first_imgA Darwinian story just died.  One of the evolutionary stories for the origin of sex is the “Red Queen” hypothesis.  Named after a character in Alice in Wonderland, it is the idea that an organism must continually change just to stay the same, like running and getting nowhere.  Technically, it states that “sexual reproduction is maintained because it improves a species’ ability to respond to a changing biotic environment.”  First proposed by Van Valen in 1973, it has been a favorite among competing hypotheses for the origin of sex.    Otto and Nuismer, publishing in the May 14 issue of Science,1 investigated this hypothesis with a population genetics model and found it wanting.  Their abstract summarizes, “Our results show that species interactions typically select against sex.  We conclude that, although the Red Queen favors sex under certain circumstances, it alone does not account for the ubiquity of sex.”  (For more on the origin of sex, see 05/12/2004 commentary.)1Sarah P. Otto and Scott L. Nuismer, “Species Interactions and the Evolution of Sex,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5673, 1018-1020, 14 May 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1094072].How long do we have to watch Charlie shoot himself in the foot before we conclude he should not run for Sheriff?    Montana teachers, beware!  Do not quote this paper in biology class.  Since it casts doubt on the Darwinian paradigm, it’s against the law (see 05/13/2004 headline).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

The Red Queen Did Not Invent Sex

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