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dimanche, 21 août 2011

Out of Africa? Races are more different than previously thought

Out of Africa?

Races are more different than previously thought.

Researchers led by Prof. Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have placed a very large question mark over the currently fashionable “out-of-Africa” theory of the origins of modern man. They have done this by producing a partial genome from three fossil bones belonging to female Neanderthals from Vindija Cave in Croatia, and comparing it with the genomes of modern humans.

Neanderthal skull
Neanderthal Man: Our ancestor after all.

Their initial results show that Neanderthals interbred with anatomically modern humans, mainly with the ancestors of peoples now found in Europe and Asia. This discovery both underlines the genetic differences between African and non-African populations and contradicts the pure, “out-of-Africa” version of human evolution, according to which all non-Africans living today are descended exclusively from migrants that left Africa less than 100,000 years ago. These migrants are said to have out-competed and eventually driven to extinction all other forms of homo and to have done so without interbreeding.

The authors of the Max Planck study note that Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and western Asia, were the closest evolutionary relatives of current humans, but went extinct about 30,000 years ago. They go on to note:

“Comparisons of the Neanderthal genome to the genomes of five present-day humans from different parts of the world identify a number of genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans, including genes involved in metabolism and in cognitive and skeletal development. We show that Neanderthals shared more genetic variants with present-day humans in Eurasia than with present-day humans in sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that gene flow from Neanderthals into the ancestors of non-Africans occurred before the divergence of Eurasian groups from each other.” (Richard E. Green, Johannes Krause, et. al., A Draft Sequence of the Neanderthal Genome, Science, May 7, 2010).

In other words, Neanderthal genes remained in the human genome because they were beneficial, and are mainly found in non-African groups.

The traditional alternative to the “out-of-Africa” theory has been that different races evolved from earlier forms of homo in different parts of the world. That theory allows for a far longer period for the evolution of races. The great obstacle to this multi-regional theory has been genetic evidence taken from modern humans that points to a common ancestor who left Africa about 100,000 years ago. However, this judgment is based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) — the DNA outside the nucleus — which shows no evidence of interbreeding. The Max Planck team, however, was the first to do a large-scale comparative study of nuclear DNA which, as they point out, “is composed of tens of thousands of recombining, and hence independently evolving, DNA segments that provide an opportunity to obtain a clearer picture of the relationship between Neanderthals and present-day humans.”

champanzee skull
Chimpanzee: Our closest living relative.

The researchers note that their conclusions are tentative because they were able to reconstruct only about 60 percent of the Neanderthal genome. Much of this had to be carefully sifted because of contamination, especially by bacterial DNA. Nonetheless, where the Neanderthal genome could be compared to that of modern humans, the researchers found an estimated 99.7 percent match. They also found that the Neanderthal and modern genomes shared exactly the same degree of genetic similarity — 98.8 percent — with chimpanzees.

Of particular significance, however, is the result of comparing the Neanderthal genome with representatives of different modern races: “one San from Southern Africa, one Yoruba from West Africa, one Papua New Guinean, one Han Chinese, and one French from Western Europe.”

Non-Africans got a far larger genetic contribution from Neanderthals than Africans did:

“[I]ndividuals in Eurasia today carry regions in their genome that are closely related to those in Neanderthals and distant from other present-day humans. The data suggest that between 1 and 4 percent of the genomes of people in Eurasia are derived from Neanderthals. Thus, while the Neanderthal genome presents a challenge to the simplest version of an ‘out-of-Africa’ model for modern human origins, it continues to support the view that the vast majority of genetic variants that exist at appreciable frequencies outside Africa came from Africa with the spread of anatomically modern humans.”

Although the Neanderthal contribution is small, the fact that it survived at all suggests that it conferred an evolutionary advantage. The Max Planck team notes that those contributions were “involved in cognitive abilities and cranial morphology.” Neanderthals passed on to non-Africans whatever genetic advantages they had in these important areas.

It is possible that Neanderthals contributed more than the 1 to 4 percent calculated by the Max Planck researchers. Their Neanderthal genome was incomplete and the missing 40 percent may contain more genes present in modern humans. Even if Neanderthal genes form only a very small part of the modern non-African genome, small genetic differences can have important consequences. We share almost all of our DNA with chimps, yet are very different from them. It has become clear since the mapping of the human genome that the central importance of genes lies not in their quantity but in the way they interact. Many scientists expected that sequencing or decoding the human genome would lead to an understanding of how it works, but that has not been the case. Many mysteries remain, but it is clear that small differences can have profound effects.

Homo erectus
Homo erectus: bred with modern humans?

If modern humans bred with Neanderthals could there have been other mixtures of the varieties of homo throughout evolution? There was ample opportunity. Homo habilis is estimated to have existed from 2.3 to 1.4 million years ago, homo erectus to have lived between 1.9 million and 300,000 years ago (and possibly much later in isolated areas), Neanderthals from 400,000 years until 30,000 years ago, and homo sapiens from 250,000-150,000 years ago to the present. One promising candidate for interbreeding with modern humans is homo erectus. As the online encyclopedia science.jrank.org explains:

“Fossils of the species have been collected from South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Georgia, India, China, and Indonesia. The oldest specimens come from Africa, the Caucasus, and Java and are dated at about 1.8 million years. These very early dates outside of Africa indicate that H. erectus dispersed across the Old World almost instantaneously, as soon as the species arose in Africa ... Homo erectus persisted very late in the Pleistocene epoch in Indonesia to possibly as late as 30,000 years ago, which suggests that the species survived in isolation while modern humans spread everywhere in the Old World.”

Neanderthal woman
National Geographic's Neanderthal woman.

Just as this article was going to press, there were reports on the analysis of 30,000-year-old bones found by the Russians in a cave in Denisova in Siberia in 2008. The DNA, whose state of preservation has been called “miraculous,” proved to be distinct from both Neanderthals and modern humans, and researchers called the newly discovered hominids Denisovans. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute studied this DNA as well, and determined that Denisovans also bred with modern humans — though not with those that remained in Africa.

The Denisovans were related to Neanderthals, and their common ancestors are thought to have left Africa some 400,000 or more years ago. One branch became Neanderthal in Western Eurasia and another became Denisovan in the East. Modern man appears to have encountered and bred with both groups, but only after leaving Africa. Specialists greeted the news about Denisovans with the expectation that yet more missing members of the human family tree could be rediscovered.

Indeed, the complexity and variety of the fossil record hints at what could have been considerable interbreeding. There has been a huge number of discoveries during the last century, but hominid remains are still very scarce and are often only a small fragment of a skeleton. Complete skeletons are like hens’ teeth. Moreover, when new fossils turn up, rather than clarify the record by filling in missing branches on the evolutionary tree, they tend to complicate matters. For example, they may show that a variety of homo was much older than previously thought or appeared in an unexpected place. Variability of fossils can also suggest intermediate forms that had not been anticipated, such as a specimen with traits characteristic of both homo erectus and Neanderthals. The difficulty in classifying human fossils and especially the existence of intermediate forms suggest interbreeding.

We are only now beginning to learn of some variants of homo that could have contributed genes to modern humans. In 2004, fossils of a dwarf species of homo — “Flores man,” who has been nicknamed “hobbit” — were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Flores man is thought to have gone extinct about 12,000 years ago, so he certainly coexisted with modern humans.

Interbreeding between related varieties of homo would be more likely than that between related animals because even primitive homo had a large brain, which suggests self-consciousness, and, most probably, language. Animals mate in a largely automatic process prompted by various triggers: aural, chemical, condition of feathers and so on. Man, although not entirely without such triggers, adds conscious thought to mate selection. This allows humans to overcome the barriers of behavior and biology, and mate outside their subspecies or even species.

Vindija cave in Croatia
The Vindija cave in Croatia. The bones that
yielded the Max Planck Institute’s first
Neanderthal genome were found here.

Even today, tribal peoples may take women by force from other groups, often by organized raiding. Prehistoric man may have done the same, raising the possibility that interbreeding took place without the willing participation of the females.

At some point, of course, separate evolution would have produced separate species that were not mutually fertile. However, the social nature of homo and his probable ability to speak would tend to counteract the tendency to remain isolated from others for so long that breeding became impossible. It is worth adding that judging from the rapid spread of homo throughout Eurasia, man has been a very mobile animal. Such mobility would also make isolation difficult because even in a very sparsely populated world, the likelihood of encountering other bands of homo would be reasonably high.

How would different varieties of archaic humans have appeared to one another? Probably not so strange. There are certainly combinations of current-day racial types that appear more alien to each other than that would have Neanderthals and modern men.

In 2008, National Geographic released a likeness of a Neanderthal woman based on DNA from 43,000-year-old bones. The findings suggested that at least some Neanderthals had red hair, pale skin, and possibly freckles. These are particularly interesting traits because these were commonly noted by Romans who wrote about the inhabitants of Northern Europe. Today, many scientists would argue that if a Neanderthal were dressed in modern clothes he could walk down a busy street without attracting much attention.

If interbreeding did occur within the homo genus over several million years or even over hundreds of thousands of years, it would help explain the evolution of the group differences that now distinguish the different races. The purest “out-of-Africa” theory has always been implausible to those who think it does not allow enough time for races to emerge. There are differences of opinion among experts about time scales but the consensus is that modern man emerged from Africa at most 200,000 years ago. At 20 years per generation, this allows for only 10,000 generations to produce the enormous human variety that includes everything from Pygmies to Danes. Is that enough? Whites are supposed to have begun evolving independently for only 2,000 generations. Again, is that enough?

Realistic depictions of human beings go back to at least 3000 BC, and mummies, created deliberately or naturally, are often preserved well enough to determine racial type. The oldest North American mummy, for example, is of a 45-year-old male found in Churchill County, Nevada, and estimated to date from 7420 BC. These artifacts show that racial types have been stable for 5,000 to 10,000 years. If they have not changed in this time, it is reasonable to doubt that evolution could have changed migrants from Africa rapidly enough to produce today’s races.


The Max Planck Institute’s findings clearly show that the “out of Africa with no interbreeding” theory is incorrect. However, that does not necessarily mean that the ultimate origins of man do not lie in Africa or that the modern humans whose origins lie outside of Africa do not have a predominantly African heritage. What the Neanderthal and Denisovan genome research does confirm is that the human story is complicated.

The distribution of hominid fossil finds to date, the paleontological evidence, and the growing knowledge acquired through DNA analysis suggest that a plausible scenario for evolution is this: The story probably began in Africa, because this is the continent with the largest number of the most ancient fossils. Africans also show the greatest genetic variety, which suggests human evolution has been taking place there longer than anywhere else. However, early versions of homo moved out of Africa, perhaps as much as several million years ago. Some of these early versions evolved into creatures that approximated modern man, while at the same time evolution among African populations also brought them closer to modern man. At various points, African migrants emerged into Eurasia and interbred with forms of homo already there. There was no equivalent migration of Eurasians into Africa, or at least none that resulted in known interbreeding. The fossil record of mixtures of features from different hominids also suggests interbreeding.

Neanderthal bones
Neanderthal bones.

Why was the rigid “out-of-Africa” theory so widely believed? Probably because it gave rise to the claim that “we are all Africans,” and because it suggested there were few biological differences between races. At the same time, the emphasis until recently on mtDNA rather than nuclear DNA, gave rise to dogmatic statements about distinct lineages and leant scientific backing to the idea.

“Out of Africa” supported the modern liberal view that race is a social construct and that the physical differences between races are trivial. In fact, racial differences are more dramatic than the differences between many closely related species of animals. There are objective racial differences in physiology, such as testosterone level, as well as differences in behavior and in average IQ. When we add to these differences the mix of genetic contributions from extinct or absorbed forms of homo, the liberal argument becomes even weaker. If homo sapiens were viewed as any other organism is viewed, it would no doubt be classified as several species rather than as a single species.

The group at the Max Planck Institute hopes to have decoded the entire Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes soon, and similar work is being done on other forms of ancient homo such as the “hobbits” from Flores. Decoding ancient DNA is difficult, but it is probable that the genomes of other early hominids, particularly that of homo erectus — the longest surviving and most widely dispersed ancient form of homo — will be decoded in the foreseeable future.

If such research shows that interbreeding was present throughout hominid evolution, or at least for substantial periods, then the multiregional theory is true to the extent that different races received genetic contributions from populations that developed outside of Africa for immense periods of time. If the genotypes of such ancient varieties such as homo erectus and homo heidelbergensis are mapped successfully, it may be found that Eurasians have a substantial selection of genes that are distant from those of Africans.

Even if that is not the case, a better understanding of genetics increasingly shows that small genetic differences cause significant physical differences. Whatever the case, the claim that “we are all Africans” has been significantly weakened, and a potent propaganda tool has been taken from the hands of the politically correct. AR

dimanche, 27 mars 2011

Krebszahlen steigen weltweit...

Krebszahlen steigen weltweit, da in den Entwicklungsländer immer mehr amerikanische Nahrungsmittel gegessen und US-Produkte genutzt werden

David Gutierrez

Die Zahl der Krebskranken steigt weltweit an, besonders aber in den Industrienationen, heißt es in einem Bericht, der von der Amerikanischen Krebsgesellschaft (ACS) anlässlich des Weltkrebstages in der Fachzeitschrift der Gesellschaft – CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians – veröffentlicht wurde. In dem Bericht heißt es weiter, 2008 wurden schätzungsweise 12,6 Millionen neue Krebsfälle diagnostiziert und 7,6 Millionen Menschen starben an Krebs. Die überwältigende Mehrzahl dieser Fälle – 7,1 Millionen Erkrankungen und 4,8 Million Todesfälle – trat in den Industrienationen auf. Die Verbreitung einer sogenannten »Wohlstandskrankheit« wie Krebs auf die ärmeren Länder kann unter anderem darauf zurückgeführt werden, dass in diesen Regionen in zunehmendem Maße ungesunde Lebensweisen wie zum Beispiel Rauchen, Sesshaftigkeit und eine schlechte Ernährungsweise übernommen werden.



Die Forscher weisen darauf hin, dass ein Drittel der Krebstoten 2008 durch einfache Maßnahmen wie etwa Aufhören zu rauchen, weniger trinken von Alkohol, eine gesündere Ernährungsweise und mehr körperliche Bewegung sowie eine Reduzierung des Infektionsrisikos hätte verhindert werden können. Mehr als 7.300 Menschenleben könnten so täglich gerettet werden.

Mehr: http://info.kopp-verlag.de/medizin-und-gesundheit/gesundes-leben/david-gutierrez/krebszahlen-steigen-weltweit-da-in-den-entwicklungslaender-immer-mehr-amerikanische-nahrungsmittel-.html

lundi, 07 février 2011

Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ist der abendländische Mensch vom Aussterben bedroht?


Schon vor 15 Jahren wurde von Eibl-Eibesfeldt eigentlich bereits alles gesagt zur gegenwärtigen Misere. (Ich stimme ihm dabei zu 100 Prozent zu) Aber es hat nichts verändert. Das zeigt doch wohl, daß die bestehende gesellschaftliche Struktur wahrscheinlich nicht mehr aus sich heraus reformfähig ist....

Lesenswertes Interview mit Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt aus dem Jahr 1996

Sagen Sie mal, Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt ...
Von Michael Klonovsky
Eibl-Eibesfeldt: So gefährlich ist die Situation nicht. Der abendländische Mensch ist sehr dynamisch, findig, einfallsreich und neugierig, und er wird seine Probleme sicher meistern.

FOCUS: Sie warnen seit Jahren vor den Folgen der Immigration; zugleich schauen Sie so gelassen auf die Zukunft des Abendländers?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Es geht mir zunächst einmal um die Erhaltung des inneren Friedens. Entscheidend ist deshalb auch, wer einwandert. Die europäische Binnenwanderung hat es immer gegeben, mitunter auch massive Immigrationswellen und kriegerische Überschichtungen. Aber die Bevölkerung im breiten Gürtel von Paris bis Moskau hat etwa die gleiche Mischung, sie ist anthropologisch nah verwandt. Die europäischen Nationalstaaten haben das Glück, relativ homogen zu sein.

FOCUS: Der Begriff des Ausländers müßte also durch den des Kulturfremden ersetzt werden?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ich würde sagen: Kultur-fernen. Die integrieren und identifizieren sich nicht so leicht. Bei den innereuropäischen Wanderungen wurden die Leute integriert.

FOCUS: Und das ist Bedingung?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Es gibt diese schöne Idee, daß Immigranten ihre Kultur behalten und sich als deutsche Türken oder deutsche Nigerianer fühlen sollen, weil das unsere Kultur bereichert. Das ist sehr naiv. In Krisenzeiten hat man dann Solidargemeinschaften, die ihre Eigeninteressen vertreten und um begrenzte Ressourcen wie Sozialleistungen, Wohnungen oder Arbeitsplätze konkurrieren. Das stört natürlich den inneren Frieden. Die Algerier in Frankreich etwa bekennen sich nicht, Franzosen zu sein, die sagen: Wir sind Moslems. Vielfalt kann in einem Staate nebeneinander existieren, wenn die Kulturen verwandt sind, jede ihr eigenes Territorium besitzt und keine die Dominanz der anderen zu fürchten braucht – wie etwa in der Schweiz.

FOCUS: Also müssen die Türken in Deutschland die Deutschen fürchten?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Gegenseitig. Wenn man über Immigration Minoritäten aufbaut, die sich abgrenzen und ein anderes Fortpflanzungsverhalten zeigen, wird das Gleichgewicht gestört. Immigrationsbefürworter sagen: Die werden sich angleichen. Nur: Warum sollten sie eigentlich? Deren Interesse kann doch nur sein, so stark zu werden, daß sie bei Wahlen eine Pressure-Gruppe darstellen, die ihre Eigen-interessen durchsetzen kann.

FOCUS: In Amerika werden die Weißen in hundert Jahren vermutlich Minderheit sein . . .

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das hat in erstaunlicher Offenheit das „Time-Magazine“ ausgesprochen. Die Amerikaner haben gerade kulturferne Immigranten gefördert in dem Glauben, man dürfe nicht diskriminieren. Aber Diskriminierung – auf freundliche Weise – betreibt ja jeder! Die eigenen Kinder stehen uns näher als die der anderen, die Erbgesetze nehmen darauf Rücksicht, und es ist ja auch schon diskriminierend, daß kein Fremder in meinen Garten darf. Auch ein Land darf seine Grenzen verteidigen. Wenn jemand den Grenzpfahl in Europa nur um zehn Meter verschieben würde, gäbe es furchtbaren Krach, aber die stille Landnahme über Immigration soll man dulden?

FOCUS: Das gebietet der Philanthropismus, sofern der nicht ein evolutionärer Irrläufer ist.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Es wird nicht in Rechnung gestellt, daß wir, wie alle Organismen, in einer langen Stammesgeschichte daraufhin selektiert wurden, in eigenen Nachkommen zu überleben. Europäer überleben nun mal nicht in einem Bantu, was gar keine Bewertung ist, denn für den Biologen gibt es zunächst einmal kein höheres Interesse, das sich im Deutschen oder im Europäer verwirklicht – nicht mal in der Menschheit.

FOCUS: Solche Ansichten haben ihnen den Vorwurf des Biologismus eingetragen, wobei Sie sich im Lasterkatalog der Wohlmeinenden noch zum Rassisten oder Faschisten hocharbeiten können.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Die Leute, die so de-monstrativ ihren Heiligenschein polieren, tun das ja nicht aus Nächstenliebe, sondern weil sie dadurch hohes Ansehen, hohe Rangpositionen, also auch Macht, gewinnen können – früher als Held, heute als Tugendheld. Der Mensch kann alles pervertieren, auch Freundlichkeit oder Gastlichkeit, und wenn die Folgen sich als katastrophal erweisen, schleichen sich die Wohlmeinenden meist davon und sagen: Das haben wir nicht gewollt.

FOCUS: Aber dieses Verhalten ist doch evolutionär schwachsinnig.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Sicher. Es sterben ja immer wieder Arten aus. Fehlverhalten im Politischen kann eine Gruppe immer wieder gefährden, wie man zuletzt am Marxismus gesehen hat.

FOCUS: Was sollten wir also tun?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Wir müssen von dem fatalen Kurzzeitdenken wegkommen. Wie alle Organismen sind wir auf den Wettlauf im Jetzt programmiert. Wir sind aber zugleich das erste Geschöpf, das sich Ziele setzen kann, das seinen Verstand und seine Fähigkeit, sozial zu empfinden, fürsorglich zu sein, auch mit einbringen kann.

FOCUS: Was bedeutet das praktisch?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ein generationsübergreifendes Überlebensethos. Ich würde vorschlagen, daß sich Europa unter Einbeziehung Osteuropas großräumig abschottet und die Armutsländer der Dritten Welt durch Hilfen allmählich im Niveau hebt. Wenn wir im Jahr 1,5 Millionen Menschen aus der Dritten Welt aufnähmen, würde das dort überhaupt nichts ändern – das gleicht der Bevölkerungsüberschuß, wie Hubert Markl unlängst betonte, in einer Woche wieder aus, solange es keine Geburtenkontrolle gibt. Man kann gegen eine Bevölkerungsexplosion in diesem Ausmaß sonst nichts tun, bestenfalls das Problem importieren, wenn man dumm ist.

FOCUS: Das ist dann, wie Sie schreiben, „Überredung zum Ethnosuizid“?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Die heute für die Multikultur eintreten, sind eben Kurzzeitdenker. Sie sind sich gar nicht bewußt, was sie ihren eigenen Enkeln antun und welche möglichen Folgen ihr leichtfertiges Handeln haben kann.

FOCUS: Ist der moderne Westeuropäer überhaupt noch vitalistisch erklärbar? Leistet er sich aus evolutionärer Warte nicht zuviel Luxus wie Immigration, Feminismus, Randgruppendiskurse, den Wohlfahrtsstaat?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das wird sich wieder moderieren, wie man in Wien sagt . . .

FOCUS: Über Katastrophen?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Nicht nur. Ich glaube, daß die Leute Vernunftgründen doch zugänglich sind. Konrad Lorenz hat gesagt, es sei doch sehr unwahrscheinlich, daß von einer Generation auf die andere alles kulturelle Wissen auf einmal hinfällig und überholt ist. Die Tradition mitsamt der Offenheit für Experimente in gewissen Bereichen und die Bereitschaft zur Fehlerkorrektur, das zusammen eröffnet uns große Chancen. Aber alles umzubrechen und Großversuche wie das Migrationsexperiment anzustellen, das ja nicht mehr rückgängig zu machen ist, halte ich für gewissenlos. Man experimentiert nicht auf diese Weise mit Menschen.

FOCUS: Sie sagen, daß Xenophobie – Fremdenscheu, nicht Fremdenhaß – stammes-geschichtlich veranlagt ist.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das ist in der Evolution selektiert worden, um die Vermischung zu verhindern. Die Fremdenscheu des Kleinkindes sichert die Bindung an die Mutter. Später hat der Mensch das familiale Ethos zum Kleingruppenethos gemacht. Mit der Entwicklung von Großgruppen erfolgte eine weitere Abgrenzung. Die ist unter anderem an Symbole gebunden, die Gemeinsamkeit ausdrücken sollen. Beim Absingen von Hymnen überläuft viele ein Schauer der Ergriffenheit, was auf die Kontraktion der Haaraufrichter zurückzuführen ist. Es sprechen da kollektive Verteidigungsreaktionen an; wir sträuben einen Pelz, den wir nicht mehr haben.

FOCUS: Das ist alles etwas Gewordenes. Kann sich nicht eines Tages den türkischen Deutschen und den deutschen Deutschen beim Abspielen der gemeinsamen Nationalhymne gemeinsam der Pelz sträuben?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Wenn das über Integration erfolgte, ja. Eine langsame Durchmischung kann durchaus friedlich verlaufen, und es kann etwas Interessantes herauskommen. Wir sprechen aber davon, ob in einem dichtbevölkerten Land über Immigration das Gesundschrumpfen der Bevölkerungszahl aufgehalten werden soll. Das fördert sicherlich nicht den inneren Frieden, sondern könnte selbst zu Bürgerkriegen führen – wir haben ja bereits das Kurdenproblem. Das ist nicht böse gemeint, es zeigt eben, daß diese Gruppen ihre Eigeninteressen ohne Rücksicht vertreten. Ich verstehe da übrigens auch die Grünen nicht, die sich gegen jede Autobahn sträuben und klagen, daß das Land zersiedelt wird. Dann kann man nicht zugleich alle reinlassen wollen.

FOCUS: Würden Sie bitte zu den folgenden Personen einen Satz sagen: Edmund Stoiber.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ein sehr klarer, engagierter Geist; ein Lokalpatriot, der aber auch gut nach Bonn passen würde.

FOCUS: Alice Schwarzer.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das Anliegen der Gleichberechtigung ist berechtigt, man sollte aber nicht die Rolle der Frau als Mutter abwerten.

FOCUS: Jörg Haider.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ein stürmischer, sicherlich national betonter Mann, ein Hitzkopf, aber natürlich kein Rechtsradikaler – es wählen nicht 23 Prozent der Österreicher rechtsradikal.

FOCUS: Madonna.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Was soll man dazu sagen? Lustig, daß es so etwas gibt.

FOCUS: Nietzsches „Zarathustra“ hat die Ära des „verächtlichsten Menschen“ beschworen, des „letzten Menschen“, der alles klein macht und meint, er habe das Glück erfunden . . .

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das ist sicherlich kein wünschenswerter Typus, denn der will ein passives Wohlleben ohne Dynamik.

FOCUS: Interessanterweise hat dieser letzte Mensch, wenn auch mit russischer Hilfe, den Zweiten Weltkrieg gegen die blonde Bestie gewonnen.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: War das der letzte Mensch? Das waren doch ganz tüchtige, mutige Leute. Ich würde sagen, wir haben den Krieg verloren, weil wir den Satz Immanuel Kants vergessen haben, man müsse sich auch im Krieg so verhalten, daß ein späterer Friede möglich ist. Man kann daraus übrigens lernen, daß Inhumanität kein positiver Selektionsfaktor ist.

FOCUS: Wie auch immer, der letzte Mensch steuert scheinbar unaufhaltsam der Weltzivilisation entgegen. Halten Sie einen globalen Einheitsmenschen für vorstellbar?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ich kann mir vorstellen, daß es große Blöcke geben wird, in denen der Bevölkerungsaustausch eine ziemlich einheit-liche Population hervorbringt. Aber der Verlust an Differenzierung wäre schade. Das würde eine Weltsprache bedeuten oder eine Sprache des eurasischen Blockes. Niemand würde mehr spanische oder italienische Autoren lesen . . .

FOCUS: Aber Sie als Ethologe müßten solche Verluste doch in den Skat drücken können. Die verschiedenen Sprachen sind doch bloß Neandertaler.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Dann bin ich eben ein Neandertaler. Ich liebe die kulturelle Buntheit. Die Neigung, sich abzugrenzen und eigene Wege zu gehen, ist schon im Tier- und Pflanzenreich ausgeprägt. Artenfülle ist die Speerspitze der Evolution, da wird dauernd Neues probiert. Der Mensch macht das kulturell, und wenn er seine kulturelle Differenzierung verliert, verliert er sehr viel von dem, was ihn zum heutigen Menschen gemacht hat. Wir wissen, daß es andere Möglichkeiten gibt; der Ameisenstaat ist perfekt. Die Frage ist nur, ob wir uns das als Individuen wünschen können.

FOCUS: Jetzt sind Sie so anthropozentrisch.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ich gehöre der Gattung Homo sapiens an. Ob sich die Humanität bewährt, für die ich ja plädiere, wissen wir nicht, aber ich sehe durch die ganze Geschichte, daß sie sich bewähren könnte.

FOCUS: Das Glück des letzten Menschen scheint unverträglich mit der Idee zu sein, als Glied einer Generationenkette zu existieren.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Das ist ein schrecklicher Irrglaube. Wer keine Kinder in die Welt setzt, steigt aus dem Abenteuer der weiteren Entwicklung aus.

FOCUS: Das ist denen ja egal.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ja, aber die Natur sorgt schon dafür, daß dann deren Gene nicht weiterleben. Ich glaube, daß diese Leute um einen Teil ihres Lebensglücks betrogen wurden. Zum Individuum gehört das Bewußtsein, daß man eben nicht nur Individuum ist, sondern eingebettet in eine größere Gemeinschaft und in einen Ablauf von Generationen und daß wir den Generationen vor uns unendlich viel verdanken.

FOCUS: Es handelt sich also um das freiwilliges Ansteuern einer evolutionären Sackgasse?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Ich kann im Hirn des Menschen über Indoktrination und dauernde Belehrung Strukturen aufbauen, die diese Menschen gegen ihre Eigeninteressen und gegen die Interessen ihrer Gemeinschaft handeln lassen. Ein Kollektiv kann ja von religiösem Wahn befallen werden und sich umbringen.

FOCUS: Da haben wir den Bogen zurück zur Eingangsfrage: Schafft sich der westliche hedonistische Individualmensch kraft nach-lassender Vitalität allmählich selbst ab?

Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Zu allen Zeiten haben Gruppen andere verdrängt, und es gibt sicherlich kein Interesse der Natur an uns. Aber es gibt ein Eigeninteresse. Man muß nicht notwendigerweise seine eigene Verdrängung begrüßen.

„Wenn man über Immigration Minoritäten aufbaut, die sich abgrenzen, wird das Gleichgewicht gestört“

„Das Kurdenproblem zeigt, daß fremde Gruppen ihre Eigeninteressen ohne Rücksicht vertreten“

„Inhumanität ist kein positiver Selektionsfaktor“

„Wer keine Kinder in die Welt setzt, steigt aus dem Abenteuer der weiteren Evolution aus“


HERKUNFT: 1928 in Wien geboren

BILDUNGSWEG: Studium Naturgeschichte und Physik, 1949 Promotion (Zoologie) in Wien

KARRIERE: 1949-69 Schüler und Mitarbeiter von Konrad Lorenz. 1963 Habilitation (Uni München). Seit 1975 Leiter der Forschungsstelle f. Humanethologie der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (in Andechs). Seit 1992 Direktor des Instituts f. Stadtethologie Wien

dimanche, 28 novembre 2010

Alexis Carrel: A Commemoration

Alexis Carrel:
A Commemoration, Part 1


Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

[M]en cannot follow modern civilization along its present course, because they are degenerating. They have been fascinated by the beauty of the sciences of inert matter. They have not understood that their body and consciousness are subjected to natural laws, more obscure than, but as inexorable as, the laws of the sidereal world. Neither have they understood that they cannot transgress these laws without being punished.

They must, therefore, learn the necessary relations of the cosmic universe, of their fellow men, and of their inner selves, and also those of their tissues and their mind. Indeed, man stands above all things. Should he degenerate, the beauty of civilization, and even the grandeur of the physical universe, would vanish. . . . Humanity’s attention must turn from the machines of the world of inanimate matter to the body and the soul of man, to the organic and mental processes which have created the machines and the universe of Newton and Einstein.[1]

acarrel.jpgAlexis Carrel, an observer of the material universe, was one among a unique lineage of scientists who sought out solutions to what they considered were the primary problems confronting the modern world. For Carrel the material progress that was jumping by leaps and bounds from the 19th century across into his century was causing moral, physical and spiritual degeneration. While scientists, then as now overspecialized, and devoid of a broad perspective, were making new discoveries in the physical and social sciences, problems of degeneration and its ultimate consequences were not being sufficiently addressed in a holistic manner.

Within the same lineage of genius that was to consider these problems, we might also include Jung and Konrad Lorenz, Raymond Cattell, and the new generation of sociobiologists. For example Lorenz, the father of ethology, also applying his observations of the natural world to the state of modern man, came to conclusions analogous to those of Carrel, and also attempted to warn of the consequences:

All the advantages that man has gained from his ever-deepening understanding of the natural world that surrounds him, his technological, chemical and medical progress, all of which should seem to alleviate human suffering . . .  tends instead to favor humanity’s destruction.[2]

For Jung there were problems for humanity inherent in his modern Civilization insofar as the unconscious is a layered structure each representing different eras of history from the primeval to the present. Therefore much about the psyche comes from the past, including the distant past, and there are aspect of the psyche that are not attuned to modern Civilization. Man’s psyche has not in totality caught up with the Civilization that he has created.[3] It was also a problem that Carrel sought to resolve.

However, what is even more unique about Carrel, is the extent to which he departs from the atheism of certain of today’s sociobiolgists (Richard Dawkins being an obvious example) giving the spiritual and metaphysical primary acknowledgement, as did Jung in his departure from Freudian psychoanalysis.

Scientific Background

Carrel was born in Lyons om June 28, 1873, and died in Paris on November 5, 1944. Graduating with a doctorate from Lyons, he taught operative surgery at the University, and worked at Lyon Hospital, which included experimental work. From 1906 he worked at the Rockefeller Center for Medical Research, New York, where he undertook most of his experiments in surgery, and was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1912 for developing a method of suturing blood vessels.

During World War I Carrel served as a Major in the French Army Medical Corps and co-invented the widely used Carrel-Dakin method of cleaning deep wounds, which was particularly effective in preventing gangrene and is credited with saving thousands of lives.

Carrel’s studies centered around tissue and organ transplantation, in 1908 devising methods for the transplanting of whole organs. In 1935 he invented in collaboration with US aviator and bio-mechanic Charles Lindbergh a machine for supplying a sterile respiratory system to organs removed from the body.

Carrel received honors throughout the world for his pioneering medical work, which has laid the basis for today’s organ transplant operations; his work with tissue cultures also having contributed significantly to the understanding of viruses and the preparation of vaccines.

In 1935, at the instigation of a group of friends, Carrel wrote Man the Unknown which caused antagonism with the new director of the Rockefeller Institute, Herbert S. Gasser. In 1939 Carrel retired and his laboratories and Division of Experimental Surgery were closed.

When World War II erupted Carrel returned to France as a member of a special mission for the French Ministry of Health, 1939–1940. Returning briefly to the USA, Carrel went back to France in 1941 via Spain. Although declining to become Minister of Public Health, he became Director of the Carrel Foundation for the Study of Human Problems, which was established by the Vichy Government, a position he held until his death. Here young scientists, physicians, lawyers, and engineers came together to study economics, political science, and nutrition, reflecting the eclectic nature of the holistic approach Carrel insisted upon as being necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of Civilization.

When the Allied forces occupied France in August, 1944, Carrel was suspended from his post and accused of being a “collaborator.”[4] Although he was cleared of charges of “collaboration,” embittered by the accusations he died two weeks later of a heart attack.[5]

Man the Unknown

The book for which the great physician had already received ridicule in 1935 in a quip-filled sneer in Time Magazine, but that became a world-wide bestseller, and the one most commonly associated with Carrel, is Man the Unknown, a scientific diagnosis of the maladies of modern civilization.[6].

Like Jung and Lorenz, the fundamental question for Carrel was that man’s morality and soul were not in accord with his modern civilization, his industrialization, and mass production. This was having a degenerating effect morally, physically, and spiritually.

As a physiologist Carrel explains the constitution of man physiologically and mentally, but these are just the material manifestations from which moral and spiritual lessons must be drawn in reconstituting civilization in accord with man’s spiritual and moral natures, which include an innate religious sense and a mysticism that has been enervated by materialism. Hence some of the questions posed by Carrel are:

We are very far from knowing what relations exist between skeleton, muscles, and organs, and mental and spiritual activities. We are ignorant of the factors that bring about nervous equilibrium and resistance to fatigue and to diseases. We do not know how moral sense, judgment, and audacity could be augmented. What is the relative importance of intellectual, moral, and mystical activities? What is the significance of aesthetic and religious sense? What form of energy is responsible for telepathic communications? Without any doubt, certain physiological and mental factors determine happiness or misery, success or failure. But we do not know what they are. We cannot artificially give to any individual the aptitude for happiness. As yet, we do not know what environment is the most favorable for the optimum development of civilized man. Is it possible to suppress struggle, effort, and suffering from our physiological and spiritual formation? How can we prevent the degeneracy of man in modern civilization? Many other questions could be asked on subjects which are to us of the utmost interest. They would also remain unanswered. It is quite evident that the accomplishments of all the sciences having man as an object remain insufficient, and that our knowledge of ourselves is still most rudimentary.[7]

A primary concern for Carrel was with the artificiality of modern civilization, from modes of dwelling to food production, including the factory raising of hens, questions which have in just recent years come into vogue with the “Left.” The question of factory and other forms of work drudgery and their adverse impact upon both menial and mental workers is regarded by Carrel as a major issue of concern in having a degenerative effect.

The environment which has molded the body and the soul of our ancestors during many millenniums has now been replaced by another. This silent revolution has taken place almost without our noticing it. We have not realized its importance. Nevertheless, it is one of the most dramatic events in the history of humanity. For any modification in their surroundings inevitably and profoundly disturbs all living beings. We must, therefore, ascertain the extent of the transformations imposed by science upon the ancestral mode of life, and consequently upon ourselves.[8]

The environment, including accommodation and working conditions, while materially very much better than those of our ancestors, has become artificial, is not rooted to any community, or family; no craft or individual creativity is involved. “Everywhere, in the cities, as well as in the country, in private houses as in factories, in the workshop, on the roads, in the fields, and on the farms, machines have decreased the intensity of human effort.” The types of food available is an important aspect considered by Carrel, and one which has in recent years been brought up especially by “Green” politicians[9] in the West. It is an example of what Carrel means by the material abundance yet simultaneous lowering of quality of modern civilization leading to human degeneration rather than elevation:

The aliments of our ancestors, which consisted chiefly of coarse flour, meat, and alcoholic drinks, have been replaced by much more delicate and varied food. Beef and mutton are no longer the staple foods. The principal elements of modern diet are milk, cream, butter, cereals refined by the elimination of the shells of the grain, fruits of tropical as well as temperate countries, fresh or canned vegetables, salads, large quantities of sugar in the form of pies, candies, and puddings. Alcohol alone has kept its place. The food of children has undergone a profound change. It is now very artificial and abundant. The same may be said of the diet of adults. The regularity of the working-hours in offices and factories has entailed that of the meals. Owing to the wealth which was general until a few years ago, and to the decline in the religious spirit and in the observance of ritualistic fasts, human beings have never been fed so punctually and uninterrupted.[10]

Now of course the problems of artificial diet of which Carrel was warning seventy-five years ago have reached the point of almost tragic-comic proportions with the virtually global phenomena of “fast food,” and the obesity problem that is becoming a real health issue in the West.[11]

The consequences not only of abundant – albeit un-nutritious food – coupled with an ease of life and the advances in medicine that have eliminated many diseases have paradoxically seen an increase in degenerative nervous diseases:

But we are confronted with much graver problems, which demand immediate solution. While infantile diarrhea, tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid fever, etc., are being eliminated, they are replaced by degenerative diseases. There are also a large number of affections of the nervous system and of the mind. In certain states the multitude of the insane confined in the asylums exceeds that of the patients kept in all other hospitals. Like insanity, nervous disorders and intellectual weakness seem to have become more frequent. They are the most active factors of individual misery and of the destruction of families. Mental deterioration is more dangerous for civilization than the infectious diseases to which hygienists and physicians have so far exclusively devoted their attention.[12]

What Carrel is suggesting throughout is that quantity has been substituted for quality, from food to arts. It is a problem arising from the mass nature of liberalism and socialism, and of capitalism, that also bothered the literati at the turn of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries,[13] and has continued apace with the technological advances of communications over just the past few years. Universal education and the mass communication of literature etc. has expanded the reading public for example, but has not encouraged the maintenance of cultural standards. Mass-marketing requires quantity and a fast turnover whether in computers or in what now passes for “literature” and “art.”

In spite of the immense sums of money expended on the education of the children and the young people of the United States, the intellectual elite does not seem to have increased. The average man and woman are, without any doubt, better educated and, superficially at least, more refined. The taste for reading is greater. More reviews and books are bought by the public than in former times. The number of people who are interested in science, letters, and art has grown. But most of them are chiefly attracted by the lowest form of literature and by the imitations of science and of art. It seems that the excellent hygienic conditions in which children are reared, and the care lavished upon them in school, have not raised their intellectual and moral standards.

Modern civilization seems to be incapable of producing people endowed with imagination, intelligence, and courage. In practically every country there is a decrease in the intellectual and moral caliber of those who carry the responsibility of public affairs. The financial, industrial, and commercial organizations have reached a gigantic size. They are influenced not only by the conditions of the country where they are established, but also by the state of the neighboring countries and of the entire world. In all nations, economic and social conditions undergo extremely rapid changes. Nearly everywhere the existing form of government is again under discussion. The great democracies find themselves face to face with formidable problems—problems concerning their very existence and demanding an immediate solution. And we realize that, despite the immense hopes which humanity has placed in modern civilization, such a civilization has failed in developing men of sufficient intelligence and audacity to guide it along the dangerous road on which it is stumbling. Human beings have not grown so rapidly as the institutions sprung from their brains. It is chiefly the intellectual and moral deficiencies of the political leaders, and their ignorance, which endanger modern nations.[14]

Carrel in his preliminary remarks concludes with one of the primary symptoms of cultural decay, that of declining birthright, which Spengler and others have commented upon in the same context also, and it is a problem taken up again in Man The Unknown and in his posthumously published Reflections on Life. Indeed, as this is written there have been some media remarks and commentary of New Zealand having the second highest abortion rate in the developed world (after Sweden) and as usual ‘sexual health experts’ are trotted out to offer superficial explanation such as lack of adequate sex education for the young (which according to the experts should begin at pre-school level).[15]

Finally, we must ascertain how the new mode of life will influence the future of the race. The response of the women to the modifications brought about in the ancestral habits by industrial civilization has been immediate and decisive. The birth rate has at once fallen. This event has been felt most precociously and seriously in the social classes and in the nations which were the first to benefit from the progress brought about, directly or indirectly, by the applications of scientific discoveries. Voluntary sterility is not a new thing in the history of the world. It has already been observed in a certain period of past civilizations. It is a classical symptom. We know its significance.[16]

Spengler wrote of this problem also as symptomatic of the senile “Winter” cycle of a Civilization where woman repudiates her womanliness in her desire to be “free.” There arises the phenomena of the “sterility of civilized man.”[17] “The continuance of the blood-relation in the visible world is no longer a duty of the blood and the destiny of being the last of the line is no longer felt as a doom.”[18] While the “primary woman, the peasant woman, is mother….,” in Late Civilization there emerges “emancipated woman,” and in this cycle which lasts for centuries, there is an “appalling depopulation,” and the whole cultural pyramid crumbles from the top down.[19]

Carrel’s premise, reminiscent of the passage previously quoted from Jung, is:

Modern civilization finds itself in a difficult position because it does not suit us. It has been erected without any knowledge of our real nature. It was born from the whims of scientific discoveries, from the appetites of men, their illusions, their theories, and their desires. Although constructed by our efforts, it is not adjusted to our size and shape.[20]

The mental cost for the workers caused by mass industrialization are addressed by Carrel in terms that are not found by the democratic and Marxist champions of the proletariat, yet Carrel well after his death, has been smeared as an inhumane “Nazi.”

In the organization of industrial life the influence of the factory upon the physiological and mental state of the workers has been completely neglected. Modern industry is based on the conception of the maximum production at lowest cost, in order that an individual or a group of individuals may earn as much money as possible. It has expanded without any idea of the true nature of the human beings who run the machines, and without giving any consideration to the effects produced on the individuals and on their descendants by the artificial mode of existence imposed by the factory. The great cities have been built with no regard for us. The shape and dimensions of the skyscrapers depend entirely on the necessity of obtaining the maximum income per square foot of ground, and of offering to the tenants offices and apartments that please them. This caused the construction of gigantic buildings where too large masses of human beings are crowded together. Civilized men like such a way of living. While they enjoy the comfort and banal luxury of their dwelling, they do not realize that they are deprived of the necessities of life. The modern city consists of monstrous edifices and of dark, narrow streets full of gasoline fumes, coal dust, and toxic gases, torn by the noise of the taxicabs, trucks, and trolleys, and thronged ceaselessly by great crowds. Obviously, it has not been planned for the good of its inhabitants.[21]

These are questions that have never been resolved, either by capitalist or by communist states. Despite our increased standards of living—albeit largely based on debt—the “banality of luxury” has been accepted as desirable as modern man has adapted to, rather than resisted, the pervasive era of mass production and consumption as the new universal religion. The aspects described by Carrel as he observed them in 1935, have multiplied by many times.


1. Alexis Carrel, Man the Unknown (Sydney: Angus and Robertson Ltd., 1937); Preface, xi.

2. Konrad Lorenz, Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins (1974), 26. The full text is online at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34473621/Konrad-Lorentz-Civiliz.... The basic question asked by ethologists in regard to the behavior patterns of a species is: “What for?” Lorenz asks what the answer is when such a question is applied to many behavior patterns of modern Civilization. (p. 4).

3. Jung wrote of this schizoid state: “Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The ‘newness’ of the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components. Body and soul therefore have an intensely historical character and find no place in what is new. We are very far from having finished with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity and primitivity as our modern psyches pretend. Nevertheless we have plunged into a cataract of progress which sweeps us into the future with ever wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots.” C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 263.

4. “Alexis Carrel,” http://www.pbs.org/wnet/redgold/innovators/bio_carrel.html

5. Alexis Carrel, Reflections on Life (Hawthorn Books 1952), “The author and his book,” http://chestofbooks.com/society/metaphysics/Reflections-O...

6. The full text of the 1939 Harper’s edition of Man the Unknown can be read online: http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030310carre...

7. Man the Unknown, ch. 1: 1, “The Need for a better knowledge of man.”

8. Man the Unknown, ch. 1: 3.

9. E.g. New Zealand’s retiring Green Party Member of Parliament Sue Kedgley, was particularly noted for her campaigns on the chemical adulteration of food.

10. Man the Unknown, ch. 1: 3.

11. Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation (Middlesex: Allen Lane, Penguin, 2001).

12. Man the Unknown, Ch. 1: 4.

13. K. R. Bolton, Thinkers of the Right (Luton: Luton Publications, 2003).

14. Man the Unknown.

15. That “sex education” of the proportions advocated by the “experts” has for decades been practised by Sweden, which nonetheless tops all states in terms of abortion rates, seems to have been missed by the “experts.” The major myth of the “experts” in accounting for New Zealand’s high abortion rate is that most abortions are performed among poorly educated Polynesian/Maori teenagers. The median age for abortions in 2009 was 24. Over 50% were of European origin. Statistics New Zealand: Abortion Statistics Year Ended December 2009, http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/health/abortion...

16. Man the Unknown, ch. 1: 4.

17. Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, 1926, (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971), 103.

18. The Decline of the West, 104.

19. The Decline of the West, 105.

20. Man the Unknown, ch. 1: 4.

21.  Man the Unknown.

Alexis Carrel:
A Commemoration, Part 2

Our life is influenced in a large measure by commercial advertising. Such publicity is undertaken only in the interest of the advertisers and not of the consumers. For example, the public has been made to believe that white bread is better than brown. Then, flour has been bolted more and more thoroughly and thus deprived of its most useful components. Such treatment permits its preservation for longer periods and facilitates the making of bread. The millers and the bakers earn more money. The consumers eat an inferior product, believing it to be a superior one. And in the countries where bread is the principal food, the population degenerates. Enormous amounts of money are spent for publicity. As a result, large quantities of alimentary and pharmaceutical products, at the least useless, and often harmful, have become a necessity for civilized men. In this manner the greediness of individuals, sufficiently shrewd to create a popular demand for the goods that they have for sale, plays a leading part in the modern world.[1]

These problems of modern civilization were addressed during the Medieval era, under religious sanction, and under organization sanction via the Guilds, and yet our era is regarded as “progressive” and full of unlimited possibilities and that of the past as superstition-ridden and ignorant.

Man is for Carrel first a spiritual being, who has entered a degenerative state through artificial behavior patterns induced by industrialization.

The definition of good and evil is based both on reason and on the immemorial experience of humanity. It is related to basic necessities of individual and social life. However, it is somewhat arbitrary. But at each epoch and in each country it should be very clearly defined and identical for all classes of individuals. The good is equivalent to justice, charity, beauty. The evil, to selfishness, meanness, ugliness. In modern civilization, the theoretical rules of conduct are based upon the remains of Christian morals. No one obeys them. Modern man has rejected all discipline of his appetites. However, biological and industrial morals have no practical value, because they are artificial and take into consideration only one aspect of the human being. They ignore some of our most essential activities. They do not give to man an armor strong enough to protect him against his own inherent vices.

In order to keep his mental and organic balance, man must impose upon himself an inner rule. The state can thrust legality upon people by force. But not morality. Everyone should realize the necessity of selecting the right and avoiding the wrong, of submitting himself to such necessity by an effort of his own will. The Roman Catholic Church, in its deep understanding of human psychology, has given to moral activities a far higher place than to intellectual ones. The men, honored by her above all others, are neither the leaders of nations, the men of science, nor the philosophers. They are the saints–that is, those who are virtuous in a heroic manner. When we watch the inhabitants of the new city, we fully understand the practical necessity of moral sense. Intelligence, will power, and morality are very closely related. But moral sense is more important than intelligence. When it disappears from a nation the whole social structure slowly commences to crumble away. In biological research, we have not given so far to moral activities the importance that they deserve. Moral sense must be studied in as positive a manner as intelligence. Such a study is certainly difficult. But the many aspects of this sense in individuals and groups of individuals can easily be discerned. It is also possible to analyze the physiological, psychological, and social effects of morals. Of course, such researches cannot be undertaken in a laboratory. Field work is indispensable. There are still today many human communities which show the various characteristics of moral sense, and the results of its absence or of its presence in different degrees. Without any doubt, moral activities are located within the domain of scientific observation.[2]

Alexis_Carrel_02.jpgWhile Carrel has been deemed since 1944 to be a “fascist,” a “collaborator,” and a “Nazi,” his championing of the individual rather than the mass does not sit well with stereotypical images. Like others skeptical of democracy and equality, he opposed the leveling tendencies of the modern era, be they in the form of capitalism or Marxism, both of which had accepted the same formulation of man and society, Carrel in Reflections on Life calling the Liberal bourgeois the elder brother of the Bolshevist.

Modern society ignores the individual. It only takes account of human beings. It believes in the reality of the Universals and treats men as abstractions. The confusion of the concepts of individual and of human being has led industrial civilization to a fundamental error, the standardization of men. If we were all identical, we could be reared and made to live and work in great herds, like cattle. But each one has his own personality. He cannot be treated like a symbol.[3]

One symptom of mass society is that of mass education, and Carrel here focuses on the role of the family and especially the mother as the prime educator of the child before any institution. This championing of the family rather than the State is contrary to all collectivist schemes, which seek to eliminate the family as an obstacle to State totality.

Children should not be placed, at a very early age, in schools where they are educated wholesale. As is well known, most great men have been brought up in comparative solitude, or have refused to enter the mold of the school. Of course, schools are indispensable for technical studies. They also fill, in a certain measure, the child’s need of contact with other children. But education should be the object of unfailing guidance. Such guidance belongs to the parents. They alone, and more especially the mother, have observed, since their origin, the physiological and mental peculiarities whose orientation is the aim of education. Modern society has committed a serious mistake by entirely substituting the school for the familial training. The mothers abandon their children to the kindergarten in order to attend to their careers, their social ambitions, their sexual pleasures, their literary or artistic fancies, or simply to play bridge, go to the cinema, and waste their time in busy idleness. They are, thus, responsible for the disappearance of the familial group where the child was kept in contact with adults and learned a great deal from them.[4]

It is relevant to note here that the family was indeed the basis of the Vichy regime that sought a “National Revolution” based on the dictum “Work, Family, Homeland.” Among the family-orientated measures of the Vichy regime was the “Mother-at-home” allowance,[5] the type of legislation that is still being sought in the Western democracies. The “family allowance” increased with the birth of each child.[6] Maternity welfare provided for women to be taken by a hospital one month before and one month after the birth of a child,[7] a measure that would today in our liberal “welfare states” now seem utopian.

Likewise, Carrel lamented the phenomena of mass production and man as factory fodder, where there was once craft centered on a religious ethos rather than a strictly economic one.

The neglect of individuality by our social institutions is, likewise, responsible for the atrophy of the adults. Man does not stand, without damage, the mode of existence, and the uniform and stupid work imposed on factory and office workers, on all those who take part in mass production. In the immensity of modern cities he is isolated and as if lost. He is an economic abstraction, a unit of the herd. He gives up his individuality. He has neither responsibility nor dignity. Above the multitude stand out the rich men, the powerful politicians, the bandits. The others are only nameless grains of dust. On the contrary, the individual remains a man when he belongs to a small group, when he inhabits a village or a small town where his relative importance is greater, when he can hope to become, in his turn, an influential citizen. The contempt for individuality has brought about its factual disappearance.[8]

Again, Carrel seems to be alluding in his ideal for a return to the medieval ethos. And again, one finds here also that Carrel’s social critique is far from misanthropic, as has been more recently claimed by his post-mortem “anti-fascist” avengers. He is a physician trying to diagnose and treat the cancerous growth of the mass tyranny of the modern era.

Carrel’s conclusion is that man, who has transformed the material world through science, is also capable of transforming himself. But he will not transform himself without necessity, because he has become complacent amidst the artificial lifestyle of industrial civilization.

While surrounded by the comfort, the beauty, and the mechanical marvels engendered by technology, he does not understand how urgent is this operation. He fails to realize that he is degenerating. Why should he strive to modify his ways of being, living, and thinking?[9]

Carrel regarded the Great Depression as a fortuitous opportunity, because of the undermining of public confidence in the economic system, which might impel people to seek a redirection.

Has not modern life decreased the intelligence and the morality of the whole nation? Why must we pay several billions of dollars each year to fight criminals? Why do the gangsters continue victoriously to attack banks, kill policemen, kidnap, ransom, or assassinate children, in spite of the immense amount of money spent in opposing them? Why are there so many feeble-minded and insane among civilized people? Does not the world crisis depend on individual and social factors that are more important than the economic ones? It is to be hoped that the spectacle of civilization at this beginning of its decline will compel us to ascertain whether the causes of the catastrophe do not lie within ourselves, as well as in our institutions. And that we will fully realize the imperativeness of our renovation.

…The spontaneous crash of technological civilization may help to release the impulses required for the destruction of our present habits and the creation of new modes of life.[10]

What Carrel called for was the creation of a new ruling state of renaissance men who would be educated in all the arts and sciences, having renounced ordinary life to form a ruling class better capable of creating a new civilization in keeping with man’s true nature, than can politicians and plutocrats.

Indeed, the few gifted individuals who dedicate themselves to this work will have to renounce the common modes of existence. They will not be able to play golf and bridge, to go to cinemas, to listen to radios, to make speeches at banquets, to serve on committees, to attend meetings of scientific societies, political conventions, and academies, or to cross the ocean and take part in international congresses. They must live like the monks of the great contemplative orders, and not like university professors, and still less like business men. In the course of the history of all great nations, many have sacrificed themselves for the salvation of the community. Sacrifice seems to be a necessary condition of progress.[11]

Eugenics was also a significant aspect of Carrel’s beliefs, and the matter for which he is most smeared, although eugenic ideas among physiologists at that time were the norm, and what Carrel advocated was on par with the sterilization measures already undertaken by many states of the USA,[12] and was at that time even advocated by socialists, as was particularly the case in Sweden. Hence, Carrel stated:

Eugenics may exercise a great influence upon the destiny of the civilized races. Of course, the reproduction of human beings cannot be regulated as in animals. The propagation of the insane and the feeble-minded, nevertheless, must be prevented. A medical examination should perhaps be imposed on people about to marry, as for admission into the army or the navy, or for employees in hotels, hospitals, and department stores. However, the security given by medical examination is not at all positive. The contradictory statements made by experts before the courts of justice demonstrate that these examinations often lack any value. It seems that eugenics, to be useful, should be voluntary. By an appropriate education, each one could be made to realize what wretchedness is in store for those who marry into families contaminated by syphilis, cancer, tuberculosis, insanity, or feeble-mindedness. Such families should be considered by young people at least as undesirable as those which are poor. In truth, they are more dangerous than gangsters and murderers. No criminal causes so much misery in a human group as the tendency to insanity. Voluntary eugenics is not impossible. […]None should marry a human being suffering from hidden hereditary defects. Most of man’s misfortunes are due to his organic and mental constitution and, in a large measure, to his heredity. Obviously, those who are afflicted with a heavy ancestral burden of insanity, feeblemindedness, or cancer should not marry. No human being has the right to bring misery to another human being. Still less, that of procreating children destined to misery.[13]

It is clear that for all the slander against Carrel as a eugenicist, his position on the matter was moderate for the time, and was to be voluntary, based on a combination of education and financial rewards. However, also of great importance in Carrel’s system was education and culture.

Children must be reared in contact with things which are the expression of the mind of their parents. It is imperative to stop the transformation of the farmer, the artisan, the artist, the professor, and the man of science into manual or intellectual proletarians, possessing nothing but their hands or their brains. The development of this proletariat will be the everlasting shame of industrial civilization. It has contributed to the disappearance of the family as a social unit, and to the weakening of intelligence and moral sense. It is destroying the remains of culture. All forms of the proletariat must be suppressed. Each individual should have the security and the stability required for the foundation of a family.[14]

Elsewhere Carrel writes again of the undesirability of mass proletarianization and the need for a new economic system:

The artisan, on the contrary, has the legitimate hope that some day he may become the head of his shop. Likewise, the peasant owning his land, the fisherman owning his boat, although obliged to work hard, are, nevertheless, masters of themselves and of their time. Most industrial workers could enjoy similar independence and dignity. The white-collar people lose their personality just as factory hands do. In fact, they become proletarians. It seems that modern business organization and mass production are incompatible with the full development of the human self. If such is the case, then industrial civilization, and not civilized man, must go.[15]

In the same paragraph Carrel emphasis the basic social unit as being the family, predicated on sound and lasting marriage for the raising of healthy children, and the education of women geared to raising children.

Marriage must cease being only a temporary union. The union of man and woman, like that of the higher anthropoids, ought to last at least until the young have no further need of protection. The laws relating to education, and especially to that of girls, to marriage, and divorce should, above all, take into account the interest of children. Women should receive a higher education, not in order to become doctors, lawyers, or professors, but to rear their offspring to be valuable human beings.[16]

Feminism has resulted in what we might call the proletarianization of women, whether in menial or intellectual arenas, as increasing numbers especially over the past several decades have opted for jobs rather than children, even for the sake of their social life, or have been leaving child bearing to increasingly later ages until procreation becomes a problem. If Carrel were alive today, he would undoubtedly have much to say about the decline fertility rates among males also, perhaps looking at environmental and nutritional factors for explanations. At any rate the question of food quality is broached by Carrel several times in Man the Unknown, for example:

We now have to reestablish, in the fullness of his personality, the human being weakened and standardized by modem life. Sexes have again to be clearly defined. Each individual should be either male or female, and never manifest the sexual tendencies, mental characteristics, and ambitions of the opposite sex. Instead of resembling a machine produced in series, man should, on the contrary, emphasize his uniqueness. In order to reconstruct personality, we must break the frame of the school, factory, and office, and reject the very principles of technological civilization.

The effect of the chemical compounds contained in food upon physiological and mental activities is far from being thoroughly known. Medical opinion on this point is of little value, for no experiments of sufficient duration have been made upon human beings to ascertain the influence of a given diet. There is no doubt that consciousness is affected by the quantity and the quality of the food.[17]

Carrel, as a social-physician in the closing paragraphs of his seminal work again shows that what he was advocating was of a humane character; that he was not a social-Darwinist with a disregard for the weaker elements of society:

The brutal materialism of our civilization not only opposes the soaring of intelligence, but also crushes the affective, the gentle, the weak, the lonely, those who love beauty, who look for other things than money, whose sensibility does not stand the struggle of modern life. In past centuries, the many who were too refined, or too incomplete, to fight with the rest were allowed the free development of their personality. Some lived within themselves. Others took refuge in monasteries, in charitable or contemplative orders, where they found poverty and hard work, but also dignity, beauty, and peace. Individuals of this type should be given, instead of the inimical conditions of modern society, an environment more appropriate to the growth and utilization of their specific qualities.[18]


1. Man the Unknown.

2. Man the Unknown, ch. 4: 3.

3. Man the Unknown, ch. 7: 10.

4. Man the Unknown, ch. 7: 10.

5. Decree of October 11, 1940.

6. Laws of November 18, 1940; February 15, 1941.

7. Law no. 3763, September 2, 1941.

8. Alexis Carrel, Man the Unknown, ch. 7: 10.

9. Man the Unknown, ch. 7: 10., ch. 8: 1.

10. Man the Unknown, ch. 7: 10.

11. Man the Unknown,  ch. 8:3.

12. Indiana became the first US state to enact a sterilization law in 1907, directed towards the “feebleminded.” In 1927 the US Supreme Court ruled 8 to  that sterilization laws for the mentally handicapped were not unconstitutional, Justice Holmes writing of the decision: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” As late as 1970 the Nixon Administration increased Medicaid funding for the voluntary sterilization of low-income Americans. The last forcible sterilization occurred in the USA in 1981, in Oregon, under the direction of the Oregon Board of Eugenics. Social democratic Sweden was particularly active with a eugenic sterilization program from 1934, the laws not being repealed until 1976. Around 31,000 had been sterilized, by far the majority forcibly.

13. Man the Unknown, ch. 8:7.

14. Man the Unknown, ch. 8:7.

15. Man the Unknown, ch. 8:12.

16. Reflections on Life, ch. 8: 12.

17. Reflections on Life, ch. 8: 12.

18. Reflections on Life, ch. 8: 12.

Alexis Carrel:
A Commemoration, Part 3

Three of Carrel’s books were published posthumously, Reflections on Life[1] being particularly instructive in further explicating Carrel’s views on civilization. Here Carrel states that the great problem of the day is for man to increase not only his intelligence, but also a robustness of character and morality, and to maintain a spiritual outlook, these qualities having atrophied and failed to keep pace with technical evolution.[2] Based on his experiments and observations Carrel states that the organism is greatly malleable and changed by circumstances of environment. This two-way interaction between environment and genes seems often to be overlooked in a dichotomy existing between genetic determinists and environmental determinists. Therefore, what Carrel presents is a synthesis, writing:

The formation of body and mind depends on the chemical, physical and psychological conditions of the environment and on physiological habits. The effects of these conditions and these habits on the whole make-up of the individual ought to be exactly studied with reference to all activities of body and mind.[3]

Throughout his life he also emphasized the importance of the spiritual and the religious, and he remained a Christian.

AcaHomInco.gifCarrel proceeds with the first chapter to trace the dissolution of traditional communal bonds with the ancestral traditions being undermined from the time of the Renaissance, through to the Reformation, and the revolutions of France and America, enthroning of rationalism and heralding the rise of liberalism and Marxism:

The democratic nations fail to recognize the value of scientific concepts in the organization of communal life. They put their trust in ideologies, those twin daughters of the rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment. Yet neither Liberalism nor Marxism bases itself on an exhaustive observation of reality. The fathers of Liberalism, Voltaire and Adam Smith, had just as arbitrary and incomplete a view of the human world as Ptolemy had of the stellar system. The same applies to those who signed the Declaration of Independence, to the authors of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as also to Karl Marx and Engels.[4]

At the root of these ideologies of capitalism and socialism alike is economic reductionism, which has given rise to the artificiality of a civilization that Carrel condemned for fostering a weakened state of humanity, physiologically, morally, spiritually, and mentally:

The principles of the Communist Manifesto are, in fact, like those of the French Revolution, philosophical views and not scientific concepts. The Liberal bourgeois and the Communist worker share the same belief in the primacy of economics. This belief is inherited from the philosophers of the eighteenth century. It takes no account of the scientific knowledge of the mental and physiological activities of man we possess today nor of the environment which these activities need for their ideal development. Such knowledge shows that primacy belongs not to economics, but to man’s own humanity. Instead of trying to find how to organize the State as a function of the human, we are content to declaim the principles of the Declaration of Independence and of the French Revolution. According to these principles, the State is, above all, the guardian of property; the head servant of banking, industry and commerce.[5]

This liberty has brought nothing real to the multitude of proletarianized masses.

The liberty enjoyed by the majority of men does not belong to the economic, intellectual or moral order. The dispossessed have merely the liberty to go from one slum or one public house to another. They are free to read the lies of one paper rather than another, to listen to opposing forms of radio propaganda and, finally, to vote. Politically they are free; economically they are slaves. Democratic liberty exists only for those who possess something. It allows them to increase their wealth and to enjoy all the various goods of this world. It is only fair to admit that, thanks to it, Capitalism has achieved a vast expansion of wealth and a general improvement in health and in the material conditions of life. But it has, at the same time, created the proletariat. Thus it has deprived men of the land, encouraged their herding together in factories and appalling dwellings, endangered their physical and mental health and divided nations into mutually hostile social classes. The Encylopedists had a profound respect for the owners of property and despised the poor. The French Revolution was directed against both the aristocracy and the proletariat It was content to substitute the rat for the Hon; the bourgeois for the noble. Now Marxism aims at replacing the bourgeois by the worker. The successor of Capitalism is Bureaucracy. Like Liberalism, Marxism arbitrarily gives first place to economics. It allows a theoretical liberty only to the proletariat and suppresses all other classes. The real world is far more complex than the abstraction envisaged by Marx and Engels.[6]

Here, as in many other places of Carrel’s writing, we see this his concern is for humanity, for the poor and oppressed that have been reduced to a mass and meaningless existence in the name of “economic liberty,” and it soon becomes apparent that the Marxists and liberals who smeared Carrel as some type of fiendish Nazi doctor with a depraved outlook on humanity, are either lying or ignorant. If Carrel spoke “against” the proletariat it was in defense of the “worker” as artisan, craftsmen, tiller, and in opposition to a process that continues to deprive man of his humanity:

Human labor is not something which can be bought like any other commodity. It is an error to depersonalize the thinking and feeling being who operates the machine and to reduce him, in industrial enterprise, to mere “manpower.” Homo oeconomicus is a fantasy of our imagination and has no existence in the concrete world.[7]

Carrel’s adherence to the Christian faith as the basis of civilized values is a refreshing surprise from the usual atheism and materialism of scientific social commentators. Carrel maintains that Christianity provides the foundations for social bonds above all other beliefs, whether rationalistic or metaphysical.

In an unknown village of Palestine, on the shores of Lake Tiberias, a young carpenter announced some astonishing news to a few ignorant fishermen. We are loved by an immaterial and all-powerful Being. This Being is accessible to our prayers. We must love Him above all creatures. And we ourselves must also love one another.

A new era had begun. The only cement strong enough to bind men together had been found. Nevertheless, humanity chose to ignore the importance of this new principle in the organization of its collective life. It is far from having understood that only mutual love could save it from division, ruin and chaos. Nor has it realized that no scientific discovery was so fraught with significance as the revelation of the law of love by Jesus the Crucified. For this law is, in fact, that of the survival of human societies.[8]

It was this Christian faith that molded the heroic ethos and chivalry of the West, Christianity providing the feeling of “the beauty of charity and renunciation” above the “savage and lustful appetites.” Man, or better said the Westerner,

was drawn to the heroism which, in the hell of modern warfare, consists in giving one’s life for one’s friends; and in having pity on the vanquished, the sick, the weak and the abandoned. This need for sacrifice and brotherhood became more defined in the course of centuries. Then appeared St. Louis of France, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Vincent de Paul and a numberless legion of apostles of charity.[9]

It is this ethos of individual sacrifice and renunciation which Carrel states has been increasingly obliterated by the ideologies of the modern era, and which is required again to overcome the problems of the present, particularly in developing a ruling caste that he wished to see emerge and live for the service of humanity.

Even in our own base and egotistical age, thousands of men and women still follow, on the battlefield, in the monastery or in that abomination of desolation the modern city, the path of heroism, abnegation and holiness.[10]

“Our civilization,” by which Carrel must mean Western Civilization, “has, in truth, forgotten that it is born of the blood of Christ; it has also forgotten God,” but there remains a basic discernment of the beauty of the Gospels and the Sermon on the Mount.[11] As a scientist Carrel sees Christian morality not as some contrivance to maintain a ruling class, but as reflecting fundamental laws of life that are in accord with nature, and in keeping with the survival imperative. On the other hand just as mistaken are those moralists who see Christianity as negating the need for humanity to act in accordance with the discoveries of nature being revealed by science. [12] Here again, Carrel is proposing a synthesis, rather than a dichotomy. Therefore the Christian commandment against killing is applicable in a broad sense, there being many ways of killing, and the destroyers or killers of humanity include,

The profiteer who sends up the price of necessities, the financier who cheats poor people of their savings, the industrialist who does not protect his workmen against poisonous substances, the woman who has an abortion and the doctor who performs it are all murderers. Murderers, too, are the makers of harmful liquor and the wine growers who conspire with politicians to increase the consumption of drink; the sellers of dangerous drugs; the man who encourages his friend to drink; the employer who forces his workers to work and live in conditions disastrous to their bodies and minds.[13]

Carrel was not preaching any doctrine of pandering to the weak, any more than a misanthropic crushing, but rather one of the strengthening of humanity by disposing of the artificiality that has become the basis of civilization, and has halted human ascent. In this respect there is a certain coincidental resemblance to the Nietzschean over-man, when not misinterpreted or misconstrued as something monstrous. Hence man must again become re-acclimatized to harsh environmental conditions, as a matter of will and self-discipline.

The rules to follow are many, but simple. They consist in leading our daily life as the structure of our body and mind demands. We must learn to endure heat, cold and fatigue; to walk, run and climb in all extremes of weather. We must also avoid as much as possible the artificial atmosphere of offices, flats and motorcars. In the choice of the quantity of food we eat we ought to follow modern principles of nutrition. We should sleep neither too much nor too little and in a quiet atmosphere. . . . We should also accomplish daily, outside of our professional work, some definite task of an intellectual, aesthetic, moral or religious nature. Those who have the courage to order their existence thus will be magnificently rewarded. . . .[14]

As in Man the Unknown, Carrel was concerned with the affects of declining birth rates, as a symptom of decline, which he states has social and economic causes and which can consequently be reversed by the State proving generously for the rearing of healthy children. Education is also required to make eugenically sound and conscious decisions when mating, an issue which is perhaps more than any others raised by Carrel,[15] anathema to liberal sensibilities.

Healthy children and family life proceeds for Carrel on the basis of a reconnection with the soil.

The family must be rooted once more in the soil. Everyone should be able to have a house, however small, and make himself a garden. Everyone who already has a farm should beautify it. He should adorn it with flowers, pave the road which leads to it, destroy the briars which choke the hedges, break up the boulders which hinder the passage of the plow, and plant trees whose branches will shade his great-grandchildren. Finally, the works of art, the old houses, the splendid buildings and cathedrals in which the soul of our forefathers expressed itself must be piously preserved. We should also set ourselves against the profanation of the rivers, the tranquil hills and the forests which were the cradle of our ancestors. But our most sacred duty is to bring about a revolution in teaching which will make the school, instead of a dreary factory for certificates and diplomas, a center of moral, intellectual, aesthetic, and religious education.[16]

The return to the soil was a major aim of the Vichy regime. Uncultivated land could be granted with the aid of state allowances, and freedom from rent for the first three years, and thereafter a rental half that of similar land in the area.[17] State subsidies of up to 50% were available for new farm buildings.[18] Farm laborers, who had been increasingly leaving the land for the cities for better pay, were encouraged to take up farming themselves. State gratuities were given to all farmers who provided rural apprenticeship training, and agricultural education was reorganized, and centers established.[19]

As one should expect for a physiologist attempting to apply his observations of the natural world to the formation of a more natural human social order, the type of society Carrel advocated was what has been called the “organic state,” where each individual is in general part of at least one social organ, from the family outward, each individual and each social organ contributing by their innate character to the well-being of the entire social organism. The organic state is thus analogous to the living human organism where, where the brain – the government – co-ordinates the individual organs for the healthy functioning of the whole organism. This is contrary to the modern era where everyone is divided in to atomized individuals, or competing classes, and a myriad of other self-serving interests, to the detriment of the whole. Carrel repudiated that notion of society being held together by a “social contract” between individuals, as per the idea that has come down to us from liberalism, as the very act of being born makes an individual an automatic part of society. The coming together for common interests into social organs is a natural process.

Every individual is a member of several organismic and organic groups. He belongs to tie family, the village, and the parish and also, perhaps, to a school, a trade union, a professional society or a sports club. Thus a relatively small number of completely developed individuals can have a great influence on many community groups.[20]

Hence, an industrial enterprise, should according to such organic laws function as a social organism rather than as a disharmonic or diseased organism of contending interests, which one might compare to a cancer-afflicted body. What Carrel alludes to in his analogy of the industrial enterprise where solidarity replaces class warfare, is that the worker of an enterprise share in the profits of that enterprise; “when he cooperates in an enterprise which belongs to him and to which he belongs.”[21]

In his concluding chapter Carrel states: “Communities and industrial enterprises should be conceived as organisms whose function is to build up centers of human brotherhood where all are equal in the sense in which the Church understands men’s equality; that is to say, in the sense that all are children of God.”[22]

The suppression of the Proletariat and the liberation of the oppressed should not come about through class warfare but through the abolition of social classes.

What is needed is to suppress the Proletariat by replacing it with industrial enterprise of an organismic character. If the community has an organismic character, it matters little whether the state or private individuals own the means of production, but individual ownership of house and land is indispensable.[23]

One can discern in this organic conception of society the influence of the social doctrine of the Church combined with the observations of the biologist. It is no wonder that Carrel agreed to work with the Vichy Government in attempting to solve social problems, as the Vichy was one of numerous regimes, often inspired by Catholic social doctrine, which attempted to implement the organic or “corporate state.”[24]

What ideology then did Carrel adhere to? Apparently, none that had been operative.

Despite the smear that Carrel was a “Nazi,” he regarded National Socialism, Marxism, and liberalism as all having failed, as had the civilizations of the Classical and Medieval eras.[25] Neither is an entire answer to be found in a religious, scientific or a political system alone. There must be a holistic approach.

The break-up of Western civilization is due to the failure of ideologies, to the insufficiency both of religion and science. If life is to triumph, we need a revolution. We must reexamine every question and make an act of faith in the power of the human spirit. Our destiny demands this great effort; we ought to devote all our time to the effort of living since this is the whole purpose of our being on earth.

All men who are determined to make a success of living in the widest sense should join together as they have done in all times. Pythagoras made the first attempt, but it is the Catholic Church which has hitherto offered the most complete of such associations. We must give up the illusion that we can live according to instinct, like the bees. True, the success of life demands, above all, an effort of intelligence and will. Since intelligence has not replaced instinct we must try to render it capable of directing life.[26]

Carrel reconciles religious faith and metaphysics with science and natural law. Hence the Christian foundations of Carrel’s organic society are reiterated. He states that the reasons the “white races” have failed despite “their Christianity” is because the Christian ethos has not been sufficiently applied in practical terms to the questions presented by science. Carrel ends optimistically however in stating that unlike prior civilizations, this Civilization has the means of diagnosing its ills and therefore has the opportunity of halting the cycle of decay.

For the first time in the history of the world, a civilization which has arrived at the verge of its decline is able to diagnose its ills. Perhaps it will be able to use this knowledge and, thanks to the marvelous forces of science, to avoid the common fate of all the great peoples of the past. We ought to launch ourselves on this new path from this very moment. . . .

Before those who perfectly perform their task as men, the road of truth lies always open. On this royal road, the poor as well as the rich, the weak as well as the strong, believer and unbeliever alike are invited to advance. If they accept this invitation, they are sure of accomplishing their destiny, of participating in the sublime work of evolution, of hastening the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. And, over and above, they will attain all the happiness compatible with our human condition.[27]

Post-Mortem Vilification

Carrel was spared the indignities of the democratic post-war era, and although he was cleared of being a “collaborationist” his doctrine of human ascent with its intrinsic opposition to liberalism, Marxism, capitalism, and rationalism, has made him the subject of smears in more recent years. The renewed “interest” was prompted in 1997 when Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen suggested that Carrel was the founder of ecology, which resulted in a mean-spirited campaign to get streets named after Carrel changed.[28] In 1998 a Left-wing petition was circulated to get the name of rue Alexis-Carrel in Paris changed, with the media quipping about Carrel’s supposed advocacy of brutal “Nazi-style” eugenics measures, and his so-called “dubious role” in wartime France. Hence Ben MacIntyre, journalist, for some reason felt himself qualified to remark that Carrel’s best-seller, Man the Unknown, was “pseudo-science,” one of Carrel’s most callous recommendations apparently having been to advocate the humane execution of the criminally insane.[29]

While it is something of a cliché when writing a tribute to a perhaps long forgotten individual of seemingly prophetic vision, to state that the subject had a message more relevant now than in his own time, this surely is in a myriad of ways a claim that can legitimately be made for Alexis Carrel. The many symptoms of decay he noted in his own time, from the artificiality of industrial life to the chemical adulteration of food, the standardization of life, and the rising rates of abortion are now with Western Civilization in a phase that is acute. [30]


1. Alexis Carrel, Reflections on Life. The book in its entirety has been published online: http://chestofbooks.com/society/metaphysics/Reflections-O...

2. Reflections on Life, “Preface.”

3. Reflections on Life.

4. Reflections on Life, ch. 1.

5. Reflections on Life, ch. 1.

6. Reflections on Life, ch. 1.

7. Reflections on Life, ch. 1.

8. Reflections on Life, ch. 3:6.

9. Reflections on Life, ch. 3:6.

10. Reflections on Life, ch. 3:6.

11. Reflections on Life, ch. 3:6.

12. Reflections on Life, ch. 4:3.

13. Reflections on Life, ch. 5: 2.

14. Reflections on Life, ch. 5: 3.

15. Reflections on Life, ch. 5: 8.

16. Reflections on Life, ch. 5: 4.

17. Law of August 27, 1940.

18. Law of April 17, 1941.

19. Laws of July 8, 1941, and August 25, 1941.

20. Reflections on Life, ch. 6: 10.

21. Reflections on Life, ch. 6: 10.

22. Reflections on Life, ch. 9: 3.

23. Reflections on Life, ch. 9: 3.

24. Other corporate states directly inspired by Catholic social doctrine included Salazar’s Portugal, Franquist Spain and the Austria of Dollfuss.

25. Reflections on Life, ch. 9: 2.

26. Reflections on Life, ch. 9: 2.

27. Reflections on Life, ch. 9: 3.

28. David Zen Mairowitz, “Fascism a la Monde,” Harper’s, October 1997.

29. Ben MacIntyre, “Paris Left wants eugenics advocate taken off street,” The Times, January 6, 1998.

jeudi, 16 septembre 2010

Konrad Lorenz, uno scienziato antimoderno


Konrad Lorenz, uno scienziato antimoderno

di Stefano Di Ludovico

Fonte: Centro Studi Opifice [scheda fonte]

I pregiudizi scientisti e progressisti di cui è impregnata la nostra cultura ci portano spesso a vedere in ogni visione alternativa rispetto al mondo moderno il portato di mentalità antiscientifiche ed arcaiche, sogno di visionari metafisici che ignorano i fondamenti e le regole più elementari del sapere positivo. Sembra quasi che la critica al mondo moderno sia prerogativa di culture inevitabilmente “altre” rispetto a quel sapere che di tale mondo si reputa a fondamento, e che la scienza sia necessariamente al servizio della modernità e della società a cui essa ha dato origine. La figura e l’opera di Konrad Lorenz smentiscono clamorosamente tali pregiudizi: universalmente considerato uno dei maggiori “scienziati” del XX secolo, padre dell’etologia moderna e Nobel per la fisiologia e la medicina nel 1973, è stato al tempo stesso uno dei più lucidi e feroci critici della modernità e dei suoi miti, anticipatore di molte di quelle tematiche oggi fatte proprie dai movimenti e dalle culture ambientaliste e no-global.
A rileggere la sua opera, sviluppatasi lungo l’arco di un quarantennio, dal dopoguerra agli anni Ottanta del secolo appena trascorso, ci ritroviamo al cospetto di un vero e proprio “profeta” dei mali che affliggono il nostro mondo e dei problemi che la nostra generazione è chiamata ad affrontare. E tutto ciò da una prospettiva che pur rimanendo fedele ai fondamenti positivisti ed evoluzionisti della sua visione di fondo, ha saputo essere al tempo stesso radicalmente anticonformista ed “inattuale” rispetto ai valori ed alle tesi di cui quella visione si è fatta spesso portatrice. Ci sembra essere proprio questa, alla fine, la cifra del pensiero di Konrad Lorenz, uno scienziato “antimoderno”. A diciotto anni dalla sua morte - avvenuta nel 1989 - proprio oggi che molte delle sue analisi si sono rivelate profetiche e che l’eco delle polemiche, anche accese, che hanno accompagnato la sua vicenda culturale ed umana si va ormai spegnendo, è possibile, e al tempo stesso doveroso, guardare alla sua opera con maggiore interesse, curiosità ed obiettività, attribuendole la valenza e la riconoscenza che meritano.

Konrad Lorenz nasce a Vienna nel 1903. Studia medicina a New York e a Vienna, laureandosi nel 1928. Nel 1933 consegue anche la laurea in zoologia, assecondando i suoi veri interessi che si stavano orientando sempre più verso il mondo animale e l’ornitologia in particolare. Nel 1937 diventa docente di psicologia animale e anatomia comparata presso l’Università di Vienna e, a partire dal 1940, di psicologia all’Università di Königsberg. Scoppiata la guerra, combatte nell’esercito tedesco. Durante il conflitto viene fatto prigioniero dai russi; così dal 1944 al 1948 è trattenuto in un campo di detenzione sovietico fino alla fine delle ostilità. Nel 1949 viene pubblicato L’anello di Re Salomone, destinato a rimanere la sua opera più celebre, dove Lorenz rivela quelle doti di abile ed affascinante divulgatore che resero i suoi testi famosi nel mondo, avvicinando alle tematiche etologiche e naturalistiche un vasto pubblico di non addetti ai lavori; doti confermate nel successivo E l’uomo incontrò il cane, del 1950. Nel 1961 diviene Direttore dell’Istituto Max Plank per la fisiologia del comportamento di Starnberg, in Baviera, carica che manterrà fino al 1973. E’ proprio a partire da tali anni che, accanto a testi a contenuto prettamente scientifico, Lorenz inizia ad estendere i suoi interessi alla sfera sociale e culturale, per arrivare ad affrontare le tematiche dell’attualità del suo tempo, lette all’interno di un’ottica che faceva tesoro di quanto via via egli stava maturando e scoprendo in ambito naturalistico. Dall’etologia animale si passa così all’etologia umana. Tali nuovi interessi iniziano per la verità a fare capolino già nelle opere a carattere scientifico, rivelando la vastità degli orizzonti e delle prospettive che fin dagli inizi hanno accompagnato la sua ricerca.

L’opera Il cosiddetto male, del 1963, che affronta il tema dell’aggressività intraspecifica, è un tipico esempio di tale prospettiva. In questo scritto Lorenz sostiene che l’aggressività, al pari di diversi altri istinti quali la sessualità o la territorialità, sia un comportamento innato, come tale insopprimibile e spontaneo, impossibile da far derivare dai soli stimoli ambientali. Essendo un istinto innato, l’aggressività è in quanto tale “al di là del bene e del male” (di qui anche il carattere ironico e polemico del titolo del libro; modificato, in alcune delle edizioni successive, nel più neutro L’aggressività), componente strutturale di ogni essere vivente e svolgente un ruolo fondamentale nell’ambito dei processi evolutivi e quindi della sopravvivenza della specie. Basti pensare al ruolo che la conflittualità intraspecifica gioca nell’ambito della delimitazione del territorio, della scelta del partner nella riproduzione, dell’instaurazione delle gerarchie all’interno del gruppo. Lorenz sostiene altresì che gli stessi istinti “buoni”, ovvero quelli gregari e amorosi, derivino evoluzionisticamente dalla stessa aggressività, essendo modificazioni selettive di questa indirizzati a finalità differenti, tanto che sopprimere l’aggressività significherebbe sopprimere la vita stessa. Il libro suscitò polemiche violentissime, dato che Lorenz non limitò le sue riflessioni all’ambito animale, ma le estese anche a quello umano e storico-sociale. Le accuse si sprecarono e la polemica, dal terreno scientifico su cui Lorenz intendeva mantenerla, scivolò, com’era prevedibile, su quello politico ed ideologico: gli diedero del razzista e del guerrafondaio. In realtà il proposito del testo era quello di criticare le correnti comportamentiste e behavioriste, allora molto in voga, secondo cui tutti i comportamenti derivano in ultima analisi dalle influenze e dagli stimoli ambientali, modificati i quali sarebbe possibile modificare gli stessi comportamenti, aggressività inclusa. Per i comportamentisti, quindi, non vi sarebbe nulla di innato. Lorenz, al contrario, considera l’istinto un dato originario, geneticamente condizionato: in quanto tale, esso vive di vita autonoma, non vincolandosi necessariamente all’azione di quelle influenze ambientali aventi la funzione di stimoli scatenanti. Anzi, secondo Lorenz più un istinto non trova occasione di scatenamento, più aumenta la possibilità che esso si scarichi prima o poi in maniera ancor più dirompente, anche in assenza degli stimoli corrispondenti. Se così non fosse, per Lorenz sarebbero difficilmente spiegabili i fenomeni di aggressività cosiddetta “gratuita”, così diffusi sia nel mondo animale che tra gli uomini. Lungi dal costituire un’apologia della violenza e della guerra, l’opera di Lorenz intendeva innanzi tutto mettere in guardia da ogni posizione utopica circa la convivenza umana e la risoluzione dei conflitti, risoluzione che, per essere realistica e antropologicamente fondata, non poteva prescindere da dati e analisi che egli riteneva incontrovertibili. Al contrario, proprio la mancata conoscenza del funzionamento dei comportamenti innati poteva portare a risultati opposti a quelli auspicati, finendo per favorire proprio l’innesco di comportamenti deleteri per la pacifica convivenza. Sostenendo l’impermeabilità di fondo ai condizionamenti ambientali degli istinti basilari dell’uomo come di tutte le specie animali, Lorenz vuole evidenziare così le illusioni insite nella convinzione secondo cui l’educazione e la trasformazione dell’assetto politico-sociale sarebbero di per sé sufficienti a modificare e plasmare i comportamenti umani. E questo non perché egli negasse ogni valore alla cultura o alla dimensione spirituale dell’uomo, quasi a volerlo ridurre a un animale tra i tanti e per ciò vincolato esclusivamente ai suoi istinti. Alieno da ogni visione irenistica e bucolica dell’uomo così come della natura in genere, critico di ogni antropologia che risentisse del mito rousseauiano del “buon selvaggio”, egli sottolineò piuttosto come la “pseudospeciazione culturale” tipica della specie umana ha portato i gruppi umani – siano essi i clan, le tribù, le etnie o le moderne nazioni - una volta raggiunto un determinato grado di differenziazione reciproca, a relazionarsi in modo molto simile a quello delle specie animali più evolute, specie tra le quali, come accennato sopra, la conflittualità intraspecifica gioca un ruolo fondamentale all’interno dei processi adattativi. Lorenz evidenzia come diversi comportamenti risalenti a fattori culturali rivelino una fenomenologia sorprendentemente simile a quelli di origine genetica, facendo risaltare così una certa convergenza tra le dinamiche animali e quelle umane, convergenza che in fenomeni come non solo l’aggressività, ma anche ad esempio la territorialità, l’imprinting, il gioco ed i riti risalta con chiarezza.

E’ soprattutto però con opere quali Gli otto peccati capitali della nostra civiltà, del 1973 e Il declino dell’uomo, del 1983, che le problematiche del proprio tempo e la critica alle convinzioni ed alle ideologie dominanti diventano i temi centrali della sua ricerca; temi che, comunque, continuano a trovare ampio spazio anche nelle opere a contenuto scientifico di questo periodo. Tra queste ricordiamo L’altra faccia dello specchio, del 1973, dedicata alla disamina dei processi conoscitivi della specie umana da un punto di vista storico-evoluzionistico, Natura e destino, del 1978, dove viene ripreso il confronto tra innatismo e ambientalismo, e Lorenz allo specchio, scritto autobiografico del 1975. Nel 1973, intanto, tra le ennesime e strumentali polemiche scatenate in particolare dagli ambienti culturali di sinistra, viene insignito, come accennato, del Premio Nobel per la fisiologia e la medicina, unitamente ad altri due etologi, Nikolaas Tinbergen e Karl Ritter von Frisch. Pur di infangare la sua figura, non bastando le meschine accuse già rivoltegli in occasione de Il cosiddetto male, per l’occasione vennero tirati in ballo presunti atteggiamenti di condiscendenza verso il regime nazista, strumentalizzando ad arte tesi espresse a suo tempo in merito all’eugenetica. In realtà, ciò che non gli veniva perdonato erano le posizioni controcorrente verso i miti progressisti-rivoluzionari così prepotentemente in voga nel clima caldo degli anni settanta, così come il temperamento libero e non curante verso il “politicamente corretto”, che lo portavano a confrontarsi senza pregiudizi con gli ambienti intellettuali più disparati, come dimostra l’attenzione mostrata verso il GRECE, il “Gruppo di ricerca e studio per la civilizzazione europea”, fondato in Francia da Alain De Benoist, dalla cui collaborazione nacque anche un libro-intervista pubblicato nel 1979 con il titolo Intervista sull’etologia. Sempre nel 1973 si stabilì ad Altenberg, in Austria, assumendo la direzione del Dipartimento di sociologia animale dell’Accademia Austriaca delle Scienze. Tra le altre più significative opere ricordiamo L’etologia (1978), vasta sintesi del suo pensiero etologico, e i due libri-intervista Salvate la speranza (1988) e Il futuro è aperto (postumo del 1996, in collaborazione con il filosofo Karl Popper), in cui torna ad affrontare anche tematiche più specificatamente filosofico-sociali.

Gli otto peccati capitali della nostra civiltà, destinata a diventare una delle sue opere più note, vuole essere un’analisi delle cause della decadenza della civiltà e dei pericoli che incombono sull’umanità. Come il successivo Il declino dell’uomo, è un’opera intrisa di un cupo pessimismo, a volte radicale, pessimismo che in seguito lo stesso Lorenz avrebbe ritenuto esagerato. Gli otto “peccati capitali” della civiltà sarebbero a suo dire i seguenti: l’abnorme aumento della popolazione mondiale; la devastazione dell’ambiente; la smisurata competizione economica tra gli individui; l’affievolirsi dei sentimenti; il deterioramento del patrimonio genetico; l’oblio della tradizione; l’omologazione culturale; la proliferazione nucleare. Come vediamo, si tratta di “peccati” ancor oggi all’ordine del giorno e con i quali l’attuale umanità continua a fare i conti, ma che al tempo di Lorenz ancora non venivano individuati e denunciati come tali in tutta la loro gravità. Addirittura tali “peccati” rischiano per Lorenz di portare l’umanità verso l’estinzione. Questa visione apocalittica gli è suggerita, secondo un’ottica seguita un po’ in tutte le sue opere, dal parallelo che egli istituisce con il mondo dell’evoluzione animale e naturale in genere. Più che eventi causati da specifici accadimenti storico-sociali, essi vengono letti infatti quali veri e propri fenomeni degenerativi dell’evoluzione umana: come avviene per molte specie viventi che, ad un certo punto della propria storia evolutiva, imboccano un vicolo cieco avviandosi verso l’estinzione, lo stesso sembra stia accadendo per la specie umana. “Quale scopo – si chiede Lorenz – possono avere per l’umanità il suo smisurato moltiplicarsi, l’ansia competitiva che rasenta la follia, la corsa agli armamenti sempre più micidiali, il progressivo rammollimento dell’uomo inurbato? A un esame più attento, quasi tutti questi fatti negativi si rivelano però essere disfunzioni di meccanismi comportamentali ben determinati che in origine esercitavano probabilmente un’azione utile ai fini della conservazione della specie. In altre parole, essi vanno considerati alla stregua di elementi patologici”. Al di là delle legittime perplessità e delle riserve che una simile chiave di lettura – vincolata ad un’impostazione in ultima analisi biologista ed naturalista dei processi storico-sociali – può suscitare, l’opera di Lorenz rappresenta una delle più lungimiranti e pionieristiche denuncie della società moderna, di cui vengono con vigore demistificati i miti ed i valori fondanti. Fenomeni che secondo la tradizione del pensiero moderno venivano considerati quali espressione della più intima natura umana – la competizione economica, la ricerca del benessere materiale, l’indefinito progresso tecnologico – vengono denunciati, al contrario, quali vere e proprie “patologie”, che stanno allontanando sempre più l’uomo dalla sua vera essenza, riducendolo a mero strumento delle forze tecno-economiche da egli stesso messe in moto. “La competizione tra gli uomini – afferma – che promuove, a nostra rovina, un sempre più rapido sviluppo della tecnologia, rende l’uomo cieco di fronte a tutti i valori reali e lo priva del tempo necessario per darsi a quella attività veramente umana che è la riflessione”. Estraniatosi dal mondo e dai ritmi della natura, l’uomo vive ormai in una nuova dimensione puramente artificiale, dove sono le leggi ed i ritmi della tecnica a regolare la sua vita. Ciò ha condotto a stravolgere l’identità e la specificità stesse dell’uomo, con il progressivo inaridimento dei sentimenti e delle emozioni, l’estinzione del senso estetico, la distruzione delle tradizioni e delle istituzioni che avevano da sempre regolato la convivenza umana prima dell’avvento della società industriale. Lorenz arriva a sostenere che la situazione dell’umanità contemporanea può essere paragonata a quella delle specie animali allevate ed selezionate a scopi produttivi, presso le quali l’addomesticamento ha determinato una vera e propria alterazione dei loro caratteri naturali.

In tal senso, Lorenz pone le basi per un ambientalismo che, non limitandosi a denunciare la perturbazione degli ecosistemi o la devastazione dell’habitat naturale dell’uomo, mette l’accento sulla necessità di recuperare un’esistenza più conforme ai dettami ed ai limiti della natura; natura accettata e fatta propria anche nella sua dimensione tragica e dolorosa. Il progetto della modernità di voler bandire il dolore e la fatica dal mondo è visto infatti da Lorenz come una vera e propria iattura: “il progresso tecnologico e farmacologico favorisce una crescente intolleranza verso tutto ciò che provoca dolore. Scompare così nell’uomo la capacità di procurarsi quel tipo di gioia che si ottiene soltanto superando ostacoli a prezzo di dure fatiche”. Nella società del benessere e del comfort “l’alternarsi di gioia e dolore, voluto dalla natura, si riduce a oscillazioni appena percettibili, che sono fonte di una noia senza fine”, noia che è alla base di quella illimitata ricerca del “piacere” – che della “gioia” è solo la caricatura parossistica - su cui fa leva la società dei consumi.  In tal senso Lorenz, che si impegnò spesso anche sul piano delle battaglie concrete intervenendo nei dibattiti pubblici e partecipando a molte iniziative ambientaliste, espresse anche posizioni controcorrente e trasversali rispetto a certo ambientalismo anche oggi prevalente, difendendo, ad esempio, la legittimità della caccia, e battendosi invece contro l’aborto, ritenuto una pratica innaturale. Al tempo stesso prese le distanze da ogni naturalismo inteso quale ritorno ad utopici quanto irrealistici “stati di natura”, in quanto vedeva la dimensione culturale e spirituale come consustanziale all’uomo, che privato di essa sarebbe privato quindi della sua “natura” più autentica.  Lo stesso studio del mondo animale, che ha impegnato tutta la sua vita, non è stato mai inteso da Lorenz in senso puramente tecno-scientifico: “vorrei dire innanzitutto che io non ho cominciato a tenere degli animali perché ne avevo bisogno per scopi scientifici: no, tutta la mia vita è stata legata strettamente agli animali, fin dalla prima infanzia… Crescendo ho allevato gli animali più diversi… Mi sono comportato sempre in questo modo: per conoscere a fondo un animale superiore, ho vissuto con lui. L’arroganza di certi scienziati moderni, che credono di poter risolvere tutti i problemi studiando un animale soltanto a livello sperimentale, è stata sempre estranea alla mia mente”. Più che il canonico approccio “scientifico”, quello di Lorenz sembra essere, almeno nelle sue finalità ultime e al di là dei suoi fondamenti epistemologici, un atteggiamento di tipo “intuitivo”, volto ad una comprensione complessiva dei fenomeni naturali e alieno da ogni visione meramente sperimentale e quantitativa. Ciò che davvero gli interessava era alla fine risensibilizzare l’uomo moderno al legame simpatetico con il mondo degli animali e della natura in genere, legame andato quasi completamente perduto per l’uomo civilizzato. Questi paga tale perdita anche con l’estinzione del senso estetico, che per Lorenz si lega strettamente al contatto con l’incredibile varietà della forme naturali e la grandezza della creazione che sovrasta l’uomo. Per Lorenz i sentimenti estetici sono infatti parte del patrimonio genetico dell’umanità, e hanno svolto anch’essi, quindi, un compito importate nel corso dell’evoluzione umana ai fini adattativi; mentre oggi l’uomo si va pericolosamente assuefacendo al “brutto” che domina incontrastato nelle nostre metropoli, dove ogni senso della bellezza sembra essersi obliato. La disarmonia che caratterizza la vita del moderno uomo inurbato si lega ad un altro infausto fenomeno, quello della sovrappopolazione, che Lorenz non vede solo nell’ottica economicistica - anche oggi spesso prevalente nei movimenti ambientalisti e terzomondisti - dello squilibrio tra risorse disponibili e popolazione, ma sempre in rapporto a dimensioni “esistenziali” più profonde, ancora una volta suggeritegli dagli studi etologici. Come ogni specie vivente ha bisogno, in base all’istinto di territorialità, di un suo ben delimitato “spazio vitale” (inteso in senso “psicologico” e non solo materiale), anche l’uomo difficilmente può adattarsi a vivere tra folle anonime di individui sconosciuti, dato che il forzato contatto ravvicinato e permanente con “estranei” genera inevitabilmente tensione ed aggressività, favorendo l’insorgere di quelle patologie tipiche della modernità quali stress e nevrosi.

La radicale critica della società moderna portò Lorenz a scontrarsi violentemente con la cultura progressista che monopolizzava il dibattito intellettuale degli anni sessanta e settanta ed ispirava i movimenti politici alternativi di quegli anni, movimenti che auspicavano una “rivoluzione” che andava, per molti aspetti, nel senso contrario a quello indicato da Lorenz. Critico verso ogni ottimismo progressista che esaltasse “le magnifiche sorti e progressive” dell’era della tecnica, Lorenz denunciò con altrettanto vigore l’ideologia del “nuovismo”, che egli considerava espressione di puro infantilismo, dato che è tipico dei bambini l’ingenuo entusiasmo verso tutto ciò che si presenta come “nuovo”. Contro i miti contestatari giovanili, Lorenz difese invece le tradizioni, la cultura e le strutture sociali sulle quali si erano funzionalmente rette le comunità e le società del passato, con accenti che non ci aspetteremmo da uno scienziato del XX secolo, come difese il principio di autorità nei processi educativi, vedendo in tutto ciò il portato di dinamiche socio-adattative coerenti con i dettati dell’evoluzione naturale. Lo stesso concetto di “rivoluzione” era del resto vivacemente contestato da Lorenz, dato che “la natura non fa salti” e che l’evoluzione procede per passi lenti e spesso impercettibili. Per questo l’incomprensione generazionale tra padri e figli che caratterizzava quegli anni era da lui vista come un fenomeno deleterio e pericoloso per un armonioso sviluppo della società. La stessa valorizzazione della fatica e della sofferenza andava contro le spinte moderniste di gran parte del movimento contestatore, che le considerava assurde sopravvivenze di secoli oscuri che grazie al progresso della tecnica e allo sviluppo economico l’uomo si sarebbe lasciato completamente alle spalle, essendo la liberazione dal dolore e il perseguimento del benessere “diritti” inalienabili che a tutti dovevano essere garantiti. Indifferente alle critiche che gli venivano mosse, forte delle sue convinzioni, Lorenz non si peritò di mettere in discussione lo stesso principio dell’uguaglianza tra gli uomini, che egli vedeva come una malsana distorsione del legittimo riconoscimento dell’eguale dignità di ogni uomo così come di ogni essere vivente. Secondo Lorenz l’egualitarismo, unito a quella che egli chiama la dottrina “pseudo-democratica” di ispirazione comportamentista secondo cui sarebbe possibile cambiare gli uomini a piacimento se solo si muta il contesto ambientale in cui essi si trovano a vivere, altro non è che un falso mito espressione della progressiva omologazione culturale che caratterizza la società moderna; omologazione di cui egli individuava le responsabilità nello strapotere del mercato, delle multinazionali e dei mezzi di comunicazione di massa. Il mondo moderno è caratterizzato da “una uniformità di idee quale non si era mai vista in nessun’altra epoca della storia” – sottolinea Lorenz - a tutto detrimento del pluralismo culturale, che, quale espressione del più vasto fenomeno naturale della diversità biologica, è un patrimonio da salvaguardare come uno dei cardini su cui si reggono l’evoluzione e la possibilità di riproduzione della vita stessa. Lorenz ritiene pertanto l’ineguaglianza un fattore costitutivo della natura, senza il quale essa perderebbe la sua forza creativa ed espansiva, non solo in termini biologici, ma anche e soprattutto a livello sociale e culturale, in quanto è proprio “l’ineguaglianza dell’uomo – affermò - uno dei fondamenti ed una delle condizioni di ogni cultura, perché è essa che introduce la diversità nella cultura”. Allo stesso modo egli individuava già allora nella perniciosa influenza della cultura americana le origini dei mali che attanagliavano l’umanità: “le malattie intellettuali della nostra epoca – sostiene - usano venire dall’America e manifestarsi in Europa con un certo ritardo”, così come al dominio delle ideologie egualitarie e pseudo-democratiche “va certamente attribuita una gran parte della responsabilità per il crollo morale e culturale che incombe sugli Stati Uniti”.

Figura proteiforme, difficilmente inquadrabile secondo gli schemi consueti, Lorenz visse profondamente le forti contraddizioni e i radicali cambiamenti che caratterizzarono il suo tempo. La sua complessa disamina della società moderna, intrisa di un così esasperato pessimismo, sfugge anch’essa a facili classificazioni, suscitando spesso sbrigative prese di distanza così come semplicistiche ed entusiastiche adesioni. Se il parallelismo che egli pone tra i processi evolutivi del regno animale e le dinamiche storico-sociali può lasciare perplessi, prestando il fianco ad accuse di riduzionismo biologista, lo sfidare gli apologeti del progresso tecno-scientifico sul loro stesso terreno dell’argomentazione positiva spiazza molti dei suoi detrattori. Anche i suoi toni a volte apocalittici possono sembrare eccessivi ed ingiustificati; ma non bisogna dimenticare che Lorenz scriveva in un periodo in cui i problemi da lui diagnosticati stavano per la prima volta presentando i loro risvolti devastanti su scala planetaria, senza che si fosse ancora sviluppata una forte sensibilità condivisa verso di essi. Come accennato, Lorenz stesso rivide progressivamente alcune delle sue posizioni e ritenne non più giustificabile il radicale pessimismo che aveva espresso, costatando come le tematiche su cui aveva richiamato l’attenzione fin dagli anni sessanta erano sempre più al centro del dibattito culturale e ormai nell’agenda di impegni di molti gruppi e movimenti politici e ambientalisti. “Colui che credeva di predicare solitario nel deserto, parlava, come si è dimostrato, davanti ad un uditorio numeroso ed intellettualmente vivo” - riconosce Lorenz, e “i pericoli della sovrappopolazione e dell’ideologia dello sviluppo vengono giustamente valutati da un numero rapidamente crescente di persone ragionevoli e responsabili”. Per questo Lorenz finì per prendere le distanze dai “catastrofisti”, da coloro che credevano possibile figurarsi con certezza l’avvenire dell’umanità predicando la sua prossima fine, dato che, come recita il titolo del succitato libro scritto con Karl Popper, il “futuro è aperto”, e l’irriducibilità ad ogni possibile determinismo costituisce pur sempre la cifra dell’uomo e della storia. Se il futuro è certamente aperto e la critica all’ideologia sviluppista non è più patrimonio di isolati predicatori nel deserto, è pur vero, però, che molti dei “peccati della civiltà” stigmatizzati da Lorenz restano ancor oggi impuniti, se non si sono addirittura aggravati. Di fronte alla sua disamina, si ha anzi l’impressione, a volte, che molte delle sue riflessioni e degli allarmi lanciati appaiano scontati e banali; e ciò non perché l’odierna umanità abbia risolto o quanto meno imboccato la strada giusta per risolvere i mali denunciati, ma - ed è quel che è più disperante - semplicemente perché vi si è ormai assuefatta. Ecco perché, al di là di quanto è stato fatto o resta da fare, e al di là dei giudizi e dei convincimenti di ciascuno, riteniamo quanto meno indispensabile e di grande attualità, oggi, la rilettura della sua opera.

Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

jeudi, 25 février 2010

Von Bio-Hackern und künstlichen Bazillen

Von Bio-Hackern und künstlichen Bazillen

Andreas von Rétyi / Ex: http://info.kopp-verlag.de/

Supermenschen, biologische Roboter und synthetische Lebensformen zählen nicht nur zum allseits beliebten Hollywood-Repertoire, sondern genauso auch zu den futuristischen Forschungsprojekten des Militärs. Genom-Hacker dringen zu den innersten Geheimnissen des Lebens vor, um neue Wesen ganz nach Maß zu schaffen. Ziel: unsterbliche Erfüllungsgehilfen für die verschiedensten Einsätze. Das Pentagon mischt natürlich tüchtig mit – und auch private Bio-Hacker rühren in der gefährlichen Brühe herum.

robots_z_1206527109.jpgDie Pentagon-Behörde für fortschrittliche Verteidigungsforschung DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) stößt oftmals in utopisch wirkende Dimensionen vor, um zu zeigen, was prinzipiell machbar ist. Und genau damit rücken diese Utopien bereits wieder in greifbare Nähe. Die militärische Forschergilde findet zunehmend Geschmack an ganz besonderen Rezepten, wie sie derzeit in ganz besonderen »Kochkursen« ersonnen werden. Denn neue DNA-Cocktails, künstliche Ursüppchen und mehrgängige Biosynthese-Menüs erfreuen sich bei den militärischen Gen-Gourmets wachsender Beliebtheit.

Jetzt fördert die DARPA das Projekt BioDesign mit Dollar-Millionen. Nichts als vorsichtige Anfänge allerdings. Immerhin aber sollen die Forschungen zur gezielten Modifikation von Genen merklich beschleunigt werden, um künstliche Kreaturen mit den ungewöhnlichsten Eigenschaften zum Leben zu erwecken. Die DARPA-Visionäre wollen die evolutionsbedingte »Zufälligkeit« ausschalten und genetisch programmierte, synthetische Organismen erzeugen, die unbegrenzte Zeiträume leben können und all das tun, was ihre Schöpfer von ihnen erwarten. Sollte das aber einmal nicht funktionieren und in alter SF-Manier eine gefährliche Fehlfunktion auftreten, darf ein – selbst natürlich unfehlbares – genetisches Selbstzerstörungsprogramm logischerweise nicht fehlen, ein Code, der automatisch in Gang gesetzt wird und dem ganzen Spuk ein jähes Ende setzt.

Die Kombination von Leben und Technik beginnt bereits auf der mikrobiologischen Ebene. Denn bekanntlich macht Kleinvieh auch Mist, und ohne die winzigsten Organismen gäbe es uns sowieso nicht. Paradebeispiel Cyano-Bakterien als supereffektive Sauerstoffproduzenten. Was vor Milliarden Jahren auf der Erde geschah, wollen Planeteningenieure und »Terraformer« in unbestimmter Zukunft auch auf dem Mars bewerkstelligen: die Umwandlung einer kompletten Atmosphäre mit entscheidender Starthilfe von Mikroben.

Abgesehen aber von diesen eher fernen Träumen gibt es schon jetzt harte Fakten. An zahlreichen Instituten wird weltweit fieberhaft an bizarren und auch bedrohlichen Konzepten getüftelt. Mit sogar relativ einfachen Mitteln und teils auch im Rahmen studentischer Projekte soll eine sehr zielorientierte Umformung des Lebens erreicht werden. Natürlich mit ganz anderen Absichten als die Planetenumwandler, aber mit nicht weniger Ehrgeiz. Mittlerweile ist schon von einer »Revolution der synthetischen Biologie« die Rede.

Der DARPA und verschiedenen Forschungsinstituten geht es aber nicht alleine darum, möglichst naturgetreue humanoide Biosysteme zu schaffen, synthetische Wesen, die im »Idealfall« nicht mehr von Menschen zu unterscheiden wären. Vor allem nämlich eine Idee begeistert die Experimentatoren: Sie wollen nicht nur genetische Bauteile kopieren und neu zusammenstellen, sondern auch völlig neue Gene und einen neuen genetischen Code schaffen. Wieder eingepflanzt in ausgewählte Bakterien sollen die Mikroben dann als lebende Werkzeuge tätig werden und ihre genetisch neu definierten Aufgaben erfüllen, darunter die Produktion von Treibstoffen oder auch Pharmazeutika.

Das Neudesign des Gencodes muss aber laut einer Studentengruppe der Universität von New York nicht auf hochspezialisierte Labors beschränkt bleiben. Die DIYbio-Gruppe (DIYbio = Do it yourself Biology) stellt sich eine wachsende Beteiligung von Amateurbiologen vor. Und davon gibt es schon jetzt eine ganze Reihe. Freizeit-Genetiker und Bio-Hacker, die im Hobbykeller, in der Garage oder gar der heimischen Küche neues Erbgut züchten. Manche Zeitgenossen betrachten deren Passion als Legospiel auf deutlich höherer Ebene, andere sehen darin einen riskanten, weitgehend unkontrollierten und ungeschützten Umgang mit potenziell gefährlichen Viren und Mikroben. Dass dereinst auch Kinder mit Mikroben herumbasteln und dazu die geeigneten Gen-Experimentierkästen zu Weihnachten geschenkt bekommen werden, davon ist der visionäre US-Physiker Freeman Dyson bereits eine ganze Weile überzeugt. Baupläne für Viren können heute schon »ergoogelt« werden, auch die Hardware ist verfügbar.

Mittlerweile existieren auch große »Bibliotheken« mit genetischen Bauteilen, beispielsweise das Registry of Standard Biological Parts am Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) mit rund 5.000 »BioBricks«, also biologischen Bausteinen. Am MIT gibt es übrigens schon seit bald einem Jahrzehnt ein Preisausschreiben für die das »beste Bakterien-Neudesign«! Wer baut die tollste Bazille!

Die Gefahren solcher Technologien liegen wie bei vielen anderen Versuchsfeldern des Menschen klar auf der Hand. Eine hundertprozentige Sicherheit der Verfahren und Ergebnisse kann niemand wirklich garantieren. Schon heute lauern in den großen militärischen und geheimdienstlichen Biolabors die gefährlichsten Mikroben. Allesamt tickende Zeitbomben. Mit Gewissheit sind auch dies exakt die Stätten der skrupellosesten, der bedrohlichsten Entwicklungen auf dem Sektor. Was wird die nächste Generation der Gen-Hacker an bedrohlichen Neukreationen zu schaffen im Stande sein?


Donnerstag, 18.02.2010

Kategorie: Enthüllungen, Wissenschaft

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Dieser Beitrag stellt ausschließlich die Meinung des Verfassers dar. Er muß nicht zwangsläufig die Meinung des Verlags oder die Meinung anderer Autoren dieser Seiten wiedergeben.

00:15 Publié dans Sciences | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : sciences, robotique, défense, prospective, robots, bacilles | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

mardi, 09 février 2010

Mandelbrot repose le problème: le chaos, nouvelle science

mandelbrot_img.jpgArchives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1988

Mandelbrot repose le problème


Le chaos, nouvelle science


par Manuel TOHARIA


«La Science classique s'arrête là où débute le chaos».

Cet aphorisme communément accepté est valable depuis à peine une décennie. L'ancienne géométrie ne résoud plus les problèmes. Mais ces dernières années, les scientifiques se sont de plus en plus penchés sur le problème des désordres, des turbulences, des discontinuités, des «monstruosités». Et les philosophes, les sociologues, les politologues se sont élancés dans leur sillage…


Les défenseurs des nouvelles théories du chaos prétendent que le siècle prochain n'aura en mémoire, de la science du XXième siècle, que trois disciplines: la relativité, la mécanique quantique et le chaos. Il s'agit probablement d'une exagération; bien que, en y pensant bien, le monde dans son ensemble, si l'on dépasse ce qui est simplement anthropocentrique, soit  effectivement dirigé par la relativité dans le macrocosmos, par les lois quantiques dans le microcosmos, et… est-il également mené par le chaos, à notre échelle humaine, pour tout ce qui ne s'explique pas par l'ordre?


Qu'entendons-nous réellement par chaos? Depuis que les physiciens essaient de comprendre le monde, la science a fait abstraction des désordres de l'atmosphère, de la mer turbulente, des oscillations au sein des populations animales et végétales, des variations, sans explications parfois, des rythmes du cerveau et du cœur, bref, de la nature, quand elle montre son côté irrégulier, discontinu, et donc chaotique.


Dans les années 70, un groupe de scientifiques, qui étaient généralement isolés et qui ne s'étaient pas consultés au préalable, s'intéressèrent, en même temps, aux questions qui, apparemment, n'étaient pas soumises aux lois scientifiques et qui, par conséquent, s'avéraient incompréhensibles. Les physiologistes découvraient l'existence d'un certain ordre, assez surprenant, dans le chaos qui se produit dans un cœur humain, lors d'une mort subite. Les écologistes étudiaient les oscillations survenant dans le nombre d'individus existants au sein de l'espèce du ver à soie, le rombix mori. Les économistes prétendaient appliquer de nouvelles analyses aux cracks  financiers et, en général, aux mouvements boursiers. Les météorologistes voulaient comprendre pourquoi les nuages ont telle ou telle forme et pourquoi les rayons tombent de telle ou telle façon. Les astrophysiciens voulaient expliquer la concentration de matière dans les étoiles et dans les galaxies. Les mathématiciens, finalement, lançaient de nouvelles théories sur les systèmes dynamiques et analysaient les nouvelles figures géométriques ramifiées de façon apparemment capricieuse… Il y a un plus de dix ans, un physico-mathématicien français déchaîna une polémique scientifique en affirmant que la turbulence dans les fluides était à mettre en relation avec un certain élément étranger, relié à la notion mathématique  —et non physique—  de l'infini, élément qu'il baptisa «élément attractif étranger».


Toute cette inquiétude, soulignée par Mandelbrot, s'est aujourd'hui généralisée sous le nom global de chaos, tout un mouvement de restructuration scientifique  —et en même temps, de la pensée humaine dans tous les domaines—  qui met en question l'essence même de la science en tant qu'édifice des savoirs acquis.


Un symptôme exprimant bien l'intérêt éveillé par cette nouvelle approche de la science apparaît dans le fait qu'aux Etats-Unis, le Pentagone, la CIA et le Département de l'Energie consacrent des sommes sans cesse croissantes aux recherches menées sur des phénomènes du chaos dans tous les domaines de l'activité humaine. Et dans les universités et les grands centres de recherches du monde entier commencent à proliférer des instituts se livrant à des recherches sur le chaos et sur les problèmes y afférant.


L'image du désordre


Cette nouvelle science a conçu, grâce à certaines méthodes informatiques très particulières, d'étranges images de synthèse pour tenter de décrire la subtilité surprenante des structures les plus complexes et les plus arbitraires que l'on puisse imaginer. Et, au cours de ces premiers balbutiements, s'est créé un nouveau langage à base de néologismes que peu de gens comprennent, comme les fractales et les bifurcations, les intermittences et les périodicités, les diféomorphismes de la serviette pliée et les applications des escargots planes… Ce sont les nouveaux concepts d'une science nouvelle, les équivalents des quarks et des gluons que durent inventer les physiciens quand ils allèrent au-delà du proton et du neutron.


Pour certains, la physique du chaos devient la science des processus plus que la science des états fixes; quelque chose comme la science du devenir au lieu de la science de ce qui est. Tout cela devient fort abstrait, mais derrière cette obscurité du langage innovateur qui prétend expliquer ce qu'auparavant personne n'expliquait, on trouve des phénomènes naturels, bien courants: la fumée d'un cigare qui monte en volutes désordonnées, le drapeau qui oscille de son propre mouvement, le jet d'eau qui sort du robinet et qui change de forme sans raison apparente… Le chaos est présent autour de nous, sans que nous nous en rendions compte: dans les nuages, dans les bouchons des autoroutes et des routes, dans le vol d'un avion, dans la façon dont tombent les feuilles d'arbres à l'automne, dans la circulation du sang dans les artères et dans les veines, dans l'apparition soudaine d'un conflit violent entre régions d'un même pays que des mois auparavant, le monde entier appelait Yougoslavie…


Préceptes pour l'avenir


Les scientifiques disent que tous ces phénomènes peuvent être décrits par les nouvelles lois du chaos, qui sont valables tant pour le nuage de tempête que pour les décisions d'un exécutif d'assurances. Ce qui vient à signifier, dans un certain sens, que le chaos élimine les barrières existant, actuellement, entre les différentes disciplines scientifiques. Ainsi l'élimination des spécialisations qui commençaient, ceci dit en passant, à s'asphyxier l'une l'autre à cause de l'isolement qu'elles finissaient par engendrer.


Pour revenir aux trois révolutions de la pensée scientifique qui resteront peut-être comme échantillon du génie des hommes du XXième siècle, un physicien du chaos a dit: «La relativité a éliminé l'illusion newtonienne d'un espace et d'un temps absolus, la mécanique quantique a supprimé le rêve newtonien d'un procédé unique de mesure des phénomènes physiques, qui soit contrôlable et non indéterminé, et finalement, le chaos élimine l'utopie laplacienne de la prédictabilité déterministe».


Curieusement, et en dépit des difficultés suscitées par ces nouvelles façons de penser, le chaos est ce qui se rapproche le plus de nous, celui qui s'exerce à notre échelle humaine, dans l'univers que nous touchons et que nous voyons. Les grands monstres de l'astrophysique relativiste, comme par exemple les trous noirs, ne sont pas aussi étranges que les monstres infimes —quarks, leptons— gouvernés par la tyrannie quantique. En échange, la fumée d'une cigarette, les embouteillages du vendredi, l'arrêt cardiaque subit ou la forme d'un nuage d'été nous sont familiers, ils sont bien proches de nous.


Pourtant nous nous rendons maintenant compte que les scientifiques ne possèdent aucune explication pour beaucoup de ces phénomènes. En effet, ce que nous savions peut-être, c'est comment se comportait une seule molécule de matière, mais pas comment se comportent, ensemble, des millions de millions de molécules. Ce qui nous manquait peut-être, c'était une nouvelle science capable de franchir l'abîme séparant la connaissance du comportement d'un objet isolé  —par exemple, une goutte d'eau, un cheveu, une cellule de tissu cardiaque ou épithélial, un neurone, une particule de fumée, une voiture sur une route dégagée—  de la connaissance du comportement de millions d'objets égaux et rassemblés.


Il nous faut un nouveau savoir capable de relier la science et les chaos. Apparemment, nous le possédons déjà: il s'agit simplement de la science du chaos.



00:05 Publié dans Sciences | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : sciences, physique, philosophie | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 04 juillet 2009

Deshumanizacion de la Medicina

Reproducimos aquí un escrito de Fernando Trujillo, nuestro colaborador habitual desde Méjico. Si quieres colaborar con nuestro blog enviandonos artículos, contáctate al correo electrónico que figura en rojo. Consideramos de todos modos importante señalar que las opiniones de cada autor aquí volcadas, no son siempre las mismas que la de los administradores del blog. ¡Animate y colabora! despertarloeterno@hotmail.com


No nos debe extrañar el grado de deshumanización al que ha llegado la ciencia médica, en una sociedad que se mueve por el dinero como es la sociedad moderna todo pierde su humanidad, se ha visto con el arte, la educación, la religión, el trabajo y la medicina, todo lo que se mueve por el poder del dinero tarde o temprano pierde su humanidad.

Cuando los jóvenes deciden estudiar medicina muchos de ellos piensan en los miles de billetes que llegaran a sus bolsillos gracias a la profesión médica, desde ese momento empieza el problema ya que estos jóvenes se guían por lo económico y no por el lado humano que es servir y ayudar. Los hospitales ya solo se mueven por el poder económico olvidando la ética y el ideal de ayuda al necesitado, los médicos cobran cuantiosos honorarios por cada cirugía, tienen autos de lujo y botellas del mejor vino en su consultorio gracias a su profesión pero muchos de ellos se niegan a atender a quien no tiene los recursos para pagar esos odiosos honorarios. Los tratamientos médicos tienen elevados costos que muchos no pueden pagar, muchas familias con hijos o parientes enfermos no tienen el dinero para pagar una quimioterapia o una cirugía y en los hospitales públicos muchas veces se carece de los medios para atender enfermedades como lo son el cáncer por citar alguna. En los hospitales te pueden echar o negar el servicio si no tienes un seguro o el dinero para pagar por sus servicios sin importar que la persona esté sufriendo, muchos defensores del sistema médico pueden alegar como defensa que existen los hospitales públicos pero en dichos hospitales como dije unos párrafos arriba no tienen muchos de los servicios o el material para tratar graves enfermedades, en los hospitales públicos tienen el defecto de que el servicio es pésimo, el lugar está en condiciones insalubres, el personal médico es grosero y prepotente con los internos, entre otros problemas como la escasez de medicamentos y ambulancias.

Aclaro antes de continuar y para ser justo que también existe una minoría de médicos que no se dejan guiar por el dinero si no por la ética y el juramento de Hipócrates de servir y ayudar al paciente, sin embargo ya son una minoría dentro del ejército de esclavos del oro.

Gran culpa de proceso de deshumanización de la ciencia médica lo tienen las ideas progresistas del mundo moderno, estas subversivas ideas que supuestamente sirven como una evolución no son más que patrañas que al contrario de lo que muchos piensan han conducido al mundo a una bestial involución. Ejemplo de esto es esa nueva tendencia en el mundo medico a trasplantar órganos de animales a humanos, hoy ya se puede trasplantar el corazón de un cerdo a un ser humano, también se habla de crear sangre artificial para donaciones y de maquinas para preservar la vida con años de longevidad. Mi pregunta es ¿Dónde está la dignidad del ser humano? El progreso nos está llevando a pasos acelerados hacia un mundo en donde no existan fronteras entre hombres, animales y maquinas. Dentro de poco ya no habrán seres humanos, lo que habrá serán aberrantes hombres-maquinas y hombres-animales, entonces el espíritu y la dignidad humana se verán perdidos en el mar de la inmundicia tecnológica. Ese el progreso al que el mundo tanto elogia y aplaude, ese es el mundo al que nos está llevando.

Una ciencia que presuma de ser humanitaria debe siempre poner primero a la ética y el respeto hacia las leyes de la naturaleza antes que el progreso. Por ejemplo en la Grecia Helénica se vieron grandes avances en la medicina, la filosofía y la ciencia por citar algunas porque antes que nada estaba esa ética y ese respeto hacia la naturaleza de la que hable unas líneas arriba, por desgracia en la civilización occidental moderna esto no sucede. Según el progreso materialista, todo lo que es nuevo debe remplazar lo que es viejo, con tal de "evolucionar" se debe someter a la naturaleza, arrollar las ideas "pasadas de moda" (frase que los progresistas aman) para desarrollar ideas nuevas que sirvan para crear una "mejor" sociedad. Mientras más se evoluciona materialmente mas se pierde humanamente.

Gracias a estas ideas tenemos el aborto, la clonación, la investigación de células madres, el uso de marihuana en terapias por citar algunas de esas ideas nuevas tan veneradas por los médicos "tolerantes". El aborto nos dice como una ciencia que nació para salvar vidas ha sido tergiversada ahora en una ciencia para acabar con ellas. Los médicos progresistas en su afán de idolatrar todo lo que es nuevo han traicionado el juramento de Hipócrates al aprobar el genocidio que es el aborto, estos doctores dan conferencias junto con otros "especialistas" sobre las "ventajas" de legalizar el aborto, propagando falsedades que claro la masa se traga como pan. Una de estas falsedades es que una vez legalizado el aborto se disminuirá el numero de los mismos, está comprobado que en los países donde está legalizado este holocausto se ha aumentado el número de abortos de forma alarmante. El producto (palabra que usan con el feto despojándolo de su humanidad) no siente es otra falsedad que nos dicen, desde la concepción el feto siente de forma inconsciente lo que pasa, sabe lo que su madre está sintiendo y por supuesto siente el dolor al momento de un legrado, esto ya está comprobado científicamente, así que doctores progresistas no me vengan con la mamarrachada de que el feto no tiene sentimientos porque no les creo ni una palabra. Otro de los mitos que giran alrededor del aborto es que las mujeres lo hacen por necesidad económica, muchas familias burguesas con tal de tapar un escándalo social obligan a su hija a tener un aborto, novios irresponsables recurren al aborto para que un bebe no interfiera en sus vidas pero eso también es culpa de la pésima visión de la sexualidad moderna, las mujeres que han sido víctimas de una violación seguro lo verán como una solución, yo les tengo otra, mata al violador y deja vivir al niño.

La investigación con células madres es otra tendencia moderna y subversiva de la medicina cada vez más deshumanizada, no es más que una forma de aborto con otras palabras. Se trata de investigar con embriones humanos para curar enfermedades como la diabetes o el mal de Parkinson por supuesto eso es lo que dicen los medios de comunicación afines al sistema en el que vivimos, no se dejen engañar nada que esta contra la naturaleza y que pase sobre la dignidad humana puede servir para hacer el bien. La ciencia profana no valora la vida humana como tampoco valora la vida de los animales con los cuales experimenta pisoteando su dignidad como seres vivos. La vida empieza desde que un esperma toca el ovulo esto es lo que no entienden estos idiotas médicos modernos, experimentar con seres vivos no es la solución a los problemas es al contrario una forma de que la raza humana es cada vez mas insensible, el hombre se está deshumanizando por completo convirtiéndose en un monstruo que pasa sobre cualquier ética para lograr sus metas, una sociedad que se mueva bajo estos valores materialistas no puede ser llamada humana y está condenada a la extinción. Actualmente en Estados Unidos el nefasto presidente Obama ha dado su aprobación para que se investigue con células madres, un triunfo más del progreso materialista y un paso más para la desvalorización completa del ser humano. Los progresistas dicen que hay que avanzar, con tal de que la ciencia avance se deben hacer sacrificios, esto es una descarada mentira propia del Sistema ya que la ciencia sagrada ha demostrado grandes avances científicos y médicos demostrando que la ética y el respeto hacia la vida van de la mano con la ciencia, contrario a la ciencia profana y moderna cuyos "logros" han sido la destrucción del espíritu humano. Dos grandes científicos que se opusieron al progreso científico sin freno fueron Alexis Carrel y Konrad Lorenz, ambos ganadores del premio Nobel, ambos grandes genios en la medicina y en la ciencia y ambos combatieron la vivisección, el poder del dinero y los postulados de la ciencia moderna. Carrel y Lorenz hicieron colosales descubrimientos en sus respectivos campos por que sometieron a la ciencia bajo las leyes de la ética, ambos veían al hombre no como un ser material si no como un ser conectado con lo divino y con el cosmos, no nos debe extrañas que hoy esos genios sean desprestigiados e ignorados por los científicos profanos y el Sistema masificador.

La cirugía plástica otro campo de la medicina moderna se ha convertido en estos tiempos en un lamentable espectáculo reflejando la crisis en el hombre y la mujer del mundo moderno. Otro campo cuya función era el de curar a las personas con una discapacidad física, victimas de un accidente ahora ha sido tergiversado por la pesadilla materialista-moderna.

El auge en esta era por las cirugías plásticas se debe a un repulsivo "culto a la belleza" (una parodia del culto a la belleza en la edad antigua) que se esta dando en los países mas avanzados tecnológicamente. Hoy hombres y mujeres ya no se sienten bien consigo mismos, buscan ante todo ser jóvenes, ser delgados, ser los mas "sexys", esto como es de esperarse los aprovechan un grupillo de médicos adoradores de Mammon que sacan beneficio de la crisis de identidad de esta personas.

Todos pueden parecer estrellas de Hollywood, todos pueden ser tan delgados como un modelo, todos pueden tener el cuerpo perfecto, todos pueden cambiar de género como cambiar de ropa, a pesar de que la mente y el espíritu estén muertos, a pesar de que la vida interior sea un abismo. La serie televisiva Nip Tuck es un reflejo de esto que estoy comentando.

Médicos con ansias de "superstars" utilizan de manera despiadada la tecnología clínica para deformar el cuerpo humano con el fin de alcanzar la belleza plástica más perfecta, el capitalismo ha invertido el sentido de la belleza clásica convirtiendo lo que para los clásicos era el templo del alma en un objeto de deseo. A los médicos que se especializan en las cirugías plásticas no les importa la salud de los pacientes, mientras estos paguen bien ellos los seguirán deformando a manera de sus sueños, muchas de estas cirugías son contra natura como podíamos citar el cambio de sexo algo grotesco, morboso y patético que últimamente esta de moda en el mundo moderno de las masas. Consecuencias de una cirugía mal practicada (y que muchos médicos no hablan a sus pacientes) puede ser quedar en un estado de coma, desfiguraciones en el cuerpo, incluso la muerte, una persona que se practica una cirugía constantemente tiene el riesgo de quedar como un monstruo o morir.

En México tenemos el caso del doctor Del Villar un hombre que ha lucrado con el sufrimiento de otros debido a su negligencia como medico pero que goza de la amistad de varias personas del medio del espectáculo que no dudo lo hayan ayudado en sus problemas con la ley gracias a sus influencias. Otro caso digno de destacar es el de la modelo argentina Sabrina una mujer que se ha operado el busto y ha deformado su cuerpo que mas que deseo la pobre causa lastima, las consecuencias de una vida vacía.

Desde las políticas económicas de los hospitales hasta las tendencias más subversivas de la ciencia profana, la medicina se ha convertido en un monstruo frío dentro de este mundo más inhumano. Si queremos oponernos a esta sombra progresista-moderna debemos ayudar a forjar una nueva elite de médicos cuyo deber sea el de servir y curar al necesitado sin importar el dinero, con amor a su vocación y demostrando que las hipótesis progresistas al final son derribadas por las inmutables leyes de la naturaleza.

samedi, 20 décembre 2008

Ernst Mayr wird 100



Hohepriester der Evolution

Der Evolutionsbiologe Ernst Mayr wird 100


Von Martin Lohmann (http://konservativ.de )


Kaum eine andere naturwissenschaftliche Lehre hatte einen vergleichbaren revolutionären Einfluß auf das moderne Weltbild wie die Evolutionstheorie von Charles Darwin. Ihr zufolge sollen alle Lebewesen, und somit auch der Mensch, nicht durch einen göttlichen Schöpfungsakt ins Dasein gekommen sein, sondern durch eine Ansammlung zufälliger Mutationen, die durch anschließende natürliche Selektion im "Kampf ums Dasein" zu einer steten Höherentwicklung allen Lebens aus gemeinsamen Vorfahren führten. Diese auch als Darwinismus bezeichnete Lehre entzog dem Christentum jede naturwissenschaftliche Basis; der Mensch brauchte sich dadurch mit allen Konsequenzen für die bis dahin geltenden Moralbegriffe in seinem Handeln nicht länger einer ihm übergeordneten Instanz verantwortlich fühlen.

Darwins im 19. Jahrhundert entwickelte Evolutionstheorie wies jedoch gravierende Schwächen auf. So ging Darwin von einer allmählichen langsamen Entwicklung der Arten mit vielen Zwischenstufen aus, was sich seiner Hoffnung zufolge auch bald im Fossilbericht bestätigen ließe. Die Paläontologen haben diesen Ansatz jedoch bis heute nicht bestätigen können: neue Arten tauchen urplötzlich auf, zwischen den Stufen einzelner Entwicklungslinien klaffen riesige Lücken. Die gesuchten Bindeglieder, die "Missing Links", sind bis heute unauffindbar. Das Verdienst, diesen Widerspruch zwischen Darwins Theorie und dem paläontologischen Befund beseitigt zu haben, wird dem Evolutionsbiologen Ernst Mayr zugeschrieben, der diese Woche 100 Jahre alt geworden ist. Der am 5. Juli 1904 in Kempten geborene und 1931 in die USA ausgewanderte Mayr war in den 1940er Jahren maßgeblich mitbeteiligt an der Formulierung der inzwischen allgemein akzeptierten "Synthetischen Evolutionstheorie", einer Präzisierung des Darwinismus. Ihr zufolge verlaufen Mutation und Selektion in einem schnellen Tempo in kleinen, geographisch geschlossenen Einheiten, so daß sich von diesen "Gründerpopulationen" keine versteinerten Überreste auffinden lassen. Profan ausgedrückt wird der Inzest zum Motor der Evolution erhoben. Mit dieser These gelang es Mayr zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe zu schlagen: zum einen überbrückte er ein entscheidendes Problem im Darwinismus, zum anderen entzog er ihn hiermit jeder Beweispflicht. In einem evolutionskritischen Buch verriss der Journalist Reinhard Eichelbeck Mayrs These der "Gründerpopulationen": "Abgesehen davon, daß Inzucht normalerweise genetische Defekte hervorruft und keine Verbesserungen, die einen Vorteil im 'Kampf ums Dasein' darstellen könnten, ist dies eine Beweisführung, mit der man alles beweisen kann. Wenn ein theoretisches Konstrukt, das auf nichtvorhandenen Indizien aufgebaut ist, als wissenschaftliche Tatsache gehandelt wird, dann ist dieses Denkmodell offensichtlich auf dem Niveau angekommen, wo sich die Wissenschaft vor Darwin befand: auf dem Niveau des dogmatischen biblischen Schöpfungsmythos."

Mit anderen Worten: mehr als 150 Jahren nach Darwin haben auch Mayrs Forschungen nichts daran geändert, daß es der Evolutionstheorie an einem ordentlichen Fundament fehlt. Bis heute kann sie natürliche Phänomene wie beispielsweise die Entstehung des Auges oder des genetischen Code nicht zufriedenstellend rekonstruieren.

Ernst Mayr ficht derartige Kritik bislang nicht an, er nimmt sie nicht einmal zur Kenntnis. In der Vermessenheit der eigenen geistigen Vollkommenheit hält er jeden, der an die "Tatsache" der Evolutionstheorie zweifelt, für "ungebildet". Bescheidenheit ist ihm fremd. Wenn ihn die Fachwelt als "Darwin unserer Zeit" feiert, nimmt er derartige Huldigungen gerne an. Aus seinem Mund wird erst deutlich, wie weitreichend der Einfluß des Darwinismus selbst das Denken der Durchschnittsmenschen geprägt hat: "Die moderne Anschauung geht in fast allen Bereichen irgendwo auf darwinsche Gedanken zurück."

Dennoch formiert sich Widerstand. In Abkehr vom früheren klerikalen Dogmatismus entwickelte eine Anzahl ernstzunehmender Wissenschaftler das Konzept des "intelligenten Design", welches die Entstehung der Arten mit naturwissenschaftlichen Methoden unter Verzicht auf religiöse Quellen einem Schöpfungsakt zuzuschreiben versucht, wobei die Identität des "Designers" bewußt offengehalten wird. Die Vertreter dieses Modell grenzen sich ebenso gegen den "Kreationismus" ab, dessen in wortwörtlicher Interpretation des biblischen Genesis-Berichts entworfenen Vorstellungen eines Schöpfungsaktes in sechs Tagen und einer erst 10 000 Jahre alten Erde sie scharf ablehnen. Während das intelligente Design“ in den USA recht erfolgreich ist, wird es hierzulande heftig bekämpft.

Erst im vergangenen Jahr sorgte der Kasseler Biologe Ulrich Kutschera für die Kaltstellung des am Kölner Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung tätigen Genetikers Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig. In einer als inquisitorisch zu bezeichnenden Kampagne erreichte der Darwinist Kutschera, daß Lönnig auf Weisung der Institutsleitung seine Internetseiten, in denen er für das "Intelligente Design" warb, vom Server des Instituts löschen mußte. In dieser Kampagne im Sinne der "biological correctness" kamen nicht nur Kampfbegriffe wie "pseudowissenschaftliche Ideologie" und "christlicher Fundamentalismus" gegen Lönnig zu Einsatz, auch sein Bekenntnis als Zeuge Jehovas wurde auf unsachliche Weise gegen ihn verwandt. Letztlich blieb die Freiheit von Forschung und Lehre auf der Strecke. Niemand macht in den Naturwissenschaften Karriere, wenn er nicht vorbehaltlos die Evolutionstheorie akzeptiert.

Lönnig sieht in dieser Kampagne den Beweis dafür, daß die Evolutionstheorie "ein totalitär geschlossenes philosophisch-naturalistisches System" ist, weil es von vornherein "jeden wissenschaftlichen Ansatz für Intelligentes Design a priori und absolut ausschließt".

Ebenso heftig kontrovers diskutiert wurde im April in Italien der Plan der Bildungsministerin Letizia Moratti, im Unterricht des Landes dem christlichen Schöpfungsmodell den Vorrang einzuräumen, obwohl selbst der Papst in der Evolutionstheorie "mehr als eine Hypothese" sieht. Unter dem Druck zahlreicher italienischer Wissenschaftler, die in einer Petition den Plan als schädlich für die wissenschaftliche Kultur kommender Generationen“ bezeichneten und davor warnten, daß mit der Ignorierung der Evolutionstheorie die wissenschaftliche Neugier der Jugend angeblich untergraben werde, nahm sie ihr Vorhaben kleinlaut zurück.

In solchen Kulturkämpfen entlarvt sich die Evolutionstheorie als ein im naturwissenschaftlichen Gewand ummantelter Mythos, der die Grundlage für den modernen Atheismus bildet. Wo die Christen Gott am Werke sehen, ersetzen ihn die Darwinisten durch die "Natur". Ihren Siegeszug verdankt die Evolutionstheorie dem Umstand, daß sie Generationen von Schülern als "Tatsache" indoktriniert wurde, oftmals unter dem Vorwand der Trennung von Kirche und Staat. Ihr Fundament beruht nicht auf einer rationalen Überprüfung standhaltenden Beweisen, sondern auf einem rein materialistisch ausgerichteten Glauben. Mit seinem Beitrag hat sich der "Hard-Core-Darwinist" Ernst Mayr zum obersten Hohepriester dieses atheistischen Mythos gemacht.

Weiterführende Literatur:

1. Philip E. Johnson
Darwin im Kreuzverhör
Christliche Literaturverbreitung Bielefeld
ISBN: 3-89397-952-2

2. Reinhard Eichelbeck
Das Darwin-Komplott - Aufstieg und Fall eines pseudowissenschaftlichen Weltbildes
Riemann Verlag
ISBN: 3-570-50002-0

3. Reinhard Junker / Siegfried Scherer
Evolution - Ein kritisches Lehrbuch
Weyel Biologie
ISBN: 3-921046-10-6

00:05 Publié dans Sciences | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : biologie, évolution, darwinisme, sciences biologiques | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

mardi, 16 décembre 2008

Sciences: autocensure des chercheurs

Science sous influence : l’autocensure des chercheurs !

Novopress, 13/12/2008 : "Dans le colloque - dans l’ensemble très politiquement correct - “Le “sacre” du gène : pourquoi continue-t-on à surestimer la génétique ?”, organisé par la Mission Agrobiosciences et l’Institut d’Etudes Politique de Toulouse le 23 octobre dernier, un passage échappe au ronron idéologique habituel.

Il s’agit d’une très brève intervention de Mme Anne Cambon-Thomsen, directrice de recherche CNRS, animatrice de la plateforme Génétique & Société à la Génopole Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, intitulée “L’autocensure des chercheurs”. Elle y affirme en particulier : “Il y a effectivement un certain nombre de bases biologiques, de traits génétiques, dont l’expression de certains influence des comportements. Mais dire cela est tellement dangereux sur le plan de l’utilisation politique, sociale ou économique qui pourrait en être faite que nous n’osons même pas le dire. Nous nous limitons même pour aller plus loin dans les connaissances biologiques. C’est grave.
Dans l’Union Soviétique de Staline et de Lyssenko, là aussi la science était asservie à ce que le politique veut imposer comme “bon”, et pas dangereux pour son système.

En France (voir entre autres Novopress 12 décembre 2008), même la citation de travaux scientifiques étrangers dont les résultats sont non-conformes aux dogmes imposés est actuellement censurée."

mardi, 23 octobre 2007

Les scientifiques allemands en France après 1945


Les scientifiques allemands en France après 1945

par Helmut MÜLLER

Entre 1945 et 1950, la France a saisi comme « butin de guerre » plus de 1000 scientifiques et techniciens allemands. Tout a commencé a­vec l’effondrement du IIIième Reich, lorsque les troupes alliées sont entrées en Allemagne, prenant le pays en tenaille. Dans le Sud, les troupes françaises du Général de Lattre sont accompagnées d’une unité d’experts et de techniciens, dont la mission était d’examiner les installations militaires et scientifiques. Quelques agents des services spéciaux de l’armée française découvrent près d’Oberammergau 2500 documents ultra-secrets ayant appartenu au constructeur d’a­vions Messerschmidt. Plus tard, ces papiers inspireront les Français dans la construction de leurs avions à réaction Ouragan et Mystère.

En 1945, quelque 50.000 tonnes de matériels divers ont été ache­mi­nées d’Allemagne en France. De même, des centaines de pièces d’é­quipement en provenance des usines Dornier et Zeppelin. A Ötztal, les Français ont démonté une soufflerie à ultrasons, qui fonctionne en­core aujourd’hui à Modane-Avrieux. Pendant plusieurs années con­sécutives, les Français ont profité de la remise en route des 200 fa­briques de la zone d’occupation qui leur avait été accordée à Pots­dam. Tout autour du Lac de Constance, dix-sept fabriques et labo­ra­toires ont travaillé pour la marine française jusqu’en 1948, c’est-à-dire jus­qu’à leur démontage. Ce fut De Gaulle lui-même qui conseilla à ses compatriotes, dès mai 1945, d’engager le maximum d’experts al­le­mands. D’abord, pour renforcer le potentiel militaire et civil français, ensuite, pour affaiblir celui de l’Allemagne, comme le déclarait le Com­mandant de la zone d’occupation française, le Général Koenig.

La course pour acquérir du savoir-faire allemand a commencé très tôt, aucune puissance n’a perdu une seconde. En juillet 1945, les A­mé­ricains « déménagent » Werner von Braun et 120 de ses colla­bo­ra­teurs de Peenemünde ; les Soviétiques, de leur côté, « pêchent » le bras droit de von Braun, Helmut Gröttrup et 200 collaborateurs de ce savant. En tout, les Américains se sont assurés le concours de 3000 spécialistes allemands, tandis que les Russes en prenaient 5000 à leur service. Les deux grandes puissances s’emparèrent éga­le­ment de tonnes de documents, dont des brevets de grande valeur.  Au cours du mois d’octobre 1945, les Britanniques testent des fusées à Peenemünde même, mais finissent très tôt par abandonner leur pro­gramme.

Helmut Habermann et Hermann Oestrich

Après le passage des Américains et des Soviétiques, beaucoup de sa­vants, de techniciens et de scientifiques, qui n’avaient pas été dé­cou­verts, se sont retrouvés sur la rue, sans boulot. Parmi eux : Hel­mut Habermann. Quand celui-ci eut appris que les Français, à leur tour, s’intéressaient aux savants allemands, il se rendit dans le sec­teur français, accompagné de deux collègues, Weiss et Jauernick, puis ils partirent tous trois pour Paris, où on les attendait. Après qu’ils eurent signé un contrat de travail, les trois Allemands prirent la route de Cuxhaven, pour gagner d’autres collègues à la cause des Fran­çais. Parmi les centaines de candidatures, quelques hommes qui s’a­vé­rèrent ultérieurement de grands formats. On peut le dire tran­quille­ment aujourd’hui : sans ces chercheurs et ces inventeurs, les succès ultérieurs de la France dans le domaine militaro-industriel n’auraient pas été pensables.

Sans aucun doute, les Français ont pêché un « gros poisson » en la per­sonne de Hermann Oestrich, natif de Duisburg. Cet expert en tur­bi­nes avait reçu de Hitler en 1938 la mission de développer un mo­teur à réaction. Son moteur BMW 003 équipera plus tard en série les chas­seurs de combat Heinkel 162. En 1945, les installations de mon­ta­ge souterraines de Stassfurt sont occupées par les Américains.  Oes­trich et douze ingénieurs sont amenés à Munich pour préparer le transfert de l’usine aux Etats-Unis. Dans la capitale bavaroise, un intermédiaire français découvre Oestrich qui, dans des circonstances aventureuses, finit par atterrir en France. Dans le but de recruter du per­sonnel compétent, il retourne en Allemagne, où il est immédia­te­ment placé sous surveillance par les Américains et les Britanniques. Pour empêcher qu’il ne soit enlevé, un commando français rapatrie en France l’expert et ses collègues. Le 25 avril 1946, ces Allemands signent un contrat de travail avec l’Etat français. Sous la direction d’Oes­trich  —devenu « directeur technique »—  les Français dévelop­pent le moteur « Atar », qui connut un succès évident ; tous les chas­seurs à réaction français en seront équipés, y compris le célèbre « Mi­rage ». 5000 exemplaires de ce moteur ont été vendus dans le mon­de entier. Oestrich n’était pas seulement un maître dans sa bran­che, mais il était aussi un excellent homme d’affaires. Rien que pour ses brevets élaborés dans les années 50, la « Snecma », devenue sa fir­me, lui a payé 180 millions de Schillings (au cours actuel). Et, cho­se étonnante, pour un homme considéré comme ancien « nazi », il ob­tint la plus haute décoration française, la « Légion d’Honneur ».

Le moteur de la fusée « Ariane »

Dans le domaine des techniques de propulsion de fusées, les Fran­çais avaient découvert une sommité en la personne de Heinz Bringer. Cet ancien collaborateur de Werner von Braun avait été un spécia­lis­te du système de propulsion des V2. Avec ses collègues, il a cons­truit la fusée « Véronique » pour le compte des Français. On le consi­dè­re en outre comme le père du moteur « Viking » qui propulse les fu­sées françaises « Ariane ». Ce savant est décédé en janvier 1999, devenu citoyen français et âgé de 90 ans, dans les environs de Ver­non.

On ne sait pas encore très bien quelle a été la contribution des sa­vants allemands au développement du programme nucléaire fran­çais, car les archives ne sont pas encore toutes accessibles. Il est exact que les Américains s’étaient emparés très tôt, dès 1945, de la plu­part des spécialistes allemands du nucléaire et de leurs archives. Mais il semble toutefois attesté aujourd’hui que quelques savants al­le­mands ont collaboré au programme nucléaire français. Ainsi, outre Os­kar Doehler, nous trouvons le physicien Rudi Schall, ancien mem­bre de la NSDAP. En dépit de ce passé, il a reçu de l’Etat français une haute décoration en 1977. Aujourd’hui, âgé de 85 ans, ce Ber­li­nois vit sur les rives du Lac de Constance.

Tous les savants allemands qui se sont mis au service de la France ne sont pas revenus en Allemagne à l’heure de leur retraite. Ainsi, Otto Krahe s’est retiré à Vernon en France. Il avait travaillé entre 1935 et 1945 à l’élaboration du V2. Sans travail en 1945, il signe un contrat avec les Français après que von Braun ait renoncé à l’appeler en Amérique, comme il l’avait pourtant promis. Avec quelques autres col­lègues, il a travaillé à Vernon au laboratoire de recherches ba­listi­ques et aérodynamiques (LRBA).

SS10 et gaz de combat

Parmi les techniciens et scientifiques engagés par la France, se trou­vait également Eugen Sänger qui, plus tard, a mis son savoir au ser­vi­ce de Nasser en Egypte. Il travaillait sur plusieurs projets, de con­cert avec Emile Stauff, père de la première fusée tactique française. Sur bases de connaissances acquises en Allemagne avant 1945, cette équipe a élaboré, dans l’arsenal de Puteaux, des fusées sol-air et l’une des armes anti-chars françaises les plus efficaces, le missile SS10.

Tous les travaux entrepris par des savants allemands n’ont cepen­dant pas été couronnés de succès. L’hélicoptère à deux rotors de Hein­rich Focke (le FA 223), dont le développement avait déjà été com­mencé sous Hitler, a d’abord été perfectionné, pour devenir le SE 300, mais n’a pas satisfait les Français. Ensuite, le projet de Helmut Zborowski, ancien membre de la Waffen-SS, de fabriquer un appareil à décollage vertical dans les années 50 a été une véritable catastro­phe et a rapidement dû être abandonné.

A quelques exceptions près, les services rendus à la France par les scientifiques et les techniciens allemands après 1945 ont été très pro­fitables, notamment ceux de Hubert Schardin, expert en arme­ment de la firme Mauser. Tout comme les Américains, les Français n’ont pas fait la fine bouche et ont accepté le concours d’hommes au passé politique national-socialiste. Outre Helmut Zborowski, qui a pu ouvrir un « bureau technique » à Paris en 1950, on retrouve la trace de Walter Reppe et de Karl Wurster, qui, pour le compte de la Fran­ce, ont pu poursuivre leurs travaux dans une usine de Ludwigshafen. Ensuite, il y a eu le cas d’Otto Ambros, un des anciens directeurs d’IG Farben, spécialiste de la production de gaz de combat, dont les travaux ont intéressé ses collègues français, experts en armes chi­mi­ques. Les Français ont su apprécier les savants qui firent partie de leurs « prises de guerre ».

Les scientifiques allemands ont pu travailler correctement jusqu’en 1945, malgré les côtés répressifs du système national-socialiste et les rudes conditions de travail imposées par l’état de guerre à partir de l’automne 1939. Par rapport à leurs collègues étrangers, ils ont pu avancer grandement dans bien des domaines. Les pays qui les ont em­ployés leur ont rendu hommage, alors que, dans leur patrie, leurs tra­vaux sont passés sous silence. Preuve supplémentaire que l’Alle­ma­gne est toujours incapable de prendre sereinement en considé­ra­tion son passé récent.

Helmut MÜLLER.

(Article tiré de Aula, n°9/1999).




01:15 Publié dans Affaires européennes, Histoire, Sciences | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

lundi, 26 mars 2007

Werner Heisenberg und die Quantenmechanik


Ingmar KNOP:

»Ein Grund von merkwürdiger innerer Schönheit«

Vor 80 Jahren publizierte der damals 24jährige Werner Heisenberg seine Quantenmechanik

Quelle: http://www.deutsche-stimme.de/

Göttingen, 29. Juli 1925. Eine Schrift des deutschen Nachwuchsphysikers Werner Heisenberg erregt Aufsehen an der Georg-August-Universität. Ihr Titel lautet »Über die quantentheoretische Umdeutung kinematischer und mechanischer Beziehungen«. Das Ziel umreißt der Verfasser mit den Worten: »In der Arbeit soll versucht werden, Grundlagen zu gewinnen für eine quantentheoretische Mechanik, die ausschließlich auf Beziehungen zwischen prinzipiell beobachtbaren Größen basiert ist«.
Die Erkenntnisse, die Heisenberg damit der wissenschaftlichen Welt vorlegte, hoben das altgediente Weltbild der klassischen Physik aus den Angeln der Absolutheit und erweiterten den Kreis des naturwissenschaftlich Beschreibbaren um ein Vielfaches. Ihr genialer Schöpfer wurde durch seine Quantenmechanik nicht nur zum Begründer des Atomzeitalters, sondern auch zum Apostel eines völlig neuen Weltbildes, in dem jenseits der Vorherbestimmtheit des Weltenlaufes die Kategorien des freien Willens und der Verantwortung wieder Bedeutung erlangten. Der deutschen Physik ist mit Werner Carl Heisenberg einer ihrer unsterblichen Könige geboren worden, dessen Ruf und Bedeutung auch das sich dem Ende neigende Zeitalter von McDonald’s und Multikulti überdauern werden.
Der am 5. Dezember 1901 in Würzburg geborene Heisenberg studierte seit 1920 in München, Bonn und Göttingen Physik. Nach nur sechs Semestern Studium promovierte er 1923 bei Arnold Sommerfeld zum Dr. phil. und erwarb ein Jahr später die Berechtigung zu eigener wissenschaftlicher Lehre. Nach mehreren Monaten der Forschung bei dem dänischen Physiker Niels Bohr in Kopenhagen publizierte Werner Heisenberg im Sommer 1925 seine neu gewonnenen Erkenntnisse über das Verhalten der Elektronen. Er erkannte, daß die Gesetze der klassischen Physik nicht in der Lage waren, die Verhältnisse des Mikrokosmos, also der Atome und ihrer Bestandteile, zu erklären. Da aber das Verhalten auch der großen Himmelskörper letztlich auf dem Verhalten der kleinsten Elementarteilchen beruht, war für Heisenberg die klassische Physik ein bloßer Grenzfall einer sehr viel weiter zu fassenden Quantenmechanik.

Die Gesetze der klassischen Physik

Die klassische Physik des 19. Jahrhunderts basiert vor allem auf drei Grundannahmen, vor deren Hintergrund sie das Weltgeschehen zu beschreiben versucht. Es sind dies die Katego-rien der Kontinuität, der Kausalität und der Objektivierbarkeit. Worum geht es dabei?
Kontinuität meint eine ununterbrochene Regelmäßigkeit der Bewegungsabläufe, ein kontinuierliches Sichvollziehen von Veränderungen. Bezeichnend für dieses Paradigma ist der klassische Satz »Natura non facit saltum« – die Natur macht keinen Sprung.
Das Prinzip der Kausalität stellt auf den Zusammenhang von Ursache und Wirkung ab und geht von einem strengen Determinismus aus – also davon, daß alles Naturgeschehen vorherbestimmt ist und daß keine Zufälle bestehen.
Der Grundsatz der Objektivierbarkeit statuiert schließlich, daß ein unter gleichen Bedingungen durchgeführtes Experiment und überhaupt ein unter gleichen Bedingungen stattfindender Naturvorgang sich immer wieder vollständig kongruent vollziehen muß.
Diese drei Thesen – Kontinuität, Kausalität und Objektivierbarkeit – waren das Ergebnis jahrtausendelanger Naturbeobachtung. Bereits von den ersten Menschen nimmt man heute an, daß sie die Bewegungen der Himmelskörper verfolgten und bald zur Erfahrung ihrer Regelmäßigkeit gelangten. Als sich seit dem 16. Jahrhundert selbst die Bahnen der Planeten mit Hilfe der klassischen Bewegungsgesetze berechnen ließen, zweifelte niemand mehr daran, daß es sich bei den drei vorbenannten Grundthesen der klassischen Physik um absolute und ewiggültige Gesetze handelte, nach denen sich alles Naturgeschehen vollzog. Bei Kenntnis aller Naturgesetze und Bedingungen galt es als möglich, jede Bewegung und jeden Zustand eines Körpers sowohl vorherzubestimmen als auch für die Vergangenheit zu ermitteln. In diesem Sinne rief der französische Mathematiker und Astronom de Laplace im Jahre 1814 aus: »Ein Geist, der für einen gegebenen Augenblick alle Kräfte kennte, welche die Natur beleben, und die gegenseitige Lage der Wesen, aus denen sie besteht, würde – wenn er umfassend genug wäre, um diese Angaben der Analyse zu unterwerfen – in derselben Formel die Bewegungen der größten Weltkörper und des leichtesten Atoms begreifen: nichts wäre ungewiß für ihn, und Zukunft wie Vergangenheit wäre seinem Blick gegenwärtig«.
Parallel zur klassischen Physik entwickelte sich ein streng deterministisches Weltbild, das auch den Menschen unter das Primat der Gesetzmäßigkeit stellte und den noch von Martin Luther verkündeten freien Willen nicht mehr gelten ließ. Gott als religiöse Kategorie wurde reduziert auf die Vorstellung eines »unbewegten Bewegers«, der den Weltenlauf lediglich angestoßen hatte – wie der Uhrmacher das Pendel –, um ihn fortan nach eigenen Gesetzen sich selbst zu überlassen.

Der Dammbruch

Mit der Wende zum 20. Jahrhundert brach jedoch eine Zeit an, die nicht nur den Rahmen der Empirie, also des sinnlich Wahrnehmbaren, erheblich erweiterte, sondern die das in Jahrtausenden gewachsene klassisch-physikalische Weltbild aus dem Rahmen seiner Absolutheit hob.
Bereits im Jahr 1900 hatte der deutsche Physiker Max Planck vor der Berliner Physikalischen Gesellschaft über die Wärmestrahlung schwarzer Körper gesprochen und dargestellt, daß glühende Materie ihre Wärmeenergie gerade nicht kontinuierlich abstrahlt, wie dies nach der klassischen Physik eigentlich hätte erfolgen müssen, sondern schubweise. Das von Planck entworfene Bild der Wärmeabstrahlung gleicht etwa einem tropfenden Wasserhahn. Jeder Tropfen stellt gewissermaßen ein eigenes Quantum dar. Dieser Umstand wurde für die spätere Quantenmechanik namensgebend.
Wenige Jahre später erkannte Albert Einstein, daß Elektronen, die von einem mit UV-Licht bestrahlten Metall freigesetzt wurden, sich ebenfalls nicht nach den Regeln der klassischen Physik bewegten. Stößt man etwa eine Billardkugel mit dem Queue an, dann hängt der Verlauf ihrer Bewegung von Richtung und Stärke des Stoßes ab. Anders jedoch bei den durch Lichteinwirkung freigesetzten Elektronen. Denn gerade nicht die Intensität der Lichtwelle – vergleichbar dem Stoß mit dem Billard-Queue – bestimmt die Energie der Teilchen, sondern die Lichtfrequenz. Einstein konnte dieses Phänomen nur damit erklären, daß offenbar auch das Licht aus Teilchen bestehen müsse. Wie war es dann aber möglich, daß das Licht mit optischen Instrumenten gebeugt werden konnte, was statt bei Teilchen doch nur bei Wellen funktionierte? War das Licht sowohl Welle als auch Teilchen? Oder konnte es in beiden Erscheinungen vorkommen? Und wenn dies so war, wann trat das Licht in welche der beiden Zustände?

Die andere Seite der Wahrnehmung

Werner Heisenberg war es schließlich, der den augenscheinlichen Welle-Teilchen-Dualismus enträtseln konnte. Er erkannte, daß Wellen (etwa elektromagnetische) zugleich auch Eigenschaften von Teilchen, Teilchen (etwa Elektronen) zugleich auch Eigenschaften von Wellen haben. Stets liegen beide Eigenschaften vor. Der Mensch, der auf die Inaugenscheinnahme der ihm zugänglichen Welt angewiesen ist, erfaßt aber nicht die gesamte Wirklichkeit, sondern stets nur ihren in den Makrokosmos hineinragenden Teil. Während nun in der für unsere Augen sichtbaren Welt das Gesetz der Determiniertheit durchaus seine Gültigkeit hat, die klassische Physik also nach den ihr immanenten Prinzipien der Kontinuität, Kausalität und Objektivierbarkeit etwa Geschwindigkeit und Wegstrecke einer rollenden Kugel berechnen kann, so folgt der Mikrokosmos dem Gesetz der Statistik. Lediglich im Durchschnitt geschieht in der Welt der Elementarteilchen das, was man unter Zugrundelegung einer mathematischen Formel ermitteln kann. Allein die Wahrscheinlichkeit eines Verhaltens folgt hier einem Gesetz, nicht aber der jeweils einzelne Vorgang. Es ist wie ein Nebel, den die Natur über die Vorgänge ihrer Elementarteilchen gesenkt hat. Da aber die Welt der Augenscheinsobjekte aus einer riesigen Anzahl von Elementarteilchen besteht, genügt die Bestimmung einer Verhaltenswahrscheinlichkeit dieser Kleinstteilchen vollauf, um für die uns sichtbare Welt brauchbare Gesetze aufzustellen. Kategorien wie Ort und Geschwindigkeit können sehr wohl für eine Billardkugel bestimmt und vorhergesagt werden, nicht aber für ein einzelnes Elektron. Heisenberg entdeckte vielmehr, daß Kleinstteilchen ihren Ort und ihre Geschwindigkeit nie zugleich offenbaren. Je genauer man die eine Größe mißt, um so unbestimmter wird die zweite – das ist die Grundaussage der nach Heisenberg benannten »Unschärfe-Relation«. Die philosophische Konsequenz hieraus ist die Absurdität des »Seins an sich«.
Die Natur erhält sich die Geheimnisse ihrer Innenwelt. Dem Menschen wird nur offenbar, was er sinnlich zu erfassen vermag. Dieser Erkenntnis ins Auge zu blicken, kann dem gegenwärtigen Zeitgeist der egozentrischen Selbstverwirklichung eine heilsame Bescheidenheit entgegensetzen. Heisenberg beschrieb diesen Umstand als »das Gefühl, durch die Oberfläche der atomaren Erscheinungen hindurch auf einen tief darunter liegenden Grund von merkwürdiger innerer Schönheit zu schauen«. Dies getan zu haben, so der deutsche Physiker, »war eine ganz abenteuerliche Zeit, voll von Überraschungen und Enttäuschungen, von Erfolgen und von tiefliegenden Schwierigkeiten, deren Diskussion uns bis an die Grundlagen aller physikalischen Erkenntnis geführt hat«.

Ingmar Knop

06:20 Publié dans Sciences | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook