November 3, 2016

BBC asks: "In the age of genetic engineering, do we need two sexes any more?"

"Do we need men?"

Predictable sexist joke: Yeah, we need them to do the genetic engineering.

51 comments:

Big Mike said...

And here I had that joke all ready to go. But it's good that you understand.

madAsHell said...

Wow!! Consider the liability!!

madAsHell said...

....and paternity!!

Bob Ellison said...

I was taught in school that sexual dimorphism is a survival trait. It adds diversity to the gene pool and competition to the gene game. Those earthworms that mate with themselves seem to be doing OK, though.

Yancey Ward said...

The hard truth is this- if we really only had women, they would all be living in mud huts or caves. The sexist joke above really isn't a joke, either. There is just something within males of the species that literally drives them to be tinkerers and builders- a kind of monomania that appears to have had a large evolutionary effect particularly on homo sapiens.

Bob Ellison said...

Seems to me, upon consideration, that even if you're a worm, you might not want to have sex with another worm. You could do better. Maybe a slug, something with appendages.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The weird thing about the dog show people is it's all about improving the breed and yet all the while they fuss over cosmetics and haircuts and hot oil protein treatments and all that.

What if you have a dog that's almost a champion on points but he loses half his tail to a wood chipper?

All washed up?

Some questions don't have to be answered.

The Godfather said...

In the age of automation, do we need people any more?

Fernandinande said...

Predictable sexist joke: Yeah, we need them to do the genetic engineering.

Google image [genetic engineering faculty] shows that the field is mostly comprised of 20-something female models.

tim in vermont said...

My question has always been, who is going to hold the guns on the men while their sex is extirpated? But the answer is easy, if there are three men in a room and one pussy, they all want the pussy and will happily cut the other men's throats to get it. Men don't stick together as a sex unless it is part of a scheme to get more pussy.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Things have come to a pretty pass when a simple question like "do we need men" elicits a sexist response.

Gahrie said...

Imagine the firestorm of hatred at anyone who asked the question:

"Do we need women?"

tim in vermont said...

It does take a lefty to really ratchet up the eliminationist rhetoric, doesn't it?

cf said...

We have reached such madness now.

Look around you, women -- and men who have girded themselves to be no more than women. Look around you and pay attention for just a few moments on the Steel around you.

Consider the steel that delivered your wholesome beets to the market so you could purchase them, not to mention the steel refridgerator the beets sit in now. lets just stick to that delivery, though, that single machine, some model of gargantuan truck, one of many millions, all amazing metal from out of Rock and mountain. Consider their drives over such civilized highways, you hardly can calculate the steel in the many bridges and overpasses and exit lanes.

Consider the mining of ore and all that it takes. Men do that. Not, except for some rare few, not women. consider the incredible engineering men JUST LOVE to foist upon themselves, because they are wired so gorgeously to create and to invent and to build.

How did they do it??? !!!! with all the steel supporting our fat ass lives, how can there be any mountains left in the whole world?! somehow, there are lots of mountains still, and oh, man do I love my steel in the world.

women don't really do steel, except drive it and maybe file their nails with it. Men know steel. they live it and love it.

I do believe president Obama was our first woman president, certainly our first Shrew President. I do believe we are suffering under the heights of Free Women having all mighty power, and behold how catty and small-minded, tacky and unimaginative, off-the-point but righteous is what they have contributed to our times.

I am so done with Women power. give me a man any day. an honest to goodness man.

CJ said...

This is a pretty pedantic post, so sorry, but here it is anyway:

99% of human civilization is due to biological imperative and its resulting variations.

1) The biological imperative for women is to seek the highest status male with which to mate.
2) The biological imperative for men is to create maximum offspring.
3) The society created by these two competing biological imperatives - men seek status in order to gain favor with women, women seek order to raise offspring and correctly choose mates with highest status.
4) Variations in the male biological imperative that have resulted in individuals like Isaac Newton that at least partially channel the biological imperative into something other than status seeking, or the status seeking itself "advances" the entire society.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have seen this sort of thing in Sci Fi for a long time. But, the politically incorrect answer is that we do need both sexes, because statistically neither sex really can raise kids adequately alone. And to be a masculinist, women are, on average, esp bad at it, esp of raising teenagers, and esp boys. Why is the poor black inner city crime and violence rate so horrible? So much higher than most of the rest of the country? Best explanation I have ever seen is that it is because we have been subsidizing fatherless child rearing for a half a decade now, and worst hit were blacks, whose family structure was weakest due to their history of slavery. Almost universally, the BLM guys killed in self defense were not raised by their fathers. We watch a lot of First 48 Hours, where most of the victims, and most of the perps, are black males. You see the grieving families, but they are almost completely female.

The basic problem is that most women as mothers are incapable of domesticating and civilizing adolescent and early adult aged males. They need older males, preferably fathers, or maybe uncles, to start the process. Then wives and children to complete the process. Without this, you have a lot of uncivilized males running around in juvenile packs (where they find their place in a male hierarchy) violently terrorizing their community. And, yes, without a positive male role model, the girls tend to have kids with the alpha thugs, out of wedlock, perpetuating this disruption in the next generation. Directed male aggression has given us most of what technology that separates us from our cave dwelling ancestors, but undirected male aggression has given us the crime and violence that are devastating our poor inner city neighborhoods today.

Bob Ellison said...

The biological imperative is: reproduce, gene.

That imperative can vary in practice.

n.n said...

Beyond the "final solution". First, they came for the babies... The Pro-Choice Church is weird and depraved.

That said, keep the wombs... women, as taxable revenue, serviceable commodities, and democratic leverage.

We live in interesting times. Debasing human life as colorful clumps of cells for wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, and democratic leverage has placed humanity on a progressive path in the twilight zone.

n.n said...

The natural imperative is fitness. This is an unqualified function. The biological... the existential needs can be realized through indoctrination, bribery, rape-rape, abortion, enslavement, redistributive change, etc.

MayBee said...

Why do people hate men (and dislike boys) so much?
What's going on in our culture?

mockturtle said...

Men have created pretty much everything useful and splendid in the civilized world. Yancey is probably right--we'd be living in mud huts without them. But, aside from that, the complementary two-gender system is the natural one. The one that God ordained, whether or not you believe in Him. I should hate to live in a world without it.

Comanche Voter said...

Well Maybee, women don't like boys because boys won't share their blankies in kindergarten. And most elementary school teachers are women, and it all goes downhill from there.

Young boys are little savages--there's no getting around it. And it takes both male and female efforts to tame them. Of course in the absence of male supervision, there's Ritalan and diagnoses of ADD so you can drug the little savages; but then you wind up with Pajama Boy, and that's an evolutionary dead end.

Ann Althouse said...

We don't need to exist at all.

Without sexual attraction and sexual activity, what would we do with ourselves? Why bother? Yes, there are higher manifestations of love, but without sex at the foundation, how would we get there?

Larry J said...

cf said...
We have reached such madness now.

Look around you, women -- and men who have girded themselves to be no more than women. Look around you and pay attention for just a few moments on the Steel around you.


Excellent, and steel is just one of many things that wouldn't exist without men. Open a faucet and you get water. Flush the toilet and your waste disappears. Turn on a switch and you have light. Turn up the thermostat and you get heat. Turn it down and you get cold air. Does that happen by magic? Perhaps to some people. As Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic." Actually, the overwhelming majority of the people who work at the utility companies providing us with water, gas, electricity, and handling our sewage are men. Men mine the coal, drill the water and natural gas wells, lay the pipes, run the generators, run and repair the electric lines, and so on. Without men, women would soon find themselves shivering in the dark.

And the list is much longer than just steel and utilities. A fucking thank you once would be appreciated.

Rocketeer said...

Welcome to the Monkey House.

Rocketeer said...

Welcome to the Monkey House.

Rocketeer said...

Welcome to the Monkey House.

ceowens said...

Two women are speaking, "Well, men are good for one thing." "Yes, that is true but how often do you have to parallel park?"

I guess even that is by the wayside now.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sex, don't people still like it?

tcrosse said...

Now that Downton Abbey is done, do we need the BBC anymore ?

Gahrie said...

What's going on in our culture?

We gave women the vote.

Gahrie said...

The basic problem is that most women as mothers are incapable of domesticating and civilizing adolescent and early adult aged males. They need older males, preferably fathers, or maybe uncles, to start the process

There was a famous case in Africa of adolescent male elephants running in packs and behaving badly....harassing other animals etc, and generally not acting the way male elephants were supposed to behave. The solution? Import older male elephants to teach the adolescents how to behave and to keep them in line.

n.n said...

Outside of love there is the prospect of wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence... and democratic leverage, exploitation. Then there is the minority who just like to run amuck. I wonder how people would fare in a universe unto themselves.

Men have created pretty much everything useful and splendid in the civilized world

Maybe. The order we observe may also be the outcome of priorities. I think the best assessment will recognize the equal and complementary contributions of men and women.

Why do people hate men (and dislike boys) so much

Perhaps they think that women are weaker and therefore more manageable. They are thinning, corralling the herd (Posterity, etc.) as it were. Fomenting a war between men and women is a great way to realize a selective/opportunistic fitness function.

clint said...

Only slightly less obvious sexist joke: We need men to explain the dangers of a clonal monoculture. (See, for example: Irish Potato Famine)

More serious comment: People aren't valued by their utility to others. Things are valued by their utility to people. Seriously, seriously evil unexamined premise to the question.

campy said...

We also need someone to muck out the sewers.

Oh, I forgot: womyn's s*** don't stink.

Meade said...

"Sex, don't people still like it?"

"The old-fashioned way is still best," said Linus Pauling, winner of the 1954 Chemistry prize and the 1962 Peace prize, when solicited [to participate in the Noble Prize Sperm Bank].

https://books.google.com/books?id=aAJ8pAwSkkUC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=linus+pauling+old+fashioned+way&source=bl&ots=tqSoAqraNX&sig=xVQgTj8PZGvey_bnNpsb6zTiJNY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_3JqcgY3QAhXEMyYKHXtwCiwQ6AEIPDAJ#v=onepage&q=linus%20pauling%20old%20fashioned%20way&f=false

n.n said...

If the scientific mystics are correct, and consciousness originates or is created in the brain, then we don't even need one sex, let alone two. The male, female, and transgender sexes are all anachronistic leftovers of a traditional system. Just package a causal ball of cohesive cells, chips, objects in a shell and send It on its way.

Xmas said...

The Bene Tleilax have a very interesting answer to that question.

Peter said...

And a variant on that future:

https://www.amazon.com/Shore-Women-Classic-Feminist-Science/dp/1497640644/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478193731&sr=8-1&keywords=the+shore+of+women

mockturtle said...

Per nn: I think the best assessment will recognize the equal and complementary contributions of men and women.

I wasn't implying otherwise, merely pointing out that great music, art, architecture and most inventions are conceived by men. Women are certainly of equal value and [as a woman, I certainly believe] equal intelligence. And perhaps many--maybe even most--of the inventions of men are unnecessary for survival but they show a propensity for building, for improving, for creative thinking that women have lacked. And it can't be explained away by conditioning.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Larry J said...

A fucking thank you once would be appreciated.

Or a thank you fucking. Those are always nice.

Matthew Blaine said...

Meade, don't you know how to embed links after all these years?

Anyway, no we don't need men. The polarity of the sexes is reversing, and women are the new men.

Curious George said...

Of course men are needed. WHo are women going to make sammiches for?

SukieTawdry said...

Nothing sexist about that joke. Who would do the genetic engineering??

n.n said...

mockturtle:

I think you missed my point. I am suggesting that the differences between men and women matters in context. Any material difference between men and women will be observed in individual performance. The intrinsic and developed bias is due to a reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives.

mockturtle said...

Missed it again, n.n. ;-)

Bob Loblaw said...

Without sexual attraction and sexual activity, what would we do with ourselves? Why bother? Yes, there are higher manifestations of love, but without sex at the foundation, how would we get there?

We would do nothing. Much of what happens in the world is a result of status competition between men who hope increase their attractiveness to women. The whole point of civilization is to harness that competition for the betterment of everyone (as opposed to the Hobbesian world where the men are mostly killing each other).

Anyway, there's a biological purpose to sexual reproduction, which is why it's so common among species. Without it you can't combine beneficial mutations, which would make the species unable to cope well with disease and environmental stress.

Jon Ericson said...

Is Sex Necessary?

mockturtle said...

The Apostle Paul admonishes couples in I Corinthians: "Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

So it is clear that Christianity does not see sex as merely a procreative exercise but a basic need for most people.

stlcdr said...

So, a whole serious (*snicker*) article is a setup so that a sexist joke can be made, which is the setup to demonstrate that men are sexist and oppressive to women. Isn't this what we have been living the past few decades?

It's the old Monty Python witch burning piece.

mikee said...

As I recall, the accused witch in the Monty Python piece ends it by saying, "It's a fair cop" and accepting the illogical but precisely reasoned judgement that she is a witch.

Hmmm.