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Go to: Mississippi to vote on 'personhood'

Downunder's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by Downunder

This issue is based on the popular but mistaken belief that life starts at conception.

The facts are:.......... life starts at birth and life ends at death.

At conception alive cells meet, unite to form a new alive cell with new unique DNA, which makes the cells multiply guided by the DNA strict code to grow into a fully developed foetus. Thus, up to the moment of birth the foetus consists of alive cells; life has not yet entered, a ”being” has not yet arrived. Similar after death; the corpse has lost life, has ceased to be a “being”, but the corpse’s cells are still alive.
Before birth the alive cells’ DNA construct. After death the alive cells’ DNA de-construct. Before birth the energy is drawn from the mother’s life body. After death the energy comes from the decomposing process.

After conception, during the successive stages of development the foetus natural movements of muscles and heart beat provide evidence of its development, evidence that it is alive-and-well in the mother’s womb, exercising its parts connected to the life of the mother. When the appropriate stage of development has been reached, birth occurs. In normal circumstances one can observe for one self that “life” then enters and not until that instant, a new unique being is added to the world’s population.

In normal routine circumstances we can factually observe for ourselves when life is present or absent in a body. If life is present, the body is a “being”. If life is absent the body is a “corpse”.

Intelligent as we humans are, we have an instinctive respect for “life”. It is noteworthy that WE CAN KILL but when we have killed, we CANNOT RESTORE LIFE.

The society, in which we have found ourselves to be born, imposes its moral codes of conduct, customs and beliefs. We have not asked to be born. At birth, life, our environment, our local code of conduct, our respect for life, are imposed on us. Mankind’s instinctive respect for life is evident from such well known structures as the Pyramids in Egypt. Yes, even in our scientifically advanced age of having visited the moon, we practice the ritual of funerals where (to an objective onlooker) we behave as if the dear departed can hear us in the coffin while in fact we are addressing a decomposing corpse. And it is still quite customary to build memorials, visit and place flowers on gravestones. Do many of us quietly believe in some afterlife?

Don’t mind me, I’m just observing on this site for reason and science. This “Personhood” concept has arisen from misleading religious beliefs. Even in this Clear-thinking Oasis for Reason and Science I have been struck by scientific minds who do not want to accept the fact that in a scientific context the meanings of the words “alive” and “a being with life” affect the conclusions.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 10:18:07 UTC | #888087

Go to: Global warming 'confirmed' by independent study

Downunder's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Downunder

The relevant graph, accessible in the rest of the article, is fairly level between 1950 and 1970 but thereafter shows a steep rise from 1970 to 2010. Is there any correlation with the global fossil fuel consumption, global air-traffic (web of aircraft exhaust-trails), surface traffic (cars, trucks, busses, rail,ships) ? And let us not confuse correlation with cause.
It will take me a long time to find my way around to the correct sources, but several others here will probably know the shortcuts.

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 01:13:41 UTC | #883257

Go to: Making matter come alive

Downunder's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Downunder

Re Comment 63 by mmurray.

Thanks Michael. You’re on the ball.

Before someone picks on it, may I first correct some of my grammar. In the 7th para millenniums’ should be millennia.

Your 2 references show excellent progress; creating improved transport environments for such precious cargo is fine research. I note that suitable circulating fluid is used. Organ transplanting deserves all the research it can get. There are waiting lists for organs.

I did not mean to give the impression of proposing that there is something called life. To the contrary life is not something. Is the universe something? Life just “is”, exists in our universe; no one knows what or where, but we can see its presence in a plethora of living bodies. IMO our dimensions of space, time, etc. are unlikely to apply to life, but who knows, science may reveal more in the future.

I have seen the moment when life was going and then gone in dying bodies. I have seen when life had not entered and then entered at births; not feelings but observations. Those who observe with an open mind can verify it for themselves. Vets and Gynecologists will be reluctant to go against the popular beliefs but you may find one who may have attended numbers of multiple births and may for him/her-self have made some eyebrow-raising observations.

The fact that great varieties of alive cells are routinely cultured in laboratories, cells that one would not label as “unique beings with life", is further evidence for me that life is a factual separate concept, beyond our grasp like infinity. Could we put magnetism, gravity, etc. in the same box?

Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:38:39 UTC | #882086

Go to: Making matter come alive

Downunder's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by Downunder

Re Comment 61 by mmurray.

My apologies for not having noticed yours weeks ago. I checked several times but not until yesterday realised that the blue blocks with page #’s are off the screen, below the comment box. I should have known by now that each 30-comments fills one page.
Thanks for your comment, much appreciated, particularly because lack of further comments might lead to wrong conclusions on this Clear-thinking Oasis for Reason and Science. I must stress that my science studies were not in biology. I apply common sense to observations made over my lifetime on two sides of planet earth about the vital concepts of ”life” and “death”. On the thread your comment is just above this one, so no need for me to blockquote yours.

I agree that an alive but lifeless organ for transplanting needs a blood supply, however, I doubt if an artificial supply would do. Medical science may know, but it seems to me that an artificial blood supply would have to be not only compatible blood but a blood-stream from a compatible living body and even then I doubt if that organ’s exterior cells would survive exposure to an open environment in a dish, not surrounded by and in adequate contact with the appropriate living tissue. I think that an organ would need its connection to the ” life” of an organismal whole.

On the topic of “alive”, I have questioned: what does “alive” mean and “being alive” and having “life. I’ve found my answers; have placed them in my comments on this Clear-thinking Oasis for Reason and Science in several threads since 2006 but received mostly unclear, unreasoned woo- science comments.

It seems that science has as yet not observed a difference between alive and having life. I kept on eye on it on the R.D. threads that refer to the workings of brain-cells, quantum theories, the residence of intelligence, etc. Interesting that the recent new thread "Origin of Life Challenge: How did life begin?" states in its pre-amble “ Life is defined here as a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.”. The “How did life begin” included in the brief, presumes that life (in that context) has a ”beginning”. Does the universe have a beginning? One must not jump to conclusions. The Challenger supports a blinkered vision but praise be to him: “he puts his money where his mouth is”.

The prevailing and religiously promulgated ideas of ”when an individual’s life starts”, has encouraged the anti-abortion (mostly religious) fanatics in their beliefs that an embryo is a human-being, even before birth, etc. Some commenters on the RD sites appear offended by my differentiating between the concepts of life and alive. Why can it not be accepted that life IS in the universe and that life is the “driving force” in all living matter, AND, let scientific research produce the evidence of whatever makes things tick. Does science lose anything by accepting that life IS in the universe, has been coming and going from there since whenever? Would science gain more rather than losing?
I find it illogical to assume that life would start in an in-completed embryonic stage. Life’s presence is surplus to requirements at that stage; the alive cells and their DNA are coping fine without life. The unique individual’s life presence is not required to start its earthly sojourn until its body is structurally complete. Its brain and its senses are not required to ”pull the strings” until the moment the individual is born.

That there is more to life than just saying “life has stopped” and disposing of the corpse is evident from funeral ceremonies; a millenniums’ old tradition and continuing in our modern age. Why do we have funeral services around a body with life departed, its corpse decomposing into its chemical dust; why do people loudly praise the deceased who is beyond an appreciative state? It shows some persisting need to remember a “life”; and, looking at all the pomp-and-ceremony when the next dead soldier returns from the Middle East: self-glorification, bathing in reflected glory, self-justification by the ruling clique.

As an independent thinker I’ve asked myself why we have managed to walk on the moon but have as yet not produced evidence of when a new human life starts and ends (be it more about starting then ending). We are trying to create life but have not accepted, not even shown any willingness to consider that life may not be creatable because life just IS; unlikely made of matter but an integral part of our surrounding universe. We do not know much of our universe; we cannot because we do not even know if there is an end to it. ”Infinity” is our label for such abstract concept. We want to know why things are so. I suggest that an open mind and good observations are prerequisites; not minds obsessed with arguing about beliefs. Let the believers be. When they stand on your toes, shove them off; producing facts will eventually make them see.

History shows that intelligent mankind has repeatedly displayed little respect as well as exaggerated respect for life. Science has made mankind much wiser over the ages but wisdom is affected by inbred human likes, dislikes, prejudices, religious beliefs, etc. This is also evident on the RD threads from unclear thinking, unreasonable mud-throwing and bluffing with science rather than producing the basic conclusions.

Wed, 19 Oct 2011 07:01:33 UTC | #882030

Go to: Making matter come alive

Downunder's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by Downunder

Re Comment 58 by mmurray.

OK, we are machines in sofar that it is all chemistry and that is why science has managed to gradually explain how it works, including DNA/RNA, some of it getting deeper and deeper into very complex chemistry.

However can you tell me how you think a transplant works?

IMO a body-part is taken from a lifeless corpse. A corpse is dead, and so are its organs. The cells in corpse and organs remain active for a while, naturally, because the cells have to complete their decomposition phase yet! Surgical practice has gradually found ways of reconnecting lifeless (but with alive cells) organs. These dead organs will start functioning again in their specific original task once connected to the recipient, to a foreign body’s life. Without such re-connection to life, the cells’ chemistry would continue on its decomposition phase.

Sat, 01 Oct 2011 12:53:37 UTC | #876918

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