The Science of Pokémon: An Argument for Inorganic Pokemon
|Fantasy monster or apex predator?|
Since the beginning of the franchise, evolution has been an important mechanic. As I explained in a previous blog, pokémon evolution isn't actually true evolution. Instead, it is a metamorphosis, with juvenile organisms eventually maturing into adults. Not every animal goes through metamorphosis, which explains why some pokémon never "evolve" in the game. That doesn't mean that natural selection, the driving force behind real world evolution, doesn't occur.
Natural selection occurs when an organism is born with a random characteristic that makes it better suited to the environment, which leads to them being able to breed and pass on their genetic material. This random trait, known as a mutation, needs to be beneficial (or at least not harmful) for it to be magnified through natural selection. For a random mutation to become the norm in a population, many generations of breeding is required for the once rare trait to become common. Humans have sped up this process with animals and plants by restricting which organisms are allowed to breed. (See: Selective Breeding)
Now back to the inorganic pokémon like Klink, Trubbish, or Vanilluxe. These organisms look like household objects. The first question would be to ask, what benefit is there from looking like a human-made object? The easiest answer would be that these organisms are adapted to blend with a human environment to have better access to food, water, and/or shelter. The easiest one to explain away is the one I hear the most griping about: Trubbish.
|Highly Evolved. Highly Dangerous.|
Obviously, in the real world human pollution hasn't been around long enough to cause such an extreme level of evolution, but we do see animals adapting to our pollution. If we lived in the hyper advanced society powered by Infinity Energy where health care is free and entire cities are managed by levitating robots it may be common place to see animals adapted to the world we caused to change. As for other weird household pokémon, maybe they also have adaptations to help them better survive this human altered world. Maybe Vanilluxe looks the way it does to steal ice cream from ice cream parlors? It seems like that is pigeon holing it into a small niche (or ecological role) but that wouldn't be the first time nature has done something like that. If you research some of the odd ways animals have adapted to us, something that is adapted to hide among frozen food doesn't seem as far fetched.
I could try explain why each inorganic pokémon is actually a natural science masterpiece, but I won't sugar coat it; they aren't. Not all adaptations are beneficial after all. Perhaps looking like a candle was useful for sneaking into houses and stealing food before the advent of electricity, but afterwards it would be more of a hindrance. I think most people would notice a random candle near their refrigerator.. which also seems to have a face and has turned bright orange for some reason. Eventually those mutations would be fazed out by a new mutation, perhaps one that makes the organism look like a key chain. This new organism that could better blend in and find food would eventually lead to the extinction of those defunct species that are no longer able to compete.
In the end, does basing a pokémon on a random household object allude to a loss of creativity? In my personal opinion: No. What it means is the person who devised it looked at that lifeless object and asked themselves, "If this was alive, how would it live?"