ABSTRACT The prevalence of sexual reproduction has long been an outstanding problem of evolutionary biology. Different explanations have been offered to explain the prevalence of sexual reproduction. These explanations mainly focus on the benefits of sexual reproduction’s ability to shuffle and recombine genes. In this paper, we propose an alternative and comprehensive point of view to this important problem. We first hypothesize that sexual reproduction leads to genetic homogeneity and maintains adaptational advantages of organisms. In stable conditions with strong selective pressures, the maintenance of desired adaptational advantages is one benefit of sexual reproduction. We further hypothesize that sexual reproduction provides a mechanism by which entire populations of similar genomes can interact and collaborate with one another in order to improve the population’s average genomic fitness, a phenomena we call coerced collaborative group evolution. We show that groups of individuals will improve as a whole, even though each individual is still operating under their own best interests. We also argue that the so-called ‘two-fold cost of males’ is misguided if we take limited resources in any environment into consideration. Finally, we propose an intuitive and visualized view to connect different theories on sexual reproduction to establish a comprehensive theory to explain sexual reproduction’s prevalence.
Cite this paper
Lin, R. and Lin, F. (2010) Coerced group collaborative evolution as an explanation for sexual reproduction’s prevalence. Natural Science, 2, 1253-1263. doi: 10.4236/ns.2010.211152.
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