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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
02-06-2010, 09:39 AM
Originally Posted by Feor View Post
Why not?

The romulans supposedly left Vulcan arond 800bce, that's 3000ish years of seperation. If they had evolved a 6th finger and wings I'd agree with you, but cranial ridges becoming more/less pronounced over that time isn't outside the realm of possibility.

I've seen it postulated that the ridges are actually an indication of telepathic power. That on ancient Vulcan how pronounced the ridges were would have indicated how weak a person's psychic powers were. When they split the majority of the people who left were of weaker telepathic capability, and possibly wanted it that way, knowing how destructive uncontrolled telepathy had been to them in the past. So over the generations the more prominent ridges became the norm as less telepathically active mates became more desirable. Same way people on Earth are becoming taller, it's purely cosmetic evolution because desirable mates are the "tall, dark, and handsome" type.
That's not a bad theory, though it's worth pointing out that some sources point out that the Remans are what happened to all of the Vulcans in the original journey away from Vulcan itself ended up being after three thousand years of being a slave caste to the Romulans.

We also have to factor in that we're leaving out a few major points in Romulan evolution - the fact they dealt with prolonged space travel (something we know has a profound effect on the human body over long periods, much less on the evolutionary tract) and a major shift in environment (moving from one planet to another, and from one star-type to another). There may have been any number of radiation changes in the differences in solar systems on Vulcan and Romulus (and Remus), in addition to specific kinds of flora/fauna affecting the diet (introducung different kinds of materials your body has to learn to process), gravity changes, and even the chemical mix in the atmosphere.

That's a lot of stuff changing that can really screw things up over 3,000 years. While not an entirely different species from the Vulcans, the comparison to Humans and Monkeys may well be accurate in this case. It'd be like if we sent people to live on the moon now, and checked back three thousand years later - we'd classify them as an almost entirely different species due to the number of changes not just culturally, but the physical adapations to the environment (which is covered in a very awesome novel by Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves).