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Sex can explain evolution?

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Part of O’Leary for News ongoing series here.

Then there is Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, with its famous exemplar: the peacock’s tail. An illustration may help us see why reasonable persons continue to doubt.

Picture a triplex: Tom, a world class cribbage addict in Apartment A, does no work and has no money (apart from social assistance and charity). Dick, in Apartment B, works eight shifts a week in trucking, so has no trouble paying his bills. Harry, formerly in Apartment C, went off and became a multimillionaire (legally) in packaging and shipping for the software industry.

Does work alone explain Harry’s success? Did he work a thousand times harder and more often than Dick? Is that even possible? Or is it all an accident of fate, such that Tom or Dick might have stumbled down the same way and done the same thing?

Most human beings tend to doubt that it is so simple. Also, there are not a billion generations between Tom, Dick, and Harry. Not even one, actually.

And if each of these guys somehow ends up with fertile heirs, is any of them “unfit”? More.

Question: Did Darwin come up with the sexual selection theory because he realized that natural selection was not working out? Except as a cultural thing?

See also: Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back

2 Replies to “Sex can explain evolution?

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    Sex can explain evolution?

    But if evolution can’t explain sex, then what good is the explanation that sex provides?

    Besides, since when does thinking up an explanation constitute proof of a hypothesis? That’s not the science I know and love!

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Actually this YEC likes and we;comes sexual selection. i think its real for a biblical reason.
    That reason being the fALL made the world a decaying place. so nature must maintain itself by getting the most healthy off spring. All nature , save man, does this. Its desperate to find the best mates.
    it can be seen everywhere in nature. It doesn’t create new kinds. yet iwithin kind it changes things.
    My favorite example is the burly walrus getting all the chicks and being so different from the females in size. proving the bigest got the chicks. originally the male and female walrus, like seals, would of been the same size.
    sexual selection is real and this because nature knows its dying and desperate to survive with the most healthy and so genes.

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