Sep 25, 2009

Sex: The ultimate gift of cooperation

I heard a piece recently pointing out that sex is a counter-intuitive way to procreate if an individual can reproduce asexually. If you can clone yourself endlessly why bother mating? Look at how expensive it is to have two genders. Evolutionary science wonders why sex came about. Why two genders to reproduce the genes?

Simple answer: Gene mixing. Sharing. We grow as a culture as we mix & share.

I suggest today that sex is proof that Marx was right. Humans succeed because we are so good at cooperating, not because we are so good at competing. Sure, we can battle with the best. Look at what we did to the Neanderthal. Those people were bigger brained, stronger, better adapted to inclement weather, and likely better attuned to the environment than we were and still we took them out in short order. Why? Cooperation! We based our social structure on communication, shared work, social norm enforcement, and gender equity.

The research into the advantage sex brings to gene diversity is conclusive. Sex allows strong traits of both genders to move across time together. Females can carry a crucial trait thousands of years with no consequence to the fitness of men. Then a change in environment or behavior could give that trait new value to the male of a species. In one or two generations that trait can become widespread in both genders. And, there's a case to be made for the interaction, communication, and empathy necessary to create a really good child rearing bond with another individual. Children raised by two well linked parents have tremendous advantages as they age to adults.

So sex is not an evil to be reviled, not some chore for baby making & no more, sex is nature's magic mixer. Good sex is our ticket to ongoing life. After 500 years of advances in our knowledge, I marvel at the record of science -vs- faith. Skeptics were right on the "flat earth," they were right on solar centric system, right on gravity, right on prayer, right on medicine, right on democracy, right on evolution, right on slavery, right on war, now we see they're right on socialism too! It's a sad day for the faithful, religious, and other as they realize how many of their dearly held beliefs fail.

No comments:

Folks who care enough to follow my posts: