At What Moment Did God Create Me?

Early pregnancy factor

Dr. Lloyd Duplantis first made me aware of literature about what is called an early pregnancy factor. It makes the presence of a new conception detectable very soon after fertilization. It has been found in serum within 6 to 24 hours of fertilization, in mice, pigs, sheep, and humans. It has been reported in women in one to two days after coitus, and can remain in the circulation until the last day of gestation. Until recently it was thought that the embryo was a silent passenger in the mother between the time of fertilization and implantation, and that maternal recognition did not occur until implantation. This is no longer the case. "With the discovery of EPF it became apparent that the maternal system was preparing for implantation and successful pregnancy from the moment of fertilization" (Early Pregnancy Factor" by Morton, Rolfe, and Cavanagh, Thieme Medical Publishers, New York, 1992). It appears that the ovum, immediately after being penetrated by a sperm, secretes a hormone into the blood stream which gets to the ovaries after a heart beat or two. The ovaries then secrete the early pregnancy factor into the circulation, and the lymph glands pick it up with their receptors. They respond by releasing immuno-suppressor factors which protect the zygote from being attacked and destroyed by the immune system because he or she is a foreign body. He or she is not a part of the mother, and is a foreign body with elements from the father. EPF is also a growth factor, facilitating cell division. The newly conceived child continues to secrete its signal until the blastocyst stage, and from then on the mother's system takes over. She secretes the EPF continuously until the pregnancy ends, protecting her child from predator white blood cells and facilitating his or her growth.

The EPF in serum "has been shown to be a marker of the presence of a viable embryo" (Ibid. pp. 72-74). In laymans language, we might say that the minute the new person comes to life, he or she announces to the mother: "Hello! Ive just arrived. Excuse me, but I'm going to send this signal to your body to keep it from attacking me, and to make it help me grow. You might thereby become infected more easily by bacteria and viruses, but bear with me for these nine months so that my body and your body will be at peace with each other. Please take good care of me."

The rosette inhibition test to detect EPF in the serum is difficult and expensive and is not used widely. It would be advantageous to do a research project with this rosette inhibition test in order to learn the percentage of survival of children from the moment of fertilization and before implantation. I once read an article that 70% die after fertilization. The author referred to a doctor at a Boston hospital as the source of this figure. I sensed something fishy here, so checked for that name at the hospital. There was a person there with the same family name, but she was a cleaning lady not a doctor. As we grow older we learn to not believe everything that is written in the newspaper. Unscrupulous ideologists sometimes make up figures, if they think they can get by with it, to push their hidden agenda.

Development after initial contact

Because the description of the growth process which occurs from the time of fusion until the first cell division is quite technical, allow me to quote at length from Serra and Colombo, pp. 151-152:

Among the many other activities of the zygote, most important is the reorganization of the new genome,which represents the principal information center for the development of the new human being, and for all its further activities. On the basis of very recent data, shortly after sperm incorporation, between three to six hours post-insemination, sperm astral microtubules departing from the male centrosome assemble around the base of the sperm head, while the fertilized oocyte completes its meiosis II and extrudes the second polar body. As the male and female pronucleicontinue to decondense in the cytoplasm and approach one to the other while the DNA replicates, the microtubules surrounding the male pronucleus enlarge, circumscribing both pronuclei that become tightly apposed, a stage named karyogamy. By 15hours after fertilization, the centrosome splits and organizes a bipolar microtubule array that emanates from the pronuclei. One and a half hours later, at the first mitotic prophase, the male and female chromosomes condense separately, while a bipolar array of microtubules marks the development of the first mitotic spindle poles. Chromosomes then align on the spindle equator and are distributed in an orderly fashion in the splitting cytoplasm until, finally, two cells are formed, which remain bound together: The single cell zygote has now become a two-cell embryo.

In an analysis of these few essential data on the formation of the zygote, and of the transformation of the one-cell embryo to the two-cell embryo, all the evidence indicates that at the fusion of the gametes, a new human cell, endowed with a new and exclusive informational structure that forms the basis of its further development, begins to operate as a unit.

The two scientists then describe how the genetic information of the zygote operates to direct the growth of this new unit (p. 141):

In order to better understand the very nature of this new cell, two main features are to be emphasized, which will be further clarified in the ensuing discussion. The first feature is that the zygote exists and operates from syngamy on as a being ontologically one,and with a precise identity.The second feature is that the zygote is intrinsically oriented and determined to a definite development. Both identity and orientation are due essentially to the genetic information with which it is endowed. This information, substantially invariant, is actually the basis of its specific human appurtenance, of its individual singularity or identity,and carries a full coded program which endows it with enormous morphogenetic potentialities which will autonomously and gradually be fulfilled during the rigorously oriented epigenetic process. These potentialities do not mean pure "possibilities", but intrinsic natural capacities of an already existing being to realize, given the due conditions, the whole coded plan.

Serra and Colombo then draw the philosophical conclusion that the zygote is a human person.When scientists see that a single celled human zygote acts as an ontological unit of life, that it does the cortical reaction by secretion of specifically human hydrolitic enzymes such as proteinases, peroxidases and other enzymes-from the thousands of lysosome-like cortical granules, to inactivate sperm receptors in the human zona pellucida, they know that all these are specifically human substances, human proteins and enzymes, and that the zygote has isolated itself effectively to live a life of its own, and that it is alive, then scientists conclude that this is a single human being of its own. Life is there, because it is living. The life is human because everything it is and does is specifically human. Unlike the Supreme Court then, these scientists see exactly when human life begins, and declare it to be so: a human person begins as a zygote, nine months before birth.

The authors then continue to describe the biological process of growth until implantation and after, a process which is beyond the central point of this paper concerning the precise moment when a new unit of life begins, which to us means the moment when God creates the new person.

Fraudulent Teaching in Seminaries

Seminarians ought to receive correct biological information about how human beings begin, so that when they become our priests and bishops they have the mental capacity to make correct moral judgments about responsibilities toward human life. Seminarians at the Tokyo Catholic Theological Seminary, unfortunately, are going to get facts about when life begins all wrong, if they believe what their current Professor of Moral Theology wrote some years ago. To date the Professor has not retracted publicly what he wrote in Koe magazine in 1987:

We must distinguish between a human life and a human being...The fertilized ovum is programmed genetically to become an individual body, so that it has definitely begun its process towards individual human life. In other words, at this stage the fertilized ovum cannot yet be called a human person...

However, at what point of time one can speak of a human person "with a heart" is a problem whose solution is very, very difficult, and neither science nor philosophy can find its way to draw a line ("The Vatican and Reverence for Life," Koe,August-September 1987; translated from Japanese by the present writer).

The Tokyo Morals Professor, lacking scientific backing, appeals to other priests rather than to scientists for confirmation, as though more decibels might create truth out of error:

Moral theologian McCormick uses the term nascent human life (human life in formation). He does not call it individual life. Curran says that during the first 2 - 3 weeks after fertilization one cannot speak of this as being truly human in a strict sense. De Janni, K. Rahner, and various other Catholic theologians express doubt about whether a fertilized ovum can be called a human being with a "heart" before a month has gone by after fertilization took place...As Haering states, there is an area of obscurity during the interval from conception to personalization (Koe article).

Unfortunately, it is true that "Moral theologian McCormick" [not an embryologist] uses the term "pre-embryo" which embryologists rightly reject:

The Rev. Richard McCormick, writing in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, now questions the judgment of the Catholic Church relative to the time of ensoulment from conception to sometime later in development ("Who or what is the pre-embryo?" KIE Journal, 1991, 1:1-15). He uses the term "pre-embryo" which is not an established embryological term (The Human Development Hoax, C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D., Dianne N. Irving, Ph.D., second edition 1997, p. 23; distributed by American Life League, Stafford, Virginia).

Betrayal by the Supreme Court

Dr. Irving points out (p. 147ff.) that the Supreme Court realized that if the human fetus were to be recognized as a human person, then it would have a right to life under provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court therefore decided that no one knows when life begins: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." They conclude that the human fetus is only "potential human life", or a "potential person".

We have news for the Supreme Court: Scientists know exactly when human life begins. As scientist Irving declares:

There is absolutely no question, scientifically, when the life of a human being begins. It begins at fertilization. That is a scientific fact and represents a scientific consensus. This remains true no matter what philosophers, bioethics or theologians, throughout all of the ages or from all cultures, try to proclaim. The proof is under the microscope. There is also no such thing, as was assumed and declared by this Court, as a human embryo or a fetus who is a "potential human life," or a "potential human person." There is, to the contrary, an already existing human being with the potential to grow and develop further.

By their action, the Court has established what they want us to believe to be an insoluble and "difficult" question. Consequently, the Court saw fit to impose certain specific philosophical, bioethical and theological opinions about "delayed personhood" on the entire country, in the guise of a "neutral"or"consensus-driven" public policy (Kischer-Irving, p. 219).

The Court's fudging about when human life begins is enshrined today in attempts to justify research that costs the lives of human embryos, and research on embryonic stem cells which are obtained at the cost of the lives of embryos. "The National Institute of Health, Human Embryo Research Panel has already issued its recommendations, basing them on their conclusion that the `pre-implantation human embryo...does not have the same moral status as infants and children." Furthermore, these theories of "delayed personhood" are precisely those of Grobstein, McCormick and others, referenced in the Panel's recommendations (Kischer-Irving, 222).

Indecision by the scientist of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops

Despite all the scientific data indicating that human lives begin at the time of fertilization, it appears that our Bishops are not receiving proper scientific advice on this subject. In an article titled "Brave New Genetic World" in Crisis Magazine, April 2001, written by Stacy Mattingly we read this confusing statement:

"Some people's conclusion may be that because determining the moment of conception or the beginning of life seems to be complicated, we should go forward with [embryo] research," says David Byers, executive director for science and human values at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). "The Catholic Church's conclusion is that because these things are more complicated, we should invoke the precautionary principle and go the safest route. If you can't prove the embryo is not human, let's not destroy it."

Why scientist David Byers cannot determine the moment of the beginning of life, whereas other scientists can, is a mystery. Human embryologists know that the moment is fertilization. The Pontifical Academy for Life recognizes the same from ample data. Let us hope that our Bishops will receive advice of equal authenticity.

The new person has human rights from the moment of creation.

Allow me to quote and paraphrase here from my article published in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, June 2000. The Catholic Church teaches with unmistakable clarity that from the moment a human zygote has formed we owe it the unconditional respect that is morally due to that human being. The new Catechism declares that a human body is human precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul (#364). In other words, a human body does not begin without a human soul.

Unconcerned with decent respect for human life, in vitro fertilization, with its karma of selecting, destroying, and discarding human embryos, is now an established business world wide. Experimentation with human embryos and embryonic stem cells follows in its wake. Research institutes at universities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and private entrepreneurs place specific orders for embryos and body parts of fetuses, with abortion providers, ordering and supplying specific human body parts. Ironically for the Church, several notorious dissenting priests attempt to confuse the issue by alleging that humans are not yet people for some weeks after fertilization. Another rationalization was given by a Japanese doctor, more honest I think than these theologians, who said to me: "Sure, it's a human being, but we don't have to give him or her a visa."

Canon 1398 rules that those who do abortions march themselves out of the door of the Catholic Church. It reads: "A person who actually procures an abortion occurs a latae sententiae excommunication."

The thrust of this writing is that the Church should now extend Canon 1398 to traffickers in human zygotes and embryos.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, with the Pope's approval, declared in 1987 that a new human life begins at fertilization:

This congregation is aware of the current debates concerning the beginning of human life, concerning the individuality of the human being and concerning the identity of the human person. The congregation recalls the teachings found in the Declaration on Procured Abortion:

From the time that the ovum is fertilized, a new life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. To this perpetual evidence ... modern genetic science brings valuable confirmation. It has demonstrated that, from the first instant, the program is fixed as to what this living being will be: a man, this individual man with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization is begun the adventure of a human life, and each of its great capacities requires time find its place and to be in a position to act (Declaration on procured Abortion, 1974).

Note the wording that a new human life begins at fertilization. The next sentence states that a human zygote is a human individual: "In the zygote (the cell produced when the nuclei of the two gametes have fused), resulting from fertilization, the biological identity of a new human individual is already constituted."

Nevertheless the Magisterium chose, in 1987, to not commit itself to a philosophical affirmation:

Certainly no experimental datum can be in itself sufficient to bring us to the recognition of a spiritual soul; nevertheless, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo provide a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of this first appearance of a human life: How could a human individual not be a human person? The magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable.

Five years later, however, the Magisterium does make a philosophical affirmation not made in 1987. The Catechism of the Catholic Church,promulgated in 1992, states forthrightly that a human body is such precisely because a spiritual soul animates it:

The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": It is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit (364; emphasis added).

The Latin of the emphasized part reads: illud est corpus humanum praecise quia anima spirituali animatur. Note the logic of the statement: If a body is human, then it is animated by a spiritual soul. If there is a spiritual soul, then this zygote is a person. If this is a person then God demands respect for his life.

In other words, there is no zygote or embryo which is human that is not animated by a spiritual soul.


All pretense that human life can begin without a soul and personhood has no basis in scientific observation, and is in conflict with an established teaching of the Church. Seminary professors who still teach that we don't know when a human life begins, teach a falsehood. They are dangerous people, who open the way to inflict a sentence of death upon innocent citizens. Professors who have done this in the past must correct themselves. They teach incorrect science, they are in conflict with the Magisterium of the Church, and they trifle with a the lives of innocent people created by God.

Let scientists, let legislators, let judges, and doctors, and dealers in human body parts, not be another Cain who slays his brother Abel. The Lord said to Cain: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand" Gen 4:10-11).

God knows when He brings humans to life. We are God's offspring, His children, His family. We betray Him, and we betray the right to life of our fellow human beings, when we kill innocent people under guise of fraudulent science. Abortionists, researchers who kill embryos, judges and legislators who abet them - will stand before Christ on the Last Day to hear from him: "I was an unborn child, and you killed me." That is not what you and I want to hear. We want to His face radiating kindness, and hear His gentle voice saying to us: "Come, o blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an unborn child, and you cared for me."

Thank you

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