Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Life Without Sex

'There are advantages to life without sex, as Dr Himler explained.'
She's talking about ants, but it seems, somehow, heartfelt.


  1. Are you suggesting that Dr Himler, on top of having all the baggage of her soundalike to contend with, is Himless?

  2. Thinking about the subject with ones head, not allowing various other bits of tackle to intrude, she has a point, what a stress free existence we would lead, not having to worry about keeping the female of the species in clover and working ones fingers to the bone supporting sprogs.
    Jaqui's husband has of course taken a different route, prefering to pull his own plonker rather than involve his missus, well wouldn't we all, if married to that.
    We would eventually of course become extinct but hey, we can't have everything and wouldn't the greens die out with a smile on their little faces.
    C'mon Gordon, bring out another law, ban bonking.

  3. "developed into an all-female species"

    Well as a man I personally cannot relate to men loving other men, except in war maybe? But I can fully understand women loving other women, if I was one I would love women too.

  4. A big point here is that there is no male of the species, that men ants are no longer necessary, that ants have evolved to female-only.

    This may have a lot to do with ants going from hunting and gathering societies to farming:

    "Ants discovered farming long before we did--they have been cultivating fungus gardens for an estimated 80 million years.

    More interested in gardening than sex "They collect plant material, insect faeces and even dead insects from the forest floor and feed it to their crops," she said.
    Instead of heading into an industrial revolution which would include men in the mass production of articles that women would shop for, the ants went right into asexuality. So whereas there remained benefits to sex for humankind . . .

    There are advantages to life without sex, Dr Himler explained.

    "It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring."
    One resolution to this problem of keeping men in the loop, might be to keep us around as slaves. I'm not sure why the ants didn't think of this. And yet Himler's resolution is to do away with men altogether to maximaze efficiency, to lessen contraints:

    Since the fungus crop reproduces asexually, Dr Himler thinks it might give the ants some kind of advantage "not to operate under the usual constraints of sexual reproduction".

    "There is certainly more work to be done in this system," she added. "We're quite excited about the direction this research might take us, and its implications."
    This evolutionary thinking is nothing new. It was Irina Dunn, apparently, who first said, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

    Evolutionarily speaking, taking God out of the equation, here is Gloria Steinhem on this point, as she wrote to Time:

    In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with David Bale, you credit me with the witticism "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." In fact, Irina Dunn, a distinguished Australian educator, journalist and politician, coined the phrase back in 1970 when she was a student at the University of Sydney. She paraphrased the philosopher who said, "Man needs God like fish needs a bicycle." Dunn deserves credit for creating such a popular and durable spoof of the old idea that women need men more than vice versa.Dr. Himler's studies are supporting this.