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Eugenics etc

Royal Society lecturer says what Richard Weikart has been saying for years?

Weikart has written a number of books in his long academic career on the links between Darwinism and malign social trends like elitism and racism. Read More ›

Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger, a big Social Darwinist, gets canceled, more info

The thing is, they could have addressed it all decades ago. One can only wonder why they didn’t. Perhaps they thought they could get away with ridiculing the growing numbers of people who knew. Read More ›

Eugenics: The hidden history of the progressive movement

Cargill: Judging by a representative sample of textbooks, America’s high-school students get little exposure to the history of eugenics and scientific racism. One reason might be that the relationship of these movements to Progressivism is too close for comfort. Read More ›

Petition: Rename Darwinian Ronald Fisher lecture due to his support for eugenics

Sort of thing that had to happen eventually. Old and bust: “According to geneticist and author Richard Dawkins, Fisher [1890-1962] was the greatest biologist since Charles Darwin.” Old and bust, it seems. Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 16: The problem of playing God (when we don’t — cannot — know how)

In discussing the attempted brain hacking of monkeys, I made a comment about refraining from playing God. This sparked a sharp reaction, then led to an onward exchange. This puts on the table the captioned issue . . . which it seems to me is properly part of our ongoing logic and first principles reflections. Here, the other big piece of axiology (the study of the valuable) ethics, with side-orders of limitations in epistemology. So, kindly allow me to headline: KF, 10: >>It is interesting what sparked the sharpness of exchange above: KF: Playing God without his knowledge base, wisdom and benevolence is asking for trouble. A78 is right: all I’m saying is proceed with caution we shouldn’t play God Read More ›

Reviewer: Human Zoos film prompts some hard questions

A reviewer of the new documentary Human Zoos: America’s Forgotten History of Scientific Racism poses some questions he hopes will be broadly discussed: – How was it that people who considered themselves Christians could troop through exhibitions, such as at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and gawk at other groups of people exhibited like animals? Just because they came from more “primitive” cultures, such as the Philippines’? – How could thousands of church-going New Yorkers, over several sold-out weeks, go to the Bronx Zoo to gawk at Ota Benga, an African pygmy kidnapped from his faraway home, and displayed in a cage with orangutans, as the “missing” link in evolution? (After protests from black clergymen, he was eventually released, Read More ›

PBS’s American Experience: The Eugenics Crusade

A friend writes to recommend it: American Experience: The Eugenics Crusade is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen and I have watched many hundreds of them. As the movie documents, it started with Darwin, then moved on to Galton who spent his life developing the science of eugenics, then the American eugenics movement is covered in detail. Next is many leading, Harvard and other elite school educated scientists took it up, and Congress passes laws to end over 90 percent of immigration, and it moved on to Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust, noting at the Nuremberg Nazi trial the lawyers defending the Nazis cited the Bell v. Buck U.S. Supreme court case to justify their eugenics program. Read More ›

Genetically engineering ethical humans…

… as the only way to save the species? From Bryan Walsh at Medium: “Our morality and our moral dispositions evolved to stop us from killing ourselves within our small group and to make sure that we cooperated with our small group,” says Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. “But they didn’t evolve to provide benefits to strangers or to deal with large numbers of individuals at risk. All those features mean we’re particularly badly placed to deal with large statistical threats like the use of biological weapons or global collective action problems like climate change.” Essentially Savulescu believes that we “lack the moral capacities to deal with the sort of world we’ve created Read More ›

A note on eugenics, social darwinism and evolutionary theory

Notoriously, the Second International Congress on Eugenics [1921] defined Eugenics as the self-direction of human evolution and saw eugenics as applied evolutionary science with intellectual, logical and factual roots in several linked branches of science, medicine and scholarship. If you doubt this, simply examine the logo to the right. Perhaps the best summary of the then prevailing mentality comes from Scientific Monthly, in an article on the congress — noting how it highlights a keynote by a son of Darwin: >>THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF EUGENICS In this journal special attention has always been given to problems of evolution, heredity and eugenics. As older readers of the THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY will remember, it gave the first American publication to Read More ›