I came across a very interesting article about the quest for perfect society. It’s pretty detailed and got me wondering about this topic.
So I blogged about it.
I don’t know, but you guys may be familiar with Eugenics. Actually I’m more used to hearing about human breeding program, human cloning and genetically modified bloggers nowadays than read about books or article that define eugenics.
Well as I quote Wikipedia, eugenics is “a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of intervention.”
When we hear of eugenics, usually it is often related with terms like genetic testing, genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization, test tube babies and selective breeding... but sadly, it is also often linked with discrimination, forced killing (cleansing), and immoral act.
Eugenics was first coined by a man named Sir Francis Galton. He even made up the phrase “nurture versus nature.” He believes that the human society deserves only the best breed. Based on what I’ve read about this guy, he’s described as one with prolific intellect. I had to scamper and find my dictionary to see what that means and one thing I found out was that I don’t actually fit the bill. *ugh*
Francis Galton studies lots of things, and well, he got to hang around frequently with Charles Darwin, so you could imagine what kind of conversation they must have... because he is, in fact, Charles’ cousin, so imagine that.
If Charles believes that we came from evolution, Galton was thinking way faster. With clenched fist (maybe) he asserted that “it’s high time we take control of our evolution.”
Okay, so he thought that if flowers and animals could be genetically modified through selective breeding, wherein the farmer can make a flower grow with certain desirable qualities with a little “help,” then why not use this for humans?
And there came eugenics. But actually, it wasn’t Galton who was considered the first eugenicist, I talked with Plato yesterday and told me a very useful quote for this article, "The best of either sex should be united with the best as often as possible, and the inferior with the inferior as seldom as possible."
So in simple math, it goes something like (Good + Good = Unquestionably Good, or Good 2x)... Hmm, I thought opposites attract... never mind.
The history of eugenics show that Galton’s idea was acknowledged and was well received (with an applause) during his time which lead to series of experiments, (era of the guinea pigs I should say), and where the term “forced sterilization” was coined.
Compulsory Sterilization is actually a big part of eugenics history because it was an attempt to minimize human imperfection by “sterilizing” mentally retard or mentally ill, people with physical deformities, blind, deaf, those who have epilepsy, and those with criminal violations. The history provides us some notes that there has been some serious eugenics movement in Britain and America.
How are these poor guys “sterilized”? By castrating males, and preventing women labeled as inferior or physically deformed, to reproduce. It was a bit tedious work, until Hitler came and thought there’s an easier way to do it... See Holocaust.
Okay so not so good background for eugenics right there. But after the buzz about this area of science died down, another scientific leap made its way on center stage.
Search for Designer Babies
Genetic engineering, molecular biology, human cloning these are just a few of the many scientific advancements that promise to provide the “perfect baby” we’ve always wanted.
If you would read certain articles about how they could improve life and the health of your baby, somehow, it does make sense. But thinking that you can have the power to customize your baby, decide whether you would like to have a blond child with blue eyes or a girl with straight hair... this could be really frightening.
Human breeding programs promise betterment with the help of science. But isn’t that playing God already?
Galton may be a prolific genius but he definitely doesn’t fit the bill to be tagged as perfect, doesn’t he?
So how do we define a perfect human? Out of the blue, Beethoven and Helen Keller came into mind. I don’t know. Maybe you know why.