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).

This post was previously published on It is Not Junk and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.

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