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Why, or more importantly, how, did sexual reproduction of life forms evolve?

It seems that this reproductive mechanism would be rather cubersome: two essentially different organisms of the same species come together to exchange genetic material and hope to see offsring into the next generation... single cell organisms seem to be a whole lot more efficient at reproduction by just cloning ... so how and why did nature "decide" to also include sexual reproduction mechanisms in the "fight for survival?" Dawkins ascribes this whole reproductive thing as DNAs way of maikng more DNA. ... So to be ultra-reductionist we are mere DNA making machines??...


Closing Statement from Lincoln Solomon

Closed out. And no conclusion. Some evolutionists postulate random selection of mutant genes and transfer of such between single celled organisms as the architypes of sexual reproduction as we observe it today. Creationists / ID folks believe in the design of a Creator. I have not been convinced, from this conversation, about the evolutionary mechanisms which gave rise to sexes and sexual reproduction methods.
Thanks for the input every-one. I Think I'll ask Google ...

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    Feb 14 2013: Why questions can have infinite regression.
    I think there are three hypotheses on the origin of sexual reproduction.
    1. Sexual reproduction aids in spreading of advantageous traits and speed up evolution.
    2. Sexual reproduction aids in removal of deleterious genes and speed up evolution.
    3. Sexual reproduction aid is improving upon new gene combinations for more fit organisms and speed up evolution.
    At the heart of all three is the mechanism of DNA repair and the reasons 1 to 3 are not mutually exclusive.
    Obviously the three mechanisms as stated above are among many ways of transferring genetic material and information but the three turned out to be very effective for multicelluar organisms through vast number of blind trial and error in nature.
    • Feb 15 2013: OK so we have some reasons why sexual reproduction is advantageous from an evolutionary viewpoint: viz. getting DNA into the next generation of organisms, but HOW did nature "decide" on this method of reproduction. What were the (postulated) mechanics? Which organisms stumbled onto this in the first place, and what were the possible push factors for this to happen?
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        Feb 15 2013: Nature never decided anything. What we see is what came to be out of trial and error. Evolution works over a huge span of time and through huge number of reiterations with slight modifications. It's like the game of Life.
        There are number of push factors like speeding up of evolution and survival. Sex produces genetic variations, which is good for increasing chances of survival under different conditions by trial and error. Rolf Hoekstra's book The Evolution of Sex and its Consequences is a good read if you want to know in detail.
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          Feb 15 2013: RE: "I agree in principle. . . "
          So you are saying that the less-efficient reproductive process has been naturally selected over eons of time from beneficial mutations of a common ancestor because it increases chances of survival? Less efficiency= Greater survivability? Sounds wrong.

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