26 November 2006

Eugenics may not be bad

So says Richard Dawkins. He qualifies it a little, but there it is. He blames Adolf Hitler for making it unsafe to discuss — now there’s an understatement.

If we ever have someone pulling the plugs on people, I vote that Mr Nihilist Dawkins is kept well clear of the process.

Then another article, in a difficult-to-get-to PDF:

My strong interest in the activities of population control advocates grew during my first visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York during March of 2000. [...] I was particularly struck by the comments of other lobbyists who noticed that it often seemed that population control activities were aimed at minority populations. I began to wonder if this was mere coincidence or something more. [...] I set out to look further into the motivations and the ideology of the population control advocates. The final paper that was the result of my study and was titled, The Inherent Racism of Population Control, so struck others that I was encouraged to update, expand and publish the paper.

He goes on to look at Malthus as a basis for “scientific” racism.

Malthus reckoned that helping the poor was pointless, because you’d only increase their numbers, which would increase the draconian checks that “Nature” was already imposing upon them. As he put it, “they had not the ability to rise above their position or the resources available to do so”.

This despite the officially published estimates that the world could comfortably feed 35 gigapeople using then-currently deployed technology. And the then-steadily increasing world food production.

Fooey! Malthus’ initials are Sierra Alpha Delta. Relying upon him for motivation would be like looking to the aforementioned Adolf Hitler for moral guidance.


Anonymous said...

Evolution happens regardless of whether you deny it. When people meet through work/hobby organizations (we know of a few examples of married couples who met through the Linux community) there would be a tendency to select for the qualities that lead to success in those areas.

All the available information on the egg and sperm donation industries indicates that there is a strong demand for breeding with intelligent and/or attractive people - this is entirely separate to the interest in having recreational sex with intelligent and/or attractive people.

Regarding government activities in this area, I think that there is a good case to be made for sterilising people who kill children and for drug addicts (including alcoholics). Children who suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome or who are born addicted to hard drugs have a very grim future.

Russell Coker russell@coker.com.au

Leon Brooks said...

Thanks for your response, RC.

There's a difference between sterilising and killing. Richard was saying "killing may not be bad".

WRT "evolution happens", it doesn't happen as often as many people would like even if they assert it strongly.

Richard appears to be one of those people who believes in it strongly enough to think he knows what to do to accelerate it if it ain't happening as he thinks it should. With real-life results which you can probably imagine, but don't really have to.

For a specific example, the Columbine boys are reported to have believed in eugenics, and one of them wore a "natural selection" shirt and used the motto meaningfully.

They were shown as irresponsible louts, but how do you think a persuasively "respectable" member of society would get along?

Your point about people essentially disqualifying themselves from parent-hood is interesting. I wouldn't have people like Richard leading that charge, though. Someone less obsessed. And no, not me, I don't have the temper for it.

Major said...

The modern biologist's definition of evolution is "change in gene frequency over time".

As such evolution happens a lot more that the average person, equating evolution instead with speciation, thinks.

As an aside, a literal interpretation of Genesis requires a significantly higher rate of evolution in human beings than that assumed by biologists. Biologists posit the development of the human races over 50-100k years. Genesis has us all springing from the loins of Noah in a much shorter time.

Leon Brooks said...

major: a plain reading has all of the development pre-done in Adam & carried by Noah, his wife & 3 daughters-in-law.

Their children (etc) would be an expression of pre-existing development, rather than new development.

I’m sure that there are non-plain readings hypothesised as well, but the few I’ve glimpsed would take pages of description, let alone answers. I’ll stick to the plainest reading for now. (-: simplest even with crossed reasoning :-)