Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Scientific Method and the Pre-born Child: Observation

Two weeks ago, I talked about using the Scientific Method to investigate the pre-born child.

Last week I abandoned all science to share my feelings on a family happening. This week, I return to the original theme of using science.

I do not wish to negate the importance of last week’s blog. I believe that God has given us a conscience and a heart for a reason and we are asked to make decisions using these faculties every day.

Nevertheless, there are those out there who seem to separate science from conscience and therefore it is necessary to provide a more sterile perspective in order to communicate with those who may not see life as a precious resource. Therefore, I venture into the Scientific Method…

The first step in the Scientific Method is called Observation. “This step could also be called ‘research.’ It is the first stage in understanding the problem you have chosen. After you decide on your area of science and the specific question you want to ask, you will need to research everything that you can find about the problem.” http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/scientific_method.html#OBSERVATION

I have chosen the pre-born child as the topic to investigate. This part of the method will be easy as there is so much information out there on the development stages of the “fetus”.

The first two months contains a great deal of formation and I have used the following website for all the information presented here. http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec22/ch257/ch257c.html

“Between 5 and 8 days after fertilization, the blastocyst attaches to the lining of the uterus, usually near the top. This process, called implantation, is completed by day 9 or 10. Then an inner layer of membranes (amnion) develops by about day 10 to 12, forming the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac fills with a clear liquid (amniotic fluid) and expands to envelop the developing embryo, which floats within it.

This stage is characterized by the formation of most internal organs and external body structures. Organ formation begins about 3 weeks after fertilization, when the embryo elongates, first suggesting a human shape. Shortly thereafter, the area that will become the brain and spinal cord (neural tube) begins to develop. The heart and major blood vessels begin to develop by about day 16 or 17. The heart begins to pump fluid through blood vessels by day 20, and the first red blood cells appear the next day. Blood vessels continue to develop in the embryo and placenta.

Almost all organs are completely formed by about 8 weeks after fertilization (which equals 10 weeks of pregnancy). The exceptions are the brain and spinal cord, which continue to mature throughout pregnancy. Most malformations (birth defects) occur during the period when organs are forming. During this period, the embryo is most vulnerable to the effects of drugs, radiation, and viruses.

At the end of the 8th week after fertilization (10 weeks of pregnancy), the embryo is considered a fetus. During this stage, the structures that have already formed grow and develop. The following are markers during pregnancy:
• By 12 weeks of pregnancy: The fetus fills the entire uterus.
• By about 14 weeks: The sex can be identified.
• By about 16 to 20 weeks: Typically, the pregnant woman can feel the fetus moving.
• By about 24 weeks: The fetus has a chance of survival outside the uterus.
The lungs continue to mature until near the time of delivery. The brain accumulates new cells throughout pregnancy and the first year of life after birth.”

There is so much information presented here, but the highlights include that the baby’s heart begins to beat at 28 days from time of conception. The baby’s organs have formed by week 8.
One of the most important pieces of information to consider is that the baby’s DNA is formed from the moment the egg and sperm meet. Everything to make that child who they will become is present from the very first time the cell divides.

For those of us who believe in a Creator, it begs the question of when does the child receive their soul? It is my theory that if the child has every detail worked out in it’s DNA from the moment of conception, then why wouldn’t their soul be present? Some Jewish traditions hold that the baby isn’t given a soul until it is born.

So here is the biggest question of all: If by 24 weeks the baby has a chance of survival outside the uterus, then why is partial birth abortion allowed? The procedure demands that the mother partially delivers the baby, everything except the head. It is at that point that the child’s head is punctured and it’s brain is sucked out.

These are all observations. The facts about how a human is formed, the facts about a “medical” procedure. They are all undeniable. (Sometimes the truth is harsh.)

Next week, we will tackle the next element of the Scientific Method, the hypothesis. In the meantime, there is a great YouTube video that shows the stages of the growth of the pre-born child. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS1ti23SUSw&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR-Qa_LD2m4 . Enjoy watching them and see how you were formed.

P.S. Trinity Rose, I miss you. Love, Aunt Retta.


Robbie Iobst said...

Loretta, I just marvel at the intricacy of the human body as I read your post. I also can't help but once again declare that God is so much bigger and wiser and powerful than I will ever understand. I watched one of the videos you recommended and it made me worship. I laughed when I saw the picture of baby's first footprint, showing on the outside of a mom's tummy! :0) Great post!

Jan Parrish said...

Great post. I believe the soul is present at conception.

And we miss you as well. I hope you can come on Tuesday. I'll be speaking about finding time to write.

Robin said...

Great post! I agree with you. It's especially neat to read now since I'm expecting my third child in 7 weeks.