Some of the external links in this may upset some people, but I would be very curious which.

With the recent disagreement between the Susan G. Koman Foundation and Planned Parenthood, I have been thinking about the beginning of life.

Currently, some people say that a human life begins with conception.

However, the egg and the sperm are both alive prior to conception. In fact, the eggs form in the human fetus while she is growing in her mother's womb. All of the eggs that a woman has are formed before her birth.

Isn't it male centric to say that life begins when the sperm arrives at the egg?

My housemate said, "The egg is not alive before then."

Wrong. It most certainly is alive.

"It isn't developing before then."

Also wrong. The egg must mature in the ovary and be released into the fallopian tube before it can be fertilized. During this maturation it enlarges and gains the nutrition that will keep it and the sperm alive until a placenta is formed.

"It isn't dividing before then."

That is true. However, if we are talking about potential humans that are alive, the eggs are there and alive long before conception. Sperm are not. They are made throughout a man's life after puberty. The death of potential humans is far more on the man's part than the woman's part, since there are far more sperm than eggs.

I am not saying that conception is not miraculous and that it's not miraculous that the egg and sperm combine to then divide and perhaps form a human. 20 to 25% fertilized eggs die in the first trimester because they are not forming correctly. I do think, however, that it is male centric to say that life "begins" for a human with conception.

For Science Quest 2012.
The story that Susan G Komen does not tell: it's not all pink ribbons

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