Monica Whaley

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Life at Conception?

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 12:19 PM

I'll tell you why I believe life starts at conception (that doesn't mean I may learn something later that changes my mind). First, there are the Bible references to God knowing us before we were even a thought in someone's head. Here are just two of them:



Ps. 139:13-16


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be



Jeremiah 1:4-5


The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."



Second, the moment that the egg and sperm join, certain things are already determined: eye/hair/skin color, fingerprints, and even some aspects of personality (the last one is heavily documented in twin studies). Not only that, but just by what defines "life" in the scientific sense, we see that even just with 2 cells, the embryo is alive:


Conventional definition: The consensus is that life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following phenomena:

  1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.


  2. Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.


  3. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.


  4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.


  5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of [micro]evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.


  6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and chemotaxis.


  7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.


There are Bible verses that people site that they believe support the idea that "life" doesn't begin till the baby takes its first breath. I've read those verses, but I don't see what they see. What has been revealed to me thus far makes it very clear that God's definition of life is far more inclusive than our own. You'll have to make up your own mind.

Categories: religion, social/political

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