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Are Human Zygotes Human Organisms?

Chuz-Life
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1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Zygote:
2. The single-celled organism that results from the joining of the egg and sperm.
Link: http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

Organism
3. a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently [syn: organism, being] Link: http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com...

Organism ("rg-nzm)
4. "An individual form of life that is capable of growing, metabolizing nutrients, and usually reproducing. Organisms can be unicellular or multicellular. They are scientifically divided into five different groups (called kingdoms) that include prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, and animals, and that are further subdivided based on common ancestry and homology of anatomic and molecular structures."
Link: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

I can provided many more definitions if warranted. However I would like to get the thoughts of others on this topic before doing so.
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

http://www.debate.org...
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.


Zygote:
2. The single-celled organism that results from the joining of the egg and sperm.
Link: http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

Organism
3. a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently [syn: organism, being] Link: http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com...

Organism ("rg-nzm)
4. "An individual form of life that is capable of growing, metabolizing nutrients, and usually reproducing. Organisms can be unicellular or multicellular. They are scientifically divided into five different groups (called kingdoms) that include prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, and animals, and that are further subdivided based on common ancestry and homology of anatomic and molecular structures."
Link: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

I can provided many more definitions if warranted. However I would like to get the thoughts of others on this topic before doing so.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 10:06:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd like to state, just in case, that zygotes cannot be aborted. One must wait until it is at least an embryo.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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1/4/2013 10:38:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It is possible (though illegal) to clone humans from any cell in your body. So, skins cells (for example) are human organisms by your definitions. That's pretty devastating to a pro-life position if you're arguing this way, unless you want to concede that scratching your nose is genocide.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 10:57:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.

I'm not aware of any method of human reproduction that doesn't involve manipulation.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:00:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 10:57:49 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.

I'm not aware of any method of human reproduction that doesn't involve manipulation.

Well, there's always coitus. It's pretty automated.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:04:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
...so, in other words, converting human somatic cells into stem cells is not an independent development.

It is a manipulation, as opposed to a zygote, which develops into an embryo, then a fetus, and then, a child, and then, and adult, all independently.
Chuz-Life
Posts: 1,788
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1/4/2013 11:11:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 10:06:27 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
I'd like to state, just in case, that zygotes cannot be aborted. One must wait until it is at least an embryo.

This thread was not intended to be about abortion.

A human being in the zygote stage of their life is either a human organism or they are not. I didn't write the definitions (quoted) I only offered them for consideration and to support my conclusion that they are (human organisms.)

It's interesting how some people's prejudices are coming out into the open on this.

Like I said, it's either a human organism or it is not. And that is the fact that I am trying to establish.
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

http://www.debate.org...
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:12:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:00:12 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:57:49 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.

I'm not aware of any method of human reproduction that doesn't involve manipulation.

Well, there's always coitus. It's pretty automated.

Then you're doing it wrong.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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1/4/2013 11:12:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:04:59 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
...so, in other words, converting human somatic cells into stem cells is not an independent development.

It is a manipulation, as opposed to a zygote, which develops into an embryo, then a fetus, and then, a child, and then, and adult, all independently.

So you would not consider a clone of yourself to be a human organism?

If a scientist artificially induces a pregnant woman so a cell is ripped out and idenrical twins develop, is the twin not a human organism?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:13:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:04:59 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
...so, in other words, converting human somatic cells into stem cells is not an independent development.

Neither is the combination of gametes!


It is a manipulation, as opposed to a zygote, which develops into an embryo, then a fetus, and then, a child, and then, and adult, all independently.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:14:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:11:39 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:06:27 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
I'd like to state, just in case, that zygotes cannot be aborted. One must wait until it is at least an embryo.

This thread was not intended to be about abortion.

A human being in the zygote stage of their life is either a human organism or they are not. I didn't write the definitions (quoted) I only offered them for consideration and to support my conclusion that they are (human organisms.)

It's interesting how some people's prejudices are coming out into the open on this.

To call it a prejudice is to say that it is not based on reason. That, itself, is prejudicial.


Like I said, it's either a human organism or it is not. And that is the fact that I am trying to establish.

And if reality doesn't fit our discrete labels we invent to describe it?
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:28:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:11:39 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:06:27 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
I'd like to state, just in case, that zygotes cannot be aborted. One must wait until it is at least an embryo.

This thread was not intended to be about abortion.

A human being in the zygote stage of their life is either a human organism or they are not. I didn't write the definitions (quoted) I only offered them for consideration and to support my conclusion that they are (human organisms.)

It's interesting how some people's prejudices are coming out into the open on this.

Like I said, it's either a human organism or it is not. And that is the fact that I am trying to establish.

Oh my. Touchy.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:32:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:12:22 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:00:12 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:57:49 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.

I'm not aware of any method of human reproduction that doesn't involve manipulation.

Well, there's always coitus. It's pretty automated.

Then you're doing it wrong.

Hahaha. :)

What I mean is, such development isn't incited. But, I can see how that could be misunderstood.

To be more accurate, converting somatic cells into stem cells is literally a compromise of its constituents. It is turning it into something else, in the way one could take apart an airplane and build a car using the parts.

When it comes to fertilization, the most that humans can do to "manipulate" the situation is make the situation itself advantageous. There is no volitional, applied conversion. Semen acts independently. Zygotes develop independently. It requires no human intervention. It's to the extend that humans can even fail at preventing it.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:32:45 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:12:22 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:00:12 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:57:49 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 10:05:33 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:22:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Advances in modern science essentially mean every cell in your body "can develop" the ability to act or function independently.

But, not without manipulation.

I'm not aware of any method of human reproduction that doesn't involve manipulation.

Well, there's always coitus. It's pretty automated.

Then you're doing it wrong.

Hahaha. :)

What I mean is, such development isn't incited. But, I can see how that could be misunderstood.

To be more accurate, converting somatic cells into stem cells is literally a compromise of its constituents. It is turning it into something else, in the way one could take apart an airplane and build a car using the parts.

When it comes to fertilization, the most that humans can do to "manipulate" the situation is make the situation itself advantageous. There is no volitional, applied conversion. Semen acts independently. Zygotes develop independently. It requires no human intervention. It's to the extend that humans can even fail at preventing it.

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:44:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:12:30 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:04:59 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
...so, in other words, converting human somatic cells into stem cells is not an independent development.

It is a manipulation, as opposed to a zygote, which develops into an embryo, then a fetus, and then, a child, and then, and adult, all independently.

So you would not consider a clone of yourself to be a human organism?

Oh, of course I would... but, not whatever led to that cloning. Let's consider this to a lesser extent, so that we can garner some real application.

Humans have figured out ways to literally grow body parts. One such method is to use what's called extracellular matrix, which is a powder complex, and a mold to "grow" an appendage or organ or whatever. This extracellular matrix will not "grow" unless activated, maintained, and incubated. Indeed, it is not even functionally "alive" until it is used. Accordingly, extracellular matrix is that and nothing more. However, it can, with manipulation, become a human body part.

Likewise, human somatic cells are not organisms. However, they can be manipulated to become organisms. Zygotes, on the other hand, lives and develops relatively independently, in the same way humanity lives and develops independently, although it is entirely dependent on this planet.

If a scientist artificially induces a pregnant woman so a cell is ripped out and idenrical twins develop, is the twin not a human organism?

Is this possible? I mean, I was under the understanding that twins required cell replication, and humans are yet to even figure out how this happens. Humans can influence it, to an extent, under given conditions within a pitri dish, but not directly cause it.

In other words, humans can cause cells to replicate in the same way they can cause externally laid eggs to continue develop (placing them under conditions that make it more likely they will on their own -- in this case, incubation).

Speaking of twins, did you know that they speak their own language and can interact ("play") while still in the womb?
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 11:51:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
And, the combination of gametes does occur independently. The best mammals can do it place them near one another.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 11:57:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
@Chuz-life:

For the sake of argument I'll concede a zygote as a human organism. My question to you, then, is this:

How many human organisms is it?
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 11:57:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.

Not quite.

Scientists project they may be capable of this within two decades.

Until then, it's theoretical, and fertilization is still a mostly independent process.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 12:02:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 11:57:38 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.

Not quite.

Scientists project they may be capable of this within two decades.

They've done it with mice.


Until then, it's theoretical, and fertilization is still a mostly independent process.

Theory is sufficient for the question at hand.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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1/4/2013 12:06:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 12:02:38 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:57:38 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.

Not quite.

Scientists project they may be capable of this within two decades.

They've done it with mice.

Oh, you looked it up, too, did you? :D

Well, I did see that study, and from what it says, it appears as though they actually converted stems cells into germ cells, which the mice then differentiated into gametes.

Close, but no cigar.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 12:10:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 12:06:16 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 12:02:38 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:57:38 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.

Not quite.

Scientists project they may be capable of this within two decades.

They've done it with mice.

Oh, you looked it up, too, did you? :D

No. Science Friday on NPR a few weeks back.


Well, I did see that study, and from what it says, it appears as though they actually converted stems cells into germ cells, which the mice then differentiated into gametes.

And then used them to produce offspring.
http://www.guardian.co.uk...


Close, but no cigar.
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 12:11:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 12:10:31 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 12:06:16 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 12:02:38 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:57:38 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:54:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:45:43 AM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/4/2013 11:43:37 AM, drafterman wrote:

The only difference I see is one requires technology and the other requires alcohol. You need human intervention, direction, and manipulation to get the process started, and then it takes off from there.

Not quite.

One requires only advantageous conditions that are not guaranteed. The other requires constant engineering from start to finish. They are entirely different engagements.

Not start to finish. You can take a differentiate cell, convert it into a stem cell, induce it to differentiate into a gamete, then use it as it would be if it was already a gamete, and then the process from there occurs "naturally."

It is little more than, as you say, "placing them near one another." Albeit it via a longer route.

Not quite.

Scientists project they may be capable of this within two decades.

They've done it with mice.

Oh, you looked it up, too, did you? :D

No. Science Friday on NPR a few weeks back.


Well, I did see that study, and from what it says, it appears as though they actually converted stems cells into germ cells, which the mice then differentiated into gametes.

And then used them to produce offspring.
http://www.guardian.co.uk...


Close, but no cigar.

Oh my. 0_0
ishallannoyyo
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1/4/2013 12:11:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 1:19:19 AM, Chuz-Life wrote:
A subject inspired by the denials of one of my opponents in a recent debate, I ask the following; "Are human zygotes 'human organisms' or not?

Are you referring to me? Because that debate is still ongoing, and I don't want you to get no refutations or ideas :P


I have actually had this debate before (2 yrs ago) on another online forum. However, I am banned from that site now and would like to open it up for discussion here.

For your considerations, I have compiled a list of definitions:

Organism:
1. "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently" Link: http://www.hyperdic.net...

Zygote:
2. The single-celled organism that results from the joining of the egg and sperm.
Link: http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

Organism
3. a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently [syn: organism, being] Link: http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com...

Organism ("rg-nzm)
4. "An individual form of life that is capable of growing, metabolizing nutrients, and usually reproducing. Organisms can be unicellular or multicellular. They are scientifically divided into five different groups (called kingdoms) that include prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, and animals, and that are further subdivided based on common ancestry and homology of anatomic and molecular structures."

Key term, individual. An organism cannot be completely dependant on another organism. So the answer is no (in my opinion).

Link: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...


I can provided many more definitions if warranted. However I would like to get the thoughts of others on this topic before doing so.
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 12:16:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hmmm... in thinking about it, I was going to accept that you're correct, but then I reviewed what you initially said...

I mostly agree with you at this point, however, it remains fact that somatic cells cannot "develop" the "ability" to differentiate into other cells, or even an organism. They do not have that ability. Humans must incite it.

Gametes, on the other hand, do have that ability.
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 12:21:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In thinking about it some more, I pondered the question: well, under these considerations, are stem cells organisms?

I concluded that they are not.

Even in the womb, stem cells are only that until biological markers indicate what they are to be. Manifestly, they are contingent on other cells. Gametes act independently, even of other cells. Sperm will literally find eggs themselves, which then immediately replicate with no chemical intervention.

Consider botany. It is possible to clone plants by removing part of one, and planting it under specific conditions with chemicals that will incite root growth. However, that piece removed is not a plant until engineered.

Seeds, on the other hand, will grow with no intervention whatsoever.
Franz_Reynard
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1/4/2013 12:24:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My point is, individual parts of an object is not that object, even if it can become that object with intervention. However, an object at a given stage of development is indeed still that object.