When Does Life Begin?
When does life begin is a frequently asked question related to pregnancy and fetal development. In many cases this is a moral question related to the right to abort or carry to term. Life begins at conception. When they egg and sperm unite to create your embryo the amazing development starts even before implantation inside your uterine wall. The embryo cells begin to divide and reproduce as the embryo makes the journey over the next few days towards implantation. Your baby has started growing.
Science on when does life begin
Science dictates when life begins and not the rhetoric of any political group. The science textbook, Basics of Biology, provides a list of five qualities or criteria that are used to determine the presence of life. These five characteristics are noted here:
- Highly organized
- Ability to acquire materials and energy
- Ability to respond to their environment
- Ability to reproduce
- Ability to adapt
The developing embryo is highly organized, has the ability to acquire materials and energy, and the ability to respond to the environment. The developing baby is reproducing cells and will also be able to reproduce pending reproductive maturity. This is a life.
When does life begin – an alternative definition
As noted earlier, most alternative definitions of life are provided by groups who are looking at affecting reproductive related laws. This definition of life is deducted from the definition of death provided by the American Medical Association who defines death as “the absence of a heartbeat and no brain waves are detected.”
Accordingly, it would be fair to say that life begins when the heart starts beating and when brain waves are detected. The heart starts beating within 21 days of development and brainwaves are detected around 40.