劉王 [りゅうおう] Royal RyuuChapter 33
五穀 [ごこく] gokoku, the 5 grains: wheat, rice, beans, awa and kibi (two kinds of millet)
The birds and the bees are further explained in Chapter 53
of Shadow of the Moon
amanuensis n. a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another; secretary.
internuncio n. a papal ambassador; an intermediary.
I admire the audaciousness of the biology that Fuyumi Ono has created here, but it is not without its problems. Flowering plants (any plant that produces a seed, which is actually a fertilized ovule) rely on good old sex to reproduce, just not in the obvious and recognizable human way. However, it is possible (though rare at the multicellular level) for organisms to reproduce by means of parthenogenesis
This does present obstacles on the human side, though. Evolution is an ongoing arms race, with organisms developing defenses in response to ongoing threats, and then passing those traits onto their children. One of the best examples of this is the Delta 32 mutation on the CCR5 gene, which is found predominantly among the descendants of the survivors of the Black Death. People who inherit two copies of the gene exhibit an enhanced immunity even to HIV.
Ono implies that some sort of evolution or hybridization is ongoing at the plant level. If viruses and bacteria, reproducing asexually, continue to evolve, but the rest of the animal kingdom remain one-off creations, with no specific genetic inheritance from their parents, they would soon be overwhelmed. The cheetah
, due to a "bottleneck effect," evolved with almost no genetic variability in its current population, leaving the entire species one mutation away from extinction.
On the other hand, having every child born with a completely randomized genetic mix, communicable diseases would have a harder time taking hold, the same way a truly randomized security code is difficult to break. However, diseases cross species boundaries, so the intra-species randomization would have to press the limits of what we genetically define as a "species." Among mammals, it's a male and female producing fertile offspring, which doesn't apply here.
It also becomes difficult to explain sexual dimorphism
without sexual reproduction. And while the acknowledgement of a purposeful creator in this case does render these arguments rather moot, recent studies argue that evolution continues apace
, suggesting that if there is agency at the microcellular level, these forces should inevitably exert themselves at the macro level.