FERTILIZATION and IMPLANTATION of the Early Human Embryo: Accurate Scientific Resources

Dianne N. Irving
Copyright May 8, 2013
Reproduced with Permission

I. Introduction

When and how did you begin to exist? Or your children? Given the amazing advancements of science and medicine over the past 100 years, one would think that even the average person in the street -- even elementary school students -- would know the accurate scientific facts of their own reproduction by now.

However, especially in the last 40 years (especially since the advent of artificial reproductive technologies such as IVF and ART that involve both sexual and asexual human reproduction), there has been a dedicated effort to dumb-down such accurate scientific and medical facts, to politicize these false scientific facts, and to use frankly fraudulent science in order to push various unethical agendas. The purpose of this article, then, is to once again set the record straight and provide people with the accurate objective scientific facts (all direct quotations from the reliable scientific resources listed below) of their own reproduction, covering especially sexual reproduction from fertilization to implantation. Given the current exponential rise in technology and medicine, and the extensive research needed to sustain it, public input into its funding and ethical status is becoming critical -- for both personal decision making and for public policymaking purposes. I hope many find these accurate scientific references helpful in their own work. [See Irving, "Why Accurate Human Embryology Is Needed To Evaluate Current Trends In Research Involving Stem Cells, Genetic Engineering, Synthetic Biology and Nanotechnology" (November 20, 2012), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_206accuratehumanembryology1.html].

A. Legacy of the "Pre-Embryo" and "Pre-Embryo Substitutes" Based on Scientific Fraud

For this writer, the situation concerning our inability to know the accurate scientific and medical facts about our own reproduction and existence (long-known for over 125 years) became crystal clear decades ago, while observing first the efforts to make the early human embryo linguistically disappear with the advent of the fake term "pre-embryo" -- concocted by Jesuit Richard McCormick (Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.) and mouse embryologist Clifford Grobstein (California). When that fake term was finally formally rejected by the international nomenclature committee on human embryology several years ago, well, most fabricators stopped using that unique term but simply used the same fake science that was used to support it. Soon an entire pleuroma of "pre-embryo substitutes" started evolving, likewise scientifically fake, and likewise aimed at various other related unethical agendas. I even started a list of these very creative frauds -- and the list continues to grow as we speak. [For a longer list of "pre-embryo substitutes" used over the last few decades, see toward bottom of my article, "Human Embryology and Church Teachings" (September 15, 2008), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/em/em_132embryologychurch1.html; also published in The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Supplement 2009, (Detroit: Gayle), pp. 287-312, as "Embryology, Human"].

Just think about it. If there is no human being present until later in pregnancy -- or in petri dishes adorning IVF/ART research laboratories and "infertility" clinics around the world --, or if what is there is "just a bunch of cells", or just "pluripotent" rather than "totipotent cells, etc., etc. --, then what's the problem in aborting them or destroy them in experimental research "for the greater good"? Similarly, if "pregnancy" and "embryo" are claimed to only begin at implantation (as the U.S. Federal Regulations for the use of human subjects in research so define these terms in the 1981 OPRR/OHRP regulations, as well as in many "professional" medical and research organizations and societies), then the early human embryo disappears once again. It's a "free-for-all" for any and all destructive research and abortion -- all based on scientific fraud. By now all this fraud has corrupted the textbooks, journal articles, graduate level course materials, internet searches, and full libraries around the world. One does wonder why this has been allowed to persist, and why none of this basic fundamental scientific fraud has been picked up by intellectually honest scientists, physicians, government regulations, journal referees, or even the public given that all one has to do to find out the accurate scientific facts is go to the library and look it up, or even hop onto the internet. Do you really think that you did not begin to exist until you implanted into your mother's womb, or that you yourself were not pregnant until your unborn child implanted into your womb? [See Irving, "A One-Act Play: 'Crippled Consciences and the Human Embryo'" (November 17, 2010), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_178one-act-play1.html].

It's really not so confusing at all. Terms that apply only to artificial circumstances are illicitly transferred to normal/natural circumstances. E.g., under artificial circumstances such as in IVF and ART (which includes in vitro fertilization but also dozens of asexual reproductive processes such as cloning, genetic engineering, etc.), you are not pregnant until the 5-7 day old embryo that was fertilized or asexually reproduced in a petri dish in their lab is implanted into your uterus by the technician. In normal sexual reproduction between a man and a woman, where fertilization takes place in your fallopian tube (not in your uterus), you are already pregnant when the 5-7 day embryo implants. In either case, if you happened to be that new embryo, you already started existing at least a week before you implanted into your mother's uterus or were patiently awaiting transfer from an IVF petri dish to your soon-to-be "intended" mother's uterus. Note too that the term "abortion" has thus also been redefined to refer only to the killing of the early embryo after implantation "in the womb"; it would therefore not refer to the killing of the early embryo as it is making its way through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. Nor would the term "abortion" apply to the killing of any asexually reproduced human embryos after implantation. The point is that all this supposed "confusion" has been purposefully propagated in order for certain people and groups to get away with doing unethical things without you knowing or understanding what is really going on. How are you to be able, then to correctly form your conscience, or public policy makers able to design loop-hole proof laws and regulations concerning these related issues? [See Irving, "The Impact of 'Scientific Misinformation' on Other Fields: Philosophy, Theology, Biomedical Ethics, Public Policy", Accountability in Research, April 1993, 2(4):243-272, at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_124misinformation1.html].

Let me note just two current examples over the last month of this on-going scientific fraud. Just recently there has been another effort to make the abortifacient "emergency contraceptive" pills -- Plan B -- available over the counter to any female regardless of her age. The politicized claims in the PR industry have convinced people that Plan B is just a "contraceptive", that it is not also an abortifacient, and that "abortion" is defined only in terms of the death of an embryo that has already implanted "in your womb". They want you to believe that you are not pregnant until implantation of the embryo after normal sexual relations with a man. Yet even the manufacturer of Plan B -- Barr Pharmaceuticals -- admits in the inserts of their product and on their own website that Plan B could be abortifacient:

PlanBOneStep.com (as of April 27, 2013)
How does Plan B One-Step® work?
Plan B One-Step® is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for several decades. Plan B One-Step® works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy from happening. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb). http://www.planbonestep.com/faqs.aspx

As they, and everyone else but you, know, if breakout ovulation has occurred, and if fertilization has occurred, then not to worry -- the "bunch of cells" in your fallopian tube will be prevented from implanting in your womb because of certain chemical mechanisms in Plan B designed to do that. Of course, if you really are already pregnant but the embryo is still in your fallopian tube, then Plan B will really cause an abortion. [See Irving, "Contraceptive" and "Morning After" Pills: Women and Young Girls, You're On Your Own (April 5, 2013), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_210asecret.html].

Another example involves a current bill on abortion in Ireland. Here, too, false scientific definitions are used to make you think that "pregnancy" does not begin until implantation -- and that there is no already-existing embryo in your fallopian tube that might be killed before he/she implants in your uterus -- and thus literally killing that pre-implantation EMBRYO would not constitute abortion -- the very thing this bill is supposed to address:

According to the bill, life does not begin at conception, but at implantation, when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/definition-of-unborn-will-be-confined-to-act-29236804.html

Of course, that "science" is false -- and they know it. Life does not begin at implantation -- whether initiated during natural sexual reproduction between a male and a female, or initiated during the use of artificial reproductive technologies in IVF/ART research laboratories and "infertility" clinics! And only women undergoing those artificial reproductive techniques are "pregnant" at implantation of the already existing embryo. Women who have normal sexual relations with men are pregnant long before implantation -- i.e., when fertilization takes place in her fallopian tube. I would also point out that "conception" is also not scientifically correct, either, because only some but not all human beings begin to exist through fertilization; many others begin to exist by different reproductive processes that do not involve fertilization.

B. Previous Warnings:

Aside from the copious efforts of this writer (see Irving Library, at: http://www.lifeissues.net/section.php?topic=ir), as well as solid efforts by many others over the decades, let me just point out a few examples that pinpoint the fact that the accurate science involving human reproduction has been falsified, and purposefully so. In order for IVF and ART and the research they need to perform in order to flourish, and to sustain the radical feminist movement, etc., something had to be done to forestall ethical ramifications and any reluctance of clients to use these facilities or to rely on abortion as a "contraceptive". Lee Silver's slip of the tongue in his book says it all:

"I'll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between a six-day-old embryo and a sixteen-day-old embryo. The term is useful in the political arena - where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo experimentation - as well as in the confines of a doctor's office where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients." (Lee Silver, Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World, New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39.)

Fortunately, although belatedly, the fake term "pre-embryo" was formally rejected by human embryologists around the world (who are different academically, and in expertise, from mouse embryologists, molecular biologists, neurologists, and especially developmental biologists who don't know the facts of human embryology):

"The term 'pre-embryo' is not used here for the following reasons: (1) it is ill-defined because it is said to end with the appearance of the primitive streak or to include neurulation; (2) it is inaccurate because purely embryonic cells can already be distinguished after a few days, as can also the embryonic (not pre-embryonic!) disc; (3) it is unjustified because the accepted meaning of the word embryo includes all of the first 8 weeks; (4) it is equivocal because it may convey the erroneous idea that a new human organism is formed at only some considerable time after fertilization; and (5) it was introduced in 1986 'largely for public policy reasons' (Biggers)." ... Just as postnatal age begins at birth, prenatal age begins at fertilization," (p. 88). ...
[Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (3rd ed.) (New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001)] [Note that O'Rahilly was a founding member of the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development instituted in 1942 and updated continuously since then]

Note that the existing British laws and regulations on human embryo research, human cloning, human genetic engineering, etc., are literally still grounded on the false term "pre-embryo", as are those of many other countries as well. Laws and regulations in Canada were grounded on yet another scientific fraud -- the so-called Biogenetic Law -- but this fake science was also formally rejected by human embryologists:

Recapitulation, the So-Called Biogenetic Law. The theory that successive stages of individual development (ontogeny) correspond with ({recapitulate") successive adult ancestors in the line of evolutionary descent (phylogeny) became popular in the nineteenth century as the so-called biogenetic law. This theory of recapitulation, however, has had a "regrettable influence on the progress of embryology" (G. de Beer). ... According to the "laws" of von Baer, general characters (e.g., brain, notochord) appear in development earlier than special characters (e.g., limbs, hair). Furthermore, during its development an animal departs more and more from the form of other animals. Indeed, the early stages in the development of an animal are not like the adult stages of other forms but resemble only the early stages of those animals. The pharyngeal clefts of vertebrate embryos, for example, are neither gills nor slits. Although a fish elaborates this region into gill slits, in reptiles, birds, and mammals it is converted into such structures as the tonsils and the thymus. (p. 16)
[Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (3rd ed.)(New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001)]

And as painful as it is to point out, the term "conception" was likewise rejected as unscientific and even a cause of confusion -- not only because only some but not all human beings are reproduced via fertilization, but also because the term can also refer to "implantation":

"The term conception, however, may refer either to fertilization or to implantation and hence (like gestation) is best avoided. (p. 19).
[Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (3rd ed.)(New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001)]

In fact, many state laws already falsely define "conception" as "implantation. Nor does the term "conception" alone properly refer to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which claims only that the state of Mary's soul was "immaculate" (without sin) upon her conception. [See Irving, "Conception" is not "The Immaculate Conception" (January 26, 2013), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_209immaculateconception1.html; see also, "Personhood 'Language' 2008 - 2011" (October 2, 2011), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_192personhoodlanguage.html; see also, "'Revival' of St. Thomas' Philosophy - Yes, But Not His Erroneous 'Delayed Personhood' Argument; Concerns for Beginning and End of Life Issues" (April 4, 2011), at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_185revival.st.thomas1.html].

And although perhaps not fully appreciated by many people, the lobbyists and special interests groups know full well that in legal documents the courts are generally legally required to interpret the formal definitions in those legal documents as "exclusionary" -- i.e., literally (whether they match reality or not). Thus they purposefully use these "pre-embryo substitutes" to forge legal loopholes in laws and regulation involving the human embryo, human fetus, and pregnant women. Among the more recent terms on the growing list of "pre-embryo substitutes" that are scientifically falsely defined are: "fertilization", "conception", "in the womb", "implantation", "abortion", "cloning", "pluripotent" -- all falsely defined. All involve living innocent human beings who are destroyed through abortion or research. All involve harming women, especially pregnant women. (And just consider how these false scientific definitions play out in current issues such as "surrogacy" (including forced surrogacy in human trafficking), genetic engineering, even transhumanism and their goal of producing "posthumans", etc.).

C. The Long-Known Accurate Objective Scientific Facts of When You Began To Exist

So if you really want to know the century-long known objective scientific and medical facts about your own reproduction, please see below for direct quotations from internationally recognized human embryology texts, as well as the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development online. The Carnegie Stages are even available as an App for iPhones [http://apps.usa.gov/embryo.shtml], as well as on DVD [http://www.ehd.org/shoppingcart/products/The-Biology-of-Prenatal-Development.html].

The Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development are found at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Human Developmental Anatomy Center [2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910; USA; medicalmuseum@amedd.army.mil].

The known facts of the science of human embryology are not "new". The first to study the human embryo systematically was Wilhelm His, Sr., who established the basis of reconstruction, i.e., the assembling of three-dimensional form from microscopic sections. His, who has been called the "Vesalium of human embryology," published his three-volume masterpiece Anatomie menschlicher Embryonen in 1880-85 [His, Vogel, Leipzig]. In it the human embryo was studied as a whole for the first time internationally. A detailed Handbook of Human Embryology by Keibel and Mall appeared in 1910-12. Franklin P. Mall, who studied under His, established the Carnegie Embryological Collection in Baltimore and was the first person to stage human embryos (in 1914). Mall's collection soon became the most important repository of human embryos in the world and has ever since served as a "Bureau of Standards" for the science of human embryology. Mall's successor, George L. Streeter, laid down the basis of the currently used staging system for human embryos (1942-48), which was instituted in 1942, completed by O'Rahilly (1973) and revised by O'Rahilly and Muller (1987). [See history of Carnegie Collection, at: http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=collections.hdac.collections.burdi; see also, Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001); also, O'Rahilly and Muller, ibid., (3rd ed., 1994), p. 3].

II: Scientific Myths and Facts

Once you know the accurate objective scientific facts of human embryology, and how you yourself and your children came to be reproduced, you will then be prepared to counter many of the scientific "myths" that are forced on you daily by unethical scientists, researchers, lobbyists, politicians and others. The full direct quotations in the next section addressing the accurate scientific facts about sexual reproduction from fertilization through implantation document unequivocally how false so much of their supposed "facts" are nothing more than self-serving "myths". Just for starters, consider that:

Please take the time to read through the following direct quotations about human reproduction -- focusing just on fertilization through implantation -- taken from long-known, internationally accepted accurate objective scientific facts. Don't be fooled any longer by scientific and medical quacks who want to dumb you down to the point where you don't even know your own or your own children's reproductive history any more.

III. "Pregnancy" Begins at Fertilization in the Woman's Fallopian Tube, Not 5-7 Days Later in Her Uterus at Implantation: The Blastocyst Implants, Not a Single-Cell "Fertilized Egg"

A. Human Embryology Testbooks (and from CARNEGIE STAGE ONE online):

Next Page: IV: O'Rahilly Text -- Chapters on Stages 1 (Fertilization) to 6 (Including "Implantation")
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