Follow the Science, Follow the Facts

“You shall not murder.”  Exodus 20:13, NIV 1984).

“And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.”  (Genesis 9:5–6, NIV 1984). 

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalms 139:13-16, NIV 1984).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV 1984).

My Musings – It is the policy of my [President Biden] Administration to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data. Scientific and technological information, data, and evidence are central to the development and iterative improvement of sound policies, and to the delivery of equitable programs, across every area of government. Scientific findings should never be distorted or influenced by political considerations. When scientific or technological information is considered in policy decisions, it should be subjected to well-established scientific processes, including peer review where feasible and appropriate.  (Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking, January 27, 2021 MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES).

“Best available science and data.”  “Should never be distorted of influenced by political considerations.”  “Subjected to well-established scientific processes, including peer review where feasible and appropriate.”  What does this even mean?  What should it mean?  Taken at face-value, it should be welcome news, for science is the domain of God.  But a memorandum from any administration or government agency cannot help but be (at times) distorted or influenced by political considerations or social pressure.  Putting “scientific integrity” and “evidence-based” in the title does not make it so.  And “peer” reviews too often means those sharing the same beliefs, biases, opinions and prejudices.  

It’s early in the new administration, and I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.  But I find it difficult to reconcile the platform of the party with the stated intentions of the memorandum.  Take abortion for example.  A glaring example.  Planned Parenthood, which receives a considerable amount of government funding, believes it is following the science.  This is based upon their assertion that both surgical and medication are 98% to 99% safe for the mother.  What they fail to mention is that it is virtually 100% fatal to the baby.  Distorted or influenced by political considerations or social pressure?  Let’s see:

  • Pro-Choice – A political view that believes abortion should continue to be legal and accessible. Pro-choice is not necessarily pro-abortion, but merely being in support of a woman’s having the option available (Urban Dictionary).  But having the “option available” is still a political view, with at best only one-sided science backing it up.

Now let’s consider some more science.

The Development of An Unborn Child from Conception to Birth

  • Day 1: Fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique human life begins.
  • Day 6: Embryo begins implantation in the uterus.
  • Day 22: Heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood, often a different type than the mothers.
  • Week 3: By the end of third week the child’s backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.
  • Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.
  • Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.
  • Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.
  • Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.
  • Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.
  • Weeks 9 and 10: Teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The baby can turn his head, and frown. The baby can hiccup.
  • Weeks 10 and 11: The baby can “breathe” amniotic fluid and urinate. Week 11 the baby can grasp objects placed in its hand; all organ systems are functioning. The baby has a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation.
  • Week 12: The baby has all the parts necessary to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus. Vocal cords are complete. The baby can suck its thumb.
  • Week 14: At this age, the heart pumps several quarts of blood through the body every day.
  • Week 15: The baby has an adult’s taste buds.
  • Month 4: Bone Marrow is now beginning to form. The heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day. By the end of month 4 the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and will weigh up to half a pound.
  • Week 17: The baby can have dream (REM) sleep.
  • Week 19: Babies can routinely be saved at 21 to 22 weeks after fertilization, and sometimes they can be saved even younger.
  • Week 20: At 20 weeks the baby recognizes its’ mother’s voice. At 20 weeks, the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This is also the earliest at which partial-birth abortion is performed.
  • Months 5 and 6: The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. The baby will grasp at the umbilical cord when it feels it. Most mothers feel an increase in movement, kicking, and hiccups from the baby. Oil and sweat glands are now functioning. The baby is now twelve inches long or more and weighs up to one and a half pounds.
  • Week 28: Laws vary by state, but in many cases, abortions are legal through 28 weeks.
  • Months 7 through 9: Eyeteeth are present. The baby opens and closes his eyes. The baby is using four of the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, and touch.) He knows the difference between waking and sleeping and can relate to the moods of the mother. The baby’s skin begins to thicken, and a layer of fat is produced and stored beneath the skin. Antibodies are built up, and the baby’s heart begins to pump 300 gallons of blood per day. Approximately one week before the birth the baby stops growing, and “drops” usually head down into the pelvic cavity.

“When Does Life Begin? Abortion and Human Rights.” National Right to Life.

But abortion is safe for the mother (sarcasm).

My Advice – Even better than following the science, follow the Creator of life.  When you follow the Creator you will be following the science.

For additional information, see my musing “Whatever Happened to the Sanctity of Life.”