Posted by: Randall Niles | August 19, 2009

What Is Life?

A fertilized human egg at the moment of conception looks like a simple, single-celled blob no bigger than a pinhead. However, we now know that amorphous blob contains information equivalent to 6 billion “chemical letters” — enough complex code to fill 1,000 books, 500 pages thick with print so small that it would take a microscope to read it.

Through the marvel of DNA, every single human trait is established at the moment of conception. Within hours, that single cell starts reproducing and grows a cilia propulsion system to move the fertilized egg towards the uterus. Within six days, the original cell has reproduced its library of information over 100 times. Ultimately, that original blob of gelatin will divide into the 30 trillion cells that make up the human body.

Wow, within four days of fertilization, the sex of the “zygote” can be determined through microscopic techniques. Soon after one week of fertilization, the zygote contains the beginning of all major body structures. Fetal circulation occurs by three weeks – complete with heart and major blood vessels coursing through its quarter-inch frame. Wow – Three weeks! And at five weeks, all basic body systems are developing, including the brain and nervous system enabling the zygote to feel pain.

When the zygote reaches the eighth week, it’s called a “fetus” for the remainder of its development. The fetus at twelve weeks shows tooth buds, nail beds, and genitals. By thirteen to sixteen weeks, the arms and legs are complete. There’s hair on the head, the skeletal system shows up on x-ray film, and the baby has breathing movements. Shortly thereafter, an ultrasound reveals the baby sucking its thumb and holding its own umbilical cord in the womb.

Yes, I’ve used the words, “amorphous blob,” “zygote,” “fetus,” and “it” to make us think…

You see, at this point in development, some powerful organizations, backed by our U.S. court system, still refer to the baby as “pregnancy tissue” – a mere appendage of the mother that can be removed for whatever reason. Have these people ever seen an ultrasound at 16 weeks?

I used to think the abortion issue was merely a socio-political-economic-religious debate. Seeing my kids on early ultrasounds changed me! Think about it — If we can determine exactly who this child will be at four days of development – I call that the beginning of a life… Beautiful, powerful, individual life! Dear friends, this has little to do with personal religion, personal morality, personal politics, or personal rights… This is straight-forward biology… This is Life!

Just Thinking,

Randall Niles



  1. Hiya Niles, Just read your blog. I saw it on twitter as I follow your entries. I agree with what you wrote. Human life is so marvelous, only a blind or deceived person would deny that Life is an obvious miracle. I think corrupt fools and fiends like dick dawkins etc are scumbags who are not blind but ‘tools of the enemy’. Imagine if, like Saul of Tarsus, he was converted to the Truth! WOW, what a great champion of the Truth he would make! Do you believe that big a miracle could happen today? I sure wish it would! I became a Christian in 1987. I’m 45 now. I believe in the Genesis account of Creation. Yup, a 6000 year old universe. I support (Don’t know about you.) I enjoy your mini-videos, by the way. I think you make interesting observations. I live in Southern Ireland. (I lived in England for 19 years until 2/07.) I hope all is well with you and your family. I’m single and a mature computer student. I pray your life will be happy and blessed. Write when you can if you feel so moved. Best wishes from Donal O Mahony.

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