August 16, 2008

A Costly Lesson in Rhetoric III

This was posted July 22, 2004. My friend Chris also commented, but I wont include them here. I would like to note that my final comments were probably the most devisive and foolhardy. Explaining to someone why they are not listening to you is usually an inaccurate explanation and ineffective. Please see previous posts.

Original post:

Ok, Lindsey I do not mean this post to be offensive or anything, but I tend to
take challenges this way so forgive me.

I made a post about evolution (right below this one for those who are lazy) and one comment I made was that evolution doesn't account for the origin of sexual reproduction. For those of you who don't know, and only consider the term sexual in the social way, sexual production is any example of two organisms exchanging genetic material to create a third organism. Now, sexual reproduction does not require gender (such as the worm), but it does require a process of exchange, and two creatures which can implement this process. Gender of course is a higher form of sexual reproduction, but lets just deal with none gender specific sexual processes. The problem is that first of all, asexual reproduction is always stronger (or more
fit) when sexual reproduction is introduced. The introduction of sexual reproduction would require a radically different system of reproduction to occur within two
genetically similar organisms at the same time, with close proximity to each other. Secondly, the process must also include a method of protecting the "child" for a long enough period of time. This second point maybe moot if this occurred low level enough that required amount of time is minuscule. The genetic jump required to highly alter reproduction would be considerably improbable in one organism, let alone two with similar genetic code in close proximity.

Lindsey commented, and again, this is not an attack on Lindsey at all, that the evolution of prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic cells is similar to the evolution of asexual organisms to sexual organisms. Though I didn't recognize the terms when she posted them, once I started reading about them, i recalled them quite quickly. All cells fall into two categories, Eukaryotic cells (which I shall call e cells) that have
organelles (cellular "organs") and Prokaryotic cells (which I shall call p cells) that don't.

From an evolutionary bias, one would assume that e cells evolved from p cells. The theory of how is that two p cells developed an interdependent relationship with each other, and then some how merged to create one e cell. This is due to the fact that the combining of the nuclei of the p cells would create a plethora of new genetic material that would allow for the creation of the proteins necessary for the creation of organelles. I have found no evidence that this process has been witnessed, so I shall call it a theory. Still, a change on a cellular level doesn't prove macroevolution anyway.

The connection between this process (which from now on will be called de process) and sexual reproduction are obvious. Two living things combined genetic data to create a new living thing that has DNA from both parents. That is where the similarities end though. In sexual reproduction, the 'child' organism is still very similar to both parents. In the case of de process, it resulted in a child vastly more complex than the parent. Secondly, in sexual reproduction, the parents do not 'become' the child. At least one parent always survives successful intercourse. Successful meaning intercourse that results in a child. Thirdly, and most importantly, multicellur organisms cannot simply merge their DNA on a whim to result in an organism. A process would have to evolve to allow an exchange of DNA, whether it be fish spraying semen onto eggs, or two teenagers in the backseat of a Volvo. This is the main issue regarding the evolution of sexual reproduction and de process doesn't seem to address it at all.

In conclusion, I don't see the connection. Either i am mistaken somewhere, or this explanation doesn't work. Lindsey , if there are errors anywhere please let me know.

Lindsey's comment:

As for the known origin of sexual reproduction: here is the known textbook definition. The first instance of sexual reproduction took place in the monera, the most primitive organisms on earth. The pili allowed the transfer of DNA between the two organisms the were sexually reproducing. It was very simple. In fact, the sexual reproduction of bacteria is the reason why antibiotic resistance has been such a problem recently. The offspring were not necessarily more complex because bacteria aren't really haploid vs. diploid. Their genetic info isn't as organized and enveloped into a nucleus as it is in humans.

Also, the sexual reproduction to occur, the two organisms don't have to necessarily to in close proximity to each other. That may be true on land, but life did not originate on originated in the ocean. The reason why gametes evolved and existed the way that they do now is that they are well adapted to functioning in a fluid (i.e. the ocean). Simple animals, such as the sponge, emit their gametes into the water and each gamete physically and through chemical signals finds its corresponding partner. The two parents never meet or come close to each other. Multicellular parents never did first merge their genomes. It was unicellular parents that first participated in sexual reproduction.

One thing that is incorrect is that asexual reproduction is more fit than sexual. Every biology text I've ever read has been in disagreement to that. Sexual reproduction is more advantageous because it mixes the genes up; the offspring are more resilient because bad genes have a better chance of not being expressed. In a way, think of inbred people vs. people whose parents aren't related. The reason why it's illegal for cousins to get married is because their genomes are too similar to each other. There won't be enough of a gene mix (like in asexual reproduction) and genetic disorders will be seen in the offspring.

As for raising the offspring, sometimes it is advantageous for some organisms. Fewer offspring that are watched over may live longer than many offspring that are left by their parents. I don't know what this has to do with sexual reproduction vs. asexual because many organisms that reproduction sexually leave their offspring without any parenting. As for the drastic genetic jumps, go to my last comment where I mentioned reasons why genetic jumps would take place.

It's difficult to explain these things to you because I can tell you don't have that much experience with biology and the history of how life came about (not to offend you). You just haven't spend the last four years of your life learning about this stuff.
My Reply:

Sigh, look Lindsey, I could take your post apart, but I'm not going to. Your arrogance and pride are blinding you from what is actually being written. In both posts you have argued against arguements that I didn't even make, try to theory with more theory, and demonstrate macroevolution with microevolution. Furthermore, you care more about flaunting accreditations than at least understanding the opposite sides arguments.

Also I agree with Chris, that I don't care if evolution is proven true later on or not. The Bible itself doesn't give enough specific information for me to be definite on it. As my dad said (who is a theo-evolutionist), evolution isn't impossible, just incredibly improbable, and any real scientist will admit that. So improbable that even theories such as the multiverse are celebrated. The multiverse theory is interesting, and might be true, but such a theory should just be interesting, not celebrated.

Look Lindsey, you're my friend, and quite frankly this stuff isn't important enough to fight about. I wouldn't mind having a conversation about sometime though if you promise not to be so emotional.

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