Sunday, December 2, 2012

Clumps of tissue fight in womb

Two expendable non-human parts of a womyn's body engage in a little shoving match in the uterus during an MRI scan.

These tissue clumps should be better behaved. Millions of their fellow little clumps have been exterminated for less reason than bad behavior. 


  1. The Reuters website has a much better video of the MRI scan than CBS. And the reason for doing it.

    You are tedious. I agree that a human fetus is human. I even agree, to my eyes, that the twins in this MRI scan appear to be human persons, by the legal definition of being above 20 weeks gestation, and as a result have, and also should have, legal protection.

    But I don't think that personhood starts at conception. And I also think that women should have the right to decide, before 20 weeks gestation, to terminate or not unwanted pregnancies, as a last resort. But that abortions should not be encouraged as the first resort, as a form of primary birth control.

    1. Bach,
      Obviously we disagree on the final third of your statement. I should think you have gleaned by now that I don't find laws concerning personhood to be anything but a means to dehumanize human beings at certain levels of development and those with sever disabilities. All such laws, historically speaking, are dressed up as a means to 'protect' certain groups while excluding others.
      A human being is a biological and spiritual entity, and I feel the law has no business in setting limits on that potential.
      Anyway, what interests me is your final thought. You suggest that due to the previously stated ideas, you feel a 'woman' should have the right to 'choose' whether or not to kill ('terminate') the unborn human being she is carrying prior to 20 weeks. What intrigues me is that you say 'woman'.
      There are two questions or queries that jump to my mind when I read this. The first is why the father (the required male) is not a factor in this 'choice'. Why should he not be allowed to have a say in the matter? This is assuming, of course, he is 'in the picture'?
      The second is I wonder how you reconcile this with your view that humans are essentially advanced animals. To clarify, what other species of animals willingly kill their unborn offspring to better their economic circumstances? The only examples I can think of are animals who go mad and kill their OWN young. Probably the most familiar of these would be domestic cats and dogs. Why do we consider these animals unstable and remove the young from their care as soon as the behaviour is displayed, but on the other hand justify and legalize this behaviour when a human female (or male) demands the 'termination' of the unborn young?
      I would be very interested in reading your thoughts on this.

    2. CrusadeRex,

      It's probably not what you're wanting, but off the top of my head, kangaroos abort their unborn fetus when circumstances are difficult (such as drought) and will eject their joey from their pouch (the kangaroo has a pouch to carry the young for a long time after birth) when her survival is threatened..

    3. CrusadeRex,

      I've probably answered the wrong question. We remove puppies and kittens from their mothers if they display destructive behavior towards their offspring because we regard the offspring as valuable (although we tend to blot our copybook - 'euthanasia' is the greatest cause of death of puppies in their first year of life, and teaching kittens to swim in tied up sacks is a tradition in many areas).

      But we do the same thing in humans too. Parents who are considered to be neglecting their children tend to have them taken away very quickly.

      Reminds me of a joke; what is the difference between a dingo and a social worker. Answer - a dingo occasionally gives you back your baby. To understand the joke, google 'Lindy Chamberlain'. It's a sad episode in Australia's history and a bad reflection on our tendency to misjudge people, particularly those considered 'outsiders'.

    4. Bach,
      The joey has already been born.
      This is an example of animal infanticide, and I am aware of it. It is similar to the dogs and cats I had mentioned. There also the obvious cases of animals killing offspring of other mates. Many animals will kill young that is not their own. Many others will adopt stray offspring - even of differing species. This is particularly apparent in domesticated (humanized) animals, but not restricted to them. (Kittens and dogs raising the other's offspring, even hedgehogs etc)

      What I am referring to is aborting/killing the UNBORN.
      Not killing or abandoning the Joey in the pouch, or the pup in the litter or, again, the destruction of 'competitors' eggs or young.
      The scraping of the womb (ie their own), is what I refer to.
      I can think of no such examples.
      I think it very probable that mankind is alone in this behaviour. Just as we excel in our compassion and charity, we seem to be quite capable of excelling in our cruelty and selfishness.
      I am well aware of the whole sordid 'Dingo' business.

      As for the puppies and kittens etc, surely you see the contrast in the behaviours you have described? One man sees the pups and valuable, the other sees them as a burden. Same kittens and puppies, different mindset.
      The former is complex and gifted with foresight, the second is simplistic and savage. One sees value in the new life, the other sees an 'unplanned' expense or irritant.
      This analogy can be extended to your example of children.
      One nation protects the young from poor parents, another nation may turn a blind eye while the children are killed in horrific fashion.

    5. CrusadeRex,

      OK, my first example covered it. Kangaroos abort their unborn end fetuses if the mothers are stressed. A lot of other mammals do the same.

      I don't get personally upset at the thought of a woman deciding that she doesn't want to carry a pregnancy through to term, provided she has a surgical or medical abortion early enough. And I also think that, if there's an adequate reason, abortion later in pregnancy is also acceptable.

      Humans are unique in consciously opting for abortion, because humans are unique.

  2. Neither of these fetuses have a developed the higher brain functions that differentiate humans from other animals, and don’t think or have the capacity to form memories in any way remotely like the way you and I do until well after birth. Implying that this behavior shown in the womb is an early manifestation of sibling rivalry that twins may exhibit well after they are born is anthropomorphizing. The whole point of your showing this video is to mislead people on the nature of human development.


    1. [Neither of these fetuses have a developed the higher brain functions that differentiate humans from other animals,]

      KW, you haven't developed the higher brain functions that differentiate humans from clumps of tissue.

      Since when does being less sophisticated mean that you can be killed with impunity?

    2. KW,
      What an interesting choice of language!
      If one punches this into a google search the first definition they will find is in the 'free dictionary'.
      I will quote it due it's precise and concise parameters.

      "Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena"

      Let's consider your use of this term for a moment, as I think it is very telling of your position.
      Is the unborn human being an inanimate object?
      No. Of course not. From the moment of conception their is movement and change.

      Is the unborn human an 'animal' (obviously other than Homo Sapiens)?
      No. Obviously, given the opportunity. a human foetus can do nothing other than develop into an infant, child, teen, adult, senior etc.

      Is the unborn human a 'natural phenomena'?
      No. While a human being is produced through a natural means, it is not some sort of phenomena, it is the natural consequences of mating two humans, the intended function of which is to produce human offspring.

      So, what are we left with?
      It seems you are suggesting that applying human characteristics to an unborn human being is akin to pointing out a face in a cloud for a child, or dressing your pet dog in a Halloween costume (which are both loads of fun, I might add).

      It's really quite simple, KW. Even a reductionist should be able to grasp this: A human being IS a human being, and extending the above (ie human) characteristics to them is not "anthropomorphizing", rather it is the observation of their basic characteristics.
      Could the psychologists interpretation of this behaviour be wrong? Sure. I wonder myself if 'fighting' and 'rivalry' are perhaps rather cynical interpretations, myself - especially when I consider the level of cooperation I have seen between twins in my own family.
      Perhaps nudging and shifting may be more accurate in this layman's view. Perhaps what we are seeing here is analogous to two people sleeping (also using different levels of brain function) in the same bed, nudging each other about for more space and 'stealing pillows'. More akin to gentle play than conflict.
      But then, in your view, I suppose that would simply be projecting human characteristics on to beings that are no longer human due to the fact they are unconscious (ie differing brain function)?
      Perhaps what we're seeing here in your statement is not an illustration of your discerning the anthropomorphizing of a human (?), but instead a kind of warped zoomorphism extended to the unborn for the convenience of a rather tenuous moral position?

    3. KW-unit: I'd like to read a reference on cognitive development in fetuses. You must have one, given that you speak so authoritatively on the subject.

      And I'm also curious... specifically, which "higher brain functions [...] differentiate humans from other animals"? In your opinion, of course.

  3. I guess it all depends on how we look at things. To me, the twins seems to be playing and having a lot of fun! Don't twins have a special bond to each other all their lives?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. (repost after edit/spell check corrections)
      Exactly my thoughts, Pépé.
      They seem to be wiggling about like two infants sharing a bed. More about fun and contact that rivalry.
      The larger twin is seen giving way to the little one at the end of the recording. Kind of like a child may share a pillow after a good wiggle about.
      But you're right, I think. This kind of thing is subject to interpretation. The shrinks involved obviously have an adversarial view of life and see conflict and struggle for survival (wonder where they got THAT from?) as more important (or at least more prevalent) that cooperation and play.
      I am of a different opinion and tend to concur with your thinking on this.
      Still, regardless of how you interpret the behaviour, it is obviously the behaviour of a living being; and not some 'lump of skin' akin to a tumour or growth - as the pro abortion people would have us believe.

    3. Bloody spell check got me again - should read **than** not 'that'.
      I need a bigger display or some glasses, I think. :P

  4. Mr Egnor, you are so tedious ... with all your constant spouting off of the truths that no one wants to know. That's how we can know that you're a "pathological liar", as some of your anonymice to delicately put it.

    1. And I enjoy my daily laugh at the comments of Michael Egnor. It's pretty amazing (stupid) stuff. As shown by his pronouncements on malaria. The hysteria is incredible.

  5. Hi Prof. Egnor,

    This may be off-topic, but I'd like to see a post listing some of your favorite films, esp. those films with life-affirming, redemptive themes.

    FWIW, these are a couple of my favorite films with life-affirming, redemptive themes:
    - Children of Men (2006); reviews
    - What Doesn't Kill You (2008); reviews

    How about your recommendations? Thanks!