Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 457–491 | Cite as

Last Judgment: The Visionary Biology of J. B. S. Haldane

  • Mark B. Adams


This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in1927, “The Last Judgment” – the sequel to his better known work, Daedalus (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the “new biology” for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career.

J. B. S. Haldane biology politics genetics evolution population genetics physiology Darwinism experimental biology eugenics Britain Russia India Soviet Communism socialism philosophy vision literature popularization religion human experimentation bioethics Venus Mars science fiction technocracy futurology H. G. Wells Julian Huxley Olaf Stapledon C. S. Lewis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark B. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.History and Sociology of ScienceUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaU.S.A.

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