Bud Herron: Molly mating is some fish tale

Whether the idea of having human reproduction require two sexes was a brainstorm of God or the random result of evolution, this fact of life certainly leaves me with a lot of questions.

Whiptail lizards, marbled crayfish, starfish, water fleas, aphids and many other animals get along fine without mommies needing daddies to start a family.

Amazon molly fish — native to Mexico and Texas — are all female. A 2018 study shows Amazon mollies are thriving, with no signs of “genomic decay” when compared to two other “two-sex” fish varieties from their species.

I admit I have not read the complete study, but I would be willing to bet the Amazon mollies have fewer wars, commit fewer violent crimes and have better grades than the males in two-sex schools. Also, Amazon molly fish likely do not swim around in circles for hours rather than asking for directions while on vacation.

(Just so the homophobes reading this column do not begin putting nasty “Onions” in this newspaper claiming I am indoctrinating children in an effort to “turn them gay,” I must point out Amazon molly fish are not lesbians. Except for occasional asexual gatherings, they have no desire for more than a platonic swim with their female friends.)

Amazon mollies have the biological advantage of having offspring without the corruption of the scrub stock genes of some closing-time male they met at a sand bar in the Rio Bravo del Norte.

Without in-laws and an extended school of half-witted relatives from the in-law family to deal with, no one argues at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. No one has to listen to Uncle Gilbert, who has never ventured outside his aquarium, wax on endlessly about his theory that minnows are being held captive in a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and are being trafficked to sharks.

Of course, having the identical genes of the mother can be no carefree frolic in the river grass either.

Amazon mollies are probably far less violent and physically aggressive than male counterparts would be. And they may make better grades in school. And they likely do not go crazy when sex hormones set in at puberty, making them unable to focus their brains on anything more than reproduction until middle age. Still, I would bet Amazon mollies can be as mean as barracudas in their relationships with other females.

In all likelihood, Amazon mollies begin forming cliques as soon as they are old enough to swim with the school — excluding schoolmates whose fins are not in style and spreading gossip about supposed friends cloning themselves outside the bonds of non-matrimony.

And, obviously, Amazon mollies are devious, conniving and manipulative. Otherwise, they could not clone themselves at all. That’s because they need to go for a roll in the algae under false pretenses with a male from a different species of molly fish in order to trigger their cloning mechanism. Yet, the male, in reality, has passed on none of his genetic makeup.

The hapless male swirls around the local sand bar bragging about his reproductive prowess, not realizing the Amazon molly faked her enjoyment of the tryst. As he swaggers, she sneaks off to clone herself.

When we add to these negatives the fact that the greatest fear of many females is to grow up to be just like their mothers, the pros and cons of asexual reproduction are obvious.

But, if God, or natural selection, or intelligent design or whoever/whatever decided long ago to create two-sex reproduction, who am I to question the wisdom?

I just have to admit — even though I consider myself male, both in anatomy and gender — if the celestial vote had gone the other way, I think an all-female world would have been much better than an all-male one.

Women may not be perfect, but our male-dominated world has proven to be a total mess.