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« Wright's "Justification" | Main | Amazing Grace »

July 16, 2009


So the article wasn't in the WPost or the NYT? Imagine that.
Probably won't be featured anytime soon on NPR either.

Damian: that's why the internet has become such a valuable tool. It is the modern-day leaflet, as in the Colonial era. I am grateful for the rich information I obtain from STR and other sources. I am also grateful that the internet is driving those newspapers out of business. :-)

Bottom Line... The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation - or about two months before they are born.

What's your point Damian?

Damian's just being sarcastic (correct me if I'm wrong). The WPost and NYT never seem to publish anything in favor of the Pro-Life argument

so what

dead people hold memories too

Can you clarify Tony?

"so what
dead people hold memories too"

does this include the immolated, utterly melted, headless, smashed and finely ground dead, too?

I saw this story and was amazed!

But as shown by Tony's comment, it doesn't matter what even science shows. Those who choose to dismiss the fact that unborn babies are just that - BABIES, and therefore shouldn't be slaughtered - those who choose to dismiss this fact will do so, regardless of what evidence is provided to them.

It truly is horrifying and discouraging.

Hi Mo.


>> does this include the immolated, utterly melted, headless, smashed and finely ground dead, too?

No. Not all dead people hold memories. Some do.

Melted brains wouldn't hold engrams.


>> Can you clarify Tony?

Well I don't really know how this research adds to the abortion debate either way. I mean having or not having memories does not make you more or less alive, nor more or less human. But for the sake of discussion, it should be rather obvious that the unborn have "memories" at a pretty early stage.

I mean, just the simple fact that newborns will stare at beautiful faces longer than ugly faces should be proof enough that the epigenetic instruction sets for the formation of fitness indicator preferences, occurs quite early.

Now as to dead people holding memories: When a doctor "calls it" in an emergency room, and the person is declared "legally dead," the 75 billion neurons in his head all don't "die" or cease to function at the exact same time.

Also, there is no one single definition of "memory". And though we know a lot about memory, we are a LONG ways from knowing how exactly memories are formed.

There's also the fact that Christians don't believe that memories are material in nature. Christianity implies that memories have a ghostly component. You'd have to believe that the wetware of the brain is, in some way, working in intimate conjunction with your soulware.

For example, in Luke 16, Abraham tells the rich man: "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony."

The rich man no longer existed in bodily form - he was in hell. Yet he could remember. So in some fashion, God has instantiated a set of rules which allow for a direct copy of engrams from the brain, to the spirit world. I call this God's wetware2soulware conversion algorithm.

Curiously, when we get bumped on the head, we forget things. Yet, it is assumed that, in heaven or hell, we will remember everything that happened to us here on earth. Hence, while our brains maintain an imperfect record of our memories, via neuronal architecture, we can rest assured that a perfect mirror copy of our recorded experience is maintained in our own personal database in heaven on a collocation "server" that was instantiated by God - probably at the moment of conception - as per Traducianism - which would be the majority view on soul creation. (see JP Moreland's Body and Soul)

If you are a Christian, you'd have to believe something like the above happens.

But I'm not a Christian anymore so I think the above is a bunch of bull.

...But I'm not a Christian anymore so I think the above is a bunch of bull...

What exactly do you not believe is true about your statement above that causes you to think it is bull?

>>dead people hold memories too

And guess what? Even dead people have a say in what happens to their bodies after they're dead. We can't just use them for science or do whatever we want with them. Not so with the unborn.

> But I'm not a Christian anymore so I think the above is a bunch of bull.

In other words you really DON'T believe that dead people have memories.

So... what kind of people DO have memories?

ToNy, I'd love to see a dead person act on their memories like an unborn human person does.


If you mean you'd like to see the neural net of a dead person respond to stimuli based on a pre-existing learned rule set. Then yeah that would be easy to observe.


no i really DO believe dead people have memories. I was referring to the soul part.


Yeah, and we value people who can't even make memories, and people who have no memories. So i dont understand the point of Melinda's post.


I think the metaphysics involved in the functinoing of the soulware-wetware transformation process is quite outlandish. But who knows, might be true.

Anyway, here's some more memory thoughts to consider if you're interested:

So here's an article on artificial hippocampus research.  If this was implanted in a human, would we say the computer "held memories"

Artificial Hippocampus

Or here's a girl with pig neurons in her brain.  Do her pig neurons "hold memories"


Here's an artificial neuron at my old school UCSD that they put in a lobster.  Does this box of wires "hold memories"?

artificial neuron

Here's an article on IBM's supercomputer designed to reverse-engineer the brain.  Does it "hold memories?"


Here's a picture of the Tinkertoy Computer in Boston.  Given that the brain is Turing Machine-reducible, can tinkertoys "hold memories"?


...But who knows, might be true...

Don't you want to keep searching and not give up on Christianity???

Wow. This means that human fetuses, along some dimensions, have almost as much mental sophistication as a small fish! (Well, their memories are still quite a bit inferior to fish. But still....)

ha ha

even bacteria exhibit memory


I will never stop searching for the truth and asking WHY.

Suggest you do the same.

I've found Truth. But thanks for the encouragement!

Unscraping all the layers of sarcasm here, the underlieng point seems to be this: "Oh, fetus's have memories? Well, so do (X)... Whats your point?"

Maybe it would be helpful to expand the significance of this discovery in relation to the abortion debate. Somehow I dont think it would matter, though, becuase (as evidence by some of the comments here) you could tell us that the fetus is capable of lifting a small object and placing it somewhere, and you would be likely met with the same rebuttal. "Well, so can (x)." Which is really just codespeak for a greater assumption -- that there is no significant difference between a fetus, and another simple form of life. Im just curious as to why that distinction gains greater significance as the fetus develops, to the point where suddenly human life isint so arbitrary.

>> Im just curious as to why that distinction gains greater significance as the fetus develops

Yeah that's the problem with this thread.

It's just a "fun fact" about fetuses, but it doesn't add anything to the debate that I can see.

Well, I wouldent carry it to the level of 'problem', concerning this thread... Considering you may have precluded the fact that it could add something to the discussion (and we could hypothesize that it could). Wether or not that is the case has yet to be discussed, still its atleast worth mentioning. I dont think the author intended it to be a "see! fetus's have memories!". I dont think anyone planned on making that the meat of thier argument.

@ Tony -

"I will never stop searching for the truth and asking WHY."

You have been given the truth here on this site many times, on many different topics. Yet you choose to ignore it or deny it.


it's cuz i'm not as smart as you

And you said you weren't going to write to me anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stop doing that or i'm telling god you lied

Interesting to see ideological world view on piscatorial pursuits in here, a blog on human foetal memory.
The view is such a poorly thought out one it doesn't bare any more than noting on the basis that it's a tactic for hit whoring by the ideological group that drives that site.

In anycase - the blog topic - amazing research and added to rest of science's observation of foetal development simply adds to the weight that someone is in there...

I'm sorry to say I believe that the pro abortion camp will continue to just ignore this.

I wonder if it's possible to carry around some sort of monitor that shows the real time 3D development of a baby and trace personality from early development?

It'd still be ignored of course - much as people ignore the weak and vulnerable in the euthanasia debate.

If only people would be honest and just pipe up and say "I like to kill people and want to not get in trouble when I do it..." then at least we could respond appropriately.


Brilliant research work. Good on them for publishing.

>> trace personality from early development?

I think it's pretty obvious that personality indeed develops in the womb.

"I think it's pretty obvious that personality indeed develops in the womb."

But what does that matter? Even if proven... dogs, lobsters and perhaps even bacteria develop "personalities". Who cares if we kill the 'fetus', its nothing more than a lobster...

That seems to be your point, ToNy, or did I miss several levels of sarcasm?

The human mind, once fully embracing the depravity of it's soul, hardened by the Triune God of Scripture, will dismiss every fact that points them to the truth and ignore their conscience so as to not hear it screaming warning in their ears.


I was just commenting on what Michael said about personality above. I dont know why he thinks its important

Why would a "Triune God of Scripture" harden a soul anyway? Isnt that satans job?

"Why would a "Triune God of Scripture" harden a soul anyway? Isnt that satans job?"

Your understanding of God/Satan and the Bible seem to be lacking. We don't believe in the Santa Claus god, or the deist god, nor the happy-go-lucky-but-ultimately-useless god, we believe in the God of the Bible who defines himself therein as "declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' " and "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it."

God may use the secondary means of created beings like Satan or Pilate, or you or I, to accomplish his plan and purpose.

Thus when we read that God hardened a heart, he explains why:Romans 9:17 "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

As Paul goes on in Romans to explain, : who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?


it seems you are right!

"Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."

Geeeesh that's a harsh verse. So much for that "Jesus Laughing" painting that my grandma gave me.

Welp it looks like if he chose to "harden" me, then that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

What a bummer.

I don't really know how I would have rendered the above sentences on memory storage, engrams, and cognitive science if my heart was "unhardened" though....

would have to think about it

"Welp it looks like if he chose to "harden" me..."

But you're here, asking questions... therefore perhaps you're 'hearing' something? Today is the day of salvation, repent and believe.

I refuse to repent!

Salvation is not for me. I know that Jesus is the way and that my heart is dark.

But I fear there is no hope for me.

I am not worthy of his grace.

I shall dwell in darkness forever.

Salvation is not for me...

It is for you if you want it.

I know that Jesus is the way...

If you know that Jesus is the way then I can't see how you can believe Salvation is not for you!

I don't think i'm worthy of him.

Will he take a corrupted soul like mine?

I am not deserving...

None of us are worthy, we are all sinners. That's why we try to carry the best Christian lives we now how and beg of His forgivness on a daily basis.

To not try and seek that forgivness knowing He is available to you seems a bit strange to me. Does knowing Him not tug at your heart to seek Him Tony??

I want to seek him, but I fear him.

I know that I am lost in depravity, and I need his grace.

I long that Jesus write his name on my heart, but my heart has grown black with sin.

Do you fear change or do you just believe maybe you can't change?

We all need His grace buddy so you are not alone on that one...

Prince will you pray for me.

I am in need of his salvation. May the sword of his righteousness be used to cast out what demons may infect my thoughts.

Tony, stop playing with people.

Not cool dude...


I'm just SO TIRED when Christians go from logical arguments to the world of cliches, flowery prose, and Renaissance English!!!

You guys have a tendency to sometimes sound like philosophers, and sometimes, you sound like that goth emo kid who lives next to me.

If you look in the history of this blog, there's always a guy who will argue like this:

Tony: Arugment 1.
Christian: Counter Arugment.
Tony: Retort.
Tony: man...

Moving on...

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