When does human life begin?

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

When does life begin?

If you go on the web to Brad Smith, the Multidimensional Human Embryo, you will see a series of photos he took of human embryos during the first 56 days of gestation.  Dr. Smith was interviewed on Science Friday on NPR today (March 23).


When I looked at the photos on his website, I marveled at how the development of an embryo from the zygote into a fetus at the eighth month is a mystical, spiritual process which makes even the zygote different than other organs in the body.  If you don’t want to call it human life, certainly it is nascent human life, at least as much as a sprouted acorn is an oak tree.


But I look at the whole process through a certain religious lens.  Some of my friends don’t see human life in the pictures until the embryo is more recognizable as a human being.  They view the whole gestation process through different lenses than I do.


I have no illusion that this posting will settle the pro life/pro choice debate.  What I appreciated about the Science Friday interview with Smith was an acknowledgment that different people view the photos from different points of view. 


What I’d like to ask everyone to do is to try putting on the “other guy’s glasses” for just a few minutes. . .for pro lifers to view the pictures through lenses which don’t see human life there until many days after conception and for pro abortion folks to try to see the sacred mystery present even 28 days after the sperm and egg form a zygote.

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