Novelist Walker Percy on when life begins

By Sarah Terzo

Walker Percy, the novelist, who was trained as a physician at Columbia University, wrote

“It is a commonplace of modern biology, known to every high school student… That the life of every individual organism, human or not, begins with the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with the chromosomes of the ovum to form a new DNA complex that henceforth directs the ontogenesis of the organism.”

Walker Percy, Signposts in a Strange Land, edited by Patrick Samway (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991) p.3.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.