RANGER AGAINST WAR: Who's Your Daddy? <

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

Well, if you're a lizard, it might just be your mommy. You know, I just had to comment on the following. It may seem far afield from politics, but I can see the ramifications. And if you squint and turn your head sideways, you can, too.

The story line reads, Virgin Birth expected at zoo on Christmas. Well of course...where else? What a miraculous sounding, feelgood story. Since the blessed event is to occur at a British zoo--a coalition of the willing partner--it almost seems to imply God giving us a sign that all is well, that He still sheds his grace on thee, and that this really is a happy holiday. That is, if you're the sort who looks for those signs. And when the pickins are slim, I guess anything will do.

It seems a Komodo dragon lady has self-fertilized her own eggs, in a not unusual biological happening called
parthenogenesis (though in Komodos it is news; however, this is not the first recorded instance.) Kevin Buley, of Chester Zoo, speaking on the possible origins of this adaptation for survival in an environment of limited resources said, "The genetics of self-fertilization in lizards means that all her hatchlings would have to be male. These would grow up to mate with their own mother and therefore, within one generation, there would potentially be a population able to reproduce normally on the new island."

So it seems this new Mary would have to commit incest in order to survive in a solitary environment, hence the origins of parthenogenesis. Unless they just found the company of males too distasteful, which is almost too hard to imagine. So, while we're lauding the propitious Christmas virgin birth, we should be mindful, too, of the implications, namely the superannuation of the male (in the initial fertilization), the necessity for incest in the second generation, and the possibility that solo fertilization might just be discretionary.

All the recent chatter about a certain other Mary who is soon due to give birth without benefit of male partnership makes one wonder: so maybe it's o.k. that there's more than one way to make it. Ah, for those of a certain political sway, to every silver lining there's a dark cloud. God works in mysterious ways.

--by Lisa


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