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Jerry Coyne: Darwinians do SO bash eugenics!

We accept that Coyne and his friends didn’t find Nicholas Wade’s views congenial. But wasn’t he one of the pop science gang? Could some Darwinians possibly shed some light on his retirement book party and then sudden submergence? Read More ›

Richard Dawkins says eugenics works because he assumes we are just like animals

At one fell swoop, Dawkins exposes another frequent weakness of naturalist atheism: direct conflict with facts. Eugenics does not work for humans. Unlike animals, we make personal choices, which could be based on reason and free will or on the apparent lack thereof. And those choices confound the ambitions of others. Read More ›

At Nature: An honest attempt to come to terms with Darwinism’s role in eugenics

With eugenics, as with racism, all critics want is an honest acknowledgment of the sources, not butt-covering bafflegab. It doesn’t matter now except for the butt-covering bafflegab. 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 ›

Why genetic determinism can’t simply be disproven

Reviewing behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin’s Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, a history of medicine prof writes, Crude hereditarianism often re-emerges after major advances in biological knowledge: Darwinism begat eugenics; Mendelism begat worse eugenics. The flowering of medical genetics in the 1950s led to the notorious, now-debunked idea that men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY genotype) were prone to violence. Hereditarian books such as Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve (1994) and Nicholas Wade’s 2014 A Troublesome Inheritance (see N. Comfort Nature 513, 306–307; 2014) exploited their respective scientific and cultural moments, leveraging the cultural authority of science to advance a discredited, undemocratic agenda. Although Blueprint is cut from different ideological cloth, the consequences could Read More ›

Paper: “Dangerous tendencies” of Catholic theistic evolutionist included support for “racist eugenic practices”

Abstract: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin loved the world, but, theologically and spiritually, he often tried to leave it behind. This essay shows that from the 1920s until his death in 1955, Teilhard de Chardin unequivocally supported racist eugenic practices, praised the possibilities of the Nazi experiments, and looked down upon those who he deemed “imperfect” humans. These ideas explicitly lay the groundwork for Teilhard’s famous cosmological theology, a link which has been largely ignored in Teilhardian research until now. This study concludes that such support requires a reconsideration of how Teilhard is used in twenty-first century theology. (paywall) – John P. Slattery, Dangerous Tendencies of Cosmic Theology, The Untold Legacy of Teilhard de Chardin, Philosophy and Theology, Volume 29, Issue Read More ›