The Facts of Life: Science and the Abortion Controversy

Paperback | August 1, 1994

byHarold J. Morowitz, James Trefil

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In The Facts of Life, Harold Morowitz and James Trefil, two distinguished scientists and science writers, examine what modern biology can contribute to our understanding of the abortion debate. Sensitive to the myriad ethical and religious arguments beyond the realm of science that swirlaround abortion, the authors focus on one crucial question--when does a fetus acquire "humanness," that quality that sets us apart from all other living things. While humans are linked via cell structure and cell chemistry with all life on our planet--from monkeys to fruit flys to pumpkins--it isthe human brain structure which makes us who we are. Reviewing the latest advances in molecular biology, evolutionary biology, embryology, neurophysiology, and neonatology--fields that all bear on this question--the authors reveal a surprising consensus of scientific opinion; that humanness beginsaround the twenty-forth week of gestation when connections needed for brain function are finally made. A fascinating inquiry, moving across various scientific disciplines, The Facts of Life makes a valuable contribution to the continuing abortion controversy, and offers a fascinating glimpse of whatmakes us uniquely human.

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In The Facts of Life, Harold Morowitz and James Trefil, two distinguished scientists and science writers, examine what modern biology can contribute to our understanding of the abortion debate. Sensitive to the myriad ethical and religious arguments beyond the realm of science that swirlaround abortion, the authors focus on one crucial...

About the Authors: Harold J. Morowitz is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy at George Mason University and the author of The Thermodynamics of Pizza and Cosmic Joy and Local Pain. James S. Trefil is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He is the coauthor of Dicti...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:August 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195090462

ISBN - 13:9780195090468

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Table of Contents

1. Framing the debate2. The web of life3. Conception4. The emergence of humanness5. The development of the fetus6. The birth of the cortex7. Survival outside the womb: Hitting the wall8. Conclusions

Editorial Reviews

"Well-written and informative and will create much needed discussion of and reflection on the issue of abortion." --Laurence A. LArson, Ohio University, Science Books and Films