18 Jun 2009

Has the mystery of sex been explained at last?

"SEX is the ultimate absurdity. Forget the hormonal rushes, the sweat and the contorted posturing. Forget about the heartache, the flowers, the bad poems and the costly divorce, just think about the biology. It's nuts. Cloning makes far more sense.
Forget the sweat and contorted posturing, just think about the biology. Sex is nuts. Cloning makes much more sense.

A clone, after all, just quietly gets on with copying itself. And since every clone can produce more clones, cloning produces far more offspring. There is no need for males - a waste of space, as hard-line feminists and evolutionists agree.

What's more, each clone has a combination of genes that has already been found fit for purpose. Sex, by contrast, randomly mixes genes into new and untested amalgams. And the horrors of sex don't end there. There is the problem of finding a mate, and fighting off rivals. Not to mention the risk of picking up horrible diseases like AIDS and all sorts of selfish replicators that exploit sex to spread themselves through the genome."

Curiosity piqued? It's from a New Scientist article my sister sent along (there are two crazy biologists in the family, she's studying ancient penguin DNA). To find out why sex is so important and how it all came about, head over to New Scientist.com

And be sure to check out the related slide show "Cloners vs sexuals: The great breeding wars"! ;o)

Oh, and for those who think cloning is science fiction... it's rare but several species of vertebrates have been know to do it! In animals it's called parthenogenesis, when a mother gives birth to a child without having being fertilised by a male (hmmm, where have I heard this story before?). We have a shark in the Liège Aquarium that laid several eggs... and she had NEVER been in contact with a male before. Several of her offspring are now in the Aquarium.

10 comments:

  1. Hmmm...you've peaked my interest about your shark laying eggs. Gosh Cris...I have to tell you, my interest in studying is based on the physics of the atmosphere and the ocean. You know my past and my struggles...one thing about me was that I always felt too stupid when it came to school and education. My dream is to go back to school to study physics...the first degree I want is a general physics degree concentrated on astronomy when I get to PEI. But after that, I REALLY want to study at Memorial University, St-John's Nfld and concentrate on their Physical Oceanography program. Whenever I read posts that have to do with marine biology I just KNOW that I can get my "cajones" in line and do it. That was hard for me to say because it all stems from being told over and over again that I'd fail...but seriously my dear, you have/are giving me such inspiration to keep reaching for my dream...thank you!!!
    xxx

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  2. Strangely, I can see the logic of cloning. Though I can't see the no males thing as I do rather like guys. Especially mine.
    Plus, I've always thought "Women are responsible, mature, and generally more stable than men and much sooner in terms of age so why can't they just have their own children without needing the messiness of a relationship?"
    Now I'll go read...

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  3. Hubby's in the room so I can't comment;)

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  4. hehehe, yeah women have proven time and time again they can do it alone, we're definitely the stronger sex!

    but imagine growing up with a clone of yourself? (which is what we'd get without the fertilisation) Not sure I want to go down that path! :p

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  5. Rain, bravo!

    What a coincidence, when I finished up High School I was hestitating between two options: going to the US to study Physics (at the Air Force Academy, got an invite) or going to Spain to study Biology. The winning decision had nothing to do between Bio and Phys, it was Spain over the US (and over a military life, in hindsight thank god). I figured what's the point of college in the US if I can't be near my family anyway and it's soooo bloody expensive!

    So biology it was. And let me say, if they'd have Physics here at Alicante University (or Geology, my other scientific love) I would have been hard pressed to choose! My love for bio comes through all my travelling, everything I've seen and my natural curiosity about what's out there. Ditto geology. But my love for physics came from the highly rational part of my brain, the logical one that enjoys when things make sense, the fact that you don't need to learn a lot of stuff by heart 'cause if you just understand the principal then all the rest falls into place!

    And physical oceanography is very interesting! I had a couple of courses in my Oceanography Master's Degree that I really enjoyed (even if I didn't understand all the physics behind it). Learning about oceanic and atmospheric currents, wave formation etc. Fun!

    I think it's great you want to go out and do that, you go girl! I'm sure you'll do great!!!

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  6. Oh thanks so much! It seems daunting at first, the silly fears of failure and all that, plus actually being in a school setting again gives me the shivers! :-)
    But it's defintely a dream that will come true!!!

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  7. The school setting wouldn't be what worries me... it would be all those pesky exams! :p

    I've often thought that once I get "settled" (if that ever happens), or at least have some kind of a regular life, that I'd sign back up to University to learn some more! I'm not sure I'd be willing to deal with Physics again (it's been too long), but perhaps Geology (although field trips probably hard to coordinate with work) or even more probable History, Literature or Journalism... I almost decided to go the literary route in High School instead of science... but didn't cause science is sooo much easier! (plus I had crappy spelling and grammar in French so would have had lousy grades)

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  8. Geesh, that could put Victoria's Secret out of business. ;)

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  9. Interesting...wait until I have that discussion with my husband. I can hardly wait for his reaction...

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  10. hehehe! please share it with us Travel Girl! ;o)

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Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)