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fetal people

G K GRAY gord at homostudy.win-uk.net
Mon Feb 24 05:55:03 EST 1997

In article <v03007802af2de9ec0d7f@[]>, James Woodson (jwoodson at ucla.edu) writes:
>>Neurobiologically, a fetus becomes a person at about 9 months
>>post-natal, or 18 months after conception.  This is because the need
>>for the woman to be capable of efficient locomotion precludes
>>enlargement of the cervix to a large enough diameter to permit
>>complete maturation of the child's brain in the uterus; among
>>placental mammals this species-wide premature birth situation is
>>unique, I believe.
>>-Daniel Pouzzner
>So, you're saying that one becomes a person when their brain "matures"
>completely? Not to be rude, but if your brain is no longer capable of
>maturation and is not continuing to do so, you're probably dead.
>James Woodson
There seems to be some confusion about the issues here. It is true
that brain growth continues at the foetal rate for another 12
months post natal and that the character is unique to our genus -
Homo.(There is fossil evidence for it in Homo erectus - see "The
Wisdom of Bones" by Walker & Shipman) But this does not mean it
stops at that time, just that the rate of growth diminishes after
that. Maturation is a different process that can continue
throughout life.

Cheers! Gord 

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