Re: Dr. Dobson

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Thu Aug 11 2005 - 19:16:17 EDT

Perhaps one additional observation should be made in this context. A
life does not really begin with anything resembling an instaneous event,
a point in time. It is more like some sort of continuous process.

There is essential life in an ovum prior to involvement in
fertilization. In fact, an ovum can be caused to divide without the aid
of sperm. This can be done artificially, but is intrinsic to the
reproductive process of some living creatures.

There is essential life in a sperm as well, and sure enough, under the
right conditions, the sperm can be encouraged to divide - though as I
recall, it's a bit harder to make this happen.

At the time of fusion, these two entities do not exactly die. Rather
they merge. Shortly thereafter, the two surplus chromosomes are
...uh..."discarded" by the normal processes following fusion. So, one
might make a case that something died at this point (something with the
potential to develop into a human), but nothing essentially new happened
in some instant. There is, however, now a sharing of genetic resources
from two parents as further development follows, and the cell divisions
begin to occur which may result in one, two, or more individuals if the
division process proceeds down one particular course (the twinning
consideration mentioned in an earlier post today).

It is also the case that a twin is often resorbed early on with no
awareness that it even occurred, unless it happened late enough and the
circumstances are such that there remain recognizable residual physical
artifacts in the surviving twin.

The way this flows, it has become very hard for me to have any
conviction that the beginning of a soul or a person is likely to be
concurrent with conception..

I can help wondering if that which we identify as spirit might not be
more likely to coincide with the emergence of awareness in some way.
The attributes would surely be hard to detect at any earlier stage of

Just thinking out loud. JimA

Charles Carrigan wrote:

> Since we don't know when the soul is granted to a life form, I would
> much rather make the mistake of being too cautious - and so I side
> with Dobson and the previous Pope that life (and the soul) begins at
> conception.
> <><<><<><<><<><<><<><<><<><<><<><<><
> Charles W. Carrigan, Ph.D.
> Olivet Nazarene University
> Dept. of Geology
> One University Ave.
> Bourbonnais, IL 60914
> PH: (815) 939-5346
> FX: (815) 939-5071
> >>> Carol or John Burgeson> 08/11/05 9:44 AM >>
> <>
> My question hoped to elicit some rational argument for the claim that the
> soul is infused at the "moment of conception." Dobson (apparently) claims
> this position, as do a lot of people. But I cannot find any rationale for
> it (the claim).
Received on Thu Aug 11 19:17:39 2005

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