Suppose a cult has been receiving special "visions" of doom far off into the future. Even though this prophecy of doom is not impending in the here and now, these cultists are very long-term minded and buy into it whole heartedly. The visions tell them to grow wings and fly, or at the very least glide a substantial distance. One day, when doomsday hits, this trait will save the cult members -- so spake the infallible seer who received the visions.
Brainwashed as they are, this bunch is still scientific about achieving this goal. They intend to take small steps at first, like jumping off a rock, then a small boulder. The current members are doubtful that they will see any microevolutions in their lifetimes, but are hopeful that down the road, their decedents will thank them for starting the process. On the even broader scale, the idea is that the cult members will, over the generations, create enough microevolutions to achieve the speciation that they desire. Once the speciation is complete, they will have become the lore-exalted "Winged/Gliding Ones."
How close to complete speciation can the cultists reach? Note the cult term for this speciation is becoming the "Winged/Gliding Ones" as full-blown wings might be a tall order, perhaps the seer meant to become like a flying squirrel. Full-blown wings would be great, but latitude is allowed for less flamboyant speciation that achieves the goal. See success metric below:
- Reproduction: You decide (mate selection, reproduction rate, ect)
- Genetic Modification: forbidden, those who "cheat" are excommunicated from the cult
- Strategy/stimulus: here the default is jumping off of progressively larger objects. But if you really want to change it, just include a description of your strategy
Effort/devotion: These people have no day job, they can put everything into this effort
Success Metric: Achieve speciation whereby the cultists can fly perpetually or at least glide a distance of 100 yards/meters.
- Timeframe: While the cultists are infinitely patient, it might be more meaningful to include a few time-frame parameters. For the sake of illustration, we could have 1000 years, 10000 years and 100000 years checkpoints. If necessary, feel free to stipulate your own timeframe.
Note: If you think the cultists are doomed to failing complete speciation, try to suggest the best microevolution they could aspire to (i.e. flaps of skin, better joints for absorbing impacts, ect).