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Archive for the ‘Eugenics’ Category

Here is the latest comment he deleted from this post:

Not a very scientific ranking, obviously.  Very limited criteria, apparently.  I laughed out loud at some of the simplistic discussion.  This article is an exercise in politicizing science.

Woodrow Wilson embraced legislation based on the science of eugenics, including forced sterilization of the “feeble-minded” and epileptics.  William Jennings Bryan consistently opposed eugenics.  Who was more pro-science?

Rick Santorum is against using abortion to weed out Downs Syndrome babies from our society.  Does that make him anti-science too?

I guess a little historical perspective on the question at hand is not welcome.  Many people want to forget the history of the eugenics movement in this country and worldwide, and the fact that it was considered good science by the science establishment of the time.

And then he deleted this comment:

George Will had a different take on Huntsman:

“For Jon Huntsman: You, who preen about having cornered the market on good manners, recently tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology — uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies? Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?

For all candidates: Raise your hand if you believe string theory explains the origin and nature of the universe.”

I wonder why Scot is so uncomfortable with this kind of discussion? Isn’t the quote from George Will addressing the precise point raised by the blog post?  Huntsman does not seem to understand that science does not work by majority vote.

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Michael Crichton has written one of the best short articles on the eugenics movement I have read:

Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favor. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H. G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others. Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbor Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California.

These efforts had the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council. It was said that if Jesus were alive, he would have supported this effort.

.  .  .

As Margaret Sanger said, “Fostering the good-for-nothing at the expense of the good is an extreme cruelty … there is not greater curse to posterity than that of bequeathing them an increasing population of imbeciles.” She spoke of the burden of caring for “this dead weight of human waste.”

(more…)

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