I'm interviewing Dawkins on Tuesday what question to ask?

Jim Cummins cummins at central.murdoch.edu.au
Thu May 2 01:03:19 EST 1996


In article <sandman-2904961008400001 at gr2.un.umist.ac.uk>,
sandman at another.world.mind.oc.aus (The Sandman) wrote:

> Tomorrow I'm interviewing Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene, The
> Blind Watchmaker, River Out Of Eden, The Extended Phenotype and Climbing
> Mount Improbable. What questions would you ask if you were in my place?
> Please post replies asap.
> 
Ask him why he's got the story of fertilization WRONG as part of his
advocacy of African Eve.   The sperm midpiece not only contains
mitochondria, but they also get into the egg AND can be identified (in
humans) up to the morula stage at least.  In "Blind Watchmaker" he even
says, "Sperms are too small to contain mitochondria"  (p 176).   Lewin in 
"Human Evolution" even has a cartoon of the sperm tail dropping off the
egg (p 109).  Where do these guys get their facts?  Whole sperm entry has
been known for nearly a century.  In the 1920s Lillie observed the sperm
tail not to enter in Nereis and considered it so unusual as to devote a
major portion of a chapter to it.  The only known mammal in which the
sperm  tail doesn't enter at fertilization (because it's too big) is the
Chinese hamster.

Now the out-of Africa theory is probably right, but it doesn't need to be
propped up by this sort of shoddy research.

-- 
URL http://numbat.murdoch.edu.au/spermatology/spermhp.html



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