Thursday, June 15, 2006

How often human conception fails

So, what happens to that soul that supposedly is formed at conception if conception has a 50 percent failure rate?

First, yes you read that right. Conception has a 50 percent failure rate of actually producing a living baby, if not more than that.

First, about one-quarter of fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterine wall.

So, we’re down to 75 percent.

Of that number, about one-third are spontaneously aborted, usually due to great genetic abnormalities, in the first six weeks after conception.

(Many women will miss a period, think maybe they’re pregnant, then have what seems to be a late period with heavy bleeding. It’s not a period; it’s a spontaneous abortion.)

That takes us down to 50 percent. Throw in later-pregnancy miscarriages, and we’re below that mark.

But, if we follow the line of good conservative Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons, etc. (but not Orthodox Jews — if you read the Torah on pregnancy and from it argue to soul implantation, boys are soulless until the 40th day of a pregnancy and girls until the 80th day) God is putting souls in a lot of embryos that never make it to the fetus stage of development, let alone birth.

Sounds like a pretty spendthrift, let alone cruel and capricious, deity to me.

What if we posit a divinity that ensouls a human body at the moment of birth? I counter, what if that baby dies a day later? Or a minute? You’ve again got a Numero Uno wildly and extravagantly scattering soul-seed like ryegrass for fall grass cover. It’s kind of like the illogic of Aristotle’s Prime Mover argument with reverse temporality direction.

And, you so-called “liberal Christians” and others, where does your version of ensoulment in particular, and metaphysical dualism in general, square with this?

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