Category: applied biology

Foster Kennedy: Euthanasia for “Nature’s Mistakes” up to the age of 5

Kennedy’s address at the 97th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1941 encapsulates well how the acceptance of evolution and utilitarian thinking are tied into arguments for eugenics (and euthanasia), which is ironic, of course, since many advocates for euthanasia deny such connections and modern proponents of evolution become apoplectic at the insinuation …

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Eugenics as a Religion and Social Darwinism, Collin Wells

Source: Dr. Collin Wells, “Social Darwinism” a paper presented in 1907, found in The American Journal of Sociology, pages 706-709 Finally, what is the evolutionary value of certain ideals? Let us take individualism, the ideal of democracy, which has tacitly figured in many of the phenomena to which I have already referred. Let us go …

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Excerpt: Darwin’s Dilemma as told by Bertrand Russell, from Designing Babies

From Designing Babies: The Brave New World of Reproductive Technology by Roger Gosden.  W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.  1999.  Page 3-4 According to Darwin’s theory, natural selection decides which individuals are fit to survive and breed.  So powerful was this idea that it quickly engaged not only fellow biologists but also intellectuals who were …

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Eugenics Must Begin with the Family: Paul Popenoe

From David Popenoe in War Over the Family p 235-236 (regarding his father, Paul Popenoe): In keeping with the decline of hereditarianism in American intellectual life, Paul Popenoe gradually shifted his professional efforts from genetic improvement to family improvement.  With the help of some influential financial donors, he started the American Institute of Family Relations (then …

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Eugenics Quote of the Day: Birth Control is about Weeding out the Unfit; so says Margaret Sanger

“Birth control itself … is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.” So says MARGARET SANGER.

Separating Sex from Reproduction, the School, and the State

“The family is already being eroded by the intervention of school and state, and [the separation of sex from reproduction] might be its coup de grace.” G. Taylor, 1968

Defective Genes are Like Pathogenic bacteria and viruses the Law Must Control

As quoted in The New Diagnostics by Dorothy Nelkin and Laurence Tancredi, 1989 (pg 13-14) Although the old eugenic generalizations have been cast off, the logic behind them persists, refueled from diagnostic tests and justified in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and cost.  Thus some geneticists suggest the social importance of improving the “gene pool.”  For …

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Guy Irving Burch: Darwin, Eugenics, and War

Guy Irving Burch was a staunch eugenicist and early advocate for population control on both environment grounds and eugenic grounds.  He rests his arguments explicitly on Darwin and Malthus, as this introduction to chapter 4 of his Human Breeding and Survival: Population Roads to Peace or War illustrates (pg 40). ————————- Chapter Four Freedom from …

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The Geneticists Manifesto (1939) or Social Biology and Population Improvement, by H.J. Muller

Social Biology and Population Improvement (aka, the Geneticist’s Manifesto) by H.J. Muller [Source #1, Source #2] The Seventh International Congress of Genetics adjourned at Edinburgh only three days before World War II got under way. It is interesting to recall that just before the shooting started a group of geneticists at that Congress-informally formulated what …

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Bentley Glass: “No parent will have the right to burden society with a defective child”

Excerpt from Dangerous Diagnostics by Dorothy Nelkin and Laurence R. Tancredi (pg 12, 1994) [Source] And in the same year [1970], Bentley Glass, in his retirement address as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called for “the use of the new biology to assure the quality of all new babies.  … …

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