Sunday, July 01, 2007

Do Stem Cells Grown From Unfertilized Eggs Have Souls?

Do Stem Cells Grown From Unfertilized Eggs Have Souls, is the question being asked by Brandon Keim in this blog article written on Wired. I realize I am a Catholic but my initial instinct when reading that question was to answer no. That to me the actual creation of life does not happen without a sperm that a chemical reaction somehow created in a laboratory was not the same act as actual fertilization of a part of a man and a woman together that created life and therefore then a soul.

It appears I am not in agreement with the presented belief of the Catholic Church as presented by Tad Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Maybe he never watched that scene from the movie "Look who's Talking"...I looked for the original sperm scene from that on YouTube, and did not find it but did find this creative modification of it:


Stephanie said...

I have to agree with you on that one. An artificially stimulated egg cell that has not been fertilized by a sperm cell wouldn't have a soul, and wouldn't be "human."

Though, it does bring this kind of nonesense into question.

Lisa Renee said...

Wow, that was total nonsense. I see I'm not missing much by not having much time to read MSNBC.


Stephanie said...


I have a friend who wants to have another baby before she's thirty (she's 28) and has yet to meet a guy she likes who doesn't beat or steal from her. So, this caught her attention and she told me about it.

Of course, being the rational, non-man-hating person that I am, I suggested perhaps her taste in men was the problem. Imagine how far that got me.

Anonymous said...

Wow - interesting topic. I have actually met Fr. Tad, drove him from the airport to the speaking engagement where he was the featured speaker awhile back. He was very friendly and obviously had a firm grasp of the issues surrounding the issue of Life, etc. He is completely in line with the Magesterium - so if he says that the stem cells from unfertilized eggs have souls - I think we best believe him.

However, the more interesting question is - why do we even worry about this when we have people shoving pills down their thoat (the birth control pill, Plan B, etc.) that allow eggs to be fertilized naturally - before they are "flushed" away from the woman's system. This happens thousands and thousands of times a year in the US alone - and we rarely give those souls a second thought - or a brief prayer.

Given this reality it is obvious we as Catholics have a lot of educating to do with the mass populace.

Hooda Thunkit said...

I would have to disagree with the good Father.

I don't think that unfertilized eggs/cells have souls.

However, I do believe that it is a grave sin to use them for any purpose other than they were originally intended for.

Flushing fertilized eggs from the body is murder, pure and simple.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Had I proofread before hitting publish, my comment would have read,

"However, I do believe that it is a grave sin to use these cells for any purpose other than they were originally intended, by our Creator."

Anonymous said...

Hi - It's "anonymous" - AKA Tim again. OK - let's take this through to its logical conclusion. Let's say we take this "unfertilized egg" and rather than do experimentation with it - we implant it in the womb of a woman. The "unfertilized egg" grows into a 9 month term baby. That's possible isn't it? From what you are saying we will have a baby born to a woman - that will not have a soul. What would we call that person (other than the obvious - Democrat [sorry - couldn't help myself :-) ] )?

Anonymous said...

...and I guess I should say I'm mixing the original story from WIRED and the other from MSNBC - but it goes along with the topic of having woman have "babies" without the help of men in any shape or form - and using just the "egg" to coax out a pregnancy. In my mind at least - these are all related topics...