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Considering Artificial Wombs For Childbearing?

If Christina Aguilera had undergone 'transhuman' birth, this would be close to what she might look like inside her skull.
If Christina Aguilera had undergone 'transhuman' birth, this would be close to what she might look like inside her skull.

Anyone with a brain would have suspected this was coming. Scientists have now produced an artificial womb, raising a fertilized zygote to a full-term baby. No mom needed, except to supply the fertilized ovum—and maybe not even that.

This is when babies are manufactured, not born. Scientists have already successfully gestated goat embryos in tanks filled with amniotic fluid. In 2003, Cornell University grew a mouse embryo in a bio-engineered structure. Just recently, those researchers grew a human embryo—a living human being—for 10 days inside an artificial womb, before killing the embryo. That work was limited by legislation imposing a 14-day limit on research projects of this nature.

Evidently technology presents incredible life-saving powers, but it also magnifies man’s ability to destroy human life. They call an artificial womb and its use "ectogenesis."

Ectogenesis, quite plainly, is an absolute minefield.

British scientist J.B.S. Haldane predicted by 2074 only 30 percent of births would be human births. But this prediction may be realized much earlier.

Ectogenesis appears like an amniotic fluid-filled aquarium with feeding tubes and monitoring cables attached to a live, developing organism. Those tubes bring the nutrients, oxygen, and all necessities to grow an organism and help it survive. And yes, you get a definitive “Matrix” feel by looking at it.

Most of the technology for experimenting with artificially growing a human fetus already exists. "Bona-fide" human trials are likely a decade off, mostly because of murky legal and ethical implications of “ectogenic” life.

Many people would probably be comfortable using it, simply because of elimination of pain, labor, and time. Females would no longer have to solely bear the responsibility of childbirth, or worry about stressful questions often faced while carrying a child in one's body for nine months.

Ectogenesis would further allow women freedom from the home during pregnancy, and extend the childbearing age. But some feminists skeptically view it, saying it will hand over women's sacred birthing ability to science.

Most with conservative social views and religious concerns would not approve of the technology. Professor and journalist John Nassivera writes in America, The National Catholic Review, "I can tell you that this deprivation is a very serious thing."

Bionic augmentation, performance-changing drugs, and radical technologies are keys to the coming sporting events increasingly being called transhumanist competition. "Transhuman" literally means beyond human, and anyone going through an ectogenic process is technically no longer human. .

Ectogenesis could easily result in the ability to install “spare parts” in any former human. A human’s “construction” could be radically different. Could that human still retain his soul? If he was “ectogenically” manufactured, did he ever have a soul in the first place?

Obviously, only God would know that. And if he was changed in some way, God would know if a soul still existed, or ever, did exist.

This author, for one, does not want to go there…

Kevin Roeten can be reached at