Life and Science

This may be a bit controversial.  I do not intend it to be such.  I found this article in the spring, and I find it to be so interesting.  I want to share it with you.

Scientists have discovered the exact moment that life begins.  I discovered this incredible


*picture from the article* Bottom left and top right exhibited the brightest spark.

statement through The Telegraph.  Basically, there is spark of zinc when a sperm fertilizes an egg- the moment of conception.  Though the finding is more beneficial to IVF (in vitro fertilization), it stills poses the controversial statement: This is when life begins.


And I believe it.  As a Christian, I believe human life begins at the moment of conception.  But to have proof, scientific proof, now that’s pretty cool.  My own personal beliefs and opinions aside, I don’t want this to be an emotional debate for pro-life or pro-choice.  Instead, I want this to be an intellectual conversation about a really cool discovery from the scientific community.

According to The Oxford dictionary sitting on my desk, life is the “capacity for growth, functional activity, and continual change until death”.  I don’t think these scientists are claiming human life begins at conception.  (I am defining human life as the matter of a soul, and the topic of disagreement in society.) Rather, I believe they are stating that life (i.e. the above definition) begins at conception.  The embryo grows (check), has bodily functions and activities (check), and will continue to change until it dies (check).  Scientifically speaking, this zinc spark signals the beginning of life.

Let’s examine this scientifically.  According to Live Science, a person is considered legally dead if the brain has ceased neurological activity.  The heart will continue to beat, but for only a short time after.  If this is the case, is not the reverse true- that a person is considered legally alive if there is neurological activity?  And if the brain develops in the fifth week of the pregnancy and begins making synapses during the first trimester, is that legally when the embryo is alive?

If we are trying to determine when human life begins, we will forever be unable to answer that.  It is a moral question, one very similar to transgender bathrooms or the death penalty or even abortion.  Our timeline of life is dependent on our individual values and morals.

This is not meant to be an argument.  This is my way of understanding the article, and the point it makes in regards to society.  I want to make it very clear — my blog is not meant to push my ideas onto my readers.  I want this space to be a space to understand the world and investigate interesting topics, and to leave feeling challenged.

Another reason I find this article so interesting, I think, is the discovery itself.  It speaks to something really cool.  There is a reaction between a sperm and an egg, especially when they meet.  The argument about life aside, I think that’s so interesting.  The article goes on to focus on how this spark could really impact IVF treatments (regardless of how you feel about those), increasing the chances of implanting a healthy zygote.  Besides just signifying conception, the brighter the zinc spark indicates the healthier the egg.   This is really cool, and important.

I am not naïve enough to think the discovery won’t cause waves.  I know enough of the world to know abortion and life are touchy subjects, ones steeped in emotions.  But I hope I’m not ignorant enough to hope this article/post/discovery stirs some conversation.

What do you think?

Ciao for now,


(P.S. For the time being, my own beliefs on the matter will stay secret.  This is only meant to be an investigation, trying to understand an interesting article. I hope you find the article as interesting as I do.)





One thought on “Life and Science

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s