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« Statistics - It's Best to Be Skeptical First | Main | Evangelist Gone to Heaven »

September 04, 2007


The conservative/liberal relationship is somewhat parasitical as well?

Should we suck liberals into a sink?

The unborn are definitely parasites.

Normally, human hosts of unborn human parasites are happy to be hosts.

Human parasites are God's (I mean the sentient incorporeal manufacturer of souls and bodies[SIMSAB??]) gifts to human hosts. :D

I guess you can make a certain argument for a fetus being a parasite, but in what other case is the host body equipped to not only encourage but also create and protect the "parasite?"

I found these definitions with a quick search from different sources including a source:

"an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant); it obtains nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host"

"A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of that host."

"An organism that lives on or in a host organism and that gets its food from or at the expense of its host"

It seems that one of the operational elements agreed upon by scientists is that at the very best, the one organism does not provide any benefit to the "host", and at worst, lives at the hosts expense. I think that it requires some logical proof that a human embryo/fetus is either deleterious or provides _no_ benefit to the mother before Hern can be taken seriously with their definition.

Well, the next time you run into someone who thinks the fetus is a parasite, you can point them to the article in The Onion, to show that it must actually be not the case, else it wouldn't be Onion-worthy...

Well, I think you can make an argument that a fetus fits at least some definitions of "parasite", with the hesitation that Dwight mentioned--we would want to compare any "bad" effects of pregnancy to any "good" effects.

But aside from that, there's a major difference between a fetus and anything we normally identify as a parasite: The woman's body is designed for the specific purpose of "hosting" a fetus.

If we want to argue the way they seem to want to, we could say some interesting things about sex. What a bizarre activity! One organisms uses various stimuli (smells, sights, etc) to manipulate another organism into wasting his own his own time and energy in an activity that provides no real benefit. It's positively insidious! Our very /brain chemistries/ are even affected, releasing hormones and endorphins and whatnot to send "reward" signals, when we really get nothing out of it. Our time and energy would be better spent gathering food & shelter & other needs.

I debated with a woman who defended this claim at UCSB once with Justice for All ( While researching at the campus library I found that some biologists refer to embryos and fetuses as "homo-parasites" (I think that was the term), because while the unborn share traits with organisms dubbed "parasites," the fact that they are the genetic offspring of the host is a crucial dividing factor. I think most human beings are parasites anyways until they move out of their parent's homes and get real jobs, but they and the unborn both have equal value and an equal right to life.

The pro-abortionists and the abortion providers have to redefine what they are destroying so as to ease their conscience.

You can see this in many subjects that the left takes on. Just look at the universities and the lack or distortion of free speech with the use of speech codes. It goes on and on.

Call me old fashioned, but I still call them babies.

This one is easy.

A biological parasite must be of a different species than its host. Therefore, a human fetus is never a parasite to its natural mother.

I suppose there is some truth to the fact that the child does extract nutrients from a way that may remind a biologist of a parasite, but using this analogy to dehumanize the prenatal child is not compelling. When my 7 month old daughter does an exceptional job in eating her peas, I may call her a "little piggy". Only a warped individual would conclude that if my child was unwanted that such a comment would make her more porcine than human.

If we are all just robots constructed to perpetuate our DNA then upon what is the fetus acting as a parasite?
It is a creation designed for the very purpose of preserving the host's genes -or rather, the same genes that the host is preserving.
As such, it is an extension of the host, every bit an equal partner and equally the tool of the DNA.


Do you know how many calories are in peas?

Just kidding.

Anyway, good response. I was taking the route where I grant them what they do have, so that it's easier to highlight what they don't. But I like yours better. At least until they redefine 'parasite' to include the unborn.

Man can the girl eat those peas!

A few other thoughts. A parasite is able to evade its host's defenses in order to steal nutrients from them. A parasite infection is also seen as a medical pathology.

Contrarily, the woman's body undergoes changes during her cycle that exist only to allow the developing embryo to implant inside of her uterus. The child is not an invader, but a welcome guest - at least this is how her body reacts to her. It is for this reason that a pregnancy is not seen as a pathology, but a healthy situation for a woman.

Serge wrote: "A biological parasite must be of a different species than its host. Therefore, a human fetus is never a parasite to its natural mother."

Exactly. Parasitical relationships, as well as symbiotic relationships, are defined biologically as between different species. Even my pro-choice, pro-evolution biology professor drove that point home.

Other comparisons confused people make:

People are parasites to the earth

Religion is a parasite to the people

Money is a parasite to equality

Freedom is a parasite to peace

Western culture is a parasite to the world

And on and on and on…People love their parasites parables.


From the same ridiculous perspective of declaring a fetus a parasite, it could be stated that the introduction of the foreign body that causes the parasite is an infection.

Prior to conception the male introduces a foreign body into the woman that causes a reaction which can potentially result in harm or death (in child birth). Continuing with this line of logic, when a woman has an abortion why not ask for the male who "infected" her to be tried for biological terrorism?


An ectoparasite is one that lives outside the body of the host (such as a tick or leech).

The body of woman has been designed to provide milk for an infant child. A newborn child requires this milk to survive. Therefore, without living off of this biological process of the mother's body, the child would die. A child that is bottle-fed is only receiving a substitute, much like a leech would be able to live off a modified storage pack from a blood bank.

Whether they say it’s a parasite or not; it doesn’t matter. I’ve yet to hear a good ‘pro-choice’ argument so they can take their pick with regards to arguments (they usually touch on every single one in a debate).

Every single one of them is ridiculous too.

Since when does a host play a part in creating it's own parasite???

>If an unborn child is a parasite, then sex is biological terrorism .. If an unborn child is a parasite, then so is an infant that is breast-fed.

You are quite the sophisticated, debonaire aristocrat. :(

The term parasitic refers to a specific relationship between two organisms that are different species whereby one organism lives either inside or outside the other organism, extracting nutrients, protection or some other benefit, often to the detriment of the other without returning any detectable benefit in return. It might also refer to relationships where organisms live together but one gets the lion's share of the benefits and other gets only a few.

There are many examples in nature of mutualistic relationships whereby two organisms live together and extract mutual benefits from each other. Who hasn't heard of lichens or Rhizobia bacteria and legumous plants?

There are other examples whereby organisms live together and neither seems to extract benefits or deter the other, which is called commensalism.

These are the three types of symbioses - organisms living together in close proximity.

With respect to the embryo, extraction of nutrients from the mother does not occur until nidation, which begins around middle to late day six after fertilization. During implantation the mother's body actually works with the embryo to remodel the maternal blood supply to the uterus to form the placenta. This is completely unlike the vast majority of parasitic relationships. Furthermore, the embryo, which becomes a fetus after eight weeks of development also works with the mother's hormonal system to grow, mature, and even to tell her body when to give birth. The female body contains the uterus, which is the prime environment for the growth and nurturing of the baby. How many parasitized organisms have an accessory organ for the sole purpose of nurturing the parasite? Also how many have organs like mammary glands for the continued feeding and nurturing of the "parasite" after it is born?

As you can see, the biological details of pregnancy - not to mention intercourse and conception, are completely unlike parasitic relationships we see in other circumstances. The baby grows inside the mother because we are placental mammals. Our young are conceived internally, and they grow and develop internally to protect them from the elements. Does it take a toll on the mother? Yes, it does and this is why motherhood is such a noble thing.

If the baby is a parasite, then so are embryonic mice, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, cats your favorite mammal. Also so are baby placental guppies... etc. Furthermore, given the other definition of parasitism - whereby one organisms gets the lion's share of the benefits and the other gets few of them, then chicken eggs, fish eggs, octopus eggs etc. are also parasites. No one calls these entities parasites. They are developing creatures, which is the God-ordained manner in which these creatures propagate the species. However, for some reason, when it comes to humans, unborn children are parasites. It makes no sense and exercises a ridiculous double standard.

To say that the fetus doesn't provide benefit is in-accurate. It carries the genetic traits of both parents, it carries on the species etc. The other definitions such as parasite, symbiont, etc. have already been described.
The definition of symbiont/symbiosis however includes groups such as people. A symbiotic relationship to a people group would be beneficial in that it provides progeny.
From a purely secular view then, liberals are the true parasites. They take from the community, but are unwilling to take the task of producing and supporting progeny to carry on future generations.
Parasite.-SYN ; sycophant; toady; hanger-on; leech; sponge (or sponger). Webster's Second College Edition, New World Dictionary.
Luckily for liberals the are no such tnings as absolutes. If you don't like the definition, change it or throw the book out. The only problem is, is that the truth is still the truth. C.O.A.H.T.R.(Cat On A Hot Tin Roof). 'And the cat dances on as the roof gets hotter.'

This is simply a misnomer. A member of a species cannot be a parasite to that species.

This is simply a misnomer. A member of a species cannot be a parasite to that species.

I agree that a rational counter to the claim that 'an unborn baby is a parasite' would be to define parasite as being of a different species than it's host.

However, the majority of medical/clinical definitions for parasite lack that particular qualification, and thus I believe most non-believers (and perhaps medical/biological personnel) will reject that argument outright. (Anecdotally, throughout my training as a physician, a 'parasite' was not explicitly defined to be of a different species than it's host. The definitional emphasis was on the unilaterally beneficial nature of the biological relationship.)

My response to someone calling the baby a parasite would more likely be, "so what"? More formally, and more graciously stated using my ambassador skiils ;) "How does labeling it a parasite (which it may be) in any way change the fact that it's a human being?" or "How does labeling it a parasite in any way change my moral obligation to protect it? As an ambassador I would advocate for other labels such as "child", "baby", "gift from God", "my daughter", "my son", etc, but the word parasite seems to be more of a non-sequitur than anything else.

I think Cruci-Fide is right, if the fetus is a parasite then sex is biological terrorism. In fact I think Bush, Cheney and Haliburton KNEW but refused to act to prevent all these so call "fathers" from infecting our American women. No SEX for OIL!

Good point, Shaun, and nice move.

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