02 December 2012

Of Spider Fathers and Christmas Day

This article in the Economist magazine just blew my mind. Researchers took wolf spiders and ran experiments to see why female spiders consumed their mates following copulation.

What they found was shocking. When they looked at the hatchlings of mothers that feasted on fathers and those that didn't, here's what they found: when mommy ate daddy, 48% of babies survived one month after hatching. When daddy survived mommy, only 12% of the hatchlings survived.

Put simply: a dead daddy produced four times as many surviving hatchlings as a live one.

So what's more important: babies' lives or daddy's? The researchers hypothesize that, in giving up his life to his mate, the male wolf spider provides fuel to his offspring that make their survival more likely.

While I am happy to relate that I survived the creation of three children (100% of which survive, thanks be to God) with the partnership of a vegetarian wife, this story reminds me that fatherhood is filled with sacrifice. American fathers aren't consumed by our wives but by our children: braces, clothes, Christmas presents--and don't even get me started about the cost of college or driving.

Whether it's hobbies that we give up or careers, human fathers make these sacrifices for the same reason that wolf spiders do: because seeing our children prosper is more precious than anything--including Life Itself.

I'm reminded as we enter Advent today, of a father who gave up home, reputation and livelihood for the sake of a Son he did not create. There is no record that Joseph survived to see Jesus' adulthood, but Joseph's sacrifice set history in motion.


Chaplain Winston Tobias Muldrew said...

So what’s more important babies lives or daddy’s? American fathers aren't consumed by our wives but by our… Of course, babies are more important than daddy’s.

Is the woman’s role in reproduction any different than Wolf Spiders, Black Widow Spiders, the Praying Mantis, Dogs, Cats, etc? Wolf Spiders, Black Widow Spiders , and the Praying Mantis consume their males, but it ends with a merciful immediate death. Not with males the U.S. the court have ruled. Women in the U.S. do consume their males also but until the males die years later.

Males in the U.S. don’t have control of the womb and a woman decides if she gets pregnant or not. The courts decided that consistently yet say conception, pregnancy, and child birth is the males fault. Facing death why do the Wolf Spiders, Black Widow Spiders, and the Praying Mantis being a male try to conceive ? Procreation is the driving force with its rewards for just trying to conceive. We have to fill the earth. It is irresistible.

How do women consume their males? Some males are referred to as only sperm donors to be tossed away after conception. Other males are considered dead beat Dads after the female divorces him, moves so far he can’t see his children, and loads him up with child support. So much debt and there is no eliminating the debt even through bankruptcy. He ends of in debtor’s prison till he pays the last farthing.

The U.S. has a very effective Child Support Debt Collection Agency. It is keyed to males Social Security Number and his bank accounts. So they can snatch it anytime without justification, and they can find out if the male has a job and garnish his wages. Often leaving him without enough to survive let alone start another family. Hey, He has to pay for all the children his females conceived, and pregnancy, births even in his absent. Hey, like the Wolf Spiders, Black Widow Spiders and the Praying Mantis he is dead to the female. Does the male have a Prayer in the U.S.?

Chaplain Winston Tobias Muldrew said...

I forgot to check email follow up comments