Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Posted for Mei Zhi Wang (Section 8 Group 1)

Have you ever wanted to become a more perfect human being? Or if not perfect, but wanted or wished you were better at drawing, smarter in school, more athletic, taller, more muscular, better looking, the list can go on and on. I’m sure most of us have had some thoughts like that throughout our life, but we realize it probably won’t happen and we accepted who we are. But what if there was a way to achieve that more perfect being? Are we willing to sacrifice in order to attain it?

The topic I’m writing about in my final post is on eugenics. Eugenics is the idea/movement that wants to improve genetic features in the human population through selective breeding, basing it on the idea that there is a distinguished difference between people that are “superior” and people that are “inferior.” Eugenics was first brought about in the United States back between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The idea came off of a man named Francis Galton, in which he concluded that the people in the upper classes of Britain were up there because of their genetic makeup.

Now being in the so-called “superior” human doesn’t sound bad now does it? But there’s major complications that comes with this idea if it were to be put into practice. Most of us might not think about this, but the mass killing, genocide, of the Jews by the Nazis back in World War II was a practice of eugenics. The Nazis thought Jews were an inferior race to them, so they tried to exterminate the inferior beings from the equation. Now people can say that the Nazis’ were wrong for doing that, which they were, but in the practice of eugenics, they did what was necessary for them to achieve a more “superior” form. People can also argue that we don’t have to “kill the inferior” in order to achieve “superior” genes, but in the grand scheme of things, if the “inferior” people are still around, the human population as a whole is not evolving to the “superior.”

But, before we get into any of that, who are we to judge who is “superior” and who is “inferior?” Will society really be better if all of us were six feet tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, super smart, and athletic? I think that would just take the life out of the human race. I believe what makes any organism, be it dog, cat, bird, cow, even bacteria, and especially humans is the unique identities that we have to ourselves. And the unique individuality that we have is what makes us human.

Eugenics is a huge topic, and although eugenics is specifically associated with improving human genetic makeup, there are many branches of it. Prime examples are the selective breeding of agricultural plants and animals. Although these are deemed to be acceptable, the idea that selective breeding is moving up to higher classifications of organisms, would eugenics be of the main topic sometime in the future? Only time will tell.

A good movie pertaining to the subject of eugenics is called GATTACA. If you are somewhat interested in the subject of eugenics, I would recommend watching the movie. 

1 comment:

  1. Some posts of interest, on this topic, from my Bioethics course: http://bioethjpo.blogspot.com/search?q=eugenics