Last Updated 08 Apr 2020

Eugenics: the Artificial Selection

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S R August 26, 2008 Biology 340 Eugenics: The Artificial Selection In the 1800’s, well-known biologist, Charles Darwin enlightened us with his theory of evolution and natural selection. In short, natural selection states that random genetic changes transpire within an organism's genetic code, such changes are preserved because they are valuable for survival. Darwin’s ideas came from economics applied to biology. By the late 1800’s Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin, had thoroughly studied his cousins findings and disclosed his beliefs in biology, which he related to human beings.

His philosophy was known as Eugenics. Eugenics was an idea was based on ways to control reproduction so that human race can better succeed, in other words, a revised sequel of Darwin’s natural selection, artificial selection. Galton understood that good advancement of mankind was let down by generous outreach to the underprivileged when such hard work motivated people to have more children. Galton sought after expanding his eugenics idealism from science to a policy and religion. This science was a form of perfecting the human race through improved reproduction.

That alone should have scared people, however, it began to evolve, as Galton desired. Eugenicist aspired the development of advantageous characteristics and abolition of the adverse ones. Eugenics was seen as a means to resolve the combined problems because it located the cause in the flawed germ cells within the embryo of individuals of certain ethnic groups instead of focusing on the structure of society. Eugenicist alleged that inherited disorders with basic modes of inheritance could be construed from derivations of inheritance contained by families, such as polydactyl.

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Psychiatric disorders, such as manic depression, were also considered when researching inherited disorders. Geneticist understood that behavioral personality had the utmost impact on society. They assumed that people inherited a trait that made them have an affinity to be poor. This was termed as shiftlessness. Other predispositions that were deemed inherited were alcoholism and sexual immorality, which was a notion to be part of the cause to criminal behavior.

In the 1920’s restrictive immigration laws were passed because eugenicist believed that undesirable traits were linked to racial and ethnic groups, which was detrimental to society. Furthermore, eugenics was incorporate by Adolf Hitler’s attempt at a master race. His barbaric behavior and massacre of Jews made the initiative of developing a master race became exceedingly ostracized. However, eugenics should not be considered eradicated from society. Some believe that the advancement and encouragement of birth control is considered a major eugenic success.

It was seen as a eugenic success because of a sudden increase in population and frenzy to control this. I understand that eugenics may be intended to promote reproduction among the genetically advantaged. Therefore, in that sense I find it to be acceptable to some extent. The practices that follow this type of positive eugenics, nowadays, is slowly being accepted in society. Such as, in vitro fertilization, a couple may find this option as a gift in life. However, others may argue that adoption is always the best option when infertility is an issue.

The fact that there are millions of children that do not have parents, would make me opt for child adoption. As previously mentioned, birth control is considered a eugenic success. In this area I would agree with that generalization. I find that women should take care of themselves form of eugenics that I consider eugenics negative when the attempt is to subordinate fertility amongst the genetically underprivileged. Such an example would be to have an abortion knowing that your child will have a disability.

Overall, this subject matter is more complicated and thought provoking that it may seem when once introduced. However, the evolution of society has made modifications to the early eugenic standards.

Work Cited EugenicsArchive. org Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement http://www. eugenicsarchive. org/eugenics/list3. pl Adams, Mark, ed. The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil and Russia (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 Neo Eugenics: http://neoeugenics. home. comcast. net/~neoeugenics/ Future Generations: http://www. eugenics. net/links/othrlink. html

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