February 28, 2010
This Isn't Eugenics ... No, Wait!
Any allusion to present-day biomedical practices as being eugenic usually leads to quite hysterical denials and the accusation of painting with an inappropriate Nazi brush.I've heard all the arguments, so please spare me: The only people who were Nazis were the Nazis. The only things that are eugenic are what the Nazis did in the interests of breeding a more superior race. Genetic research in this day and age is an absolutely cutting-edge, wonderful, and very necessary ethical endeavor. The howling eugenics deniers will even concede that eugenics didn't originate in Nazi Germany (the U.S. and the U.K. have that distinction), and, if pressed, that some prominent historical figures supported eugenics (Margaret Sanger and Winston Churchill among them). But that's as far as it goes. The prevailing zeitgeist holds that eugenics was a terrible thing in a time gone by. It doesn't happen anymore. We learned from our collective social mistakes.The thinking behind eugenics isn't very difficult...(Read Full Article)