The Phoenix

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sex Can Save The World

Ever hear of the Darwin Awards? It's an annual list of people that die in the most incredibly stupid and idiotic ways. The logic here is that these peoples' deaths actually strengthen the gene pool by plucking themselves from the giant vat of humanity. It's tongue in cheek, but so damn entertaining.

Many would consider sex entertaining as well. But why do we do the deed? Biologically speaking, why do we have sexual reproduction anyway? If you were to be practical about making babies, it would be so much easier, faster, and more efficient for females to simply clone offspring. Let the women pop out babies on their own so us guys can watch us some football. Overall, asexual reproduction makes more sense. Just ask Michael Jackson!

Scientists believe there is a very important reason why we have sex, and it's connected to the premise of the Darwin Awards. The new theory is called the mutational deterministic hypothesis, or MDH.

The basic premise of MDH is pretty simple: the advantage to sex lies in the ability of recombination to purge harmful mutations from the gene pool. Sounds kinky, huh? It's just a hypthesis, and scientists have yet to prove it. However, Ricardo Azevedo and his collegues at the University of Houston believe they have created a computer model to show that MDH is a worthy hypothesis. Their findings are being published in Nature on March 2nd. I don't know what the title of their article is, but I recommend: "The World Needs Sex!" I think they'd sell a ton of more copies.

Azevedo's model created the following simulation: You take a group of organisms that reproduce through sex. Eventually, any harmful mutations are spread throughout the group. Through shuffling their genes, the organisms were able to dilute the mutations within their genes, and allow their own bodies' defenses fight off these mutations.

By mixing up our genes through sex, we create many different combinations of new offspring (genetic variance). This creates a sort of genetic robustness that's better able to fight off mutations. "Most mutations are actually harmful, so anything that helps populations get rid of their harmful mutations is going to be important," Azevedo said. "The more interesting side of evolution is all the beneficial mutations that leads to complex structures, but the dirty work of evolution is to get rid of bad mutations, and that's where sex seems to play a role."

Those idiots that kill themselves and thus winning a Darwin Award is quite an effective manner to rid the world of bad mutations. If the inferior genes keep recombining with other inferior genes, perhaps they will breed themselves into extinction. I doubt it, though. All the sex in the world isn't going eliminate all the nimrods.

Here's my favorite Darwin Award winner of 2005:

March 19, 2005...Missaukee, Michigan. 19 year old Christopher had gotten quite drunk. He soon noticed that his alcohol stash was gone and blamed it on a neighbor. So he got a knife and threatened him, but the neighbor just ignored the drunken bastard. Christopher went back home and decided on a great way to get revenge: he'll stab himself and call the cops - he'll say the neighbor did it. Sounds like a plan!

Christopher stabbed himself once, but it didn't do the job. Dumbass stabbed himself a second time - hitting his left ventricle. He did call 911, but died two minutes later. The neighbor was never blamed for the death, and the only thing Christopher got out of this whole thing was the icy cold hand of death brought upon by his own stupidity.

Thank you Christopher for purging your inferior genes for the betterment of mankind.

As for the rest of you out there, hummanity needs you.

Go save the world and have you some sex .


Blogger siren said...

The nimrods of the world serve a very valuable purpose, though. Besides being entertaining, they make us feel better about ourselves (through comparison).

3/02/2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I love to read these each year when they're announced. Like Siren said, they certainly do make us feel better about ourselves.

Famous last words of many Darwin award recipients: "Hey! Watch this!"

3/02/2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger FantasticAlice said...

Oh I love the Darwin Awards... I think my neighbors need to nominated.


Clarifying KC's excellent quote, famous last words for Missourians.

Here, hold my beer and watch this.

3/02/2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I can't argue aganist a good thing. Makes sense to me.

I can't even imagine someone being SO drunk that they could get up the nerve to stab themselves. I have a feeling that guy was a double nimrod prior to consuming any alcohol. The alcohol only enhanced his nimrodiness.

I have a book about all the deaths that have occurred at the Grand Canyon over the years. I think you'd like the book.

3/02/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Mojotek said...

"Go save the world and have you some sex."

I am happy to oblige, O' great one.

3/02/2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

Awesome! My friends have a neighbor who gets drunk (every day) and then tries to annoy them. If we're all sitting in the yard, he'll cut the grass, shit like that.

Maybe he should read this story?

3/02/2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Is that hypothesis really new, though? I mean, ask anyone who's been to Kentucky about the benefits of a little variety in the gene pool. Or, heck, look at the British royals.

3/02/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger cube said...

Hey Phoenix, I just ran into you via Blogmad. Cool huh?

Anyway about your post... People are just DNA's way of making more DNA.

3/02/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

"Let the women pop out babies on their own"

What would be the fun of that!?! : )

3/02/2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

Yeah -- is this really a "new theory?" I mean, remember the Punnett Square? Essentially, the mixing of gene pools harvests dominant traits (which tend to be stronger) and spreads them out over the genetic line. (There may be other "spreading out" involved too! hee hee).

That's why those of us with mixed ethnic backgrounds are the "future" and groups like the KKK are full of it. :-)

3/02/2006 2:37 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Oh, I can't let my husband read this or he'd going to be all over me (I mean, more than he already is). He'll probably point out that's it a way to weed out my bad typing skills.

3/02/2006 2:45 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

siren, I enjoy having the nimrods around for my amusement. In fact, many times I join them and revel in my own nimrodity.

KC, That's great. My last words are going to be, "It's not plugged in, right?"

fantastic alice, nice to see you're still alive. I swear I will try the bourbon chicken sandwich at Vette's.

JD, you can't argue against plain logic. What's the book on all the Grand Canyon deaths called?

Mojotek, go out my brother - and spread your seeds. The gene pool needs you.

brianalt, it sounds like your friends' neighbor isn't able to read.

lisa, that's a good one. Mojotek's from Kentucky. He's trying to change things down there.

cube, damn that was fast. I just registered through BlogMad maybe a couple hours ago. I think it's going to give Blog Explosion a run for its money. Humans live under one simple law from Mother Nature: multiply and die.

karen, I agree. No fun at all. I don't think bacteria have fun mulitiplying. Hell, fruit flies are always gettin' their freaks on.

curare, there's also the "Red Queen" hypothesis as well. All of them are centered around the need for genetic variance. The inverse, inbreeding, creates a far inferior offspring. Many animals die out this way, as the potential mates starts to dwindle, so does the variance of the genes. Really, there's no such thing as a "pure race." If there were, humankind would be moving towards extinction.

WG, oh let him read this. Then make sure Chance is asleep and get busy!

3/02/2006 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

To quote Ron White: "You can't fix stupid."

3/02/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Fuckkit said...

"By mixing up our genes through sex, we create many different combinations of new offspring (genetic variance)."

But you know anonymous sperm donation yeah? You know it means that loads of folks might not know they're actually related thus resulting in inbreeding and freaky mutant children of the future?
Just a thought... :)

3/02/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger TNChick said...

"Go save the world and have you some sex."

The world should be a OK! :)

3/02/2006 3:27 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

**off topic comment**
I have decided you just have too many loyal readers. Within a few hours of posting a new blog and already 15 comments. Impressive!

Now, about this Darwin how did 'they' know about Christopher Dumbass' plan to blame his neighbor if he was dead when the police arrived?

love meagan

3/02/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

bruce, he's right. The only thing you can do is just let it eliminate itself.

fuckkit, that's pretty cool though. Maybe these Mutants will have superpowers and take over the world.

TNchick, I also think the world will be less cranky.

Meagan, I really have the best blog buddies in the universe - including you! (you're actually one of my original readers when I first started doing this blogging thing).

There was a third person, Christopher's roommate that saw and heard everything. In fact, when he stabbed himself, there were several people in his apartment wondering just what the hell the idiot was doing.

One witness said that Christopher actually called 911 right before stabbing himself the first time.

The people behind the Darwin Awards also verify through the authorities every single award nominee.

3/02/2006 4:03 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

"Hell, fruit flies are always gettin' their freaks on"...


3/02/2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger Denny Shane said...

Now isn't this interesting. I can remember having sex at least 5 times with two ex-wives (separately, not at the same time... ex-wife #2 didn't like orgies) and as a result I never thought about procreation once... however, there were 5 children born thereafter.

Now this is where I am suposed to come up with a theory or a really interesting summation... right?

Ummm... excuse me I smell something burning in the kitchen....

3/02/2006 5:26 PM  
Blogger LBseahag said...

That kicked ass...what a moron that guy was...even when I am drunk, I know that plastic knives give the same effect without that pesky injury...

I am gonna mate with the home improvement stocker at my local WalMart...

3/02/2006 6:57 PM  
Blogger mrshife said...

I sure do miss my neighbor Christopher.

3/02/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

Sex can definitely save the world. Does masturbation count--even if there is no gene mixing?

3/02/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

Ass-Kicking post :) lol!

**Go save the world and have you some sex .

hmmm good word of advice..


3/02/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

First thing that came to mind about Chris, how do we know what he was thinking? Is it like a movie where we get the voiceover from beyond the grave?

3/02/2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Karen, scientists are always having fruit flies mate. It's amazing.

Denny, you crack me up, man. You really do. You should write a book.

L.B., you go girl! You get on with your Walmart self.

Mr.shife, I bet you feel guilty now. You should've just thrown him a beer.

Angel, Gene mixing is the name of the game. You can count self love as a warm up though.

Keshi, Thanks. I know you're all for more love and saving the world.

Josh, His roommate heard him yelling in the bathroom for the neighbor to stop stabbing him. Of course, Christopher was alone with his drunk self in there, stabbing his own chest.

I guess you can infer what was going through his's easy enough since there didn't seem to be much up there.

3/02/2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger ObilonKenobi said...

I love the Darwin Awards although I'd like to see if they are all true. They sound true enough but it would be great if they weren't just Urban Legend. I am against killing and ridiculing a fatalities, except when a dumbass causes it himself in a particularly stupid way. I like the changes on the blog.

3/02/2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

As always you were able to bring hypothsis to the basic level. I will take your sound advice. To paraphrase Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein, 'Sex Good.'

3/03/2006 12:26 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Figures the winner is from Michigan.. LOL

3/03/2006 4:01 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

The ultimate irony of sex: those who don't really enjoy it but are doing it to procreate often cannot have children, and those who enjoy it and don't want children often have undesired pregnancies.

Not exactly the best way to have the best parents raising the genetically "stronger" kids ...

-- david

3/03/2006 6:58 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Great idea!

I'll tell my boss I gotta go get laid to save the world.

Sounds like a plan to me...;)

3/03/2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

I have confiltory proof to MDH. you see, I have a job working for a municipal government. Lets just say we need more award winners around here.

3/03/2006 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, I WOULD right, but there's just been abit of a drought, ok? Oh the torment! Look, just for the betterment of mankind I will go out and demand sex from an unwitting stranger.
But bear in mind, I am only doing it to save the world.

3/03/2006 1:15 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I can't remember the title, and the book is in storage, so I can't get to it to tell you.
I purchased it at a Grand Canyon gift shop.

I just took a second to Google this, and I found it. I saw that it has the same cover as my book, so I know it's the right one. It's called:

Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon

It tells of the stories of every known death on record there.

3/03/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger grrrbear said...

I bet the neighbor actually did kill Christopher, and he's absolutely *stunned* that his crazy alibi was not only accepted, but has not become award-winning.

3/03/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Sex is for reproduction?

Shit, I'm doing it wrong.

Also, if he died without telling on the neighbour, then how do we know his intention?

3/05/2006 2:44 AM  
Blogger LostInTX said...

Well thank goodness that dumba** din't reproduce. And stupid people shouldn't get to drink anyway (although it does seem to rid the world of them, doesn't it?).

I agree with what David said - some try and try and can never have a kid while people who don't want one end up with a "surprise". Sex..such a powerful tool.

3/05/2006 7:38 AM  
Blogger Etchen said...

I am so excited someone else knwos about the Darwin awards! These are the best! (though sometimes I think some of my data results would qualify me for one as well)

3/05/2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

all for love oyeah ;-)


3/05/2006 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I'd be interested in reading the article if you can snag it. When I searched, they want me to pay. :)

I wonder if they respond to questions about altruism, homosexuality, masturbation and gene mutations that don't "turn on" until well into adulthood (Huntingtons disease or cancer for example).

What about mutations that do have benefits (blood type, skin color, language, musical ability, opposable thumbs)? Not all mutations are bad, most real bad ones don't allow the embryo to even develop into a fetus, so that is one way of getting rid of "bad gene" combos even before they get out the starting gate. Not to mention that those whom are obviously "sick" don't have a chance in hell of getting laid.

The Darwin awards are funny as shit though. There is an evolutionary reason for the dumbass existance. How else would we know or learn that certain actions are stupid and could lead to death?

Someone had to be the first to try and make the saber-tooth cat a pet. ;)

BUT, it dosent mean he hasnt already passed along his genes.

Have you checked out "The Selfish Gene"? Interesting theory as well.

I need more information on MDH. :)

3/05/2006 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh my god, I am a nerd.

3/05/2006 9:44 PM  
Blogger RAVEN the PITA said...

Jennifer - I wasn't going to say it! j/k! ;-)

Pheonix - another case for: Why God Created Vibrators :-)

3/06/2006 1:52 AM  
Blogger Dirk the Feeble said...

I had heard that The Darwin Awards were all made up anyway. That makes them less interesting to me, but it also makes me kind of sad - I like the idea that there's people way dumber than me out there.

3/06/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger PDD said...

Wow! That guy is a serious dipshit. If there is such a thing as God, I don't think he's with him. Not because he killed himself, but because how he killed himself. I think God has a little bit of an ego and wouldn't take that kind of thing lightly - it would humiliate him, associating with such a moron.

3/07/2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

You people crack me up. Jennifer, no, you are not a nerd.

3/07/2006 11:01 AM  

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