Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fertilization Produces a New Human Individual: Scientific Support

In our last post, we pointed out what science tells us about the identity of the unborn. To recap, science informs us that zygotes, embryos and fetuses are:

1. Fully HUMAN (i.e. as much of a human being as you or me).

2. NEW human individuals who did not exist before fertilization. 

3. New INDIVIDUALS who have a body of their very own (i.e. are not a part of their mother's body). 

Now, we would like to provide a couple of sources which support these claims. These two sources are actually university level biology textbooks which we used as biology students in college. We contend that these are just representative examples, and that one could easily find similar statements in most other biology textbooks which address human or animal reproduction. In other words, the principles stated here are not under contention by educated biologists. They are perfectly consistent with what is known and universally accepted from science.
In our first example, we have a science textbook clearly pointing out that fertilization produces the first cell of a new individual.
This textbook, by the way, is a typical biology textbook used in a General Biology course in college.

Fertilization produces the first cell of a new individual

Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, 10th edition, Page 163
By Cecie Starr and Ralph Taggart
Published in 2004 by Thompson Learning 

Our second example shows another textbook clearly pointing out that the single-celled zygote is the first cell of a new human being. This textbook, by the way, is a typical biology textbook used in a Human Anatomy and Physiology course in college.

The zygote is the first cell of a new individual

Human Anatomy and Physiology, 3rd edition, Page 1000
By Elaine N. Marieb
Published in 1995 by Benjamin/Cummings

We should point out that in these examples, the authors do not explicitly state that this new individual is a human being. However, it should be obvious that this new individual is of the same species that its parents belong to. Since we're talking about human reproduction, this new individual is universally recognized by educated biologists as a human. Moreover, this new individual is a living organism which has human DNA, which follows the unique pattern of human development, and which develops into a human adult. There is no question (among the educated) that this new individual is, in fact, a human.

It should also be noted that the zygote is not an "imaginary person" or a "potential human." These terms are merely euphemisms which are intended to hide the fact that we're talking about actual human individuals.

Finally, these examples show that the zygote is the first cell of a new individual. This single-celled organism has his own unique DNA which can easily be shown to be different from that of his mother. So the fact that he has his own body, which is not a part of his mother's body, is a fact that is not really debatable - at least not by any educated person.

The point is that these science textbooks clearly contradict what many abortion proponents have said regarding whether or not an unborn baby is a separate and distinct human being. This is just one example of how those who defend legal abortion contradict science.


  1. I've written a blog post on how The Bible defines Life as beginning at conception.

    But I think it's inherently an oxymoron to define Life Scientifically.

    1. I agree that the Bible indicates that life begins at conception. That's just not what we're arguing here.

      We're pointing out that science shows that the life of a new human individual begins at conception. That's not an oxymoron. It is a fact that is universally acknowledged by scientists and supported by everything we know about biology (in general) and human reproduction in particular.


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