Thought of the day

Science is rarely on the side of the religious, and it is no different with the abortion debate. We hear that life begins at conception because the combination of gametes is the first step in a line to a distinct person. Of course, this is arbitrary. The production of the egg or the sperm could just as easily be called the first step. Or even the consumption of a burger that was later used for a person to be able to produce sperm or eggs in the first place could just as easily be called the first step. Again, it’s arbitrary. Yet, we still get arguments about fertilization being so distinct that it is the true difference maker. Alright, fine, let’s go with that. Then what about twinning? Twinning is known to happen upwards of 4 days after the initial gametes combine. Was fertilization still the first step towards each twin? If so, how?

Of course, my questions are rhetorical. Once we begin defining arbitrary things in arbitrary ways, the rabbit hole becomes very deep.

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2 Responses

  1. I thought it started during recombination: when our unique future alleles are formed. This can be a long time before fertilisation.

  2. Don’t be silly; science only ‘counts’ when it can be interpreted to support a religious belief! Anything else is just an evil liberal/government conspiracy to re-crucify Jesus.

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