It was a goal of Adolf Hitler, and it is a term that today's researchers don't really like to use, but eugenics – the effort to scientifically create a sort of "master race" or super-human – still exists today and, as it turns out, Britain is taking the lead.
As reported by The Spectator, the idea of breeding the best with the best so as to weed out the inferior was an idea that was being entertained in England at the turn of the 20th century. A May 1912 edition of the magazine actually reported the following:
The only way of cutting off the constant stream of idiots and imbeciles and feeble-minded persons who help to fill our prisons and workhouses, reformatories, and asylums is to prevent those who are known to be mentally defective from producing offspring. Undoubtedly the best way of doing this is to place these defectives under control. Even if this were a hardship to the individual it would be necessary for the sake of protecting the race.
Hitler, of course, took this notion to the extreme, murdering millions he deemed inferior to the "Master Aryan Race" as an insurance policy against creating citizens who were mentally or physically defective, as they were once thought to be.
Breeding "perfect" children
In the early 20th century methods of encouraging and fomenting the eugenics mission were simplistic and crude.
The "right" people were bribed to have larger families, while the weakest were sterilized. Today, however, advances in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology already allow science to screen embryos for inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis.
Soon, however, parents will have the ability to check their prospective offspring for any number of traits, from hair color to character, giving them the ability – allegedly – to pick the "perfect" child.
"The era of designer babies, long portrayed by dystopian novelists and screenwriters, is fast arriving," The Spectator reported. "According to Hank Greely, a Stanford professor in law and biosciences, the next couple of generations may be the last to accept pot luck with procreation. Doing so, he adds, may soon be seen as downright irresponsible."
And based upon how certain issues are propagandized today, you can easily see that happening: Before the Obama era, for instance, cops were good; working hard and making a great living were positive things; and freedom of expression included all sides of an argument.
In Greely's forthcoming book, The End of Sex, he outlines a brave new world where mothers are given a menu of sorts that contains various biological options. But even he won't use the word (eugenics) that describes what he is envisioning. Greely, and nearly all involved in these new biotech developments, avoid use of the word, pretending that history has not made a full circle.
Hailed as a discovery, not a theory
The Spectator notes that the word was coined in 1883 by Francis Galton, a polymath who developed fingerprinting and many of the modern statistical research techniques. He began with a theory – a hunch, really – and it was that so many great men come from the same families because genius is hereditary.
Intrigued by the arguments about evolution by his cousin Charles Darwin, Galton began to wonder if advances in healthcare and welfare had soured the national gene pool by allowing more sick and infirmed to survive and disabled people to not only live longer but also reproduce. Off he went to collect his data, only to return with his theory of eugenics.
"This was hailed not as a theory but as a discovery — a new science of human life, with laws as immutable as Newton's," The Spectator noted. "A race of gifted men could be created, he said, 'as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating cretins.'"
There is much more – read the full report here.
In January, we reported that research on eugenics technology is also taking place, big time, in the U.S., here.