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On the Origin of Species: Mew: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

Dreams of electric Bulbasaur
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On the Origin of Species: Mew: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

In another column exploring the likely cultural and zoological origins of Pokémon species, we take a look at the elusive Mew.

Read more on Bulbanews
 
kiith'sa
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On the Origin of Species: Mew: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon said:
And this brings me to the one slightly irksome thing about Mew... well, irksome to a pedantic biologist like me, anyway. "Its DNA is said to contain the genetic codes of all Pokémon." But if Mew came first and all other Pokémon are descended from it, how could that be?
To me, Mew is based on the IDEA of common ancestry, on the idea that all living beings are the same at the most basic level. I know how the author feels about that misconception about evolution having a direction, however, being a pedantic biologist myself :)

It's not like magnemite, geodude, haunter, arceus, etc, are scientifically accurate pokemon, nameen?

Either way, great article, I enjoyed reading about my favorite little poke.
 

PDL

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Very good read.

Although I should also be slightly annoyed at the Pokédex info, I already know that the Pokédex is full of blatant mis-information that's downright impossible.
 
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Knew this for a long long time.
What I didn't see mentioned is that Old versions of mew showed it was mostly white. That is a reflection of Vernix caseosa, a white waxy stuff on newborn babies. I guess they stopped doing it later because of the idea of it more covered in fur, probably lanugo-like fur, instead
 
So you want to be a hero?
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Hmmm. It's kind of weird to think that a 'comomn ancestor' to all pokemon isn't even possible scientificaly. Those lies they're putting in the pokedex!
 
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I thought mew was a cat, but an embrio or whatever? wow.
Regardless, it still draws some inspiration from a cat, considering its Japanese name is an onomatopoeia similar to meow. This could have come after it was designed, but its still a part of its character.

Nice article, as usual!
 
Trust me, I'm the Doctor.
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Great article! I loved this one too. Mew seems mysterious from the way that it was inserted without Nintendo knowing, but all of the 1st Generation had a mysterious feeling to it.
 
Mari-yo Puyo
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Quite interesting that Mew was a secret addition to Pokemon, and one that would seal Pokemon as the best-selling of that time. I doubt that the secret of Mew was kept that long, though, seeing that I learnt about its existence back in 2000, and the fact that the anime's 1st movie starred Mew. But alas, hidden legendaries are hard to be hidden, with internet being part of life, so no longer was Arceus or Genosect an amazement, since passionate seekers will eventually know about them...
 
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Although I should also be slightly annoyed at the Pokédex info, I already know that the Pokédex is full of blatant mis-information that's downright impossible.
Like the Cubone paradox, where eventually they would all die out due to the loss of females. Also, Slowbro's Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald Pokédex entry conflicts with its FireRed one; the former says Slowbro only starts hunting because the Shellder on its tail means it can't fish, but the latter states it evolved whilst hunting.
Hmmm. It's kind of weird to think that a 'comomn ancestor' to all pokemon isn't even possible scientificaly. Those lies they're putting in the pokedex!
Actually, the column stated almost the opposite. The author complained that the Pokédex stated that it contained the genetic code for all Pokémon, but if it came first they should contain its code.

Quite interesting that Mew was a secret addition to Pokemon, and one that would seal Pokemon as the best-selling of that time. I doubt that the secret of Mew was kept that long, though, seeing that I learnt about its existence back in 2000, and the fact that the anime's 1st movie starred Mew. But alas, hidden legendaries are hard to be hidden, with internet being part of life, so no longer was Arceus or Genosect an amazement, since passionate seekers will eventually know about them...
Actually, I think it was kept very secret for quite a while. The games were released in 1995, and the first movie aired in 1999, and the internet was nowhere near as popular as it is now. It was kept secret for a very long time.


What confuses me is that if Mew is the Ancestor of all Pokémon (we would need to discount Arceus, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Mespirit, Uxie and Azelf if we believe Sinnoh mythology), how does that explain Porygon (and family) and Voltorb (and family), who are said to be human created. The only logical explanation I see is if DNA from another Pokémon was used to create these two.
 
A magical girl, transforming very slowly
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Actually, if the dates I've seen are correct, the secret wasn't kept for very long at all: the games came out at the end of February 1996, and the offer was in the April issue of CoroCoro! It might have been kept secret for a lot longer were Red and Green not quite so buggy...
 
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Evolution in Pokémon would seem to work differently than in reality. Pokémon evolution is more like metamorphosis and you can predict exactly what a one Pokémon, for example Pikachu, will evolve into, in this case a Raichu. The predetermined nature of evolution in Pokémon would perhaps be explained by Mew containing the DNA of all the Pokémon, further strengthening it as the origin of all non-legendary or man made Pokémon, rather than ruling out the Pokédex entry as fallacious. Remember, the Pokémon world is a strange place. Real world science doesn't necessarily hold true there.

~N-Pie
 
who knows...
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if mew was first kept as a secret, then nintendo and game freak must be hiding another pokemon that we might have not found...

anyway im just only curious about it ...
 
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Interesting read as usual. It didn't occur to me that Mew's origin might be something like that. I think I'd heard about Mew being kept a secret before, but it's certainly a fun fact.
 
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A very well written article.

While all Pokémon are interesting to explore, Mew has always intrigued me in particular. I knew about his origin already, but you managed to present some of the most interesting theories in biology, which I see as an accomplishment.

We all know that for the most part, Pokédex entries aren't exactly scientifically accurate. But that's probably somewhat understandable, since their job is to attract the players into liking a Pokémon.
 
ロケット団よ永遠
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Pokedex entries are full of impossible information!? That's unpossible!

Anyway, good read. BUT...it doesn't really cite any sources, does it? Where did you get the information about Myuu being slipped into the game at the last minute, for example? Where did the quote from Morimoto come from?
 
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To the people saying that the Pokedex entries are OBVIOUSLY wrong: Um. They're written by ten year olds. What would you have said about a dragon when YOU were ten? (Apologies if you were just being sarcastic/kidding when you were saying all that- my sarcasm filter's off today)

I liked this article a LOT, even though it was mostly a biology lecture with the same info about Mew repeated 10 times. But I did get to be proud of myself from remembering all of that from Bio 101 last week. :p So I wonder what comes next?
 
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