April 28, 2005

ODDLY ENOUGH, THEY'RE FOUND ONLY IN MA (via Tom Morin):

Same-sex fungi can mate: C. neoformans' sexual cycle could shed light on the evolution from asexuality to sex (Charles Q Choi, 4/26/05, BioMedCentral)

Members of the same sex of a pathogenic fungal species can mate and produce offspring, scientists report in the April 21 issue of Nature. The finding suggests for the first time that the fungus has developed a novel type of sexual cycle, according to senior author Joseph Heitman at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Had God wanted us to marry within our sex He'd have given us a similar capability.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2005 8:23 AM
Comments

"Gay pathological fungus" . . . you can't make this stuff up, I swear.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 28, 2005 9:07 AM

"C. neoformans' sexual cycle could shed light on the evolution from asexuality to sex "

And back again.

Posted by: erp at April 28, 2005 9:48 AM

Well, the existence of sexual reproduction is hard to explain in evolutionary theory. It's also easier to explain why it persists than how it got started in the first place.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 28, 2005 11:05 AM

We should allow Fungal Unions.

Posted by: at April 28, 2005 11:16 AM

AOG:

Read Matt Ridley's "Red Queen."

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at April 28, 2005 11:36 AM

AOG:

Yes, all Evolutionary theory requires that you start from Creation.

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2005 11:57 AM

it's only a matter of time before radical fungal activists (are there any other kind) start aggitating for the right to marry bacterium.

Posted by: cjm at April 28, 2005 12:18 PM

oj - Thought you were going to say "from Alice in Wonderland".

Posted by: pj at April 28, 2005 1:03 PM

I know you guys think you're being cute, but you're just demonstrating (as if that needed doing) that you know next to nothing about biology.

There are species in the plant and fungus world with three sexes and, although it is more ambiguous whether the concept 'sex' is exactly the right word, even dozens of different germinative distinctions.

Even if you are sworn to scorn evolution, it wouldn't hurt you to learn some natural history.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 28, 2005 2:25 PM

Harry brings up just one of many things pointed out in "Red Queen."

Some species have only one gender; others (IIRC) up to eleven.

No matter what you think of evolution.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at April 28, 2005 2:31 PM

So we should let germinatives marry!

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2005 2:31 PM

Ah, the other humorless fanatic chimes in....

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2005 2:35 PM

Mr. Guinn;

I familiar with his thesis although I haven't read the book. I didn't think it was generally accepted as the correct explanation. Moreover, you still have the origin problem. I didn't say it was impossible to explain, just difficult.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 28, 2005 2:53 PM

Not even difficult, Guy.

You're falling into the Behe trap: just because I don't know how something works (with Behe, flagellum), nobody could ever figure it out.

The candidate precursors of sex are still around, in great variety.

That some of the simpler life forms have multiple sexes is first semester botany.

I think 'fanatic' applies more to people who voice strident opinions about subjects they have never bothered to study.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 28, 2005 5:42 PM

Sex is just a social construct.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 28, 2005 6:06 PM

I think 'fanatic' applies more to people who voice strident opinions about subjects they've never bothered to study.

By that definition you're a humor fanatic, Harry. Go hang out on the exploding toad thread for a while, it might help a bit.

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 28, 2005 6:26 PM

Harry:

Strident? I'm amused by you.

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2005 7:43 PM

Ah, the empty ad hominem attack chimes in.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at April 29, 2005 5:31 AM

AOG:

The book purports to answer two questions: how sex came to be, and why it exists.

The latter is a far more difficult question to answer than the former, because, in evolutionary terms, sex appears to be far less efficient at propagating genes than the alternative.

The path to the answer shows the tests hypotheses have to overcome before being accepted as theories, and the answer is somewhat surprising.

The book is roughly ten years old, so might be dated in spots. But it still an interesting read.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at April 29, 2005 10:21 AM

Fairy tales never become dated.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2005 10:54 AM
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