I've been researching what scientists have to say about when life starts, and I can't find a clear answer.  Is it at conception, when the heart starts beating, when it stops being a parasite to it's host, when?

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Comment by kris feenstra on June 9, 2011 at 3:57am
At abiogenesis. It's been kind of a long continuum from there.

I would consider an individual human life to have begun at the zygote stage. Personhood, on the other hand, is a much fuzzier line.
Comment by Caesar MacEntire on June 9, 2011 at 4:55am
For personhood, one might consider whenever the human brain becomes active. Still quite a fuzzy line.
Comment by Robert Karp on June 9, 2011 at 8:39am
If you are talking about the moment when a new life form starts I would say it's when the egg get fertilized and the cells between to split.  However, if you are talking about when the embryo becomes a "being" in the sense of thoughts, then I would agree with Caeser that brain waves would be an indicator of some sort of consciousness. I think Brain waves are detected around 6 weeks.
Comment by Andrea on June 9, 2011 at 11:49am

One can also consider how we project the idea of life based on our own feelings. For instance, a woman with an unwanted pregnancy may not consider the developing zygote or fetus a life, and a woman with a wanted pregnancy may consider it a life the second she finds she's pregnant. 

 

 

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