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Edenism

Edenism is a fictional group-entity culture in Peter F. Hamilton's science fiction The Night's Dawn Trilogy series. Distinguishing characteristics of Edenism include genetically-assigned telepathy and the use of sentient biotechnology.

Background

A biotechnologist named Wing-Tsit Chong developed affinity symbiont neurons, allowing control over similarly bonded animals and living biotechnological structures called bitek (2058). In year 2069, the affinity gene was successfully engineered into human DNA.

Bitek habitats, living constructs made of polyp (artificial coral) in which people could live, were germinated in space. The first habitat, Eden, was germinated in 2075 and people began immigration in 2085.

In 2090, as Wing-Tsit Chong was dying, he transferred his memories to Eden's memory cells, effectively beginning the Edenist culture as his ideas and philosophy were committed to memory. Through affinity, Chong was able to continue living as a non-corporeal observer inside the habitat.

In response to this non-Christian afterlife, Pope Eleanor of the Unified Christian Church excommunicated humans born with affinity engineering in 2090, claiming Chong's soul would not continue its transcendental journey due to him cheating death.

Affinity

The affinity bond, similar to telepathy, links all Edenists together mentally. It is normally a genetically-engineered trait; Adamists may gain the affinity ability through neural injection of the symbiont. Affinity uses two modes of engagement:

Modes of engagement

Singular engagement is that between two Edenists, an Edenist and a bitek construct, two bitek constructs, or an Edenist/bitek construct and an Adamist with neural symbionts. Collective engagement is that between three or more affinity-enabled beings. (Personal and public affinity-use is also distinguished by these terms.) A special collective engagement called consensus enables a large group of affinity-enabled beings to form a singular representative mental entity. (See group mind.)

Emotional support

Not only does affinity allow for communication, it also defines a key aspect of Edenist culture. Emotions and raw thoughts can be filtered and sent via affinity. This connects Edenists on a far greater sociological plateau than Adamists, as they can provide support and encouragement to other Edenists in need. This apparently contributes to the common Edenist belief of self-superiority to all non-Edenists.

Adamist alternatives

Sensevise can provide similar experiences. A sensevise record can contain the complete sensory input a human being is capable of (sight, hearing, smell, touch, emotion, thought, ...). Sensevise records are very frequently used in the Night's Dawn universe, most often by the media. While capable of recording the full human state, a sensevise record must be pre-recorded and will typically be heavily edited so could only be considered a hollow equivalent of affinity, if it could be considered an equivalent at all. For example the Adamist faction of humanity has no Consensus, nor the capacity for the simultaneous links or telepathic attributes which define affinity.

Bitek

The term bitek is an abridgment of biotechnology; in The Night's Dawn, it is a form of sentient biotechnology used by numerous human cultures in the Confederation, most notably, Edenists.

Habitats

Edenist habitats

With the exception of Atlantis (the only planet colonized by Edenists), Edenists live in habitats. A habitat is a hollow body of cylindrical shape. The largest habitat (Tranquility) measures 65 kilometres in length and 18 kilometres in diameter. Due to certain constraints (see later), habitats can only exist on the orbit of a gas giant. After germination, a habitat usually grows for around 10 years. During this period it is supervised from a small space-station in a near orbit. After the growth period it is opened for settlement. The habitat is completely genetically engineered. It is mostly made out of Bitek Polyp (a living coral). A habitat is completely self-supporting. Artificial gravity is created by rotating the whole habitat around its axis. The light inside the habitat is produced by a hollow tube which spans the entire length of the habitat and is powered by high electric currents. The habitat's basic functions are digestion of interstellar material into everything needed to support its structure and its inhabitants (during maturation the habitat usually consumes large amounts of interstellar matter) and digestion of all waste products produced by the inhabitants and the habitat itself. It only requires an external power supply; this is achieved via conductor cables, which grow on the outer hull of the habitat. Due to the rotation, these cables cross the electromagnetic flux of the nearby gas giant and thus produce electrical energy.

Communication with the habitat can be achieved via affinity or via datavis using special interfaces. Each habitat also has its own habitat personality. The habitat Eden was the first habitat germinated (by the JSKP during 2058) and is the oldest living sentient entity in the Confederation. The personality of Wing-Tsit Chong (inventor of the affinity gene and the founder of the Edenist culture) resides within the neural strate of Eden.

Non-Edenist habitats

Five habitats were germinated outside of Edenist culture, most notably among them Tranquility and Valisk. These habitats are in no way represented in Edenist consensus or activities. In fact, presumably all of them deviate from Edenism in at least some aspects, usually absolute.

Government

Jupiter, the largest gas giant in the Sol system, Milky Way galaxy, is home to the largest Edenist government called the Jovian Consensus. Due to the limits of affinity each solar system colonized by Edenists has its own autonomous government. The Jovian Consensus is a true democracy; it consists of the collective-conscience of all Edenists and sentient bitek constructs within affinity range. Due to the nature of consensus affinity, complete representation can be established instantaneously and with minimal confusion.

Serpents

Serpents are Edenists who reject the Edenist lifestyle, they are generally people with social problems who dislike having to share their thoughts. Most Serpents are engaged in either over-ambitious projects or criminal activity and tend to be very successful at it. Rubra, the founder of Magellanic Itg and creator of Valisk, was a Serpent, as was the notorious mass-murderer Laton.

Finance

The standard currency is the Fuseodollar. Edenism wealth comes primarily from mining He3 from gas giants. This is done by using cloud scoops.

External links

See also

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