Book: God, or No God?
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The vast majority of both plant and animal species procreate by a phenomenon known as “sexual reproduction.” If Darwinian evolution is true, sex must have evolved as well. Yet if it developed by a series of random steps supervised by no one—if sex evolved by an almost endless series of mutations followed by natural selection—it boggles the mind to try to contemplate the nearly infinite number of “miraculous coincidences” that would have been required to occur on countless fronts within every last species that reproduces sexually.

“The evolution of sex (and its accompanying reproductive capability) is not a favorite topic of discussion in most evolutionary circles, because no matter how many theories evolutionists conjure up (and there are several), they still must surmount the enormous hurdle of explaining the origin of the first fully functional female and the first fully functional male necessary to begin the process…. Sexual reproduction requires organisms first to produce, and then [to] maintain, gametes (reproductive cells—i.e., sperm and eggs).” 31 (Bold emphasis added.)

There are four popular theories attempting to explain why there is such a thing as sexual reproduction: the “lottery principle,” the “tangled bank hypothesis,” the “red queen hypothesis,” and the “DNA repair hypothesis.”

The “lottery principle” recognizes that asexually reproduced organisms merely perpetuate the same limited set of characteristics from one generation to the next. This is seen as akin to someone buying multiple lottery tickets, but all the same number. Presenting a limited array of characteristics, they would be less adaptable to changing environments. If they could not alter their characteristics when their environment went from a forest to a prairie, for example, they might die off.

Sexually reproduced organisms keep varying their combinations of characteristics due to each parent contributing different combinations of them. As an environment changes, at least some of their descendants have a chance to survive. This is like buying lottery tickets with all different numbers.

In real life, the theory has lost many adherents, because recent research has revealed sexually reproduced organisms doing better in stable environments and asexually reproduced organisms doing better in unstable ones—the opposite of what the theory would predict.

The “tangled bank hypothesis” is named for a depiction in Darwin’s Origin of Species of a diverse group of creatures all competing for life’s necessities on a “tangled bank,” as he put it. In such conditions, the organisms that are most diversified in their range of characteristics would have the advantage for survival.

Based on this paradigm, one would expect sex to occur most predominantly in small organisms that produce prolifically and compete most heavily with each other. Yet in real life, the smaller organisms are the ones in which we still find asexual reproduction, while sex is found invariably in larger ones that produce comparatively few offspring. Thus, this theory, which was once popular, now has few adherents.

The next idea as to why sex exists is named for a character out of Alice In Wonderland—the Red Queen, who told Alice how it takes all the running one can do just to stay in the same place. Called the “Red Queen hypothesis,” the concept is that in the competitive world of nature, organisms have to constantly move and change just to maintain existence. Since they must constantly be trying to improve, sex is thought to have come about as one of those improvements many species had to make. Yet with all its “inefficiencies,” is sexual reproduction really an improvement (if you believe in evolution) at all? Many evolutionists doubt that.

One more supposed explanation of sex is the “DNA repair hypothesis.” The basic idea seems to be that deleterious changes can be essentially eliminated by the sexual reproduction process, because to show up in the offspring, they would have to have been in both parents. If such a change was in only one, it can be overcome by the good gene in the other parent.

The fact that bad genes are often passed on to offspring would seem to call this idea into question. Certainly if the purpose of sex is to prevent such a thing, it has not been totally effective.

One thing we should note about all the theories described above: They deal only with the “why” of sexual reproduction, when supposedly in evolution there is no “why,” there is no purpose involved. For there to be any purpose, there must be a “being” of some kind to have that purpose. Blind, inanimate forces do not formulate any sort of purpose, and blind, inanimate forces are supposedly all evolutionists think drove the whole process of evolution. So why are they even speculating (and these theories are pure speculation) on what the “purpose” of sex might be? If macroevolution is scientifically proven to have occurred, then the questions of how sex originated and how it has been passed down from one generation to another should at least be asked and some substantial theory be available to answer those questions.

Once we understand the difference between how body cells divide and reproduce on the one hand and how reproductive cells (gametes) divide and reproduce, we will have a clue as to the magnitude of the problem of the origin of sex and its perpetuation down through untold generations. The nucleus of every cell contains two strings of genes known as “chromosomes.” (The “higher” organisms have more sets of chromosomes, the “lower” species fewer.)

Each body cell divides so that everything is completely replicated in both daughter cells—a process called “mitosis.” Reproductive cells, on the other hand, split each pair of chromosomes so that only one chromosome of each pair (per parent) becomes either a sperm cell (in the male) or an egg cell (in the female). This process is called “meiosis.” Meiosis takes place in preparation for the combination of sperm and egg in the sexual reproduction process itself.

As Harrub and Thomson point out, “With all due respect, there is not an evolutionist on the planet who has been able to come up with an adequate (much less believable) explanation as to how somatic [body] cells reproduce by mitosis (thereby maintaining the species’ standard chromosome number in each cell), while gametes are produced by meiosis—wherein that chromosome number is halved so that, at the union of male and female gametes during reproduction, the standard number is reinstated.” 32 (Bold emphasis added.)

If the impossibility of evolution accounting for sexual reproduction—not so much the “why,” but the “how”—isn’t enough to make you doubt the whole theory, please read on. In the next chapter, we examine the phenomenon of the genome in more detail.