personhood_Gilbert

personhood_Gilbert - WHENDOESPERSONHOODBEGIN?...

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         Scott F. Gilbert, MA, PhD        Professor of Biology       Swarthmore College     WHEN DOES PERSONHOOD BEGIN?                   THE BIOLOGY AND THE RHETORIC
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Faculty Disclosure Scott F. Gilbert, MA, PhD has no financial  interests or affiliations to disclose. Note: Additional faculty, staff, and committee  disclosures printed in final program.
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Learning Objectives At the conclusion of this session, participants should  be able to: Identify five positions where different groups of  scientists have claimed personhood begins. Recite and critically evaluate the evidence that  each group uses to justify its respective position. Know some of the cultural mechanisms (such as  genetic determinism and the autonomously  represented fetus) that have erroneously given the  impression that scientists have reached consensus  that personhood begins at fertilization.
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Fertilization Day 14: Gastrulation Weeks 24-28:EEG Perinatal,  Birth Day 5-7: Implantation/ Blastocyst FIVE BIOLOGICAL LANDMARKS USED  BY DIFFERENT GROUPS OF SCIENTISTS TO DEFINE PERSONHOOD
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Why might the public assume that life begins at fertilization?
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      Popular Culture Promotes the Fallacy of                          “Sacred DNA”    Dorothy Nelkin and Susan Lindee,  The DNA Mystique 1. That which is your essence 2. That which determines your behaviors 3. That from which you can be resurrected (à la  Jurassic Park ) (From Christian Business Network website) DNA AS SOUL
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DNA as a metaphor for ESSENCE, CORE: Even cars have “DNA”! A Sterling’s remarkable handling is “in its genes.” A BMW Sedan has “a genetic advantage.” A Subaru is a “genetic superstar.” A Toyota “has a great set of genes” “While some luxury sedans just look like their elders, ours have the same DNA” (Infinity) “The new Nissan design DNA is evident
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Newsweek, May 23, 2005
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THE NOTION THAT WE ARE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY DETERMINED BY OUR GENES IS SCIENTIFICALLY INVALID 1. Genetically identical mice whose mothers were fed diets containing different levels of folate during pregnancy
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in hippocampus of rat who received high levels of maternal care during first week. Low glucocorticoid receptor gene expression In hippocampus of rat who received low levels of maternal care during first week. MATERNAL CARE CAUSES EXPRESSION of the HIPPOCAMPAL GLUCOCORTICOID                                   RECEPTOR in the RAT BRAIN Francis et al 1999.  Science  286: 1155 – 1158;   Weaver et al. 2004.  Nature Neurosc . 7: 847 - 854.   2. Maternal Care Affects Gene Activation in the Brain Rats with the same genome can become anxious or normal
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2011 for the course BIOL 4486 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Kennesaw.

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personhood_Gilbert - WHENDOESPERSONHOODBEGIN?...

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