Science in Christian Perspective
A Proposed Biological Interpretation of The
EDWARD L. KESSEL
Rose Villa, Apt. 337
13505 S.E. River Road
Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
From: JASA 35 September 1983): 129-136.
Parthenogenesis and the Female Incarnation
The following statements constitute a plausible biological scenario for Jesus during embryological development. (1) God's activity in which he accomplished the Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth is describable in terms of natural created processes. (2) Jesus' conception, gestation, and birth were parthenogenetic. (3) Nonsexual God was incarnated into the human race as a female. (4) Jesus was not only conceived as a female but remained chromosomally such throughout life. (5) Through the natural process of sex reversal Jesus became male, not instead of female but as well as female, assuming the phenotype of a man while retaining the chromosomal badge of a woman. (6) Thus Jesus was born and lived as the androgynous Christ.
An Outline of Parthenogenetic Animal Groups
Since the time of the Greeks, knowledge of parthenogenesis has expanded many times so that now most of the groups of multicellular animals are known to have representatives that exhibit unisexual reproduction in one form or another. This view is supported by Suomalainen, author of the major English publication on the subject of parthenogenesis in animals.2
Parthenogenesis is a very common phenomenon in the animal kingdom, forms with parthenogenetic reproduction being found in most animal groups. It is consequently natural that parthenogenesis and cytological questions connected with it have been much studied, the respective literature being very extensive.
Some invertebrates (e.g., aphids) use parthenogenetic (unisexual) reproduction regularly, alternating with bisexual reproduction in seasonal cycles. Others (e.g., bees) use it to differentiate the sexes. Still others (e.g., certain flies) reproduce exclusively without benefit of males and exist as allfemale species. Ants have few males in an overwhelming population of females. Certain fish and salamanders use a form of parthenogenesis known as gynogenesis in which sperm from males of the same or another species trigger the eggs to develop but contribute no genetic material to the offspring. Because most vertebrates practice biparental reproduction, many persons think of bisexual reproduction as the only kind of sexual reproduction. But parthenogenesis is genuine sexual reproduction because it also uses sex cells.
To answer the question of what groups and what species of animals are involved in parthenogenesis, I have made a survey of available literature and prepared an outline showing the major taxa which, for biological reasons, are known
Edward L. Kessel is Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of San Francisco, and Emeritus Curator of Insects, California Academy of Sciences. He received his education at Greenville College, Illinois, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and the University of California, Berkeley (B,S., M.S., Ph.D.). He has published some 100 scientific papers and is a member of honor societies Phi Sigma, Alpha Sigma Nu, and Sigma Xi. Other professional societies of which he is a member include the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow), California Academy of Sciences (Fellow), Pacific Coast Entomological Society (former President). He is cited in Who's Who in America and World Who Who in Science.
or presumed to include parthenogens. As for the parthenogenetic species, even if I had a complete listing of them, it could not be published here as the number would run into hundreds of thousands. Some genera are included with the outline, as are a few pertinent data and the documentations.
Again and again, workers have observed spontaneous cleavage divisions occurring in unfertilized germ cells of many kinds of animals ranging from worms to human beings. This conclusion is supported by the reports of several investigators who found early embryos in various cleavage stages still attached to the ovaries of several kinds of virgin mammals. Examples of such preovulation pregnancy are given by Strassman 57 who worked on the ova of cats, L.Loeb;58 who used guinea pigs, and Krafka59 who studied human ovaries.
Other researchers worked on unfertilized mammalian ova following ovulation, eggs that had been released from the ovary and were encountered in the fallopian tubes or the uterus. Among these investigators were Chang60 who studied ferrets, Pincus61 who used the rabbit, and Austin62 who worked on the rat. Because they all represented early embryological development, the cleavage stages observed by the six workers show that mammalian eggs, like those of lower animals, possess the inherent capacity to initiate cleavage without spermatozoon participation. This potential of the unfertilized egg to reproduce without male assistance is clearly demonstrated by artificial parthenogenesis whereby even animals that are not known to reproduce by natural parthenogenesis may respond to artificial stimuli. While no viable young were produced in any of the above cases, it seems to be the consensus of embryologists that given optimum environmental factors all animal species, including human beings, have the capacity to react positively to natural or artificial stimuli and to develop to full term. Repeatedly, artificially initiated development has been shown to be fairly easy to achieve, leading even to the production of living young.
The first experiments succeeded in inducing parthenogenesis in echinoderms and were performed by J. Loeb.63 Since his pioneering work, the eggs of many species other than echinoderms have responded to a variety of stimuli with parthenogenetic development. These animals include annelids, silkworms, mollusks, and such vertebrates as fish, frogs, mice, rats, and rabbits. The artificial stimuli have included treatment with various acids, changes in salt concentration of the fluid in which the eggs were immersed, mechanical agitation of the immersing fluid, temperature shock by heating or chilling, electric shock, and mere pricking the eggs with a needle. Almost 30 years ago Peacock64 had already counted 371 procedures that had been used to artificially initiate cleavage in unfertilized eggs. These he classified as 45 physical, 93 chemical, 64 biological, and 169 combinations of the above. It is clear that practically any kind of stimulus may serve to induce artificial parthenogenesis providing it has proper shock value and the egg in question is in a receptive condition. We may presume therefore that many cases of supposed natural parthenogenesis may result from physical or chemical contaminating environmental factors rather than from spontaneously acting endogenous stimuli existing within the egg. It seems evident however that eggs have within them all the potentialities of successful embryonic development and may respond to various stimuli to trigger cleavage. For these reasons a male parent is not to be regarded as an absolute requirement for successful reproduction.
Through the natural process of sex reversal Jesus became male, not instead of female but as well as female, assuming the phenotype of a man while retaining the chromosomal badge of a woman.
Returning to the subject of the probability of parthenogenesis in the human species, the observations of Krafka67 revealing the extraordinarily early cleavage divisions of unfertilized human eggs, developing even prior to ovulation, indicate a potential toward unisexual development that is as strong for humankind as it is for our fellow mammals. Such demonstration that the early stages of parthenogenesis are known to actually occur in human beings gives good reason to recognize that full-term parthenogenesis may also occur in our species.
Spurway,68 the leading authority on the possibility of human parthenogenesis, supports this view and concludes that virgin birth is "probable among humans." She reached this conclusion after many years of research at London University. Aside from the reference given above, the results of her study were announced in a United Press release in London, dated Nov. 13, 1955. Previously she had given a lecture on the subject entitled "Virgin Births." A resume' of this lecture was published by Lancet under "Annotations" and the title "Parthenogenesis in Mammals."69
A rare event which is hard to prove is likely never to be reported at all if it is also an event which according to the common experience is 'known' to be impossible.... Possibly some of the unmarried mothers whose obstinacy is condemned in old books on forensic medicine ... may have been telling the truth.
Beatty70 takes a similar view. Referring to mammals in general and directing the application to human beings, he says:
We have seen examples of experimentally induced parthenogenetic development in mammalian embryos in which the facts are undisputed.... How could the animals be identified? A little reflection shows that there are difficulties.... in man, unmarried mothers have sometimes claimed that no father was involved but the validity of such claims is normally ignored.
No doubt a parthenogenetically produced child of a married mother would be even more difficult to discover.
The recognition that parthenogenesis may take place in
humankind makes it available as a suitable part of the
proposed biological interpretation of the Virgin Birth story
that is the subject of this paper. This explanation proposes that
God's activity by which he accomplished the Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth is describable in terms of natural
created processes. In this case the process was virgin birth
which, translated into biological terminology, is parthenogenesis.71 If Mary's conception of Jesus was parthenogenetic, the
Holy Spirit may have provided by some natural means the
triggering environmental stimulus, e.g., simple cold shock
that worked so well in animal studies. According to our
biological interpretation of the Virgin Birth, Jesus' conception
was parthenogenetic, and because human beings have the
same X-Y kind of sex determination found in other mammals,
with the female homozygous and possessing two X chromosomes, Jesus was conceived as a chromosomal female.
Sex Reversal to the Androgynous Christ
Our proposed parthenogenetic interpretation of the Virgin Conception requires a chromosomal female offspring. Because this offspring was Christ, the Person of the Incarnation, both a female Jesus embryo and a female Incarnation were biologically necessary. This understanding is the basis for some of the statements made in the Abstract, viz., "(3) Nonsexual God was incarnated into the human race as a female," and "(4) Jesus was not only conceived as a female but remained chromosomally such throughout life." Because no animal can change the genotype that it receives at conception, Jesus remained female always in this chromosomal sense.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was conceived by and born of a virgin mother, thereby informing us biologically that the sex of the embryo was female. But the Bible also tells us that Jesus was born a phenotypic male. Because of this seeming contradiction, a Christian is likely to be confronted by a dilemma: the difficulty in understanding how Jesus, a female embryo at conception, could have been born a male child developed from that same female embryo. Clearly, the scenario of parthenogenesis producing a chromosomal female Jesus required a subsequent sex reversal to the male phenotype. How could this happen?
Biologists are generally agreed that sex reversal, like parthenogenesis, may sometimes occur in human beings as it does in lower animals. Among the vertebrates, complete sex reversal has been known for years in fish, amphibians, and birds but not until 1971 was it observed in mammals. In that year Cattanach et al.73 discovered sex reversal in mice and in 1976 Fredga et al.74 found sex-reversed wood lemmings. Until then almost everyone regarded such environmental factors as nutritional, and temperature levels and radiation to be responsible for sex reversal as well as for parthenogenesis.
It did seem conceivable that partial sex reversal to a pseudohermaphrodite status might result from enviromental causes, e.g., medical accidents in which hormonal drugs administered to a pregnant woman gave rise to sexual birth defects in the fetus. But it seemed unlikely that complete sex reversal could be accomplished in humans without genetic help. This view is in agreement with the new consensus in the field of human genetics that "in contrast to most vertebrates, mammalian sex development cannot be modified by manipulating the embryonic environment.. . . "75 While in the past hormones superseded genes in importance in this field of sex reversal, an important recent advancement has restored genes to their primary role in sex determination. This recovery was made possible by an alliance, during the past decade, between genetics and immunology. The most interesting and helpful of the new developments resulting from this alliance was the discovery and characterization of the histocompatibility-Y factor. It is this gene that provides the key to understanding how the female embryo Jesus, with no Y chromosome, could have undergone sex reversal to be.born a phenotypic male and the androgynous Christ.
According to our proposal, Jesus was androgynous in the unique way of being chromosomally female and phenotypically male at the same time, fully retaining the chromosomal and cytological femaleness received at conception. But Jesus was (1) not bisexual with respect to having any pathological conditions, morphological or physiological; (2) not hermaphroditic, possessing a double set of sex organs; (3) not pseudohermaphroditic, with a compromising, "in between," defective set of organs suggestive of both sexes; (4) certainly not bisexual from the viewpoint of sexual behavior patterns. Instead of having any or a combination of the above problems, Jesus was completely sex reversed and without physical or psychological imperfections, the Perfect Human Being.
The H-Y antigen that provides a biological explanation of how Jesus' sex reversal could have happened was discovered through standard immunologic procedures. By means of repeated inbreeding of laboratory mice, strains of strong genetic uniformity had been developed, strains that regularly accept tissue grafts of all kinds when they are interchanged among members of the group. In this instance, however, when female mice were given skin grafts from males of their own strain, the grafts were rejected. Such intrastrain rejection of male-to-female grafts indicates a male antigen to which the females are sensitized. Subsequent research located the H-Y gene on the Y chromosome, hence the name.76
H-Y antigen has been found in several mammals, including the rat, guinea pig, and humankind, and it is expected that it will be found in all species of the class. 77 Recognizing that other genetic factors, and to a less extent environmental ones as well, may have influence on the result, many workers regard the presence or absence of H-Y genes as the primary factor in the determination of phenotypic sex in higher animals. The presence of the H-Y factor is believed to direct the first steps toward testis formation, and once this is under way testicular hormones take over the job of converting the nondifferentiated embryo into the male phenotype.78
But what part could the male-causing H-Y gene play in Jesus'sex: reversal when this gene is known to be Y-linked and the embryo Jesus did not have a Y chromosome, possessing two X chromosomes instead? The solution is found in Wachtel's paper cited above.' While the H-Y factor is a maledetermining gene and has its locus on the Y chromosome, it may be translocated to an X chromosome or even an autosome. In such cases the translocated H-Y fragment could be submicroscopic and not change in the least the karyotypic picture of the receiving chromosome.
In the context of the Virgin Birth, one of Mary's two X chromosomes, or one of her 44 autosomes, may have carried such an invisible but effective H-Y fragment. Any of her forefathers on either side of the family could have been the source of the translocation that she inherited and passed on to her virgin-conceived female-embryo Jesus who then, at about seven weeks of embryonic age and because of this H-Y gene, began to show sex reversal toward the male phenotype.
How could Mary have had an H-Y gene and still be a functional female? Again we turn to Wachtel and his fellow workers for a satisfactory answer. He describes the situation in the wood lemming where many of the XY young do not develop as males as expected, but as functional females indistinguishable phenotypically from their XX sisters. How is this possible since they all possessed an H-Y gene on their Y chromosome? These XY but female lemmings tested H-Y negative, showing that their H-Y factor had been inactivated. In fact the regulatory gene responsible for this inactivation occurs on the X chromosome. Its function is to serve as an inhibiting factor, in this case completely suppressing the expression of the H-Y gene wherever it is located. As for our proposed biological interpretation of the Virgin Birth, Jesus' progenitors may have bad a regulatory gene similar to the lemmings' suppressor gene.
Before considering the possibilities of Mary's and Jesus' genotypes with reference to the H-Y gene and its presumed suppressing regulatory gene S, we should consider whether Jesus' parthenogenetic conception would have utilized a diploid or a haploid egg. Although the direct diploid-egg type of parthenogenesis is commonly used in animals, it seems certain that the haploid-egg form would have been required in Jesus' case. This conclusion is based on the fact that if a diploid egg develops parthenogenetically the genotype of the offspring will be identical to that of the mother. if developed from a diploid egg by parthenogenesis, Jesus would have been genetically and phenotypically identical to Mary and would have lacked the genetic ability to undergo sex reversal. But at birth Jesus was anatomically Mary's son, not her identical daughter.Some Possible Genetic Scenarios
As f or the details regarding the probable genotypes of Mary and Jesus, and the specific gametes produced by Mary, all of these possibilities are based on the translocation of the H-Y gene H from its usual Y position to an X or an autosome, along with a suppressor S gene on the X chromosome. A nontranslocation scenario was examined and shown to be negative.
The first scenario considered was based on independent assortment, with the H gene translocated to an autosome. With H standing for the H-Y gene and h for its absence, and S for the suppressor gene and s its absence, Mary's genotype was likely HhSs. Probably her father donated the H but be could not also give her an S because if he had had one it would have made a woman out of him. On the other hand, Mary had to have an S to inactivate her H and thereby allow her to become a woman. Of course Mary had to carry an H in order to pass it on to Jesus to insure complete sex reversal. Mary had to keep her H defused by her S, thus permitting her to function as a fertile female. As for the S, while Mary needed it Jesus could not use it. There bad to be a way to eliminate it when Mary passed the H on to Jesus. Use of a diploid egg would have prevented sex reversal by forcing an S on Jesus.
The problem of how to get rid of the S gene may be solved by the use of the haploid egg. Using Mary's presumed genotype HhSs, four kinds of haploid gametes (HS, Hs, hS, hs) could have been produced by meiosis through the agency of independent assortment. Of these gametes, only the Hs had the right combination for use in Jesus' parthenogenetic conception. Upon activation by whatever environmental stimulus God chose, the ovum duplicated its Hs haploid set of chromosomes to HHss, Jesus' genotype, differing from Mary's HhSs by being doubly homozygous and lacking an S gene. Diploidization was achieved by omitting the cytoplasmic division of the egg following the duplication of chromosomes, thereby delaying the first cleavage division for a complete mitotic period.
There are other possible scenarios based on independent assortment that would have the H gene translocated to different autosomes, but our example represents the entire group. All would provide the same means of preventing the S gene from getting into Jesus' genotype, thereby allowing the masculinity that had been submerged in Mary for a generation to resurface in Jesus.
Transferring our attention to the linkage-crossover types of scenarios, we examine the situation in which the H and S genes are both on the X chromosome. In such cases it is customary to enclose within parentheses the genes that occur on an individual chromosome, Using this system and knowing that Mary had both an H and an S gene, it is supposed that Mary's genotype was (Hs)(hS), the (Hs) having come from her father and the (hS) from her mother. In this case, Mary would have produced four kinds of gametes, of which two, (Hs) and (hS), retained the original gene combinations of her parents' gametes (= linkage). The others, (HS) and (hs), would represent new combinations of genes produced by crossing over during meiosis. Here the (Hs) gamete required for Jesus' parthenogenesis is a linkage product. Diploidization would have occurred as in the independent assortment example to give Jesus the same doubly homozygous genotype as before although expressed in linkage form as (Hs)(Hs). Note that Jesus' genotype differs from Mary's.
Our last example involves crossing over. If Mary's mother had given her an (HS) egg and her father an (hs) sperm, her genotype would have been (HS)(hs) and crossing over of genes at synapsis would have been required to get an ovum with the new gene combination (11s) which was necessary for Jesus' parthenogenetic gamete.
Jesus was androgynous in the unique way of being chromosomally female and phenotypically male at the same time, fully retaining the chromosomal and cytological femaleness received at conception.... Jesus was completely sex reversed and without physical or psychological imperfections, the Perfect Human Being.
In concluding this proposal, the following thoughts deserve emphasis: (1) The biological deduction from Scripture that Jesus was conceived as a female is based on the scientific knowledge that virgin-conceived offspring are chromosomal females. (2) Therefore the scriptural information that Jesus was born a male requires sex reversal to have occurred. (3) Having used the natural biological process of parthenogenesis to give Jesus chromosomal femaleness, God again used a natural biological mechanism to add the complementary sexual quality of maleness. This time God used the biological process of sex reversal which is fully supported by the known facts of genetics that have been described. (4) But in expanding the sexual identification of Jesus to include maleness, God did not strip away femaleness. Chromosomal femaleness was not involved in sex reversal; every cell continued to have its XX identification of womankind. (5) Thus the female embryo Jesus of the Virgin Conception and Incarnation became the two-sexed Infant of the Virgin Birth who was the androgynous Christ, bearing both the chromosomal identificaton of a woman and the phenotypic anatomy of a man. (6) If this proposal is correct, the inequity of the sexes taught under the Old Covenant has been transcended and no one can longer argue effectively against the ordination of women in the Church on the grounds that Christ was a man. Christ was also a woman.
1H. Spurway, "Virgin Births," The New Statesman and Nation 50, 651 (1955)
2E. Suornalainen, "Parthenogenesis in Animals," Advances in Genetics 3, 194 (1950)
3C.W. Birky and J.J. Gilbert, "Parthenogenesis in Rotifers," American Zoologist 11, 245 (1971)
4R.D. Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, W. B. Saunders, p. 144 (1963)
5Barnes, op. cit., p. 159
6Suomalainen, op. cit., p. 207
7 R.M. Cable, -Parthenogenesis in Parasitic Helminths," American Zoologist 11,268 (1971)
8Cable, op. cit., p. 267
9Suomalainen, op. cit., p. 216
10Cable, op. cit., p. 270
11Cable, op. cit., p. 269
12Barnes, op. cit., p. 222
13Suornalainen, op. cit., p. 213
14L.J. Milne and M. M. Milne, Animal Life, Prentice Hall, p. 236 (1959)
15Suomalainen, op. cit., p. 207
16N.J. Berrill, Biology in Action, Dodd Mead and Co., p. 669 (1966)
p. 368 (1967)
18Suomalainen, op. cit., p. 213
19Milne and Milne, op. cit., p. 236
20R.M. Fox and J.W. Fox, Introduction to Comparative Entomology, Rein hold, p. 220 (1964)
21J.H. Oliver, Jr., "Parthenagenesis in Mites and Ticks," American Zoologist 11, 283(1971)22Fox and Fox, op. cit., p. 349
24L.M. Roth and E.R. Willis, "Parthenogenesis in Cockroaches," Annals of the Entornological Society of America 49,195 (1956)
25A.G. Hamilton, "Thelytokous Parthenogenesis for Four Generations in the Desert Locust (Schistocerca g regaria Forsk)(Acrididae), " Nature 172, 1153 (1953)
26E.L. Mockford, "Parthenogenesis in Psocids (Insecta: Psocoptera)," American Zoologist 11, 327 (1971)27Fox and Fox, op. cit., p. 373
28E.S. Ross, "A Revision of the Embioptera, or Webspinners, of the New World," Proceedings of the United States National Museum 94, 401 (1944)
29U. Nor, "Parthenogenesis in Coccids (Homoptera)," American Zoologist 11, 301(1971)30Suomalainen, op. cit., p. 194
'32M. Narbel, "La Cytologie de la Parth6nog6nes6 chez Apterona helix Sieb. (Lepid. Psychides), " Revue de Suisse Zoologle 53, 625 (1946)
33---"La Cytologie de la Partb6nog6nes~ chez Solenobia s p. (Lepidopteres Psychides), " Chromosoma 4, 56 (1950)
34A.D. Peacock and J.W. Harrison, "Hybridity, Parthenogenesis, and Segregation," Nature 117, 378 (1926)35H.D. Stalker, "Parthenogenesis in Drosophila," Genetics 39, 4 (1954)
36H.L. Carson, "Selection for Parthenogenesis in Drosophila mercatorium," Genetics 55, 157 (1967)37M.W. Strickberger, Genetics, Macmillan, p. 233 (1968)
38I.B. Kinsmiller, "Parthenogenesis in Culex fatigans," Science 129, 837 (1959)39Fox and Fox, op. cit., p. 394
40H.D. Stalker, "On the Evolution of Parthenogenesis in Lonchoptera (Diptera)," Evolution 10, 345 (1956)
41C.P. Hickman, Integrated Principles of Zoology, C.V. Mosby, p. 319 (1966)
42S.G. Smith, "Parthenogenesis and Polyploidy in Beetles," American Zoologist 11,341 (1971)
43E. Suomalainen, "Evolution in Parthenogenetic Curculionidae," Evolutionary Biology 3, 261
44C.N. Slobodschikoff and H.V. Daly, "Systematic and Evolutionary Implications of Parthenogenesis in the Hymenoptera," American Zoologist 11, 273 (1971)45Slobodschikoff and Daly, op. cit., p. 275
46R.J. Schultz, "Special Adaptive Problems Associated with Unisexual Fishes," American Zoologist 11, 351 (1971)
47R.M. Darnell and P. Abramoff, "Distribution of the Cynogenetic Fish Poecilia formosa, with Remarks on the Evolution of the Species," Copeta 2,354 (1968)
48R.M. Miller and R.J. Schultz, "All-female Strains of the Teleost Fishes of the Germs Poeciliapsis," Science 130, 1665 (1959)
49J.H. Asher and G.M. Nace, "The Genetic Structure and Evolutionary Fate of Parthenogenetic Amphibian Populations," American Zoologist 11, 381 (1971)
50L.M. Bei~ak, W. Berak, and M.N. Rabello, "Cytological Evidence of Constant Tetreploidy in the Bisexual South American Frog Odontophrynus americanus," Chromosoma 19,188 (1966)
51J.P. Maslin, "Parthenogenesis in Reptiles," American Zoologist 11, 361 (1971)
52W. P. Hall, "Three Probable Cases of Parthenogenesis in Lizards (Agamidae, Chamaelonidae, Gekkonidae), " Experientia 26, 1271 (1970)
53M.W. Olsen, "Natural Parthenogenesis in Turkey Eggs," Science 120, 545 (1954)
54'---"Twelve Year Summary of Selection for Parthenogenesis in the Beltsville Small White Turkey," British Poultry Science 6, 1 (1965)
55--"Genetic Control of Parthenogenesis in Chickens," Journal of Heredity 59, 41 (1968)
56. Cuellar, "On the Origin of Parthenogenesis in Vertebrates: the Cytogenic Factors," American Naturalist 108, 628 (1974)
57E.O. Strassman, "Parthenogenetic Development of the Ovum as Observed in Vital Staining," American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 58, 237 (1949)
58L. Loeb, "The Parthenogenetic Development of Eggs in the Ovary of the Guinea Pig," Anatomical Record 51, 373 (1932)
59J. Krafka, "Parthenogenetic Cleavage in the Human Ovary," Anatomical Record 75, 19 (1939)
60M.C. Chang, "Cleavage of Unfertilized Ova in Immature Ferrets," Anatomical Record 108, 31 (1950)
61G. Pincus, "Observations on the Living Eggs of the Rabbits," Proceedings of the Royal Society, ser. B, 107, 132 (1930)
62C.R. Austin, "The Fragmentation of Eggs Following Induced Ovulation in Immature Rats," Journal of Endocrinology 6, 104 (1949)
63J. Loeb, "on the Nature of the Process of Fertilization and Artificial Production of Normal Larvae from the Unfertilized Eggs of the Sea Urchin," American Journal of Physiology 3, 135 (1899)
64A.D. Peacock, "Some Problems of Parthenogenesis," Advances in Science 9, 134(1952)
65G. Pincus, "The Breeding of Some Rabbits Produced by Recipients of Artificially Activated Ova," Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Washington 25, 557 (1939). Also "The Comparative Behavior of Mammalian Eggs in Vivo and in Vitro. IV. The Development of Fertilized and Artificially Activated Rabbit Eggs," Journal of Experimental Zoology 82, 85(1939)
66G. Pincus and H. Shapiro, "Further Studies on the Parthenogenetic Activation of Rabbit Eggs," Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Washington 26,163 (1940)67Krafka, op. cit.
69Anonymous, "Parthenogenesis in Mammals," Lancet 269, 967 (1955). [A r6sum6 of Spurway's conclusions. This was partly quoted by Time, Nov. 28, 1955, p. 63]
70R.A. Beatty, Parthenogenesis and Polyploidy in Mammalian Development, Cambridge Monographs in Experimental Biology, University Press, Cambridge, 131 pp. (1957)71Partbenogenesis as a biological interpretation of the Virgin Birth is not a new idea. For many years it has been the obvious synonym used by many Christian biologists and theologians and their students. See Preston Harold, The Shining Stranger, Wayfarer Press, p. 85 (1967)
A Christian Medical Society Statement on In
The following statement on in vitro fertilization was passed by a vote of 60-2 (2 abstentions) at the 1983 Christian Medical Society House of Delegates convening in Boston, May 11-13, 1983.
In vitro fertilization, IVF, may be morally justified when such a pregnancy takes place in the context of the marital bond.
When IVF is advocated outside the context of marital commitment, such a procedure lacks moral justification.
Christian medical scientists differ on the moral worthiness of research with the human ovum and human sperm as a necessary part of perfecting techniques for in vitro fertilizations.
Our consideration of in vitrofertilization is qualified by thefollowing recommendations:
1. Laboratory IVF research should not be supported or allowed unless such research is with the explicit intent Of embryo transfer and eventual normal pregnancies.
2. Clinical IVF and embryo transfer isjustified morally only within the context of the marital bond, using "gametes obtained from lawfully married couples" as the recommendations of the Ethics Advisory Board of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare indicate.
3. Finally, amniocentesis with possible abortion should not be an expected part of the clinical protocol.
This statement was adopted by the Christian Medical Society House of Delegates to provide a means of stimulating ethical debate and reflecting a sense of moral suasion.
A further development of this subject may be found in the CMS Journal, Vol XIV, No. I (Spring, 1983) by Robert M. Nelson, "The Ethics of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer" (pp. 19-25, 32).