We live in a society seemingly obsessed with sex. Sex permeates much of our radio and television programming; books, films, newspapers, and magazines continually delve into every facet of this fascinating subject. No doubt about it: Sex sells.
But what is the origin of sex? Who – or what – invented it? Is sex the result of evolutionary time and chance? Of mutated bacteria? Of lovesick amoeba? Or is sex the product of the inventive genius of a Creator God?
Consider the evolutionary explanation usually given for the origin of sex. Based on the fossil record, paleontologists believe that nonsexual methods of reproduction (such as binary fission) have been present on earth for some 3 billion years among species like bacteria and blue-green algae. But sexual reproduction, again according to the fossil record has been present for “only” about 600 million years. Thus current evolutionary theory asserts that sexual organism must have originally arisen from “primitive” nonsexual creatures, and the simply sexual organism in turn gave rise to more complex sexual species.
True, it is possible to line up currently existing organism and show an apparent progression from the simple asexual reproduction of an amoeba to the more complex sexual patterns of insects and fish, to the incredibly intricate sexual organs and behavior patterns of birds, mammals, and man himself. But such a “lineup” really proves that more complex organisms are the descendants of simpler ones. In fact, even simple creatures are often unbelievably sophisticated in their sex habits.
Evolutionary biologists contend that sex – the combination of characteristics from two similar but genetically distinct parents-- is absolutely essential for the significant variation in offspring needed for evolutionary “advancement.” Nonsexual reproduction simply does not have enough potential for creating new characteristics. “Asexual reproduction makes identical copies of parental cells, unless a new mutation intervenes to yield a minor change,” states Harvard professor Stephen Jay Could. “But new mutation is infrequent and asexual species do not maintain enough variability for significant evolutionary change.” This is why evolutionists looks to sex to provide the raw material for natural selection and evolutionary innovation.
But even with sex, the laws of heredity set definite limits on how far the variations in progeny can go. Cats produce only cats. Dogs, though differing greatly, engender only dogs, not pigs, bears, or horses. So, contrary to the claims of evolutionists, sex cannot be invoked as the source of the large-scale changes needed for evolution to occur.
Nor does a theoretical “need” for sex explain the origin of sex. And therein lies one of the greatest evolutionary paradoxes of all: If all higher organism evolved from unicellular life forms, and if these originally unicellular forms were asexual, and if cell divisions of these primordial protozoa produced little or no variability in subsequent generation (all the above are basic tenets of modern evolutionary theory), then how could such sexless forms of life ever give rise to higher sexual organism?
And why, if asexual reproduction can produce viable offspring was it necessary to turn to the much more complicates sexual method?
Indeed, the great advantage of asexual reproduction is its reliability and simplicity. For one-cell creatures, simple division is all that is necessary. On the other hand, sexual reproduction requires two individuals to find each other and to mate in order to let their gametes – sperm and egg-- fuse and then divide to create another organism like themselves. Asexual reproduction can also proceed more rapidly and allow populations to build up more quickly than sexual reproduction.
Since asexual reproduction has so many advantages, it is difficult to see why nonsexual creatures would ever turn to sex; they obviously survived quite well without it. Witness three billion years of asexual bacteria reproduction with no significant changes.
Of course, sex might produce a greater variety of offspring, which could perhaps better adapt to changing environments. But no nonsexual creature could be expected to “know” that sex is better, and considering the intricate difficulties in changing from no sex to sex. It is not surprising that evolutionary theory is extremely hard pressed to explain how sex arose.
Take the common dandelion, surely an example of a prospering flowering plant (ask any gardener). Dandelions are presumably the result of millions of years of sexual variation. But in actual fact the dandelion produces seeds by asexual means! Every seed is a genetic duplicate of the parent. Biologists therefore conclude that the dandelion has “abandoned” sex and is thus extremely unlikely to ever show any significant change.
Which again emphasizes the basic paradox of sex. A sexless world – whether of single-or multiple-celled organism would be a world with little hope of evolutionary modification. But for sexless forms of life to ever evolve by mere mutations into sexual forms would seem to be utterly impossible.
Sex, in all its many variations, cannot be the result of change mutations. Sex must be the product of a Great Designer and Creator.
Evolution, Sex and the Ant
Surprising as it may seem, the tiny ant poses one of the biggest challenges to the belief that sex is a product of evolution and the survival of the fittest, or, on the other hand, that evolution is the natural result of sexual reproduction. One problem lies in the existence of sterile female workers in the ant community. Indeed, Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, was concerned that such neuter worker ants could be “actually fatal to the whole theory.”
In his 1859 book, Origin of Species, Darwin stated: “With the working ant we have an insect differing greatly from its parents, yet absolutely sterile; so that is could never have transmitted successively acquired modifications of structure or instinct to its progeny. It may well be asked, how is it possible to reconcile this case with the theory of natural selection?”
And that’s precisely the point: These highly specialized workers differ greatly from their mother, father, and even from each other. Darwin observed that they differed by “an almost incredible degree.” So one might assume they became specialized by evolution and natural selection over millions of years. But they’re sterile! So they couldn’t possibly have evolved by passing on characteristics to the offspring.
But could the queen ant, the mother of the neuter workers, be the source of their “evolution”? Modern-day evolutionists speculate that perhaps fortuitous mutations or sexual recombinations in the genes of ant queens gave rise to the remarkable variety of highly adapted workers we now find in ant colonies. After all, unlike the workers, queen ants are sexual creatures. Therefore, according to evolutionary theory, they might be expected to more readily evolve, introducing a wide variety of innovations in their offspring.
But the evidence simply does not support such speculation. Fossilized ants, males, females, and workers dated some 70 million years odd are apparently identical with species now living! Queen ants are a result of sexual reproduction. Yet the enigma is that sex, the presumed source of great evolutionary variety and change, has seemingly failed to effect any significant changes since the time of the fossilized ants. Sex or no sex, the evidence is that for millions of years the ant has not evolved. Surely the tiny ant provides a major challenge to Darwinian concept of evolution.
Sex by the Clock
On certain nights during the spring and summer months, sandy California beaches is the scene of a spectacular display put on by small silvery fish called grunion. By the thousands these fish come out of the ocean to lay their eggs in wet beach sand, in accordance with a most amazing and uncanny built-in-clock. Indeed, a keen sense of timing is absolutely essential for their survival.
Of all the varieties of fish in the world, only the grunion shows such spawning habits. To understand some of the reasons why the sex life of the grunion is such a remarkable example of a “living clock,” we need to consider some facts about ocean tides. First, there are two low tides and two high tides roughly every 25 hours. Second, the highest tides occur at the time of the full moon and at the time of the new moon (at interval of about two weeks).
The grunion, with little variation, spawns at high tide on the second, third, and fourth nights after the full moon and after the new moon. This means that they are spawning after the time of the highest tides of the month (at a time when the highest tides are declining).
Sand is carried away from beaches when tides are increasing, so the grunion spawn on nights and at that time of night when tides are declining and their eggs will be covered by sand. If they spawned at that time of the month or at that time of night when tides are getting higher, their eggs would be washed away by succeeding tides and grunion would become extinct.
Moreover, since it takes about nine days for their eggs to develop, they must spawn at a time when their eggs will have nine days in the sand before they are washed free. Eggs which are laid on the second, third, and fourth nights following the highest tides will usually hatch from one to three nights before the next highest tide. But if the grunion were to spawn later than these three nights, their eggs would be washed out before they were ready to hatch.
Finally, it is essential that the eggs hatch within a few minutes after they are agitated, but not until they are agitated. If the eggs hatched as soon as they got wet, they would probably hatch prematurely and the baby grunion would die. In nature, the vital agitation comes when the eggs are washed free from the sand by waves of rising tides. Thus the grunion must take a multitude of factors into account in order to reproduce. No one knows the exact mechanism controlling the precise timing of the grunion, but precise it is. Without this timing, they would have little chance of survival as a species.
Yet how did the grunion acquire their incredible built-in clock? If they “evolved” their sense of timing over thousands or millions of years, the grunion would have long ago become extinct! Remember, the timing must be almost perfect: the eggs must be laid at just the right time, just after the highest tide for that month otherwise the eggs would be washed away before they could develop. And the eggs must develop in nine days so they will be ready to hatch when the next highest monthly tide comes in. If they aren’t ready to hatch the tide will take them away and they will die.
Truly the clockwork-like sex life of the grunion is an awesome spectacle. The grunion’s incredible and intricate sense of timing is a powerful testimony to the handiwork of the Creator.
A Curious Twist – The Sex Life of the Mosquito
To most people, the mosquito is a bothersome pest with an irritating proclivity for drawing blood. But the sex life of the mosquito is a fascinating study in the hidden intricacies of what is usually considered a “simple” organism. Indeed. The structures of the sexual apparatuses of the male and female mosquito are incredibly complex, and the sexual behavior patterns of the mosquito are surprisingly elaborate.
Since space does not permit us to describe all the mysteries and complexities surrounding the sex life of the mosquito, let us focus on only one specific aspect: the baffling change in male anatomy required or the mating of mosquitoes of the species Aedes Aegypti.
What is this mysterious anatomical change? Shortly after a male mosquito emerges as an adult, his rear end undergoes a remarkable rotation. The last two segments of the abdomen begin to rotate until, over a period of 20 hours, they have made a full turn of 180 degrees. In other word, the male’s posterior turns upside down –permanently. The female abdomen, by contrast always remains in its original position.
This curious twist is absolutely essential for mating to occur, since the male must clasp the female in a very complicated fashion to ensure fertilization. A partial twist – say 90 degrees will not do the job. According to Dr. Jack C. Jones, an entomologist who has conducted extensive research on the amazing reproductive systems of the mosquito, the mechanism responsible for the strange posterior rotation is not known. Jones’s studies indicate that the muscles of the body wall do not cause the rotation.
But whatever the mechanism, how could such a revolutionary rotation have evolved? According to evolutionary theory, changes in organism accumulate over long periods of time, eventually resulting in a superior creature. In the case of longer legs, or bigger horns, such a concept might make sense. But can you imagine male mosquitoes slowly learning, over millions of years to completely rotate their hind ends so that they could mate with a female? Unless the male mosquito had the ability to effect an essentially complete rotation from the very beginning, the mosquito could not successfully mate, and would now be extinct. Yet mosquitoes quite obviously exist today! And remember, the posterior flip of the male mosquito is only one of the series of spectacular changes and transformations that are vital for mosquito mating and reproduction.
The curious twist in the sex life of the mosquito would seem to provide strong and compelling evidence for the unfathomable inventive genius of God.