T Nation

This is not a human.


And if you want to think otherwise, you are are wrong.


EDIT: Removed the word fool, as I can certainly see why some people would choose to believe this is human. Misguided is perhaps a better word.


And two hundred years ago, neither was this.

And yet, both appear to be incontrovertibly human when subjected to DNA analysis.

The question then becomes, how do we define "human"?


The picture you have posted is incontrovertibly human, one with hopes and dreams. What I have posted is in no way, shape, or form a human being.

What you have posted was human despite what people wanted to think, what I have posted will never be human.

EDIT: Well, never say never - we can't tell what science will be able to do in years to come.


As Socrates was wont to say, let us first define our terms. What, then, is a human?

Here is a workable definition: "a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance"

It is not my definition (I mean I didn't make it up), but it will do for now. What would you add or subtract to this definition to make it more accurate?


Even with this reasonable, objective definition, we can see problems arising. Clearly, not all genetically human life forms fit the description of human, as defined. Not all humans are capable of upright posture. Not all are capable of articulate speech. Certainly not all are in possession of intelligence superior to that of your average chimpanzee. And if you are going to include "hopes and dreams" in your definition, I think you will find a multitude of genetically human life forms who do not have these at all. DNA does not lie, however. All of the above are human. But please. Your definition, and we will work from there.


I would remove articulate speech and superior mental development. Also upright stance. Not all humans are capable of these things. I think we need to look into the genetic code within their cells to really define it clearly.

I think it becomes a case of 'at what point is the genetic material different enough to another species that it becomes distinct?' rather than the simplistic terms of the ancient Greeks (not knocking them by any means, but they lived in a time of much less knowledge than you and I).

So I suppose - genetic makeup of the cells is the short answer there.


At what point does a genetically human life form differ for other species? At conception. A human embryo may not appear markedly different from a chimpanzee embryo throughout much of the gestation process, but they are genetically different species, as DNA analysis will confirm.


After we are done agreeing on a physiological definition of the word "human", we can delve into a biological definition of the word "alive", followed by a legal definition of the words "person" and "murder". Loads of fun.


I think at the point where can no longer cross breed. We may be almost 98% the same as chimps in DNA makeup, but that 2% prevents genetic transfer (via sex) - at which point we say it's a different species.

I suppose it would be interesting to see how small the difference needs to be to prevent said transfer though.


Hey now, I only said it wasn't human, not that it wasn't alive or couldn't be murdered.

It's not a person though.


The problem is, of course, as I mentioned over on the "Sex as a Weapon" thread, the issue is not only whether what is being aborted is human, alive, or even a person. Trayvon Martin was undoubtedly a person, genetically human, and (at least until his body was perforated by bullets), alive. And yet not so very long ago the man who ended his life was deemed blameless for the act. So our society has determined that under some circumstances, the termination of the life of a live, human person is not a crime.

The problem arises because a large segment of society believes that it is. At its basis, this seems to be a legal issue, but inasmuch as the law echoes the prevalent moral feeling of society, and morality is often informed by religion, and religion often tied in with emotion, a seemingly clear-cut issue of murder vs justifiable homicide is muddied beyond easy comprehension.

My suggestion is to refrain from muddying it further by claiming that the human fetus you displayed in the opening post is anything but human. As soon as the cellular structure is capable of metabolism and response to stimuli, it is biologically speaking, alive. The fetus you showed is clearly dead, but it was once alive.

Let all sides concede that abortion (and indeed, miscarriage) results in the death of a living human being, and we will be able to proceed on a much more level negotiating table.


Larger than you might imagine. We are less different from chimpanzees than tigers are from lions, horses are from zebras, and brown bears are from polar bears. And yet all of these species have successfully cross-bred, when given the opportunity.

The only real genetic difference between us and our nearest cousin seems to be an extra chromosome in the chimp that fused somewhere in the distant history of our two species. I firmly believe that chimps and humans could theoretically interbreed. The resulting progeny may be sterile, much as mules are mostly sterile, but the ethical prohibitions against testing this hypothesis seem to guarantee that we'll probably never know.


Yes, but the definition of "person" is another issue. A corporation is legally a "person." The only requirements of being a "person" are being separate from other persons, and having rights. Dolphins aren't "persons" because we don't give them rights on par with human beings. This may a some point change. Blacks in this country went from being non-persons, to being three-fifths of a person, to being full-fledged persons in the eyes of the law. To say that a fetus doesn't have natural rights because it isn't a person falls into a circular argument in that it is only a non-person by virtue of not having rights.

So how do you define "murder"?


The more I read our posts, the more I feel like you're onto my game here - give others a chance!


I say it becomes a human when there's apoptosis on the skin between the fingers - making fingers, fingers. That happends 5months into pregnancy. So the picture OP posted is still a mass of cells dividing in that case.


Hahaha! Okay.



This man has accused me of making too much sense. I think your presence here is required.


Waaaaaait a second.

Now I get it.

I guess my subconscious got it before I did, talking about black Africans and chimpanzees as I did.

Should have checked my assumptions.

Well played, sir. Well played.


The challenge for those who enter the thread now is to prove beyond reasonable doubt that what I have posted can be defined as human.


All right, Makavali, just for that, and recalling your Sri Lankan origins, here's one for you:

When is a "Paki" not a human?


When they think they can actually play cricket.