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Question re:Evolution and Menstruation

Ram Samudrala ram at mbisgi.umd.edu
Fri Jan 3 00:12:18 EST 1997


B. Moosang (bmoosang at uoguelph.ca) wrote:

>OK, just trying to settle an argument between two non-science people - 
>how long would something like menstruation take to evolve?  The argument 
>that I have been presented with is that woman began menstruating (rather 
>then doing what other critters do (which I can't remember the scientific 
>term for but is basically go into heat)) 

I would like a reference to this.   As I understand it, this
discharing of blood and tissue occurs in primate females also.

>after people began living in more fixed shelters between - let's say
>for arguement sake between 5000-15000 years ago.  Would this be enough
>time for this to evolve?

Humans have been around a bit longer than that.  Assuming a mechanism
for transporting the egg to the uterus, for the lining of the uterus,
and for getting rid of debris, didn't exist, it boggles my mind to
think how long such a function would take to evolve in the first place
(going from 0 frequency to >0 frequency), let alone be naturally
selected for.

--Ram

 me at ram.org  ||  http://www.ram.org  ||  http://www.twisted-helices.com/th
There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. ---R.W. Gerard



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