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When elves decide to conceive, a male must add his genetic material at different intervals over several years to the female. Genetic material could come from a single male or various ones with no connection to one another. The developing child is slowly "built" with the genetic material of one father, or the makeup of several different fathers. After enough "material" has been collected, the embryo becomes fully formed and the gestation process can begin. This method allows elves to selectively breed for some distinctive and valuable traits amongst themselves.

I would like this to ultimately lead to specialization within the elven race, with various subraces being created in the process ( wood elves, aquatic elves, drow, etc). These subspecies would be perfectly adapted for their own environment. The eugenics movement failed when humans tried to manipulate their own evolution, and was ultimately discredited. With these parameters, would this method be able to allow this to work for elves?

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  • $\begingroup$ This has to a perfectly natural way - no science, no magic involved? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Mar 17 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander It is the political eugenics that failed. The method itself is viable as long as you have long-standing objectives and disregard some human rights that are considered basic in recent times. $\endgroup$ – fraxinus Mar 17 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ You may want to meditate upon the meaning of the word "eugenics" and to understand what we mean when we say that the eugenics movement "failed". (Hint: "predictably guide its own evolution" is eugenics. What the question is asking is, fundamentally, how can eugenics work if we don't call it eugenics.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 17 at 21:17
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@Incognito you suggest some perverted, but pretty much possible form of polyploidy. It is OK as an advantage of a species (see "Heterozygote advantage" that is multiplied by the possible combinations of alleles).

As a strategy, it will possibly fail in the very same way that failed in humans - it is slow, human/elve resource consuming, prone to "gene selfishness" and moving goals. Then again, for a species capable of reason all, other adaptive mechanisms are less effective than education/training/knowledge and so the social energy will be adequately distributed.

(Edit: not sure if this form of polyploidy is safe enough from gene selfishness in order to survive long enough to appear in complex species. The female organism controls the process and has to bear the burden for a lot more than its own genes. There is a strong pressure to reduce polyploidy even down below 2, even in known biology - in humans Y chromosome carries less genes because of this. Polyploidy higher than 2 doesn't bring much more advantages.)

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There something similar in the Mother Nature, hens expel sperm of unwanted partners.

Also, its remember me a bit this video about how certain desired characteristics evolve.

About evolution in human specie, well, we are globally integrated and need segregate some population by more time of our civilization already exist until make them impossible to reproduce, making then two different human species. However, the able to sherpas to breathe in high altitudes, one third of humans are able to digest milk and dairy proteins, and fact bacteria caused Black Plague in Middle Ages is inoffensive due our immunological system are examples that show we continue to evolve.

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