Prenatal Development and the Onset of Life

The Onset of Life and Prenatal Development

Philosophers, scientists, theologists, and other practitioners have different thoughts on the beginning of human life. As a result, there are various myths and facts as to when life begins. While different people have various beliefs concerning when life starts, the issue is a scientific matter. To reduce speculations, many scientists aim at distinguishing the myths from facts concerning the matter. There are various reasons why the start of life is significant to prenatal development. Prenatal development enables human beings to learn the growth processes inside the womb.

The study and research of when life begins is a burning issue that discusses the points where an organism is considered human. This issue is essential to the study of prenatal development since it provides clarity and eliminates any confusion. Additionally, it creates an understanding of the crucial stages of human growth in the womb making it easy for mothers and care providers to learn better ways of maintaining and nourishing the unborn.

Life Begins at Conception

Two arguments prove the beginning of human life at conception. First, different living organisms have a variety of chromosomes in the species. Human beings, for instance, possess forty-six chromosomes in their bodies (Irving, 1999).

The cell formed during fertilization contains features from both the male and female species and a total of forty-six chromosomes (Irving, 1999). Through this argument, it is essential to note that life begins at conception as the zygote formed possesses features of a human being. The second argument shows that the zygotes formed after fertilization get considered human since they possess the capabilities of growth through the nurturing of the mother. The new organisms contain human cells that form stable bodies and coordinate to the last stage of development (Irving, 1999). This aspect is essential in proving that human life begins at conception.

Life Begins at Development

Other arguments show that human life does not begin at conception but at different stages of development. First, processes like twinning occur on fertilized eggs two weeks after the process (Irving, 1999). This argument explains that it is difficult to determine what a cell would turn out to be after conception and thus needs time to grow. Through this, scientists get to hold that life begins after the cells are formed and easily recognized, and they, therefore, cannot declare life at conception (Irving, 1999). The second argument supporting that life begins at later stages of fertilization is the process of vitro fertilization. This process shows that the embryo gets produced artificially by scientists outside the mother’s womb. During that period, a mother could still not be considered pregnant. Therefore, pregnancy in such a case occurs after the embryo’s implantation (Irving, 1999). This step shows that life begins in later stages of development when the cells get nourished and developed to form a mature human.


In summary, there are different scientific facts concerning the beginning of human life. Other scientists hold various opinions, whereby some of them result in false myths concerning the issue. My position on the matter is that life begins at conception. As mentioned above, scientific facts prove that life begins after fertilization, where the male and female gametes mature and fuse to form an organism. The argument of conception is substantial since it has facts on the similarities of the properties of the fertilized cells and a mature human. Some properties include the availability of forty-six chromosomes and the capability to grow and develop when nourished and kept in a safe environment.


Irving, D. N. (1999). When do human beings begin? Scientific myths and scientific facts. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 19(3/4), 22-46. Web.

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