kiwimac, I think you should go to medical science to determine when human life begins. Here are some ..... Medical Aspects In 1970, in the midst of the United States’ abortion debate (it was legalised in 1973), the editors of the journal California Medicine (the official journal of the California Medical Association), noticed “the curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death” (in Davis 1985, p. 137). The U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, in 1981, held hearings on when life begins. The following are samples of evidence submitted by the medical profession (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983, pp. 113-114): Dr Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris: When does life begin? . . . Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception . . . To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being, conception to old age, is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence. Dr Watson A. Bowes, Jr, of the University of Colorado Medical School: “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter — the beginning is conception.” Dr Alfred Bongiovanni of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, after noting that standard medical texts have long taught that human life begins at conception, added: "I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty . . . is not a human being". Dr Micheline Matthews-Roth, research associate of Harvard University Medical School: “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.” The medical breakthrough came in the 1960s when Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the genetic code (DNA). "The genotype — the inherited characteristics of a unique human being — is established in the conception process and will remain in force for the entire life of that individual. No other event in biological life is so decisive as this one . . . The genotype that is conferred at conception does not merely start life, it defines life" (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983, pp. 36-37). Biologically, human life begins when the sperm merges with the ovum to form the zygote, containing the full set of 46 chromosomes necessary to create new human life. “The haploid sex cells (ova or spermatozoa) are parts of potential human life. The zygote is human life” (Shettles with Rorvik 1983, p. 40, emphasis in original). The First International Conference on Abortion in Washington D.C., 1967, declared: “We can find no point in time between the union of sperm and egg and the birth of an infant at which point we can say that this in not a human life” (in Stott 1984, p. 286). The above information is taken from my article, Abortion and Life: A Christian Perspective. Oz Works consulted: Davis, J. J. 1985, Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Shettles, L. B. with D. Rorvik 1983 , Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI. Stott, J. 1984, Issues Facing Christians Today, Marshalls, Basingstoke, Hants.