Genesis is Right Again: Penis Story

Research up to now inquired as to which unique genes humans have when compared to other primates.  In other words, “What genes make us better than other apes?” (perspective “A” in the illustration above).  But maybe we should look at our differences from another perspective “B”:  “Are there genes that humans lack but that other apes possess?”  Nature, March 10 Issue, has an article by McLean et. al. that shows indeed that humans lack 510 chunks of DNA when compared to  chimpanzees and macaques.   Most of this missing genetic data is also missing from Neandertals, suggesting that the pieces were lost sometime between 500,000 and 6 million years ago. (See: Science News April 9th).

Raccoon Penis Bone

Most of the missing genetic pieces are not genes — in fact only one gene is involve.  Instead, the DNA defects may act as regulators of genes.  In fact, one piece is an enhancer for the gene which controls the production of facial sensory whiskers and small spines on the penises of both chimps and mice.  So researchers are speculating that this is why humans have spineless penises.  What? Some animals have bones in their penis?  Is this where the word “boner” comes from?

My family has raised ducks and it is well known that it is not good for ducks to copulate on land where the mechanics actually puts them at risk for breaking the bone in their penis.

As you know, Genesis 2:21-23 speaks of God removing a rib from Adam to create Eve — and thus the rest of human kind.  But basic anatomy tells us there is no difference in ribs between males and females.  Was Genesis wrong?  Maybe the word “rib” is not translated correctly.  Most male mammals have a bone for stiffening the penis (a baculum) — which is speculated to quicken ejaculations. But the Hebrew word in Genesis referring to “rib” has other meanings like “supporting columns in trees” or “planks in doors”.  So it has been speculated that his passage may refer to loosing the bone in their penis — the change from earlier primates to humans.  By adding this recent research to this speculation, when humans lost these 510 pieces of DNA, maybe the consequence was the loss of the bone in their penis and thus requiring longer time for ejaculation, more bonding and furthering of human cultural evolution.  So perhaps is Genesis is closer to a science text than we even imagined.  God knocked the bone out of our boners.

Of course I don’t believe this, but I wanted to see if I could beat some Christians to the punch in speculating on this new research.

This article also inspired more daydreaming:  This way of looking at differences as loss vs. gain reminded me of how I have viewed myself over the years.  Due to the weird supernatural experiences  I have had when growing up, I though I must have unique special additional skills in comparison to other people.  But as I have matured, I have come to wonder if these experiences are better explained as due to defective losses in my DNA — a broken hallucinating mind.  :-)


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

20 responses to “Genesis is Right Again: Penis Story

  1. I hate to break it to you, but the idea has been suggested before. But kudos for coming up with it independently!

  2. Wait, James! This is new data to back up the baculum idea which I know is old. This is NEW research — again, supporting the Bible. Just adding weight to the abundance of evidence that the Bible is a science text.

  3. perpetualstudent

    Or maybe it is a just-so story invented to explain why men were missing a rib?🙂

  4. Hi, Sabio, following your link to Wiki article on baculum I find: “because humans evolved a mating system in which the male tended to accompany a particular female all the time to attempt to ensure paternity of her children which allows for frequent matings of short duration”

    So, if I understand correctly, the lack of this bone *shortens* mating sessions. Isn’t this the opposite of what you’re saying about the duration of copulation?

  5. Max

    Sorry, but I’m probably going to get a little off track here. Since I started dharma practice it seems everything is dharma somehow. Your plus or minus vibe got me thinking about the nature of something not directly related to penises – happiness (I know some might argue that).

    The question came up in a conversation with my wife. She asked, why do people need happiness? Maybe they’d be better off if they didn’t feel the need to add something to themselves, this sense of happiness that is really not of any inherent value. My response is that I see happiness as a lack of something you once had; needless suffering. If you can break the habit of adding anguish on to your life that doesn’t serve any useful function you become lighter, more free, and relatively happier as a result.

    OK – back to penises.

  6. @ Max
    So, I take your point as:
    Sad-Person + happiness = Happy-Person
    Sad-Person – suffering = Happy-Person

    So when a Happy-Person is asked, how did you become happy? They may reply, “It is not what I did, but what I stopped doing.”

    I think that is your point, no?

  7. Max brings up an interesting contemplation. Happiness can be simply about not doing the things that make us miserable. That’s typically a truckload of things.

    Cessation of suffering though, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re HAPPY in capital letters, simply that we’re happy to have quit our needless suffering. For some reason this calls to mind the hypo manic hypo depressed post you had up a little while ago… Perhaps the 8FP allows us to revert to our inherent disposition, our particular set point on the scale of happiness?

  8. @ Dan
    Very good point! But back to penises, though: I am not up on the evolutionary theories for lack of bones, more difficult ejaculations, constant readiness for sex in females and more in humans. I have read them but then forget again. But the Science News article mentions the theory I wrote, which, as you say, contradicts the Wiki source. Hmmmm, do we have a problem of many theories, or poor sources. Maybe another reader knows.

  9. @ Perpetual Student

    As James (a liberal Christian) says, the baculum theory has been posited before. But this new research tells how the loss (Eden is gone) of DNA led to the development of sex and culture as we know it, in a primate later to call themselves humans. Thus this new data further supports the theory.

    A friend of mine read the first part of this post (while we talked in a coffee shop) and said, “If I didn’t know you, this feels sort of compelling.” — That was my point. Here this research adds more to that theory and allows those making the effort to fit data to a myth. It ain’t hard to do. And thus, perhaps as you say, makes it a “just-so story”.

  10. Sorry I didn’t catch that you weren’t independently reaching the viewpoint that the baculum might be the “part” removed from Adam to make Even in Genesis, but going beyond it in light of this new research. What can I say except to apologize, and that I should have known that you would have boned up on the relevant earlier publications.🙂

    If the loss of the baculum occurred in a single-step as a result of a genetic alteration, I imagine that it must have affected the consciousness of the primate in question, assuming it had one, however rudimentary.

    Presumably such an experience could have left its mark on early humans’ collective culture. And presumably if this physiological change managed to become typical of humans, it must have at least not conveyed significant disadvantages, if not actually being beneficial.

    But the story might simply be etiological, observing human and non-human skeletons and noticing the difference, and composing a story to account for it.

  11. @ James McGrath
    I would find it fascinating that the Genesis account was talking about a bone in the penis at all — yet alone that the knowledge of this survived in culture. Instead, my post was total tongue in cheek for how we can muster anything to support our favorite myths.

    What probability do you attach to the notion that the Genesis story was talking about a penis bone?

  12. It is hard to say. The Hebrew word “part” could be anything, but the reference to the flesh being closed up after the part was removed, coupled with the reference to Eve as “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone” are certainly intriguing…

  13. Heheh. Best Triangulations entry to date, IMHO.

    I do enjoy a good penis story mixed with my theology. Well done, sir.

  14. Boz

    this sounds ad-hoc.

    A scientific discovery of fact is made, and some people say: “This holy text, when interpreted this particular way, predicted this fact! This holy text must have been written by a deity!” (sabio, I know you are not saying exactly this.)

    But no one interpreted the text that way before the fact was discovered.

  15. @Boz… I do think you’re overlooking the most important aspect of this post, which is that Sabio wrote about penises.

  16. @ Boz:
    The ancient Israelis understood evolution, genetics and were actually very good at comparative mammalian anatomy but they had to disguise their knowledge in metaphor so as to not alienate surrounding cultures and thus precipitate wars. To point, one careless ancient Israeli put out a text on quantum mechanics and that got the whole nation thrown into exile in Babylon. So please don’t underestimate ancient cultures just because they don’t appear to speak your language or use your metaphors. Come on man, a bone is a bone.

  17. @ Zachary — Thanx dude. It is nice to be understood!

  18. yeah, the aculum theory has been posited before, as it is mentioned in my interpreter’s bible as a footnote, publish date 1952. it was on the fringe then and still is. bible ain’t science.

  19. I should learn to write shorter posts. This post had several themes:
    (1) The new science is fun stuff about missing genes.
    (2) Penis story of the Bible
    (3) My last paragraph

    But readers only responded to the second theme — the least interesting one for me (and tongue in cheek at that). I need to break up my posts.

  20. Combining penises with other things you want to get due attention is never a good idea… 🙂

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