Blute Blog

Blute's blog about evolutionary theory: biological, sociocultural and gene-culture.

Posts Tagged ‘science studies

Science Studies: Natural Selection, Sex and Sexual Selection

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Academics, including scientists, tend to be specialized and the discovery of specialized knowledge is important. But so too is getting a hold on the big picture (which is part of why I am fond of much Philosophy of Biology but that is another story). Anyway, I have for long wondered why the literature on natural selection, on the evolution of sex and on sexual selection tend to be isolated from one another. Since natural selection comes logically, historically and developmentally before sex, sex must flow somehow from the existence of natural selection. And of course there could not be sexual selection without sex. In 2019 I published an article “Mating Markets: A Naturally Selected Sex Allocation Theory of Sexual Selection” in Biological Theory in which natural selection flows readily into sex which flows readily into sexual selection but that is another story.

On the 20th of this month I used that font of expert knowledge, “Wikipedia”, to briefly check my belief about the existence of a disconnect between the literatures on the evolution of sex and of sexual selection and it was strongly confirmed. The major articles there on these topics are “Evolution of Sexual Reproduction” and “Sexual Selection”. Not only are each title not present in the text of the other article, but I searched the reference list in the latter for each of those in the former and they do not have a single reference in common! Even the Charles Darwin references are different! The former references an article of his on cross and self fertilization while the latter references his books on the origin, on the descent of man, and an article on the tendency of species to form varieties. This is no criticism of Wikipedia which in this case and many, even most others, reflects the literature it draws on.

Written by Marion Blute

April 1, 2023 at 10:06 am

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