“Biological Possibilities for the Human Species in the Next Ten
B. S. Haldane
A speech given in 1963, reprinted in Man and His
Future edited by Gordon Wolstenholme, with 8 illustrations. Little,
Brown and Company, Boston. 1963.
Since no statement about the future
can be made with certainty—which is why it is always foolish, and
often wicked, to make a promise—the best I can do is to suggest some
alternative possibilities. There
is however one generalization which can be made with fair confidence. Important
historical events usually surprise those to whom they happen.
However the study of history has at least this advantage, that to
those who have learned its lessons the events of their own time may
bring joy, sorrow, and surprise, but not amazement, despair or complete
My political anticipations have
usually been wrong, though I backed one winner.
In 1932 I stated that the educational system of the Soviet Union
was being developed in such a way that it was likely to overtake other
states in science, and consequently in other fields also.
My second preliminary point is that
I shall not draw a sharp line between physiology and psychology.
Much that is classified as psychology would in my opinion better
be classified as physiology of the senses, of muscular co-ordination,
and of the brain.
My third is to draw your attention
as forcibly as I can to the sea lion (Otaria californica) and to the
late Alfred Kinsey. The sea lion has a fantastic capacity for balancing
objects on its nose, and appears to enjoy doing so. Whether this species
ever employs this capacity in nature I do not know. Of course, very fine
co-ordination of the neck muscles is clearly useful, but the actual
balancing capacity must be a by-product. The great advances in evolution
have often been the use of a structure developed to serve one function
for a different one, for example a gill arch for grasping food, a gill
slit for hearing, a walking leg for manipulation or flight, and a
vestigial wing as a gyrostat. We have to ask whether we can hope for
such changes of function in man. I suggest that two important elements
of human culture, namely music and religion, are comparable to the
sea-lion's capacity for balancing billiard balls. Rhythmical sound has a
social function in co-ordinating muscular activities. It is not clear to
me that the production or perception of melody or harmony has such a
function. I happen to be tone-deaf. Similarly people can get on quite
well without religion, and in nominally religious communities many
people do so. Religion, like music, appeals strongly to a minority only,
and leads to results of great cultural value in a few of them. On the
other hand, the religious and musical minorities can sometimes be
intolerant of the remainder.
Kinsey and his colleagues brought to
light the immense range of variation of sexual activity not only within
a single culture, but a small subsection of it (such as moderately
well-to-do practising protestant Americans of European descent with
university education). It might have been expected that this activity,
so necessary for the survival of a species, would have been standardized
by evolutionary processes, at least to the extent that eating and
breathing have been apart from the further efforts of human moralists.
But matrimonial fertility seems to be found both among persons whose
sexual activity is restricted to once weekly or less, and those for whom
Catullus' request to Ipsithilla for “Novem continuas futuliones”
would be a counsel of moderation. We may expect to find comparable
variation in other fields on the borderline of physiology and
psychology, and must beware of accepting current criteria of normality.
After these prolegomena, we must
consider some alternative possibilities.(1)Man has no future.(2)A
nuclear war will do mankind grave biological damage, and civilization
will also have to be rebuilt from barbarism.(3)A nuclear war, with such
damage, will lead to a highly authoritarian world state.(4)Rational
animals of the human type cannot achieve the wisdom needed to use
nuclear energy unless they live for several centuries. The ageing [sic]
effect of high energy events renders this impossible at present. Hence
the only hope for mankind is the massacre of the vast majority of us;
the few survivors, and most of their descendants, being resistant to
high energy quanta and particles, and thus capable of long life, if they
escape preventable diseases.(5)A nuclear war will not occur, but some
kind of world organization will gradually develop, probably after a
genera l disarmament.
I might add that mankind could very
probably be destroyed by processes still more lethal than nuclear
I do not think that the greatest
danger from nuclear weapons is the outbreak of an international war of
the type usually expected. Armies, in the present century at least,
have, I think, been more often used in civil than international wars,
thought the latter have killed more people. I think it quite likely that
a croup of fanatical devotees of Mary, Marx, Muhammad, or Mammon, may
get hold of enough fissile material to force their own government into
submission and thus precipitate an international war, as the American
and French revolutions did. Were I the head of most States, I should be
more frightened of the armed forces of my own country than those of
others. This is one reason why disarmament is so urgent a necessity.
Personally I do not think a nuclear
war would lead to the extinction of mankind. There may well be enough
plutonium to kill us all, just as there are enough rifle bullets to kill
us all several hundred time, and enough lethal genes to kill us about
twice. But the last desperate surviving rocketeers of a defeated state
would hardly use their weapons to massacre neutrals. The survivors all
over the world would be short-lived, and for many centuries there would
be an incidence of congenital disease leading to suffering and mortality
comparable with that due to infectious disease until quite recently.
Translocations and deletions of
genes would be fairly quickly eliminated, and there is no reason to
suspect that the mutations of other types would differ qualitatively
from those already produced by radioactivity and cosmic particles. There
would merely be a lot more of them. Imaginative writers with a
superficial knowledge of biology, such as Aldous Huxley and John
Wyndham, who have written of mutations of new types, have done a
considerable disservice to clear thinking.
If the main contending powers are
fairly completely eliminated, and other countries violently
disorganized, we shall have another dark age, with recovery in a few
thousand years, and perhaps a repetition of the disaster. Meanwhile the
brown and black sections of mankind will have learned enough biology to
believe that the survivors of the white and yellow races are genetically
contaminated. They may massacre or castrate them, or at best subject the
to rigorous apartheid in the arctic or some other inclement region.
The third alternative, that of the
tyrant world state, is equally sinister. Suppose that one of the
contending groups in a nuclear war is victorious in the sense that half
its population and an organized government survive, this government
would inevitably attempt to conquer the rest of the world to prevent
future nuclear wars, and might well succeed. A few centuries of
Stalinism or technocracy might be a cheap price to pay for the
unification of mankind. Such a government would perhaps take extreme
precautions against the outbreak of war, revolution, or any other
organized quarrels. It might be thought necessary to destroy all records
of such events; and the successors of Lenin or Washington, as the case
might be, would not be permitted to learn of the deeds of these great
men. Most of literature, art, and religion would be scrapped. Huxley's
Brave New World adumbrates such a society. Owing to the large number of
harmful recessive genes carried by most people, eugenics, largely
directed to preventing their coming together, would be an important
branch of applied science.
I do not consider the fourth
alternative probable. But I think that as biologists we should envisage
the possibility that Shaw, in Back to Methuselah, was correct as to the
social value of longevity. So I mention it on the general principle that
“There is some soul of goodness in things evil.”
I naturally prefer to hope that the
fifth alternative will be true, and shall write what follows on that
assumption. I am no unduly impressed by the prophecies of famine due to
overpopulation. Thirty years ago responsible statisticians were writing
about “The twilight of parenthood”, “Les berceaux vides”, and so
on; and I was fool enough to believe them. It now seems that fairly
satisfactory oral contraceptives are available, though they are very
costly. In twenty years they should be available all over the world, and
the article which an eminent Glasgow professor described as “ a
cuirass against pleasure, a cobweb against infection” should be a
museum piece. So, I hope, will the instruments of surgical abortion now
widely used in Japan and France. There is no organized religious
opposition to birth control in India except from the Catholic church. If
this body continues its opposition it may be necessary to forbid
emigration from catholic states whose population continues to expand,
until these states support religious celibacy on such a scale as to
check itself to chemical contraception as it has adapted itself to
usury, which in Dante's mind was a sin comparable with sodomy, though
India could probably support twice
its present population, on a much better diet than today's, with
improved agricultural methods, irrigation, and flood control. However
the remarkable discoveries of S. K. Roy, which would probably raise our
rice yields by 20 per cent, have attracted no more notice than did those
of Shull and east on maize fifty years ago. If the world population
reaches ten thousand millions we shall have to make a lot of synthetic
food, besides utilizing leaf proteins directly. Why not?
If we can assume that our
descendants will by free from atomic war and famine, we may ask five
main questions which we should try to answer separately:(1)What
performances, given suitable environments, are within the capacities of
most people being born at the present time?(2)What performances,
considered possibly desirable, are within the capacity of a small
minority only?(3)What evolutionary trends may be expected for humanity
in the absence of conscious control?(4)What evolutionary trends may be
expected if evolution is consciously controlled?(5)How far must the answers to (3) and
(4) be modified for human beings living on other planets, satellites,
asteroids, or artificial vehicles?
Clearly the answer to (4) depends on
that to (2). It may be that our remote descendants will be immortal,
sessile, or born talking perfect English. All these have been suggested. But these things, whether
desirable or not, are outside the human range at present; and as I have
limited myself to 10,000 years I shall not consider them. On the other
hand we know that men such as Newton, Beethoven, and Gandhi are
possible, and I at least hold that on the one hand, most people, however
well trained, are incapable of such achievements, and, on the other,
that it is desirable that the fraction
of persons with such capacity should be increased.
On few subjects is more nonsense
talked and written than on the first question. Some successful people
believe that everyone could do as well as themselves if they tried,
others that rare innate gifts are needed. On what are probably quite
inadequate grounds I consider that the truth is between these extremes.
I think that one of the most important tasks before mankind is a
complete revision of educational methods, whether we are dealing with
learning long multiplication or rope climbing. Different children differ
in the times at which capacities mature, and almost as surely in the
best methods for developing them. Teaching methods appear usually to aim
at developing children of a capacity a little below the median, and very
great harm is done by wrong timing and wrong methods. We may have to
wait for human clonal reproduction before scientific methods can be
Meanwhile we can say that it has
already been possible to produce an environment in which most people can
go through life without any serious infectious disease except some virus
diseases such as common colds which we cannot yet control, and others
such as measles which we do not trouble to control. By the end of the
century infectious diseases and deficiency diseases should be rare, even
if there is a critical period, beginning perhaps about 1980, when
healthy states put pressure on the remainder to conform. I shall not, I
expect, be there to give my advice as to whether a few lice should be
preserved alive, along with much less dangerous animals such as lions
and cobras. I would vote against keeping even one Plasmodium. About the
same time we may hope for methods of prevention many or most forms of
malignant and cardiovascular diseases. These may involve considerable
coercion, for example the prohibition of tobacco and certain foodstuffs,
and compulsory exercise for adults.
It may well be that it will prove
practicable to render human beings completely aseptic, the useful
functions of their intestinal flora being taken over by vitamin dosage.
The stimulus to such an achievement may be the desire to colonize Mars
or some other skyey [sic] body without introducing terrestrial bacteria
and viruses. It may, of
course, well be that aseptic people will lack defences against sporadic
infections, or suffer some other severe handicap. They might equally
well avoid cancer and some aspects of senility, as Metchnikoff taught.
To an aseptic person, producing, among other things, inodorous faeces,
the rest of humanity will appear as “stinkers”, and there will be
grave emotional tensions, including a sexual barrier. This will at least
be a change from quarrels based on religion, race, political
affiliation, and economic status. If asepsis is either generally
advantageous, or permits the development of certain faculties, it will,
I hope, prevail.
The next stage in the struggle for
health will be against congenital disease and those
of middle and late life. I do not doubt that theses are largely
congenital in the sense that a baby of one genotype is likely to die of
cerebral haemorrhage due to renal failure at the age of seventy, another
of chronic bronchitis at the same age, while a third, of still another
genotype, survives both of them but is crippled by arthritis. Perhaps
fortunately we cannot yet predict which organs of a child will break
down in old age.
One possible consequence of a
rational geriatry may be as follows. A congenitally weak organ may fail
through chronic environmental stress. One reason why I have gone to
India is to avoid chronic “rheumatic” joint pains. I do not mind the
heat, since I dress almost rationally, wearing as few clothes as decency
permits. Infections such as amoebic dysentery, which are still hard to
avoid, are no more trying that English respiratory infections. But I
suspect many aged Indians would
be happier in the bracing climates of Europe and Siberia. Perhaps
retirement may come to mean retirement to a congenial climate, as it
already does to some extent in the United States.
Far more important is to discover
the capacities of young people, and guide them into suitable
occupations. This is often thought to be the prerogative of
psychologists. I suspect that the variations of human physiological
make-up have been neglected, partly because we cannot even give them
names. I am fully convinced that the recipe for happiness is doing a job
which is difficult, but just not too difficult. I have suffered from the
pangs of despised love, ischio-rectal abscess, the insolence of office,
which is the worst of the three, and other ills. Provided I could work
they were quite tolerable. Koheleth (Ecclesiastes) gives the formulation
best know in this culture: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it
with thy might”, though before him Sri Krishna had said it more
poetically in India, and Aristotle more accurately in Greece. Whatever
their other defects, societies such as that of the Soviet Union where
men and women are regarded primarily as producers are likely to give
greater opportunities for happiness than those in which they are
primarily regarded as consumers, and vast effort is devoted to
increasing their demands for various commodities. The success or failure
of a work-oriented society may however depend on the choice of men for
the jobs and jobs for the men.
The recognition of human
physiological diversity may have enormous consequences. As soon as its
genetical basis is understood large-scale negative eugenics will become
possible. There may be no need to forbid marriage; few people will wish
to marry a spouse with whom they share a recessive gene for microcephaly,
congenital deafness, or cystic disease of the pancreas, so that a
quarter of their children are expected to develop this condition. I
cannot predict the later steps which will make positive eugenics
possible, since we know the genetic basis of few desirable characters. I
make some suggestions later.
The second question, as to rare
capacities, is more interesting, if less important. I shall begin by
giving an example of one. My late father was an examiner for
certificates for would-be colliery managers. Among other things they had
to detect and estimate small amounts of methane. When the wick of an oil
safety lamp is turned down leaving a blue flame, the methane can be seen
burning above it as a faint “cap”, and its concentration, within a
range below the explosive, can be estimated from the size of this cap.
Most people can only see the cap in darkness after a few minutes'
adaptation. One day a candidate appeared who could do the estimation
correctly by daylight. This capacity is certainly rare, but no one knows
whether its frequency is one per thousand or one per million. It may
have some drawbacks such as
defective colour vision or a high demand for vitamin A. It is probably
at least in part genetically determined.
Supernormal vision of any kind is
certainly rare. Supernormal hearing is less so, but is only just
beginning to be investigated. Supernormal smelling may be quite common.
Supernormal muscular skill is highly prized when it is applied to
certain sports, but no serious attempt has yet been made to measure it,
or to determine how far it is genetically determined. Aptitude tests may
eliminate the worst half or even three-quarters, but they do not pick
out the one person per lakh (105) who might become a really superb
dentist or lens maker.
One reason for this is that our
consciousness is not closely connected with manual skill or muscular
sense. Some would prefer to say that our language mechanisms are not
closely geared to those concerned with muscular guidance and
proprioception. Nevertheless there are great individual differences.
Some people say they have no kinaesthetic memory. I have. I can
remember, that is to say imagine, what it feels like to ride a bicycle,
to swim in various styles, to carry out several kinds of chemical
analysis, and so on, and this although I am a clumsy person with little
muscular skill. We have no evidence as to whether this depends on an
inborn difference between myself and those who say they have no such
memory or imagination.
The afferent nerve supply from
organs other than skin, special sense organs, muscles, and joints, is
not very rich, but it exists. So far from attending to its data, we seem
to spend our infancy in learning not to do so unless they rise to a
threshold described as painful. This may be the only way to avoid
frequent defaecation, unacceptable sexual activity, and so on.
Physiologists, by attention during experiments on themselves, can bring
some of this information to consciousness. So do some neurotics and
psychotics. I claim that I used to be able to detect the opening of my
pylorus, and the passage of waste materials along my sigmoid flexure;
between them localization was poor, but there was a good deal of
sensation. A biologically uneducated person suddenly feeling what I felt
might have reported that his or her belly was full of snakes, or
contained a radio set controlled by communists or jesuits [sic]. For me
at least sexual pleasure is much more like there visceral sensations
that it is like the special senses or those of the skin or muscles.
Where do we go from here? I want to
suggest three possibilities. The most obvious is the verbalization of
kinaesthesia. For a million years or so our ancestors had manual skill;
but there is no evidence that they used symbols. Sculpture and painting
appeared suddenly in the upper palaeolithic, perhaps under 40,000 years
ago, and Pumphrey and I have suggested that descriptive language started
at about the same time. Writing began less than 6,000 years ago, and
algebra less than 2,000.
I believe that much of our
unhappiness, frustration, and conflict, arises from the divorce between
muscular skill and symbolic expression. Once a craftsman can explain in
words or other symbols how he uses his hands, a singer how she uses her
larynx, a new era in physiology will open. Future cultures will, I
believe, respect craftsmanship more than we do, and almost everyone will
devote some time to it. It is striking how much more we know about our
sense organs than our muscles. There may be common defects of muscular
co-ordination as clear-cut as myopia, and as easily corrected.
Such heightened consciousness may be
developed in many ways. Yehudi Menuhin, besides a capacity for sound
analysis which may be no better than that of some musical critics,
possesses a very high bimanual skill, that is to say capacity for co-ordinating
the movements of his two hands. This may be commoner than is thought.
Here is a way in which it might be employed.
Two-dimensional graphs have given us
enormous insight into functions of a real variable. I can hardly think
of a sine, a logarithm, or a Bessel function without thinking of its
graph. Once one has seen a few graphs, Rolle's theorem, that an
algebraic polynomial has at least one turning point between each pair of
zeros, is intuitively obvious, and many more sophisticated theorems are
at least plausible. But for similar intuition about a complex variable
one would need a four-dimensional graph.
Supposing however that we train a
child known by still non-existent tests to have the capacity for
bimanual skill, to trace out lines, on the (x, y) plane with his or her
left hand, and simultaneously the corresponding curves in the (u, v)
plane with his right hand where u + iv = f (x + iy), f being some simple
function, what may we expect? To take an example, if u + iv = exp(x + iy),
then horizontal straight lines x = a in the (x, y) plane correspond to
straight lines v = u tan b through the origin in the (u, v) plane. Would
a child trained to trace out such sets of lines simultaneously be able
to transform other simple curves? Would it realize that a sudden turn
through any angle in one of these planes was represented by a turn
through the same angle in the other (or in mathematical language, that
mapping was conformal)? If so it would have the same sorts of intuition
about functions of a complex variable has about those of a real
variable. The truth or possibly the falsehood of a Riemann's hypothesis
about the Zeta function, which is the missing key to prime number
theory, might be intuitively obvious, even if its formal proof were
And man would effectively have
broken through into the fourth dimension. As the least unintelligible
account of the fundamental properties of ordinary matter is in terms of
functions of complex variables, and three-dimensional intuition is a
poor guide to these properties on the subatomic scale, such a
break-through would be of great practical value. If, say, it were found
that one person in a thousand possessed this capacity, they would have,
like chess players and musicians, to develop their own vocabulary. This
would probably revolutionize not only physical but biological theory.
However a more generalized conscious
apprehension and control of our bodies would
be of still greater importance. If one observes a yogi, one finds
that he has developed the same kind of power over his trunk muscles as a
skilled craftsman or sportsman has over his limb muscles. Thus he can
contract his right and left rectus abdominis independently, as a pianist
can move his fingers independently. This control extends to a less
extent to the heart and smooth muscles. Thus yogis can slow their hearts
down, though it is doubtful whether they can stop them. They describe
qualitatively new bodily sensations, such as that of kundalini. Their
verbal accounts of these activities often appear to be nonsense; but no
form of words which leads to concerted human activity is nonsense. It
may be a pity that musicians use the word coloratura and algebraists the
word “spur” with esoteric meanings. The yogis are perhaps a bit
worse, but not much. In particular, I suspect that they have been
grossly mistranslated. The human nervous system is said to include six
chakra's. This word, which is cognate with cycle and circle, is commonly
translated as “lotus”, and numbers of “petals” are given. It
seems to me quite possible that intense introspection revealed various
cyclical processes, including the alpha rhythm, and that the texts were
misunderstood by later readers. The word chakra was frequently used for
cyclical processes, such as those said to cause rebirth. Naturally
enough they were represented by wheels. Other mystics report sensations
located in their own bodies. Many Indian mystics say that the perception
of God includes a feeling like sexual pleasure felt throughout the body.
St. Teresa described the sensation as pain, but welcomed it.
I suggest that these people are in
touch with reality, though not perhaps the reality which they think, as
the alchemists undoubtedly
were, and that the future of human biology includes a voluntary control
over various bodily functions and a consciousness of them which
will be related to yoga much as chemistry is related to alchemy. Yogis
claim to be healthier than other people, and I think they are probably
correct in their claims. I have little doubt that the autophysiologists
of the future will be unusually healthy. We are quite ignorant of the
extent of human congenital variation in respect of the capacity either
for obtaining information about events inside our bodies, or of
controlling unstriped muscles and glands. I suggest that one of the
urgent tasks before physiologists is the investigation of these obscure
sensations by implanted electrodes, supersonic focusing, and similar
methods. I think such artificial stimulation, which would inevitably
arouse emotions among other things, could be of great social value.
Literature is socially valuable largely because it enables us to share
the emotions of murderers like Orestes and Macbeth, suicides like Romeo
and Juliet, tyrants like Xerxes and Tamerlane. Hence we are better able
to control such emotions when we encounter them in ourselves, and to
take avoiding reaction when we meet them in others.
The third question, as to present
evolutionary trends, is very hard to answer. When we know how a
character is determined genetically we do not know what selective forces
are acting on it. For example the selective value of ABO blood group
membership begins long before birth, and continues into middle life,
where it is manifested by different frequencies of gastric and duodenal
ulcers and other diseases. It is reasonably sure that the forces of
selection acting on human beings have changed drastically in one or two
generations, and will go on doing so. For the last ten thousand years or
so, in fact since man ceased to be a rare animal, I think selection has
been mainly for immunity for infectious diseases. No doubt this has kept
the level of non-specific defences, such as the capacity for making
gamma globulins, from deteriorating, but most of it has been futile or
harmful. Various abnormal conditions, including several abnormal
haemoglobins, thalassaemia, and glucose phosphate dehydrogenase
deficiency, confer resistance to malaria at the price of ill-health or
even death. The hundreds of millions of deaths by which the European
stocks secured resistance to tuberculosis were not merely futile, for
tuberculosis is now a rare and curable disease. They were almost
certainly harmful. As Penrose first pointed out, selection for
resistance to specific diseases is probably selection for genes which
were initially rare because they lowered fitness in the absence of the
disease in question. With the abolition of the infectious diseases our
descendants will gradually regain fitness.
However, insofar as medical science
enables people with congenital abnormalities who would formerly have
died young to reproduce themselves, it is dysgenic, as has often been
pointed out. The remedy for this is education. Once a man with rectal
polyposis and a woman heterozygous for haemophilia realize that it would
be wrong to have children, there is good reason why they should marry,
using contraceptives, or after one or both have been sterilized.
We do not know how selection is
acting in economically advanced countries. Most people marry, and the
main selective agency is now fertility is genetically determined.
Parents of large families have a somewhat lower mean intelligence rating
than the general population. But intelligence quotients or other similar
measures are only partly determined
genetically. It may be that the genetical factors making for
intelligence do not lower fertility, while the social ones do so. I
think it is probably that the level of innate factors making for
intelligence is slowly declining; but this is far from certain. As
Penrose has suggested, genetical homoeostasis based on the higher
fertility of heterozygotes may make it very difficult for selection to
alter this mean level. What is more, we may expect changes in the
direction of this selection in the near future.
The fourth question is almost
equally hard to answer. As I have already said, we may expect a drastic
reduction in the frequency of undesired abnormalities with simple
genetical determination by the end of this century. But we have little
notion of how to produce more superior people. Our descendants could of
course use men judged superior as stud bulls. However, even if women
were agreeable, many men would require a good deal of conditioning
before they acted as such, or even as sperm donors. Voluntary
Amphitryons would perhaps be rare than Brewer and Muller have thought.
The employment of a surrogate was apparently normal in ancient India.
Pandu's biological father was a mortal chosen for holiness and appointed
because the legal father was not functional. Nor was Pandu himself. His
five sons, the heroes of our great epic, the Mahabharata, were begotten
on his wives by immortals. His junior wife Madri had the intelligence to
invoke the Asvini (twin deities corresponding to Castor and Pollux) and
produced twins herself.
My friend G. C. Dash informs me that
until recently the Jats, in northern India, along with ordinary
fraternal polyandry, practiced eugenics as follows. A young man judged
of outstanding merit for physique, courage, and other good qualities,
was allowed access to all married women of a village. He was given a
pair of gilded shoes which he left outside the door when performing his
eugenic duties, to warn off any ordinary husband. After fifteen years or
so, when his daughters became nubile, he was killed to avoid inbreeding.
But he might, and often did, leave the village with a chosen partner.
Haring fought in the same brigade as the 6th Jats, I can testify to
their courage and efficiency as soldiers. In view of such traditions,
the choice of a father other than a woman's legal husband may arouse
less opposition in some parts of India than in other countries, whether
artificial insemination or the normal process is employed.
Perhaps India may return to this
practice. It is in fact permitted under existing Hindu law. There is,
however, another possibility which I at least take seriously. We have
known how to grow mammalian cells in culture for over fifty years. Human
cells, not only from embryos, children, and cancers, but from a
sixty-year-old man, have been grown for years on end. We do not know how
to induce them to organize themselves. But we may find out at any
moment, as we have already found out in the case of some plant cells. It
is extremely hopeful that some human cell lines can be frown on a medium
of precisely known chemical composition. Perhaps the first step will be
the production of a human clone from a single fertilized egg, as
in Brave New World. But this would be of little social value. The
production of a clone from cells of persons of attested ability would be
a very different matter, and might raise the possibilities of human
achievement dramatically. For exceptional people commonly have unhappy
childhoods, as their parents, teachers, and contemporaries try to force
them to conform to ordinary standards. Many are permanently deformed by
the traumatic experiences of their childhoods. Probably a great
mathematician, poet, or painter could most usefully spend his life from
55 years on in education his or her own clonal offspring so that they
avoided at least some of the frustrations of their original.
On the general principle that men
will make all possible mistakes before choosing the right path, we shall
no doubt clone the wrong people. However everyone selected for this
purpose will presumably exceed the median considerably in some respect,
if only as a humbug. And the greatest humbugs, like Hitler, would hardly
relish the thought of producing a dozen possible successors with their
own abilities, and youth to boot. Possibly a movie star at the age of
forty might have similar feelings.
Assuming that cloning is possible, I
expect that most clones would be made from people aged at least fifty,
except for athletes or dancers, who would be cloned younger. They would
be made from people who were held to have excelled in a socially
acceptable accomplishment. Sometimes this would be found to be due to
accident. The clonal progeny of Arthur Rimbaud, if given favourable
conditions, might have shown no propensity for poetry, and become
second-rate empire builders. Presumably such a clone would not be
further grown. Other clones would be the asexual progeny of people with
very rare capacities, whose value was problematic, for example permanent
dark adaptation, lack of the pain sense, and special capacities for
visceral perception and control. Centenarians, if reasonably healthy,
would generally cloned, if this is possible; not that longevity is
necessarily desirable, but that data on its desirability are needed.
Centenarians who could continue to learn systematically up to the age of
thirty would almost certainly be useful, and probably happy members of
There are several other
possibilities of altering human genetical make-up besides selection. One
is the deliberate provocation of mutations, probably by chemical agents,
which seem more specific than X-rays and the like. This will first be
attempted in tissue cultures. And if tissue culture becomes a frequent
stage in the human life cycle, it may be practicable to do it on a large
scale. It may also be possible to synthesize new genes and introduce
them into human chromosomes. It will be still easier to duplicate
existing genes, thus in some cases perpetuating the advantage of
heterozygosity. There is still another possibility. No doubt, in our
evolutionary past, we lost capacities which we should value, for example
olfactory capacities, and the capacity for healing with little scarring
which is associated with a loose skin. Hybridization with animals
possessing theses capacities is probably impossible, certainly
undesirable by present human standards. But Muller and Pontecorvo were
able to introduce small fragments of the genome of one species of fly
into another with which it gives sterile hybrids, and the same has since
been done with bacteria. Such intranuclear grafting might enable our
descendants to incorporate many valuable capacities of other species
without losing those which are specifically human. Perhaps even 10,000
years hence this will be a wild project, but techniques progress very
The fifth question is highly
speculative, but it is time that systematic speculation started on it.
The most obvious abnormalities in extra-terrestrial environments are
differences in gravitation, temperature, air pressure, air composition,
and radiation (including high speed material particles). Clearly a
gibbon is better preadapted than a man for life in a low gravitational
field, such as that of a space ship, an asteroid, or perhaps even the
moon. A platyrhine with a prehensile tail is even more so. Gene grafting
may make it possible to incorporate such features into the human stocks.
The human legs and much of the pelvis are not wanted. Men who
had lost their legs by accident or mutation would be specially
qualified as astronauts. If a drug is discovered with an action like
that of thalidomide, but on the leg rudiments only, not the arms, it may
be useful to prepare the crew of the first spaceship to the Alpha
Centauri system, thus reducing not only their weight, but their food and
oxygen requirements. A regressive mutation to the condition of our
ancestors in the mid-pliocene, with prehensile feet, no appreciable
heels, and an ape-like pelvis, would be still better. There is no
immediate prospect of men encountering high gravitational fields, as
they will when they reach the solid or liquid surface of Jupiter.
Presumably they should be short-legged or quadrupedal. I would back an
achondroplasic against a normal man on Jupiter.
Human capacities for temperature
adaptation are rather limited, and the invention of clothing renders
them unimportant. When allowance is made for water vapour and carbon
dioxide, a supply of pure oxygen at a fifth of an atmosphere would not
suffice most humans. At air pressures below about a quarter of an
atmosphere a pressure suit is needed. I may remark that my late father
made and tested the first pressure suit. However an Andean or Tibetan
might be able to live at an external pressure of a fifth of an
atmosphere. If this is the approximate pressure on Mars, as some
astrophysicists believe, it may be desirable to pick colonists with
Andean or Tibetan ancestry; for a suit which allows breathing at a
pressure a few millimeters above that outside is both safer and more
comfortable than if the difference is greater. I see no prospect, in the
next ten thousand years, of adapting human beings to breathe air in
which the partial pressure of oxygen is less than 1 per cent of a
terrestrial atmosphere. On the other hand given an artificial breathing
mixture, men can live quite happily, though for how long we do not yet
know, at all pressures from ¼ atmosphere to 20 atmospheres, and very
likely at higher ones.
The least understood danger is that
from radiation and high speed particles. The ultraviolet and X-radiation
from the sun could doubtless be kept out. But if Titov had got up into
the streams of charged particles predicted Bjerknes and more accurately
by Chapman, detected more or less simultaneously by Soviet and American
satellites, and now called the van Allen belts, or had run into a storm
of particles ejected from the sun, he might have been seriously injured,
or even killed. It may be known what thickness of heavy metal is needed
to afford protection against these particles. If so, it is a secret.
Almost certainly resistance to radiation is a desirable character in
astronauts. It may or may not be attainable. It is a heritable
character, though rare, in some bacteria. If there is a nuclear war, the
survivors will have been heavily selected for radiation resistance, if
such selection is possible. If so they will be suited for astronautics.
Even if the danger is exaggerated it may be worth selecting resistant
types when we know how to do so.
Possibly other dangers will prove
even more serious. It is reasonable sure, on the one hand that natural
selection in space will hardly change a section of humanity very greatly
in ten thousand years, hand that on the other, new human characters will
be sought for and perhaps bred for, or, as I have suggested in the case
of asepsis, imposed artificially.
What, then, can we hope for, ten
thousand years hence, if things go as well as I can imagine them going?
Do not take what follows as a probability, but as a fairly optimistic
suggestion of possibilities. When I write “will” I mean “may, with
what—to my ignorance—seems reasonable luck”.
Man will still be polytypic, but
less so than now. He will be much more polymorphic, though I hope that
the lowest 50 per cent of present mankind for any achievement will be
represented by only 5 per cent in our descendants. I do not think there
will be universal racial fusion. For most countries will fairly soon
fill up, and will welcome tourists, but hardly immigrants. I do not
believe in racial equality, though of course there is plenty of overlap;
but I have no idea who surpasses whom in what. To take a simple example,
a few communities, for example of Nilotic negroes, have remained at the
stage of primitive communism, with no government. One such tribe
includes a group of men whose whole function is to stop quarrels, not to
administer justice. Perhaps these people behaved, on the whole, so
decently that no government was needed. If so they may
be better qualified to rule the British than the British were to
rule them. When opportunities are nearly equalized, some races are found
to produce far more superior people at some particular than others. Thus
in the United States people of both sexes with tropical African ancestry
excel in sprinting. The opportunities for intellectual pursuits have
not, of course, ever been equalized anywhere. The only tropical African
who has yet made a major scientific discovery is Pascal Lissouba, who
has discovered a new genetical phenomenon. My guess is that tropical
Africans include more potential biologists than potential physicists.
However, I think the intellectual elite of the world will be of very
mixed racial origins, perhaps with a median colour about that of
northern Indians today. This is because in science at any rate racial
origins and ancestral traditions impose no appreciable barrier. I get on
far better with intelligent Indians or Japanese than with Europeans
whose interests differ from my own.
The elite, by which I mean roughly
persons like ourselves who are thought sufficiently interesting to be
invited from great distances, will be more polymorphic than the general
population, partly because they will largely be products of assortative
mating. A musician will tend to marry a musician, and so on, but such of
their children as are not musically gifted will not remain in the
musical caste, as they do in Indian castes. The elite will perhaps
include anatomical freaks, say people with cerebral hernia whose
thinking can be watched with the remote descendant of the
microscope, astronauts with prehensile feet unsuited for walking, and so
on. But the physiological polymorphisms will be far more important.
There may be a few people on the planet who can give as good an account
of the messages reaching their brains from the carotid sinus as I can
now give of my auditory sensations, and better than I can give of my
labyrinthine sensations. I think there will more psychological
polymorphism, and much more tolerance. Provided they do not harm others
who do not want to be harmed, posterity will be allowed to try all sorts
of things, including drug addiction and various types of sexual
experience, which we condemn, and perhaps rightly, in the present state
of our civilization.
Once poverty is a state which no one
has experienced, but merely an evil smell from the past, like
cannibalism, I think there will be much less interest in acquiring
material objects, and more and more interest in our own bodies and
minds, and those of others in whom we are interested and whom perhaps we
love. So far introspection has been rather barren except in so far as
some mystics have had important historical effects, as often causing
wars and other organized cruelties like Muhammad and St. Dominic, as
making for increased love and tolerance, like Patanjali and George Fox.
What an objective investigation of
the inner life, or as I should prefer to say, the study of life from inside, will reveal, is
quite uncertain. It is at least imaginable that, apart from private
worlds, described for example by Blake in his prophetic books and by
Freud, it will reveal one or more objective realities, the same for all
men and perhaps for many or all animals. I am thinking of what some
Indian philosophers call
nirguna, That which has no qualities, in full agreement with Maimonides'
and St. Thomas Aquinas' account of God (at least in the earlier chapters
of the Summa Theologica) and in flat contradiction of the accounts given
by most religious teachers. This exploration will be dangerous. Let us
suppose that it becomes possible to induce proliferation of the formatio
reticularis. If this is possible in an adult it will first be tried by a
trained psychologist who volunteers for the job. Perhaps the first two
volunteers will report a great extension of consciousness, while the
third will go mad or develop an inoperable brain tumour. Or perhaps it
may be impossible to induce proliferation in adults, and it will be
necessary to do it in babies. To us this may seem horrible. I have often
risked other peoples' lives in physiological experiments;
and though none died , at least one was permanently injured. But
they were all volunteers, and I was taking the same risks as they. The
exploration of the interior of the human brain will be as dangerous as
that of the antarctic continent or the depths of the oceans, and far
more rewarding. The “officer in command” must be a man of proved
personal courage, but not so soft hearted as to leave his post of
command because his orders have led to some deaths, mutilations, or
psychoses. To judge from the eagerness with which parents nowadays urger
their children to risk their life in wars, and say they have “given”
their som if he does not return, I suspect that in society with
different ideals to our own, many parents would be prepared to risk
their baby's life in the hope that it might develop supernormal powers.
A parallel development will be
many-dimensional art, expressed by the simultaneous movements of
different muscles. Of course we have already the rudiments of this art
in the dance, especially as practised in India. But in its fully
developed form it would imply a real or imagined following by the
audience of the dancer's movements. Such art would also be expressible
by symbols like the musical scored of an orchestral composition; and
just as, in order fully to appreciate one of Shakespeare's plays, we
must see it performed, read it silently, and recite at least some of the
leading passages, so many-dimensional art will make analogous demands.
It is possible that this art would reveal a set of objective truths, as
the arts of counting and drawing revealed the truths which we call
arithmetic and geometry.
One of the senses which seems to be
much better developed in some other animals, notably migrating birds,
than in ourselves, is that of time. We rely so much on the sun, and now
on our watches, that we have largely lost this sense, and those who
perhaps possessed it in an abnormal degree, like Bergson and Proust,
seem to me to have written a good deal of nonsense. The negative aspect
of time, of which death is the most striking feature, might cease to
oppress us if we could realize human life as a finite pattern in time,
capable of all degrees of perfection. No doubt the drugs which alter our
perception of time would help in this research, though I must confess
that I find Cannabis preparations very disappointing, perhaps because I
cannot express my experience in words or other symbols.
I think that even as soon as ten
thousand years in the future there will be a real prospect of our
species dividing into two or more branches, either through
specialization for life on different stars or for the development of
different human capacities. To me this seems a terrible danger, as such
species should fail to understand one another even worse than I fail to
understand a human being in the stage of savagery, an orchestral
conductor, or an abstract painter. And such misunderstanding can
generate quarrels and even war. But this may be a short-sighted view.
Our descendants will be in a better position than we to weigh the
advantages and drawbacks of speciation.
It may take a thousand years or so
before we have a knowledge of human genetics even as full as our present
very incomplete knowledge of organic chemistry. Till then we can hardly
hope to do much for our evolution. However as our fastest aeroplanes can
move about 300 times as fast as a human walker, we may hope that our
descendants 10,000 years hence may have evolved as much as our ancestors
did in three million years. I think that the fact of genetic
homoeostasis will reduce this figure to about half a million, which,
however, is thought to be about the time needed for the appearance of a
new mammalian species. Even so our descendants would look pretty queer
chaps to us, and behave even more queerly. Their activities will be
particularly hard to classify. The same activity of a group in
contemporary cultures may have analogies with ballet, religion, sport,
experimental physiology, mathematics and even magic. Some of this
syncretism would be more easily understood in India than in Europe or
America today; and perhaps if most of the bricks of the unified science
of the future are of European origin, India and China will have provided
the mortar which holds them together into a coherent system.
My prediction that our descendants
will be more interested in their own biology than we are, and have far
more knowledge and control of it, will be criticized. If more visceral
sensations will prolong our lives, some will ask, why has not natural
selection favoured their increase? As long as the main causes of early
death were famine and violence, survival was best secured by attending
to the external world. With agriculture and urbanization, infection
became an important killer. But again the danger was from outside.
Further, without a fair knowledge of anatomy and physiology
introspection is rather dangerous unless, as in yoga, it is elaborately
controlled. Such introspection can gave very satisfactory by-products.
Thus it is possible to cease to find moderated pain unpleasant. On two
occasions I have walked for about a week or more with a fractured
malleolus and a fractured metatarsus, which were not diagnosed because I
kept on walking. I suspect that pain is a word which we apply to all
sorts of sensations which we cannot adequately classify. If they become
interesting they may cease to be unpleasant. Having undergone really
intense thirst experimentally, I feel thirst far less than most Indians
in hot weather. I have good evidence that others can achieve this state
in the same way, as of course, they can though religious or magical
practices. It will be vastly easier when we achieve a nomenclature for
our bodily sensations, which we shall only do by provoking them under
carefully controlled conditions. Similarly by understanding and
intellectualizing their normal pleasures, our successors will, I hope,
convert them into servants rather than masters. One of the human goals
is emotional homoeostasis. I do not think this will be achieved by the
massacre of emotions, as religious ascetics have attempted, but by their
integration, as our nervous system integrates the activities of
If the capacity for consciousness
and control of physiological processes is prized by posterity, steps
will probably be taken to make it commoner, and it may be that ten
thousand years hence our descendants will differ from us not only in
achievements but in capacities and aspirations, to so great an extent
that it is useless to attempt to follow them further. It is doubtless
more probable that human interests may be concentrated on some different
goal, such as music, economic activity, or religion. I have sketched my
own utopia, or as some readers may think, my own private hell. My excuse
must be that the description of utopias has influenced the course of
(The following dialogue on Haldane's
talk was printed in the same volume)
some sense, the last paragraph of Haldane's paper confounds the rest of
it. One of the lessons of history is that almost everything one can
imagine possible will in fact be done, if it is thought desirable; what we
cannot predict is what people are going to think desirable. In his
predictions Haldane indulges in a two-fold exercise: saying what he thinks
is possible, and at the same time saying what he thinks is desirable. By
what conceivable process can we predict what people are going to think
desirable even in fifty years time?
can't guess what will happen; St. Thomas More would have been very
surprised to find Mr. Kruschev putting some of his ideas into practice.
the benefit of any writer who is going to take up these ideas (although I
don't think he will express them more elegantly than you did, Professor
Haldane) I would like to point out a blind spot in most of our Utopian
thinking about the modification of man. We seem to prefer to put off the
problem by talking in terms of the next ten thousand years, which is the
kind of time-scale on which genetic modification could just begin to be
plausible. On a very much shorter time-scale, we are going to modify man
experimentally through physiological and embryological alterations, and by
the substitution of machines for his parts. I wonder to what extent it is
really worth thinking about genetic modification until we have made full
use of these other methods. If we want a man without legs, we don't have
to breed him, we can chop them off; if we want a man with a tail, we will
find a way of grafting it on to him.
Young: In the
communication sphere especially, the development of prostheses of all
sorts, from computers onwards, produces possibilities which are quite
fantastic. We cannot imagine what sort of answers we may be able to get to
problems which now seem utterly insoluble, just as this discussion would
be an absurd concept for a monkey population. Prosthesis seems to me the
most likely source of change in the foreseeable future.
Haldane also raised the very good point, that we need a new terminology
before we can begin coping at all adequately with the subject.
would like to stress that these are not long-term problems, they
are upon us now, and we cannot afford to wait indefinitely for the kind of
philosophy on which we can base our solutions.
have all been assuming that the exponential progress of science can go on
indefinitely. I would have thought from what we said earlier about rates
of change in society that our descendants might well benefit from a period
of relaxation. They might have a period in which they have a rather less
intense social drive, and perhaps become more shallow and superficial in
some of their attitudes, by our standards; at the same time they may have
less incentive to go on adding to discovery at quite our rate. I wonder
if the preoccupations we have shown here may not seem as grotesque to our
descendants as some of Oliver Cromwell's theological discussions do to us.
We may be going to produce a generation, not so much of scientific
puritans or of scientific activists, but of beatniks who are going to
enjoy, for a while at any rate, the proceeds of what we are now laying
down. Though Professor Haldane has not suggested it in quite this form, I
feel he hinted at this when he talked about some of the uses which we may
make of increased somaesthesia. The ancient Indians cultivated the art of
love for both religious and practical reasons, and I think we may find
ourselves cultivating similar aesthetic elaborations of pleasure. At least
I hope our descendants will do so.
Huxley: I am
sure you are right, Comfort, in thinking that the exponential curve of the
growth of science will start bending
over in the not very distant
future, and become asymptotic to some sort of limit; just as the growth of
cities is already curving over and reaching a limit beyond which they
cannot function. Similarly if we have too many scientific discoveries in a
given time we may not be able to assimilate them.
Crick: One has
to distinguish between knowledge reaching a limit and the rate of
acquisition of knowledge reaching a limit. It is reasonable that the rate
should be self-limiting, but unfortunately it is likely to reach
saturation at a very high level. Moreover, I think that while there are
competing societies this problem will remain. After all, one of the
reasons why we get such support for science is because it has economic and
political value to individual nations or groups of nations: this is why
much of the money is made available.
Perhaps we shall have to have a world in which we are put back
artificially into a series of small communities which compete
culturally in some way. There are also certain real problems in
connexion with world government, and with the limitation of population.
How are nations or social groups going to agree to limit their populations
when one wants to grow bigger than another, or fears to grow smaller?
development of biology is going to destroy to some extent our traditional
grounds for ethical beliefs, and it is not easy to see what to put in
Price: I would
like to draw some further consequences from the exponential growth of
science1. One of the
reasons why we are getting so much money and support for science is
precisely because, in the well-developed countries, we are becoming more
and more nervous simply because the curve is bending over.
Deceleration is already setting in and we have nearly attained a
saturation state. What is very odd is that the later a country "takes off" into
that industrial revolution, which is now ending in some older countries,
the faster technological progress goes. The old scientific countries of
Europe plus America are now very rapidly reaching the point where they
will be producing less than fifty per cent of all scientific discoveries.
Our questions should be posed not in terms of what we are going to
do with science, but what they will do. Very rapidly, within the
next generation, the present "western scientific world" is
going to become a minority, since the under-developed countries grow so
very quickly. Add this to the nervousness of an over-developed country
with a saturated rate of scientific advance, and the consequence to be
expected is, not a moratorium on the growth of science in which we can pay
some attention to other aspects of life, but a deep reaction in quite the
opposite direction, towards competition and the maintenance of
technological supremacy. I regard this as a very dangerous situation.
this context a serious limit may be set by the problem of information
retrieval. As Norbert Wiener pointed out some years ago, the more
information you produce, the more competent a man must be before he can
sort out what is worth reading, and the more of his time he has to consume
when he might have been doing productive work. No matter how hard we
mechanize, this is liable to lead to some kind of levelling-off of
progress to which no answer seems to be in sight.
total rate of cumulation of scientific knowledge is liable to be
maintained, regardless of whether the process is efficient or not.
science is not at all happy with a constant rate; science is an
exponential animal and it gets terribly unhappy if you deny it the right
amount of exponential growth.
isn't science, but the scientists who are unhappy, and I think that
if we were like the Samoans we should be less violently motivated to
maintain this frantic "progress".
Price: I am
not sure that it is a social property of the scientist; it may well be a
property of the interconnectivity of the network of knowledge.
science may evolve and curve over towards fewer but better-integrated
networks of study. This will change the whole problem of publication;
there will be fewer little separate bits of science that need to be added
up; scientists will be working on large co-operative projects, which will
Yes, we are changing the whole system of scientific
communication; it is now clear that the scientific paper is a dead duck.
One just doesn't lay down knowledge in little bricks like this any more.
We have relinquished this sort of task to machine-handling and the
scientist now does something rather different. He no longer has a personal
stake in immortality by becoming Mr. Boyle of Boyle's Law: a quite
different sociology of knowledge is coming into being.
It is obvious, I
think, that we cannot isolate extrapolation from values. What is going to
happen depends on what people will think good, and what we would like to
happen depends upon what we now think good in these various contexts.
I want now to ask you whether in fact there is any
conclusion to our discussion; whether you think that anything ought to be
done about it, and if so what ? It seems clear that part of the difficulty
of the situation in which we find ourselves comes from the fact that
science operates very largely without foresight. People do good, in fact,
that evil may come, though that is not their intention. It is a good thing
to abolish malaria, but the net result is that the population increases,
which puts a strain on the current food supplies. It was a Nigerian
economist writing about this who said: "I know I ought not to say this,
but I do hope that before they improve hygiene any more they will do
something to improve agriculture." Chisholm made the point that people in
under-developed countries are no longer accepting the situation as they
used to—a situation in which 50 per cent of the children never grow up,
for example, a situation only made tolerable by ideas such as
reincarnation, a situation which rather recalls the acceptance by our
great-grandparents of the loss of several children in every family, which
was taken almost as a matter of course. Contact with European culture is
rapidly changing all that.
Then we come to the time factor. As Brock has said, we may
now foresee to some extent what ought to be done, but can we catch up with
events? Because what is happening now is the product of what was done over
the last twenty-five or thirty years. It seems to me that questions about
the world's food supply, or the proportion of people who are
undernourished, are almost meaningless; because when you actually come to
do anything about it, however much you may achieve at the top level, you
have ultimately got to come down to some village in Nigeria, which is on a
track miles from the main road, which is bound by local cultural
traditions, by agricultural techniques, by lack of seed potatoes. It looks
as though ultimately whatever we may do at the top we come down to doing
good by minute particulars, just as we have to change people's minds, if
we can change them at all, individually.
We seem to be agreed that one essential is to educate
people more in biological facts as a necessary preliminary to any action.
Although we have heard so much about conflicting values, I have not felt
that they are really the obstacle they seemed to be to start with; because
I think we have seen that we do not deal with an abstract value and
particular facts, but with a feedback mechanism in which both get changed.
So, when we come to look back at views on population and birth control, we
see a reflection of what is actually happening now. In time the force of
facts alters the effect of values and action is finally taken.
Then there is the question of the price of progress, and
the point that Koprowski raised about the effects of antibiotics in
ridding us of infection. It is certainly true that as a result of
immunization against poliomyelitis, virus infections are now seen which
were not at all common before, leaving the clinical picture very much the
same as it was. I am sufficiently optimistic to think that many of these
problems will in fact be overcome. Part of the price of progress obviously
is that people who would have died earlier, live on to provide geriatric
problems; though I am sure they would rather live on to get rheumatism or
strokes in old age than die at thirty-five of pneumonia.
There are also the iatrogenic diseases, where new drugs
produce fresh diseases or monstrosities. Here there is a curious
disturbance of the sense of proportion. When we had one or two cases of
smallpox introduced into Britain there was something like a panic, with
people queueing up to be
At the same time, they tolerate twenty thousand people a
year dying of lung cancer, five or six thousand dying in car accidents, a
hundred thousand or more injured in road accidents, with apparent
equanimity. Perhaps it just depends how many people are killed at a time.
A hundred in an air crash gets much more reaction than a hundred people
separately on the roads.
I would like to turn to the
point that Haldane made about the problem of controlling degenerative
diseases which occur in later life, presumably based on genetic changes
but not selective because they do not manifest themselves until after the
reproductive period. It would obviously be difficult to eliminate those, I
imagine; but we may hope to do something in the way of prevention and
treatment. But here again there is a problem, because one suspects that
the causes of atheroma possibly, cancer possibly, may lie many years back.
A biochemist in Ibadan made a speculative suggestion to explain why
atheroma is so rare in Nigerians: it may be that deficiency of diet in
childhood is the factor which prevents the preliminary changes which, many
years afterwards, lead to the development of atheroma. If that is the sort
of thing we have to look at, then the problem of preventing these diseases
is going to be very long-term indeed, even assuming you could persuade
people to do the thing which is going to prevent them from becoming ill
years hence: which Haldane suggested might require compulsion.
However that may be, there is
perhaps a philosophical or religious aspect to what Koprowski said;
obviously we have to live with imperfection, however effectively we may
improve people by scientific methods. We are left with this residue of
imperfection to which we have to adapt ourselves and which, of course, has
been one of the problems for religions through all the ages.
I suppose we could all agree,
whatever our fundamental beliefs, that it is desirable to have some
standard of values upon which action can be based, and it is equally
desirable to get some sort of satisfactory emotional relationship to the
nature of things as a whole, even though it may be very partial and occur
at a low level. Here I would like to ask a question: what is the
implication of mental adaptation in the evolutionary sense? Men begin with
erroneous scientific beliefs and erroneous religious beliefs, but how far
are these different universes of discourse, how far are they different
kinds of symbolization ? We use symbols in science for certain purposes,
and there are adequate methods of verification. What about the functions
of other types of symbolization in life? The most obvious example is art,
but are there other fields of discourse, other uses of symbols which do
not conflict with science but supplement it, yet nevertheless are so
different that we cannot translate the one into the other. If that is
true, is there not scope for different sets of symbolic language, which
are equally important in our relations with things as a whole? And if that
is so, what is the part played by these systems in evolution? Is it a
condition of man's survival in the long run that he shall not adopt
delusory ideas, either scientific or otherwise, but that he shall have
some adequate form of symbolization which adjusts him to things in general
and is associated with emotional satisfaction?
Finally, I would like to
mention the point which Szent-Gyorgyi raised, namely, that we have reached
the stage where we cannot understand the things we discover. I have the
impression from what he said that it was rather that we cannot picture
what we have discovered, but that we have other methods of understanding
it. But does that apply elsewhere, does that apply in the sphere of ethics
and action ? Have we reached the stage now, at which man has evolved so
that he can no longer control the things on which his future destiny
I resisted the temptation to reply earlier when Colin Clark
made what I thought was an excessively provocative statement about
values. But since Lord Brain has raised the issue again, and related it so
forcibly to our future conduct, I would like to make a statement about
values as I think humanists see them, or at any rate as my kind of
humanist sees them. I think it will be found that these human values can
have a profound influence in shaping the future towards ends which people
can regard highly.
We have seen over the past
three hundred years a scientific revolution whose effect on public
opinion, and on the public tolerance of acknowledged evils—evils
acknowledged by Christians and non-Christians alike—has been phenomenal.
Slavery, cruelty to animals, public execution, a thousand evils have been
abolished by a public opinion which has been moulded by science. These
were evils which those who sat on the Inquisition recognized as evils, but
did nothing to put right because they were too busy doing what they
thought were more spiritual things. It is therefore, in my opinion, quite
wrong to say that the accumulation of factual evidence in science has had
no ethical effect. The very facts about how Jews are related to non-Jews,
and Negroes to non-Negroes, has made civilized men feel differently, and
feel ashamed, on these issues. I therefore deny those classical letters to
The Times which bishops and retired admirals write every so often,
that start with the phrase " Science is neutral". Even as an accumulation
of facts, science is not neutral, because it invades the conscience of
people with a sense of right and wrong applied to Minute Particulars—if I
may borrow the phrase which Lord Brain has so eloquently borrowed from
This is much, but there is
much more. The deeper effect of science over the past three hundred years
has been, not in the accumulation of true facts, but in making people
aware that the very search for what is factually true is itself an ethical
activity. What is true in a factual sense is quite differently regarded
today from the way it was regarded three hundred years ago. A man who
wants to find out the truth, even about how I am going to vote at the next
election, is now more highly regarded than he was three hundred years
ago—not to mention the time of the Inquisition.
The great ethical force of
science has proved to be the dissemination of the idea that truth is a
thing which will in some way help us all. In this, we don't have to claim
that truth is good, or beautiful, or absolute. We simply recognize that
men have found that it is easier to run a society made up of independent
individuals if they all acknowledge what is true.
Man is an extraordinary
creature, and he has one gift to which we have made no reference at all:
he is the only social solitary. He is the only creature who does his best
thinking and working alone, but does it only in the setting of a society.
This conflict, or this interplay, between what is socially acceptable to
his society, and what is personally desirable to him, makes up the whole
problem of ethics. We have now learned to acknowledge that to be truthful
makes it easier for man to be both solitarily creative and socially
sustained than any alternative behaviour. I regard that as the major step
that science has made in producing an ethic.
Now as soon as you acknowledge
the effective importance of truth, you bring in its train a whole system
of values. You have to have justice, you have to have independence, you
have to have freedom. Since I said all this in detail in a book,
Science and Human Values, I won't elaborate it here2.
There I showed that once you organize a set of people like the Royal
Society, or the Academy of Sciences, so that they have an overriding
allegiance to "what is factually true, then you build up, of necessity,
social values between them. If cheating is not allowed, however expedient
the occasion, then people like Kammerer prefer to shoot themselves rather
than live in shame in the society of scientists.
The Old Testament and Puritan
virtues of justice, tolerance, freedom, independence—these are the virtues
that have been spread by what I call "the scientific ethic". However, the
scientific ethic is not the whole of ethics. The Old Testament does not
contain all the virtues; and if I for one regard the growth of the
biological sciences as critical for the future of man, it is because they
may make accessible those inner truths, the psychological truths, which so
far have not been fostered by science. So far, these personal values—the
new Testament virtues of love and tenderness, for example—are enshrined
in works of art: in Anna Karenina, the Dialogues of
Socrates, and the paintings of Rembrandt. I do not know how they are
communicated. Yet the arts do somehow give us the feeling of sharing
with other people a common psychological truth. This is the
universal importance of works of art. The virtues of kindness and love and
altruism are communicated by them, by the recognition that what is
psychologically true for me is in some sense also psychologically true for
I think that the continuing development of science, and
particularly of the life sciences, will make a unity of the values of
science and of our artistic values. It will do so by disseminating and
illuminating the feeling that human beings do share other experiences than
those which can be published in scientific papers. I am, therefore, not in
the least ashamed to be told by somebody else that my values, because they
are grounded in my science, are relative, and his are given by God. My
values, in my opinion, come from as objective and definitive a source as
any god, namely the nature of the human being. And they differ from those
of people who claim that their values come from God in only one respect;
that the human being is still developing, and therefore my values are
expanding and changing and are not written down on tablets of stone. That
makes my values richer, I think; and it makes them no less objective, no
less real, than any values that can be read in the Testaments.
With all due respect, Bronowski has got the cart before the
horse. What he has said shows in fact that it was the concern for truth
and the like which begot science, not science which begot the concern for
truth. Such ethical values are, of course, essential to the practice of
science, and the more people we teach to be scientists the more we should
disseminate these values. As a matter of historical fact, however, it was
mainly Christian men, inspired by a more biblical attitude to nature than
the Aristotelian-scholastic tradition had shown, who founded the Royal
What science (as such) does for us has something of the
double-edged neutrality of a searchlight. Science can spotlight features
we would not otherwise have known in the jungle of our existence. This
makes us responsible both for choosing where to point its light, and for
making judgments of value in the situation it reveals or clarifies.
Where, however, are we to
find a basis for these judgments? Crick's honest admission that science
does not provide us with such an ultimate basis accords with my own
feeling. If we let go of our anchor in the one dimension which has some
hope of answering questions of value—namely the religious dimension, in
which the question of the origin and meaning of existence is asked—then we
are indeed ethically anchorless. When you look closely into the logic of
the arguments people have advanced for throwing away the rope, you find
it, I believe, as full of non sequiturs as any produced by
their opponents. The experience of this has helped me, like many others,
to a strong conviction that for our generation the way forward will be
first to look back again, and to recover what we have irrationally lost in
the enthusiasm of opposing people who drew mistaken inferences in the name
of the Christian religion.
To go on to a more technical
point, it seems to me that our biggest lack at the moment is in our whole
understanding of the nature of the process of valuation. For an acute
analysis of this problem I would particularly like to recommend the
chapter by Sir Geoffrey Vickers in a forthcoming symposium entitled
The Environment of the Metropolis3.
Our understanding of what it
is to arrive at a common judgment of value is as primitive by comparison
with what we would like it to be, as pre-scientific thought is by contrast
with science today. One of our most pressing needs, I would suggest, is
for men of a greater variety of experience than scientists to get together
with us and try to understand more about the nature of the
characteristically human process by which valuation is performed.
One of man's major
properties is that he is always evaluating and creating values. How has
this function of valuing developed and how and why have his values evolved
in his relatively brief psychosocial existence?
You refer only to man
in his evolution as a psycho-social creature, but I think too little has
been said about the early stages of biological evolution. We have talked
only about the past ten thousand years as a guide to the next ten thousand
years, but there is surely something to be learned from the previous five
hundred million or so. There seems to be some principle of change inherent
in the system which we do not yet understand, and which I feel sure has
great lessons for us.
I agree that the roots
of human valuation are in our animal ancestry, and we have always to
relate our thoughts on ethical and other values to the studies of the
ethologists, who are doing remarkable pioneer work on behaviour.
I would like to take
up what Bronowski said. Not only has science given us a completely new
valuation of integrity, but it seems to me the important difference from
past hypotheses is that science makes it to some extent self-validating.
If you are going to adopt the attitude that for ideological reasons you
will have none of Mendelian genetics, or you will have none of Einsteinian
physics, then as a consequence you will not have beef or you will not have
radio sets, in proportion to the degree that your opinions are irrational.
Surely, the fundamental difference from past attempts to value reality in
philosophical or religious terms is that now you are subject to this crude
empirical test of performance. It gives me the hope that in future we
shall have less irrationality merely on the grounds that irrationality
does not in fact work.
Anatol Rapoport has
pointed out that while science has its own myths, as do all systems of
thought, science can survive the smashing of its myths repeatedly and
indeed gains strength from this very process. Hypotheses are destroyed by
experiments and new ones are built up and confirmed or overthrown.
Moreover, the people who destroy the myths of science are respected and
even given Nobel prizes. They are not persecuted as heretics as they are
under authoritarian systems of thought.
I think Lord Brain's
remark about planning in science is a most important point, because
progress can be harmful if it is not planned. For instance, we have
introduced death control without birth control, and even feeding the
hungry can turn out to be wrong. I fed the chickadees in my garden last
year because they were hungry and now I have ten times as many chickadees
as I had last year, and again they are hungry, only there are ten times as
many of them.
Chisholm said that we all act in two qualities, as
individuals and as members of a group. I would go further and emphasize
that we have two sets of reflexes, and the evaluation reflexes are
entirely different in the individual as compared with the group. Let us
consider the following list:
These are the most common crimes in decreasing order of
gravity. But they are crimes only as long as they are committed
individually within the group. When they are committed by our group in its
struggle with other groups, they become virtues, the road to glory. The
rape of the Sabine women is still one of the golden chapters of Roman
They were only solving a population problem!
One of the great
troubles of our time is that governments represent group morality. I can
even feel it within myself when I am going to the polls, and become for a
while a small part of the government; then my values become those of the
group and not of the individual. In Massachusetts at the last election we
elected to high office somebody who was actually in jail for fraud;
apparently we trusted him to represent our group morality better than any
Whatever the value of
this ethical discussion, we can hardly take it on ourselves to decide
these issues for the rest of the world. I do believe, however, that it is
extremely important that the rest of the world should have the opportunity
to discuss them; and as Crick has pointed out, public information on the
possibilities of human modification, which is part of what we are talking
about here, is not widely available or prevalent, particularly in the
seats of high political power.
The biological competence of governments has been called
into question, and perhaps we should spend some time thinking
what to do about that. This
is a practical issue of tremendous importance if this kind of discussion
is to reach all the levels where it ought to be noticed. It is the
technical judgment of time-scale of these considerations which is most
What we want is
neither a very long-term nor a very short-term plan; but special attention
should be paid to better education, which would involve only a
I think it would be a
great mistake for us to brief the Cabinet on these lines. I feel sure we
could only put ideas into their heads! What we want to do is to brief the
public before the Cabinet finds out more about science than it now knows,
to enable the public to control the delinquent activities of the
government in the future.
by his list of private crimes and public virtues that our great need is to
stop people who have had a classical education from reaching positions of
power—I draw this conclusion because, of course, the group virtues that
the list represents are the values taught by a classical education!
Individual and group
behaviour show a complete reversal. As members of our group we not only
take life easily, we even give up life easily. All our
individual reflexes serve to preserve our lives, but most of us are ready
to die for our country. As individuals we try to enrich ourselves, but for
our group we readily give up our belongings. We have two different, if not
completely antagonistic, codes of behaviour. So when discussing evaluation
we should always state which code we are using.
Would you carry this
principle right through, so that personal virtues would become, so
to speak, public vices?
Yes, indeed. Refusal to kill, for instance, is one of the
gravest offences in war.
I wonder what right we have to assume, as a group, an
attitude of superiority over our governments. If we are to be governed by
somebody I am not sure that we should choose this group, for
instance, as an ideal government for any country.
If we were in the government's shoes, we should be just as
much of a menace to everybody else, in spite of our superior knowledge.
The error lies in allowing any group in society to arrogate to themselves
the power which governments arrogate to themselves, and which perhaps
Muller appeared to arrogate to scientists in his paper, perhaps through
over-confidence. I am not attributing improper motives to governments. I
am merely saying that they have an impossible task, and one which we
should encourage them to lay down.
I cannot altogether agree with Szent-Gyorgyi on some of
these matters. When one compares the views of responsible people in
government with those of most intellectuals one finds much more in common
than is apparent superficially. The stereotypes of military people I have
found may not be at all characteristic of top-flight people in government
and in the military establishment. They are well informed and deeply
concerned about these issues. They may be even more frustrated than we
are, because tackling these problems at a practical level is a daily issue
In the United States today
there are a number of groups that are much concerned with ethical issues;
for example, there is a group called the Institute for Religion in an Age
of Science. It consists primarily of scientists, philosophers and
theologians, who get together to discuss some of these matters. There is
also a new Institute on Ethics being developed in New York which plans to
send western representatives to India and other countries, to meet
scholars and discuss problems of common human concern. It is surprising,
when one meets such people, to discover the extensive common ground that
is true for all of us. The humanitarian viewpoint, regardless of one's
formal religion or its lack, seems to permeate increasingly into such
There is a deep feeling of
alarm and frustration, at all levels of society in the United States, in
relation to nuclear war. I have had occasion to give a number of talks to
lay groups, including some very conservative groups of business men who a
few years ago would have been hostile to the views I have expressed about
world government under law, disarmament and arms control and the
curtailment of national sovereignties, including our own. There is much
more receptivity for such views today.
The point surely, is not that individuals in charge of the
group have ethics opposed to those of normal individuals, but that the
group as a whole has some sort of homoeostasis that is opposite in sign to
that of the individual. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that scientists
are very peculiar in their organization. They are the one group in which
the ethics of the whole appear to be the same as those of the individual.
I gather that quite a lot of discussion has been directed towards this
type of scientific understanding, which might give one a group ethic
similar to that of the individual, a point that is not shared by the
unscientific political control of the group.
I want to return for a moment to Szent-Gyorgyi's list. We
have a system of ethics for individuals to which, generally speaking, we
all subscribe, within our own culture at least; but we don't expect our
governments, that is to say our group, to subscribe to the same set of
ethics at all. The group inherits its own definition of its own ethics
in relation to its national purpose, which has been inherited all the way
back from the old man who made the law by his own whim or will. The nation
inherits that same freedom from external control, so that we still do not
expect our governments to be civilized, that is to say, we have not set up
a law to which our governments are expected to conform. I think the mark
of civilization is essentially a law that is mutually agreed and demands
conformity. We have left our nations out of it because this was the limit
of our feeling of integration, the limit of our area of responsibility up
till now. But the next step in social evolution and indeed moral
evolution, it seems to me, is to require governments also to become
civilized. This is what I think Szent-Gyorgyi is saying; we are
civilized up to our national boundaries but beyond that we are not.
Speaking for the religious approach, I can find little
basis for disagreement with much of Bronowski's humanist point of view.
There are, of course, some other things we should like to add for those
who voluntarily choose to be associated with us in Christian religious
belief, things like worship and the sacraments, which to us are a source
of strength and guidance. But when we talk about these basic ethical
considerations which concern all humanity, I feel we are essentially in
agreement. We may all have misgivings because we don't know enough about
the genetical basis for planning; also there are many other aspects,
psychological, social and religious, which we have barely considered.
Speaking for my own, the Anglican Church, I think we feel that religious
ethics must evolve, even progress, although we look to certain great
sources for help in this matter, religious sources such as the Scriptures
and the tradition of the whole Christian Church.
Dr. Trowell would scarcely have made that remark had this
been a group of German biologists of the Nazi variety. Certainly
Christianity is itself a humanitarian and humanist view of the world. It
does indeed say more than those who are humanists but not Christians, but
in so far as it is a humanist view of the world, there is a great area of
overlap with others who call themselves humanists. To that extent, of
course, one should expect collaboration and co-operation to be possible
and vital. But the important thing is to be prepared for genuinely
creative clashes in fearless honesty when issues arise on which neither
the Christian nor the humanist "handbooks" have a clearly worked-out
answer. One such issue was slavery, which Bronowski mentioned. And in view
of his remarks it is only fair to point out that it was Wilberforce, one
of the enthusiastic Evangelicals of the Clapham sect—Wilberforce the
Christian, not the scientist—who was the moving spirit in the abolition of
slavery. Here, as it happened, their Christian religion brought them to
see a need for humanitarian reform that none of the scientists or
theologians of previous generations had urged with any force. But surely
it is pointless, as well as irrational, to seek credit for science as if
it were in competition with religion in these matters. Whatever the merits
of particular religions, they are logically no more rivals of science than
a compass is of a map. From a Christian standpoint at any rate, I believe
that God expects a man to do equal justice to scientific and to religious
knowledge, since He is the giver of both.
The considerable degree of agreement which certainly can
be reached between "biological humanists" and people with a Christian
background appears to me to be an historical accident. When one first
discards Christian belief, more of the ethics and the patterns of thought
remain than one could possibly anticipate until over the years one has
thought about a large number of issues like these we have been discussing.
I foresee that if we were to remove the Christian ethic completely (or
those of any other religious system) and simply go on roughly, by a rule
of thumb, with our biological knowledge, we might well come to a quite
different set of ethical values. But I do not see how these can be given a
logical justification. I do not think they will be the same
as the present ones for the reason that MacKay gave, namely, that all the
time new facts and values are being fed into the system; society can in
fact develop in different ways and may thus end up with different stable
systems of thought. It is perfectly true, as Bronowski says, that in
order to pursue science you have to have certain values concerning truth
and so forth, but they do not necessarily coincide sufficiently with the
Christian values for other practical purposes. Take the suggestion of
making a child whose head is twice as big as normal. There is going to
be no agreement between Christians and any humanists who lack their
particular prejudice about the sanctity of the individual, and who simply
want to try it scientifically. One must face the fact that there is
eventually bound to be a conflict of values. It is hopeful that at the
moment we can get a measure of agreement, but I think that in time the
facts of science are going to make us become less Christian.
We have left out what may be the most important ethical
fact about applied science, namely, that it magnifies pre-existing evils
until they are seen to be intolerable. Two hundred years ago, you and I
might have been walking about with swords, but we are not now allowed to
walk about with Mills bombs or automatic pistols. I pointed this out forty
years ago, and was rather complacent about it. The trouble is that
everything is happening too quickly with these atomic bombs. When an evil
is sufficiently magnified everyone recognizes it as an evil, and that is
one of the things that science does.
To return to the question of what we, as a group, can do
about this: I have worked with politicians a great deal and I deprecate
the view that they arc a different race. I think government has been
defined as the art of the possible, and this in fact is what the
politician is trying to do. As a scientific adviser it was my job
to point out to the politician what I felt to be desirable, after
obtaining as much information as I could on a given scientific point. But
it was his job to see what he could get done. This is less easy,
because he has to measure the possibilities of public acceptance of
alternative policies. It seems to me that we overlook this aspect of what
can be done, and that we should not say "Well, we as scientists
would do this, but of course the politicians stop us." This is a negative
approach; we and the politicians must together try to discover how we can
take the people with us. This is primarily, of course, a matter of
would like to take up
Wright's challenge. There is something we can do directly or very shortly
in the future. Part of the business of the transition to a Big Science
phase is that scientists are becoming very much more numerous and are
becoming immensely more powerful and prestigeous. With-in this generation
the scientist will cease to be the man on tap, and become the man on top.
The motivation of scientists seems to be changing in an interesting
manner, so that the course of direct political action, previously
anathema, now seems to be becoming respectable. Scientists are now
extruded rather more rapidly and numerously from the research front and
they get—in the vernacular—kicked upstairs to positions of political
responsibility, so that many scientists actually have
their hands on the controls of political action. This is happening
within the present generation and is one of the most optimistic things
about the future of man.
I agree, provided it is not simply pure
"scientists" to whom you refer, but people who have had a broad scientific
training or background.
Groups of this kind usually end up by agreeing on one
thing, namely, that more education is what is wanted. I am unable to see
how that view can be reconciled with the incredible diversity of opinion
which has been expressed here. 1 really do not know, even if we took a
census of opinion, what principles we would teach or what beliefs we would
try to inculcate. This is the thing that has impressed me most about this
meeting—the sheer diversity of our opinions, not merely between people
like Trowell and Crick, but between people in the same narrow
profession. I think this diversity of opinion is both the cause and the
justification of our being obliged to do good in minute particulars. It
is the justification of what Karl Popper called "piecemeal social
engineering". One thing we might agree upon is that all heroic solutions
of social problems are thoroughly undesirable and that we should proceed
in society as we do in science. In science we do not leap from hilltop
to hilltop, from triumph to triumph, or from discovery to discovery; we
proceed by a process of exploration from which we sometimes learn
to do better, and this is what we ought to do in social affairs.
Much advance, both in
biological evolution and in psychosocial evolution, including advance in
science, is of course obtained by adding minute particulars, but at
intervals something like crystallization from a super-saturated solution
occurs, as when science arrives at an entirely new concept, which then
unifies an enormous amount of factual data and ideas, as with Newton or
Darwin. Major advance occurs in a series of large steps, from one form of
organization to another.
In our psychosocial evolution
I believe we now are in a position to make a new major advance, for
instance in education. We can now educate people in the evolutionary
concept and in the ecological concept, neither of which were in existence
a hundred years ago (except in a very rudimentary form) but which are now
turning out to be very important ways of organizing our thinking about
life and its environment. Indeed there are many important new concepts
which we could bring out in a radically reorganized educational system.
might end our symposium with another remark of Blake's: "Without
contraries is no progression." All that remains is to thank you all for
coming, and to repeat what Bronowski so aptly said, "We met as colleagues
and we part as friends."
GENETIC PROGRESS BY VOLUNTARILY CONDUCTED
1. Dobzhansky, T. (1962).
Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human
New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
2. Huxley, J. S. (1940). The Uniqueness of Man.
London: Chatto & Windus.
3. Huxley, J. S. (194.3). Evolutionary Ethics.
London: Oxford University Press.
4. Tax, S. (ed.) (1960). Evolution after Darwin:
(a) i, Evolution of Life, (b) 2,
Evolution of Man, (c). 3. Issues in Evolution. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
5. Muller, H. J. (1935)., Out
of the Night: A Biologist's View of the Future.
New York: Vanguard Press. (Fr. trans. J. Rostand, Paris: Guillemard,
6. Clarke, A. C. (1961).
Industrial Research 3, No. 5, 30.
7. Madawar, P. B. (1960).
The Future of Man. New York: Basic Books.
8. Huxley, J. S.
(1962.) Eugenics in Evolutionary Perspective. London:
9. Hoagland, H., and Burhoe,
R. W. (eds.). (1962). Evolution and Man's Progress. New York and
London: Columbia University Press.
10. Guttmacher, A. F.
(1961). Babies by Choice or by Chance. New York: Avon Books.
11. Rostand, J. (1959). Can Man be Modified? New
York: Basic Books, Inc.
BIOLOGICAL FUTURE OF MAN
1. Huxley, J. (ed.) (1961). The Humanist Frame.
London: Allen & Unwin.
2. Lederberg, J. (1958). A View of Genetics.
Stockholm: Les Prix Nobel.
3. Medawar, P. B. (1959). The Future of Man.
4. Muller, H. J. (1962). Studies in Genetics.
Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press.
EUGENICS AND GENETICS
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Committee (1961, 1962). High
School Biology (in many volumes). Washington, D.C.: American Institute
of Biological Sciences.
POTENTIALITIES IN THE CONTROL OF BEHAVIOUR
1. Huxley, J. (1962).
Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh,
2. MacKay, D. M. (1958).
Faith and Thought, go, 103.
3. Skinner, B. F. (1955)-
Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences,
4. Waddington, C. H. (1960). The Ethical Animal.
London: Allen & Unwin.
5. Hoch, P. H., and Zubin, J. (eds.) (1962).
The Future of Psychiatry.
New York: Grime & Stratton
6. Farber, S. M., and Wilson, R. H. L. (eds.) (1961.)
Control of the Mind.
New York: McGraw-Hill.
7. Schmitt, F. O. (ed.) (1962). In Macromolecular
Specificity and Biological
Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OF THE MIND
1. Wynne-Edwards, V. C.
(1962). Animal Dispersion in Relation to Social
Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.
2. Ghisholm, B. (1958). Can People Learn to Learn?
New York: Harper.
BIOLOGICAL POSSIBILITIES FOR THE HUMAN SPECIES IN THE NEXT TEN THOUSAND
1. Penrose, L. S. (1949).
The Biology of Mental Defect. London: Sidgwick
2. Haldane, J. B. S. (1938).
Heredity and Politics. London: Allen & Unwin.
3. Haldane, J. B. S.
(1954). The Biochemistry of Genetics. London: Allen & Unwin.
1. Price, D. (1962).
Science since Babylon. New Haven, Conn. Yale University Press.
2. Haldane, J. B. S.
(1963). Little Science, Big Science. New York and London: Columbia
3. Bronowski, J. (1958).
Science and Human Values. London: Hutchinson
4. Duh, L. J. (ed.)
(1963). The Environment of the Metropolis. New York