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Are virgin births possible ?

Posted on Friday, 17 August, 2012 | Comment icon 32 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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In 1944 Emmimarie Jones believed that she had conceived a child without the involvement of a man.

In one of the most famous cases of an alleged virgin birth, Jones responded to an invite in the Pictorial newspaper for a project aimed at finding women who believed that they had conceived through parthenogenesis, a rare biological process in which an egg was said to begin dividing inside the female without being fertilized. Both Jones and her daughter underwent a series of tests along with a number of other candidates but before long found themselves to be the only ones left.

At the time it was decided that the only way to know for sure if this was a genuine virgin birth was to perform a skin graft from mother to daughter and vice versa, doctors believed that if the graft was accepted then it would indicate for certain that her daughter was fatherless. Crucially however the skin graft test failed and the Jones' case faded in to obscurity.

In the years that followed science went on to reveal that parthenogenesis in humans is a biological impossibility, putting an end to the virgin birth concept once and for all.

"Despite the normality of her existence, Emmimarie had a secretired She was convinced her 11-year-old daughter, Monica, was the result of a virgin birth."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (32)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by regeneratia on 18 August, 2012, 3:51
It is were me, with immaculate conception, I would never ever tell!!
Comment icon #24 Posted by King Fluffs on 18 August, 2012, 5:57
She was called Frank. Honest.
Comment icon #25 Posted by highdesert50 on 18 August, 2012, 6:12
There is a well known mistranslation in the bible with reference to the Messiah's origins. As best I recall, Isaiah, in the original Hebrew, refers to the Messiah who would be conceived by an almah or young woman. But, the later Greek translation in the Septuagint version of Isaiah refers to a parthenos or virgin.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Mr Right Wing on 18 August, 2012, 10:17
Virgin birth in humans is not impossible. The genes that control child development usually go wrong with no male input but there is a small chance of a child making it to the live birth stage and coming out not deformed.
Comment icon #27 Posted by behaviour??? on 18 August, 2012, 12:25
This seems absolutely impossible. If at any point of time, it really did happen, a haploid set of chromosomes in an individual will produce not humans but something else.The only possibility I see for the person to assume a complete human form, but at the same time being a virgin is for the ovary to develop coenocytic condition (One cell with two sets of DNA content) and then carry over regular mitosis, however it feels that something like this is highly impossible, because an ovary analyses the basic signature of the baby only after fertilisation and only then will it continue with mitosis. I... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by arcta on 18 August, 2012, 17:22
of course it is possible, invetro fertilization. nowadays you don't need a guy to be pregnated. stay a virgin and just go to the sperm bank and presto, no chance to catch any kind of sexually transmitted diseases.
Comment icon #29 Posted by FreddyScienceTeacher on 19 August, 2012, 3:42
I love the titillation stories like this cause among Christian Fundamentalists......I had a good laugh and liked the comments better than the story.
Comment icon #30 Posted by behaviour??? on 19 August, 2012, 11:15
You are forgetting the most important part of the story. The baby was bron without fertilisation, invitro procedure do require fertilisation though outside the human body.
Comment icon #31 Posted by krone on 23 September, 2012, 19:23
I understand there's a species of female lizard that reproduces entirely by 'immaculate conception', without males. What I don't get is why that's possible for a lizard, but not for humans. Anyone care to explain...?
Comment icon #32 Posted by White Unicorn on 23 September, 2012, 19:46
I would say its the say reason some salamanders can grow whole limbs back but people can't. However I wouldn't think it to be an impossibility if the person was a genetic mutation and the right hormones were activated. It is a fact that some people can grow back teeth and others are capable of regenerating tonsils but not to the same extent as a salamander can regenerate a whole limb rather quickly.

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