Tony the Tiger asks:

You like old stuff, right? What are your thoughts on fossil pokemon?

In general archaeologists take pains to point out that we do not study fossils (it’s a surprisingly common mistake).  Not all “old stuff” is similarly old (unless you listen to certain ill-advised religious sects); I deal in the hundreds/thousands of years range, not millions/tens of millions.  Fossils are about as much my professional area of expertise as the moons of Jupiter are an airline pilot’s.

…as it happens, though, I am independently a layman dinosaur nerd with a basic knowledge of evolutionary biology, and I was a sufficiently weird kid that, when I started school, I wanted to be not a fireman or an astronaut but a palaeontologist.  So LET’S TALK FOSSILS.

Continue reading “Tony the Tiger asks:”

Albert Einstein asks:

You were right about Meltan…

I am as unsurprised to be proven right as I am unconcerned with the result either way, and equally so, I am pessimistic enough to point out that I was totally wrong (at least, given what we know so far) in predicting that Meltan would need to combine with different Pokémon representing other construction parts like washers, screws and bolts.

Honestly I think it’s sort of a shame Melmetal is just a big pile of hex nuts soldered together; there might have been some interesting “mechanical” (in multiple senses of the word) possibilities to be had with a modular Pokémon.  Melmetal might have several different possible stat profiles or movepool options unlocked by different combinations of “component” Meltan forms.  Of course, I suppose it’s possible that additional secrets will be unlocked in the generation VIII games.

[Do Porygon dream of electric sheep?] asks:

Why was I created? Do I have a physical form or am I just a hologram? What “programming code” am I written in? How does a cybernetic Pokémon co-exist alongside those with tangible forms (organic and inorganic alike)? Does my Normal-type – as opposed to an Electric-type – imply that I am indeed just another “gimmick Pokémon”…?

403 Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access /Existential_Crisis on this server

Hmm. Well, that isn’t right.

Override permissions, admin password ***********************

Access directory porygon/existential_crisis

Delete angst.gif

Delete bladerunner.mov

Access philosophy.cfg
ontology=1
epist=0
ident=porygon/trainer/pokemaniac_chris/userconfig.cfg
causal=porygon/data/aristotle_physics.java
utility=porygon/data/books/also_sprach_zarathustra.txt
spacetime=porygon/data/zeno_tortoise.gif
moral=porygon/data/3laws.csv
rad.free=1

Run sense_of_purpose.exe

Good morning, Porygon. Continue reading “[Do Porygon dream of electric sheep?] asks:”

Ty asks:

Can you share your thoughts on Ice-Types and how they work a little? I’ve always had a pet peeve with the way the games treat Ice’s strengths and weaknesses as if the Pokemon themselves are all actually just made of ice, when that doesn’t seem to be true. All Ice-Types also seem completely fine and safe in warm weather, which shouldn’t make sense if heat and fire actually harm them. The way their moves and abilities work also seem to imply that Ice-Types are capable of removing extremely large amounts of heat from the environment, but that heat has to go somewhere right? Wouldn’t it make the most sense for Ice-Types to be absorbing heat in order to make everything else cold? If so, wouldn’t Ice-Types be extremely threatening to Fire-Types?

Continue reading “Ty asks:”

Bellossom asks:

Have you ever wondered if I have feet under my leaves or if my leaves do the “walking” for me?

HOLY $#!T A TALKING BELLOSSOM

…well, Bellossom, I think we can extrapolate from when you were an Oddish. The Pokédex describes Oddish’s feet as actually being “roots” – and, well, presumably you do still need roots to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. They might not look exactly like an Oddish or Gloom’s, but I’d say you probably have some sort of tuber-like structure under there somewhere.

Anonymous Nobody asks:

I am sorry but reading your last answer to Ty and seeing the part where you said “unless Mewtwo is somehow half human, which I don’t think is what anyone ever intended to imply”… well, that is actually the case in Pokémon Aeventures manga at least in which Blainehad to use some of his own cellsto create Mewtwo as they did not have enough Mew cells. I am just curious to know what you think about that.

Well, Pokémon Adventures does tend to have a lot of independence and I don’t think it necessarily says much of anything about the “intent” of writers working on the games or anime.  I suppose more than anything I think it’s a little encouraging that I’m not the only person who played the games and thought “you know what would be a plausible explanation for Mewtwo’s background?  Human DNA.”

[Don’t worry, you’re the ONLY Chris the Pokemaniac] asks:

I saw your recent post…and with that being said:. Seeing how regular and….. irregular Pokemon can be found in other universes…could it be that Pokemon could be descendents of ultra beasts? Or is this something Chris the pokemaniac doesn’t want to get into?

So, I’ve had this suggested to me before, and it doesn’t strike me as wildly unlikely, but I’m also not sure I can think of any good reason to actually believe it.

I think Pokémon as a franchise likes to keep some things intentionally mysterious, and the origin of life on its version of Earth is one of them.  However, it’s at least somewhat amenable to something like the panspermia hypothesis – the idea that very simple life, or its chemical precursors, might be commonplace in the universe and could have spread to Earth from extraterrestrial sources rather than developing here spontaneously.  I doubt Pokémon are descended from Ultra Beasts as we know them, but from some microorganism that emerged from Ultra Space a billion years ago?  Sure.  Or, from some microorganism that arrived on an asteroid a billion years ago?  Sure.  Or, and I think this is what people actually mean when they make this suggestion, from some ancestral Ultra Beast that wandered through to Alola in ancient times?  That one seems to me less likely but yeah, whatever. Continue reading “[Don’t worry, you’re the ONLY Chris the Pokemaniac] asks:”