Two headed baby dies after surgery to remove second head.

These news articles are always morbidly fascinating in much the same way that bad traffic accidents tend to be.

Tennessean.com—Infant Girl Dies After 2nd Head Removed

The second head, which doctors said threatened the girl’s development, grew from the top of Rebeca’s skull and had its own partly developed brain, ears, eyes and lips.

The operation was critical because the head on top was growing faster than the lower one, said Dr. Jorge Lazareff, the lead brain surgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Mattel Children’s Hospital.

There’s more on all of this in this Yahoo News story if you’re interested.

When I read stories like this the second most common thought that comes to mind (the first being how sad and tragic this is) is how do Creationists explain this sort of thing? If you accept the idea of Evolution then the how of this isn’t a big mystery, but in the Creationist world view everything is created as it should be. So could a Creationist please take the time to explain to me why God would create an infant like this in the first place?

31 thoughts on “Two headed baby dies after surgery to remove second head.

  1. You will probably receive one of two stock answers if any:

    1) She was born to the family in question as a test of their faith (ala Job) or

    2) God works in mysterious ways (see also ‘no one can know the mind of god’).

    It is also possible that some mean spirited person will suggest that it was a punishment, much like the AIDS virus (see ‘gay plague’) because the parents were wicked, or sinful, or unworthy. That way at least it wasn’t God’s fault.

  2. I’ll tell you what I think about this.

    1) Accidents and misfortunes happen. Maybe it happened during meiosis. Or maybe it’s like what happens to people with Downs Syndrome, etc, where something accidental happens when the cells seperate to become another cell, and a chromosome is messed up or destroyed somehow.

    2) I don’t get what you’re asking—I thought, at least, creationist (like me) don’t believe in a god. Man, you’re confusing me. I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings, but seriously!

    Explanation: Meiosis went wrong. -Nod.-

  3. Shin -
    Creationists = god/Emeril said “Bam!” -> Man on earth, walking talking and sinning.
    evolutionists = primordial ooze -> millions of years pass -> man.

  4. This thread is confusing Creationism and the more esoteric “It’s all part of the plan” view that some people have.

    Creationism at its most dogmatic states that 6008 years ago (give or take 5) some time in mid October, God went “abracadabra” and the void became fermament, and man and woman walked on it in a place called Eden.” Everything on earth is no more than 6008 years old, including fossils and such.

    This doesn’t have anything to do with God’s plan for us.

    So the question really should be “How does this happen when God has everything all planned out ahead of time.”

    And there are several reasonable answers to that question, of which here are a few:

      - God doesn’t have every single detail planned out, only a high level design. You can even say that individuals have free will, while allowing the plan to keep progressing. (Such as in Asimov’s “Foundation” books as an example.)

      - God’s plan is so complex (being written by God and all) that we, as a part of it, are incapable of understanding all of it’s nuances. The child’s condition could be a test, or it could be something that would bond certain people to his faith in the long term, or maybe it was required that he throw some disadvantages into the plan, to pay for the good things (see the Champions role playing game for more details. :-p)

      - The plan is complete, but has to follow the rules set down for the universe, which means that 1 in a billion births will have two heads.”

    The best answer, to me, is that “Bad things happen to good people” sometimes—and there isn’t a good reason for it.

    And for the record, there is nothing inherently wrong with creationism, unless you are an atheist and therefore don’t believe in God at all. But if you DO believe in God, it’s not so hard to say that since the existance of life is highly improbable, and human-intelligence is even more improbable, why not believe that the process for it’s creation was induced rather than random? And instead of 7 “days”, say that it was 7 stages of development and it works fine, and is totally consistent with the scientific approach to what happened.

  5. How about this, like many have said, bad things do happen to good people, but maybe this wasn’t a “bad” thing, I mean, yeah, it appears to be bad to you and me, but to that child, maybe her life span was only intended to be 2 months before God called her home.  I believe she is now with her Heavenly Father, which is a heck of alot better place for her to be than where you and I reside.  Of course there’s heartache for her family here, of course it seems like a waste… to us… but who are we to question His ultimate plan…  I believe many blessings have come from that child’s short lived life to those around her that would not have come otherwise, and the sad thing is, most people will never even realize that if she wouldn’t have been here, then those things wouldn’t have occurred. 

    You can CHOOSE to be pissed at reality, or accept it and look for the best…

    Alot of what I just wrote would mean ZILCH to an atheist or evolutionist…so I’ll just feel bad for them that they have to make things so complicated…

  6. I always love arguments such as…

    I believe she is now with her Heavenly Father, which is a heck of alot better place for her to be than where you and I reside.

    It makes me wonder why Christians aren’t more careless. This Heaven place sounds pretty damned wonderful so how come they’re always praying to God to watch over them and keep them safe here on Earth? Wouldn’t it make more sense to pray for a speedy and imminent death? You know, something along the lines of:

    OhLordJesusOurHeavenlyFatherWhoWatchesOverUsFromOnHigh, I realize you’ve got a master plan for my life and I’m willing to tow the line in that regard, but it would be really great if you could call me home soon ‘cause I’ve heard a lot about Heaven and it seems like a much nicer place to be than Earth. In fact, life in general sucks compared to what awaits me in Heaven and I’m not perfect like you are and I’m worried that if I stay here too long I’ll fuck… err… mess things up and end up on your bad side. So it would be really great if you could find it in your heart to allow me to check out early. It doesn’t have to be anything too flashy like a bolt of lightening out of the blue or spontaneously bursting into flames while sitting in my arm chair, but perhaps the next time I step off a curb without paying attention you could look the other way instead of nudging me to safety. You know, something indirect and subtle. Anyway, thanks for listening and considering offing me before my time.

    Love, your humble but slightly impatient servant, Me.

    You never hear anyone pray like that and you have to wonder why. I mean, if being dead is so great and all…

    Of course there’s heartache for her family here, of course it seems like a waste… to us… but who are we to question His ultimate plan…

    The above response has got to be one of the biggest cop-out answers believers have managed to come up with and they love to repeat it.

    We’d be his creations that he gave minds capable of questioning his master plan to. Hell, even if I still believed in a god you can bet your sweet ass I wouldn’t hesitate to question a lot of the shit that happens in reality if I ever got a chance to meet him. If he didn’t want us to question his “Really Big Super Secret Plan” then he shouldn’t have given us the intelligence to do so. That’s just plan fucking stupid on his part.

    I believe many blessings have come from that child’s short lived life to those around her that would not have come otherwise, and the sad thing is, most people will never even realize that if she wouldn’t have been here, then those things wouldn

  7. A good friend of mine has a child who was born with a very rare anatomical defect in the brain.

    When someone is stupid enough to say, “God must have given this burden to you because He knew you could handle it,” or some such, she’s really tempted to reply, “Gee, maybe if you pray hard and long enough, God will send YOU a special-needs baby too.”

    Asshats.

  8. Well, what else can believers say? Admitting that their chosen benovelent vengeful deity fucks perfectly good people over is not an option, which leaves the cop-outs:

    [list]
    [*] It’s a test.
    [*] He/She is now in a better place.
    [*] He/She must have done something wrong to deserve it.
    [*] God moves in mysterious ways.
    [/list]

    Which is another way of saying that the believers are in denial.

  9. hey,

    all you guys are right about the rampant cop-out of beleivers.  its sad, uneducated, and very cliche’

    they claim that every single thing that happens is from God, which is not true.  if this baby was somehow God’s will, i am not the judge of that, but its possibly not.  nor is it his will or plan for the woman that gets raped, the teen that gets molested, or the child that has his mother or father leave them tonight.

    its not God “f”-ing us over, its life.  i am not sure if all “creationists” are supposedly believer/christian,  but as a christian i fully understand that we live in a very violent world that is far from the “creators” purpose.

    this world is on loan to us from God and everything that happens here is not his will/plan/design, but one day (according to scripture) it will be.

    the scripture teaches that actually satan is god of this worlds system (2 cor. 4:4) and has a lot of authority. if you have ever read in scripture where satan took Jesus up and said he would give Christ all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow and worship him.  well if the kingdoms did not belong to satan it would not have been a temptation that Jesus would have to overcome.  so according to scripture there is another force/power at play here. 

    am i saying God created this baby? no.  am i saying the “debil” did it? no.  it could have been just life in the world that as for the moment is dominated by satan.  lets face it life sucks for a lot of people most of the time.  it sucks for others every once in a while. we all have our moments of unexplained and undeserved tragedy. 

    les,  believe it or not, i know of people that have prayed a prayer similar to the one you posted above. so that is not far from reality.

  10. That doesn’t surprise me Randall. Honestly, I would think it’s more common than it seems to be. Certainly I was trying to be funny in what I wrote, but I was serious about the question it poses.

  11. I’m going to be honest first, I didn’t read half of the coments above because its late and my eyes hurt. But I am a Christian (a fairly new one)and it has been my expierence that yes these things do infact happen for a reason. I believe this because in the past two years I’ve lost my mom and little brother, however I also gained a father whom recently was diagnosed with a terminal illiness. As it stands I will lose them all before I even turn 20. But without the loss of my mom, I never would have gotten to know my dad. Wheather you believe in God or not, everything that happens that isn’t perfect teaches you a lesson. Without suffering and pain in our world, there would be no compassion. Without hate, no love. God never promised a perfect world, and we aren’t perfect nor is anything in it. Instead he promised us problems, hardships, and difficulities. I don’t have a complete answer as to why, but I feel better believing their is somebody to carry me through them. I’m not asking anyone to believe what I do, but I am asking that you respect my choices just like I respect yours. ((this is not meant at les, but rather alot of people who posted rude comments about spiritual people))

  12. Well, I had no idea my former comment would stir up such anger, or sarcasm, or whatever you want to call it.  I am encouraged by the believers who have posted their comments though.

    It’s always funny to me, that in a rebuttle from someone who disagrees with the beliefs on God, it always seems angry, or vengeful, or dripping with sarcasm.  Maybe there is a reason those people are so mad at God, I’m sure they have a great big sad story, that I would definately sympathize for, but, I’d like to refer to what Ethel said:

    “Without suffering and pain in our world, there would be no compassion. Without hate, no love. God never promised a perfect world, and we aren

  13. Bekah, read what I actually wrote and get a grip.  I was quoting a good friend of mine, a MOM WITH A SPECIAL NEEDS BABY OF HER OWN.  She was being sarcastic as a reaction to the INCREDIBLY INSENSITIVE comment by a religious idiot to dared to suggest that a god gave her a disabled child on purpose.

    Oh, and yes, I am a mother too.  You can believe me or not; I don’t give a shit.  I’m not insensitive to my kids, just to idiots.

    If hoping that there is a God and a Christ makes you feel better, go right ahead.  Personally, I find that when I have something more interesting to focus my mind on, all pretense of a god goes away.  Interesting how if you don’t remember to work at it, it’s not there.  It’s all in your mind, babe.  I’m not mad at God; it’s silly to be mad at the figment of someone else’s imagination.  I just have better things to do with my time than play make-believe.

  14. No, the “major birth abnormalities” are NOT all from third world countries.  That’s a particularly ugly sort of prejudice rearing its head there.  Infant mortality due to malnutrition is one thing; birth defects due to medication, contaminants, genetically inherited syndromes or simply a bad roll of the genetic dice are something else entirely.  Incomplete (parasitic or otherwise conjoined) twins are just that:  for some reason they don’t completely separate, and this is not due to environment or nutrition any more than normal monozygotic (identical) twins are.  And anybody who tries to suggest that God does something like that on purpose to a poor baby or babies and their parents ought to be set on fire and then shot for smokin’.

  15. If there is a god, maybe it eats human pain and suffering for lunch. I never understood why god must be a benovelent kindly old guy that tests his flocks in the most apalling ways. The world makes a lot more sense if you postulate that whoever is in charge of it doesn’t like us very much.

  16. When I came across this website, it was by accident.  I saw something that I wanted to comment on.  I don’t know why a discussion can’t be held with out things being said such as “anyone who thinks other than me should be set on fire and shot for smoking”… Please, my thoughts on why that baby was born the way she was were not being presented as law, if anything, they were just my thoughts and something that I thought could maybe bring peace to someone else who might be questioning things, just as I am.  There’s no need in becoming so vengeful and ugly, unless that’s just your only way to argue.

    Geekmom, in my post, I did not say “hey everybody, God did that on purpose”… I just said that WE can’t understand HIM, and then presented ideas to maybe “why” it happened.  You guys can take that, and tangle it and twist it to make ME look like this big evil devil, or you can say “hey, yeah, none of us have the answers, and those are her thoughts”. 

    And I did not say ALL BIRTH ABNORMALITIES COME FROM THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES!… Please quit generalizing my statements!  I’m not claiming to be a prenatal specialist, but I do know that those factors play parts and again, was presenting an idea!  I don’t think any of us have actually consulted a child development specialist who can break this all down for us anyway, I thought we were just discussing something.

    I happen to choose to believe in God and to worship Him for the good and the bad.  I’m glad that I have the choice to live how I want, as you do. 

    I guess a website entitled “Stupid Evil Bastard” is not a place that wants to consider or listen to the ideas of those that differ in opinion, without bashing them and painting them as an evil idiot.  If that’s the case, then why have a message board?

    Hey, maybe I’m being too sensitive, I just can’t understand why HATEFUL things are said just because we disagree.

  17. Great, I can hear it now.. I’m about to get HOUNDED.  I just read my second post, and it did say that all of the birth abnormalities that we hear about are from 3rd world countries.  So, for the sake of correcting myself, I MEANT to say, that the only ones that I have heard of and that are broadcasted, that are so extreme in nature, have come from 3rd World Countries….consider my statement corrected.  I am sorry to have misspoken.

  18. Let’s consider your very first reply in which you start off trying to rationalize why this baby’s birth and death is not really a “bad thing.” Contrary to popular belief, atheists, in my experience, tend to be very big on life and living for as long as you can without sacrificing the quality of your life. This is mainly due to the fact that we don’t generally believe in the idea of an afterlife so this is all that we get. We also don’t believe in the existence of gods who have the course of everyone’s life plotted out in advance. You show up and start talking about how the death of this baby isn’t really so bad because she’s now in Heaven (a place we don’t believe exists) and how that’s such a better place than Earth and how we shouldn’t question God (whom we don’t believe exists) and his ultimate plan. You then go on to assert that this whole situation has brought “many blessings” to those around this poor girl that would not have happened otherwise without so much as a single example of what those blessings might be or why they would require some god to orchestrate these events in order to bring those blessings about. All of that probably wouldn’t have garnered you the reaction you received until you added the line: “You can CHOOSE to be pissed at reality, or accept it and look for the best

  19. Actually, Les, she started off with Cardinal Stupidity Number One:  pontificating in all seriousness about how somebody else’s tragedy is a good thing.  Talk about insensitive AND clueless, wrapped up in one big ol’ self-satisfied package.

    If someone endures a tragedy and tries to find purpose in it to console themselves, that’s one thing.  That’s their privilege as the one who actually had to live through it. 

    But to suggest that going through a horrible experience is really a blessing is so close to saying that the victim deserved it that nobody should be surprised when the offender gets their ass kicked, either figuratively or literally.  At that point, it’s open season.  Bekah spouted a stupid opinion and got called on it, and now she’s the whiny, angry one.  Girl, maybe your God has decided that this is going to be a learning experience for you.  If I were you, I’d spend more time thanking us for being the instruments of God’s wonderful gift to you.  Bwahahaha.

    But I don’t think that’s the version of “reality” you want to subscribe to, because it doesn’t make you feel very good, does it?

  20. Go figure a name like Geekmom! I concur with your children! Bekah be strong!

    I have been reading and I just feel like the bottom line is………..No one should have to defend their beliefs unless they are running for a political office; but just judging by the last presidential election…what a waste of skin!

    I don’t see the reason for tearing Bekah to peices if you are so stuck on stupid about what you believe!!

    I was always taught let ppl think you are stupid and foolish rather than open your mouth in this case or post ignorance and remove all doubt. And guess what “haters” that’s in the Good book.

    I won’t get into a match to defend God because I see he has a sense of humor he created humans!:)

  21. No one should have to defend their beliefs unless they are running for a political office

    Or trying to push said beliefs on another.

  22. Beckah, you are being too sensitive.  No, wait, hear me out.  Sensitivity is what’s wrong with discourse today.  We’ll never get to the bottom of any issue or really understand one another if we’re constantly grabbing our little heads and saying, “ooh, you hurt my widdle feewings!”  (…and in today’s offices and schools; “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!”)

    Sensitivity just makes a real exchange of ideas almost impossible.  If people know you can’t take it, they’ll usually tell you what they think you want to hear instead of what they really think.

    When someone tells you that you are full of shit, they’re not (necessarily) being hateful, they’re being direct.  Couching everything in “polite” language puts everything in code.  It’s that old “let’s agree to disagree” thing and never really find out the other’s real thoughts.  It’s a waste of time and doesn’t result in any understanding.

    I’d rather someone just tell me I’m full of shit and why, and if they misunderstood me then I can tell them that they’re full of shit and why, and in the end we might end up actually understanding each other.  As C.S. Lewis said, “Don’t mistake refinement for virtue.”

    Grow a skin.  If you believe something you ought to be able to handle criticism.  If you want only polite language, go visit Oprah’s website or something.  If you want to communicate and understand, this is a pretty cool place, atheists and all.

  23. Oh, and I forgot to say, if that mutation had turned out to be some kind of an advantage, the baby would have prospered and been more likely to procreate and pass it on.  As it happened, that mutation was not an advantage; some are, most are not.

    I can picture the prehistoric Weekly World News headline, “Child has freakish opposable thumbs: a gift from the Sun God, says mother.”

    So maybe we should tell parents of deformed babies, “Don’t worry, maybe the next mutation will be beneficial!” (Gawd, I am such a terrible person…  ;-} )

  24. Hi Solop:  Actually, it’s been shown that chimpanzees have self-awareness, a quality not limited to humans.  If you look at recent data from the Yerkes primate center in Atlanta, they’ve shown that chimpanzees make moral judgments and have their own system of justice; understand and use language, numbers and tools; and recognize themselves in mirrors, indicating their self-awareness.  URL is http://www.emory.edu/WHSC/YERKES/news1.html

    SG

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