Sunday, June 12, 2011

Variation in the species

Frankly there isn’t nothing much to type here. Pretty much everything was mentioned in the last post which highlights the fact that sexual reproduction is a very inefficient form of reproduction.

But then this begs the question: why does it exist even now?

I had linked to the article which was my original inspiration. There are actually four theories which explain the phenomenon. What most caught me was the Lottery Principle. In essence it says variation in a specie of cells is good. Usually the cells have to protect themselves from invading colonies of viruses or bacteria. If all the cells had the same makeup their defense strategies would most probably be the same. And if this is something that the invading colony can conquer then what mostly happens here is the extinction of the whole species. But with variation some individuals are equipped more “gifts” to better obviate the attack.

There are two things that can happen here. Either the fit individual is able to ward off the attack and destroy the individuals of the invading colony; thereby allowing the weaker individuals to survive. Or the fit individuals flee the scene leaving the weaker ones as bait. Whatever be the case, from the invading colony perspective, it simply means that one tactic alone is not enough to attack and obliterate the other species. This results in the other species having a chance to survive.

So that is the gist of a cell’s reproductive life.

But what has happened over the years because of this variation?

You ended up being different from your siblings, parents, friends at school, work, or, play, etc. So obviously no one is born equal. Everyone has their own gifts and curses within them. But lets not interpret this universal fact politically and fight with everyone.

The history of life on earth is replete with irony

How many wars have we fought just because one race of people are different from the other? How many of these wars were fought completely ignorant of this universal fact of life: we are all simply different. There has undoubtedly been instances where individuals of the same specie (not just in the human species) fought with each other because they were “different”. There has been instances where a group of individuals fought with another group of individuals because they were “different”.

The amazing fact in all of this “difference” is that, at a time when the whole specie was in threat (due to attack, or natural calamity, etc) all differences simply vanish. Sometimes even the warring individuals have to unite, setting aside their differences, to save their own species from being extinct.

I do realize that this “uniting” or “coming together” is a prehistoric phenomenon; a very very old one. But it is also something that symbolises life of earth.
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