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July 24, 2009

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Amazing. What’s really amazing is nothing has changed. When I say nothing has changed, I mean, with all the new technology and capabilities, new research on memory, medical procedures and life saving methods – the humanity of the unborn is unchanged.

And Christians are often accused of not embracing science!

Very cool. These make a huge difference to abortion vulnerable women. I'm on the board of a CareNet Pregnancy Center and just this week was reminded of the importance of ultrasounds.

One of the volunteers described a woman who just visited with her newborn son. She originally had an abortion scheduled but came to CareNet the day before that and got an ultrasound. The technician couldn't find the baby at first but gave it one last try and showed him to the mother. Her reply was a common one: "I realized I couldn't kill my baby."

What a blessing Neil...

Will this work on babies only 7 weeks old?

Here's an image of a 5 day embryo:

*

200 undifferentiated cells.


RonH

RonH,

What is your point?

Tom,
My point is: at 5 days, the unborn is an amorphous blob of tissue.
RonH

RonH,

When does the unborn become a human being in your viewpoint?

Further, your use of the words "blob of tissue" seem to be absent from hordes of embryology textbooks when describing the unborn from the moment of conception. Why do you think that is?

Tom,

I'll take your questions in reverse order.

'Blob of tissue' means 200 undifferentiated cells.

I doubt I'll ever come to a conclusion about when the unborn 'becomes a human being.' That's not what counts as I see it. What counts is a balance of interests. A 5 day embryo has no interests. None. It is incapable. So ESR is not a moral issue and needs no justification. Toward the end of a pregnancy, the fetus is gaining interests (it can feel pain, for example) and so are third parties. So, the woman needs to justify having an abortion.

RonH

RonH,
Thanks for the reply.

'Blob of tissue' means 200 undifferentiated cells.

At the moment of conception, the unborn need no other genetic information for the rest of their lives. The uniqueness and complexity of DNA at the moment of conception determines gender, hair color, eye color, skin color, bone structure, etc. The phrase “blob of tissue” or “undifferentiated cells” seems inaccurate. Would you agree?

I doubt I'll ever come to a conclusion about when the unborn 'becomes a human being.'

If you don’t know when the unborn becomes a human being, why would you support abortion or ESCR? It seems more reasonable to wait until there is better evidence. What are your thoughts?

Actually, according to a huge number of leading embryology textbooks and medical doctors, the unborn are human at the moment of conception. That’s just a scientific fact.

Here’s a small sampling:
“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).” (Keith L. Moore. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16)

"The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated." (In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.)

"It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception" (Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School).

"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception" (Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes).

An official Senate report reached this conclusion:
“Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

That's not what counts as I see it. What counts is a balance of interests. A 5 day embryo has no interests. None. It is incapable.

What is your evidence that “balance of interest” is what determines who is a human being and who is not? This seems to be more of a philosophical claim rather than a scientific one. Why is “interest” or the ability to feel pain the determining factor?

Tom,
If you don’t know when , why would you support abortion or ESCR? It seems more reasonable to wait until there is better evidence. What are your thoughts?

Whenever "the unborn becomes a human being" it is a matter of definition of a term and the issue of interests remains. At 5 days, whatever you call it the unborn has no interests. Zero. Nada. Zilch. It is not an interested party in any matter.

RonH

RonH,
Whenever "the unborn becomes a human being" it is a matter of definition of a term

Who says? You seem to be presupposing that “we can’t know when the unborn becomes a human being” even though this contradicts scientific findings from embryologists and doctors. What is your scientific evidence that we somehow can’t know? So far you’ve only offered your personal philosophical claims.

and the issue of interests remains. At 5 days, whatever you call it the unborn has no interests. Zero. Nada. Zilch. It is not an interested party in any matter.

With respect: So? You seem to keep pulling this issue out as a trump card as if I’m supposed to just roll over and say, “Oh, right. You got me!” What is your evidence that “interest” is what makes someone human or important enough? This is a subjective philosophical claim which needs to be defended. As I asked in my last post: why is “interest” or the ability to feel pain the determining factor? Who says?

You have presupposed that (1) “we can’t know when the unborn becomes a human being” and (2) “what counts is a balance of interests” with no evidence whatsoever. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The only reason I can see one might need to debate when human life begins would be to justify ending it without conscious guilt.

It's not a matter of guilt. It's a matter of right and wrong...

I stand firm on life beginning at the very moment of conception.

The point of my last comment was my attempt to understand why one would attempt to prove otherwise. What is their motive? The above comment was the only reason I could conceive. (no pun intended)

...The point of my last comment was my attempt to understand why one would attempt to prove otherwise. What is their motive?

I couldn't agree more! Sorry for the misunderstanding. Good comment and good point Scot!

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