The Delicate Curmudgeon has deleted one of my posts from his website on accusation of leveling gratuitous insults. I was simply responding to his allegation that "[c]onception is the beginning of life. There is no controversy over this in the scientific literature." This is false, so I proceeded to explain my point of view on the matter.
Perhaps it was my use of the word Christocrats (which is not my term--I first found it explained in Rabbi James Rudin's The Baptizing of America), or perhaps the intimation that, just like for Obama, defining the moment when life begins is above the Curmudgeon's paygrade. Seems to me it's just another case of censorship aimed at protecting the pristine ears of his many ultraconservative readers. Those of you are interested can click the Read on link to learn more about the dispute.
"It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception. It is not something dependent on biblical revelation, although the Bible makes this claim as well."
Contrary to the above statement, the problem is that the definition of conception varies greatly and is largely influenced by factors such as religious beliefs, which is why the American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists prefers to define pregnancy, instead of conception.
If you take the definition of pregnancy that I quoted previously* (being that conception is insufficient in defining pregnancy, since neither ovulation nor fertilization alone constitute sufficient condition for a pregnancy), then implantation is taken to be the necessary condition for the beginning of pregnancy. In this sense, not only is the question "does life begin at conception" above Obama's pay grade, but also above Dr. Groothuis's.
Incidentally, if this definition of pregnancy is accepted, then it is impossible to understand the opposition of the religious right to such contraceptives as abortifacients, if taken before the time implantation is known occurs (at least eight days after fertilization).
From a logical and a practical point of view, it makes much more sense to use the ACOG definition. But it is quite obvious that many religious conservatives are not satisfied with a scientific discussion of pregnancy, sex-ed, etc, as their true intent is to stifle a woman's free expression of her sexuality and to constrict it to an anachronistic, but Biblical, version of sexuality.
George Orwell understood very well that authoritarian regimes, such as the one that many Christocrats advocate, seek to control and circumscribe sexuality, which one might argue is the ultimate boundary of self-expression.
*"When Is a Woman Pregnant?
To be sure, not every act of intercourse results in a pregnancy. First, ovulation (i.e., the monthly release of a woman's egg) must occur. Then, the egg must be fertilized. Fertilization describes the process by which a single sperm gradually penetrates the layers of an egg to form a new cell ("zygote"). This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes and can take up to 24 hours. There is only a short window during which an egg can be fertilized. If fertilization does not occur during that time, the egg dissolves and then hormonal changes trigger menstruation; however, if fertilization does occur, the zygote divides and differentiates into a "preembryo" while being carried down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. Implantation of the preembryo in the uterine lining begins about five days after fertilization. Implantation can be completed as early as eight days or as late as 18 days after fertilization, but usually takes about 14 days. Between one-third and one-half of all fertilized eggs never fully implant. A pregnancy is considered to be established only after implantation is complete."
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
(If the Delicate Curmudgeon has not deleted my other posts on the subject, you can find them here.)