Eugenics

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
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Yeah yeah, you reflexively winced and made a sneery face.

Defined as "the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics."

I'm not sure how you'd control human breeding, but wouldn't it be a worthy goal to improve the human population to increase desirable heritable characteristics? No mental or physical defects, no congenital illness, no obesity, no cancer or diabetes, no violent criminals. I'm not talking about psycho Nazi stuff, but a genuine improvement in the quality of the human body and mind.

Again, not sure how we would accomplish that because humans breed in the wild, but it's interesting to me how a simple word with a benign definition takes on such a negative connotation that people universally recoil when they hear it. That Dawkins person recently made a tweet that sent everyone over the edge:


The simple answer to his question is what I said above: humans breed in the wild, not in a controlled facility. But aside from that, why get so exercised over simply asking the question or discussing it like intelligent beings? Why reject it out of hand like pitchfork wielding villagers? If there were a reasonable way to improve the human animal, wouldn't that be a good thing?
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

Yeah yeah, you reflexively winced and made a sneery face.

Defined as "the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics."

I'm not sure how you'd control human breeding, but wouldn't it be a worthy goal to improve the human population to increase desirable heritable characteristics? No mental or physical defects, no congenital illness, no obesity, no cancer or diabetes, no violent criminals. I'm not talking about psycho Nazi stuff, but a genuine improvement in the quality of the human body and mind.

Again, not sure how we would accomplish that because humans breed in the wild, but it's interesting to me how a simple word with a benign definition takes on such a negative connotation that people universally recoil when they hear it. That Dawkins person recently made a tweet that sent everyone over the edge:


The simple answer to his question is what I said above: humans breed in the wild, not in a controlled facility. But aside from that, why get so exercised over simply asking the question or discussing it like intelligent beings? Why reject it out of hand like pitchfork wielding villagers? If there were a reasonable way to improve the human animal, wouldn't that be a good thing?
The only problem that really comes into play here, is, who's gonna be in charge? It's not a bad premise. But how is the current population coaxed into the program?
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
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The only problem that really comes into play here, is, who's gonna be in charge? It's not a bad premise. But how is the current population coaxed into the program?
No doubt it would be screwed up or abused because that's what people with power do. Also I don't think too many people would consent to be selective breeders either. But still interesting to talk about.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

No doubt it would be screwed up or abused because that's what people with power do. Also I don't think too many people would consent to be selective breeders either. But still interesting to talk about.
Indeed. Kinda reminds me of a science fiction movie, or two, that I just can't seem to name at the moment though. Someone should start a consulting business based on the eugenics model. However. As soon as someone did, I'm betting it would be regulated out of business. And you know? Deep down, several floors, way past the sub-basement, in some super secret government laboratories, or government sponsored and funded, or black budget funded, that exact work is being carried out. Oh yeah. Then there will be those that though religion and a supreme being saying it goes against everything that religion stands for, etc., etc., etc..
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
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And you know? Deep down, several floors, way past the sub-basement, in some super secret government laboratories, or government sponsored and funded, or black budget funded, that exact work is being carried out.
Probably. There's all kinds of crap that goes on that we don't know about.
 
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Spitfire

Active Member
Greetings:

You're a little late to the party; Dawkins has been doing this for a very long time. The original URL is gone, but here's a link using the WayBack Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20100204014014/https://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/11/richard_dawkins_a_eugenicist.php

There's probably much more out there.

This originally appeared in 2006 and it's been "his thing" for a while to demonstrate how the religious bits of modern society have a predilection to shut down discussions like this. Some might call him a troll.
 

transporter

Well-Known Member
Yeah yeah, you reflexively winced and made a sneery face.

Defined as "the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics."

I'm not sure how you'd control human breeding, but wouldn't it be a worthy goal to improve the human population to increase desirable heritable characteristics? No mental or physical defects, no congenital illness, no obesity, no cancer or diabetes, no violent criminals. I'm not talking about psycho Nazi stuff, but a genuine improvement in the quality of the human body and mind.

Again, not sure how we would accomplish that because humans breed in the wild, but it's interesting to me how a simple word with a benign definition takes on such a negative connotation that people universally recoil when they hear it. That Dawkins person recently made a tweet that sent everyone over the edge:


The simple answer to his question is what I said above: humans breed in the wild, not in a controlled facility. But aside from that, why get so exercised over simply asking the question or discussing it like intelligent beings? Why reject it out of hand like pitchfork wielding villagers? If there were a reasonable way to improve the human animal, wouldn't that be a good thing?
So...the stunningly obvious answers to your post:

1. There is no simple answer to the question. Making that assertion isn't logical.

2. Did you even read Dawkins post? It was a tweet and only six sentences. Do you think "cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses" didn't "breed in the wild" before humans started engineering them? Do you think the breeds in the Westminster Dog Show just appeared naturally or in a single generation?

3. You don't have to control the breeding of everyone...just enough of the population to weed out "unwanted traits" over generations. Although to some extent we can do that today. Genetic tests of amniotic fluid can reveal potential major health issues. The govt chooses which traits are "undesirable or even "deplorable" and those pregnancies are terminated. (I wonder if a light bulb just went on? Probably not, right spitbubble?)

4. In the end we can come up with a homogeneous population of tall, blond haired, blue eyed, physically attractive humans to fit the criteria of people like Hijinx (and apparently our President who thinks the only worthy immigrants come from Norway)...with the limited gene pool and all the unintended (but utterly predictable) consequences.
 
Due to either hereditary mental or physical characteristics, I do not know many people who would fit the bill to be "allowed" to reproduce. I am actually struggling to even make a list. This would mean they would have not been born... including me.

And of course, the ultimate point of failure is narrowing the gene pool will ensure mutations of a sort resulting in new genetic issues. It is why inbreeding is taboo.
 

Bobwhite

Member
Yeah yeah, you reflexively winced and made a sneery face.

Defined as "the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics."

I'm not sure how you'd control human breeding, but wouldn't it be a worthy goal to improve the human population to increase desirable heritable characteristics? No mental or physical defects, no congenital illness, no obesity, no cancer or diabetes, no violent criminals. I'm not talking about psycho Nazi stuff, but a genuine improvement in the quality of the human body and mind.

Again, not sure how we would accomplish that because humans breed in the wild, but it's interesting to me how a simple word with a benign definition takes on such a negative connotation that people universally recoil when they hear it. That Dawkins person recently made a tweet that sent everyone over the edge:


The simple answer to his question is what I said above: humans breed in the wild, not in a controlled facility. But aside from that, why get so exercised over simply asking the question or discussing it like intelligent beings? Why reject it out of hand like pitchfork wielding villagers? If there were a reasonable way to improve the human animal, wouldn't that be a good thing?
Better eating habits, more physical activity and self-education via reading, especially history. Simple solution.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Whenever we decide to "create" a new breed of dog or cat - we introduce new genetic problems that we hadn't foreseen. Oddly enough, MUTTS are often the healthiest.

We've been around a few million years with a lot of random breeding - it certainly hasn't hurt us as a race.
And we DO a lot of - selective breeding - on our own, unwittingly. Undesirable traits tend to either hinder our chances of breeding, ability to breed or desirability to breed. Other traits tend to thin the herd a bit so that some traits aren't passed on, because people with them die off too early (e.g. susceptibility to certain disease).
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
There are problems with eugenics on both sides of the "breeding event." We all talk about the front end (and seem to think there are ways to morally deal with them), but what is rarely (never?) talked about is post-'breeding"; as in, what happens when the "desired outcome" isn't produced?

Dawkins is just trying to put lipstick on an utterly ugly pig; no different from what previous eugenics advocates have tried to do. "Animal husbandry" is one thing, "human husbandry" is something entirely different and utterly abhorrent.

@SamSpade gets it right, I think. As does @LightRoasted with his comments about who would be in charge (as in, we all think the world should look like the person we see in the mirror; in other words, hardly objective and impartial).

--- End of line (MCP)
 
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vraiblonde

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I'm guessing our masters don't really want us all to be smarter or better physical specimens, just like they don't really want income equality. Who would they lord over if we were their equals?
 
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