Has anyone heard of single seed conception theory?

What are those who claim that a single seed conception theory exists in the scriptures trying to teach? why does it even matter?

Interesting concept,

Could you tell us where you heard or read that?

I shouldn’t be surprised if scripture can be quoted for that purpose, but I think it is erroneous to use scripture as a science book in order to understand biology.

Galen: 130 - 200 CE

"The biological accounts of human reproduction in the ancient world offer excellent examples of the interaction between observation and inference. There are a number of issues involved in this issue that pre-dates even the Hippocratic writers. The one that is mentioned here is the issue of whether there is one seed (the male’s only) or two (the male’s and the female’s). In the above example Galen seems to be saying that the first reading of Aristotle in which the male provides the efficient cause and the female provides the material cause, simpliciter, is a misreading of Aristotle. Instead, the event (conception) is depicted as a more involved process in which principles of both parents come into play. These principles revolve around the empirically observable facts that children as often as not resemble the mother as much as the father. The ‘one seed’ theory in which the father’s seed, alone, fashions the child can only account for such an outcome by calling it a sort of mutation (agone, para physin). But regularity counts for something. It is odd when an event that may approach or exceed 50% is called a mutation. This turns the entire idea of mutation (a statistical anomaly) on its head.

"Galen approaches the issue with a balanced approach beginning with anatomical observations. Galen did some of the most extensive work in the ancient world on the study of the female anatomy (albeit mostly upon apes, On Anatomical Procedures, I.2). Galen’s observation of a fluid in the horns of the uterus (Kühn IV, 594, 600-601) were the basis of his (mistaken) view that he had discovered female seed. However, in the midst of this mistake he was on the right track in viewing the ovaries as analogous to the male testes.

“The point in this second example is that Galen wanted to combine his observations gained in dissections of apes to his pronouncements vis-à-vis the debate concerning ‘one seed conception’ vs. ‘two seed conception.’ This commitment to integrating observation and theory contributed to making Galen a towering figure in medicine and the philosophy of science.”

~ iep.utm.edu/galen/

Can you tell us what “single seed conception” means? I googled the quoted phrase and found only this post.

Genetics teaches that each species originated from a single ancestor or breeding pair (the Last Common Ancestor, or LCA), and that all life on earth originated from a single one-celled organism (the Last Universal Common Ancestor, or LUCA).

In the case of humans, genetics teaches us that our species arose from a common male ancestor (known as Y-Chromosome Adam) and a common female ancestor (known as Mitochondrial Eve). Every human being on earth is absolutely descended from these two ancestors. This is settled scientific fact.

But science does not say that Y-Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve ever met. At one time, they were thought to be separated by up to 50,000 or more years, but recent developments say they could have been contemporaries.

My understanding is that there have at various times in history been the belief that the sperm is the sole seed of the child, and that the sperm enters the womb to grow into the child there, but the mother has no genetical parenthood over her child.

Based on this belief were inheritance practices that favoured the male line. The assumption being that offspring of daughters were not genetically speaking part of the family.

The theory enjoyed a short period of vogue in the renaissance period when the microscope was invented and people believed that if they looked at sperm under the microscope they could recognise a microscopic baby inside the head of the sperm.

Of couse as the quality of microscopes improved, it became clear that this was not the case.

Yeah, I agree. More information needs to be provided on what is meant by the OP in his question.


Ah, yes, I think that is what the OP is talking about. I have seen sketches of tiny, formed babies inside sperm cells.

Of course, I have a hard time understanding how someone can feel that a mother contributes nothing to the physical makeup of the child, when so many children have physical features so distinctive of their mothers (and not at all like the father). It’s hard (and silly) to look at families and conclude that mothers contribute nothing.

To answer the OP’s question, I see no Biblical support or relevancy for such an idea. It is certainly not biologically true.

I ran into a person at public library who was trying to argue in favor of gay marriage. Frankly, I have no idea what point she was trying to make. At one point she said she was the civil rights leader who died years ago and that the Bible supported slavery. At this time I understand stuff as well as Tim Taylor on Tool Time.

Hello NotAllHere.

Perhaps the gal at the Library was Not All There?!? Maybe she’s an Amazon Woman who hopes that there will be a way to procreate without the help of the male seed! I’m joking, but it seems that would help those who would have us force fed SSM. It fits in a sad way into their agenda.


Glenda, what’s SSM?

It stands for Same Sex Marriage. SSA = Same Sex Attraction.



Many species can in fact produce offspring from a single parent. There is a spruce tree in the fra north of Sweden which is believed to be between 6000 and 8000 years old. In cases like this the offspring are genetical clones of the parent caused by shoots coming out of old roots and surviving even when the original tree dies. In the above example this must have happened many dozen times in succession as spruces are not exactly long lived trees. But there are also cases where the genes of an individual parent can get re-mixed for non-identical reproduction. This happens in citrus trees for example. However, there is normally a limit to the number of times that can be done before two-parents need to get involved to assure continued genetic diversity. Otherwise its like marrying your sister for three generations. But the animal kingdom does similar things too. Aphids and certain other insects can reproduce asexually and females can give live birth to genetical clones of themselves that can be either male or female. Typically males are only born for the mating season and do not occur at other times. The eggs will thus only hatch into females. This strategy enables a single individual to spawn an entire population. The freshwater hydra is a notable example of an animal that unites male and female parts on the same individual but can also grow genetically identical offspring by budding off parts of its body.

Thus the folks who are telling us that the one male plus one female form of reproduction is the only one that nature knows are plainly wrong from a scientific standpoint. But to wish to apply something to humans that our distant genetic ancestors may have or have not done is just sick fantasism.

I was not aware that insects were part of the animal kingdom?

Can you show any examples among primates?


I agree, but since they are making such claims. We need to look at “after kind” as far as I can tell, there is no reason to believe that humans, nor primates reproduced any differently then we do today.:thumbsup:

I guess the closest you can get is a foetus splitting to form identical twins.

I don’t know if the Catholic Church has any opinions on that, or any teachings on which half inherits the soul of the individual foetus and which gets a new soul. Seeing it happens within hours of conception anyway, it doesn’t really make a difference either way. And nobody would attempt to argue that one twin is the parent of the other.

A geneticist might argue the phenomenon is a flashback to a much earlier point in evolution when adult individuals could do that too.

But just as you can’t justify abortions by referring to natural miscarriages and termination of pregnancies, there is no value in trying to derive a moral precedent from such an observation.

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