What is a Fetus According to Science?

What is a Fetus According to Science?

One of the most distressing aspects of the abortion debate is the refusal of the press to address scientific facts. What is a fetus? According to Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, there are three choices scientifically: 

  1. It is a part of the mother’s body.
  2. It is not a part of the mother’s body but an individual of another species. 
  3. It is not any kind of living thing but just a clump of biological molecules undergoing chemical reactions

So, then what is a fetus?

If you accept # 1, then all pregnant women are chromosome mosaics with two sets of genomes. That means that 50% of all pregnant women are hermaphrodites having both male and female tissue. If the new life begins with a piece of the mother’s body becoming a new organism, that would be called “budding.” Budding is a form of asexual reproduction used by some species of worms, sponges, corals, and microorganisms. That is not a means of human reproduction. The fetus is not a part of the mother’s body, which is why women experience morning sickness. Her immune system is trying to reject something that is not a part of her body. 

If you accept # 2, then the fetus is a parasitic disease. The transition of this non-human parasite into a human being would be an example of speciation. You would have to call the fetus “Homo-fetus” as it evolves into homo sapiens.

If you accept #3 and say that a fetus is just a clump of biological molecules undergoing chemical reactions, then each pregnancy is an “origin of life” event. It is non-living matter transforming into life. 

Dr. Egnor says that all three of those options are “scientific nonsense.” What is a fetus according to science? He says that the scientific fact is that human life begins when the sperm fertilizes the egg. He concludes his article by saying, “The term’ person’ is a moral and legal category, not a scientific category, and it is a category open to moral discussion and debate. But “human being” is a scientific term, and it is not open to debate. The science is settled. Human life begins at fertilization, and cogent moral reasoning about abortion must begin with that scientific fact.” 

The bottom line is that humanity must decide whether or not it is acceptable to kill a human being who is a burden. We are going down a dangerous and destructive road when we avoid the scientific evidence and the biblical view of the value of human life. Whatever argument someone can make for abortion can also be used to justify the termination of those who are disabled, mentally ill, or too old to function without assistance.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: “If a Fetus Isn’t a Human Being, What Is It?” by Dr. Michael Egnor on evolutionnews.org