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Slazton
10-07-2005, 23:54
Now this is in a spanner I would like to throw into the works about Tyranids and well see how people would react. Now I am not saying this is possiable, but it is more like a what if? Ok?

Now the Tyranids are about controlled mutation and adapting themselves to the situation at hand. Hyper evolution is how it was last defined. Now what if there were some random mutations? Throw backs or even back evolution that occurs naturally. Now obviously these 'speciemens' would be destroyed or broken back down and restarted, but what if one got through? And not just a random mutation, but a sense of self?

Now this can happen in Tyranids as they 'eat' enough humans and other sentient beings, what if this normal evolution were to happen?

Now lets imagine this Tyranid is just a 'gaunt. You're bog standard guant who likes to kill and eat. But lets imagine this beast started to make decisions and such. I mean what would happen?

How would the Hive Mind react?

Now please I don't want people posting saying this can never happen and blah blah blah. I really don't care as I know it won't happen in a million years, but what if it did? What would be the reprecusions?

The only way I could compare it is as if an ant developed a sense of self and started looking after itself instead of the colony. As I stated could not happen, but to tie this in with the Tyranids, what if it did?

And if my gaunt example does not work, then what beast could have the highest possiablity of developing a sense of self? How much intelligence does the Hive Tyrant have? Is it a direct puppet of the Hive Mind or can it make decisions? And if so how limited is it decision process? Just to basic instincts programmed by the Norm Queen or something else?

Just throwing a spanner in the works, nothing more nothing less.

NOTE: As stated, please I do not want people flaming this etc. Its just an idea and a heretical thought at that.

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 00:08
Now this is in a spanner I would like to throw into the works about Tyranids and well see how people would react. Now I am not saying this is possiable, but it is more like a what if? Ok?

Now the Tyranids are about controlled mutation and adapting themselves to the situation at hand. Hyper evolution is how it was last defined. Now what if there were some random mutations? Throw backs or even back evolution that occurs naturally. Now obviously these 'speciemens' would be destroyed or broken back down and restarted, but what if one got through? And not just a random mutation, but a sense of self?

Now this can happen in Tyranids as they 'eat' enough humans and other sentient beings, what if this normal evolution were to happen?

Now lets imagine this Tyranid is just a 'gaunt. You're bog standard guant who likes to kill and eat. But lets imagine this beast started to make decisions and such. I mean what would happen?

How would the Hive Mind react?

Now please I don't want people posting saying this can never happen and blah blah blah. I really don't care as I know it won't happen in a million years, but what if it did? What would be the reprecusions?

The only way I could compare it is as if an ant developed a sense of self and started looking after itself instead of the colony. As I stated could not happen, but to tie this in with the Tyranids, what if it did?

And if my gaunt example does not work, then what beast could have the highest possiablity of developing a sense of self? How much intelligence does the Hive Tyrant have? Is it a direct puppet of the Hive Mind or can it make decisions? And if so how limited is it decision process? Just to basic instincts programmed by the Norm Queen or something else?

Just throwing a spanner in the works, nothing more nothing less.

NOTE: As stated, please I do not want people flaming this etc. Its just an idea and a heretical thought at that.




Hmmmm...

Methinks that this Gaunt you say would have a few problems. Having a sense of self in a community of ferocious, devouring monsters who are all linked to one another would lead to unfortunate consequences. I doubt that this gaunt would lead a Spartcus styled uprising, rather it'd make on free choice, Hive Mind recognise this and it would end up as food to the Rippers :evilgrin:

To answer the question about Hive Tyrants, I'm willing to bet that they aren't that intelligent at all, just that everything they would need to be successful is implanted in their brain, kind of like how Orks have technology blueprints imprinted in their brains.

The Tyrant could probably make decisions but I don't see how they could make any real choices that are deviant to what are normally used I believe.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:17
For some reason....I see Hive Tyrants as being one of the most mindless of the lot.

Why? They're the broods link to the Hive Mind. So the Hive Mind should want nothing to interfer with it's link to all the little gribblies, so it would make sense for the Tyrants to have no personal thought processes that could get mixed up with the will of the Hive Mind.
So I see the Tyrants just being empty vessels and the physical representation of the Hive Minds Will.

At least the little gribblies have instinct to fall back on. What does the Hive Tyrant have if it's link is cut? Has it ever happened?

Slazton
11-07-2005, 00:18
Hmmmm...

Methinks that this Gaunt you say would have a few problems. Having a sense of self in a community of ferocious, devouring monsters who are all linked to one another would lead to unfortunate consequences. I doubt that this gaunt would lead a Spartcus styled uprising, rather it'd make on free choice, Hive Mind recognise this and it would end up as food to the Rippers :evilgrin:

Hmm true and I knew that would be the end of him. Alas it would have to be a bigger critter. Maybe the example should be a Lictor? As that could cause some Chaos. As to the rebellion, I don't think it would be possiable, but I was thinking of how dangerous it would be.................



To answer the question about Hive Tyrants, I'm willing to bet that they aren't that intelligent at all, just that everything they would need to be successful is implanted in their brain, kind of like how Orks have technology blueprints imprinted in their brains.

The Tyrant could probably make decisions but I don't see how they could make any real choices that are deviant to what are normally used I believe.

I beg to differ. You would have to require a level of intelligence to make a decision and how could the Norn Queen be in control of every single Tyrant? I mean maybe it gives orders at the beginning of the invasion, but we all know the during battles plans and orders seem to fail, so could the Hive Tyrant have enough intelligence to make a judgement that would lead it to success or would it still follow the orders?

Now what if that Beast had a sense of self? Now what if that beast could still marshal the troops? Now imagine how damaging and how powerful it would be ;). Alas it could also cause complacations.............

Hideous Loon
11-07-2005, 00:24
You've come up with an interesting idea here, which can be discussed at weeks to end. Now to my answer: The collective 'think tank' which is the Hive Mind would, at the mere whim that a Hive Tyrant (I will use it as an example due to its high sense of intelligence) has disconnected from it, kill the Tyranid in question. Why? Because it's not practical. What if this particular creature would start to behave against the 'Greater Good' of the Hive fleet and started to devour other Tyranids? Not good.

TenTailedCat
11-07-2005, 00:26
I think maybe the Norn Queen might be the dumbest of the lot. As every single tyranid is the hive mind, I doubt the Norn Queen is any more intelligent than any other Tyranid, instead maybe it just acts as a nexus for all the information to be processed.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:34
In truth, the Norn Queen is more or less just a baby factory and doesn't really do much else than produce Nids and is a step up the Hive Mind ladder. So for that reason, the Norn Queen doesn't need any intelligence what so ever other that be be aware of it's surrounding and to push out new Nids.

Though at some levels, she's a bit of a bad idea for the Nids. Look at what happened in Warriors of Ultramar.

Slazton
11-07-2005, 00:41
Hmm the Norn Queen is like Zerg Cerebrates in my opinion. They are the Hive Mind's Generals. They each have unique genetic programming that gives them different tactics and different 'mind sets.'

However, would they not be intelligent? Are they just a 'beacon' for the Hive Mind?

Alas lets ask the real question: Are any of the Tyranids intelligent? I mean the Hive Mind in my opinion is just a child, but I degress from the evolution theory I have running around.

The Norn Queen is the breeding ground and the Overlord of the Hive Tyrants, that they being the generals. IMHO, there has to be some intelligence in the Hive Tyrants as a battelfield would call for it. I mean how many Hive Tyrants are sent to war?

Are all of them just 'pre-programmed?' I don't believe it would be possiable.

Also what of Genestealers? How much 'self' is in them? Especially ones from Cults?

Now thats an interesting idea.

Also no one has mentioned the idea that if a Lictor would gain the power of self? It being a 'loner.' Alas, how much intelligence does it have already?

Minister
11-07-2005, 00:42
This all seems to assume the Hive Mind as a top-down system, unit X recieves orders from Z via unit Y, and so-forth. however, theories presented in some places (with which I agree) would argue for a more combined-resources networked concept. Rather than a single, monolithic force the Hive Mind would them function in the same way as a computer network, and any problems would be shunted up the wire far enough for it to reach a unit capable of reaching a decision.

Examples:

Houmagaunt sees target human. As no other overriding commands have been issued, houmagaunt engages human. In combat, the houmagaunt relies upon its own mind solely for tactics (bounce, slice, parry, impale).

Houmagaunt sees lots of humans. Houmagaunt, as it is within synapse range, communicates this information up the chain of command to the nearest Synapse creature (a Warrior), who then shunts it further to the Tyrant. Tyrant bids force to assemble to kill lots of humans, and gives orders on overall opperation without overriding the individuals once the combat is engages, unless such becomes necicary.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:43
Intelligent Nids? I think Stealers would be the closest to that.

Though I;d have to give Lictors some intelligence too as they're scouts.

The rest.....highly limited, if at all. They have a highly developed form of instinct though. But that's not to be confused with intelligence.

Slazton
11-07-2005, 00:47
This all seems to assume the Hive Mind as a top-down system, unit X recieves orders from Z via unit Y, and so-forth. however, theories presented in some places (with which I agree) would argue for a more combined-resources networked concept. Rather than a single, monolithic force the Hive Mind would them function in the same way as a computer network, and any problems would be shunted up the wire far enough for it to reach a unit capable of reaching a decision.

Examples:

Houmagaunt sees target human. As no other overriding commands have been issued, houmagaunt engages human. In combat, the houmagaunt relies upon its own mind solely for tactics (bounce, slice, parry, impale).

Houmagaunt sees lots of humans. Houmagaunt, as it is within synapse range, communicates this information up the chain of command to the nearest Synapse creature (a Warrior), who then shunts it further to the Tyrant. Tyrant bids force to assemble to kill lots of humans, and gives orders on overall opperation without overriding the individuals once the combat is engages, unless such becomes necicary.

Well that would mean that there is some intelligence there. Or is it instinct? I mean for a gaunt to go: Human to the reaction of kill, it would have to have some sort of intelligence. As how can it go from one thing to another? Leap, slice, kill, move on.......This is a series of complex behaviours that instincts cannot cover up.

Then if it sees more, for it to relay the information, it just made a complex reaction that would require some level of intelligence. Then if the Warrior 'shunts' the information on, then the Warrior has displayed intelligence. Then if the Hive Tyrant reacts and sends its minions forward without the guidance of the Hive Mind, then it has just used what I have been argueing intelligence!

How can 'pre-programmed instincts' be called instincts? Its not possiable, there would have to be some level of intelligence if Minister's theory is correct ;)

Slazton
11-07-2005, 00:51
Intelligent Nids? I think Stealers would be the closest to that.

Though I;d have to give Lictors some intelligence too as they're scouts.

The rest.....highly limited, if at all. They have a highly developed form of instinct though. But that's not to be confused with intelligence.

When does Instinct become Intelligence? What can cause complex reactions then compared to a mere reaction?

Behavourist psychologists cannot ignore this, they found in their research that even instincts have some sort of level intelligence as instincts may occur naturally, but alas who says that the Gaunt who has seen a bunch of humans has then decided to relay the information instead of going in for the kill?

BUt that is given that the whole Tyranid race is not one mind and that the Tyranids are just the Hive Mind. However, if that was true then Synapse range would not exist, so this arguement holds water.

Now once again, could a Tyranid develop a being of self and what would happen if a Hive Tyrant had it? A Carnifex? A Lictor? And does a Genestealer Patriarch already have it?

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:55
Having had almost nothing to do with psychology, I wouldn't know. I'd working on best guesses and Nikki logic.

But of all the Nids to gain self awareness. I'd go with the Lictor. All that time alone. It has to have something to do. Plus instinct would only get it so far in its role. Cunning and craftiness is needed and I get the feeling that you don't get all that much cunning on instinct.

Khaine's Messenger
11-07-2005, 01:32
Now what if there were some random mutations?

There would have to be...by default. Especially if certain Tyranid organisms are "allowed" to evolve independantly as noted by the AdMech's biologis magi. It's likely that it occurs even in controlled circumstances, as well, as the study of random mutations allows you to grow a larger index of available characteristics rather than having to just "know" what every possible combination allows (further, Tyranid "hyper-evolution" is sometimes portrayed as rapid-fire random mutations until warrior organisms become vaguely successful).


a sense of self?

So your question isn't really about evolution, but about "what would happen if [random Nid genus x] could think for themselves"?


I mean what would happen?

Little to nothing unless other Gaunts started to behave similarly. Otherwise, there'd be little it could do, even with a sense of self (even humans with a sense of self quite willingly surrender their thought processes to the mob mentality and are driven by many external and ambiguous forces that are basically terms for terms for things that are concepts invented to describe intangibles). It's not like it could escape.


How would the Hive Mind react?

That depends on how the "self" manifests, as above. If it is nondetrimental and even theoretically yields a boost to performance (for example, a degree of self-determination could allow for Tyranids to spread intel in a much more discrete manner), then I doubt the Nids would disgard it out of hand...further, the Tyranids have no real written or spoken languages, so the possibility of "foreign" corruption or even communication between Gaunts would be hit or miss; you basically end up with slightly more social genestealers (say, zoats without the ability to actually communicate) in terms of interaction, in your best case. So there's no real need for the Hive Mind to react negatively (if it can, indeed, "react" at all). The only problem I can see would be possible infighting...but as has been noted in the new 'Nid codex, infighting isn't really detrimental to Tyranids....

And again, random mutations are probably allowed simply to see what works rather than depending on a vast catalogue of useful stuff built beforehand, as computing all that is a slight waste of processing power and a really big mess, especially since there are many "unknown unknowns" that cannot be accounted for.


then what beast could have the highest possiablity of developing a sense of self?

Anything with synapse is supposed to have a small degree of self-awareness, iirc, enough to make fairly competent tactical/strategic decisions. That they still surrender themselves to the reclamation pools does not mean they don't make their own decisions....

Slazton
11-07-2005, 01:56
Khaine, isn't a sense of self a random mutation in a process of hyper evolution if you are trying to surpress it?

Therefore evolution could be argued that it ultimately leads from basic instincts, to complex instincts, and then a sense of self awareness.

As to what you stated, yes the Tyranid Warriors would have a sense of self to some degree, but would those gaunts send themselves into the teeth of the enemy if they had self preservation? That usually comes with a sense of self, the instinct to stay alive.

IMHO, a sense of self would cause chaos amongst the Tyranid ranks and it would have a negative factor. All I am asking is what if it did happen and what if it happened to a number of broods? Imagine if a horde of gaunts were created (by accident) and then released onto the field of battle. What would happen then? These gaunts would have a whole new sense and well, could choose not to commit suicide as ordered.

IMHO intelligence and a sense of self are two different things but fundamentally linked. So how could a Warrior have intelligence but not a sense of self? I mean the two have to be linked, so this mutation could happen if something went wrong (right?). ;)

Khaine's Messenger
11-07-2005, 02:11
[color=royalblue]Khaine, isn't a sense of self a random mutation in a process of hyper evolution if you are trying to surpress it?

It's not a mutation just because you're trying to suppress it. It's a mutation simply because it's not your goal.


Therefore evolution could be argued that it ultimately leads from basic instincts, to complex instincts, and then a sense of self awareness.

Perhaps; complexity does seem to increase, but I don't think it should be considered so linear or even so discrete.


but would those gaunts send themselves into the teeth of the enemy if they had self preservation?

Ah, but does a sense of self necessitate a sense of self-preservation, and/or does a sense of self-preservation necessitate a sense of self? Further, self-awareness is a great justifier for self-sacrifice, as well--hence the mob mentality comments earlier (remember, there are people who "choose" to do what they are told, who "choose" to go into harm's way through sheer bloody mindedness, because they get a thrill out of it, or because they feel an intense sense of duty). If you add a touch of the self-awareness, then you add the nature vs. nurture argument, which is difficult to discuss in terms of tyranids, because their "nurture" is virtually nonexistant (beyond the imperatives of synapse creatures), and any sort of evolved self-consciousness would have to occur in a population in order to add any meaningful use for it, so a sense of self just thrown into the pot would be utterly worthless and would probably just generate a Gaunt that either just sits there or one that does what it's told anyway, which means its variable expression is for naught.


a sense of self would cause chaos amongst the Tyranid ranks and it would have a negative factor.

How would it cause chaos?


What would happen then? These gaunts would have a whole new sense and well, could choose not to commit suicide as ordered.

I don't think a sense of self necessitates free will, if that's what you're looking at. But even then, the Tyranids are quite capable of using overt mind control if that's what it comes down to.

Twisted Ferret
11-07-2005, 02:21
On which Tyranid might develope intelligence: What about the Zoats? You know, the psychics? I think that's what they're called.

Slazton
11-07-2005, 02:28
Khaine, I see a sense of self as a gain of sentience, or a form of it. And it would alter them.

I am thinking we may have to define a sense of self to fully debate. In my mind, it entails everything. As in they would be able to free think and actually be able to think they would not want to die, as in being able to make decisions.

Zoats are no longer alive, so therefore they cnanot be included ;).

As to Tyranids and communication, hmm..........................I think Genestealers hiss at one another don't they?

Khaine's Messenger
11-07-2005, 02:46
Khaine, I see a sense of self as a gain of sentience, or a form of it. And it would alter them.

Yes, it would alter them, but in order to make use of it and understand it they would have to socialize...otherwise they're one-offs.


In my mind, it entails everything. As in they would be able to free think and actually be able to think they would not want to die, as in being able to make decisions.

A "sense of self" (as I've come to understand it) is merely individuation, or the act of recognizing "oneself" as a discrete unit different from others. I don't see how this needs to have a sense of self-preservation and such attached, but this is your thread, so I will discuss it as you like. I don't want to argue semantics anymore than we already have, because that'd probably go a little flame-batey at times on my end. Apologies.

Still, even if it did add a sense of self-preservation, it had better add an "automatically immune to the influence of the hivemind" caveat, due to the aforementioned problems. The really interesting stuff would only start to happen once you nuke the synapse creatures, whereupon you fall back on the interesting question of just how well developed their sense of self is. If it's a sort of "suddenly human" thing, then they'd probably do a lot of imitation based on the momentum of what they were doing previously, as their defined experiences (their "nurture") will most likely shape their sense of self and thus their idea of their own purpose. And as I stated in my first post, this sense of self/self-preservation could indeed lend itself to better and more lethal warriors, which would make it an overall bonus, as "STBO" would no longer be a viable tactic and the "hive mind" is relegated to something more like a battlefield intranet.

It's not like they're going to all of the sudden build up a micro-civilization on the battlefield and pontificate on the nature of their newfound sentience.


As to Tyranids and communication, hmm..........................I think Genestealers hiss at one another don't they?

Perhaps, but they also have brood telepathy....

Twisted Ferret
11-07-2005, 03:18
Zoats are no longer alive, so therefore they cnanot be included ;).
I think I'm thinking of different things than the ones I named. The tyranid psychic troop, with a big head and withered body?

Slazton
11-07-2005, 03:20
Zoanthropes, thats who you are thinking of. If my spelling is off, its because of alcohol lol. Hence why I hav enot replied to Khaine as of yet.

Don't worry Khaine, you will get a reply ;)

TheSonOfAbbadon
11-07-2005, 20:03
I think that Zoanathropes would be more directly linked to the Hiove Mind than most other Tyranids as the Zoanathrope must enter the warp to use it's powers, the Hive Mind itself is, theorectically, a large warp entity or the collective warp reflections of the Tyranids, therefore it could almost directly control a Zoanathrope.

Although, the theory goes that the more detached from the warp reflection of yourself you are, the more powerful psychically you are. The Zoanathropes are powerful psychically therefore they are quite detached from the warp, so they must be more detached from the Hive Mind...

Oooo I need to lie down...

Lord Lucifer
12-07-2005, 15:28
Here's an interesting thought... what if sentient thought and self-awareness became inevitable and involuntary evolutionary process for the Tyranids?

Okay, they've already devoured one universe. Lets look at what the Tyranids are. Essentially the entire race is a super-organism that exists solely to feed and reproduce. It is an expansive hive-entity that operates entirely on instinctive behaviour.
The Hive Mind that controls this massive hive-entity could merely be an extremely advanced animal cunning.

How did they get to this state?
Perhaps the galaxy they've devoured was filled almost exclusively with animal forms, instinctive creatures.
This new galaxy is filled with tasty sentient, self-aware organisms, and the Nids are having an evolutionary orgasm over it as we speak.
What if all the genetic goodness from devouring so many self-aware brains, and fighting long and hard against so many self-aware races, and growing more subtle and like their enemies (the evolution of lictors as scouting espionage troops, the improvement of long-ranged warfare), and infiltrating the civilisations they mark to destroy... what if all of this leads to an unexpected develop of tyranid organisms that are increasingly self-aware, and increasingly individual?

What would happen if the Tyranids underwent a genetic revolution?

I find the idea fascinating at least ;)

Slazton
12-07-2005, 15:47
That is what I have been hinting at fully, that this rnadom fluke could lead to more and more, then ultimately the entire race becoming seperate entities.

The real question is would the Tyranids stop gearing themselves towards war and feasting? Would they do other things? What would be their fate if this happened?

As by becoming individuals, they could learn from other cultures (you can still admire pretty archietecture while you are blasting it away!) and beginn to adapt.............

Khaine's Messenger
12-07-2005, 16:08
The real question is would the Tyranids stop gearing themselves towards war and feasting?

Of course not. It's not like they'd come to see it as "wrong" unless they suddenly acquire a hyper-developed sense of Moral Relativism. It's just what they do.


What would be their fate if this happened?

Unless the Hive Mind is handwaved away, as I stated earlier, you'd probably get little more than what you have now, except with even deadlier soldiers equipped with top-down battlefield micromanagement coupled with at most a tiny degree of culture added into the mix so that "techniques" and other information can pass between individual Tyranids.


As by becoming individuals, they could learn from other cultures

Or simply develop their own.

Adept
12-07-2005, 16:28
As I understand it, the Tyranids don't "evlove" in the proper sense of the word. Evolution is random genetic changes each generation, with the ones best suited to surviving reproducing at a greater rate, resulting in an increased population of this new randomly created species.

The Tyranids would seem to be "engineered" in some way.

Lucifer216
12-07-2005, 19:15
Regarding Tyranid evolution, for it to exist, there needs to be a feedback loop in operation. As they don't reproduce sexually, this must be as follows:

1) Tyranids with varying genetics attack planet,
2) suffer losses, attack is eventually successful,
3) all living tyranids have their genes reabsorbed. The next generation of tyranids have genes coming only from the survivors of the previous war + any new genes taken from the consumption of the planet. If the Hivemind is really cunning, then perhaps there could some kind of genetic marker or system by which any Nid that gets more than its fair of kills has more of its genes passed on to the next generation.

4) Repeat steps 1 to 3 unto the death of everything that ain't Nid. :skull:


This is probably the main way in which the already estabilished breeds improve. However, the de novo generation of new types of bug, is probably conscious gene-engineering by the Norn Queens. However, it may just be that this could be randon hybridisation coupled with a fairly intense screening process...

TheSonOfAbbadon
13-07-2005, 22:05
I think that, technically, the Hive Mind controls all the Tyranids [apart from a few like temagaunts which it controls indirectly through snyapse[sp?] creatures] so it can see, hear, feel etc. everything it does, the Hive Mind then remembers what evolutions gave it that edge over the enemy it then makes the Norn queens decide to make more of those beasties.

Think of it like a giant super-computer that controls lots of smaller robots that then decides what kind of robot to make next.

rammo_73
15-07-2005, 08:32
I think perhaps the control of the nord queen is much like the player him/her self. Like the Queen has the ability to inter-conect to all the synapse creatures and then controll them from there. That's why when lesser creatures are out of synapse range they go all weird.

Maybe the "Nord Queen" is some sort of metaphore for you as a Tyranid player. You controll the creatures and you birth them (by building them and painting them). They will listen to you and only you...you are the master of the Tyrands if you think about it. I don't know if this thought or idea has been mentioned here or even crossed anyone's mind. This is just what I gathered...in a metaphorical sense anyways.

Bmaxwell
15-07-2005, 12:13
one glicth in a system often shows thats therea rpoplem and there will be more. much like a virus.

I could easily see a genestealer cult for some reason can't get through to the hive mind for lets say a warp storm and kills everything on the palent and begins to evole to make its on species. or heck mabye even a different hiv mind. that would be intresteing for there to be 2 trynid hive minds.

Bruen
15-07-2005, 12:29
normal[/i] evolution were to happen?

Now lets imagine this Tyranid is just a 'gaunt. You're bog standard guant who likes to kill and eat. But lets imagine this beast started to make decisions and such. I mean what would happen?

How would the Hive Mind react?

The hive mind would kill it, either through synapse or by sending some other creatures to do the job.

Bear in mind though that individual Tyranids do not evolve because they eat things. So a gaunt who eats a lot of humans will not evolve, however that genetic material will be sent back to the birthing chambers and may (or may not) be selected for the next generation of creatures.

I do not believe that Tyranids have any "natural" evolution at all, merely mistakes in the birthing process.

Bruen
15-07-2005, 12:32
[QUOTE=SlaztonAlas lets ask the real question: Are any of the Tyranids intelligent? I mean the Hive Mind in my opinion is just a child, but I degress from the evolution theory I have running around.[/QUOTE]

I do not think that that question is relevant because none of them exist seperatly. In effect there is only one Tyranid, with one mind.

A hive fleet might be like your finger, it is part of you in the same way that all tyranid organisms are part of the Tyranid. Does your finger think or have intelligence?

TheSonOfAbbadon
15-07-2005, 14:16
Bear in mind though that individual Tyranids do not evolve because they eat things. So a gaunt who eats a lot of humans will not evolve, however that genetic material will be sent back to the birthing chambers and may (or may not) be selected for the next generation of creatures.

Well, they won't evolve through eating humans, but they'll eat part of them [as much as they can] and then regurgitate that at the protein pools or whatever kind of pool they have. The Norn queens will then decide what part of that DNA may be useful and then mutates the guants with that DNA, or gives birth to gaunts with that DNA, one of those 2.

Bruen
15-07-2005, 14:21
Well, they won't evolve through eating humans, but they'll eat part of them [as much as they can] and then regurgitate that at the protein pools or whatever kind of pool they have. The Norn queens will then decide what part of that DNA may be useful and then mutates the guants with that DNA, or gives birth to gaunts with that DNA, one of those 2.

Wasn't that what I said?

Adept
15-07-2005, 14:26
I do not believe that Tyranids have any "natural" evolution at all, merely mistakes in the birthing process.

I wouldn't call them mistakes as such. I see them as deliberate choices by the hivemind.

"These guys sucked, so I'll give them choppier claws and stronger legs"

The birth of the Hormagaunt.

"These stabby claws on the big things work well. More of those next time"

The origins of the Screamer-Killer.

And so on.

El_Machinae
15-07-2005, 15:37
Since there are many easier ways to claim planets (other than hordes of combat monsters), such as climate-changing viruses, high-impact bombardment, etc.; I sometimes get the feeling that all this "close-combat" that the 'nids engage in is just a type of practice for it.

As long as the same net biomass is pulled out of a planet, and there isn't a huge time-cost, close combat gives more individual information bits to the Hive Mind about warfare in general.

Bruen
15-07-2005, 15:57
Since there are many easier ways to claim planets (other than hordes of combat monsters), such as climate-changing viruses, high-impact bombardment, etc.; I sometimes get the feeling that all this "close-combat" that the 'nids engage in is just a type of practice for it.

Maybe the hive mind is just doing it for fun? A giant rts game?
Hows that for a scary thought.

El_Machinae
15-07-2005, 16:25
Well, I can't really see it as 'fun', though it might be.

I'm thinking that it's trying to get insight into these creatures with independant thought (a fairly foreign concept, I'm sure) as well as practice in that scale of combat. The Empire doesn't give much of a challenge in the microscopic scale, but it certainly gives challenge in the man-sized and interplanetary scales.

gLOBS
16-07-2005, 04:49
Well Lictor's who consume brain material sometimes gain the last few thoughts or memories after they have eaten as far as I can recall.

TrustWorthyLiar
15-10-2005, 02:45
First to address the original topic of a lone gaunt suddenly gaining the ability of free thought...not likely. First that gaunt must have the biological ability to have free thought. This means he (she...it?) must have the brain mass to be able to handle thoughts like 'Who am I?', 'I am an individual' and the like. Tyranids are given a base set of instincts that account for their free will - I somehow doubt the hive mind wants to take the time to tell every single gaunt when to eat, sleep, and ****.

The point is, what little brain mass this lovable little killing machine has isn’t capable of anything past simple thought, let alone complex thought. Furthermore what is the average life span of a gaunt? Now I don’t tend to sacrifice my gaunts quite as eagerly as most, but even my hive fleet has a huge turn over rate in the gaunt ranks. How much is this little gaunt going to manage to eat before he takes a lasgun shot to the head? Ultimately even this argument is besides the point as tyranid mutations and evolution cant be viewed the same way. With the hive mind controlling ever single mutation and evolution random chance mutations are basically impossible.

On the off hand chance that a gaunt did manage to somehow become an individual? I imagine that’s about the point where his gaunt buddies turn, look at him, scream ‘dinner!’ and the intellectual gaunt equivalent of David gets recycled back into the hive mind.

As far as which nids are capable of thinking and which aren’t…. I tend to look more towards the good old days (3rd edition) when hive tyrants were attributed some intelligence and independence. Now I don’t have that old book in front of me at the moment, but I definitely seem to recall that they were referred to as generals and captains from which I always interpreted them to have at least some form of autonomy and intelligence. Reading the description of the tyrant from the new book I can certainly understand where people are coming up with the ideas that their little more than vessels of the hive mind…but I’m going to stick to my beliefs that they do maintain some form of intelligence and decision making ability.

GodHead
15-10-2005, 04:12
Just as human intelligence results from the composition of millions of unconscious, unthinking entities (our individual brain cells/other parts of our nervous system), so too, would the Tyranid Hive Mind (the billions or trillions of individual Tyranid entities).

I think there's a mistaken assumption in a lot of this discussion that there is a place in anything where consciousness occurs or can reside in. Rather, consciousness is more and more frequently believed to simply be the end result of ANY system which is able to use its own output as input within the system itself.

For more thorough explanations of this, I recommend Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennet, or the Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel Wegner.

Wegners work is much more up to date, but Dennets book is a more easily accessible, and would be more easily understood by those not experienced in matters of philosophy.