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Human "souls" into Minbari

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  • Human "souls" into Minbari

    Spoiler Alert just in case there are people in this forum who are still new to Babylon 5.

    This is an issue I've been thinking about ever since the episode "Atonement". As much as the soul thing sounds nice, it all comes down to science, to DNA. The plain truth is that with Sinclair/Valen marrying and having children, Human DNA mixed with Minbari, the Minbari were no longer a pure race.

    Delenn in "Atonement":
    "Many of our people carry human DNA in our blood and in our cells. I am one of them. That's why the Triluminary glowed when I touched it. It was programmed for Sinclair's DNA, and a trace of that is still within me."

    So, the truth is that the Triluminary doesn't respond to the soul, but to the DNA, or to a DNA sequence common to Humans.

    However, Lennier in "Points of Departure" said:
    "Over the last two thousand years, there have been fewer Minbari born into each generation, and those who are born do not seem equal to those who came before. It is almost as if our greater souls have been --- disappearing. At the Battle of the Line, we discovered where our souls were going. They were going to you. Minbari souls are being reborn, in part or in full, in human bodies."

    Okay, we can ignore the "soul" thing and replace it with the correct "DNA" term. And we can ignore the souls going to humans, because the truth is that the Triluminary traced a common DNA strand in every human and glowed accordingly. But... there's something else:

    "those who are born do not seem equal to those who came before"

    Why is that? Why weren't any great Minbari after Valen? I can understand why fewer Minbari are born, the number of children gets reduced in every society as the ages pass by, but why not equal??

    And my point is: Does this mean that the human DNA somehow downgraded the Minbari? That the mix produced a lower kind of gene pool? Delenn is a descendant of Sinclair/Valen and she sure is special. Or is she a special case? Why weren't any great Minbari? Or... or were there, but chose to live a secluded life? Did they, the descendants of Valen, know about their mixed DNA? I suppose the first generation knew, but as time went by, the truth got lost.

    Bottom line: Did our Human DNA do good or bad to the Minbari?? Hmmm....

    PS. On the other hand, an analysis in the "Lurker's Guide" suggests that Valen's descendants are not that many, in comparison to the whole Minbari population. If that is so, then it's the Minbari's DNA fault that the next generations are lower, and our DNA did them a favor!
    Last edited by white_star25; 01-20-2006, 08:12 AM.
    What a sad thing you are! Unable to answer even such a simple question without falling back on references and genealogies and what other people call you! Have you nothing of your own? Nothing to stand on that is not provided, defined, delineated, stamped, sanctioned, numbered and approved by others? How can you be expected to fight for someone else, when you haven't the fairest idea who you are?

    "Comes The Inquisitor"

  • #2
    I would say we could certainly use what qualifiers were used by Lennier when he made the statement about the newer generations of Minbari not seeming equal to the ones that came before. If it was just personal opinion (or group opinion) derived from just looking at the impact on the development of their society, then it could just be a case of the individual becoming complacent and doing little.

    If it involved lining everyone up and having them scanned by the triluminary, perhaps it is an issue of the human DNA thinning out as it spread through more generations (with Delenn having just been the beneficiary of a particuarly concentrated breeding path). Making a bigger glow for those of many generations ago who had a stronger presence of Human DNA than those of more recent generations whose Human DNA pieces were smaller.


    • #3
      I think it was just an opinion, whether it was unique to Lennier or common to Minbari society. It certainly wouldn't be the first case of it, even in the show. The Centauri, especially Londo, seem to be constantly complaining about how much better everything was in the past. There are certainly plenty of people, particularly as they get older, that miss the "good old days".

      If I remember correctly, wasn't the triluminary keyed specifically to Valen, not just to generic human DNA? Wasn't that part of the surprise that it reacted the way it did to Delenn and Sinclair?


      • #4
        could it just be that the Minbari are a race in decline ( a dying race ) , and the Valen connection is just a coincidence?


        • #5
          I normally don't get involved in discussions like this.... but perhaps the soul thing and DNA thing are seperate.. and yet perhaps our DNA is our link to where our souls come from?

          But more likely... it was a religious explination to how DNA got mixed between races without divulging too many truths to the average person.


          • #6
            Originally posted by SLerman
            If I remember correctly, wasn't the triluminary keyed specifically to Valen, not just to generic human DNA? Wasn't that part of the surprise that it reacted the way it did to Delenn and Sinclair?
            If it was keyed to Valen, it was done so by being keyed to Human DNA and the closer to Valen's exact DNA one's DNA was the brighter the glow. But it had to have been keyed to the humanness of the DNA because at the Battle of the Line, Sinclair wasn't the only human that the Minbari tested, according to what Lennier told Sheridan and Ivanova.

            Originally posted by spikey thing
            could it just be that the Minbari are a race in decline ( a dying race ) , and the Valen connection is just a coincidence?
            I'd say no since jms has told us through his interactions with the fans on the net that the Minbari (as well as the humans (which we see), but not the Centauri, etc) eventually achieve a First One level of evolution.


            • #7
              They captured several other humans, but I don't remember Lennier saying anything about the triluminary glowing for any of them. If Sinclair was the only human to have that reaction, that would be how the Grey Council knew that he was special.


              • #8
                Quoting Lennier, "He was tortured, interrogated, scanned. During the course of the scan, the Council discovered something terrible. At first they refused to believe it, so they took in other humans and had them scanned as well, but it was true."


                • #9
                  Given that we share some 94% of DNA with other apes it's likely that the trilumminary would glow a little for almost any human. I take it that it was the small percentage of uniquely-Sinclair DNA that was keyed to enable the transformation to Minbari (and viceversa, hence Delenn's incomplete human appearance, lacking some of the uniquely-Valen DNA). It was the full triluminary glow of Sinclair that marked him as special.

                  The Minbari were a somewhat isolated race when the story of B5 starts. I think they were so much into navel-gazing that there was no place for great deeds or heroes. Thus they weren't exactly a declining race but were not advancing much as a society. In that view the potential for "greatness" was there but the opportunities for it weren't.

                  Then add the typical sentient race view that the "good old times" were always better... (I tought that was just humanity's bias, but B5 showed me otherwise )

                  Lacking the knowledge that Valen was (would be) Sinclair and given the ideology of the religious caste they had no better explanation than to assume that it was a matter of souls migrating.

                  I suspect that Lennier, if asked in 2261 (around Atonement) about his words at the beginning of 2258 (in Points of Departure) would say something quite different, acknoledging that it was DNA not soul explaining it all. IMO that unexisting piece of dialogue would clearly show that there is no contradiction between the lines quoted to start this thread.
                  Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                  James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)