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Alabama Eugenics

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Alabama Eugenics
Sep 262015


Number of victims

There were 224 people who were sterilized, of whom approximately 58% were male. All of the sterilized were deemed mentally deficient. In terms of the total number of people sterilized, Alabama ranks 27th in the United States. Of the 32 states that had sterilization laws, Alabama is the state with the 5th lowest number of sterilizations.

Period during which sterilizations occurred

The period was 1919 to 1935 (Paul p. 246)

Temporal pattern of sterilizations and rate of sterilization

After the passage of the sterilization law in 1919, the number of sterilization appears to have been low. Gosney/Popenoe (p. 194; see data sources) report no sterilizations yet at the end of 1927, but the number for the end of 1929 was 44. After that year, the number of sterilizations increased. The last sterilizations occurred in June 1935 (Paul, p. 246). Between 1930 and 1935, the annual number of sterilization was about 30. The rate of sterilization per 100,000 residents per year was about 1.

Passage of law(s)

According to Edward Larson, Alabama began its long flirtation with eugenicsbefore any other state in the Deep South (Larson, p. 50). At the 1901 meeting of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA), Dr. William Glassell Sommerville, Trustee of the Alabama Insane Hospitals, declared it a proven fact that the moral disposition for good and evil, including criminal tendenciesare transmitted fromone generation to anotherand is as firmly believed by all scientific men as the fact that parents transmit physical qualities to their children (Dorr, Defective or Disabled?,pp. 383-4). At that same meeting, John E. Purdon stated that it was a proven fact that criminality, insanity, epilepsy, and other alleged manifestations of degraded nerve tissue were hereditary (Larson, 50). He emphasized that [i]t is essentially a state function to retrain the pro-creative powers of the unfit (Larson and Nelson, p. 407). He suggested that the use of sterilization would benefit the race by saying, [e]masculation is the simplest and most perfect plan that can be adapted to secure the perfection of the race (Larson, p. 50). Finally, Purdon explained his belief that the goodness, the greatness, and the happiness of all upon the earth, will be immeasurably advanced, in one or two generations, by the proposed methods (Larson and Nelson, p. 407), and, based on his belief thatweakness begets weaknessfeared that humanitarianism would assist the imperfect individual to escape the consequences of his physical and moral malformation (Dorr, “Honing Heredity,” p. 29).

Over the next decade, MASA was encouraged by many authorities such as physicians and Birminghams medical society to draft a bill to legalize the sterilization of the unfit. In 1911 at the annual MASA meeting, Walter H. Bell of Birmingham declared that any person who would produce children with an inherited tendency to crime, insanity, feeblemindedness, idiocy, or imbecility should be sterilized (Larson, p. 51). He believed that sterilization was an easy, safe and practical method of prevention with no restrictions or punishment attached (Larson and Nelson, p.410).

The MASA, however, continued to delay taking action until 1914 when it created a committee of physicians who would research needful data in regard to defective children, with a purpose to urge upon the state legislature the proper provision for the care of such defectives (Larson, , p. 60). During the 1915 MASA meeting, C.M. Rudolph suggested the formation of a home for mentally ill children. He stressed the importance of segregating the unfit youth because he believed it shrewd to [s]egregate the defectives of one generation to prevent the multiplication of their kind in the next (Larson, p. 60). In this same meeting it was decided that an Alabama Society for Mental Hygiene (ASMH) would be formed and led by William Partlow as a liaison with the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (NCMH) and to survey Alabamas defectives (Larson, p. 60). That year, MASA collectively agreed to support eugenic sterilization (Dorr, Defective or Disabled?, pp. 386-87).

In 1919, the MASA and the ASMH reached their goal. In the next regular session of the State legislator, a bill was passed to create the Alabama Home (Larson and Nelson, p. 413). Buried within the law was a clause granting permission to the superintendent of the Home for the Feeble-Minded in Tuscaloosa, to sterilize its patients. This was the first law passed in Alabama that supported sterilizations (Paul p. 239).

In 1934, Partlow wanted permission to sterilize all discharged patients from the Home (a procedure he was already practicing as superintendent) (Dorr, “Eugenics in Alabama”). Partlow proposed a bill that gave the superintendent of any state hospital for the insane complete power to sterilize any or all patients upon their release. The bill also proposed the creation of a board with three doctors who would have the right to sterilize a larger group of people. Finally, the anticipated bill granted permission for county public health committees to sterilize anyone in a state or local custodial institution (Larson and Nelson, p. 418). Although Partlows bill was passed in both the House and the Senate, the bill was vetoed by Alabamas Governor, Bill Graves after consulting with the Alabama Supreme Court on the bills constitutionality (Larson and Nelson, p. 422). In 1935 the Alabama State Supreme Court viewed the bill and deemed it unconstitutional because it violated the Due Process Clauses of the state and federal constitutionsa sterilization victim would not have the right to appeal to a court against his or her sterilization (Larson and Nelson, p. 422). A second version of the bill was drafted and, similarly, passed in both houses but was vetoed by the Governor (Larson and Nelson, pp. 422-23). Soon after this second veto, Partlow discontinued the practice of sterilization (Larson and Nelson, p. 424).

Partlowsbill, however, was unsuccessfully reintroduced in 1939 and again in 1943. In 1945, legislation was created that asked for the right to sterilize every inmate or person eligible for entrance in the states insane asylums. This bill was passed by the senate but was rejected by the house (Larson and Nelson, p. 426).

Groups identified in the law

In the 1919 law, William Partlow included in his draft the permission for the superintendent of the Home for the Feeble-Minded to sterilize any inmate (Larson, p. 84). Inmates were any person confined in a poor house, jail, an orphanage, or a boarding school in the State (Larson, pp. 48-49). In the 1935 bill, it was proposed that any sexual pervert, Sadist, homosexualist, Masochist, Sodomist, or any other grave form of sexual perversion, or any prisoner who has twice been convicted of rape or imprisoned three times for any offense be sterilized. It was also suggested granting permission to county public health committees to sterilize anyone in a state or local custodial institution (Larson and Nelson, p. 418).An expansion of the law, proposed by Alabama State Health Officer Dr. James Norment Baker, called for the sterilization of anyone committed to state homes for the insane and feebleminded, reformatories, industrial schools, or training schools, , as well as any sexual pervert, Sadist, homosexual, Masochist, Sodomist (Dorr, “Protection,” p. 173) as well as anyone convicted of rape twice. The bill was considered unconstitutional and vetoed by Governor Bill Graves.

Process of the law

In the 1919 law, the superintendent of the Alabama Home for the Feeble-Minded was given the authority to sterilize any inmate (Larson, pp. 48-49). This law held only one limitation on sterilization in the Alabama Home. The superintendent of the Alabama Insane Hospitals had to agree upon the sterilization of the inmates from the Alabama Home for the Feeble-Minded (Larson, pp. 105-06). This absence of safeguards for inmates in the law made it possible for William Partlow to sterilize every inmate of the Home. This law was drafted by Partlow and was the only sterilization law passed in Alabama. Although this law passed, Partlow continued to try to strengthen the power to sterilize in Alabama through other bills. All of his attempts, however, failed.

Precipitating factors and processes

The entire Southern region in general was more hesitant to adopt eugenic ideals for many reasons. One of the most important Southern values was its traditional emphasis on family and parental rights, which eugenics challenged (Larson, p. 8). The Southern sense of family also encouraged relatives to take responsibility for individuals who might otherwise be subject to eugenic remedies in state institutions (Larson, p. 9). Most immigrants in the South came from the British Isles, the same area most Southerners originated from. Subsequently, a community existed in the South including many immigrants, unlike the North and West where Americans focused their eugenic ideas on ethnically diverse immigrants (Larson, p. 9). The strength of Southern religion also played a role in the overall rejection of eugenics in Alabama. Religion lent itself to conceptions of congregations as extended families and many people in the South accordingly apposed segregating the unfit (Larson, pp. 13-14). In comparison with the rest of the United States, Progressivism in the South was relatively weak due to the comparatively small size of its typical carriers, secular groups, urban professional middle classes, and the more educated (Larson, p. 17). Moreover, the Deep South was lagging other regions in biological research programs, as well as scientists and education, which shifted the advocacy of eugenics to state mental health officials and local physicians (Larson, pp. 40-44). The MASA and leaders such as William Partlow were extremely important to the eugenics movement in Alabama. Without the organizations and leaders that were produced from the MASA, Alabama may have never started eugenic practices.

Overall, Alabama was not in favor of sterilization, which is reflected in the comparatively low number of sterilization victims. In general, the people of Alabama were more in favor of segregation of the unfit than sterilization (Larson, pp. 60-63). However, inadequate funding of such facilities for segregating the feeble-minded as well as over-crowding seems to have facilitated a push toward sterilization (Larson, pp. 90-91). Even though mental health surveys placed Alabamas feeble-minded population at more than 7,000 persons, the new facility could accommodate only 160 residents, and was filled within two months of it opening (Larson, p. 90).

Groups targeted and victimized

Among those targeted were males, including some of the delinquent boys who[m] we fear might escape (Larson, p. 106),the poor, mental deficien[ts] and the feebleminded (Larson, p. 151). People who could be committed to the state mental health hospital included people in prison, a poor house, and orphanage, or a state boarding school (Larson, pp. 48-49).

While Alabama never established a facility for feebleminded blacks (see Dorr, Defective or Disabled?,p. 387), Gregory Dorr has argued that the absence of such a facilty should not lead observers to conclude that eugenics in Alabama lackedracist elements, for the limitation ofeugenicsto the sterilization of whites (in contrast to Virginia) reflected the belief that the “betterment” of theblack “race” could not be achieved by such measures. In fact, by the timethe wall of segregation had started to come to down in the 1970s and no longer assured second-class citizenship of Blacks, African Americans had become the targets of extra-institutional and extra-legal sterilizations, reflective of a more general southern racist view that it was necessary”to further protect the white race itself from black folks” (Dorr, “Defective or Disabled?,” p. 383; see also Dorr, Segregation’s Science).

The Relf case

The cause of forced sterilization in Alabama was not helped by the Relf case. By 1973, the focus had moved away from sterilization of the mentally deficient and those imprisoned, to the use of sterilization as birth control. The Relf family was on welfare, and living in a public housing project in Montgomery, Alabama. Two Relf sisters, Minnie Lee, age 14, and Mary Alice, age 12, had been receiving shot of Depo-Provera as a form of long term birth control (Rossoff, p. 6). When the use of the drug was no longer allowed, the mother was mislead into signing a consent form allowing the sterilization of her daughters. Mrs. Relf was unable to read or write, so she signed the form with an X, without any physicians explaining the conditions to her (Roberts, p. 93, Carpia, p.78, Caron, p. 211, Southern Poverty Law Center). She thought she was signing a form consenting to additional shots, when she was actually consenting to sterilizations (Tessler, p. 58). A third daughter, Katie Relf, also received the birth control shots, but refused to open the door to her room when the official came to get the three girls to be sterilized. Because she was 17, she could not be sterilized without her own consent. (Larson and Nelson, p. 440) Later, when Mrs. Relf realized that her daughters had been sterilized, she sued the surgeons and other associated groups for $1,000,000 (Rosoff, p. 6). As a result, a moratorium was placed on federally funded, coerced sterilizations until a decision was reached by the Department of Justice.

Other restrictions placed on those identified in the law or with disabilities in general

In 1919, Alabama passed legislation that made it the first state in the Deep South that made it illegal for people with venereal diseases to marry (Larson, p. 88).

Feeder institutions and institutions where sterilizations were performed

(Photo origin:

The Alabama Home for the Feeble-Minded opened in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1919 as a result of the law in favor of a home for the feeble-minded.Two months after the Alabama Home for the Feeble-Minded opening, the institution was completely full of people from poor houses, jails, orphanages, and boarding schools (Larson, pp. 48-49, 90). In 1927, this school was renamed the Partlo State School for Mental Deficients (Larson, p. 106). The school is now known as the Partlow State School and Hospital. Its closure has been announced in 2011 (“W.D. Partlow Developmental Center to close”).


Although the original bill went largely unnoticed by the population (Paul, pp. 239-40), the movement did meet considerable opposition in Alabama. Chief among these objectors were the Catholics, who were entirely against eugenics and any form of birth control in general. Alabama Catholicswrote legislators and spoke out at public hearings in response to their bishops plea to use every means at our disposal to help defeat this bill (Larson, p. 151). Protestants were similarly concerned. A Baptist claimed that he found in the Bible all the warrant he required to vote against the bill (Larson and Nelson, p. 420). Trade unions were also against expanding the sterilization law. As one laborer anxiously said, theres nothing in the bill to prevent a labor man from being railroaded into an institution where he could be sterilized on suspicion of insanity or feeble-mindedness (Larson, p. 141). Similarly, Alabamas Governor, Bill Graves was extremely important to the opposition of eugenics because of his decision to veto the 1935 bill and its revision. He claimed [t]he hoped for good results are not sure enough or great enough to compensate for the hazard to personal rights that would be involved in the execution of the provisions of the Bill (Larson and Nelson, p. 422).

Overall, however, the population in Alabama was perhaps not as supportive of eugenic sterilization laws as in other American states.


Carpia, Myla F. Thyrza. 1995. “Lost Generations: The Involuntary Sterilization of American Indian Women.” Master’s Thesis, Department of American Indian Studies, Arizona State University.

Dorr, Gregory M. 2006. Defective or Disabled?: Race, Medicine, and Eugenics in Progressive Era Virginia and Alabama. Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 5, 4: 359-92.

——-. 2008. Segregation’s Science: Eugenics and Society in Virginia. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Dorr, Gregory M. 2011. “Protection or Control: Women’s Health, Sterilization Abuse, and Relf v. Weinberger.” Pp. 161-90 in A Century of Eugenics in America, edited by Paul Lombardo. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Larson, Edward. 1995. Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Larson, Edward J., and Leonard J. Nelson.1992. Involuntary Sexual Sterilization of Incompetents in Alabama: Past, Present, and Future. Alabama Law Review 43: 399-444. Noll, Steven. 1995. Feeble-Minded in Our Midst: Institutions for the Mentally Retarded in the South, 1900-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

——-.2005. The Public Face of Southern Institutions for the Feeble-Minded. The Public Historian 27, 2: 25-42. Paul, Julius. 1965. ‘Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough': State Eugenic Sterilization Laws in American Thought and Practice. Washington, D.C.: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Relf Original Complaint. Available at

Roberts, Dorothy E. 1997. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Pantheon Books.

Rosoff, Jeannie I. 1973. The Montgomery Case. The Hastings Center Report 3, 4:6.

Southern Poverty Law Center. Relf v. Weinberger. Available at

Tarwater, James S. 1964. The Alabama State Hospitals and the Partlow State School and Hospitals. New York: Newcomer Society in North America.

Tessler, Suzanne. 1976. Compulsory Sterilization Practices. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 1, 2: 52-66.

“W.D. Partlow Developmental Center to close.” Tuscaloosa News 4 March 2001. Available at

Alabama Eugenics

2nd Amendment Archives – Bearing Arms

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on 2nd Amendment Archives – Bearing Arms
Sep 262015

on September 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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on September 21, 2015 at 8:51 pm

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on September 17, 2015 at 10:36 am

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on September 16, 2015 at 11:18 am

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on September 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

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on September 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

House Democrats pushing what they call the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015 are stooping to outright lies in order to fabricate a need for their legislation. The bill is ironically offered by Rep.Elijah E. []

on September 9, 2015 at 7:53 am

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on September 8, 2015 at 10:28 am

The U.K. Telegraph is doing the job American journalists wont do, and has set out to get a rough idea of where Republican candidates stand on the issue of Second Amendment rights. They asked whether []

on August 18, 2015 at 6:31 am

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2nd Amendment Archives – Bearing Arms

Cryonics – Merkle

 Cryonics  Comments Off on Cryonics – Merkle
Sep 132015

Read the Alcor Membership page and follow the instructions. Most members use life insurance to pay for their cryopreservation. Rudi Hoffman has written most of the life insurance policies in the cryonics community.

If you’re interested, but not quite ready to sign up, become an Associate Member.

A common misconception is that cryonics freezes the dead. As the definition of “death” is “a permanent cessation of all vital functions” the future ability to revive a patient preserved with today’s technology implies the patient wasn’t dead. Cryonics is actually based on the more plausible idea that present medical practice has erred in declaring a patient “dead.” A second opinion from a future physician one with access to a fundamentally better medical technology based on a mature nanotechnology lets us avoid the unpleasant risk that we might bury someone alive.

The major reason that cryonics is not more favorably viewed in the medical community is relatively easy to explain. Medicine relies on clinical trials. Put more simply, if someone proposes a technique for saving lives, the response is “Try it and see if it works.” Methods that have not been verified by clinical trials are called “experimental,” while methods that have been tried and failed are rejected.

In keeping with this tradition, we would like to conduct clinical trials of the effectiveness of cryopreservation to determine whether it does (or does not) work. The appropriate trials can be easily described. Cryonics proposes to cryopreserve people with today’s technology in the expectation that medical technology of (say) the year 2115 will be able to cure them. Thus, the appropriate clinical trials would be to:

While this problem is not entirely unique to cryonics (the plight of a dying patient who wishes to know whether or not to take a new experimental treatment is well known), cryonics poses it in a qualitatively more severe fashion: we must wait longer to determine the outcome and we have no preliminary results to provide a clue about what that outcome might be. If a new treatment is being tested we normally have the results of animal trials and perhaps some preliminary results from human patients. Further, we expect to get reliable results within a small number of years. In the case of cryonics, we are quite literally awaiting the development of an entirely new medical technology. Preliminary results, even on experimental animals, are simply not available; and the final results won’t be available for several decades.

Thus, while we can begin the clinical trials required to evaluate cryonics today, clinical trials cannot provide a timely answer about the effectiveness of cryonics. It is not possible (utilizing the paradigm of clinical trials) to draw conclusions today about whether physicians tomorrow will (or will not) be able to revive someone who was cryopreserved using today’s technology.

The correct scientific answer to the question “Does cryonics work?” is: “The clinical trials are in progress. Come back in a century and we’ll give you a reliable answer.” The relevant question for those of us who don’t expect to live that long is: “Would I rather be in the control group, or the experimental group?” We are forced by circumstances to answer that question without the benefit of knowing the results of the clinical trials.

When we think about this question, it is important to understand that future medical technology will be no mere incremental or evolutionary advance over today’s medicine. Think of Hippocrates, the prehistoric Greek physician, watching a modern heart transplant. Advances in medical technology in future decades and centuries will be even more remarkable than the advances we have already seen in centuries past. At some point in the future almost any infirmity that could in principle be treated is likely to be treatable in practice as well. In principle, the coming ability to arrange and rearrange molecular and cellular structure in almost any way consistent with physical law will let us repair or replace almost any tissue in the human body. Whether it’s a new liver, a more vital heart, a restored circulatory system, removing some cancerous cells, or some other treatment — at some point, nanomedicine should let us revitalize the entire human body and even revive someone who was cryopreserved today.

How might we evaluate cryonics? Broadly speaking, there are two available courses of action: (1) sign up or (2) do nothing. And there are two possible outcomes: (1) it works or (2) it doesn’t. This leads to the payoff matrix to the right. In using such a payoff matrix to evaluate the possible outcomes, we must decide what value the different outcomes have. What value do we place on a long and healthy life?

When evaluating the possible outcomes, it’s important to understand that if you sign up and it works, that “Live” does not mean a long, wretched and miserable life. Many people fear they will wake up, but still suffer from the infirmities and morbidities that the elderly suffer from today. This is implausible for two very good reasons. First, the kinds of medical technologies that are required to restore today’s cryonics patients will be able to restore and maintain good health for an indefinite period. The infirmities of old age will go the way of smallpox, black death, consumption, and the other scourges that once plagued humanity. Second, as long as we are unable to restore cryopreserved patients to satisfactory good physical and mental health, we’ll keep them cryopreserved until we develop better medical technologies. To put these two points another way, when that future day arrives when we have a medical technology that can revive a patient who was dying of cancer today, and was cryopreserved with today’s technology, that same medical technology should be able to cure their senile dementia and restore their musculature; they’ll walk out into a future world healthy in mind and body. In the unlikely case it can’t, we’ll keep our patients in liquid nitrogen until we develop a medical technology that can.

It’s also important to understand that technology is moving rapidly, and accelerating. When you wake up, your children and your younger friends and acquaintances are likely to be alive and well, along with most of your awakened friends from the cryonics community. While several decades might have passed, your social network within the cryonics community will still be there and likely many of the younger members of the rest of your social network.

While different people will answer these questions in different ways, this provides a useful framework in which to consider the problem.

At some point in the future we will have direct experimental proof that today’s cryopreserved patients either can or cannot be revived by future medical technology. Unfortunately, most of us must decide today if we wish to pursue this option. If we wish to gain some insight today about the chance that cryonics will or will not work we must consider several factors, including most prominently (a) the kinds of damage that are likely to occur during cryopreservation and (b) the kinds of damage that future medical technologies might reasonably be able to repair. Those interested in pursuing this subject should read this web page which discusses the chances of success and The Molecular Repair of the Brain.

Recent coverage of cryonics is available from Google news.

There has been much discussion of cryonics in the blogosphere, notably including discussions at Overcoming Bias and Less Wrong. Ciphergoth has sought articles critical of cryonics.

California Magazine, Summer 2015, “Into the Deep Freeze: What Kind of Person Chooses to Get Cryonically Preserved?” “[Max] More [Alcor’s President] comes across as a reasonable man who is acutely aware that most people think his ideas are insane, or repugnant, or both. Like most of the cryonicists I spoke to, he frames his points as appeals to logic, not emotion. His confidence is infectious.”

Hopes & Fears, May 11, 2015, “I freeze people’s brains for a living” “For me, cryopreservation was an obvious mechanical problem. Youve got molecules; why not lock them in place so that somebody can fix them later?” “I was an ENT physician, but I havent practiced for about five years now. I still have my license. My participation in the cryonics field happened very gradually.”

ESPN, May 5, 2015, “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived On” “In her book, Claudia writes what her father told the doctor. … I’d like to have some more time with my two kids. ”

Specter Defied, April 25, 2015, “How to sign up for Alcor cryo” “This article is intended for those who already think cryopreservation is a good idea but are putting it off since they don’t know exactly what needs to be done.”

The Dr. Oz Show, March 10, 2015, “Why Larry King Wants to Freeze His Body” “I think when you die, that’s it. And I don’t want it to be it. I want to be around. So I figure the only chance I have is to be frozen. And then, if they cure whatever I died of, I come back.”

The List, March 12, 2015, “Live Forever by Freezing Your Body” “First and foremost I look forward to the future, I think it’s going to be a great place. I want to live as long as possible.” “Many pay for their cryonic treatment by naming the company itself, Alcor, as their life insurance beneficiary.”

The Journal of Medical Ethics, February 25, 2015, “The case for cryonics” ” insofar as the alternatives to cryonics are burial or cremation, and thus certain, irreversible death, even small chances for success can be sufficient to make opting for cryonics a rational choice.”

The Onion, October 15, 2014, “Facebook Offers To Freeze Female EmployeesNewborn Children” “We recognize the many challenges women face starting a family and balancing a career, which is why our company will provide extensive support to female employees who want to preserve their infant in a frozen state of suspended animation until theyre ready for child-rearing, said Facebook spokesperson Mary Copperman, …”

The Atlantic, August 26, 2014, “For $200,000, This Lab Will Swap Your Body’s Blood for Antifreeze” “Cryopreservation is a darling of the futurist community. The general premise is simple: Medicine is continually getting better. Those who die today could be cured tomorrow. Cryonics is a way to bridge the gap between todays medicine and tomorrows.”

The Huffington Post, June 23, 2014, “Should Cryonics, Cryothanasia, and Transhumanism Be Part of the Euthanasia Debate?” “Approximately 40 million people around the world have some form of dementia, according to a World Health Organization report. About 70 percent of those suffer from Alzheimer’s. With average lifespans increasing due to rapidly improving longevity science, what are people with these maladies to do? Do those with severe cases want to be kept alive for years or even decades in a debilitated mental state just because modern medicine can do it?” “In the 21st Century–the age of transhumanism and brilliant scientific achievement–the question should be asked: Are there other ways to approach this sensitive issue?” “Recently, some transhumanists have advocated for cryothanasia, where a patient undergoes physician or self-administered euthanasia with the intent of being cryonically suspended during the death process or immediately afterward. This creates the optimum environment since all persons involved are on hand and ready to do their part so that an ideal freeze can occur.”

Alcor, December 19, 2013, “Dr. Michio Kaku and Cryonics: Why Michio Kaku’s Critique of Cryonics is Bogus” “You’d expect that a man of that learning, and knowledge, and experience … would have done his research and get things right. Unfortunately, just about every single point in that video was incorrect.”

BBC, October 31, 2013, “Will we ever bring the dead back to life?” “The woods cool temperature, it turned out, had prevented the womans cells from breaking down as quickly as they would have in a warmer environment, allowing her to lay dead in the forest for around four hours, plus survive an additional six hours between the time the passerby called the ambulance and the time her heart began beating again. Three weeks later, she left the hospital, and today she is happily married and recently delivered a baby.”

The Guardian, September 20, 2013, “Cryonics: the people hoping to give death a cold shoulder” “Scores of Brits have also signed up for what the movement has dubbed “a second chance at life””

Singularity Weblog, September 12, 2013, “My Video Tour of Alcor and Interview with CEO Max More” “During our visit CEO Dr. More walked us through the Alcor facilities as well as the process starting after clinical death is proclaimed, through the cooling of the body and its vitrification, and ending in long term storage.”

Science Omega, July 1, 2013, “Exploring cryonics: Could science offer new life after death?” “Medical advances have made it possible given favourable circumstances for physicians to bring patients, who are clinically dead, back to life.” … ” cryonics has been viewed as somewhat of a fringe science since its inception. However, advances within fields such as regenerative medicine and nanomedicine have caused some experts to acknowledge the fields growing potential. Last month, for example, three academics from the University of Oxford revealed that, once dead, they will be cryogenically preserved until it becomes possible to bring them back to life.”

The Independent, June 9, 2013: “Academics at Oxford University pay to be cryogenically preserved and brought back to life in the future”

“Nick Bostrom, professor of philosophy at the Future of Humanity Institute [FHI] and his co researcher Anders Sandberg have agreed to pay an American company to detach and deep freeze their heads in the advent of their deaths.

Colleague Stuart Armstrong is instead opting to have his whole body frozen. Preserving the full body is technically more difficult to achieve and can cost up to 130,000.

Bostrom, Armstrong, Sandberg are lead researchers at the FHI, a part of the prestigious Oxford Martin School where academics complete research into problems affecting the globe, such as a climate change.”

“It costs me 25 a month in premiums to cover the cost of getting cryo-preserved, and that seems a good bet, he [Armstrong] said. Its a lot cheaper than joining a gym, which is most peoples way of trying to prolong life.”

BuzzFeed, June 6, 2013, “The Immortality Business” “The richest vein of professed cryonicists is, not surprisingly, in the world of technology.” Alcors “public-facing members include prolific inventor and Singularity cleric Ray Kurzweil; nanotechnology pioneer Ralph Merkle; and Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MITs artificial intelligence laboratory.”

The Observer, April 6th, 2013: “Sam Parnia the man who could bring you back from the dead” ‘”The longest I know of is a Japanese girl I mention in the book,” Parnia says. “She had been dead for more than three hours. … Afterwards, she returned to life perfectly fine and has, I have been told, recently had a baby.”‘ “One of the stranger things you realise in reading Parnia’s book is the idea that we might be in thrall to historical perceptions of life and death and that these ultimate constants have lately become vaguer than most of us would allow.”

Discovery Channel, April 16th, 2013: “Maria Entraigues Discovery Channel interview” In Spanish. “Alcor is the place where I will take a little nap so that I can wake up in the future…”

Cryonics, January 2013: “Alcor-40 Conference Review” “From the science of cryopreservation to the implications of neural network research on cryonics to strategies for preserving your assets as well as yourself, no stone was left unturned and no question unasked.”

Phoenix New Times, September 17th, 2012: “Best Second Chance – 2012: ALCOR Life Extension Foundation” “ALCOR … specializes in cryonics, the science of preserving bodies at sub-zero temperatures for eventual reanimation, possibly centuries from now.”

CNBC, September 20th, 2012: “William Maris: Google Ventures Managing Partner” “What’s the most exciting areas right now?” … “There are two areas. One, I’m interested in macro trends that are 5 or 10 years out, things like radical life extension, cryogenics, nanotechnology, and then there are trends that are occuring sooner.” … “So go back to cryogenics, how realistic is that idea at this point?”… ” we’re looking for entrepreneurs that have a healthy disregard for the impossible. If I start from a place by saying that’s not realistic, or not possible, we won’t make any investments. So I think it’s very realistic.” … “I want to know if this is a reality that we could see sometime in my lifetime?” “It’s a reality now, there are companies that specialize in cryogenics.”

OraTVnetwork, July 17th, 2012: “Seth MacFarlane & Larry King on Cryonics” (41 seconds) Larry King: “How about we get frozen together?” Seth MacFarlane: “Let’s do it!”

PBS Newshour, July 10th, 2012: “As Humans and Computers Merge … Immortality?” Ray Kurzweil, co-founder, Singularity University: “People say, oh, I don’t want to live past 100. And I say, OK, I would like to hear you say that when you’re 100.”

Newsmax Health, December 7th, 2011: “Larry King’s Vow to Freeze His Dead Body Is Not Crazy, Experts Say” “the 78-year-old King stated, I wanna be frozen, on the hope that theyll find whatever I died of and theyll bring me back.”

SENS5 Conference, September 3rd, 2011: “Cryonic Life Extension” “Cryonics enables the transport of critically ill people through time in an unchanging state to a time when more advanced medical and repair technologies are available” said Max More, President and CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole (Season 2), July 15th 2011: “Cryogenic Preservation” “Cryogenic freezing is a process that could successfully preserve a human body over an extended period of time.”

Time, February 10th 2011: “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal” “Old age is an illness like any other, and what do you do with illnesses? You cure them.”

Rolling Stone, December 2010: “Life on the Rocks: can you bring people back from the dead?” (slow site) “Isn’t it a leap of faith to believe in something that hasn’t happened yet? ‘The comparison’s more like talking to someone 150 years ago and saying, “In a little while, humans are going to have flying machines.”‘”

Lightspeed, October 2010: “Considering Cryonics” Author and Physics Professor Gregory Benford looks at cryonics, and says “…its a rational gamble, especially when you consider that cryonicists buy life insurance policies which pay their organization upon their death…”

Singularity Summit 2010, August 15th, 2010: “Modifying the Boundary between Life and Death” Lance Becker, MD, Director, Center for Resuscitation Science, Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania: “Our initial results are very encouraging. We have taken 6 dead people … plugged those patients into cardiopulmonary bypass and we have a 50% survival rate out of those 6 patients”. On cryonics: “I look forward to seeing that field [cryonics] be synergistic with some of what we’re doing.”

New York Times, July 5th, 2010: “Until Cryonics Do Us Part” Cryonics can produce hostility from spouses who are not cryonicists.

Colorado Court Order, March 1, 2010: “IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF: MARY ROBBINS” “The Court finds that the evidence clearly shows Mary’s decision in 2006 for Alcor to preserve her last remains by cryonic suspension was an informed and resolute one.” “Alcor shall have custody of Mary’s last remains…”

Organogenesis, Vol 5 Issue 3, 2009: “Physical and biological aspects of renal vitrification” “We report here the detailed case history of a rabbit kidney that survived vitrification and subsequent transplantation”

The Institution of Engineering and Technology, November 5, 2008: “A Science Without a Deadline” “If sceptics dont want to pursue this area, thats fine, but I ask them not to interfere with my own efforts to save the lives of myself and the people I love”

BBC News,October 20, 2008: “Doctors get death diagnosis tips” “…there is enough ambiguity in diagnosing death that doctors need guidance” “…like low body temperature when it is inappropriate to confirm death.” (audio)

Cryonics, 4th Quarter 2008: “A Cryopreservation Revival Scenario using MNT” Molecular nanotechnology is the most compelling approach ever put forward for comprehensive repair of cryopreservation injury with maximum retention of original biological information.

Newsweek, July 23, 2007: “Back From the Dead” “The other is to scan the entire three-dimensional molecular array of the brain into a computer which could hypothetically reconstitute the mind, either as a physical entity or a disembodied intelligence in cyberspace.”

Newsweek, May 7, 2007: “To Treat the Dead” “”After one hour,” he says, “we couldn’t see evidence the cells had died. We thought we’d done something wrong.” In fact, cells cut off from their blood supply died only hours later.”

Channel 5 (UK), 2006 : “Cryonics Freeze Me” (A.K.A. “Death in the Deep Freeze”) “Almost every major advance has met with its critics, who have said that it’s impossible, unworkable, uneconomical; and then, of course, when it’s demonstrated, they announce that it’s obvious and they knew it all along.” (If you have a link to the video, please email it to me).

The Wall Street Journal, January 21st 2006: “A Cold Calculus Leads Cryonauts To Put Assets on Ice” “At least a dozen wealthy American and foreign businessmen are testing unfamiliar legal territory by creating so-called personal revival trusts designed to allow them to reclaim their riches hundreds, or even thousands, of years into the future.”

This Is London, May 25th 2004: “Sperm ‘can be kept for thousands of years'” “…sperm could survive 5,000 or 6,000 years stored in liquid nitrogen.”

The Arizona State Legislature is not regulating cryonics.

Reasononline, February 25th 2004: “Regulating the Biggest Chill” “Arizona’s state legislature is about to consider one of the silliest pieces of “consumer protection” legislation ever devised.”

Guardian Unlimited, January 23rd 2004, “House of the temporarily dead” “Officially, the building is “the world’s first comprehensive facility devoted to life extension research and cryopreservation”, a six-acre structure that will house research laboratories, animal and plant DNA, and up to 10,000 temporarily dead people.”

Science News, December 21st 2002: “Cold Comfort: A futuristic play of cryogenic proportions” an amusing story in which Ted Williams, Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman awake in 2102 and find they are wards of the Martha Stewart Living Foundation. Says Ted: “…the Red Sox should have won a World Series by now.”

The Fifth Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension resulted in several articles:

Wired News, November 18th 2002: “Ray Kurzweil’s Plan: Never Die” “Ray Kurzweil, celebrated author, inventor and geek hero, plans to live forever.”

Wired News, November 20th 2002: A Few Ways to Win Mortality War “Discussions among leading researchers in nanotechnology, cloning and artificial intelligence focused on much more than cryonics, the process of freezing the body in liquid nitrogen after death to be later reanimated. Cryonics is basically a backup plan if technology doesn’t obliterate mortality first.”

Wired News, November 20th 2002: Who Wants to Live Forever? “Gregory Benford, of the University of California at Irvine, believes the public should know that ‘cryonicists aren’t crazy, they’re just really great, sexy optimists.'”, November 22nd 2002: The Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension “Bringing together longevity experts, biotechnology pioneers, and futurists, the conference explored how the emerging technologies of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cryonics will enable humans to halt and ultimately reverse aging and disease and live indefinitely.”

Coverage of cryonics related to the Ted Williams case was voluminous. Wikipedia describes the events succinctly. Here are links to a few contemporaneous articles:

Sports Illustrated, August 2nd 2003: “Splendid Splinter chilling in Scottsdale” Sports Illustrated, June 30th 2003: “Chillin’ with the Splinter” The New York Times, September 26th 2002: “Fight Over Williams May End” CNN Sports Illustrated, August 13th 2002: “Williams’ eldest daughter asks judge to keep jurisdiction” USA Today, July 28th 2002: “Vitrification could keep tissue safe during the big chill” The New York Times, July 16th 2002: “They’ve Seen the Future and Intend to Live It” The New York Times, July 9th 2002: “Even for the Last .400 Hitter, Cryonics Is the Longest Shot” (Note that the Boston Globe links and others that have gone dead have been deleted).

Christopher Hitchens quote, February 15, 2011: “If someone is reported dead on Tuesday, and you see them on Friday, the overwhelming, the obvious conclusion is that the initial report was mistaken.”

Howard Lovy’s blog August 27th 2003: “Unfrozen Cave Men”

Reason Online, August 2002: “Forever Young: The new scientific search for immortality”

New Scientist, September 2nd 2002: “New Scientist offers prize to die for.” “When the winner of the New Scientist promotion is pronounced legally dead, he or she will be … suspended in liquid nitrogen at 196, in a state known as cryonic preservation[sic].”

KRON 4 News, Nightbeat, May 3rd 2001: “Frozen for Life” [medical] advances are giving new credibility to cryonics.

Wired News, July 20th 2001: “Cryonics Over Dead Geeks’ Bodies”

Scientific American, September 2001: “Nano nonsense and cryonics”

Search PubMed for published articles on cryonics.

Read the rest here:

Cryonics – Merkle

Eugenics – Conservapedia

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics – Conservapedia
Sep 022015

Eugenics was a movement which tried to eliminate “dangerous human pests” and “the rising tide of imbeciles” through what has been euphemistically called “selective breeding”. What this meant, in actual practice, was forced sterilization of American immigrants and minorities (particularly in California).[1]

The theory of evolution suggests that humans are merely evolving animals. The claimed biological struggle for survival that brought humans here is continuing. Man’s long-term survival is, according to evolution, a biological survival of the fittest. Evolution theory teaches that there must be a biological struggle for survival among various human races and groups.

Charles Darwin declared in The Descent of Man:[2]

Darwin was not the first to claim racial superiority. But he was the first to teach that some races of man “will almost certainly exterminate, and replace” other races of man. His followers developed a new intellectual field called “eugenics” for this mythical biological struggle.

In fact, the term “eugenics” was coined by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton.[3]

Defenders of Darwin, and Darwinism, often try to argue that Darwin, and Darwinism, have no logical connection to eugenics at all. However, in a 1914 speech, Charles Darwin’s son, Francis Darwin, wrote: “In the first edition of The Descent of Man, 1874, [my father] distinctly gives his adherence to the eugenic idea by his assertion that many might by selection do something for the moral and physical qualities of the race.”[4] He based his ideas on his cousin’s work.

Francis Darwin’s clear statement that his father endorsed Galton’s conception of eugenics is important, because many people try to distance Darwin from the taint of eugenics by pointing out that Darwin himself never advocated for it by name. But Galton coined the word after Darwin’s death, so naturally he wouldn’t have used the word ‘eugenics.’ Darwin’s son can be expected to have understood his father’s theory well enough to know whether or not his father’s book, “The Descent of Man”, ‘gave adherence to the eugenic idea.’

The word “eugenics” is based on Greek roots meaning “well born.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides 1883 as the date of origin for the term. Later, Darwin’s son, Leonard, served as the president of the First Congress of Eugenics in 1912 in London.

The encyclopedia describes eugenics as now being “in disrepute,”[5] although Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University has sought to remove the stigma from it. Evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins has stated in one letter his wish that it no longer be banned from polite discussion.[6]

The Spartans in ancient Greece practiced a primitive form of eugenics, wherein babies which were judged to be too “weak” or “sickly” would be left to die.

In the early 1900s, many influential officials advocated Darwinism and eugenics. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes became a strong proponent. So did many others in prominent government and academic positions. Members of the British Eugenics Society, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, are listed.[7]

Between 1907 and 1937, 32 American states passed eugenics laws requiring sterilization of citizens deemed to be misfits, such as the mentally infirm. Oliver Wendell Holmes and all but one conservative Democratic Justice upheld such laws in a Supreme Court decision that included Holmes’ offensive statement that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 207 (1927).[8] In fact, the third generation “imbecile” was very bright, but was declared by a eugenics “expert” as “supposed to be a mental defective,” apparently without an examination.

Eugenics was taught as part of the evolution curriculum of many science classes in America in the early 1900s. For example, it was featured in the textbook used in the famous Scopes trial in 1925.

“By 1928, the American Genetics Association boasted that there were 376 college courses devoted exclusively to eugenics. High-school biology textbooks followed suit by the mid-1930s, with most containing material favorable to the idea of eugenical control of reproduction. It would thus have been difficult to be an even moderately educated reader in the 1920s or 1930s and not have known, at least in general terms, about the claims of eugenics.”[9]

Important remnants of the evolution-eugenics approach exist today, in part because many of Justice Holmes’ opinions are still controlling law. The very first quote in the infamous Roe v. Wade abortion decision is an unprincipled statement of Justice Holmes in a 1905 opinion. Indeed, Holmes once wrote favorably in a letter to a future Supreme Court Justice about “restricting propagation by the undesirables and putting to death infants that didn’t pass the examination.[10]

Existing laws requiring students to receive controversial vaccines are based on a eugenics-era decision granting the State the power to forcibly vaccinate residents. [11] That decision, in fact, was the cited precedent for Justice Holmes’ offensive “imbeciles” holding quoted above.

For the same reason that evolution teaching led to eugenics, evolution teaching today encourages acceptance of abortion and euthanasia. Under evolution theory, after all, we are merely animals fighting for biological survival.

German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel promoted evolution by drawing fraudulent pictures of humans embryos, to pretend that their developmental stages imitate an historical evolution of humans from other species.[12]

In 1904, Haeckel reiterated the view of Darwin quoted above: “These lower races are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilized Europeans; we must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives.” [13]

It wasn’t long before intellectuals viewed war as an essential evolutionary process. Vom Heutigen Kriege, a popular book by Geberal Bernhardi, “expounded the thesis that war was a biological necessity and a convenient means of ridding the world of the unfit. These views were not confined to a lunatic fringe, but won wide acceptance especially among journalists, academics and politicians.”[14] In America, Justice Holmes similarly wrote that “I always say that society is founded on the death of men – if you don’t kill the weakest one way you kill them another.”[15]

World War I entailed a brutality unknown in the history of mankind. Gregg Easterbrook, a senior editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, observed that “prior to the Scopes trial [in 1925, William Jennings] Bryan had been on a revival tour of Germany and had been horrified by the signs of incipient Nazism. Before this point, Bryan had been a moderate in the evolution debate; for instance, he had lobbied the Florida legislature not to ban the teaching of Darwin, only to specify that evolution must be taught as a theory rather than a fact. But after hearing the National Socialists talk about the elimination of genetic inferiority, [historian Gary] Wills wrote, Bryan came to feel that evolutionary ideas had become dangerous; he began both to oppose and to lampoon them.”

The march of evolution/eugenics continued unabated in Germany. By the 1920s, German textbooks were teaching evolution concepts of heredity and racial hygiene. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics was founded in 1927.

In 1933, Germany passed the Law for the Protection of Heredity Health. Next was the Nazi sterilization law entitled “Eugenics in the service of public welfare.” It required compulsory sterilization for the prevention of progeny with hereditary defects in cases including congenital mental defects, schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis and hereditary epilepsy.

The German schools indoctrinated their students. In 1935, a German high-school math textbook included the following problem:[9] ” how much does it cost the state if:

One German student was Josef Mengele, who studied anthropology and paleontology and received his Ph.D. for his thesis entitled “Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups.” In 1937, Mengele was recommended for and received a position as a research assistant with the Third Reich Institute for Hereditary, Biology and Racial Purity at the University of Frankfort. He became the “Angel of Death” for directing the operation of gas chambers of the Holocaust and for conducting horrific medical experiments on inmates in pursuit of eugenics.

The liberal American Medical Society provided this summary:[16]

Many genocides have been commited in the name of Eugenics, most notably the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler was a strong believer in eugenics and evolution and believed that Jewish people were closest to apes, followed by Africans, Asians, non-Aryan Europeans, and finally Aryans, who he believed were most evolved.

Pat Milmoe McCarrick and Mary Carrington Coutts, reference librarians for the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature at Georgetown University, were more succinct: “The Nazi racial hygiene program began with involuntary sterilizations and ended with genocide.” [17]

From The Nazi Connection[18]:

In The Nazi Connection, Stefan Kuhl uncovers the ties between the American eugenics movement and the Nazi program of racial hygiene, showing that many American scientists actively supported Hitler’s policies. After introducing us to the recently resurgent problem of scientific racism, Kuhl carefully recounts the history of the eugenics movement, both in the United States and internationally, demonstrating how widely the idea of sterilization as a genetic control had become accepted by the early twentieth century. From the first, the American eugenicists led the way with radical ideas. Their influence led to sterilization laws in dozens of stateslaws which were studied, and praised, by the German racial hygienists. With the rise of Hitler, the Germans enacted compulsory sterilization laws partly based on the U.S. experience, and American eugenists took pride in their influence on Nazi policies. Kuhl recreates astonishing scenes of American eugenicists travelling to Germany to study the new laws, publishing scholarly articles lionizing the Nazi eugenics program, and proudly comparing personal notes from Hitler thanking them for their books. Even after the outbreak of war, he writes, the American eugenicists frowned upon Hitler’s totalitarian government, but not his sterilization laws. So deep was the failure to recognize the connection between eugenics and Hitler’s genocidal policies, that a prominent liberal Jewish eugenicist who had been forced to flee Germany found it fit to grumble that the Nazis “took over our entire plan of eugenic measures.”

By 1945, when the murderous nature of the Nazi government was made perfectly clear, the American eugenicists sought to downplay the close connections between themselves and the German program. Some of them, in fact, had sought to distance themselves from Hitler even before the war. But Stefan Kuhl’s deeply documented book provides a devastating indictment of the influenceand aidprovided by American scientists for the most comprehensive attempt to enforce racial purity in world history.

Some argue that parents who abort infants with genetic mutation or other disabilities are practicing a form of eugenics.[19] Some doctors and scientists have defended this practice and named it “liberal eugenics” in order to differentiate it from traditional forms of eugenics such as Nazi eugenics.[20] Eugenicists in the United States and elsewhere have been known to employ or advocate abortion as a method of eugenics.

In the 2006 satirical comedy Idiocracy, the entire movie is premised on the idea that the out-breeding of the stupid over the intelligent will lead to a uniformly stupid world run by advertisers, marketers, and anti-intellectualism.

See more here:

Eugenics – Conservapedia

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

 Eugenics  Comments Off on The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
Sep 022015

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called “Master Race.”

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century’s first decades, California’s eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.

Stanford president David Starr Jordan originated the notion of “race and blood” in his 1902 racial epistle “Blood of a Nation,” in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations.

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California’s quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as the Pasadena-based Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations–which functioned as part of a closely-knit network–published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis.

Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people only married other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton’s ideas were imported into the United States just as Gregor Mendel’s principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenic advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

In an America demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early twentieth century. Elitists, utopians and so-called “progressives” fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton’s eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: populate the earth with vastly more of their own socio-economic and biological kind–and less or none of everyone else.

The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark-haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

How? By identifying so-called “defective” family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior–the so-called “unfit.” The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 “Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.” Point eight was euthanasia.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a “lethal chamber” or public locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, “From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.” Applied Eugenics also devoted a chapter to “Lethal Selection,” which operated “through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency.”

Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to forty percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first twenty-five years of eugenic legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as “bad girls,” diagnosed as “passionate,” “oversexed” or “sexually wayward.” At Sonoma, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.

In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 of which were on women. The state’s two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations. Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.

Even the United States Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes’s words in their own defense.

Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.

Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler’s race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.

During the ’20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany’s fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. “There is today one state,” wrote Hitler, “in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.”

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. “I have studied with great interest,” he told a fellow Nazi, “the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.”

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his “bible.”

Hitler’s struggle for a superior race would be a mad crusade for a Master Race. Now, the American term “Nordic” was freely exchanged with “Germanic” or “Aryan.” Race science, racial purity and racial dominance became the driving force behind Hitler’s Nazism. Nazi eugenics would ultimately dictate who would be persecuted in a Reich-dominated Europe, how people would live, and how they would die. Nazi doctors would become the unseen generals in Hitler’s war against the Jews and other Europeans deemed inferior. Doctors would create the science, devise the eugenic formulas, and even hand-select the victims for sterilization, euthanasia and mass extermination.

During the Reich’s early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler’s plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

In 1934, as Germany’s sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe upon returning from Germany ebulliently bragged to a key colleague, “You will be interested to know, that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought.I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”

That same year, ten years after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia’s Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Germans are beating us at our own game.”

More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germany’s eugenic institutions. By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 — almost $4 million in 21st-Century money — to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 to the German Psychiatric Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, later to become the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler’s systematic medical repression.

Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s eugenic complex of institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the Institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The Institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the Institute, once again, was Hitler’s medical henchman Ernst Rdin. Rdin’s organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.

Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society declared of Nazism, “While we were pussy-footing aroundthe Germans were calling a spade a spade.”

A special recipient of Rockefeller funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For decades, American eugenicists had craved twins to advance their research into heredity. The Institute was now prepared to undertake such research on an unprecedented level. On May 13, 1932, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York dispatched a radiogram to its Paris office: JUNE MEETING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER THREE YEAR PERIOD TO KWG INSTITUTE ANTHROPOLOGY FOR RESEARCH ON TWINS AND EFFECTS ON LATER GENERATIONS OF SUBSTANCES TOXIC FOR GERM PLASM.

At the time of Rockefeller’s endowment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a hero in American eugenics circles, functioned as a head of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of that Institute continued both directly and through other research conduits during Verschuer’s early tenure. In 1935, Verschuer left the Institute to form a rival eugenics facility in Frankfurt that was much heralded in the American eugenic press. Research on twins in the Third Reich exploded, backed up by government decrees. Verschuer wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenic doctor’s journal he edited, that Germany’s war would yield a “total solution to the Jewish problem.”

Verschuer had a long-time assistant. His name was Josef Mengele. On May 30, 1943, Mengele arrived at Auschwitz. Verschuer notified the German Research Society, “My assistant, Dr. Josef Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmfhrer [captain] and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsfhrer [Himmler].”

Mengele began searching the boxcar arrivals for twins. When he found them, he performed beastly experiments, scrupulously wrote up the reports and sent the paperwork back to Verschuer’s institute for evaluation. Often, cadavers, eyes and other body parts were also dispatched to Berlin’s eugenic institutes.

Rockefeller executives never knew of Mengele. With few exceptions, the foundation had ceased all eugenic studies in Nazi-occupied Europe before the war erupted in 1939. But by that time the die had been cast. The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the institutions they helped found, and the science it helped create took on a scientific momentum of their own.

After the war, eugenics was declared a crime against humanity–an act of genocide. Germans were tried and they cited the California statutes in their defense. To no avail. They were found guilty.

However, Mengele’s boss Verschuer escaped prosecution. Verschuer re-established his connections with California eugenicists who had gone underground and renamed their crusade “human genetics.” Typical was an exchange July 25, 1946 when Popenoe wrote Verschuer, “It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you again. I have been very anxious about my colleagues in Germany. I suppose sterilization has been discontinued in Germany?” Popenoe offered tidbits about various American eugenic luminaries and then sent various eugenic publications. In a separate package, Popenoe sent some cocoa, coffee and other goodies.

Verschuer wrote back, “Your very friendly letter of 7/25 gave me a great deal of pleasure and you have my heartfelt thanks for it. The letter builds another bridge between your and my scientific work; I hope that this bridge will never again collapse but rather make possible valuable mutual enrichment and stimulation.”

Soon, Verschuer once again became a respected scientist in Germany and around the world. In 1949, he became a corresponding member of the newly formed American Society of Human Genetics, organized by American eugenicists and geneticists.

In the fall of 1950, the University of Mnster offered Verschuer a position at its new Institute of Human Genetics, where he later became a dean. In the early and mid-1950s, Verschuer became an honorary member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Italian Society of Genetics, the Anthropological Society of Vienna, and the Japanese Society for Human Genetics.

Human genetics’ genocidal roots in eugenics were ignored by a victorious generation that refused to link itself to the crimes of Nazism and by succeeding generations that never knew the truth of the years leading up to war. Now governors of five states, including California have issued public apologies to their citizens, past and present, for sterilization and other abuses spawned by the eugenics movement.

Human genetics became an enlightened endeavor in the late twentieth century. Hard-working, devoted scientists finally cracked the human code through the Human Genome Project. Now, every individual can be biologically identified and classified by trait and ancestry. Yet even now, some leading voices in the genetic world are calling for a cleansing of the unwanted among us, and even a master human species.

There is understandable wariness about more ordinary forms of abuse, for example, in denying insurance or employment based on genetic tests. On October 14, America’s first genetic anti-discrimination legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Yet because genetics research is global, no single nation’s law can stop the threats.

This article was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle and is reprinted with permission of the author.

Originally posted here:

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

A History of the Eugenics Movement –

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Sep 022015


Five items appear below:

1 Editorial 72 2 A Brief History of the Eugenics Movement (Dr Bergman) 72 3 Reply to Bergman on Eugenics (Dr Potter) 73 4 Is the Orthodox History of Eugenics True? (Dr Bergman) 77 5 Reply to Bergman: Some Tangential Points (Dr Potter) 77


Jerry Bergman has donated the article A Brief History of the Eugenics Movement. Dr Bergman’s conclusion on Eugenics (= racial improvement by scientific control of breeding) are reminiscent of the conclusions of “Anonymous” on the related topic Social Darwinism. (Investigator 33)

Social Darwinism was the theory that “societies and classes evolve under the principle of survival of the fittest.” With eugenics such evolution toward better/fitter societies could in principle be speeded up.

Dr Bergman shows that eugenic ideas were supported by many scientists, were contrary to the Bible, discouraged help to the poor, culminated in the Holocaust, and became untenable with newer scientific research. “Anonymous” showed the same of Social Darwinism.

A Brief History of the Eugenics Movement

(Investigator 72, 2000 May)

Dr Jerry Bergman


Eugenics, the science of improving the human race by scientific control of breeding, was viewed by a large segment of scientists for almost one hundred years as an important, if not a major means of producing paradise on earth. These scientists concluded that many human traits were genetic, and that persons who came from genetically ‘good families’ tended to turn out far better than those who came from poor families. The next step was to encourage the good families to have more children, and the poor families to have few or no children.

From these simple observations developed one of the most far-reaching movements, which culminated in the loss of millions of lives. It discouraged aiding the sick, building asylums for the insane, or even aiding the poor and all those who were believed to be in some way ‘genetically inferior’, which included persons afflicted with an extremely wide variety of unrelated physical and even psychological maladies. Their end goal was to save society from the ‘evolutionary inferior’. The means was sexual sterilization, permanent custody of ‘defective’ adults by the state, marriage restrictions, and even the elimination of the unfit through means which ranged from refusal to help them to outright killing. This movement probably had a greater adverse influence upon society than virtually any other that developed from a scientific theory in modern times. It culminated with the infamous Holocaust and afterward rapidly declined.


The eugenics movement grew from the core ideas of evolution, primarily those expounded by Charles Darwin.1 As Haller concluded:

‘Eugenics was the legitimate offspring of Darwinian evolution, a natural and doubtless inevitable outgrowth of currents of thought that developed from the publication in 1859 of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species.’ 2

Eugenics spanned the political spectrum from conservatives to radical socialists; what they had in common was a belief in evolution and a faith that science, particularly genetics, held the key for improving the life of humans.3

The first eugenics movement in America was founded in 1903 and included many of the most well known new-world biologists in the country: David Star Jordan was its chairman (a prominent biologist and chancellor of Stanford University), Luther Burbank (the famous plant breeder), Vernon L. Kellog (a world renowned biologist at Stanford), William B. Castle (a Harvard geneticist), Roswell H. Johnson (a geologist and a professor of genetics), and Charles R. Henderson of the University of Chicago.

One of the most prominent eugenicists in the United States was Charles Benedict Davenport, a Harvard Ph.D, where he served as instructor of biology until he became an assistant professor at the University of Chicago in 1898.4 In 1904, he became director for a new station for experimental evolution at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. Even Edward Thorndike of Columbia University, one of the most influential educational psychologists in history, was also involved. His work is still today regarded as epic and his original textbook on tests and measurements set the standard in the field.

Other persons active in the early eugenics society were eminent sexologists Havelock Ellis, Dr F. W. Mott, a leading expert in insanity, and Dr A. F. Tredgold, an author of a major textbook on mental deficiency, and one of the foremost British experts on this subject. Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw, author H. G. Wells, and planned parenthood founder Margaret Sanger were also very involved in the movement.5

As the eugenics movement grew, it added other prominent individuals. Among them were Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone who was ‘one of the most respected, if not one of the most zealous participants in the American Eugenics Movement.’ 6He published numerous papers in scholarly journals specifically on genetics and the deafness problem, and also in other areas.

Of the many geneticists who are today recognized as scientific pioneers that were once eugenicists include J. B. S. Haldane, Thomas Hunt Morgan, William Bateson, Herman J. Muller, and evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley.7 Professors were prominent among both the officers and members of various eugenics societies which sprang up in the United States and Europe. In virtually every college and university were professors ‘inspired by the new creed,’ and most of the major colleges had credit courses on eugenics.8 These classes were typically well attended and their content was generally accepted as part of proven science. Many eugenicists also lectured widely and developed new courses, both at their institutes and elsewhere, to help educate the public in the principles of eugenics.’ According to Haller:

‘the movement was the creation of biological scientists, social scientists, and others with a faith that science provided a guide for human progress. Indeed, during the first three decades of the present century, eugenics was a sort of secular religion for many who dreamed of a society in which each child might be born endowed with vigorous health and an able mind.’ 10

The eugenics movement also attacked the idea of democracy itself. Many concluded that letting inferior persons participate in government was naive, if not dangerous. Providing educational opportunities and governmental benefits for everyone likewise seemed a misplacement of resources: one saves only the best cows for breeding, slaughtering the inferior ones, and these laws of nature must be applied to human animals. If a primary determinant of mankind’s behavioural nature is genetic as the movement concluded, then environmental reforms are largely useless. Further, those who are at the bottom of the social ladder in society, such as Blacks, are in this position not because of social injustice or discrimination, but as a result of their own inferiority.11


The first chapter in the most definitive history of the eugenics movement12 is entitled ‘Francis Galton, Founder of the Faith’. Influenced by his older cousin, Charles Darwin, Galton began his lifelong quest to quantify humans, and search for ways of genetically improving the human race in about 1860. So extremely important was Darwin’s idea to Galton, as Hailer states, that within six years of the publication of The Origin of Species

‘…Galton had arrived at the doctrine that he was to preach for the remainder of his life.., this became for him a new ethic and a new religion.’13

Galton openly stated that his goal was ‘to produce a highly gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several consecutive generations’. 14In an 1865 article, he proposed that the state sponsor competitive examinations, and the male winners marry the female winners. He later suggested that the state rank people according to evolutionary superiority, and then use money ‘rewards’ to encourage those who were ranked high to have more children. Those ranked towards the bottom would be segregated in monasteries and convents, and watched to prevent them from propagating more of their kind.15

Galton concluded that not only intelligence, but many other human traits were primarily, if not almost totally, the product of heredity. He believed that virtually every human function could be evaluated statistically, and that human beings could be compared in a quantitative manner on many hundreds of traits. He was also fully convinced that the survival of the fittest law fully applied to humans, and that it should be under the control of those who were most intelligent and responsible. Galton himself coined the word eugenics from the Greek words meaning well born. He also introduced the terms nature and nurture to science and started the nature/nurture argument which is still raging today. His goal was to produce a super race to control tomorrow’s world, a dream which he not only wrote about, but actively involved himself in promoting his whole life.

In 1901 he founded the Eugenics Education Society based in the Statistics Department at the University College of London.16 This organization flourished, later even producing a journal called Biometrika, founded and edited by Galton and later Pearson. It is still a leading journal today, but it has since rejected the basic idea behind its founding.

Galton, himself a child prodigy, soon set about looking for superior men by measuring the size of human heads, bodies and minds. For this purpose, he devised sophisticated measuring equipment which would quantify not only the brain and intelligence, but virtually every other human trait that could be measured without doing surgery. He even constructed a whistle to measure the upper range of hearing, now called a Galton whistle, a tool which is still standard equipment in a physiological laboratory. His work was usually anything but superficial much of it was extremely thorough. He relied heavily upon the empirical method and complex statistical techniques, many of which he developed for his work in this area.

In fact, Galton and his coworker, Karl Pearson, are regarded as founders of the modern field of statistics, and both made major contributions. Their thorough, detailed research was extremely convincing, especially to academics. German academics were among the first to wholeheartedly embrace his philosophy, as well as the theory of Darwinian evolution.

The idea that humans could achieve biological progress and eventually breed a superior race was not seen as heretical to the Victorian mind, nor did it have the horrendous implications or the taint of Nazism that it does today. All around Galton were the fruits of the recent advances in technology and the industrial revolution that had dramatically proved human mastery over inanimate nature. 17 They knew that, by careful selection, farmers could obtain better breeds of both plants and animals, and it was logical that the human races could similarly be improved. 18

Galton’s conclusion was that, for the sake of mankind’s future, pollution of the precious superior gene pool of certain classes must be stopped by preventing interbreeding with inferior stock. The next step was that we humans must intelligently direct our own evolution rather than leave such a vital event to chance. And Galton was not alone is this conclusion. All of the major fathers of modem evolution, including Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace (often credited as the co-founder of the modern theory of evolution), Edward Blyth, as well as E. Ray Lankester, and Erasmus Darwin, inferred that ‘evolution sanctioned a breeding program for man’. 19

The route to produce a race of gifted humans was controlled marriages of superior stock.20 In an effort to be tactful in his discussion of race breeding, he used terms such as ‘judicious marriages’ and ‘discouraging breeding by inferior stock.’ He did not see himself as openly cruel, at least in his writings, but believed that his proposals were for the long term good of humanity. Galton utterly rejected and wrote much against the Christian doctrines of helping the weak, displaying a tolerable attitude toward human fragilities and also showing charity towards the poor. Although this response may seem cold the mind of the co-founder of the field, Karl Pearson, has often be described as mathematical and without feeling and sympathy it must be viewed in the science climate of the time.21 Galton received numerous honours for his work, including the Darwin and Wallace Medals, and also the Huxley and the Copley Medals. He was even knighted by the British government and thus became Sir Francis Galton.

Understanding the eugenics movement requires a knowledge of how evolution was viewed in America and Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many scientists had concurrently applied Darwinian analysis to various racial’ groups, concluding that some ‘races’ were more evolutionarily advanced than others. If this claim was valid, the presence of certain racial groups in the United States and Europe constituted a threat to ‘the long-run biological quality of the nation.’ Consequently, it was concluded that ‘selective breeding was a necessary step in solving many major social problems’.22

We are today keenly aware of the tragic results of this belief; most people are now horrified by such statements when quoted by modern day white supremacists and racist groups. Many of the extremist groups today often quote from, and also have reprinted extensively, the scientific and eugenic literature of this time.


From this point on, Galton’s ideas about eugenics rapidly catalyzed. The knowledge he obtained from his African travels confirmed his beliefs about inferior races, and how to improve society. This conclusion strongly supported the writings of both his grandfather and his first cousin, Charles Darwin. Galton, highly rewarded for his scientific contributions, likely felt that his eugenics work was another way that he could achieve even more honours. He concluded that his work was more important than that which he had completed for the various geographical societies, and more important than even his research which helped the fingerprint system become part of the British method of criminal identification.

The history of eugenics is intimately tied to the history of evolution. Hailer, the author of one of the most definitive works on the history of the eugenics movement, stated

Galton called the method of race analysis he developed ‘statistics by intercomparison.’ It later became a common system of scaling psychological tests. This scale permitted Galton

‘very nearly two grades higher than our own that is, about as much as our race is above that of the African Negro’. 27

Around the turn of the century, eugenics was fully accepted by the educated classes. As Kelves states:

‘Galton’s religion [became] as much a part of the secular pieties of the nineteen-twenties as the Einstein craze.’ 28

Books on eugenics became best-sellers Albert E. Wiggam wrote at least four popular books on eugenics, several were best-sellers29-32 and the prestigious Darwinian family name stayed with the eugenics movement for years the president of the British Eugenics Society from 1911 to 1928 was Major Leonard Darwin, Charles’ son.

The impact of the eugenics movement on American law was especially profound. In the 1920s, congress introduced and passed many laws to restrict the influx of ‘inferior races,’ including all of those from Southern and Eastern Europe, and also China. These beliefs were also reflected in everything from school textbooks to social policy. American Blacks especially faced the brunt of these laws. Inter-racial marriage was forbidden by law in many areas and discouraged by social pressure in virtually all. The eugenicists concluded that the American belief that education could benefit everyone was unscientific, and that the conviction that social reform and social justice could substantially reduce human misery was more than wrong-headed, it was openly dangerous.34

According to Hailer, it was actually between 1870 and 1900 that


The second most important architect of eugenics theory was Galton’s disciple, Karl Pearson. His degree was in mathematics with honours from Kings College, Cambridge, which he completed in 1879. He then studied law and was called to the bar in 1881. A socialist, he often lectured on Marxism to revolutionary clubs. He was later appointed to the chair of applied mathematics and mechanics at University College, London, and soon thereafter established his reputation as a mathematician. His publication The Grammar of Science also accorded him a place in the philosophy of science field.

Pearson, greatly influenced by Galton, soon began to apply his mathematical knowledge to biological problems. He developed the field now known as statistics primarily to research evolution specifically as it related to eugenics. Pearson vigorously applied the experimental method to his research. Kevles concludes that Pearson was cold, remote, driven, and treated any emotional pleasure as a weakness. Challenging him on a scientific point invited ‘demolishing fire in return’. Pearson ‘like so many Victorian undergraduates, was beset by an agony of religious doubt’.38

Pearson concluded that Darwinism supported socialism because he assumed that socialism produced a wealthier, stronger, more productive, and in short, a superior nation. And the outcome of the Darwinian struggle results in the ascendancy of the ‘fittest’ nation, not individuals. Achievement of national fitness can better be produced by national socialism, consequently socialism will produce more fit nations that are better able to survive. Pearson carried his conclusions of heritability far beyond that which was warranted by the data. He stated to the anthropological institute in 1903 that

When Galton died in January of 1911, the University College received much of his money and established a Galton eugenics professorship, and a new department called applied statistics. The fund enabled Pearson to be freed from his ‘burdensome’ teaching to devote full time to eugenics research. The new department blossomed, and drew research workers from around the world. Pearson now could select only the best scientists and students who would immerse themselves in eugenic work. His students helped to manage the dozens of research projects in which Pearson was involved.

Pearson’s students and those who worked under him had to be as dedicated as he was or they soon were forced to leave. Some, trying to emulate Pearson’s pace, suffered nervous breakdowns.43 The laboratory’s goal was the production of research, and produce they did.

Between 1903 and 1918, Pearson and his staff published over 300 works, plus various government reports and popular expositions of genetics. Some of his co-workers questioned the idea that the only way to improve a nation is to ensure that its future generations come chiefly from the more superior members of the existing generation, but if they valued their position, most said nothing.” As Kevles added,


The next most important figure in the eugenics movement was an American, Charles Davenport. He studied engineering at preparatory school, and later became an instructor of zoology at Harvard. While at Harvard, he read some of Karl Pearson’s work and was soon ‘converted’. In 1899 he became an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. During a trip to England, he visited Galton, Pearson and Weldon, and returned home an enthusiastic true believer.

In 1904 he convinced the Carnegie Institute to establish a station for ‘the experimental study of evolution’ at Cold Spring Harbor, some thirty miles from New York City. Davenport then recruited a staff to work on various research projects ranging from natural selection to hybridization. He argued that hereditability was a major influence in everything from criminality to epilepsy, even alcoholism and pauperism (being poor).

Among the many problems with his research is that he assumed that traits which we now know are polygenic in origin were single Mendelian characters. This error caused him to greatly oversimplify interpolating from the genotype to the phenotype. He ignored the forces of the environment to such a degree that he labelled those who ‘loved the sea’ as suffering from thalassaphilia, and concluded that it was a sex-linked recessive trait because it was virtually always exhibited in males! Davenport even concluded that prostitution was caused not by social, cultural or economic circumstances, but a dominant genetic trait which caused a woman to be a nymphomaniac. He spoke against birth control because it reduced the natural inhibitions against sex.

He had no shortage of data for his ideas when the Cold Spring Harbor was founded in 1911 to when it closed in 1924, more than 250 field workers were employed to gather data and about three-quarters of a million cases were completed. This data served as the source of bulletins, memoirs, articles and books on eugenics and related matters. Raised a Congregationalist, Davenport rejected his father’s piety,

‘replacing it with a Babbitt-like religiosity, a worship of great concepts: Science, Humanity, the improvement of Mankind, Eugenics. The birth control crusader, Margaret Sanger recalled that Davenport, in expressing his worry about the impact of contraception on the better stocks, “used to lift his eyes reverently, and with his hands upraised as though in supplication, quiver emotionally as he breathed, “Protoplasm. We want more protoplasm”‘.49


There are few individuals more important in the field of educational psychology and educational measurement and evaluation than Edward Lee Thorndike. He wrote many of the college texts which were the standards for years (and many still are), not only in educational psychology but also in measurement and child psychology. Yet, he was largely unaware of, or ignored, the massive evidence which had accumulated against many of the basic eugenic views.

When Thorndike retired in 1940 from Columbia Teachers’ College, he wrote a 963-page book entitled Human Nature and the Social Order. In it, he reiterated virtually all of the most blatant misconceptions and distortions of the eugenicists. As Chase states,

‘at the age of sixty-six, he was still peddling the long discredited myths about epilepsy that Galton had revived when Thorndike was a boy of nine… Despite Thorndike’s use of such twentieth-century scientific words as “genes” and his advocacy of the then current Nazi eugenics court’s practice of sterilizing people who got low marks on intelligence tests and for “inferior” morals, this [book] was, essentially, the 1869 gospel of Galton, the eugenical orthodoxy that all mental disorders and diseases were at least eighty percent genetic and at most twenty percent environmental.’ 59


Part of the reason that the eugenics movement caught on so rapidly was because of the failures of the many innovative reformatory and other programmes designed to help the poor, the criminal, and people with mental and physical problems. Many of those who worked in these institutions concluded that most people in these classes were ‘heredity losers’ in the struggle for existence. And these unfit should not be allowed to survive and breed indiscriminately. Evolution gave them an answer to the difficulties that they faced. Charles Loring Brace

The translation of the eugenics movement into policy took many forms. In America, the sterilization of a wide variety of individua1s who were felt to have ‘heredity problems,’ mostly criminals, the mentally retarded, mentally ill and others, were at the top of their list. The first sterilization laws in the United States were in Indiana. They required mandatory sterilization of

Although the American courts challenged many of the eugenic laws, only one case, Bell versus Buck, reached the Supreme Court of the United States.

In an eight to one vote, the high court upheld sterilization for eugenic reasons, concluding that ‘feeblemindedness’ was caused by heredity and thus the state had a responsibility to control it by this means! The court’s opinion was written by none other than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who used his no small knowledge of science in his erudite opinion. He forged a link between eugenics and patriotism, concluding that eugenics was a fact derived from empirical science. A rash of sterilization laws which were passed in half of the states soon followed, many of which were more punitive than humanitarian.53

Many eugenicists also believed that negative traits that one picked up in one’s lifetime could be passed on. The theory of acquired characteristics was widely accepted, and was not conclusively refuted until the work of August Weismann of Germany. The new view, called neo-Darwinian, taught that acquired characteristics could not be inherited, and thus

And much of this research was on the so-called simple creatures such as the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). Secondly, it was realized that, as a human is produced from between 50,000 and 100,000 genes, it is extremely difficult to determine if any one is ‘superior’ to another. At best, one could try to make judgments relative to the superiority of one specific trait compared to another. This is most easily done in the case of a mutation. A person who had the mutation for hemophilia could be considered inferior for that trait compared to the person who does not.

On the other hand, this method considers only one gene, which means that a person without the genetic defect for hemophilia will be genetically inferior in some other way compared to the one with it. He may have the mutation for retinoblastoma, for example, and develop eye cancer later in his life.

Even a person who has certain traits, such as below average intellect, may as a whole be genetically superior, a determination which we cannot make until all 100,000 genes are mapped and then compared with the whole population. And even then comparative judgments cannot be made except on simplistic grounds, such as counting the total number of ‘inferior’ and ‘superior’ genes.

This falls short in that certain single genes can cause far more problems than others, or conversely, can confer on the person far more advantages than most other genes. It would then be necessary to rate each individual gene, something that is no easy task. In addition, many so-called inferior genes are actually mutations which were caused somewhere in the human genetic past, and were since passed on to the victim’s offspring. Of the unidentified diseases, about 4,000 are due to heritable mutations and none of these 4,000 existed in our past before the mutation for it was introduced into the human gene pool. This is de-evolution, an event which is the opposite of the eugenics goal of trying to determine the most flawless race and limit reproduction to them. This goal is flawed because the accumulation of mutations tends to result in all races becoming less perfect.56

Although the validity of many of the eugenic studies and the extent of applicability to humans were both seriously questioned, the demise of the eugenics movement had more to do with social factors than new scientific discoveries. Haller lists

Many of the people involved in the eugenics movement can best be summarized as true believers, devoted to the cause and blissfully ignoring the evidence which did not support their theories. Yet many knew that its basic premise was unsound, and often tried to rationalize its many problems. Galton

The importance of studying the eugenics movement today is not just to help us understand history. A field which is growing enormously in influence and prestige, social biology, is in some ways not drastically different from the eugenics movement. This school also claims that not only biological, but many social traits have a genetic basis, and exist from the evolutionary process. Although many social biologists take pains to disavow any connections, ideologically or otherwise, with the eugenics movement, their similarity is striking. This fact is a point that its many critics, such as Stephen J. Gould of Harvard, have often noted.60

In the late nineteenth century, ‘when so many thought in evolutionary terms, it was only natural to divide man into the fit and the unfit.’ 61 Even the unfortunates who because of an unjust society or chance, failed in business or life and ended in poverty, or those who were forced to live from petty theft, were judged ‘unfit’ and evolutionarily inferior.62 There was little recognition of the high level of criminality among common men and women, nor of the high level of moral virtuousness among many of those who were labelled criminals. They disregarded the fact that what separates a criminal from a non-criminal is primarily criminal behaviour. Because they are far more alike than different is one reason why criminal identification is extremely difficult.

The eugenicists also usually ignored upper class crime and the many offenses committed by high ranking army officers and government officials, even Kings and Queens, all of whose crimes were often well known by the people. They correctly identified some hereditary concerns, but mislabelled many which are not (such as poverty) and ignored the enormous influence of the environment in moulding all of that which heredity gives us. They believed that since most social problems and conditions are genetic, they cannot be changed, but can only be controlled by sterilization.63, 64


In contrast, the teaching of Christianity presented quite a different picture. It declared that anyone who accepted Christ’s message could be changed. The Scriptures gave numerous examples of individuals who were liars, thieves, and moral degenerates who, after a Christian conversion, radically turned their life around. The regeneration of reprobates has always been an important selling point of Christianity. From its earliest days, the proof of its validity was its effect on changing the lives of those who embraced the faith. Helping the poor, the weak, the downtrodden, the unfortunate, the crippled, and the lame was no minor part of Christianity. Indeed, it was the essence of the religion, the outward evidence of the faith within. If one wanted to follow Christ, one was to be prepared, if necessary, to ‘go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor’ (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21).

The rest is here:

A History of the Eugenics Movement –

Hampton Roads – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 312015

2013 Fortune 500 Corporations[53]

Hampton Roads has become known as the “world’s greatest natural harbor”. The port is located only 18 miles (29km) from open ocean on one of the world’s deepest, natural ice-free harbors. Since 1989, Hampton Roads has been the mid-Atlantic leader in U.S. waterborne foreign commerce and is ranked second nationally behind the Port of South Louisiana based on export tonnage. When import and export tonnage are combined, the Port of Hampton Roads ranks as the third largest port in the country (following the ports of New Orleans/South Louisiana and Houston). In 1996, Hampton Roads was ranked ninth among major U.S. ports in vessel port calls with approximately 2,700. In addition, this port is the U.S. leader in coal exports. The coal loading facilities in the Port of Hampton Roads are able to load in excess of 65 million tons annually, giving the port the largest, most efficient and modern coal loading facilities in the world.

It is little surprise therefore that the Hampton Roads region’s economic base is largely port-related, including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval installations, cargo transfer and storage, and manufacturing related to the processing of imports and exports. Associated with the ports’ military role are almost 50,000 federal civilian employees.

The harbor of Hampton Roads is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company), was created in 2008 as a spinoff of Northrop Grumman Newport News and is the world’s largest shipyard. It is located a short distance up the James River. In Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth River, the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located. BAE Systems, formerly known as NORSHIPCO, operates from sites in the City of Norfolk. There are also several smaller shipyards, numerous docks and terminals.

Massive coal piers and loading facilities were established in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W), and Virginian Railway (VGN). The latter two were predecessors of the Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class I railroad which has its headquarters in Norfolk, and continues to export coal from a large facility at Lambert’s Point on the Elizabeth River. CSX Transportation now serves the former C&O facility at Newport News. (The VGN’s former coal facility at Sewell’s Point has been gone since the 1960s, and the property is now part of the expansive Norfolk Navy Base).

Almost 80% of the region’s economy is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, but also NASA and facilities of the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs. The region also receives a substantial impact in government student loans and grants, university research grants, and federal aid to cities.

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nations active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads, and 45% of the region’s $81B gross regional output is Defense-related.[54][55] All five military services operating forces are there, as well as several major command headquarters: Hampton Roads is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy, and the area is home to the Allied Command Transformation, which is the only major military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on U.S. soil. Langley Air Force Base is home to Air Combat Command (ACC). The Norfolk Navy Base is located at Sewell’s Point near the mouth, on the site used for the tercentennial Jamestown Exposition in 1907. For a width of 500 feet (150m) the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 to 30 feet (8 to 9m), and the channel has now been dredged to a depth of 55 feet (17m) in some places.

NASA’s Langley Research Center, located on the Peninsula adjacent to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, is home to scientific and aerospace technology research. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (commonly known as Jefferson Labs) is located nearby in Newport News.

The area’s experiences with commercial and retail centers began early in 1918. Afton Square, located in the Cradock naval community of Portsmouth, was the first planned shopping center in the USA and has served as template for future developments throughout the nation.[56]

Hampton Roads experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent to off-street parking, usually in a suburban location.

In 1959, one of the largest on the east coast of the USA was opened at the northeast corner of Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard on property which had formally been used as an airfield. The new JANAF Shopping Center, located in Norfolk, featured acres of free parking and dozens of stores. Backed by retired military personnel, the name JANAF was an acronym for Joint Army Navy Air Force.[57]

During the 1950s and early 1960s, other shopping centers in Hampton Roads were developed, such as Wards Corner Shopping Center, Downtown Plaza Shopping Center and Southern Shopping Center in Norfolk; Mid-City Shopping Center in Portsmouth; Hilltop Shopping Center (now known as The Shops at Hilltop) in Virginia Beach; Riverdale Shopping Center in Hampton and the Warwick-Denbigh Shopping Center in Newport News.

In the late-1960s, a new type of shopping center came to Hampton Roads: the Indoor Shopping Mall. In 1965, South Hampton Roads broke ground on its first shopping mall in Virginia Beach, known as Pembroke Mall. The mall opened in 1966, and became Hampton Road’s newest indoor shopping destination. The Virginia Peninsula had its first indoor shopping mall in 1973, with Coliseum Mall. Coliseum Mall drew so much traffic from Interstate 64, that a towering flyover was built at the Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive intersection, to accommodate eastbound mall traffic, from the Mercury Boulevard interchange. Coliseum Mall was demolished to make way for the open air mixed-use development Peninsula Town Center. Also in the 1970s, Tower Mall was built in Portsmouth, but was torn down and turned into the Victory Crossing shopping development. In Norfolk, Military Circle Mall on Military Highway was built across Virginia Beach Boulevard from the large JANAF Shopping Center with its own high-rise hotel right in the center. In 1981, Greenbrier Mall gave Chesapeake a shopping mall of its own as well, and Virginia Beach got the massive Lynnhaven Mall the same year.

MacArthur Center opened in March 1999, which made downtown Norfolk a prime shoppers destination, with the region’s first Nordstrom department store anchor. MacArthur Center is compared to other downtown malls, such as Baltimore’s Harborplace, Indianapolis’ Circle Centre Mall, Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall and most comparably to The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven Mall is the region’s largest shopping center with nearly 180 stores, and is one of the region’s biggest tourist draws, with the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The Old Country and MacArthur Center.

For a long time, the indoor shopping malls were seen as largely competitive with small shopping centers and traditional downtown type areas. However, in the 1990s and since, the “big-box stores” on the Peninsula and Southside, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Target have been creating a new competitive atmosphere for the shopping malls of Hampton Roads.

Several older malls such as Pembroke and Military Circle have since their grand openings been renovated, and others have been closed and torn down. Newmarket North Mall is now NetCenter, a business center (the Sears store remains). Coliseum Mall, in Hampton, has been redeveloped as Peninsula Town Center in a new style, in step with the latest commercial real estate trend: the nationwide establishment of “lifestyle centers”. Additional malls which have closed include Mercury Mall in Hampton (converted to Mercury Plaza Shopping Center in the mid-1980s, then completely torn down in 2001), and Tower Mall in Portsmouth (Built in the early 1970s, then torn down in 2001).

In late 2006, the Hampton Roads Partnership, a non-profit organization representing 17 localities (ten cities, six counties, and one town), all local universities and major military commands as well as leading businesses in southeastern Virginia, commenced a campaign aimed at branding the land area of Hampton Roads as “America’s First Region”.

The new title is based on events in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport’s three ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery landed at Cape Henry along the Atlantic Coast in what is today Virginia Beach. After 18 days of exploring the area, the ships and their crews arrived at Jamestown Island where they established the first English speaking settlement to survive in the New World on May 14, 1607.

Because the region’s east-west boundaries (now the City of Virginia Beach and James City County) have not changed since 1607, the Partnership felt justified in labeling Hampton Roads “America’s First Region”. It unveiled the new brand before 800 people at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce on December 13, 2006. A video shown that afternoon included endorsements from mayors and county board of supervisors chairs representing Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and James City County as well as the Governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine.[58][citation needed]

The mission of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to business attractionmarketing the Hampton Roads region as the preferred location for business investment and expansion. HREDA represents the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Franklin, as well as the counties of Gloucester, James City, Isle of Wight, York, and Southampton.[59]

In 1998, a flag representing the Hampton Roads region was adopted. The design of the flag was created by a contest. The winner, sixteen-year-old Andrew J. Wall of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, raised the new regional flag for the first time on the mast of a ship moored in the harbor.

As conceived by student Andrew Wall and embellished by the selection committee, his flag is highly symbolic:

The area is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different from a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent.[61]

There’s also a wealth of other points of history to explore in the Hampton Roads area. Led by the Historic Triangle area, Hampton Roads consistently rates among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Cultural attractions include museums, historical sites, and venues from tiny to massively large for such things as art and musical shows. The region hosts two week-long visits by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus each year with multiple performances at Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum, and even attracts a group of Circus Train Enthusiasts, railfans who watch, photograph and report on the blue or red unit trains as they make their move between the two sites, requiring a long inland trip through Petersburg and Richmond in order to avoid crossing the 10-mile (16km) geographical distance across the harbor (a trip impassable directly by modern trains; the two bridge-tunnel facilities operated by VDOT accommodate only highway traffic).

The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway.

The National Park Service’s Colonial Parkway joins the three popular attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic and bucolic roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl. This two lane roadway is the best (but not quickest) way to move between the three points. Near the James River and York River ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs, where some families allow their children to feed bread to the seagulls. Commercial vehicles, except for tour buses, are prohibited.

For an even better experience, approach the area from the south by water from Surry County with a ride aboard one of the Jamestown Ferrys, which include the Pocahontas and Williamsburg. As passengers cross, they can walk about the boat or go up to an enclosed viewing level with restrooms. Weather and daylight permitting, passengers usually see Jamestown Island much as the first colonists may have approached it. In fact, the replicas of Christopher Newport’s the three tiny ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked near the northern ferry landing at Glass House Point. Both the Jamestown Ferry and Colonial Parkway are toll-free.

The first permanent English settlement in the New World which was established at Jamestown in 1607. The 350th anniversary celebration at Jamestown Festival Park in 1957 was so popular, tourism has been continuously increasing ever since. The 400th anniversary was celebrated with an 18-month-long celebration called Jamestown 2007.

Today, at Jamestown, you can visit recreations of an American Indian village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway by archaeologistss from the Jamestown Rediscovery project, with recently recovered archaeological artifacts in a new display building. Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked nearby.

The two major attractions, which are complementary to each other, are the state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement near the entrance to Jamestown Island, and the National Park Service’s Historic Jamestowne, on Jamestown Island itself.

In 1699, the first capital of Virginia was moved to Middle Plantation at the suggestion of students from the College of William & Mary (established 1693). It was soon renamed to Williamsburg, but became a largely forgotten little town after the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780. Largely due to the 20th-century preservation efforts of the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and the generosity of Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr., today Colonial Williamsburg is a large living museum of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor’s Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and is an excellent place to start (and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area, where wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus service is provided).

Bassett Hall, an 18th-century farmhouse, is located in Williamsburg just southeast of the Historic Area, was the Williamsburg home for over 25 years of the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr and his family from the mid-1930s until 1960, following over 7 years of restoration and expansions. The Rockefeller family bequeathed Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979.[62] The home is now open to the public and appears much as it did in the 1930s and 1940s when the Rockefellers made it their home.[63]

The third point of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia is Yorktown where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781, ending the American Revolution. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.

Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.

The Mariners’ Museum, founded in 1930 by Archer and Anna Huntington, is an institution dedicated to bringing maritime history to the world. It is currently home to the USS Monitor Center where 210 tons of artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor are held, including the gun turret. The museum also consists of a 550-acre park and Lake Maury, through which is the five-mile Noland Trail. The permanent collection at the museum totals about 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archive, now located in the Trible Library at Christopher Newport University, consists of over 78,000 books, 800,000 photographs, films and negatives, and over one million archival pieces, making it the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere.[64]

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museum’s collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum’s collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.[65]

The Virginia Living Museum, first established in 1966, combines the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium. The exhibits are themed on the geographic regions of Virginia, from the Appalachian Mountains to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and includes more than 245 different animal species.[66]

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also contains a Studio Art School of private and group instruction for all ages. It maintains a permanent “Hands On For Kids” gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as “a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts.”[67]

The Hampton University museum was established in 1868 in the heart of the historic Hampton University campus. The Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. It contains over 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.[68]

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is Hampton’s public access arts center. It offers a series of changing visual art exhibitions as well as a quarterly schedule of classes, workshops and educational programs.[69]

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in SE Newport News contains a community-based art gallery, as well as arts classrooms and the Ella Fitzgerald Theater.[70]

The Casemate Museum (where former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned) is at Fort Monroe in the historic Phoebus area at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.[71]

NASA Langley Research Center is in Hampton, the original training ground for the Mercury Seven, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts. Visitors are able to learn about the region’s aviation history at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.[72]

Air Power Park is an outdoor on-site display of various aircraft and a space capsule. It is located on Mercury Boulevard at the intersection of LaSalle Blvd, near the AF Base.

The Biblical Art Gallery at Ivy Farms Baptist Church is Virginia’s largest collection of pre-1900s religious art.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in the Ghent district of Norfolk, is the region’s foremost art museum and is considered by the New York Times to be the finest in the state.[74] Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical marble sculptures.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin, one of the last battleships to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean and Gulf Wars.[75] The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, located in the 19th-century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army.[76]

Also in downtown Norfolk and inside Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, an official U.S. Navy museum that focuses on the 220 plus year history of the Navy within the region.

The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth has one of the largest collection of model electric trains and other toys.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth is one of the oldest shipyards and has the first dry dock on display.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (in Suffolk and Chesapeake) is accessed from U.S. Route 17 in Chesapeake.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Museum is in the restored Seaboard and Virginian Railway passenger train station in Suffolk.

The Isle of Wight Museum is in Smithfield.

The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia located in Virginia Beach features the significant art of our time.

The Hampton Roads region has a thriving music scene, with a heavy concentration thereof in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas. Many clubs, venues, and festivals exist within the region, all playing host to a wide variety of musical styles. There are a few hundred bands that play routinely in the region, spanning multiple genres. There are also twenty to thirty musical acts based in the region that perform throughout Hampton Roads and its surrounding areas on a “full-time” basis.

In addition, plenty of well known acts have come from the area. Some of the major rock/pop artists include Bruce Hornsby, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Juice Newton, Mae, Seven Mary Three, Gene Vincent, Keller Williams, and Steve Earle. Ella Fitzgerald is the most recognizable jazz musician from the area. Robert Cray and Ruth Brown are both prominent blues and R&B artists. Tommy Newsom is another famous jazz musician. Many prominent rap and hip hop artists come from the area including Chad Hugo, Clipse, Magoo, Missy Elliott, Nicole Wray, Pharrell Williams, Quan, Teddy Riley, and Timbaland.

The region has a number of venues hosting live music and performances. Several of the larger (in order of maximum seating capacity) are:

Dozens of much smaller commercial establishments offer live music and other entertainment such as comedy shows and mystery dinner-theater throughout the region.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden, opened in 1939, is a 155-acre (0.6km2) botanical garden and arboretum located near the Norfolk International Airport. It is open year round.[77]

The Virginia Zoological Park, opened in 1900, is a 65-acre (260,000m2) zoo with hundreds of animals on display, including the critically endangered Siberian Tiger and threatened White Rhino.[78]

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas in Virginia Beach. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours. First Landing is the site of Cape Henry while False Cape is located at the southeastern end of Virginia Beach.[79][80]

Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city’s golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (48km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3-mile (8.5-km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an “aeromodel flying field” for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400ft (120m) runway.[81]

The region also has amusement parks which attract tourists and locals alike. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Shipwreck Golf, and Motor World are Virginia Beach’s amusement parks, which were formerly called Ocean Breeze Fun Park. As separate parks, they provide miniature golf, go-karts, water slides, pools, climbing wall, paintball area, and kiddie rides.[82][83]Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are the major theme parks in Williamsburg.

normal seating capacity in parentheses

Hampton Roads has a number of public and private golf courses.[85]

Three daily newspapers serve Hampton Roads: The Virginian-Pilot in the Southside, the The Daily Press on the Peninsula, and the six days a week Suffolk News-Herald that serves Suffolk and Franklin.[90] Smaller publications include the Williamsburg-James City County area’s twice-weekly Virginia Gazette (the state’s oldest newspaper[91]), the New Journal and Guide, and Inside Business, the area’s only business newspaper.

Newspapers serving the Hampton Roads area include:

Coastal Virginia Magazine is one of the region’s city and lifestyle magazine. The publication is published eight times a year and covers all of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.[92]Coastal Virginia Magazine was formerly known as Hampton Roads Magazine.

Hampton Roads Times (web site) serves as an online magazine for the region.

Suffolk Living Magazine is another of the region’s city and lifestyle magazines. The publication is published four times a year and covers the City of Suffolk. Suffolk Publications also produces Virginia-Carolina Boomers, a regional guide for Boomers in the area, which comes out twice a year.[93]

The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.).[94] The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. WUND 2(UNC-TV/PBS member station), broadcasting out of Edenton, NC, serves as another PBS affiliate for the area. Area residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, WGBS-LD broadcasting on channel 11 from Hampton, and WTPC 21, a TBN affiliate out of Virginia Beach. Most Hampton Roads localities are served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news television network. Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, and Southampton are served by Charter Communications.[95]Verizon FiOS service is currently available in parts of the region and continues to expand, offering a non-satellite alternative to Cox. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television.

Norfolk is served by a variety of radio stations on the FM and AM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area. These cater to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.[96]

Norfolk serves as home to two professional franchises, the Norfolk Tides of the International League and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.[97][98] The Tides play at Harbor Park, seating 12,067 and opened in 1993. The Admirals play at Norfolk Scope Arena, seating 8,725 or 13,800 festival seating, which opened in 1971.

The Peninsula Pilots play in the Coastal Plain League, a summer baseball league. The Pilots play in Hampton at War Memorial Stadium seating 5,125 and opened in 1948.[99]

On the collegiate level, four Division I programstwo on the Southside and two on the Peninsulafield teams in many sports, including football, basketball, and baseball; three currently play football in the second-tier FCS, while ODU recently moved up to the FBS football. The Southside boasts the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Norfolk State Spartans, both in Norfolk, while the Peninsula features the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg and Hampton Pirates in Hampton. W&M is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Norfolk State and Hampton, both historically black institutions, compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.[100][101][102][103] ODU joined Conference USA, an FBS football conference, as a full FBS member in 2015. The area also has two Division III programs, one in each subregionthe Virginia Wesleyan Marlins on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk,[104] and the Christopher Newport University Captains in Newport News. The Captains sponsor fourteen sports and currently compete in the USA South Athletic Conference,[105] but will move to the Capital Athletic Conference in July 2013.

The Hampton Coliseum, seating 10,761 to 13,800 festival seating, hosts the annual Virginia Duals wrestling events, and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival. The arena opened in 1970 and has previously hosted Hampton University basketball along with NBA and NHL preseason exhibition games.

Virginia Beach serves as home to two soccer teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a men’s team in the USL Premier Development League, and a women’s team by the same name in the W-League. The Piranhas play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex, seating 11,541 and opened in 1999, contains the central training site for the U.S. women’s national field hockey team.[106] The Sportsplex will be expanded to accommodate the Virginia Destroyers, an expansion franchise in the United Football League for the 2011 UFL season. The North American Sand Soccer Championships, a beach soccer tournament, is held annually on the beach in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world’s top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America’s oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.[107]

Langley Speedway in Hampton, seating 6,500, hosts stock car races every weekend during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.[108]

The Kingsmill Championship, an event on the LPGA Tour, is contested annually on Mother’s Day weekend at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg.

The Norfolk Nighthawks were a charter member of the Arena Football League’s minor league, af2. They ceased operations in 2003 after their fourth season. Also, the Virginia Beach Mariners of soccer’s USL First Division were active from 1994 until 2006.

Hampton Roads has hosted many professional wrestling events throughout the years. The Norfolk Scope has served as the site of these events, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Destination X, World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade and World War 3, and WWF/WWE’s The Great American Bash and the 2011 Slammy Awards.[109] Norfolk Scope was also the site of an infamous episode of WCW Monday Nitro, where several members of the World Wrestling Federation stable D-Generation X literally drove a tank to the entryway of the Scope, thus “invading” the competition. The Hampton Coliseum has also hosted many events, including RAW, in April 1998, August 2005, May 2007, January 2008, and July 2011, as well as SmackDown! and for ECW on Sci Fi on December 2006. In January 2008, WWE broadcast its first television show taped in high definition from Hampton, VA.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to at least one professional wrestling promotion, Vanguard Championship Wrestling, which holds events throughout the region, and has a weekly television show on the local Fox affiliate.

In 1997, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring an expansion hockey team to Hampton Roads. But that initiative failed. The team was going to be called the Hampton Roads Rhinos.

In 2002, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Charlotte Hornets basketball team to southeastern Virginia, but New Orleans won the bid for the team, renaming it the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2004, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Montreal Expos baseball team to the metro area, but Washington, D.C. won the bid for the team, renaming it the Washington Nationals.

In 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2010 Hampton Roads was hosting the AAU Junior Olympics.[110]

In 2012, there were talks of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA moving to a proposed new arena in Virginia Beach near the Oceanfront.[111]

Hampton Roads is 130 miles (210km) from the nearest major sports teams in Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina. Another significant issue with the area as a sports market is internal transportation. The metropolitan area is split into two distinct parts by its eponymous harbor; as of 2012, the harbor has only three widely separated road crossings (the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and James River Bridge), each with two lanes of traffic in each direction. In addition, the area has two other major tunnels, plus several drawbridges on key highway corridors.

Hampton Roads previously hosted a successful franchise in the American Basketball Association, although it was never a full-time home for that team. Its highest-ranking teams as of 2012 are the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL, the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, and the Norfolk Tides of the IL. Virginia is also the most populous state without a major team playing within its borders, though its northern reaches are served by the Washington clubstwo of which, the NHL’s Capitals and NFL’s Redskins, have their operational headquarters and practice facilities in Virginia. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, through a separate company, owns two radio stations, WXTG and WXTG-FM, in the Norfolk market. The Hampton Roads television market is ranked 42nd in the U.S.

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Genetic Engineering – humans, body, used, process, plants …

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Genetic Engineering – humans, body, used, process, plants …
Aug 272015

Photo by: Gernot Krautberger

Genetic engineering is any process by which genetic material (the building blocks of heredity) is changed in such a way as to make possible the production of new substances or new functions. As an example, biologists have now learned how to transplant the gene that produces light in a firefly into tobacco plants. The function of that genethe production of lighthas been added to the normal list of functions of the tobacco plants.

Genetic engineering became possible only when scientists had discovered exactly what is a gene. Prior to the 1950s, the term gene was used to stand for a unit by which some genetic characteristic was transmitted from one generation to the next. Biologists talked about a “gene” for hair color, although they really had no idea as to what that gene was or what it looked like.

That situation changed dramatically in 1953. The English chemist Francis Crick (1916 ) and the American biologist James Watson (1928 ) determined a chemical explanation for a gene. Crick and Watson discovered the chemical structure for large, complex molecules that occur in the nuclei of all living cells, known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

DNA molecules, Crick and Watson announced, are very long chains or units made of a combination of a simple sugar and a phosphate group.

Amino acid: An organic compound from which proteins are made.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): A large, complex chemical compound that makes up the core of a chromosome and whose segments consist of genes.

Gene: A segment of a DNA molecule that acts as a kind of code for the production of some specific protein. Genes carry instructions for the formation, functioning, and transmission of specific traits from one generation to another.

Gene splicing: The process by which genes are cut apart and put back together to provide them with some new function.

Genetic code: A set of nitrogen base combinations that act as a code for the production of certain amino acids.

Host cell: The cell into which a new gene is transplanted in genetic engineering.

Human gene therapy (HGT): The application of genetic engineering technology for the cure of genetic disorders.

Nitrogen base: An organic compound consisting of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in a ring that plays an essential role in the structure of DNA molecules.

Plasmid: A circular form of DNA often used as a vector in genetic engineering.

Protein: Large molecules that are essential to the structure and functioning of all living cells.

Recombinant DNA research (rDNA research): Genetic engineering; a technique for adding new instructions to the DNA of a host cell by combining genes from two different sources.

Vector: An organism or chemical used to transport a gene into a new host cell.

Attached at regular positions along this chain are nitrogen bases. Nitrogen bases are chemical compounds in which carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms are arranged in rings. Four nitrogen bases occur in DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).

The way in which nitrogen bases are arranged along a DNA molecule represents a kind of genetic code for the cell in which the molecule occurs. For example, the sequence of nitrogen bases T-T-C tells a cell that it should make the amino acid known as lysine. The sequence C-C-G, on the other hand, instructs the cell to make the amino acid glycine.

A very long chain (tens of thousands of atoms long) of nitrogen bases tells a cell, therefore, what amino acids to make and in what sequence to arrange those amino acids. A very long chain of amino acids arranged in a particular sequence, however, is what we know of as a protein. The specific sequence of nitrogen bases, then, tells a cell what kind of protein it should be making.

Furthermore, the instructions stored in a DNA molecule can easily be passed on from generation to generation. When a cell divides (reproduces), the DNA within it also divides. Each DNA molecule separates into two identical parts. Each of the two parts then makes a copy of itself. Where once only one DNA molecule existed, now two identical copies of the molecule exist. That process is repeated over and over again, every time a cell divides.

This discovery gave a chemical meaning to the term gene. According to our current understanding, a specific arrangement of nitrogen bases forms a code, or set of instructions, for a cell to make a specific protein. The protein might be the protein needed to make red hair, blue eyes, or wrinkled skin (to simplify the possibilities). The sequence of bases, then, holds the code for some genetic trait.

The Crick-Watson discovery opened up unlimited possibilities for biologists. If genes are chemical compounds, then they can be manipulated just as any other kind of chemical compound can be manipulated. Since DNA molecules are very large and complex, the actual task of manipulation may be difficult. However, the principles involved in working with DNA molecule genes is no different than the research principles with which all chemists are familiar.

For example, chemists know how to cut molecules apart and put them back together again. When these procedures are used with DNA molecules, the process is known as gene splicing. Gene splicing is a process that takes place naturally all the time in cells. In the process of division or repair, cells routinely have to take genes apart, rearrange their components, and put them back together again.

Scientists have discovered that cells contain certain kinds of enzymes that take DNA molecules apart and put them back together again. Endonucleases, for example, are enzymes that cut a DNA molecule at some given location. Exonucleases are enzymes that remove one nitrogen base unit at a time. Ligases are enzymes that join two DNA segments together.

It should be obvious that enzymes such as these can be used by scientists as submicroscopic scissors and glue with which one or more DNA molecules can be cut apart, rearranged, and the put back together again.

Genetic engineering requires three elements: the gene to be transferred, a host cell into which the gene is inserted, and a vector to bring about the transfer. Suppose, for example, that one wishes to insert the gene for making insulin into a bacterial cell. Insulin is a naturally occurring protein made by cells in the pancreas in humans and other mammals. It controls the breakdown of complex carbohydrates in the blood to glucose. People whose bodies have lost the ability to make insulin become diabetic.

The first step in the genetic engineering procedure is to obtain a copy of the insulin gene. This copy can be obtained from a natural source


(from the DNA in a pancreas, for example), or it can be manufactured in a laboratory.

The second step in the process is to insert the insulin gene into the vector. The term vector means any organism that will carry the gene from one place to another. The most common vector used in genetic engineering is a circular form of DNA known as a plasmid. Endonucleases are used to cut the plasmid molecule open at almost any point chosen by the scientist. Once the plasmid has been cut open, it is mixed with the insulin gene and a ligase enzyme. The goal is to make sure that the insulin gene attaches itself to the plasmid before the plasmid is reclosed.

The hybrid plasmid now contains the gene whose product (insulin) is desired. It can be inserted into the host cell, where it begins to function just like all the other genes that make up the cell. In this case, however, in addition to normal bacterial functions, the host cell also is producing insulin, as directed by the inserted gene.

Notice that the process described here involves nothing more in concept than taking DNA molecules apart and recombining them in a different arrangement. For that reason, the process also is referred to as recombinant DNA (rDNA) research.

The possible applications of genetic engineering are virtually limitless. For example, rDNA methods now enable scientists to produce a number of products that were previously available only in limited quantities. Until the 1980s, for example, the only source of insulin available to diabetics was from animals slaughtered for meat and other purposes. The supply was never large enough to provide a sufficient amount of affordable insulin for everyone who needed insulin. In 1982, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved insulin produced by genetically altered organisms, the first such product to become available.

Since 1982, the number of additional products produced by rDNA techniques has greatly expanded. Among these products are human growth hormone (for children whose growth is insufficient because of genetic problems), alpha interferon (for the treatment of diseases), interleukin-2 (for the treatment of cancer), factor VIII (needed by hemophiliacs for blood clotting), erythropoietin (for the treatment of anemia), tumor necrosis factor (for the treatment of tumors), and tissue plasminogen activator (used to dissolve blood clots).

Genetic engineering also promises a revolution in agriculture. Recombinant DNA techniques enable scientists to produce plants that are resistant to herbicides and freezing temperatures, that will take longer to ripen, and that will manufacture a resistance to pests, among other characteristics.

Today, scientists have tested more than two dozen kinds of plants engineered to have special properties such as these. As with other aspects of genetic engineering, however, these advances have been controversial. The development of herbicide-resistant plants, for example, means that farmers are likely to use still larger quantities of herbicides. This trend is not a particularly desirable one, according to some critics. How sure can we be, others ask, about the risk to the environment posed by the introduction of “unnatural,” engineered plants?

The science and art of animal breeding also are likely to be revolutionized by genetic engineering. For example, scientists have discovered that a gene in domestic cows is responsible for the production of milk. Genetic engineering makes it possible to extract that gene from cows who produce large volumes of milk or to manufacture that gene in the laboratory. The gene can then be inserted into other cows whose milk production may increase by dramatic amounts because of the presence of the new gene.

One of the most exciting potential applications of genetic engineering involves the treatment of human genetic disorders. Medical scientists know of about 3,000 disorders that arise because of errors in an individual’s DNA. Conditions such as sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s chorea, cystic fibrosis, and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome result from the loss, mistaken insertion, or change of a single nitrogen base in a DNA molecule. Genetic engineering enables scientists to provide individuals lacking a particular gene with correct copies of that gene. If and when the correct gene begins functioning, the genetic disorder may be cured. This procedure is known as human gene therapy (HGT).

The first approved trials of HGT with human patients began in the 1980s. One of the most promising sets of experiments involved a condition known as severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). Individuals with SCID have no immune systems. Exposure to microorganisms that would be harmless to the vast majority of people will result in diseases that can cause death. Untreated infants born with SCID who are not kept in a sterile bubble become ill within months and die before their first birthday.

In 1990, a research team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) attempted HGT on a four-year-old SCID patient. The patient received about one billion cells containing a genetically engineered copy of the gene that his body lacked. Another instance of HGT was a procedure, approved in 1993 by NIH, to introduce normal genes into the airways of cystic fibrosis patients. By the end of the 1990s, according to the NIH, more than 390 gene therapy studies had been initiated. These studies involved more than 4,000 people and more than a dozen medical conditions.

In 2000, doctors in France claimed they had used HGT to treat three babies who suffered from SCID. Just ten months after being treated, the babies exhibited normal immune systems. This marked the first time that HGT had unequivocally succeeded.

Controversy remains. Human gene therapy is the source of great controversy among scientists and nonscientists alike. Few individuals maintain that the HGT should not be used. If we could wipe out sickle cell anemia, most agree, we should certainly make the effort. But HGT raises other concerns. If scientists can cure genetic disorders, they can also design individuals in accordance with the cultural and intellectual fashions of the day. Will humans know when to say “enough” to the changes that can be made with HGT?

Photo Researchers, Inc.

Despite recent successes, most results in HGT since the first experiment was conducted in 1990 have been largely disappointing. And in 1999, research into HGT was dealt a blow when an eighteen-year-old from Tucson, Arizona, died in an experiment at the University of Pennsylvania. The young man, who suffered from a metabolic disorder, had volunteered for an experiment to test gene therapy for babies with a fatal form of that disease. Citing the spirit of this young man, researchers remain optimistic, vowing to continue work into the possible lifesaving opportunities offered by HGT.

The commercial potential of genetically engineered products was not lost on entrepreneurs in the 1970s. A few individuals believed that the impact of rDNA on American technology would be comparable to that of computers in the 1950s. In many cases, the first genetic engineering firms were founded by scientists involved in fundamental research. The American biologist Herbert Boyer, for example, teamed up with the venture capitalist Robert Swanson in 1976 to form Genentech (Genetic Engineering Technology). Other early firms like Cetus, Biogen, and Genex were formed similarly through the collaboration of scientists and businesspeople.

The structure of genetic engineering (biotechnology) firms has, in fact, long been a source of controversy. Many observers have questioned the right of a scientist to make a personal profit by running companies that benefit from research that had been carried out at publicly funded universities. The early 1990s saw the creation of formalized working relations between universities, individual researchers, and the corporations founded by these individuals. Despite these arrangements, however, many ethical issues remain unresolved.

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What does it mean to be posthuman? – New Scientist

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Aug 172015

Bioscience and medical technology are propelling us beyond the old human limits. Are Extremes and The Posthuman good guides to this frontier?

(Image: Finn OHara)

HOW would you like to be a posthuman? You know, a person who has gone beyond the maximum attainable capacities by any current human being without recourse to new technological means, as philosopher Nick Bostrum of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford so carefully described it in a recent paper.

In other words, a superbeing by todays standards. If this sounds like hyperbole, bear with me. Behind the jargon lies a fascinating, troubling idea. Were not just talking about someone like Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who is augmented with technology to compensate for his disabilities and thus can outrun many able-bodied Olympians.

No, we mean people who, through genetic manipulation, the use of stem cells, or other biointervention, have had their ability to remain healthy and active extended beyond what we would consider normal. Their cognitive powers (memory, deductive thought and other intellectual capabilities, as well as their artistic and creative powers) would far outstrip our own.

Is it possible to imagine such humans without recourse to science fiction clichs? And if we can, how would they affect how we see ourselves and each other? Would they change how we treat each other? Or create a society you would actually want to live in?

If this seems a stretch, consider this: preimplantation genetic diagnosis already lets us screen out some genetic abnormalities in our IVF offspring. And as evidence mounts for genetic components to the physical and cognitive traits we consider desirable, designer babies are surely plausible.

Then again, imagine if you were alive 150 years ago, and someone described life as it is today. Life expectancy then was a mere 40 years on average, with a few lucky individuals making it to 75 or more, though they would likely have succumbed to the first harsh illness they faced. Today, average life expectancy in rich countries hovers around 80; death and disease have all but disappeared from view, mostly into hospitals and hospices.

Our expectations of our bodies, their functional capacity and their term of service, are profoundly different from those of people living in the mid-19th century and, in the great scheme of things, that is a mere blink of an eye.

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What does it mean to be posthuman? – New Scientist

Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 152015

Mars is the focus of much speculation and scientific study about possible human colonization. Its surface conditions and the likely presence of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable of the planets, other than Earth. Mars requires less energy per unit mass (delta-v) to reach from Earth than any planet except Venus. However, at minimum energy use, a trip to Mars requires 67 months in space using current chemical spacecraft propulsion methods.

Earth is similar to its “sister planet” Venus in bulk composition, size and surface gravity, but Mars’s similarities to Earth are more compelling when considering colonization. These include:

Conditions on the surface of Mars are closer to the conditions on Earth in terms of temperature, atmospheric pressure than on any other planet or moon, except for the cloud tops of Venus.[16] However, the surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to greatly reduced air pressure, an atmosphere with only 0.1%oxygen, and the lack of liquid water (although large amounts of frozen water have been detected).

In 2012, it was reported that some lichen and cyanobacteria survived and showed remarkable adaptation capacity for photosynthesis after 34 days in simulated Martian conditions in the Mars Simulation Laboratory (MSL) maintained by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).[17][18][19]

Humans have explored parts of Earth that match some conditions on Mars. Based on NASA rover data, temperatures on Mars (at low latitudes) are similar to those in Antarctica.[20] The atmospheric pressure at the highest altitudes reached by manned balloon ascents (35km (114,000 feet) in 1961,[21] 38km in 2012) is similar to that on the surface of Mars.[22]

Human survival on Mars would require complex life-support measures and living in artificial environments.

There is much discussion regarding the possibility of terraforming Mars to allow a wide variety of life forms, including humans, to survive unaided on Mars’s surface, including the technologies needed to do so.[23]

Mars has no global magnetic field comparable to Earth’s geomagnetic field. Combined with a thin atmosphere, this permits a significant amount of ionizing radiation to reach the Martian surface. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft carried an instrument, the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), to measure the dangers to humans. MARIE found that radiation levels in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station. Average doses were about 22 millirads per day (220micrograys per day or 0.08grays per year.)[24] A three-year exposure to such levels would be close to the safety limits currently adopted by NASA.[citation needed] Levels at the Martian surface would be somewhat lower and might vary significantly at different locations depending on altitude and local magnetic fields. Building living quarters underground (possibly in lava tubes that are already present) would significantly lower the colonists’ exposure to radiation. Occasional solar proton events (SPEs) produce much higher doses.

Much remains to be learned about space radiation. In 2003, NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center opened a facility, the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, at Brookhaven National Laboratory, that employs particle accelerators to simulate space radiation. The facility studies its effects on living organisms along with shielding techniques.[25] Initially, there was some evidence that this kind of low level, chronic radiation is not quite as dangerous as once thought; and that radiation hormesis occurs.[26] However, results from a 2006 study indicated that protons from cosmic radiation may cause twice as much serious damage to DNA as previously expected, exposing astronauts to greater risk of cancer and other diseases.[27] As a result of the higher radiation in the Martian environment, the summary report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee released in 2009 reported that “Mars is not an easy place to visit with existing technology and without a substantial investment of resources.”[27] NASA is exploring a variety of alternative techniques and technologies such as deflector shields of plasma to protect astronauts and spacecraft from radiation.[27]

Mars requires less energy per unit mass (delta V) to reach from Earth than any planet except Venus. Using a Hohmann transfer orbit, a trip to Mars requires approximately nine months in space.[28] Modified transfer trajectories that cut the travel time down to seven or six months in space are possible with incrementally higher amounts of energy and fuel compared to a Hohmann transfer orbit, and are in standard use for robotic Mars missions. Shortening the travel time below about six months requires higher delta-v and an exponentially increasing amount of fuel, and is not feasible with chemical rockets, but might be feasible with advanced spacecraft propulsion technologies, some of which have already been tested, such as Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket,[29] and nuclear rockets. In the former case, a trip time of forty days could be attainable,[30] and in the latter, a trip time down to about two weeks.[31]

During the journey the astronauts are subject to radiation, which requires a means to protect them. Cosmic radiation and solar wind cause DNA damage, which increases the risk of cancer significantly. The effect of long term travel in interplanetary space is unknown, but scientists estimate an added risk of between 1% and 19%, most likely 3.4%, for men to die of cancer because of the radiation during the journey to Mars and back to Earth. For women the probability is higher due to their larger glandular tissues.[32]

Mars has a gravity 0.38 times that of Earth and the density of its atmosphere is about 0.6% of that on Earth.[33] The relatively strong gravity and the presence of aerodynamic effects makes it difficult to land heavy, crewed spacecraft with thrusters only, as was done with the Apollo Moon landings, yet the atmosphere is too thin for aerodynamic effects to be of much help in aerobraking and landing a large vehicle. Landing piloted missions on Mars will require braking and landing systems different from anything used to land crewed spacecraft on the Moon or robotic missions on Mars.[34]

If one assumes carbon nanotube construction material will be available with a strength of 130 GPa then a space elevator could be built to land people and material on Mars.[35] A space elevator on Phobos has also been proposed.[36]

Colonization of Mars will require a wide variety of equipmentboth equipment to directly provide services to humans and production equipment used to produce food, propellant, water, energy and breathable oxygenin order to support human colonization efforts. Required equipment will include:[31]

According to Elon Musk, “even at a million people [working on Mars] youre assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars… You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth”.[39]

Communications with Earth are relatively straightforward during the half-sol when Earth is above the Martian horizon. NASA and ESA included communications relay equipment in several of the Mars orbiters, so Mars already has communications satellites. While these will eventually wear out, additional orbiters with communication relay capability are likely to be launched before any colonization expeditions are mounted.

The one-way communication delay due to the speed of light ranges from about 3 minutes at closest approach (approximated by perihelion of Mars minus aphelion of Earth) to 22minutes at the largest possible superior conjunction (approximated by aphelion of Mars plus aphelion of Earth). Real-time communication, such as telephone conversations or Internet Relay Chat, between Earth and Mars would be highly impractical due to the long time lags involved. NASA has found that direct communication can be blocked for about two weeks every synodic period, around the time of superior conjunction when the Sun is directly between Mars and Earth,[40] although the actual duration of the communications blackout varies from mission to mission depending on various factorssuch as the amount of link margin designed into the communications system, and the minimum data rate that is acceptable from a mission standpoint. In reality most missions at Mars have had communications blackout periods of the order of a month.[41]

A satellite at the L4 or L5 EarthSun Lagrangian point could serve as a relay during this period to solve the problem; even a constellation of communications satellites would be a minor expense in the context of a full colonization program. However, the size and power of the equipment needed for these distances make the L4 and L5 locations unrealistic for relay stations, and the inherent stability of these regions, although beneficial in terms of station-keeping, also attracts dust and asteroids, which could pose a risk.[42] Despite that concern, the STEREO probes passed through the L4 and L5 regions without damage in late 2009.

Recent work by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has suggested an alternative relay architecture based on highly non-Keplerian orbits. These are a special kind of orbit produced when continuous low-thrust propulsion, such as that produced from an ion engine or solar sail, modifies the natural trajectory of a spacecraft. Such an orbit would enable continuous communications during solar conjunction by allowing a relay spacecraft to “hover” above Mars, out of the orbital plane of the two planets.[43] Such a relay avoids the problems of satellites stationed at either L4 or L5 by being significantly closer to the surface of Mars while still maintaining continuous communication between the two planets.

The path to a human colony could be prepared by robotic systems such as the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. These systems could help locate resources, such as ground water or ice, that would help a colony grow and thrive. The lifetimes of these systems would be measured in years and even decades, and as recent developments in commercial spaceflight have shown, it may be that these systems will involve private as well as government ownership. These robotic systems also have a reduced cost compared with early crewed operations, and have less political risk.

Wired systems might lay the groundwork for early crewed landings and bases, by producing various consumables including fuel, oxidizers, water, and construction materials. Establishing power, communications, shelter, heating, and manufacturing basics can begin with robotic systems, if only as a prelude to crewed operations.

Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander MIP (Mars ISPP Precursor) was to demonstrate manufacture of oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars,[44] and test solar cell technologies and methods of mitigating the effect of Martian dust on the power systems.[45][dated info]

Before any people are transported to Mars on the notional 2030s Mars Colonial Transporter envisioned by SpaceX, a number of robotic cargo missions would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.[46] Equipment that would be necessary would include “machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s subsurface water ice” as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for initial agricultural areas.[47]

In 1948, Wernher von Braun described in his book The Mars Project that a fleet of 10 spaceships could be built using 1000three-stage rockets. These could bring a population of 70people to Mars.

All of the early human missions to Mars as conceived by national governmental space programssuch as those being tentatively planned by NASA, FKA and ESAwould not be direct precursors to colonization. They are intended solely as exploration missions, as the Apollo missions to the Moon were not planned to be sites of a permanent base.

Colonization requires the establishment of permanent bases that have potential for self-expansion. A famous proposal for building such bases is the Mars Direct and the Semi-Direct plans, advocated by Robert Zubrin.[31]

Other proposals that envision the creation of a settlement have come from Jim McLane and Bas Lansdorp (the man behind Mars One, which envisions no planned return flight for the humans embarking on the journey),[48] as well as from Elon Musk whose SpaceX company, as of 2015[update], is funding development work on a space transportation system called the Mars Colonial Transporter.[49][50]

The Mars Society has established the Mars Analogue Research Station Program at sites Devon Island in Canada and in Utah, United States, to experiment with different plans for human operations on Mars, based on Mars Direct. Modern Martian architecture concepts often include facilities to produce oxygen and propellant on the surface of the planet.

As with early colonies in the New World, economics would be a crucial aspect to a colony’s success. The reduced gravity well of Mars and its position in the Solar System may facilitate MarsEarth trade and may provide an economic rationale for continued settlement of the planet. Given its size and resources, this might eventually be a place to grow food and produce equipment to mine the asteroid belt.

A major economic problem is the enormous up-front investment required to establish the colony and perhaps also terraform the planet.

Some early Mars colonies might specialize in developing local resources for Martian consumption, such as water and/or ice. Local resources can also be used in infrastructure construction.[51] One source of Martian ore currently known to be available is metallic iron in the form of nickeliron meteorites. Iron in this form is more easily extracted than from the iron oxides that cover the planet.

Another main inter-Martian trade good during early colonization could be manure.[52] Assuming that life doesn’t exist on Mars, the soil is going to be very poor for growing plants, so manure and other fertilizers will be valued highly in any Martian civilization until the planet changes enough chemically to support growing vegetation on its own.

Solar power is a candidate for power for a Martian colony. Solar insolation (the amount of solar radiation that reaches Mars) is about 42% of that on Earth, since Mars is about 52% farther from the Sun and insolation falls off as the square of distance. But the thin atmosphere would allow almost all of that energy to reach the surface as compared to Earth, where the atmosphere absorbs roughly a quarter of the solar radiation. Sunlight on the surface of Mars would be much like a moderately cloudy day on Earth.[53]

Nuclear power is also a good candidate, since the fuel is very energy-dense for cheap transportation from Earth. Nuclear power also produces heat, which would be extremely valuable to a Mars colony.

Mars’s reduced gravity together with its rotation rate makes it possible for the construction of a space elevator with today’s materials,[citation needed] although the low orbit of Phobos could present engineering challenges.[citation needed] If constructed, the elevator could transport minerals and other natural resources extracted from the planet.

Space colonization on Mars can roughly be said to be possible when the necessary methods of space colonization become cheap enough (such as space access by cheaper launch systems) to meet the cumulative funds that have been gathered for the purpose.

Although there are no immediate prospects for the large amounts of money required for any space colonization to be available given traditional launch costs,[54][full citation needed] there is some prospect of a radical reduction to launch costs in the 2010s, which would consequently lessen the cost of any efforts in that direction. With a published price of US$56.5 million per launch of up to 13,150kg (28,990lb) payload[55] to low Earth orbit, SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are already the “cheapest in the industry”.[56] Advancements currently being developed as part of the SpaceX reusable launch system development program to enable reusable Falcon 9s “could drop the price by an order of magnitude, sparking more space-based enterprise, which in turn would drop the cost of access to space still further through economies of scale.”[56] SpaceX’ reusable plans include Falcon Heavy and future methane-based launch vehicles including the Mars Colonial Transporter. If SpaceX is successful in developing the reusable technology, it would be expected to “have a major impact on the cost of access to space”, and change the increasingly competitive market in space launch services.[57]

Alternative funding approaches might include the creation of inducement prizes. For example, the 2004 President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy suggested that an inducement prize contest should be established, perhaps by government, for the achievement of space colonization. One example provided was offering a prize to the first organization to place humans on the Moon and sustain them for a fixed period before they return to Earth.[58]

Mars’s north and south poles once attracted great interest as settlement sites because seasonally-varying polar ice caps have long been observed by telescopes from Earth. Mars Odyssey found the largest concentration of water near the north pole, but also showed that water likely exists in lower latitudes as well, making the poles less compelling as a settlement locale. Like Earth, Mars sees a midnight sun at the poles during local summer and polar night during winter.[citation needed]

Mars Odyssey found what appear to be natural caves near the volcano Arsia Mons. It has been speculated that settlers could benefit from the shelter that these or similar structures could provide from radiation and micrometeoroids. Geothermal energy is also suspected in the equatorial regions.[59]

The exploration of Mars’s surface is still underway. Landers and rovers such as Phoenix, the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity have encountered very different soil and rock characteristics. This suggests that the Martian landscape is quite varied and the ideal location for a settlement would be better determined when more data becomes available. As on Earth, seasonal variations in climate become greater with distance from the equator.[citation needed]

Valles Marineris, the “Grand Canyon” of Mars, is over 3,000km long and averages 8km deep. Atmospheric pressure at the bottom would be some 25% higher than the surface average, 0.9kPa vs 0.7 kPa. River channels lead to the canyon, indicating it was once flooded.[citation needed]

Several lava tube skylights on Mars have been located on the flanks of Arsia Mons. Earth based examples indicate that some should have lengthy passages offering complete protection from radiation and be relatively easy to seal using on-site materials, especially in small subsections.[60]

Robotic spacecraft to Mars are required to be sterilized to have at most 300,000 spores on the exterior of the craftand more thoroughly sterilized if they contact “special regions” containing water,[61][62] otherwise there is a risk of contaminating not only the life-detection experiments but possibly the planet itself.

It is impossible to sterilize human missions to this level, as humans are host to typically a hundred trillion microorganisms of thousands of species of the human microbiome, and these cannot be removed while preserving the life of the human. Containment seems the only option, but it is a major challenge in the event of a hard landing.[63] There have been several planetary workshops on this issue, but with no final guidelines for a way forward yet. [64] Human explorers would also be vulnerable to back contamination to Earth if they become carriers of microorganisms.[65]

Mars colonization is advocated by several non-governmental groups for a range of reasons and with varied proposals. One of the oldest groups is the Mars Society who promote a NASA program to accomplish human exploration of Mars and have set up Mars analog research stations in Canada and the United States. MarsDrive is dedicated to private initiatives for the exploration and settlement of Mars. Mars to Stay advocates recycling emergency return vehicles into permanent settlements as soon as initial explorers determine permanent habitation is possible. Mars One, which went public in June2012, aims to establish a fully operational permanent human colony on Mars by 2023 with funding coming from a reality TV show and other commercial exploitation, although this approach has been widely criticized as unrealistic and infeasible.[66][67][68]MarsPolar intends to establish a human settlement, around 2029, on Mars’ polar region, the part of the planet with abundant quantities of water ice. They intend to finance this project with donations.[69]Elon Musk founded SpaceX with the long-term goal of developing the technologies that will enable a self-sustaining human colony on Mars.[70] In 2015 he stated “I think weve got a decent shot of sending a person to Mars in 11 or 12years”.[71]Richard Branson, in his lifetime, is “determined to be a part of starting a population on Mars. I think it is absolutely realistic. It will happen… I think over the next 20 years, we will take literally hundreds of thousands of people to space and that will give us the financial resources to do even bigger things”.[72]

A few instances in fiction provide detailed descriptions of Mars colonization. They include:

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Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward Snowden – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 152015

Edward Snowden Born Edward Joseph Snowden (1983-06-21) June 21, 1983 (age32) Elizabeth City, North Carolina, U.S. Residence Russia (temporary asylum) Nationality American Occupation System administrator Employer Booz Allen Hamilton Kunia, Hawaii, US (until June 10, 2013) Knownfor Revealing details of classified United States government surveillance programs Title Rector of the University of Glasgow Term February 18, 2014 present Predecessor Charles Kennedy Criminal charge Theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person (June 2013). Awards Sam Adams Award,[1] Right Livelihood Award (2014)[2] Stuttgart Peace Prize (2014)[3]

Edward Joseph “Ed” Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American computer professional, former CIA employee, and former government contractor who leaked classified information from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.

Snowden was hired by Booz Allen Hamilton, an NSA contractor, in 2013 after previous employment with Dell and the CIA.[4] On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at a NSA facility in Hawaii and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other newspapers including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.[5] On June 23, he flew to Moscow, Russia, where he reportedly remained for over a month. Later that summer, Russian authorities granted him a one-year temporary asylum which was later extended to three years. As of 2015, he was still living in an undisclosed location in Russia while seeking asylum elsewhere.[6]

A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero, a whistleblower, a dissident, a patriot, and a traitor. His disclosures have fueled debates over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy.

Edward Joseph Snowden was born on June 21, 1983,[7] in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.[8] His maternal grandfather, Edward J. Barrett,[9][10] was a rear admiral in the United States Coast Guard who became a senior official with the FBI and was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 when it was struck by an airliner hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists.[11] Edward’s father, Lonnie Snowden, a resident of Pennsylvania, was also an officer in the Coast Guard,[12] and his mother, Elizabeth B. Snowden, a resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, is chief deputy at the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.[13][14][15] His older sister, Jessica, became a lawyer at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington. “Everybody in my family has worked for the federal government in one way or another,” Snowden told James Bamford in a June 2014 interview published two months later in Wired. “I expected to pursue the same path.”[16] His parents divorced in 2001,[17] and his father remarried.[18] Friends and neighbors described Snowden as shy, quiet and nice. One longtime friend said that he was always articulate, even as a child.[14] “We always considered Ed the smartest one in the family,” said his father, who was not surprised when his son scored above 145 on two separate IQ tests.[16] Snowden’s father described his son as “a sensitive, caring young man” and “a deep thinker.”[19]

In the early 1990s, while still in grade school, Snowden moved with his family to Maryland.[20]Mononucleosis caused him to miss high school for almost nine months.[16] Rather than return, he passed the GED test[21] and enrolled in Anne Arundel Community College.[13] Although Snowden had no bachelor’s degree,[22] ABC News reported that he worked online toward a master’s degree at the University of Liverpool in 2011.[23] In 2010, while visiting India on official business at the U.S. embassy,[24] Snowden trained for six days in core Java programming and advanced ethical hacking.[25] Snowden was reportedly interested in Japanese popular culture, had studied the Japanese language,[26] and worked for an anime company domiciled in the U.S.[27][28] He also said he had a basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese and was deeply interested in martial arts; at age 20, he listed Buddhism as his religion on a military recruitment form, noting that the choice of agnostic was “strangely absent.”[29] Snowden told The Washington Post that he was an ascetic, rarely left the house and had few needs.[30]

Before leaving for Hong Kong, Snowden resided in Waipahu, Hawaii, with his longtime girlfriend, Lindsay Mills.[31] According to local real estate agents, they moved out of their home on May 1, 2013.[32] Mills had reportedly blogged on March 15, 2013 that the couple had “received word that we have to move out of our house by May 1. E is transferring jobs.”[33] In October 2014, Glenn Greenwald reported at The Intercept that Mills had moved to Moscow in June 2014 to live with him and that Snowden was “now living in domestic bliss.”[34] Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena added that the couple visits Russian cultural sights together but that Mills does not live in Russia full-time due to visa restrictions.[35][36]

Snowden has said that in the 2008 presidential election, he voted for a third-party candidate. He has stated he had been planning to make disclosures about NSA surveillance programs at the time, but he decided to wait because he “believed in Obama’s promises.” He was later disappointed that President Barack Obama “continued with the policies of his predecessor.”[37]

A week after publication of his leaks began, technology news provider Ars Technica confirmed that Snowden, under the pseudonym “TheTrueHOOHA,” had been an active participant at the site’s online forum from 2001 through May 2012, discussing a variety of topics.[38] In a January 2009 entry, TheTrueHOOHA exhibited strong support for the United States’ security state apparatus and said he believed leakers of classified information “should be shot in the balls.”[39] However, in February 2010, TheTrueHOOHA wrote, “Did we get to where we are today via a slippery slope that was entirely within our control to stop? Or was it a relatively instantaneous sea change that sneaked in undetected because of pervasive government secrecy?”[40]

In accounts published in June 2013, interviewers noted that Snowden’s laptop displayed stickers supporting internet freedom organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project.[21] Snowden considers himself “neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”[41]

In 2014 Snowden stated that “women have the right to make their own choices” and supported providing “a basic income for people who have no work, or no meaningful work”.[42]

On May 7, 2004, Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve as a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option, but he did not complete the training.[7][43] He said he wanted to fight in the Iraq War because he “felt like [he] had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression.”[21] Snowden said he was discharged after breaking both legs in a training accident.[44] He was discharged on September 28, 2004.[45]

He was then employed for less than a year in 2005 as a “security specialist” at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language, a non-classified facility.[46] In June 2014, Snowden told Wired that this was “a top-secret facility” where his job as a security guard required a high-level security clearance, for which he passed a polygraph exam and underwent a stringent background check.[16]

In 2006, after attending a job fair focused on intelligence agencies, Snowden was offered a position at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),[16] which he joined.[47] He was assigned to the global communications division at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.[16]

In May 2006, Snowden wrote in Ars Technica that he had no trouble getting work because he was a “computer wizard.”[29] After distinguishing himself as junior man on the top computer team, Snowden was sent to the CIA’s secret school for technology specialists, where he lived in a hotel for six months while studying and training full-time.[16]

In March 2007,[16] the CIA stationed Snowden with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for maintaining computer network security.[48] Assigned to the U.S. mission to the United Nations, Snowden was given a diplomatic passport and a four-bedroom apartment near Lake Geneva.[16] According to Greenwald, while there Snowden was “considered the top technical and cybersecurity expert” in that country and “was hand-picked by the CIA to support the president at the 2008 NATO summit in Romania.”[49] Snowden described his CIA experience in Geneva as “formative,” stating that the CIA deliberately got a Swiss banker drunk and encouraged him to drive home. Snowden said that when the latter was arrested, a CIA operative offered to help in exchange for the banker becoming an informant.[50]Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2013, in June of that year publicly disputed Snowden’s claims. “This would mean that the CIA successfully bribed the Geneva police and judiciary. With all due respect, I just can’t imagine it,” said Maurer. The revelations were said to have come at a sensitive time as the U.S. was pressing the Swiss government to increase banking transparency.[51] In February 2009, Snowden resigned from the CIA.[40]

In 2009, Snowden began work as a contractor for Dell,[21] which manages computer systems for multiple government agencies. Assigned to an NSA facility at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, Snowden instructed top officials and military officers on how to defend their networks from Chinese hackers.[16] During his four years with Dell, he rose from supervising NSA computer system upgrades to working as what his rsum termed a “cyberstrategist” and an “expert in cyber counterintelligence” at several U.S. locations.[52] In 2011, he returned to Maryland, where he spent a year as lead technologist on Dell’s CIA account. In that capacity, he was consulted by the chiefs of the CIA’s technical branches, including the agency’s chief information officer and its chief technology officer.[16] U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the investigation said Snowden began downloading documents describing the government’s electronic spying programs while working for Dell in April 2012.[53] Investigators estimated that of the 50,000 to 200,000 documents Snowden gave to Greenwald and Poitras, most were copied by Snowden while working at Dell.[4]

In March 2012, Dell reassigned Snowden to Hawaii as lead technologist for the NSA’s information-sharing office.[16] At the time of his departure from the United States in May 2013, he had been employed for 15 months inside the NSA’s Hawaii regional operations center, which focuses on the electronic monitoring of China and North Korea,[4][54] the last three of which were with consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.[55][56] While intelligence officials have described his position there as a “system administrator,” Snowden has said he was an “infrastructure analyst,” which meant that his job was to look for new ways to break into Internet and telephone traffic around the world.[57] On March 15, 2013three days after what he later called his “breaking point” of “seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress”[58]Snowden quit his job at Dell.[59] Although he has stated that his “career high” annual salary was $200,000,[60] Snowden said he took a pay cut to work at Booz Allen,[61] where he sought employment in order to gather data and then release details of the NSA’s worldwide surveillance activity.[62] According to a Reuters story by Mark Hosenball, while in Hawaii, Snowden “may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers” to give him their logins and passwords “by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator.”[63] NBC News reported that the NSA sent a memo to Congress and “[w]hile the memo’s account is sketchy, it suggests that, contrary to Snowden’s statements, he used an element of trickery to retrieve his trove of tens of thousands of classified documents.”[64][65][66] This report was disputed,[67] with Snowden himself saying in January 2014, “With all due respect to Mark Hosenball, the Reuters report that put this out there was simply wrong. I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers.”[68][69] The day after Snowden publicly took responsibility for the NSA surveillance revelations, Booz Allen terminated his employment “for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy.”[70]

A former NSA co-worker told Forbes that although the NSA was full of smart people, Snowden was “a genius among geniuses,” who created a backup system for the NSA that was widely implemented and often pointed out security bugs to the agency. The former colleague said Snowden was given full administrator privileges, with virtually unlimited access to NSA data. Snowden was offered a position on the NSA’s elite team of hackers, Tailored Access Operations, but turned it down to join Booz Allen.[71]

A source “with detailed knowledge on the matter” told Reuters that hiring screeners for Booz Allen had found some details of Snowden’s education that “did not check out precisely,” but decided to hire him anyway; Reuters stated that the element which triggered these concerns, or the manner in which Snowden satisfied the concerns, were not known.[22] The rsum stated that Snowden attended computer-related classes at Johns Hopkins University. A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins said that the university did not find records to show that Snowden attended the university, and suggested that he may instead have attended Advanced Career Technologies, a private for-profit organization which operated as “Computer Career Institute at Johns Hopkins.”[22] The University College of the University of Maryland acknowledged that Snowden had attended a summer session at a UM campus in Asia. Snowden’s rsum stated that he estimated that he would receive a University of Liverpool computer security master’s degree in 2013. The university said that Snowden registered for an online master’s degree program in computer security in 2011 but that “he is not active in his studies and has not completed the program.”[22]

Snowden said that, using “internal channels of dissent”, he had told multiple employees and two supervisors about his concerns that the NSA programs were unconstitutional. An NSA spokeswoman responded, saying they had “not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention”.[30] Snowden elaborated in January 2014, saying “[I] made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, supervisors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen. The reactions of those I told about the scale of the constitutional violations ranged from deeply concerned to appalled, but no one was willing to risk their jobs, families, and possibly even freedom to go to through what [Thomas Andrews] Drake did.”[69][72] In March 2014, during testimony to the European Parliament, Snowden wrote that before revealing classified information he had reported “clearly problematic programs” to ten officials, who he said did nothing in response.[73] In a May 2014 interview, Snowden told NBC News that after bringing his concerns about the legality of the NSA spying programs to officials, he was told to stay silent on the matter. Snowden said:

The NSA has recordsthey have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. I had raised these complaints not just officially in writing through email, but to my supervisors, to my colleagues, in more than one office. I did it in Fort Meade. I did it in Hawaii. And many, many of these individuals were shocked by these programs. They had never seen them themselves. And the ones who had, went, “You know, you’re right. But if you say something about this, they’re going to destroy you”.[11]

In May 2014, U.S. officials released a single email that Snowden had written in April 2013 inquiring about legal authorities but said that they had found no other evidence that Snowden had expressed his concerns to someone in an oversight position.[74] In June 2014, the NSA said it had not been able to find any records of Snowden raising internal complaints about the agency’s operations.[75] That same month, Snowden explained that he himself has not produced the communiqus in question because of the ongoing nature of the dispute, disclosing for the first time that “I am working with the NSA in regard to these records and we’re going back and forth, so I don’t want to reveal everything that will come out.”[76]

In his May 2014 interview with NBC News, Snowden accused the U.S. government of trying to use one position here or there in his career to distract from the totality of his experience, downplaying him as a “low level analyst.” In his words, he was “trained as a spy in the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseaspretending to work in a job that I’m notand even being assigned a name that was not mine.” He said he’d worked for the NSA undercover overseas, and for the DIA had developed sources and methods to keep information and people secure “in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world. So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.”[11] In a June interview with Globo TV, Snowden reiterated that he “was actually functioning at a very senior level.”[77] In a July interview with The Guardian, Snowden explained that, during his NSA career, “I began to move from merely overseeing these systems to actively directing their use. Many people dont understand that I was actually an analyst and I designated individuals and groups for targeting.”[78] Snowden subsequently told Wired that while at Dell in 2011, “I would sit down with the CIO of the CIA, the CTO of the CIA, the chiefs of all the technical branches. They would tell me their hardest technology problems, and it was my job to come up with a way to fix them.[16]

Of his time as an NSA analyst, directing the work of others, Snowden recalled a moment when he and his colleagues began to have severe ethical doubts. Snowden said 18- to 22-year-old analysts were suddenly “thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility, where they now have access to all your private records. In the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated in any sort of necessary sensefor example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation. But they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people.” As Snowden observed it, this behavior was routine, happening “probably every two months,” but was never reported, being considered among “the fringe benefits of surveillance positions.”[24]

The exact size of Snowden’s disclosure is unknown,[79] but Australian officials have estimated 15,000 or more Australian intelligence files[80] and British officials estimate at least 58,000 British intelligence files.[81] NSA Director Keith Alexander initially estimated that Snowden had copied anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 NSA documents.[82] Later estimates provided by U.S. officials were on the order of 1.7 million,[83] a number that originally came from Department of Defense talking points.[84] In July 2014, The Washington Post reported on a cache previously provided by Snowden from domestic NSA operations consisting of “roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts.”[85] In June 2015, Vice News reported that, according to a declassified U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Snowden took 900,000 Department of Defense files, more than he downloaded from the NSA.[84]

In March 2014, Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee, “The vast majority of the documents that Snowden exfiltrated from our highest levels of security had nothing to do with exposing government oversight of domestic activities. The vast majority of those were related to our military capabilities, operations, tactics, techniques and procedures.”[86] When retired NSA director Keith Alexander was asked in a May 2014 interview to quantify the number of documents Snowden stole, Alexander answered, “I don’t think anybody really knows what he actually took with him, because the way he did it, we don’t have an accurate way of counting. What we do have an accurate way of counting is what he touched, what he may have downloaded, and that was more than a million documents.”[87]

According to Snowden, he did not indiscriminately turn over documents to journalists, stating that “I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over”[88] and that “I have to screen everything before releasing it to journalists If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country.”[62]

In June 2014, the NSA’s recently installed director, U.S. Navy Admiral Michael S. Rogers, stated that while some terrorist groups had altered their communications to avoid surveillance techniques revealed by Snowden, the damage done was not significant enough to conclude that “the sky is falling.”[89] Nevertheless, in February 2015, Rogers said that Snowden’s disclosures has a “material impact” on the NSA’s ability to “generate insights as to what counterterrorism, what terrorist groups around the world are doing.”[90]

In April 2015 the Henry Jackson Society, a British neoconservative think tank, published a report claiming that Snowden’s intelligence leaks negatively impacted Britain’s ability to fight terrorism and organized crime.[91][92]Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International, criticized the report and said it “presumes that the public are idiots and that we only became concerned about privacy after Snowden.”[93]

The New York Times’ James Risen reported that Snowden’s decision to leak NSA documents “developed gradually, dating back at least to his time working as a technician in the Geneva station of the CIA.”[94] Snowden first made contact with Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working at The Guardian, in late 2012.[95] He contacted Greenwald anonymously as “Cincinnatus”[96] and said he had “sensitive documents” that he would like to share.[97] Greenwald found the measures that the source asked him to take to secure their communications, such as encrypting email, too annoying to employ. Snowden then contacted documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in January 2013.[98] According to Poitras, Snowden chose to contact her after seeing her New York Times documentary[99] about NSA whistleblower William Binney. The Guardian reported that what originally attracted Snowden to both Greenwald and Poitras was a Salon article written by Greenwald detailing how Poitras’ controversial films had made her a “target of the government.”[97][100]

Greenwald began working with Snowden in either February[101] or April 2013, after Poitras asked Greenwald to meet her in New York City, at which point Snowden began providing documents to them.[95]Barton Gellman, writing for The Washington Post, says his first “direct contact” was on May 16, 2013.[102] According to Gellman, Snowden approached Greenwald after the Post declined to guarantee publication within 72 hours of all 41 PowerPoint slides that Snowden had leaked exposing the PRISM electronic data mining program, and to publish online an encrypted code allowing Snowden to later prove that he was the source.[102]

Snowden communicated using encrypted email,[98] and going by the codename “Verax”. He asked not to be quoted at length for fear of identification by stylometry.[102]

According to Gellman, prior to their first meeting in person, Snowden wrote, “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.”[102] Snowden also told Gellman that until the articles were published, the journalists working with him would also be at mortal risk from the United States Intelligence Community “if they think you are the single point of failure that could stop this disclosure and make them the sole owner of this information.”[102]

In May 2013, Snowden was permitted temporary leave from his position at the NSA in Hawaii, on the pretext of receiving treatment for his epilepsy.[21] In mid-May, Snowden gave an electronic interview to Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum which was published weeks later by Der Spiegel.[103]

After disclosing the copied documents, Snowden promised that nothing would stop subsequent disclosures. In June 2013, he said, “All I can say right now is the US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”[104]

On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong,[88] where he was staying when the initial articles based on the leaked documents were published,[105] beginning with The Guardian on June 5.[106] Greenwald later said Snowden disclosed 9,000 to 10,000 documents. [107]

Within months, documents had been obtained and published by media outlets worldwide, most notably The Guardian (Britain), Der Spiegel (Germany), The Washington Post and The New York Times (U.S.), O Globo (Brazil), Le Monde (France), and similar outlets in Sweden, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Australia.[108] In 2014, NBC broke its first story based on the leaked documents.[109] In February 2014, for reporting based on Snowden’s leaks, journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman and The Guardians Ewen MacAskill were honored as co-recipients of the 2013 George Polk Award, which they dedicated to Snowden.[110] The NSA reporting by these journalists also earned The Guardian and The Washington Post the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service[111] for exposing the “widespread surveillance” and for helping to spark a “huge public debate about the extent of the government’s spying”. The Guardian’s chief editor, Alan Rusbridger, credited Snowden, saying “The public service in this award is significant because Snowden performed a public service.”[112]

The ongoing publication of leaked documents has revealed previously unknown details of a global surveillance apparatus run by the United States’ NSA[115] in close cooperation with three of its Five Eyes partners: Australia (ASD),[116] the United Kingdom (GCHQ),[117] and Canada (CSEC).[118]

The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said in November 2013 that only one percent of the documents had been published.[119] Officials warned that “the worst is yet to come”.[120][121]

Media reports documenting the existence and functions of classified surveillance programs and their scope began on June 5, 2013, and continued throughout the entire year. The first program to be revealed was PRISM, with reports from both The Washington Post and The Guardian published an hour apart. PRISM allows for court-approved direct access to Americans’ Google and Yahoo accounts.[113][122][123] The Post’s Barton Gellman was the first journalist to report on Snowden’s documents. He said the U.S. government urged him not to specify by name which companies were involved, but Gellman decided that to name them “would make it real to Americans.”[124] Reports also revealed details of Tempora, a British black-ops surveillance program run by the NSA’s British partner, GCHQ.[122][125] The initial reports included details about NSA call database, Boundless Informant, and of a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand the NSA millions of Americans’ phone records daily,[126] the surveillance of French citizens’ phone and internet records, and those of “high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.”[127][128][129]XKeyscore, an analytical tool that allows for collection of “almost anything done on the internet,” was described by The Guardian as a program that “shed light” on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements: “I, sitting at my desk [could] wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.”[130]

It was revealed that the NSA was harvesting millions of email and instant messaging contact lists,[131] searching email content,[132] tracking and mapping the location of cell phones,[133] undermining attempts at encryption via Bullrun[134][135] and that the agency was using cookies to “piggyback” on the same tools used by internet advertisers “to pinpoint targets for government hacking and to bolster surveillance.”[136] The NSA was shown to be “secretly” tapping into Yahoo and Google data centers to collect information from “hundreds of millions” of account holders worldwide by tapping undersea cables using the MUSCULAR surveillance program.[113][114]

The NSA, the U.S. CIA and GCHQ spied on users of Second Life and World of Warcraft by creating make-believe characters as a way to “hide in plain sight.”[137] Leaked documents showed NSA agents spied on their “love interests,” a practice NSA employees termed LOVEINT.[138][139] The NSA was also shown to be tracking the online sexual activity of people they termed “radicalizers,” in order to discredit them.[140] The NSA was accused of going “beyond its core mission of national security” when articles were published showing the NSA’s intelligence-gathering operations had targeted Brazil’s largest oil company, Petrobras.[141] The NSA and the GCHQ were also shown to be surveilling charities including UNICEF and Mdecins du Monde, as well as allies such as the EU chief and the Israeli Prime Minister.[142]

By October 2013, Snowden’s disclosures had created tensions[143][144] between the U.S. and some of its close allies after they revealed that the U.S. had spied on Brazil, France, Mexico,[145] Britain,[146] China,[147] Germany,[148] and Spain,[149] as well as 35 world leaders,[150] most notably German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said “spying among friends” was “unacceptable”[151] and compared the NSA with the Stasi.[152] Leaked documents published by Der Spiegel in 2014 appeared to show that the NSA had targeted 122 “high ranking” leaders.[153]

The NSA’s top-secret “black budget,” obtained from Snowden by The Washington Post, exposed the “successes and failures” of the 16 spy agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community,[154] and revealed that the NSA was paying U.S. private tech companies for “clandestine access” to their communications networks.[155] The agencies were allotted $52 billion for the 2013 fiscal year.[156]

An NSA mission statement titled “SIGINT Strategy 2012-2016″ affirmed that the NSA plans for continued expansion of surveillance activities. Their stated goal was to “dramatically increase mastery of the global network” and “acquire the capabilities to gather intelligence on anyone, anytime, anywhere.”[157] Leaked slides revealed in Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide, released in May 2014, showed that the NSA’s stated objective was to “Collect it All,” “Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All” and “Know it All.”[158]

Snowden stated in a January 2014 interview with German television that the NSA does not limit its data collection to national security issues, accusing the agency of conducting industrial espionage. Using the example of German company Siemens, he stated, “If there’s information at Siemens that’s beneficial to US national interestseven if it doesn’t have anything to do with national securitythen they’ll take that information nevertheless.”[159] In August 2014, German national newspaper Die Welt reported that, in the wake of Snowden’s revelations and in response to an inquiry from the Left Party, Germany’s domestic security agency Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz (BfV) investigated and found no “concrete evidence” (Konkrete Belege) that the U.S. conducted economic or industrial espionage in Germany.[160]

In February 2014, during testimony to the European Union, Snowden said of the remaining “undisclosed programs”: “I will leave the public interest determinations as to which of these may be safely disclosed to responsible journalists in coordination with government stakeholders.”[161]

In March 2014, documents disclosed by Glenn Greenwald writing for The Intercept showed the NSA, in cooperation with the GCHQ, has plans to infect millions of computers with malware using a program called “Turbine.”[162] Revelations included information about “QUANTUMHAND,” a program through which the NSA set up a fake Facebook server to intercept connections.[162]

According to a report in The Washington Post in July 2014, relying on information furnished by Snowden, 90% of those placed under surveillance in the U.S. are ordinary Americans, and are not the intended targets. The newspaper said it had examined documents including emails, message texts, and online accounts, that support the claim.[163]

In an August 2014 interview, Snowden for the first time disclosed a cyberwarfare program in the works, codenamed MonsterMind. The program would “automate the process of hunting for the beginnings of a foreign cyberattack”. The software would constantly look for traffic patterns indicating known or suspected attacks. What sets MonsterMind apart was that it would add a “unique new capability: instead of simply detecting and killing the malware at the point of entry, MonsterMind would automatically fire back, with no human involvement”. Snowden expressed concern that often initial attacks are routed through computers in innocent third countries. “These attacks can be spoofed. You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”[16]

Snowden’s identity was made public by The Guardian at his request on June 9, 2013.[101] He explained: “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”[21] He added that by revealing his identity he hoped to protect his colleagues from being subjected to a hunt to determine who had been responsible for the leaks.[164] According to Poitras, who filmed the interview with Snowden in Hong Kong, he had initially not wanted to be seen on camera, because “he didn’t want the story to be about him.”[165] Poitras says she convinced him it was necessary to have him give an account of the leaked documents’ significance on film: “I knew that the mainstream media interpretation would be predictable and narrow, but because to have somebody who understands how this technology works, who is willing to risk their life to expose it to the public, and that we could hear that articulated, would reach people in ways that the documents themselves wouldn’t.”[165] Snowden explained his actions saying: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things [surveillance on its citizens] I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”[166] In a later interview Snowden declared:

For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished. I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed.[30]

Snowden said that in the past, whistleblowers had been “destroyed by the experience,” and that he wanted to “embolden others to step forward” by demonstrating that “they can win.”[167] In October, Snowden spoke out again on his motivations for the leaks in an interview with The New York Times, saying that the system for reporting problems does not work. “You have to report wrongdoing to those most responsible for it,” Snowden explained, and pointed out the lack of whistleblower protection for government contractors, the use of the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute leakers, and his belief that had he used internal mechanisms to “sound the alarm,” his revelations “would have been buried forever.”[94][168]

In December 2013, upon learning that a U.S. federal judge had ruled the collection of U.S. phone metadata conducted by the NSA as likely unconstitutional, Snowden stated: “I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.”[169]

In January 2014, Snowden said his “breaking point” was “seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress.”[58] This referred to testimony on March 12, 2013three months after Snowden first sought to share thousands of NSA documents with Greenwald,[95] and nine months after the NSA says Snowden made his first illegal downloads during the summer of 2012[4]in which Clapper denied to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA wittingly collects data on millions of Americans.[170] Snowden said, “Theres no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions. Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back. Beyond that, it was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this. The public had a right to know about these programs.”[171] In May 2014, Vanity Fair reported that Snowden said he first contemplated leaking confidential documents around 2008, but that “Snowden held back, in part because he believed Barack Obama, elected that November, might introduce reforms.”[4] Snowden stated that he had reported policy or legal issues related to spying programs to more than 10 officials, but as a contractor had no legal avenue to pursue further whistleblowing.[172]

In May 2013 Snowden took a leave of absence, telling his supervisors he was returning to the mainland for epilepsy treatment, but instead left Hawaii for Hong Kong[173] where he arrived on May 20. Snowden told Guardian reporters in June that he had been in his room at the Mira Hotel since his arrival in the city, rarely going out.[59] On June 10, correspondent Ewen MacAskill said “He’s stuck in his hotel every day; he never goes out. I think he’s only been out about three times since May 20th and that was only briefly.”[174] Mira staff told Wall Street Journal reporters, however, that Snowden did not check in to the hotel until June 1.[59][175]

Snowden vowed to challenge any extradition attempt by the U.S. government, and engaged a Canadian, Hong Kong-based human rights lawyer Robert Tibbo, as his legal adviser.[176][177][178] Snowden told the South China Morning Post that he planned to remain in Hong Kong until “asked to leave,”[179] adding that his intention was to let the “courts and people of Hong Kong” decide his fate.[180] While in Hong Kong Snowden told the Post that “the United States government has committed a tremendous number of crimes against Hong Kong. The PRC as well,”[181] going on to identify Chinese Internet Protocol addresses that the NSA monitored and stating that the NSA collected text-message data for Hong Kong residents. Glenn Greenwald explained the leak as reflecting “a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China.”[182]

In late August, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Snowden was living at the Russian consulate shortly before his departure from Hong Kong to Moscow.[183] Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and legal adviser to Snowden, said in January 2014, “Every news organization in the world has been trying to confirm that story. They haven’t been able to, because it’s false.”[184] Likewise rejecting the Kommersant story was Anatoly Kucherena, who became Snowden’s lawyer in July 2013, when Snowden asked him for help with seeking temporary asylum in Russia.[185] Kucherena stated that Snowden “did not enter into any communication with our diplomats when he was in Hong Kong.”[186][187] In early September 2013, however, Russian president Vladimir Putin said that, a few days before boarding a plane to Moscow, “Mr. Snowden first appeared in Hong Kong and met with our diplomatic representatives.”[188] In June 2014, investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein wrote that a U.S. official had told him that on three occasions in June 2013, Snowden had been observed on CCTV cameras entering the Hong Kong tower where the Russian consulate is located.[59]

On June 22 (18 days after publication of Snowden’s NSA documents began), U.S. officials revoked his passport.[189] On June 23, Snowden boarded the commercial Aeroflot flight SU213 to Moscow, accompanied by Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks.[190][191] Hong Kong authorities said that Snowden had not been detained as requested by the United States, because the United States’ extradition request had not fully complied with Hong Kong law,[192][193] and there was no legal basis to prevent Snowden from leaving.[194][195][Notes 1] On June 24, U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said “we’re just not buying that this was a technical decision by a Hong Kong immigration official. This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant though the Privacy Act prohibits me from talking about Mr. Snowden’s passport specifically, I can say that the Hong Kong authorities were well aware of our interest in Mr. Snowden and had plenty of time to prohibit his travel.”[198] That same day, Julian Assange said that WikiLeaks had paid for Snowden’s lodging in Hong Kong and his flight out.[199]

In October 2013, Snowden said that before flying to Moscow, he gave all the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, and did not keep any copies for himself.[94] In January 2014, he told a German TV interviewer that he gave all of his information “to American journalists who are reporting on American issues.”[58] During his first American TV interview, in May 2014, Snowden said he had protected himself from Russian leverage “by destroying the material that I was holding before I transited through Russia.”[11]

On June 23, 2013, Snowden landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport.[200] WikiLeaks stated that he was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.”[201] Snowden had a seat reserved to continue to Cuba[202] but did not board that onward flight, saying in a January 2014 interview that he was “stopped en route” despite an intention to be “only transiting through Russia.” He stated, “I was ticketed for onward travel via Havanaa planeload of reporters documented the seat I was supposed to be inbut the State Department decided they wanted me in Moscow, and cancelled my passport.”[184] He said the U.S. wanted him there so “they could say, ‘He’s a Russian spy.'”[203] Greenwald’s account differs on the point of Snowden being already ticketed. According to Greenwald, Snowden’s passport was valid when he departed Hong Kong but was revoked during the hours he was in transit to Moscow, meaning “he could no longer get a ticket and leave Russia.” Snowden was thus, Greenwald says, forced to stay in Moscow and seek asylum.[204]

According to one Russian report, Snowden planned to fly from Moscow through Havana to Latin America; however, Cuba informed Moscow it would not allow the Aeroflot plane carrying Snowden to land.[205] Anonymous Russian sources claimed that Cuba had a change of heart after receiving pressure from U.S. officials,[206] leaving him stuck in the transit zone because at the last minute Havana told officials in Moscow not to allow him on the flight.[207]Fidel Castro called claims that Cuba would have blocked Snowden’s entry to his country a “lie” and a “libel.”[202]The Washington Post said “[t]hat version stands in contrast to widespread speculation that the Russians never intended to let the former CIA employee travel onward.”[208] Russian president Putin said that Snowden’s arrival in Moscow was “a surprise” and “like an unwanted Christmas gift.”[209] Putin said that Snowden remained in the transit area of Sheremetyevo, noted that he had not committed any crime in Russia, and declared that Snowden was free to leave and should do so.[210] He denied that Russia’s intelligence agencies had worked or were working with Snowden.[209]

Following Snowden’s arrival in Moscow, the White House expressed disappointment in Hong Kong’s decision to allow him to leave,[211] with press secretary Jay Carney stating, “We very clearly believe that Mr. Snowden ought to be returned to the United States to face the charges that have been set against him,”[212] and the director of the State Department’s press office concurred: “We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite a legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement. We hope that the Russian Government will look at all available options to return Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he’s charged.”[198] An anonymous U.S. official not authorized to discuss the passport matter told AP Snowden’s passport had been revoked before he left Hong Kong, and that although it could make onward travel more difficult, “if a senior official in a country or airline ordered it, a country could overlook the withdrawn passport.”[213] In a July 1 statement, Snowden said, “Although I am convicted of nothing, [the US government] has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.”[214]

After Snowden received asylum in Russia, international criminal defense lawyer Douglas McNabb commented that “absent of Mr. Snowden attempting to travel to Latin America, as long as he stays in Russia, hes apparently safe.”[215]Julian Assange agreed with this assessment, saying in a December 2013 Rolling Stone interview, “While Venezuela and Ecuador could protect him in the short term, over the long term there could be a change in government. In Russia, he’s safe, he’s well-regarded, and that is not likely to change. That was my advice to Snowden, that he would be physically safest in Russia.”[173] According to Snowden, “the CIA has a very powerful presence [in Latin America] and the governments and the security services there are relatively much less capable than, say, Russia…. they could have basically snatched me….”[216]

Four countries offered Snowden permanent asylum: Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela.[215]ABC News reported that no direct flights between Moscow and Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua exist, and that “the United States has pressured countries along his route to hand him over.” Snowden explained in July 2013 that he decided to bid for asylum in Russia because he did not feel there was any safe travel route to Latin America.[217] Snowden said he remained in Russia because “when we were talking about possibilities for asylum in Latin America, the United States forced down the Bolivian Presidents plane”, citing the Morales plane incident. On the issue, he said “some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.”[218] He said that he would travel from Russia if there was no interference from the U.S. government.[184]

In an October 2014 interview with The Nation magazine, Snowden reiterated that he had originally intended to travel to Latin America: “A lot of people are still unaware that I never intended to end up in Russia.” According to Snowden, the U.S. government “waited until I departed Hong Kong to cancel my passport in order to trap me in Russia.” Snowden added, “If they really wanted to capture me, they would’ve allowed me to travel to Latin America, because the CIA can operate with impunity down there. They did not want that; they chose to keep me in Russia.”[219]

On July 1, 2013, president Evo Morales of Bolivia, who had been attending a conference of gas-exporting countries in Russia, suggested during an interview with Russia Today that he would be “willing to consider a request” by Snowden for asylum.[220] The following day, Morales’ plane en route to Bolivia was rerouted to Austria and reportedly searched there after France, Spain and Italy denied access to their airspace.[221] U.S. officials had raised suspicions that Snowden may have been on board.[222] Morales blamed the U.S. for putting pressure on European countries, and said that the grounding of his plane was a violation of international law.[223]

In April 2015, Bolivia’s ambassador to Russia, Mara Luisa Ramos Urzagaste, accused WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange of putting Morales’s life at risk by intentionally providing to the United States false rumors that Snowden was on the Morales’s plane. Assange responded that the plan “was not completely honest, but we did consider that the final result would have justified our actions. We can only regret what happened.”[224]

Snowden applied for political asylum to 21 countries.[225] A statement attributed to him contended that the U.S. administration, and specifically Vice President Joe Biden, had pressured the governments to refuse his asylum petitions. Biden had telephoned President Rafael Correa days prior to Snowden’s remarks, asking the Ecuadorian leader not to grant Snowden asylum.[226] Ecuador had initially offered Snowden a temporary travel document but later withdrew it;[227] on July 1, President Rafael Correa said the decision to issue the offer had been “a mistake.”[228]

In a July 1 statement published by WikiLeaks, Snowden accused the U.S. government of “using citizenship as a weapon” and using what he described as “old, bad tools of political aggression.” Citing Obama’s promise to not allow “wheeling and dealing” over the case, Snowden commented, “This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile.”[229] Several days later, WikiLeaks announced that Snowden had applied for asylum in six additional countries, which WikiLeaks declined to name “due to attempted U.S. interference.”[230]

The French interior ministry rejected Snowden’s request for asylum, saying, “Given the legal analysis and the situation of the interested party, France will not agree.”[231] Poland refused to process his application because it did not conform to legal procedure.[232]Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said the government “does not plan to respond” to Snowden’s asylum request. Germany, Finland and India rejected Snowden’s application outright, while Austria, Ecuador, Norway and Spain said he must be on their territory to apply.[233] Italy cited the same reason in rejecting his request,[234] as did the Netherlands.[235] In November 2014, Germany announced that Snowden had not renewed his previously denied request and was not being considered for asylum.[236]

Putin said on July 1, 2013, that if Snowden wanted to be granted asylum in Russia, he would be required to “stop his work aimed at harming our American partners.”[237] A spokesman for Putin subsequently said that Snowden had withdrawn his asylum application upon learning of the conditions.[238]

In a July 12 meeting at Sheremetyevo Airport with representatives of human rights organizations and lawyers, organized in part by the Russian government,[239] Snowden said he was accepting all offers of asylum that he had already received or would receive in the future, noting that his Venezuela’s “asylee status was now formal.”[240] He also said he would request asylum in Russia until he resolved his travel problems.[241] Russian Federal Migration Service officials confirmed on July 16 that Snowden had submitted an application for temporary asylum.[242] On July 24, Kucherena said his client “wants to find work in Russia, travel and somehow create a life for himself.” He said Snowden had already begun learning Russian.[243]

Amid media reports in early July 2013 attributed to U.S. administration sources that Obama’s one-on-one meeting with Putin, ahead of a G20 meeting in St Petersburg scheduled for September, was in doubt due to Snowden’s protracted sojourn in Russia,[244] top U.S. officials repeatedly made it clear to Moscow that Snowden should immediately be returned to the United States to, in the words of White House press secretary Jay Carney, “face the charges that have been brought against him for the unauthorized leaking of classified information.”[245][246][247] Snowden needed asylum, according to his Russian lawyer, because “he faces persecution by the U.S. government and he fears for his life and safety, fears that he could be subjected to torture and capital punishment.”[248]

In a letter to Russian Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov dated July 23,[249]U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sought to eliminate the “asserted grounds for Mr. Snowden’s claim that he should be treated as a refugee or granted asylum, temporary or otherwise.” Holder asserted that the theft and espionage charges against Snowden do not carry the possibility of a death penalty and that the United States would not seek the death penalty “even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes.” Holder said Snowden is free to travel from Moscow despite the June 22 revocation of his U.S. passport. He is, Holder explained, immediately eligible for a “limited validity passport” good for direct return to the United States. Holder also assured Konovalov that Snowden would not be tortured. “Torture is unlawful in the United States,” Holder wrote. “If he returns to the United States, Mr. Snowden would promptly be brought before a civilian court convened under Article III of the United States Constitution and supervised by a United States District Judge. Mr. Snowden would be appointed (or if so chose, could retain) counsel.”[250] The same day, the Russian president’s spokesman reiterated the Kremlin’s position that it would “not hand anyone over”; he also noted that Putin was not personally involved in the matter as Snowden “has not made any request that would require examination by the head of state” and that the issue was being handled through talks between the FSB and the FBI.[251]

In March 2015, journalist Glenn Greenwald reported at The Intercept that Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of Germany, told him the U.S. government had threatened to stop sharing intelligence if Germany offered Snowden asylum or arranged for his travel there.[252]

On June 14, 2013, United States federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Snowden, charging him with theft of government property, and two counts of violating the Espionage Act through unauthorized communication of national defense information and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”[5][249] Each of the three charges carries a maximum possible prison term of ten years. The charge was initially secret and was unsealed a week later.

Snowden was asked in a January 2014 interview about returning to the U.S. to face the charges in court, as Obama had suggested a few days prior. Snowden explained why he rejected the request: “What he doesn’t say are that the crimes that he’s charged me with are crimes that don’t allow me to make my case. They don’t allow me to defend myself in an open court to the public and convince a jury that what I did was to their benefit. So it’s, I would say, illustrative that the President would choose to say someone should face the music when he knows the music is a show trial.”[58][253] Snowden’s legal representative, Jesselyn Radack, wrote that “the Espionage Act effectively hinders a person from defending himself before a jury in an open court, as past examples show,” referring to Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou and Chelsea Manning. Radack said that the “arcane World War I law” was never meant to prosecute whistleblowers, but rather spies who sold secrets to enemies for profit. Under this law, she states, “no prosecution of a non-spy can be fair or just.”[254]

Snowden left the Moscow airport on August 1 after 39 days in the transit section. He had been granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year;[255] the asylum grant can be extended indefinitely on an annual basis.[256] According to his Russian lawyer, Snowden went to an undisclosed location kept secret for security reasons.[257] In response to the asylum grant, the White House stated that it was “extremely disappointed,” and cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.[258][259] Additionally, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham urged President Obama to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but House Speaker John Boehner, also a Republican, rejected that idea as “dead wrong.”[260]

In late July 2013, Lon Snowden said he believed his son would be better off staying in Russia, and didn’t believe he would receive a fair trial in the U.S.[261] In mid-October, he visited his son in Moscow, later telling the press that he was pleased with Edward’s situation, and still believed Russia was the best choice for his asylum, saying he wouldn’t have to worry about people “rushing across the border to render him.” Snowden commented that his son found living in Russia “comfortable,” and Moscow “modern and sophisticated.”[262] Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, announced on October 31 that his client had found a website maintenance job at one of Russia’s largest websites, but refused to identify the site for “security reasons.” Jesselyn Radack, one of Snowden’s American lawyers, said she was “not aware” of any new job.[263] Asked about this by The Moscow Times in June 2014, The Guardian correspondent Luke Harding replied, “Kucherena is completely unreliable as a source. We [The Guardian] did the rounds of Russian IT companies when he made that claim last year and none of themnone of the big ones, at leastconfirmed this.”[264]

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who had traveled to Russia to give Snowden a whistleblower award, said that Snowden did not give any storage devices such as hard drives or USB flash drives to Russia or China, and that the four laptops he carried with him “were a ‘diversion’ and contained no secrets.” U.S. officials said they assumed that any classified materials downloaded by Snowden had fallen into the hands of China and Russia, though they acknowledged they had no proof of this.[265] In an October 2013 interview, Snowden maintained that he did not bring any classified material into Russia “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest.” He added, “There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents.”[94] In June 2015, however, The Sunday Times reported that British government officials anonymously claimed to the paper that Russia and China had cracked an encrypted cache of files taken by Snowden, forcing the withdrawal of British spies from live operations.[266] The BBC also stated that their sources told them British intelligence assets had been moved as a precaution after the Snowden leaks.[267] Several prominent media outlets and persons have disputed the validity of The Sunday Times’s story. The Intercept’s Greenwald said the report had “retraction-worthy fabrications,” and “does […] nothing other than quote anonymous British officials,” and notes that parts of the Times’s report was removed from the original post without the Times saying it did so;[268]The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple stated that CNN reporter George Howell may have unknowingly damage the report’s credibility in an on-air interview with the story’s lead author Tom Harper “by asking obvious questions about the story.”[269]

WikiLeaks released video of Snowden on October 11 taken during the Sam Adams Award reception in Moscow, his first public appearance in three months. Former U.S. government officials attending the ceremony said they saw no evidence Snowden was under the control of Russian security services. The whistleblower group said he was in good spirits, looked well, and still believes he was right to release the NSA documents.[270] In the video, Snowden said “people all over the world are coming to realize” that the NSA’s surveillance programs put people in danger, hurt the U.S. and its economy, and “limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and associate freely” as well as putting people “at risk of coming into conflict with our own government.”[271]

On October 31, German lawmaker Hans-Christian Strbele traveled to Moscow to meet with Snowden, whom he invited to testify before the German parliament to assist investigations into NSA surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002.[272][273][274] After the visit, Snowden indicated a willingness to testify, though not from Moscow as Germany requested. Snowden said he would rather give testimony before the U.S. Congress, his second choice being Berlin.[275]

Also in October, journalist Glenn Greenwald commented on Snowden’s Russian asylum: “[Snowden] didn’t choose to be there. He was trying to get transit to Latin America, and then the U.S. revoked his passport and threatened other countries out of offering Snowden safe passage.”[276] WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison, who accompanied Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow, left Russia in early November after waiting until she felt confident he had “established himself and was free from the interference of any government.”[277]

On December 17, 2013, Snowden wrote an open letter to the people of Brazil offering to assist the Brazilian government in investigating allegations of U.S. spying, and added that he continued to seek, and would require, asylum.[278] Snowden wrote, “Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America!”[279] Brazil had been in an uproar since Snowden revealed that the U.S. was spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her senior advisors, and Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras.[280] Rousseff and officials of the Brazilian foreign ministry said in response that they could not consider asylum for Snowden because they had not received any formal request.[281] A representative of the foreign ministry said that a fax requesting asylum had been sent to the Brazilian embassy in Moscow in July but it had not been signed and could not be authenticated.[282] David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, launched an internet petition urging the Brazilian president to consider offering Snowden asylum.[283]

Snowden met with Barton Gellman of The Washington Post six months after the disclosure for an exclusive interview spanning 14 hours, his first since being granted temporary asylum. Snowden talked about his life in Russia as “an indoor cat,” reflected on his time as an NSA contractor, and discussed at length the revelations of global surveillance and their reverberations. Snowden said, “In terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated.”[30] He commented “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.” On the accusation from former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden that he had defected, Snowden stated, “If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.”[30] In 2014, Snowden said that he lives “a surprisingly open life” in Russia and that he is recognized when he goes to computer stores.[203]

According to BuzzFeed, in January 2014 an anonymous Pentagon official said that he wanted to kill Snowden, claiming that By [Snowden] showing who our collections partners were, the terrorists have dropped those carriers and email addresses.”[284] Other intelligence analysts expressed their anger to BuzzFeed as well, with an Army intelligence officer complaining that Snowden’s leaks had increased his “blindness” and expressing his hope that Snowden would be killed in a covert way. When asked about the BuzzFeed story, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said death threats were “totally inappropriate” and had no place in our discussion of these issues.”[285]

On Meet the Press in late January 2014, speculation arose from top U.S. officials in the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that Snowden might have been assisted by Russian intelligence,[286] prompting a rare interview during which Snowden spoke in his defense. He told The New Yorker “this ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” adding that he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”[184]The New York Times reported that investigations by the NSA and the FBI “have turned up no evidence that Mr. Snowden was aided by others.”[287] Days later, Feinstein stated that she had seen no evidence that Snowden is a Russian spy.[288] Germany’s Der Spiegel suggested the accusations were part of a “smear campaign” by U.S. officials. For Snowden, the smears did not “mystify” him; he said that “outlets report statements that the speakers themselves admit are sheer speculation.”[289]

In late January 2014, US attorney general, Eric Holder in an interview with MSNBC indicated that the U.S. could allow Snowden to return from Russia under negotiated terms, saying he was prepared to engage in conversation with him, but that full clemency would be going too far.[290]

Snowden’s first television interview[291] aired January 26, 2014 on Germany’s NDR. In April 2014, he appeared on video from an undisclosed location during President Putin’s live annual Q&A exchange with the public. Snowden asked, “Does Russia intercept, store, or analyzein any waythe communications of individuals?” Putin replied, “Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country.”[292] Reactions were split. Critics said it looked like a “highly-scripted propaganda stunt for Vladimir Putin”[293] and that Snowden is “bought and paid for entirely by the Russians.”[293][294] Snowden insisted his question was designed to hold the Russian president accountable.[295] In an op-ed for The Guardian, Snowden said his question was intended “to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion.” Snowden called Putin’s response “evasive”.[296] A few days later, The Daily Beast reported that Snowden himself “instantly regretted” asking Putin the “softball question”, which was crafted with several of his key advisers, and that he was mortified by the reaction. Ben Wizner, one of Snowden’s legal advisers, told the Beast that Snowden hadn’t realized how much his appearance with Putin would be seen as a Kremlin propaganda victory. “I know this is hard to believe,” Wizner acknowledged. “I know if I was just watching from afar, I’d think, ‘Wow, they forced him to do this.’ But it’s not true. He just fucking did it.”[297] Asked six months later about the incident, Snowden conceded, “Yeah, that was terrible! Oh, Jesus, that blew up in my face. And in the United States, what I did appearing at that Putin press conference was not worth the price.”[219]

In March 2014, the international advocacy group European Digital Rights (EDRi) reported that the European Parliament, in adopting a Data Protection Reform Package, rejected amendments that would have dropped charges against Snowden and granted him asylum or refugee status.[298]

In May 2014, NBC’s Brian Williams presented the first interview for American television.[299] In June, The Washington Post reported that during his first year of Russian asylum, Snowden had received “tens of thousands of dollars in cash awards and appearance fees from privacy organizations and other groups,” fielded inquiries about book and movie projects, and was considering taking a position with a South African foundation that would support work on security and privacy issues. “Any moment that he decides that he wants to be a wealthy person,” said Snowden’s attorney Ben Wizner, “that route is available to him,” although the U.S. government could attempt to seize such proceeds.[300]

Also in May, the German Parliamentary Committee investigating the NSA spying scandal unanimously decided to invite Snowden to testify as a witness.[301] In September, opposition parties in the German parliament filed constitutional complaints to force the government to let Snowden testify in Berlin. Snowden had refused a proposed video conference from Moscow, saying he wants to testify only in Berlin and asking for safe conduct.[302][303][304]

On July 13, 2014, The Guardian published its first story based on an exclusive, seven-hour interview newly conducted with Snowden in a Moscow city centre hotel. Snowden condemned the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill announced to the UK’s House of Commons on July 10[305] bolstering the state’s right to keep personal data held by Internet and phone companies. Snowden said it was very unusual for a public body to pass such emergency legislation except during total war. “I mean we don’t have bombs falling. We don’t have U-boats in the harbor. It defies belief.”[306] The Daily Mail reported that Snowden had “caused fury” by attacking Britain. “His critics said the new surveillance Bill was being pushed through Parliament today largely because of his treachery in leaking Britain’s spy secrets.”[307] On July 13 and 17, The Guardian posted video clips, of about 2 minutes[306] and 14 minutes[308] in length, excerpted from the full interview. On July 18, The Guardian published a nearly 10,000-word “edited transcript” of their Snowden interview.[78] A year after arriving in Moscow, Snowden said he is still learning Russian. He keeps late and solitary hours, effectively living on U.S. time. He does not drink, cooks for himself but doesn’t eat much. “I don’t live in absolute secrecy,” he says. “I live a pretty open lifebut at the same time I don’t want to be a celebrity.” He does not work for a Russian organization, yet is financially secure thanks to substantial savings from his years as a well-paid contractor and more recently numerous awards and speaking fees from around the world.[24]

On August 7, 2014, six days after Snowden’s one-year temporary asylum expired, his Russian lawyer announced that Snowden had received a three-year residency permit. “He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad,” said Anatoly Kucherena. “He’ll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months.” Kucherena explained that Snowden had not been granted political asylum, which would allow him to stay in Russia permanently but requires a separate process.[309] “In the future,” he added, “Edward will have to decide whether to continue to live in Russia and become a citizen or to return to the United States.”[310] In May 2015, The New York Times reported, “Snowden’s main source of income is speaking fees, which have sometimes exceeded $10,000 for an appearance.”[311]

A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero,[312][313][314] a whistleblower,[315][316][317][318] a dissident,[319] a patriot,[320][321][322] and a traitor.[323][324][325][326] His release of NSA material was called the most significant leak in U.S. history by Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg,[327][328] who said, “Snowden’s disclosures are a true constitutional moment” enabling the press to hold the Executive branch of the U.S. federal government accountable, while the legislative and judiciary branch refused to do so.[329] On January 14, 2014, Ellsberg posted to his Twitter page: “Edward Snowden has done more for our Constitution in terms of the Fourth and First Amendment than anyone else I know.”[330]

On June 9, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper condemned Snowden’s actions as having done “huge, grave damage” to U.S. intelligence capabilities.[331] On June 27, 2013, The Monterey Herald reported that the United States Army had barred its personnel from access to parts of the website of The Guardian after that site’s revelations of Snowden’s information about global surveillance.[332] The entire Guardian website was blocked for personnel stationed throughout Afghanistan, the Middle East, and South Asia.[333]

Journalist Naomi Wolf in June 2013 questioned the authenticity of Snowden’s story. She elucidated her “creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be”, and in what was called a “conspiracy theory”, presented a series of questions concerning the official narrative. “From the standpoint of the police state and its interests,” she asks, “why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times unless we know about it?”[334][335][336]

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Stem cell therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on Stem cell therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 152015

This article is about the medical therapy. For the cell type, see Stem cell.

Stem cell therapy is the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition.

Bone marrow transplant is the most widely used stem cell therapy, but some therapies derived from umbilical cord blood are also in use. Research is underway to develop various sources for stem cells, and to apply stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

With the ability of scientists to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, and with scientists’ growing ability to create stem cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer and techniques to create induced pluripotent stem cells, controversy has crept in, both related to abortion politics and to human cloning. Additionally, efforts to market treatments based on transplant of stored umbilical cord blood have proven controversial.

For over 30 years, bone-marrow has been used to treat cancer patients with conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma; this is the only form of stem cell therapy that is widely practiced.[1][2][3] During chemotherapy, most growing cells are killed by the cytotoxic agents. These agents, however, cannot discriminate between the leukaemia or neoplastic cells, and the hematopoietic stem cells within the bone marrow. It is this side effect of conventional chemotherapy strategies that the stem cell transplant attempts to reverse; a donor’s healthy bone marrow reintroduces functional stem cells to replace the cells lost in the host’s body during treatment. The transplanted cells also generate an immune response that helps to kill off the cancer cells; this process can go too far, however, leading to graft vs host disease, the most serious side effect of this treatment.[4]

Another stem cell therapy called Prochymal, was conditionally approved in Canada in 2012 for the management of acute graft-vs-host disease in children who are unresponsive to steroids.[5] It is an allogenic stem therapy based on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the bone marrow of adult donors. MSCs are purified from the marrow, cultured and packaged, with up to 10,000 doses derived from a single donor. The doses are stored frozen until needed.[6]

The FDA has approved five hematopoietic stem cell products derived from umbilical cord blood, for the treatment of blood and immunological diseases.[7]

In 2014, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Holoclar, a treatment involving stem cells, for use in the European Union. Holoclar is used for people with severe limbal stem cell deficiency due to burns in the eye.[8]

Research has been conducted to learn whether stem cells may be used to treat brain degeneration, such as in Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.[9][10][11]

Healthy adult brains contain neural stem cells which divide to maintain general stem cell numbers, or become progenitor cells. In healthy adult animals, progenitor cells migrate within the brain and function primarily to maintain neuron populations for olfaction (the sense of smell). Pharmacological activation of endogenous neural stem cells has been reported to induce neuroprotection and behavioral recovery in adult rat models of neurological disorder.[12][13][14]

Stroke and traumatic brain injury lead to cell death, characterized by a loss of neurons and oligodendrocytes within the brain. A small clinical trial was underway in Scotland in 2013, in which stem cells were injected into the brains of stroke patients.[15]

Clinical and animal studies have been conducted into the use of stem cells in cases of spinal cord injury.[16][17][18]

The pioneering work[19] by Bodo-Eckehard Strauer has now been discredited by the identification of hundreds of factual contradictions.[20] Among several clinical trials that have reported that adult stem cell therapy is safe and effective, powerful effects have been reported from only a few laboratories, but this has covered old[21] and recent[22] infarcts as well as heart failure not arising from myocardial infarction.[23] While initial animal studies demonstrated remarkable therapeutic effects,[24][25] later clinical trials achieved only modest, though statistically significant, improvements.[26][27] Possible reasons for this discrepancy are patient age,[28] timing of treatment[29] and the recent occurrence of a myocardial infarction.[30] It appears that these obstacles may be overcome by additional treatments which increase the effectiveness of the treatment[31] or by optimizing the methodology although these too can be controversial. Current studies vary greatly in cell procuring techniques, cell types, cell administration timing and procedures, and studied parameters, making it very difficult to make comparisons. Comparative studies are therefore currently needed.

Stem cell therapy for treatment of myocardial infarction usually makes use of autologous bone marrow stem cells (a specific type or all), however other types of adult stem cells may be used, such as adipose-derived stem cells.[32] Adult stem cell therapy for treating heart disease was commercially available in at least five continents as of 2007.[citation needed]

Possible mechanisms of recovery include:[9]

It may be possible to have adult bone marrow cells differentiate into heart muscle cells.[9]

The first successful integration of human embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in guinea pigs (mouse hearts beat too fast) was reported in August 2012. The contraction strength was measured four weeks after the guinea pigs underwent simulated heart attacks and cell treatment. The cells contracted synchronously with the existing cells, but it is unknown if the positive results were produced mainly from paracrine as opposed to direct electromechanical effects from the human cells. Future work will focus on how to get the cells to engraft more strongly around the scar tissue. Whether treatments from embryonic or adult bone marrow stem cells will prove more effective remains to be seen.[33]

In 2013 the pioneering reports of powerful beneficial effects of autologous bone marrow stem cells on ventricular function were found to contain “hundreds” of discrepancies.[34] Critics report that of 48 reports there seemed to be just 5 underlying trials, and that in many cases whether they were randomized or merely observational accepter-versus-rejecter, was contradictory between reports of the same trial. One pair of reports of identical baseline characteristics and final results, was presented in two publications as, respectively, a 578 patient randomized trial and as a 391 patient observational study. Other reports required (impossible) negative standard deviations in subsets of patients, or contained fractional patients, negative NYHA classes. Overall there were many more patients published as having receiving stem cells in trials, than the number of stem cells processed in the hospital’s laboratory during that time. A university investigation, closed in 2012 without reporting, was reopened in July 2013.[35]

One of the most promising benefits of stem cell therapy is the potential for cardiac tissue regeneration to reverse the tissue loss underlying the development of heart failure after cardiac injury.[36]

Initially, the observed improvements were attributed to a transdifferentiation of BM-MSCs into cardiomyocyte-like cells.[24] Given the apparent inadequacy of unmodified stem cells for heart tissue regeneration, a more promising modern technique involves treating these cells to create cardiac progenitor cells before implantation to the injured area.[37]

The specificity of the human immune-cell repertoire is what allows the human body to defend itself from rapidly adapting antigens. However, the immune system is vulnerable to degradation upon the pathogenesis of disease, and because of the critical role that it plays in overall defense, its degradation is often fatal to the organism as a whole. Diseases of hematopoietic cells are diagnosed and classified via a subspecialty of pathology known as hematopathology. The specificity of the immune cells is what allows recognition of foreign antigens, causing further challenges in the treatment of immune disease. Identical matches between donor and recipient must be made for successful transplantation treatments, but matches are uncommon, even between first-degree relatives. Research using both hematopoietic adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells has provided insight into the possible mechanisms and methods of treatment for many of these ailments.[citation needed]

Fully mature human red blood cells may be generated ex vivo by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are precursors of red blood cells. In this process, HSCs are grown together with stromal cells, creating an environment that mimics the conditions of bone marrow, the natural site of red-blood-cell growth. Erythropoietin, a growth factor, is added, coaxing the stem cells to complete terminal differentiation into red blood cells.[38] Further research into this technique should have potential benefits to gene therapy, blood transfusion, and topical medicine.

Hair follicles also contain stem cells, and some researchers predict research on these follicle stem cells may lead to successes in treating baldness through an activation of the stem cells progenitor cells. This treatment is expected to work by activating already existing stem cells on the scalp. Later treatments may be able to simply signal follicle stem cells to give off chemical signals to nearby follicle cells which have shrunk during the aging process, which in turn respond to these signals by regenerating and once again making healthy hair.

In 2004, scientists at King’s College London discovered a way to cultivate a complete tooth in mice[39] and were able to grow bioengineered teeth stand-alone in the laboratory. Researchers are confident that the tooth regeneration technology can be used to grow live teeth in human patients.

In theory, stem cells taken from the patient could be coaxed in the lab into turning into a tooth bud which, when implanted in the gums, will give rise to a new tooth, and would be expected to be grown in a time over three weeks.[40] It will fuse with the jawbone and release chemicals that encourage nerves and blood vessels to connect with it. The process is similar to what happens when humans grow their original adult teeth. Many challenges remain, however, before stem cells could be a choice for the replacement of missing teeth in the future.[41][42]

Research is ongoing in different fields, alligators which are polyphyodonts grow up to 50 times a successional tooth (a small replacement tooth) under each mature functional tooth for replacement once a year.[43]

Heller has reported success in re-growing cochlea hair cells with the use of embryonic stem cells.[44]

Since 2003, researchers have successfully transplanted corneal stem cells into damaged eyes to restore vision. “Sheets of retinal cells used by the team are harvested from aborted fetuses, which some people find objectionable.” When these sheets are transplanted over the damaged cornea, the stem cells stimulate renewed repair, eventually restore vision.[45] The latest such development was in June 2005, when researchers at the Queen Victoria Hospital of Sussex, England were able to restore the sight of forty patients using the same technique. The group, led by Sheraz Daya, was able to successfully use adult stem cells obtained from the patient, a relative, or even a cadaver. Further rounds of trials are ongoing.[46]

In April 2005, doctors in the UK transplanted corneal stem cells from an organ donor to the cornea of Deborah Catlyn, a woman who was blinded in one eye when acid was thrown in her eye at a nightclub. The cornea, which is the transparent window of the eye, is a particularly suitable site for transplants. In fact, the first successful human transplant was a cornea transplant. The absence of blood vessels within the cornea makes this area a relatively easy target for transplantation. The majority of corneal transplants carried out today are due to a degenerative disease called keratoconus.

The University Hospital of New Jersey reports that the success rate for growth of new cells from transplanted stem cells varies from 25 percent to 70 percent.[47]

In 2014, researchers demonstrated that stem cells collected as biopsies from donor human corneas can prevent scar formation without provoking a rejection response in mice with corneal damage.[48]

In January 2012, The Lancet published a paper by Steven Schwartz, at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, reporting two women who had gone legally blind from macular degeneration had dramatic improvements in their vision after retinal injections of human embryonic stem cells.[49]

Diabetes patients lose the function of insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas.[50] In recent experiments, scientists have been able to coax embryonic stem cell to turn into beta cells in the lab. In theory if the beta cell is transplanted successfully, they will be able to replace malfunctioning ones in a diabetic patient.[51]

Human embryonic stem cells may be grown in cell culture and stimulated to form insulin-producing cells that can be transplanted into the patient.

However, clinical success is highly dependent on the development of the following procedures:[9]

Clinical case reports in the treatment orthopaedic conditions have been reported. To date, the focus in the literature for musculoskeletal care appears to be on mesenchymal stem cells. Centeno et al. have published MRI evidence of increased cartilage and meniscus volume in individual human subjects.[52][53] The results of trials that include a large number of subjects, are yet to be published. However, a published safety study conducted in a group of 227 patients over a 3-4 year period shows adequate safety and minimal complications associated with mesenchymal cell transplantation.[54]

Wakitani has also published a small case series of nine defects in five knees involving surgical transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells with coverage of the treated chondral defects.[55]

Stem cells can also be used to stimulate the growth of human tissues. In an adult, wounded tissue is most often replaced by scar tissue, which is characterized in the skin by disorganized collagen structure, loss of hair follicles and irregular vascular structure. In the case of wounded fetal tissue, however, wounded tissue is replaced with normal tissue through the activity of stem cells.[56] A possible method for tissue regeneration in adults is to place adult stem cell “seeds” inside a tissue bed “soil” in a wound bed and allow the stem cells to stimulate differentiation in the tissue bed cells. This method elicits a regenerative response more similar to fetal wound-healing than adult scar tissue formation.[56] Researchers are still investigating different aspects of the “soil” tissue that are conducive to regeneration.[56]

Culture of human embryonic stem cells in mitotically inactivated porcine ovarian fibroblasts (POF) causes differentiation into germ cells (precursor cells of oocytes and spermatozoa), as evidenced by gene expression analysis.[57]

Human embryonic stem cells have been stimulated to form Spermatozoon-like cells, yet still slightly damaged or malformed.[58] It could potentially treat azoospermia.

In 2012, oogonial stem cells were isolated from adult mouse and human ovaries and demonstrated to be capable of forming mature oocytes.[59] These cells have the potential to treat infertility.

Destruction of the immune system by the HIV is driven by the loss of CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Viral entry into CD4+ cells is mediated by the interaction with a cellular chemokine receptor, the most common of which are CCR5 and CXCR4.1 Because subsequent viral replication requires cellular gene expression processes, activated CD4+ cells are the primary targets of productive HIV infection.[60] Recently scientists have been investigating an alternative approach to treating HIV-1/AIDS, based on the creation of a disease-resistant immune system through transplantation of autologous, gene-modified (HIV-1-resistant) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (GM-HSPC).[61]

On January 23, 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration gave clearance to Geron Corporation for the initiation of the first clinical trial of an embryonic stem cell-based therapy on humans. The trial aimed evaluate the drug GRNOPC1, embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, on patients with acute spinal cord injury. The trial was discontinued in November 2011 so that the company could focus on therapies in the “current environment of capital scarcity and uncertain economic conditions”.[62] In 2013 biotechnology and regenerative medicine company BioTime (NYSEMKT:BTX) acquired Geron’s stem cell assets in a stock transaction, with the aim of restarting the clinical trial.[63]

Scientists have reported that MSCs when transfused immediately within few hours post thawing may show reduced function or show decreased efficacy in treating diseases as compared to those MSCs which are in log phase of cell growth(fresh), so cryopreserved MSCs should be brought back into log phase of cell growth in invitro culture before these are administered for clinical trials or experimental therapies, re-culturing of MSCs will help in recovering from the shock the cells get during freezing and thawing. Various clinical trials on MSCs have failed which used cryopreserved product immediately post thaw as compared to those clinical trials which used fresh MSCs.[64]

There is widespread controversy over the use of human embryonic stem cells. This controversy primarily targets the techniques used to derive new embryonic stem cell lines, which often requires the destruction of the blastocyst. Opposition to the use of human embryonic stem cells in research is often based on philosophical, moral or religious objections.[103] There is other stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of a human embryo, and such research involves adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

Stem cell research and treatment was practiced in the People’s Republic of China. The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China has permitted the use of stem cell therapy for conditions beyond those approved of in Western countries. The Western World has scrutinized China for its failed attempts to meet international documentation standards of these trials and procedures.[104]

State-funded companies based in the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Zone treat the symptoms of numerous disorders with adult stem cell therapy. Development companies are currently focused on the treatment of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. The most radical successes of Chinese adult stem cell therapy have been in treating the brain. These therapies administer stem cells directly to the brain of patients with Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s, and brain injuries.

Since 2008 many centres and doctors tried a diversity of methods; in Lebanon proliferative and non-proliferative, in-vivo and in-vitro techniques were used. The Regenerative Medicine also took place in Jordan and Egypt.

Stem cell treatment is currently being practiced at a clinical level in Mexico. An International Health Department Permit (COFEPRIS) is required. Authorized centers are found in Tijuana, Guadalajara and Cancun. Currently undergoing the approval process is Los Cabos. This permit allows the use of stem cell.

In 2005, South Korean scientists claimed to have generated stem cells that were tailored to match the recipient. Each of the 11 new stem cell lines was developed using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology. The resultant cells were thought to match the genetic material of the recipient, thus suggesting minimal to no cell rejection.[105]

As of 2013, Thailand still considers Hematopoietic stem cell transplants as experimental. Kampon Sriwatanakul began with a clinical trial in October 2013 with 20 patients. 10 are going to receive stem cell therapy for Type-2 Diabetes and the other 10 will receive stem cell therapy for emphysema. Chotinantakul’s research is on Hematopoietic cells and their role for the hematopoietic system function in homeostasis and immune response.[106]

Today, Ukraine is permitted to perform clinical trials of stem cell treatments (Order of the MH of Ukraine 630 “About carrying out clinical trials of stem cells”, 2008) for the treatment of these pathologies: pancreatic necrosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, burn disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, critical lower limb ischemia. The first medical institution granted the right to conduct clinical trials became the “Institute of Cell Therapy”(Kiev).

Other countries where doctors did stem cells research, trials, manipulation, storage, therapy: Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, India and many others.

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Essay: John Rawls and Robert Nozick: liberalism vs …

 Misc  Comments Off on Essay: John Rawls and Robert Nozick: liberalism vs …
Aug 152015

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These days , in the occasional university philosophy classroom, the differences between Robert Nozicks Anarchy, State, and Utopia (libertarianism) and John Rawls A Theory of Justice (social liberalism) are still discussed vigorously. In order to demonstrate a broad spectrum of possible political philosophies it is necessary to define the outer boundaries, these two treatises stand like sentries at opposite gatesof the polis

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice. Rawls presents an account of justice in the form of two principles: (1) liberty principle= peoples equal basic liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience (religion), and the right to vote should be maximized, and (2) difference principle= inequalities in social and economic goods are acceptable only if they promote the welfare of the least advantaged members of society. Rawls writes in the social contract tradition. He seeks to define equilibrium points that, when accumulated, form a civil system characterized by what he calls justice as fairness. To get there he deploys an argument whereby people in an original position (state of nature), make decisions (legislate laws) behind a veil of ignorance (of their place in the society rich or poor) using a reasoning technique he calls reflective equilibrium. It goes something like: behind the veil of ignorance, with no knowledge of their own places in civil society, Rawls posits that reasonable people will default to social and economic positions that maximize the prospects for the worst off feed and house the poor in case you happen to become one. Its much like the prisoners dilemma in game theory. By his own words Rawls = left-liberalism.

Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, libertarian response to Rawls which argues that only a minimal state devoted to the enforcement of contracts and protecting people against crimes like assault, robbery, fraud can be morally justified. Nozick suggests that the fundamental question of political philosophy is not how government should be organized but whether there should be any state at all, he is close to John Locke in that government is legitimate only to the degree that it promotes greater security for life, liberty, and property than would exist in a chaotic, pre-political state of nature. Nozick concludes, however, that the need for security justifies only a minimal, or night-watchman, state, since it cannot be demonstrated that citizens will attain any more security through extensive governmental intervention. (Nozick p.25-27)

the state may not use its coercive apparatus for the purpose of getting some citizens to aid others, or in order to prohibit activities to people for their own good or protection. (Nozick Preface p.ix)



Some Practical Questions for Rawls:

Some Practical Questions for Nozick:

Read The Liberal Imagination of Frederick Douglass for an excellent discussion on the state of liberalism in America today.


Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Robert Nozick. Basic Books. 1974

A Theory of Justice. John Rawls. Harvard University Press. 1971

Disclaimer: This is a forum for me to capture in digital type my understanding of various philosophies and philosophers. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the interpretations.

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Essay: John Rawls and Robert Nozick: liberalism vs …

Transhuman Superpowers & Longevity | KurzweilAI

 Transhuman  Comments Off on Transhuman Superpowers & Longevity | KurzweilAI
Aug 082015

Source: Event organizer

Brighter Brains Institute will be presenting a conference at Humanist Hall in Oakland, on July 12, 2015. The theme is Transhuman Superpowers and Longevity.

Elizabeth Parrishis a leading voice for the advancement of biotechnology. She is the CEO ofBioViva USA Inc.which is committed to building gene therapies to eradicate disease and extend healthy life. She is a board member ofRadish Medical Solutionsand founder ofBiotrove Investmentsand media. She is actively involved in international educational media via theInternational Longevity Alliance, of which she is a board member and the American Longevity Alliance, on which she serves as Secretary. Her lecture presentation topic is A Historical Perspective of the Normal Way to Die and What BioViva is Doing to Change that Paradigm Today

Gabriel Licinais onetime co-founder of Science for the Masses, a biotech grinding think-tank aimed towards altering the human condition in the pursuit of new abilities and leveraging pre-existing technologies for accessibility. Gabriel has a degree in Molecular Biology from University of Washington and was the principle testing consultant for SfM. He develops projects to expand the human condition andtests the ideas put forth by the Grinding community for functionality and feasibility. He is currently working on various projects within the fields of material sciences, microbiology, and mammalian cell biology. Prior projects include mammalian near infra-red vision, next generation functional implant coating technologies and techniques, as well as bacterial modifications for the human and environmental micro biome.

Brian Hanleyis the founder of Butterfly Sciences, a company developing gene therapies for aging. He has a range of papers in biosciences, economics, policy and terrorism, in addition to a recent text on radiation treatment. He obtained his PhD in microbiology with honors from UC Davis, has a bachelors degree in computer science, is a multiple entrepreneur and guest lectured for years to the MBA program at Santa Clara University. Brian brings a unique vision of the future woven from multiple disciplines tempered in decades of practical implementation.

Mallory E. McLaren, J.D. is one of only a handful of persons, globally, who simultaneously hold a law degree and have made regenerative medicine their area of expertise. In the past Mallory has served an aide for a U.S. senator and served in a role at the U.S. State Department. She is an avid animal welfare advocate, a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle advocate, a cultivated meat, milk, and leather industry specialist, and an unapologetic transhumanist. Currently, she is in the process of establishing a financial vehicle aimed at accelerating rejuvenation biotechnology development globally. Mallory holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts from the Evergreen State College, and a J.D. concentrated in Life Sciences Law from Seton Hall University School of Law. Her presentation is titled: Here and Now: Mainstreaming Longevity/Resilience Biotechnology R&D in the Mid-2010s

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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering
Jul 282015

David King

The main debate around human genetics currently centres on the ethics of genetic testing, and possibilities for genetic discrimination and selective eugenics. But while ethicists and the media constantly re-hash these issues, a small group of scientists and publicists are working towards an even more frightening prospect: the intentional genetic engineering of human beings. Just as Ian Wilmut presented us with the first clone of an adult mammal, Dolly, as a fait accompli, so these scientists aim to set in place the tools of a new techno-eugenics, before the public has ever had a chance to decide whether this is the direction we want to go in. The publicists, meanwhile are trying to convince us that these developments are inevitable. The Campaign Against Human Genetic Engineering, has been set up in response to this threat.

Currently, genetic engineering is only applied to non-reproductive cells (this is known as ‘gene therapy’) in order to treat diseases in a single patient, rather than in all their descendants. Gene therapy is still very unsuccessful, and we are often told that the prospect of reproductive genetic engineering is remote. In fact, the basic technologies for human genetic engineering (HGE) have been available for some time and at present are being refined and improved in a number of ways. We should not make the same mistake that was made with cloning, and assume that the issue is one for the far future.

In the first instance, the likely justifications of HGE will be medical. One major step towards reproductive genetic engineering is the proposal by US gene therapy pioneer, French Anderson, to begin doing gene therapy on foetuses, to treat certain genetic diseases. Although not directly targeted at reproductive cells, Anderson’s proposed technique poses a relatively high risk that genes will be ‘inadvertently’ altered in the reproductive cells of the foetus, as well as in the blood cells which he wants to fix. Thus, if he is allowed to go ahead, the descendants of the foetus will be genetically engineered in every cell of their body. Another scientist, James Grifo of New York University is transferring cell nuclei from the eggs of older to younger women, using similar techniques to those used in cloning. He aims to overcome certain fertility problems, but the result would be babies with three genetic parents, arguably a form of HGE. In addition to the two normal parents, these babies will have mitochondria (gene-containing subcellular bodies which control energy production in cells) from the younger woman.

Anderson is a declared advocate of HGE for medical purposes, and was a speaker at a symposium last year at UCLA, at which advocates of HGE set out their stall. At the symposium, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people, James Watson, of DNA discovery fame, advocated the use of HGE not merely for medical purposes, but for ‘enhancement': ‘And the other thing, because no one really has the guts to say it, I mean, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?’

In his recent book, Re-Making Eden (1998), Princeton biologist, Lee Silver celebrates the coming future of human ‘enhancement’, in which the health, appearance, personality, cognitive ability, sensory capacity, and life-span of our children all become artifacts of genetic engineering, literally selected from a catalog. Silver acknowledges that the costs of these technologies will limit their full use to only a small ‘elite’, so that over time society will segregate into the “GenRich” and the “Naturals”:

“The GenRich – who account for 10 percent of the American population – all carry synthetic genes… that were created in the laboratory …All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry are controlled by members of the GenRich class…Naturals work as low-paid service providers or as labourers, and their children go to public schools… If the accumulation of genetic knowledge and advances in genetic enhancement technology continue … the GenRich class and the Natural class will become…entirely separate species with no ability to cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee.”

Silver, another speaker at the UCLA symposium, believes that these trends should not and cannot be stopped, because to do so would infringe on liberty.

Most scientists say that what is preventing them from embarking on HGE is the risk that the process will itself generate new mutations, which will be passed on to future generations. Official scientific and ethical bodies tend to rely on this as the basis for forbidding attempts at HGE, rather than any principled opposition to the idea.

In my view, we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by this argument. Experience with genetically engineered crops, for example, shows that we are unlikely ever to arrive at a situation when we can be sure that the risks are zero. Instead, when scientists are ready to proceed, we will be told that the risks are ‘acceptable’, compared to the benefits. Meanwhile, there will be people telling us loudly that since they are taking the risks with their children, we have no right to interfere.

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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

eugenics | genetics |

 Eugenics  Comments Off on eugenics | genetics |
Jul 212015

eugenics,the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwins theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by survival of the fittest, helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I, many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and 40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.

Galton, Sir FrancisCourtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, LondonAlthough eugenics as understood today dates from the late 19th century, efforts to select matings in order to secure offspring with desirable traits date from ancient times. Platos Republic (c. 378 bce) depicts a society where efforts are undertaken to improve human beings through selective breeding. Later, Italian philosopher and poet Tommaso Campanella, in City of the Sun (1623), described a utopian community in which only the socially elite are allowed to procreate. Galton, in Hereditary Genius (1869), proposed that a system of arranged marriages between men of distinction and women of wealth would eventually produce a gifted race. In 1865, the basic laws of heredity were discovered by the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel. His experiments with peas demonstrated that each physical trait was the result of a combination of two units (now known as genes) and could be passed from one generation to another. However, his work was largely ignored until its rediscovery in 1900. This fundamental knowledge of heredity provided eugenicistsincluding Galton, who influenced his cousin Charles Darwinwith scientific evidence to support the improvement of humans through selective breeding.

The advancement of eugenics was concurrent with an increasing appreciation of Charles Darwins account for change or evolution within societywhat contemporaries referred to as Social Darwinism. Darwin had concluded his explanations of evolution by arguing that the greatest step humans could make in their own history would occur when they realized that they were not completely guided by instinct. Rather, humans, through selective reproduction, had the ability to control their own future evolution. A language pertaining to reproduction and eugenics developed, leading to terms such as positive eugenics, defined as promoting the proliferation of good stock, and negative eugenics, defined as prohibiting marriage and breeding between defective stock. For eugenicists, nature was far more contributory than nurture in shaping humanity.

During the early 1900s, eugenics became a serious scientific study pursued by both biologists and social scientists. They sought to determine the extent to which human characteristics of social importance were inherited. Among their greatest concerns were the predictability of intelligence and certain deviant behaviours. Eugenics, however, was not confined to scientific laboratories and academic institutions. It began to pervade cultural thought around the globe, including the Scandinavian countries, most other European countries, North America, Latin America, Japan, China, and Russia. In the United States, the eugenics movement began during the Progressive Era and remained active through 1940. It gained considerable support from leading scientific authorities such as zoologist Charles B. Davenport, plant geneticist Edward M. East, and geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Hermann J. Muller. Political leaders in favour of eugenics included U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. Internationally, there were many individuals whose work supported eugenic aims, including British scientists J.B.S. Haldane and Julian Huxley and Russian scientists Nikolay K. Koltsov and Yury A. Filipchenko.

Pearson, KarlCourtesy of Professor D.V. Lindley; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.Galton had endowed a research fellowship in eugenics in 1904 and, in his will, provided funds for a chair of eugenics at University College, London. The fellowship and later the chair were occupied by Karl Pearson, a brilliant mathematician who helped to create the science of biometry, the statistical aspects of biology. Pearson was a controversial figure who believed that environment had little to do with the development of mental or emotional qualities. He felt that the high birth rate of the poor was a threat to civilization and that the higher races must supplant the lower. His views gave countenance to those who believed in racial and class superiority. Thus, Pearson shares the blame for the discredit later brought on eugenics.

In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was opened at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., in 1910 with financial support from the legacy of railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman. Whereas ERO efforts were officially overseen by Charles B. Davenport, director of the Station for Experimental Study of Evolution (one of the biology research stations at Cold Spring Harbor), ERO activities were directly superintended by Harry H. Laughlin, a professor from Kirksville, Mo. The ERO was organized around a series of missions. These missions included serving as the national repository and clearinghouse for eugenics information, compiling an index of traits in American families, training field-workers to gather data throughout the United States, supporting investigations into the inheritance patterns of particular human traits and diseases, advising on the eugenic fitness of proposed marriages, and communicating all eugenic findings through a series of publications. To accomplish these goals, further funding was secured from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Battle Creek Race Betterment Foundation, and the Human Betterment Foundation.

Prior to the founding of the ERO, eugenics work in the United States was overseen by a standing committee of the American Breeders Association (eugenics section established in 1906), chaired by ichthyologist and Stanford University president David Starr Jordan. Research from around the globe was featured at three international congresses, held in 1912, 1921, and 1932. In addition, eugenics education was monitored in Britain by the English Eugenics Society (founded by Galton in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society) and in the United States by the American Eugenics Society.

Following World War I, the United States gained status as a world power. A concomitant fear arose that if the healthy stock of the American people became diluted with socially undesirable traits, the countrys political and economic strength would begin to crumble. The maintenance of world peace by fostering democracy, capitalism, and, at times, eugenics-based schemes was central to the activities of the Internationalists, a group of prominent American leaders in business, education, publishing, and government. One core member of this group, the New York lawyer Madison Grant, aroused considerable pro-eugenic interest through his best-selling book The Passing of the Great Race (1916). Beginning in 1920, a series of congressional hearings was held to identify problems that immigrants were causing the United States. As the countrys eugenics expert, Harry Laughlin provided tabulations showing that certain immigrants, particularly those from Italy, Greece, and Eastern Europe, were significantly overrepresented in American prisons and institutions for the feebleminded. Further data were construed to suggest that these groups were contributing too many genetically and socially inferior people. Laughlins classification of these individuals included the feebleminded, the insane, the criminalistic, the epileptic, the inebriate, the diseasedincluding those with tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilisthe blind, the deaf, the deformed, the dependent, chronic recipients of charity, paupers, and neer-do-wells. Racial overtones also pervaded much of the British and American eugenics literature. In 1923, Laughlin was sent by the U.S. secretary of labour as an immigration agent to Europe to investigate the chief emigrant-exporting nations. Laughlin sought to determine the feasibility of a plan whereby every prospective immigrant would be interviewed before embarking to the United States. He provided testimony before Congress that ultimately led to a new immigration law in 1924 that severely restricted the annual immigration of individuals from countries previously claimed to have contributed excessively to the dilution of American good stock.

Immigration control was but one method to control eugenically the reproductive stock of a country. Laughlin appeared at the centre of other U.S. efforts to provide eugenicists greater reproductive control over the nation. He approached state legislators with a model law to control the reproduction of institutionalized populations. By 1920, two years before the publication of Laughlins influential Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), 3,200 individuals across the country were reported to have been involuntarily sterilized. That number tripled by 1929, and by 1938 more than 30,000 people were claimed to have met this fate. More than half of the states adopted Laughlins law, with California, Virginia, and Michigan leading the sterilization campaign. Laughlins efforts secured staunch judicial support in 1927. In the precedent-setting case of Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Virginia statute and claimed, It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

During the 1930s, eugenics gained considerable popular support across the United States. Hygiene courses in public schools and eugenics courses in colleges spread eugenic-minded values to many. A eugenics exhibit titled Pedigree-Study in Man was featured at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 193334. Consistent with the fairs Century of Progress theme, stations were organized around efforts to show how favourable traits in the human population could best be perpetuated. Contrasts were drawn between the emulative, presidential Roosevelt family and the degenerate Ishmael family (one of several pseudonymous family names used, the rationale for which was not given). By studying the passage of ancestral traits, fairgoers were urged to adopt the progressive view that responsible individuals should pursue marriage ever mindful of eugenics principles. Booths were set up at county and state fairs promoting fitter families contests, and medals were awarded to eugenically sound families. Drawing again upon long-standing eugenic practices in agriculture, popular eugenic advertisements claimed it was about time that humans received the same attention in the breeding of better babies that had been given to livestock and crops for centuries.

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Non-Aggression –

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Jun 202015

April 8, 2013 columns

Zwolinski argues that some of the results the non-aggression principle logically leads to mean we ought to question its universal application.

Many libertarians believe that the whole of their political philosophy can be summed up in a single, simple principle. This principlethe non-aggression principle or non-aggression axiom (hereafter NAP)holds that aggression against the person or property of others is always wrong, where aggression is defined narrowly in terms of the use or threat of physical violence.

From this principle, many libertarians believe, the rest of libertarianism can be deduced as a matter of mere logic. What is the proper libertarian stance on minimum wage laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. What about anti-discrimination laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. Public schools? Same answer. Public roads? Same answer. The libertarian armed with the NAP has little need for the close study of history, sociology, or empirical economics. With a little logic and a lot of faith in this basic axiom of morality, virtually any political problem can be neatly solved from the armchair.

On its face, the NAPs prohibition of aggression falls nicely in line with common sense. After all, who doesnt think its wrong to steal someone elses property, to club some innocent person over the head, or to force others to labor for ones own private benefit? And if its wrong for us to do these things as individuals, why would it be any less wrong for us to do it as a group as a club, a gang, ora state?

But the NAPs plausibility is superficial. It is, of course, common sense to think that aggression is a bad thing. But it is far from common sense to think that its badness is absolute, such that the wrongness of aggression always trumps any other possible consideration of justice or political morality. There is a vast difference between a strong but defeasible presumption against the justice of aggression, and an absolute, universal prohibition. As Bryan Caplan has said, if you cant think of counterexamples to the latter, youre not trying hard enough. But Im here to help.

In the remainder of this essay, I want to present six reasons why libertarians should reject the NAP. None of them are original to me. Each is logically independent of the others. Taken together, I think, they make a fairly overwhelming case.

Theres more to be said about each of these, of course. Libertarians havent written much about the issue of pollution. But they have been aware of the problem about fraud at least since James Child published his justly famous article in Ethics on the subject in 1994, and both Bryan Caplan and Stephan Kinsella have tried (unsatisfactorily, to my mind) to address it. Similarly, Roderick Long has some characteristically thoughtful and intelligent things to say about the issue of children and positive rights.

Libertarians are ingenious folk. And I have no doubt that, given sufficient time, they can think up a host of ways to tweak, tinker, and contextualize the NAP in a way that makes some progress in dealing with the problems I have raised in this essay. But there comes a point where adding another layer of epicycles to ones theory seems no longer to be the best way to proceed. There comes a point where what you need is not another refinement to the definition of aggression but a radical paradigm shift in which we put aside the idea that non-aggression is the sole, immovable center of the moral universe. Libertarianism needs its own Copernican Revolution.

Matt Zwolinski is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, and co-director ofUSDs Institute for Law and Philosophy. He has publishednumerous articles at the intersection of politics, law, economics, with a special focus on issues of exploitation and political libertarianism. He is the editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2009), and is currently writing two books: Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State and, with John Tomasi, Libertarianism: A Bleeding Heart History. The latter is under contract with Princeton University Press. Matt Zwolinski is the founder of and a regular contributor to the blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Non-Aggression –

Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

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Jun 152015

(“Because in a world of ever more progressive depravity there is no penicillin for human stupidity, cruelty and systemic as conventional as pathological intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical disorientation to our native life and land as though for our own safety, security, salvation, survival or “ascension” and that of all Mankind. Such is a social repository or delta of psychologicalinvectivestantamount to and aptly demonstrated by doing as good a job as one could at compromising our social, familial and individual biological and psychological immune systems with vaccinations as much against the onset of infection from viruses as from any true safety or truly living intelligence worthy of the name. Because all crime, war and disease is as much a biological reality as a sociopolitical one in a cybernetic-industrial society, one contracts with Man for an exchange for anything like our native psychology of Life and Thought forwhat augmentations come currencies (bounties on the heads on the deaths and resurrections of our children) of infinite devaluations of our Life and Thought in terms of our born “debt” to God or State or both (a contract that would, surpassing that of gold for iron in a world where gold is nothing more than a worthless ingot, require no little embellishment and “incentivization”), a debt we can but pay, however spiritual or philanthropic the economics thereof (link), with our own blood, sweat and tears and that of our children though to a Sun or God of State or mass delusional psychosis obscured and revealed by and to strategic variations and distributions of competing thoughts and ideologies, clouds of war, disease, stupidity and conventional cruelty (moved as easily as toy boats across the pond of what used to constitute human thought) for which a child is born with absolutely no concept and in terms of whose “ignorance” of which are summarily and conventionally consigned, effectively if not intentionally (the benefit of any psychosis – that what one needs to do need having nothing to do with what one means to do) to but dumb animals or born murderers (whose clemency rests in conducting a transaction of the very though freshly spilled hemoglobin of Man or God, an occult Saturnalian rite utterly contradictory to the actual Teachings of Jesus or Krishna, Anastasia or Hiawatha) of that very Life or Christ without which Man cannot possibly maintain let alone advance his and her born coordination, body and soul, native feeling and genius, with the whole of cosmic Life at the force and fullness, substance and horizon of the entire Universe of Man’s mind and vast natural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual inheritance and heritage by birth.Written while visiting a local University and doing for free what I used to pay thousands of dollars in order to fight the entire current of cybernetic schooling in order to do – study, as a and in terms of being a human being by birth, the pathological and as perpetual denouement (and denuding) of human civilization both as we know it and as we have, one and all, long ceased to know it.Although having our own land anddirect contact with our ownliving home, food, water and air and thought is the goal and whole image of human existence coursing through our brains, memories, senses, elements, heavens and Earth, one can have one’s own land without creating sufficient space and time to gain the full value of one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought and so one can create a sufficient space for one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought without owning your own land orgrowing your own food,livingland, food, water, earth, air andthought runs to Man, if at greater expense to our food, land, air, earth, water and thought, wherever we may be, withoutany reserve but that which we, as Man, place upon it as though for our own “salvation” much as indigenous peoples had to beconvinced to disorient themselves to their native born coordinates of and coordination with their living destiny and memory and language (to create death) in order to be “saved fromdeath” according as much to State Christianity as Islam or Evolutionary theory.I have experiencedand researched this since I was born almost forty years ago to the day.At first, you will want to learn as much as you can from your intellectual superiors. Then, if you are lucky(sharing astatistical anomaly with that of any majorlottery winner), you might start to question whether ornot your intellectual”betters”are as competently informed as theyhave been trained to think (and are paid to train other people to think)they are, acelestial mantle conferred upon them asmuch by letters of parchment as by any actual qualifications as such as though daubed with the bloodof the condor and the hair of a three-toed frog. Then you will share a similarity with that of motes of cosmic dust which have successfully made their pilgrimage across all of known intergalactic space when or if you start to study why your instructors think what they do and why modern schooling operates with the equivalent belief as though the element of water does not exist. Then and only then will you begin the true process of learning as anyone but a three year old would mean it – which is, frankly, as insulting to three year olds as what is loosely called the education system, one as successful, by definition, at condemning Man to the privilege and prestige of a contagious psychosis as any cybernetic system on Earth, be it economic, medical, psychological or religious.”)-Axiom 120- Domestication

“When people study evolution or astrophysics they are flattered for having escaped the perverse superstitions of mere religions when in fact they have found the most sophisticated and perverse religions there have ever been, religions for which all previous religions and their monumentally devastating effects serve as but vastly inferior prototypes, never guessing that they themselves are encouraged to think their predecessors as ignorant as nature made them and their progeny progressively more enlightened by a guiding international metaphysical military intelligence mafia (MIMMI) who know full well and gain all their power from the fact that the precise opposite is true.”

-From “Back To The Flat Earth Theory”

Mark my words.

It is both a wonderful and terrible thing that our thought effects, feeds, and is fed by the whole Earth, the whole World.

For, mark my words, the self-proclaimed high priests of every respective society on Earth know that we did not descend from apes and that the Theory of Evolution is, for the most part, a total crock, that our ancient land-based ecstatic human existence (and divine natural inheritance) has been colonialized by a modern or technocratic way of Life the most perilous in all of human history, a way of Life we routinely send our children away to foreign lands to murder and die for, so effective has been the occupation by way of severely dimming the human speed of thought far beneath that of the self-proclaimed high priests, human beings who have led us down a path of almost complete atrophy of the human mind and imagination, much to the peril of the health of all people on Earth.

And then there is the invincibility of the dawn.

One Sun, for instance, produces Light that is translated or communicated, through a medium or various mediums (depending on your perspective), to diverse living systems in turn communicated to millions of human bodies and trillions of human cells and neurons through food and air and water and much else besides, not the least of which must include human kindness and warmth, something also, like the absolute phase of eternal Life, at once so visible and so invisible and so vital to our health, that of the harmonic or cosmic (all-embracing) order of every cellular, social, terrestrial and celestial system, that of the endless expansion not of disease but health and not of suffering and sorrow but of Happiness and understanding born of contact with our vast natural, emotional, spiritual and intellectual inheritance.

Just imagine the creative Light that can be created by a Man and a Woman in the conception of the entire living conditions for and of their child in terms of the cosmic beauty of one another, that of the reflected Universal Love (that of God’s own eternal Soul) in and of a mother (a Universe Woman) as of the power of God’s very own most inspired Dream the birth all that can be born the warmth of Man.

Anything or anyone that would complicate the direct communication among God, you, and your land is never true to God, you, or your Motherland. That I have discovered for certain.

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Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

Regenerative Medicine Symposium set for April 24 at GRU

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Apr 142015

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Scientists and physicians from the region interested in regenerative and reparative medicine techniques, such as helping aging stem cells stay focused on making strong bone, will meet in Augusta April 24 to hear updates from leaders in the field and strategize on how to move more research advances to patients.

The daylong Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapy Research Symposium, sponsored by the Georgia Regents University Institute for Regenerative and Reparative Medicine, begins at 8 a.m. in Room EC 1210 of the GRU Health Sciences Building.

“We think this is a terrific opportunity for basic scientists and physicians to come together and pursue more opportunities to work together to get better prevention and treatment strategies to patients,” said Dr. William D. Hill, stem cell researcher and symposium organizer.

Dr. Arnold I. Caplan, Director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University and a pioneer in understanding mesenchymal stem cells, which give rise to bone, cartilage, muscle, and more, will give the keynote address at 8:45 a.m. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is under study for a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, emphysema, and stroke.

Other keynotes include:

The GRU Institute for Regenerative and Reparative Medicine has a focus on evidence-based approaches to healthy aging with an orthopaedic emphasis. “As you age, the bone is more fragile and likely to fracture,” Hill said. “We want to protect bone integrity before you get a fracture as well as your bone’s ability to constantly repair so, if you do get a fracture, you will repair it better yourself.”

Bone health is a massive and growing problem with the aging population worldwide. “What people don’t need is to fall and wind up in a nursing home,” said Dr. Mark Hamrick, MCG bone biologist and Research Director of the GRU institute. “This is a societal problem, a clinical problem, and a potential money problem that is going to burden the health care system if we don’t find better ways to intervene.”

The researchers are exploring options such as scaffolding to support improved bone repair with age as well as nutrients that impact ongoing mesenchymal stem cell health, since these stem cells, which tend to decrease in number and efficiency with age, are essential to maintaining strong bones as well as full, speedy recovery.

Dr. Carlos Isales, endocrinologist and Clinical Director of the GRU institute, is looking at certain nutrients, particularly amino acids, and how some of their metabolites produce bone damage while others prevent or repair it. Isales is Principal Investigator on a major Program Project grant from the National Institutes of Health exploring a variety of ways to keep aging mesenchymal stem cells healthy and focused on making bone. “I think the drugs we have reduce fractures, but I think there are better ways of doing that,” Isales said. “We are always thinking translationally,” said Hill.


Regenerative Medicine Symposium set for April 24 at GRU

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

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Apr 132015

Libertarianism the philosophy of personal and economic freedom has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and its growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement.

Boaz has updated the book with new information on the threat of government surveillance; the policies that led up to and stemmed from the 2008 financial crisis; corruption in Washington; and the unsustainable welfare state. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas. His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism at the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABCs Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNNs Crossfire, NPRs Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, The McLaughlin Group, Stossel, The Independents, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.

Virginia: April 16 Hampden-Sydney College: The Libertarian Mind with Author David Boaz April 18 Young Americans for Liberty state convention, Blacksburg:

Texas: April 22 Southern Methodist University: April 22 Americas Future Foundation, Dallas, TX:

Missouri April 30 St. Louis July 7 or 8 Kansas City Public Library

Nevada July 8-11 FreedomFest, Las Vegas

Washington D.C. July 26 31 Washington D.C. Cato University

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The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism