A leading Australian scientist has predicted that men are eventually going to become extinct, and that the process has been happening since we have walked the earth.
But don’t worry, we’re not going to be around for it to happen anyways.
Jenny Graves, who’s an evolutionary scientist, said that she gives it roughly 5 million years before men are completely wiped off the face of the earth and that in some groups the process has already begun.
According to Graves, the inherent fragility of the male sex chromosome, which is known as the Y chromosome, is the reason that extinction is inevitable due to the number of genes within it rapidly deteriorating.
She says that the Y chromosome originally started out with 1,700 genes some 200-300 million years ago and is only down to 45 now. She also said that the majority of the genes that are contained within it are “junk,” for all intents and purposes.
The reason the female, or X, chromosome doesn’t face the same fate is because it still has a healthy 1,000 or so genes left within it. Also females carry two of the X chromosomes which allows them to make critical repairs to the genes by swapping between the two chromosomes.
Unfortunately for men, we only have one X chromosome and one “wimpy” Y, which makes it more difficult for the Y chromosome to make repairs to itself.
Graves told the Australian Associated Press that because the X chromosome has a friend it makes it easier for it to “swap bits and repair itself. “If the Y gets hit, it’s a downward spiral.”
“You would think that sex is so important it wouldn’t change a lot. But it changes all over the place and the Y chromosome sort of self-destructs,” she said.
She explained that because the Y chromosome is only present in males and is mostly active in testes making sperm that it’s prone to mutations and gene loss due to the cell division, describing them as being a “very dangerous place.” She described the withering of the Y chromosome as “bad news for all the men here.”
Graves classified the Y chromosome as having a “dumb design” since it started out with the same number of genes as the X but now is down to less than 1% of that from withering away.
“It is an evolutionary accident.”
Even in being an evolutionary accident, Graves said that it’s still going to take another 5 million or so years for the extinction of men to happen.
Do you think men will become extinct or is this another nutty scientist spreading fear? Let us know with a comment!