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When does life begin?

14 December 2012

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago.

Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan – “Abortion: Is it Possible to be both ‘Pro-life’ and ‘Pro-Choice’?”


Let’s get this out of the way: a man’s opinions on abortion–even a man as professionally respectable as Carl Sagan–are irrelevant at best.  I am sure that very few people on This Foul Earth care less about men’s opinions regarding women’s autonomy than I do.  Maybe five people, but I’ve never met them.  The fact that this article was co-written by Ann Druyan (writer, producer, NORML board member, and Sagan’s last spouse) does not do much to raise my Care Level.  That the article says little new to us women’s libber types and ultimately falls lukewarmly in favor of some abortion rights while getting some major things wrong is not really why I’ve linked it.

It’s all about that quote, which I’ve loved since I first read it.

And this clip from Cosmos:


(The moment when you realize that the figure whose history we’re tracing is female?  Yeah, that’s a cool moment.)

I don’t see how it’s possible to look at the interconnection of all the life on this planet and still feel above or disconnected from it.  I don’t see how it’s possible to learn about how incomprehensibly big, old, and diverse this universe is and not be impressed or humbled.  It’s really amazing, so far beyond anything superstition has offered us, what the universe has done with itself in these fourteen billion or so years.

And we haven’t even begun to understand the extent of it.


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