Friday, June 8, 2007

A Messiah for Every Phylum

Last week the Associated Press reported that in 2001 a hammerhead shark born in a tank containing only female sharks was had been an immaculate conception. All three female sharks, which inhabit a tank at a Nebraska aquarium, had not been in contact with a male shark for at least three years. When genetic testing was done on the newborn shark it revealed that indeed the shark contained only DNA material from a single female shark, and had no earthly father. Officials at the aquarium were quick to dub the shark the “Elasmobranch Emmanuel,” their proclamation of the fish’s piety was further entrenched when the young shark was apparently struck dead by the stingray Pontius Pilate mere hours after the miraculous birth. When asked to comment on the matter the ray replied only, “I am innocent of the blood of this just fish; see ye to it.”

The birth of a carnivorous Christ is no isolated incident within the animal kingdom. Last Christmas a komodo dragon named Flora gave birth to not one, but to six King of Lizard Kings at a Zoo in England. It is unclear weather all six dragons (all male) will grow up to be a sexumvirate of reptile redeemers; or if a single lizard will be selected as the one true cold blooded Christ through (what one imagines will be) a series of trials of faith, involving firewalking and snake handling. When this very question was posed to Flora she merely beamed back, “to me they are all divine.”