Immaculate ConceptionFlora, a komodo dragon in Chester Zoo, England has given birth yet hasn't enjoyed conjugal bliss for ..... well, the zookeepers aren't saying. Her eggs were produced by a process called parthenogenesis - meaning 'virgin birth' in Greek - in which females produce offspring without fertilisation from a sperm.
It also happens in sharks
, but what if it were true with humans? Most Americans believe it is
even though the notion of 'virgin birth' was a tenet pre-dating Christianity
by at least 1,000 years.Virgin-birth was the responsibility of the Ishtar priestesses, who conducted fertility rites, prophesied and performed elaborate rituals in the temples throughout Babylon. The priestesses who administered the temples also managed a lucrative prostitution business that provided a steady stream of financial support for temple activities.
Upon their return to Palestine, Hebrews of the Babylonian captivity brought back to the Mediterranean peoples wondrous tales of the priestesses and their blasphemous sexual ministries to the men who visited them.
But supposing women could practice parthenogenesis and reproduce like sharks and komodo dragons. Just think about it, guys. No paternity suits and DNA tests necessary because we wouldn't have to go around strutting our stuff and trying to impress 'Er Indoors. Machismo would be so yesterday. How many wars would be avoided?Helen of Troy
could have carried on powdering her nose, Boadicea
would have stayed in the kitchen burning the cakes and Maggie Thatcher too. (But she doesn't deserve a link because she's a ghost of Christmases past.)
What am I on about? We men are still indispensible. Mary got Joseph to cart her around until he found a cattle shed for her to give birth in. We guys are still the homemakers, emergency nappy changers and defenders of the hearth.
Have a good Xmas, whatever you believe.
Flora the Parthenogenetic Explorer
Footnote: "We were blown away when we realized what she'd done," said Kevin Buley (Bule??)
, a reptile expert at Flora's home at the Chester Zoo. "But we certainly won't be naming any of the hatchlings Jesus."