Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beware the Single Daddy

Olivia Judson on androgenesis*. What she doesn't say is that the day will come when this won't be a fast route to extinction. The scientists of the future will allow for genetic recombinations that will make sex unnecessary. Men will reproduce alone, as will women. They will form two tribes. Eventually almost two different species. There will be strife. War. A battle for dominance. Which sex will gain the advantage and survive while the other one disappears? (This result I will probably not live to see, unless there are other concurrent medical advances that increase our life expectancies well into the next millenium.)

*And, Mr. Clinton, you'll be gratified by her definition of sex:

Sex, to get technical about it, is the mixing of genes from two parents to make a new individual that has a genetic contribution from both. Asexuality thus refers to any of a number of forms of reproduction that involve only one genetic parent.


Birdie said...

Speaking somewhat misogynistically, if survival of the race depended upon men carrying and delivering babies, we would be doomed to extinction. With all the scientific potential that exists, I think that human nature is like water: we will always take the easiest route to our goals.

Tony Adams said...

Dear Birdie,
I agree with your "water" comparison and that is why I think the two sexes will eventually uncouple. Men want to hang with men. Women with women. They have sex with their opposites only because the survival of the species has built in that urge, but just listen to the ladies of The View or watch a group of guys bonding in front of a football game on TV. Someday....
PS: I am not necessarily an advocate for this possibility.

TED said...

I believe she is using "sex" as a sort of abbreviation for "sexual reproduction," a convention I find stupid because, to get technical about it, "sex" may have fewer definitions than "god" or "love," but its definitions are still legion.

As long as sexual reproduction remains so much easier than asexual reproduction that any fool who doesn't exercise sufficient caution can get pregnant or impregnate someone else, I don't see this becoming an issue. The allure of football is strong, but for men of a certain age, it really doesn't compare with the allure of boobs.

If, on the other hand, female recombination becomes sufficiently easy, it's not that hard to envision the male of the species going the way of the dodo. I don't know too many women who are such raving heterosexuals that they wouldn't trade in their husbands for a pack of girlfriends and a powerful vibrator. And who can blame them?

SubtleKnife said...

I suppose I'll end up being the odd one out in your future world, much preferring the company of men (not just gay ones) to that of women.

Tony Adams said...

Dear Subtleknife,
I thought about that while tumbling the genetic dominoes into the future, and I decided that there will always be exceptions and that those attractions will have no reproductive urgings related to survival.