Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, I
just discovered the very worst news imaginable. While surfing the net with all
the flotsam and jetsam of the cyberspace ocean, I discovered a book review of
Bryan Sykes' new DNA thriller, Adam's Curse. Sykes has intrigued me with
his work on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In his book, The Seven Daughters of
Eve, Sykes has determined that nearly all Europeans and their descendents
(like those of us that live in North America) came from seven women living in
Africa nearly 50,000 years ago. This shift in our collective Weltanschaung
has destroyed the sociological construct of race. There can't be racism if we
all came from Africa. This should drive white supremacists crazy. In addition,
Sykes has traced those living on other continents to an additional 26 women.
Sykes comes to his revelation by using mtDNA of
women, because it is not diluted by being mixed with ordinary DNA supplied by
the males. Mitochondrial DNA mutates at a very slow rate over the millennia.
Sykes merely counted these mutations to determine that humans came from 33
It seems that our problem is with our Y-chromosome, which is degenerating even as you read this column. Before this tragic news, all that I had to worry about was the condition of my prostate and heart. Now, I have to add to my medical concerns the viability and state of my Y-chromosome. In time, all males will lose their fertility due to our degenerating Y-chromosome. Granted, this extinction may take 125,000 years, but we will need all the time to stem the tide of male annihilation. To make matters worse, the females' X-chromosome can repair itself and minimize the damage done by mutating over time. Who started the myth about women are the weaker sex?
The bottom line is that women can go on without us and will ultimately win the battle of the sexes. For a while, I held out thinking that enlightened self-interest would force women to work with us since without us they too would become extinct. However, Sykes writes, "We could survive as a species with no men at all by arranging fertilizations not between sperm and egg, but rather between one egg and another, and the techniques for that are already here."
Aside from my fear that males are on our way out, I also fear what will happen if Sykes' prediction becomes universally known to men. It won't be good for women if the past is any indication of what might happen. Many anthropologists theorize that one of the primary reasons for male dominance over women down through the ages is because women intimidated men. After all, women have the god-like ability to create life-something that men can't do. These academics believe that prehistoric men decided that they must dominate women out of fear of being controlled by these god-like people. This response was the cultural anthropology's version of Vince Lombardi's famous line: "The best defense is a good offense."
If men throughout the world get wind of Adam's Curse, they may again take a preemptive strike against those that they perceive as the enemy. This could reverse all the progress women have made over the millennia to get to parity with men. Perhaps, men should stop trying to control women and work constructively with them.
Just when I thought that things couldn't get worse. Imagine what our world would be like with a massive male insurgency mounted against all women. While we couldn't find any WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq, half the population of the world is a WMD for men because the X-chromosomes can adapt and the Y can't. Looking down the road of time, it's not a pretty picture.
This article appeared in the Dixon Telegraph on 1/21/05.