In this issue . . .
Q: When does human life begin?
A: This question has confounded individuals and divided our society. Opinions have come from the right and the left, from pro-life advocates and those in favor of abortion on demand, from physicians and lawyers, from the pulpit and the courtroom.
Life is a continuum. From the season of growing in the womb to being born, from playing as a child to growing older, each stage of life seems to blend gracefully (or not so gracefully in my case) into the next. Life progresses and time passes, culminating in death. Death, a very visible end point, is more easily defined than the point at which the continuum of human life begins.
Where is the starting point? If life is indeed a continual process, can we not just work backward to its beginning? There are a variety of opinions about life’s beginnings. Many say life begins at conception. Others argue strongly that life does not start until implantation in the womb. Still others say that human life begins only when the umbilical cord is cut, making the newborn child an independent agent. How is fact separated from opinion?
Perhaps another way to ask the question is, when do we become human? Certainly a child sitting on grandpa’s knee or a fully grown adult would be considered human. Is the adult more human than the child? Of course not. No reasonable person would consider the child to be less human. At what point along the journey did this child become human? Was it at conception, somewhere during his development, or at birth?
Continue reading as information and viewpoints from secular scientific sources and from theologians are examined in this chapter from The New Answers Book 2, knowing that the ultimate answer can have no authority unless that answer is based squarely on the Word of God.
News to Note Quick Look
Radiometric dating in peril: Last year, we mentioned research that showed a relationship between earth’s distance from the sun and the rate at which certain elements undergo radioactive decay—an eyebrow-raising linkage. Read more.
Buggy bifocals: Bugs wearing glasses? Not quite, but research into the larvae of the sunburst diving beetle has revealed an amazing ocular design. Read more.
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