Animals Give Virgin Birth, So Why Not Humans?
Female sharks do it, as do female komodo dragons, so is it possible for humans? Very likely yes, says Dr. Allan Pacey, a reproductive biologist at the University of Sheffield.
What's the Latest?
Fatherless pregnancies happen more frequently in nature than we once realized, enabling species to survive harsh events when males are not present to procreate. This kind of asexual reproduction among species who would otherwise have sex to procreate is called parthenogenesis. Female sharks do it, as do female komodo dragons, so is it possible for humans? Very likely yes, says Dr. Allan Pacey, a reproductive biologist at the University of Sheffield. In the lab, female stem cells have been coaxed into becoming sperm cells, though this is something that would never occur in nature.
What's the Big Idea?
While it might be possible for humans to use modern medical science to procreate asexually, it is probably a very bad idea for evolutionary reasons. Having a diverse gene pool is an important biological trick that weeds out genetic abnormalities, such as the kinds that plagued inbred European royalty for generations. "If you chose to reproduce entirely on your own, your child would only have one parent, and thus half the genetic diversity available to a normal child." In some inconceivable emergency, however, a generation or two could be sustained by asexual reproduction.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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