Evolution or Creation? You Decide :)

Joe Felsenstein joe at evolution.genetics.washington.edu
Fri Apr 11 03:10:52 EST 1997

In article <E8FtMJ.9Ln at gpu.utcc.utoronto.ca>,
L.A. Moran <lamoran at gpu.utcc.utoronto.ca> wrote:

[in response to postings about how easy it was to explain "sex"]

>"It is worth noting that Maynard Smith's argument invalidates the earliest
>genetic argument for the evolution of recombination, that advanced by East
>(1918). That argument is also the one commonly found in textbooks, which
>tend to be a bit out of date (in this case, by over 50 years)."
>J. Felsenstein, "Sex and the Evolution of Recombination" in THE EVOLUTION
>OF SEX,  R.E. Michod and B.R. Levins eds. Sinauer Associates 1988 (p.78)
>"We have the anomolous situation that a detailed population genetic analysis
> reveals not only that the standard explanation for the evolution of
> recombination will not work, but also that there is a good evolutionary
> reason for believing that modifiers will be selected to eliminate
> recombination."  (ibid, p.79)
>Sex is very definitely a problem for evolutionary biology in spite of what
>the introductory biology textbooks say.

Whoa.  Cited that way, it sounds like my paper of 1988 concludes that
there is no decent explanation for "sex" (actually the argument is about
outcrossing-plus-recombination but it is conventional to call it "sex" so
as to attract more excitement).    A more careful reading will disclose
that my position is that we have a whole bunch of explanations of "sex"
and that the problem for evolutionary biology is not to come up with an
explanation of "sex", but to distinguish between different possible ones.

The passages cited are building up to mentioning a bunch of different
explanations people have advanced.

Joe Felsenstein         joe at genetics.washington.edu     (IP No.
 Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA

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