When does one soul become two with identical twins?


#1

I know that in most cases, when a woman’s egg is fertilized, that the zygote will be singular and will result in a singular baby. However, in some cases, the zygote will split into two, and therefore two babies are created. My question is: if life begins at “conception,” when did the second baby’s soul begin? At the conception of the single zygote, or some time during the breaking off from the original zygote?

In other words, at the initial conception are two souls created?

Or, at initial conception is just one formed, although a second one is formed “after” conception, when the zygote splits?


#2

The act of the human-specific sperm fertilizing a human-specific egg starts the process of the development of human-specific physical life. Induced abortion is unacceptable because a new human specific life is in the process of formation.

The ancients once believed that the soul was transmitted by the father and the body by the mother. This presented philosophers and theologians with a dilemna…a dualist dichotomy between soul and body.

For countless centuries, humans have wrestled with the soul-body relationship. For further details, you may wish to read through this: newadvent.org/cathen/14153a.htm and rosary-center.org/ll50n4.htm

As always, the Church is more concerned about what God has accomplished (in this case creating two closely related but distinct new human beings) than about how He has accomplished it (when the souls of these individuals were directly created by God and infused into the bodies which were being “knit together” by God in their mother’s womb).


#3

That is still an area of Speculative Theology, as the Church has not ruled definitively on the subject.

In the case of an identical twin, the leading speculation is that the ensoulment of 1 individual happens at conception. At some later point in development, God chooses to make use of some of the matter present to create and ensoul a new individual. This is similar in fashion to the creation of Eve (a new individual) from the rib of Adam.

This is just theological speculation only though.


#4

I think two souls are there from the beginning regardless of what science says.
its said somewhere that God has a purpose for every person so He would know that twins were there even if it isn’t scientifically grounded.

Everything that lives has a soul, even dogs with their material souls. And remember that a soul can exist without a body, and not the other way around.


#5

[quote=Meggie]I think two souls are there from the beginning regardless of what science says.

[/quote]

It isn’t science that says 2 souls cannot inhabit the same body, it’s Catholic Theology that says so. A person is unique blend of body and soul.

That’s what makes this a tricky theologically. For identical twins, the moment the sperm meets with the ovum, there is new life, a new person.

But there is only a single organism. Therefore, there cannot be 2 souls animating a single organism, it’s a contradiction of what a soul is.

But at some point, the organism splits and becomes 2. At that point 2 souls are required (as the second organism is animated, alive)

That is why the Adam\Eve propostition has recieved the most attention. Genesis tells us that God used matter from one person to create another person. It is therefore not a stretch to assume God is doing the same for twins.


#6

[quote=Brendan]It isn’t science that says 2 souls cannot inhabit the same body, it’s Catholic Theology that says so.
[/quote]

Then why/how does the Church acknowledge the need for exorcisms?


#7

…go figure how we went to 2 souls of identical twins to exorcisms… and i’m ok with not having the answers to some things… :twocents:

http://www.psychics.co.uk/images/ghostscom.jpg


#8

[quote=Timidity]Then why/how does the Church acknowledge the need for exorcisms?
[/quote]

For Spirits, not second souls.

A Spirit is a complete being whose existance is entirely Spirtual (angels and demons are Spirits)

A Soul, while spiritual, is PART of a being. Plants, Animals and Humans have souls.

There are cases where a spirit might inhabit a body, but it is not a PART of the being, it is only an inhabitor.

A soul, by definiton, is part of the being. Ergo, there cannot be 2 souls within a being.


#9

[quote=Brendan]For Spirits, not second souls.
[/quote]

Thanks!


#10

God knows what He is doing.
He knows that there will be two babies even if they scientifically look like one
a baby could not exist for a milisecond without a soul.


#11

[quote=Meggie]God knows what He is doing.
He knows that there will be two babies even if they scientifically look like one
a baby could not exist for a milisecond without a soul.
[/quote]

And if you review the above theory, it accounts for that. God formed Eve’s soul from material from Adam, why would this be any different?

It is not a scientific appearance that we are concerned with. Science doesn’t care about souls at all. It is the metaphysics that is tricky.

One single fertilized cell is a single substance, a single body. It is the beginning of the very essensce of personhood. This is not Science, it’s St. Thomas Aquinas :wink: It has one soul becase it is one being, one substance, one person.

Saying there are 2 souls in that being isn’t saying Science is wrong, Science says dittely on souls or ‘being’; it’s saying St. Augustine, St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas are wrong.

They were some pretty smart guys who knew their stuff, so I’ll take their word on it until the Infallibale Church says otherwise.

The rib remained alive outside of the animation of Adam’s Soul by the very breath of God. But the rib is was a person. It CAME from a person.The very breath of God imparted a new soul in the body he had fashioned, thus creating Eve, a new person.

Now when it comes time for a indentical twinning, God does the same, he takes part of the zygote and imparts a new soul, thus creating a new person.

At no time therefore, is there a person without at soul (a contradiction in terms), or 2 souls withing the same being (also a contradiciton)


#12

Meggie,

Let me phrase this another way.

Suppose you were walking along and accidentally fell into a cloning machine. Your body was divided and another, genetically identical person rolled out of the machine with you.

That person would be alive, have memory and intellect. They would have a soul. They could be Baptized and receive the Eucharist, correct? All the signs of having a soul.

Now, according to your theory, God would have know you would, one day, fall into that cloning machine (which is true).

So, you would hold that, at the movement of conception, He would have imparted a second soul into you for that occurrence?

And you would have lived all your life with a second soul within you?

You, Maggie were the one Baptized when water was poured over you, not the other soul. When and how could it be Baptized?

No, most likely (but not infallibly) God would impart a soul to that body at the cloning, making it a new creation, a new person, a new being in His image.


#13

[quote=Madaglan]I know that in most cases, when a woman’s egg is fertilized, that the zygote will be singular and will result in a singular baby. However, in some cases, the zygote will split into two, and therefore two babies are created. My question is: if life begins at “conception,” when did the second baby’s soul begin? At the conception of the single zygote, or some time during the breaking off from the original zygote?

In other words, at the initial conception are two souls created?

Or, at initial conception is just one formed, although a second one is formed “after” conception, when the zygote splits?
[/quote]

God knew before hand that the pregnancy would result in twins, and I believe that there always were two souls in the zygote. I don’t think the sperm or egg carry the soul…but more pressing is the question, what came first, the chicken or the egg?


#14

This issue was also discussed in some detail by identical twin apologist Jim Blackburn, in the “Ask An Apologist” forum:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=16880&highlight=identical+twins


#15

There is no problem.

God can distinguish between one baby and two babies.

If there are two babies HE will provide two souls.

The Proof; If one of the twins dies at age 21 and the other survives. Do the survivor still walk and talk? Yes. He must still have a soul. And the desceased? Upon death his sould had to leave his body.

Any questions?


#16

I think that at the point you have a cell split off that will become Baby B instead of Baby A, then you have two babies… so you have two souls. I trust God knows when that point is.


#17

My understanding is that when the right genetic materials come together, God creates a soul. If there’s enough genetic material for two people, He creates another soul. When exactly does it happen? Who knows. —KCT


#18

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