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Evolution of Sex

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Uploaded on Feb 19, 2010

Evolution of Sex. Randall Niles reviews the Darwinian dilemma.

The origin and subsequent maintenance of sex and recombination is a phenomena not easily explained by Darwinian evolution. Evolutionary mechanisms such as natural selection are not able to reveal why organisms should abandon asexual reproduction in favor of more costly and inefficient sexual reproduction. In his book, The Masterpiece of Nature: The Evolution of Genetics and Sexuality, Graham Bell described the dilemma in the following manner:

Sex is the queen of problems in evolutionary biology. Perhaps no other natural phenomenon has aroused so much interest; certainly none has sowed as much confusion. The insights of Darwin and Mendel, which have illuminated so many mysteries, have so far failed to shed more than a dim and wavering light on the central mystery of sexuality, emphasizing its obscurity by its very isolation.

Evolution of Sex The move to sexual reproduction:

Most single-celled organisms reproduce asexually. Asexual reproduction is the formation of new individuals from cells of only one parent, without gamete formation or fertilization by another member of the species. If life on earth is derived entirely from these single-celled creatures then why was this simple-yet-efficient method of asexual reproduction set aside in favor of sexual reproduction?

Why does sex exist? In his book Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, Carl Zimmer concedes:

Sex is not only unnecessary, but it ought to be a recipe for evolutionary disaster. For one thing, it is an inefficient way to reproduceAnd sex carries other costs as wellBy all rights, any group of animals that evolves sexual reproduction should be promptly outcompeted by nonsexual ones. And yet sex reigns Why is sex a success, despite all its disadvantages?

From the perspective of evolutionary biology, sex is without question an inefficient way to reproduce. Consider all that the sexual process entails, including the complexity involved in reproducing the information carried within the DNA. From an evolutionary point of view, sex would be considered an absurdity. Yet from a design point of view, it is nothing short of incredible!

Please visit http://www.allaboutscience.org/evolut... for more information on the Evolution of Sex and other matters of Darwinian Evolution vs. Intelligent Design.

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