96% of scientists agree when human life begins

The abortion debate is hotly contested and highly emotional, and bears many similarities to the English slavery debate in the early 1800s. In those days, pro-slavery activists also argued that African slaves weren’t really, fully human. In America too some 50 years later, the historically flawed Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that a slave was property, not a person under the law. The “choice” to own slaves was a private decision up to each man’s conscience.

Public faith was also frowned upon in polite society. ‘Progressives’ like Prime Minister Lord Melbourne scorned William Wilberforce saying, “Things are coming to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade private life.” Yet it was crowds of Christians who created the first ever human rights campaign. They lobbied and petitioned and changed the culture over many decades to see the black man as an equal brother bearing the same image of God and to demand justice with the abolition of slavery.

Today, pro-abortion activists argue that people with religious convictions shouldn’t be able to “impose their beliefs” on someone else’s private decisions. The irony of them imposing that belief is lost on most of them. Of course, disputing the ridiculous belief that African slaves are not fully human and therefore not deserving of equal human rights is not the sole domain of those with a religious worldview. Most people with a high school biology education can tell this is a thoroughly unscientific proposition.

Many ‘progressives’ accuse others of being ‘anti-science’ if they remain unconvinced of imminent climate catastrophe or humanity’s ability to significantly alter the climate. They repeat the claim that “97% of scientists agree that humans are causing global warming,” and expect this should end the debate for anyone with half a brain. Let’s take note that “overwhelming majority” is the benchmark they offer for “settled science” to end any debate.

Even highly qualified pro-abortion activists then turn around and argue against human life beginning at conception despite science clearly observing this otherwise uncontroversial fact. This basic knowledge is at least as old as the technological ability to observe it (if we exclude the millennia-old Biblical attestations to the same fact).

Many authoritative human embryology textbooks like “The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology” (10th ed.) have long confirmed, “Human development begins at fertilisation when a sperm unites with an oocyte to form a single cell zygote. This highly specialised, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.

Devastatingly for pro-abortion arguments, objectively 96% of biologists affirm human life begins at fertilisation.

A recent study asked 3,883 Americans which profession was the most qualified to determine when life begins. These people were 62% pro-abortion, 63% liberal, 54% socialist, 66% Democrat, 63% college graduates, 57% female. Asked to choose between biologists, religious leaders, voters, philosophers or Supreme Court justices, 80% responded that biologists were the most qualified to determine when life begins. 92% of those selected biologists because they are experts in science and objective scientists.

The researcher, Steven Jacobs, Ph.D. then surveyed 5,577 biologists from over 86 countries and a thousand different academic institutions. 63% of them were non-religious, only 15% were pro-life, 11% were conservative and 8% Republicans, while 85% were pro-choice, 89% were liberal and 92% Democrats. 96% of these biologists affirmed the view that a human’s life begins at fertilisation.

It doesn’t actually matter how many scientists agree on any given conclusion between them. Scientific method has nothing to do with surveying the opinions of scientists. If 97% of scientists agreed black is white the facts would not change. Until Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler, the “overwhelming majority” of scientists held an opinion that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. They were wrong.

It is only relevant that the beginning of each human life at fertilisation is empirically observable and repeatable. There is no more credible debate of this fact than when equally evil agendas claimed African slaves and European Jews were not quite human and not entitled to fundamental human rights. The pro-abortion argument is either anti science or believes the intentional killing of an innocent living human, homicide, is justifiable by radical autonomy arguments.

Excluding males and Christians from the democratic right to publicly advocate on behalf of those individuals destined to be destroyed in abortion clinics and often with tax-payer funding is as asinine as excluding anyone from criticism of slavery or the Holocaust. Without qualification, it’s every citizen’s moral obligation to seek a government which protects the most vulnerable among us.

Although some will always be late to understanding basic science, the abortion debate has finally been reduced to whether or not a woman’s indisputable rights to bodily autonomy subsequently imbue her with the moral and ethical right to electively kill a unique, living human being temporarily carried in her womb.

The nature of that new entity which has been reproduced is no longer disputable by any intellectually honest person. It cannot honestly be called ‘healthcare’ to kill another individual. It is anti-science to call it a ‘reproductive’ choice when that new human life began many weeks before the woman even knew she was pregnant.

After all, the “overwhelming majority” of scientists agree that human life begins at fertilisation.

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Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]

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