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Harry Harlow

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Celebaelin
619013.  Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:22 am Reply with quote

Harry Harlow, born Harry Israel in 1905 in Fairfield Iowa, was an American psychologist who decided that the best way to investigate the nature of love, in particular maternal love, was to torture, traumatise and starve baby monkeys. Not one for euphamisms the ever-charming Harry decided that he would use matter of fact descriptions of the instruments he devised to further our knowledge of emotional agony, thus his legacy includes

"The Rape Rack" - a mechanical forced-sex device

"The Iron Maiden" - a hostile mechanical surrogate mother

and

"The Pit of Despair" - an isolation chamber in which baby monkeys were denied any contact for up to 15 years. It was found on emergence from 3 months isolation from birth that one of the six subject monkeys experienced shock so great that it stopped eating and died.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow
http://www.cracked.com/article_17039_9-real-life-mad-scientists.html

 
Spud McLaren
624419.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:36 pm Reply with quote

Thanks, Celebaelin. I can't tell you how much that's restored my faith in human nature.

Pass the bucket, someone - quick!

 
mckeonj
624425.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:51 pm Reply with quote

He obviously does not belong in that small group of cracked scientists who used themselves as experimental subjects: Isaac Newton investigated the mechanisms of sight by inserting a needle into his own eye socket until it scraped the bone at the back.

 
tetsabb
624436.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:17 pm Reply with quote

Forgive me if I have related this story before, but my great great grandfather was a doctor in Dublin in 1846. He was due to carry out an amputation one day, but the day before he read about the use of ether as an anaesthetic. So he delayed the op by a day, and tried the ether out on himself, "rendering my self unconscious 5 or 6 times".
http://www.ums.ac.uk/umj078/078(3)146.pdf

Experimenting with drugs, eh?

My nephew is now a qualified doctor, and is undergoing further training in anaesthesia!

 
AlmondFacialBar
632014.  Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:39 pm Reply with quote

i don't think you're being quite fair on harry harlow there. alright, so he wasn't exactly nice to some of the monkeys, but his work fundamentally changed the lives of children the world over. before these experiments it was believed that the mother-child bond was solely based on the provision of food, so children in institutions essentially had to exist without any sort of emotional support at all, leading to all sorts of psychological damage. if children without a family can expect any sort of normal life today at all it's based almost solely on harlow's work. well worth a couple of emotionally damaged monkeys if you ask me.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Spud McLaren
632023.  Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:02 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
i well worth a couple of emotionally damaged monkeys if you ask me.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


I take it you haven't sought the opinion of any of our simian cousins on this point?

 
Sadurian Mike
632082.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:56 am Reply with quote

The problem is, you give them the questionnaires and they just eat them or throw poo at you.

 
tetsabb
632273.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:21 pm Reply with quote

I can think of some places where humans that might do the same

 
AlmondFacialBar
632329.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:34 pm Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
AlmondFacialBar wrote:
i well worth a couple of emotionally damaged monkeys if you ask me.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


I take it you haven't sought the opinion of any of our simian cousins on this point?


which of course brings us to the unfortunate point of animal testing. it's not nice, no. but it's saved lots and lots of human life, and i'm pretty sure if your or one of your loved one's life depended on it you'd be pretty glad of the suffering a monkey might have gone through for a new drug.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Ion Zone
632335.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:05 pm Reply with quote

Well that was basically torture for the sake of it. Guessable results.

 
Spud McLaren
632339.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:11 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
which of course brings us to the unfortunate point of animal testing. it's not nice, no. but it's saved lots and lots of human life, and i'm pretty sure if your or one of your loved one's life depended on it you'd be pretty glad of the suffering a monkey might have gone through for a new drug.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


And there's the rub. I am of the opinion that the world would be a much better place without most of humanity. If my life depended on it I'd rather the monkeys hadn't suffered, but if it were one of my family (well, some of them, anyway...) the distinction becomes much more blurred. I think if we're going to have to experiment on so-called lower forms of life we should be using child-molesters and other such dregs.

Edit: but see post 632486


Last edited by Spud McLaren on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:48 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Ion Zone
632342.  Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:22 pm Reply with quote

And that is the line that should never be crossed.

 
Spud McLaren
632486.  Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:46 am Reply with quote

Ok, I think I owe you good folks an apology. I forgot for a moment to which forums I was posting.

I make no apology for holding the opinions I do. But the opinion I expressed recently has its basis in belief, not fact (the same is true of the opposing view). As such, it is Not Interesting, since neither side is likely to persuade the other of the error of its ways; such postings therefore have no place on the QI forums.

It was certainly not my intention to start a pointless slanging match, as has happened before on other threads. In order to help avoid this, I shall be making no further posts to this thread for some time.

 
AlmondFacialBar
632543.  Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:03 am Reply with quote

and you really think that'll get you off the hook? "oh sorry, forgot iw as talking to a bunch of liberal airheads here?" interesting... again... if you caught your brother, uncle, dad, grampa, whichever member of your family you actually happen to like, looking at child porn, would you want them forcibly used for medical testing? they're still the same person, y'know. and... well... i don't often compare people to josef mengele, but that's where beliefs of that kind tend to end up.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 

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