Myths / Mythologies / Legends

Sins of the Serpent

As one delves into the various dragon related legends, a feeling suddenly sinks in about much similarity to the legends that are captured in Genesis: there was a flood in which all humans perished except for a couple who somehow survived it and who re-generated the human race, and a related story involving sex and serpent: Fuxi and Nuwa were both half-human half-snake; Adam and Eve were not, (but half-man, half-snake figures do feature in other legends including that about the early founder of Athens, Cecrops, and Amun of Thebes) but Eve was able to listen to the serpent, so here too humans and snakes had a special affinity which did not exist with respect to other animals. One begins to wonder: were the stories derived from a common origin?

In Genesis, the flood occurred after the original sin, but this was probably because when Hebrew theologians began to record the legends, they imposed a sequence that looked more logical to them, and the original legends would not have had any firm dating. The Chinese story tellers chose an alternative logic, putting re-creation behind destruction.

Since the snake/dragon is so central to the Chinese legends, let's look a bit more at the Jewish serpent, and ask (often taken as an anti-religion joke): how did the serpent move before God condemned it to crawl on its belly? There is one snake that stands up: the cobra, and since ancient Egyptians as well as some other Middle East tribes worshiped the cobra, it is not unreasonable to assume that the Hebrews knew about it, but by the time the story of Genesis took shape, they were no longer living in an area where cobras were found, so a before/after story made sense to them.

China has no cobras today, but it is clear from the ideograms of "it" and "worm" as well as the "Yu steps" that cobras were once common and much feared. Further, virtually all the ancient wall paintings of Fuxi and Nuwa show them to be standing up with their tails coiled together, which is only possible with cobras.

Now let's look into the issue of "sin". In the Chinese legends, one version says the sister took the initiative: she asked the brother to go to a dark cave where a girl lived and have sex with her, then waited for him there herself, darkening her face so that he would not recognize her. It is even said that later brides hid their faces behind veils/fans in a derived tradition. In another version it was the brother who persuaded the relucant sister to yield, after she set various tests involving rolling two millstones downhill, lighting two smoke signals and growing two trees, and finding that in all three tests the two sides would come together, indicating the will of heaven that they should be joined.

Since the second version is much more elaborate, it would seem to be the later version, and the original story had the female side as the driving factor, which is what one would expect from the initial matriarchal nature of ancient tribes. In the Biblical version, it was of course Eve that took the initiative.

But why was sex a sin in Genesis? Before the ideas of monogamy and of women as properties of men came along, there could have been no condemnation of sex as a moral violation. Indeed, sex and plant fertility were closely related and important for tribal survival, with many pagan rituals to honour and encourage sex and related activities. So the condemnation would have been for a particular type of sex that could occur easily, namely sex between family members: Eve was created from Adam's rib, and is therefore a close relative. (In fact, genetically she ought to be identical to Adam, unscientific as this might be.) So once again we found a parallel between the Hebrew and Chinese legends, both reflecting the incest taboo well known in tribal culture.

Some more details: the story about Nuwa flinging drops of mud with a piece of ivy, the drops turning into humans, sounds similar to Noah and his wife(or rather, their Greek mythology counterparts Deucalion and Pyrrha) throwing pebbles over their shoulders to re-create people. Nuwa also produced a higher class of people by kneading mud into individual figures, which sounds more like Yahweh making Adam. Clearly, the mud/pebbles into humans story is much older than the humans from sex story; the intriguing issue is where the flood story fits in: the Western version had mud-sex-flood-pebble, with pebble too late and sex too early, while Chinese had flood-sex but no clear chronological place for mud: if after flood, it contradicts the brother-sister regenerating humans by sex; if before, the same Nuwa is responsible for two types of human creation in two different eras.

Clearly, there were two separate mother figures in the legends originally, and in the written chinese legends they got mixed up, whereas the Bible kept Eve and Noah's wife separate, though putting them into the wrong order in terms of human creation knowldge. (Are Eve and Noah both corrupted pronunciations of Nuwa? There is an arguable case here at least.) By confining made-from-mud to Adam alone, separate from other human creation by sex and re-creation after flood by throwing pebbles, the Hebrews/Greeks managed to squeeze various old stories into a single logical sequence.

There is more. Another version of the Chinese flood story goes like: a pregnant village woman was told to run away without looking back if she saw water in the mortar (condensation from increased humidity before rain?); one day this occurred and she ran, but looked back, saw her village submerged, and turned into a mulberry tree, in whose hollow her baby son was found, to survive and become the Shang chief minister (after first working as a slave cook as part of the Shang king's dowry when he took a wife from the mulberry dwelling tribe).

This is clearly similar to the story of Lot, but by itself, the story is rather generic. But let's compare the story of Lot with Noah - both have good survivors from evil environment, and could well have been the same story developing two versions, both captured in the bible. Further, Lot's story has father- daughter incest following destruction, like the Fuxi-Nuwa story. It is hard to escape the conclusion that the various Hebrew and Chinese stories came from the same pool, containing the elements of snake, disaster, escape with no looking back, mud/pebble, incest, etc, with each story picking up some of the elements and ordering them in a particular sequence. (There is also a hint of incest relating to Noah's son and wife, but it is rather peripheral to the events, while in both Fuxi-Nuwa and Lot stories it is necessary for continuation.)

Often, parts of the old story get attached to later historical figures, as in the case of the Shang minister. Interestingly, the escape from flood story is frequently joined with the fuxi-nuwa story (the brother-sister had early warning about the flood, because of some good deed they did with a visitor, animal, statue, etc) or with a bad omen story (eye of stone statue turning red; blood appearing on city gate), but only in northern china, whereas the southern tribes have the simple brother-sister-survive-regenerate story, indicating two stories, disaster-escape-regenerate, and good deed/warning/omen, started by two groups of people, maybe two sets of migrants from a common source, the stories then merging in northern china.

Even the story of the tree of life has a parallel in China, namely the tree of Kongsang or Hollow Mulberry in Tang Valley, where Queen Xihe bathed her ten sons (the golden birds which were the suns or days) and Queen Changxi bathed her twelve sons (the moons or months). The ten suns took turns to leave the Kongsang tree and travel from east to west, setting in the Empty Valley before returning to rest on the Kong- sang. Clearly, the tree is the source of plant fertility, since growing requires sunlight. The various stories relating to mulberry forests and fertility rituals mentioned in sections 4 and 5 testify to the early presence of this tree of life in primitive china, as does the story of important historical figures being born "in the hollow mulberry tree", a detail mentioned in connection with Yu, Yi (the cook-minister of Tang) and others.

It is well known that the arts of the Muslims frequently invoke the tree of life theme, and Muslims generally pay respect to the Old Testament. We could reasonably assume that the central asian tribes that adopted Islam were already familiar with the legends recorded in the Old Testament and found no difficulty accepting them. There seem to be a wide range of territories over which many cultures, despite their differing traditions and history, shared primitive legends that were either drived from a common source, or merged because of tribal intermixings and exchanges.

The Japanese talk about a romantic Tama Star or Yaoxin; it so happens that tamar in Hebrew denotes the Babylonian Garden of Eden's tree of life, which is the palm, as well as the goddess Ishtar. In particular, the phoenix is reborn on the palm, which reminds us of the resurrection of Emperor Yan's daughter on the mulberry, perhaps to turn into the Jinwei bird. Therefore, the romantic idea associated with the Japanese Tama Star and the Chinese Yao princess/Yao pond, may well share the same origin as Babylonian/Jewish fertility divines. The Egyptian legends have the brother-sister couple Osiris-Isis, with the tree of life tamarisk, but the connection to the chinese legends is obscure. Isis and Ishtar may have had the same origin, or were separatedly derived but later identified with each other.

Another curious detail relating to Japan, which has the nickname Fu Sang or Supported Mulberry with an unclear meaning. Now Fu Sang is mentioned in numerous ancient text as some mysterious eastern land as well as some kind of divine plant, not necessarily linked to silkworms, and a 450AD book mentions a monk from Okinawa explaining that Fu Sang is a palm whose fibre is used to weave cloth, in fact, such cloths are still made today in some parts of Japan. It is therefore reasonable to conjecture that, when the Chinese tribes still lived near the seashore, they used the same palms to make cloth, but later moved inland where such palms did not grow, and found replacement material from the mulberry silkworms, which soon pre- dominated. The name sometimes used to call the mulberry tree, Ruo Mu or "similar wood", might well have arisen from similar roles the mulberry and the palm fulfilled.

This brings us to the issue of east versus west: the manuscripts mention a Ruo river a number of times relating to the Emperor Yan and Yellow Emperor tribes, often together with a Zhu hill tribe. Zhu, whose ideogram is a crowned crawling form over "worm" indicating silkworm, meant Sichuan, which also has a Ruo river, since Warring States days, possibly even earlier. But if the use of mulberry silk started as replacement for palm fibre, with the unmistakable identification of Fu Sang with Japan, Ruo and Zhu must originally have been near the east coast, consistent with the existence of archaeological sites.

The stories about Yellow Emperor and Yu indicate both clans married into the silk producing West Hill/Zhu Hill/Tu Hill tribe that in some way helped them to advance their power and overlordship. When descendents of the tribe migrated west to Sichuan, they brought their silk weaving skills and place names with them, leaving behind more recent archaeological sites such as Sanxingdui. While the Yellow Emperor/Kun/Yu tribes probably did come from the west or north west, the silk making tribes originated in the east. Further, the family names and legends of the new arrivals hint that they too were descended from the eastern tribes but moved west and mingled with nomadic tribes picking up new skills, before coming east again.

Events reflected in the flood and Fuxi-Nuwa stories must be much earlier, before tribal hierarchies became established, and also before the invention of the alphabet since no such system was found in China, showing that the people who brought the stories did not have it, but the Fuxi-Nuwa/ Adam-Eve part can only have arisen after the nature of sex and human fertility had already been understood, and the make-humans-from-mud part indicates an agricultural life with Adam having to devote himself to the backbreaking job then return to soil, and probably also after the invention of pottery making with clay; so the two stories together have a relatively narrow time window historically speaking, say 6-9000 BC.

The stories must have come with a wave of migration involving a large farming tribe that was still able to move to new sites without disrupting any hierarchical orders and getting into conflict with older occupants of each region. Its people were numerous enough to go both east and west in Asia, with each strand developing its own versions of the story, not to meet again for many centuries.

Some historians in the past suggested a western origin of chinese people because of the similar legends, and met a cool reception. While some of these discussions were based on very flimsy evidence like pottery symbols that look like the star of david, or the name Jiandi, the matriachal founder of Shang tribe, sounds like Judith of Old Testament, the Jews and the Chinese do seem to have some kind of shared origin, and the issue is to determine when and where the branching off occurred.

The process need not be a simple and clear cut: human settlements had existed in China long before the events depicted in the bible, but this need not exclude the possibility of some migrants bringing legends with them and successfully merging into what was already there. For example, while silkworms were only known in China during ancient times and mulberry trees could not attain the same importance elsewhere, there is no reason why the idea of tree of life could not be imported as an abstract concept, and then become attached to the mulberry tree in a concrete fashion.

While it might be mere coincidence that both China and Middle East had the idea of tree of life, to have both involving the idea of "bird rebirth" makes the coincidence too coincidental, and the fact that the two stories are different in details only serves to show that this was a common story developing two difference versions, rather than one story imported from one side to the other recently.

Questions have also been raised about how "chinese" the Fuxi-Nuwa stories are, since they are more widespread among the current southern minority tribes like the Miao, and started to appear only in manuscripts of the Warring States period, after southward expansions of the border states bringing various minority tribes under their rule. However, the oral legends of these tribes tend to indicate they migrated from the north earlier, and the worship of Nuwa is both old and widespread in northern China. Adding to this the snake-dragon worship of the various ruling tribes, one could only conclude that Fuxi-Nuwa, though ignored by official Zhou historians, were well entrenched in Chinese history, and if imported, came much earlier than Warring States.

Since the oldest agricultural settlement discocvered so far, 7-8000 years old, is near Hangzhou, it can be conjectured that the people came by sea, and spread northwards. The arrival time might be a little earlier, since the agricultural technology shown at the settlement was already quite advanced and more primitive earlier sites ought to exist; however, from 15000BC onward the rising sea level due to warmer climates leading to glaciers melting, would have submerged all the coastal settlements developed earlier.

The people possibily merged with native population, forming the two main tribes, one worshiping birds and one snakes, in an area in eastern china extending from southern Hebei, Shangdong, upper Huai River Basin, Yangzi Delta, and Qiantang River area, where the advanced black pottery and jade sites dating from 2-3000BC were discovered, and the raising of silkworms and weaving of silk and jute textiles were developed, each to a quite advanced state over the 5000 odd years. The snake worshippers also spread west along the Yellow River (taking up millet instead of the rice they ate near Hangzhou), creating or at least participating in the numerous fishing/planting sites dating from 3-4000BC, reaching all the way to Tibet and Xinjiang, before some of them turned back and rejoined the Chinese mainstream, probably bringing back some of the nomadic practices and legends they picked up.

Judging by shared legends, the birdworshippers are closer to the Mongolians, Manchurians, Koreans, Siberians and American Indians, while the snake worshippers were closer to Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders. The Tibetans are somewhat curious: genetically they appear to be close to the former group, but do not share the same legends and linguistically they are closer to the mainstream Chinese rather than the northern asians. Their legends about their own origins speak of a marriage alliance between a monkey tribe and a tall/fair tribe of people from the east, an area with scattered elements of the Yi tribe that vaguely fit the description. The Yis share features of the eastern china bird tribes, but it is not clear whether the particular people that merged with the "monkeys" came from eastern china, or from some other origin like India, which is to the south west, or central asia via xinjiang which is to the north west of Tibet.

There is in fact a Tibetan legend about a Tang princess sent to marry the Tibetan King that parallels Soloman's disputed baby judgement: she gave up her son rather than risking harm to him in a struggle, a clearly corrupted version since it is unthinkable for a queen, surrounded by palace attendants in contrast to the two prostitutes in the bible, to lose her baby to a rival. While it is possible that the story was brought to Tibet by Christian merchants or missioneries, it is equally possible that the original story was much older than Soloman but was conveniently attached to him by Hebrew theologians when writing the Torah, while the descendents of the same ancient tribe that went east kept the oral story going till much later when they attached it to a different legendary figure.

That no similar story was found in mainstream Chinese legends hints that this tribe did not expand further east over land, while a different lot, carrying another set of stories, went to eastern China via an alternative route. A particular point of notice is the Tibetans, like the Qiangs that fought the Hans, (note: these may or may not be the same people that produced the Jiang tribe, since the Hans may have used the word to denote all western nomads) cremated their dead, whereas the people who started the Genesis legends buried their corpses, which was also the standard practice at the old sites in China. It is not clear whether the Qiangs also shared the Tibetan practice of regicide, with the king "going to heaven" when his son reaches age 13, whereas the Kun/Yu and probably also the Yellow Emperor tribes, all from west, did follow.

Another interesting point is the Qiangs used the swatika symbol, hinting that they were related to the ancesters of the Indo Europeans, who too used cremation. Note that the swatika probably originated from the representation of two intertwined snakes, perhaps mixed up with some kind of sun diagram or water swirling pattern, showing that the early indo europeans/Qiangs were probably also snake worshippers. Archaeology tends to reveal information about burials, while migratory tribes, whether herders or planters, that cremate their dead tended to leave behind few traces, making it difficult to pin down their place in ancient history.

Despite the shared legends, including the preference for burial rather than cremation, the Hebrews and the Chinese parted company before they developed the important parts of their culture; the Chinese worshiped their ancesters, while the Jews developed more abstract notions; ideograms were used in China, while the Hebrews and others adopted alphabets; microlith tools and cave paintings were extensive in the west but little known in China, which however found silk moths on mulberry trees, and nephrite jade material to be made into weapons and ritual objects, thousands of years before these were even known about in the west.

In some way or other, the people of the west, and the Qiangs/Tibetans, picked up more of the habits of the Indo Europeans while the Chinese got much less. In speech, the Chinese continued with the five simple vowels i-a-o-u-e, using them to construct compound vowels but adding no new basic vowels like those that appeared in European languages (such as the i in it, the u in us and the a in at); the hebrews used i-a-o-u-e as the chant to honour their God, a name that could not be written because vowel symbols were invented later by the Greeks, by which time the name had already changed to yahweh/yehovah.

Some Xinjiang writers have suggested that Hetian (Hotan), an important source of nephrite jade and also known as Yitian, was Eden; however, it seems unlikely that Xinjiang had cobras. India might be a better bet as 10000 year old settlements were found extensively in the Indus valley and seals showing symbols that were neither alphabets (too many) nor ideograms (too few), but something in between like Chinese radicals (partial ideograms with meaning/sound, which are used to assemble whole ideograms), were found in later city ruins, with similar seals having been dug up in Mesopotamia. Sifting through the mythology, a version of the flood/brother-sister marriage story is known in India but not in the much drier Xinjiang where flooding displacing whole tribes would have been unlikely.

In any case, India's location would have been suitable as starting point for the eastward and westward migrations, and genetic testing of skeletons found in the ruins have discovered representations of Australasians, Mediterranians as well as European and North Asian stocks, showing a tribal merging taking place in India before possible dispersal. The dragon worship and sea travel of these people hint at a relation with the Phoenicians, in contrast to the hunting background of the indo-europeans and northern asians including probably the shangs and the hou yi tribes.

However, the discovery of jade objects in a number of Shang tombs, made from Xinjiang nephrite, raises the question of how the Shangs got to know about the jade supply: Henan, where their capital was situated, had jade mines in use since antiquity, though the material produced there is of lower quality than Xinjiang jade and less preferred, assuming that one was aware of the alternative supply. The Shangs themselves appear to have come from the north east, but taking over the stored goods of the Xia palaces including its stock of jade objects, they would have found out about the sources of the raw material, and the Xias, or at least one of their ancester tribes, might well have spent time in Xinjiang and used the jade supply there to produce their ritual objects, before coming east.

A second intriguing story is about the unicorn: Chief Justice Ji Tao was supposed to have a one-horned goat that knew the difference between good and evil, and decided on his behalf whether to favour one party or the other when lawsuits were brought before him; a bronze figuring of a one horned horse was discovered in a Han grave located near Xinjiang, again indicating a proximity with Central Asia. It is therefore hinted that the rather obscure stories about the lady and the unicorn arose from a more primitive story about virtue generally, but only the romantic association with one particular virtue, chastity, reached Europe. Note that the Greek unicorn was a goat like the Chinese one, and the story may be related to that of Apollo cutting off one horn of the goat demon.

It is unclear whether the Old Testament's mention of some animal that sounds like the unicorn, referred actually to the white oryx; Persians associated the unicorn with cruelty instead of virtue. Korean legends have a unicorn lion that represents justice, but the Qilin (Kirin in Japanese), an animal with horns and fish scales that brings babies like the European stork, is probably not a version of the unicorn at all. Instead it seems to be a version of Bixie, the dog-lion that in some way expels demons, and its western equivalent is more likely to be the griffin. Indian legends have a unicorn hermit who was persuaded by a princess to marry her and join the material life to help her kingdom. Unfortunately, the stories are too few and sketchy to permit meaningful conclusions.

Another sketchy story is the man who died chasing the sun, except that in the Chinese version he was running on the ground and died of thirst, whereas in the European version he (Icarus) flew, and his wax wings melted so he fell to his death. It is not clear whether some intermediary version of the story existed in the regions between China and Europe as with the stories of unicorn and tamar tree.

The more widespread version of the sun chase involves the sun going into hiding for some reason plunging the world into darkness, and then being brought back by a hero, sometimes a groups of girls, in others the rooster. In some versions the sun's going into hiding was due to someone shooting down suns. However, the morality tale of not getting too close to the object of worship is missing from the heroic tale and it is not clear the two tales arose from the same origin. Another story about Daedalus (father of Icarus) on using an ant to thread a seashell, has a parallel in a 500AD story about Confucius, who got advice from a mulberry girl, presumably a fairy rather than a real peasant woman, to thread a nine-bend pearl.

The story was supposed to be taken from an earlier Han book, a compilation of commentaries and anecdotes on Zhou poetry and presumably relating some ancient parable probably pre-dating Confucius, but attached to him for convenience like the Solomon story (just as it got attached to Daedalus in Europe, crediting clever act to clever man.) The surviving version of this book no longer has the particular story, which came to us via reproduction in a later book. That two stories relating to Daedalus have ancient Chinese equivalents makes it unlikely that the similarities are mere coincidences. The correspondences are just too specific.

We also see similarities in European and Chinese "bring fire down from heaven", "the body parts of creator god X became various parts of the world" and "kill tribe chief to make way for new one" stories, but they are rather generic and it is difficult to decide whether the european and chinese versions came from the same source, but there is a tantalizing story of Apollo's exile from Olympus for killing the Cyclopes, sons of Zeus and makers of thunderbolts, parallelling Hou Yi's banishment from heaven after shooting down nine out of ten suns, who were Gaoxin's sons by Queen Xihe, (which probably meant one bird-sun tribe under Hou Yi absorbing nine siblings.)

While these sound generic enough, there is the additional story of the Cyclopes constantly fighting each other, such that Zeus had to send them away, which parallels the two sons of Gaoxin having to be sent to separate exile locations because of their constant quarrels, one becoming the fire priest of Yao. Note that the ten suns were reduced to one, despite Gaoxin's affection for them, because they behaved badly, by disobeying the order that they appear one per day and not together. Further, the Cyclopes were "one eyed giants" because they had an eye-like tatoo on their foreheads, whereas the Shangs, descended from the Gaoxin son exiled to Shang to worship the Shang star, also had tatooed foreheads.

While all those somewhat similar details are intriquing and it is useful to speculate about their arising from a common origin, the larger issue is whether they come from an overall fire/sun god against water/thunder god story which is vaquely present in a wide geographic area between China and Europe, extending all the way to North and South America. Of all these versions the one from Japan made the most historical sense: a sun goddess defeated a thunder god and her descendents ruled Japan since, hinting at the conquest of a fishing tribe by an agricultural one, and its chinese equivalent is Nuwa killing the black dragon and spreading ash to dry out a water logged land, thus bringing peace and settled life.

Somewhere along the line the Chinese version developed into the collapsing heaven story, which also includes Hou Yi's murder which was instigated by his wife Chang E/ Black Wife/Nine Tail Fox but carried out by his student/servant Fengmeng, which sounds close to Fenglong the thunder god. Just like Apollo versus Zeus, there is sun versus cloud/rain/thunder, itself predecessor to the Shang-Xia struggle of birds against dragons with the Zhous later inheriting the dragon side. The origin of the conflict may trace all the way back to hunter versus farmer a la Cain-Abel, or hunter versus fisherman with the former preferring sun, arrow, bird, land, etc, and the latter preferring water, moon, cloud, thunder, etc.

The traces left by the sun/bird versus rain/dragon conflict in European legends are not as clear as the chinese ones, perhaps because the fight did not develop into a dynastic vendetta captured in tribal and state histories. The Zeus-Apollo conflict has long ago lost its link with the Noah flood story, whereas in China at least some tribes still credit the flood story to the thunder god/sun god fight, with a trace left even in the Hou Yi story of shooting the river god in the eye and stealing his wife who later arranged his murder and returned to her moon/water/dragon worshipping tribe.

Wife murdering husband does remind us of several episodes of Greek mythology, in particular that of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and both seem to be examples of the old practice of regicide by a challenger - the general king/tanist/priestess theme in Grave's White Goddess and Fraser's Golden Bough. Whereas the Hou Yi usurpation of the Xia throne, his death and Xia's subsequent recovery were recent (about 1900BC) and entirely chinese, the tribal conflict might have much longer roots, coming all the way from India/Western Asia, with the old regicide story merging into the later usurpation story. In the same way, the story of Agamemnon got meshed into the story of Helen and Troy, but with hints of much older stories having been carried down. (In fact Agamemnon's death in the bath, the earlier bath death of Minos and others, usually because if female intrigue, probably had the same origin as Osiris's death in the floating coffin.)


To HiddenMysteries Internet Book Store

Search Query
Search this Reptilian Agenda Website

HiddenMysteries and/or the donor of this material may or may not agree with all the data or conclusions of this data.
It is presented here 'as is' for your benefit and research. Material for these pages are sent from around the world. Reptilian Agenda Website is a publication of TGS Services
Please direct all correspondence to
TGS HiddenMysteries, c/o TGS Services,
22241 Pinedale Lane, Frankston, Texas, 75763

All Content © HiddenMysteries - TGS (1998-2005) Internet Store ~ HiddenMysteries Information Central
Texas National Press ~ TGS Publishers Dealers Site

All Rights Reserved

Please send bug reports to

FAIR USE NOTICE. This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:

United States Code: Title 17, Section 107 Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include - (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.