Science wins because it works

October 26, 2011 • 1:16 pm

From SMBC:

Not only that, but since Jesus didn’t have a corporeal father, his sex chromosome constitution was XO (X from mom, no Y from Dad).  That means that he suffered from Turner Syndrome, with gonadal dysgenesis and a webbed neck. And he would have been a female. Well, not quite:  Jesus would have been haploid, too, with only half the normal number of chromosomes (I think the “H.” in “Jesus H. Christ” stands for “haploid”), so in fact “he” would have been an inviable embryo.

h/t: JJE

56 thoughts on “Science wins because it works

  1. Same thing with the “virgin birth”. Parthenogenesis produces only female offspring; Jesus must have been a woman. (There are other alternatives, e.g. fetus in fetu – but these fit the story even worse).

    Not forgetting of course, that the virgin birth is also attributed to many ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman gods. Even Buddha.

    As for “why is it always the children?”, that’s a little close to the bone. I guess the idea here is to refer to the naivity and curiosity children have when they first try to understand the world, and which rigorous religious training turn into blind faith by adulthood (or tries to). But “why is it always the children?” coming from the mouth of a priest can have quite a different connotation. I mean here not only the worldwide scandal concerning the cover-up of child rape by priests, but also, as I’ve just learned, the scandal in Spain which concerns the theft and re-sale of infants – some 300,000, it is alleged – over the course of decades. You can see a BBC documentary about it and follow links to other media reporting on this here:

    1. The thing I wasn’t prepared for in that documentary was the scope of issue, even if I was prepared for the involvement of the Catholic Church and Franco.

      It went on for decades, and decades after Franco died.

        1. Actually it isn’t, because the sex chromosomes are reversed in those animals (males are ZZ, females are ZW).

    2. Yes, the church formerly known as the Church of Pedophilia is now the Mob of Human Trafficking and Pedophilia.

      Quite a mouthful – but they seem to like that. :-/

  2. I imagine that if one were to jump in a time machine, go back to 1 BC or so, and explain the next 2000 years to Mary and Joseph, their response would be “oh screw that, let’s just tell the ‘rents we had sex already. And did you bring back some of those condom thingies?”

    1. Which assumes that the virgin birth story was present throughout jesus’ life and wasn’t retconned by the apostles and Paul after his death.

  3. I do indulge in this form of humor myself, and laugh at it, but seriously, it shows nothing, once you accept that God can do miracles like turning the rib into a–whatever he presumably wants. My response, were I the ignorant boob/priest getting the question, would be, “God can turn a rib into a woman, you think that he can’t scramble up a few new genes to make her different?” Same would go for Jesus’s chromosomes. I’d just think (were I dumb enough to think this way but rational enough to think through what I had bought into in believing in fucking miracles in the first place), Look, once you’ve granted the first miracle, I have you.

    Same goes for all the idiotic attempts to ‘explain’ stupid shit like Adam and Eve and the parting of the Red Sea, etc. If you find a difficulty, they have this tool in their bag that we don’t have–miracles. “It was a miracle! We didn’t even realize that in turning the rib into a woman, God also had to make new genes! From scratch! Wow, he’s even more loving and wonderful than we thought!” (And “See, science CAN illuminate religion!” to boot.)

    Which is why that great Sidney Harris cartoon, of the two old guys standing in front of the blackboard, filled with symbols of a proof of some sort, it says, after the first step of the proof, “and then a miracle occurs…” The one mathematician/scientist says to the other, “I think you should be a little more explicit here in step two.” Exactly, WE can’t use that, ever. But if you think of this a rule of logic, which they apparently do, you can invoke it exactly anywhere.


    1. WE can’t use that, ever. But if you think of this a rule of logic, which they apparently do, you can invoke it exactly anywhere.

      And yet, day after day, this site points out people saying that there’s no conflict in these approaches.

    2. Good comment Brad, disheartening but true. NBW is also right in pointing out the confusing fact that people don’t seem to see a fundamental (and conflicting) difference between science and religion/faith. One method seeks an ever more accurate and precise explanation or model of reality, while the other is content with non-answers and special-pleading. I mean really, it does come down to that! It’s such a simple observation isn’t it?

      One works at finding out answers, (Real answers and truths), and the other doesn’t. How is that not an example of something being incompatible?

    3. I always laugh at this type of thing too, whilst, at the same time, realising that the religious mind can turn white to black and back again without missing a beat. I mean, these are the people who never bat an eyelid at Cain shagging his sister or Jesus, as part of the Trinity, impregnating his mother and, therefore, being his own father.

    4. If they came with the miracle explanation, I would ask them what exactly does it mean then that god created eve out of adam’s rib?

      To create eve out of adam’s rib, surely this means, in some respect, that god took adam’s rib and rearranged it to make it into a woman. If he started messing around with the genes so that eve and adam weren’t related to each other, in what sense was it still adam’s rib that god was using? It starts to become very similar to the fable of the nail soup.

  4. Yes, interesting point, Naked Bunny. We scientists/rational thinkers have constant disputes aobut what tools we can use. There is a notorious dispute over abduction, or inference to the best explanation, all very arcane but quite fruitful. The disputes can get quite heated, but it is all to answer the question, how best to do science. This is different–they want to add a meta-rule that trumps all other rules, and would sanction anything anyone had ever dreamt up. Not gonna happen.

  5. lol. Wait maybe Adam’s rib from which Eve was made from is a metaphor…….perhaps “rib” was Adam’s undescended testicle residing in his abdomen which will contain the gametes from which Eve could have been made from.

    Now for the haploid part…..hmmmmmm…….damn rationalization is hard work.

  6. Jesus didn’t have a corporeal father … suffered from Turner Syndrome, with gonadal dysgenesis and a webbed neck

    I believe you mean that metaphorically Jesus was web-necked girl.

    As for Jesus’ worldly father, I love Pasolini’s depiction of the cuckolded husband Joseph in The Gospel According to St. Matthew. I’m not aware of another artist who has addressed Joseph’s betrayal so directly. It’s the opening scene of the film:

  7. “Jesus would have been haploid, too, with only half the normal number of chromosomes… so in fact “he” would have been an inviable embryo.”

    Well, then his birth is even more of a miracle! 😉

    1. I thought that was what the “H” stood for in “Jesus H. Christ.” I thought it was Jesus Haploid Christ.

  8. Not only that, but since Jesus didn’t have a corporeal father, his sex chromosome constitution was XO (X from mom, no Y from Dad).

    Ah, obviously the University of Chicago does not have an Experimental Theology department for you to consult. The problem here is that you are assuming the non-existence of incorporeal chromosomes. This is why the search for Jesus DNA is so vitally important and something that Templeton grants are made of. Sequencing relics for incorporeal DNA should be the Manhattan Project of the Templeton foundation.

  9. The cartoon attacks a straw man.

    Real Sophisticated Catholics believe that at some unknown time in the past Yahweh injected souls into two extant hominids, who were then magically transformed into the first real Human Beings. So the Adam and Eve story is True. That rib business is just poetry or metaphor. Or something.

    Edward Feser figured this all out for us.

    Wait, I made a mistake. Substitute “metaphysically” for “magically” above. That makes it a legitimate philosophical argument.

  10. That means that he suffered from Turner Syndrome, with gonadal dysgenesis and a webbed neck. And he would have been a female. Well, not quite: Jesus would have been haploid, too, with only half the normal number of chromosomes

    Geez, you eggheads. Back in my day, we just wondered whether he had a navel.

  11. It seems to me that if you embrace the Genesis creation tale then you have to deny evolution, and if you deny evolution then you pretty much have to deny the existence of DNA as well.

  12. The comic is stupid and patronizing, because God can “poof” whatever God wants. God can pull out a rib and then do some “poofy” stuff. That’s the whole point of religion: to have some “poof” stuff whenever it wants. The comic pretends like it never thought of that. Therefore it’s stupid and patronizing.

    1. And yet when you point out things like what the boy is saying to people who actually believe the bible, you still get that deer-in-the-headlights look most of the time.

      Religious people just don’t sit down and think about these things- like when you try to get them to explain if God was capable of creating everything in the world from nothing, why did he need Noah to build a big boat to hold all the animals? Why couldn’t he have just remade all of them? Religious people hate those questions.

  13. If JC was haploid, surely that makes him a drone (aka male honey bee – Apis mellifera)?

    They are produced from unfertilised eggs. Only the lady bees are diploid, coming as they do, from fertilised eggs.


  14. Here is an “interesting” post originally from John Loftus’s blog Debunking Christianity:

    “Catholic physicist Frank J. Tipler, of the anthropic principle fame, has recently defended the Shroud of Turin as genuine in his newest book.

    In his book, if I understand him correctly, he argues that a virgin birth of a male child has the probability of 1 and 120 billion from happening naturally. Given the fact that he calculates there have been 60 billion Homo sapiens who have populated the earth, such a thing becomes somewhat probable. Mary would have been an XXY chromosomal female (Klinefelter’s syndrome), except her womb would’ve been normal. The virgin born male child would have a XX chromosomal structure, just like females. This child might not have male genitals.

    Now comes the Shroud. DNA evidence from the Shroud showed that the blood had an XY pair, but Tipler argues this might be from contamination. The full results of the DNA testing of the Shroud were published, he says, in an obscure Italian journal, which included “a computer output of the DNA analyzer.” However, “there was no attempt to interpret the data.” As soon as Tipler saw the data he was able to interpret it “at once.” He says, “They are the expected signature of the DNA of a male born in a virgin birth”–a double XX structure. (p. 184). Thus, “the DNA data support the virgin birth hypothesis,” and that the Turin Shroud “is genuine.”(p. 187).”

    The first critique I came up with is…Ok then, we have a plausible (?!) scientific explanation of the virgin birth (I have no idea where the 1 and 120 billion probability claim came from…). Given the plausibility of the argument for granted, my question is, so why do we still need God to impregnate a teenage Palestinian woman?

    1. Come to think of it:

      “Klinefelter syndrome, 46/47, XXY, or XXY syndrome is a condition in which human MALES have an extra X chromosome. While females have an XX chromosomal makeup, and males an XY, affected individuals have at least two X chromosomes and at least one Y chromosome. Because of the extra chromosome, individuals with the condition are usually referred to as “XXY Males”, or “47, XXY Males”.

      In humans, Klinefelter syndrome is the most common sex chromosome disorder in males and the second most common condition caused by the presence of extra chromosomes. The condition exists in roughly 1 out of every 500-650 males but many of these people may not show symptoms. Other mammals also have the XXY syndrome, including mice.

      Principal effects include hypogonadism and reduced fertility. A variety of other physical and behavioural differences and problems are common, though severity varies and many boys and men with the condition have few detectable symptoms.” (from wikipedia)

      Klinefelter syndrome only affect males.
      Why does he even bother to mention it?

      1. Because he doesn’t actually understand how the condition works and thinks he’s somehow stumbled on a loophole?

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