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A Study of Relative Power Levels


Jeff from MI
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A World of the Wheel of Time Study

Male vs. Female Power Levels.

 

 

 

After reading some postings on how Aes Sedai rate amongst each other when it comes to power levels, I could not help but to wonder why I was not seeing a whole lot about where female and male channelers fell in a single power continuum.

 

Though there is little information in the books on comparative power levels of male to female channelers, there is one intriguing passage that gives us enough information to make a reasonable study of how men and women stand up toe-to-toe.

In Chapter 3 of TFoH  (pg 104 in the paperback) Rand is discussing the relative strength of men and women channelers in the AOL with Asmodean.  Asmodean states that Moraine’s (Aes Sedai’s) idea that men and women were equally strong in the power in the AOL is not correct.  He goes on to say:

 

“Some women have stronger arms than some men, but in general it is the other way around.  The same holds with strength in the Power, and in about the same proportion.”

 

So Jordan has let us know that men and women’s strength in the power is analogous to their physical strengths.  So all we have to do to determine the relative strength of men and women’s channeling is look at their relative physical strengths.

 

 

ASSUMPTIONS

Since Jordan does not come out and tell us all the details, out of necessity we ALL make assumptions when we post our crazy theories.  The least we can do is be up front about them.  Here are my assumptions concerning this crazy theory:

 

1. That men and women in Randland are similar in relative physical size and strength as the real world.

2. Asmodean was not lying to Rand in the quoted passage. (Given the known relative strengths of the male and female forsaken, it is a hard sell to say that Asmodean was lying here).

3. There are many different measures of physical strength, but since Asmodean specifically mentions “strength of arm” I assumed that he was referring to upper body strength.

4. When it comes to the power lifting data, I assume that both men and women are using some type of performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and that the relativity of the data should be effected to a lesser extent.

 

WABDL DATA

I assumed that it would be a piece of cake to find a real world comparative study of male and female physical strength but I was wrong.  If any of you have better luck than me, please share!  Most of the stuff I found was by women’s study groups that introduced all kinds of controls in to their study to try to prove that the only difference between men and women is socialization.  While I was unable to locate much raw data to perform my own full statistical analysis, I did find some data that I think will provide enough basis to draw a pretty good picture of how women compare to men strength-wise; at least in the real world.

 

Obviously, due to the source of these data sets, this analysis is only of what I would consider "Elite" level channelers.  I would predict much more overlap of the bell curves if I was able to find data from a more enclusive study.  If anyone can find me a study of upper-body strength with either the raw data or at least the Standard Deviation(SD) and the mean (Average) for a data-set, I would be happy to reconstruct the curves.

 

Female Data: http://wabdl.org'>http://wabdl.org/198+_all-time_female_benchers.htm'>http://wabdl.org/198+_all-time_female_benchers.htm

This data set consists of the top 125 (n=125) recorded bench presses by women in the 198+ weight category.

Table 1 – Female Lifting Data

MinLift       Max Lift           Mean         LiftSD

77lbs         418.7          198.9         69

 

 

Figure 1 – Female Histogram (Derived from data at: http://wabdl.org)

 

Male Data: http://wabdl.org/shw_all_time_male_benchers.htm'>http://wabdl.org/shw_all_time_male_benchers.htm

This data set consists of the top 125 (n=125) bench presses by men as recorded by the WABDL.

 

Table 2 – Male Lifting Data

 

Min Lif        Max Lift      Mean Lift        SD

413.0          871.8 lbs        540.2          95

 

 

Figure 2 – Male Histogram (Derived from data at http://wabdl.org)

 

Bell Curve Data – Once you calculate the mean and Standard Deviation (SD), you can develop a bell curve using excel.  In these bell curves I assumed normal distributions.  One note of caution on the bell curves, the height of the curves have NO relationship to power level.  The curve illustrates the relative distribution of ALL power levels in the sample. 

 

Figure 3 – Female and Male Bell Curves

DISCUSSION

It is important to remember that the dataset used to create these bell curves represents the elite high-end of power lifters/channellers and does not represent the entire population of lifters/channellers.  We would likely see much more overlap of the bell curves if we had a dataset that included more average subjects.

As it is, you can see that the average elite male channeller is much stronger than even the strongest female channeller. (Fig 4).  You can also determine from the curves that the SD for the female chanellers is smaller thus indicating less variability.  My whole purpose for undergoing this project was to illustrate my crazy theory about Lanfear.  I believe that showing everyone on a bell curve just what an aberration Lanfear’s strength in the AOL was may help to explain why I feel the way I do about her possibly being augmented by the Finns in the AOL.  Her place on the strength continuum is so statistically unlikely that it is almost incalculable.  I believe that the only way for her to fall where she does (did) would have been with some unnatural augmentation.  To put it in physical terms, in our world according to the data from WABDL, Lanfear would have had to be bench pressing around 800lbs, when the strongest female on record was only putting up 418lbs.

 

Be all that as it may, I think this model may be helpful in developing numerous other theories.

 

Here is another look at the bell curves with a few points of interest indicated on the chart.

 

Figure 4 – Bell Curves with Points of Interests

The locations are only approximates, but you get the drift.  Lanfear should NOT be where she is un-augmented.  It is 2:00am and I am tired.  I hope everyone finds something to use and I am sure to follow up with more soon.

 

RERERENCES:

The Fires of Heaven, Jordan, Robert

http://wabdl.org/198+_all-time_female_benchers.htm

http://wabdl.org/shw_all_time_male_benchers.htm

http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/cgibin/iowa/issues/part/article.html?record=775

 

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A lot depends on how you choose to look at "Power".

 

Raw Power ( as in the ability to contain or work with a given amount of saidin or saidar ) is kinda meaningless.  It's who can best accomplish the given task that counts.

 

Men and women tended to have strength in different areas.  Men in Fire and Earth.  Women in Water and Air ( going from memory here ).  I believe both were about equal in Spirit.

 

So, depending on the task-at-hand, you might be far better off with a woman who might be considered weak overall, than you would be with a man who was considered strong overall.  And vice versa.

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So Jordan has let us know that men and women’s strength in the power is analogous to their physical strengths.  So all we have to do to determine the relative strength of men and women’s channeling is look at their relative physical strengths.

 

I always took this as an analogy in that men are generally stronger in the power than women just like men are generally stronger physically than women.  I think you're making quite a leap to say that strength in the power is in any way related to physical strength based just on this quote.

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I like your analogy but one thing you don't take into consideration is the weight differential.

 

I'll guarantee that there are some 90 kilo women out there that could outlift, pound for pound, all but a very few male 90 kilo professional body builders. To compare a woman who weighs 90 kilos against a man who weighs 130 kilos doesn't work.  There is a the mass to take into consideration.

 

And yes, even though I am an American I know that 90 kilos is just a hair under 200 pounds.

 

We know that from Rahvin's POV, he thinks that either he or Sammael both could overwhelm Lanfear, as could Rand, provided he had the skill to match his raw power. 

 

Graendal knows that if she attacks Sammael, she'll be the one to die.

 

Even the most powerful of the female forsaken are not as strong as the men.  Which gives us the correct proportions.

 

You can liken Greandal to that 90 kilo lifter.  She would be stronger than all but a few 90 kilo men, just as men stronger in the power than Graendal are uncommon.

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Bob: I am referring to power as brute strength in the power; Talent beside the fact.  And you are incorrect in stating that raw power is meaningless. Too many things to mention here are determined by a channelers raw power, such as standing in the White Tower.

 

Hoppy, Aevgot, the quote that I am basing my study on is from TFoH, Chapter 3 when Asmodean tells Rand that current Aes Sedai's belief that men and women were equally strong in the power in the AOL is incorrect.  He goes on to tell Rand:

"Some women have stronger arms than some men, but in general it is the other way around.  The same holds with strength in the Power, and in about the same proportion.”

 

This seems to indicate that while strength in the power is not necessarily tied to the physical power of a person, the general distribution of strength in the power between men and women is analogues to the distribution of physical strength amongst men and women.

 

Because of this, if we can do a study of the distribution of strength amongst men and women (at least in our world), we should be able to use this study to approximate the distribution of power levels of male and female channelers.  Please not that this study [glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300]DOES NOT [/glow] indicate any specific power level or rating directly.[/glow]  The only way to infer powerful strength levels with this data is to judge how close a person falls to the right of the graph.  The farther to the right, the stronger they are in the power.  The actual power level is arbitrary as all this study does is estimate the distribution of the power levels.

 

Aevogt: As mentioned above, I do not mean to imply physical size or strength is associated directly with channeling strength, I am simply using what Asmodean told Rand about the distribution of channelling strength in the AOL being analogous to the distribution of physical strength to create a hypothetical model of Channeling strength distribution patterns.  Of course talent and areas of specialties can have an effect but that is outside the scope of this study.

 

My two main objectives where to:

a. Prove that Lanfear's power level does not make sense for what ever reason

b. Give interested people a tool they can refer to when looking at channeling strength issues.

 

Do not forget to open the picture files fro a better look at the data I have analyzed.

 

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"Some women have stronger arms than some men, but in general it is the other way around.  The same holds with strength in the Power, and in about the same proportion.”

 

This seems to indicate that while strength in the power is not necessarily tied to the physical power of a person, the general distribution of strength in the power between men and women is analogues to the distribution of physical strength amongst men and women.

 

um...ya...thats quite a spin on interpretation and the usage of analogies...

 

whats that quote is saying is that, for example, 10% of women are stronger in physical strength then men, meaning that 10% of women are stronger in the OP than men.

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um...ya...thats quite a spin on interpretation and the usage of analogies...

 

whats that quote is saying is that, for example, 10% of women are stronger in physical strength then men, meaning that 10% of women are stronger in the OP than men.

 

um...ya...Thank you for helping me to dumb it down enough for you.

 

Please read the entire post and it would be very helpful to you if you had a rudimentary knowledge of statistical analysis before you are overly critical of my idea.

 

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To me, it just looks like you're reading far too much into it. Simply put, Asmo said that men are on average stronger than women but sometimes it goes the other way.

 

3.  There are many different measures of physical strength, but since Asmodean specifically mentions “strength of arm” I assumed that he was referring to upper body strength.
This, for example. He uses an analogy, you read too much into it.

 

Even the most powerful of the female forsaken are not as strong as the men. 
We are told that Lanfear is second strongest Chosen. We are also told, by RJ, that the Chosen aren't always completely honest with themselves about their strength.

 

Also, the crazy "Lanfear was made stronger by the Eelfinn theory" is still unsupported, despite all Jeff's statistics.

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Wow, that was quick Mr. A      , I did not expect you to be on your 'poo-poo to any idea me or my friend Luckers did not come up with sweep' yet.

Mr. Area

To me, it just looks like you're reading far too much into it. Simply put, Asmo said that men are on average stronger than women but sometimes it goes the other way
. You should really look at the bell curves....unless the almighty Mr. Arers does not know how to read them!  That is EXACTLY WHAT THE DATA SAY!!!!  The problem comes in when you measure the strongest men against the strongest female.  It is not even close.  The strongest man is more the 200% stronger that the strongest female.  The statistical probability of Lanfear being in the same league as Rand and Ishy is so infinitesimally small it may as well be zero.  I suggest you take a look at figure 4. (You have to be logged in)

 

Why I lean torward the AOL Finn theory

 

1. Lanfear almost certainly knows of the stone doorway.  Hell, she may have helped make them.

2  Why would someone as ambitious as Lanfear, NOT go see the Finns if she thought she could gain.

3. In WH Cyndane references being held by the Eelfimm AND the Aelfinn.

4. The Door Lanfear and Moraine fell though went to the the land of the Aelfin I believe.

5. The only way mentioned so far on how to get to the lands of both finns is thought the ToG.

 

We know there is a limit on the number of times a person could use the doorway because Matt tried.  I believe Lanfear alreay used it in th AOL and was killed when Moraine pulled her through it.  How else could Moraine have survived Lanfear on the otherside?  The Finns where not right on the other side of the door waiting at any other time.

 

So if not the Finns, then how?  Lanfear's strength deos NOT make sense.  I am open to suggestions.

 

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Warning, the following posts contains stuff written by Jeff from MI, which is nuts. This post is thus unsuitable for nut allergy sufferers.

Disclaimer: the following post contains scenes of Mr Ares ranting, and so is unsuitable for readers of a nervous disposition

Wow, that was quick Mr Ares, I did not expect you to be on your 'poo-poo to any idea me or my friend Luckers did not come up with sweep' yet.
Of course, child. I only dismiss stuff if it disagrees with things that I or Luckers have said (what about RAW? Am I allowed to defend his theories as well, or do I decide on a case by case basis?). I would never dismiss a theory on something as crass as its merits - or, in this case, lack thereof.

Mr Ares
To me, it just looks like you're reading far too much into it. Simply put, Asmo said that men are on average stronger than women but sometimes it goes the other way
. You should really look at the bell curves....unless the almighty Mr Ares does not know how to read them! That is EXACTLY WHAT THE DATA SAY!!!! The problem comes in when you measure the strongest men against the strongest female. It is not even close. The strongest man is more the 200% stronger that the strongest female. The statistical probability of Lanfear being in the same league as Rand and Ishy is so infinitesimally small it may as well be zero. I suggest you take a look at figure 4.(You have to be logged in)
Looking back, I realize my post was insufficiently clear. After all, some people need to be told every last little thing. So I will try to be clearer: Maximum male strength is higher than maximum female. Average male sits slightly higher than average female. That is the limit of what Asmo has said. Nothing more. We can't use his comment on strength in arm as any sort of guide. The fact that maximum male upper body strength is 200% higher than maximum female is neither here nor there. You are just taking his comments to mean something that they don't, and building a house of cards and hoping that it won't be blown over. What is important is that RJ uses a 21 level list to work out female strength, with a level or two more for men. Unless we are to make ridiculous assumptions, such as the one or two extra male levels are both massive jumps from the maximum female (e.g. it is possible to be as strong as the strongest woman, or twice as strong, or three times as strong, but not to be one and a half times as strong). So if Lanfear is at 100% strength, Rand would be equivalent to 104-110% strength. Not a huge jump, and based off of the authors own measure of strength, rather than a half-baked theory based on a characters offhand analogy. Yay facts.

 

Why I lean torward the AOL Finn theory

 

1. Lanfear almost certainly knows of the stone doorway.  Hell, she may have helped make them.

She may indeed have made them. But she never thinks about making them, even when such a thought would be entirely natural. But why should we assume that she "almost certainly" knows? Because you say so? Do we have any reason to believe that she knows of the doorways? It is almost certain that Rand will turn into a cabbage to fight the Last Battle. It just is, so there.

2  Why would someone as ambitious as Lanfear, NOT go see the Finns if she thought she could gain.
DOES SHE KNOW ABOUT THE DOORWAYS? EVIDENCE. Now, she could very well go through if she thought she had something to gain. But that doesn't mean that she did have something to gain. There are limits to the Eelfinn's power. If the Eelfinn themselves are better known, then it stands to reason that those limits might be better known. Can they alter someone's stregth in the Power? Would Mierin actually care that much, if she could have power of a different sort? Could she think of a way to ask the Eelfinn that wouldn't involve them shoving her out onto some lifeless rock and saying "You are now the most beautiful and strongest and powerfullest and amazing woman in the world. Enjoy!"

3. In WH Cyndane references being held by the Eelfinn AND the Aelfinn.
Yes. She is also weaker after being held than she was before, and this is her only known encounter with them. If anyhting, this makes your point weaker.

4. The Door Lanfear and Moraine fell though went to the the land of the Aelfin I believe.
So?

5. The only way mentioned so far on how to get to the lands of both finns is thought the ToG.
So? She has only mentioned the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn once, the time she was held by them. Alivia is stronger than Cyndane/Lanfear before the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn, which is impossible (or at least these are her thoughts). She uses this to correctly deduce that Alivia has an angreal. But if it is impossible to be stronger than Lanfear before she was held and she became stronger after, and she thinks this after being held, then either she is crazier than we thought, stupider than we thought, or her captivity left her weaker afterwards than she was before. If she was exactly the same strength before and after, then what was the point of mentioning the captivity. It wouldn't make sense in context. So the only reasonable conclusion is that after her captivity she was weaker than she was before, which does nothing to prove that she had any visit to them before or after. Her only known visit is after Moiraine shoved her through. Do you need a diagram? We know Cyndane is weaker than Lanfear, we know of one visit to the Finn, we know it left her weaker afterwards....what about this are you having trouble with? We can deduce that it is possible for the Aelfinn and Eelfinn both to have held her, based on this evidence (that word again. It's an important one and one of my favourites when it comes to theories. Try coming up with some).

 

We know there is a limit on the number of times a person could use the doorway because Matt tried.
Yes, once.
I believe Lanfear alreay used it in th AOL and was killed when Moraine pulled her through it.
So as Mat was unable to go through for a second time, you use that to conclude that Lanfear could. And if she died then and there how could she have been held? Unless you want to invent another occasion of her being held, and two of her visits to the Finns have ended with her being weaker. Unnecessarily complicated, and utterly unsupported.
How else could Moraine have survived Lanfear on the other side?  The Finns where not right on the other side of the door waiting at any other time.
No, they caught them and held them (and are still holding Moiraine). Lanfear died later. The hows and whys are unknown - killed trying to escape, suicide, because she is EVIL!!!, etc. Have you ever wondered how two impressively strong channelers could be held? Maybe they were stilled when they went through the doorway! And then Lanfear was later Healed by a woman! This being the only thing we know of that can affect someone's strength in the Power. This theory thus requires less invention of new magic powers and abilities and such. This is why I prefer it. Plus it has evidence and logic in its favour.

 

So if not the Finns, then how?  Lanfear's strength deos NOT make sense.  I am open to suggestions.
How? Woman Healing woman from stilling makes Healed woman weaker than she was before the stilling. I hope this didn't go too far over your head, child. Maybe if you were more focused on making theories that make sense and less on creative (well, that's an exaggeration...) misspellings of my name, you might have a semi-coherent theory. Maybe.
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Unfortunately, I am one of the nuts that does believe Lanfear was "enhanced" by the finns.

The probability that one women will be the most beautiful ever and the most powerful ever is just so remote that it's unbelievable.

How likely is it that any woman today will be the most beautiful and the most physically strong? Or, that she will be the most intelligent? I just can't see that happening in nature, so some other force has to have come into play. If the DO could make the forsaken stronger, he would have, so the DO is not an agent of Lanfear's enhancements. Who does that leave? The most likely would be the finns.

 

Sorry for the threadjack.

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Unfortunately, I am one of the nuts that does believe Lanfear was "enhanced" by the finns.

The probability that one women will be the most beautiful ever and the most powerful ever is just so remote that it's unbelievable.

How likely is it that any woman today will be the most beautiful and the most physically strong? Or, that she will be the most intelligent? I just can't see that happening in nature, so some other force has to have come into play. If the DO could make the forsaken stronger, he would have, so the DO is not an agent of Lanfear's enhancements. Who does that leave? The most likely would be the finns.

 

Sorry for the threadjack.

Why is the probability so remote that it is unbelievable? Because you say so? Why shouldn't the smartest woman in the world be the most beautiful? There is nothing about intelligence and beauty that makes them mutually exclusive. But it can't happen in nature? Why not? Because you say so? There is still no reason to start inventing wholesale stuff like this, which is not supported at all in the books. There is not even a tiny fragment of evidence in favour. Lanfear made one trip, that we know of, to the Finns. She came back weaker. That is the limit of our knowledge of her involvement with them. We have no reason to suspect more. Any more than we have no reason to suppose that Sammael got his incredible skills as a baker from the Eelfinn (I know these skills haven't been mentioned in the books, but I say they exist, just like I say that the chaces of him being that good a sportsamn and that good a general and that good a baker (or just the first two) are so small as to mean that they couldn't possibly exist in nature). Moiraine killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory. Hell, Davram Bashere killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory and that relied solely on "Bashere was in the Palace".
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Is it possible that Lanfear's loss of power in her reincarnation as Cyndane is a punishment from the DO rather than a result of being Healed by a woman?
It certainly isn't likely. Aside from the fact that the only thing we have seen that can change someone's strength in such a way is same sex Healing, Shai'tan sees the Chosen as tools. In the AoL, there were many tools. In the 3rd Age the strongest, most knowledgeable tools (or at least, that's what they have managed to convince Shai'tan is true...) are the surviving Chosen. To weaken one of them in such a way would be pointless and counterproductive. She is already controlled by the mindtrap. She is still stronger than Granedal. So what is gained? A slightly weaker Cyndane? If ever she was in a fight where her skills were pushed to the limit the extra Lanfear strength could be the difference between success and failure. There is risk and no gain to Shai'tan shooting Himself in the foot by making her slightly weaker.
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Unfortunately, I am one of the nuts that does believe Lanfear was "enhanced" by the finns.

The probability that one women will be the most beautiful ever and the most powerful ever is just so remote that it's unbelievable.

How likely is it that any woman today will be the most beautiful and the most physically strong? Or, that she will be the most intelligent? I just can't see that happening in nature, so some other force has to have come into play. If the DO could make the forsaken stronger, he would have, so the DO is not an agent of Lanfear's enhancements. Who does that leave? The most likely would be the finns.

 

Sorry for the threadjack.

Why is the probability so remote that it is unbelievable? Because you say so? Why shouldn't the smartest woman in the world be the most beautiful? There is nothing about intelligence and beauty that makes them mutually exclusive. But it can't happen in nature? Why not? Because you say so? There is still no reason to start inventing wholesale stuff like this, which is not supported at all in the books. There is not even a tiny fragment of evidence in favour. Lanfear made one trip, that we know of, to the Finns. She came back weaker. That is the limit of our knowledge of her involvement with them. We have no reason to suspect more. Any more than we have no reason to suppose that Sammael got his incredible skills as a baker from the Eelfinn (I know these skills haven't been mentioned in the books, but I say they exist, just like I say that the chaces of him being that good a sportsamn and that good a general and that good a baker (or just the first two) are so small as to mean that they couldn't possibly exist in nature). Moiraine killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory. Hell, Davram Bashere killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory and that relied solely on "Bashere was in the Palace".

 

Ares, why does debate anger you so much? Differing opinions is going to be a constant in life.....get used to it.

 

My point is that Lanfear (or any person) wouldn't naturally have any reason to be the most beautiful and most powerful female channeler. People stay with what they are good with. Look at all the "recognized" powerful, or intellectual people today.....see any beauty contest winners? No. Human history has shown us that powerful people don't have to care about their looks, the intellectually elite don't care about their looks. But somehow, Lanfear was born to be the most beautiful and most powerful female ever?

 

Also remember during the cleansing. When she faced Alivia and was shocked at her power, she thought to herself that no woman could possibly be as powerful as she was before her captivity. As if she knew she was previously at the maximum power limit a woman could have been.

 

 

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Looking at those charts, one can see that the strongest males are about twice as powerful as the strongest females. And the strongest females are on a par with weak men.

 

How does that as a magic system make any sense? What is the point in men having this immense strength, whereas women have tiny amounts of the Power in comparison? This is a world where women are somewhat more dominant than men. R.J. intended it that way; not to mention that he was well educated in physics.

 

Asmodean was simply making a point that men are generally stronger than women. He could have said that while men are generally taller than women, some women can be taller, and it would have meant the same thing. There is no specific emphasis on upper body strength.

 

 

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My point is that Lanfear (or any person) wouldn't naturally have any reason to be the most beautiful and most powerful female channeler. People stay with what they are good with. Look at all the "recognized" powerful, or intellectual people today.....see any beauty contest winners? No. Human history has shown us that powerful people don't have to care about their looks, the intellectually elite don't care about their looks. But somehow, Lanfear was born to be the most beautiful and most powerful female ever?

 

So what you are saying is that smart people are ugly and attractive people are dumb as dirt?  There are many examples of very intelligent and powerful people being DAMN HAWT.  There are also examples of tire biters being dumb as a bag of hammers.  Physical looks have absolutely nothing too do with brain power in our world or in Randland.

 

Furthermore, Asmo's comment was nothing more than a passing comment on how one can gague the channeling strengths of genders as a whole.  In most cases men are stronger than women but there are exceptions to every rule.  Sometimes it is possible to over analyze a statement.  This isn't the game of houses.

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My point is that Lanfear (or any person) wouldn't naturally have any reason to be the most beautiful and most powerful female channeler. People stay with what they are good with. Look at all the "recognized" powerful, or intellectual people today.....see any beauty contest winners? No. Human history has shown us that powerful people don't have to care about their looks, the intellectually elite don't care about their looks. But somehow, Lanfear was born to be the most beautiful and most powerful female ever?

 

So what you are saying is that smart people are ugly and attractive people are dumb as dirt?  There are many examples of very intelligent and powerful people being DAMN HAWT.  There are also examples of tire biters being dumb as a bag of hammers.  Physical looks have absolutely nothing too do with brain power in our world or in Randland.

 

Furthermore, Asmo's comment was nothing more than a passing comment on how one can gague the channeling strengths of genders as a whole.  In most cases men are stronger than women but there are exceptions to every rule.  Sometimes it is possible to over analyze a statement.  This isn't the game of houses.

 

List some examples.

 

I wasn't saying smart people are always ugly, or ugly people are always dumb. I was saying smart people develop their mental prowess to the detriment of their beauty, and ugly people develop something else to overcome their lack of attractiveness. In the subject of our debate, Lanfear, I find it ridiculously improbable that a woman be the most possible in both beauty and channeling power.

 

I do agree with your statement about Asmo.

 

 

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Extremes.

 

Lanfear is on the extreme end of the beauty scale (the good end, and she is possibly the most beautiful woman in the series, Galad is the only other person who affects people similarly). She also sits at the top of the strength scale, likely the most powerful female channeler (pre-weakening).

 

Viewed that way it certainly seems as if she has got it all, and one can be suspicious about that combination, but I don't think it's unlikely, even if the odds are against it. And, unless she went under the knife to enhance herself, she was born that way, the whole package.

 

Who knows? Perhaps she's that one chance in a million, we haven't seen anyone like her. It's unlikely, not impossible.

 

But look at the big picture, and she won't look so rosy.

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Unfortunately, I am one of the nuts that does believe Lanfear was "enhanced" by the finns.

The probability that one women will be the most beautiful ever and the most powerful ever is just so remote that it's unbelievable.

How likely is it that any woman today will be the most beautiful and the most physically strong? Or, that she will be the most intelligent? I just can't see that happening in nature, so some other force has to have come into play. If the DO could make the forsaken stronger, he would have, so the DO is not an agent of Lanfear's enhancements. Who does that leave? The most likely would be the finns.

 

Sorry for the threadjack.

Why is the probability so remote that it is unbelievable? Because you say so? Why shouldn't the smartest woman in the world be the most beautiful? There is nothing about intelligence and beauty that makes them mutually exclusive. But it can't happen in nature? Why not? Because you say so? There is still no reason to start inventing wholesale stuff like this, which is not supported at all in the books. There is not even a tiny fragment of evidence in favour. Lanfear made one trip, that we know of, to the Finns. She came back weaker. That is the limit of our knowledge of her involvement with them. We have no reason to suspect more. Any more than we have no reason to suppose that Sammael got his incredible skills as a baker from the Eelfinn (I know these skills haven't been mentioned in the books, but I say they exist, just like I say that the chaces of him being that good a sportsamn and that good a general and that good a baker (or just the first two) are so small as to mean that they couldn't possibly exist in nature). Moiraine killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory. Hell, Davram Bashere killed Asmo has more going for it than this theory and that relied solely on "Bashere was in the Palace".
Ares, why does debate anger you so much? Differing opinions is going to be a constant in life.....get used to it.
Whoever said debate angers me? I like it. Also, I don't need you to tell me what I need to get used to. I was reconciled to the idea of people having opinions that differed from mine since before anyone else on here was born. Before some of your parents, as well, and maybe before some of your grandparents. Oh, and it's Mr Ares to you, bitch.

 

My point is that Lanfear (or any person) wouldn't naturally have any reason to be the most beautiful and most powerful female channeler. People stay with what they are good with. Look at all the "recognized" powerful, or intellectual people today.....see any beauty contest winners? No. Human history has shown us that powerful people don't have to care about their looks, the intellectually elite don't care about their looks. But somehow, Lanfear was born to be the most beautiful and most powerful female ever?
People stay with what they are good with? So Lanear's beauty (which I'm guessing is largely something she was born with) and her strength in the Power (also something she was born with) are both natural. Now I will accept that maybe if she was a learner she might not have learned. Maybe she's a sparker, and so wouldn't have had a choice (terrible thing to have beauty and strength in the Power thrust upon you). Now, what is the probability that Lanfear will have both her most notable attributes naturally? About 1. Because in a world with no beginnings or endings (infinite time) every possibility will happen, so unless you are claiming that it is flat out impossible for it to happen (I'd like to see you prove that...) then it will happen. And it did. To Lanfear. Why her? Because RJ said so. It doesn't matter how unlikely it may be that extreme beauty and extreme strength are found in the same person because it could happen and it did. Mybe it is 1 in a million or 1 in a bilion or one in an undecillion or whatever. Give it enough time and it will happen. The mere fact that something is very, very unlikely to happen doesn't mean it won't and that means even less when it has already happened - like here.

 

Also remember during the cleansing. When she faced Alivia and was shocked at her power, she thought to herself that no woman could possibly be as powerful as she was before her captivity. As if she knew she was previously at the maximum power limit a woman could have been.
So? She was at maximum strength for a woman. What's your point? If there is a maximum, someone has to be there eventually, why not someone who also happens to be really good looking? Would it make more sense if it was the ugliest woman in the world?

 

Now, do you have anything at all that indicates that the Eelfinn enhanced her strength? "It's unlikely any woman would have both..." doesn't work. Because unlikely doesn't mean impossible. It could and did happen. THAT IS WHAT THE EVIDENCE INDICATES. Evidence. Do you have any?

 

Asmodean was simply making a point that men are generally stronger than women. He could have said that while men are generally taller than women, some women can be taller, and it would have meant the same thing.
I need to start working out some graphs now. This will serve as evidence for my "the Eelfinn enhanced Semi's height and natural sadism" theory. I believe this because it is unlikely that the tallest woman in the world would also be the most sadistic, because it is almost certain that Semi knew about the doorways and may even have helped make them, because there is absolutely no evidence indicating any sort of sadism/strength enhancement deal, which obviously means there was one.....
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As for Lanfear being "the most beautiful woman ever".

 

A lot of that is from the descriptions of young, relatively inexperienced men, barely old enough to be off leading strings.  Grab your average high school student and plunk him down in front of Tyra and see what his reaction is.

 

Sarene Nemdhal is dscribed as "a face that would make any man look twice"  How much different is that from the mouth drying effects of Lanfear.

 

Demandred himself describes Sarene as "stunning"

 

Also, we have to look at just what the ability to channel does for a woman.  Yes, there are some who are described as other that ravashing, but an unattractive Aes Sedai ss rare enough to be noticable.  At worst, they're decribed as motherly,(Morvin and Anaiya) or proud (Bera).  Maybe that's an RJ euphamism for a two-bagger.  I don't know, but I don't get the impression any of them are Coyote-Ugly.

 

Let's look at it from another angle.

 

Very often, those at the top of a professional sport are, more often than not, possessing of those qualities coveted by the superficial.  I don't really see how it would be a stretch that the most powerful female channeler would posess those same qualities.

 

 

 

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As for Lanfear being "the most beautiful woman ever".

 

A lot of that is from the descriptions of young, relatively inexperienced men, barely old enough to be off leading strings.  Grab your average high school student and plunk him down in front of Tyra and see what his reaction is.

 

Sarene Nemdhal is dscribed as "a face that would make any man look twice"  How much different is that from the mouth drying effects of Lanfear.

 

Demandred himself describes Sarene as "stunning"

 

I do agree with this, but I also have to mention that even women apparently react more or less the same way; Berelain, Min, Egwene. Lanfear literally makes other women (even beautiful ones) very insecure.

 

Is Tyra [banks?] really that beautiful?  ;)

 

 

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