Evolution or Creation? You Decide :)

Matt Brauer brauer at phylo.zo.utexas.edu
Sun Mar 23 18:31:06 EST 1997


Joe Potter wrote:
> Ed,
> 
>         The post was simplistic. However, old "billyjack" did mention one very
> interesting aspect of the problems with ToE, and that is sex. Yes, sex.
> 
>         As Niles Eldredege points out in "Reinventing Darwin" on page 217, if
> nature is organized around the compulsion to leave as many copies of one's
> genes --- why in the heck did the mixing of genes on a 50-50 basis arise???

There are many good reasons to think that asexual (clonal) organisms
will not
do as well in the long run as will sexual organisms.

It is likely that selection is less efficient at removing deleterious
alleles in
asexual populations than in sexual populations. Essentially, the average
cost
of a single deleterious allele is higher in terms of deaths needed to
remove that
allele. In technical terms, the "mutation load" is higher in asexual
populations. 

A VERY good review of this class of models is:
Kondrashov, A.S., 1988. "Deleterious mutations and the evolution of
sexual reproduction".
Nature 336:435-440.

I think the fact that "billyjack" starts his summary with the words:
"I am a Christian and if you are not, I hope some day you will become
one... ." explains
why he is happy with a superficial analysis of evolutionary biology, and
why he is
willing to misrepresent the state of the field.

Also, the only reference I saw him make to the "problem of sex" was in
his diatribe
against the permissiveness of evolutionary biology vis a vis his own
adolescent yearnings.

-- 
Matthew J. Brauer
Dept. of Zoology
University of Texas at Austin



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