Life on Earth is all about sex. But sex is far more attributable to our animalistic instincts than many humans even realize. Animals and human beings, alike, go through unimaginable things to ensure their genes are passed on for another generation. The one goal in most species’ lives is to reproduce so that some parts of their DNA or genes get handed down. Clearly without reproduction and sex, which are distinctly different terms, the species would become extinct. Because of this inescapable fact, the evolution of sex is a very important topic. One may say that sex drives evolution and evolution drives nature, which in turn makes sex the center of existence.
When examining the evolution of sex there are many different topics and facts to be looked at closely. This paper will give a brief description of the history of sexual reproduction and how it has evolved over the past 600 million years. Next, a discussion on Darwin’s theories of natural selection and sexual selection and their role in evolutionary theory will be presented. In addition, this paper will include a thorough examination of the different forms of reproduction; the history, current state, and future of human sexual reproduction; and various other interesting topics relating to the evolution of sex.
Wilson (1975) notes that an individual organism is part of an elaborate device that ensures the survival and replication of genes with the least possible biochemical alteration. Being that reproduction is thought to be one of the primary reasons for existence for many species, it is important to investigate its role in the evolution of sex. Webster defines reproduction as the act or process by which plants and animals give rise to offspring and which fundamentally consists of the segregation of a portion of the parental body by a sexual or asexual process and its subsequent growth and differentiation into a new individual. As the definition eludes, there are two forms of reproduction, asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction.
Asexual reproduction, also known as vegetative reproduction, is when something reproduces without any form of fertilization and still passes on 100% of their genes. There are multiple forms of asexual reproduction. For example, budding is a form of asexual reproduction where an offspring grows out of the body of the parent. Fragmentation is a form where the body of the parent breaks into distinct pieces, each of which can produce an offspring. Regeneration is when a piece of a parent is detached and it grows and develops into a completely new individual. Asexual reproduction has many advantages and disadvantages. However, in order to understand these one must have general knowledge of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
According to Buss (2008), Charles Darwin developed the theory of natural selection in an effort to explain how and why species developed and evolved...