By Brenna Lewis, SFLA Staff Writer
We live in the golden age of information. We have more computing power in one smartphone than NASA had in their entire repertoire when they sent a man to the moon. The concept of being able to quickly learn the answer to any question would absolutely baffle thousands of generations that came before us. And yet here we are reading a Los Angeles Times letter to the editor by someone who thinks human ova (eggs) are no different than fertilized embryos.
At a certain point, we have to wonder if schools have stopped opening the science textbooks. Things like “biology” and “reality” never used to personally offend people; science was science. We accepted these measurable, calculable, quantifiable truths and moved on with our lives. Plants photosynthesize sunlight. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Punnett squares can be used to determine genetics.
To clarify exactly what is wrong with this letter, one must understand the concept of a “part” versus a “whole.” Ova and sperm are haploid cells; they each possess a single set of chromosomes waiting to be paired. In other words, they are each one half of a whole. On their own, they truly are part of our bodies. They are controlled by our bodily systems. However, when these two haploid cells come together at the moment of conception, an entirely new entity is created. The chromosomes have now been paired and this new individual now has its own DNA that will determine everything about it (hair color, height, predispositions to diseases, etc.). From the very beginning, the new life is self-directed – unlike the sperm and egg cells it was created by. From a 2-cell organism to a 40-week fetus, the baby is doing everything on its own. The mother’s body is not directing it, only nourishing it and providing the environment.
Didn’t know a lot of that? No worries. Neither do Ivy League students.
This problem is running rampant. During my time as the regional coordinator in Kentucky & Tennessee, I once did outreach at the University of Tennessee. Soon after setting up, I got into a conversation with a student about the biology of the preborn, i.e., when human life begins, characteristics of zygotes and embryos, and the like. Every scientific fact I proposed to him was met with the same response: “Well, those are your facts.” I was new to the position and didn’t know any better, so I ended up talking to this fellow for three hours straight trying to make sense of the chaotic idea that science is an opinion (which is not a recommended outreach strategy, by the way). He eventually left, frustrated that I wasn’t understanding “his” science.
Things are bad when you have to change the facts to fit your agenda. The optimistic pro-lifer knows that most people peddling this anti-science nonsense are victims of a common enemy, the abortion industry, who have poured millions of dollars into pro-abortion propaganda over the years.
We tiptoe into dangerous waters when we start pretending that reality varies from person to person. It’s our job as the Pro-Life Generation to ensure that the truth (in this case, middle school science) makes its way onto school campuses and the surrounding community. Are you up for the challenge?
Need help bringing Effective Education to your campus? Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator!