In a May 23, 2016 National Catholic Register article ” Contrary to Reports, There is No Flash of Light at Conception”, writer Stacy Trasancos takes some people who wrote about the amazing research article and video to task for 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.”
She is right that claims of ensoulment or actual “fireworks” in the mother are wrong and inaccurate.
But while I understand Ms. Trasancos’ point about the over excitement by some writers, the phenomenon itself actually is a pretty big deal.
The researchers were not trying to make a theological or philosophical point but rather reporting a testing phenomenon:
“We monitored calcium and zinc dynamics in individual human eggs using selective fluorophores following activation with calcium-ionomycin, ionomycin, or hPLCζ cRNA microinjection. These egg activation methods, as expected, induced rises in intracellular calcium levels and also triggered the coordinated release of zinc into the extracellular space in a prominent “zinc spark.”
The truly relevant point is that there IS a moment of “human egg activation”. Using fluorescence to show a chemical reaction accompanying that moment of activation enhances the reality of when life begins-a fact that Justice Blackmun in the Roe v. Wade abortion decision said was unresolvable because so many people disagreed.
As I wrote about years ago, the photos of the “sperm injection” mode of IVF (in vitro fertilization) developed over 20 years ago and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) before implantation of the new life back into the mother should have been proof enough of when life begins, even for a Supreme Court justice.
No fluorescence or sparks necessary.