It has 46 chromosomes by default when healthy(Differences almost always are pathological) and has almost every biological functions, processes a Newborn or and Adult person has.

It even invades fertile ground(womb) to survive.

  • $\begingroup$ As a new user to this site you are expected to take the Tour and also take the trouble to write a coherent question that is not a continuation from the title. And then you choose this list, frequented by people whose expertise you don’t know anything about to ask a question about a subject which has been discussed extensively by people whose qualifications etc. are known. Furthermore your question is asked in an aggressive manner — not “Is the human zygote considered…” but “Why isn’t the human zygote…”. This suggests that you are abusing this community. Please rephrase or go away. $\endgroup$ – David Jul 26 '19 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @David Certainly there is no unanimus consent from the Biology community or at least a good majority of Biologists-Natural Anthropologists (circa 60-70%) that a human zygote is a living anatomically modern human. Otherwise there would be no pro-life/pro-choice argument. Hence the title why isn't it. Since it indeed is not. I am asking people from both sides. Biologists who consider it and biologists who do not. Write a coherent question that is not a continuation from the title? The title is the question itself. The body gives my reasoning why was such a doubt instilled. $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Jul 27 '19 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ Titles have different functions to Questions and should be separate. A title indicates what a question is about. (And here you have two sentences without a stop between them.) A better title would be something like. "Is a human zygote living?". The reader of a question, especially on a phone, expects to read something coherent. If you must have such a long title, copy it and paste it into the question. Nobody wants to read something that starts with "It" where they have to try to discover what "it" is. And this is a question and answer site, not, as "consider" implies, a discussion site. " $\endgroup$ – David Jul 27 '19 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @David Would "What is a living anatomically modern human?" or "What is a living human" or "What is a human" do? I am certainly not asking if a zygote is living. I am asking if it is a living anatomically modern human. What is essential is the definition of a living anatomically modern human. If you have that i.e the sufficient criteria for a human, a zygote either meets them or does not. I am not wanting to discuss rather I want a scientific explanation. Does "consider" necessarily imply an intention to discuss? I want an answer not an exchange of opinions. My replies ask for clarifications. $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Jul 27 '19 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Any of those are suitable titles, assuming they indicate your topic. However I have no idea what a “living anatomical modern human” is (I am a molecular scientist) but suspect that it is a subjective concept relating to the abortion question and not appropriate for this list. Don’t get me wrong, this is a valid topic for discussion but as a social and moral question. You won’t get a quick fix by asking for an opinion from the frequenters of this list. $\endgroup$ – David Jul 27 '19 at 18:33

The discussion of when a life starts is a little more complicated than that. Many views and disagreements between them fuel the discussions of pro-life/abortion groups.

Some of the views and what they consider the beginning of life:

Metabolic view: Considers that there's no singular developmental moment that marks the beginning of life. Any single or multicellular organism should be considered a unit of life, and the development of those organisms is continuous. In that view, the spem and egg are already considered alive.

Genetic view: Supports that life begins when an genetically unique individual is created. That would mean that life begins when fertilization occurs. There are some arguments against this view. For example, fertilization doesn't occur in a single moment, but in a period of time. Another argument against this view is the "twinning argument". Even after the fertilization, it's possible the zygote will divide itself in two or more zygotes (twins). Thus, fertilization itself wasn't the point where the individual was clearly defined. Also, genetic uniqueness can't be used to define an individual because two different individuals can share the same genetic code (identical twins).

Embryological view: Defends that life begins at gastrulation, the point where the zygote is not able to divide itself anymore. This view ends up giving support to birth-control methods such as the "morning after" pill and contragestational agents as long as they are used during the first 2 weeks of pregnancy.

Neurological view: It makes sense to support that the same measurement used to define when life ends could/should be used to define when life begins. Contemporary American and Japanese societies (amongst others) define death as the moment where no recognizable pattern is produced by the brain in an EEG. Consequently, the beginning of life would occur when there's a recognizable EEG pattern being produced by the fetus. This happens around 24-27 weeks after conception.

Ecological/Technological view: Defends that life begins when the developing individual can survive without the support of its developing environment (i.e.: a mother's womb). The limiting factor for that to happen is usually the development of the lungs.


Scott F. Gilbert’s, "When does human life begin?" - http://science.jburroughs.org/mbahe/BioEthics/Articles/Whendoeshumanlifebegin.pdf

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  • $\begingroup$ Please be carefull. I did not ask or discuss when life starts. The first step for me is to define what precisely is a living anatomically modern human, a living homo sapiens sapiens. I do not care about individuality and uniqueness. Human life in itself to the exclusion of all other issues. $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Jul 26 '19 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ That's exactly the point of the answer. There are many different views of what constitutes a living human, and none of them is universally accepted, though some of them are more/less backed up by science. It's more of an ongoing discussion (a very delicate one to be honest, because people's emotions and beliefs are involved). $\endgroup$ – IanC Jul 26 '19 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ Don’t feed the trolls. $\endgroup$ – David Jul 26 '19 at 19:40

IanC's answer is great, but is missing one and possibly the most important point. There is a distinction between being alive or having life, and "life" in the sense that we associate with words like individual, personhood, being. In the first sense; the biological sense, a zygote is most definitely alive; a living thing; a lifeform etc. But in the second sense, the more colloquial sense, it's not "a life" because it's an organism more akin to a bacteria or yeast etc. than a conscious human being. A zygote is not a person or an individual simply because at that stage the human does not possess those qualities that are sometimes considered to be qualifying for personhood or "a life". Think about it this way, would you consider a body that was just pronounced "dead" to be a life? Most people wouldn't, they would considered it a life that passed away. Yet a recently deceased body contains all the living cells and chromosomes the person had before dying. So "life" cannot be strictly applied to cells and number chromosomes based on common usage of the term.

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  • $\begingroup$ A corpse doesn't grow nor it strives to survive. The Zygote - Morula invades the womb to survive. The Zygote even grows on its own before implanting itself. Anything fertile will suffice. I am certain that apparently the corpse resembles a human more than a zygote but I am inquiring about biological processes in themselves. With biological processes in mind I think a Zygote is more "human" than a corpse! $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Jul 26 '19 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Don’t feed the trolls. $\endgroup$ – David Jul 26 '19 at 19:41

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