Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mysteries of Life: When does life begin?

 By Ada Brownell

In the morning, take a good look at your egg before you fry it. The mystery of life lies before you. If the egg was fertilized, before you broke it there was enough information there to boggle your mind.
God put DNA into the clear and golden slime of a chicken egg that blueprints the breed,  the ability to eat and digest food, the machinery to make more chickens, what color the feathers will be, how big the chicken will grow, the cluck and the crow, and beady little eyes that see—all sorts of wonderful things, just as he put amazing things in the eggs that became you and me.
Life. What a mysterious gift.

We see life everywhere, but we have difficulty grasping what it is. Scientists appear to have found ways to define death; they have more trouble with life.
The abortion rights and pro-life groups are at loggerheads over when life begins—whether it’s when the egg is fertilized with the sperm, when the egg attaches to the uterine wall, at a certain trimester, or at birth.

I interviewed the director of an agency that dispenses morning-after pills who said a woman isn’t pregnant until the fertilized egg attaches to the womb. The morning-after pill causes the woman’s uterus to shed its lining, preventing a fertilized egg from attaching and living.

 Other developments surround life. Human pregnancy was reported from artificial insemination in 1799. In 1952, frogs were cloned from tadpole cells. In 1970, mice embryos were cloned, then other cloned animals soon followed. Sheep embryos were cloned in 1979 and cattle in 1980. An adult sheep, Dolly, was cloned in 1997.

Cloning is the process of making an identical copy of something asexually with DNA fragments, cells, or organisms. In 1993, George Washington University researchers cloned human embryos, but there are no documented cases of a living human produced through cloning.

Test-tube babies, though, are somewhat common today. The first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 in Britain. A frozen embryo from test-tube fertilization produced a girl named Zoe in Australia in 1984. In 1986, surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead, who agreed to have an embryo implanted in her uterus so that another couple could have a child, refused to relinquish the baby girl and sparked a landmark court case.

In vitro fertilization sometimes helps infertile couples have children if they can afford the expensive procedure, and often the births are multiple.

 All this work with living cells, yet humankind has not been able to adequately explain life or create it. We always have to start with something living, such as sperm and eggs, a seed, tissue, or a cell.
According to Pasteur’s law of biogenesis, if  ‘life comes from life,’ then life’s information must come from its parent’s information.

“Biologists have long sought the laws that govern life, but it is only now that we see the molecular detail that these laws have appeared. What we discover is not a naturalistic phenomenon, but intelligent design,” says Alex Williams of Creation Ministries International in his article, “How Life Works.”

            The Bible says, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his      nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

According to the Stanford School of Regenerative Medicine, the human body is estimated to have about one hundred trillion cells, a living community, with each individual cell having an assigned place to occupy and a specific role to play. Eventually something happens, even with all those living cells, that causes a person to die. Without life, every cell in the body dies and decays.

Death came because of sin (Genesis 3), but God promised a Redeemer. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

That’s one big reason why I wrote the book, Swallowed by LIFE. “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:3–5 NLT).

Jesus said, “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26).
Do you believe?

Copyright © 2011 Ada B. Brownell

All rights reserved.
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