Evolutionists Have No Idea How Sex Evolved
by Dr Jerry Bergman
Researchers in our day still admit they are baffled about the origin of sexual reproduction.1 Why sex exists is problematic for many reasons, such as the fact that many organisms, from dividing microbes to plants that grow from cuttings, do very well without it. The problem for evolution has always been that sexual reproduction cannot occur until both the copulatory organs are well matched, and the gametes, both the eggs and sperm, are functional so that the union of the two cells produces viable offspring. Sex is a classic case of irreducible complexity.
The common notion that these two systems must somehow evolve together from an earlier asexual system ignores the problem that reproduction cannot occur until both systems are highly functional. It is hard to even imagine the evolution from asexual to sexual reproduction, and even if one could, imagination is a far cry from demonstration. Science Daily stated recently that
There are significant gaps in our knowledge on the evolution of sex, according to a research review on sex chromosomes from Lund University in Sweden. Even after more than a century of study, researchers do not know enough about the evolution of sex chromosomes to understand how males and females emerge.2
Another problem is many different types of sexual systems exist in nature. Even the chromosomes that determine the sex are very diverse in living organisms. Mammals use XY (XX produces a female, XY a male) but snakes and birds use the ZW system (ZW produces a female, and ZZ a male). The Platypus has 10 sex chromosomes! Platypus sperm are either XXXXX (which produces a female) or YYYYY (which produces a male). Less studied are haploid UV sex chromosomes and other unique forms. An additional problem for Darwinism is how to get from the mitotic cell division used by asexual cells to the substantially different and more complex type of cell division called meiosis, which sorts out the chromosomes into haploid gametes—eggs and sperm. Then after that, the males and females must possess behavioral modifications with specialized organs to bring the gametes together.
Sex is the queen of problems in evolutionary biology
Some systems, such as those used by many reptiles and some fish, use a temperature-dependent sex determination in which the specific temperature during the thermosensitive period of embryonic or larval development determines the offspring’s sex. Some lizards even have the option of either laying eggs or reproducing by live birth. Other reptiles, such as the skink lizard in the family Scincidae, can use both types of reproduction. They can lay eggs to reproduce, or give birth to live young, as mammals do. They achieve live birth by letting the eggs hatch inside the mother’s reproductive tract, which then emerge as live young. Earthworms can reproduce asexually or sexually, depending on if they can find a mate. These are not the only variations in nature that must be explained by evolution. In both ant and bee colonies, for example, there exist two different female types—the workers and the fertile queen—and also several different male types with different roles.
Thus, evolutionists have to figure out how each system evolved – a huge problem if all sexually reproducing animals descended from the first single asexually reproducing organism. In spite of gallons of ink spilled in attempting to solve this question, the conclusion of Professor of Biology Graham Bell, written over 35 years ago—and 35 years is a lifetime in science—is still very accurate. He said, “Sex is the queen of problems in evolutionary biology.” Bell said this not because it has not been studied, but because
no other natural phenomenon has aroused so much interest; certainly none has sowed as much confusion. The insights of Darwin and Mendel, which have illuminated so many mysteries, have so far failed to shed more than a dim and wavering light on the central mystery of sexuality, emphasizing its obscurity by its very isolation. No doubt the roots of this difficulty lie very deep.3
As we have learned more about sexuality and life, his statement is actually truer now than when he made it a generation ago. Evolutionists need to explain not only the evolution of sex, but also the origin of the many types of sexual systems existing in the animal world. And no evolutionary pathway has been shown from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction. Some primitive life forms have comparatively advanced sex systems, and some advanced life forms have simple sex systems.
These remain huge problems for Darwinism. One evolutionist wrote under the chapter title of “The Ultimate Existential Absurdity” that evolutionary biologists are teased for their obsession with why sex exists. “Sex is a puzzle that has not yet been solved,” Mark Ridley said; “no one knows why it exists.”4
1. Jessica K. Abbott, Anna K. Nordén, Bengt Hansson. Sex chromosome evolution: historical insights and future perspectives. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017; 284 (1854): 20162806 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2806
2. Lund University, “Knowledge Gap on the Origin of Sex.” Science Daily, 26 May 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170526084533.htm.
3. Bell, Graham. 1982. The Masterpiece of Nature: The Evolution of Genetics and Sexuality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. P. 19.
4. Ridley, Mark. 2001. The Cooperative Gene. New York: The Free Press p. 111.
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Dr. Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles.