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The following books are the ones that the GRG considers best reading for those who wish to get started in their understanding of what is known about the "Aging Process." They are listed in chronological order as what we consider to be the best book published in that particular year...

Prof. Bernard L. Strehler
1. Bernard L. Strehler [1925 - 2001], Time, Cells, and Aging, 1st Edition (1962); 2nd Edition (Academic Press, New York; 1977); 3rd Edition (Master Print Demetriades Brothers, Ltd., Cyprus; 1999).

2. James F. Fries and Lawrence M. Crapo Vitality and Aging: Implications of the Rectangular Curve (W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, CA; 1981).

3. Caleb E. Finch, Longevity, Senescence, and the Genome (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL; 1990).

4. Michael R. Rose, Evolutionary Biology of Aging (Oxford University Press, New York; 1991).

5. Leonid A. Gavrilov and N. S. Gavrilova, The Biology of Life Span: A Quantitative Approach (Harwood Academic Publishers, New York; 1991).

6. Leonard Hayflick, How and Why We Age (Ballantine Books, New York; 1994).

7. Robert E. Ricklefs and Caleb E. Finch, Aging: A Natural History (Scientific American Library, New York; 1995).

8. Michael Fossel, Reversing Human Aging (William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York; 1996).

9. Ronald Klatz and Carol Kahn, Grow Young with HGH (Harper Collins, New York; 1997).

10. Kenneth W. Wachter and Caleb E. Finch, Eds., Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity (Committee on Population, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; 1997).

11. Ben Bova, Immortality: How Science is Extending Your Life Span - and Changing the World (Avon Books, New York; 1998).

12. William R. Clark, A Means to an End: The Biological Basis of Aging and Death (Oxford University Press, New York; 1999).

13. Robert A. Freitas, Jr., Nanomedicine, Vol. 1: Basic Capabilities Hardcover; 509 pp. . G. Landes Bioscience; Austin, TX; 1999). [Editor's Note: Main Strength: This text contains an exhaustive vocabulary for medical nanotechnology research well into the next Century; Main Weakness: It is pretentiously exhaustive. Frietas heroically strives to create a definitive framework of quantitative facts about the human body that must somehow contain within it the answers we seek. Nevertheless, the book reads more like a "Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not" for medical students written by an engineer than a medical textbook written by a physician. One must ask -- Are all these gratuitous "facts" relevant to what we need to do next? But this is only Volume 1. We still have to wait for Vols. [2-N] to figure out whether this first volume is really essential. On the other hand medical students are routinely required to absorb huge volumes of gratuitous material that are rarely incorporated into day-to-day medical practice. Nevertheless, the book goes along way toward dispelling the myth that nanotechnology is impossible in principle and increases the credibility to those physicians who may chose to work in this field.]

14. Aubrey D. N. J. de Grey The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging (Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit) Hardcover; 212 pp. G Landes Bioscience; Austin, TX; ISBN: 157059564X; 2000).

15. Gregory Stock and John Campbell, Eds. Engineering the Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children , Proc. of the March 1998 Conference at UCLA; Hardcover; 169 pp. (Oxford University Press, New York; 2000).

16.Dolly: 2nd Creation
Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell, and Colin Tudge, The Second Creation: Dolly and the Age of Biological Control ISBN: 0374141231; Hardcover; 320 pages (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux; June 2000).

17. "The Dawn of GeroTechnology: Pioneers in Aging and Regenerative Medicine" (Published by The Alliance for Aging Research; Daniel Perry, Executive Director; 2021 K Street, NW, Suite 305; Washington, D.C. 20006; Voice: 202-293-2856; FAX: 202-785-8574; URL:; 20 pages; $8.00 [lower prices for bulk orders]; est. date of publication after February 15, 2000). Note: Production of this report was co-sponsored by the Glenn Foundation for Medial Research of Santa Barbara, CA and Mary Ann Liebert Publications, Inc. of New York, which also publishes Genetic Engineering News. Founded in 1986, The Alliance for Aging Research is a non-profit organization promoting a broad agenda of scientific research on human aging.

18. J.-M. Robine, T.B.L. Kirkwood, and M. Allard, Eds., Sex and Longevity: Sexuality, Gender, Reproduction, Parenthood (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 2000) 142 pp., ISBN: 3-540-67740-2. More information about this book is available at Springer web page: This book is also available through

19. S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A. Carnes, The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging (W. W. Norton & Company, New York; 2001).

20. Lana Skirboll, Editor, Stem Cells: Scientific Progress and Future Research Directions - Opportunities and Challenges: A Focus on Future Stem Cell Applications (200 page NIH Report, June 19, 2001).

21. Life Script
Nicholas Wade, Life Script: How the Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine and Enhance Your Health (Simon & Schuster; ISBN: 0743216059 Hardcover and now in Paperback - 204 pages; 2001).
See especially the Chapters 5 and 6 entitled, "Regenerative Medicine" and "The Quest for Immortality," (pp. 119-163)

22. Leonard Guarente, Ageless Quest: One Scientist's Search for Genes That Prolong Youth (154 pages, ISBN: 0879696524; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York; 2002).

23. Becoming Immortal
Stanley Shostak, Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy (ISBN: 0791454029; hardcover = $73.50; paperback = $24.95; Amazon = $17.47; 288 pp; State University of New York Press; Albany, NY; 2002).
The author is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He considers the possibility of achieving immortality through biotechnology and ponders the implications of such a step. In particular, he proposes to interdigitate adult stem-cell generators into the bodies of older humans, which will enable them to enjoy (or be afflicted with, depending on one's point of view) perpetual adolescence. The impact of immortality on commerce, politics, technology, and human dignity are specifically examined. Along the way, Shostack reflects on the nature of life and death, and the essence of humanity. This is a lucid, provocative, and informative book.
"Browsings," Science, Vol. 299, No. 5611, p 1320 (February 28, 2003).
Click for Prof. Shostak's PowerPoint presentation entitled Becoming Immortal or Why We Must Change? at the University of Pittsburgh.

24. Oxidative Stress and Aging
Richard G. Cutler and Henry Rodriguez, Eds., Critical Reviews of Oxidative Stress and Aging: Advances in Basic Science, Diagnostics, and Intervention, Vol. I & II (World Scientific Publishing Company, Ltd., River Edge, New Jersey; 1523 pages; 2003).
Click for more details... O2SA Website,, or Barnes & Noble.

25. James R. Carey, Longevity: The Biology and Demography of Life Span (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; 2003).
Prof. Carey is with the University of California at Davis and a Senior Scholar of the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at the University of California at Berkeley. His book is an important account of fundamental research on aging in Mediterranean fruit files (a 12-year NIA- funded project that demonstrates declining mortality rates in very old flies) that sets the stage for a new paradigm for gerontology generally and human aging in particular.

26. Stephen S. Hall, Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension (439 pages; Houghton Mifflin Company, New York; 2003).
A "must read" story of the continuing struggles to develop human stem-cell technology and therapeutic cloning by a seasoned journalist.

27. Jacob's Ladder
Henry Gee, Jacob's Ladder: The History of the Human Genome (W. W. Norton & Co., New York; 2004).

28. Cells, Aging, and Human Disease
Michael B. Fossel, M.D., Ph.D., Cells, Aging, and Human Disease (489 pages; ISBN: 0195140354; $69.95 on; Oxford University Press, NY; 2004).

29.Hollywood Beauty Secrets
Louisa Maccan-Graves, Hollywood Beauty Secrets: Remedies to the Rescue (Gabriel Publications, Sherman Oaks, CA; 2nd Edition; 2004). Click the photo for details.

S. Jay Olshansky, PhD; Leonard Hayflick, PhD; and Thomas T. Perls, MD, MPH, Eds., Anti-Aging Medicine: The Hype and the Reality (GSA Press; Washington, D.C.; 2005).

31. Fantastic Voyage
Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (ISBN: 1579549543; $14.97 on; 452 pages; Rodale Press, 2004).

Review by
Damien Broderick, AUSTRALIA

In 1994, a beauty pageant entrant made a fool of herself by blurting out something that almost everyone believes. Miss America's host asked Miss Alabama:
"If you could live forever, would you, and why?"

Thinking aloud, she replied:
"I would not live forever, because we should not live forever,
because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever;
but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."

This apparently circular word salad makes her seem an airhead. But that's unkind. Her impromptu analysis, read charitably, makes perfect sense from either a Bible Belt or an evolutionary viewpoint. Here's her logic, de-garbled:

"It'd only be right to want eternal life if that were part of God's or nature's plan.
Actually, though, we're mortal beings, that's part of our very nature.
So it would be wrong to wish to escape death, and I don't."

This suddenly looks like a perfectly sensible appraisal. Haven't humans evolved to live, mature, grow old and die, leaving the world to our children, and they to theirs?

Luckily, as philosophers have known for several centuries, that really isn't a good argument after all, any more than the claim that if God or Darwin had wanted us to fly, we'd have propellers. Intelligence often finds ways to improve on nature, even if our limitations sometimes botch the job. It's no sin against deity or natural selection to swallow an aspirin, get a tooth filled, or watch television beside a cooling fan. The main problem with living forever is just that nobody has worked out yet how to do it. Snake-oil salesmen once promised endless health, but they're buried alongside their gullible customers.

But science did enable a couple of Ohio bicycle builders to fly, an otherwise impossible dream, and within a single lifetime flung humans to the Moon. It now seems likely that powerful research programs will let us first slow and then halt the major causes of death -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, infections - and then, perhaps, reverse aging itself, that slow, terrible corrosion of our youthful flesh and lively minds. Or, is this no more than wishful thinking? If it's not, is it at least wicked thinking, ruinous for individual and society alike? These are increasingly urgent questions. Kurzweil and Grossman explore them from many angles in their significant new book. As a bonus, they suggest ways to stave off the "Grim Reaper" until the longevity doctor arrives.

Ray Kurzweil is a highly awarded inventor and computer expert, not a medical researcher, but his insights into the pace of change are what drive this collaboration with medico Grossman. Knowledge is doubling and deepening at a prodigious rate, and even that rate is itself accelerating, something the book rather immodestly calls "his most profound observation." It's not a true scientific law, of course, and could suffer setbacks in its pace due to global terrorism, environmental collapse, or political opportunism directed against research (such as current US government hostility to stem cell work). If this "Law of Accelerating Returns" does hold up, though, Kurzweil projects a future where aging will become an unthinkable horror of the past, as polio and smallpox are today. Some of those alive now might thrive indefinitely, kept youthful by the same recuperative processes that build brand-new babies from aging sperm and ova.

Are the rest of us doomed to be the last mortal generation? Perhaps not, if a kind of maintenance engineering can be applied to our ailing bodies. The remedy might be complicated: genomic profiling, pills, supplements, stringent diet, more exercise than we care for, and even intravenous shots of hormone top-ups and entirely new pharmaceuticals. But many of us already take daily doses of Lipitor, to lower bad cholesterol, and drugs to fight hypertension. In the slightly longer term, our bodies might be infused with swarms of machines not much larger than viruses, nanobots designed to scavenge wastes and repair tissue damage at the scale of cells. Unnatural? In a sense, as is wearing contact lenses. In another, not at all, since modifying our lives in the light of hard-won knowledge is precisely what makes us human.

The longevity program recommended by Kurzweil and Grossman is meant to get us over the hump, allow us to survive "long enough to live forever" -- although this doesn't mean we might become literally immortal, unable to be killed. It does imply a future where every human will have the choice of staying healthily young indefinitely, or of stepping aside, if they choose, to make room for a new life -- assuming, of course, that we linger on this planet, and that we remain strictly human. Some ethicists are dismayed at these choices, finding them inhuman and degrading. No doubt the arguments will continue for generations until all those opposed to endless life have died. Meanwhile, anyone wishing to try for the goal of extended life could do worse than study Kurzweil and Grossman's detailed prospectus. You might end up looking like a pin-cushion and gulping 250 pills a day (Aggressive Supplementation, they call it -- "Take them all, and let your body use what it needs"), but it's more fun than rotting in the ground.

Other books that have provided us with the philosophical foundation needed to appreciate the subtleties of different theories of aging are as follows:

0. Recorded history did not begin with the Greeks, although most scholars credit them with providing the foundation for Modern Western Civilization. One of the most tragic events in human history was the barbaric burning of The Library of Alexandria, and I am sure that much of ancient scholarship (from Egypt and Babylon) was subsequently lost forever. I personally struggled to learn how to read hieroglyphics over a two-day period a few years ago (it's not all that hard, really) and learned enough to know that ancient Egyptian thought was not just the foolish ramblings of despotic Pharos and their famous battles. Ancient Egyptians were extremely concerned with the topic of what it meant to "live an ethical life." It's just that it's hard to be sympathetic toward a civilization that was so "wrapped around the axle" when it came to the topic of "immortality in the afterlife." After all, mummification and believing that sucking one's brain out of one's skull through one's nose put you on an essential pathway to everlasting life. It was also a sad commentary on the durability of civilization in general that such an important form of writing (as hieroglyphics) for so many millennia, extensively indulged in by a highly literate ruling class, simply disappeared as an alphabet somewhere in between the time of Cleopatra and the discovery of a fragment of the Rosetta Stone which talks about her and its subsequent deciphering by a Frenchman 20 years later. (Hey guys, these are not just a bunch of pretty icons after all!) Anyway, we start our credits with the Greek philosophers at the beginning of what we call Western Civilization...

1. Socrates (Plato founded an Academy of Learning in Athens in 387 BC; and chronicled the Socratic way of teaching in The Republic; recall that Socrates paid for his contradiction of the current establishment teaching by being forced to drink poison hemlock)
Aristotle [384 - 322 B.C.], On Longevity and Shortness of Life (350 B.C.). [Six Chapters; 7 pp; Translated from the Greek by G. R. T. Ross, Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA; c.1911]

My sophomore-year high-school English teacher (who reportedly believed that she was the reincarnation of Cleopatra) might have given this translation by Ross an "A+". But, as a scientific paper, I would have to give it a "D-". Obviously, it could never be published in a scientific journal today, despite the brilliancy of its observations at the time about the nature of aging and senescence.

It has two very different types of problems: First, the foundation for the Greek world model was scientifically incorrect, and secondly, the English writing is excessively scholarly, stilted, and so affectatious by contemporary standards that it's sometimes hard to even know what Aristotle was talking about. (Ross seems not to have been a biologist by training and appears to have no clue about modern American English writing. [Does anyone know who he/she was other than a co-editorship of the works of René Descartes translated from Latin and French?] This is not just a matter of the King-James literary style employed or the British spellings and punctuation sprinkled throughout. It's more that the deliberate choices of theosorical synonyms are so pedantic ( theosorical is my neologism to signify that the writer "swallowed Roget's Thesaurus") that one of my favorite philosophers is portrayed more as a poet with literary pretensions than a clear expositor of scientific observations (if Aristotle were alive today, he might have been writing for Scientific American, not for The New York Review of Books). After all, Aristotle was the first systematic biologist (both a zoologist and a botanist), as well as a logician, philosopher, and teacher (his most famous pupil went on to become Alexander the Great). [Also, recall that his teacher's teacher, Socrates, was obligated to shorten his life by drinking Hemlock] But without the optics for either a telescope or a microscope, he suffered under the fashionable misconception that there were only four elements ( earth, water, air, and fire) from which everything else in the world was constructed. As a first approximation, this is not too bad a set of choices, if one had to pick only four things, but the model just happens to be false. As every modern student of chemistry knows, not one of these four "elements" are elements in the modern sense ( earth is a mixture, water is a compound, air is a mixture, while fire is a process of combustion). But you can't really fault Aristotle for his failure in this regard. The Periodic Table had not yet been discovered. So if we remove all the bad consequences of one single false assumption, what is left is not really too bad.

But he also had the delusion that heat and moisture were the principal determinants of longevity (so he discusses dry and cool creatures and climate variation at great length, as though this were really important). Nevertheless, he should be given credit as a keen observer of his subject area: He was the first to distinguish the longevity of different species from-one-another from the longevity of individuals-within-a-species. He distinguished plants from animals, animals from fish, and other parameters of longevity, such as size, whether animals were warm blooded, whether they were male or female, whether they were sexually active early or late (very important), whether they were fat or thin, and their genetic heritage (he knew, for example, that mules outlive both horses and donkeys, from which they were derived). Finally, he compares aging to the burning of a candle whose substance is consumed by the process [an attractive but now discredited theory of aging].

Anyway, my real complaint is with G. R. T. Ross, who systematically employs $2.00 words when a 10-cent word would do just fine, thank you. Here are some examples,

brevity ---> shortness
a sound constitution ---> health
coincident ---> cause and effect
maladies ---> diseases
dwell ---> live
in respect of ---> with respect to
locality ---> location
akin thereto ---> related
decay ---> death
hence ---> therefore
"latter/former" constructions are gratuitous and academic; is it so hard to repeat what you mean?
predicated of ---> predicated on
does not admit of ---> does not allow
inherence ---> is inherent
refuse ---> waste
imperishable ---> indestructible
to wit ---> that is
antagonistically ---> unfavorably
enduring ---> lasting
eternal ---> lasting forever
diminution ---> decrease
contrariety ---> contradiction
qualitative affection ---> qualitative change
alteration of character ---> change
immunity from decay ---> resistance to disease
attaches to ---> involves
liable to perish ---> likely to die
sanguinous ---> warm blooded
bloodless ---> cold blooded
terrestrial organisms ---> mammals
occupants of the sea ---> fish
denizens of the water ---> fish
humid nature ---> moist
congealed, congelation ---> coagulated, coagulation
salacious animals ---> highly fecund animals
abounding in seed ---> high fertility
ass ---> donkey
sprang ---> was derived
augmented ---> larger
frost ---> coldness
taking of a slip (from a plant) ---> taking a cutting
perpetuation ---> continuation
connexion ---> connection
and many more...

Just these simple changes alone would make the essay far more readable.

The real question is what was the hidden agenda of our Greek-to-English translator? To impress his/her friends, yet conceal Aristotle's true pedagogic/didactic/propedeutic voice in the process? Or maybe people really talked that way in English when and where this translation was performed?

Therefore, we ask our readers, is there a native speaker of Greek among you who would be willing to invest some time and effort (a day or two) in order to read the six-page source document in the original Classical Greek word-by-word and help us to create a revised modern American English translation of Aristotle's essay for this website that would enable us to dispense with the Ross translation? This would thereby allow everyone to appreciate what Aristotle was actually trying to tell us. By the way, we don't want to make Aristotle appear to be wiser than he really was (by surreptitiously introducing modern biological understandings that were only appreciated much later on)... just to make him accessible to modern readers who would otherwise dismiss this work as literary drivel. Please get in touch with us if you would like to volunteer your services.

As no one has yet volunteered to perform this translation (as of August 11, 2004), I have attempted to made it a little bit easier by scanning in the original Greek source text [Part 1 and Part 2] for your consideration. The source for this text was Aristotle: On The Soul Parva Naturalia on Breath with translations by W. S. Hett, Sometime Scholar of Wadham College, Oxford University (William Heinemann, Ltd., UK; 1936; and Harvard University Press, USA, pp. 387-409; 1957).

See also, Richard E. Rubenstein, Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages (368 pp; Harcourt, New York; 2003).

Leonardo da Vinci Circle Man Fetue Mona Lisa

2. Leonardo da Vinci [1452 - 1519] Architect, Geologist, Hydrologist, Mechanical Engineer, Musician (Viola), Sculpture, Painter ( The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa or "La Gioconda"), Inventor (Helicopter [helical airscrew c. 1487], Parachute, submarine, bicycle), Scientist, Anatomist (Embryologist), Cryptographer, and general Renaissance Man.

It is our understanding that Leonardo was forced to perform dissections of corpses surreptitiously to assist him in accurately portraying human musculature in his sculpture and paintings. This work had to be done in secret, since, at the time, the human body was considered sacred, and it would have been a criminal offense under ecclesiastical law (not just sacrilegious). Not only had the value of an autopsy (or necropsy) yet to be established, the value of having a human anatomy book (for medical students) had yet to be established.


1. Martin Kemp, Leonardo (286 pages; ISBN: 0192805460; Oxford University Press, New York; 2004).
2. Martin Kemp, Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvelous Works of Nature and Man (573 pages; 1981).
3. Charles Nicholl, Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind (624 pages; ISBN: 0670033456; Viking, New York; 2004).
4. Kenneth Clark, Leonardo da Vinci (272 pages; ISBN: 0140169822; Penguin Books, New York; 1939; 1993).
5. A. Richard Turner, Inventing Leonardo (268 pages; ISBN: 0520089383; University of California Press; 1994).
6. Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Vols. 1 and 2 ( ISBN: 0486225720; Dover, New York; 1970).

2.5 Copernicus

Galileo Galilei
3. Galileo Galilei [1564 - 1642], Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences, pp. 129- 260 (Britannica Great Books of the Western World; this work was first published in 1638 in Italian by Elzevirs at Leyden. However, the manuscript was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books by Pope Urban, VIII because it appeared to promote Copernican Theory (heresy at that time) over standard Catholic Doctrine (earth geocentric Ptolemaic epicycle theory); as he would not recant this interpretation, a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Inquisition ruled that Galileo spend the remainder of his life (9 years) under house arrest near his birthplace at a villa in Arcetri, close to Florence; Pope Jean-Paul exonerated Galileo with a written Vatican apology in the year 1992 A.D.).

Galileo formulated the basic laws of falling bodies, which he verified using careful scientific measurements. He constructed the first useful telescopes with which he studied lunar craters, sun spots, and discovered four of the moons of Jupiter ( Callisto, Io, Ganymede, and Europa). His observations convinced him to advocate the heliocentric ( Copernican) model of the solar system, and this is what got him in trouble with the Church, despite the fact that he remained a deeply religious man throughout his life. The debt we owe to Galileo is his pioneering formulation of the scientific method that we use today to investigate the biology of aging.

William R. Shea and Mariano Artigas, Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius (226 pp. $19.60 on; Oxford University Press, New York; 2003).

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon
4. Sir Francis Bacon [1561 - 1626], Historia Vitae et Mortis with Obfervations Naturall and Experimentall for the Prolonging of Life (written by the Right Honorable Francis Lord Verulam, Vifcount [Viscount] S.[aint] Alban[s]; Printed by I. Okes for Humphrey Mofley [Mosley] at the Princes Aarmes [Arms] in Pauls Church Yard; London; UK; 1638 Edition; 324 pages; The Historie [Hiftory] of Life and Death (Dillingen; 1645; Arno Press, New York Times Company, New York; 1977) Click on the photo or the manuscript to go to the website to read the full text of this important work on the Internet.

Despite the fact that Bacon's native language was English, the writing may seem stilted to modern ears, since it was translated from Latin -- the fashionable language of the day for scholarly publication. By the way, the English translation was neither into British English nor American colloquial English but rather into "Old English." This may explain the obscure spellings with the letter "f" frequently (but not always) replacing the letter "s" [actually, it may not be an "f" at all, but a different letter of the Old English alphabet superficially resembling an "f" but without the cross member, sort of like an "integral sign" in calculus (which might be mathematical notation for the word for "summation," which starts with an "s" sound), but this is only speculation on my part. See for yourself by talking a look at the shape of the letters in the last portion of Bacon's "Message To the Reader," which I translate loosely as "... man, especially since it may be done by safe, convenient, civil, but untried new ways and means: For while we Christians aspire and labor to come to the "Land of Promise," it will be a sign of Divine favor, if our shoes (our clothing) and our frail bodies remain here a little longer in this journey through the world's wilderness." A more literary, and perhaps more accurate, translation from Latin into modern English is as follows: "ALTHOUGH in my six monthly designations I placed The History of Life and Death last in order; yet the extreme profit and importance of the subject, wherein even the slightest loss of time should be accounted precious, has decided me to make an anticipation, and advance it into the second place. For it is my hope and desire that it will contribute to the common good; that through it the higher physicians will somewhat raise their thoughts, and not devote all their time to common cures, nor be honored for necessity only; but that they will become the instruments and dispensers of God's power and mercy in prolonging and renewing the lifespan of ... man, the rather because it is effected by safe, convenient, and civil, though hitherto unattempted methods. For although we Christians ever aspire and seek after the "Land of Promise," yet meanwhile it will be a mark of God's favor if in our pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, these our shoes and garments (by which I mean our frail bodies) are as little worn out as possible.
Sir Francis Bacon

Also, the inflection "or" written as " our," as in the words color or favor written colour or favour, but not always, as in "Honorable" [sic] above, that should have been written, we would think, as "Honourable," for the sake of consistency. In fact, this spelling rule is inconsistently applied within the text itself, since both forms appear to be used randomly! Also, the possessive punctuation mark (apostrophe) in Prince's and/or Paul's above was intentionally omitted, for whatever reason.

Note that Sir Francis was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, and therefore Bacon's translation into Old English should not come as a surprise. All native speakers commonly spoke in such a fashion at that point in time. Although our language (orthography, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and manner of speaking) may not appear to have changed very much in one century (other than the fact that the vocabulary is much larger to accommodate our much broader technical terminology), it has certainly has changed dramatically over the course of four centuries.

Sir Francis, who was educated at Trinity College in Cambridge and helped to refine the scientific method that we take for granted today (see his Great Instauration and his Novum Organum), was really the first systematic and experimental gerontologist in England. During his professional career as a lawyer, Bacon rose in the ranks from Solicitor General to Attorney-General to Privy Councillor, Lord Keeper, Lord Chancellor, and Parliamentarian. He was made Baron Francis of Verulam in 1618 and three years later Viscount St. Albans. His dealings with the Parliament and the Royal Court left him with mixed success, however, when King James lost power and Sir Francis fell into disgrace. Bacon was accused of bribery and corruption in the exercise of his judicial office by the Parliament. But it was never shown that his acknowledged acceptance of gifts from suitors (a practice common at the time) in any way influenced his decisions. Perhaps his exile from Court is precisely the reason that, at the end of his life, he had the free time to attend to his writing. Without such leisure time his future influence might have been much less, and his youthful inspiration to form a synthesis of the sciences might never have been fulfilled.

René Descartes
5. René Descartes [1596 - 1650], Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences (1637) pp. 41 - 67 (Britannica Great Books of the Western World; translated from the French by Elizabeth S. Haldane and G. R. T. Ross). Click the photo for details.

Descartes was not only a celebrated philosopher and mathematician (he invented Cartesian or Analytic Geometry), he sought to establish the foundation for the sciences as well. His contribution to modern philosophy was his willingness to move beyond Medieval thought and justify the scientific method of his day. In this essay he expresses his disappointment with traditional philosophy and with the limitations of theology because of their utter uncertainty; only logic, geometry, and algebra are respectable means for developing a world model. Unfortunately, these also depend on hypothetical reasoning, and they cannot tell us exactly what is real (i.e., what the world is truly like). Therefore Descartes proposes a method of thought incorporating the rigor of mathematics but based on intuitive truths about what is real, basic knowledge which could not be wrong (like the Axioms of Geometry). He calls into question everything that he thinks he has learned through his senses but rests his whole system on the one truth that he cannot doubt, namely, the reality of his own doubting mind and the important difference between the physical and mental aspects of the world. Thus, he was the first to articulate "Cogito Ergo Sum" [I think, therefore I am] as a way to come to grips with the Mind/Body Problem that still haunts modern philosophers today.

Furthermore, he was somewhat embarrassed by publishing in his native French rather than in Latin, which was the preferred publication language of his professors. He hoped, "that those who avail themselves only of their natural reason in its purity may be better judges of my opinions than those who believe only in the writings of the ancients; and as to those who unite good sense with study, whom alone I crave for my judges, those will not, I feel sure, be so partial to Latin as to refuse to follow my reasoning because I expound it in a vulgar tongue.

Sir Isaac Newton
6. Sir Isaac Newton [1642 - 1727], Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, pp. 1 - 372 (Britannica Great Books of the Western World; Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University; published in Latin in 1686, revised in 1713 and again in 1726; and subsequently translated posthumously into English in 1729). Click the photo for more details. Also see The Newton Project.

Sir Isaac was one of the handful of supreme geniuses who shaped the categories of the human intellect, a man not finally reducible to the criteria by which we comprehend our fellow beings. He didn't just invent of the Laws of Motion, which taught us the importance of gravity in calculating the trajectories of falling bodies, he invented the Differential Calculus. [Prof. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz worked independently in Paris in 1675, and both men subsequently shared their results, after some acrimonious claims over priority.] Finally, Newton shaped our understanding of the light and optics.

"Newton was the First Chief Architect of the Modern World, as we know it." He made knowledge a thing of substance by making it quantitative and exact. But on a personal level, Newton was profoundly secretive and an obsessive recluse. He dabbled in alchemy [ alchemy was not yet a discredited form of chemistry at that point in Western science] and other philosophical esoterica (theological foundations).. Newton has only recently been revealed to have had a self-destructive quest to purify his own spirit as well as to transmute the chemicals that were insidiously eroding his health, resulting in a melancholic solitude. In spite of these tendencies, Newton not only answered the ancient riddles of light and motion, effectively explaining the force of gravity on Earth, he also showed us how to calculate the (elliptical) trajectories of heavenly bodies (not just the timing of solar eclipses, which was largely empirical). Newton was not just the world's first great scientist, but the last of its great magicians. See the review of Gleick's biography by Timothy Ferris, "Measuring an Intellect as Limitless as the Universe," The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review Section, p. R3 (July 20, 2003), as well as the review by Patricia Fara, Fellow at Clare College of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, "Was Newton a Newtonian?" Science, Vol. 301, No. 5635, p. 920 (August 15, 2003) and "Face Values: How Portraits Win Friends and Influence People," Science, Vol. 299, pp. 831-2 (February 7, 2003), and Newton: The Making of a Genius (Columbia University Press, New York; 2003). Also, see Philip Kerr, Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton: A Novel (352 pp.; Crown Publishing Group, New York; 2002).

Curiously, Newton was forced to leave Cambridge when it was closed because of the plague, and it was during this period that he made some of his most significant discoveries. Even more curiously, he was Warden and later Master of The Royal Mint (he standardized British coinage and dealt harshly with counterfeiters).

Our own interest in Sir Isaac, however, comes at the end of Book III of Principia Mathematica in which he is struggling with the arguments for the existence of God (by design), which we now know to be false. What he says is ...

"As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things. He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, no heard, nor touched; ... But we reverence and adore Him on account of His dominion: for we adore Him as His servants; as a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate or Nature ... blind metaphysical necessity... All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing. But, by way of allegory, God is said to see, to speak, to laugh, to love, to hate, to desire, to give, to receive, to rejoice, to be angry, to fight, to frame, to work, to build; for all our notions of God are taken from the ways of mankind by a certain similitude, which, though not perfect, has some likeness, however... Occult qualities ... have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction. Thus it was that the impenetrability, the mobility, and the impulsive force of bodies, and the laws of motion and gravitation, were discovered. And to us it enough that gravity does really exist, and act according to the laws which we have explained, and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies...animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explained in few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates."

So we find Sir Isaac to be a serious, empirically-based physicist/applied-mathematician scrupulously employing evidence-based reasoning to arrive at a complete and rigorous natural-science world view, even though he couldn't quite make the next leap to a full appreciation of the "Laws of Probability" in explaining "the [seeming] diversity of natural things," and thus having to posit the necessity for a "willful" God to account for his biological observations. But after all, he shouldn't be blamed for this failure, since Stochastic Processes had not yet been invented as a mathematical discipline nor had Darwin yet provided us with his "Theory of Evolution," let alone Watson and Crick to tell us the real shape of DNA. All of these discoveries required more than thinking at the armchair [even by a genius]. They required vast amounts of scientific data [the technology for extracting the data and the computational means for manipulating it]. Much later, the Internet would help us to communicate it to one another. Yet, Newton's heart was in the right place.

Although Galileo invented a simple form of the telescope in 1609, Newton was the first to invent a reflecting telescope (with a concave mirror to focus light) in 1672.

July 1, 2005; We have just learned that Sir Isaac's handwritten Notes on Alchemy (in English), which were lost in 1936 when they were sold at auction for £15 (US$ 27), were found by researchers cataloging manuscripts at Britain's Royal Society in London. We expect to learn more about this recent find in the coming months, once the notes are deciphered and transcribed into modern English and hopefully posted on the Internet.
Page from Newton's Notes on Alchemy


1. James Gleick, Isaac Newton ( ISBN: 0-375-42233-1; 284 pages; Pantheon, New York; 2003; $22.95).
2. Mordechai Feingold, The Newtonian Moment: Isaac Newton and the Making of Modern Culture ( ISBN: 0195177347; 218 pages; Oxford University Press, New York; 2004; $45).

Antoine van Leeuwenhoek First Simple Microscope
7a. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. A Dutch janitor with no formal scientific training, he did "optical lens grinding" for a hobby. In 1673, he reported seeing the microbial world in a drop of rain water for the first time. He saw sperm for the first time. Lay readers though he was crazy. However, his work was corroborated by respectable scientists, and he ended his career with a membership in the prestigious British Royal Society.

Robert Hooke Robert Hooke's Microscope
[Unfortunately, no true portrait of Robert Hooke himself, has survived.]
7b. Robert Hooke [1635 - 1703]. Furthermore, Hooke's name is somewhat obscured today, due in part to the enmity of his famous, influential, and extremely vindictive colleague, Sir Isaac Newton, discussed just above. Yet Hooke was perhaps the single greatest experimental scientist of the seventeenth century. His interests knew no bounds, ranging from physics and astronomy, to chemistry, biology, and geology, to architecture, and naval technology.

7.5 Confucius, China

Charles Darwin
8. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (New American Library, New York; 1958; 1st Edition 1859).

9. Louis Pasteur, The Germ Theory of Disease, Paris, FRANCE

10. William Harvey [1578 - 1657], Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus ["An Anatomical Disquisition on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals"] (London, UK; 1628). Harvey began his studies at Cambridge University and then his study of medicine at the University of Padua in Italy, where he took experimental Anatomy lectures under the great Fabricius of Aquapendente (1602). Later, he performed many experiments on the circulation of blood with living dogs before he formulated a controversial hypothesis that the blood actually circulates around the body in a loop from arteries to capillaries to veins with the heart functioning as a mechanical pump and the lungs serving to provide oxygen. He, subsequently, became Chief Physician to Charles I of England and dedicated his finest work to him as follows: "To the Most Illustrious and Indomitable Prince, CHARLES, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith." Nevertheless, this remarkable non-intuitive work was not well received by his colleagues either in England or on the European Continent, as he expected it might not be. In his final exhortation to the Fellows of the College of Physicians at Cambridge he asked his colleagues to "search out and study the secrets of Nature by way of experiment, and also for the honour of the Profession to continue mutual love and affection among themselves." He died at the age of 80 (of paralysis) and was buried with great honor in Hempstead Church, Essex. Sadly, he withheld the publication of his most important work, challenging the erroneous unidirectional (non-circulating) model of blood flow current in his day, until after his death for fear of retribution, not just by his peers, but by the secular authorities.

Gregor Mendel
11. Click on the photo of Gregor Mendel [1822 - 1884]. for the English translation of
von Gregor Mendel, "Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden" (Vorgelegt in den Sitzungen vom 8.Februar und 8. März 1865) ["Experiments in Plant Hybridization" (read in German at two meetings of the Naturforschedenden Vereins {the Natural History Society} of Brünn (now Brno, in the Czech Republic) on February 8th and March 8, 1865). The Society was formed in 1861, and Mendel had been among its founding members.]
Mendel later published this famous paper on heredity in 1866, Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereins, [ The Proceedings of the Natural History Society] in Brunn. 115 copies of the journal are known to have been distributed, but it was promptly ignored for another 34 years (it was not a very accessible journal). According to a letter Mendel wrote to Carl von NĄgeli, a Professor of Botany at the University in Munich, in 1867, one of the goals of the lectures was to inspire botanists and other experimentalists to replicate his results. In this he was disappointed; "as far as I know," he wrote, "no one undertook to repeat the experiments." But still, why did it take so long to gain recognition?

When the Greeks, including Hippocrates, pondered heredity, they devised a creative theory they called pangenesis, which claimed that sexual intercourse caused the transfer of miniaturized body parts that were later scrambled up in the newborn. This literally led to the notion of a homunculus, a perfectly-formed miniature adult man crouched in a fetal position contained within the head of each sperm cell. (Early zoologists sketched what they imagined to be such little men "living" in the sperm as they wiggled around under the microscope.) Such fanciful notions as the homunculus and the theory of pangenesis were quite sufficient for ordinary students to "explain" heredity for thousands of years.

Had Charles Darwin been aware of Mendel's work, he might have been spared the embarrassment of endorsing some of Lamarck's discredited ideas later in his career. Although Mendel published his results shortly after The Origin of Species appeared, unfortunately Darwin was never aware of them, even though one copy of the journal found its way into Darwin's library. We know that Darwin didn't read Mendel's paper, however, since the individual pages were still uncut at the time of Darwin's death.

A recent biography of Mendel is Robin Marantz Henig, The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel (Houghton Mifflin Company, New York; 224 pages; ISBN: 0395977657; 2000).

Benjamin Franklin, Inventor
11.5 Benjamin Franklin [1706 - 1790]: Statesman, Diplomat, Author, Scientist, Chess Player, and Printer

In 18th-Century America, lightning destroyed houses, barns, livestock, and people. This was not construed merely as an occurrence in nature, but a form of judgement sent down as punishment by a disapproving God. Therefore, the "solution," if you ever got caught in a thunder-and-lightning storm was to pray or, if there was one nearby, ring a specially "baptized" church bell whose sound might "keep the lightning away." Franklin's invention of the Lightning Rod struggled against entrenched superstition and dogmatic faith. Franklin was perceived by the superstitious citizens as "trying to play God." However, some people, especially those in New England, became dubious of the idea that Providence controlled nature in every particular detail. "Indeed," they reasoned, "God may no longer give daily attention to the world as He did at the time of creation. Maybe He simply preprogrammed natural catastrophes to occur over time as a way of reminding us human beings of their frailty." Anyway, the New Englanders gave lightning rods a try, and they worked! From there, this technology was adopted throughout the US and Europe too, and Franklin was finally given credit for "playing God" rather than indicted for it.

[ Editor's Note: The probability of being struck by lightning in today's world is ~1/700,000. Curiously, the odds of dying from being struck on the head by a falling coconut is slightly higher.]

1. Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London; 1851).
2. Philip Dray, Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America (279 pages; Random House, New York; $25.95).
3. Anthony Day, "Lightning Rod of Enlightenment," The Los Angeles Times (August 13, 2005).
4. Rachel DiCarlo, "Block That Bolt," The Wall Street Journal (August 16, 2005).
5. William Grimes, "Franklin, The Lightning Rod Known Round the World," The New York Times, p. B6 (August 16, 2005).
The clergy turned a disapproving eye on Franklin's greatest invention, the lightning rod. "Who was he to disturb the instruments of divine wrath?" they said. On the other hand, Franklin was amused. "Surly the thunder and lightning of heaven are no more supernatural than the rain, hail, or sunshine of heaven." Soon afterward, lightning rods popped up on rooftops all over Europe and then Philadelphia and Boston. What does it take to convince religious fundamentalists that natural events are natural?

12. Edward Jenner, Small Pox Vaccine. Jenner took great personal risks, trying cowpox on himself first.

13. Albert Einstein, Theory of Relativity and Nobel Prize in Physics. Composed letter to President Truman to employ the atomic bomb in World War II.

Bertrand Russell
14. Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, Vol. I - III (first published in the years 1910-13)(Cambridge University Press, UK; 2nd Edition; 2002). Click on Russell's photo above for more details.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell [1872 - 1970], British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, is best known for his work in mathematical logic. Russell is generally recognized as one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is also credited with being one of the most important logicians of the twentieth century. His most influential contributions include his defense of logicism (the optimistic expectation that all of mathematics is in some important sense reducible to mathematical logic) and his theories of definite descriptions and logical atomism. His work on the Russell Paradox was a definitive start on the problem.

Over the course of his long career, Russell made significant contributions, not only to logic and philosophy, but also to a broad range of other subjects (including education, politics, history, religion, and science), and many of his writings on a wide variety of topics have influenced generations of general readers. After a life marked by controversy (including dismissals from both Trinity College, Cambridge, UK and City College of New York, USA), Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Also noted for his many spirited anti-war and anti-nuclear protests, Russell remained a prominent public figure until his death at the age of 97.

For an excellent short introduction to Russell's life, work, and influence, the reader is encouraged to consult John Slater's accessible and informative Bertrand Russell (Thoemmes, Bristol, UK;1994).

For a more complete list of Russell's publications see A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell (3 Vols, Routledge, London, UK; 1994) by Kenneth Blackwell and Harry Ruja. A less detailed, but still comprehensive, list appears in Paul Arthur Schilpp, The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, 3rd edition., pp. 746-803 (Harper and Row, NY; 1963).

For a bibliography of the secondary literature surrounding Russell, see A.D. Irvine (Editor), Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1, pp. 247-312 (Routledge, London, UK; 1998). Also see, Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (Simon and Schuster, New York; 1945/1959),Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers, pp. 518 - 529 (Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., Garden City, NY; 1926) and, of course, Russell's own three-volume autobiography, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (Routledge Press, London, UK; 2000).

D'Arcy Thompson
15. D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson [1860 - 1948], On Growth and Form (Dover, New York; 1992; 1st Edition 1917; Cambridge University Press Edition; 1942). Click on his photo for more details.
Thompson was a unique individual -- a Greek scholar, a naturalist, and the first biomathematician.

Linus Pauling
16. Linus Pauling, Ph.D., triple Nobel Prize Winner, discoverer of the structure of the Hemoglobin molecule, and hot on the trail of the "double helix" while Chairman of Biochemistry at CalTech (before he went to Stanford Medical School and got interested in Vitamin C).

James Watson and Francis Crick
17a. James D. Watson, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Director, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, NY, Molecular Biology of the Gene, 2nd Edition (W. A. Benjamin, Inc., New York; 1970; the 1st Edition was published in 1965).
b. James D. Watson, Nancy H. Hopkins, Jeffrey W. Roberts, Joan Argetsinger Steitz, Alan M. Weiner, Molecular Biology of the Gene, 4th Edition (The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., Menlo Park, California; 1987).
c. James D. Watson, John Tooze, David T. Kurtz, Recombinant DNA: A Short Course (W. H. Freeman and Company, New York; 1983).
d. James D. Watson, The Double Helix (Signet Books, New American Library/Times Mirror, New York; 1968; 95-cent paperback).
e. James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA: Text, Commentary, Reviews, and Original Papers, ed. by Gunther S. Stent (W. W. Norton, New York; 1980).
f. James D. Watson and Andrew Berry, DNA: The Secret of Life (Alfred A. Knopf, New York; 2003).
g. Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (Basic Books, Inc., New York; 1988).

Without first understanding the structure of DNA, there would be no biotech industry, not a chance of a Human Genome Project, not a whisper of stem-cell therapy, and oceans of ignorance about the workings of our bodies in sickness and in health. The genetic revolution that followed the finding of the double helix was rapid. The structure that Watson and Crick unearthed was so elegant, so suggestive, that in less than a decade as a direct consequence of their work a string of deep mysteries about genes fell like dominos. Scientists deftly laid bare details of how DNA gets faithfully copied, how it mutates and evolves, how it caries a code, and how that code gets turned into proteins that build life and sustain it. Dr. Sydney Brenner of the Salk Institute in La Jolla who more recently won the Nobel Prize himself said, "I know that when a first saw their model, it was like turning over a page. It was like, 'Well you can forget about everything else... Let's get on with this.'"

18. Sydney Brenner, Ph.D.

Developed a complete Fate Map of C. Elegans. Salk Institute in LaJolla, CA

19. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Current Director of the NIH Public Human Genome Project

20. J. Craig Venter, PhD., UCSD, NIH, Former CEO of Celera Genomics, formerly with The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). and now Director of the J. Craig Venter Institute of La Jolla, CA and Rockville, MD.

21. Isaac Asimov, Ph.D., Biochemist at Boston University, author of The Collapsing Universe (New American Library, New York; 1997). Isaac was most noted for his invention of the "Three Laws of Robotics" that appeared repeatedly in his science fiction writing. However, he also wrote Analyses of the Bible, Analysis of the Works of William Shakespeare, and on many other subjects.

22. Herbert A. Simon, Ph.D., Richard King Mellon Professor of Computer Science and Psychology, Dean of the CMU Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Member of the President's Scientific Advisory Commission (PSAC), Co-Founder of the field of Artificial Intelligence (1957 Dartmouth Conference with Profs. Allen Newell, Rand/CMU, Marvin Minsky, MIT, John McCarthy, MIT/Stanford, and Arthur Samuels, IBM/Stanford), and Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Honorable Mentions: (As of March 2, 2004, this list is still under construction and needs to be properly sorted; please contact me if you feel that I left out one of your favorite scientists):

23. David Baltimore, Ph.D., MIT, President of CalTech, and Nobel Laureate
Harvey Lodish, Arnold Berk, S. Lawrence Zipursky, Paul Matsudaira, David Baltimore, and James Darnell, Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition (W. H. Freeman and Company, New York; 2000).

24. Joshua Lederberg, Ph.D., Chairman of Genetics at Stanford, President of Rockefeller University, Member of the Jasons, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Ellison Foundation for Medical Research, and Nobel Laureate.

25. Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Biology at CalTech and the University of Washington in Seattle, and Current Director for the Institute for Systems Biology.

26. James F. Fries, M.D., Rheumatologist and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University

27. Herbert Robbins, Ph.D., Chairman of Mathematical Statistics at Columbia University in New York and coauthor with Prof. Courant of NYU of the book What is Mathematics?

28. Richard Bellman, Ph.D., RAND Corp. and Professor of Mathematics at USC, inventor of Dynamic Programming.

29. Alan Turning, Ph.D., Mathematician, Cryptographer, and Inventor of the Turing Machine, author of classic paper on the "The Imitation Game," now called "The Turing Test."

30. Lotfi Zadeh, Ph.D., UC Berkeley, Control Systems Theory and Founder of Fuzzy Logic.

31. Noam Chomsky, Ph.D. Dualist Philosopher and Professor of Linguistics at MIT. He wrote Aspects of the Theory of Syntax and co-founded the field of Transformational Grammar.

32. Irving Weissman, M.D., Professor of Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine and discover of stem cells in human bone marrow. Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Cloning.

33. Paul Berg, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford and Nobel Laureate.

[ Deliberately Omitted Were: Plato (Mystic), Hegel, Kant, Spinoza, Sigmund Freud (for contributions to Psychiatry).]

34. Gerald J. Gruman, A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life

35. Elie Metchnikoff; The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies.

36. Ignatz Leo Nascher, Geriatrics.

37. Luigi Cornaro The Art of Living Long.

38. Jean-Martin Charcot, Lessons in Geriatrics.

39. John Gurdon, Oxford University, Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2012.

More Contemporary Writers:

Alan Harrington The Immortalist The Immortalist

1. Alan Harrington [1918 - 1997], The Immortalist: An Approach to the Engineering of Man's Divinity (Random House, New York; 1969).
"Death is an imposition on the human race and can no longer be tolerated..."

Editorial: The human condition was thrust upon us without our consent. Now that we have exposed the logical implications of our destiny, it becomes our sacred duty to create an immortal successor species that we have dubbed, H. sapiens 2.0. We must employ every technical intervention that we can devise so as to achieve biological escape velocity, including the reprogramming of human DNA with synthetic sequences, epigenetic reprogramming, stem-cell activation, and the uploading of our neural connectome to a more stable computer platform in the cloud. Furthermore, we must discover the means to transcend our pitiful condition in our own lifetimes or else die trying.

2a. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, (Longan Press, Harlow; 1986).

2b. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press; 1989).

2c. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (Basic Books, New York; 1995).

2d. Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable (W. W. Norton and Company, New York; 1996).

2e. Richard Dawkins, A Devil's Chaplain (ISBN: 0618335404; to be published by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York; September 1, 2003). ["God is neither good nor bad to humans; he is merely indifferent or to use Dawkins' term 'callous.'"]

3a. Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life (Simon and Schuster, New York; 1995).

3b. Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds, 1984-1996 (Representation and Mind Series) (MIT Press; Bradford Books; ISBN: 0262540908; 1998) Paperback - 424 pages; $16.00 from above.

4a. Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (Harper Collins, New York; 1992).

4b. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (W. W. Norton, New York; 1997).

4c. Jared Diamond, Why is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality (Basic Books, Harper Collins Publishers, New York; 1997).

Prof. Carl Sagan
5. Carl Sagan [1834 - 1996], The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Random House, New York; 1995). Click on the photo for more details.
Prof. Sagan was the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Prof. Stephen Jay Gould. Click on the photo for more details.
6. Stephen Jay Gould [1941 - 2002], Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin (Harmony Books, New York; 1996).

Prof. John Harris. Click on the Book Cover for more details.
7. John Harris, Clones, Genes, and Immortality: Ethics and the Genomic Revolution (Oxford University Press, New York; 1998).
Prof. Harris is the Sir David Alliance Professor of Bioethics and Applied Philosophy at the Center for Social Ethics and Policy at the University of Manchester; UK.

8. Raymond Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines (Viking Press, New York; January 1999).

Books by LA-GRG Members:

1. IP-6
L. Stephen Coles and David Steinman, Nature's Ultimate Anti-Cancer Pill: The IP-6 with Inositol Question and Answer Book (Freedom Press; Topanga, CA; March 1999) Paperback - 96 pages; ISBN: 1893910008; List Price: $8.95. Click the book cover for more details.

2. Age Right
Karlis Ullis and Greg Ptacek, Age Right: Turn Back the Clock With a Proven, Personalized Antiaging Program (Simon and Schuster, New York; January 1999) Hardcover - 288 pages; ISBN: 0684841975; List Price: $23.00; Amazon Price: $16.10.

3. Super T
Karlis Ullis, Joshua Shackman, and Greg Ptacek, Super 'T: The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective, Safe, and Natural Testosterone Enhancement Program for Men and Women (Fireside; May 1999) Paperback - 208 pages; ISBN: 0684863359; List Price: $12.00; Price: $9.60.

4. Hormone Revolution
Karis Ullis and Joshua Shackman, The Hormone Revolution Weight-Loss Plan: Harness the Power of Your Fat-Burning Hormones (Avery/Penguin Putnam Inc., New York; 2003) Hardcover ---- 190 pages, ISBN: 1583331352; List Price: $22.95; Price: $16.07.

5. Mind Boosters
Ray Sahelian, Mind Boosters: A Guide to Natural Supplements That Enhance Your Mind, Memory, and Mood (St. Martin's Press; 2000) Paperback; ISBN: 0312195842; List Price: $13.95; Amazon Price: $11.16.

6. Redesigning Humans
Gregory Stock, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future (Houghton Mifflin Co; New York; ISBN061806026X; $16.80; Hardcover - 288 pages; April 11, 2002).

Dr. Aubrey de Grey of the Department of Genetics of Cambridge University, England has recommended:
7. Tom B.L. Kirkwood, Time of our Lives 20.00 (pounds sterling) (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999) 320 pp.; ISBN0-2978-4247-1 (hardback).
8. Enrique Cadenas and Lester Packer, Eds., Understanding the Process of Aging: The Roles of Mitochondria, Free Radicals, and Antioxidants $175.00 (Marcel Dekker, New York and Basel, 1999) 366 pp. (hardback); ISBN0-8247-1723-6.
9. Denham Harman, Robin Holliday, and Mohsen Meydani, Eds., Towards Prolongation of the Healthy Life Span: Practical Approaches to Intervention [Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 854] $140.00 (New York Academy of Sciences, New York, 1998) 524 pp.; ISBN1-57331-108-1 (cloth), 1-57331-109-X (paper).
10. Keshav K. Singh, Ed., Mitochondrial DNA Mutations in Aging, Disease, and Cancer $175.00 (Landes Bioscience, Austin, TX, 1998) 412 pp.;ISBN3-540-64342-7 (hardback).

As a wonderful source of both basic and advanced biological information, written by the top experts in the field, it is hard to beat...
Molecular Cell
11. Lodish, Harvey; Berk, Arnold; Zipursky, S. Lawrence; Matsudaira, Paul; Baltimore, David; Darnell, James E Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition (W H Freeman & Co, New York; 1999). This beautifully-bound standard biology textbook with exquisite color drawings on nearly every one of its over 1,000 pages normally would cost you $109.35 on, including a CD-ROM.. However, it can now be read free-of-charge on the Internet at the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information by clicking on the photo of the book. By the way, since I happened to own this particular textbook myself, I checked a random section in the middle of the website to see if the whole book was really there, and it is, including all the beautiful drawings! Happy reading.

"God does not play dice with the universe."
-- Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

With all due respect to his extraordinary contributions to physics, we respectfully disagree with Professor Einstein's stated opinion, allegedly said when he was debating certain quantum physicists of his day. To the contrary, modern evolutionary theorists believe that "God has always played dice with the universe." But the stochastic nature of all physical processes throughout the universe over all its history, from the "big bang" up to the present day, have only been appreciated by us in the later part of this century. Thus, we believe that gerontologists will never understand the aging process until they first embrace the basic hypothesis of randomness in biological evolution. [Indeed, God may be the essence of randomness; and thus those who seek to know the "Will of God" may be doomed to frustration. It may not be linguistically appropriate to pose the question of God's intentionality if, in fact, He has none.]
As a corollary, the notions of preordained "progress" or a "grand design" must be viewed with skepticism, and finally dire warnings about "tampering" with the aging process as ill-informed speculation unrelated to the teachings of science.