Monday, October 13, 2008


In 1954 the British mathematician Alan Turing [1912-1954], a candidate along with John von Neumann [1903-1957] for the title of father of the computer, committed suicide after being convicted of the criminal offense of homosexual behaviour in private. He was offered a choice between two years in prison and a course of hormone injections which could be said to amount to chemical castration. His final private choice was an apple that he injected with cyanide. Private homosexuality was a criminal offense in Britain up until 1967.    
- Excerpted from Richard Dawkins