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Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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Has reproduction evolved?

Male symbol plus female symbol equals a new baby.Sexual reproduction is an interesting subject! But has reproduction evolved?

Lovers holding hands.Evolution needs millions of years to get things right – if reproduction is not right the species dies out after one generation.

The process of reproduction is amazingly complex and must have been perfect right from the beginning to be successful.

How did sexual intercourse evolve?

On a Wikipedia document entitled: ‘Evolution of sexual reproduction’ (on which I could find no author’s name) and which had a bizarrely named web address being: “Evolution of sexual reproduction = The evolution of sexual reproduction, being incapable of reproducing asexually. Sex however has evolved as, into the tree of life.” 

On this page it states:

Prior to the advent of sexual reproduction, the adaptation process whereby genes would change from one generation to the next (genetic mutation) happened very slowly and randomly.
Sex evolved as an extremely efficient mechanism for producing variation, and this had the major advantage of enabling organisms to adapt to changing environments.” [i]

That is a very sweeping statement, how exactly can sexual organs evolve and end up at the correct shape and size and then start to function producing sperm and eggs?

Further down this massive Wikipedia page which contains lots of speculation but no real answer, it says:

The origin of sexual reproduction can be traced to early prokaryotes, around two billion years ago (Gya), when bacteria began exchanging genes via conjugation, transformation, and transduction.[ii]
Though these processes are distinct from true sexual reproduction, they share some basic similarities.
In eukaryotes, true sex is thought to have arisen in the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA), possibly via several processes of varying success, and then to have persisted (compare to “LUCA”).[iii]

If you are interested:
Eukaryotic cells = cells of animals, plants and fungi.
Prokaryotes cells = Bacteria which are single cells, the simplest of organisms.
LUCA means: The last universal common ancestor or last universal cellular ancestor also called the last universal ancestor (LUA), is the most recent population of organisms from which all organisms now living on Earth have a common descent—the most recent common ancestor of all current life on Earth. [iv]

For me, the Wikipedia article still does not answer the question: “Has reproduction evolved?”
They obviously say yes to the question but they haven’t got any solid answers.

An article entitled: “Scientists put sex origin mystery to bed” by Jeanna Bryner from NBC News using LiveScience as her source states:

We all came from hermaphrodites, organisms with both male and female reproductive organs.
And though the origin traces back more than 100 million years, biologists have scratched their heads over how and why the separate male and female sexes evolved.
Now, research on wild strawberry plants is providing evidence for such a transition and the emergence of sex, at least in plants.
And the results, which are detailed in the December issue of the journal Heredity, likely apply to animals like us, the researchers say.” [v]

Is it really something that could evolve by chance over millions of years before it became successful – surely everything would have died out, before it had became successful?

Again this seems like grabbing at bizarre ideas just so that people can say that reproduction has evolved.

I know that pro-evolutionists would say that I am grabbing at the Creation idea of it being made that way right from the start and that requires a lot of blind faith to think that.

But I would say that it requires an even greater amount of blind faith to believe that reproduction has evolved.

I suggest that the ability to reproduce was put in place right from the beginning by God the great Designer.

[i] Wikipedia ‘Evolution of sexual reproduction’ (opens in a new window)
[ii] “Sexual Reproduction and the Evolution of Sex”. Otto, Sarah (2014). Scitable. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
[iii] “Origins of Eukaryotic Sexual Reproduction” by Goodenough, U.; Heitman, J. (1 March 2014). . Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 6 (3): a016154. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a016154. ISSN 1943-0264. PMC 3949356. PMID 24591519.
[iv] Theobald, D.L. (May 2010). “A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry”. Nature. 465(7295): 219–222.
[v] NBC News “Scientists put sex origin mystery to bed” (opens in a new window)

Peter Reason

January 2012

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