The Literarian

Parthenogenesis and a Virgin Birth

Home
Short Story
Long Fiction
Narrative Nonfiction
Travel Writing
Spiritual & Psychological Writing
Autobiography & Biography
Experimental Writing
Children's Prose and Rhymes
Expository, Persuasive Writing, and Blogs
Academic Papers and Analyses
Graduate Theses and Dissertations
Drama
Poetry
Song Lyrics
Tips from the Experts
Submissions Guidelines

When skepticism succumbs to mechanism

Recently, MSNBC and other news agencies reported that several species of reptiles and amphibians have been able to reproduce asexually in a process known as parthenogenesis. Normally, animals like these reproduce sexually - meaning the coupling of a male and a female - to produce offspring of genetically diverse origin (Virgin Komodo dragon gives birth - Science - MSNBC.com). Yet the very prospect of asexual reproduction among animals which otherwise reproduce sexually leads to some interesting theorizing, particularly when considering the validity and feasibility of a subject like the virgin birth of Christianity's Jesus.

In some scholarly circles where the reliability of the story of the virgin birth comes into discussion, both critics and advocates weigh the elements of the story in deciding whether that could even happen. Obviously, evidence supporting asexual reproduction among mammals has yet to be uncovered, but as anyone familiar with the method of scientific investigation will tell you, lack of evidence does not necessarily mean that something does not or cannot exist. Just because we knew nothing about the fundamental particles of matter until relatively recently did not mean that - prior to their discovery - subatomic particles did not exist. In the same manner, just because we have found no mechanism whereby mammals, or even humans, have reproduced asexually does not mean that asexual reproduction in mammals cannot exist. Time and research will tell . . .

Yet simply the evidence of such a process as parthenogenesis and its likelihood in producing viable offspring for reptiles and amphibians may point to a scientific basis for a mechanism through which to explore the possibility of a virgin birth. Interestingly enough, in their findings above, the process of parthenogenesis does not - and this is significant - result in simple clones of the original "mother" creature but distinct genetic individuals instead, even of varying sexes. Humans have so much yet to discover in biology, that precluding the possibility of parthenogenesis in mammals without intense study seems irresponsible and smacks of hubris, typical of those who seemingly believe that they as an individual or group have sole access to Knowledge and Truth. Only through the scientific method of forming a hypothesis, testing, revising, retesting and theorizing can the possibility of parthenogenesis among other animals - and eventually people - be determined. Until a definitive answer is provided to this query, I say that the debate of an actual, factual virgin birth be met with healthy, skepticism rather than just plain, closed-minded incredulity.

All text is copyright protected and remains the sole intellectual property of the Author.  Any reproduction of the material from this site for either public or private use is strictly prohibited.  Requests for reproduction of the aforementioned work(s) may be sent via e-mail to webmaster@literarian.org  Such requests are not guaranteed unless expressly authorized in writing by the Originator prior to any use by the requestor(s).  Parthenogenesis and the Prospect of a Virgin Birth, Copyright 2007.

Copyright Announcement

 

All  text  and  html  coding  appearing on  www.literarian.org  are the exclusive  intellectual  property of the   respective  author(s)  and are  protected  under international copyright laws.  The intellectual property   may   not   be    downloaded   except   by  normal  viewing  process  of  the  browser.   The intellectual property may not be copied to another computer,   transmitted,  published,  reproduced, stored, manipulated, projected, or altered in any way, including without limitation any digitization or synthesizing of the images,  alone or with any other material, by use of computer or other electronic means   or  any other method or means now  or  hereafter known,  without the written permission of the  respective  Author(s).   By entering this site,   you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this agreement.     Entrance  to  this  site  is  expressly  on  these  conditions  which   embody  all  of  the understandings  and  obligations  between  the  parties  hereto.   To  secure  reproduction  rights  to any material here, and to contact the respective Author(s), send an e-mail to literarian@live.com.