Re: Why Sex ?

Geoff Smith (
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 14:21:43 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, Berrie Staring wrote:

> Why (leave just pure coincidence out for now)
> do we need sex to spread our genes?
> Wouldn't it be easier if we could all make a child?
> without the sex. I mean why didn't the two
> chemicals to trigger this stay together..........
> >From the selfish gene point of view, it would double
> the "people" who w(c)ould spread the code.

Sex increases the rate at which a species can move along a selection
gradient (since two parents create more possible offspring than one) From
the selfish sex genes' point of view, they will propagate the best if the
organism is sexually reproducing, since this makes the organism highly
adaptable to a changing environment. The number of children may be less
with sexual reproduction, but the number of grandchildren/great-
grandchildren/etc will be greater since sex has a greater chance of
finding a "good" combination of genes. Also, sex can get rid of recessive
genetic defects.

That's my theory, at least... I haven't read the Selfish Gene.