Archbishop John Habgood Says Moment of Fertilization Doesn't Create Humanity

Archbishop John Habgood Says Moment of Fertilization Doesn't Create Humanity

John Habgood, Archbishop of York

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John Habgood, Archbishop of York, says during a debate over Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill that Christians shouldn't and needn't treat the moment of fertilization as the moment when a new human person exists.

According to Archbishop Habgood:

"Scientists in general and biologists in particular deal mostly in continuities and gradual changes from one state to another. This is true of evolution, in which the transition from the pre-human to the human took place over countless generations.

There was never a precise moment when it could have been said 'Here is a hominid and here is a man.' But this is not to deny that as a result of the process there emerged a profound and indeed crucial set of differences between hominids and men. The same is true of individual lives....

It seems strange to a biologist that all the weight of moral argument should be placed on one definable moment at the beginning....

Christians are no more required to believe that humanness is created in an instant than we are required to believe in the historical existence of Adam and Eve."
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