Sex Is the Queen of Evolutionary Problems

We’ve encountered this creationist argument before. First at the Jack Chick website: Jack Chick: Sex Is Evolution’s Nightmare.

From there, it found its way to other creationists, for example: Answers in Genesis: Sex Didn’t Evolve, and then Discoveroids: Sex Is Irreducibly Complex, and most recently Self-Published Genius #70: The Fatal Flaw.

After all that pioneering creation science, the argument has become respectable enough to appear at the website Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” Their article is titled Top 3 Reasons Why the Popular Evolution Story Is a Myth.

It was written by F. LaGard Smith, described at the end as “a professor of law, principally at Pepperdine University School of Law. Smith is the author of over 30 books on a wide variety of legal, social and religious topics. He is most widely known as the compiler and narrator of the best-selling The Daily Bible®, with over two million copies sold.” Here are some excerpts from his article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections [that look like this]:

We have Charles Darwin to thank for opening our eyes to the forces of natural selection so useful today in medical research, healthcare, and technology. But Darwin also did us a great disservice, all too blithely extrapolating from observable “bounded” evolution to his Grand Theory of microbe-to-man “unbounded” evolution. In a nutshell, Darwin speculated that, since there is evolution within well-defined species, then all species must surely be the result of evolution. Logical enough, but simply wrong. Darwin’s extrapolation is fraught with a host of problems, at least one of which — in three particulars — is fatal to his Grand Theory.

Ooooooooooooh! Darwin extrapolated too far! He went from micro evolution to macro evolution — or in Smith’s words, from “bounded” to “unbounded” evolution. And there’s fatal flaw in his theory. Here it comes:

That fatal flaw? The origin of sexual reproduction. Evolution (and evolutionists) simply can’t explain it, and Darwin himself never even tried. … Darwin discussed sexual selection, gender divergence, and all sorts of matters pertaining to breeding, but, curiously, not a single word about the origin of sex.

What a revelation! Smith speculates:

Did Darwin simply take sex for granted since the biological world is awash with sex? Was he just too close to the problem to recognize it? Or is it possible that this particular difficulty was too much of a threat to his elegant theory to highlight it for his readers and critics? Whatever the explanation, it’s clear that Darwin never seriously dealt with the following three devastating problems with his theory:

Then, in a scholarly way, Smith breaks the sex problem into three “devastating” issues. He discusses each one for a paragraph, but we’ll skip that. Here are the issues:

1. Natural selection could not have “selected” from genderless asexual replication the DNA information necessary for evolving the very first male and female forms necessary for sexual reproduction.

2. Natural selection could not possibly have evolved even the most elementary form of sex by meiosis — a radically-different form of reproduction from “exact-copy” asexual mitosis.

3. Natural selection could not possibly have provided simultaneous, on-time delivery of the first sexually-compatible pair of any species in order to move to the second generation of that species, nor certainly to any other, “higher” species along the supposed chain of common descent from microbe to man.

Stunning, huh? Let’s read on:

Taken together, the first two problems are quietly acknowledged by evolutionists to be the “Queen of evolutionary problems” for which, despite their best efforts, they have no answers.

Wowie — the “Queen of evolutionary problems”! Then what’s the third problem — the king? It’s even bigger than that, as Smith explains at the end of his article:

Remarkably, the third (even more obvious) problem is never once addressed by evolutionists. Could that be because, as with Darwin himself, mentioning it would risk destroying an elegant, but fatally-flawed theory?

We’ve mentioned our own response to this great mystery before, but it seems appropriate to repeat it:

The two sexes exist in hermaphrodites. Some hermaphrodites cycle back and forth from one sex to the other. All that needed to happen is that one individual was mutated so that it was stuck in one sex or the other. This wasn’t a reproductive disaster, as that individual could always find a mate (but probably not a permanent one). If the “sticky” mutation perseveres, in future generations there will be some individuals that are always one gender or the other. That’s how it begins.

The existence of sex is a major problem for creationists, but that doesn’t stop them from engaging in it. Maybe, each time they do so, they imagine they’re striking a blow at evolution. That would explain their fecundity.

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17 responses to “Sex Is the Queen of Evolutionary Problems

  1. I suggested to my friends in the biological sciences at Pepperdine that they should perhaps prepare a response to this nonsense. I added this comment to the article: “This is what happens when a lawyer with obviously no interest in studying the data makes a hand-waving argument that “it is not possible”, a claim is based on the premise that “I don’t understand how this could be, so it’s not possible.” I suggest that Smith simply google the evolution of sex and start reading. I would also recommend that he acquaint himself with the work of the folks at BioLogos who find harmony at the interface of science and religion and who don’t waste their time trying to show Darwin was wrong. Indeed, we know that Darwin was wrong about a lot of things and if Smith wants to attack evolutionary theory, he should at least understand the current theory.”

  2. There is a Wikipedia article “Evolution of sexual reproduction”.
    Does anyone know of a scenario for the origin of sex – or of anything in the world of nature- which does not involve natural processes?

  3. Dave Luckett

    The Bible is perfectly clear about the origin of sex in humans: Genesis 1:27 “male and female he made them”. Humans, that is, not other animals. This leaves room for God to be less clear-cut in the case of oysters or whiptail lizards or bdellian rotifers, so that’s all right.

    But wait! The same verse says: “in his own image he made them”. So humans are male and female, and both are “in his own image”. So God must be male and female, too.

    Or no, wait again! If God were both male and female, then neither male nor female human beings are “in his own image”.

    Oh, dear. It looks as if we just have to give over the idea that “in his own image” means physical likeness. And oh, dear, again, that means that one of the primary planks of creationism, the notion that our physical bodies cannot be the product of an evolutionary process because God created them in his image, must also be thrown out.

  4. There is an old understanding of Genesis 1:27 that humans were created hermaphroditic.

  5. Lagard Smith, haven’t we met before in Self-Published Geniuses? Yes we have.

  6. F. LaGard Smith is hardly the only idiot law professor who imagines that he knows more biology than actual biologists (or even high school amateurs).
    Phillip Johnson is the loony law professor who invented the “Intelligent Design” branch of creationism. Both Johnson and Smith are severely behind on their reading (or even looking as far a that goes). A Google search for Evolution of Sex returns some 812,000 matches. It you preface the search phase with “Scientific Publications …) there are still 495,000 matches. That is a fairly high number to be claiming that “Evolution (and evolutionists) simply can’t explain it”.

    It sure is a good thing that we have so many religionists interpreting science for us, otherwise people might actually get educated about scientific topics and who knows where that might lead.

  7. Good catch, Draken. I had forgotten his name.

  8. Arguably, sex is the Queen of all human problems. Without it, all of our problems would be over soon.

  9. He published a book about this as well.

    Here is the book.

    I don’t know why he even bothered to make a book.

  10. “Natural selection could not …..”
    Now let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that this is the case: Evolution Theory can’t explain the origin of sex. Not that I am actually convinced of this – just go with me for a second.
    Evolution Theory still correctly describes lots and lots and lots and lots of other observed phenomena. “Goddiddid” still doesn’t explain anything.
    Fatal Flaw in Evolution Theory? FLGS is not even close to demonstrating it. Hasty generalization, god of the gaps, cherry picking …. in how many ways is FLGS wrong?

  11. Strikes me that LaGard is only one letter away from laggard.

  12. @FrankB
    I just want to say that I agree totally.

  13. By many evolutionary arguments sex shouldn’t exist at all. But living things experiment with their DNA and long ago invented several parasexual means of acquiring genes from others. In cells with nuclei, the experiment with sex
    was wildly successful, as molecular studies indicate that all plants, animals, fungi, and the myriad of protists are descended from a single sexual ancestor. Even organisms without sex retain traces of the genes needed for it to occur. By the way, sex doesn’t necessarily mean just male and female as applied to plants and animals. In fungi and many protists, the cells that fuse are identical, not differentiated into sperm and egg. But all sex involves the fusion of two genomes and the formation of gametes by meiosis. There are, however, many variations on this fundamental theme, enough to suggest the designer had fun despite the self imposed constraint of using just two individuals.

  14. Mark Germano

    “Natural selection could not possibly have provided simultaneous, on-time delivery of the first sexually-compatible pair of any species.”

    ISTM LaGard thinks, according to evolution, sexual reproduction has evolved x times (where x is the total of sexually reproducing species). I think that’s a common belief among anti-evolutionists.

    Although, the image of the first boy chipmunk praying his little chipmunk heart out for the arrival of the first girl chipmunk is pretty compelling.

  15. There are many different ways that mating takes place in living things. There are things which that have both sexes in an individual. There are individuals which can change their sex. There are cases where reproduction does not need males. There are fungi which have many different mating types.
    How can someone be so sure that sex cannot arise by evolution?

  16. Dave Luckett

    Oh, at heart it’s the ancient and hoary argument from ignorance: “It’s not known (or even more simply, I don’t know) how this happened. Therefore, it didn’t happen.”

  17. Christine Janis

    He seems to think that everything that reproduces sexually has a penis and a vagina, or at least that it would be impossible to evolve a penis that wasn’t some fully-functional organ like his own todger. What these sorts of speculations show is how fundamentally ignorant creationists are about the diversity of organismal life out there —- it’s really all about “how could a bacterium become a man in just a few generations”.