Dr Eugene Dunkley has a PhD in Genetics. The full content of his statement about this finding may be read on Bill Fry’s web site: www.anchorstone.com/content/view/43/30/
We have reproduced his comments about the Virgin birth, and the number of chromosomes expected as a result:
“Normal chromosomes and development” by Dr. Eugene Dunkley PhD
“What would the chromosomes of the virgin-born Son of God look like?
Normally, human cells have forty six chromosomes present in the nucleus. Chromosomes are actually structures which contain the vast majority of the human genes, from which we get our various traits. Chromosomes can be classified as either autosomal or sex-determining. The autosomal chromosomes are actually paired chromosomes, with twenty-two maternal chromosomes and twenty-two paternal chromosomes. These chromosomes are paired because they are homologous, that is they contain genes which code for the same functions. The two sex-determining chromosomes are the X and Y chromosomes. Females are XX; males are XY.
Because the chromosomes are in pairs, the cells containing 46 chromosomes are said to be diploid. In contrast, haploid cells are cells with unpaired chromosomes. These only have 23 chromosomes, and are normally only found in the gametes. Gametes from the male can have either an X or a Y chromosome as a sex-determinant, whereas gametes from a female will only have the X chromosome as a sex-determinant.
It is generally accepted that humans require 46 chromosomes because of the need for the correct gene dosage. Too many copies of a gene will likely result in abnormalities and disease, whereas too little of a gene is considered fatal. However, this is based on the need for the correct gene dosage. If we take the Virgin birth of Jesus Christ as an historical fact, what chromosomal number and type would we expect? Clearly, 46 chromosomes, though normal in humans, would indicate normal fertilization.
However, since no human male was involved in the conception of the Christ, then one would not expect to find 46 chromosomes. However, the maternal chromosomes would be provided by the mother as the host, so we would expect at least 23. If this is the case, what would be the nature of any genetic material provided by divine means? It would presumably carry male-determining factors because these would not be provided by Mary. However, there would have to be provision from this “divine” DNA to be also able to compensate for the reduced gene dosage which would result from the missing 23 paternal chromosomes.
Such a mechanism could exist if we have a deep enough understanding of gene activation and expression. Genes are normally turned on and off due to various factors present; if these factors maintained a single-gene copy at a maximal rate then the presence of a second gene could be completely redundant. Also, this divine DNA could also code for activators that are able not only to maintain the optimal gene dosage but also allow access to genes normally locked from activation (and presumably lost)”.