Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Science of the soul

I watched an interesting program about chimeras [kie- mare-uhs]. A chimera is created when twins' cells fuse in the very earliest stages of a pregnancy. This one person now has the DNA of two distinct people. If both twins were the same sex then the chimera will go undetected unless DNA testing of the chimera's child reveals them not to be their parent. To prove that they are the parent you must search through many different organs to find the less dominant DNA that was passed on to the child. In this one interesting case I learned about, the child's DNA looked like a perfect combination of his father and his mother's brother. Funny huh?

If the fused twins are different sexes than what results is true hermaphoditism.(A person with both sexual organs.

Ok if you're following me so far than it gets better. The show ended there, but this is where I think it starts to get really fascinating. If a chimera is a person with only ONE soul, then what happened to the other soul? Did the less dominant twin "die"? Because scientifically speaking, it did not. So then, perhaps the soul
isn't breathed into the person at conception. Maybe it is breathed into a person at implantation. I once heard this argument based on Leviticus 17:11 which states that life is in the blood. Actually, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, the symbolism of life in blood. So that's one theory, but one I hate to be quick to accept because that would make fetal stem cell research justifiable, since they aren't "alive" yet. Have you ever wondered how they could freeze them indefinitely? Maybe there is no soul in them yet.

Or what if the less dominant twin's soul DID die? Suppose the soul somehow exists in the brain. Then whichever twin's DNA became the blueprint for the brain was the twin who "lives". To me, this theory is supported by Microchimerism. An example of Microchimerism is a mother who has some of her fetus' cells floating around in her body. Obviously, that doesn't mean her soul is connected to her babies... or does it? Maybe that shows the unexplainable maternal bond.

There was one instance of a scientific experiment involving a rabbit and a human. They mixed a human skin cell and rabbit egg. The resulting embryo was only allowed to develop a few days. So did it have a soul? Under theory A) it wasn't implanted so it wasn't a person. Under theory B) it depends on which DNA went to the brain. I'm sure there are many other plausible theories. So feel free to share yours in the comment section.


  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Ben Meyer said…

    Well to fully explore this topic you of course have to list the option that there is no soul.

  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger Ben Meyer said…

    Well can't have a blog like this without posting a link to an Interesting essay.

  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    If there is a soul, then the Creator of the soul has things well in His Hands, as He does the "whole world."

    If there is no soul, but only the aware self of the cognizant person, then there is no problem either, I suppose. No soul to be confused about.

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    How interesting that the Atlantic Monthly article came up. I am in the middle of reading that very article, and took a break to check Deena's blog. As in my above response:

    If there is a God who created us, He certainly could design us to recognize our relationship to Him, using means that we wrongly interpret as being biological accidents. And if there is no God, our belief in God can ONLY be accidental.

    From another approach:

    If evolution tells us the exhaustive truth about the universe, so that we assume that all things both originate in, and persist by, natural selection, then BY DEFINITION our awareness of God is an evolved awareness, which is to say, is a naturally selected trait that happened accidentally but gives an evolutionary advantage to those groups that have it.

    A side note: the real objection to evolution is the assumption that all origins are reducible to naturalistic forces only. Evolution explains many mechanisms of biological persistence, but biologists overreach when they make metaphysical claims.


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