The Telegraph recently reported something sensational. “Bright flash of light marks incredible moment life begins when sperm meets egg.” The article stated, “Human life begins in a bright flash of light … tiny sparks erupt from the egg at the exact moment of conception.” Pro-life and Christian sites obviously took notice, and their authors repeated variations of the Telegraph’s claim.
Live Action added: “…a new scientific breakthrough might go a long way towards changing hearts and minds: scientists have been able to capture the moment life begins, with a bright flash of light as a new life is conceived.”
Life News continued: “Scientists … witnessed for the first time what happens at the moment when a new human life begins – a burst of zinc fireworks.”
Life Site went large: “God’s active act of creation, as described in Genesis 1, begins with those familiar words ‘Let there be light,’… At the moment that you, I and everyone else who has ever lived were conceived, the microscopic equivalent of ‘fireworks’ went off. A kind of mini ‘Big Bang.’”
Catholic Online went further: “Spark of life: Scientists discover moment souls enter eggs at the time of conception.” The author claimed that this is what the faithful recognize as the “moment when God allows a miracle to occur,” and called the science proof of Catholic teaching. “Now, with the discovery of the spark of life, science just may have proven the Church has been right all along.”
These are exaggerations. At conception, there is no flash of light, no burst of fireworks, no sparks flying, no fiat lux, no scientific proof of ensoulment, no vindication of doctrine by this research. There is a misunderstanding.
Read the rest at the National Catholic Register. I am thinking I will need to do some follow up, but those of you who have known me for a while (as mentors, readers, and guides) know that my underlying and overarching point is this: Be awed by all of Creation! Know the the details of science, but do not reduce the handiwork of God to any single chemical or physical event.