok, but IMO, the link you mention just isn't there - at least no more so that a chaos cultist to their deity, or a Sororitas to the Emperor.

Warp entities like Gork & Mork, the Eldar pantheon etc, are as much a reflection of their worshippers as individual beings in their own right.



Anyway, is there any room in this thread for other societies? Tau for example, or whether chaos is able to make any real technological progression from the warp.

I reckon so.

IMO, Eldar and Necron tech is effectively stagnant - although in both cases, there's almost certainly stuff we've not seen so far from the War in Heaven ;)

Chaos - I'd say there's no overall technological progression - chaos corrupts, it doesn't invent.

That's not to say there's not some adepts out there creating better weapons, or involved in new feats of technomancy, but there's also going to be those who'll shun such things, feeling that they can honour their god more by becoming more proficient with more basic tools.

Philip S
18-08-2010, 10:45
A hermit crab's DNA tells it to find a shell to protect itself.
No it doesn't.


Warp entities like Gork & Mork, the Eldar pantheon etc, are as much a reflection of their worshippers as individual beings in their own right.
Not all warp entities are the same. Enslavers, astral hounds, vampires, psychneuien, astral spectre etc. are all warp entities but unlike the chaos gods. The Old Ones may be more like this type of warp entity - and Gork and Mork may be like this, or hybrid between the Enslavers type and the chaos god type.

The Ork Gods may be distinctively 'Orky' even in the warp.

Philip

Balfor
18-08-2010, 10:59
There is a possibility the Ork outside appearance is simply to intimidate enemies. Lets face it, no matter how well equipped you are, if you have thousands of 7 foot tall, muscle bound brutes, weilding proto-bolters and driving heavily armoured tanks running at you, your gonna wet yourself.

Unless your a space marine....you take an armour save and get on with it.

Green-is-best
18-08-2010, 15:46
No it doesn't.

What an amazingly convincing argument! I guess I'll respond to your "nu-uh" with "uh huh."

Anyway, yeah, hermit crabs do have a genetic imperative which drives them to find protection using abandoned shells. 100% of them do it and none of them are taught the behavior. That means its instinctual which means its genetic.

Orks could easily function the same way. Perhaps within the genetic code of every ork is the information to build everything from a bow to a space craft. Perhaps the sequence that activates this information is only rarely expressed. Maybe it's linked with some other trait. Maybe all orks with a certain eye color are mekboyz. Who knows.

There's really no limit to the information that can be stored in DNA.

Philip S
18-08-2010, 17:10
What an amazingly convincing argument! I guess I'll respond to your "nu-uh" with "uh huh."
It's better than you other argument... :p


Anyway, yeah, hermit crabs do have a genetic imperative which drives them to find protection using abandoned shells. 100% of them do it and none of them are taught the behavior. That means its instinctual which means its genetic.

Orks could easily function the same way. Perhaps within the genetic code of every ork is the information to build everything from a bow to a space craft. Perhaps the sequence that activates this information is only rarely expressed. Maybe it's linked with some other trait. Maybe all orks with a certain eye color are mekboyz. Who knows.

There's really no limit to the information that can be stored in DNA.
There is a limit = zero (in regard to 'memories' as found in brains - and not some theoretical DNA reading computer)

DNA is the blue print for the structure of a body (inc brain).

DNA is dumb, it has no intelligence or knowledge built in. The structures that are made from DNA, can (when combined with external factors) learn and exhibit 'instincts' (gross simplification) but it's not the DNA telling the animal to do something - it's the neural patterns forming in response to stimuli (and then once formed: stored) in the brain. The neurons may have been built with DNA, but it is the neurons that handle the actual thinking.

The mind that forms (due to the way it functions) can have what seem like preferences derived from it's structure and chemicals produced. But these preferences are more like self-organising behaviours, and more chemical based drives coupled with thinking. A lot of people have similar thought patterns, and using these patterns derive knowledge from experience, experimentation (play), and learning. But there is no knowledge specifically 'built in' thanks to DNA. The brain does not work like that. Same for Hermit Crabs.

The DNA of a Hermit Crab does not have knowledge, it does not 'tell' the crab to find a shell. It does want to cover it's ass (in the same way some who's paranoid likes to hide, and it will derive comfort when it's ass is covered) and will try a few things, even old coke cans. Eventually is will find a shell (if lucky) and it's chances of survival increase (and chance to mate and have offspring in an area where there are good shells). If it does not find a shell it is vulnerable, and coke cans are not the best. If there are a lack of appropriate shells for it to chance upon the chances it will die increase.

The is no 'memory' stored in DNA. All DNA can do is help build structures.

As to your Orks - humans have a need to defend themselves, and over time, through experimentation and passing on ideas, we developed weapons and techniques to use them. None of the knowledge is stored in our DNA. If you isolate a human from other humans, perhaps Tarzan style, you may find their abilities are extremely limited. Tarzan would learn what chimps do (though he would probably have been eaten on the first day). Tarzan would, if they survived, be able to learn faster than a chimp but they brain would be messed up in comparison to every other human because he did not have human interaction input in his formative years (this would be down to the way the brain makes new neural connections when learning, which change the way the brain will respond to similar situations in the future and influence other decisions). His language centres of the brain, especially those areas active during early learning, is going to be filled up with 'chimp chat' - not a complex human language (and learning a language later will use other parts of the brain).

The problem is that these preferences, and ways of going about things, are hard to explain and it eventually ends up being put across as 'genetic memory'.

Which leads to discussion like this one - nu-uh :)

Philip

MortalTurky
18-08-2010, 17:20
Well, bu this is still 40k, and if you can get mutated by something that thrives in a parallel dimension or whatnot, im sure you can program a sponge how to make a gun :D

Ulchishy
18-08-2010, 18:19
Spiders build geometrically precise webs through instinct . Bees build perfectly hexagonal cells through instinct . Orks model matter in the form of atomic smashers or super-luminal speed engines through instinct . Maybe a very advanced genetic engineering could insert inside the genetic code instructions to build cerebral structures which can dictate to the organism , as instinct , to do certain things , even complicated ones . I think that all of us already know that the DNA doesn't contain memories or knowledge , but only instructions on how to build an organism . Those who need explanations on the matter are the GW guys who continue with the story of the space marines acquiring the memories of the dead enemies analysing their DNA with the omophagea XD .

Green-is-best
18-08-2010, 19:23
There is a limit = zero (in regard to 'memories' as found in brains - and not some theoretical DNA reading computer)

I suppose you can't store anti-information (bits < 0) in DNA, but anti-information doesn't exist, so that's kind of a moot point. So, let me rephrase my statement: there is no upper limit to the amount of information that can be stored in DNA.


DNA is the blue print for the structure of a body (inc brain).

DNA is dumb, it has no intelligence or knowledge built in. The structures that are made from DNA, can (when combined with external factors) learn and exhibit 'instincts' (gross simplification) but it's not the DNA telling the animal to do something - it's the neural patterns forming in response to stimuli (and then once formed: stored) in the brain. The neurons may have been built with DNA, but it is the neurons that handle the actual thinking.

The mind that forms (due to the way it functions) can have what seem like preferences derived from it's structure and chemicals produced. But these preferences are more like self-organising behaviours, and more chemical based drives coupled with thinking. A lot of people have similar thought patterns, and using these patterns derive knowledge from experience, experimentation (play), and learning. But there is no knowledge specifically 'built in' thanks to DNA. The brain does not work like that. Same for Hermit Crabs.

The DNA of a Hermit Crab does not have knowledge, it does not 'tell' the crab to find a shell. It does want to cover it's ass (in the same way some who's paranoid likes to hide, and it will derive comfort when it's ass is covered) and will try a few things, even old coke cans. Eventually is will find a shell (if lucky) and it's chances of survival increase (and chance to mate and have offspring in an area where there are good shells). If it does not find a shell it is vulnerable, and coke cans are not the best. If there are a lack of appropriate shells for it to chance upon the chances it will die increase.

The is no 'memory' stored in DNA. All DNA can do is help build structures.

You're splitting hairs to create a strawman here. Obviously I am not saying that DNA itself directs behavior. That's silly, wrong, and pretty clearly not what I'm arguing.

What I am arguing is that the information stored within an organism's DNA dictates a certain amount of its behavior by determining the structures which generate that behavior.

Every organism engages in certain behaviors that are innate. Most basic biological processes organisms require to live are essentially automatic. Humans, for instance, do not need to be taught to breathe or eat or poop. Our brainstem tells our body to do these things without input from any external source, including the rest of our brain. The information required to carry out these processes is stored within our genome. As we develop, our DNA is directing our cells to form a tiny little brainstem that will tell us how to pace our heart and breath from the moment we exit the womb until the day the last breath passes from our lips. More importantly, if the "blueprints" for the brainstem are incorrect in a new embryo, a baby can be born without the ability to do any of these things.

More complicated behaviors can also be dictated by DNA. Birds do not need to be taught how to make a nest. Bees do not need to be taught how to dance to direct the hive to a food source. And hermit crabs do not need to be taught how to find a shell to protect themselves. If a behavior does not need to be taught or learned, then it is instinctual. Instincts are hardwired into the structure of the brain. Since the structure of the brain is determined by DNA it can therefore be said that instinct is coded into an organism's genome. Thus, a hermit crab's desire to find a shell to protect itself is, in fact, driven by its DNA.


As to your Orks - humans have a need to defend themselves, and over time, through experimentation and passing on ideas, we developed weapons and techniques to use them. None of the knowledge is stored in our DNA. If you isolate a human from other humans, perhaps Tarzan style, you may find their abilities are extremely limited. Tarzan would learn what chimps do (though he would probably have been eaten on the first day). Tarzan would, if they survived, be able to learn faster than a chimp but they brain would be messed up in comparison to every other human because he did not have human interaction input in his formative years (this would be down to the way the brain makes new neural connections when learning, which change the way the brain will respond to similar situations in the future and influence other decisions). His language centres of the brain, especially those areas active during early learning, is going to be filled up with 'chimp chat' - not a complex human language (and learning a language later will use other parts of the brain).

The problem is that these preferences, and ways of going about things, are hard to explain and it eventually ends up being put across as 'genetic memory'.

Orks are not humans, they're orks. What humans may or may not do in isolation has nothing to do with ork behavior.

The necessary biology to create a "genetic memory" already exists. As I mentioned earlier in my post, behavior can be dictated by genes. What I haven't touched on is the notion that there is no limiting factor that prevents any sort of behavioral information from being stored in an organism's DNA. As long as the information and the biological means to interpret and act on that information is properly transmitted, any behavior can be encoded in a genome.

Thus, orkyknowots could be transmitted through DNA if their designers were sufficiently savvy. Considering that they designed the orks from whole cloth, I think it's safe to assume they were.

Here's a possible way that ork "genetic memory" could work. This idea inspired by both massy's post and the fact that the tallest and shortest people in the world are both Chinese. Here goes:

Within the DNA of every ork is a sequence of base pairs which will build a brain which knows how to build all ork technology instinctually. This sequence can be partially expressed with expansiveness of knowledge being proportional to rarity of expression. Orks who understand how to build "simple technology" are common. Orks who understand how to build "complex technology" are uncommon. Orks who understand how to build "vey advanced technology" are rare.

Thus, as the population of orks on a given planet grows, the probability that an ork who understand how to build "very advanced technology" will be born increases proportionally. As the ork population reaches a certain critical mass, the probability that such an ork will be born approaches 1. So, all ork populations of sufficient size will include many individuals that can make "simple technology," several individuals who can produce "complex technology," and a few individuals that are capable of producing "very advanced technology."

This certainly isn't the only possibility, but it is a functional one.

LordLucan
18-08-2010, 19:39
How do we know the Old Ones couldn't make DNA do stuff we didn't realise it could do? Or maybe they found the correlation between the warp-soul reflection in the warp and the physical on a cellular level, and manipulated the 'soul' of DNA to allow the Ork genes to store imprinted knowledge of technology into their very cells?

Nothing is impossible when the Old Ones are around! They are frog-wizard-scientists!

Philip S
18-08-2010, 21:36
If a behavior does not need to be taught or learned, then it is instinctual. Instincts are hardwired into the structure of the brain. Since the structure of the brain is determined by DNA it can therefore be said that instinct is coded into an organism's genome.
So any behaviour that does not need to be taught or learnt is coded into the organism's genome?

So if you invent something...

Philip

Faustmeth
18-08-2010, 21:59
So any behaviour that does not need to be taught or learnt is coded into the organism's genome?

So if you invent something...

Philip

You looked at that reply and this is the portion that you choose to respond to? Everything that has to do with any living organism is encoded into their genes at some level.

LordLucan
18-08-2010, 22:00
Except learned behaviour of course.

ForgottenLore
18-08-2010, 22:02
The behavior to invent and experiment and explore is encoded into the human genome.

For human beings a specific invention, like the iron working, is a particular application of that experimenting behavior that has beneficial effects and so gets taught to others via our culture.

No one has been suggesting that the theoretical basis for iron working or any other technology, or even any type of knowledge, is transmitted in the orks genetic make-up, only behaviors. The most brilliant Ork Mekboy would be incapable of teaching a human how or why any of his stuff works, he just knows that when he finds a bunch of bits of machinery he can usually make it do ... something. Sometimes it even doesn't blow up in his face, it blows up in the boyz' faces, which is much more fun.

It really sounds like you two are arguing semantics and talking passed each other as opposed to actually disagreeing.

Faustmeth
18-08-2010, 22:07
Except learned behaviour of course.

I believe there is an entire field of study devoted to this that actually states that most "learned behavior" is hereditary. Look up Martin, Derom and G2B.

LordLucan
18-08-2010, 22:11
Do you mean hereditary as in 'knowledge passed down through parent to child' or genetically?

Green-is-best
18-08-2010, 22:28
It really sounds like you two are arguing semantics and talking passed each other as opposed to actually disagreeing.

To an extent. I really don't have any particular quarrel with any notion of how orks develop and maintain their technology, since it's mostly speculation anyway.

My disagreement with PhilipS lies with his assertion that instinctual behavior is the product of neurological structures but not DNA. This indicates either a poor understanding of pretty basic biology or ridiculous (and quite incorrect) hairsplitting to keep from giving any ground in a discussion. Either way, the semantics are kind of the heart of the issue.

Green-is-best
18-08-2010, 22:49
So any behaviour that does not need to be taught or learnt is coded into the organism's genome?

So if you invent something...

Philip

Really? Invention in the sense that I assume you're talking about requires a substantial degree of learning. At a bare minimum it requires observation and updating of knowledge, which is the most fundamental type of learning there is. Even behavioral innovation requires an organism to observe a problem, realize that a problem can be solved through a novel behavior, create a novel behavior, and then act on it. The results are then observed and knowledge is updated. If that behavior is sufficiently beneficial, the organism will continue to use. If it is very beneficial, the organism may teach the behavior to future generations.

Please tell me you were taking the **** and didn't actually think that was a pithy response...

Philip S
19-08-2010, 08:39
Seems a little Ad hominem?

Perhaps my sense of humour is failing to come over and it's getting in the way - so to clear the air: it sounds to me that you know what you are talking about. No disrespect intended :)

The word 'memory' in 'genetic memory' seems inappropriate to me. Memory means to recall, to remember. If a new behaviour turns up, an instinctive behaviour born of genetic mutation, then how is it a memory? How is it a memory if it's the first instance?

'Predisposition' sounds better.

Some for invention - it requires instinct and inspiration (and later inventions that build on earlier invention require knowledge of those earlier inventions). Earlier inventions do not. Someone had to be the first. Like a chimp picking up a stick. At some point there are the first inventions, someone or something was the first, and that is down to instinct. As you say 'birds build nests', one had to be the first (may not have been a bird).

So why call it memory when it seems obvious that the first instance is not recalled? It seems the term 'genetic memory' was used in relation to how things are now, and ignoring the fact that one had to be the first. It may appear as memory but it's not.

Instinctive behaviours seem to be more 'emergent properties' of the system within a given enviroment, the genetics merely put in the potential. There is no memory. A change in the genetic code means new behaviours will appear, but they are contingent on the enviroment.

As an example, a duckling will follow its mother, it recognises its mother as it imprints her image when it first sees her when born. However if the mother duck is replaced with a human, it will still imprint, then the duckling is quite taken with the human. When this was first done: that's new - a modification to behaviour due to the enviroment. When it happens it is not 'memory' and shows there is more to it.

If a duckling was born with a memory of what a duck is, and what its mother will look like, then the duckling could not be fooled when their mother is removed and a human takes her place. This observation led to the idea of imprinting.

Behaviours are not purely down to our genetics, it also depends on where we are. In new situations animals and humans may exhibit behaviours that their genetics have never given rise to before.

This is what I was getting at with the Hermit Crab, that it's not specifically a 'shell' it is looking for. Remove all the shells and it will find something else. It does have an instinct to protect itself, but the way the instinct expresses itself can change with the enviroment. So it does not have a 'memory' of needing a 'shell'. It has a need, and in trying to fulfil that need (brain), a shell is often used (as evolution has made it a perfect fit) - remove the shells and the crab changes and adapts (coke bottle).

That is why I do not like the idea of 'memory' in 'genetic memory'. I think it trips people up, as memory is well known to mean recall, and that is not what is happening.

Orks: Taken in context with the above - this led me to run with a humorous chain of thought; if all new ideas, new inventions, are down to instinct (inspiration derived from experience within an enviroment), but once invented it can be remembered taught to others, this means that everything we have is originally down to instinct. Instinct is the well spring of everything. If instinct is 'genetic memory' this led to my earlier quip about Orks and humans (as in we already do what Orks are said to do - if a bit slower than Orks!). Probably not as funny as I think it is...

Philip

PS:
You looked at that reply and this is the portion that you choose to respond to?
Yep - because I see it as a way of getting towards the heart of the matter. I wanted to know what he thinks about this point, and he has been kind enough to respond. It will lead to more points later.

Ulchishy
21-08-2010, 09:49
Will the Orks be forced to develop a non-instinctual form of scientific knowledge in the future ? Instinctual knowledge is limited and changeless . Assuming that the Orks have already reached the maximum limit of their inbuilt technological skill , even if it permits them to be one of the major forces in the galaxy , they will inevitably be surpassed by some race . When this will happen , how will the Orkish society change ? I think that only the most intelligent Orks will survive , those who won't indiscriminately wage war against anyone , but will hide on remote planets and slowly develop a rational analysis of reality , in the shade of the galactic powers .

N0-1_H3r3
21-08-2010, 10:34
Will the Orks be forced to develop a non-instinctual form of scientific knowledge in the future ? Instinctual knowledge is limited and changeless . Assuming that the Orks have already reached the maximum limit of their inbuilt technological skill , even if it permits them to be one of the major forces in the galaxy , they will inevitably be surpassed by some race . When this will happen , how will the Orkish society change ? I think that only the most intelligent Orks will survive , those who won't indiscriminately wage war against anyone , but will hide on remote planets and slowly develop a rational analysis of reality , in the shade of the galactic powers .
Thing is, though, that's not what an Ork is. Just as some Orks are predisposed towards certain technical insights - technology, medicine, brewing, slave- and animal-care, and so forth - all Orks are predisposed towards violence and battle. It doesn't seem too far a stretch to claim that they're physically addicted to the adrenaline-equivalent that flows through their veins (indeed, there's mention in Codex: Armageddon, I think, of an Ork Speed Freek who seems to be suffering withdrawal symptoms from being forced to stay still for too long) - they're literal adrenaline junkies. Speed, noise and violence are fundamental compulsions to the Orks.

If Orks aren't indiscriminately waging war against other species, they'll fight amongst themselves. For the Orks, fighting amongst themselves is a largely harmless matter - they're too innately resilient to suffer greatly in an unarmed brawl against another Ork - and the Orks themselves seem to have no particular fear of injury or death. As an engineered species, this seems quite appropriate - a species developed whose fight-or-flight instinct is heavily skewed towards 'fight' makes for eager and willing warriors.

Regarding Kroot and their relative lack of technology... I've seen it suggested that Kroot culture regards 'survival of the fittest' as a fundamental truth, which seems quite appropriate for a species who intelligently design their own evolution. Technology beyond a certain point is viewed as a crutch, a means for the weak to survive when they should not. Individuals and kindreds alike should survive on their innate strengths, not because of the tools they use. I imagine the precise details of what is and isn't acceptable for a given kindred of Kroot varies quite considerably...

totgeboren
21-08-2010, 10:38
Chaos - I'd say there's no overall technological progression - chaos corrupts, it doesn't invent.

I think the entire branch of the Dark Mechanicus would beg to differ with you on that one. In-game we have all the daemon engines like the defiler, bloos slaughterer and blight drones, and the Planet Killer uses tech unknown in the Imperium. The lances of the Idolators are also developed by Chaos-aligned forges.

And regarding the orks and their society, remember that the Imperium generally has a culture that reminds of Europe in the middle ages, but tech that is incredibly advanced.

Even today, we have old cultures that have survived intact into a much more advanced age, like the Vatican.
Also, just take a look at all the tribal wars in for example Africa and Afghanistan, being fought like they have always been, but with brand new weapons.
Heck, in Saudi Arabia the official government line is that the earth is flat, but they still got fighter jets and the internet.

To develop high-tech might requires a certain cultural maturity, but just tossing high-tech stuff into an old culture is not really a problem, meaning both the Orks and the Kroot are entirely realistic from that point of view.

Sai-Lauren
23-08-2010, 09:06
I think the entire branch of the Dark Mechanicus would beg to differ with you on that one. In-game we have all the daemon engines like the defiler, bloos slaughterer and blight drones, and the Planet Killer uses tech unknown in the Imperium. The lances of the Idolators are also developed by Chaos-aligned forges.

I didn't say that there wasn't innovation, but that overall, there's no technological progression - why else do they still use Reapers when Loyalists get Assault Cannon, for example? ;)

The Defiler is a case in point, it's a possessed machine. Pistons, armour plate and so on, but corrupted to house and be run by a Daemon. There's no new technology in there (possibly new materials to help bind the daemon), but there is lots of daemoncraft being used in new and exciting ways.

Jonman
23-08-2010, 09:54
I think Orks are more technological than the Imperium, they experiment and create new technologies; the Imperium would never be able to build a Interplanetary tellyporta or come up with new weapons as the Orks have. They are to scared. They think the Omnissah will bring wrathful vengance on them all. I think the Orks will take over the human race and leave them and their tech behind. They have imagination.

Hunger
23-08-2010, 14:38
they live as savages , completely naked and in a tribal society

I don't understand your point - does a society's preference for clothes or technological base correspond to their belligerence?. I have some nudist friends that live in a commune, but they are quite capable of using their mobile phones and televisions. The human race as a whole is the most technologically advanced species known, but we still oppress those further down the social heirarchy than ourselves, and wage war against our neighbours in the same way as the Orks. Don't think for one minute that we are anything but savages ourselves, albeit with a different aesthetic style.

Ulchishy
23-08-2010, 20:48
Everyone seems to miss my point . I know that wearing a pair of slips doesn't make you an advanced civilization . What I want to underline is that the technological discoveries don't seem to have a practical relapse on the Orkish society , in the way that , although they know how to travel across the stars , they don't have infrastructures which protect them from the environment . Mekboys express the instinctual scientific knowledge built inside them , while the rest of the Orkish society doesn't understand their discoveries . Not even we humans understand the technology that surrounds us , for example we don't know how a computer is built or works . What i want to say is that it seemed to me that the Orkish society was imaginated in an unrealistic manner inside the warhammer 40k universe . But i have been explained that the orks can terraform the planets in which they are born and create a whole new environment suitable to them . Moreover , because of their instinctual agressivity , they use all their new techs for warfare . These things clear to me the fracture between their technological progress and their social progress ( intended strictly in the terms of infrastructures ) .

Hellebore
24-08-2010, 03:58
As to the last, perhaps it's because ork social progress IS their military progress? Orks are never not fighting, everything they do is designed around that fact. Thus their social progress is very different because it isn't really a 'social' progression as we understand it.

Hellebore

Polaria
24-08-2010, 05:56
Technological advancement is made in order to live better.

The problem is that the concept of "better living" is tied to the concept of "happiness". In order for an Ork to be happy his life must be dangerous, unpredictable and violent. Thus: Orks don't feel the need for things like TV, foot baths or furry slippers the way humans do.



But technological progression goes ahead gradually : first you understand how to build a wood ship, then a steamboat, then a metal ship and then a spaceship. You cannot travel faster than light without knowing how to build a hut or to sew a pair of slips

Actually this is quite not so. Real life is not Civilization computer game. You can build a spaceship without ever seeing an open ocean and thus never having even a slightest idea what a waterborne ship is. Same goes with hut and slippers. In order to build a spaceship you need to be able to build an airproof hull (or environmentaklly sealed clothing for all crew members), some way to power its movement and some way to control the movement (at least out of atmosphere, that is). Rowboats, huts and slippers have really nothing to do with it.

Yes, it is quite probable that in order to have technology to build all the basic parts of a space ship you also have technology to build a rowboat, a hut and slippers. No, it doesn't mean you will build them. Ancient Romans had steel and concrete. Thus, they did have technology to build steel-reinforced concrete things. They never did. Funny, eh?

Ulchishy
24-08-2010, 07:18
With the example of the slips and huts I wanted only to say that technological discoveries are gradual : first you discover a scientific law , you apply it in the infrastructures and with them you discover and build technology of the next step . When I speak of social progress I mean infrastructures progress : you need infrastructures of the previous step in order to build those of the next . But as Hellebore said , Orkish social progress is their military progress , because all their infrastructures are made for war .

Polaria
24-08-2010, 08:54
With the example of the slips and huts I wanted only to say that technological discoveries are gradual : first you discover a scientific law , you apply it in the infrastructures and with them you discover and build technology of the next step . When I speak of social progress I mean infrastructures progress : you need infrastructures of the previous step in order to build those of the next . But as Hellebore said , Orkish social progress is their military progress , because all their infrastructures are made for war .

Yup, I think Orks have some pretty damn huge infrastructure on the planets they have completely taken over. Its just that all Orkish infrastructure is designed purely for warfare (or production of warfighting material) and invariably looks like a big pile of crap.