At 06:48 PM 6/11/2004 EDT, Joe wrote: >But, one thing is also clear; evolutionary theory >predicts that reproduction without genetic recombination (i.e., sex) will >lead to eventual extinction. As I began to compose this post, the "off-topic warning light" began to flicker. I'll keep it brief, and I promise not to post again on this thread in the near future. Anyone interested is invited to e-mail me privately. First of all, thanks, Joe, for bringing up Cnemidophorus. In an earlier life I was an aspiring herp guy; I got out at just about the time that the parthenogenic Cnemidophorus were discovered. Back then, it was pretty amazing that there should be parthenogenic terrestrial vertebrates. I hope you don't mind if I try to poke a hole in the evolutionary theory you quote. >But, one thing is also clear; evolutionary theory >predicts that reproduction without genetic recombination (i.e., sex) will >lead to eventual extinction. I know that that is the standard line, but think about this: there are lots of organisms which are not known to reproduce sexually. Unless you believe in some sort of creation, or believe that life has evolved multiple times - some of them recently - then the extinction hypothesis is very suspicious. Why? Because if life evolved only once, or if it developed multiple times but all about the same time, then every living thing has an ancestry no less or more older than every other living thing. I'm not arguing that extinction does not occur. What I'm trying to say is that everything which is alive had to come from some other living thing; some lines are more stable than others - among vertebrates, turtles for instance. Other forms of life have apparently been on a fast track. If my ancestry is just as old as that of a single celled something-or-other which does not reproduce sexually and for which no sexual phase is known, then it's apparent that my ancestors must have changed a lot more rapidly than the single celled critter's ancestors did. But the single celled "celibate" critters are still here, and it seems probable to me that they could outlive not only humans as we know them but all vertebrate life. When the next asteroid hits, which group is more likely to survive, humans or unicellular autotrophs? Sexuality makes possible rapid change in response to competition or opportunity. [Sounds like the plot of a soap opera, doesn't it?] And instead of enhancing the likelihood that a given group will experience long term survival, it virtually guarantees that that group will rapidly morph into something else -leaving an apparent "extinction" in its wake. What do you think? Doesn't that make sense? It seems to me that there is a lot of anthropocentric bunk out there going around as evolutionary theory, some of it disguising its political underpinnings better than others. Consider the notion, for instance, that reproductive proficiency is the measure of success. OK, Jim , shut up, get off your soap box and go to bed. Or at least go out and smell the night-scented stocks. Jim McKenney firstname.lastname@example.org Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, zone 7 where I realize that I had better morph my topics if I don't want to precipitate my extinction from this list.