Are men now redundant?
On Tuesday 7th July, scientists at the University of Newcastle claimed to have artificially created human sperm for the first time. This therefore begs the question, are men needed anymore?
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Darwinism in action
As a species, if women no longer need men for reproductive purposes, that irreversibly cast men into the role of the weaker species. Logically following on from this therefore, if evolution is to follow its natural course, men will eventually die away, leaving a world entirely populated with women, able to reproduce through scientific means.
The evolution of man is not entirely following a Darwinian pattern. As human beings, we aren't letting the weaker strains die, and since our mating patterns are not entirely instinctive. So it isn't the same to say that being a weaker species is enough to guarantee extinction. As a species we are healthier than before, but many unhealthy people do reproduce, get laid, that sort of thing, and hence there's a clear divide between normal Darwinian rules and the current social scenario in human society.
Research & technology still a long way from being perfected.
The scientists who are responsible for this, have gone on record as saying that the technique is at least five years from perfection. If this was to ever be used on humans it would need to be tested fastidiously. The same experiment was tried with rats a while back and they all died from various genetic illnesses. This sort of science needs to be 100% safe.
Men are not immediately redundant, but the technology heralds a new epoch where further research is pointing to the imminent redundancy of men. It also means that women are going to be free to pick better and genetic material of greater potential than playing the normal genetic lottery, and hence there is no reason for them to require men for anything but sexual pleasure. Which can be received in other ways.
Moral/ Religious Issues
For those of you with a moral and religious bent, there are obviously some major concerns with this proposal. God created a male and a female of each species for a reason, and it is going against this principle if we are to abolish the natural process of reproduction.
Evolution doesn't usually take religion or morality into account. The Y chromosome is losing genetic material very quickly, according to research, and would soon become redundant anyway. God might have 'created' many things, if one assumes his existence, but then he also set a chain of events into action that reduces male relevance.
Men are Important for Other Things Apart from Reproduction
Although, this is not universally true, men tend to think differently from women in many ways, such as suggesting practical advice to a problem rather than emotional support, and a competitive solution rather than a co-operative solution. men and women will still enjoy sex with each other, even if it does lead to reproduction, and a father still has an important role in the upbringing of a child because he can provide a good male role model.
The value of anyone, is not determined solely by the quantity of their progeny. Take for instance, Sir Isaac Newton. He was a virgin; but, he developed new forms of arithmetic to help us understand physics, and he discovered the principles of gravity. Even though, he was a male who had no children, he was indispensable to our species. Men have a knack for mathematics, science, and invention, and even if our species no longer requires them for breeding, the human race will still need men for their scientific contributions and technological inventions, which have been what has helped mankind progress the most over the millenia, and has been what has lead humans to become the dominant species, on this world.
can't say how the pattern of scientific development will advance
With our current level of genetic engineering ability, it isn't too difficult to voluntarily decide which gender children to produce, and we may decide to keep on producing males. Alternatively, we may develop other genders entirely, rendering both men and women obsolete or not even a factor any more.
Most women (at least, heterosexual women) are attracted primarily to men - since both men and women require love, men are necessary to women. (and vice-versa)
If Artificial Sperm Can Be Created, So Can Artificial Wombs & Eggs
Surely it's only a matter of time - if the technology exists to create artificial sperm - before artificial eggs and wombs can also be created.
And if both men and women are redundant, where does this argument (and indeed the entire human race) stand?
What do you think?