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Title: Possibilities and improbabilities in human-alien interbreeding
Authors: Grech, Victor E.
Vassallo, Clare
Callus, Ivan
Keywords: Extraterrestrial anthropology
Human-alien encounters
Extraterrestrial beings -- Sexual behavior
Science fiction -- History and criticism
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Science Fiction Research Association
Citation: Grech, V. E., Thake-Vassallo, C., & Callus, I. (2012). Possibilities and improbabilities in human-alien interbreeding. SFRA Review, 300, 8-14.
Abstract: DIFFERENT SPECIES have readily mated together in mythology, and Zeus, for example, is said to have taken a bull’s form in order to seduce Europa. This trope also has Biblical precedent when, in ancient times, the sons of God (angels) found human women fair, took them to wife and begat children off them, a scenario repeated in two popular films, Ephron’s Michael (1996) and Silberling’s City of Angels (1998). In a more sinister vein, succubi (female) and incubi (male) were purported demons that allowed mankind to consort sexually with the devil. Such folklore is not restricted to Christianity and accounts of diabolical intercourse are common cultural phenomena with parallels from non-Christian sacred texts including Arabian djinn or jinn, Greek satyrs, Hindu bhuts, Samoan hotua poro, and Celtic dusii (Sagan). Scientists abhor such superstitions and an excellent review of how scientists wish the non-scientist to learn critical and sceptical thinking so as to be able to identify pseudoscience and so-called magic is given in Sagan’s, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Xenology may be defined as the scientific study of all aspects of extraterrestrial life forms. Xenobiology is a subset of xenolgy and refers to the study of the biology of extraterrestrial lifeforms. Xenogamy (Greek, xenos=strange, gamos=marriage) is the transfer of pollen grains one plant to a different plant and is also used to refer to sexual relations across alien species. This paper will discuss SF’s depiction of interspecies sexual relations through a comprehensive reading of related texts. An interdisciplinary flavour will be noted throughout as the first author is a medical doctor, such that real-life parallels will be highlighted while excessive poetic licence that goes beyond the bounds of reasonable speculation will be pointed out.
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