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Originally posted by whitewave
During the days of slavery, the biggest, strongest and healthiest "bucks" were used as breeders to produce bigger, stronger and healthier slaves for the next generation. We no longer have slavery (thank God!) but you may have noticed that most of our athletes are black (African-American for the PC).
Originally posted by Stewart Lewis
Another flaw with eugenics is that we don't fully understand the interconnectedness of genes. We may go in a remove a gene that causes addiction and unknowingly create another problem.
gene manipulation could of course be lumped into eugenics, but with 98% of our DNA being considered junk, noone can really advocate genetic manipulation with a straight face.
What you've said is only sort of half true. Yes, only 1-3% of our genome is considered "coding" DNA, and yes, the other 99-97% is jokingly referred to as "junk" DNA, however, this junk DNA actually plays a very important structural role in the human genome, and it is just as viable a target in genetic manipulation as the coding regions.
Maybe you could give us a working definition of "eugenics" for the purpose of this discussion. It seems that we're all working off different ideas of what constitute a eugenics program. It's my understanding that eugenics refers to the mandatory permanent sterilization of a group or groups of people deemed unfit to propagate the species. There are, of course, sub issues inherent in that definition such as who determines what is fit or unfit, etc.
Hitler's eugenics program was carried to a genocidal extreme and I think (hope) we can all agree that is not a desirable outcome.
Some believe that eugenics means the predetermined selectivity of breeder pairs (which raises issues of its' own).
Before we get too far into the discussion, let's have a common foundation from which to build and the OP should be the one to provide that foundation, if you please.
The term eugenics comes from the Greek roots for "good" and "generation" or "origin" and was first used to refer to the "science" of heredity and good breeding in about 1883.
"Eugenics is a word with nasty connotations but an indeterminate meaning." (I. Paul, 1998, p. 99).The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics' entry for eugenics notes that the term has had different meanings over time: "...a science that investigates methods to ameliorate the genetic composition of the human race, a program to foster such betterment; a social movement; and in its perverted form, a pseudo-scientific retreat for bigots and racists" (V, Ludmerer 1978, p. 457).
The principal manifestations of eugenics are racism and abortion; eugenics is the basis for "scientific racism" and laid the foundation for legalizing abortion. It is the driving force behind euthanasia, in vitro fertilization, and embryo and fetal research. It is the driving force in global population policy, which is a key element in American foreign policy. It is the force driving much of the environmentalist movement, welfare policy, welfare reform, and health care. It is found in anthropology, sociology, psychology—all the social sciences. It is reflected in much American literature, especially science fiction. So it is worth some study.
Originally posted by thematrix
The bottom line question is, who says who's good and who's bad?
Originally posted by DragonsDemesne
Sickle cell anemia, as one example, causes many health problems, but interestingly it also provides immunity to malaria, which is common in southeast Asia, where many people have this condition. Should we wipe out sickle cell anemia in southeast Asia, assuming we could do so?