Saturday, April 26, 2008

Symphonies of a Different Kind

There is nothing like delving into a mystery and following clues. Mysteries with meaning make the quest even more fulfilling.

Sometimes I envy all those scientists who get to spend day after day researching some small part of their field, biochemists with DNA, physicists with quantum mechanics, astronomers with astrophysics, and even climatologists and weather phenomena.

Each of these fields contains their own clues within their own mysteries. In a sterile environment, these scientists work alone or in small groups. They discuss their findings and share them within their fields.

But how often do these scientists go outside their realm and consider the effects that other fields have on their findings?

What if all these fields are related?

In the quantum mechanics world there is a term called “the theory of everything.” The premise is that Newtonian laws and Einstein’s relativity laws all fit together into a bigger view.

What if the “theory of everything” included more than quantum mechanics? Consider the implications of quantum mechanics, biochemistry, astrophysics, climatology, history, genetics, sociology and so much more all dancing together to create a fantastic symphony.

In fact, that is what we have. Just as Beethoven created his famous Fifth Symphony, all our scientific areas of research together form a beautiful symphony waiting for us to investigate. Do we consider the implications of one area on the other? Have we looked with philosophical eyes or just the sterile science eyes?

Whether it is the dance of electrons, neutrinos and quarks, or the dance of the elements of our DNA, the movement of particles throughout the universe is singing to us. Can you hear it?

The Master Creator created this symphony…just for us. Sit and listen a while. Consider the possibilities.

Then consider that Beethoven wrote more than one symphony. If a human can do that, what can the Creator of the Universe do? Now that’s a mystery I can sink my teeth into!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

I promised that I would talk about a famous mother and child and of course, many of you guessed the identity of that mother. However, I’d like to comment on a recent article first.

Apparently, a Yale art student thought that her art project should include a commentary on “the ambiguity surrounding the form and function of a woman’s body.” (Please read the article, as I cannot do it justice:,2933,351608,00.html ). Whether the student actually did repeatedly impregnate herself and then take herbal extracts to “induce miscarriages” as part of her project remains to be seen, but even the implications of such actions leave many with an awful feeling.

There is no ambiguity surrounding the form and function of a woman’s body. This college student simply does not understand the beauty of the human form, male or female. To reduce our humanness to “form” only is ignorance at best. However, her statement should make all of us think. Is the concept of sex education working in our country? Our children have more STDS than ever in the history of this country, and yes, I did say our children. Is what we are “teaching” our children really working?

Moving on to the next absurdity (which I’m hoping it is true that this art project was a hoax) is the idea of the numerous embryos that this girl purposely miscarried.

Some will say that the embryo is just a bunch of cells, potential life. However, we need to remember that from the time the first cell divides (at conception), that embryo has his or her entire DNA set that makes them unique. Everything that makes that person who they are already exists. The debate about when a fetus becomes viable is moot. The debate about when exactly our Creator instills the soul also becomes obsolete. If everything exists from the moment of conception, that person’s soul is there too and they are a viable human being.

Now then, let’s return to the previous topic that includes a mother inheriting traits from her unborn child. That unborn child’s DNA is passed to the mother.

Last week we looked at the Zenit article that introduced the medical evidence revealing “when a woman realizes she is pregnant, an infinite number of messages pass from the embryo to the mother, through chemical substances like hormones, neurotransmitters, etc…Moreover, it has also been discovered that the embryo sends stem cells that, thanks to the mother’s immune system tolerance, colonize the maternal medulla, and adhere to it. What is more, lymphocytes are born from here and remain with the woman for the rest of her life.”

Do you suppose that the “art student” even considered that? If she had understood the implications of Dr. Mancuso’s research, would she have continued the theme of her “project”?

This is exactly where science meets faith. The vile nature of this girl’s actions isn’t just a faith question. It also becomes a science and ethics question as well. Science and faith are connected, whether we want them to be or not.

Enough about Yale art! Let’s consider an example of someone who understood the beauty of the human form. If I were to choose a woman who exists on the opposite spectrum from this Yale student, who could I choose?

The New Testament provides the following account of Mary’s child Jesus. Luke 1:35 says, “And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’”

What if we use the scientific evidence that a mother inherits traits (cells that contain DNA) from her child and extrapolate that with what Christians believe about Jesus, what do we see? As the Son of God, he would have his Father’s “DNA” (whatever that might be).

It is interesting to consider the ramifications for the Christian philosophy. If Mary carried the Son of God, if Jesus was truly divine, then her body would have the complemented “DNA” of God. I say “DNA” with parentheses because God doesn’t need DNA to exist.

Christians do believe that Jesus was the Son of God. So did Mary inherit traits from her son? Does she have a touch of the divine? The Catholic term, “Mother of God” takes on new meaning. It makes for a challenging discussion, doesn’t it?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Inheriting Traits From Our Children

We have spent the last few weeks talking about quantum physics, so let’s break it up a bit and talk about something completely different.

Back in the year 2000, an interesting article appeared in ZENIT called, “Pregnant Women ‘Inherit’ Some Characteristics of Their Children.” (ZENIT, September 2000. The following is the link to the article:

In the article, Doctor Salvatore Mancuso from the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Catholic University in Italy said, “We have proofs that beginning in the fifth week of gestation, in other words, when a woman realizes she is pregnant, an infinite number of messages pass from the embryo to the mother, through chemical substances like hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. Such information serves to adapt the mother’s organism to the presence of the new being.

“Moreover, it has also been discovered that the embryo sends stem cells that, thanks to the mother’s immune system tolerance, colonize the maternal medulla, and adhere to it. What is more, lymphocytes are born from here and remain with the woman for the rest of her life.”

What does that mean? It means that the mother receives cells from her unborn child. Those cells end up in parts of the nervous system including parts of the brain and remain there for the remainder of the mother’s life. (Google medulla or lymphocytes for more in-depth information.)

What might be the implications for the mother of such a transformation?

First, it explains the incredible bond between a woman and her child. Blood is literally mingled. It also explains why a mother so desperately protects her child. But there is more.

The article further states something even more eye opening, “Finally, the child’s stem cells pass to the mother in great quantity, both at the moment of birth, whether spontaneous or Caesarean, as well as at the time of abortion, whether spontaneous or voluntary. These cells are implanted in the mother’s medulla and produce lymphocytes, which have a common origin with the cells of the central nervous system; they have receptors for the neurotransmitters and can make messages pass that the maternal nervous system understands.”

So many first-time pregnant moms wonder if they’ll be able to “bond” with their child. However, it seems that our Creator has taken care of this.

Such a discovery explains why there are so many women who struggle with a past miscarriage or abortion. They mourn for that loss more personal than any other person could understand – mothers have literally been touched by another human being. They struggle with the loss of another human as though they’ve lost a piece of themselves. Now understanding Dr. Mancuso’s research, in fact, a mother has lost a piece of herself.

Do we have a sense for the intensity of such a loss? Are we sensitive enough to those who have experienced such a loss?

The implications of such a loss go beyond the physical—they enter the spiritual realm. It often takes mothers a long time to heal from a miscarriage; the loss can be overwhelming. Abortion, however, is unique. It is assumed that since the mother chose that option, mourning the loss of the aborted child would seem irrelevant or not necessary. But in fact, since those child’s cells are now part of the mother, that unborn child now becomes a loss that creates a deep scar for the mother since she never heals emotionally, spiritually, or sometimes even physically.

In a recently released book, Motherhood Interrupted, the author and editor Jane Brennan presents women’s life stories after their abortions. Each story is told by the mother, and it offers the reader an opportunity to see first-hand just how abortion affects women. (For more information, see:

Although the author never discusses the biological implications as we have here, the evidence coming from these women’s stories will give you a perspective you may not have considered before.

If our Creator put certain biophysical processes in place between a mother and her child, that bond may be everlasting. Memory often translates something physical into something more ethereal. It allows us to be in touch with things beyond this life, beyond this dimension.

Next week, we will consider more on this subject including a father’s role in a mother’s inherited traits. We’ll also consider a famous mother and the impact her child had on her. See you then.