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Author Topic: Why have two separate genders?  (Read 2191 times)

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why have two separate genders?
« on: 18/05/2010 00:59:53 »
When I use the term "bi-sexual" here I'm not referring to the orientation, rather the fact that reproduction is accomplished through two different genders.

Sexual reproduction has a lot of advantages over mitosis, but with mitosis there is no need to find a mate. Organisms that reproduce sexually need to have many more offspring as not all of them (and in many cases hardly any of them) will find a mate.

Is it possible to have a biology where each organism needs to find two mates of different gender (tri-sexual reproduction)? Or is this too unlikely?
« Last Edit: 18/05/2010 08:15:07 by chris »


 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Re: Why have two separate genders?
« Reply #1 on: 18/05/2010 01:06:02 »
Most of the higher organisms in biology have two completely different genders. Male and female. Some plants and animals have both genders in the same animal so that both can become pregnant after mating. This seems to me to be a huge advantage. You could mate with anyone and everybody gets pregnant.

With two separate genders you need to have twice as many babies and half of them will never become pregnant.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Why have two separate genders?
« Reply #2 on: 18/05/2010 04:25:22 »
er, wait a minute. This looks very similar to the other topic you started. I think we should merge them. Any major objections?
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Re: Why have two separate genders?
« Reply #3 on: 18/05/2010 06:54:01 »
er, wait a minute. This looks very similar to the other topic you started. I think we should merge them. Any major objections?

I was originally going to put them together but felt they were quite separate. But no. If you think they should be merged, merge them.

My original thinking was, first why not three separate genders, then why not both genders in one organism (as with earth worms). As far as I know, only a few of the hermaphrodite organisms can reproduce with themselves. I think there is a plant that can do it but most plants reject their own pollen. As far as I know, no animal can sexually reproduce with itself. I think there was a Star Trek episode where they found a race of hermaphrodites. The premise of the episode was that this race had once been divided into separate genders and some "deviant" individuals associated with one or the other. These people were generally rejected by society.

The clear parallel was to homosexuality. But in a race of hermaphrodites sexual orientation would be irrelevant. Everyone would be both male AND female so anyone would be a viable mate. Further there would be no difference between genders. If humans were like this the society we would form would be very different than what we have today, and completely different from what we have had historically.

That may be the answer there. Men and women think differently, not better than the other, just different. In the same way an engineer and a welder will look at a design differently. This can be a big advantage to problem solving.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Why have two separate genders?
« Reply #4 on: 18/05/2010 07:21:59 »
Remarkably, I was able to do the merge!
 

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Re: Why have two separate genders?
« Reply #4 on: 18/05/2010 07:21:59 »

 

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