A recent article in Science Daily caught my eye:
Some female members of a critically endangered species of sawfish are reproducing in the wild without sex. The discovery, reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 1, marks the first time living offspring from "virgin births" have been found in a normally sexually reproducing vertebrate in the wild, the researchers say.
This is an example of how science deepens my faith. Allow me to explain.
Parthenogenesis (the development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg) occurs mainly in small and dwindling populations and allows them to survive a little longer.
Now, the Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of Original Sin. (We call this the Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate on December 8.) Clearly, she was a small and dwindling population. Parthenogenesis (Jesus' virgin birth) allowed grace to survive in the world just a little longer.
The science of parthenogenesis doesn't undermine my belief in the Immaculate Conception or the Nativity of Christ. Nor is it an attempt at an explanation. The science of parthenogenesis just helps me understand a basic element of my faith: that God's grace will find a way to survive.
Just like a critically endangered species of sawfish.