Let me just say for the record that if you're making a claim, your case is not strengthened by lying about the evidence.
The topic comes up because of a loyal reader of Skeptophilia, who sent me a link along with a message ending with the words "HUGE FACEPALM," and I have to say that is, if anything, an underreaction.
The story starts with a piece of (legitimate, and actually fascinating) research that appeared in Nature a few years ago. It used the technique of fluorescence tagging to establish that rapid movement of zinc ions at the moment of fertilization is one of the mechanisms that prevents polyspermy -- the fusion of an egg with two sperm cells, which would result in a wildly wrong number of chromosomes and (very) early embryonic death.
Don't believe me? Here is a verbatim quote:
Catholics have long believed life begins at the moment of conception, which is why in vitro fertilization and the use of contraceptives are considered immoral. Now, with the discovery of the spark of life, science just may have proven the Church has been right all along...This then spawned a YouTube video (because of course it did) that has garnered over forty thousand views, and comments like the following:
Researchers discovered the moment a human soul enters an egg, which gives pro-life groups an even greater edge in the battle between embryonic life and death. The precise moment is celebrated with a zap of energy released around the newly fertilized egg.
Teresa Woodruff, one of the study's senior authors and professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the university, delivered a press release in which she stated, "to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking."
Of course it is breathtaking - she saw the moment a soul entered the newly fertilized egg!
Though scientists are unable to explain why the egg releases zinc, which then binds to small molecules with a flash, the faithful recognize this must be the moment God allows a miracle to occur.
- This gives the idea that the Shroud of Turin somewhat resembles this kind of event, where a burst of light brings someone into life.
- Glory to Lord and Savior Jesus for all eternity Thank you Lord, THANK YOU!!!
- For me if soul exist then also god exist
- In vitro fertilizaton [sic] is playing God, and should be illegal, and fertilized eggs SHOULD NOT BE DESTROYED, they are killing human beings! Life begins at conception no matter what athiest [sic] scientists say!
- I am a Christian but I'm confused on this. If the flash of light has something to do with God and the souls entering the body, why does it happen in animals? I've been told that animals don't have souls... is that wrong idk?
IDK either, honestly, but mostly what IDK is how people who post this stuff remember not to put their underwear on backwards.
The whole thing put me in mind of the map that was circulating in the months after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and was claimed to show the spread of horrible toxic nuclear contamination from the breached nuclear reactor: