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Kingsdaughter613

Era 2 plot hole?

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What is the big deal about the kidnapped women being Spook’s descendants? Spook had like 13 kids; 350 years after the Catascande, considering the Founder Effect and small population size, half the Basin should be his descendants! Unless all his kids only had one child each for multiple generations, or something equally unlikely, there’s nothing special about those women at all.

Any ideas on how to solve this conundrum?

In other news, assuming TLR had his kids within the first few centuries of his reign and those kids married into the nobility, every member of Kelsier’s crew - with the exception of Sazed and, possibly, Dockson - is a descendant of Rashek. As are all the nobility. I wonder how he’d react to the news.

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As I read this, the kidnapped women are his descendents via the lines that had shown a good Allomancy genes.

Edited by Eri
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they are the best lines for allomancy, and I think it's a bit exaggerated how spread the genes would be.

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3 hours ago, Eri said:

As I read this, the kidnapped women are his descendents via the lines that had shown a good Allomancy genes.

 

2 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

they are the best lines for allomancy, and I think it's a bit exaggerated how spread the genes would be.

 

2 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

they are the best lines for allomancy, and I think it's a bit exaggerated how spread the genes would be.

But that isn’t what the book says. Just that they’re from direct lines. 

My husband and I can trace a direct line to the Nodah B’Yehuda (1713-1790), and so can a lot of other people. All of Ashkenazi Jewry can trace (in theory) direct lines to Rashi (1000s). When you have a small starting population, with little to no genetic influx, you quickly end up with a situation like Ashkenazi Jewry, where you have millions of people who are genetic cousins.

All of Ashkenazi Jewry is descended from 350 people with a fairly even admixture of Middle Eastern and European ancestry. Today’s Ashkenazi Jews, despite having lived in Europe for centuries, still have around 50/50 DNA. (Which is why I look very Middle Eastern and my BFF’s daughter looks Caucasian, but has an epicanthic fold.) From what we can tell, the Basin began with a similar sized population of a few hundred people - many of whom were already related (due to being parents and their children).

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.timesofisrael.com/ashkenazi-jews-descend-from-350-people-study-finds/amp/

Elendel’s nobility seems to be even more closely related then the general basin population (who are likely closely related as well). So this really doesn’t add up. If it wasn’t for the Holocaust the Nodah B’Yehuda would have over a million direct descendants today; as it is he still has thousands. And he didn’t have nearly as many children as Spook. My great-grandmother’s 100th descendant was born 30 days after she died; she had five children and she was 92. Spook had upwards of a dozen; by the time he steps down he should have had at LEAST 200 direct descendants!

What would make sense is if they were taking women who had the bloodlines least adulterated with Terris DNA and the highest concentrations of pre-Catascande noble DNA, but that isn’t what the book said.

As a complete aside, I’ve also noticed that a lot of writers seem to have a really hard time envisioning a population numbering in the millions that are all genetic cousins.

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7 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

 

 

But that isn’t what the book says. Just that they’re from direct lines. 

My husband and I can trace a direct line to the Nodah B’Yehuda (1713-1790), and so can a lot of other people. All of Ashkenazi Jewry can trace (in theory) direct lines to Rashi (1000s). When you have a small starting population, with little to no genetic influx, you quickly end up with a situation like Ashkenazi Jewry, where you have millions of people who are genetic cousins.

All of Ashkenazi Jewry is descended from 350 people with a fairly even admixture of Middle Eastern and European ancestry. Today’s Ashkenazi Jews, despite having lived in Europe for centuries, still have around 50/50 DNA. (Which is why I look very Middle Eastern and my BFF’s daughter looks Caucasian, but has an epicanthic fold.) From what we can tell, the Basin began with a similar sized population of a few hundred people - many of whom were already related (due to being parents and their children).

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.timesofisrael.com/ashkenazi-jews-descend-from-350-people-study-finds/amp/

Elendel’s nobility seems to be even more closely related then the general basin population (who are likely closely related as well). So this really doesn’t add up. If it wasn’t for the Holocaust the Nodah B’Yehuda would have over a million direct descendants today; as it is he still has thousands. And he didn’t have nearly as many children as Spook. My great-grandmother’s 100th descendant was born 30 days after she died; she had five children and she was 92. Spook had upwards of a dozen; by the time he steps down he should have had at LEAST 200 direct descendants!

What would make sense is if they were taking women who had the bloodlines least adulterated with Terris DNA and the highest concentrations of pre-Catascande noble DNA, but that isn’t what the book said.

As a complete aside, I’ve also noticed that a lot of writers seem to have a really hard time envisioning a population numbering in the millions that are all genetic cousins.

Couple thoughts:

1) Spook's bloodline would be unique because he was Elevated to Mistborn directly and recently, not born as one with the accompanying dilution of those generations between Era1 and the original elevation of the noble bloodlines.     EDIT: Nevermind, WOB confirms he was reduced power

2) Per WOB, Scadrial had "a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel)".  Not sure how well that lines up with your RL analogy

3) One of the main things Harmony did was futz with the population, changing how Koloss Breeding and Snapping work, and fixing the changes that TLR made.

4)  None of this actually has anything to do with normal DNA, so the normal real world transmission & inheritance rates Etc. likely dont apply.  Metallic Arts are passed via Spritual DNA (sDNA) rather than the amino-acid sequences in the Physical Realm (ie there is no "blood test" for allomancy, etc).  

 

 

Quote

 

Questioner

Your magic systems are very structured, and specific rules that dominate them. But are there any universal laws that apply to all of the magic systems in the cosmere together?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there's several of them. Basically, the most important one and relevant to people who enjoy real physics is that I consider something called Investiture to be a third state of matter and energy. So, instead of e=mc^2, we have a third thing, Investiture, in there. And you can change Investiture to matter or to energy. And so, because of that, that law that you can do this, is where we see a lot of the cosmere magics living.

We also have a kind of rule that beings all exist, everything exists on three different levels. The Physical, the Spiritual, and the Cognitive. And, like we have DNA for our Physical self, we also have Mental DNA and Spiritual DNA, and all three influence one another. For instance, you couldn't test an Allomancer's blood and find the Allomancy gene, because it is in a different set of their DNA. You just have three sets. You could compose a test that could test it on the Spiritual Realm, but you're gonna have to use a different branch of physics to do that and determine who was an Allomancer. And so they all work on this kind of fundamental rules of: your Identity, your Connection, and being part of your soul, and the magics working through those things.

So there's some fundamental rules about this, about changing forms from energy to matter, and you having this Identity, Investiture, and Connection stored in your Spiritual DNA that are really relevant to everything.

ICon 2019 (Oct. 15, 2019)

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

Argent (paraphrased)

Is spiritual DNA inherited the same as regular DNA?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Inherited similarly, but not 100% identically, to regular DNA.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 1, 2013)

 

 

Edited by Quantus
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23 minutes ago, Quantus said:

1) Spook's bloodline would be unique because he was Elevated to Mistborn directly and recently, not born as one with the accompanying dilution of those generations between Era1 and the original elevation of the noble bloodlines.    

Spook is actually not quite as powerful as you're making him out to be there:

 

 

Quote

 

Douglas

I take it either Spook did not have children or Sazed made him a reduced-strength Mistborn rather than giving him the full potency of the 9 originals and Elend?

Brandon Sanderson

Spook is a reduced power Mistborn.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide (Oct. 15, 2008)

 

 
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43 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Couple thoughts:

1) Spook's bloodline would be unique because he was Elevated to Mistborn directly and recently, not born as one with the accompanying dilution of those generations between Era1 and the original elevation of the noble bloodlines.    

2) Per WOB, Scadrial had "a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel)".  Not sure how well that lines up with your RL analogy

3) One of the main things Harmony did was futz with the population, changing how Koloss Breeding and Snapping work, and fixing the changes that TLR made.

4)  None of this actually has anything to do with normal DNA, so the normal real world transmission & inheritance rates Etc. likely dont apply.  Metallic Arts are passed via Spritual DNA (sDNA) rather than the amino-acid sequences in the Physical Realm (ie there is no "blood test" for allomancy, etc).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The issue is that they’re still going after Spook’s descendants and the numbers don’t make sense. My great-grandmother had a hundred descendants at 92 from only five children. She has a lot more now. 

But this woman’s numbers are also worth noting: https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2019/08/07/holocaust-survivor-celebrates-104th-birthday-surrounded-by-400-descendants/amp/

400! Descendants in 100 years! From FOUR children. And Spook had somewhere over a dozen.

Assuming no wars or massacres or plagues or famines and low infant and maternal mortality, you can actually get fifteen million quite quickly, even starting from a small population. And the original Survivorists were pushing repopulation. Even if they only started with 500-1000 individuals, if you have high birth rates you’ll hit the millions very, very quickly.

Population growth is exponential. If you have 1000000 people and they each have two children, then you have 3000000 people. If each of THOSE has two kids you have 7 million. (1+2+4) And if each of those has two kids then you have 15000000. (1+2+4+8)

Or: if most of your original million survives to see great-grandchildren (very possible if we assume people have their first around 20) we get from 1 million to 15 million in four generations. Assuming the first child is born when parents are 20ish, that’s around 80 to 100 years.

So if we start with 500 people who can have kids and each couple has four - 2500. Those 2000 have four kids - 6500. Those 4000 give us 8000. 14,500 - 500 (old people die) = 14000. 8000 gives us 16000 = 30000 - 2000=28000 16 gives us 32 = 60000 - 4000 = 56000 That’s the first 100 years.

32 gives 64 = 120000-8000=112000 64 gives 128 = 248000 - 16000 = 232000 128 gives 256 = 488000-32000 = 456000 256 gives 512 = 968000-64000=904000 512 gives 1048 = 1.952M-128000=1.824 million. We end the second century with over a million people - and over a million children born. And that’s with having no great-grandparents.

I already showed you what happens next assuming two new children per each individual of the previous generation once you hit 1M.

Now consider that the average woman, if she starts having children around twenty and does not use birth control will have anywhere from 7 to 14 pregnancies on average. And on Scadrial, most of those kids survive to adulthood. And consider that Survivorism probably does not approve (if it doesn’t outright forbid) birth control due to the whole ‘survival of the species’ thing.

Only reason there aren’t hundreds of millions of Ashkenazi Jews is because we were regularly massacred. This isn’t a factor in the Basin and neither is hunger and infant mortality rates are low. Honestly, the Basin should have way more people than it does, but 15M from 500 in 350 years is quite reasonable.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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1 hour ago, datalaughing said:

Spook is actually not quite as powerful as you're making him out to be there:

Ah, excellent point, I entirely missed the "reduced power" bit..

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I think you're making an awful lot of assumptions about people's attitudes post-Catacendre. You seem to think everyone would have abandoned their old traditions, prejudices and mores about who to have kids with, how many kids to have, etc. Because those traditions would have been founded under Final Empire ideals which are no longer relevant.

Yet, we know that almost 1/5 of the Originators were Terris, and that they still, 300+ years later tend to intermarry and live together in one small-ish community, semi-independent from the greater Basin. If anything, they seem to have leaned into their traditions harder to establish a sense of identity for themselves in the wake of the complete destruction of everything they'd ever known. Given the size of their group and the lack, according to Wax, of feruchemy extant in the population, Terris relationships likely involve few children in most cases and probably have for a long time.

How many of the people who survived the World of Ash were women of child-bearing age? We don't know. So the Lord Mistborn had a bunch of kids. Did other nobles follow suit? And did Spook's kids, who would have been important because they were his kids, marry similarly important people among the new nobility? Are birth records among the nobility (many of whom might have been allomancers, especially if Spook married his kids off in political marriages in order to keep the early government of the Basin stable) kept much more stringently than among the rest of the populace? This would explain why Wax can locate all these women and trace them back to Spook on readily-available geneological charts, if they were from important familiar with strong allomantic lines outside of just being related to the Lord Mistborn. And, logically, that's also where The Set would be looking for people who would be more likely to breed allomancers.

A member of a noble house that's been around for 300 years and intermarrying with other noble houses might have the same number of people between them and the Lord Mistborn as a canal worker who can also trace his roots back to Spook, but their potential for allomancy would be vastly different. Especially if the old noble houses also ended up marrying some of Spook's kids and several generations later someone can trace lines to Spook along multiple ancestors. 

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I think it's simply the nature of nobility inbreeding to an extant. Sure a lot of people could claim descent from Spook but how many have ancestry that keeps Allomantic lines "pure" by having children with other families that have strong histories of Allomancy 

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