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Is Human Parthenogenesis the true story of Mary and Joseph?

The stigma of being pregnant without being married - still present today

the pregnancy of the unwed mother of Jesus was a social scandal in those times

the pregnancy of the unwed mother of Jesus was a social scandal in those times

Parthenogenesis - The story of Mary and Joseph?

Was there truly an immaculate conception? Or just more past political hype to 'sell' a book to the public? Religious beliefs versus science. And does it REALLY matter?

Parthenogenesis: Reproduction by development of an unfertilized female gamete (sex cell) that occurs naturally among lower plants, invertebrates, and animals. Particularly found in rotifers, aphids, ants, wasps, bees, crustaceans, flatworms, snails, reptiles, sharks, birds, mammals and even humans. An egg produced parthenogenetically may be either haploid (with one set of dissimilar chromosomes) or diploid (with a paired set of chromosomes). Haploid usually are non-viable (they do no survive).

Parthenogenesis in humans is extremely rare. It is the spontaneous development of an ovum not initiated by combination with a male gamete (sperm). It may occur as a natural phenomenon or be induced by chemical or mechanical stimulation of the ovum (artificial parthenogenesis).

There have been somewhere between 60 - 100 world wide recorded incidences (depending on which source you find most reliable) of spontaneous egg fertilization in human females. Although the numbers conflict, the claim is still the same: pregnancy without physical copulation. There are several reasons why anyone would make this claim - all are dubious at best:

  • the societal stigma of admission of sexual relations without marriage.
  • Religious shame - obvious intents.
  • Family shame of implied "promiscuity" and all that is attached to that stigmatic foolishness.
  • Personal shame and denial to avoid the proverbial societal "stoning" for life.

Sadly all the shame and blame falls solely on the female (only in humans of course). Even our governmental politicians point fingers of blame toward the woman and depict the poor helpless male as an unfortunate victim of her wiles.

There is no modern day proof that the incidence of parthenogenesis in humans is real, at all. The religiously brainwashed, cite their 'holy book' as "proof" that this is possible - but even at that, they concede that some other "unseen spiritual entity" was somehow involved.

The lower animals in today's world can be studied and empirically proven that this phenomena truly does exist.

The word parthenogenesis comes from the Greek language: "parthenos" meaning "virgin" and "genesis" meaning "birth". But using this term (virgin birth) is also misleading and inaccurate in describing reproduction modes of the hermaphroditic species that can reproduce by themselves because they contain reproductive organs of both sexes in a single individual's body.

Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction found only in females, where the growth and development of embryos occur without male fertilization.

With this explanation one can concur that it is indeed possible to have a so called spontaneous pregnancy. I have explained this in greater detail in my hub entitled: "Are People Born Gay?" (link provided below) as explicitly simple as i possible could for the intellectually impaired, using the scale spectrum: [male --hermaphrodite--female].

Some similar phenomena include:

  • Gynogenesis: Development in which the embryo contains only maternal chromosomes due to activation of an egg by sperm that degenerates without fusing with the egg nucleus.
  • Hybridogenesis: Reproduction is not completely asexual, but instead hemi-clonal: half the genome is passed intact to the next generation, while the other half is discarded. It occurs in some animals that are themselves hybrids between two different species.
  • Automixis: is a term that covers several reproductive mechanisms, some of which are parthenogenetic. It is defined as reproduction involving the merger of two products (from the four possible products) of the same meiosis. (the cellular process that results in the number of chromosomes in gamete producing cells being reduced to one half and that involves a reduction division in which one of each pair homologous chromosomes passes to each daughter cell and a mitotic division). If this merger occurs before these meiotic products have matured into gametes, then the process is considered to be parthenogenesis. In automictic parthenogenesis the individual offspring differ from one another and from their mother. Sometimes the meiotic products that combine are exact copies, which is sometimes described as "half a clone". The offspring still is unique and not a clone of its mother.

Everything is NOT black and white as we try to pretend them to be. There are multiple variations of the theme of procreation in which one will find adequate proof by opening their eyes to the reality of the diversity in life around us.

After reading all available descriptive materials involving the process of parthenogenesis the answers are still unclear, and unproven, as to the validity of the claims of all who declare this phenomenon as fact. It all boils down to whether you want to believe it, or not. It is theoretically possible, but not empirically proven.

I, for one, believe anything is possible after caring for many mutative human beings during my working years in which i witnessed with true amazement some of these extreme and tragic birth deformities (or anomalies, or mutations), if you prefer other kinder terms of description.

by d.william 09/04/2011

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If i speak - will i be condemned? If i remain silent - will i be damned?


d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on February 05, 2013:


Although you are correct that this is an "abnormal" phenomenon in humans, it is nonetheless a 'natura'l part of the life cycle for other species.

I am not quite sure what your intended meaning behind your comments are, but the gist of this hub was to state that it is improbable that any person is, or ever was, impregnated by a 'spirit'. Now, being more reasonable about reality, the possibility of a human woman being impregnated by an alien life form is more probable than the 'spirit' belief.

We are such a gullible society, we will believe anything we are told with an authoritative voice.

basil on February 05, 2013:

human parthogenesis can be best described as a n abnormality which has no adequate scientific backing or prof.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on October 17, 2012:

Thanks for you comments. I, too was brought up Catholic but i never did believe that there was a such thing as the 'virgin mary'. It just never seemed logical to me. Especially when they lived in the times when a girl being pregnant out of wedlock could be stoned to death. This certainly was a convenient excuse for the times. The populace was desperate for some relief against the atrocities of the Roman Government that they glorified and built an entire religious movement out of this one pregnant girl.

If nothing else, it gave the down trodden people the impetus to stand up to the tyranny of government.

The Green Lady from Australia on October 17, 2012:

My Catholic education always referred to 'The Virgin Mary', despite the bible saying that she and Joseph had other children after Jesus (the apostle Simon was Jesus' birth brother). To me the implication always seemed to be that no matter how 'good' and moral a female is, she will never be as good as The Virgin Mary, she will always be held up to an ideal impossible to match.

That should keep us girls in our place!

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on June 30, 2012:


Thank you for your insight, but birth anomalies are not written in stone. There are many variations to consider.

Odd, though, that most religious zealots discount science as a valid source of countering superstitions, and yet, here you are trying to use science to prove your superstitions. I find that kind of ironic.

The odds against spontaneous pregnancies is remote at best; and as i stated, in those days there was a great price to pay for unwed girls to become pregnant, the severest (and most common) was being put to death. I suspect this is the reason for the predication of an 'angel' "planting" this child in this womb.

There is no doubt about the impact that the life of this child has made on society, but, logic still dictates and trumps superstition, fairy tales, and the existence of unicorns.

Even your scientific 'explanation' states that it takes a man to impregnate a woman. We just cannot win with either opposing argument.

A fairy tale is just that - a fairy tale, if one chooses to believe them, that is their choice.

Amy on June 29, 2012:


"Parthenogenetic offspring in species that use the XY sex-determination system have two X chromosomes and are female. In

species that use the ZW sex-determination system, they have either two Z chromosomes (male) or two W chromosomes (mostly

non-viable but rarely a female), or they could have one Z and one W chromosome (female)."

We are XY determined that is why I pointed out that we can only produce females through parthenogenesis. Nice "scientific" theory on the Immaculant Conception of the Lord though.

Amy on June 29, 2012:

Parthenogenesis would have created a daughter only. Sperm is what determines the option of a boy or girl; however with parthenogensis there is not sperm... Only the mother passes on DNA and well... eggs alone can not create a boy. Jesus was a man, so umm... this would not work for that instance. Sorry

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on April 21, 2012:

There was no intent to offend you or anyone else. If there were modifications to be made that clarified my intentions, i would graciously accept them and make those changes as i have done many times in the past with constructive criticism by readers who had an honest and valid point. I apologize for the fact that i still do not see those qualities from you.

Paladin_ on April 21, 2012:

Hey, I'm not trying suit my "own agenda," here, and I resent the accusation. I was only trying to be helpful, and I now regret doing so.

Have it your way.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on April 20, 2012:

Thank you again for commenting. Your perception of what a hub summary is, or should be, is simply your opinion. The suggestion by hub pages for a hub summary is as follows:

"Hub Summary help

We recommend you write a uniquely worded 2-3 sentence summary of your Hub for additional Web visibility. Search engines and other Web services will often use this as your Hub's summary."

The idea of a hub summary is to get the attention of others and entice them to see more of that article.

Although i do appreciate any kind of constructive criticism, one has to be aware of the facts before trying to change someone elses' articles to suit their own agendas.

Paladin_ on April 19, 2012:

D.william, I already tried a couple of times to tell you where the mistake lies, but perhaps I can be more specific.

Whenever one browses hubs by topic, there is a menu of options at the top, under the subcategory heading (which in the case of this hub is "Science and Disbelief/Nonbelief"). The menu options are hot, best, latest and more. If you click "more," you are presented with a list of hubs that include summaries of what the hubs are about.

In the case of your hub, the following summary appears under the title Is Parthenogenesis the true story of Mary and Joseph? --

"Was there truly an immaculate conception? Or just more past political hype to 'sell' a book to the public? Religious beliefs versus science. And does it REALLY matter?"

For the life of me, I can't deduce where this summary for your hub comes from, for the summary that usually appears for a hub is its first few lines of text. Yet your text doesn't include this. But you must have typed it somewhere when you created the hub.

Normally, I wouldn't be so particular about someone else's hub, but it seems clear to me that you put a lot of work into this. Putting myself in your shoes, I know I wouldn't want one little mistake to undermine the authenticity of my work.

I hope this helps.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on April 18, 2012:

Again, thank you for commenting. Since you have failed to show me where the problem is exactly, i am unable to "correct" your perceived errors.

Paladin_ on April 10, 2012:

Well, it's your hub. I did my part and explained what the problem is.

Do as you wish.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on April 09, 2012:

As i stated before, there was no connection to the question "Was there truly an immaculate conception?" to either Mary, Jospeh, or Jesus. The connection is simply rhetorical in that Christians are taught that Mary's pregnancy was in fact an immaculate conception (that she was impregnated by a "spirit") which is an impossibility.

So, there is no correction to be made.

Paladin_ on April 01, 2012:

D., it's not my interpretation. I'm not referring to the text of your hub, but rather the summary that appears in the list of hubs. It begins:

"Was there truly an immaculate conception? Or just more past political hype to 'sell' a book to the public?"

It's that (and a few of the readers' comments) to which I am referring. Just trying to be helpful...

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on March 31, 2012:

Thank you for reading and commenting. I am, however, at a loss as to what you are referencing? There is no mention of "the immaculate conception" in reference to either Mary OR Jesus.

You read the words but put your own interpretation on what they meant. This is typical for people who have been brainwashed into believing a certain "story" as truth when in fact there is no empirical proof to validate those beliefs.

Or perhaps you have confused this article with another you have read on the subject?

The title states.."the true story of Mary and Joseph..." referencing the invalid belief that what was stated was in fact the truth. We all know that all fairy tales are embellishments of some truths to make them more spectacular and more interesting, and not necessarily offering any kind of proof, or validity.

Paladin_ on March 30, 2012:

Just to avoid confusion, I should point out that the references to "immaculate conception" in some comments here and in the summary for this hub aren't correct. The "immaculate conception" acutally refers to Mary's conception, not Jesus.'

You've obviously done a lot of work and research for this hub, and I'm not trying to nit-pick, but in the interest of accuracy you may want to change your summary.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 26, 2011:

Thanks for visiting, reading and commenting. Although i am not quite sure what your point is, i do appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.

Scott Vehstedt from Washington, D.C. on September 25, 2011:

Nice hub. It reminds of the debate in Gore Vidal's novel Julian between the Galileans and the cynics. The punchline being the cynic argument that even if some species reproduce without copulation, it doesn't justify any claim other then virgin birth, which wasn't even a new claim.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 10, 2011:

Thanks for reading and commenting. While my main intention for writing this article was NOT solely to try and debunk the Christian's virgin birth theory, it certainly puts some doubt on it.

Credence2 from Florida (Space Coast) on September 09, 2011:

D. Based on the variety of forms of conception or the creation of a viable fetus without the obvious introduction of male fetilization materials, the virgin birth as claimed in the scriptures, while highly unlikely is possible. Great point, Thanks Cred2

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for reading and commenting. I am not sure why you would consider questioning the veracity of an antiquated religious fairytale belief as 'scary'. When you realized when this bible was written and why, you cannot help but question anything written in it as either false testimony or simply superfluous to reality. There is no empirical proof that anything of that era was ever fact as opposed to fiction that was intended to frighten the people of the times with uncertainty and promises of gloom and doom if they did not conform to the ways of the Roman empire and its creation: the catholic church - from which sprang all the offshoots of today's christian churches/sects/cults,etc.. Such a travesty to have been unleashed on the people of the world.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You may disagree with anything you like, but the fact remains that whatever we choose to believe about the remote past has no basis in logic or realism. I am not sure what your reference is to too much "schooling", but if you mean it is wrong to be able to think for ones self then perhaps that would be a correct assessment. I pride myself on NOT conforming to that old school fairytale religion stuff.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for reading and commenting. I have never doubted that we have a Creator, my disdain is with organized religions as you will see with my next hub. I always appreciate your input.

Megan Kathleen from Los Gatos, CA on September 05, 2011:

I agree with "always exploring." This Hub definitely took me back to biology class, in an excellent way! I do not think you would have to give up the idea of The Immaculate Conception to believe that parthenogenesis is possible in human beings. Either way it is an interesting question you raise. Also a scary one. Contraceptives cannot prevent a parthenogenic pregnancy, now can they?

SusieQ42 on September 05, 2011:

Sorry, I don't agree. I do believe that the virgin Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. You've had too much "schooling" don't ya think?

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 05, 2011:

I felt like i was back in a microbiology class.Very interesting. You bring up proven facts about birth, normal and anomalous. God is still ruler of our universe. I'm glad that you believe that. I enjoy your writing so much, now i'm off to read, ' Are people born gay? ' The video moved me.........

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for reading and you comments. My intent is NOT to 'debunk' anything. My observations are based on logical conclusions of ancient myths and fairy tales that seem to have taken an insidious grasp on the reality factor of the masses.

Your statement that 'God is the greatest scientist' is more profound than you realize. Looking at the universe and its complexities, we have to conclude that all of this materialization (meaning the physical world) probably has some basis for the belief in a Creator (or Creators) of it all.

We seem to get spirituality and religious fantasy confused with each other. One has nothing to do with the other. Organized religions are simply a business that exploits the unwary minds without having to pay taxes to the government.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 05, 2011:

Thank you pjean for visiting my hub pages. Taking the time to read and your astute observations regarding ancient myths and how they shape our present states of mind.

Also thank you for your correcting my spelling. However, when i use such words and do not capitalize them, it is NOT a typing error, it is my way of lessening the authenticity, or validity of what ever that word might mean to some people.

But, i do appreciate your comments, and welcome to hub pages. I look forward to reading your articles as well.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on September 05, 2011:

Extremely interesting. I don't think it debunks divine intervention; I think it goes along with it. God is the greatest scientist. :-)

Great Hub!! Voted up and interesting! :-)

pjean from north on September 04, 2011:

The Immaculate Conception (Christian upper case) of Mary is a variation on the ancient birth of a hero myth whereby a mortal woman (beautiful, young, virgin) gives birth after an immortal man (god) "takes" her. Typically the mortal woman has a husband who may or may not be aware that said half-god offspring is not actually his. Study various heroes from global cultures pre-dating Christianity, and you will find the exact same pattern: demi-god hero grows up in obscurity, accomplishes remarkable things, comes to the world's attention, goes on to perform more remarkable deeds, dies in some ignominious or memorable way, is immortalized/deified HIMself. This pattern does NOT apply to women. They are useful as vessels or objects for quests, after which they can be used as vessels.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 04, 2011:

Thanks for your comments. It made me laugh. It is ludicrous to believe that this birth, or any of the other professed parthenogenically recorded births around the world were by 'divine' intervention. Although making a baby is 'divinely" , (or "sublimely") pleasurable (or should be, anyway? LOL.

d.william (author) from Somewhere in the south on September 04, 2011:

Thanks for being the first to read my new hub. Obviously, the old biblical version of Mary being a virgin is just a fairy tale. But if one is of the disposition to believe all the bunk in the bible (or any other so called holy scripture) this explanation could appease them, and assuage their guilt for even 'thinking' that the there might just be some blatantly gross errors in those old tales of woe.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on September 04, 2011:

This thought has crossed my mind (as great minds think alike, lol)! Otherwise, I thought Joseph was a nice guy and probably didn't want poor Mary to get stoned to death for her "indiscretion." I wouldn't want to be 15 or 16 and tell my parents, "Well, I'm pregnant, but never went near a boy." It wouldn't fly.

cooldad from Florida on September 04, 2011:

Very interesting hub. I've never heard of this before and it's intriguing. So, if parthenogenesis could explain how Mary had a baby, wouldn't that kind of shatter the Biblical explanation? This would not be could for the religious.

I am always looking for scientific explanations for what people consider "supernatural" events. Interesting hub. thanks

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