Was Jesus Haploid or Diploid?

A study published last week in the Journal of Fish Biology confirmed that an earlier report of parthanogenesis in sharks was not a fluke.

Chapman DD et al. (2008). Parthenogenesis in a large-bodied requiem shark, the blacktip Carcharhinus limbatus. J. Fish Biol. 73(6):1473-1477. (No link – I only link to open access articles).

This is being pegged in the popular press as scientists confirming “virgin birth”. The study’s authors assert that the baby shark is diploid, though I don’t see direct evidence to that effect. Which got me wondering about the following “deep” question: was Jesus haploid or diploid? Has any christian scholar ever pondered this question? I see there’s a Yahoo! answers thread on the topic, but none of the answers are convincing.

The funniest answer to the question is from here:

I always thought the “H” in the common interjection “Jesus H. Christ!” stood for haploid

This reminds of a funny idea of Svante Paabo’s. He wanted to get a piece of one of the relics claimed to be Jesus’s foreskin (apparently there’s one in Croatia). Assuming it is actually the appropriate age, he would then try to PCR out mitochondria – which he should be able to do from a 2,000 year old sample. He would then try to isolate Y-chromosomal DNA – which, given the likely state of preservation of the sample, would fail. Therefore he would have scientific proof that Jesus had a mother but no father. QED. (And it would explain those feminine facial characteristics in all those Renaissance paintings).

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  1. Doctorb
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Using mitochondrial DNA instead of, say, X-chromosomal or autosomal DNA as the positive control isn’t going to fool any peer reviewers. Perhaps a better plan would be to develop some sort of high-throughput array using the 18 available Holy Prepuces, the various Holy Baby Teeth, and perhaps bloodstains from the 40+ True Burial Shrouds of Christ (only counting those in Europe). They could be compared to the genome of Jesus’ maternal cousin John the Baptist, whose relics include two skulls (one from when he was a child). Still, it would be a worthwhile experiment to do and could easily be published in a journal less prejudicial about “reproducibility”.

  2. Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    He had a father: God. So any genes that don’t match what we find in humans are presumably divine. Imagine the military applications of the smiting gene! Or maybe we could clone the omniscience genes in E. coli, and…

  3. Bombu
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    An idle thought about the tissue sample in Croatia alleged to be from the foreskin of Jesus: as a Jew at birth, he would have been circumcised pretty early on. Do the owners of the Croatian sample claim it to be from the baby Jesus?