Global Population Growth: Biology and History of Abortion (Lecture 23 of 24)

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Global Problems of Population Growth (MCDB 150) The idea that "life begins at conception" is not a scientific one. Since the disproof of 'spontaneous generation' (1668-1859), we have known that life only derives from life. Life arose billions of years ago and has continued since as a cycle. Assigning a beginning to a cycle (like the year) is arbitrary. The Bible describes the cycle as "Dust to Dust." Exodus describes a forced abortion as a property crime, but taking the life of the mother as a capital crime. The New Testament does not refer to abortion. 00:00 - Chapter 1. When Does Life Start? 17:41 - Chapter 2. Historical Belief in Spontaneous Generation 23:44 - Chapter 3. Fertilization as a Marker of Life's Beginning 27:55 - Chapter 4. Genetic Development 38:39 - Chapter 5. Life's Beginning as a Cultural Decision 48:03 - Chapter 6. Abortion in Law, Religion and History 01:05:40 - Chapter 7. Further Historical Origins on Life's Beginning Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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