MCDB 150 - Global Problems of Population Growth

Lecture 23 - Biology and History of Abortion. The idea that "life begins at conception" is not a scientific one. Since the disproof of 'spontaneous generation' (1668-1859), we have known that life only derives from life. Life arose billions of years ago and has continued since as a cycle. Assigning a beginning to a cycle (like the year) is arbitrary. The Bible describes the cycle as "Dust to Dust." Exodus describes a forced abortion as a property crime, but taking the life of the mother as a capital crime. The New Testament does not refer to abortion.

Lecture 23 - Biology and History of Abortion

Time Lecture Chapters
[00:00:00] 1. When Does Life Start?
[00:17:41] 2. Historical Belief in Spontaneous Generation
[00:23:44] 3. Fertilization as a Marker of Life's Beginning
[00:27:55] 4. Genetic Development
[00:38:39] 5. Life's Beginning as a Cultural Decision
[00:48:03] 6. Abortion in Law, Religion and History
[01:05:40] 7. Further Historical Origins on Life's Beginning

Lecture 23 - Biology and History of Abortion
Instructor: Robert Wyman. Resources: Notes - Lecture 23 [pdf]. Transcript [html]. Audio [mp3]. Download Video [mov].

Go to the Course Home or watch other lectures:

Lecture 01 - Evolution of Sex and Reproductive Strategies
Lecture 02 - Sex and Violence Among the Apes
Lecture 03 - From Ape to Human
Lecture 04 - When Humans Were Scarce
Lecture 05 - Why Is Africa Different?
Lecture 06 - Malthusian Times
Lecture 07 - Demographic Transition in Europe; Mortality Decline
Lecture 08 - Demographic Transition in Europe; Fertility Decline
Lecture 09 - Demographic Transition in Europe
Lecture 10 - Quantitative Aspects
Lecture 11 - Low Fertility in Developed Countries
Lecture 12 - Human and Environmental Impacts
Lecture 13 - Fertility Attitudes and Practices
Lecture 14 - Demographic Transition in Developing Countries
Lecture 15 - Female Disadvantage
Lecture 16 - Population in Traditional China
Lecture 17 - Population in Modern China
Lecture 18 - Economic Impact of Population Growth
Lecture 19 - Economic Motivations for Fertility
Lecture 20 - Teen Sexuality and Teen Pregnancy
Lecture 21 - Global Demography of Abortion
Lecture 22 - Media and the Fertility Transition in Developing Countries
Lecture 23 - Biology and History of Abortion
Lecture 24 - Population and the Environment