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The Torch Magazine,  The Journal and Magazine of the
International Association of Torch Clubs
For 92 Years

A Peer-Reviewed
Quality Controlled

ISSN  Print 0040-9440
ISSN Online 2330-9261

  Spring 2018
Volume 91, Issue 3

Woman Pouring Chocolate


Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
(I am human, and consider nothing that is human alien to me)

--Terence, Roman playwright, 2nd century BCE

   Articles for the Spring 2018 Issue
  1. How Sweet it Is: From the Mountains of Mexico to the Streets of New York
    by Carole Levin
      This essay discusses the history of chocolate: how it was valued by the Mayans and Aztecs, brought to Europe by the Spanish conquerors, and eventually came to England, where it was believed to have a range of medicinal purposes. We will also see the forward thinking of some chocolate manufacturers who cared not only for the product, but also for those who produced it. A pdf file of the article can be found here.
  2. Charles Darwin: The Formative Years (1809-1831)
    by Harry Wistrand
      It is widely, but not quite justly, assumed that the ideas Charles Darwin used to develop the concept of evolution by natural selection, published in The Origin of Species in 1859, emerged while he was voyaging on the Beagle in the Galapagos Islands.  Scholars who have studied Darwin's life have recently brought our attention to the ways his upbringing, his nature, and the serendipitous events of his educational period contributed to the development of his theory.  A pdf file of the article can be found here.
  3. Promoting the General Welfare: Preaching vs. Policy
    by Roland Moy
      It is seventy-seven years since the 1941 State of the Union address introduced a pivotal understanding of the four human freedoms fundamental for American democracy:  freedom of speech and expression; freedom of worship; freedom from want; and freedom from fear.  These many years later, we are still confronted with issues involving all four, but this paper focuses on concurrent developments of opposing sides of the question whether "freedom from want" is an appropriate governmental undertaking in pursuit of the constitutional mandate "to promote the general welfare." A pdf file of the article can be found here.
  4. Consciousness
    by William House
      Consciousness is one of the most perplexing concepts people have struggled to understand and explain.  In this paper, the etymological history of the word consciousness will be examined, along with some prominent experimental facts, a bit of the pertinent neurophysiology, and some important theoretical positions. A pdf file of the article can be found here.
  5. Mars Fever
    by Charles Darling
      "The first human footfalls on Mars will flag a momentous, historic milestone" wrote astronaut Buzz Aldrin and space journalist Leonard David in "Making Footfall on Mars."   In the next ten to thirty years, fulfilling a dream as old as the idea of space travel, at least one permanent base will be established on Mars.  This essay studies symptoms of "Mars Fever": unmanned orbiters and landers, overcoming enormous planetary problems, space flight dangers, and eventual colonization of the fourth planet. A pdf file of the article can be found herer.
  6. The German Physicians Who Had a Pact with the Devil
    by Theodore E. Haas
      Prior to 1939, anatomists of scientific and educational excellence in Germany were selected for the most prestigious chairs in Berlin and Munich.  From 1939 on, research funding went only to projects serving the war effort. The new Nazi supervision provided an abundance of bodies for dissection.  The Reich Ministry of Justice coordinated distribution of the bodies of executed persons, and families were often not able to have the bodies of their loved ones returned for burial.  The author discusses the pathology of power and believes that the story of Faust sheds light on what happened.  We still say of those who compromise with Evil, telling themselves their ultimate object is Good, that they have made a "Faustian bargain." The physicians who thought they could advance scientific knowledge while collaborating with the atrocities of the Third Reich made a pact with the Devil.   A pdf file of the article can be found here.
  7. Growing Up in Nazi Germany
    by Claudia Martin
      The recent events in Charlottesville involving Klan members and neo-Nazis who swung swastika flags were almost incredible to me. I grew up in Nazi Germany and experienced the racial, nationalistic, and militaristic delusions brought about in a poverty stricken population, whose hope focused with quasi-religious fervor on a new German nation, free of the fetters of the punishing Versailles Peace Treaty and restored to its previous boundaries. Several millions of Germans became enthusiastic and dedicated "National Socialists." Today, there is again a rise of dictatorships, of tyrants using the social inclinations of the human animal to form group identity and fervor. To create this fervor, they also need an imminent enemy outside the group. Their fervor leads to mass killings, justified by a delusional, supposedly sacred cause.  The author's personal experiences reinforce horror which happens when war is waged.  A pdf file of the article can be found here.

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