Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You win some, you lose some...

Okay folks so today I have news that should be of interest to a lot of people. Over two thousand years ago a man named Jesus was allegedly born from a virgin. That is to say, resulted from a pregnancy in a woman who had never experienced sexual intercourse. This man has become the center of a global religion and it is claimed that he will return to Earth, thereby signalling the end of days. This is usually referred to as the "second coming." I, as an atheist, have long doubted the validity of this story. Particularly, while I do not doubt that there was a man named Jesus, I do very much doubt the supernatural qualities ascribed to him, including his birth from a virgin.

Well, it looks like I may have spoken too soon. Theists out there, I have some good news for you and I have some bad news for you.

The Good News: There has been a recent documented instance of a virgin birth.* I am entirely serious: a birth resulting from a mother who absolutely, positively, could not have had sexual contact with a male.

The Bad News: The mother is a shark.

I kid thee not:

Scientists have confirmed the second case of a "virgin birth" in a shark.

In a study reported Friday in the Journal of Fish Biology, scientists said DNA testing proved that a pup carried by a female Atlantic blacktip shark in the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center contained no genetic material from a male.

The first documented case of asexual reproduction, or parthenogenesis, among sharks involved a pup born to a hammerhead at an Omaha, Neb., zoo.

Now, I know, this isn't what everyone may have had in mind. Last time, I'm told, god came to mankind in the form of a human being and part of the "evidence" for his divinity was the aforementioned birth from a virgin. This time... well... god stuck to the last part of the plan but apparently decided to get a little fancy with the first part.

And while everyone else spends a little time soul searching I just want to be the first to welcome our new toothy messiah to the world.**

All hail Jawsus Christ!***

* Actually, there have been two recent documented cases, but that's beside the point.

** Precociously, the messiah has already met a rather dreadful fate: '"By the time they could realize what they were looking at, something munched the baby," he [Demian Chapman, Shark Scientist****] said of aquarium workers. The remains of the pup were used for the DNA testing.'

*** Yeah. I am so going to get complaints about that one.

**** Okay, two things. First, it would be so awesome to be able to introduce yourself as a "Shark Scientist". Secondly, doesn't that make it sound just a little like it's the SHARK that is the scientist?

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