Totipotency, Twinning, and Ensoulment at Fertilization
Koch-Hershenov (Rose J.)
Source: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Apr. 2006, 31.2, pp. 139-164
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. From fertilization to approximately the sixteenth day of development, human embryonic1 cells are said to have the capacities of totipotency and monozygotic twinning2, both of which are problematic to a theory of ensoulment at fertilization.
  2. In this article I will address the problems which these capacities pose to such a theory and present an interpretation of the biological data which renders ensoulment at fertilization more plausible.
  3. I will then argue that not only is an ensoulment theory consistent with current biological data on the human embryo3, but it may offer an explanation for the phenomenon of monozygotic twinning4.

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