DNA and the Virgin Birth

We both translated. Must be the “flurry” problem again.

“Wass ein Mensch willst nicht sehen, kann er nicht.”

“What a person doesn’t want to see, he can’t see.”

That Jesus’ expressed phenotype was male, born to an otherwise fertile, yet virgin mother, pretty much limits the available scenarios. She almost certainly couldn’t have been an incredibly rare fertile Klinefelter’s female, for example.
Only one such case is known of in all medical literature.

It was a miracle and this is trying making a case based on non-miraculous, ‘natural’ mechanisms. An attempt at an explanation sure, but not knowledge one can infer from the Bible. Male is a phenotype, not a genotype. The available scenarios related to such a miracle are potentially vast. Why presume ‘natural’ mechanisms?

Odd… Here I am, someone largely unsympathetic to ID, explaining an instance where science can provide no explanation and thus is silent, to someone from the DI, who suggests scientific explanations for a miracle.

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I’m just not sure what it buys us to speculate far beyond theology, Scripture, and science. We are in the vast unknowable unknown. Though, I suppose it can be entertaining to wonder about.

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Interesting. My scientific exploration of the miracle of the virgin birth is met with ridicule and condescension, while the equally far afield from theology and Scripture topic of common descent, which I agree with also, continues to be fodder for serious debate. I guess I’ll just consider the whole enterprise as entertaining, since a search for the truth --the best definition of science --gets too easily lost when I take offense too easily. Sorry to have to explain that. We are, as Joshua maintains, in the vast unknowable unknown with pretty much every topic we consider here! But then, that’s the work of discoverers.

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@Guy_Coe who ridiculed you? I hope you didn’t mean it was me. If so, I didn’t mean it to be taken that way, and I’m sorry.

I just do not know how to think about things this far afield. If its a miracle, clearly outside the natural order, I do not expect to be able to describe it in scientific language. I am just flatly in the “I do not know” territory. I suppose, also, with the Virgin Birth, there is a history of theories arising to explain this that do not make much sense to me. There is Augustines notion of how original sin transmits exclusively through sperm. There is the Catholic idea of a sinless Mary.

I’m not ridiculing your or any of this, but just not sure what value there is figuring out natural mechanisms for things very clearly outside the natural order. Of course, it would be great if could examine Jesus’s DNA. Personally, I see this more like a “de novo” event than a “parthogenesis.” But who knows? It seems all bets are off, right? We just don’t know…right?

That’s right. We work from what we know to evaluate what we don’t, but not just to be entertained. Wonder is a key ingredient in any scientific or theological enterprise. We fine-tune what we know as we discuss it. We can’t do that if we just dismiss it as “unknowable.” By the way, many miracles are well within the natural order, but their timing in serving a purpose is what makes them miraculous.

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Do we have a way of knowing whether the miraculous birth of Jesus falls within the “natural order”? The New Testament is silent on this. Given this and lacking tissue samples, there is very solid reasoning about why such detail is inherently unknowable IMHO. However, if you think otherwise, could you please describe your method for obtaining the details?

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I’ll be honest. That’s not how I see it. I see pride making it difficult to concede even a tiny valid point and less of a scientific exploration. YMMV. We all are prideful. This happens.


Why would you write this kind of analysis when the @swamidass scenarios can specifically include both kinds of activity:

God creating pre-Adam “adams” via evolution, and de novo creation of Adam & Eve?

Even if there was general agreement that a virgin birth must be a non-natural event, the openness of the @swamidass scenarios to activities of either category should have resolved any difficulty for you.

This is the whole point of these discussions: Evolutionists who are Christians find too much evidence for Evolution to ignore, and Creationists find too much Biblical investment in the “special creation” of Adam and Eve to ignore: so both are meshed together in ways that should not offend the other party.

@gbrooks9 , that’s exactly my point, as well. Maybe you guys don’t get my larger point. The virgin birth is an example of a singularity on which scientific scrutiny can be brought to bear, given the fact set, that leads to the conclusion which entails the miraculous. And, we do have the evidence regarding the claims recorded in the text of the Old and New Testaments. The claim that, no, we can’t do this because we don’t have Jesus’ DNA is directly analogous to the problem that we don’t have Adam and Eve’s DNA, either --but we do have a fact set of claims which we can evaluate scientifically, the evidence of which can lead us toward a conclusion that the claims are not implausible or impossible. I’ve had quite enough condescension for one topic, thank you. If the analogy goes beyond you, then that’s your right. As regards pride, yes, it’s never pretty when stubborness confronts pride. I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s doing what. It’s not @swamidass that I find this intractability with. There, now can we dispense with the ad hominems, please?


And you are missing two points:

  1. If we embrace a scenario where 2 humans are specially created, then certainly we can accept that God “specially created a fetus” inside his mother.

  2. But as to whether science can test such an event, you must provide us the event to be tested.

Statistically speaking, virgin births must happen now and then, even without a physical act that would contravene the notion of virginity. Sometimes those little “wrigglers” go a lot further than anyone might imagine …

Not every time, but every once in a while… and thus having the appearance of a suspension of natural law!

Referencing your posting immediately above:

Thanks for outlining those, @gbrooks9 , but I’m not actually missing those points. As for parthenogenetic births to human mothers, the birth of a male child to a female mother entails more than the appearance of a singularity; it actually is one. Do the embryological “math” to find out why. Thanks for engaging.

@Guy_Coe do you want me to split this off into a new topic, or start it yourself so as to frame it like you wish? It is sort of veering into a new discussion from Chromosome 2 and the proposed ape-human split topic of the thread.

It’s an analogy that bears directly on the topic question. Thanks, but not needed. BTW, according to the text, Mary hadn’t had any “wigglers” introduced into her system when Jesus was conceived, @gbrooks9 .


I don’t see the need to discuss either point.

The scenarios in question accept miracles-as-suspension of natural law, and miracles as providential occurrence of natural laws.

What’s your point, really?

George participation on this thread is voluntary…


That isn’t my point, @Revealed_Cosmology. My question is: why does he think this topic needs special discussion?

Split the thread, please. In that thread Guy can describe how to investigate the genome of Jesus via scientific means. This has little impact on the evaluation of whether human chromosome 2 arose from a fusion event.


A miracle is an obvious conclusion, assuming that the story unfolded as described. I’ve never debated that. Details about Jesus’ genome remain unknown. Lacking samples of Jesus’ DNA, one cannot described how he was physically manifested. Similarly, one doesn’t have the genetic evidence to demonstrate that his was a virgin birth. The text says he was born from a virgin, the physical evidence available to science doesn’t.

This in unlike the fusion even that may have led to the origin of human chromosome 2, where we have genetic and fossil data that provides insight into it being sourced from the fusion of two earlier chromosomes.

If the analogy doesn’t seem to serve, don’t discuss it. But I do object to it being treated as trivial and off-topic. I’m content to let what I’ve posted so far do its work.