|MadSci Network: Development|
Thanks for your question, Chris. Egg and sperm carry only half of the genetic material needed to create a human, so from a genetic perspective, I'm afraid you are definitely not 54. However, your question evokes important philosophical questions about the nature of life and when human life begins (please visit the website linked below). In summary, the answer to your question depends on the perspective you take. Here are some of the views (described by S.F. Gilbert) that may yield different answers to your question: - metabolic view - genetic view - embryological view - neurological view - ecological/technological view - immunological view - integrated physiological view Please visit this website for a better understanding of these perspectives: http://www.devbio.com/article.php?ch=21&id=7 Scott F. Gilbert, author of Developmental Biology (7th ed.), has written some nice essays on this topic: When Does Human Life Begin? http://www.devbio.com/article.php?ch=21&id=162 Thanks again, Chris Reigstad
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