For perhaps the next two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand years the male appendage seems doomed to give us distress. As Tarzan once remarked, “Doh … dis love thing is great, but look what it’s done to my yam-digger!”
What happens after the next two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand years? If Bryan Sykes is correct in his “Adam’s Curse: A Story of Sex, Genetics, and the Extinction of Men” then the ladies will have to do it all by themselves – albeit after a few plumbing modifications.
And the reason? The Y-chromosome, the thing that determines male-ness, will have been extinguished, unable to repair the damage which it is constantly sustaining.
The Y-chromosome carries no repair kit. There simply wasn’t enough time to provision one. Humankind faced a dramatic need to stay at least one jump ahead of the co-evolving parasites. In our desperation we invented human sexual reproduction, a more ridiculous method of procreation it is hard to imagine.
Like an aging aircraft the Y-chromosome flies on, struggling to maintain altitude. Bits keep falling off. The third engine fails, its propellor immediately feathered into motionlessness by the pilot. The mountain ahead is still in the far distance but with each passing second it looms larger in the windscreen. A grim smile of defiance tweeks the corners of the pilot’s mouth. Behind his eyes is the blazing sting of tears. With incredible calmness his hands move the control column as far forward as it will go ……..
But it saved our bacon, so-to-speak, despite condemning the human female to a very dangerous future. Her narrowing pelvis (probably brought on by bi-pedalism – the abilty to stand on our hind legs), the larger head of the foetus (due to its enlarging brain), raising an infant on her own, through a long period of dependency, placed the human female at immense peril. But with characteristic female ingenuity she found ways to ameliorate her plight.
First, she needed immediate help in caring for the neonate. So, with a good deal of help from Nature, she invented the female menopause – the most breathtakingly dangerous experiment ever undertaken by her species.
At a time when the total world population of humans probably numbered no more than five thousand individuals, when every viable birth was valuable beyond measure, when the future of the human species hung precariously, we did an amazing thing. We turned off a woman’s reproductive ability. The grandmother was now free to help her daughter raise the next generation.
I can find no better explanation for why the human female menopause still exists. The evolutionary advantage it conferred, by making available the most logical person to help in raising the infant, was full justification for such an audacious experiment.
But more was needed. Someone to do the shopping, get food for her and the bub. Find her a nice cave in which to live. Mow the lawn twice a day. Wash the car three times a day. Those sorts of essential things. But how to get them? “I know” she beamed. “I’ll give him immortality. And teach him the meaning of time as well. Why there’ll be about nine months difference between Fathers Day and Mothers Day.” With the bub under one arm and a mirror in her free hand she would interpose herself between the male and the boulder-rolling match on television …
“Oooh, look, darling. Look what I’ve done. Doesn’t he look just like you!” It was the most important discovery ever made by a male.
“Huh? Wha … what you mean? Can’t be …. oh, zhit, it is! Oh, Hallelujah! Hahaha! I’m immortal! Oh, you darling baby factory – I mean, woman. Damn it, I mean darling wifey, honey-bunch! Amazing! Look, I’ll bring you breakfast in bed for … for … forever! Well, for a week or so, anyway. An’ you know that beaut Black and Decker drill you want for your birthday, well …”
Managing to conceal her elation she thinks “Phew! That was lucky. Forgot to make sure it doesn’t look more like the bloke in the cave nextdoor!”
Getting pregnant would still be the most dangerous thing she would do but, hopefully, she could now anticipate a bit of help.
If immortality was a serious blow to ‘Religion Inc.’ then maybe it could counter-attack by inventing the After Life. So long as it continues to care for the poor and the needy I can quite happily co-exist with religion – be it organised or otherwise.
Will something arise, Phoenix-like, from the downed aircraft? Will the ashes of the Y-chromosome spawn a new life-form on Earth? Will silicon replace carbon? I do not know. But I cannot believe that we have come to the end of a magnificent history of human inventiveness.
Lesbian parenting is not a social experiment. It is a biological certainty. Same-sex marriage is just a concept far ahead of its time. But is that any cause for regret amongst us males? We were a wartime invention, conceived – no pun intended – at a time of dire struggle with the parasites. If the war should go in our favour, if science can vanquish the parasites, then there would seem little reason to retain the machinery of war. We can dissolve into the mists of time, with never a hint of regret. We were made to do a job, and I think we have done it exceedingly well, perhaps a little too well, as our world struggles to cope with a burgeoning population.
But in the meantime, in whatever time remains before the Y-chromosome becomes as dispensible as a cornflake, let us celebrate maleness! Gentlemen, charge your glasses! I give you a toast – to the women we love and serve. I invite you to visit my http://www.kurrattan.net/audio/mp3ss85.htm
“Adam’s Curse: A Story of Sex, Genetics, and the Extinction of Men” by Bryan Sykes
“Sex, Time, and Power” by Leonard Shlain
“Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” co-authored by Christopher Ryan, Ph.D and Cacilda Jethá, MD
“Mathematics and sex” by Dr Clio Cresswell