The Birds and the Bees and the Chimps

March 17, 2010

Know what I’ve been thinking about lately?

Sex.

And by “lately,” I mean “approximately the last sixteen years.  Give or take.

But I’ve been thinking about it differently lately.  About how it doesn’t make any sense. 
I started thinking this, and then I went looking around the internet to see if anyone had thought of what I had.  It took approximately 19 seconds to realize that my idea wasn’t original.  But that’s okay.  About 32% of this blog’s content is ideas I thought I was clever enough to have thought of on my own, only to find out there are a lot of other geniuses out there plagarizing my brain. 

Anyway, back to sex not making any sense.  True, if you break it down, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous.  But what’s on my mind is just how weird it is in the evolutionary scheme of things.  Back when my eighth grade science teacher was teaching us evolution, she never explained how sex evolved.

The Next Time You Get the Chance to Argue with Your Eighth Grade Science Teacher…
I actually was that kid that argued with my eighth grade science teacher over evolution.  Unfortunately, my family was not fundamentalist enough for me to come well stocked with much pro-Creation ammo.  I made my point, but I was pretty sweaty.  It was about the most rebellious thing I had done to that point. 

All of us who weren’t nurtured in the caring bosom of a Christian school were told by our all-knowing eighth grade science teachers that living organisms evolved from simpler life forms.  They adapted to their environments and gained new traits through natural selection.  They did all of this to make one thing easier: reproduction.  Part of the reason Christian schools don’t teach evolution is that it’s all about S-E-X.

This cute little cuddlebug to the left is E Coli.  E Coli is pretty small and pretty simple.  When E Coli becomes a teenager and moves down to his parents’ basement and gets terrible acne, he doesn’t start thinking about sex.  He starts sneaking magazines into his basement hideout so he can fantasize about dividing millions of times.  One of his classmates told him in the locker room he actually divided once for real, and it was awesome.  Sometimes, he practices dividing when he’s home by himself, but he’s afraid he’ll get caught, because some people say it’s wrong.

E Coli has it pretty easy when it comes to starting a family.  He doesn’t have to listen to someone nagging him to pick up his socks before he gets some, he just divides!  Wham, bam, thank you…me. 

It makes you wonder why evolution didn’t just stop right there, doesn’t it?  Because all the careless, casual animal sex resulting in single-mother animal households can’t possibly keep up with all the hot, sweaty, asexual reproduction happening all the time. 

Then, if that weren’t enough, evolution kept happening!  Animals evolved into humans.  Humans take a really long time to not be helpless ninnies.  Hence, public schools.  Average people only reproduce a handful of times, despite living longer than most animals.  Women invented things like “romance” to cut down on the amount of reproducing men would try to do…or something like that.

And, humans can even choose not to have kids!  We’ve evolved so much, we use sex for everything except making babies!  We use sex to sell beer and cars.  (Which I suppose can inadvertanly lead to babies, so maybe it evens out…)

Talk about an evolutionary mistake.  When it comes to evolutionary achievement, humans seem to be dead last.  There is no reason for us to have evolved this much.

If you could go back and challenge your high school science teacher, what would you say?  I’d definately ask why we were forced to see that awful video in sex ed with the PE coaches while the tiny sea plankton are just going at it like a bunch of asexual addicts.  To you, what’s the biggest problem with evolutionary theory?  If you wouldn’t argue with your science teacher, which teacher would you argue with?