Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is a Fetus a Parasite?

Score one for the Pro-Choice movement across the world, if you like.

Several nations in Europe have brought a new argument to the table in their discussion of abortion and the ethical question regarding a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy. The debate about abortion, unlike in North America, had been contained primarily within the houses of the intelligentsia throughout much of Western Europe. Most recently, however, Ethicists and Moralist alike have begun to explore a new term of reference in the abortion debate: Is a Fetus a Parasite?

There are obviously many categories of parasitics which have different relationships with hosts. Some parasites have symbiotic relationships with their hosts (mutually beneficial) and others do not - the most intriguing thing about the fetus question is this: in what way does a host (mother) benefit from the relationship? Pro-Life advocates argue that it is obvious that maternity is a means of genetic transference. The only thing is, Pro-life advocates (on the whole) do not generally believe in "Science" and think that babies are the result of "Magic." It seems odd that they would only use a particular argument when it suits their purposes.

If genetic transference is a prime mover in the biology of human beings, it might be argued, as they have been in France, that Human beings should have control over the ultimate purpose of their existence: to reproduce. As such, pro-choice advocates disagree with the notion that genetic transference should be protected from interference because first: pro-life advocates neither agree with the idea that genetics even exist or that they play some role in our reproduction and secondly: that the sacred protection of individual rights is paramount in supposed democracies and any limits to those freedoms should be treated with absolute animosity.

So is a fetus a parasite? Some suggest that because a parasite is usually a "foreign invader," a fetus immediately does not qualify because it is created from within. The question has arisen in some scientific circles, however, as to the nature of sperm and if it can be considered to be a new category of parasite. Sperm is a foreign invader and results in the growth of an animal that "leeches" off the host to its benefit. The new category is being considered to be an offshoot of parasites, somewhat like in "Aliens" where a parasitic creature combines with the DNA of the host to create a new creature.

Europe is an infinitely fascinating place...



Sandy Carlson said...

Definitely interesting-squared! A parasite...what a dark view of things. Sounds like some disgruntled Thinker needs his or her kid to move out before he/she is devoured by this cynicism! Thanks for the info. I'll be thinking about this one for a while....

Anonymous said...

Have they been watching House?

Jill: My joints have been feeling all loose, and lately I've been feeling sick a lot. Maybe I'm overtraining; I'm doin' the marathon, like, ten miles a day,
[House looks tired]
Jill: but I can't seem to lose any weight.
Dr. Gregory House: Lift up your arms.
[she does so]
Dr. Gregory House: You have a parasite.
Jill: Like a tapeworm or something?
Dr. Gregory House: Lie back and lift up your sweater.
[she lies back, and still has her hands up]
Dr. Gregory House: You can put your arms down.
Jill: Can you do anything about it?
Dr. Gregory House: Only for about a month or so. After that it becomes illegal to remove, except in a couple of states.
[he starts to ultrasound her abdomen]
Jill: Illegal?
Dr. Gregory House: Don't worry. Many women learn to embrace this parasite. They name it, dress it up in tiny clothes, arrange playdates with other parasites...
Jill: Playdates?
Dr. Gregory House: [shows her the ultrasound] It has your eyes.
[it's a baby]

-from imdb

Anonymous said...

I read up until this sentence `..Pro-life advocates (on the whole) do not generally believe in "Science" and think that babies are the result of "Magic.""

The author of this drivel discredits him/herself immediately with this willfully ignorant claim. Whomever this author is, he/she surely knows that pro-life people, whether religious or not, do not reject science and certainly don't believe reproduction happens "magically". I presume that the claim of rejecting science is due to rejection of the general theory of evolution, however even honest atheists or evolutionists can admit without a problem that rejection of the GTE doesn't even come close to equating the rejection of the scientific method as a whole or of rejecting all scientific inquiry.

Sad excuse for a blog...

Anonymous said...

You mentioned sperm coming from within. An infant has no sperm. A newborn infant is usually worm free. As the child matures it can get infected with worms. The during adolescence the child ejaculates sperm. So it the child was initially worm and sperm free, it is quite possible that the sperm was due to some kind of parasitic contact after infancy. I believe that sperm is parasitic. What I'm trying to figure out at the moment is what took place prior to infection of early man.