Brightshade the Cunning

theory
Genetic Theory of Feruchemy

17 posts in this topic

A few weeks ago I started a thread regarding the origins of allomancy and feruchemy. After looking over responses I've come up with the explanation of why Feruchemy is definitely of both Ruin and Preservation, and it's origin.

We know from WoB that Feruchemy is of both Ruin and Preservation, people on Scadrial were created by Ruin and Preservation together, and from the Mistborn storyline that Feruchemy was the original magic system on Scadrial. I submit that Feruchemical abilities were apparent in the genetics of the first people created on Scadrial, because they were created by shards and not just introduced into Scadrial. This Feruchemical ability was passed through a dominant F gene, and the lack of Feruchemical ability was marked by a recessive f gene. Not all original humans were FF gene type, some were Ff type. This led to an eventual society of Feruchemists and non-Feruchemists, who eventually became the Terris people and all other races. This idea of the abilities being genetic is further supported by the eventual devolution of Feruchemy shown in Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and Bands of Mourning.

Disclaimer: This is a theory and not validated fact, and it was written on a phone and will likely have spelling errors I couldn't find.

Edited by Brightshade the Cunning
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We actually know that both Feruchemy and Allomancy is genetic. Though, it's Spiritual DNA, not the normal one.

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I get that its genetic, as that is the basis of this theory, I'm saying specifically that Feruchemical abilities are part of the base DNA of  humans on Scadrial.

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2 minutes ago, Brightshade the Cunning said:

I get that its genetic, as that is the basis of this theory, I'm saying specifically that Feruchemical abilities are part of the base DNA of  humans on Scadrial.

You're saying it's a gene everyone has... It just happens that the ability was bred out of everyone but the Terris people. Only Teris people still have F genes (FF's and Ff's) while everyone else is ff.

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10 minutes ago, jofwu said:

You're saying it's a gene everyone has... It just happens that the ability was bred out of everyone but the Terris people. Only Teris people still have F genes (FF's and Ff's) while everyone else is ff.

Correct, and that idea could also apply to Allomancy, just with a different start point for the appearance of an A gene for Allomancy

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Are you suggesting that Feruchemy is more... "native" to Scadrial than Allomancy?

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11 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

Are you suggesting that Feruchemy is more... "native" to Scadrial than Allomancy?

Yes, it is native to Scadrial because the people there are products of Ruin and Preservation, unlike how allomancy required a change after the creation of humans. And I discussed this with you outside of the 17th shard before posting.

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29 minutes ago, Brightshade the Cunning said:

unlike how allomancy required a change after the creation of humans

what do you mean? Allomancers did exist pre-lerasium (and I'm not talking about mistfallen). They were very rare, but it was not impossible for an Allomancer to be born. SImilarly, Southeners have seeds of the Metallic Arts and it's theoretically possible for an Allomancer to be born among them.

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The seeds for allomancy and feruchemy were always present within the humans of Scadrial from their creation. This is because both allomancy and feruchemy have existed on Scadrial since at least that long. 

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2 hours ago, Ookla the Sunrise Watcher said:

Allomancers did exist pre-lerasium (and I'm not talking about mistfallen).

I didn't mean that Lerasium was the origin of Allomancers, I'm saying that Allomancers were not likely in the first generation of humans on Scadrial. And since Allomancy is definitely of Preservation, and the first generation of humans were almost certainly at a (near) balance with Ruin and Preservation, they would not likely be Allomancers.

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26 minutes ago, Brightshade the Cunning said:

I didn't mean that Lerasium was the origin of Allomancers, I'm saying that Allomancers were not likely in the first generation of humans on Scadrial. And since Allomancy is definitely of Preservation, and the first generation of humans were almost certainly at a (near) balance with Ruin and Preservation, they would not likely be Allomancers.

When you say that they were near a balance, are you referring to before Preservation used a bit more power to instill sapience in humans? Without sapience people wouldn't be able to perform feruchemy either nor do I think that there were ever any non-sapient humans. My impression is that the first humans of Scadrial were endowed with the extra Preservation, granting them sapience and had the seeds of both metallic arts. In addition, I don't recall anything which would indicate that humans were post-creation modified in order to add the seeds of allomancy.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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On a different thread, I wonder if there were full Mistborns at the beginning of Scadrial, but the bloodline got stretched thin. Meanwhile in Terris Feruchemists bred true.

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Hmm.  I disagree.  Seeing as Feruchemy as a whole seems to be getting weaker, especially given that in Wax and Wayne's era there are no Fullborn Feruchemists, just ferrings, the same way Allomancy is, I don't think it is part of the original genetic make up from when Preservation and Ruin populated the planet.  

 

If anything, it would be the recessive gene, which would lead to why they need breeding programs to increase/decrease its prevalence, and why you would want two people with Feruchemy to have children to increase the chance of producing a ferring.  That would not be as necessary if Feruchemy was the dominant gene.  

 

But still does not explain why it is getting weaker.  Blue eyes are recessive, but we do not see people having the recessive pair bb with eyes that are less blue than 300 years ago, or 1300 years ago.  

 

There is a genetic component, and to me it must be recessive, but there must be another component that explains why the powers are getting weaker and more dilute over time.

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5 minutes ago, Stark said:

 Seeing as Feruchemy as a whole seems to be getting weaker, especially given that in Wax and Wayne's era there are no Fullborn Feruchemists, just ferrings, the same way Allomancy is, I don't think it is part of the original genetic make up from when Preservation and Ruin populated the planet.  

Feruchemy got split because of mixing with Allomantic blood.

Anyway, I have written a timetable tracking down important events on Allomantic and Feruchemical bloodlines, there are also three pages worth of discussion:

 

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12 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:

When you say that they were near a balance, are you referring to before Preservation used a bit more power to instill sapience in humans? Without sapience people wouldn't be able to perform feruchemy either nor do I think that there were ever any non-sapient humans. My impression is that the first humans of Scadrial were endowed with the extra Preservation, granting them sapience and had the seeds of both metallic arts. In addition, I don't recall anything which would indicate that humans were post-creation modified in order to add the seeds of allomancy.

My meaning is they had the seeds of Allomany, but they only gained the ability to use Allomancy after their genetics had shifted enough to make them lean significantly more towards Preservation (genetics-wise). While at the time of their creation they were leaning more towards Preservation, but not enough to gain the use of Allomancy.

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10 hours ago, Stark said:

If anything, it would be the recessive gene, which would lead to why they need breeding programs to increase/decrease its prevalence, and why you would want two people with Feruchemy to have children to increase the chance of producing a ferring.  That would not be as necessary if Feruchemy was the dominant gene.

The dominant/recessive description was an oversymplification in order to provide ease of understanding. It could be easier to think of it in 3 or more parts rather than 2, where 1 part has to overrule the other. For example, FFF and FFf would be Feruchemists as the  capitol F is more prevelant than the lowercase f. However, Fff or fff would not be Feruchemists. (Order does not apply) This allows for the appearance of Feruchemists to increase or decrease between generations. If we accept as more complex than merely dominant/recessive it also explains the weakening over time. If there is a significantly larger number of factors than 1, 2, or even 10 genes, it allows for the weakening without complete absence of Feruchemical abilities.

The main reason I decided it couldn't be recessive was that that would either mean that Scadrial started with a limited number of Feruchemists, or else had no way for Feruchemical abilities to be lost. If everyone starts ff (in this example the genetic makeup of a feruchemist), no one will ever have a F in their genetics.

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38 minutes ago, Brightshade the Cunning said:

My meaning is they had the seeds of Allomany, but they only gained the ability to use Allomancy after their genetics had shifted enough to make them lean significantly more towards Preservation (genetics-wise). While at the time of their creation they were leaning more towards Preservation, but not enough to gain the use of Allomancy.

Essentially, you are correct in that regard then. Pre-Final Empire, as far as I'm aware, the genetics of allomancy were too weak for snapping to occur unless through the mists. At the start of the Final Empire though, the addition of the lerasium mistborns into the gene pool caused a significant shift towards Preservation in the following generation, allowing for the gain in allomancy without snapping by the mists.

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