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Are Men Obsolete?

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the science-fiction-becomes-science-fact dept.

Science 40

webword writes: "BBC News Online is reporting that Dr. Orly Lacham-Kaplan, from Monash University in Melbourne, has developed a technique to use any cell in a body to fertilize an egg. According to the story, theoretically 'lesbian couples could give birth to a baby girl without the need for a father'. In particular, she has been able to fertilise mice eggs in lab cultures using somatic cells. (Aside: Here is a little article on the ethics of cloning using somatic cells.) While this is not quite bokanovskification, it seems to be a step in that direction."

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Re:Any cell? (1)

mph (7675) | more than 13 years ago | (#93520)

Remembering back to XY chromosomes, gee... that child of lesbians would be what gender?
The one that's still useful, apparently.

Maybe, but... (1)

FIGJAM (29275) | more than 13 years ago | (#93521)

I can still theoretically double the world's population with one ejaculation.

Obsolete? (1)

Yet Another Smith (42377) | more than 13 years ago | (#93522)

Are we obsolete? Or just Deprecated?

Re:Uhh (1)

Milican (58140) | more than 13 years ago | (#93523)

hmm.. who was the only other person born without original sin? Jesus. Well what happens when we recreate that in lab? Maybe nothing, maybe not. Makes you think.

JOhn

Re:Talking specifically of Einstein. (1)

j-beda (85386) | more than 13 years ago | (#93524)

There is some evidence to suggest that much of Einstein's early work (special theory of relativity, etc.) was greatly aided by his first wife. Some have suggested the majority of that work was done by her.

A google.com search on "einstein's wife" turns up a number of hits and books, including this [mtholyoke.edu] or this [cornell.edu] or here [holysmoke.org] . None can really doubt that Einstein wasn't brilliant, but perhaps at least one woman was also not too shabby?

Re:Uhh (1)

Eviltar (175008) | more than 13 years ago | (#93525)

And doing goofy experiments with human ova is not sinful?

Pray for the answer :)

-----

Re:Any cell? (1)

d3jp_ (196900) | more than 13 years ago | (#93526)

Considering only men have the 'XY' pair, women have two of one or the other [ i forget which ], so it wouldn't matter in the lesbian case... However, if two men had a child using a donated egg, with DNA removed, it would cause the offspring a problem if he [ assuming the 1/4 chance that a double-male strain was produced ] wished to reproduce naturally... He would only be able to have sons... By another thought, a double-male [ XX or YY... whichever ] could encounter unseen genetic consequences...

Re:Reality Check. (1)

JebOfTheForest (207893) | more than 13 years ago | (#93527)

sweeeet.

Re:Reality Check. (1)

JebOfTheForest (207893) | more than 13 years ago | (#93528)

Just to satisfy my curiosity, was this post a complete troll? There's no harm in coming out about it now, since the story's kind of old anyway. If so, the title is funny. If not...it was, right?

Re:Reality Check. (1)

Murphy Bitter (216703) | more than 13 years ago | (#93529)

*Some* women are "damned good looking"!

If we are going to piss about with genetics I say make all women good looking.

I could make this happen or I could move to Denmark :-) :-) :-)

Talking specifically of Einstein. (1)

Murphy Bitter (216703) | more than 13 years ago | (#93530)

Einstein may well have had a smaller brain. But his brain was very developed in some areas (spatial awareness).

All things being equal (society etc.) could Einstein have been a woman?

IMO no. Einstein displayed qualities that only exist in men (OK some women). If you are familiar with the book Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson there is a passage in it relating to this exact subject. Basically men are said to have obssesive personalities. This may not be helpful for some tasks, but very useful for others. Einstein displayed this quality.

Re:Talking specifically of Einstein. (1)

Murphy Bitter (216703) | more than 13 years ago | (#93531)

My point is that Einstein had the tenacity to overcome his early short commings. Because he had an obssesive personality he devoted everything he had to it. As for how much his first wife aided him I doubt anyone can be sure, unless ofcourse she became a physicist too?

Re:Reality Check. (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#93532)

"Women are more understanding than men and are more ameanable to concensus forming. I dont recall hearing about women starting wars."

uh, hold on there a second... Joan of Arc, Helen of Troy (admittedly indirectly, but she did cause it), the Amazons, Xena Warrior Princess, Kerrigan (from StarCraft), etc... Women DO start wars! Entire peoples fall because of them!


IBM had PL/1, with syntax worse than JOSS,

Re:stop watching so much TV. (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#93533)

"Xena the warrior princess is NOT a historical figure.

They mixed up the timelines having her be at the siege of Troy and meeting Julius Caesar even though there were centuries between the time of the Trojan War and the rule of Caesar.

And they had Homer telling the story of Spartacus when Spartacus lived about 3 centuries after Homer's death!!

Read some real historical works and don't take what you see on TV for absolute truth.

You probably think the Teletubbies are real too!"



Wow... I've never seen anyone so completely miss a joke before! You'd think the Star Craft reference would have been some indication that _maybe_ I wasn't being serious. I don't watch TV. It's boring, it's non-interactive, it's not even able to be dealt with at a pace except of which has already been decided, and it's made for the masses, which are generally stupid.

Your knowing all these details about the show you are lambasting me for supposedly watching doesn't exactly cast you in the greatest light. At least you're watching a Sam Raimi show though. It's just a pity that you had to memorize so many facts.



yeah, well, Tinki-Winki is real, and gay, and he wants you for his sex slave!


IBM had PL/1, with syntax worse than JOSS,

Re:Reality Check. (1)

ceesco (259588) | more than 13 years ago | (#93534)

Women are more understanding than men and are more ameanable to concensus forming. I dont recall hearing about women starting wars.

Ever hear of Helen of Troy?

Re:Uhh (1)

phantumstranger (310589) | more than 13 years ago | (#93535)

:o) [clonejesus.com]

I am a guy and I am okay..:) (1)

schlam (314778) | more than 13 years ago | (#93536)

Oh give a home where the lesbians roam and all men r able to watch

Emthie....hummana...Thats all folks:)

Re:Reality Check. (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 13 years ago | (#93537)

Of course on the flip-side there are very important advantages that women hold over men... Women are more caring and nurturing than men, probably keeping the world sane in the process... Women are more understanding than men and are more ameanable to concensus forming...

They also have much nicer hooters, don't forget that.

oops, did I say that or only think it?

Re:Reality Check. (1)

tsarina (456482) | more than 13 years ago | (#93538)

"Men are the great innovators of our society. 90% or more of successful business men are, well, men. Men are more creative than women... Men overwhelmingly win nobel prizes, and it could be because of genetic advantages, hormone levels, or a combination of the two. It's also interesting to note that men have larger brains than women on average." All right, great, more businessmen are men. And more men are win Nobel prizes, because more men are scientists. This says nothing about women's competency in fields of business or science, however. Could it not be because of societal roles? Women who have the same exact potential as men to become scientists, businesspeople, president, etc. often, for better or worse, marry and become homemakers instead. Perhaps they are qualified to take the homemaking role which society and tradition advocates, but that doesn't mean women are qualified for nothing else, especially not ALL women! To continue to maintain such beliefs would be illogical, ignorant, and sexist. Also, about your remark on men's brains, brain size has nothing to do with intelligence. Einstein's brain was in fact slightly smaller than average.

Re:Absurd logic. (1)

grrlygeeky (460034) | more than 13 years ago | (#93539)

No! Where's the fetus going to gestate? Are you going to keep it in a box?
--

MAN obsolete? (1)

grrlygeeky (460034) | more than 13 years ago | (#93540)

If MAN is obsolete, then... why... would the robots.... be bothering to make new human babies at all? As pets?
--

The face that launched a thousand... (1)

grrlygeeky (460034) | more than 13 years ago | (#93541)

ships of fools. Helen didn't "start a war" in the sense of doing something active--invading another country, revolting, oppressing, or any of those other war-starting activities. She was given, like chattel, to a man by the gods after she'd already been given, like chattel, to another man by her father, I'm sure. Her first "husband"/owner just happened to be infantile and powerful enough to start a war over it.
To people who know about genetic stuff: Is it true that two women having children together with this techique would only be able to have female children because of a lack of the y chromosome? Thus men would not be obsolete because we do need to keep some boys around for looks and hetero action. (I guess some people are into that :-D)
--

Everybody move along... nothing to see here (2)

boarder (41071) | more than 13 years ago | (#93542)

While this may be a really good thing for infertile couples, it is a long way from making men obsolete.

From the article, re: lesbians having babies
"However, this could prove problematical as aspects of development are controlled by a paternal gene."

From the article, re: asexual reproduction
"However, the use of chromosomes from the same person massively increased the risk that a baby would suffer from genetic defects."

It also doesn't mention if there are side effects long term (as in cloning) from this technique. They use a chemical process (similar to what happens in natural conception) to seperate the two sets of chromosomes from a cell (essentially creating a sex cell), but does the process alter or damage the genetic info?

Of course, if it works fine and there is massive male sterilization and we cure a few diseases...
Sex all the time, baby!

The only downside of having sex will then be psychological; and, well, we can just breed a superior race of uber-psychologists to deal with it.

Any cell? (2)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 13 years ago | (#93543)

Does this mean that if a psycho date collects some DNA from me they can produce a child that I am geneticly related to? What sort of legal defense is there other then "she's a goof and I had nothing to do with this" ?

Remembering back to XY chromosomes, gee... that child of lesbians would be what gender?

And Jebediah begat, well, there was a whole lotta begatting since there was so much DNA just laying around...

Re:Reality Check. (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | more than 13 years ago | (#93544)

Yes it is true that you can not speak of ALL men and women as being a part of a monolithic group. But I was only highlighting the fact that the majority of creative and innovative contributions to society are from men. This is an average, and neglects to mention the achievements of women. I am sorry. Women do achieve great things, but I was speaking for the down-trodden men, justifying their continued existence.

Re:Reality Check. (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | more than 13 years ago | (#93545)

Troll? Im not even sure what troll means. Is there anything in particular that you disagree with in my post? I'd be curious to know what that is...

Re:Reality Check. (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | more than 13 years ago | (#93546)

Ah yes. Good point. :) I should have added:
  • Women are damned good looking. :)
In the positive for women section. Of course this also can cause conflict and strife. Hehe.

Re:Uhh (2)

SIGFPE (97527) | more than 13 years ago | (#93547)

It is if you have sex at the same time. There's nothing about screwing with human ova anywhere in the Bible.
--

David Brin's Glory Season (2)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 13 years ago | (#93548)

I highly recommend it to science fiction fans out there. The ending blows goats, as with most David Brin books (not that it's BAD, per se, but just that it's kind of useless), but all in all it's a fairly good treatment of a society in which the importance of men has been reduced. He also has an afterword in which he describes several difficulties with cloning humans, which from the sound of the article, are still very much present.

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

Re:MAN obsolete? (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 13 years ago | (#93549)

Oh, not "MAN" as in Mankind, the species. "MAN" as in, males :) You know, the obsolete half? ;)

-= rei =-

P.S. - I'm just kidding ;) Men have their uses *grin*

Re:Absurd logic. (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 13 years ago | (#93550)

You still need one of us to carry the child ;)
So, no, that logic wouldn't work in that case.

Obsolete (n): no longer in use or no longer useful

If this technology would be in place, yes, men could be made to be obsolete. However, women could not.

Additionally, a child of two men has a 1/4 chance of dying right-out from being YY. That Y chromosome wouldn't really be a necessity if this were to talk off ;)

-= rei =-

Re:MAN obsolete? (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 13 years ago | (#93551)

Ah, but those don't exist, and don't look like they will any time soon ;)

-= rei =-

Re: Uhhhhh...... (2)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 13 years ago | (#93552)

..........no it's just too damn easy.

"Are Men Obsolete?" (2)

The Gline (173269) | more than 13 years ago | (#93553)

Yes. Kill them all now.

Problem solved.

Are Men Obsolete? 42 (2)

Vuarnet (207505) | more than 13 years ago | (#93554)

I wasn't gonna post to this article, due to lack of time, but when I saw the number of articles I knew I had to do it:

Are Men Obsolete? by michael on Tuesday July 10, @02:34PM EST 42
So, did Douglas Adams knew this all along, and he was warning us about it?

Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I

Of Course We Are, Silly... (2)

human bean (222811) | more than 13 years ago | (#93555)

But we are still pretty decorative, and some of us dance well.

Reality Check. (3)

barneyfoo (80862) | more than 13 years ago | (#93556)

Ok when I first saw that title I thought to myself, gee more reverse descrimination from feminists (and probably lesbian feminists at that). But after careful thought I decided that would be an overly negative reacionary stance.

Instead, I thought I would come up with some good reasons to keep men around, and some of the contributions men give to our society.
  • Men are the great innovators of our society. 90% or more of successful business men are, well, men.
  • Men are more creative than women. Hold on there bucko. Lets take one important metric. Nobel prizes. Men overwhelmingly win nobel prizes, and it could be because of genetic advantages, hormone levels, or a combination of the two. It's also interesting to note that men have larger brains than women on average.
Of course on the flip-side there are very important advantages that women hold over men
  • Women are more caring and nurturing than men, probably keeping the world sane in the process. The emotional dedication needed to raise children is better served by women, there can be no doubt.
  • Women are more understanding than men and are more ameanable to concensus forming. I dont recall hearing about women starting wars.

Of course some of the reasons lesbian feminists give for the redundancy of men are valid. For example, that men will not be needed for reproduction in the future. This is undoubedtly true. But in light of all the great, vital, unique, and utterly essential contributions men give to society, I would say this is a paltry reason to give up on men. Men are here to stay, unless for some strange reason women suddenly turn into lesbians, or lesbians reproduce faster than hetersexual women.

So lets get over this lesbian feminist, anti-male propaganda. It's worthless and will end up hurting society and further the rift between the sexes.

Re:Uhh (3)

SIGFPE (97527) | more than 13 years ago | (#93557)

Sex is sinful. If we can remove sex from procreation we can produce humans untainted by Original Sin and the world would be a better place.
--

Absurd logic. (3)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 13 years ago | (#93558)

By the same logic couldn't I argue that females are obsolete [bioethics.org.uk] ?

Re:Uhh (4)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#93559)

This would be actually *more* fun. Think of it. Get a vasectomy when you're young. Don't worry about the pill, or condoms, or gels, or creams, or diaphrams, or withdrawal (Vatican Roulette). When you want to have a kid, just get a cell from somewhere and do it.

And finally, if men are really obsolete that's a pretty good excuse to get out of housecleaning and yardwork. "Sorry honey, we're going to have to find someone else to mow the lawn. I'm OBSOLETE, you know."

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