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Discovery Channel: "When Does Life Begin?"

The Discovery Channel is running a documentary next week asking "When Does Life Begin?"

The fear of showing babies in the womb has caused some fear in the pro-abort community. One commenter at a website said:

With all the anti-choice legislation this year already we really don't need Discovery channel parading fetuses around and showing how cool and realistic they are in utero.
We can't stand a parade of fetuses, can we?

But here's the thing. The Discovery Channel website shows why pro-aborts have something to fear from any kind of actual scientific talk concerning human life and its beginnings. Check out this quiz they have online. First, they hedge their bets trying not to tick the pro-aborts off but once it gets down to science things kinda' change.:
When does life begin? Take the quiz!

It's a question that science can address easily, but one that also touches on religious, metaphysical and philosophical beliefs. And that means there is no easy answer, and defining human life is one of the most controversial political topics in America today. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the controversy over when life begins and ends.


So I clicked on the first question. First, the question and the answers are under it.

The genetic point of view states that life begins:

*
before fertilization -- because living cells eventually form a human
*
at the point of fertilization or a novel genome
*
within 24 to 48 hours of fertilization


I, of course, clicked on at the point of fertilization because I'm all clever like that and here's what they said.
Correct!
The genetic point of view says that life begins exactly when fertilization occurs, or when cells form the human zygote -- the fused sperm and egg cells that develop into a human. Any sooner means these cells still are part of the parents. According to this point of view, after fertilization, the cells already have coordinated their behavior as a unique new organism.
Hooray for science!

No wonder the pro-aborts have to explain away science and your own lying eyes.

I'm sure that Discovery will hem and haw and vacillate so as not to tick off their lib buddies but the science is the science. And seeing babies in utero can't be unseen. I'm glad they're doing it. I may even skip the "Walker Texas Ranger" marathon that night and tune in.

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26 comments:

Matthew A. Siekierski said...

"With all the anti-choice legislation this year already we really don't need Discovery channel parading fetuses around and showing how cool and realistic they are in utero."
Realistic? They're beyond realistic, they're REAL.

RooForLife said...

That's why National Geographic Channel won’t show the science documentary "The Biology of Prenatal Development" even though it is distributed by National Geographic. I think it is the best window into the womb dvd made so far. http://bit.ly/fA0dW1
Movie clip from the dvd~ The Beating Heart in Slow Motion: 4 1/2 Weeks Pregnant http://bit.ly/8BAIYc

Timothy said...

What is the "genetic point of view"? I didn't know genes had opinions.

Cathy D said...

When I search the Discovery Channel website it says that page is down for maintenance. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Love it! Will be praying for the Discovery channel today.

It time for pro-lifers to start a new message. Life begins at conception: its settled fact with scientific consensus.

Bender said...

Actually, "life" qua life, began millions of years ago. Ever since then, life itself has been a continuum.

But, a new individual life begins at conception. That does not mean that there is spontaneous generation of life at conception, that matter becomes animated at life, because only living sperm cells and living ova can merge, such that the spark of life has been handed on down from generation to generation, but it does mean that it is at conception that a unique and individual human being is created.

Bender said...

that matter becomes animated at life
___________________

That should be "that matter becomes animated at conception . . ."

Bender said...

What is the "genetic point of view"? I didn't know genes had opinions.
_______________

A "point of view" is not an opinion. A "point of view," as the words themselves indicate, is a way of looking at things from a particular perspective, in this case, genetics. More particularly, when "life begins" genetically is not a matter of mere opinion (which is what those who support abortion insist), but is a matter of scientific truth.

thefederalist said...

"Walker, Texas Ranger"?! Really?

Has there been a worse actor on TV in our lifetimes than Chuck Norris?

Anonymous said...

The real question is not "when does life begin?" since that question can be quickly answered as "conception."

The true question is, "When does a person begin?" as in "We the ***people***" person (i.e. gains political rights independent of the mother.)

Anonymous said...

I was in complete support of this article until the "Walker, Texas Ranger" bit.

Gross.

Anonymous said...

" I believe in scienc!e" Esqueleto in "Nacho Libre"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsOPiH-xbRs&feature=related

thefederalist said...

Anonymous,

The person begins when the new human being begins. What other reasonable answer can the question have?

Paul Rimmer said...

It's not a person until there's brainwaves. I've never met a person who has no brainwaves. I've never met a single-celled person.

Melissa G said...

I took the quiz. It disturbed me a little when they asked the question about what happens when abortion is made illegal and the correct answer was that abortion rates remained the same in countries that outlawed/restricted it and ones that have open access to abortion. They said this means that women who have abortions in countries where it is illegal have unsafe abortions.
What? Since when is any abortion safe? Most abortion clinics are not regulated by the same Health Standards as most dental or doctor's offices.
It also seems to imply it doesn't matter if US makes it illegal or not, that woman are going to get them, and we need to keep them legal so that they are "safe." Ugh. The "back alley" argument.

Joseph Pham said...

@Paul. Does that mean that a person with a more active brain is more a person then another with less active brain?

That's effectively going down the path of a person's worth. A person in the constitution before the civil war was a white landowner or 3 black non-landowners.

Does a person with a more active brain have more rights or votes? Does a sleeping person automatically have reduced privileged during their slumber?

What about animals with more brain waves then a disabled human? Do they suddenly have a claim to what it is to be a human person?

Foxfier said...

I've never met a person who has no brainwaves.

I've never met someone born in Antartica; are they not people, too?

Funny how this mirrors every abortion conversation I've ever had: I stick strictly to science and reason, with the only moral assumption being that it's a bad idea to start hacking off chunks of humanity that aren't "really people," especially if a major section of the definition is 'not like me'. (even that is based on past patterns)

Once it's clear that science is on my "side," the argument shifts away from the initial shared assumption that dehumanizing some humans is a bad thing and into arguing about "personhood," which they can define any way they like. (Not counting the accusations that I'm religiously motivated, while they are going on sweet, pure reason... no, logic doesn't strike them down.)

Anonymous said...

@Paul
"I've never met a person who has no brainwaves. I've never met a single-celled person."

You haven't met my boss : - )

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:39: "We, the people" begin life as persons endowed by our Creator as a founding principle of our Declaration of Independence, upon which our Constitution is based. "We, the people, hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal" ...from the beginning of life to the end of life. If the person were not alive why would there be abortion? There is no life without an immortal soul endowed with sovereign personhood.

Anonymous said...

Die hard pro-choice advocates don't really care about science when it comes to when human life begins. They prefer philosophical and legal constructs about "personhood" and then seek to impose their beliefs about who and who isn't a person on the rest of society at large.

mtm2 said...

Michael, do you know what a zygote is?

Would you equate a bacterium (single celled LIVE organism) with a human BODY (fully formed multicelled organism with a spirit).

"Life" definition isn't the issue - it's defining when a soul enters the "cells". When that point is, nobody knows.

I am a Christian. I am a medical doctor and geneticist.

Sorry to rain on your "clever" parade, but your "answer" in this odd quiz isn't really addressing the "question" on the overall issue.

Matthew A. Siekierski said...

mtm2, the question isn't about ensoulment, which is an immeasurable quality. The only logical guideline is "life". A newly fertilized egg (a single-cell zygote) is a distinct living organism of the species homo sapiens. Every other delineation is a measure of development of that organism, not a measure of life or some mythical "personhood".

Even using your stated measure, ensoulment, it makes the most logical sense (since the time of ensoulment is unknown) to assume that occurs at the instant of conception. We hold a hunter responsible if he shoots at what he thinks is a deer (but can't see) and harms/kills a man. The same logic should apply in this case. If you can't see, and don't know for certain, don't shoot.

Foxfier said...

Even using your stated measure, ensoulment, it makes the most logical sense (since the time of ensoulment is unknown) to assume that occurs at the instant of conception. We hold a hunter responsible if he shoots at what he thinks is a deer (but can't see) and harms/kills a man.

More to the point, we don't make it legal-- or even less punishable-- for psychos who honestly believe that women, or blacks, or even "everyone that's in my my cult" aren't people.

Anonymous said...

The "genetic point of view"? Um, it's not a point of view, it's fact! As any embryologist will tell you, that embryo is clearly identifiable as a member of the human species. Ergo, a human being! The only person who would want to consider this merely a "point of view" is someone who still wants to support abortion and needs to soften the blow of the truth.

As for ensoulment: the soul has to be present from the moment of conception because the embryo is clearly human with human dna, and is unique, individual, and identifiable as exactly that human being and no other from that moment. The human being is a body/soul unity...can't have one without the other.

The debates about ensoulment--which one can find in medieval thought-- no longer apply because the debates were founded on erroneous understanding of what was going on in the womb in the early stages of a human being's life. They didn't know, as we did, that the embryo is distinctly human from the outset, rather than being something else first and then becoming human. They couldn't see what we see now, which has shown conclusively that there is no non-human stage of our development.

Pro-choice people like to quote certain medieval debates in this area because they think if they can make it sound like the medievals didn't think the soul was there, somehow they were ok with abortion. But that is not the case. From the very beginning, Christians were always consistently against abortion.

And forgive me for being blunt, but real Christians still are. In fact, tolerance for abortion is one of the quickest ways to detect false Christianity.

No one who really knows Jesus Christ and is in union with Him can ever tolerate the killing of an innocent human being in the womb. Such a person knows that it is preferable to suffer anything, or even to die, than to do such a thing to a helpless human being no matter how small or hidden!

Suburbanbanshee said...

Besides, if you go that rigidly by "no brainwaves = no person", there's a lot of temporarily dead people going through brain surgery who will wake up to find that all their money has gone to their heirs, they've lost their insurance, and there's nothing left to pay the doctor bill.

And yet, for some reason, things don't work that way under the law....

Anonymous said...

Hello, can anyone tell me the date and time (in the USA) of the broadcast by The Discovery Channel of the documentary: "When Does Life Begin?" Thanks

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