To: My Sisters and Brothers In Christ
From: JanStephen Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Human Development
Re: In the Matter of the Ordinary Teaching of Conception
Conception is the defined as the moment that human life begins, male and female, female and male in the image of God (Gen 1, v27; Math 19, v4). On authority from above we are conceived at the moment we are male and female in God’s image.
At what moment in the sexual reproductive process do we become male and female and in that moment fully human?
In the matter of ordinary teachings of our Church … that moment established according to the understandings of sexual reproduction at the time of St. Augustine is the moment of male ejaculation into vagina. For according to the “theory” of sexual reproduction in his time … what the male ejaculated was “little people”, the homunculus theory. Any impediment to sperm meeting egg a mortal sin.
It makes sense that if little people are ejaculated with every emission then it is logical that semen must be inseminated only in a vagina.
Hence the Church's traditional standing that inception is the moment of conception.
But ordinary teachings change as we all know as new knowlegde comes on tap, and in the matter of sex this is no less so … for we now know the “homunculus theory “is no longer a valid understanding of reproductive physiology.
Debate Topic: The “Homunculus theory” the foundation of tradtitional teachings of sexual reproduction is scientifically discredited.
Thesis: The discredited “Homunculus Theory” changed the center of gravity in the matter of the moment when human life is conceived.”
Debate Question: What does scientifically base knowledge tell as the moment of conception?
Let the discussion and debate begin.