Just as you and I were once toddlers,
we were once embryos…
When Does A Human Being Begin?
A new human being (a human embryo) begins to exist at the beginning of the fertilization process, at FIRST CONTACT of the oocyte and the sperm – a new, individual, whole, living single-cell human being.
(Carnegie Stage 1a in the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development.)
“The immediate product of human sexual reproduction (fertilization; fusion of sperm and oocyte) is a new, living, genetically unique, single-cell human being, human embryo, human organism, human individual, who immediately directs his/her own specifically human functions, activities, and development.”
Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.
The Continuum of Human Life also begins at first contact. The continuum of human life is a biological fact that states at any point in time from the very beginning of the process of human sexual reproduction (fertilization, the moment when the sperm makes first contact with the oocyte or “egg”) or of a-sexual reproduction (when the DNA in a mere cell is regulated back to that of an organism, as in identical “twinning”) until death, there exists the same, whole, individual, integrated human being. There is no moment along the entire continuum when there is just a “bunch of cells”, and then suddenly there is a whole human organism – a human being.
The single-celled human embryo is THE SAME human being as the 25-year old and the 100-year old human senior who biologically developed over time from that same single-cell human being.
Biological development does not cease at birth. There are biological “marker” events that occur throughout the continuum of human life, where the biological characteristics of a human being change and keep changing until death. Marker events are simply developmental milestones.
Some examples of this are complete physiological brain integration, sentience (your capacity to feel pleasure and pain) and implantation. There are many of these “biomarkers” throughout the continuum of human life, and they do not imply any change in the nature or essence of an already existing human being who already has these capacities but who needs time for them to fully develop. Implantation is complete at about five to seven days after a new human being begins to exist. Physiological brain integration and sentience are not complete until your early twenties! Thus even the new single-cell human being (or a teenager) is an “actuality” with the “potential” to simply further develop.
The Birds & The Bees – The Basic Buzz
Our short video covers the basic scientific facts about when a human being begins to exist.
This is what the scientific experts are saying about Contend’s video…
“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Scientifically accurate and backed by a whole list of international human embryologists and the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development, empirically grounded, and the most warm and fuzzy bear to explain it all in just 2 short minutes!”
The experts on the accurate scientific facts of human embryology and when a human being begins to exist are those who are academically credentialed Ph.D. human embryologists and/or extensively professionally experienced in human embryology.
International agreement and documentation by the experts in human embryology make the following scientific fact perfectly clear.
“The new single-cell human embryo formed sexually at the beginning of the process of fertilization (when the sperm makes first contact and fuses with the oocyte) is a new living human being, a human organism.”
Dianne N. Irving, M.A.,Ph.D.
The Carnegie Institution of Washington, known also as the Carnegie Institution for Science funded the research, development and completion of the Carnegie Stages – the global standard for human embryological research.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine’s Human Developmental Anatomy Center (NMHM HDAC) instituted the internationally acknowledged empirical scientific facts of human embryology as the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development, houses the Carnegie collection and documents the Carnegie Stages.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine is part of the National Library of Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Also, the National Institutes of Health funded the Virtual Human Embryo Project (VHE) to make the Carnegie collection, which is housed at the Human Developmental Anatomy Center (HDAC), accessible for research and teaching. The VHE was originally developed by human embryologist Dr. Raymond Gasser at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and HDAC, and encompasses all 23 Stages of the human embryo.
The long-known and long established accurate scientific facts continue to be documented and sustained by a global committee of experts in human embryology from the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology (FIPAT), which is under the auspices of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA).
Some of the experts in human embryology include (please note – not all of the experts listed are part of FIPAT):
“The science of Human Embryology has been around for more than 100 years. It embodies profound principles:
1. when a human life begins; 2. the continuum of human life; 3. the origin of stem cells; 4. how cells build tissues; 5. how tissues form the human body; 6. pregnancy, and 7. birth defects.”
C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D.
RECAP: The Scientific Facts of Human Embryology That Everyone Should Know
Genuine Academic Expertise Matters
The scientific experts to ask about when a human being begins are HUMAN embryologists who have taken specific doctoral levels of course work in human embryology (Ph.D.’s). The National Museum of Health and Medicine’s Human Developmental Anatomy Center (part of the NIH) instituted this SCIENTIFIC FACT in 1942 as the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development, and THE experts continue to research, document and verify.
Answer: Carnegie Stage 1a
A new, whole, individual, living human being normally begins at the beginning of the process of fertilization (Carnegie Stage 1a), when a sperm makes FIRST CONTACT with an oocyte/“egg”. FERTILIZATION occurs in vivo in a woman’s FALLOPIAN tube and is when normal pregnancy begins as well.
Scientists Know Empirically
When these 2 mere cells make FIRST CONTACT, immediately specifically human proteins and enzymes are produced (not sperm or “egg” proteins and enzymes), and 1 NEW SINGLE-CELL HUMAN BEING/HUMAN ORGANISM, with his or her own new, unique human DNA BEGINS TO EXIST.
A Human Being Is A Human Being
The Continuum of Human Life is a biological fact and also begins at FIRST CONTACT. There is no moment along the entire continuum when there is just a “bunch of cells”, and then suddenly there is a whole human being. To devalue an already existing human being based upon certain developmental milestones is strictly arbitrary and not based on science.
See Contend’s Human Embryology Glossary for more key science terms! CLICK HERE