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U.S. History of Eugenics Practice – Mercola.com

By Dr. Mercola

When most people think of eugenics, the practice of “improving” the hereditary qualities of a race by controlled, selective breeding, they think of Nazi Germany and their attempts to exterminate certain ethnic groups.

But not only did the practice begin long before World War II, and end much later, it also was not confined to Nazi Germany.

In fact, eugenics was widely practiced in many countries, including in the United States as recently as the 1980s.

According to the North Carolina Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force Preliminary Report:

“The concept of eugenics was created in the late 1800s by British scientist Sir Francis Galton. The mindset at that time was to use genetic selection used in breeding thoroughbreds and other animals to create a class of people who were free of inferior traits. Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass a eugenics law in 1907.”

In 1927, a landmark Supreme Court case known as Buck v. Bell gave further fuel to the eugenics movement, as the court actually ruled that the state of Virginia could legally sterilize teenager Carrie Buck, who had been sent to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-minded because her foster parents deemed her a moral delinquent. It was following this ruling that the eugenics movement really took off in the United States.

In all, 33 states operated sterilization programs during the 20th century, at first targeting mostly people in mental institutions. As the years went by, the definition of what was “unfit to procreate” expanded to include not only the mentally ill but also:

Alcoholics

People with epilepsy

People who were blind or deaf, or had other disabilities

Poor people on welfare

Women who were deemed promiscuous

Criminals

People labeled “feeble-minded”

Children who were victims of rape

It’s estimated that 65,000 Americans were sterilized under such programs, most often without their consent or knowledge. This may sound incredulous, but at the height of the sterilization program in North Carolina even social workers could make recommendations for who would be good candidates for sterilization, and those recommendations were almost always accepted.

According to the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation:

“North Carolina law during the eugenics period endorsed sterilization of people who had epilepsy, sickness, “feeblemindedness” and other disabilities. Eugenics was a popular movement, especially prior to the World War II, and other states had similar programs.

However, North Carolina was the only state that allowed social workers to petition for the sterilization of members of the public. These local social workers would petition the board to sterilize a person, and the board would make the final decision. Over 70% of North Carolina’s sterilization victims were sterilized after 1945 in contrast to other states that conducted the majority of their sterilizations prior to World War II and 1945.”

It was not uncommon for poor, often African American, women in rural areas to go to a hospital to give birth and be unknowingly sterilized, often while being told they were having their appendix removed. This happened even to children, including those who had become pregnant by rape.

As ABC News reported:

“In North Carolina, 85 percent of sterilization were performed on women as young as 9-years-old.”

The U.S. eugenics practice was not a movement carried out in the back woods or by a few corrupted individuals, it was a government-approved and in some cases suggested procedure. As stated by the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation:

“The concept or term eugenics refers to the intentional and selective breeding of humans and animals to rid the population of characteristics deemed unfit by those administering this practice. In the U.S., eugenics was carried out by individuals, nonprofit organizations and state governments that felt that human reproduction should be controlled.

In the late 1940s, the Department of Public Welfare began to promote increased sterilization as one of several solutions to poverty and illegitimacy. In the 1950s, the N.C. Eugenics Board began to focus increasingly on the sterilization of welfare recipients, which led to a dramatic rise of sterilizations for African Americans and women that did not reside in state institutions. Prior to the 1950s, many of the sterilization orders primarily impacted persons residing in state institutions.”

As reported by ABC News, to this day only seven of the 33 states that had sterilization programs have publicly acknowledged or apologized to victims, and only North Carolina has taken steps to compensate victims for damages. While no decision has yet been reached, the suggested compensation for deceptively taking away a person’s ability to procreate is floating around $20,000 to $50,000 per living victim.

In 2011, most of the victims have since passed away, but their families are still living with the pain.

How could anyone ever conceive of doing something like this? Well, that question may never be answered, as human exploitation and experimentation at the hands of the government not only existed well into the 20th century, it’s still going on today. Right now, virtually everyone reading this is taking part in any number of unethical experiments you are not being told about, involving substances and technologies that stand to seriously harm your health:

These examples may not be as barbaric as forced sterilization, but they are no less deceitful in terms of the impact they can have on your health. You have taken the first step to opting out of these dangerous, population-wide experiments being thrust upon Americans and much of the world and you did that by getting informed. Use your knowledge as your shield to help you make wise choices for you and your family in regard to food, medications and technology.

See the article here:

U.S. History of Eugenics Practice – Mercola.com

How to Understand the Resurgence of Eugenics – JSTOR Daily

In 1883, the English statistician and social scientist Francis Galton coined the word eugenics (well-born, from Greek). The term referred to his idea of selectively breeding people to enhance desirable and eliminate undesirable properties. Seen as following Darwins theory of evolution, in the 1920s and 30s eugenics gained important backing in England and the United States. Scientists and physicians spoke and wrote in its support. It influenced U.S. immigration policy, and states like Virginia used it to justify the forcible sterilization of the intellectually disabled.

Todays growing anti-immigrant and white nationalist movements are raising concerns about a return of this long discredited dogma. For instance, U.S. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) recently tweeted about a far-right movement in Europe, calling Western culture superior and saying, We cant restore our civilization with somebody elses babies. King hoped for an America thats just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.

At the same time, we are seeing an advance in methods of manipulating human DNA that, though they present many benefits, could also be used to advance eugenic goals. This combination of a dubious political agenda and the tools to implement it could take us in uncharted directions.

We can find guidance in two classic works about the dangers of modifying people and labeling them as superior or inferiorthe novel Brave New World (1932) and the film Gattaca (1997). Their publication anniversaries in 2017 are sharp reminders of the costs of embracing any kind of twenty-first-century eugenics.

Could gene-editing be pushing us toward a neo-eugenic world?

Eugenics straddles the line between repellent Nazi ideas of racial purity and real knowledge of genetics. Scientists eventually dismissed it as pseudo-scientific racism, but it has never completely faded away. In 1994, the book The Bell Curve generated great controversy when its authors Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein argued that test scores showed black people to be less intelligent than white people. In early 2017, Murrays public appearance at Middlebury College elicited protests, showing that eugenic ideas still have power and can evoke strong reactions.

But now, these disreputable ideas could be supported by new methods of manipulating human DNA. The revolutionary CRISPR genome-editing technique, called the scientific breakthrough of 2015, makes it relatively simple to alter the genetic code. And 2016 saw the announcement of the Human Genome Projectwrite, an effort to design and build an entire artificial human genome in the lab.

These advances led to calls for a complete moratorium on human genetic experimentation until it has been more fully examined. The moratorium took effect in 2015. In early 2017, however, a report by the National Academies of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance, modified this absolute ban. The report called for further study, but also proposed that clinical trials of embryo editing could be allowed if both parents have a serious disease that could be passed on to the child. Some critics condemned even this first step as vastly premature.

Nevertheless, gene editing potentially provides great benefits in combatting disease and improving human lives and longevity. But could this technology also be pushing us toward a neo-eugenic world?

As ever, science fiction can suggest answers. The year 2017 is the 85th anniversary of Brave New World, Aldous Huxleys vision of a eugenics-based society and one of the great twentieth-century novels. Likewise, 2017 will bring the 20th anniversary of the release of the sci-fi film Gattaca, written and directed by Andrew Niccol, about a future society based on genetic destiny. NASA has called Gattaca the most plausible science fiction film ever made.

In 1932, Huxleys novel, written when the eugenics movement still flourished, imagined an advanced biological science. Huxley knew about heredity and eugenics through his own distinguished family: His grandfather Thomas Huxley was the Victorian biologist who defended Darwins theory of evolution, and his evolutionary biologist brother Julian was a leading proponent of eugenics.

Brave New World takes place in the year 2540. People are bred to order through artificial fertilization and put into higher or lower classes in order to maintain the dominant World State. The highest castes, the physically and intellectually superior Alphas and Betas, direct and control everything. The lower Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, many of them clones, are limited in mind and body and exist only to perform necessary menial tasks. To maintain this system, the World State chemically processes human embryos and fetuses to create people with either enlarged or diminished capacities. The latter are kept docile by large doses of propaganda and a powerful pleasure drug, soma.

Like George Orwells 1984, reviewers continue to find Huxleys novel deeply unsettling. To Bob Barr, writing in the Michigan Law Review, it is a chilling vision and R. S. Deese, in We Are Amphibians, calls its premise the mass production of human beings.

The discovery in 1953 of the structure of DNA led to the advent of real genetic science that could change people. DNA editing appears in several films analyzed by the film historians David A. Kirby and Laura A. Gaither in Genetic Coming of Age: Genomics, Enhancement, and Identity in Film. The authors single out Gattaca as showing a society that has so much confidence in the predictive power of genomics that their culture revolves around these expectations. The film provides a lesson in the eugenic effects of editing human DNA. Its title combines the first letters of guanine,adenine,thymine, andcytosine, the base pair compounds essential to how DNA transmits genetic information.

The In-valid Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) tries to blend in as the genetically perfected Jerome Morrow in Gattaca (Columbia Pictures 1997).

The social order in Gattaca, set in the not-too-distant future, is far looser than in Brave New World. It is much like todays world with one crucial change: Genetic science has advanced so that a persons genetic makeup can be easily tested, and it is routine to alter the DNA of an embryo to produce a baby with specified characteristics. The result is a society dominated by genetic destiny.

Genetic augmentation is not available to everyone in this society. Only those with means can pay geneticists to implant assets like good looks or musical ability in the DNA of their children-to-be. Although it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a persons genetic profile, in practice Valids, those with superior genetic credentials, have every advantage and live desirable lives, whereas the less genetically favored In-valids or De-gene-rates are the Epsilons of this society, who push brooms and clean toilets.

In the story, young Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is a non-augmented In-valid who is projected to develop serious medical conditions. Through sheer grit and refusal to quit, he physically outperforms his enhanced Valid brother, determined to realize his ambition of becoming an astronaut. The closest he can come, however, is to work as a janitor at the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation, which launches space missions.

Vincent games the system by acquiring the superb DNA profile of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a former Olympics swimmer now in a wheelchair because of an accident. After surgery to make himself resemble Jerome (and with Jeromes help), Vincent can pass as a Valid. His passion affects the disabled Jerome, who famously declares: I only lent you my body. You lent me your dream. Now apparently genetically qualified, Vincent is selected for astronaut training. In the final scene, we see him blast off on a mission to Titan, one of Saturns moons.

In a U.S. where medical care is not equally available to all, genetic enhancement will likely be too costly for all but the wealthy.

Any science that professes to predictably change humanity should be carefully weighedor its results may come to haunt us and the new humans we make. Brave New World shows an extremely repressive society whose eugenic system keeps a select group in control. Although such a goal might appeal to the far right, in the near term, at least, it is hard to imagine such a movement gaining the political power to impose a Nazi-like program of gene editing.

Gattaca, however, presents a believable model for the future. It reflects and extends current attitudes toward race and the disabled, and with Americas growing gap between haves and have-nots, its speculations ring true. Buying genetic advantage to give ones child an edge in life would be just a step beyond what parents now dosending a very young child to an expensive private school, for instanceto gain that edge.

In a U.S. where medical care is not equally available to all, genetic enhancement will likely be too costly for all but the wealthy. As in Gattaca, buying enhancement will not be illegal, nor seen as unethical. But it would widen existing health and social inequalities, as expressed in the reactions to the Human Genome Editing report. Those who can afford it would choose mental and physical advantages for their offspring, perhaps including traits such as selfishness or win at all costs personalities that might benefit them but harm society. This would enhance a special group that would not need Francis Galtons selective breeding to make itself superior over time, leaving everyone else as the In-valids.

This approach could also erode Americas racial and ethnic diversity, fulfilling Rep. Kings fantasies. Homogeneity is exactly what would result if a favored group genetically replicates and enhances itself to produce future generations with the same appearance and attitudes, only more so.

In the final analysis, Brave New World portrays a hard eugenics created by a government to suppress human rights, diversity, and opportunities for its citizens. But like the world in Gattaca, our own society could instead display a eugenic element not imposed from above, but arising from our societys dynamics. Unless our society balances the undoubted benefits of gene editing against its equally undoubted risks, the greater danger may come not from authoritarian government but from this soft eugenics.

By: WILLIAM G. LENNOX

The American Scholar, Vol. 7, No. 4 (AUTUMN 1938), pp. 454-466

The Phi Beta Kappa Society

By: Bob Barr

Michigan Law Review, Vol. 108, No. 6, 2010 SURVEY OF BOOKS RELATED TO THE LAW (April 2010), pp. 847-857

The Michigan Law Review Association

By: David A. Kirby and Laura A. Gaither

New Literary History, Vol. 36, No. 2, Essays Probing the Boundaries of the Human in Science (Spring, 2005), pp. 263-282

The Johns Hopkins University Press

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How to Understand the Resurgence of Eugenics – JSTOR Daily

Eugenics was a progressive cause | Columns … – Weatherford Democrat

WASHINGTON The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution. They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, that the black/white differential had narrowed, and that millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights pre-exist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races. The progressive theologian Walter Rauschenbusch argued that with modern science we can intelligently mold and guide the evolution in which we take part.

Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government. Princeton University scholar Thomas C. Leonard, in his 2016 book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era, says progressives believed that scientific experts should be in societys saddle, determining the human hierarchy and appropriate social policies, including eugenics.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation. Progress, said Ely, then at Wisconsin, depended on recognizing that there are certain human beings who are absolutely unfit, and who should be prevented from a continuation of their kind. The mentally and physically disabled were deemed defectives.

In 1902, when Wilson became Princetons president, the final volume of his A History of the American People contrasted the sturdy stocks of the north of Europe with southern and eastern Europeans who had neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes saying that in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

At the urging of Robert Yerkes, president of the American Psychological Association, during World War I the Army did intelligence testing of conscripts so that the nation could inventory its human stock as it does livestock. The Armys findings influenced Congress postwar immigration restrictions and national quotas. Carl Brigham, a Princeton psychologist, said the Armys data demonstrated the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group over the Mediterranean, Alpine and Negro groups.

Progressives derided the Founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities. Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

George Wills email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

Continue reading here:

Eugenics was a progressive cause | Columns … – Weatherford Democrat

Eugenics was a progressive cause – MyDaytonDailyNews

WASHINGTON The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution. They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, that the black/white differential had narrowed, and that millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights pre-exist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races.

Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation.

In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes saying that in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

Progressives derided the Founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities. Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

Read more from the original source:

Eugenics was a progressive cause – MyDaytonDailyNews

Will: Eugenics was a progressive cause | Columns | pantagraph.com – Bloomington Pantagraph

The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution.

They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, that the black/white differential had narrowed, and that millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights pre-exist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races. The progressive theologian Walter Rauschenbusch argued that with modern science we can intelligently mold and guide the evolution in which we take part.

Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government. Princeton University scholar Thomas C. Leonard, in his 2016 book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era, says progressives believed that scientific experts should be in societys saddle, determining the human hierarchy and appropriate social policies, including eugenics.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation. Progress, said Ely, then at Wisconsin, depended on recognizing that there are certain human beings who are absolutely unfit, and who should be prevented from a continuation of their kind. The mentally and physically disabled were deemed defectives.

In 1902, when Wilson became Princetons president, the final volume of his A History of the American People contrasted the sturdy stocks of the north of Europe with southern and eastern Europeans who had neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes saying that in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

At the urging of Robert Yerkes, president of the American Psychological Association, during World War I the Army did intelligence testing of conscripts so that the nation could inventory its human stock as it does livestock. The Armys findings influenced Congress postwar immigration restrictions and national quotas. Carl Brigham, a Princeton psychologist, said the Armys data demonstrated the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group over the Mediterranean, Alpine and Negro groups.

Progressives derided the founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities. Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

Read more from the original source:

Will: Eugenics was a progressive cause | Columns | pantagraph.com – Bloomington Pantagraph

George Will: Eugenics was a progressive cause – The Saratogian

The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics — controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings — was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution. They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, that the black/white differential had narrowed, and that millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights pre-exist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism — belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races. The progressive theologian Walter Rauschenbusch argued that with modern science we can intelligently mold and guide the evolution in which we take part.

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Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government. Princeton University scholar Thomas C. Leonard, in his 2016 book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era, says progressives believed that scientific experts should be in societys saddle, determining the human hierarchy and appropriate social policies, including eugenics.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation. Progress, said Ely, then at Wisconsin, depended on recognizing that there are certain human beings who are absolutely unfit, and who should be prevented from a continuation of their kind. The mentally and physically disabled were deemed defectives.

In 1902, when Wilson became Princetons president, the final volume of his A History of the American People contrasted the sturdy stocks of the north of Europe with southern and eastern Europeans who had neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes saying that in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

At the urging of Robert Yerkes, president of the American Psychological Association, during World War I the Army did intelligence testing of conscripts so that the nation could inventory its human stock as it does livestock. The Armys findings influenced Congress postwar immigration restrictions and national quotas. Carl Brigham, a Princeton psychologist, said the Armys data demonstrated the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group over the Mediterranean, Alpine and Negro groups.

Progressives derided the Founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism — the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities.Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

George Wills email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

Read more from the original source:

George Will: Eugenics was a progressive cause – The Saratogian

HR 1313: part of the trend of eugenics – Patheos (blog)

Advocates for the rights of the disabled have already expressed concern about the direction taken by the Trump administration. Trump famously mocked a disabled reporter during the election, but this was not surprising to anyone familiar with both his bullying tactics and his tradition of promoting ideas that smack of eugenics:

Trumps father instilled in him the idea that their familys success was genetic, according to Trump biographer Michael DAntonio.

The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development, DAntonio says in the documentary. They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.

The Huffington Post dug back through the archives and found numerous examples of Trump suggesting that intellect and success are purely genetic qualities and that having the right genesgave him his very good brain.

The page about people with disabilities has been removed from the White House website. We have a Secretary of Education who had never even heard of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, prior to her appointment, and an Attorney General who actively opposes it. Now, with the rolling-back of Medicaid expansion, we seethe likelihood that disabled and autistic children will be left without coverage. In short, thisregime is primed to move in the dangerous direction of creating an illusion of wealth and prosperity by weeding out the undesirables (immigrants, the poor, the disabled).

And now a new bill, HR 1313, has been proposed, which would allow employers to require genetic testing of its employees, and give them the right to access employees health and genetic records. This bill is unequivocally opposed by the American Society of Human Genetics:

If enacted, this bill would fundamentally undermine the privacy provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

We urge the Committee not to move forward with consideration of this bill, said ASHG president Nancy J. Cox, PhD. As longtime advocates of genetic privacy, we instead encourage the Committee to pursue ways to foster workplace wellness and employee health without infringing upon the civil rights afforded by ADA and GINA.

A key component of ADA and GINA is that they prevent workers and their families from being coerced into sharing sensitive medical or genetic information with their employer. For GINA, genetic information encompasses not only employees genetic test results but also their family medical histories. H.R.1313 would effectively repeal these protections by allowing employers to ask employees invasive questions about their and their families health, including genetic tests they, their spouses, and their children may have undergone. GINAs requirement that employees genetic information collected through a workplace wellness program only be shared with health care professionals would no longer apply.

The bill would also allow employers to impose financial penalties of up to 30 percent of the total cost the employees health insurance on employees who choose to keep such information private. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual premium for employer-sponsored family health coverage in 2016 was $18,142. Thus, for such a plan, a wellness program could charge employees an extra $5,443 in annual premiums if they choose not to share their genetic and health information.

Recently I had genetic testing done, of my own volition, because of my familys history of breast cancer, associated with a gene mutation common in those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. The conversations surrounding the decision to have testing done were fascinating, because questions about ancestry, genetics, and inherited traits lead one to conversations about the racial prejudice. Being Jewish means many wonderful things, but unfortunately it means being more at risk for carrying a killer gene, and this is exactly the sort of thing that anti-semitic eugenicists love to jump on. Among the semi-educated, the talk can slip from ancestry to ancestral curses, and all the vile reasons racists have concocted, to justify their hatred and oppression of the Jews.

Luckily, I tested negative for the gene. But what if I hadnt? What if, a few years from now, I suddenly found myself denied health coverage because of this curse? If this bill passes, how many women (and men) who carry the breast cancer gene are going to find themselves unable to procure health care? And would people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent or other genetically at-risk demographics be especially targeted for mandatory testing?

This is untenable from a pro-life standpoint. This is part of a larger plan which is driven, not by humanitarian motives or by any acceptable ethic, but by an insidious movement to remove support from the most vulnerable, for the sake of the evil dream of eugenics.

image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Eugenics_congress_logo.png

Link:

HR 1313: part of the trend of eugenics – Patheos (blog)

Eugenics was a progressive cause | Editorial Columns | The News – The News (subscription)

The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution. They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, that the black/white differential had narrowed, and that millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights pre-exist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races. The progressive theologian Walter Rauschenbusch argued that with modern science we can intelligently mold and guide the evolution in which we take part.

Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government. Princeton University scholar Thomas C. Leonard, in his 2016 book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era, says progressives believed that scientific experts should be in societys saddle, determining the human hierarchy and appropriate social policies, including eugenics.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation. Progress, said Ely, then at Wisconsin, depended on recognizing that there are certain human beings who are absolutely unfit, and who should be prevented from a continuation of their kind. The mentally and physically disabled were deemed defectives.

In 1902, when Wilson became Princetons president, the final volume of his A History of the American People contrasted the sturdy stocks of the north of Europe with southern and eastern Europeans who had neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes saying that in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

At the urging of Robert Yerkes, president of the American Psychological Association, during World War I the Army did intelligence testing of conscripts so that the nation could inventory its human stock as it does livestock. The Armys findings influenced Congress postwar immigration restrictions and national quotas. Carl Brigham, a Princeton psychologist, said the Armys data demonstrated the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group over the Mediterranean, Alpine and Negro groups.

Progressives derided the Founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities. Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

See original here:

Eugenics was a progressive cause | Editorial Columns | The News – The News (subscription)

The liberals who loved eugenics – Washington Post

The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murrays appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced eugenics, thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings was a progressive cause.

In The Bell Curve, Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, and his co-author, Harvard University psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, found worrisome evidence that American society was becoming cognitively stratified, with an increasingly affluent cognitive elite and a deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive ability distribution. They examined the consensus that, controlling for socioeconomic status and possible IQ test bias, cognitive ability is somewhat heritable, the black/white differential had narrowed and millions of blacks have higher IQs than millions of whites. The authors were resolutely agnostic concerning the roles of genes and the social environment. They said that even if there developed unequivocal evidence that genetics are part of the story, there would be no reason to treat individuals differently or to permit government regulation of procreation.

[Why Middleburys violent response to Charles Murray reminded me of the Little Rock Nine]

Middleburys mob was probably as ignorant of this as of the following: Between 1875 and 1925, when eugenics had many advocates, not all advocates were progressives but advocates were disproportionately progressives because eugenics coincided with progressivisms premises and agenda.

Progressives rejected the Founders natural-rights doctrine and conception of freedom. Progressives said freedom is not the natural capacity of individuals whose rights preexist government. Rather, freedom is something achieved, at different rates and to different degrees, by different races. Racialism was then seeking scientific validation, and Darwinian science had given rise to social Darwinism belief in the ascendance of the fittest in the ranking of races. The progressive theologian Walter Rauschenbusch argued that with modern science we can intelligently mold and guide the evolution in which we take part.

Progressivisms concept of freedom as something merely latent, and not equally latent, in human beings dictated rethinking the purpose and scope of government. Princeton University scholar Thomas C. Leonard, in his 2016 book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era, says progressives believed that scientific experts should be in societys saddle, determining the human hierarchy and appropriate social policies, including eugenics.

Economist Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association and whose students at Johns Hopkins University included Woodrow Wilson, said God works through the state, which must be stern and not squeamish. Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, epicenter of intellectual progressivism, said: We know enough about eugenics so that if that knowledge were applied, the defective classes would disappear within a generation. Progress, said Ely, then at Wisconsin, depended on recognizing that there are certain human beings who are absolutely unfit, and should be prevented from a continuation of their kind. The mentally and physically disabled were deemed defectives.

In 1902, when Wilson became Princetons president, the final volume of his A History of the American People contrasted the sturdy stocks of the north of Europe with Southern and Eastern Europeans who had neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. In 1907, Indiana became the first of more than 30 states to enact forcible sterilization laws. In 1911, now-Gov. Wilson signed New Jerseys, which applied to the hopelessly defective and criminal classes. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginias law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. writing in a letter that, in affirming the law requiring the sterilization of imbeciles, he was getting near to the first principle of real reform.

At the urging of Robert Yerkes, president of the American Psychological Association, during World War I the Army did intelligence testing of conscripts so that the nation could inventory its human stock as it does livestock. The Armys findings influenced Congresss postwar immigration restrictions and national quotas. Carl Brigham, a Princeton psychologist, said the Armys data demonstrated the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group over the Mediterranean, Alpine and Negro groups.

Progressives derided the Founders as unscientific for deriving natural rights from what progressives considered the fiction of a fixed human nature. But they asserted that races had fixed and importantly different natures calling for different social policies. Progressives resolved this contradiction when, like most Americans, they eschewed racialism the belief that the races are tidily distinct, each created independent of all others, each with fixed traits and capacities. Middleburys turbulent progressives should read Leonards book. After they have read Murrays.

Read more from George F. Wills archive or follow him on Facebook.

Link:

The liberals who loved eugenics – Washington Post

Cow eugenics: Colombian ranchers breed cattle to stand their ground against big cat predators – Genetic Literacy Project

If big cats dont kill livestock, farmers wont shoot them.

Panthera, a charity that manages corridors for jaguars that stretchfrom Argentina to Mexico, guesses that just 5,000 of the cats are left in los llanos, Colombias scorching savannah. It has come up with a less violent way of protecting both the jaguars and the cattle.

The idea is to teach cattle self-defence, or rather to breed the instinct into them.

Pantheras idea is to replace panicky Zebu with cattle that stand their ground, or to interbreed the two.Esteban Payn, who directs Pantheras operations in northern South America, chose San Martineros, a little-known subspecies of Criollo cattle descended from Spanish fighting bulls. Few jaguars dare to challenge a massed group of 500kg (1,100-pound) San Martineros, their horns levelled. Docile with humans, they are fierce defenders of territory and their young.

Eugenics seems to work. Cattle that are just a quarter San Martinero may be just as brave, says Mr Payn. No jaguars have attacked cattle on Las Pampas, [a] 4,000-hectare ranch, since the programme began, he says. Zebu-only ranches in the area suffer a dozen attacks a year.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post:Breeding cows that can defend themselves against jaguars

The rest is here:

Cow eugenics: Colombian ranchers breed cattle to stand their ground against big cat predators – Genetic Literacy Project

Genetics Are the New Eugenics: How GMO’s Reduce the Human Population – Center for Research on Globalization

The following is from an interview transcript

Last year, we had a series of mergers in the agribusiness GMO-corporations worldwide. This has created an alarming concentration of corporate power in the hands of basically three corporate groups.

The first one is Bayer AG of Germany, which made a friendly takeover of Monsanto. The reason for this was that Monsanto became identified in the public mind as pure evil and everything bad about GMOs, which was accurate. This became a burden on the whole GMO project. So, Bayer stepped in, which has a friendly image of an aspirin, harmless, nice company, but in fact is the company that invented heroin in the 1880s and made gas for the ovens of Auschwitz during WWII. Its one of the dirtiest agribusiness companies in the world with a series of homicides and pesticides that killed off bee colonies and many other things that are essential to life and to nature.

Flickr.com/Miran Rijavec (public domain)

ChemChina China State Chemical giant for some reason took over Swiss Syngenta, which makes weed-killers.

Then, Dow Chemicals and DuPont merged their GMO businesses together.

So, we have three gigantic corporate groups worldwide controlling the genetically-modified part of the human food chain. As dangerous as the GMO crops are and the more they sell, it is becoming more and more obvious that they are the chemicals that by contract must be applied to those GMO seeds by the corporations. They demand that if you buy roundup ready soybeans or corn, you must use Monsanto (now Bayer) roundup.

Therefore, this is giving more corporate power to the GMO industry than ever before and thats an alarming trend. They are putting pressure on the bureaucracy in Brussels. One example: there was a massive public campaign against the renewal of the license of the European Commission for Glyphosate. Glyphosate is the most widely used weed-killer in the world. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsantos roundup. The other ingredients are Monsantos corporate secret, but the combination of them is one of the most deadly weed-killers.

The World Health Organizations body responsible for assessing genetic dangers made a ruling the last year that Glyphosate was a probable cancer-causing agent.

The license came up for automatic renewal last year a 15-year license. The EU commission for health was prepared to automatically renew it for 15 years. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is responsible allegedly for the health and safety of European citizens, recommended approval based on a German study by the German Food Safety Agency that was simply lifted 100% from studies given by the private corporation Monsanto! So, the whole chain was corrupt from the beginning and all the information was rigged. In reality tests have shown that in minuscule concentrations, lower than in recommended levels in Europe and in the US, Glyphosate causes kidney disease, liver disease, and other illnesses that are potentially fatal.

Now, Glyphosate has shown up in urine tests, in urban drinking water, in gardens, in ground water and so forth. And that gets into the system of childbearing women, for example, with embryo. Its all in this!

The EU commission, despite a million petitions this is a record setting and despite recommendations from leading scientists around the world to not renew the license, made a compromise under huge industry pressure and renewed it for 18 months. Why did they renew it for that time? Because at the end of 18 months, they were told by Bayer and Monsanto that the takeover of those two giant corporations will be completed and Bayer is going to replace Glyphosate with another, likely more deadly toxin, but not so well-known as Glyphosate. So, they simply bought time. And that is just one example.

This agenda of GMO is not about the health and safety; its not about increasing crop yields thats a lie that has been proven in repeated tests in North America and all around the world. Crop yields for farmers, using GMO plants, may increase slightly for the first 1-2 harvest years, but ultimately decline after 3-4 years. And not only that! Weve been promised by Monsanto and other GMO giants that the use of chemicals will be less, because of these wonderful traits that GMO plants resist. In fact, the weeds become resistant and you have super weeds, which are 5-6 feet in a height and choke out everything. Its a catastrophe. So, farmers end up using added weed killers to kill the super weeds. This whole mad playing around with the genetic makeup of nature is a disaster from the beginning.

The real agenda of GMO, which I have documented in great detail in my book Seeds of Destruction, comes from the Rockefeller Foundation. It comes out of the 1920s-1930s Eugenics movement. The Rockefeller Foundation during the 1930s, right up to the outbreak of World War II when it became politically embracing too, financed the Nazi Eugenics experiments of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and in Munich. Why did they do this? Their goal was the elimination of what they called undesirable eaters. That is called population reduction.

After the war, the head of the American Eugenic Society, who was a good friend of John D. Rockefeller, at the annual conference of the American Eugenic Society said: From today, the new name of eugenics is genetics. Moreover, if you keep that in mind genetic engineering, the Human Genome Project and so forth they all are scientific frauds. Russian scientists have proven that the entire Genome Project utterly disregarded 98% of the scientifically valuable data in favor of 2% that was completely nonsense and a waste of billions of dollars.

Therefore, they have been obsessed with the idea of how to reduce human population in a way that would not be so obvious as simply going out and carrying out mass-sterilization.

Actually, they have done that in Central America together with the World Health Organization by giving certain vaccines that they cooked-up to have abortive effects. Therefore, the women of child-bearing age in Central America were given these vaccines against tetanus. The organization of the Catholic Church became suspicious because the shots were given only to women, not to men. And they found that there was buried in the vaccine an abortive effect that made it impossible for women to conceive and bear children. This is all covert population reduction.

These are the Western patriarchs who believe they are the gods, sitting on the throne with great dignity, controlling mankind. I think they are a bunch of fools, but they have this agenda of genetic manipulation. Its against nature, its chemically unstable. And I have to congratulate the Russian Federation that they had the courage and the moral concern for their own population to ban GMO cultivation across Russia. That was a step forward for mankind. I would hope that Russia will use its influence to get China to do the similar thing, because their agriculture is in dire need of some healthy Russian input. But this step by Russia to make a GMO-free agriculture is a great step for mankind.

Read this article:

Genetics Are the New Eugenics: How GMO’s Reduce the Human Population – Center for Research on Globalization

Spencer Rendahl: Immigration And Eugenics – Vermont Public Radio

Almost a century ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, Carrie Bucks mother had been institutionalized for what was then called feeblemindedness.

Despite good grades Carrie was pulled from school by her foster parents at the end of sixth grade for domestic work. Soon Carrie became pregnant, and her foster family, knowing shed probably been assaulted by a visiting relative, also had her institutionalized for being feebleminded.

Carries circumstances made her the unfortunate legal target of the American eugenics movement.

As author Adam Cohen notes in his book, Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, in the 1920s the United States was caught up in the belief that newly discovered scientific laws of heredity could perfect humanity. It was a compelling idea, and Eugenicists laid claim to a body of apparent scientific knowledge and practice that called for native-born Americans deemed mentally or physically deficient to be forcibly sterilized.

In a test case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers in Virginia presented expert evidence that would never stand up to scrutiny today, that Carrie, her mother, and Carries 8-month-old daughter were feebleminded. In 1927 Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a eugenics supporter, famously wrote that three generations of imbeciles are enough to justify the courts 8-1 ruling that allowed the State of Virginia to sterilize Carrie and countless others with qualities deemed undesirable.

Nazi Germany followed the lead of the American eugenics movement and forcibly sterilized 375,000 of their own citizens. In the Nuremburg trials, Nazi defendants attempted to use Holmes majority decision as a defense.

And heres the Immigration link, because eugenicists turned to immigration laws for non-citizens.

At the turn of the last century, record levels of immigrants poured into the country, bringing with them different religious, ethnic and political backgrounds. Fear of their numbers contributed to social unrest and set the stage for The Immigration Act of 1924.

Championed by eugenicists, the Act set quotas for immigration that favored northern European and Christian immigrants over southern and Slavic Europeans and Jews. This law barred Otto Frank from bringing his family here to escape the Holocaust. Its the tragic backdrop to his daughter Anns famous diary – in which she documents her life before perishing in Auschwitz.

I find it hard to accept that once again were debating immigration and religion in a similar atmosphere.

View post:

Spencer Rendahl: Immigration And Eugenics – Vermont Public Radio

The true story behind the Marie Stopes eugenics trial of 1923 – Catholic World Report

In the 1920s, a legal victory against the rising eugenic tide was won by a Catholic doctor over prominent birth control advocate Marie Stopes. While Stopes is lauded today at a feminist hero, the story of the eugenics libel trial has been largely overlooked.

Marie Stopes in her laboratory in 1904. (Image via Wikipedia)

In 1923 in Britain, a Catholic doctor won an important victory in the battle against one of the most harmful ideologies of the 20th century: eugenics. The battle was fought in the law courts when British birth control advocate Marie Stopes sued Dr. Halliday Sutherland for libel.

Had Sutherland lost the case, opposition to eugenics in Britain would have suffered a blow, and would possibly have been silenced altogether. Sutherlands success was in large part because he was supported by the most consistently vociferous critic of eugenics in Britain at that time: the Catholic Church. But having won the legal battle, Sutherland subsequently lost the history war when the narrative of the losing side became the received history.

It is time to correct the record and, whats more, demonstrate why it matters today. Recent developments in biotechnology mean that eugenics is back. The issues in Stopes v. Sutherland are still relevant today and, when the centenaries of past events are commemorated in the next few years, it is essential that the correct narrative is used to influence the contemporary debate.

The centenary in 2023 of the Stopes v. Sutherland trial will be an opportunity to challenge the falsehoods of the last 100 years. Catholics can reflect on the Churchs record of standing up for ordinary people against the master plan of the elites. Remembering these events will help to educate and inspire those who will take up the cause in the contemporary debate.

Fake histories are warehouses to store fake news.

Theres lots of fake news around these days, isnt there? This article is about one of the sources of fake newsfake history.

Heres an example from the BBCs online biography of Marie Stopes:

In 1921, Stopes opened a family planning clinic in Holloway, north London, the first in the country. It offered a free service to married women and also gathered data about contraception. In 1925, the clinic moved to central London and others opened across the country. By 1930, other family planning organisations had been set up and they joined forces with Stopes to form the National Birth Control Council (later the Family Planning Association).

The Catholic church was Stopes fiercest critic. In 1923, Stopes sued Catholic doctor Halliday Sutherland for libel. She lost, won at appeal and then lost again in the House of Lords, but the case generated huge publicity for Stopes views.

Stopes continued to campaign for women to have better access to birth control

A second example of fake history is a 2015 press release from Marie Stopes International celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Stopes second London clinic:

90 years ago a woman called Marie Stopes made an extraordinary decision. She would open a service in the heart of London that offered women access to free contraception. In 1925, three years before women would win the right to vote, Marie Stopes bucked convention by showing women they had a choice regarding whether and when to have children.

On what grounds do I say that these items are fake? In my opinion, they are fake because of what they leave out.

There is no mention of Stopes eugenic agenda or of her intention to achieve, in her own words, a reduction of the birth rate at the wrong part and increase of the birth rate at the right end of the social scale.

No mention of her view that, as she put it in 1924:

From the point of view of the economics of the nation, it is racial madness to rifle the pockets of the thrifty and intelligent who are struggling to do their best for their own families of one and two and squander the money on low grade mental deficients, the spawn of drunkards, the puny families of women so feckless and deadened that they apathetically breed like rabbits.

No mention was made that she advocated the compulsorily sterilization of the unfit, nor of her lobbying the British Prime Minister and the Parliament to pass the appropriate legislation.

No mention of the vituperative language she used to describe those whom she desired to see sterilized: hopelessly bad cases, bad through inherent disease, or drunkenness or character wastrels, the diseasedthe miserable [and] the criminaldegenerate, feeble minded and unbalancedparasites.

No mention is made of the bedrock tenets of the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress, set up by Stopes to run her clinics: to furnish security from conception to those who are racially diseased, already overburdened with children, or in any specific way unfitted for parenthood.

No reasons were given as to why the doctor opposed her. Dr. Sutherland opposed Stopes because he opposed eugenics. His opposition began many years before, when he was nominally a Presbyterian and in practice an atheist.

No mention was made of the fact that Dr. Sutherland specialized in tuberculosis, an infective disease of poverty. This fact is key, because it brought him into direct conflict with eugenicists (more commonly known at the time as eugenists). Eugenists believed that susceptibility to tuberculosis was primarily an inherited condition, so their cure was to breed out the tuberculous types. While Sutherland and others were trying to prevent and cure tuberculosis, influential eugenists believed their efforts were a waste of time. Furthermore, these eugenists thought tuberculosis was a friend of the race because it was a natural check on the unfit, killing them before they could reproduce.

Of course, both the BBC biography and the press release are brief summaries and, as such, cannot include all of the details that I have outlined. But thats not the point. The point is that neither item properly summarizes the issues. The excision of Stopes eugenic agenda makes her a secular saint. How could anyone oppose her in good conscience?

And thats the question that brought me to where I am now. As a grandson of Dr. Sutherland, I often wondered why he opposed her, because I used to believe the fake version of this story myself. No onefamily or otherwisetold me differently. Following many hours of research, including the examination of Dr. Sutherlands personal papers, I now know a different version of events.

Halliday Gibson Sutherland was born in 1882, and was educated at Glasgow High School and Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh. He studied medicine at Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and he graduated in 1908. At that time, he came under the influence of Robert Philip, who pioneered modern anti-tuberculosis treatments.

Tuberculosis was responsible for one-ninth of the total death-rate in Britain at the time. Tuberculosis killed over 70,000 victims, and disabled at least 150,000 more each year. Given that the disease often killed the bread-winner of a family, it was the direct cause of one-eleventh of the pauperism in England and Wales, a charge on the State of one million sterling per annum, Sutherland wrote in 1911.

In 1910, Sutherland was appointed the Medical Officer for the St. Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Tuberculosis. In 1911, he edited and contributed to a book on tuberculosis by international experts.

Sutherlands religious journey is pertinent to this story. He was baptized a Presbyterian. In August 1904, at the age of 22, he was in theory an agnostic and in practice an atheist, he would later write. Ten years later, there came the hazards of war, and for me the time had come when it was expedient to make my peace with God. At that point he was admitted to the Church of Scotland. He became a Catholic in 1919.

Also relevant to this story is the falling birth rate, and two groups which had strong views about population.

Britains birth rate increased from 1800 onwards. In 1876, it peaked at 36.3 per thousand, and began to fall. By the end of 1901 it had fallen 21 percent, and by nearly 34 percent by 1914.

Not everyone was worried about the fall in birth-rate; one group in particular, the Malthusians, welcomed the fall.

It was T.R. Malthus (1766-1834) who had observed: The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man.

He drew up his natural law, that when the population increased beyond subsistence, the resulting competition for resources would lead to conflict, famine, and disease. Sexual abstinence was the way to keep the population at manageable levels. In the period of the Stopes v. Sutherland libel trial, the term Neo-Malthusian was used to differentiate Malthusians who advocated the use of contraceptives instead of abstinence.

Another group keenly interested in population were the eugenists. The word eugenics was coined by Sir Francis Galton, cousin of the naturalist Charles Darwin. But while the word was new, the idea was not; G.K. Chesterton described it as one of the most ancient follies of the earth.

In the decades before the Stopes v. Sutherland libel trial, eugenists were concerned about the differential birth rate, so-called because the poor were producing more children than the rich. Given that British eugenists used social class as a proxy for a persons racial fitness, it was clear that the worst stocks would be the progenitors of Britains future population. For this reason, British eugenists fretted about degeneration and race suicide.

While there was rivalry between the Malthusian League and the Eugenics Education Society, and they differed strongly over the use of contraceptives, both groups agreed that in relation to population, quality mattered. The areas of overlap meant that some people were members of both the League and the Society. One such person was Marie Stopes.

The reader of this article might assume that doctors cure diseases; this, however, was not always a pressing concern for some influential minds in medicine and science at the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in relation to tuberculosis.

Sir James Barr, president of the British Medical Association (BMA), provides an excellent example of the attitude of many of those in the medical establishment of the time. At the BMAs annual conference in Liverpool in 1912, Barr was explicit that moral and physical degenerates should not be allowed to take any part in adding to the race. He then he turned his attention to tuberculosis:

If we could only abolish the tubercle bacillus in these islands we would get rid of tuberculous disease, but we should at the same time raise up a race peculiarly susceptible to this infectiona race of hothouse plants which would not flourish in any other environment. Nature, on the other hand, weeds out those who have not got the innate power of recovery from disease, and by means of the tubercle bacillus and other pathogenic organisms she frequently does this before the reproductive age, so that a check is put on the multiplication of idiots and the feeble-minded. Natures methods are thus of advantage to the race rather than to the individual.

Sutherlands opposition to this mindset and to eugenics can be traced to the article The Soil and the Seed in Tuberculosis, published in the British Medical Journal on November 23, 1912. In it, he recognised that doctors had traditionally believed in an inherited disposition to tuberculosis, and admitted that he had been one of them. Now he had changed his mind.

Sutherland again spoke out against eugenics on September 4, 1917, when he addressed the National Council of the YMCA. He rebutted the notion that consumption was hereditary, and he attacked the eugenists:

But why should you set out to prevent this infection and to cure the disease? There are some self-styled eugenistswho declaim that the prevention of disease is not in itself a good thing. They say the efficiency of the State is based upon what they call the survival of the fittest. [World War I] has smashed their rhetorical phrase. Who talks now about survival of the fittest, or thinks himself fit because he survives? I dont know what they mean. I do know that in preventing disease you are not preserving the weak, but conserving the strong.

His disagreement with eugenists, previously on medical and scientific grounds, was now on ethical and moral grounds as well.

In March 1918, Marie Stopes book Married Love was published, became a bestseller, and made her a celebrity. According to biographer June Rose:

Marie had written Married Love for women like herself, educated middle-class wives who had been left ignorant of the physical side of marriage. Her tone in her book and in the letters of advice sent to readers implied that they shared a community of interests and of income. She had no particular interest in the lower classes and in Wise Parenthood had written censoriously of the less thrifty and conscientious who bred rapidly and produced children weakened and handicapped by physical as well as mental warping and weakness. The lower classes were, she wrote in a letter to the Leicester Daily Post, often thriftless, illiterate and careless.

It was in her other books that the eugenic agenda was more clearly expressed. In Radiant Motherhood, she urged the compulsory sterilization of wastrels, the diseasedthe miserablethe criminal.

Stopes and her husband opened the Mothers Clinic in Marlborough Road, Holloway on March 17, 1921. She established the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress to run the clinic. She engaged eminent people as vice-presidents of her society, including Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, John Maynard Keynes, and Sir James Barr.

Birth Control

On July 7, 1921, Sutherland attended a talk at the Medico-Legal Society by Dr. Louise McIlroy, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and first female professor at the Royal Free Hospital. In the discussion that followed her presentation, McIlroy addressed the negative physical effects of contraceptives. Sutherland, by this time a Catholic, wrote an article in which he observed that the medical profession now concurred with Catholic doctrine. The editor of The Month, in which the article appeared, suggested that he develop it into a book.

Sutherland wrote Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine Against the Neo-Malthusians. Despite the title, the book was very political and it described Malthusianism as an attack on the poor. It was a polemic for the fair treatment of the poor, and for an equitable structure in society to share the abundance of wealth. His conclusion foreshadows the demographic problems that developed nations face today:

The Catholic Church has never taught that an avalanche of children should be brought into the world regardless of the consequences. God is not mocked; as men sow, so shall they reap, and against a law of nature both the transient amelioration wrought by philanthropists and the subtle expediences of scientific politicians are alike futile. If our civilisation is to survive we must abandon those ideals that lead to decline.

In Birth Control, under the heading Exposing the Poor to Experiment, Sutherland wrote:

But, owing to their poverty, lack of learning, and helplessness, the poor are natural victims of those who seek to make experiments on their fellows. In the midst of a London slum a woman, who is a doctor of German philosophy (Munich), has opened a Birth Control Clinic, where working women are instructed in a method of contraception described by Professor McIlroy as the most harmful method of which I have had experience. When we remember that millions are being spent by the Ministry of Health and by Local Authoritieson pure milk for necessitous expectant and nursing mothers before and after childbirth, for the provision of skilled midwives, and on Infant Welfare Centresall for the single purpose of bringing healthy children into our midst, it is truly amazing this monstrous campaign of birth control should be tolerated by the Home Secretary.

Shortly after the book was published on March 27, 1922, Humphrey Roe, Stopes husband, wrote to Sutherland inviting him to publicly debate his wife. Sutherland did not respond to the letter, and a month later, he received a writ for libel.

Part II of this story will be published at CWR next week.

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The true story behind the Marie Stopes eugenics trial of 1923 – Catholic World Report

Robert VerBruggen Is Not a Nazi, But Eugenics Isn’t Rocket Science – The American Conservative

Im tempted to say, in response to Robert VerBruggens lament, that yes, thats Twitter for you, and this is one of many reasons why Im not on it. But Ithink there is more to say about the problem of eugenics than merely its immoral but not ineffective.

First of all, as Im sure VerBruggen would agree, not all efforts to improve the gene pool are immoral, and though we may disagree about exactly where the line is, we both surely agree that its laudableto get tested for Tay-Sachs before you marry, and we both surely agree that forced sterilization of undesirables is an abomination. For myself, Ive written about this before, and I stand by what I wrote then.

Second, we shouldprobably limit the word eugenics to collectiveprograms to improve the gene pool, and not apply the word to individual choices about who to have children with, because only collective programs can actually change the population as a whole. As such, its important to recognize that to breed for particular traits, you have to prevent elements within the population thatdont have those traits from breeding. For example, if you assume that intelligence is highly heritable, and wanted to increase the intelligence of the population, it wouldnt do to get smart people to marry other smart people. Youd have to get smart people tooutbreed less-smart people. I cant think of away to do this that is both ethical and plausible and most of the ways I can think of are neither.

Finally, while we know from extensive experience in selectively breeding animals and plants that such programs work, by work we meanthat weve maximizedparticular traits, abilities and behaviors. And in the course of doing so, you always get tradeoffs. The swift greyhound has chronic hip problems. The highly-trainable poodle is also prone to stress. The large-breasted chicken cant fly. And so forth.

There is no reason to doubt that the same would be true of humans, and that any serious attempt to breed people for particular traits even if undertaken on an entirely voluntary basis and involving no abortion or sterilizationor whatnot would have unexpected side effects. Perhaps breeding for ambitionwill result in lower empathy. Perhaps breeding for intelligence will result in greater incidence of anxiety anddepression. Perhaps breeding for greater athletic prowess will result in higher rates of marital infidelity and divorce. Who knows?

We dont and we cant ethically conduct the kinds of controlled experiments that would allow us to determine with high confidence that we had avoided unexpected side effects. That cautionholdsaswell for genetictherapies that are surely on the horizon. Fitness is only meaningfulrelative to a set of environmental conditions. Narrow the set of traits by which you definefitness and you have implicitly narrowed the set of environments within which an organism will prove fit. Which is not, generally, a good way for a species to maximize its survival prospects.

Im not arguing that people should blithely ignore genetic history or the science of inheritance more generally in matters like mate selection. (If I did, nobody would listen to me anyway.) But I am arguing both for humility and for a broad understanding of what constitutes fitness. Someone especially smart who says, I need to marry someone just as smart as I am so that ourchildren are likely to be similarly smart and hence similarly successful is not only running the risk of disappointment due to mean-reversion (which remainsa factor even when you stack the deck in your favor), but running the risk of having ignored other vital dimensions of the human personalityby reducing fitness to a narrow, measurable trait.

(Also, if you want a good marriage, you should probably marry someone who you love and desire, who is good for you and who you are good for, andwith whom you share certain core values and a robustability to communicate,rather than thinking of your spouse primarily as breeding stock. Not to mention not treating your children as pint-sizedsuccess machines. And staying off Twitter when your wife is in the next room with the OB/GYN. Just saying.)

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Robert VerBruggen Is Not a Nazi, But Eugenics Isn’t Rocket Science – The American Conservative

The Economic Evil Of Eugenics OpEd – Eurasia Review

By Matthew McCaffrey*

Eugenics has haunted the social sciences for the better part of two centuries. Historically, as a social movement, its most ardent advocates were the progressives, while in economics its most famous champion was John Maynard Keynes. Recently, the history of the eugenics movement has been studied in detail in Thomas Leonards masterpiece, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (you can read a review here, and Leonards own survey of the topic here). Yet although the rhetoric of public policy has changed since the heyday of eugenics a century ago, economic policies with eugenic implications persist almost unnoticed in the 21st century.

Its no surprise that Mises, an expert on the economics of socialism and interventionism, perceived the evils of this movement, especially its close connection with authoritarianism. In the early 1920s, for example, when Mises was beginning to outline his critique of socialist economic planning, he observed that total state control of the economy also requires control over reproduction:

Without coercive regulation of the growth of population, a socialist community is inconceivable. A socialist community must be in a position to prevent the size of the population from mounting above or falling below certain definite limits And since in it those motives, which in a society based on private ownership of the means of production harmonize the number of births with the limitations of the means of subsistence, would not exist, it will be obliged to regulate the matter itself. (1951, p. 198)

This regulation manifests as political rule of the private lives of citizens, against their own wishes:

He who would make man the material of a purposeful system of breeding and feeding would arrogate to himself despotic powers and would use his felIow citizens as means for the attainment of his own ends, which differ from those they themselves are aiming at. (1949, p. 244)

Historically, such total reproductive control was a feature of several socialist regimes, including China and Romania. Yet it was not the communists but the fascists who brought the logic of eugenics to its ultimate conclusion:

The Nazi plan was more comprehensive and therefore more pernicious than that of the Marxians. It aimed at abolishing laisser-faire not only in the production of material goods, but no less in the production of men. The Fhrer was not only the general manager of all industries; he was also the general manager of the breeding-farm intent upon rearing superior men and eliminating inferior stock. A grandiose scheme of eugenics was to be put into effect according to scientific principles.

It is vain for the champions of eugenics to protest that they did not mean what the Nazis executed. Eugenics aims at placing some men, backed by the police power, in complete control of human reproduction. It suggests that the methods applied to domestic animals be applied to men. This is precisely what the Nazis tried to do. The only objection which a consistent eugenist can raise is that his own plan differs from that of the Nazi scholars and that he wants to rear another type of men than the Nazis. As every supporter of economic planning aims at the execution of his own plan only, so every advocate of eugenic planning aims at the execution of his own plan and wants himself to act as the breeder of human stock. (1951, p. 581)

Race is a common theme in historical discussions of eugenics. Then as now, supporters of eugenics claim to rest their case on scientific results. As Mises puts it, The mass slaughters perpetrated in the Nazi horror camps are too horrible to be adequately described by words. But they were the logical and consistent application of doctrines and policies parading as applied science (1951, pp. 581-582). He repeatedly pointed out the failure of such pseudoscience to distinguish mental and moral characteristics based on race or social status (1944, pp. 170, 172;1951, p. 324;1957, p. 336).

Rather than science, eugenics is instead based on the unscientific values of eugenicists themselves, which inevitably imply the need to impose their plans on others:

Such judgments are reasonable if one looks at mankind with the eyes of a breeder intent upon raising a race of men equipped with certain qualities. But society is not a stud-farm operated for the production of a definite type of men. There is no natural standard to establish what is desirable and what is undesirable in the biological evolution of man. Any standard chosen is arbitrary, purely subjective The terms racial improvement and racial degeneration are meaningless when not based on definite plans for the future of mankind. (1949, p. 165)

In others words, central planning implies eugenics, and eugenics in turn is a kind of central planning. And like all central planning, it cannot ultimately succeed, but it can lead society to ruin by removing free choice and the free, innovative minds that go with it: It is impossible to rear geniuses by eugenics, to train them by schooling, or to organize their activities. But, of course, one can organize society in such a way that no room is left for pioneers and their path-breaking (1949, p. 140).

Of course, eugenics supporters also claim their plans will improve society by eliminating criminal or other undesirable elements, which they often associate with race and ethnicity. This too is an arbitrary and vain effort to improve the quality of humanity:

The eugenists pretend that they want to eliminate criminal individuals. But the qualification of a man as a criminal depends upon the prevailing laws of the country and varies with the change in social and political ideologies Whom do the eugenists want to eliminate, Brutus or Caesar? Both violated the laws of their country. If eighteenth-century eugenists had prevented alcohol addicts from generating children, their planning would have eliminated Beethoven. (1951, p. 581)

Today, policies are rarely labelled as eugenics-based. Nevertheless, eugenic effects are among the many terrible consequences of interventionist policies. The minimum wage is a useful example. Historically, it was a favorite policy of progressives, who freely admitted that its purpose was to prevent immigrants and other unemployables from competing in the job market, the better to manage their reproduction (Leonard, 2005, pp. 212-215). Even though today many of its advocates are unaware of this history, these laws still selectively victimize groups based on factors like race and ethnicity.

Importantly, eugenics is only one consequence of illiberal ideology. Throughout his career, Mises explained that other weapons of illiberalism, including racism, nationalism, protectionism, and war are all related, and mutually reinforce each other. Eugenics is simply one implication of these ideas, especially inasmuch as it fuels and results from economic intervention.

Given the implications for liberty and economy, its astonishing that anyone associated with the ideas of liberty could embrace eugenics, or treat eugenicists as legitimate scholars worthy of attention and debate. Its doublyunfortunate that there is a need to point out that eugenicists, racists, nationalists, and protectionists are no friends of Mises or his ideas, the liberal tradition, or the Austrian school.

About the author: *Matt McCaffrey is assistant professor of enterprise at the University of Manchester.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, teaches the scholarship of Austrian economics, freedom, and peace. The liberal intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) guides us. Accordingly, the Mises Institute seeks a profound and radical shift in the intellectual climate: away from statism and toward a private property order. The Mises Institute encourages critical historical research, and stands against political correctness.

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The Economic Evil Of Eugenics OpEd – Eurasia Review

COLUMN: Beware eugenics – Indiana Daily Student

A panel of researchers from the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Medicine released a report last week indicating preliminary support for embryonic gene editing in cases of severe disease or disability.

This support for genome editing represents not only the potential alteration of human germlines, the genetic material we may pass on to our children, but also the crossing of an ethical line. Genetic selection, after all, has its own questionable historical lineage.

I believe germline editing is a eugenic process. From the Greek term for well-born, eugenics refers to the selection of heritable biological traits with the aim of producing ideal progeny.

Amid post-Darwinian theories of biological degeneracy in the 19th century, eugenics emerged as a scientifically backed effort to eliminate disability, mental illness and non-white races from the human gene pool through forced sterilization and other intrusive measures.

In the 20th-century United States, eugenic efforts consolidated into federally funded sterilization programs in 32 states, some of which endured well into the 1970s. Indiana, in fact, was the first in the world to enact compulsory eugenic sterilization legislation in 1907.

A notorious 1927 Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell upheld the constitutionality of sterilization laws in the case of Carrie Buck, a woman deemed feebleminded and unfit in Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes majority opinion.

It is essential to recognize that eugenic practices received overwhelming scientific, medical and governmental backing in the name of public health. Though the practice is now acknowledged as unethical, it was legally dismantled only about half a century ago.

Embryonic gene editing procedures are not on the same ethical level as forced sterilization, but the processes nonetheless share eugenic goals.

An underlying principle of eugenics is that society gets to decide which conditions should be eliminated from the human gene pool.

This determination involves a subjective value judgment in selecting which specific diseases or disabilities should not be permitted to exist.

The panels report does acknowledge the troubling relationship between eugenics and human germline editing. While the awareness of this history is crucial in considering the ethical principles at stake, it does not resolve the problem.

The report offers no concrete guidelines for assessing which conditions qualify as severe disease or disability, nor does it clarify whether this determination would be based on quantitative measures, like fatality rates, or other more subjective measures.

Research for treatments is a better investment of resources, and it enables progress toward less ethically questionable options.

The National Institutes of Health currently allocate no funding to gene editing in embryos and for good reason.

Fortunately, it will likely require several years before embryonic gene editing would be a viable option. In the meantime, its time to reassess the ethical heritage of the practice: eugenics.

kmilvert@umail.iu.edu

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COLUMN: Beware eugenics – Indiana Daily Student

‘Father of eugenics’ should not be erased from academic history – Times Higher Education (THE) (blog)

Those statues and portraits that embellish our high seats of learning enjoy them while you can. As Sir Francis Galton, one of the greatest polymaths in British history, is recast by some University College London activists as the inventor of racism, we must ask: is any famous figure safe from the campus commissars of moral rectitude?

Today, Galton is best known as the father of eugenics, to the neglect of his far broader range of contributions to knowledge of humankind. He is ridiculed for his doctrine that nothing is beyond understanding through the scientific method of objective, quantitative measurement. Yet this approach elevated the erstwhile philosophical musings of psychology and sociology to credible empirical disciplines.

The eponymous statistical tests of his disciple Karl Pearson remain essential tools of empirical research. Strongly influenced by the evolutionary theory of his cousin Charles Darwin, Galton was passionate about the possibilities of improving the human race by manipulating the laws of natural selection.

We must always consider the social context of scientists and their theories: in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, imperial Britain was embarrassed by the apparent decline in physique and social attributes among the working class. Army recruiting sergeants saw before them a pale shadow of the sturdy agricultural labourers of Wellingtons time: certainly the arduous industry of Coke Town produced men of muscle, but others were gaunt weaklings or hapless dullards. Impoverished conditions were seen not as cause but effect.

The consensus of the fin-de-sicle intelligentsia was that something needed to be done. With higher birth rates in the lowest strata, the elite feared its decay, and subversion of biological laws by survival of the weakest. Eugenics, a term coined by Galton, was the scientific pursuit of improving the human stock. Among membership of the Eugenics Society were John Maynard Keynes, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Cyril Burt, Julian Huxley and most of British psychiatry.

Christians accused eugenicists of playing God, but there were also Anglican supporters.

Galton is vilified by UCL activists for his views of racial inferiorities. However, authoritative biographer Nicholas Wright Gillham is in no doubt that he would have been appalled by distortions of hereditary theory long after his death. Meanwhile, many other celebrated scientific, political and cultural names are untarnished by their support for the cause. Marie Stopes, a perennial role model on the BBC Radio series Womans Hour, urged sterilisation of the poor, yet this escapes the notice of leftward leaning liberals.

The chattering class, on its high moral ground, should be reminded that eugenics has never gone away: the brutally enforced one-child policy in China, and in the West abortion for a lengthening list of undesirable conditions such as Downs syndrome and cleft palate. Do the students who castigate Galton oppose genetic design, or assisted suicide?

People of the past were not perfect, and they cannot keep up with the whims of contemporary ideology. The lecture theatre named after Galton at UCL, his laboratory and bust, honour his seminal achievements. It would be intellectual and cultural vandalism to remove his name, but sadly this is part of a broader trend in universities.

Many scholars will be well aware of the censorial and airbrushing tendencies of radical students, and administrators often appear spineless in defending their greatest alumni. We expect students to be idealists and to challenge the status quo, but if their zeal for an unblemished gallery is appeased, universities will be left with only the bland and the boring.

Revisionism is manipulation of history to suit present sensitivities. If honourable men and women are to be punished for any utterance or belief at odds with modern norms, we will live perpetually in year zero.

Niall McCrae is a lecturer at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at Kings College London. Roger Watson is professor of nursing at the University of Hull.

Originally posted here:

‘Father of eugenics’ should not be erased from academic history – Times Higher Education (THE) (blog)

TNR Editor: Trump ‘Turned the GOP Into the Party of Eugenics,’ Which It Always Was – Reason (blog)

Trump campaignIn an essay that makes Meryl Streep look like an astute political commentator, The New Republic’s social media editor, Sarah Jones, claims “Trump Has Turned the GOP Into the Party of Eugenics.” Well, not literally, Jones concedes in the sixth paragraph. Or at all, it turns out, once you’ve waded through all 2,300 words of increasingly desperate argumentation.

At first it seems Jones wants to prove that Trump believes in eugenics, which she defines as “the idea that the human race could improve itself through selective breedingthrough propagating good traits and quarantining the bad ones.” Jones notes that Trump once told Oprah Winfrey, “You have to be born lucky, in the sense that you have to have the right genes.” And according to one biographer, the Trumps “believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”

In case you are not yet convinced that Trump is eager to push a program of government-sponsored genetic improvement, Jones adds that anonymous sources interviewed by The New York Times said Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, “occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.” Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, “praised the Immigration Act of 1924 in a 2015 interview with Bannon,” and Trump adviser Michael Anton has written (under a pseudonym) that Charles Lindbergh’s America First Committee was “unfairly maligned.”

That’s pretty much it, which is why Jones ends up switching her focus from Trump to the Republican Party and from eugenics to “the party’s agenda,” which “in many ways channels the spirit of eugenics, even if it does not accept the theory in a literal sense.” Hence the article’s subhead, which contradicts the headline by suggesting that eugenics was not introduced to the GOP by Trump but has “always been embedded in the Republican platform.”

How so? Republicans oppose Obamacare, like capitalism, talk about welfare reform, and support school choice, which according to Jones makes them eugenicists in spirit.

Jones omits a major target of anti-Republican rants: the GOP’s pro-life stance, which is inconvenient for her argument because it entails rejecting tools favored by coercive eugenicists: abortion, euthanasia, and sterilization. She also conspicuously ignores the intimate relationship between eugenics and progressivism. It was progressive icon Oliver Wendell Holmes, after all, who declared that “three generations of imbeciles are enough” in Buck v. Bell, the 1927 Supreme Court decision upholding Virginia’s forced sterilization of “mental defectives” (a decision that was joined by progressive luminary Louis Brandeis). Jones quotes a book about that case in her second paragraph but shows no interest in the ideological roots of the policy Holmes endorsed. She is so intent on exposing metaphorical eugenicists that she overlooks the political philosophy of actual eugenicists.

Jones’s article is an excellent example for progressives who want to alienate allies while discrediting criticism of Trump. She manages to exaggerate the odiousness of the president’s views even while conflating them with those of mainstream Republicans, turning what should be a discussion of Trumpism’s peculiar dangers into a familiar attack on cruel privatizers and budget cutters. If this is what the anti-Trump movement is all about, you can count me out.

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TNR Editor: Trump ‘Turned the GOP Into the Party of Eugenics,’ Which It Always Was – Reason (blog)

Aussie archbishop warns that abortion can lead to eugenics – Crux: Covering all things Catholic

ROME Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge on Monday said that theres a link between abortion and child abuse, and a Church which has been strong in defense of the unborn has to be no less strong in defending the young and vulnerable whenever and wherever.

The same, he added, is true for the state.

Coleridge delivered his comments on a video that was shared on his dioceses website, Brisbane. Hes currently one of several bishops of the Catholic Church who are participating in the final hearings by theAustralian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.

Last week during a pro-life rally, Coleridge was asked by a journalist to weigh in on Queenslands ongoing debate about decriminalizing abortion. Under the current code, both the woman seeking an abortion and the doctor providing the procedure can be criminally prosecuted, unless its performed to prevent serious danger to the womans physical or mental health.

During the interview, as he says in his post, the archbishop was asked about new technologies that can detect disabilities and also gender-based abortion.

I couldnt disagree with what he was saying, because eugenics is part of the complexity surrounding abortion, Coleridge said. The journalist mentioned the eugenics of Nazi Germany, and again I couldnt deny the historical fact.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, a pro-abortion rights Catholic, responded through Facebook, saying that shes a Catholic but also a woman, and she simply disagree[s] with the Churchs views on a womans right to choose.

Its also sad that we have reached a new low in this debate when women who have abortions are compared to Nazis, Trad wrote.

That, according to Coleridge, wasnt the point of what he had said, but instead the fact that the proposed legislation in Queensland can open the door to the kind of eugenics weve seen before and are seeing in other parts of the world now.

It has to do with law and policy, not the individual women who decide to have an abortion, he said.

Coleridge, or the Catholic Church for that matter, is far from being the first to raise the risks of genetics-based abortion.

For instance, in late January, Lord Kevin Shinkwin, a member of the United Kingdoms Parliament, gave a speech that has gone viral in many circles, in which he said: I can see from the trends in abortion on grounds of disability that the writing is on the wall for people like me.

Shinkwin, who is disabled, moved on to say that people with congenital disabilities are facing extinction.

If we were animals, perhaps we might qualify for protection as an endangered species, he said. But we are only human beings with disabilities, so we do not.

Coleridge also addressed Trads comment regarding the Churchs views on a womans right to choose, saying that this is slippery language, making him or the institution seem anti-woman, which is a common stereotype.

However, he argued, the Churchs position is genuinely pro-woman. Women are damaged by abortion, which is a short-term solution leading often to long-term trouble.

Then theres also the fact that many women choose to have an abortion because they either feel or are made to feel like they have no choice, and no other choices are presented to them.

To speak of a womans right to choose prompts other questions about rights: What of the rights of unborn children, or do they have no rights, no real human status? What of the rights of the spouse or partner of the woman considering an abortion? What of the rights of society to a guarantee of the right to life as the foundation on which all other rights are built? What of the rights of conscience?

In his interview, the archbishop also spoke about the contradiction of a government that strongly opposes domestic violence but favors a greater access to abortion, which according to Church teaching, as well as much scientific research in embryonics, means terminating a human life.

According to The Daily Telegraph, on Monday Trad went after Coleridge again, saying that she would have thought there was probably more importance in focusing on the outcomes of the findings of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and the role the Catholic Church has played in that rather than the legislation before the Queensland Parliament, which prompted his response.

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Aussie archbishop warns that abortion can lead to eugenics – Crux: Covering all things Catholic


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