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What's so wrong with Eugenics?

Here's a working definition for this emotive word: "The word eugenics derives from the Greek word eu (good or well) and the suffix -genēs (born), and was coined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, who defined it as "the study of all agencies under human control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations" (see wikipedia)

Eugenics is one of those words that decent people don’t raise in polite society, a bit like master or slave or a few other words I can think of, and it has fallen into disfavor through negative association with the Nazis.

But is Eugenics really that bad? Why are people so afraid of it? After all, we are - every one of us - the product of Eugenics and enjoy its benefits at some level. Did not our parents choose one and not another partner from a vast genetic pool in order to have offspring with? Do we not eat plants and animals that have been genetically selected for?

Who among us does not enjoy the benefits of good foods that have been farmed or genetically selected? We all take medicines intended to improve us in some way? Don’t we all marvel at the great athletes that grace our sports fields, all of whom have undergone performance enhancing training and or drugs of one kind or another? Why do we cheer athletes, even ballet dancers, if not for their genetic prowess?

If a new pill were produced that would make you smarter, stronger, concentrate longer, or make you more aware or in touch with yourself or the rest of humanity, would you look away from it in scorn or reach for the pill bottle and a glass of water?

With gene therapy already with us, with the ability to abort fetuses with congenital illnesses already being performed, with animal cloning here, with genetically selected lab rats and monkeys doing the dirty work for us in medical labs, aren’t we already living in the Eugenic universe?

Mankind and his fellow animals alike have been undergoing generations of self-improvement, with mixed results, so why should science not carry this forward, nay, fast forward it? Why is Eugenics still the crime that dare not speak its name?

Can’t we disentangle the Eugenics of scientific racism from that which is already a fact today and move on to create a more intelligent, healthy world of beings and or animals?

TAGGED: GENETICS, POLITICS, SCIENCE


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