At the earliest stages of pregnancy the future body that the zygote will acquire has not yet developed.  But the complement of genes that will govern and direct that development is fully present from the moment of conception.   It is a continuing unified coherence that will  last until the person’s death, perhaps many decades in the future, despite the fact that the cells that contain it will change many times.  From the first moment the genes are acting as a coherent unity, co-operating and inter-acting and exchanging  information with each other, sometimes over vast chromosomal distances, as they direct the bewilderingly complex development of the  zygote, surely one of the greatest wonders that nature has to offer.   Information, though, is not material stuff.   You can’t have lumps of information.   It is essentially immaterial, although the nucleotides in which it is incorporated are not.   A persistingly unified  exchange of genetic information would be my definition of the soul.  On this definition the zygote is already ensouled from the very first moment.  The essential immaterial coherence that will grow into a fully developed person is already there.   It is not unreasonable, therefore, to think of abortion as killing an as yet not fully developed human person, although the sanitized language of ‘termination of pregnancy’ and ‘it’s not human, only a bunch of cells’ would camouflage this brutal act.  

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