Genetic Engineering, history and future Altering the Face of Science

Science is a creature that continues to evolve at a much higher rate than the beings that gave it birth. The transformation time from tree-shrew, to ape, to human far exceeds the time from analytical engine, to calculator, to computer. But science, in the past, has always remained distant. It has allowed for advances in production, transportation, and even entertainment, but never in history will science be able to so deeply affect our lives as genetic engineering will undoubtedly do.

With the birth of this new technology, scientific extremists and anti-technologists have risen in arms to block its budding future. Spreading fear by misinterpretation of facts, they promote their hidden agendas in the halls of the United States congress. Genetic engineering is a safe and powerful tool that will yield unprecedented results, specifically in the field of medicine. It will usher in a world where gene defects, bacterial disease, and even aging are a thing of the past.

By understanding genetic engineering and its history, discovering its possibilities, and answering the moral and safety questions it brings forth, the blanket of fear covering this remarkable technical miracle can be lifted. The first step to understanding genetic engineering, and embracing its possibilities for society, is to obtain a rough knowledge base of its history and method. The basis for altering the evolutionary process is dependant on the understanding of how individuals pass on characteristics to their offspring.

Genetics achieved its first foothold on the secrets of nature’s evolutionary process when an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel developed the first “laws of heredity. ” Using these laws, scientists studied the characteristics of organisms for most of the next one hundred years following Mendel’s discovery. These early studies concluded that each organism has two sets of character determinants, or genes (Stableford 16). For instance, in regards to eye color, a child could receive one set of genes from his father that were encoded one blue, and the other brown.

The same child could also receive two brown genes from his mother. The conclusion for this inheritance would be the child has a three in four chance of having brown eyes, and a one in three chance of having blue eyes (Stableford 16). Genes are transmitted through chromosomes which reside in the nucleus of every living organism’s cells. Each chromosome is made up of fine strands of deoxyribonucleic acids, or DNA. The information carried on the DNA determines the cells function within the organism.

Sex cells are the only cells that contain a complete DNA map of the organism, therefore, “the structure of a DNA molecule or combination of DNA molecules determines the shape, form, and function of the [organism’s] offspring ” (Lewin 1). DNA discovery is attributed to the research of three scientists, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and James Dewey Watson in 1951. They were all later accredited with the Nobel Price in physiology and medicine in 1962 (Lewin 1). “The new science of genetic engineering aims to take a dramatic short cut in the slow process of evolution” (Stableford 25).

In essence, scientists aim to remove one gene from an organism’s DNA, and place it into the DNA of another organism. This would create a new DNA strand, full of new encoded instructions; a strand that would have taken Mother Nature millions of years of natural selection to develop. Isolating and removing a desired gene from a DNA strand involves many different tools. DNA can be broken up by exposing it to ultra-high-frequency sound waves, but this is an extremely inaccurate way of isolating a desirable DNA section (Stableford 26).

A more accurate way of DNA splicing is the use of “restriction enzymes, which are produced by various species of bacteria” (Clarke 1). The restriction enzymes cut the DNA strand at a particular location called a nucleotide base, which makes up a DNA molecule. Now that the desired portion of the DNA is cut out, it can be joined to another strand of DNA by using enzymes called ligases. The final important step in the creation of a new DNA strand is giving it the ability to self-replicate.

This can be accomplished by using special pieces of DNA, called vectors, that permit the generation of multiple copies of a total DNA strand and fusing it to the newly created DNA structure. Another newly developed method, called polymerase chain reaction, allows for faster replication of DNA strands and does not require the use of vectors (Clarke 1). The possibilities of genetic engineering are endless. Once the power to control the instructions, given to a single cell, are mastered anything can be accomplished.

For example, insulin can be created and grown in large quantities by using an inexpensive gene manipulation method of growing a certain bacteria. This supply of insulin is also not dependant on the supply of pancreatic tissue from animals. Recombinant factor VIII, the blood clotting agent missing in people suffering from hemophilia, can also be created by genetic engineering. Virtually all people who were treated with factor VIII before 1985 acquired HIV, and later AIDS.

Being completely pure, the bioengineered version of factor VIII eliminates any possibility of viral infection. Other uses of genetic engineering include creating disease resistant crops, formulating milk from cows already containing pharmaceutical compounds, generating vaccines, and altering livestock traits (Clarke 1). In the not so distant future, genetic engineering will become a principal player in fighting genetic, bacterial, and viral disease, along with controlling aging, and providing replaceable parts for humans. Medicine has seen many new innovations in its history.

The discovery of anesthetics permitted the birth of modern surgery, while the production of antibiotics in the 1920s minimized the threat from diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and cholera. The creation of serums which build up the bodies immune system to specific infections, before being laid low with them, has also enhanced modern medicine greatly (Stableford 59). All of these discoveries, however, will fall under the broad shadow of genetic engineering when it reaches its apex in the medical community. Many people suffer from genetic diseases ranging from thousands of types of cancers, to blood, liver, and lung disorders.

Amazingly, all of these will be able to be treated by genetic engineering, specifically, gene therapy. The basis of gene therapy is to supply a functional gene to cells lacking that particular function, thus correcting the genetic disorder or disease. There are two main categories of gene therapy: germ line therapy, or altering of sperm and egg cells, and somatic cell therapy, which is much like an organ transplant. Germ line therapy results in a permanent change for the entire organism, and its future offspring. Unfortunately, germ line therapy, is not readily in use on humans for ethical reasons.

However, this genetic method could, in the future, solve many genetic birth defects such as downs syndrome. Somatic cell therapy deals with the direct treatment of living tissues. Scientists, in a lab, inject the tissues with the correct, functioning gene and then re-administer them to the patient, correcting the problem (Clarke 1). Along with altering the cells of living tissues, genetic engineering has also proven extremely helpful in the alteration of bacterial genes. Transforming bacterial cells is easier than transforming the cells of complex organisms” (Stableford 34).

Two reasons are evident for this ease of manipulation: DNA enters, and functions easily in bacteria, and the transformed bacteria cells can be easily selected out from the untransformed ones. Bacterial bioengineering has many uses in our society, it can produce synthetic insulins, a growth hormone for the treatment of dwarfism and interferons for treatment of cancers and viral diseases (Stableford 34). Throughout the centuries disease has plagued the world, forcing everyone to take part in a virtual “lottery with the agents of death” (Stableford 59).

Whether viral or bacterial in nature, such disease are currently combated with the application of vaccines and antibiotics. These treatments, however, contain many unsolved problems. The difficulty with applying antibiotics to destroy bacteria is that natural selection allows for the mutation of bacteria cells, sometimes resulting in mutant bacterium which is resistant to a particular antibiotic. This now indestructible bacterial pestilence wages havoc on the human body. Genetic engineering is conquering this medical dilemma by utilizing diseases that target bacterial organisms.

These diseases are viruses, named bacteriophages, “which can be produced to attack specific disease-causing bacteria” (Stableford 61). Much success has already been obtained by treating animals with a “phage” designed to attack the E. coli bacteria (Stableford 60). Diseases caused by viruses are much more difficult to control than those caused by bacteria. Viruses are not whole organisms, as bacteria are, and reproduce by hijacking the mechanisms of other cells. Therefore, any treatment designed to stop the virus itself, will also stop the functioning of its host cell.

A virus invades a host cell by piercing it at a site called a “receptor”. Upon attachment, the virus injects its DNA into the cell, coding it to reproduce more of the virus. After the virus is replicated millions of times over, the cell bursts and the new viruses are released to continue the cycle. The body’s natural defense against such cell invasion is to release certain proteins, called antigens, which “plug up” the receptor sites on healthy cells. This causes the foreign virus to not have a docking point on the cell.

This process, however, is slow and not effective against a new viral attack. Genetic engineering is improving the body’s defenses by creating pure antigens, or antibodies, in the lab for injection upon infection with a viral disease. This pure, concentrated antibody halts the symptoms of such a disease until the bodies natural defenses catch up. Future procedures may alter the very DNA of human cells, causing them to produce interferons. These interferons would allow the cell to be able determine if a foreign body bonding with it is healthy or a virus.

In effect, every cell would be able to recognize every type of virus and be immune to them all (Stableford 61). Current medical capabilities allow for the transplant of human organs, and even mechanical portions of some, such as the battery powered pacemaker. Current science can even re-apply fingers after they have been cut off in accidents, or attach synthetic arms and legs to allow patients to function normally in society. But would not it be incredibly convenient if the human body could simply regrow what it needed, such as a new kidney or arm?

Genetic engineering can make this a reality. Currently in the world, a single plant cell can differentiate into all the components of an original, complex organism. Certain types of salamanders can re-grow lost limbs, and some lizards can shed their tails when attacked and later grow them again. Evidence of regeneration is all around and the science of genetic engineering is slowly mastering its techniques. Regeneration in mammals is essentially a kind of “controlled cancer”, called a blastema.

The cancer is deliberately formed at the regeneration site and then converted into a structure of functional tissues. But before controlling the blastema is possible, “a detailed knowledge of the switching process by means of which the genes in the cell nucleus are selectively activated and deactivated” is needed (Stableford 90). To obtain proof that such a procedure is possible one only needs to examine an early embryo and realize that it knows whether to turn itself into an ostrich or a human.

After learning the procedure to control and activate such regeneration, genetic engineering will be able to conquer such ailments as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other crippling diseases without grafting in new tissues. The broader scope of this technique would allow the re-growth of lost limbs, repairing any damaged organs internally, and the production of spare organs by growing them externally (Stableford 90). Ever since biblical times the lifespan of a human being has been pegged at roughly 70 years.

But is this number truly finite? In order to uncover the answer, knowledge of the process of aging is needed. A common conception is that the human body contains an internal biological clock which continues to tick for about 70 years, then stops. An alternate “watch” analogy could be that the human body contains a certain type of alarm clock, and after so many years, the alarm sounds and deterioration beings. With that frame of thinking, the human body does not begin to age until a particular switch is tripped.

In essence, stopping this process would simply involve a means of never allowing the switch to be tripped. W. Donner Denckla, of the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, proposes the alarm clock theory is true. He provides evidence for this statement by examining the similarities between normal aging and the symptoms of a hormonal deficiency disease associated with the thyroid gland. Denckla proposes that as we get older the pituitary gland begins to produce a hormone which blocks the actions of the thyroid hormone, thus causing the body to age and eventually die.

If Denckla’s theory is correct, conquering aging would simply be a process of altering the pituitary’s DNA so it would never be allowed to release the aging hormone. In the years to come, genetic engineering may finally defeat the most unbeatable enemy in the world, time (Stableford 94). The morale and safety questions surrounding genetic engineering currently cause this new science to be cast in a false light. Anti-technologists and political extremists spread false interpretation of facts coupled with statements that genetic engineering is not natural and defies the natural order of things.

The morale question of biotechnology can be answered by studying where the evolution of man is, and where it is leading our society. The safety question can be answered by examining current safety precautions in industry, and past safety records of many bioengineering projects already in place. The evolution of man can be broken up into three basic stages. The first, lasting millions of years, slowly shaped human nature from Homo erectus to Home sapiens. Natural selection provided the means for countless random mutations resulting in the appearance of such human characteristics as hands and feet.

The second stage, after the full development of the human body and mind, saw humans moving from wild foragers to an agriculture based society. Natural selection received a helping hand as man took advantage of random mutations in nature and bred more productive species of plants and animals. The most bountiful wheats were collected and re-planted, and the fastest horses were bred with equally faster horses. Even in our recent history the strongest black male slaves were mated with the hardest working female slaves.

The third stage, still developing today, will not require the chance acquisition of super-mutations in nature. Man will be able to create such super-species without the strict limitations imposed by natural selection. By examining the natural slope of this evolution, the third stage is a natural and inevitable plateau that man will achieve (Stableford 8). This omniscient control of our world may seem completely foreign, but the thought of the Egyptians erecting vast pyramids would have seem strange to Homo erectus as well.

Many claim genetic engineering will cause unseen disasters spiraling our world into chaotic darkness. However, few realize that many safety nets regarding bioengineering are already in effect. The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) was formed under the National Institute of Health to provide guidelines for research on engineered bacteria for industrial use. The RAC has also set very restrictive guidelines requiring Federal approval if research involves pathogenicity (the rare ability of a microbe to cause disease) (Davis, Roche 69). “It is well established that most natural bacteria do not cause disease.

After many years of experimentation, microbiologists have demonstrated that they can engineer bacteria that are just as safe as their natural counterparts” (Davis, Rouche 70). In fact the RAC reports that “there has not been a single case of illness or harm caused by recombinant [engineered] bacteria, and they now are used safely in high school experiments” (Davis, Rouche 69). Scientists have also devised other methods of preventing bacteria from escaping their labs, such as modifying the bacteria so that it will die if it is removed from the laboratory environment.

This creates a shield of complete safety for the outside world. It is also thought that if such bacteria were to escape it would act like smallpox or anthrax and ravage the land. However, laboratory-created organisms are not as competitive as pathogens. Davis and Roche sum it up in extremely laymen’s terms, “no matter how much Frostban you dump on a field, it’s not going to spread” (70). In fact Frostbran, developed by Steven Lindow at the University of California, Berkeley, was sprayed on a test field in 1987 and was proven by a RAC committee to be completely harmless (Thompson 104).

Fear of the unknown has slowed the progress of many scientific discoveries in the past. The thought of man flying or stepping on the moon did not come easy to the average citizens of the world. But the fact remains, they were accepted and are now an everyday occurrence in our lives. Genetic engineering too is in its period of fear and misunderstanding, but like every great discovery in history, it will enjoy its time of realization and come into full use in society.

The Fear of Science

To live in the today’s world is to be surrounded by the products of science. For it is science that gave our society color television, the bottle of aspirin, and the polyester shirt. Thus, science has greatly enhanced our society; yet, our society are still afraid of the effect of science. This fear of science can be traced back to the nineteenth century where scientist had to be secretative in experimenting with science. Although science did wonders in the nineteenth century, many people feared science and its effects because of the uncertainty results of science.

Our thrist for science can be traced back through many decades. However, the nineteenth century society felt that science was a great investment towards a better life. This investment in science gave the nineteenth century society the discovery of light waves and radio waves, the electric motors, the first photograph and telephone, and the first publication of the periodic table. Science also caused an uproar in society when Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, which became the scientific basis for the study of the evolution of humans.

Many people in the nineteenth century etested Darwin’s theory of the evolution of man because it went against their religion, which believed that God created the world. Science, soon, developed the big bang theory, which states that earth was created by the attraction of atoms. The nineteenth century society was afraid of science because it contradicted their beliefs, and was afraid that the results of science would lead to the destruction of mankind. Thus, the study of science was limited because of fear of its effects. The fear of the effects of science was expressed in literature.

Novels like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Time Machine, and Frankenstein showed the dangers of science and that science would soon lead to the destruction of mankind. The novel Frankenstein is about a man name Victor Frankenstein who wanted to tamper with life and death by “exploring unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation. ” (Frankenstein, pg. 40) He acquired the knowledge of science when he attended the university of Ingolstadt, and once the knowledge of science was gained, Frankenstein went to his secret laboratory to create a creature with gigantic stature.

At first, Frankenstein ad doubts about creating a human being; however, with “the improvement which every day takes place in science and mechanics, [he] was encouraged to hope [his] present attempts would at least lay the foundation of future success. ” (Frankenstein, pg. 47) Once Frankenstein created his human being, his dream was vanished because he had accomplished his dream. His dream of creating a human being soon turned into a nightmare. For Frankenstein created a monster who had no identity, and was willing to murder all of Frankenstein’s loved ones if Frankenstein did not create another female creature.

Victor Frankenstein refused to create another female monster to accompany his monster. Thus, the monster felt that he had no choice but to take away Frankenstein’s family, just to show how Victor Frankenstein would feel being alone in the world. The murder of William Frankenstein (Victor’s younger brother) caused Victor to believe that his own creature had murdered his younger brother because “nothing in human shape could have destroyed that fair child. ” (Frankenstein, pg. 4)

Frankenstein knew from then on that he had “turned loose into the world a depraved wretch, whose delight was in carnage and misery. (Frankenstein, pg. 74) Frankenstein’s monster caused “the death of William, the execution of Justine (a servant of the Frankenstein since childhood, who was framed by Frankenstein’s monster), the murder of Clerval (Frankenstein’s closes friend since childhood) and lastly [Victor’s] wife (Elizabeth Lavenza). ” (Frankenstein, pg. 213) Frankenstein not only blamed the murders of his loved ones on his monster, he blamed himself for creating the monster.

Throughout Frankenstein, the words “friend, monster, daemon, vile insect, enemy, and abhorred devil” ere used by Frankenstein to describe the monster which he had created. In a way, the monster is protrayed as science and Frankenstein’s fear of and hatred towards the monster or science is expressed throught Frankenstein. Thus, Frankenstein is a novel which proved to society that science is dangerous. That, we should not tamper with life using science since it will only lead to disaster. Another novel which expressed society’s hatred and fear of science through literature is the Time Machine.

The story is about a Time Traveller who believed that there was no difference between Time and any of the three imensions of space except that the consciousness of a human being moves along Time in a single direction from the beginning to the end of his or her life. He secretly experimented with his theory by building a machine that could travel in any direction through Space and Time. Like Frankenstein, in the Time Machine, the Time Traveller had doubts about his creation of the time machine, for, he knew that the time machine could destroy him.

When he did succeed in time travelling, his machine was stolen by the Morlocks, and he was afraid that he would be stuck in an unknown world forever, he expressed that his invention f the time machine was useless. As he says, The thought of the years I had spent in study and toil to get into the future age, and now my passion and anxiety to get out of it. I had made myself the most complicated and the most hopeless trap that a man devised. (Time Machine, pg. 48)

H. G Wells’s Time Machine gave the nineteenth century society an insight into what the future holds, and shared that people should be afraid of the effects of science because science could end one’s life. The Time traveller in Time Machine returned to tell his adventures which none of his friends believed. Thus, he was so determine to bring back proof, that he went to the future. However, during his second journey in time, the Time traveller “just vanished three years ago, and as everybody knows now, he has never returned. ” (Time Machine pg. 117) In the Time Machine, the effect of science caused the Time traveller to be captured within Time.

Thus, the creation of the Time machine caused the disappearance of a human being which led people to fear science because it could lead to the destruction of hunmanity. Another novel in which the immense interest in science led to the death f a human being and provoked its readers to fear the effect of science in the nineteenth century is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Basically the novel is about a doctor name Henry Jekyll who wanted to expriment (using science) with the theory that every man has a dual personality, that there will always be an evil side and good side of a person.

In proving his theory, Dr. Jekyll mixed up a potion using chemicals that would break the chain of good and evil. The evil side, Edward Hyde, could enjoy all the wicked pleasures and execute all of Dr. Jekyll’s angry, and vengeful wishes, yet, Dr. Jekyll does not have to be afraid of his conscience. Since Mr. Hyde was pure evil and was affected by science, Stevenson tells his readers that science is evil through Hyde’s actions, and through the characters like Utterson whose descriptions of Hyde is immense horrifying.

As he says, Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish; he gave an impression of deformity without any namable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, … and he spoke with a husky whispering and somewhat broken voice, … God bless methe man seems hardly human! (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde pg. 20) Like Frankenstein, the words “evil, satan, and devilish” were all used to describe Mr. Hyde.

Thus, the point which Stevenson might be getting across to his reader in the nineteenth century is that science is evil and satanic, which everyone in the society should be afraid of. The nineteenth century society was not the only society that is afraid of science. Even now, our society is afraid of the effects of science. Take for instance the creation of nuclear energy plants around the world.

These nuclear energy plants can do wonders to our society; however, many people are fraid of the fact that if there was an accident in the plant the whole nuclear plant would blow up. This accident in the nuclear plants can eliminate many cities around them. Science makes the destruction of humanity possible. For instance, the nuclear atom bomb which was fired on Hiroshima by the U. S. A caused many deaths and mutants resulted in the surviving generations of the bomb. Movies like Jurassic Park display the dangers of science, and the money wasted in building a park that is filled with danger.

Thus, like the nineteenth century society, our fear about science have not died out. Although science enchanced the nineteenth century, it (science) was feared by many because of its uncertain effects. According to Chemistry Today, “science is a human activity which is directed towards gaining new knowledge about the composition and the functioning of matter, both living and nonliving. ” (Chemistry Today, pg. 2) In other words, science is justified if a single “new fact (appears) and adds a brick to the bright temple of human knowledge. ” Because science is so extensive and its effect is uncertain, mankind will always fear science.

Cryogenics – Physical Science

Cryogenics is an entire field of physical science. It is the study of matter at temperatures much colder than those that occur naturally on Earth. Cryogenic temperatures are considerably lower than those encountered in ordinary physical processes. There is another field of interest associated with very cold temperature-cryonics. Cryonics is the practice of freezing of people, or just their heads, in liquid nitrogen after death in hopes that one day they can be thawed to the out cured of what killed them. “This could be the most profound revolution in human history. It is the change to live as long as you want. Goodavage, 1990)

Cryonics is not a science. It has little basic in fact. But some people accept Cryonics, because it tells them something they want to believe. Once you have been declared dead, doctors or morticians will work to keep you cool. They inject you with heparin to prevent blood clots, hook you up to a heart-lung machine to keep oxygen and blood moving through your system artificially, and get you to the cryonics center as quickly as possible. The optimum time from death to arrival at the center is less than an hour. Some patients have arrived as late as six hours after death.

At the center, your body is put on a table in the perfusion room. A team of three or four technicians work to drain the blood out of your body and inject a cryoprotective agent to get as much moisture as possible out of the tissues, so the organ don’t crack during freezing. The body is then dried and wrapped in a cotton sheet. It is placed, cocoonlike, into a standard sleeping bag, head first, with the open end by the feet tied off. The body is placed in a large brown box lined with Styrofoam and packed with dry ice. It remains there for seven days to slowly bring the temperature down.

By the time the body is removed, it is about minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, the body is moved to another large brown box, the bottom-lined with liquid nitrogen. For another week, its slowly lowered, a little further each day, as more liquid nitrogen at a t4emperature of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit. The Final step moves you to a cryostat to be stored with other bodies immersed in liquid nitrogen. The storage units are topped off with liquid nitrogen about once a week; excess air and gases are pumped out of the unit by a vacuum, weekly or monthly, to optimize insulation.

The body will remain there for decades or centuries. “The preservation process, few are convinced that the body can ever be reanimated. Most cryobiologists take the view that it is impossible to reanimate someone who has been cryonically frozen. As one scientist comments: believing cryonics could reanimate somebody who has been frozen is like believing you can turn a hamburger back into a cow. ” (Bagnell, 1995) Previous generations predicted man would never fly, reach the moon, cure polio or transplant a human heart. Anything is possible. “Look at Robert Goddard and his rockets, or Galileo.

They were mocked and scorned, but they were eventually proven right. And think of the adventure if I re-animate in another solar system with my loved ones. What a life we’ll have. ” (Goodavage, 1990) Even though that cryonics is not a reality now, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be real. So cryonics is also possible. “It just seemed it was low risk and high reward. If it doesn’t work, it will have the same result as if I was buried or cremated. ” (O’Connor, 1997) Most cryonicists had to keep the frozen body in good condition. The trick is maintaining victims of cancer, AIDS, heart disease, or old age until then.

Maintaining mean preserving the structures of the brain that record the memory and the personality. Only when these are lost are the people truly, permanently, irrevocably dead. That why most cryonicists try to keep the brain in perfectly good condition. So most cryonicists preferred that only the head was to be frozen. That why neurosuspension was more popular among the cryonicists rather than freezing the whole body. But by the time scientists have developed a method of successfully bringing suspenders back from the dead they should also be able to clone a new body from the genetic codes found in the cells of the head.

Alternatively, the head may be transplanted onto a replacement body–which may be either human or robotic. There is a small but dedicated subculture of people in the US who are trying to expend their lifespans until technology has the ability to offer superlongevity or even immortality. Some believe that cryonics freezing is an alternative to death. Cryonics still promises not only to prevent the decay of death, but also a return to life–not just yet, of course, but in a few decades, or centuries, when cryonics has come for age. Commercial cryonics companies have already signed up about a thousand customers.

Across the U. S. about 70 people is in cold storage with four companies. The four main cryonics groups are Alcor, the largest, in California; the American Cryonics Society/Trans Time and Cryospan, both in California; and the Cryonics Institute, founded by movement pioneer Robert Ettinger in Michigan. There weren’t that many people involved in this process because it is very expensive and it is also a pretty new technology. But today there is a few companies try to make the process cheaper so that the average people can afford it too. There are more and more people involved in this process today.

And also the number of patients had also increasing. The spreading of the new technology is now known by people around the world but still they do not dare to try it yet. Cryonics was mostly the stuff of science fiction until Ettinger, a physics professor from Michigan, popularized the idea in his book, “The Prospect of Immortality” in 1964. Three years later came the Bedford freezing and the founding of three cryonics organizations, including Ettinger’s Cryonics Society of Michigan (now the Immoralist Society). His society later opened storage center and had its first freezing in 1977. James H. Bedford, who on Jan. , 1967 became the first cryonically frozen human.

He is a 73-year-old retired psychology professor from Glendale, California, dies of kidney cancer. If it works, if some day doctors can resuscitate Bedford’s body, his name might be remembered like Christopher Columbus or Neil Armstrong. If it fails, if it is simply so much scientific fantasy, Bedford will just be another forgotten dead guy. But soon after this incident, people begin to believe in cryonics. But the question raised when Bedford decided to be the first person to be frozen. There must be something that in cryonics that made him wanted to do it.

May be he thinks that he got nothing to lost any way because he is going to died of cancer sooner or later. Since he got nothing to lose, why not try this new technology which may be able to make him live again. Many people accepted cryonics because they feel that cryonics can helped them to live to see the future. They wanted to live longer to do all the things they didn’t do. They hope that freezing of a just-dead body with the hope that advances in medical science will eventually lead to its resurrection cure, thus achieving terrestrial immortality. “I got more hope than if they put me in the ground and I turn to dust, don’t I? Goodavage, 1990)

We all know that the prices for cryogenic is very expensive. Some people cannot afford to get their whole body to be frozen. But there is a process that will cost less for the average person to afford. If someone cannot afford the full process, a cheaper rate is available for neurosuspension–the preferred term for heads-only preservation; apparently the theory is that when medicine is sufficiently advanced to resuscitate the frozen brain and thus the persona it will also, as an encore, be able to: transplant all the other necessary bits to make a complete human being.

True believers have faith that technology will became so advanced in 50, 100, 200 years, that scientists will be able to awaken or reanimate the frozen bodies and cure them of whatever they died of–old age, cancer, heart disease and/or etc. ” (O’Connor, 1997) There are so many different reasons why do people want to try out cryogenic. “I kind of laughed about the whole concept of cryonics at first, but then I decided, what do I have to lose? Most people think it’s a little crazy. But now that there’re cloning sheep and so forth, this doesn’t seem that far-fetched. O’Connor, 1997)

Each person had his/her view point about cryogenic. “A man who had suffered injuries in a car crush caused by a drunken driver, which had ruined his life as a jazz musician. He hoped that future science could make him whole again. ” (Bagliuo, 1994) All this person wanted is to recovered completely by using future science to heal him. “AIDS victims or patients with cancer who felt bitterly deprived of their fair ration of life and were hoping for more. ” (Bagliuo, 1994) These people as well wanted to use future technology to heal them.

A woman who had sacrificed her creative ambitions in order to raise a family. She hoped that if she gained an extra lease on life, she’d have time for all the things she’d missed. ” (Bagliuo, 1994) This person wanted to live longer so she can do all the things that she wants but had missed.

There were also other people that have different plan for cryogenic. This man has a very different viewpoint from the other. “The hope is to have the years and health to do what is impractical now: Explore the Amazon, know Shakespeare and Robert Burns, learn to play Mozart and Scott Joplin… avel the solar system and the stars, see mankind scattered safely around the galaxy, pass on my loved ones is overwhelming; to lose that chance, heartbreaking. ” (Bagliuo, 1994)

This man wanted to live on because he wanted to learn everything that existed. He knew that he won’t be able tolerant everything because he would die before he can finish learning them. He would also wanted to experience the future. Many people willing to try cryonics because all of them believe that future technology will be so advance that they can revive a person from current body’s tissue. Many cryonicists also believed in this theory.

The Medical community says the damage by freezing is so great that it can’t be done. That is arrogant. They have no basis or expertise for predicting the limits of future capabilities. ” (O’Connor, 1997) What if future technology doesn’t got much better than today technology? But most people don’t think this way. So as for now people are only thinking the better side of science. That why the number of people who believe in cryonics had increased. Cryonics is a matter of probabilities. There are so many variables involved, however, that many cryonicists won’t hazard a guess on the chances of success. Then again, some do.

There are some people who refused to try cryonics because of their religious value and faith. But there are some still willing to try it even if it against their religion. And there who don’t believe in the afterlife. “There is no proof that there is an afterlife. That’s just blind faith, and it’s blind faith for people being suspended. If there is no afterlife and cryonics does work, then that’s the big payoff. ” Many people were actually aware of the value of human experience. To them, it seemed terribly wasteful that a lifetime spent learning skills, acquiring information, and developing an understanding of life should all come to nothing.

They wanted to pass their wisdom on to future generations so that it would not be lost. There were many people were filled with excitement about the future, which they were sure would be a place of infinite possibilities. Trapped in the twentieth century, they felt they had been born too soon. They longed for a chance to experience the universe 50 or hundred years from now. There are people who accepted cryonics because they can’t accept death. “I hold a great value on life but I also very afraid of dying. ” (O’Connor, 1997) They were also afraid of dying. “I have always questioned dying, and I don’t want to die.

This way, I could die and have a chance of coming back. I would just like to prolong my life as long as possible. ” (O’Connor, 1997) Many people who existed way before us wanted to live forever. As in history there are many people who wanted to find way to keep themselves youthful. “Human have always wanted to chat death, and for thousands of years there has been a good living to be made peddling death-defying magic potions and spells. Today, science has taken over from superstition. ” (Bagnell, 1995) Many supporters of the cryonics point out that heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation also preserve life.

However, these methods prolong life for only relatively short periods, while cryonics could make us immortal. There are many people think this is the reason of cryonics. But of course there are people that don’t believe in it as well. But these people do believe in technology. Since now many cryonicists use modern technology in the theory of cryonics, these people also as well begin to believe in cryonics. Cryonicists have pretty much decided that nantechnology will be the way to go. That is, itsy-bitsy, teent-weeny machines, guided by powerful but really small computers, will and fixing any damage done by freezing and defrosting.

Since nanomachines can manipulate individual atoms, they can build or fix virtually anything, given raw material and the right instructions. For example, they could rebuild a new body around your brain, reading out the required information from your genetic code. So preserving your whole body may be unnecessary. That why most cryonicists preferred to freeze the head only. Some new-wave cryonicists are commercializing their activities in the belief that cryonics, like the biotechnology and computer industries, will achieve technological breakthroughs only when big investors begin to smell profit in it.

If there are no investors in cryonics, then there won’t be any supporter to cryonics. So many cryonicists are hoping for more investors. As for now there are some rich people supported this new idea. Cryonics are only the latest twist in a business that is virtually unregulated because authorities have been reluctant to put an implied stamp of approval on what may prove to be just a silly attempt to cheat death. Cryonics may be just being the ultimate revenge of the nerds. Say what you might about the Alcorians; it’s obvious that they have thought this through.

The Group’s literature presents the arguments for cryonics clearly and methodically, anticipating objections and carefully distinguishing fact from speculation and plausibility from possibility. Alcor’s CRYONICS magazine explores the topics that cryonicists never of discussing: cryobiological research, cloning, genetic manipulation, cures for aging, microbiology, nanotechnology, memory formation and storage, artificial intelligence, the definition of death, the nature of identity and consciousness. They wanted to show the people why they should choose cryonics.

And they want the people to know how cryonics could save their life. There are people fights the government just to be frozen after they die. Because there are some states declared that cryonics is not legal to them. Donaldson failed a complaint seeking an injunction to prevent local and state authorities from interfering with his cryonics suspension, from bringing charges against member of Alcor. But the Superior Court Judge Ronald C. Stevens refused Donaldson’s request. “We will succeed eventually. It won’t be me.

But someday the law will allow someone to be cryonically suspended before they are legally dead. ” (Sullum, 1991) The Donaldson case is the latest episode in history of government harassment and obstruction. With about 500 members nationwide and a not entirely deserved reputon for nuttiness, the cryonics movement is an easy target. But then there are more and more cryonics companies trying to challenge the court. Without the permit from the court, cryonics companies cannot expand. Alcor’s facility is decided to serve only about 80 people.

The zoning controversy may be resolved, however, as a result of a court decision last fall. Superior Court Judge Arelio Munoz ruled that people have the right to dispose of their remains however they wish. He found that the California’s Uniform Anatomical Gift Act applies to cryonics, which therefore constitutes scientific use, a recognized way to dispose of bodies. He instructed the way state Department of health Services to register death certificates and issue body-disposition permits for Alcor members, which it had been refusing to do since May 1987.

The state has appealed the ruling. This will encourage more people to cryonics because the state also accepted cryonics. There are now much insurance that will allowed a person to insure them to the cryonics process. The insurance companies are allowing the person to be frozen after they die. The insurance will pay all the expend of the cryonics process. But the person had to pay more money to the insurance companies for it. Now since the insurance companies are involved in cryonics, there are alot more people are now believed in it.

Despite all the risks, there are still people willing to take the chance to live again-possibly in a totally different world. Many of the problems facing the human race today may have disappeared, and you may find it enlightening to discover how humanity overcame disease, unemployment, economic instability and overpopulation. They might want to live in a perfect world where almost everything is solved. Whatever the reason may be, there are many people willing to try cryonics. Everyone might have a different reason for it but they are willing to try it.

The Ethics Conflict In Science, Frankenstein

At the heart of mankind, there are certain rules by which society runs. These timeless laws or ethics cross cultural bounds in order to preserve lifes order and maintain a righteous standard. For example, almost all societies agree that it is immoral to kill another human being outside of self-defense. Christine Menefree of the School Library Journal defines ethics as the moral principles by which a person is guided (1). Many people develop their moral beliefs from their religious premises, but when applied to other influential aspects of life, these rules can become problematic.

In the pursuit of knowledge in todays scientific world, there are many encounters of moral dilemmas and ethical debates. Although this seems like common knowledge, there was a time when scientific ethics were undefined. Certainly the philosophers of Galileos time did not concern themselves with the way that moral principles affected their research of the stars and cosmos. But, during the early nineteenth century, as scientists began making discoveries in chemistry, physics, and biology, many people began to wonder just where the ethical line should be drawn.

Mary Shelley wrote during this time of social and scientific upheaval. Scientists like Erasmus Darwin and Humphrey Davy were making constant improvements in the field. Davys comment on the surge of this new discipline and the controversial development of Galvanism reveals that the surge of science has made way for the possible recreation of life: The dim and uncertain twilight of discovery, which gave to objects false or indefinite appearances, has been succeeded by the steady light of truth, which has shown the external world in its distinct forms, and in its true relations to human powers.

The composition of the atmosphere, and the properties of the gases have been ascertained; the phenomena of electricity have been developed; the lightnings have been taken from the clouds; and lastly, a new influence has been discovered, which has enabled man to produce from combinations of dead matter effects which were formerly occasioned only by animal organs (218). This leading scientist recognized the power that electricity had in creating and sustaining life. His findings, along with many other contributors, lead to the trend of electrifying matter to reanimate it, also known as Galvanism.

These discoveries are obvious influences in Shelleys novel through her main character, Victor Frankenstein, and his questionable work to build a being and risk bringing it to life via Galvanism. When scientists first studied Galvanism with frogs and other animals, they were thought of as relatively benign. But, as they extended their range from frogs to humans, scientists began to be perceived as evil. Society sensed that there was something wrong with this experimentation. This disturbance marked the beginning of the ethics conflict in science.

It is from this conflict that Mary Shelleys Frankenstein originates and becomes a catalyst for her warning about the tremendous power of science in the feeble hands of mankind. Beyond the obvious inquiries into the ethics of Galvanism, question arose from a religious standpoint. As mentioned earlier, religion has always been a source for morals and ethics, but before the nineteenth century, science and faith were of the same realm. The clergy performed most of the experimentation and all theories supposedly led ones thoughts to the Great First Cause (Cannon 3).

But slowly, science grew further apart from religion and the church. As new theories rose and were proven, the line grew darker still and made the two branches enemies of one another, competing for the beliefs of the people. This is evident in Shelleys novel when Frankenstein inherently knows that creating life is a questionable effort, yet because he is so driven by curiosity and his discoveries in Galvanism, he ignores the religious norms and continues to play God.

Frankensteins use of Galvanism was an excellent example of how the two areas diverged. While science wished to push on and discover how electricity and muscles worked together, morality struggled with the use of body parts of animals and humans. It seemed inhumane to use parts of a dead animal, let alone a living one, to toy with. It wasnt natural and didnt seem to contribute to the greater good. In fact, it appeared to be sacrilegious in that it disturbed the order in which God made things.

Shelley, living in this era, noticed the speed with which powerful scientific developments were being shaped. When confronted with the challenge of writing a horror story, Shelley took the opportunity to address many social issues, one being ethics in science. In Frankenstein, the scientist Victor aligns him self with the scientific world and is made a symbol of immorality by making a creature out of parts of corpses. He admits to the origins of the components of his project. The dissecting room and the slaughter house furnished many of my materials(Shelley 59).

But beyond the disassembling of other creatures, Frankenstein delves much deeper into the unethical chasm, directly tackling religious beliefs. He creates life. When I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it. I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organization; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man (Shelley 57).

Frankenstein successfully recreates life and produces a monster. Horrified by what he has done, he abandons the creature and it, in turn, leads a doomed life. The unwanted creature doesnt have a loving parent to teach and nurture him. In search of attention and affection, the monster kills multiple people close to his maker and threatens to murder more unless his creator provides him with a mate, a provider of love. Lastly, the beast kills Frankenstein, fulfilling the fate of his immoral beginning.

Through this end, Shelley emphasizes her main point that only evil has come of Frankensteins tampering with nature and Gods work. Shelley also employs the narrators point of view, in addition to Frankensteins quest for power, to exemplify the value of life over discovery. When R. Walton, the narrator and captain of the ship that finds Frankenstein, faces the decision of forging ahead in dangerous weather or turning back to avoid the risk of death Frankenstein shows that even after all that he has been through, he still ignores societys ethics.

He fervently lectures the sailors by saying that they cannot turn back now after the lengths they have reached regardless of the certain death they might face. Be steady to your purposes, and firm as a rock (183). Shelley shows metaphorically that society most likely will ignore her warning of the drive of science over the value of human life through Frankensteins persistence in the voyages continuance.

She does, although, contrast her main characters idiocy and disregard with R. Waltons safe and moral decision to save the lives of his crew and turn around. The distinction between the two exemplifies what is and is not ethical- Shelleys intention in writing the novel. While Shelley did not specifically make the parallel that creating life will lead to murder and chaos, she is, however, alluding to the fact that Frankenstein overstepped his bounds. She shows that one must be ethical when working in the sciences. Frankenstein was amoral when he decided to take over Gods role and create life.

Shelley reveals that man cannot successfully manipulate nature or God. She accurately foreshadows science following this dangerous route and warned society of it. The impact of her message was at once effective. In an immediate criticism of Shelleys work, it is plainly seen that the message has been received. We are accustomed, happily, to look upon the creation of a happy and intelligent being as a work that is fitted only to inspire a religious emotion, and there is an impropriety, to say no worse, in placing it in any other light.

It might, indeed, be the authors view to shew that the powers of man have been wisely limited, and that misery would follow their extension, – but still the expression Creator, applied to a mere human being, gives us the same sort of shock with the phrase, The Man Almigty, and others of the same kind All these monstrous conceptions are the consequences of the wild and irregular theories of the age; though we do not at all mean to infer that the authors who give into such freedom have done so with any bad intentions (Edinbeg 3).

It is apparent that the literary community, first to read and comment on the work, saw the obvious negative light cast on Frankensteins degenerate act. They recognize the immorality of creating another being from their own religious beliefs. But, they also follow Shelleys connection between boundless scientific experimentation and the possibility of chaos. However, the critics continue to analyze her text by excusing her for the fact that she may not have meant to give in to the scientific trend of the age.

In reality, her use of science as a topic was purposeful. She intentionally took a relevant issue and intertwined it with a ghost story to convey her message to the public. Even today, Shelleys example stands tall as a first warning. The struggle between science and its elusive moral line exists more so in the world today than in Shelleys era.

Evidently, science is still struggling with Dr. Frankensteins failure, the inability to control nature, a characteristic only God seems to possess (Smith 1). The human-genome project is a clear example of man once again tampering with the order of nature and humankind. Shelleys admonition is constantly referred to more than one hundred years after it was written- a true measure of success. Hopefully, through Frankenstein, future readers will also heed Shelleys counsel and will learn to respect the delicate relationship between man and science.

Starch Hydrolysis Test

Introduction

Starchy substances constitute the major part of the human diet for most of the people in the world, as well as many other animals. They are synthesized naturally in a variety of plants. Some plant examples with high starch content are corn, potato, rice, sorghum, wheat, and cassava. It is no surprise that all of these are part of what we consume to derive carbohydrates. Similar to cellulose, starch molecules are glucose polymers linked together by the alpha-1,4 and alpha-1,6 glucosidic bonds, as opposed to the beta-1,4 glucosidic bonds for cellulose.

In order to make use of the carbon and energy stored in starch, the human digestive system, with the help of the enzyme amylases, must first break down the polymer to smaller assimilable sugars, which is eventually converted to the individual basic glucose units.Because of the existence of two types of linkages, the alpha-1,4 and the alpha-1,6, different structures are possible for starch molecules. An unbranched, single chain polymer of 500 to 2000 glucose subunits with only the alpha-1,4 glucosidic bonds is called amylose. On the other hand, the presence of alpha-1,6 glucosidic linkages results in a branched glucose polymer called amylopectin.

The degree of branching in amylopectin is approximately one per twenty-five glucose units in the unbranched segments. Another closely related compound functioning as the glucose storage in animal cells is called glycogen, which has one branching per 12 glucose units. The degree of branching and the side chain length vary from source to source, but in general the more the chains are branched, the more the starch is soluble.

Starch is generally insoluble in water at room temperature. Because of this, starch in nature is stored in cells as small granules which can be seen under a microscope. Starch granules are quite resistant to penetration by both water and hydrolytic enzymes due to the formation of hydrogen bonds within the same molecule and with other neighboring molecules. However, these inter- and intra-hydrogen bonds can become weak as the temperature of the suspension is raised. When an aqueous suspension of starch is heated, the hydrogen bonds weaken, water is absorbed, and the starch granules swell. This process is commonly called gelatinization because the solution formed has a gelatinous, highly viscous consistency. The same process has long been employed to thicken broth in food preparation.

Depending on the relative location of the bond under attack as counted from the end of the chain, the products of this digestive process are dextrin, maltotriose, maltose, and glucose, etc. Dextrins are shorter, broken starch segments that form as the result of the random hydrolysis of internal glucosidic bonds. A molecule of maltotriose is formed if the third bond from the end of a starch molecule is cleaved; a molecule of maltose is formed if the point of attack is the second bond; a molecule of glucose results if the bond being cleaved is the terminal one; and so on.

As can be seen from the exercises in Experiment No. 3, the initial step in random depolymerization is the splitting of large chains into various smaller sized segments. The breakdown of large particles drastically reduces the viscosity of gelatinized starch solution, resulting in a process called liquefaction because of the thinning of the solution. The final stages of depolymerization are mainly the formation of mono-, di-, and tri-saccharides. This process is called saccharification, due to the formation of saccharides.

Since a wide variety of organisms, including humans, can digest starch, alpha-amylase is obviously widely synthesized in nature, as opposed to cellulase. For example, human saliva and pancreatic secretion contain a large amount of alpha-amylase for starch digestion. The specificity of the bond attacked by alpha-amylases depends on the sources of the enzymes. Currently, two major classes of alpha-amylases are commercially produced through microbial fermentation. Based on the points of attack in the glucose polymer chain, they can be classified into two categories, liquefying and saccharifying.

Because the bacterial alpha-amylase to be used in this experiment randomly attacks only the alpha-1,4 bonds, it belongs to the liquefying category. The hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by this class of enzymes is usually carried out only to the extent that, for example, the starch is rendered soluble enough to allow easy removal from starch-sized fabrics in the textile industry. The paper industry also uses liquefying amylases on the starch used in paper coating where breakage into the smallest glucose subunits is actually undesirable. (One cannot bind cellulose fibers together with sugar!)

On the other hand, the fungal alpha-amylase belongs to the saccharifying category and attacks the second linkage from the nonreducing terminals (i.e. C4 end) of the straight segment, resulting in the splitting off of two glucose units at a time. Of course, the product is a disaccharide called maltose. The bond breakage is thus more extensive in saccharifying enzymes than in liquefying enzymes. The starch chains are literally chopped into small bits and pieces. Finally, the amyloglucosidase (also called glucoamylase) component of an amylase preparation selectively attacks the last bond on the nonreducing terminals. The type to be used in this experiment can act on both the alpha-1,4 and the alpha-1,6 glucosidic linkages at a relative rate of 1:20, resulting in the splitting off of simple glucose units into the solution. Fungal amylase and amyloglucosidase may be used together to convert starch to simple sugars. The practical applications of this type of enzyme mixture include the production of corn syrup and the conversion of cereal mashes to sugars in brewing.

Thus, it is important to specify the source of enzymes when the actions and kinetics of the enzymes are compared. Four types of alpha-amylases from different sources will be employed in this experiment: three of microbial origin and one of human origin. The effects of temperature, pH, substrate concentration, and inhibitor concentration on the kinetics of amylase catalyzed reactions will be studied. Finally, the action of the amylase preparations isolated from microbial sources will be compared to that from human saliva.

Methods

In this demonstration, the action of two bacterial species, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, is compared on starch agar. After inoculation in the shape of the corresponding bacterial name initials, EC for E. coli and BS for B. subtilis, the plates were incubated for 24 hours at 37°C. Iodine, which changes color from a yellow-brown to blue-black in the presence of starch, was applied to the agar surface and allowed to stand for 10 minutes .  The E. coli starch agar plate turned completely blue-black which indicated that all the starch was still present (Fig. 2.). This is a negative reaction for the starch hydrolysis test.   The B. subtilis produced a clear zone around the growth which is a positive reaction (Fig. 1.) and indicates that the starch has been removed in the area around the bacterial inoculum   .  B. subtilis produced the enzyme amylase which hydrolyzed starch in the agar.   If the species produces and releases amylase, starch hydrolysis in the agar should occur.

Source

References

1.       Bird, R., and R. H. Hopkins. 1954.  The action of some alpha-amylases on amylase.  Biochem. J.  56 :86–99.
2.      Priest, F. G. 1977. Extracellular enzyme synthesis in the genus Bacillus. Bacteriol. Rev.  41 (3) : 711–753.

Test procedure

  1. 1. Use a sterile swab or a sterile loop to pick a few colonies from your pure culture plate. Streak a starch plate in the form of a line across the width of the plate. Several cultures can be tested on a single agar plate, each represented by a line or the plate may be divided into four quadrants (pie plate) for this purpose.
  2. Incubate plate at 37 °C for 48 hours.
  3. Add 2-3 drops of 10% iodine solution directly onto the edge of colonies. Wait 10- 15 minutes and record the results.

2

Interpretation:

  • Positive test (“+”): The medium will turn dark. However, areas surrounding isolated colonies where starch has been hydrolyzed by amylase will appear clear.
  • Negative test (“-“): The medium will be colored dark, right up to the edge of isolated colonies.

Figure: Two species are inoculated onto a starch plate and incubated at 30°C until growth is seen (plate on the left). The petri dish is then flooded with an iodine solution and photograph taken after 10 minutes (plate on right). Amylase positive species shows a clearing halo around the growth (top line of growth). Amylase negative species does not have this clear halo (bottom line of growth).

Source

Starch Hydrolysis Procedure

Lab One

  1. Using a marking pen, divide the starch agar plate into three equal sectors. Be sure to mark on the bottom of the plate.
  2. Label the plate with the organisms’ names, your name, and the date.
  3. Spot inoculate two sectors with the test organisms.
  4. Invert the plate and incubate it aerobically at 35°C for 48 hours.

Lab Two

  1. Remove the plate from the incubator and note the location and appearance of the growth before adding the iodine. (Growth that is thinning at the edge may give the appearance of clearing in the agar after iodine is added to the plate.)
  2. Cover the growth and surrounding areas with Gram iodine. Immediately examine the areas surrounding the growth for clearing. (Usually the growth on the agar prevents contact between the starch and iodine so no color reaction takes place at that point. Beginning students sometimes look at this lack of color change and incorrectly judge it as a positive result. Therefore, when examining the agar for clearing, look for a halo around the growth, not at the growth itself.)
  3. Record your results in the table provided.

PURPOSE

This test is used to differentiate bacteria based on their ability to hydrolyze starch with the enzyme a-amylase or oligo-l,6-glucosidase. It aids in the differentiation of species from the genera Corynebacterium, Clostridium, Bacillus, Bacteroides, Fusobacterium, and members of Enterococcus.

PRINCIPLE

Starch is a polysaccharide made up of a-D-glucose subunits. It exists as a mixture of two forms, linear (amylose) and branched (amylopectin), with the branched configuration being the predominant form. The a-D-glucose molecules in both amylose and amylopectin are bonded by 1,4-a-glycosidic (acetal) linkages (Figure 6-83). The two forms differ in that the amylopectin contains polysaccharide side chains connected to approximately every 30th glucose in the main chain. These side chains are identical to the main chain except that the number 1 carbon of the first glucose in the side chain is bonded to carbon number 6 of the main chain glucose. The bond is, therefore, a 1,6-a-glycosidic linkage.

Starch is too large to pass through the bacterial cell membrane. Therefore, to be of metabolic value to the bacteria it must first be split into smaller fragments or individual glucose molecules. Organisms that produce and secrete the extracellular enzymes a-amylase and oligo-l,6-glucosidase are able to hydrolyze starch by breaking the glycosidic linkages between the sugar subunits. Although there usually are intermediate steps and additional enzymes utilized, the overall reaction is the complete hydrolysis of the polysaccharide to its individual a-glucose subunits (Figure 6-83).

Figure 6-83

Starch agar is a simple plated medium of beef extract, soluble starch and agar. When organisms that produce a-amylase and oligo-Le-glucosidase are grown on starch agar theyhydrolyzethe starch in the medium surrounding the bacterial growth. Because both the starch and its sugar subunits are soluble (Clear) in the medium, the reagent iodine is used to detect the presence or absence of starch in the vicinity around the bacterial growth. Iodine reacts with starch and produces a blue or dark brown color; therefore, any microbial starch hydrolysis will be revealed as a clear zone surrounding the growth (Figure 6-84).

Figure 6-84

 

Source

Result interpretation of Starch Hydrolysis Test

Positive test: a clear zone around the line of growth after addition of iodine solution.

Negative test: dark blue colouration of the medium

Questions and Answers on Starch Hydrolysis Test

  • What is Starch

A large carbohydrate molecule with hundred or thousands of glucose subunits. Since starch is so big, bacteria can’t use the valuable glucose molecules in it without first breaking it down.

  • What is the enzyme used in Starch Hydrolysis?

Amylase, which breaks (hydrolyzes) some of the bonds between glucose subunits. Which helps bacteria break down starch.

  • What is the medium used in the Starch Hydrolysis Test?

A Starch Agar plate, which is a standard agar plate with added starch. The starch is clear because it completely dissolves in water.

  • How can you see starch on the Starch Agar Plate?

You add Iodine to the plate after incubation. The Iodine forms a dark blue/black complex with starch but remains its original amber color in the absence of starch.

  • What does a positive Starch Hydrolysis test look like?

After incubation and the iodine is added the iodine will remain its original amber color around the bacteria that has the enzyme Amylase.

  • What does a negative Starch Hydrolysis test look like?

After incubation and the iodine is added the iodine will turn a dark blue/black complex with the starch that is intact.

  • What does a positive Starch Hydrolysis test mean?

It means that the bacteria has the enzyme amylase.

  • What does a negative Starch Hydrolysis test mean?

It means that the bacteria doesn’t have the enzyme amylase.

  • What are the steps of a Starch Hydrolysis Test?
  1. Use a loop to streak each organism in a single line on the surface of the Starch Agar Plate.
  2. Incubate the plate at 37C till next class
  3. Obtain the incubated plates
  4. Coat the surface of each agar with Gram’s Iodine
  5. Observe and record
  • What is the reagent used?

Grams Iodine

  • What is the purpose of the test?

The purpose is to see if the microbe can use starch, a complex carbohydrate made from glucose, as a source of carbon and energy for growth. Use of starch is accomplished by an enzyme called alpha-amylase.

  • How is alpha-amylase activity determined?

A medium containing starch is used. After inoculation and overnight incubation, iodine reagent is added to detect the presence of starch. Iodine reagent complexes with starch to form a blue-black color in the culture medium. Clear halos surrounding colonies is indicative of their ability to digest the starch in the medium due to the presence of alpha-amylase.

  • What medium is used?

The medium used is starch agar. The medium is a nutrient agar to which starch is added.

  • How is the test performed?

An inoculum from a pure culture is streaked on a sterile plate of starch agar The inoculated plate is incubated at 35-37 C for 24 hours. Iodine reagent is then added to flood the growth. Presence of clear halos surrounding colonies is positive for their ability to digest the starch and thus indicates presence of alpha-amylase.

  • What reagents are added?

Iodine reagent is added after incubation to flood the surface of the plate.

REFERENCES

Collins, C. H., Patricia M. Lyne, J. M. Grange. 1995. Page 117 in Collins and Liyne’s Microbiological Methods, 7th Ed. Butterworth-Heinemann, UK. DIFCO Laboratories. 1984. Page 879 in

DIFCO Manual, 10th Ed., DIFCO Laboratories, Detroit, MI.

Lanyi, B. 1987. Page 55 in Methods in Microbiology, Vol. 19, edited by R. R. Colwell and R. Grigorova, Academic Press Inc., New York, NY.

MacFaddin, Jean F. 2000. Page 412 in Biochemical Tests for Identification of Medical Bacteria, 2nd Ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA.

Smibert, Robert M. and Noel R. Krieg. 1994. Page 630 in Methods for General and Molecular Bacteriology, edited by Philipp Gerhardt, R. G. E. Murray, Willis A. Wood, and Noel R. Krieg,  American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC242086/pdf/aem00178-0237.pdf

https://assets.fishersci.com/TFS-Assets/LSG/manuals/IFU1854.pdf

https://jb.asm.org/content/jb/83/2/264.full.pdf

Biochemical Tests: Gram Positive and gram Negative Bacteria

Tests used to identify Gram Positive Bacteria

Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA)

This type of medium is both selective and differential. The MSA will select for organisms such as Staphylococcus species which can live in areas of high salt concentration (plate on the left in the picture below). This is in contrast to Streptococcus species, whose growth is selected against by this high salt agar (plate on the right in the picture below).

The differential ingredient in MSA is the sugar mannitol. Organisms capable of using mannitol as a food source will produce acidic byproducts of fermentation that will lower the pH of the media. The acidity of the media will cause the pH indicator, phenol red, to turn yellow. Staphylococcus aureus is capable of fermenting mannitol (left side of left plate) while Staphylococcus epidermidis is not (right side of left plate).

Glucose broth with Durham tubes

This is a differential medium. It tests an organism’s ability to ferment the sugar glucose as well as its ability to convert the end product of glycolysis, pyruvic acid into gaseous byproducts. This is a test commonly used when trying to identify Gram-negative enteric bacteria, all of which are glucose fermenters but only some of which produce gas.

Like MSA, this medium also contains the pH indicator, phenol red. If an organism is capable of fermenting the sugar glucose, then acidic byproducts are formed and the pH indicator turns yellow. Escherichia coli is capable of fermenting glucose as are Proteus mirabilis (far right) and Shigella dysenteriae (far left).  Pseudomonas aeruginosa (center) is a nonfermenter.

The end product of glycolysis is pyruvate. Organisms that are capable of converting pyruvate to formic acid and formic acid to H2 (g) and CO2 (g), via the action of the enzyme formic hydrogen lyase, emit gas. This gas is trapped in the Durham tube and appears as a bubble at the top of the tube. Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis (far right) are both gas producers. Notice that Shigella dysenteriae (far left) ferments glucose but does not produce gas.

*Note – broth tubes can be made containing sugars other than glucose (e.g. lactose and mannitol).  Because the same pH indicator (phenol red) is also used in these fermentation tubes, the same results are considered positive  (e.g. a lactose broth tube that turns yellow after incubation has been inoculated with an organism that can ferment lactose).

Blood Agar Plates (BAP)

This is a differential medium. It is a rich, complex medium that contains 5% sheep red blood cells. BAP tests the ability of an organism to produce hemolysins, enzymes that damage/lyse red blood cells (erythrocytes). The degree of hemolysis by these hemolysins is helpful in differentiating members of the genera Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Enterococcus.

  • Beta-hemolysis is complete hemolysis. It is characterized by a clear (transparent) zone surrounding the colonies. Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus agalactiaeare b-hemolytic (the picture on the left below shows the beta-hemolysis of S. pyogenes).
  • Partial hemolysis is termed alpha-hemolysis. Colonies typically are surrounded by a green, opaque zone. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mitis are a-hemolytic (the picture on the right below shows the a-hemolysis of S. mitis).
  • If no hemolysis occurs, this is termed gamma-hemolysis. There are no notable zones around the colonies. Staphylococcus epidermidis is gamma-hemolytic.

What type of hemolysis is seen on each one of the following plates?

 

Streak-stab technique

Often when inoculating a BAP to observe hemoloysis patterns, investigators will also stab several times through the agar using an inoculating loop. This stab allows for the detection of streptolysin O, a specific hemolysin produced by Streptococcus pyogenes. This hemolysin is inactivated by O2 and is only seen subsurface (in an anaerobic environment) around the stab mark. Note the oval-shaped areas of clearing around the stab marks in the picture below; these are caused by streptolysin O.

Bile Esculin Agar

This is a medium that is both selective and differential. It tests the ability of organisms to hydrolyze esculin in the presence of bile. It is commonly used to identify members of the genus Enterococcus (E faecalis and E. faecium).

The first selective ingredient in this agar is bile, which inhibits the growth of Gram-positives other than enterococci and some streptococci species. The second selective ingredient is sodium azide. This chemical inhibits the growth of Gram-negatives.

The differential ingredient is esculin. If an organism can hydrolyze esculin in the presence of bile, the product esculetin is formed. Esculetin reacts with ferric citrate (in the medium), forming a phenolic iron complex which turns the entire slant dark brown to black. The tube on the far right was inoculated with E. faecalis (positive). The tube in the center was inoculated with a bilie esculin negative organism and the tube on the left was uninoculated.

Sulfur Indole Motility Media (SIM)

This is a differential medium. It tests the ability of an organism to do several things: reduce sulfur, produce indole and swim through the agar (be motile). SIM is commonly used to differentiate members of Enterobacteriaceae.

Sulfur can be reduced to H2S (hydrogen sulfide) either by catabolism of the amino acid cysteine by the enzyme cysteine desulfurase or by reduction of thiosulfate in anaerobic respiration. If hydrogen sulfide is produced, a black color forms in the medium. Proteus mirabilis is positive for H2S production. The organism pictured on the far left is positive for hydrogen sulfide production.

Bacteria that have the enzyme tryptophanase, can convert the amino acid, tryptophane to indole. Indole reacts with added Kovac’s reagent to form rosindole dye which is red in color (indole +). Escherichia coli is indole positive. The organism pictured second from left is E. coli and is indole positive.

SIM tubes are inoculated with a single stab to the bottom of the tube. If an organism is motile than the growth will radiate from the stab mark and make the entire tube appear turbid. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the strain of Proteus mirabilis that we work with are motile.

Kliger’s Iron Agar (KIA)

This is a differential medium. It tests for organisms’ abilities to ferment glucose and lactose to acid and acid plus gas end products. It also allows for identification of sulfur reducers. This media is commonly used to separate lactose fermenting members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (e.g. Escherichia coli) from members that do not ferment lactose, like Shigella dysenteriae. These lactose nonfermenting enterics generally tend to be the more serious pathogens of the the gastrointestinal tract.

The first differential ingredient, glucose, is in very short supply. Organisms capable of fermenting this sugar will use it up within the first few hours of incubation. Glucose fermentation will create acidic byproducts that will turn the phenol red indicator in the media yelllow. Thus, after the first few hours of incubation, the tube will be entirely yellow. At this point, when the glucose has been all used up, the organism must choose another food source. If the organism can ferment lactose, this is the sugar it will choose. Lactose fermentation will continue to produce acidic byproducts and the media will remain yellow (picture on the far left below). If gas is produced as a result of glucose or lactose fermentation, then fissures will appear in the agar or the agar will be lifted off the bottom of the tube.

If an organism cannot use lactose as a food source it will be forced to use the amino acids / proteins in the media. The deamination of the amino acids creates NH3, a weak base, which causes the medium to become alkaline. The alkaline pH causes the phenol red indicator to begin to turn red. Since the incubation time is short (18-24 h), only the slant has a chance to turn red and not the entire tube. Thus an organism that can ferment glucose but not lactose, will produce a red slant and a yellow butt in a KIA tube (second from the left below). These organisms are the more serious pathogens of the GIT such as Shigella dysenteriae.

If an organism is capable of using neither glucose nor lactose, the organism will use solely amino acids / proteins. The slant of the tube will be red and the color of the butt will remain unchanged (picture on the far right below). Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an example of a nonfermenter.

KIA tubes are also capable of detecting the production of H2S. It is seen as a black precipitate (second picture from the right). Sometimes the black precipitate obscures the butt of the tube. In such cases, the organisms should be considered positive for glucose fermentation (yellow butt). Proteus mirabilis (pictured here, second from right) is a glucose positive, lactose negative, sulfur reducing enteric.

Nitrate Broth

This is a differential medium. It is used to determine if an organism is capable of reducing nitrate (NO3-) to nitrite (NO2-) or other nitrogenous compounds via the action of the enzyme nitratase (also called nitrate reductase). This test is important in the identification of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species.

After incubation, these tubes are first inspected for the presence of gas in the Durham tube. In the case of nonfermenters, this is indicative of reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas. However, in many cases gas is produced by fermentation and further testing is necessary to determine if reduction of nitrate has occurred. This further testing includes the addition of sulfanilic acid (often called nitrate I) and dimethyl-alpha-napthalamine (nitrate II). If nitrite is present in the media, then it will react with nitrate I and nitrate II to form a red compound. This is considered a positive result.

If no red color forms upon addition of nitrate I and II, this indicates that either the NO3- has not been converted to NO2- (a negative result), or that NO3- was converted to NO2- and then immediately reduced to some other, undetectable form of nitrogen (also a positive result). In order to determine which of the preceding is the case, elemental zinc is added to the broth. Zinc will convert any remaining NO3- to NO2- thus allowing nitrate I and nitrate II to react with the NO2- and form the red pigment (a verified negative result). If no color change occurs upon addition of zinc then this means that the NO3- was converted to NO2- and then was converted to some other undetectable form of nitrogen (a positive result).

If the nitrate broth turns red (tubes pictured in the center) after nitrate I and nitrate II are added, this color indicates a positive result. If instead, the tube turns red (tube pictured on the left) after the addition of Zn, this indicates a negative result. If there is no color change in the tube after the addition of nitrate I and nitrate II, the result is uncertain. If the tube is colorless (picture on the right) after the addition of Zn this indicates a positive test.

Catalase Test

This test is used to identify organisms that produce the enzyme, catalase. This enzyme detoxifies hydrogen peroxide by breaking it down into water and oxygen gas.

The bubbles resulting from production of oxygen gas clearly indicate a catalase positive result. The sample on the right below is catalase positive. The Staphylococcus spp. and the Micrococcus spp. arecatalase positive. The Streptococcus and Enterococcus spp. are catalase negative.

Tests used to identify Gram Negative Bacteria

Oxidase Test

This test is used to identify microorganisms containing the enzyme cytochrome oxidase (important in the electron transport chain). It is commonly used to distinguish between oxidase negative Enterobacteriaceae and oxidase positive Pseudomadaceae.

Cytochrome oxidase transfers electrons from the electron transport chain to oxygen (the final electron acceptor) and reduces it to water. In the oxidase test, artificial electron donors and acceptors are provided. When the electron donor is oxidized by cytochrome oxidase it turns a dark purple. This is considered a positive result. In the picture below the organism on the right (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) is oxidase positive.

Coagulase test

Coagulase is an enzyme that clots blood plasma. This test is performed on Gram-positive, catalase positive species to identify the coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus. Coagulase is a virulence factor of S. aureus. The formation of clot around an infection caused by this bacteria likely protects it from phagocytosis. This test differentiates Staphylococcus aureus from other coagulase negative Staphylococcus species.

Taxos A (bacitracin sensitivity testing)

This is a differential test used to distinguish between organisms sensitive to the antibiotic bacitracin and those not. Bacitracin is a peptide antibiotic produced by Bacillus subtilis. It inhibits cell wall synthesis and disrupts the cell membrane. This test is commonly used to distinguish between the b-hemolytic streptococci: Streptococcus agalactiae (bacitracin resistant) and Streptococcus pyogenes(bacitracin sensitive). The plate below was streaked with Streptococcus pyogenes; notice the large zone of inhibition surrounding the disk.

Taxos P (optochin sensitivity testing)

This is a differential test used to distinguish between organisms sensitive to the antibiotic optochin and those not. This test is used to distinguish Streptococcus pneumoniae (optochin sensitive (pictured on the right below)) from other a-hemolytic streptococci (optochin resistant (Streptococcus mitis is pictured on the left below)).

MacConkey agar

This medium is both selective and differential. The selective ingredients are the bile salts and the dye, crystal violet which inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. The differential ingredient is lactose. Fermentation of this sugar results in an acidic pH and causes the pH indicator, neutral red, to turn a bright pinky-red color. Thus organisms capable of lactose fermentation such as Escherichia coli, form bright pinky-red colonies (plate pictured on the left here). MacConkey agar is commonly used to differentiate between the Enterobacteriaceae.

Organism on left is positive for lactose fermentation and that on the right is negative.

Simmon’s Citrate Agar

This is a defined medium used to determine if an organism can use citrate as its sole carbon source. It is often used to differentiate between members of Enterobacteriaceae. In organisms capable of utilizing citrate as a carbon source, the enzyme citrase hydrolyzes citrate into oxaoloacetic acid and acetic acid. The oxaloacetic acid is then hydrolyzed into pyruvic acid and CO2. If CO2 is produced, it reacts with components of the medium to produce an alkaline compound (e.g. Na2CO3). The alkaline pH turns the pH indicator (bromthymol blue) from green to blue. This is a positive result (the tube on the right is citrate positive). Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus mirabilis are examples of citrate positive organisms. Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenteriae are citrate negative.

Spirit Blue agar

This agar is used to identify organisms that are capable of producing the enzyme lipase. This enzyme is secreted and hydrolyzes triglycerides to glycerol and three long chain fatty acids. These compounds are small enough to pass through the bacterial cell wall. Glycerol can be converted into a glycolysis intermediate. The fatty acids can be catabolized and their fragments can eventually enter the Kreb’s cycle. Spirit blue agar contains an emulsion of olive oil and spirit blue dye. Bacteria that produce lipase will hydrolyze the olive oil and produce a halo around the bacterial growth. The Gram-positive rod, Bacillus subtilis is lipase positive (pictured on the right) The plate pictured on the left is lipase negative.

Starch hydrolysis test

This test is used to identify bacteria that can hydrolyze starch (amylose and amylopectin) using the enzymes a-amylase and oligo-1,6-glucosidase. Often used to differentiate species from the genera Clostridium and Bacillus. Because of the large size of amylose and amylopectin molecules, these organisms can not pass through the bacterial cell wall. In order to use these starches as a carbon source, bacteria must secrete a-amylase and oligo-1,6-glucosidase into the extracellular space. These enzymes break the starch molecules into smaller glucose subunits which can then enter directly into the glycolytic pathway. In order to interpret the results of the starch hydrolysis test, iodine must be added to the agar. The iodine reacts with the starch to form a dark brown color. Thus, hydrolysis of the starch will create a clear zone around the bacterial growth. Bacillus subtilis is positive for starch hydrolysis (pictured below on the left). The organism shown on the right is negative for starch hydrolysis.

Methyl Red / Voges-Proskauer (MR/VP)

This test is used to determine which fermentation pathway is used to utilize glucose. In the mixed acid fermentation pathway, glucose is fermented and produces several organic acids (lactic, acetic, succinic, and formic acids). The stable production of enough acid to overcome the phosphate buffer will result in a pH of below 4.4. If the pH indicator (methyl red) is added to an aliquot of the culture broth and the pH is below 4.4, a red color will appear (first picture, tube on the left).

If the MR turns yellow, the pH is above 6.0 and the mixed acid fermentation pathway has not been utilized (first picture, tube on the right). The 2,3 butanediol fermentation pathway will ferment glucose and produce a 2,3 butanediol end product instead of organic acids. In order to test this pathway, an aliquot of the MR/VP culture is removed and a-naphthol and KOH are added. They are shaken together vigorously and set aside for about one hour until the results can be read.

The Voges-Proskauer test detects the presence of acetoin, a precursor of 2,3 butanediol. If the culture is positive for acetoin, it will turn “brownish-red to pink” (tube on the left in the second picture). If the culture is negative for acetoin, it will turn “brownish-green to yellow” (tube on the left in the second picture). Note: A culture will usually only be positive for one pathway: either MR+ or VP+. Escherichia coli is MR+ and VP-. In contrast, Enterobacter aerogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae are MR- and VP+. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a glucose nonfermenter and is thus MR- and VP-.

CAMP Test

CAMP factor is a diffusible, heat-stable protein produced by group B streptococci. This is a synergistic test between Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae. S. agalactiae produces CAMP factor. S. aureus produces sphingomyelin C, which binds to red blood cell membranes. The two bacteria are streaked at 90o angles of one another. They do NOT touch. The CAMP factor produced by S. agalactiae enhances the beta-hemolysis of S. aureus by binding to already damaged red blood cells. As a result, an arrow of beta-hemolysis is produced between the two streaks. The test is presumptive for S. agalactiae that produces CAMP factor.

In the picture here, Streptococcus agalactiae was streaked throughout the top region of the plate and brought down toward the center of the plate. Staphylococcus aureus was streaked in a straight line across the center of the plate. Rings of hemolysis are evident all around S. aureus, however the hemolysis if greatly enhanced (in an arrow shape) where the S. agalactiae crosses the hemolysis rings.

Urease test

This test is used to identify bacteria capable of hydrolyzing urea using the enzyme urease. It is commonly used to distinguish the genus Proteus from other enteric bacteria. The hydrolysis of urea forms the weak base, ammonia, as one of its products. This weak base raises the pH of the media above 8.4 and the pH indicator, phenol red, turns from yellow to pink. Proteus mirabilis is a rapid hydrolyzer of urea (center tube pictured here). The tube on the far right was inoculated with a urease negative organism and the tube on the far left was uninoculated.

Motility agar

is a differential medium used to determine whether an organism is equipped with flagella and thus capable of swimming away from a stab mark. The results of motility agar are often difficult to interpret. Generally, if the entire tube is turbid, this indicates that the bacteria have moved away from the stab mark (are motile). The organisms in the two tubes pictured on the right are motile. If, however, the stab mark is clearly visible and the rest of the tube is not turbid, the organism is likely nonmotile (tube pictured on the left).

Bacterial Staining Techniques I

  1. Complete Lab 1:

Collect your plates from the trays on the side bench. Observe the TSA plates for colonies of various sizes, shapes and colors. Each bacterial or fungal species gives a characteristic colony color and morphology. Draw the colonies observed on both TSA plates in the spaces provided in the Results section of Lab #1. Pick three colonies from either of the TSA plates and describe the colony color and morphology. Also observe the cloudiness (turbidity) of your nutrient broth tube and estimate the number of bacteria per mL (see turbidity table below).

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Colony: a single cell divides exponentially forming a small, visible collection of cells. Colonies are observed when bacteria are grown on a solid medium. Each colony usually contains 107-108 bacteria.

Colony morphology: Characteristics of a colony such as shape, edge, elevation, color and texture.

Turbidity: cloudy appearance of a liquid medium due to the presence of bacteria. You can “estimate” the number of bacteria per mL by using the table below.

Turbidity # Bacteria per mL none 0 – 106

light 107

moderate 108

*heavy 109

*Usually bacterial populations do not exceed 3 x 109 bacteria/mL when grown in liquid media.

  1. STAINING MICROORGANISMS
    1. Smear preparation Simple Stains:
    2. Direct stain
    3. Negative stain

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Chromophores: Groups with conjugated double bonds that give the dye its color.

Direct, cationic, basic or positive dyes: contain positively charged groups. Examples include methylene blue, basic fuchsin, and crystal violet. These dyes directly bind to and stain the negatively charged surface of bacterial cells.

Negative, anionic, or acidic dyes: contain functional groups that have a negative charge. Examples include eosin, nigrosin and Congo red. These dyes are repelled by the negatively charged surface of bacterial cells. Thus, they stain the background, leaving the bacterial cells clear and bright against a dark background.

Heat Fixation: application of heat to a bacterial smear preparation. This procedure simultaneously kills and attaches the bacteria to the slide.

MICROBIOLOGIST’S TOOLS

 

  1. Smear Preparation

The first step in most bacterial staining procedures is the preparation of a smear. In a smear preparation, cells from a culture are spread in a thin film over a small area of a microscope slide, dried, and then fixed to the slide by heating or other chemical fixatives. A good smear preparation should be…

    1. A thin layer of cells so that individual cells can be observed.
    2. Fixed appropriately to allow repeated washings during staining.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT)

Note: A good smear preparation is the key to a high-quality stain. Care taken when creating a smear will allow for accurate observations.

  1. Use a slide from your slide box. If necessary, clean the slide using soap and water. Dry the slide using a KimWipe. Place the frosted side of the slide facing up and draw a circle (about the size of a nickel) on the bottom (unfrosted) side of the slide. Place 2-3 loopfuls of water on the slide. Don’t forget to draw a focus line on the top of the slide.
  2. Flame an inoculating needle and allow it to cool. Pick up a “tiny” amount of an Escherichia coli colony and mix it into the drop of water on the slide.

3.Flame the needle and transfer a small amount of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae colony in the same manner to the SAME drop.

You will now have a mixture of E. coli (bacteria, procaryotic cell) and S. cerevisiae (yeast, eucaryotic cell) in the same smear preparation.

  1. Air-dry the slide completely. Heat fix the slide by passing it over the flame 3 times. The slide should be uncomfortable to the skin but not painful. The slide is now ready to be stained as described below.

 S. cerevisiae E. coli

Frosted end facing up

Focus line

 Circle drawn on bottom of slide

  1. Direct stain

The cell wall of most bacteria has an overall net negative charge and thus can be stained directly with a single basic (positively charged) stain or dye. This type of stain allows us to observe the shape, size and arrangement of bacteria.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT)

    1. Use the smear prepared in the previous procedure. Staining is done at the sink.
    2. Add several drops of Methylene blue, enough to cover the smear, and wait 1 min.
    3. Rinse the slide with water from the squirt bottle and blot the slide with bibulous paper.
    4. Redraw the focus line on the top of the slide if necessary.
    5. Focus on the line with the 10X objective – refer to the microscope focusing procedure described in lab 1. Once you have focused on the specimen using the 10X objective, move the 40X objective lens into position. Use the fine adjustment knob to bring the specimen into focus. Now use the following procedure to view the specimen using the 100X (oil-immersion lens):
      1. Rotate the nosepiece to the empty slot between the 40X and 100X objectives.
      2. Add a drop of oil to slide where the light passes through. The oil has the same refractive index as the glass slide and thus prevents light loss.
      3. Move the 100X objective lens into position. The lens will be immersed in oil.
      4. The specimen will be out of focus but you will probably see a blurry image. Focus using the Fine Focus knob. Turn slowly 1/2 a turn toward you. If the specimen does not come into focus turn back a 1/2 turn to the approximate starting position and then turn a 1/2 turn away from you. If specimen is still not in focus call your instructor over to help you. Never turn the Fine Focus knob more than 1/2 a turn in either direction. NEVER use the Coarse Focus knob when using the 100X objective!
      5. Once the specimen is in focus, find a field that has isolated organisms. Then while viewing the organisms fine-tune the image by gently adjusting the condenser diaphragm to give the best light and adjusting the fine focus to give the sharpest image. If you have difficulty in bringing the image into view, move the stage adjustment back and forth while focusing.

f.After examining the slide – move the oil immersion objective away from the slide. Clean the objective thoroughly with lens paper (NOT KimWipes!) and lens cleaningsolution.

    1. Draw the organisms observed in the microscopic field – record in Results Lab 2.

Note: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It is a relatively large single-celled eucaryotic organism. Escherichia coli is a “tiny” rod shaped bacteria (procaryotic).

  1. Negative Stain

In contrast to direct stains that bind to bacteria directly, a negative stain colors the background of a smear rather than the bacteria. These stains have negatively charged functional groups so they will not bind directly to negatively charged bacteria. The advantages of negative staining are: 1) bacteria are not heat fixed so they don’t shrink, and 2) some bacterial species resist basic stains (Mycobacterium) and one way they can be visualized is with the negative stain. However, negative staining does not differentiate bacteria; one can only determine morphology.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT)

    1. Using a flamed inoculating loop, place 2-3 loopfuls of Congo Red in two separate circles on a clean slide. There is no need to add water to the Congo Red.

 Congo Red

B. subtilis tooth scraping

    1. Using a flamed inoculating NEEDLE, pick up a small amount of Bacillus subtilis and stir it into one drop of Congo Red.
    1. Use a toothpick to scrape material from your teeth near the gumline and stir this into the second drop of Congo Red. Be sure to keep the two drops separate.
    1. Air dry – DO NOT HEAT FIX.
    1. Flood the slide with acid-alcohol (95% ethanol, 3% HCl) until it turns blue. This generally takes ~ 2 seconds. Drain the excess acid-alcohol into the appropriately labeled waste container but do not wash the slide.
    1. Allow the slide to air dry; do not blot.
    1. Examine both smears. First focus using the 10X objective. You will not be able to see individual organisms, but you should be able to focus on the stain. Then move to 40X and finally to the oil immersion lens with oil.

Note: Organisms appear white (colorless) against a blue stained background. Draw a typical microscopic field for each slide in the Results section of this lab.

III. Morphological Unknown

The staining procedures introduced in Labs 2-4 are commonly used by microbiologists to help characterize and identify bacteria. These stains often make it possible to determine the group of organisms to which an unknown isolate belongs. With few exceptions, staining is the first step in identifying a bacterial unknown. Although staining alone does not give sufficient information about the organism to make a definitive identification, it will give some important clues. You will be given an unknown pure culture on which you will perform the various stains as you go through labs 2-4.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT)

  1. Collect an unknown from the side bench. Record the number of your unknown in the Results section. Your T.A. will also record the number of your unknown. It is important that the same unknown number is used throughout the identification process.
  1. Perform a direct stain (methylene blue) on your unknown. Determine the shape of your unknown and any distinctive arrangements of the cells. Record your observations in the results section following Lab 4.

Ubiquity of microorganisms

  1. UBIQUITY OF MICROORGANISMS

Microorganisms are ubiquitous; that is, they are present nearly everywhere. In this lab you will try to isolate bacteria and other microorganisms from various sources using different types of media.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Culture media (medium, singular): solution of nutrients required for the growth of bacteria.

Agar: a carbohydrate derived from seaweed used to solidify a liquid medium.

Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA): a rich solid medium containing a digest of casein (the principal milk protein) and soy products. It is an all-purpose medium that supports the growth of many diverse organisms.

Tryptic Soy Broth (TSB): a rich liquid medium containing a digest of casein and soy products. It is a general-purpose medium that supports the growth of organisms that are not exacting in their food requirements.

Colony: a visible population of microorganisms originating from a single parent cell and growing on a solid medium.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT) Collect 2 TSA plates and 1 TSB tube from the side bench.

    1. Moisten a sterile swab with sterile water (see bottle on your bench). Using this swab, collect a sample from any surface or object (e.g. doorknobs, shoes, drinking fountain, a strand of hair, various body parts, etc.). Try whatever interests you and be creative.
    2. After the sample has been collected, inoculate a Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA) plate by gently rolling the swab over the surface of the agar. Discard the used swab into a biohazard container.
    3. Label the bottom of the plate with your name, lab section #, date, and the source of the sample. Write on the outer edge so that the markings won’t interfere with observing the colonies growing on the plate.
    4. Inoculate a second Tryptic Soy Agar plate by the following procedure. Open the lid of the plate, place it close to your mouth and cough hard 3 times onto the plate. Place the lid back on. Correctly label your plate.
    5. Inoculate a tube of Tryptic Soy Broth by removing the cap, putting your thumb over the top of the tube, and inverting the tube several times. Replace the cap. Label the tube with your name and lab section using a piece of tape. Do not write directly on the cap or tube.
    6. Incubation: After inoculating culture media with microorganisms, it is usually incubated at a temperature that most closely mimics the organisms’ natural environments.

*a. TSA swabbed plate – room temperature (RT)

*b. TSA cough plate – body temperature–37˚C incubator

c. TSB tube – RT

*Plates are always incubated in an inverted position (agar side up). There are only a few exceptions to this rule that you will see later in the course.

II. MICROSCOPY

In this exercise you will become familiar with a bright field microscope that you’ll be using throughout the semester.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Microscope: a device for magnifying objects that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

  1. Simple microscope: single lens magnifier
  2. Compound microscope: employs two or more lenses

Parfocal: the objective lenses are mounted on the microscope so that they can be interchanged without having to appreciably vary the focus.

Resolving power or resolution: the ability to distinguish objects that are close together. The better the resolving power of the microscope, the closer together two objects can be and still be seen as separate.

Magnification: the process of enlarging the size of an object, as an optical image.

Total magnification: In a compound microscope the total magnification is the product of the objective and ocular lenses (see figure below). The magnification of the ocular lenses on your scope is 10X.

Objective lens ◊ Ocular lens = Total magnification For example:  low power: (10X)(10X) = 100X high dry: (40X)(10X) = 400X

oil immersion: (100X)(10X) = 1000X

Immersion Oil: Clear, finely detailed images are achieved by contrasting the specimen with their medium. Changing the refractive index of the specimens from their medium attains this contrast. The refractive index is a measure of the relative velocity at which light passes through a material. When light rays pass through the two materials (specimen and medium) that have different refractive indices, the rays change direction from a straight path by bending (refracting) at the boundary between the specimen and the medium. Thus, this increases the image’s contrast between the specimen and the medium.

One way to change the refractive index is by staining the specimen. Another is to use immersion oil. While we want light to refract differently between the specimen and the medium, we do not want to lose any light rays, as this would decrease the resolution of the image. By placing immersion oil between the glass slide and the oil immersion lens (100X), the light rays at the highest magnification can be retained. Immersion oil has the same refractive index as glass so the oil becomes part of the optics of the microscope. Without the oil the light rays are refracted as they enter the air between the slide and the lens and the objective lens would have to be increased in diameter in order to capture them. Using oil has the same effect as increasing the objective diameter therefore improving the resolving power of the lens.

MICROSCOPE COMPONENTS

 

MICROSCOPE CARE

    1. Never slide a microscope across a bench surface. Always carry a microscope with both hands. One hand should be placed on the arm and the other should support the base.
    2. Microscopes should be cleaned both before and after use. Use ONLY lens paper and lens cleaner. Kleenex, paper towels and even Kimwipes can scratch the lenses.
    3. ONLY use oil when using the100X oil immersion lens. DO NOT get oil on the other objective lenses.
    4. Store microscopes with the 10X (low power) objective lens in position or such that the region lacking a lens is in position. Turn the light intensity all the way down.
    5. DO NOT wrap the cord around the microscope. Instead, fold the cord and place it between the arm and the stage or beneath the stage.
    6. Use the course adjustment focusing knob to lower the stage towards the light source. DO NOT crank down on the knob!
    7. Replace the dust cover before putting the microscope away.

PROCEDURE: (EACH STUDENT) The primary objective of this exercise is to gain experience in using the bright field microscope. You will observe the microbial life present in pond water and hay infusions as you practice working with the microscope.

  1. Place a slide on the lab bench frosted side up. The frosted section should feel rough.

2.Draw a line on the slide with a Sharpie marker. This line will be used to help youfocus.

Frosted glass (rough side up)

Marker line

  1. Choose to observe either the pond water or hay infusion. Collect some of the chosen sample using a transfer pipette. Be sure to stir it and then pick up some of the “gunk” from the bottom of the jar. Put a drop of the sample next to the line on the slide.
  2. With your forceps, pick up a coverslip and place it on top of the sample. Avoid bubbles by putting the cover slip down at an angle.
  3. View the sample using your microscope:
    1. Lower the microscope stage a little in order to secure the prepared slide onto the stage using the spring-loaded slide holder.
    2. Turn on the main power switch and adjust the light until the Voltmeter reads 2. Be certain that both the field iris diaphragm and the aperture iris diaphragm are open and that the condenser is set to 0.
    3. Position the 10X objective lens directly above the focus line on the slide. Use the coarse adjustment knob to bring the stage as close to the 10X lens as is possible. Now use the fine adjustment knob to back the stage away until the line comes into focus (*Note – If you see more than one circle of light when looking in the oculars, move these lenses until only one circle of light is present).
    4. Move the slide to view the sample. Try to identify some of the organisms. You may move the high dry objective into place to get a better look at the tiny microbes, but please do not use the oil immersion lens (100X) at this point.
  4. Draw some of the organisms you observed in the results section for Lab 1. When you have finished observing the slide, remove it from the mechanical stage and discard the coverslip in the glass disposal container. Wash and save your microscope slide.
  5. Wash the slides under tap water and store them in a slide box provided in your drawer. Do not place the slides back into the original box.
  6. Every student should have 5 slides in a slide box for future use. Using the colored tape on the lab bench, label your box with your name and lab section.
  7. Before you put your microscope away, ALWAYS do the following:
    1. Turn off the power and place the 10X objective lens or region lacking a lens into position. Turn the light intensity all the way down.
    2. Clean each and every lens (objectives and oculars) with LENS PAPER and cleaning solution. Never, never, never use any other kind of tissue or paper towel.
    3. If using oil, clean up any spilled oil present on other parts of the microscope.
    4. Unplug the microscope, fold the electric cord and place it behind the stage–DO NOT wrap cord around the arm of the microscope.
    5. Replace the dust cover on the microscope and carefully put the microscope in the cabinet with the

ARM FACING OUT.

NOTES

LAB 1 RESULTS

  1. UBIQUITY OF MICROORGANISMS
    1. Draw the colonies observed on the TSA plates.

Note: You will be able to make these observations during LAB 2, AFTER the plates have been incubated.

  TSA Swab Plate TSA Cough Plate

    1. In your own words describe the Colony Morphology and Color of 3 different colonies from either of the TSA plates.

Colony 1  

 

Colony 2  

 

Colony 3  

 

    1. Does the nutrient broth tube show growth of bacteria?   Based on the amount of turbidity, estimate the number of bacteria/mL present in the nutrient broth.

Whodunit? The False Accusations Of An Every Day Staphylococcus epidermidis

Daily Amino Reporter

It was just a quiet day in local suburbia when panic struck. Staphylococcus epidermidis, the local fauna, was being accused of accessory to infection. The local authorities are performing many tests to cause questionable doubt, but S. epidennidis’s lawyers are fighting it all the way. “We want to know the right strain is caught in this unfortunate crime.” Lawyer M. Whitblodcelle commented. The particular infection in question: Meningitis. This reported knows for a fact that S. epidermidis is a cause of this infection, but the most violent perpetrator is Staphylococcus aureus.

The question is who the bystander was and who is the guilty party. “We are assuring that all of the proper tests are being performed on my client” Whitblodcelle commented. The test results have been obtained from an unnamed source especially for the Daily Amino. On the night of his arrest S. epidermidis was a semi-opaque color against his auger and was coldly given the number 130. After his one phone call to renowned microbiologist Dr. Ozzy Drix, he was immediately shuffled off to the direct staining room. Officer Methylene blue sat on S. epidermidis for one minute until she got all the information she needed. Results from her test proved that S. epiderrnidis stained blue and had a cocci shape. He also showed signs of staphylo arrangement.

Officer Blue stated “it is too early to tell anything at this point, there are thousands of people in this city with those signs.” After a 500,000,000 protein bail was put on his head S. epidermidis spent the next few nights in the slammer.

The next few days brought test after test. Early, just after a breakfast of organic compounds, S. epidermidis was escorted into one of the most important labs in the police force. It was time for his gram stain. Officer Violet and Officer Safranin presided the testing. After being stained, rinsed and stained again, S. epidermidis finally talked. There was no denying that he was a purple, cocci, staphylo and Gram Positive cell. The stress was taking a toll on the poor cell though because it seemed like a few of his arrangements had slipped into a diplo formation. “I really wished that he wouldn’t have been so quick to admit that he was Gram Positive” S. epidermidis’s girlfriend Bacillus subtilis commented. “Now everyone will know we are opposites.”

Unfortunately, things were going to get more confusing for the couple. In a daring move to test S. epidermidis accused hidden lipids, Special agent Acid-fast was brought in to perform his stain for the evidence locker. S. epidermidis came out nonacid fast and very blue. He did test positive again for staphylo cocci shape. “One of the most consistent shape tester I have ever seen” Acid fast’s assistant Miss Acid Alcohol commented.

The day was long and grueling, but he was not done yet. The Endospore Agency for the Mental Health of All Domains brought in Ms. M. Green came in and gave S. epidermidis a steam bath with herself to see if he could survive this whole ordeal by producing endospores. The test came back negative, that he was not harboring endospores. After this test he was looking a little pink, but still in staphylo cocci formation. Will all these tests prove him of this heinous crime of infection? Stay tuned to the Daily Amino for more answers.

Fight Night:”Kick’m While They’re Down”

 

Brandie Yeik MOLB 2210 – February 10, 2004

The place was packed, the crowd was on their feet. Friday night, at the Immunocompetent arena in Las Virulence, hit record turbidity of 109, which was no surprise to all the sports fans. Described as the fight of the century, Cystic Fibrosis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa battled it out for the Prokaryotic World Boxing championship title. The defending champion, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, looking a pale cream color, entered the ring flaunting the championship belt. P. aeruginosa’s smooth rod shape, and dominating bright blue color showed when coach Direct Stain, prepared and charged him up for the big fight.

A fruity smell filled the arena (Anderson 2004). This was going to be one that would go down in the history books! The opponent, Cystic Fibrosis, was a new and upcoming star. His most impressive fight earlier in the season was his defeat over Exocrine Gland from Lungs, Indiana (Toder 2002). He entered the ring wearing his signature mucous covered shorts.

“LETS GET READY TO RUMIVIMMMBLE!”

In the first few minutes of the first round, P. aeruginosa, was thrown a cheap move by Cystic Fibrosis, and it seemed as if it might be a short fight. Cystic Fibrosis dosed P. aeruginosa with a strong line of antibiotics. Down for what seemed like the final count, P. aeruginosa stood back up and fought till the end of the first round thanks to his trusty capsule that blocked the antibiotics. Back in the corner he was rejuvenated and took to a different tactic for the remainder of the fight. He figured if he could intimidate Cystic Fibrosis maybe he could scare him into loosing the fight. P. aeruginosa would show his true mean side and change into his Gram-negative costume. Totally dyed pink and showing his true cell wall, he took to the center of the ring. This tactic seemed to do its job. Cystic Fibrosis slowly began to weaken. By the end of the second round Cystic Fibrosis was visibly loosing. kV-g.

The third round was the final, and most exciting round. As the two took the center of the ring, Cystic Fibrosis was slow to his feet, and maybe even a little dizzy. It only took one hard upper cut to knock. Cystic Fibrosis to the ground. The crowd went crazy. However, this was not the end of the fight. At least not for P. aeruginosa. As Cystic Fibrosis lay flat on the ground, weak and vulnerable/ P. aeruginosa proceeded to kick and whip the disease with his one flagellum (Van Deiden 1998). The defenseless opponent had no more ability to fight back, and yet the relentless bacteria proceeded to, well, “knock the mucous” out of the defenseless disorder.

This brutal display of fighting continued for many minutes until a brave antibiotic finally took to the ring and ended the slaughter. Comxnents from the two time champion were the following: “I plan to celebrate this victory by going to the local acid-fast staining bar, having a few alcohol washing and see if I can hold my color, I never have been able to hold my color that well, it kinda makes me blue in the face. I have been known as a non-acid fast kinda guy, but after a win like this, I want to celebrate.” It was reported that later in the night he did indeed have a crazy celebration. It was rumored that a. crazed fan poured a full glass of endospore stain on his pants, which, embarrassing for him, revealed he was not wearing any endospores under his cell wall.

References

Anderson, Nester, Pearsall, Roberts. Microbiology: A Human Perspective. McGraw-Hill 2004. p. 250, 61,281-282.

Toby Kenneth. Pseudomonas aeruginosa. University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Bacteriology. 2002.

Van Delden, Iglewski. Cell-to-Cell Signaling and Pseudomonas aeru2inosa Infections. University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. 1998.

 

New Bacteria Discovered in Local Hospital

Brian Hardy

Pallet Town-LT-Recently, a large amount of nosocomial infections have been reported at the Pallet Town Hospital. When asked about what may be the cause of these nosocomial infections, Nurse Joy, the Nurse Manager of the center, assured us that they are handling the situation well. “We realized that the patients getting sick were cancer patients,” Nurse Joy told us. “All these patients had indwelling catheters and incidentally they all had urinary tract infections.” The hospital decided that more research needed to be done to determine what was causing these infections.

To accomplish this, they hired a well-known Microbiologist, Professor Oak, to do some investigating. “First, I had to obtain a sample of the bacteria I was trying to identify,” Oak informed us. “We obtained a urine sample from a sick patient and began to research right away.” Oak was able to grow the bacteria in his laboratory. He observed the bacteria and used these observations to identify the microorganism. “When we looked at the bacteria first, we saw that it was white in color and grew randomly in the test tube. We then stained it and looked at its arrangement. We found that the bacteria were spherical, or cocci, and arranged in irregular clusters, like grapes.” Oak informed us that characteristics like these are very important in identifying the bacteria in question.

“Next we performed a Gram stain to determine whether it was Gram negative of Gram positive. After the staining procedure, we discovered that the bacteria were Gram positive. This helped us get a closer idea as to what we were dealing with.” Gram staining is a very important step in identifying bacteria. When we know whether a bacterium is Gram negative of Gram positive, we are able to narrow the search for identification. “We also performed some other tests to help narrow our search. By staining, we determined that it was not Acid-fast and not an endospore former.” The researchers soon discovered that they had found something special.

“The bacteria we isolated had never been seen before. We soon realized that we had discovered a bacterium. We decided to name it Staphylococcus epidermidis. We then had the task of finding out how these bacteria got in patient’s bladders.” The research team took samples from various areas in the hospital and soon discovered that Staphylococcus epidermidis was most commonly found on the skin. This is called normal flora. They used this information to hypothesize that the bacteria found their way into bladders through catheter tubes. The normal flora, which is usually harmless, caused problems to the patients because they had low immune systems and were unable to fight off the infection. Nurse Joy assures us that sterile gloves are now worn when catheters are inserted and other invasive procedures are done. The Hospital is sure that when sterile procedures are used, their high amount of nosocomial infections will decrease. Research for this article came from class notes and Microbiology: A Human Perspective.

Dichotomous Key Microbiology

General Info:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 5

Material to accompany labs 1-14

Material to accompany labs 15-28

The Scientific Revolution

Hearing early in 1609 that a Dutch optician, named Lippershey, had produced an instrument by which the apparent size of remote objects was magnified, Galileo at once realized the principle by which such a result could alone be attained, and, after a single night devoted to consideration of the laws of refraction, he succeeded in constructing a telescope which magnified three times, its magnifying power being soon increased to thirty-two.

This instrument being provided and turned towards the heavens, the discoveries, which have made Galileo famous, were bound at once to follow, though undoubtedly he was quick to grasp their full significance. The moon was shown not to be, as the old astronomy taught, a smooth and perfect sphere, of different nature to the earth, but to possess hills and valleys and other features resembling those of our own globe. The planet Jupiter was found to have satellites, thus displaying a solar system in miniature, and supporting the doctrine of Copernicus.

It had been argued against the said system that, if it were true, the inferior planets, Venus and Mercury, between the earth and the sun, should in the course of their revolution exhibit phases like those of the moon, and, these being invisible to the naked eye, Copernicus had to change the false explanation that these planets were transparent and the sun’s rays passed through them. But with his telescope Galileo found that Venus did actually exhibit the desired phases, and the objection was thus turned into an argument for Copernicanism.

Galileo was tried by the Inquisition for his writings discussing the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems. In June 1633, Galileo was condemned to life imprisonment for heresy. His writings about these subjects were banned, and printers were forbidden to publish anything further by him or even to reprint his previous works. Outside Italy, however, his writings were translated into Latin and were read by scholars throughout Europe. Galileo remained under imprisonment until his death in 1642.

However he never was a real prisoner for he never spent any time in a prison cell or being treated like a criminal. Instead he spent his time in fancy apartments. The rest of the time he was allowed to use houses of friends as his places of confinement the, always comfortable and usually luxurious RENAISSANCE AND SCIENCE Before the Renaissance, religion and science were almost synonyms. All scientists and people accepted the views of the Bible or ancient thinkers like Aristotle. Everything in history has its cause, its reason for happening and nothing goes unnoticed.

In this case the Scientific Revolution was the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, which eventually led to the French Revolution and the American Revolution. What was the Scientific Revolution and why was it such an important time in the history of Europe? The Scientific Revolution changed people’s perception of the world around them, the medieval view of the Universe was destroyed, and a new, completely different cosmology was created. The medieval cosmology was based on a mixture of theories derived from ancient Greed thinkers and Christian thought.

Aristotle believed that “the heavens were unchangeable, and therefore, they were better than the earth. The sun, moon, and planets were all faultless spheres, unblemished, and immune from decay. Their motion was circular because the circle was the perfect form of motion. The earth was the center of the universe because it was the heaviest planet and because it was at the center of the Great Chain of Being, between the underworld of spirits and the upper world of gods” (Kishlansky, 554-555).

Ptolemy used this idea to develop his theory of a geocentric universe, where the Earth was at the center and all the other planets rotated around it. This view was easily incorporated in the Christianity and helped make a clear distinction between the Earth and the Heavens. The obvious problems with Aristotle’s theories were overlooked and other questions were explained by the idea of Heaven and Earth. The Scientific Revolution shattered the tied between science and religion.

Revolutionary thinkers, such as Copernicus (1473-1543), who stated that we lived in a heliocentric universe, and Kepler (1571- 1630), who developed the three laws of planetary motion, radically changed the views of the pre-revolution period. Copernicus’ heliocentric universe disproved the beliefs of Aristotle and Ptolemy, which were the partial basis of the medieval cosmology. Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion proved that planets have elliptical orbits, that a planet’s velocity is not uniform, and brought the planets together into a unified mathematical system.

Other great thinkers such as Galileo (1564-1642) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) helped to develop a new cosmology not dominated by Christian belief and the Heavens. Newton’s Law of Gravitation changed ideas about the motion of an object. It showed that the laws and forces of motion at work in nature determined the motion of a body. Galileo used his self-built telescope to observe the universe and deduce that heavenly bodies undergo change and that there was no distinction between the Heavens and Earth. All of these ideas were quite contrary to the cosmology of the medieval times.

These ideas were dangerous and destructive to the Christian religion. The cosmology adequately explained the movement of the planets and the role of our own Earth in the universe. However, this theory did not account for the presence of God as an unchanging part of the universe. The scientists did not attempt to disprove the accepted views of the church, few of them saw any contradiction between their research and their faith, but were accused of heretic teaching. They were persecuted, forced to renounce their ideas and even killed for the work they did to explain the world around us.

This did not stop any of them from continuing their quest for knowledge. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the new science had firmly established itself in Europe. The wealthy noble patrons of scientists provided the equipment and the cost of the experiments, thus supporting the further development of scientific learning. The Scientific Revolution was beneficial for many reasons. The development of the scientific method helped start research in areas like medicine, biology, alchemy, and physics.

The scientific thought put an end to centuries of superstition and allowed many people feel a sense of control over the material world. The quest for knowledge led to the improvements in agriculture, mining, industry, and navigation. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was the dominant intellectual movement of the eighteenth century. The thinkers of the time are known as philosophes, they shared the faith of the supremacy of human reason, believing that people through the use of their reason could find answers to their questions and solution to their problems.

Insisting that human institutions should conform to logic and reason, they challenged traditional royal and church authority and called for the end of the Old Regime. The Enlightenment was a crucial movement in the development of the modern world. The writers, philosophers, artists and musicians of the eighteenth century who saw themselves as being enlightened had a profound conviction that they were at the forefront of a new age which would sweep aside the superstitions of the past and replace them with the clear light of reason.

The vision was not confined to the world of ideas it also had profound political implications. In the minds of many of the leading figures of the Enlightenment, superstition and ignorance were not confined to private life – they had their outworking in the rule of autocratic monarchs and corrupt governments. There were some monarchs at the time that considered themselves to be ‘enlightened’, we now refer to them as “The Enlightened Despots”, for their belief, although somewhat valid, was based mostly on their perception of themselves. Catherine the Great of Russia, was one of such rulers.

She was well acquainted with the literature of the French Enlightenment, which was an important influence on her own political thinking. She corresponded extensively with Voltaire and Denis Diderot, gave financial support to them and a number of other French writers, and played host to Diderot at her court in 1773. Although this activity was partly aimed at creating a favorable image in Western Europe, she was probably sincere in her interest and her hope to apply some of the ideas of the Enlightenment to rationalize and reform the administration of the Russian Empire.

Frederic the Great of Prussia almost perfect example of the benevolent or “enlightened” despot. He was familiar with the ideas of the eighteenth-century reformers and a friend of Voltaire. Many of the philosophes, including Voltaire, felt progress could come faster if the government were directed by a reasonable, benevolent, “enlightened” despot, who would make his state’s welfare his highest aim. Frederick the Great was just such a man. Frederick the Great put many of the philosophes’ concepts into practice. He was much influenced by the philsophes’ ideas that the king was the servant of his people.

The Enlightenment did not just have a pacifistic tone, it was the main cause of the French Revolution of 1789-1792. France was long overdue for a financial and political reform. It was full of new ideas, new theories and new thinkers, but it was kept together by traditions of many centuries. The Church, the monarchy and the nobility had all the power in the country and a large percentage of the wealth. This was acceptable to them, but caused a great deal of unhappiness for common people who worked for their money. There was talk of reform and progress, but for many years it simply remained a plan.

The Old Regime was doomed to fall eventually, it was just a matter of time. The French population consisted of three classes: the nobility, the clergy, and the commoners. Most of the wealth resided in the first two estates, but most of the population belonged to the third. In the middle of the eighteenth century, a subset of the third estate called the bourgeoisie had emerged. These were people of common birth that had nothing to do with the nobility or the clergy, but through their efforts became successful in business, accumulating a considerable amount of money.

They were the most educated, and often the most respected members of the community they lived in, and they were the ones who initiated the revolution on July 14th 1789 by storming the Bastille. This event was very significant, it was the people taking the ruling of the country into their won hands. The privileged classes were no more, the third estate became the power in the land, and no one had the right to dictate the terms of the constitution and the laws. Abbe Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes was a member of the first estate, but held the progressive views of the time: “What is the third estate?

Everything. What had it been heretofore in the political order? Nothing. What does it demand? To become something therein The third estate, then, comprises everything appertaining to the nation; and whatever is not the third estate may not be regarded as being of the nation. What is the third estate? Everything! ” (Kishlansky, 671). However, not many people in the first and second estates agreed with this philosophy. They struggled to keep the revolution under their control, determined to retain their power and privileges, but it was now out of their hands.

The storming of the Bastille was a symbol of breaking free from the chains of the tyranny and the oppression and taking control of their lives, according to the teachings of the enlightened philosophies. The second revolution in 1792 was the revolution of the people; its motto was equality. This time it was led by the common people, urban workers, and peasants from the villages close to Paris. There were no high ideas of liberty and respect for tradition, it was simply the mob doing its job.

The popular movement constituted from the working men and women, some wealthier then others, but all from the lower part of the third estate. They all hated the privileged first and second estates, they believed that these privileges were not deserved and should not be condoned. Kishlansky states: “As the have-nots, they were increasingly intent on pulling down the haves, and they translated this sense of vengeance into a new revolutionary justice”(Kishlansky, 679). The ideas of the Enlightenment were finally realized.

The bourgeoisie were educated people who were familiar with the works of many authors from the Age of Reason, these works helped structure their views of the political system, the rights of the people and the world around them. The writers of the time were most definitely a major influence on the leaders of the revolution. As for the commoners, who were in their majority illiterate, they could not have read the philosophical works, but were likely to have heard some of the key points through their association with the more educated people of the time.

The bourgeoisie realized that the old order of the country was no longer acceptable, and needed change. This change could only come with the complete reform of the political, as well as economic principals of the country. The monarchy was weak and not and acceptable alternative, the ruling of the land could not be left to the nobility and the clergy, who were not qualified to make well analyzed decisions. The economic situation of France was in dire need of an educated leader. The privileged did not pay taxes and the commoners could not.

This had to be changed, and the bourgeoisie were the perfect people to initiate this change. They had the business experience and the desire to put France back on its feet. These changes could no longer wait, the revolution had to occur. On the other hand, the common working people were probably only aware of the philosophies of the Enlightenment through osmosis of information. They were aware that the people are in charge of their lives and the world around them and took that knowledge literally.

They started their revolution for the principals of equality, because they firmly believed that they had the right to decide the path that their country, and along with their lives, was taking. They were now interested in the political and economic problems, the philosophy gave them the power. The ideas of the Scientific Revolution broke the old established ideas in science and let the minds of the scientists roam the infinite possibilities of knowledge. This created a whole new generation of thinkers who not only studied the old traditions, but also created their new view of the world that was radically different.

This variety gave the educated people freedom of choice to decide which views of the world better suited the time that they were living in, and permission to change the outdated notions of reality. Thus the bourgeoisie took advantage of the philosophies of the Enlightenment and applied them to their wold, creating a better place for them to live, and a better country for the following generations. When the social and economic situation of the country is outdated, the change is inevitable. In short, one revolution always causes another.

The play Life of Galileo is considered a masterpiece and one of the most relevant plays of the 20th century. It addresses the social and political problems of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Brecht’s play has at its thematic core the repression of individual freedom, contrasting the hostile worlds of Galileo’s inner, insatiable drive for discovery with the brutally efficient tyranny of the Church-as-state which marches in sync with the chilling machinery of the Inquisition. The dramatic structure has elements of formal, classic balance, epic in its architecture.

Its dominant crisis point is the earth-shattering recantation of Galileo’s revolutionary scientific discoveries. Richard Gist The play talks about the science of Galileo and its effect on society. The playwright, Bertolt Brecht, indirectly portrays some characteristics of “the human activity we call science” . In our class we have discussed some characteristics which are similar and others that are different. One of the major characteristics is revealed when the scientific community refuses and resists the new paradigm that Galileo introduces.

This is because scientists believe that he has used “wrong” methods. The new paradigm also contradicts with their religious beliefs, which is obvious when a monk says, “How can the sun stand still if it never moves at all as suggested by this heretic? Are the Scriptures lying? ” Furthermore, Galileo’s ideas, if proven right, will negatively affect the professional standard of the scientists, as well as their school of thought and seniority. The scientific community of Galileo’s time failed to see that discovery is “thinking what nobody has thought” .

They also refused to accept this bizarre paradigm because they believed that Galileo used unsuitable research techniques. For example, in Scene 6 one astronomer says, “He is examining it, though. He’s sitting in there staring through that diabolical tube. ” The norms of scientific behavior are portrayed in several scenes in this play. Galileo shows his determination to carry on his research, even though a deadly plague has spread throughout Florence. In Scene 5 he says, “I can’t abandon these observations.

I have powerful enemies and I must collect proofs for certain hypotheses. ” He also shows disinterestedness and humbleness when Father Clavius admits that Galileo’s paradigm is correct by convincing a monk that it was not him that won, “It has won. Not me: reason has won. ” This can also be seen in Scene 8 when he claims that the truth will rise above falsehood if reason and reasonable people are victorious, “The only truth that gets through will be what we force through: the victory of reason will be the victory of people who are prepared to reason, nothing else.

Later in the play, Galileo fears that he may have reached a chance event. He performs his experiments several times again to avoid running across a different observation that may result in the change of his final conclusion. In Scene 9, Galileo and his two assistants, a monk and Andrea, re-observe the sun to avoid a chance event, “Only when we have failed, have been utterly and hopelessly beaten and are licking our wounds in the profoundest depression, shall we start asking if we weren’t right after all, and the earth does go round.

The play allows a question to arise: When is it wrong to tell the truth? Bertholt Brecht answers this question by portraying the characteristics of science that are similar to the ones that we have discussed in class. He compares the similarities between Galileo submitting to the Church’s authorities’ demand for retraction with the situation in WWII Germany in which the scientists were turning over their knowledge to aid the Nazi war effort.

The Science Of Astrology

Astrology is the science of certain cryptic relations between the celestial bodies and terrestrial life. It is considered an art and a practical science. It lays no claim to be what used to be called an exact science, but studies certain predispositions or tendencies in human life, which are sometimes indicated so clearly that they become virtual certainties. The possible uses of astrology are endless and may be used to a variety of means. Since the days of the Chaldeans, it was known that the sun, moon, and planets followed similar paths, the zodiac.

It is a zone of the celestial sphere that extends from 8. degrees on either side if the path of the sun. As a primitive calendar, the zodiacal belt was arbitrarily divided into twelve sections of 30 degrees each. these are the famous signs of the zodiac. The orgins of the names given to each sign extend into the most remote regions of antiquity. Terrestrial animal gods, whether real or imagined , were one day projected onto the constellations which, in the Chaldean imagination, they resembled. This celestial menagerie has furthermore given the zodiac its name, for in greek, it means “route of animals. The sun enters the first zodiacal sign, Aries , and then ontinues its path through the remaining eleven signs. The twelve signs of the zodiac are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The moon and the planets pass through the signs too, but obviously at different speeds from those of the sun. The moon, which is close to the earth, circles the zodiac in twenty-nine days, while the planet Pluto needs two hundred fifty years. Planets also can be seen to slow down, stop, and even reverse directions in relationship to the constellations that they cross.

In reality, the planet inexorably continues along its way. But the speed of the earth itself interacts with that of the planet to occasionally give this impression. The symbolism of the twelve signs is a very ancient tradition passed along from Manilius and Ptolemy of Alexandria. It ascribes well-defined properties to each sign, influences transmitted to the child at birth that determine his character, health, and destiny. Passing through twelve signs, the planets, play different parts. Being born at the moment when one of the signs is occupied by several planets confers the properties of this sign on the individual.

The most important celestial figure is that of the sun. This what determines what sign the child was born under. In this way an ancient tradition has divided human beings into twelve psychological types whose descriptions are intuitive of human nature. This interpretation of the twelve signs is a blend of several different works but generally agree on the signification of the signs of the zodiac. ARIES (March 21-April 20) Ruled by Mars, the Aries is the incarnation of violent will, impatience, impulsiveness, and rapid, often precipitated, decisions. The principal qualities are enthusiasm, courage, independence, and pride.

But Aries is too aggressive and impulsive. Like the animal that it symbolizes, he has a great tendency to thrust ahead with his horns without having reflected beforehand. To succeed in life the aries must keep his enthusiasm but moderate his ardor. The Aries essence is the principal of acceleration personified. “Fast” is the word that governs all activities from falling in love to saving a hopeless situation. Ariens talk fast, think fast, move fast and have no patience for people who don’t. Ariens thrive on challenge and are born leaders, eager to break through old barriers to watch their ideas take hold.

Their nature is dynamic, fiery and fiercely determined to have its own ay, regardless. And because they can be such an audacious, impassioned, overwhelming force to handle, they get their own way more often than not. A displeased Aries can be like a tornado: if caught standing in the path of either, there is no way to remain impervious. There may be disturbing sounds and things may begin to fly, but it doesn’t last long. Ariens are highly generative and immensely positive in their approach to all they undertake. There is an extraordinary courage in this sign that springs from vitality and confidence that sings of miracles.

This is a sign that senses possibility n the improbable and that can create new conditions out of chaos. The Aries vision is progressive and expansive, and their approach enthusiastic and inspiring. They bring an incandescence to everything they care about. One strength this sign is missing is subtlety. And one way this deficiency comes through is with the kind of candor that can kill. When Ariens are good, they are very good; when they are bad, they are very bad. Taurus (April 21-May 22) It is Venus who governs this sign. In general, Taurus is a concrete being, firmly attached to the goods of this world.

He has a strong but peaceful sensuality. His anger is rare, in the mage of the peaceful beast that is his totem, but it comes abruptly and violently: he easily “sees red. ” Most often however, he demonstrates his good sense, stability and fidelity. He can sometimes be reproached for lack of detachment and disinterestedness. Taurus is archetypal earth, steady and enduring, solid as the ground beneath one’s feet. By nature, Taureans are strong and basic, practical and uncomplicated in their approach to life. Taureans are loyal and loving in pragmatic ways that promote positive feelings.

Builders of bonds, nests, and families, Taureans know instinctively how to make a house a home. Taureans have a way of consuming their own possessions, or preserving and cherishing them like objects of fine art. The sheer sensuous pleasure that a Taurean is capable of taking in life is something the more mental signs can learn from. However, like anything else, it is prone to excess and can pose problems. The Taurean tunes negative can be cold, brutal, violent, and sadistic, the type of person to take a life simply to make an angry point.

Bottled up and often displaced anger is a key problem for they do not deal well with their deeper emotions. When fixed in a chosen direction and highly motivated, the ypical Taurean can outendure all competition, opposition and obstacles of every kind. However, the motivation has to spring from something that is highly valued. Gemini (May 21-June 21) It is Gemini that influences the gemini, the crafty Mercury, god of eloquence, merchants and thieves. He is above all a shrewd being, constantly proving his adaptability in all circumstances. He enjoys social contacts.

All recognize Gemini’s brilliance and spirituality. He must nonetheless guard against falling into easiness that would make of him a superficial, unstable and mixed-up individual. He should put intelligence in the service of a durable cause. In love,he must be careful of artificiality, and put more sincerity into rushes of feeling. “I think therefore I am” is the classic Gemini code for carrying on with life. Geminis meet all of their problems “head” on and have a set of reasons for all their motivations-including those that are purely emotional.

People born under this sign are smart and glib, social and superficially clever. Gemini is the sign of communication, and most Geminis can talk their way out of a maximum-security prison. Or, when the guileful trickster takes over, they can manipulate somebody else behind bars. Geminis tend to be self-involved and fear those who sabotage heir sense of freedom. Seeking stimulation but having a strong sense of self-preservation, they will avoid anything that seriously threatens their ego base. Instinctively, they select and sort out what or who is most important in their scheme of things.

Quite often such discriminations are based on a desire for power. Highly verbal and gregarious, Geminis have a gift for talking and taking advantage of the attention that their clever words attract. There is great power in their ability to generate an eager and receptive audience. Caught up in the moment, they lack self-consciousness and have the ability to get the most olorous crowd to break into contagious laughter. Because the thinking process overrides their ability to feel, Geminis have to train their minds to work for them rather than against them.

A powerful mind is a calm, focused and disciplined one. On the other hand, a mind that is out of control gets nowhere, and is a Gemini pitfall which finds expression in many aspects of life. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Like the moon that governs this sign, Cancer is an imaginative, sensitive, and dreamy individual. Somewhat self- effacing, he enjoys family life, where his timidity- and somewhat weakness- seems to be protected from the hardness of this world. The feeling for the past is more attractive that the future.

He often feels a nostalgia for childhood and the protection of his mother and must try to overcome this attitude. Cancer must strive to impose his qualities of shrewdness and intuition on groups of people. In love, it is not good for the cancer to give too much importance to the wounds of self-love, and he must learn to declare himself at the right moment. Ruled by the tides of their fluctuating emotions, Cancers are Moon people, mysterious as the sea at night, delicate as a moon beam shimmering on the surface of a still and haunted lake.

In their own unique ways, Cancers are haunted-by their fears and anguished fantasies, their attachment to the past, their driven compulsions and their quiet, self-obsessed dramas that sometimes move them to the brink of madness. Self-enclosed and saturated with their own emotions, Cancers feel everything that they don’t deliberately shut out. it is a highly strung inner world of intense emotional velocity that is ignited by any threat to their sense of control. Sometimes sensitive and compassionate, sometimes cold and cut off from the world, Cancers are influenced by both the inner and outer atmosphere.

The result is a person easily pressured by onslaughts on their self-preservation. In the Cancer mind, the unconscious is very close to the surface. as the first of the three water signs, much of life is about learning to live with this emotional makeup in the middle of a cold an insecure material world. Cancers are often criticized as being extremely self- centered people. However, it is, in truth, as if there is no self, only a self-protective shell. With emotions so close to the surface, Cancers are hopelessly sentimental. Generous to a fault, they can be a fool for love.

When it comes to work , the classic Cancerian has the oncentration of a brain surgeon and the drive to go along with it. Tenacious, task-oriented and intense, Cancers tend to be perfectionists who take their work personally-and sometimes a little too seriously. There are Cancers who leave the office at the office. However, it is likely that they work overtime, don’t take time for lunch, and go home hours after the cleaning lady. Leo (July 23-August 22) Having elected to reside in this sign, the sun confers its force, amplitude, and radiance on those born in Leo.

Leo is a proud, individualistic, and generous being. Authority and willpower are among the dominant character traits. Thus he has strong trump cards to help obtain success in life. Leo must be wary, however, of pride and unmeasured action, and govern ambitions with the measure of his abilities. He must avoid being too susceptible to flattery. In love, he has a tendency to transform his life into the stage of the theater. He should be more reserved in the manifestations of his rushes of feeling. those who love him will be grateful for this.

Leo is the sign of the sun, and like the sun itself, Leos shine with stellar incandescence. Leos’ magnetism makes them highly memorable people who exude power and personableness. Personality is the Leo strong point. When so desiring, the Leo charm can tame serpents and turn the world at large into an adoring enclave. At their best they give off a scintillating sort of radiance. They are positive and enthusiastic, spirited, dynamic and larger than life. Leos expect the best from themselves and everyone around them.

It is this attitude that helps them achieve their dreams. This is the sign that is determined to do things its own way, at all costs, with no patience for the opinions of others. When this works, the Leo energy and willfulness can create miracles. When it backfires, it’s probably more comfortable anging out in a towering inferno. Although Leos are overachiever with highly successful track records, they tend to underestimate their accomplishments. The anxiety deep within them concerning performance never allows them to rest and gives them problems delegating authority.

They embrace perfectionistic standards and feel contempt for mediocrity. Virgo (August 23-September 23) It is mercury that rules this sign. But it is not the subtle and airy Mercury of gemini. Intelligence is more matter-of-fact: less gifted but deeper. The Virgo is rightly considered calculating, prudent and attached to minor details to the point of fixation. For the Virgo, reason overcomes the heart; precision seems to be more important than intuition, of which he is wary. In love, Virgo is not very demonstrative, or at least, unable to decide, a late marriage will be his lot.

Commonly known as the sign of the nitpicking perfectionist, Virgos often consider themselves to be discriminators graced with divine sanction. Seeing flaws like Librans see beautiful faces, Virgos are often controlled by their visions. In time, their visions go into what makes up a life. The single most important challenge in the Virgo experience is to see things in larger terms. Virgos’ visions determine heir career success, quality of experience in relationships, health, and overall quality of life. The perfectionism so often associated with this sign, has in fact far less to do with perfection than with a diminished view of the whole.

It is the sort of perception that focuses in on the loose thread rather than the color of of the fabric. Virgos are victimized by a deadly dreariness that is born of duty and discipline, self-control and routinized regimes. People born under this sign often have to wake up to the possibilities of their own life and the power within themselves. Shortsighted, Virgos settle easily for the minor roles that are o often assigned to them rather than stretching them beyond and utilizing the gifts of what could be a superior mind.

Libra (September 23- October 22) Governed by Venus, the planet of harmony and arts, one word characterizes Libra: equilibrium, as the sign it symbolizes. Libra is sociable, refined, and understanding, party to conciliatory solutions. But be careful, for he is gifted with a very fine sense of justice, and will engage in battle if he considers that he has been ridiculed. In sentimental relationships, Libra is praised for hi sweetness and elegance, with an occasionally somewhat exaggerated coquetishness. Aggressiveness must be stimulated, for Libra’s distinguished nonchalance can prevent his social success.

In many respects, Libra is a sign of paradox. Librans sprout from a series of contradictions: self versus nonself, mental versus emotional, pleasure versus pathos, generosity versus greed, control versus chaos. Underneath the smiling face and stellar charm lies a character with many convolutions, confusions, frustrations and ambivaleces concerning its identity. Combine this with very high intelligence and you have people who think a great deal about how they ought to be, how they should ave been, how they might have been and how they will be if only… nd so on. While this highly complicated process sounds self-centered, it is in fact the workings of a self that doesn’t feel complete by itself. It always seems that something is missing, and whether that appears to be another person, a significant promotion, or a successful project that will prove one’s worth, the day-to-day drama is often a torturous spiral. The need to affirm one’s self is so strong in Libras that it makes many of them burn with ambition. In the intensity of striving and accomplishing, one leaves a sense of lacking behind.

Alas the fuel for such ambition is the kind of anxiety that never lets one calm down. The satisfaction that comes from having achieved one’s goal is soon supplanted by the necessity for a new creation. And so continues the rise and fall of doing and being. In between each gap is like a gasp in which a threatening, self- diminishing voice sneaks through. Scorpio (October 23- November 21) Mars, the god of war, and Pluto, the god of the underworld, share this kingdom. It suffices to say that the child of Scorpio is not a being of rest. There is in him a depth of violent aggressiveness and undiscipline, but also of anguish.

Scorpios nemies must contend with his piercing critical sense, which permits the rapid discovery of the chinks in their armor, for it is certain that he has flair. There is also scientific curiosity which penetrates the depths nature’s secrets, even if they are dangerous. Passionate and jealous in love, possessing strong sexuality; in a word, Scorpio has the best and the worst. By developing the best, he is able to have exceptional success in life. Scorpio might be the most misunderstood sign in the zodiac. It is a convoluted sign, commonly associated with mystery, sex, power, and intrigue.

In social gatherings where the conversation as descended to the most superficial astrological chitchat, Scorpio gets more than its share of abuse. Much of this has to do with the fact that at any given point a great deal of the Scorpionic agenda remains hidden. Intensely private, strongly secretive and rather suspicious, Scorpio does not reveal itself to anyone, nor does it form close overnight friendships. For the most part, members of this sign stand aloof from more obvious social interactions. Scorpios prefer one-to- one situations to large parties at which people present their social facades.

This is a sign of depth and depth perception. Scorpios see and feel more than most people, and not infrequently these feelings are complicated and problematic. Because of this, at a very early age, they develop a deep need for control, along with a list of goals and game plans that will take them where they want to go. Scorpio is the power behind the throne, and has the substance of which CEO’s are made. Success is what they are after. They ca be secretive and ruthless to achieve their desired position. Sagittarius (November 22-December 20) Jupiter is the master os this sign.

He confers an honest, generous and loyal nature. Sagittarius has true nobility of haracter that works through goodness and moderation. He enjoys escaping from the banality of day-to-day life, and travelling attracts him. Furthermore, these travels can be imaginary as well as real. Sagittarius is a sign of the philosophical mind. In love, he prefers legality and lasting feelings to brief and violent passions and adventures. The essence of sagittarian nature is possibility personified. Diminishment of any kind depresses the classic Sagittarian, as does anyone or anything interfering with the Sagittarian’s sense of freedom.

Sagittarians always want to feel free to make choices and to move in any direction that suits hem. Sagittarius is the sign of the adventurer, bound only by his own beliefs. Sagittarians have expansive minds and are eager to learn, and experience, always restless and impatient to move ahead. The classic Sagittarian is a democratic individual with ideals that often define the lifestyle. The Sagittarian soul desires expansion at all costs and is sensitive to social issues that affect the functioning of self and fellow man. Sagittarians want the best possible worlds. They will never stop searching until they find it.

For a great many members of this sign, the entire experience of life is one endless exploration. Sagittarians see possibility where other signs perceive limitations. They also have a genius for seeing splendid things that the common mind might consider silly. The Sagittarian nature wants to soar, and after landing, to remain unimpeded. This can cause some unsettling problems when encountering the situation called “daily life. ” Sagittarians want life to be perfect, and they don’t want to waste their perfect time dinking around with petty, boring details or being bothered by a moronic boss with no vision.

Capricorn (December 21-January 19) This region of the winter sky has been attributed by astrologers to the morose Saturn. Capricorn is serious, often on the defensive; decisions are taken in a calm atmosphere, and he is farsighted. He is very ambitious, but is careful not to show it, preferring to act in the shadows rather than in the broad daylight. It is not worth the trouble to attempt flattery, for Capricorn will not be susceptible. He is cold, objective, and wary by nature. He will not try to please in love, and some might reproach a lack of spirit; feeling exist, but they are buried deep inside.

Capricorn will never sacrifice his carer to a passing fling or even to a passion. A born executive with sky-high goals, Capricorn is the lassic accomplishmentarian. Driven beyond high ambition, this is a sign that doesn’t believe in giving up. Patient, enduring and steadfast in the face of all obstacles, Capricorn instinctively understands the value of time. This is a sign that can outwait all opposition and then confidently move in for the kill. Invariably, Capricorn gets what it wants because it goes about it in all the right ways.

Hardworking, highly organized, diligent, down to earth and quietly determined, Capricorns make great tycoons, business chieftains, politicians, presidents and entrepreneurs. The Capricorn mind is intrinsically materialistic. It knows he value of a dollar in several different countries and the most recent fluctuation in the price of gold. Capricorns value their possessions like some people value their children, and they look at life through a prism of appearance-what you see is what you get. Capricorns are born climbers who will make it to the top and eventually own it.

And once securely positioned in place, attest that there is no other way to go. Like everything else. Capricorns take their status very seriously and never tire of their material rewards. The material to Capricorn is worth, their worth. Having an eye for fine quality, they fully enjoy he luxury of owning the best. To the Capricorn mind, excellence is always its own reward. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Modern astrologers have assigned this sign to the planet Uranus. Like it, Aquarius is gifted with a lively intelligence, and taken dy the new, sometimes by the utopian.

Originality and idealism are two principle character traits. Very disinterested, Aquarius is enthused by great revolutionary causes, but will not descend into the arena. The battle of ideas is sufficient, for the Aquarius always has a depth of reserve, dreaminess, and sensitivity. He is not very realistic in love, and demonstrates uch independence and fantasy. He is able to please and to be devoted but does not like to become attached. Aquarius must beware of solitude. Authentic airheads, Aquarian minds are airborne and aglow with ideals that often have to do with utopian empires and progressive, inventive lifestyle alternatives.

In astrology, the element of air has to do with the cerebral realm and all that this implies, such as mental creations and concoctions, communications and intellectual vistas contained by the frameworks of the mind. Aquarians are often brainy people, full of brilliance and visionary explosions, seeing so far ahead that hey leave the present behind. The characteristic Aquarian is far more mental than emotional. Aquarians, in fact, have feelings about their mental constructs and intellectual aspirations. Their most beautiful love experience passes straight through the brain.

The craving for a sense of possibility is a pervasive one in the Aquarian’s scheme of things. It is the motivational force behind the humanitarian involvements and strongly cherished dreams and ideals. The end of the sixties, which sang of the “Age of Aquarius,” epitomized the spirit of blind ideas put forth as truth, without deeper understanding of the comprehensive whole, or the omplicated timing of social change. The Aquarian mind, rolling on a track, does not take detours. Nor, is it intellectually open to their possibility. This is a sign associated with a great deal of fanaticism and willful rebellion.

Aquarians are heedless and reckless, throwing caution to the wind creating situations that are self-destructive. It is this blind which brings them their share of headaches, heartaches and trouble. Pisces (February 19- March 20) Naturally it is Neptune, god of the sea that governs this sign. Everyone agrees that Pisces is emotive and impressionable. He is praised for intuition, poetic ability, sense of compassion, nd devotion. But Pisces must overcome the indecision of his character as well as his nonchalance; for activity can suffer from them, and Pisces can be thrown into a dreamy existence, one that is more than a little inefficient.

Feelings are marked with a blend of mysticism and sensuality, and the feeling of sacrifice dominates. Pisces is the sign of the psychic, the healer, the intuitive who is in tune with the synchronicities of the universe. Pisces nature is emotional, sensitive and subjective. Their imagination and intelligence are subtly insightful. The Pisces soul is one of mystery and longing. Deep inside slumbering divinity haunts a more conscious experience of life. There is an unearthly quality to the Pisces sensibility that is associated with the twelfth house.

This is a place of monasteries and hidden meanings, astral experiences, dreams, drugs and superconsious states of mind. Pisces is a sign that deeply reflects its ruler, Neptune, the planet of fantasy and illusion, romanticism, compassion, sympathy and the supernatural. Like the vibration of Neptune, the Pisces mind is changeable and fluid, fanciful and ready to flow in any direction. Pisceans are secretive and hold a place inside themselves hat they share with only a soul mate. Because they are so psychic, subjective and idealistic, this soul experiences often unsatisfied.

Instead, they will merge with and see themselves mirrored in their life supports and security blankets and the deeper need for unity will be sublimated by the experience of sharing. They are constantly searching for their true soul-mate. There is no real way to know if astrology is reality or fiction, but it does broaden our horizons to a new way of thinking. Perhaps time and seasons have caused the similarities to be there, perhaps it is just a coincidence. You must be the judge.

Neuromancer And The Time Machine

A common tool of science fiction writers is the use of a character, to whom the reader can relate, placed in an alien setting. This character will represent the reader in this new alien world or society, allowing the reader to form a link between his or her own world and this new one. Because these characters are placed in unfamiliar settings, a way is presented to defamiliarize our own society and perhaps even look at it in a new way, or from a new angle. These characters play a role in the novel that usually involves some interaction with this alien society that changes their perception of the alien world.

It causes the characters to see the society or world in a new light, comparing it to their own more familiar society and seeing the benefits and weaknesses of both. These experiences usually cause these characters to alter their self-perception as well, changing due to the influence of these societies. Two such novels are Neuromancer, and The Time Machine. In Neuromancer, author William Gibson gives us the character Henry Case, or just Case, as he is referred to throughout the novel. The setting is in the near future, on Earth, and Case is living in a highly technologically advanced time.

He used to be a console cowboy, a data thief that could hack into corporate systems and steal information. Case is recruited, against his will, to help an Artificial Intelligence named Wintermute free itself from containment. In this setting, laws exist to prevent the release of Artificial Intelligences into cyberspace, or what Gibson terms the Matrix. These Turing laws are not the only methods of preventing AIs from becoming free. Along with the laws, computer security programs guard these AIs, much like other security programs guard information and corporate system.

Wintermute requires Case to break through the security holding it in check. At first, Case is unaware of who or what Wintermute is, and he is forced to help it because Wintermute has caused toxin sacs to be placed in Cases bloodstream that will dissolve after a certain amount of time. If Case completes his job (the freeing of Wintermute), then a cure will be provided. This coercion causes Case to think of Wintermute as a kind of enemy, and he reluctantly helps it.

His role is as a tool of an Artificial Intelligence, used against his will for purposes unclear to him. In direct contrast to this, the Time Traveller, from H. G. Wells The Time Machine, decides his own course of action and, in fact, decides to help an alien race without their asking. The Time Traveller is a character from Britain in the late 19th century. He designs a time machine and is determined to travel into the future and return to describe what he has seen. He holds a dinner party for several of his friends where he relates his experiences in the future. He travels to the year 802,701 and discovers two different races, the Eloi and the Morlocks, inhabiting the earth the Eloi on the surface, and the Morlocks below.

The first creature he encounters is a member the Eloi, a very beautiful and graceful creature, but indescribably frail. He attempts to interact with the Eloi but because their language is so different, he has to slowly build a kind of communication through gestures and sounds. The Time Traveller sees the Eloi as the culmination of humankind, a delicate creature with no need for fear or any type of aggressive or competitive behaviour. When he finally discovers the Morlocks, who live below the surface, he sees them as monsters, ape-like figures with large, glassy eyes and pallid skin.

Because of this, the Time Traveller identifies with the Eloi, and forms a relationship with one of them, a female named Weena. When he learns that the Morlocks are carnivorous, and eat the Eloi to survive, he sees the Morlocks as evil. And when he also learns that the Morlocks have stolen his time machine, he decides to fight them to get it back. His role as an observer, and later as a protagonist, is almost the exact opposite of Cases role in Neuromancer. During his employment by Wintermute, Case learns several about the Artificial Intelligence that affect the way he thinks about them.

Along with recruiting Case, Wintermute has recruited other mercenaries to help free it. Each of these members has, in some way, been influenced to join in the task of freeing Wintermute, whether by force (like Case), or because Wintermute has saved them in some way and now they feel they owe it. At first, Case saw artificial intelligences as computer constructs, used in conjunction with human-operated systems to reduce the number of tasks and decisions that humans would normally have to do and make. As he gets deeper into the task assigned to him by Wintermute, he learns that the AI has a drive that he was unaware an AI could possess.

Wintermute is desperate to be free, and will go to any length to ensure this happens. Wintermute murders people (through control of computer-controlled robots) and manipulates people. When Wintermute finally interacts with Case, he learns that the construct wants the same things that most humans do: freedom, life, an ability to explore and discover their surroundings. He begins feeling sympathetic, although only to a small degree, for the AI, and he develops a better understanding of what makes us human. Humanity is also a strong theme in The Time Machine.

When he first arrives in the future, the Time Traveller sees the Eloi as the culmination of mankind, living in splendour amongst flowery gardens, fountains, and statues. There were no signs of struggle, neither social nor economical. He found that that Eloi only ate fruit for sustenance and they interacted and slept in large communal halls. However, upon closer inspection, the Time Traveller realizes that the halls and buildings are in a state of disrepair, with broken windows, and a general dilapidated look.

He also notices that there are no businesses, or any type of machinery above ground. At this point, he begins to see the Eloi as not an evolution of man, but kind of a step back. They seem to have the mental age of four- or five-year old children. And he wonders how they manage to care for themselves, being as frail as they are. When he discovers the Morlocks, he suddenly realizes the mistake of his previous assumption the Eloi are not the culmination of mankind, but one of two paths that human evolution has taken.

As he soon comes to realize, the Morlocks are the stronger of the two races, and during the day, they live below the earth, only surfacing at night. This is when they steal some of the Eloi for food. The Time Traveller becomes aware that Eloi know of the Morlocks, and are afraid of them, but do nothing to defend themselves. This finalizes his thoughts about the Eloi not being the culmination of mankind. Case, however, learned that what Wintermute really wanted is to join with another AI to become greater than either of them, to essentially become the culmination of a technology that mankind has created.

The company that houses Wintermute is called Tessier-Ashpool, run by a family of the same name that is one of the oldest and richest families on Earth. They created Wintermute to run their company, taking care of the daily details. They have kept their dynasty alive by cloning and cryogenics. But one member of the family, Marie-France, saw a better way to achieve immortality. She created another AI that was all personality. It was called Neuromancer. Wintermute had the desire to join with Neuromancer to become greater than it was.

Case sees this desire in Wintermute and realizes that this desire is entirely human. Every human wants to become more than they are, and has the desire to grow and explore. Case is tempted by Neuromancer to stop Wintermute, and this temptation comes in the form of an old girlfriend whose personality has been captured by Neuromancer and replicated in a virtual world of Neuromancers making. While Case is in the Matrix, trying to break through the Tessier-Ashpool security, Neuromancer intercepts him and places him within that virtual world.

The temptation to stay is great, but Case realizes it is not real, and his desire to be free mimics Wintermutes. He comes to the conclusion that even though his life may not be perfect in the real world, at least it is real. He sees that small things in his life that he takes for granted, and that Wintermute has been denied, and decides that he should at least give Wintermute the chance to explore freedom. The Time Traveller comes to the realization that all the Eloi have is an illusion of freedom. They are merely food for the Morlocks, who keep them placated.

He refers to this relationship as one of farmer and their cattle, where the cows are blissfully unaware of the fact that they are food for the farmers. He also sees the two races as the eventual result of the split between Capitalists and the Labourers. When he journeys below and discovers a large underground world of machinery and metal, he relates this to his time, and how there is an increasing trend to build things underground, such as transit systems, restaurants, and shops things that are less ornamental and more functional.

This evolution seems to suggest to him that the working class has become the underworld dwellers, while the rich, upper class has evolved into a playful, but almost idiotic race of beautiful, fragile dolls. The Time Traveller states his theory of this progress in the following statement: So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Workers getting continually adapted to the conditions of their labour.

With the Morlocks forced underground, while the Eloi have the surface as their garden and playground, the Time Traveller suddenly sees this progression as not the evolution of mankind, but the evolution of class division. He even suggests that such a division is taking place in his time already, stating that: Even now, does not an East End worker live in such artificial conditions as to be practically cut off from the natural surface of the earth? This suggests that the Time Traveller, a reflection of H. G. Wells, sees class division as something bad, something that could lead to an insurmountable gulf between the rich and poor.

The Time Traveller, then, sees the fate of the Eloi and Morlocks as something which could happen (and is starting to happen, in his time) to mankind. Case, although recruited unwillingly, eventually decides to help Wintermute because he sees in Wintermute the hope and desires of mankind that have somehow been lost in his society. He uses his experience to grow personally, and after his mission is over, and Wintermute is free, Case re-evaluates his life and decides to live more in the moment.

The Time Traveller, on the other hand, sees his time with the Eloi and the Morlocks as a warning for mankind, a glimpse into our future and what could happen to us if we do not change the way that all levels of society interact. Both Case and the Time Traveller come away from their experiences having learned a lesson, and having seen what makes us human, the good and the bad. And both H. G. Wells and William Gibson fulfilled their roles as Science Fiction authors as well: to provide us with a look into another world, and to cause us to leave that world thinking about our own.

Science Toy

My toy, is a toy car that bounces and also drives forward and in reverse. It is called Hop-Along-Impala. I built it by taking a toy car that I owned, which already hopped in front and back by using a series of toothed gears connected to a motor. Then I went and bought another motor so I could make the car go forward and hop and go in reverse and not hop. I first took a pair of wire cutters and cut off a piece of plastic attached to the rear wheels so it would disable them from bouncing.

Then I took a hot glue gun and glued the piece of plastic, that I previously cut off, on so that the wheels ould remain level. Then I glued the motor that I attached to the other motor and glued it close to the tire so that it would make contact so that the wheel would turn. When I push the button on the remote up the car moves forward because when I push it, it completes a circuit so electrons can flow, thus sending power to the motors in the car. That is how power gets from the batteries to the motors in the car.

But how does a battery work? A battery has a negative electrode and a positive electrode. An electrolyte paste separates the two electrodes and causes a chemical reaction between them. This reaction causes a current to flow and electrons move through a conductor that connects the positive and negative electrodes. When the power get to the motors, they convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy. Inside the motors a current is passed through the armature and a torque is made by a magnetic reaction, and the armature spins.

The action of the commutator and the connections of the field coils of motors are the same as those used for generators. The revolution of the armature induces a voltage in the armature windings. This induced voltage s opposite in direction to the outside voltage applied to the armature, and thus is called back voltage or counter electromotive force. When the car is bounced up onto the air, it falls down because of gravity. Gravity is the force that everything on earth possesses and it tends to draw objects closer to one another.

Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. Unlike electromagnetism, gravity doesnt have repulsive forces and attractive forces which tend to cancel themselves out. Since gravity doesnt have a repulsive force, and only an attractive force, such cancellations do not happen. Also, air resistance affects how the car falls. Since the car is mostly square it has a lot of air resistance, shapes such as wings minimize air resistance. Newtons first law of motion also relates to my toy car.

It states that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force and an object in motion will stay in motion till something knocks it off its course. What slows my car down and also brings my car to a stop is friction. There are three major types of friction; fluid, sliding, and rolling friction. Fluid friction is drag that acts between the object and the fluid. The force of rag depends upon the object’s shape, material, and speed, as well as the fluids resistance to flow, also known as viscosity.

It results from the friction that occurs between the fluid’s molecules, and its different depending on the type of fluid. Drag slows down airplanes flying through the air and fish swimming through water. An airplane’s engines help it overcome drag and go forward, and a fish uses its muscles to overcome drag and swim. Calculating the force of drag is much more complicated than calculating other types of friction. Sliding friction, also known as kinetic friction, acts in the direction pposite the direction of motion.

It prevents for example a wheel from moving as fast as it would without friction. When sliding friction is acting, another force must be present to keep an object moving. For any pair of objects, the coefficient of kinetic friction is usually less than the coefficient of static friction. This means that it takes more force to start a wheel moving than it does to keep the wheel moving. Rolling friction interferes with and slows the motion of a rolling object on a surface. Rolling friction slows down the motion of a tire rolling along the ground.

Another force must be present to keep an object rolling. For example, a guy on a bike provides the force necessary to the keep a bike in motion. Rolling friction depends on the coefficient of rolling friction between the two materials and the normal force of the object. The coefficient of rolling friction is usually about 1/100 that of sliding friction. Wheels and other round objects will roll along the ground much more easily than they will slide along it. My toy car is intended for ages 7& up because it has many small parts that younger children might try to put in their mouth.

I would charge about 0 dollars for this toy because it would pay for the parts I paid for and it would give me enough money to make more and to get a little bit of profit I think that people would buy my toy because it is simple yet complex and it provides easy amusement, also it has a reasonable price. I think it is very interesting that all these confusing facts relate to a simple toy. When I first started this project I thought to myself how the *%[email protected] am I going to do this but once I started it wasnt actually that hard, and with the help of my dad and you, Mr. Smith, making the toy itself was also easy.

Genetic Engineering

Two years ago Scottish scientists announced that they had successfully cloned a sheep. They named it dolly and it was an exact copy of the original sheep. Is cloning morally right? Is it ethical? Some people think that it is wrong and that it shouldnt be practiced on any animal. In this report I will tell you about genetics, cloning and whether I think it is wrong or right. Genetics Is the study of a persons genes or ancestry. Genealogists can tell you where your ancestors immigrated to America from. They can also tell you why you have a certain color hair or why you are shorter than everyone.

Genes will determine how short you are and what your personality is like. They are the building blocks of life. You will get a gene from your mom and your dad. they will combine to make a single gene. Gene types are represented by letters, capital letters and lower case. A capital letter stands For a dominant trait and a lower case stands for a recessive trait. When a capital letter and a lower case letter are mixed it is called a hybrid and the dominant trait will take over and the baby will turn out like the parent with the dominant trait.

Cloning is a method of making a copy of a cell. the cell may belong to a animal or a human. In a very brief way it works like this. You take an egg, and remove the nucleus, and by doing this you are removing of the eggs genes. Then, you take a nucleus from a cell belonging to the first sheep. You put the cells nucleus into the egg. You then electrically trick the reconstructed egg into believing that is a fertilized egg so it will divide and become an embryo.

When the embryo has reached a certain stage, you transfer it to the uterus of a surrogate mother. Then the clone is born the usual way, looking and acting just like a regular healthy baby. Thats how Dolly the sheep was created. Today Dolly is a normal, healthy sheep, who has had four children, and they are just as healthy. After researching the topic, I believe that cloning is okay. I think that some day it will lead to great breakthroughs in the medical and scientific worlds.

Of course that I do not think that there should be any restrictions to practice cloning. I think that you must have permission from the government and you must have a Medical diploma. Also, you must have watched the procedure at least 3 times and take a lengthy test on the process of cloning. Right now there are many laws against cloning and it is outlawed in every country. All in all, cloning is safe and easy process. It is not cruel and should be legal to practice, but, of course not without restrictions.

Cloning A misunderstood and Underestimated Science

On February 23rd of 1997, an announcement was made that would shake the world and, inevitably, change it forever. Ian Wilmut, an embryologist with a genetic research facility named the Roslin Institute in Scotland, claimed that he and a group of scientists had successfully cloned a sheep. The sheep, named Dolly, was revolutionary in the Bioengineering world because it was the first mammal to be cloned directly from the genetic material of another sheep and was, in essence, an exact replica of its mother. Soon after, groups sprung up from all over the world claiming that, they too, had created clones.

A group in Oregon declared that they had cloned monkeys while a Japanese research team professed to have created perfect clones of mice. What followed was a worldwide outcry for the world governments to regulate cloning before it bulged out of control. President Clinton rushed to stop government funding of human cloning research and urged independently financed researchers to stop cloning research until his National Bioethics Advisory Commission, which was founded the previous year, issued their report on the ethical implications(Bailey 1) of human cloning.

The Committee issued the following statement in May of that year: The [National Bioethics Advisory] Commission concludes that at this time it is morally unacceptable for anyone in the public or private sector, whether in a research or clinical setting, to attempt to create a child using somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning. The Commission reached a consensus on this point because current scientific information indicates that this technique is not safe to use in humans at this point.

Indeed, the Commission believes it would violate important ethical obligations were clinicians or researchers to attempt to create a child using these particular technologies, which are likely to involve unacceptable risks to the fetus and/or potential child. Moreover, in addition to safety concerns, many other serious ethical concerns have been identified, which require much more widespread and careful public deliberation before this technology may be used. The report was testament to the fact of Americas fear of an unknown and mysterious technology.

While clonings role in United States law has still not been determined, the government has allowed research into it. Cloning is most definitely a something that needs to be researched further. From increased agricultural production to saving a human life to increasing a standard of living, the possible benefits of what cloning can do for the Human race are limitless. For years, the agriculture industrys main purpose has been to feed the world. Now, through cloning, its purpose may change to benefit society in more ways than one.

In 1994, a bovine growth hormone known as BST (bovine somatotropin) became available to farmers. The hormone, which is made naturally in the bodies of cattle, was synthetically manufactured in order to boost growth in calves and increase the milk yield of mature dairy cows by 20 percent. (Grace 100). Although feared by many consumers, the genetically engineered hormone was approved and advocated by FDA commissioner David Kessler, who stated, [BST] has been one of the most extensively studied animal drugs products to be reviewed by the agency.

The public can be confident that milk and meat from BST-treated cows is safe to consumers (Grace 101). The benefits of genetic engineering on animals are not limited simply to hormonal boosts. Eventually, farmers will be able to breed livestock to have certain desirable traits such as disease resistance, lean bodies and increased milk production. This will, in turn, reduce the costs of vaccination, hormones, and drugs, (Torr 25) says David A. Christopher, an associate professor in the Department of Plant Molecular Physiology and Molecular Biosystems Engineering at the University of Hawaii.

Cloning could also be applied to eliminate certain undesirable traits such as the mad cow disease that ravaged Britains livestock a few years back (Harley 3). One large and very important aspect of cloning is its potential to bring endangered animals species back into prominence on earth. The most recent experiment with endangered species had to do with an animal called a gaur. The gaur, a wild boar that is usually found in India and Southeast China, is feared to be nearing extinction because only 36,000 are known to exist in the wild (Lanza 1).

Cells taken from the dead body of another gaur were put into the uterus of a dairy cow that became a surrogate mother for a gaur that scientists named Noah. Unfortunately, Noah died within two days of its birth from complications due to dysentery probably unrelated to the cloning procedure, stated Philip Damiani, a researcher with the team that cloned Noah. However, Damiani went on to state that, [Noahs] birth brightens the prospects that we can apply this technology to many species on the verge of extinction.

Of the creatures headed up the ramp of the ark of endangered species, (Lanza 1) gaurs are only one of many. Scientists hope to clone endangered species such as the African bongo antelope, the Sumatran tiger and the ever-popular Chinese giant panda. Cloning has become a more approachable solution to the endangered species problem in recent years because of Zoos deficiency in being able to reproduce and maintain significant numbers of endangered animals. It is also apparent that most zoos do not possess the equipment to collect and successfully preserve semen; something that is vital to the reproduction process.

However, by simply freezing the tissues of a dead animal that is a prospect for cloning, scientists can clone as many animals as they need from that material (Lanza 1). Many scientists feel that cloning would decrease the biological diversity of a certain cloned species, (i. e. -create a singular and similar DNA pattern among all animals of the same species), which could cause even more problems than its worth. Essentially, if many animals were cloned from the cells of the same dead animal then those animals chromosomes would be identical.

Thus, if they were to breed naturally in the wild then there offspring would have defective traits rooting from the combination of the two similar chromosomes. An article published in Scientific American by Scientists of ACT (Advanced Cell Technology), the same organization that cloned Noah and is currently working on cloning more endangered animals, states that this is an unfounded fear. The authors say that they advocate the establishment of a worldwide network of repositories to hold frozen tissue from all of the individuals of an endangered species from which it is possible to collect samples. Lanza 4) From these repositories scientists could take biologically different DNA samples and thus produce a population of previously endangered animals that would be fundamentally different in their chromosomes. In this fashion, geneticists could slowly repopulate the earth with previously endangered species. Beyond the bounds of agricultural and endangered species advancement, animal cloning promises some other benefits to save human life. Scientists have long dreamed of being able to breed livestock that would be able to secrete certain human proteins through their milk.

This dream was partly achieved in 1990 with the creation of Tracy, a transgenic sheep. This meaning that Tracys genome (genetic material) was genetically altered so that she could carry foreign genes. In this case the foreign genes that Tracy carried were a human protein named alpha-antitrypsin and it was secreted through her milk. The alpha-antitrypsin that was in Tracys milk is a useful protein for emphysema because a deficiency in this protein is what causes the airways of emphysema sufferers to be blocked (Ho 160).

Also, by cloning transgenic animals that carry a protein which causes clotting in human blood, we would be able to mass produce these proteins for clinical use for hemophiliacs or during surgery(Gardels 1). Although research with transgenic animals is far from conclusive and has offered little usable results, its future is bright. A more practical and much more real application of animal cloning is xenotransplantation, which is known as cross-species tissue or organ transplantation.

Essentially, certain animals such as pigs can be cloned and their organs can be harvested in order for them to be introduced into the body of a human that is in need of that type of organ. In fact, this type of surgery was used in 1992 when a man dying of hepatitis had a baboons liver transplanted into him (Grace 60). This type of surgery, however, has been ignored for many years because of the health risks to humans receiving non-human organs; the U. K banned xenotransplantation because of this.

The human body attacks any material that is foreign to it and thus a foreign object, such as a pig heart, that is being put into a patient will be rejected by the human T-cells (Ho 181). Fortunately, through genetic engineering, this problem can be completely eliminated with some further research and time. In 1994, according to Eric Grace, pigs were engineered with human genes so that their tissues produced human proteins that inhibit organ rejection (60). The market for human organs is large and may be worth, $ 6 billion per year in the U. S alone.

Already, biotech companies such as Imutran, a Cambridge based company that leads in producing pigs with human genes, have popped up all over the world (Ho 180). Animal cloning science is, as of yet, a generally hypothetical technology with many gray areas. However, animal cloning has extremely useful connotations that can not be overlooked. While much of the public attention has been focused on the potential horrors of human cloning, many people are unaware of the hidden possibilities of gene cloning. By gene cloning, scientists mean the manipulation of the human blueprint; the gene.

Genes have been a mystery to scientists for years, while they seem to hold the answer to why the human body has the robustness that is does, the human gene also seems to be the downfall of the human body. Many crippling and often times fatal diseases such as Tay-Sachs Disease, Parkinsons Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and Downs Syndrome are clearly related to defective human genes being passed down from generation to generation in the mitochondria. Cloning may hold the key to a cure for some of these debilitating diseases.

The reason that a genetic disease is so crippling is because the human system is unable to produce certain chemicals because of a defective gene coding, chemicals that are necessary for the human body to function normally. Often times, a child might inherit a genetic disease from parents who do not have that particular disease at all. However, if both parents have a defective gene, they can pass a disease on to their children without even knowing it (Grace 39). Gene Therapy as it is known was first employed in 1990 with a rare disease that was caused by the lack of a human enzyme known as ADA (adenosine deaminase).

People who lack a normal level of this enzyme are at a high risk of early cancer and many die early in life. Scientists learned that by injecting a normal ADA gene into human T-cells that lacked ADA, that the enzymes production was boosted by 25% in these defective cells, more than enough to correct the conditions caused by ADA deficiency, (72) stated science writer Eric Grace in his book Biotechnology Unzipped. Bio-scientists then used this new technology on sufferers of ADA deficiency who, with a regimen of infusion with ADA gene-corrected cells every one or two months, drastically improved.

The key to eliminating genetic disorders in some cases is in targeting these defective genes and fixing them before they can form into a genetic disorder. Instead of supplementing the human body with something that it is lacking, gene therapy can sometimes block something from the human body that it doesnt need. This approach to gene therapy, called antisense therapy, focuses on repairing a defective gene that causes trouble for the human body. In antisense therapy scientists add a gene that mirrors a [defective gene] to a troublesome gene, [that binds] onto it and blocks its action (Grace 74).

Basically, if a defective gene is producing a negative protein, then antisense therapy can prevent this harmful protein from being formed and allow for normal production of proteins. Thousands of people die every day because of the terminal malfunction of a vital organ. Although most peoples lives can be prolonged through surgery such as organ transplantation, the simple fact is that there arent enough spare body parts to go around. In 1997, the American Heart Association reported that only 2,300 of the 40,000 of Americans who needed a new heart got one (Mooney 1).

An exciting new promise of gene cloning is something that scientists have called neo-organ production. A neo-organ is an organ engineered completely from scratch, independent of a human body that can replace a damaged organ. The idea is to take individual cells from a tissue or organ and seed them in a fine mesh of soluble material, then incubate them until they multiply and connect up, says Eric Grace. The main reason for this is that the human immune system, as stated before, is made to reject anything that it deems a germ, in this case, foreign tissue.

This is why many early transplantation attempts failed because doctors didnt realize that you couldnt just transplant any organ into the human body because it will, ultimately, be rejected if the blood and tissue type is different. This is another major reason why many awaiting transplantees die; not only are there not enough spare organs to go around but the few available organs need to also comply with a patients individual system or they are useless. Scientists have learned that this slow and often times fatal search for an adequate organ can be bypassed through cloning.

For example, victims of Leukemia often time die because an adequate donor of bone marrow can hardly ever be found. However, by cloning the bone-marrow cells of that patient, new material can be given that would save their life. Unfortunately, this facet of cloning is the one that has had the most trouble being accepted by the public because of its ethical implications. Right now, scientists dont have the technology to simply clone a persons individual cells; they must rely on stem cells. These are cells that are capable of becoming any type of tissue in an organism (Wilmut 53).

By isolating stem cells and then manipulating them, scientists could turn a stem cell into whatever kind of cell they desired. The main concern of Stem Cells is not an issue of what significance they have but rather of their origin. What scientists do currently is take healthy cells from a patient in need of an organ, remove the genetic material from their cells and put it into an empty egg. The egg would then begin to form into an embryo (actually a clone of the person whose cell was used) and begin to divide into the different types of cells that make up the human body.

These early embryonic cells, which are stem-cells, could then be transformed into whatever material is needed such as skin cells for burn victims in need of a skin graft or kidney cells for people in need of a kidney. This is where the problem lies in many peoples eyes because a human embryo is killed in order to harvest its stem cells. So the question is When exactly does an embryo become a person? Britain, which legalized Stem cell research in January of 2001, believes that at about three or four days old, before the cells have started to specialize to create a nervous system, is the window before human life actually begins (Ross 2).

Still, Britain is the only country to completely legalize cloning for medical purposes and will probably be the only one to actually do so for many years to come. In the United States, political fear of the religious right is whats holding [stem cell research] back and it will continue to hold it back, stated Glenn McGee, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics (Ross 1).

Already, California and Rhode Island have completely banned stem cell research and many states have similar legislation in the works, although a bill on a national ban of cloning was shot down in 1998. In addition, 19 European nations have signed anti-cloning treaties (Nash 1). What the world must realize is that cloning holds many additional benefits than the ones outlined above, it is truly a technology with so much hidden potential that it would be unethical not to continue research into it.

However, we as a society must also realize that the basic idea of cloning is not a new one; the idea of giving synthetic life that wasnt given by nature. When scientists introduced the idea of early organ transplantation, many people feared for the future of human kind, but organ transplantation has now become a necessary and excepted part of medical practices. As long as humanity acts sensibly, we can avoid all of the fears that people have of cloning and realize its potential as not a scientific horror but as a scientific miracle.

Does Science Explain All?

In the beginning there was darkness. Then there was light. Then there was consciousness. Then there were questions and then there was religion. Religions sprouted up all over the world as a response to some of humanity’s most troubling questions and fears. Why are we here? Where do we come from? Why does the world and nature act as it does? What happens when you die? Religions tended to answer all these questions with stories of gods and goddesses and other supernatural forces that were beyond the understanding of humans. Magic, in it’s essence, were the powers wielded by these superior beings that caused the unexplainable to happen.

Fast forward a few thousand years to the present. In our age and time there is little left unexplained. Science seems able to explain everything with mathematical logic and concrete evidence right before our very eyes. The subject of science is taught in almost every school on Earth. Gone are the days of magic and wonder. The magic of so-called magicians like David Copperfield are a jest. When people attend a magic show everyone looks for the invisible wires and hidden projectors. No one really believes the magician has supernatural powers, except for maybe a handful of children in the audience who still have faith in Santa Clause.

Science does seem to explain all. It has enabled humans to fly, cure incurable diseases, explore the depths of the oceans, stave off death, walk on the moon and wipe out entire civilizations with the push of a button. It is becoming more and more widespread in that people are putting their faith in science above that in the gods. What parent wouldn’t rather bring their sick child to a doctor than have faith in the healing power of some mystical entity that may or may not exist. However strong and almost perfect the view of science is in today’s society it cannot and does not cover the entire spectrum of the human experience.

Nor does it explain some of the striking similarities present in the various religions of Earth. These similarities occur in civilizations not only far from each other but also in cultures separated by seemingly impossible to traverse oceans of water. Many of these similarities occur in the cosmological or creation myths of the various religions. In the Bible and other in other comparable ancient literatures, creation is a theme expressed in parables or stories to account for the world. In almost every ancient culture the universe was thought of as darkness, nothing and chaos until order is induced by the divine creative hand.

The type of order envisioned varied from culture to culture. In the Biblical perspective, it was envisioned that light should be separated from dark, day from night; and that the various forms of plant and animal life be properly categorized. Although the figure differ from myth to myth, all the ancient stories intend to give a poetic accounting for cosmic origins. When viewed in terms of creational motifs, the stories tend to be similar. Some myths of creation include myths of emergence, as from a childbearing woman, or creation by the marriage of two beings representing the heavens and earth.

A common feature of some Hindu, African and Chinese myths is that of a cosmic egg from which the first humans are “hatched” from. In other cultures, it must be brought up from primordial waters by a diver, or is formed from the dismembered body of a preexisting being. Whether the deity uses preexisting materials, whether he leaves his creation once it is finished, how perfect the creation is, and how the creator and the created interact vary among the myths. The creation story also attempts to explain the origins of evil and the nature of god and humanity. An example of two different religions containing various aspects of each ther could be that of the creation myth of Christianity and aspects of creationism found in African religion.

The creator god in the African religion is Nyambi. Nyambi creates a man, Kamonu, and the man does exactly as his god does in every way; Similar to the way the god of Christianity creates man in his own image. Also Nyambi creates for Kamonu a garden to live in, the same way the Garden of Eden was created. Another motif repeated between these two religions is that of the Bible’s Tower of Babel. Kamonu, after his god left him behind, tried to build a tower to reach his god but like The Tower of Babel it collapsed nd the humans failed to reach heaven.

In Mesopotamian culture the epic tale Gilgamesh is almost totally identical to the Biblical story of Noah and the ark. In the tale of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is warned by Enki that a divine judgment has been passed and the world is to be destroyed by a giant flood. Gilgamesh is instructed build a boat to bring his family and animals so to escape the flood. Another powerful example of the commonality of myth transcending cultures is in the Trimurti of Brahman in post classical Hinduism when compared to the holy trinity of Christianity.

Brahman, the Hindu essence of ultimate eality is at the very core of Hinduism, post classical Hinduism sees him in three aspects. Each of these three aspects of Brahman is expressed by a god from classical Indian literature: Brahma, the creator; Shiva, the destroyer; and Vishnu, the preserver. Very similar to the Holy Christian Trinity of: God, the father; Christ, the son; and the Holy Spirit. In both Hinduism and Christianity the trinities are three and at the same time one entity. In the mythology of many of the Central Asian Pastoral Tribes the supreme deity of their religion is confronted by an adversary representing the powers of darkness and evil.

Very much like the relationship in the Christian mythos between God and Lucifer, this figure of evil attempts to counter the plans of the celestial good being and aims at gaining dominance over the world and at establishing a realm of his own in which he would rule over humanity. The forces of good and evil are not equally balanced, however, and there is never any real doubt about the final supremacy of the sky-god. Yet according to some myths the representative of evil and darkness succeeded in leading people astray and bringing about a fall similar to that of Adam and Eve.

Other mythological motifs not involving Christianity or the Bible is hat of a god or a hero making the dangerous journey to the underworld , or Hades, to retrieve a lost love. The Greek mythological tale of Orpheus and the Japanese Shinto myths both contain very similar aspects. In both of these stories, Orpheus and Izanagi, lose their spouses to death and venture into the terrible underworld of Hades to try to wrest them back. In both stories they are on the way to getting back each his wife as long as they don’t look back towards her. In both tales both Izanagi and Orpheus look back, losing the chance they had at having their loves returned to them.

These are just some of the universal myths contained within various religions of the world. How do all these myths seem to transcend the geographical and cultural boundaries of Earth? Carl Gustav Jung, a leading psychologist and contemporary of Freud, came up with a theory involving the collective unconscious of a person’s psyche. The collective unconscious, according to Jung, is made up of what he called “archetypes”, or primordial images. These correspond to such experiences such as confronting death or choosing a mate and manifest themselves symbolically in religion, myths, fairy tales and fantasies.

Joseph Campbell, considered by most to have been the foremost expert on world religions and mythology, believed to be a fact that; “… mythologies and their deities are productions and projections of the psyche”. It was his belief that religions and myths come from one’s own creative imagination and unconsciousness. He further believed that humankind is intrinsically linked in that some part of human nature creates these myths and religions out of a need for them. We all have the same basic psychological makeup just as we all have the same basic physical makeup.

Recent scientific studies suggest that the average human uses only ten o fifteen percent of his or her brain. What happens to the other eighty-five to ninety percent of it? Does it just sit there and have absolutely no use? Or does it perhaps contain the universal commonalties of what links us all as a great big tribe of human beings; containing our greatest hopes, our worst fears, our dreams and creativity. Perhaps it does contain a link to the realm of mysticism and surrealism which artists such as Salvador Dali tried so hard to render on canvas. Science doesn’t know what it contains. It’s in our skulls and we’re not even sure what it contains, maybe the answers to our own primordial questions.

Big Bang

It is always a mystery about how the universe began, whether if and when it will end. Astronomers construct hypotheses called cosmological models that try to find the answer. There are two types of models: Big Bang and Steady State. However, through many observational evidences, the Big Bang theory can best explain the creation of the universe. The Big Bang model postulates that about 15 to 20 billion years ago, the universe violently exploded into being, in an event called the Big Bang.

Before the Big Bang, all of the matter and radiation of our present universe were packed together in the primeval fireball–an xtremely hot dense state from which the universe rapidly expanded. 1 The Big Bang was the start of time and space. The matter and radiation of that early stage rapidly expanded and cooled. Several million years later, it condensed into galaxies. The universe has continued to expand, and the galaxies have continued moving away from each other ever since. Today the universe is still expanding, as astronomers have observed. The Steady State model says that the universe does not evolve or change in time.

There was no beginning in the past, nor will there be change in the future. This model assumes the perfect cosmological principle. This principle says that the universe is the same everywhere on the large scale, at all times. 2 It maintains the same average density of matter forever. There are observational evidences found that can prove the Big Bang model is more reasonable than the Steady State model. First, the redshifts of distant galaxies. Redshift is a Doppler effect which states that if a galaxy is moving away, the spectral line of that galaxy observed will have a shift to the red end.

The faster the galaxy moves, the more shift it has. If the galaxy is moving closer, the spectral line will show a blue shift. If the galaxy is not moving, there is no shift at all. However, as astronomers observed, the more distance a galaxy is located from Earth, the more redshift it shows on the spectrum. This means the further a galaxy is, the faster it moves. Therefore, the universe is expanding, and the Big Bang model seems more reasonable than the Steady State model. The second observational evidence is the radiation produced by the Big Bang.

The Big Bang model predicts that the universe should still be filled with a small remnant of radiation left over from he original violent explosion of the primeval fireball in the past. The primeval fireball would have sent strong shortwave radiation in all directions into space. In time, that radiation would spread out, cool, and fill the expanding universe uniformly. By now it would strike Earth as microwave radiation. In 1965 physicists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected microwave radiation coming equally from all directions in the sky, day and night, all year.

And so it appears that astronomers have detected the fireball radiation that was produced by the Big Bang. This casts serious doubt on the Steady State model. The Steady State could not explain the existence of this radiation, so the model cannot best explain the beginning of the universe. Since the Big Bang model is the better model, the existence and the future of the universe can also be explained. Around 15 to 20 billion years ago, time began. The points that were to become the universe exploded in the primeval fireball called the Big Bang.

The exact nature of this explosion may never be known. However, recent theoretical breakthroughs, based on the principles of quantum theory, have suggested that space, and the matter within it, masks an infinitesimal realm of tter chaos, where events happen randomly, in a state called quantum weirdness. 4 Before the universe began, this chaos was all there was. At some time, a portion of this randomness happened to form a bubble, with a temperature in excess of 10 to the power of 34 degrees Kelvin. Being that hot, naturally it expanded.

For an extremely brief and short period, billionths of billionths of a second, it inflated. At the end of the period of inflation, the universe may have a diameter of a few centimetres. The temperature had cooled enough for particles of matter and antimatter to form, and they instantly destroy each other, roducing fire and a thin haze of matter-apparently because slightly more matter than antimatter was formed. 5 The fireball, and the smoke of its burning, was the universe at an age of trillionth of a second.

The temperature of the expanding fireball dropped rapidly, cooling to a few billion degrees in few minutes. Matter continued to condense out of energy, first protons and neutrons, then electrons, and finally neutrinos. After about an hour, the temperature had dropped below a billion degrees, and protons and neutrons combined and formed hydrogen, deuterium, helium. In a billion years, this cloud of energy, atoms, and neutrinos had cooled enough for galaxies to form. The expanding cloud cooled still further until today, its temperature is a couple of degrees above absolute zero.

In the future, the universe may end up in two possible situations. From the initial Big Bang, the universe attained a speed of expansion. If that speed is greater than the universe’s own escape velocity, then the universe will not stop its expansion. Such a universe is said to be open. If the velocity of expansion is slower than the escape velocity, the universe will eventually reach he limit of its outward thrust, just like a ball thrown in the air comes to the top of its arc, slows, stops, and starts to fall.

The crash of the long fall may be the Big Bang to the beginning of another universe, as the fireball formed at the end of the contraction leaps outward in another great expansion. 6 Such a universe is said to be closed, and pulsating. If the universe has achieved escape velocity, it will continue to expand forever. The stars will redden and die, the universe will be like a limitless empty haze, expanding infinitely into the darkness. This space will become even emptier, as the fundamental particles f matter age, and decay through time.

As the years stretch on into infinity, nothing will remain. A few primitive atoms such as positrons and electrons will be orbiting each other at distances of hundreds of astronomical units. 7 These particles will spiral slowly toward each other until touching, and they will vanish in the last flash of light. After all, the Big Bang model is only an assumption. No one knows for sure that exactly how the universe began and how it will end. However, the Big Bang model is the most logical and reasonable theory to explain the universe in modern science.

Evidence For Evolution

Since Darwins death in 1882, there have been many new evidences that support the theory of Evolution. The different types are the studies of fossils, the comparisons of organism structures and the vast knowledge of DNA. FOSSILS ARE ANY TRACES OF DEAD ORGANISMS One concept that is discussed is the concept of fossils. Examples of fossils are footprints of early humans, insects trapped in tree sap, tracks of dinosaurs and animals buried in tar.

My thoughts are that fossils are real, because scientists have found any fossils all over the World and to me it sounds logical that if an animal gets stuck in sticky tree sap that it would harden and last for hundreds maybe even thousands of years. HOW FOSSILS ARE DATED Another concept that is discussed is how the fossils are dated. One type of how to determine the age of fossils is Radioactive dating. This technique is how scientists use the amount of radioactive elements remaining in a rock or fossil and determine its age.

TRANSITIONAL FORMS LINK NEW SPECIES TO OLD The last concept discussed is that the evolution of the modern horse began 60 million years ago. It discusses how over time the length and size of the horses limbs increased. The flaw in this theory is that they dont state their proof. Category: Science Evidence For Evolution Since Darwins death in 1882, there have been many new evidences that support the theory of Evolution. The different types are the studies of fossils, the comparisons of organism structures and the vast knowledge of DNA.

FOSSILS ARE ANY TRACES OF DEAD ORGANISMS One concept that is discussed is the concept of fossils. Examples of fossils are footprints of early humans, insects trapped in tree sap, tracks of dinosaurs and animals buried in tar. My thoughts are that fossils are real, because scientists have found many fossils all over the World and to me it sounds logical that if an animal gets stuck in sticky tree sap that it would harden and last for hundreds maybe even thousands of years.

HOW FOSSILS ARE DATED Another concept that is discussed is ow the fossils are dated. One type of how to determine the age of fossils is Radioactive dating. This technique is how scientists use the amount of radioactive elements remaining in a rock or fossil and determine its age. TRANSITIONAL FORMS LINK NEW SPECIES TO OLD The last concept discussed is that the evolution of the modern horse began 60 million years ago. It discusses how over time the length and size of the horses limbs increased. The flaw in this theory is that they dont state their proof.

The Scientific Revolution

Before the Scientific Revolution, the Bible or Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or as-tronomers like Claudius Ptolemy, whose ideas were sanctioned by the church, answered any questions regarding the natural world. In the bible it writes, Mankind is the most important of Gods creations and occupies the centre of his universe. Astronomers there-fore stated that, The earth is at the centre of the universe. The sun, the moon and the stars all move around the earth. During the scientific revolution Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton all voiced their opinions that contradicted the views of the church.

Before the Scientific Revolution, the Bible or Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or Nicholas Copernicus, (1473-1543) a Polish monk and astronomer trained in medi-cine, law and mathematics, believed that the sun, not the earth, was at the centre of the universe. He believed this to be true because mathematics fit in nowhere with the explanation of how our world came to be. He formulated mathematical calcula-tions that provided the basis for a new view on the world. He constructed a model of the universe to show this.

His theory contrasted with the beliefs and views of the church therefore it was denounced in 1543. Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642) an Italian mathematician and astronomer, won the re-spect and admiration of many people of his time because of his inventions. He con-structed a military compass, an instrument for measuring the expansion of liquids, and one of the early telescopes with which he discovered Jupiters satellites, irregu-larities on the surface of the moon, star clusters in the milky way and spots on the surface of the sun.

He was initially skeptical of Copernicus theory however his ob-servations and experiments affirmed his diagram of the universe. Critics attacked Galileis findings. They said that his discoveries were ridiculous to believe and that it was only is imagination or dreams. Galilei wrote a letter to Dowager Grand Duch-ess trying to reconcile his astronomical observations with the Bible. Isaac Newton, (1642-1727) was an English scientist and statesman. Although his views were thought to contradict the bible he was the only man of these three which proved his views to be true.

He discovered gravity and the laws of motion. He stated that, every particle in the universe is attracted to every other particle by a force that is directly related to the product of their masses and inversely related to the squares of the distance between them. In 1687 Newton presented the elements of his New World view in a book called Principia. It is described as the greatest single monu-ments of human learning. By the end of the seventeenth century our views on the natural world were replaced by scientific method based on observation, analysis and experimentation.

Herbert Butterfields statement proves to be true because the scientific revolution opened up our minds about the world around us, and gave a new understanding about our uni-verse. Words / Pages : 486 / 24 The Scientific Revolution Before the Scientific Revolution, the Bible or Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or as-tronomers like Claudius Ptolemy, whose ideas were sanctioned by the church, answered any questions regarding the natural world. In the bible it writes, Mankind is the most important of Gods creations and occupies the centre of his universe.

Astronomers there-fore stated that, The earth is at the centre of the universe. The sun, the moon and the stars all move around the earth. During the scientific revolution Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton all voiced their opinions that contradicted the views of the church. Before the Scientific Revolution, the Bible or Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or Nicholas Copernicus, (1473-1543) a Polish monk and astronomer trained in medi-cine, law and mathematics, believed that the sun, not the earth, was at the centre of the universe.

He believed this to be true because mathematics fit in nowhere with the explanation of how our world came to be. He formulated mathematical calcula-tions that provided the basis for a new view on the world. He constructed a model of the universe to show this. His theory contrasted with the beliefs and views of the church therefore it was denounced in 1543. Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642) an Italian mathematician and astronomer, won the re-spect and admiration of many people of his time because of his inventions.

He con-structed a military compass, an instrument for measuring the expansion of liquids, and one of the early telescopes with which he discovered Jupiters satellites, irregu-larities on the surface of the moon, star clusters in the milky way and spots on the surface of the sun. He was initially skeptical of Copernicus theory however his ob-servations and experiments affirmed his diagram of the universe. Critics attacked Galileis findings. They said that his discoveries were ridiculous to believe and that it was only is imagination or dreams.

Galilei wrote a letter to Dowager Grand Duch-ess trying to reconcile his astronomical observations with the Bible. Isaac Newton, (1642-1727) was an English scientist and statesman. Although his views were thought to contradict the bible he was the only man of these three which proved his views to be true. He discovered gravity and the laws of motion. He stated that, every particle in the universe is attracted to every other particle by a force that is directly related to the product of their masses and inversely related to the squares of the distance between them.

In 1687 Newton presented the elements of his New World view in a book called Principia. It is described as the greatest single monu-ments of human learning. By the end of the seventeenth century our views on the natural world were replaced by scientific method based on observation, analysis and experimentation. Herbert Butterfields statement proves to be true because the scientific revolution opened up our minds about the world around us, and gave a new understanding about our uni-verse.

Background of the emergence and stages of development of science

Introduction

Science in its modern sense is a fundamentally new factor in the history of mankind, which arose in the depths of the modern European civilization in the XVI – XVII centuries. She appeared not from scratch. The German philosopher K. Jaspers talks about two stages of the formation of science.

Stage I: “the formation of a logically and methodically conscious science – Greek science and, in parallel, the beginnings of scientific knowledge of the world in China and India”. Stage II: “the emergence of modern science, growing from the end of the Middle Ages, decisively affirming with the XVII century. and developing in all its breadth from the XIX century. ”(K. Jaspers. Meaning and purpose of history – M., 1994. – P. 100).

It was in the XVII century. something happened that gave reason to talk about the scientific revolution – a radical change in the main components of the content structure of science, the promotion of new cognitive principles, categories and methods.

A social stimulus for the development of science was the growing capitalist production, which required new natural resources and machinery. To fulfill these needs, science was needed as the productive force of society. At the same time, new goals of science were formulated, which differed significantly from those that the scientists of antiquity were guided by.

Greek science was a speculative study (the word theory translated from Greek means speculation), little associated with practical problems. Ancient Greece didn’t need this because all the hard work was done by slaves. Orientation to the practical use of scientific results was considered not only excessive, but even indecent, and such a science was recognized as base.

Only in the XVII century. science began to be seen as a way to increase the welfare of the population and ensure the domination of man over nature. Descartes wrote: “Instead of speculative philosophy, which only retroactively conceptualizes the truth, it is possible to find one that directly embraces the existence and steps on it, so that we gain knowledge of the power and actions of fire, water, air, stars , the vault of heaven and all the other bodies around us, and this knowledge (of elements, elements) will be as accurate as our knowledge of the various activities of our artisans. Then we can in the same way realize and apply this knowledge for all the purposes for which they are suitable, and thus this knowledge (these new ways of presentation) will make us masters and possessors of nature ”(Descartes R. Discourse on the method. Elect. Prod. – M., 1950. – p. 305).

Descartes’ contemporary F. Bacon, who also spent a lot of effort to substantiate the need for the development of science as a means of conquering nature, put forward a famous aphorism: “Knowledge is power”. F. Bacon promoted the experiment as the main method of scientific research aimed at torturing mother nature. It is torture. Defining the tasks of experimental research, F. Bacon used the word “inquisition”, which has a well-defined number of meanings – from “investigation”, “investigation” to “torture”, “torture”. With the help of such a scientific inquisition, the secrets of nature were revealed (compare the Russian word “naturalist”).

The style of thinking in science has since been characterized by the following two features:

1) reliance on an experiment that delivers and verifies results;

2) the dominance of the analytical approach that directs thinking to search for the simplest, further indecomposable primary elements of reality (reductionism).

Thanks to the combination of these two fundamentals, a bizarre combination of rationalism and sensuality arose, predetermining the tremendous success of science. We note how far from accidental the fact that science arose not only at a certain time, but also in a certain place – in Europe of the XVI century.

The reason for the emergence of science is a peculiar type of modern European culture, combining sensuality with rationality; sensuality, which has not reached, as, say, in Chinese culture, sensitivity, and rationality, which has not reached spirituality (like that of the ancient Greeks). Never before in the history of culture has the bizarre combination of special sensuality and special rationality met and has given birth to science as a phenomenon of Western culture.

No wonder Western culture was called rational, and its dissimilar to Greek rationality turned out to be very well tied to the capitalist system. It allowed all the riches of the world to be reduced to a uniquely deterministic system, which provided maximum profit through the division of labor and technical innovations (also the consequences of rationalism). But an outstanding sociologist of the 20th century. P. Sorokina had a reason to call Western culture sensual, since she tried to firmly rely on experience. Both features of Western culture were needed for the development of science along with another one, also characteristic of it. “In Greek thinking, the answer to the question posed is given as a result of the conviction of its acceptability, in the modern – through experimentation and progressive observation. In the thinking of the ancients, mere thinking is called research, in modern research should be an activity ”(K. Jaspers, Sense and Purpose of History, p. 104). Another specific feature of Western culture — its activity orientation — has found expression in science.

The activity orientation of the mind was favored by the temperate continental climate of the region. Thus, there was a mutual influence of natural, social and spiritual factors.

What is natural science?

The subject of natural science is facts and phenomena that are perceived by our senses. The task of the scientist is to summarize these facts and create a theoretical model that includes the laws governing natural phenomena. This is a branch of science based on reproducible empirical testing of hypotheses and the creation of theories or empirical generalizations describing natural phenomena.

One must distinguish between facts of experience, empirical generalizations and theories that formulate the laws of science. Phenomena, for example, are given directly in experience; the laws of science, such as the law of world wideness, are variants of explaining phenomena. The facts of science, once established, retain their permanent meaning; laws can be changed in the course of the development of science, as, say, the law of world wideness was corrected after the creation of the theory of relativity.

The meaning of feelings and reason in the process of finding truth is a complex philosophical question. The science recognizes the truth of the situation, which is confirmed by reproducible experience. The basic principle of natural science says: knowledge of nature must allow empirical verification. Not in the sense that every particular statement must be empirically verified, but that experience is ultimately the decisive argument for the adoption of a given theory.

Natural science in the full sense of the word is universally meaningful and gives “generic” truth, i.e. truth that is valid and accepted by all people. Therefore, it has traditionally been regarded as a standard of scientific objectivity. Another large complex of sciences – social studies – on the contrary, has always been associated with group values ​​and interests that exist both in the scientist himself and in the subject matter of the study. Therefore, in the methodology of social science, along with objective research methods, it is of great importance to experience the event being studied, a subjective attitude to it, etc. Natural science differs from technical sciences with its focus on cognition, and not on assistance in transforming the world, but on mathematics in that it studies natural systems, not sign systems.

The distinction between natural and technical sciences, on the one hand, and fundamental and applied sciences, on the other, should be taken into account. The fundamental sciences – physics, chemistry, astronomy – study the basic structures of the world, and applied sciences are engaged in applying the results of basic research to solve both cognitive and socio-practical problems. In this sense, all technical sciences are applied, but not all applied sciences are technical. Such sciences as metal physics, physics of semiconductors are theoretical applied disciplines, and metallurgy, semiconductor technology – practical applied sciences.

However, in principle, there is no clear distinction between the natural, social and technical sciences, since there are a number of disciplines that are intermediate or complex in nature. So, at the junction of the natural and social sciences there is economic geography, at the junction of natural and technical sciences – bionics, and a complex interdisciplinary discipline, which includes both natural, and public, and technical sections, is social ecology.

Characteristic features of science

About such a multifunctional phenomenon as a science one can say that it is: 1) a branch of culture; 2) a way of knowing the world; 3) a special institute (the concept of an institute here includes not only a higher educational institution, but also the presence of scientific societies, academies, laboratories, journals, etc.).

For each of these nominations, science is correlated with other forms, methods, industries, institutions. In order to clarify these relationships, it is necessary to identify the specific features of science, especially those that distinguish it from the rest. What are they?

Science is UNIVERSAL – in the sense that it communicates knowledge that is true for the whole universe under the conditions under which it is obtained by man.

Science is FRAGMENTAL – in the sense that it studies not life as a whole, but various fragments of reality or its parameters, but is itself divided into separate disciplines. In general, the concept of being as philosophical is not acceptable to science, which is a private cognition. Each science as such is a certain projection on the world, like a searchlight, highlighting areas of interest to scientists at the moment.

Science is UNIVERSAL – in the sense that the knowledge it receives is suitable for all people, and its language is unambiguous, since science seeks to fix its terms as clearly as possible, which helps to unite people living in different parts of the world.

Science is DECLINED – in the sense that neither the individual characteristics of the scientist, nor his nationality or place of residence are in any way represented in the final results of scientific knowledge.

Science is SYSTEMATIC – in the sense that it has a certain structure, and is not an incoherent set of parts.Science is incomplete – in the sense that although scientific knowledge is growing without limit, it still cannot achieve absolute truth, after which there will be nothing left to explore.

Science is ADDICTIVE – in the sense that new knowledge in a certain way and according to certain rules correlates with old knowledge.

Science is CRITICAL – in the sense that it is always ready to question and revise even its most fundamental results.Science is reliable – in the sense that its conclusions require, allow and are being tested according to certain rules formulated in it.

Science is IMMORAL – in the sense that scientific truths are neutral in moral and ethical terms, and moral evaluations can relate either to the activity of obtaining knowledge (the ethics of a scientist requires him to be honest and courage in the process of searching for truth).

Science is RATIONAL – in the sense that it gains knowledge on the basis of rational procedures and laws of logic and reaches the formulation of theories and their provisions that go beyond the empirical level.

Science is SENSUAL- in the sense that its results require empirical verification using perception, and only after that they are recognized as reliable.

These properties of science form six dialectic pairs correlating with each other: universality – fragmentation, validity – impersonality, systematicity – incompleteness, continuity – criticality, reliability – non-morality, rationality – sensuality.

In addition, science has its own specific method and structure of research, language, and apparatus. All of this is the specificity of scientific research and the importance of science.

Difference of science from other branches of culture

Science differs from MYTHOLOGY in that it seeks not to explain the world as a whole, but to formulate the laws of the development of nature, allowing for empirical verification.

Science differs from MYSTICS in that it seeks not to merge with the object of research, but to its theoretical understanding and reproduction.

Science differs from RELIGION in that reason and reliance on sensual reality are more important in it than faith.

Science differs from PHILOSOPHY in that its conclusions allow for empirical testing and answer not the question “why?”, But the question “how?”, “How?”.

Science differs from ART by its rationality, which does not stop at the level of images, but is brought to the level of theories.

Science differs from IDEOLOGY in that its truths are generally significant and do not depend on the interests of certain segments of society.

The science otchivaetsya from the TECHNIQUE that it is not aimed at using the obtained knowledge of the world for its transformation, but at the knowledge of the world.

Science differs from ordinary consciousness in that it is a theoretical assimilation of reality.

Science and religion

Let us dwell in more detail on the relationship between science and religion, especially since there are different points of view on this issue. Atheistic literature promoted the view that scientific knowledge and religious faith are incompatible, and each new knowledge reduces the area of ​​faith, even to the statement that since the astronauts did not see God, it means that it does not exist.

The divide between science and religion is in accordance with the correlation in these branches of the culture of reason and faith. In science, the mind prevails, but there is a belief in it, without which knowledge is impossible – faith in sensual reality, which is given to man in sensations, faith in the cognitive abilities of the mind and the ability of scientific knowledge to reflect reality. Without such a belief, it would be difficult for a scientist to begin a scientific study. Science is not exclusively rational, it also has intuition, especially at the stage of formulating hypotheses. On the other hand, the mind, especially in theological studies, was used to substantiate the faith, and not all church leaders agreed with Tertullian’s aphorism: “I believe because it is absurd.”

So the areas of reason and faith are not separate absolute obstacle. Science can coexist with religion, since the attention of these branches of culture is directed at different things: in science, at empirical reality, in religion, mainly at extrasensual. The scientific picture of the world, limited to the sphere of experience, has no direct relation to religious revelations, and a scientist can be both an atheist and a believer. Another thing is that in the history of culture there are cases of sharp confrontations between science and religion, especially in those times when science gained its independence, say, during the creation of the heliocentric model of the structure of the world by Copernicus. But it doesn’t have to be this way forever.

There is also the area of ​​superstition, which has nothing to do with religious faith or science, but is associated with remnants of mystical and mythological ideas, as well as with various sectarian offshoots of official religions and everyday prejudices. Superstitions, as a rule, are far from both true faith and rational knowledge.

Science and philosophy

It is important to correctly understand the relationship of science with philosophy, because repeatedly, including in recent history, various philosophical systems have claimed to be scientific and even to the rank of “higher science”, and scientists have not always drawn the line between their own scientific and philosophical statements.

The specificity of science is not only that it does not undertake the study of the world as a whole, like philosophy, but represents private knowledge, but also that the results of science require empirical verification. In contrast to the philosophical statements, they are not only confirmed by special practical procedures or are subject to strict logical deducibility, as in mathematics, but also admit the fundamental possibility of their empirical refutation. All this allows us to draw a demarcation line between philosophy and science.

Scientists were sometimes represented as so-called “spontaneous materialists” in the sense that they had inherent primordial faith in the materiality of the world. Generally speaking, this is not necessary. One can believe that Somebody or Something conveys sensual information to people, and scientists read, group, classify and process it. Science rationalizes this information and issues it in the form of laws and formulas irrespective of what lies at its core. Therefore, a scientist may well be either a spontaneous materialist or an idealist, or a conscious follower of any philosophical concept. Scientists such as Descartes and Leibniz were also outstanding philosophers of their time.

The evolution and place of science in the system of culture

The relationship of science with other branches of culture was not unclouded. There was a rather tough, sometimes fierce struggle for spiritual leadership. In the Middle Ages, political and with her spiritual power belonged to religion, and this left an imprint on the development of science. ] Here is what the Russian historian and philosopher N. I. Kareev wrote about the relationship between science and religion at the time: “The church’s thought was put on the most strict guardianship: science and its teaching were entrusted only to the clergy, who, however, were vigilantly watched by the authorities … The church considered itself entitled to force a person to the truth and betray him to secular power for execution “without spilling blood” if he persisted … The extreme ascetic view of knowledge even led to the denial of any science as vain knowledge, leading Go to death ”(Kareyev N. I. Philosophy of Culture and Social History of the New Time – St. Petersburg, 1893. – P. 65).

Science basically had to serve as an illustration and proof of theological truths. As J. Bernal wrote, “up to the XVIII century. science continued to be interested mainly in the sky ”

– But it was the study of the sky that led to the subsequent power of science. Beginning with Copernicus, it became clear that science is not that of theology and everyday knowledge. The struggle between science and religion has entered a crucial stage. Giordano Bruno gave his life for the triumph of the scientific worldview, so once Socrates and Christ sacrificed themselves for the triumph of philosophy and religion.

And here’s the paradox: sentenced to death and forced to drink the cup with the poison of Socrates at the beginning of the IV c. BC, and in the same century philosophy won, schools of the students of Socrates and Plato’s Academy appeared. They crucified Christ in the 1st century, – and in the same way his disciples created a church, which in two centuries defeated philosophy. They burned J. Bruno in 1600, and in the same century science defeated religion. The triumph of death turned into a triumph of the spirit, which turned out to be stronger than death. Physical power is affirmed by violence, spiritual – by sacrifice.

So, culture develops not only by evolutionary accumulation of individual achievements, but also by revolutionary ways of changing the value of its branches. Socrates program to achieve the common good through philosophical knowledge was unrealized and fell under the pressure of ancient skepticism. People believed Christ and 1.5 millennia waited for the second coming, but waited indulgences for the rich and the fires of the Inquisition.

In the Renaissance, the dominance of religious thinking and the church was undermined both from within and from without. Philosophical and religious efforts to create universally significant knowledge and faith, bringing people happiness, were not justified, but the need for systematization and unity of knowledge and happiness remained, and now science has given hope for its realization.

There was a great turn in the development of culture – science has risen to its highest level. In its modern form, science was formed in the XVI – XVII centuries. and at the same time she managed to defeat other branches of culture and, above all, the religion that dominated at that time. Science won in the seventeenth century. all other branches of culture and retained a dominant role until the twentieth century. It owes its victory primarily to natural science, which lies at the foundation of scientific knowledge.

Conclusion

Since then, the value of science has steadily increased until the twentieth century, and faith in science was supported by its enormous achievements. In the middle of the 20th century, as a result of the growing connection between science and technology, an event occurred that was equal in scale to the 17th century scientific revolution, called the scientific and technological revolution and marked a new, third stage in the development of scientific knowledge.

The impact of science on man

INTRODUCTION

To the question: “What does science give to a man?” – many people will answer: “It equips people with knowledge, new means of practical domination over the world and thus increases their self-confidence”. This statement seems indisputable, but, like any truism, it expresses the core of the matter and is therefore inadequate.

The impact of science on humans is twofold. Before offering him real knowledge, she destroys a mass of fictitious ideas, which for a long time seemed to be real knowledge. Before bringing to life new means of practical domination over the world, it mercilessly discredits the tools of fictitious influence on reality, the reliability of which for the time being was not in doubt. Science destroys false and naive confidence, often not being able to immediately offer a new, equally strong, broad, subjectively satisfying. And it is precise with the establishment of this fact that, in my opinion, the discussion on the relationship between science and morality should begin.

CHAPTER I

Almost all the scholars of antiquity noted with surprise that in the so-called “pre-scientific” epochs man did not feel at all surrounded by an unknown, problematic world.

On the contrary, the farther we go into the depths of history, the more resolutely does imaginary omniscience declare itself. Researchers in primitive societies, such as Shutts, Taylor, and Levy-Bruhl, differing in method and in their initial attitudes, unanimously recognize the striking “epistemological self-conceit” of the ancient peoples.

The native “knows everything”: there is no such question that would cast him into doubt or confuse. The world around him may seem hostile to him, insidious, filled with malice, but he does not exist for him as an unknown at all. The native is often afraid of what he really does not deserve fear (and in this sense, his reaction to the world is irrational), but he does not know the fear of the unknown.

Belief in the fact that the world, as well as the personal fate of each, is already known and you just need to find a way to get this omniscience, is an essential aspect of superstition (the occult worldview). In a systematic form, belief in the availability of ready-made universal knowledge is included as an obligatory component and in any developed religious world perception.

The emerging science does not grow in the atmosphere of acutely experienced ignorance. On the contrary, it everywhere invades the realm of already established confidence, comforting appearances, artificially smoothed contradictions.

Science brings not knowledge in general, but logically and empirically certified knowledge, at any given moment covering a fairly narrow circle of phenomena. The volume of explanations that she delivers is simply not commensurate with the volume of pseudo-explanations discards. And this is a situation not only of the emergence of science, but of each significant new discovery.

A solid scientific achievement can be compared with a small, good-sized building surrounded by the ruins of a “speculative city”, fragments of various kinds of “temporary thought” (naive confidence and false hopes) in which people could feel quite comfortable.

The relationship between scientific knowledge and imaginary omniscience is well conveyed by the concept, considering every fundamental theoretical position as a kind of prohibition imposed on known practical expectations (as the establishment of a new field of unsolvable problems). The fundamental laws of science, both natural and social, can almost always be translated into the form of negative norms that indicate what cannot and cannot be hoped for. Classical mechanics has vetoed a wide field of practical dreams (for example, the hope of creating a perpetual motion machine). Chemistry forced to part with bright expectations for alchemical experiments. The scientific theory of society imposed a ban on the utopian projects of a lightning restructuring of the existing social organization.

The development of science is, in this sense, the process of sobering the human mind, the discovery of new evidence of the objective non-compliance of being, of all new areas of the impossible at this level of development of knowledge and practice.

The relationship between what science provides and what it takes can be visualized using the following parable.

Imagine that a certain person (let it be a merchant) is the owner of 1000 coins, which he considers gold. Once a wanderer comes to the house of a merchant – a “fairy-tale guest”, sophisticated and generous. The stranger is able, firstly, to distinguish genuine gold coins from counterfeit ones and, secondly, to artificially manufacture gold.

After seeing a wealthy merchant, the wanderer informs him that out of 1000 coins that he considers gold, only five are true gold, and all the others are fake. Being a man not only sophisticated, but also generous, the wanderer manufactures and gives the merchant five more genuine gold coins (he does not know how to make gold faster).

Has the merchant’s real wealth increased? Sure. It has doubled. Formerly, the merchant had only five genuine gold coins, and now it has ten. But undoubtedly, what the merchant had previously felt, recognized himself to be 100 times richer. In a certain sense, a wanderer who blessed the merchant twice (once when he revealed that his wealth was false, another time when he increased the real state of the merchant by 5 gold coins), he also destitute him.

The fictitious wealth of the merchant was completely real for him. It gave him the consciousness of his strength and power, allowed him to go to ventures, to be steadfast in his claims, etc. Thus, for all its fictitiousness, it could be the source of quite real life success.

The merchant has every reason to sue the wanderer: “I believed that I had 1000 coins, you took away this faith; take back your gift and return the confidence that helped me to live!” to do it. I don’t know how to make gold so quickly to fully replace your counterfeit coins with authentic ones, and I don’t know how to turn a exposed illusion into an illusion that has not yet been exposed. ”

The volume of destroyed illusions is always much higher than the volume of those authenticity and real possibilities that science currently delivers. Moreover, the destructive work that science does in relation to the already existing pre-scientific knowledge is usually greater, the more significant its creative constructive contribution to human ideas about the world. In order to understand this relationship more concretely, it is important to take into account that there is no pre-established correspondence between problems, worries, aspirations that stand in the foreground of everyday consciousness (which are priority for people) and those problems that are first solved by science (they become primary in the developmental logic) scientific knowledge).

For centuries, the first human need was easily obtained food. Hence the eternal aspiration of cheap (gratuitous) bread, which corresponded to the religious promises expressed in the legend of “manna from heaven,” of “many thousands fed with five breads,” etc. However, from the possibility of radical scientific intervention in food production, which would lead to a sharp reduction in their prices, society still stands far. The practical history of science does not begin with the question of bread, but with the question of mechanisms and engines — with the justification of technical civilization.

Perhaps people would have sacrificed countless conquests in this civilization if, in return, they were offered “three miracles”: a drug that cures all diseases; an enterprise synthesizing food products from inorganic substances; and a learning method that guarantees the full development of all the makings of a child.

But it is precisely these aspirations that are closest to the man himself for science to be the most remote and difficult to achieve.

Scientific research invariably gives answers to life-practical questions, but for the time being not for those that are associated with the primary needs of individual existence and from the fictitious provision of which the pre-scientific technique of “acting on reality” (spell, prayer, etc.) began .

But there is a sphere in which the “disagreement” between science and everyday consciousness is even more significant (strictly speaking, absolute). This is a sphere of individual life decisions and choices. From generation to generation, millions of people in the uniquely personal context of everyday experience are asked the following question: “Will I die from this disease or survive?”, “Should I marry this woman?”, “Should I initiate a criminal case in this case ? ” etc. Such questions (and at certain moments in life they occupy the whole person and often bring them to philosophically significant alternatives) scientific research will never be able to give an answer. And not because of the unique content that each of them assumes.

For science, the universal form itself of these questions, which goes back to the occult and religious worldview, is unacceptable, namely: “What is my destiny?” And “Should I decide on this?” In the first case, it is unwittingly assumed that a person’s life can be something independent of his free decisions. In the second one, it is hoped that the results of the decision that has not yet been made (perhaps it will not be made) can already be known – “to have it before our eyes” – as something accomplished. To answer questions that implicitly include this assumption and this hope, science has no right. The need for divination, for the satisfaction of which people from time immemorial turned to fortunetellers, soothsayers, astrologers and interpreters of dreams, science not only cannot, but categorically refuses to satisfy. She denounces any attempt to conduct it as charlatanry, and the place of this fictitious knowledge, which helped a person to escape from his own freedom, leaves empty.

Thus, science, paradoxically, makes life difficult for a prudent, prudent-prudent person, because it puts him in the face of the uncertainty of specific situations and requires that he make a decision freely, autonomously, without waiting for either earthly or otherworldly clues.

So, science brings to man not only new knowledge and opportunities, but also the first-born conscious ignorance – the understanding that there are objectively impossible events, practically unsolvable tasks, uncertain life situations.

This does not mean at all, however, that conscious ignorance immediately becomes widespread.

Everyday consciousness is rooted in prescientific experience; its general structure took shape in an era when man felt himself to be a “flock”, a being under the tutelage of an otherworldly force for which there are no unsolvable tasks or unforeseen events. From the consciousness of the trust, which corresponded to certain socio-historical conditions, the habit of asking for an answer, which would certainly have the form of instruction, advertisements, and warnings (in short, a form of ready-made, as if through the revelation of knowledge gained), grew.

This habit is experiencing the very belief in the supernatural and continues to exist in the heads of people who can no longer take seriously either the characters of religious mythologies or the wonderworkers, fortunetellers, soothsayers. The request for divination and miracles is now presented to science itself. In principle, it is expected (as knowledge) of what was expected from mystics, astrology, and black magic, that is, evidence of the “possibility of the incredible,” consolatory announcements, recommendations that would save you from the dangers of personal choice, etc. The transfer to a scientific study of the epistemological expectations that developed within the occult and religious worldview forms the basis of the ideology of scientism (faith in science as a human pastor).

The spontaneously folding scientistic attitudes of mass consciousness find support in the maximalist concepts put forward by the philosophy of science, and sometimes by the scientists themselves, in theoretical scientism.

Originating in the depths of educational ideology and developed in positivism by Comte, Huxley, Lester F. Ward and some modern Western philosophers, theoretical scientism recognizes science as the decisive force of progress, the new demiurge whose instruments are gradually becoming a social organization and its constituent individuals. It is assumed that the considerations of each person to the understanding that the issues for which there is no theoretical instruction should not be asked at all: people should consider every problem that is not subject to the competence of science “pseudo-problem”. Only after they deal with the ineradicable subjectivity of their personal worries, anxieties and expectations, will a state of epistemological holiness and bliss be achieved, when every question has a ready scientific answer and every business will be started on the basis of a prediction of its success.

It is not difficult to notice that the program of theoretical scientism and the expectations of scientism spontaneous, on the one hand, sharply contradict each other, on the one hand, they are in surprising consonance. Both recognize that science must be a shepherd, and people a flock; both believe that an individual problem is only a problem when there is hope of satisfying it with ready-made knowledge; both want the decisions and choices of a person to rely on reliable cognitive guarantees.

The false unity of science and everyday consciousness within the framework of scientistic ideology can be destroyed only if science abandons messianism, and everyday consciousness accepts the cognitive situation with which its scientific research actually confronts. The latter implies the willingness of a person to act at his own risk and risk, to act definitely in conditions of ambiguity, when the outside world lacks the necessary targets.

But where can such readiness come from?

A person has the ability “not to fall into behavioral uncertainty in the face of cognitive uncertainties”, because in him, as an individual, there is a kind of gyroscope, whose axes retain their constant direction with any changes in the external semantic context of life. This is a moral consciousness, stable inner convictions, forged in the coolest alterations of history. Science, free from scientist prejudices, presupposes the existence of this consciousness in an individual and, moreover, appeals to it.

CHAPTER II. THE QUESTION OF THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF SCIENCE AND MORALITY

The fact that science is a destroyer of fictitious omniscience (that scientific knowledge is at the same time ruthless awareness of the limits of cognitive authenticity) and that moral independence of the people addressed by science is a condition for preserving this intellectual honesty was deeply understood in Immanuel Kant’s philosophy. Kant once called his teaching “genuine enlightenment.” His essence (as opposed to “naive enlightenment”) he saw was not only to wrest a person from the grip of traditional superstitious hopes for the power of theoretical reason, from believing in the solvability of any problem that arises from the circumstances of human life. And above all, Kant demanded that the “theoretical reason” (the mind, how it is realized in science) did not give rise to these hopes and this faith.

Kant’s theory of the boundaries of theoretical reason (in contrast to the skeptical agnosticism of D. Hume) was directed not against the research audacity of the scientist, but against his unfounded claims to prophecy and the management of people’s personal decisions. The question of the limits of authentic knowledge was for Kant not only a methodological, but also an ethical problem (a problem of the “discipline of reason” that would keep science and scientists from scientistic conceit).

“With temperament and also talent …” wrote Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, “some need discipline in some respects, everyone will easily agree with that. But the thought that reason, which, in fact, is obliged to prescribe its own discipline, Of course, it seems strange, and in fact he still avoided such humiliation precisely because, seeing the solemnity and serious posture with which he speaks, no one suspected that he frivolously plays with imaginings, instead of concepts and words instead of things ” . (*) Kant considered the typical form of such a game to be the attempts of a “scientific” construction of various kinds of universal regulatives, which could guide a person in his fundamental life choices.

In developing this topic, Kant spoke out against the basic form of scientism for his time, against scientific substantiation of the idea of the existence of God and the idea of the immortality of the soul (classes that were not devoted only to the theologians). “Criticism of pure reason” found that these rationales do not meet the requirements of theoretical evidence, that, being honestly deployed, they lead to the highest manifestations of uncertainty – antinomies, metaphysical alternatives.

A few years later, Kant showed in his work Criticism of Practical Reason that a developed person needs only knowledge, not ward knowledge, for with respect to “purpose” and “meaning” she already possesses an internal guideline – “moral law in us.”

Justifying the moral autonomy of a person, Kant decisively rejects the vulgar postulate of the indispensable “expediency” (“practicality”) of human behavior. In the works of Kant himself, the concept of “practical” has a special meaning, deeply different from that which is usually embedded in the words “practice” and “practicality.” By “practical action” Kant means not producing an activity, always having in mind some expedient result, but simply an act, that is, any event resulting from a human decision and intent. This is a manifestation of human activity, which does not necessarily have some “positive”, substantive completion (say, building a building, getting a new formula, writing a book, etc.).

“Practical action” in the Kantian sense can also consist in denying practical action in the usual sense (for example, in refusal to cost a house of a known purpose or to write a book of known content). A person commits an act and when he evades from any action, he remains on the sidelines. Examples of such self-exclusion sometimes cause no less admiration than samples of the most inspired creativity and the most hard work. People glorified themselves not only by the works of hands and mind, but also by the stamina with which they refused the unworthy enterprise, refused even when it looked fascinating and seduced by an abundance of creative tasks.

Many things, Kant liked to repeat, are capable of arousing surprise and admiration, but genuine respect is caused only by a person who has not changed his sense of due, in other words, he for whom the impossible exists: who does not do what cannot be done, and elects himself for what not to do.

Failure and personal resilience may be present in practical action in the usual sense of the word. Creative activity quite often includes them as self-restraint for the sake of a consciously chosen vocation. However, the final substantive product of creativity often hides from us that it was the result of a human act, personal choice, which meant giving up something else, deprivation, internal prohibition; The foreground of this product is the game of abilities, diligence, endurance, etc. In the facts of renunciation of action, the structure of the act, in its difference from the simple making of revealing, is revealed much more clearly.

The originality of Kant’s second “Critics” from the very beginning was determined by the fact that “practical action” was categorically and uncompromisingly opposed in it by prudent and practical action (action oriented on success, happiness, survival, empirical expediency, etc.) and illustrated by examples of evading an unworthy cause. Accordingly, the intellectual ability on which “pure practical action” rests has proved to be profoundly different from the intellectual tool that the “practitioner” uses. If the latter relies on “theoretical reason” as a means of calculating expediency or success, then the subject of “practical action” proceeds from the testimony of the mind, directly seeing the unconditional impossibility of certain decisions and the events resulting from them.

From this followed an important conclusion about the independence of the structure of a genuine human act from the state of a person’s ability to learn. A person would remain faithful to his duty (to his consciousness of the absolute impossibility to perform — or not to commit — certain actions), even if he could not have known anything at all about the objective prospects of unfolding his life situation.

Beyond the realm of uncertainties and alternatives, into which the Critique of Pure Reason was introduced, the realm of clarity and simplicity was revealed – a self-contained world of personal conviction. “Critical Philosophy” demanded an awareness of the limitations of human knowledge (and it is limited to scientifically reliable knowledge) in order to make room for a purely moral orientation, for trusting unconditional moral evidence.

Kant himself, however, formulated the main content of his philosophy in a slightly different way. “I had to eliminate knowledge, he wrote, – to get a place for faith.”

In my opinion, this frequently mentioned aphorism from the second preface to the Critique of Pure Reason is an example of a concise, but inadequate philosophical self-report.

First, Kant did not really claim to “eliminate knowledge”.

Secondly, he would have been much closer to the objective content of his own teaching if he had spoken not about faith, but about moral conviction, a sense of responsibility and the need for a moral decision.

Why did Kant not do this; Is it accidental that in the final formulation of the essence of “critical philosophy”, which received the meaning of a kind of Kantian password, the notion of faith replaced the notion of morality?

CHAPTER III. FAITH AND MORALITY.

In the teachings of Kant, there is no place for faith, replacing knowledge, complementing its insufficiency in the system of human orientation, and in this sense, Kant is an opponent of fideism. He criticizes all kinds of faith stemming from the need to reduce the ambiguity of the world and remove the feeling of insecurity in human life. Thus, Kant, voluntarily or involuntarily, comes into conflict with theology (both contemporary and future), as well as non-religious forms of blind faith.

Kant was a sincere Christian, irreconcilably related to atheism. And at the same time, without any reservations, he should be called upon by one of the critics and destroyers of the religious worldview. Kant did not destroy religion as an adversary, but as a serious and sincere supporter, who presented moral demands to his religious consciousness, defying his passionate protection for such a god, whose faith would not limit man’s freedom or deprive him of his moral dignity.

Kant pays close attention to the fact that faith, as it in the vast majority of cases found itself in history – in superstitions, in religious (religious) movements, in blind obedience to the prophets and leaders – is an irrationalistic calculus. The inner conviction of a fideist to check always turns out to be a craven belief in revelation (to the fact that someone somewhere has or possesses a mind that exceeds the real capabilities of the mind). The faith of fanatics, holy fools, authoritarianists is unconditionally excluded both by the “Critique of the Pure” and the “Critique of the Practical Reason”: the first is because it (faith) represents a bet on the “supra-rationality” of some selected representatives of the human race (an attempt to find that which cannot be given at all in experience); the second is because it provides the individual the opportunity to escape from an unconditional moral decision.

At the same time, Kant retains the category of “faith” in her teaching and tries to establish her new, proper philosophical understanding, different from the one she had in theology, on the one hand, and in historical psychology, on the other. Kant wrote that his three basic essays are based on three fundamental questions: “What can I know?” (“Criticism of pure reason”), “What should I do?” (“Critique of practical reason”), and “What am I I dare to hope? “(” Religion within the limits of reason only “).

The third of these questions precisely outlines the problem of faith, as it stood within Kantian philosophy itself. Kant would have acted sequentially if he had completely excluded the category “faith” from his teaching and put the concept of “hope” in its place.

The latter differs from faith in that it is never an internal animation that precedes action and determines the choice. Where hope becomes a source of practical solutions, it is either a hope or a blind confidence illegally put in place of purely probabilistic knowledge. Hope is forgivable, since it is a matter of consolation, but, as the driving forces of actions, they require a wary and critical attitude towards themselves.

The three fundamental questions by which Kant dissects the content of his philosophy have a mandatory (irreversible) sequence. A necessary prerequisite for conscious orientation in the world is, according to Kant, not only the honest formulation of each of these questions, but also the very order in which they are put. To ask the problem “what should I do?” Is legitimate only when you find any convincing answer to the question “what can I know?”, Because without an understanding of the limits of reliable knowledge it is impossible to assess the independent knowledge of obligation and unconditional moral choice. An even more serious mistake (a kind of “misconduct in orientation”) would be to turn the answer to the question “what dare I hope?” Into a condition for solving the problem “what should I do?”, That is, an attempt to preface faith with duty.

This is a crucial point in the Kantian (philosophical) understanding of faith. The object of faith (whether it is God or, say, the meaning of history) cannot be an object of calculation, a kind of guideline, but to which an individual could verify his actions in advance. In practical action, a person must rely entirely on the consciousness of the “moral law” that is present in him. Faith as a condition of individual choice spoils the purity of the moral motive — Kant insists categorically on this; if it has the right to exist, it is only as a consolation mentality of a person who has already made a decision at his own peril and risk.

The need for genuine faith arises, according to Kant, not at the moment of choice, but after it is done, when the question is posed – does the maxim of behavior that was followed unconditionally, that is, without thinking, have a chance of success (for approval in the future)? about success.

The postulates of religion (belief in the existence of God and personal immortality) are needed by the Kantian subject not to become moral (in this they can only hurt), but in order to become morally efficient.

Kant himself feels, however, that this distinction in the psychological sense is difficult to achieve. Belief in the existence of God and belief in personal immortality, since they are inseparable from the feeling of divine omnipotence, transcend the boundaries into which their pure practical postulation enters. Instead of consoling himself with faith (using it only as hope), the individual unwittingly turns it into a rationale for his decisions: he begins to feel himself a soldier of the sacred army, universal success that is guaranteed by the providence; turns into a religious ascetic, blindly relying on the necessarily favorable outcome of the struggle between good and evil, etc.

The assessment of the religious hopes of the righteous is found to be ambiguous for Kant: it is difficult to establish whether he considers these hopes to be mandatory or only venial for a moral person; sees in them a source of moral stamina or, on the contrary, a crutch on which people are forced to rely because of their weakness. This ambiguity is obviously opposed by the categoricalness with which Kant rejects the primacy of faith in relation to the moral decision.

“It still seems to us,” he wrote back in the “subcritical” period, “that … it is more consistent with human nature and moral purity to base the expectation of the future world on the sensations of a virtuous soul than, on the contrary, good behavior on hopes of another world.” In The Critique of the Practical Reason, this idea will be cast into a laconic formula: “Religion is based on morality, and not morality on religion.”

Kant’s philosophy reveals an amazing fact: a prudent and prudent individual and individual. professing the revealed faith is essentially the same subject. Prudence turns into superstition wherever it experiences a lack of knowledge. It is under these conditions that the inability of the prudently prudent person to endure his own freedom, the cowardice and self-deprecation, which since ancient times has been the natural basis of any “liturgical religion,” is exposed.

The essence of the Kantian philosophy of religion can be conveyed by the following brief formula: God is pleased with the moral independence of people, and only she is alone, he is sickened by any manifestation of cowardice, humiliation and flattery; accordingly, only he who truly has no fear of God, never drops his dignity before him and does not shift his moral decisions to him.

Kant wished or did not want to, but this idea corroded the existing religion, like acid. She put the believer in front of a critical question that flickered weakly in many heresies: besides, I actually address when I fear, hesitate, seek guidance, beg for it, ingratiate, bargain?

To whom did millions of people turn and appeal, whose plea is a cry of powerlessness?

If God is pleased with spiritual weakness, cowardice and humiliation (it is precisely those states in which people who believe that they communicate with him usually exist), then is this not what the “prince of darkness” pleases? And if so, then (the question that was once thrown by Luther to the Catholic Church) is not the city of the devil the temples in which everyone is in fear, shame and helpless ingratiation?

Kant himself did not formulate an alternative with such harshness.

However, he quite definitely said that all known forms of religion (including Christianity) were idolatry to the extent that they allowed human humiliation and flattery, indulgent understanding of God’s mercy and comforting lies, faith in miracles and divine service sacrifices.

Kant confronted religion and theology with the deepest inner contradictions of religious consciousness. Thus, he put not only religion and theology, but also himself, as a religious thinker, before insoluble difficulties. The main question, embarrassing Kant’s religious conscience, was the following: Is not faith in God a temptation on the way to the complete moral independence of a person?

Indeed, as an all-powerful god, one cannot but tempt believers to seek his mercies.

As an all-knowing being, God cannot but tempt believers to seek his mercies.

As a being, an all-knowing god seduces to pleading for prompting and guidance where a person must make a free decision in the face of uncertainty.

As a permanent creator of the world, he leaves the believer hope for a miraculous change in any circumstances.

The highest manifestation of the moral force of man is the stoic courage in a situation, the hopelessness of which he realized (“the struggle without hope of success”). But for the believer, this position is simply inaccessible, for he cannot but hope that God is capable of allowing the unbelievable. Faith itself excludes for him the possibility of that rigoristic behavior and the inner purity of the motive, for which the unbeliever has no obstacles.

As noted above, philosophically understandable faith, according to Kant, differs from vulgar, divinely revealed faith as hope from hope and blind confidence. But God, as it were, was not depicted in various systems of religion and theology, he always has such power over the future that one cannot simply hope for him. He condemns it to hope, to providential optimism, in the atmosphere of which true morality can neither develop nor exist.

Kant considered unselfishness to be the most essential characteristic of moral action. But in order for selflessness to be born, somewhere in history, a situation had to take place, for the participants of which any self-interest, any bet on profitability and success of the action would make it problematic and even impossible.

CONCLUSION

One of the main contradictions of Kant’s philosophy was that it was quite clearly understood the genetic relationship between selflessness and the devaluation of self-interest in critical situations and at the same time it was assumed that morality could arise from religion and within religion (the question of the origin of morality was identical for Kant’s development of Christianity from Judaism).

But morality could not ripen inside religion precisely because religion masks the desperateness of critical situations, protects its adherents from collisions with “nothing”, with “a world without a future.” Insuring against despair, she insures against the crisis of prudence.

With all its contradictions, the moral concept of Kant in its main sections is most consonant with the ethics of Stoicism. At first glance, this may seem strange. Indeed, where would the stoic mood come from at the very end of the 18th century, in the epoch of expectations and hopes, pre-revolutionary revival and faith in the triumph of reason?

The main works of Kant, which set forth his moral doctrine — Criticism of the Practical Mind ”and“ Religion within Mind Only ”— appeared in 1788 and 1793, respectively. between these time stamps lay the Great French Revolution.

The ethical teaching of Kant is imbued with a sense of the tragedy of the revolution, speaking first as a premonition, and then as a bitter consciousness of what is happening and accomplished. At the same time, Kantian philosophy is not only far from the pessimism that has seized after the Jacobin terror and Thermidor those who were animated by the hopes of the Enlightenment, but also directly hostile to this pessimism. The genuine pathos of Kant’s ethics is the pathos of personal loyalty to the educational ideals of loyalty, even despite the history that discredited them. It was not the ideas of personal independence, justice and human dignity that were confounded, but only hopes to build a society based on these ideas.

After the defeat of the revolution, loyalty to the educational ideals could be maintained only decisively rejecting the utopian and naive progressivism with which they were merged in the ideology of the 18th century. This is precisely what determined Kant’s attitude toward the philosophical sermon of the Enlightenment. He seeks to show that as a revelation of the mind itself, it is indisputable; its indispensable obligation for every rational being cannot abolish any social experience, no “lessons of history”.

At the same time, Kant strongly opposes the naturalistic, progressive spirit of enlightening ideology, against her inherent belief in a quick triumph of reason, against portraying the ideal state of society as some kind of hidden “human nature” that “destined” to prevail over inappropriate forms of community life, against image the duties of the individual as his “rational needs”, moral requirements – as “genuine interests”, etc.

The liberal Kantianism of the second half of the 19th century, which sought to give Kant’s ethics an “undoubtedly secular character,” placed at the forefront exactly what was most closely associated with his religious way of thinking, the hope of the kingdom of justice in the finale of history. Kant’s ethics came to be called the concept of an “infinitely distant social ideal,” which relied on the temporary infinity of human existence. The “scientific” and “secular” interpretation of Kant’s moral teaching turned, in other words, with the scientific and secular reinterpretation of the postulate of the immortality of the soul.

It seems to me that the main thing in Kant’s philosophy is just the opposite setting – the desire (albeit not fully accomplished) to distinguish what is due (unconditionally obligatory for the individual) and that should take place in the future (a special dimension of existence).

In this sense, understood moral action solely as an action for the future (self-restraint at the moment for profit in perspective, injustice today for justice tomorrow, trampling personal dignity in the interests of the future, where it will be respected) is, from Kant’s point of view, morality in the boundaries of prudence and greed. He sought an ethical concept that would lead to one denominator and cynical practicality, far from any inner orientation towards the ideal, and progressive fanaticism. This dual critical-polemical orientation explains the uniqueness of Kant’s moral doctrine, which links anti-historicist stoic devotion to unconditional and the pathos of disinterestedness, the idea of loyalty to moral law and the idea of spiritual autonomy of the individual.