While reading pages 2 and 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I found myself looking to find answers to the following questions:
Question #1: Did an Eastern European scientist named Max Muller win a Nobel Prize for scheming to use X-rays to override normal genetic laws?
Question #2: Did the mad scientist’s Geneticists’ Manifesto (that called for state action to separate worthwhile breeding stock from the great mass of evolutionary dead end material) garner signatures of support from leading American and British biologists?
Question #1 Research Results: See my previous blog post.
Question #2 Research Results:
Verified: The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy (p.108) provides the following historical and biographical background:
The first statement to outline three spheres for possible human genetic enhancement was drafted by classical geneticist Hermann J. Muller during the Seventh International Congress of Genetics held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 1939.
At the congress the participants were challenged by Science Service to respond to the following question: How could the world’s population be improved most effectively genetically?” The reply to this question, signed by 23 scientists, was popularly known as the “Geneticists’ Manifesto.” [An odd disclaimer immediately follows.] The manifesto by no means adopted the perspective of biological determinism. Rather, it accented both social and genetic changes that could enhance human well-being.
Red Flag #1: The verbal sleight of hand in the disclaimer indicates that there is something to hide. It is nonsensical to claim that Muller was “by no means” advocating biological determinism when this assertion is followed by the claim that Muller wanted to genetically modify human beings. Noting that Muller desired to complement genetic modification with the imposition of global changes in social order does little to soften the literate reader’s view of the sickness in Muller’s mind.
A Quick Aside: As a public school teacher, I’ve heard a lot of talk over the years about how learning to read is important because it will lead to a good job. Fully functional literacy is even better. It can help you notice the mad visions to stomp out humanity as we now know it that are hiding in plain sight.
Red Flag #2: The biographical sources that turned up in my initial research mention little to nothing about a Geneticists’ Manifesto.
While Encyclopædia Britannica’s biography of Muller proudly highlights Muller’s work in communist Moscow, it only offers the following account of Muller’s activities in Edinburgh:
He spent three years at the Institute of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh, returning to the United States in August 1940.
Wikipedia’s account of Muller’s life offers a brief mention of the Geneticist’ Manifesto sandwiched between other biographical filler:
Muller—with about 250 strains of Drosophila—moved to Edinburgh in September 1937, after a brief stay in Madrid and Paris. In 1938, with war on the horizon, he began looking for a permanent position back in the United States. He also began courting Dorothea “Thea” Kantorowicz, a German refugee; they were married in May 1939. The Seventh International Congress on Genetics was held in Edinburgh later that year; Muller wrote a “Geneticists’ Manifesto” in response to the question: “How could the world’s population be improved most effectively genetically?” He also engaged in a debate with the perennial genetics gadfly Richard Goldschmidt over the existence of the gene, for which there remained little direct physical evidence.
Genome News Network offers the following brief summary of Muller’s life from the years between 1927 and 1946:
An outspoken, sometimes controversial scientist, Muller hoped that evolutionary principles could be used to improve humanity.
What I Suspect: Given the absurdity of the notion that penning the Geneticists’ Manifesto was such an insignificant event in Muller’s life that it could easily be brushed off in an honest biographical account of any size, I suspect that the glossing over of the document’s existence hints that it contains embarrassing content.
The content of Muller’s Geneticists’ Manifesto will be explored in Part III of this blog entry.