John Wyatt is Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics and a devout Christian.
Here is what he writes about the human embryo:
"At one level the embryo is just biology, a collection of genetic information and cellular machinery. But at the same time it is a physical sign of an immaterial or spiritual reality, even a sacrament of a hidden covenant of creation. A sign that God is bringing forth a new being, a god-like being, a unique reflection of his character, a being to whom he is locked in covenant commitment. (...)
"we have to recognize that not every embryo is destined to develop into a person. More than 50 per cent of all human embryos fail to implant in the uterus or miscarry at an early stage of pregnancy. Studies indicate that the majority of these embryos have major chromosomal anomalies which are incompatible with life."
How is it possible to make these two perspectives compatible? - On the one hand, the human embryo is something sacred, the beginning of a god-like being, on the other hand more than 50 percent of these "sacred beings" are routinely destroyed before they can develop into a child, killed not by wicked abortion doctors, but by nature itself, or - because after all God himself is responsable for everything that happens in nature - by their Creator.
What I cannot understand is how Professor Wyatt can reconcile sacredness and mass-destruction. I am pretty sure that the vast majority of those "pro-lifers" who fight against abortion do not know that more than half of all human embryos are destroyed naturally, without external interference, but our Professor of course is aware of that fact. To me, this is one of the points where biology and religion collide (at least if you agree with Prof. Wyatt that God's covenant with humans starts with conception, and not at a later stage in the fetal development.)
So what do you think? Is the human embryo sacred or something special (inherently and essentially different from, say, a mouse embryo)? If yes: why? Or do we need a supernatural dimension in order to distinguish human and mouse embryos in a moral sense?