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Thread: I have a problem with evolution

  1. #1 I have a problem with evolution 
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    I understand the general principle of evolution. Changes that benefit the organism and give it better survival chances over its neighbours will propagate through the species (survival of the fittest). That's fine and makes sense.

    There are some changes that I just don't see how they could come about through the above reasoning. The big one is sexual reproduction. The evolution of male and female of a species. How did this happen? It must have involved lots of small changes but what benefit would these small changes (whatever they were) give to the organism to help its survival?


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  3. #2  
    KJW
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    I think the greatest benefit of sexual reproduction is that by mixing the genetic material from the two parents, the resulting children have a different genetic makeup from either parent, and the siblings will have a different genetic makeup from each other. This provides a much greater genetic variability within the population that make the species as a whole much more robust against varying conditions.


    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceQuestioner View Post
    There are some changes that I just don't see how they could come about through the above reasoning. The big one is sexual reproduction. The evolution of male and female of a species. How did this happen? It must have involved lots of small changes but what benefit would these small changes (whatever they were) give to the organism to help its survival?
    The earliest similar-to-sex mutation was the ability to repair haploid chromosomes due to radiation damage. The cells evolved a method of "unzipping" DNA, fixing it by looking at the remaining good strand, then recombining the two strands. This gave the cell a means of disconnecting and reconnecting genetic material, which is the first thing you need in a sexual system.
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  5. #4  
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    I much agree with KJW. I know it's counter-intuitive if you consider one gene going it alone, "survival of the fittest".

    Basically, there's great advantage to playing dice with reproduction. Plants get in on this game, especially with flowering plants doing it by random pollinators. As for humans, women are (why?) so contrived that the very fittest sperm has a 50% dumb luck chance of swimming up the wrong tube! I propose that if fitness simply won every contest, evolution wouldn't work.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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