Talk:Elf

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Questions[edit]

To address a few of your bullet points:

  • Metabolism and neighboring bullets: Could you clarify how this is consistent with slower aging? Specifically, what biochemical mechanisms do you propose to reconcile this? Also, in what way is the immune system "more demanding" (i.e., what benefits are provided to justify the increased energy consumption)? If your elves have better immune systems, shouldn't they better tolerate "trauma or malnutrition"?
  • Pranks: In addition to the obvious forms of pollution, could incidents like those described in Concentration Room (or rather a proposed sequel) be involved? How often do these pranks involve physical violence toward and/or fatalities among other races?

Eighty5cacao 22:55, 18 October 2010 (MST)

I'll address aging and metabolism first. Elves were created first and created in God's image. Their genetic software included a feature called negligible senescence, more reliable mechanisms to repair damage caused by wear. But at the population bottleneck after the great flood, races ended up filling niches in new habitats. There was a tradeoff between energy used for repair and energy used for other purposes, and the energy used by negligible senescence became a counteradaptation in many of these niches. In addition, those habitats and niches differing too much from the original climate and gatherer lifestyle also selected for genomes with greater capacity for microevolution, and Weismann, Goldsmith, and Skulachev had a few things to say about that. --Tepples 07:29, 19 October 2010 (MST)

Mechanism of increased skin reflectance[edit]

Did you have any specific chemical mechanism in mind to account for the increased skin reflectance? Guanine appears to have some precedent for this use, but I'm not sure how effective it is as an absorber of ultraviolet light. Eighty5cacao 21:17, 5 January 2011 (MST)

Just a note that, upon reading over Melanin and Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, guanine should absorb a decent amount of UV, though slightly less than melanin.
Also, see UV/Visible spectrum for guanosine (requires Java). TODO: Find similar data for eumelanin
Would it be reasonable for these elves to have "shiny" and/or "pearly" complexions? Any objections to mentioning guanine in the article? Eighty5cacao 22:14, 1 April 2011 (MST)
Go ahead with the guanine. Your ideas are probably just as good as mine anyway, as long as there's enough to make it believable. --Tepples 11:08, 2 April 2011 (MST)

I suppose the next TODO is to find external sources that discuss this matter. Eighty5cacao 20:31, 16 March 2012 (MST)

Every time I have to kill one[edit]

While going through random LARP videos on YouTube, I found this gem:

Elf: "You understand that every time I have to kill one, it hurts!"
Other: "But if we don't kill nature, how will we build our houses?

--Tepples 06:41, 22 May 2011 (MST)

Other pages mentioning biology[edit]

It might help to start with what others have written on the biology of this race. While searching for references to clarify something I read on Cracked before writing about it on TV Tropes, I did a Google search for "elven fertility" and ended up on a few pages, which could explain part of their morality thinking that the human sex drive is "animalistic":

--Tepples 05:49, 15 March 2012 (MST)

Cultural consequences of long life[edit]

While trying to remember where I had found something about skull shape years ago, I found that longer lifespan leads to mastering more skills[1][2] or attention to detail.[3] Phases of life might rearrange to sandwich a career between phases of family life.[4] Any idea how these might apply? --Tepples 04:51, 6 July 2012 (MST)

I suppose it depends on how stable the economy is in the DX Town universe (or any other fictional universe to which you are referring). It would take me a while to come up with a more thorough explanation, though. Eighty5cacao 11:43, 6 July 2012 (MST)
To clarify: If the DX Town economy were stable enough, it would be easy for an elf to go through multiple related careers with intervening family-focused phases. A less-stable economy might result in bouncing between several jobs without much time available for family life. As for sourcing, the first of the two links you posted in the above section appears to support your hypothesis: "However[,] elven couples are known to fall in love[,] live together[,] raise kids[,] and then go on living single lives again—marriage is optional."
I suppose the next question is how to measure economic stability? That belongs in another article though. Eighty5cacao 00:00, 26 July 2012 (MST) (last edit 21:26, 16 November 2012 (MST))
Also, in reference to the first link in this section, I acknowledge that the math is just an oversimplified model. However, if elven communities are indeed significantly smaller than human communities, would the inbreeding problem be resolved predominantly by breeding patterns or by migration? Eighty5cacao 23:42, 27 July 2012 (MST)

So I heard you like Mudkip[edit]

In some fantasy worlds, elves are harmed by iron. In real life, axolotls (which display extreme neoteny) are harmed by a different element: iodine. (Esther Inglis-Arkell. "Scientists show that Peter Pan grows up with a shot of iodine". IO9, 2011-08-02. Accessed 2012-11-16.) I wonder whether biological immortality could be connected to a similar deficiency. --Tepples 11:10, 16 November 2012 (MST)

See also wikipedia:Iron in folklore#Cold iron. As for the original point of this discussion, I already gave a substantive reply in another related discussion. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 00:25, 22 December 2012 (CST)

When you feel invaded[edit]

Some find the elven mindset difficult to understand. But consider this: Iceland and Ireland routinely reroute roads when it is believed that the fair folk are causing construction equipment to fail. (Jesse Clark and Steve Hanley. "6 Insane Superstitions That Are Still Shockingly Influential". Cracked, 2012-11-15. Accessed 2012-11-17.) If foreign forces are invading your homeland, wouldn't you sabotage their machinery? I guess the question here is why the fair folk don't make their settlements more obvious to humans or engage humans in diplomacy. --Tepples 12:58, 17 November 2012 (MST)

Do I understand correctly that this BBC News article about an incident of road construction in Iceland is relevant? --Eighty5cacao (talk) 04:53, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
That and an article about Russ George in Pacific Standard. --Tepples (talk) 17:24, 25 June 2014 (UTC)