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"Teller vs. Pauling."

"Teller vs. Pauling." 1958.
Produced by KQED-TV, San Francisco, California.

Increases in Mutation Rates. (3:11)


Linus Pauling: Fallout, radioactive fallout, causes damage to the pool of human germ plasm that will result -- that does result -- in the birth of an additional number of defective children. I have estimated that the amount of increase in the mutation rate as a result of radioactive fallout carried on at the present rate is one-percent. Testing at the present rate leads to a one-percent increase in mutation rate, a one-percent increase in the number of defective children who will be born in the future.

Now, Professor Beadle, Professor of Biology, Chairman of the Division of Biology at the Califorina Institute of Technology, one of the world's leading geneticists, a distinguished authority in this field, and conservative in all of this statements, has told me that in his public statements, he has also made the estimate of one-percent.

Now there are, every year, 75 million children born in the world. Two percent of these children are seriously deficient because of heredity of bad genes -- the bad genes that are in the pool of human germ plasm -- partially due to the natural radioactivity and cosmic rays, and now being increased by fallout. The two-percent of 75 million is 1.5 million seriously defective children born each year, with various grave diseases that cause them to die shortly after birth or in early childhood, to have mental deficiency or serious physical defects that makes them suffer all of their lives or live their lives in a mental institution.

One percent increase in this is fifteen-thousand seriously defective children a year. This is the number according to my estimate, Dr. Beadle's estimate, the estimates of Professor Crow -- another distinguished geneticist -- this is the number that will be born each year when equilibrium is reached.

Moreover, the amount of testing at the present time corresponds to one large bomb, one super bomb with ten megatons of fission released. We can say, accordingly, that the man who gives the order to test a single large superbomb with high-fission yield, is dooming 15,000 seriously defective children to be born in later generations. Also there are serious effects on the health of human beings now living, according to the information that is now available. This is the opinion that I and many of my scientific colleagues -- a great many -- have.


Creator: Linus Pauling
Associated: Edward Teller, James F. Crow, George Beadle
Clip ID: 1958v.3-mutationrate

Full Work

Associated: Linus Pauling, Edward Teller, KQED-San Francisco

Date: 1958
Genre: video
ID: 1958v.3
Copyright: More Information

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