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James Zhang

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Why do we have two genders?

Why is it that we need a man and a woman in order to naturally reproduce? Why not asexual or 3 different genders?

I've thought about how interesting evolution turned out to be. If we reproduced asexually, then aren't we effectively just creating a clone of ourselves? But when we reproduce like we do now, we give the offspring 2 different genes with dominant/recessive traits.

So maybe it was because we needed a female and male to survive a harsh environment of some sort, or otherwise we wouldn't need to and we'd just reproduce asexually. So if we required 3 genders to reproduce, maybe this would be needed to survive an even harsher environment? Or do we just need two genders to create intelligent life...

Would this also warrant the same outcome if there was a planet almost identical to earth? Like would intelligent life on that planet also take the form of similar skeleton structure, similar muscle structure, similar brain and organs?

If anyone's also got books or references on this, I'd be glad to check them out :)

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    Jul 27 2012: Creation. Nature. Male and female relationship is meant for companionship, bonding on the sexual level, mutual dependence and for the beauty of such relationship.
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    Jul 27 2012: Your question will probably get several, radically dissimilar and conflicting explanations. Here is the explanation according to the Holy Bible:God made just one human at first. He allowed the one human to experience the need for a companion and then created the second human as a remedy for the first human's loneliness. The two humans were called "Man" which included male and female, both made in the image of God. We have genders to avoid loneliness and to be fruitful and multiply our kind.
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    Jul 28 2012: Hi James

    Why do we have two genders ? Because God planned it that way.
    It keeps our DNA well mixed up, which is good. It also teaches us how to love & cherish another human being. It allows for a safe environment to raise & teach children. It gives us extended support networks of uncles, aunties, grandparents etc., & hey; it's great fun. I wouldn't have it any other way!

    :-)
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    Jul 27 2012: Read Ridley's "The Red Queen", a well-written book about the evolution of sexual reproduction.
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      Jul 27 2012: thx! I'll add it to my list of things to check out :)
  • Jul 28 2012: In the history of evolution bisexual reproduction can lead to more biodivercity which help us survive in different complex and changeable environments . And this may be one of the reasons why we become the king in natural.
  • Jul 28 2012: Asexual reproduction leads to copying errors and the eventual extinction of the line. Those organism that do use asexual reproduction usually have a random mechanism that is sexual or otherwise sharing of genetic material from a different host to reinvigorate the line.
    It is not a prerequisite that evolution is driven by sexual reproduction since many creatures have not changed much (white tailed deer for example) but still use sexual reproduction to maintain a strong blood line.
    As for why not more genders, what would the evolutionary benefit of such a situation be? I am a believer in the idea that nature does things for a reason and not just capriciously, so for a triple gender mechanism, there would have to be a benefit that would force the change.
  • Jul 27 2012: I think the two genders are needed for a more complex evolution. See, lifeforms that can reproduce themselves without a partner did not change much over million of years. That could be, because there is nothing that mirrors them, nothing that forces them to abstract thinking, or emotional reactions. And emotions are heavy feelings, that sometimes decide over living or not, also change the personal biography etc..

    How "lifeforms" are build up is always the same system-even the materials are the same-just how its finally "mixed" is diffrent. There is a system. And in every lifeform that exist you will find something behavioral, that all other lifeforms share.

    The only true diffrence is the ability to change the environment and create new complex things. To create something you need on the one hand the physical ability (a rat is intelligent, but physically limited-example), and mental ability too. Just when both comes together there is a chance that something will be created by that lifeform.

    Rats for example are very social and intelligent. They have if you want also lots of emotional talents. That allows them to begin a more complex interaction and independence from their location. Lifeforms that are just "there", who just reproduce themselve and eat, are very very dependent on the location and environment, they survive just under specific circumstances, otherwise they are doomed.

    It is not that the environment forces the evolution, but other way round, the evolution forces the environment (to develop). People say we are dependent on our environment, but if you look close, we (and many other lifeforms) are less dependend on the environment than the environment on us.

    Just a few ideas that might help you why there are genders, or better said, what role genders play. It is not so much "why", it is more a "because". And you gonna see that evolution is in the very beginning, humans of today are by far not the top of the evolution, we are still on the ground.
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    Jul 27 2012: Well I'd say it's a form of evolution's way.
    Here's a great video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRpEt61XM4M
    And asexual reproduction has it's problems, i.e mutation, rate of growth etc etc. Also due to our size can you imagine the energy required to create two of you every so often. So as organisms get bigger asexual reproduction is a real drain on resources and energy. Also bacteria share DNA sometimes, which may be a version of early sexual reproduction but we don't know.
    Also something which is really interesting is parthenogenesis. Now this stuff is cool. So basically it's when females can impregnate themselves by splitting an egg. It's described in the video I think. So there's a species of lizards which are solely female and only have one gender.
    Just some ideas.
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    Aug 10 2012: This is the beauty of natures creation. We may clone and create an artificial life forms but till to date we do not know what kind of this life form be. Will not turn in to demon as shown in some English feature films. As far as research in this must go on as it is essential for our survival.