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Sex: do we really need it?
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Science ^ | Tuesday, 8 July 2003 | Wilson da Silva in Melbourne

Posted on 07/30/2003 8:56:08 AM PDT by I_dmc

Sex: do we really need it?

ABC Science Online

 

 

Birds do it, bees do it, humans do it - but nobody knows why sex evolved at all, the world congress of genetics heard in Melbourne today.

"The evolution of sex has presented a paradox to evolutionary biology for over a century," said Associate Professor Sally Otto, an evolutionary biologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, to delegates attending the 19th International Congress of Genetics.

"It's known there are a lot of costs to reproducing sexually. Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves? That's a division of resources into two sexes that seems unnecessary," she said.

Not only does this seem to waste resources, the whole process is prone to failure. There's the risk of not finding a mate, and the risk of getting a disease during mating. There's also a more subtle risk: if an individual reaches reproduction age and finds a mate, it is a successful genotype - a tried and true model of a species. But then that individual mixes their genotype with a mate, with no guarantee that the mixture is going to be any better.

(Excerpt) Read more at abc.net.au ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: evolution; genetics; sex
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From the Why Do We Do What We Do Dept...
1 posted on 07/30/2003 8:56:09 AM PDT by I_dmc
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To: I_dmc
Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves?

The NOW platform in a nutshell.

2 posted on 07/30/2003 8:57:00 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: I_dmc
'Cause you'd lack the genetic variation that would allow new traids to be developed and re-inforced, and you would be unable to transmit successful traits through the population.
3 posted on 07/30/2003 8:59:29 AM PDT by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: I_dmc
Not only does this seem to waste resources, the whole process is prone to failure. There's the risk of not finding a mate, and the risk of getting a disease during mating. There's also a more subtle risk: if an individual reaches reproduction age and finds a mate, it is a successful genotype - a tried and true model of a species. But then that individual mixes their genotype with a mate, with no guarantee that the mixture is going to be any better.

For some reason, this paragraph makes me think of the way Demeocrats and the main stream media criticize the obviously successful war in Iraq.

4 posted on 07/30/2003 9:00:20 AM PDT by Maceman
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Because God wanted husbands and wives to have a good time.
5 posted on 07/30/2003 9:01:42 AM PDT by Abe Froman
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To: Little Ray
'Cause you'd lack the genetic variation that would allow new traids to be developed and re-inforced, and you would be unable to transmit successful traits through the population.

Like syphylis? :)

6 posted on 07/30/2003 9:04:11 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: I_dmc
It sounds like they are extremely frustrated.
7 posted on 07/30/2003 9:04:57 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves?

Because there would be no one to kill the spiders.

8 posted on 07/30/2003 9:05:49 AM PDT by Lost Highway
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To: I_dmc
Nope. We have Dove bars.
9 posted on 07/30/2003 9:06:04 AM PDT by Hank Rearden (Dick Gephardt. Before he dicks you.)
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To: Lost Highway
Because there would be no one to kill the spiders.

LOL!

10 posted on 07/30/2003 9:07:42 AM PDT by Snowy (My golden retriever can lick your honor student)
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To: I_dmc
read later
11 posted on 07/30/2003 9:07:51 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: I_dmc
You can live for years without sex. I am living proof.
12 posted on 07/30/2003 9:08:43 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: I_dmc
Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves? That's a division of resources into two sexes that seems unnecessary," she said

I cannot believe a person with those academic credentials could ask such a stupid question. The genetic variation and natural selection argument seemingly cuts that to ribbons.

13 posted on 07/30/2003 9:08:51 AM PDT by XJarhead
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To: I_dmc

Speaking of evolving...

Her web page: http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~otto/

14 posted on 07/30/2003 9:10:53 AM PDT by UseYourHead
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To: Hank Rearden
What is a "Dove bar"? As in Dove soap?
15 posted on 07/30/2003 9:11:40 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Kill the evil-doers.)
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To: I_dmc
Why shouldn't the amoeba be the highest life form. Seems their intelligence is equal to these scientists. God made so many mistakes. These people can straighten all that out.
16 posted on 07/30/2003 9:12:26 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (!!!!!!! sdrawkcab si enilgat ym ,em pleh esaelP)
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To: Little Ray
'Cause you'd lack the genetic variation that would allow new traids to be developed and re-inforced, and you would be unable to transmit successful traits through the population.

If that's the case, then how did sex evolve in the first place?

That's the paradox, see?

17 posted on 07/30/2003 9:12:57 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: XJarhead
I cannot believe a person with those academic credentials could ask such a stupid question. The genetic variation and natural selection argument seemingly cuts that to ribbons.

I cannot believe that somebody as smart as you can't see the problem. If sex evolved, how could it evolve without some means of transmissible genetic variation?

18 posted on 07/30/2003 9:15:05 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: I_dmc
"...nobody knows why sex evolved at all"

Bwahahaha... all that "brilliance" and they can't figure it out.

19 posted on 07/30/2003 9:17:43 AM PDT by theDentist (Liberals can sugarcoat sh** all they want. I'm not biting.)
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To: I_dmc
Hey, I need some right now!!!!!!!!!!!!
20 posted on 07/30/2003 9:17:58 AM PDT by CommandoFrank (Peer into the depths of hell and there is the face of Islam!)
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To: UseYourHead
I think she once had sex described to her, but has never actually done it.
21 posted on 07/30/2003 9:20:03 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: I_dmc
"Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves? "

If you need to ask that question, then you have been doing it wrong or with the wrong people. i.e., same sex. </I

22 posted on 07/30/2003 9:21:54 AM PDT by DeathfromBelow (.)
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To: I_dmc
"Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves? "

If you need to ask that question, then you have been doing it wrong or with the wrong people. i.e., same sex. </I

23 posted on 07/30/2003 9:21:57 AM PDT by DeathfromBelow (.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Why make sons and males, if you could just produce females that were able to reproduce by themselves?

The NOW platform in a nutshell.

As pointed out later in the article, sexually reproduced organisms are more hardy and likely to survive due than asexual ones.

And as another post asked: who will kill the spiders?

24 posted on 07/30/2003 9:24:50 AM PDT by NEWwoman
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To: I_dmc
"- but nobody knows why sex evolved at all..." EVOLVED?

It did not EVOLVE --- God CREATED Adam & Eve (BTW, Eve was naked), then WhamO!
25 posted on 07/30/2003 9:35:05 AM PDT by TRY ONE (")
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To: I_dmc
Is it still considered sex if you are alone? ;)
26 posted on 07/30/2003 9:35:37 AM PDT by TSgt (“If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself.” - General George S. Patton)
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To: TRY ONE
It did not EVOLVE --- God CREATED Adam & Eve (BTW, Eve was naked), then WhamO!

Oh really? So you were there to witness it all eh? And how do you know that Eve didn't, ahem, "modify" the er.."programming" after she ate the forbidden fruit? The Bible doesn't say how they multiplied, or any other of a half or so billion other little details...

27 posted on 07/30/2003 9:38:15 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: Cobra64


28 posted on 07/30/2003 9:40:40 AM PDT by Joe Brower ("The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it." -- John Hay, 1872)
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To: Billthedrill
You can live for years without sex. I am living proof.
Billthedrill

You may need to choose a more appropriate screen name.

29 posted on 07/30/2003 9:41:46 AM PDT by Ghengis
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To: r9etb
"If that's the case, then how did sex evolve in the first place? That's the paradox, see?"

That must be where the "man and female created He them" from Genesis comes in.

Carolyn

30 posted on 07/30/2003 9:42:01 AM PDT by CDHart
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To: I_dmc
Birds do it, bees do it, humans do it - but nobody knows why sex evolved at all, the world congress of genetics heard in Melbourne today.

In professing themselves wise, they exposed themselves as fools.

C'mon...even if one rules out the obvious elements of sex (orgasm and procreation), sex remains essential to assuring the survival of a given species for three distinct reasons.

  1. Sex, of its very nature, provides practical assurance that only those who survive long enough to reach sexual maturity will have the opportunity to procreate.

  2. Sex provides a species with the most complex sampling of dominant, codominant and recessive genetic mixes. While the phenotype is usually apparent (and plays a role in attraction between the sexes), the genotype itself is typically hidden and will only manifest itself when a new challenge to the species (such as disease or environmental change) presents itself. Only those that survive said challenge long enough to reproduce will contribute to the ongoing genetic makeup of the species, thus giving their offspring their necessary qualities as well as a mix of other recessive traits that will benefit the following generations when new challenges arise.

  3. Every conception is the product of brutal competition. Millions of sperm compete to fertilize one egg. Only one sperm (the fastest and the strongest) will make it. Any artifice in the fertilization process rules out this very necessary and natural part of assuring that Only The Best Ingredients will be used.

-Jay

31 posted on 07/30/2003 9:44:00 AM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (Leftists are like any other lower life form...they devour their own when it suits their purpose.)
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To: r9etb
If that's the case, then how did sex evolve in the first place?

Sex is the physical and behavioral equivalent of consciousness; it is the impetus behind everything we do: propagation/marriage - procreation, religion/mathematics - go forth and multiply, dealing with others/effectively communicating - "they're all F**ked up", "what a screwed-up mess", "what the f**k!", "don't f**k with me.", "We're screwed.", PETA - animal husbandry and sheepherding, entrepreneurship - prostitution, the porn industry,.... Then again, maybe not.

32 posted on 07/30/2003 9:46:20 AM PDT by Consort
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To: Mr. Jeeves
The NOW movement have pushed their agenda on TV viewers; showing men to be stupid buffoons, and worthless. More girls are doing better in schools than boys, may be because boys have lost confidence in themselves? The media is constantly telling us that women are better creatures. So, “when the revolution comes, we should kill all the men!” I say, guys can be happy, and self fulfilled also. We do not need stinking kids, or holes! When are guys going to ever consider a solidarity movement to oppose such constant defamation to their characters?
33 posted on 07/30/2003 9:48:06 AM PDT by philosofy123
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To: CDHart
That must be where the "man and female created He them" from Genesis comes in.

Well, yeah. Of course, that would require them to admit the existence of God, which raises a few difficulties....

34 posted on 07/30/2003 9:49:39 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Windsong
"Oh really? So you were there to witness it all eh? And how do you know that Eve didn't, ahem, "modify" the er.."programming" after she ate the forbidden fruit? The Bible doesn't say how they multiplied, or any other of a half or so billion other little details...
__________________________________________________

Me don't don't think you know what you're talking about. Much IS WRITTEN in the WORD if one wants to go read it!

Gen. 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed."

Gen. 4:1 "Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.."


35 posted on 07/30/2003 9:59:22 AM PDT by TRY ONE (")
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To: I_dmc
So we can have pictures like the following for Madison Avenue to use in product marketing:


36 posted on 07/30/2003 10:06:03 AM PDT by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
Only one sperm (the fastest and the strongest) will make it.

Well, actually each of us is the result of some slacker that got there after the initial faster ones wore down the coating of the ova. The fastest ones got tired doing all the work to let us slower fresh arrivals scoot in.

37 posted on 07/30/2003 10:06:54 AM PDT by GluteusMax
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To: GluteusMax
"Sex: do we really need it? "

According to my wife, the answer is "SHADDUP & QUIT BUGGING ME"
38 posted on 07/30/2003 10:09:03 AM PDT by exile (Exile)
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To: philosofy123
The media is constantly telling us that women are better creatures.

But we are...everyone knows you have to endure at least one failed experiment before you can achieve perfection : )

39 posted on 07/30/2003 10:09:25 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: Billthedrill
Well, you can exist for years without sex, but I damn sure wouldn't call it "living"...
40 posted on 07/30/2003 10:11:13 AM PDT by truenospinzone
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To: GluteusMax
Only one sperm (the fastest and the strongest) will make it.

Well, actually each of us is the result of some slacker that got there after the initial faster ones wore down the coating of the ova. The fastest ones got tired doing all the work to let us slower fresh arrivals scoot in.

Hm. That's a new one. All of the data I'd seen (which is admittedly years old now) indicated that sperm operated in a pitbull-like fashion and didn't give up once they'd latched on.

'Course, there's also been discoveries of "killer sperm" that make their (albeit short) living out of attacking and slowing down other sperm en route to the egg. Not quite sure what to make of that...

-Jay

41 posted on 07/30/2003 10:11:43 AM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (Leftists are like any other lower life form...they devour their own when it suits their purpose.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
They'll be changing their name soon, to 'The Parthenogenites' ... it's their arrogance, don'tcha know!
42 posted on 07/30/2003 10:12:25 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: ravingnutter
The media is constantly telling us that women are better creatures.

But we are...everyone knows you have to endure at least one failed experiment before you can achieve perfection : )

I have to concur. Women are indeed the better of the species. They look better, they smell better, they feel better... oy vey! And who's trying to say that sex isn't necessary?! RAR.

-Jay

43 posted on 07/30/2003 10:15:45 AM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (Leftists are like any other lower life form...they devour their own when it suits their purpose.)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
Bump to mark this thread until I find my notes.
44 posted on 07/30/2003 10:17:54 AM PDT by Saturnalia (My name is Matt Foley and I live in a VAN down by the RIVER.)
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To: I_dmc
Sex: do we really need it?

Yes. Lots of it ;)
45 posted on 07/30/2003 10:19:07 AM PDT by FeliciaCat
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To: I_dmc
More whining from ugly women who had issues with daddy.
46 posted on 07/30/2003 10:20:07 AM PDT by wardaddy (True happiness is nuts after the flop.)
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To: I_dmc
I have the ANSWER. Because that's the way God wanted it !!!!

But I suppose that people will not satified with that.
47 posted on 07/30/2003 10:21:50 AM PDT by ColdSteelTalon
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To: I_dmc
GENDERCIDE WATCH seeks to confront acts of gender-selective mass killing around the world. We believe that such atrocities against ordinary men and women constitute one of humanity's worst blights, and one of its greatest challenges in the new millennium.
48 posted on 07/30/2003 10:31:09 AM PDT by F-117A
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To: FeliciaCat
I'm with you, on this one......
once a week is not enough..............
49 posted on 07/30/2003 10:33:33 AM PDT by vin-one (I wish i had something clever to put in this tag)
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To: Squantos; wardaddy; BBPark; harpseal; CWOJackson
The author obviously did not have a decent relationship with their father... If they had a father at all. To write something like this, tells me they have issues!
50 posted on 07/30/2003 10:54:28 AM PDT by sit-rep
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