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Offshore Drilling and Exploration – The New York Times

Posted: July 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

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The rules fell short of many environmentalists demands to cut off such drilling entirely, but oil companies complained that they would stymie exploration.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The all-stock deal, worth $13 billion, would combine the American and French companies, which have been hit hard by the global plunge in energy prices.

By STANLEY REED

Long a ticket to the middle class, especially for African-Americans, they have become increasingly difficult to find.

By ANNIE LOWREY

The regulations are aimed at preventing the kind of failures that caused the disastrous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and come amid a proposal for Arctic drilling.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration has hopes that gas export efforts will help build peaceful relations between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East.

By ISABEL KERSHNER and STANLEY REED

The decision to postpone the plan, called Browse, comes as prices for the fuel in Asia have fallen steeply.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell cited the militarys reservations about drilling near some of its largest installations, plunging oil prices and widespread local concerns.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration yielded to opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashed the hopes of many of those states leaders.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The realization is adding momentum to efforts to convert some of the platforms into artificial reefs once they are decommissioned.

By ERIK OLSEN

Environmentalists disagree over whether outdated oil rigs off the coast of Long Beach, Calif., can become an addition to the marine ecosystem.

By ERIK OLSEN

Many coastal residents, fearing a repeat of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, see potential disaster, while those inland speak of economic opportunity.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

Paragon Offshore, which operates offshore drilling rigs from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

By MICHAEL CORKERY

While the dispute raised tensions between the neighbors, it did not approach levels seen in 2014, when anti-China demonstrations turned into deadly riots.

By MIKE IVES

The rig was at the center of a standoff between the countries in May 2014.

One worker on the drilling rig was killed, and two others were injured.

Opening the taps in the Corrib field is a breakthrough for the oil and gas industry in Ireland, which had mostly disappointing results in recent years.

By STANLEY REED

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized a long-delayed deal with an American-Israeli partnership that is expected to turn the country into an energy exporter.

By ISABEL KERSHNER and STANLEY REED

Workers have been evacuated, but one of two lifeboats capsized in rough seas, leaving 29 people missing and presumed dead.

By ANDREW E. KRAMER

The Southern Environmental Law Center calls on President Obama to reconsider plans to open the coast to oil and gas drilling.

The Interior Department also rejected appeals by Shell and Statoil, the Norwegian oil giant, to extend existing Arctic leases.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

The rules fell short of many environmentalists demands to cut off such drilling entirely, but oil companies complained that they would stymie exploration.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The all-stock deal, worth $13 billion, would combine the American and French companies, which have been hit hard by the global plunge in energy prices.

By STANLEY REED

Long a ticket to the middle class, especially for African-Americans, they have become increasingly difficult to find.

By ANNIE LOWREY

The regulations are aimed at preventing the kind of failures that caused the disastrous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and come amid a proposal for Arctic drilling.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration has hopes that gas export efforts will help build peaceful relations between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East.

By ISABEL KERSHNER and STANLEY REED

The decision to postpone the plan, called Browse, comes as prices for the fuel in Asia have fallen steeply.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell cited the militarys reservations about drilling near some of its largest installations, plunging oil prices and widespread local concerns.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration yielded to opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashed the hopes of many of those states leaders.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The realization is adding momentum to efforts to convert some of the platforms into artificial reefs once they are decommissioned.

By ERIK OLSEN

Environmentalists disagree over whether outdated oil rigs off the coast of Long Beach, Calif., can become an addition to the marine ecosystem.

By ERIK OLSEN

Many coastal residents, fearing a repeat of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, see potential disaster, while those inland speak of economic opportunity.

By CORAL DAVENPORT

Paragon Offshore, which operates offshore drilling rigs from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

By MICHAEL CORKERY

While the dispute raised tensions between the neighbors, it did not approach levels seen in 2014, when anti-China demonstrations turned into deadly riots.

By MIKE IVES

The rig was at the center of a standoff between the countries in May 2014.

One worker on the drilling rig was killed, and two others were injured.

Opening the taps in the Corrib field is a breakthrough for the oil and gas industry in Ireland, which had mostly disappointing results in recent years.

By STANLEY REED

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized a long-delayed deal with an American-Israeli partnership that is expected to turn the country into an energy exporter.

By ISABEL KERSHNER and STANLEY REED

Workers have been evacuated, but one of two lifeboats capsized in rough seas, leaving 29 people missing and presumed dead.

By ANDREW E. KRAMER

The Southern Environmental Law Center calls on President Obama to reconsider plans to open the coast to oil and gas drilling.

The Interior Department also rejected appeals by Shell and Statoil, the Norwegian oil giant, to extend existing Arctic leases.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

Continued here:

Offshore Drilling and Exploration – The New York Times

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History of Eugenics – People at Creighton University

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

In the same era, the idea of Social Darwinism became popular and was used to explain these social inequalities. Social Darwinism utilizes the concept of natural selection from Charles Darwin and applies it to society. Social Darwinism explains survival of the fittest in terms of the capability of an individual to survive within a competitive environment. This explains social inequalities by explaining that the wealthy are better individuals and therefore better suited to survive in the uncertain economy. In terms of survival of the fittest the wealthy are more likely to survive and produce more offspring than the poor.

Early Eugenicists

Eugenicists believed genetics were the cause of problems for the human gene pool. Eugenics stated that society already had paid enough to support these degenerates and the use of sterilization would save money. The eugenicists used quantitative facts to produce scientific evidence. They believed that charity and welfare only treated the symptoms, eugenic sought to eliminate the disease. The following traits were seen as degenerative to the human gene pool to which the eugenicists were determined to eliminate: poverty, feeble-mindedness-including manic depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, rebelliousness, criminality, nomadness, prostitution.

Before eugenics became internationally recognized in WWII, it was a very popular movement in the United States. In fact the American Eugenics Society set up pavilions and “Fitter Families Contest” to popularize eugenics at state fairs. The average family advocated for the utilization of eugenics while educational systems embraced eugenics, which was presented as science fact by the majority biology texts. In fact, eugenics became so popular that eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported study in 1911, to report the best practical means for eliminating defective genes in the Human Population. Although the eighth of the 18 solutions was euthanasia, the researchers believed it was too early to implement this solution. The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a lethal chamber, or gas chamber. Instead, the main solution was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as increased marriage restrictions. However, not everybody was in favor of eugenics, Punnett at the first international congress for Eugenics in 1911 stated, Except in very few cases, our knowledge of heredity in man at present is far to slight and far too uncertain to base legislation upon.

Sterilization and Marriage Laws

Although in 1942 the Supreme Court made a law allowing the involuntary sterilization of criminals, it never reversed the general concept of eugenic sterilization. In 2001, the Virginia General Assembly acknowledged that the sterilization law was based on faulty science and expressed its “profound regret over the Commonwealth’s role in the eugenics movement in this country and over the damage done in the name of eugenics. On May 2, 2002 a marker was erected to honor Carrie Buck in her hometown of Charlottesville.

This information was taken from http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/

This information was taken from http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a371ea64170ce.html and http://www.trueorigin.org/holocaust.asp

Originally posted here:

History of Eugenics – People at Creighton University

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Political Correctness = Language and Thought Control – The …

Posted: July 12, 2016 at 5:31 am

Political correctness is a Rothschild invention of language control. Like Orwellian Newspeak in 1984, its ultimateaim is to reduce the scope of free thought.

And language control is thought control. Period. The rise of modern political correctness (PC) is a great example of the cunning way in which social engineers such as the New World Order manipulators operate.Political correctness is soft censorship.It is intolerance disguised as tolerance. As George Carlin said, it is fascism pretending to be manners. It is running amok not just in Universities but now almost everywhere in society. Just as Orwell laid out so precisely in 1984, political correctness is the Newspeak which is threatening tolimit our ability to freely speak and think, by reducing the number of available words in our vocabulary.

Truth is stranger than fiction. When you look at the twisted contortions the PC crowd is insisting people go through to rid their language of anything offensive, it has entered the theater of the absurd. Political correctnessdictates what you can and cant say, based on how offensive aword is. Right off the bat there are severalproblems with this. Firstly, who are the commissars,officials or authorities who are granting themselves massive power by getting to decide what ranks as offensive? Secondly, since when did feeling offended or having your feelings hurt become such an important issue that it legally justifies restricting everyones freedom? Last time I checked, freedom of speech was a genuine and legitimate human right (enshrined in the legal documents of many countries), whereas the right to not feel offended is imaginary and non-existent.

The illusory right to feel offended a great way to shame people into feeling guilty for no good reason.

Thirdly and most importantly just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is feeling offended in the realm of thebeholder. Words are words; each person is in charge of their own emotions; choose to ignore, respond or react to words how you want, but dont blame someone else for your emotional state. You are in control of your own state of consciousness. To blame someone else because you feel angry, offended or upsetshows an abandonment of responsibility and an utter lack of emotional and spiritual maturity.Since when did we humans become such crybabies that wecouldnt stand hearing or being called a word, a name, a label or a phrase? Grow up, please!

As always, theres more to the story here.Political correctness has roots in marxism and communism. Wikipedia notes that In the early-to-mid 20th century, the phrase politically correct was associated with thedogmaticapplication ofStalinistdoctrine, debated betweenCommunistParty members andSocialists. However, it goes back further to theFrankfurt School (Institute for Social Research) in Germany, which was set up in 1923. TheFrankfurt school was a think tank for social engineering, aiming tospread collectivism (or its offshoots of socialism, marxism and communism) around the world. Asthis article from the Schiller Institute states:

The task of the Frankfurt School, then, was first, to undermine the Judeo-Christian legacy through an abolition of culture (Aufhebung der Kulturin Lukacs German); and, second, to determine new cultural forms which wouldincrease the alienation of the population,thus creating a new barbarism.

It goes on to point out those funding the Frankfurt School:

although the Institute for Social Research started with Comintern [CommunismInternational] support, over the next three decades its sources of funds included various German and American universities, the Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia Broadcasting System, the American Jewish Committee, several American intelligence services, the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, the International Labour Organization, and the Hacker Institute, a posh psychiatric clinic in Beverly Hills.

Sowe have reference to the Rockefellers funding the Frankfurt School, and it is well known that the Rothschilds funded the rise of marxism:

Nathan Rothschild had given Marx two checks for several thousand pounds to finance the cause of Socialism. The checks were put on display in the British Museum, after Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a trustee, had willed his museum and library to them.

Both of these key New World Order families are thus implicated in marxism, the Frankfurt School and political correctness. Interestingly, many researches have pointed out that political correctness is part of a broader movement of cultural marxism,which is the subversion of a countrys culture with collectivist ideology, as opposed to the more direct political version.

Yuri Bezmenov, a former SovietKGB agent, said that ideological subversion would change the perception of reality of every American. He outlined how there was a slow brainwashing process taking place to change the individualistic culture of the West, consisting of:

1. Demoralization (covert, 15-50 years) (basically completed);

2. Destabilization (overt, 2-5 years);

3. Crisis (6 weeks);

4. Violent Change and Normalization (can take years, goes on forever).

All this was with the aim of making the West collectivist. The question is: how much has it worked?

Political correctness vs free speech (1st amendment): who will win?

Whatever good intentions political correctness may have had in trying to stop homophobia, racism, sexism and discrimination of any kind, it has long passed the threshold of absurdity. Consider the following examples of what the PC crowd is trying to make people say with their bias-free language:

seniors, elders, elderly => people of advanced age

overweight, obese => people of size

rich => people of material wealth

American => US citizen

This last one is especially interesting, given that the US Government is a corporation which lays claim to the entire United States of America, whereas American denotes a natural-born individual of the Republic. The PC police also want to eliminate the following words:

male, female, father, mother, too, hard worker, third world,crazy, insane, retarded, gay, tyranny, gypped, illegal alien, fag, ghetto, raghead

and phrases such as I want to die and that test raped me.

Donald Trump recently got heckled for using the termanchor baby by a PC journalist, who wanted him to say the American born child of an undocumented immigrant. What a mouthful. Funnily, enough that PC journalist was breaking his own inane rules, since now were been told that American is disallowed.Remember theban bossy campaign? Grown adults indulging in utter stupidity. More political correctness and languagecontrol. How can you ban a word anyway?

Even Mr. Nonsense makes far more sense than political correctness.

Its not just specific words or phrases that the PC crowd want to obliterate. At some universities, they are banning entire ways of behaving. Check out these ridiculous university rules (taken from the book Choosing the Right College2012-2013), which have moved beyond speech control into total behavior control:

Brown University: banned any speech making people feel angry, impotent and disenfranchised

Colby College: banned any speech leading to loss of self esteem

Bryn Mawr College: banned suggestive looks

Haverford College: banned unwelcome flirtation

University of Connecticut: banne
d inappropriate laughter

West Virginia University: banned theuse of words boyfriend or girlfriend but instead told students they haveto use the words lover or partner.

Look what the Grand Valley State University recommends we do to allegedly remove bias from our language:

Avoiding Racism and Ageism

Mention a persons race or age only if it is relevant to the story. Biased: A strange Black man spoke to me at the grocery store. Better: A strange man spoke to me at the grocery store.

Disability and Disease

Focus on people rather than conditions. Biased: I met an epileptic on the bus today. Better: I met a person with epilepsy on the bus today.

Since when is becoming less descriptive equivalent to less discriminatory?Talk about a perversion of straight and ordinary speech! Political correctness is standing reality on its head. Here is a chilling quote from 1984:

You havent a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston, he said almost sadlyIn your heart youd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You dont grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?

Dont you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it

All words are potentially offensive. Everywordcould potentially be associated with something bad, so every wordcould come under the scrutiny of the PCpolice.Slurs, insults and derogatory language have always existed ever since humans could speak. You cant just annihilate them. Even the concepts ofmicroaggression andhate speech are failed notions, trying to make havingyour feelings hurt or getting offended morally orlegally equivalentwith harassment. There is no equivalence! Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me

A message just in for those pushing political correctness and thought control. Please fuck off and I mean that in the most respectful of ways, because I certainly wouldnt want to offend anyone

I encourage anyone whohas even a mild interest in a free humanity with complete freedom of speech, and total freedom of thought, to resist political correctness with every fiber of your being.If you are concerned about hurting peoples feelings unnecessarily, you can always find ways to express something in the right way. In those kind of situations, what really matters is the way you say words, not what you say.

We dont need speech police to tell us what we can and cant say or can and cant think. We dont need to go through convoluted verbal gymnastics and masturbation just to say what we think or express ourselves.

Its time for those hiding behind feeling offended to grow up. Stop demanding those around you change because of your lack of maturity. Stop trying to hijack everyones else freedom because of your timidity. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, offense in the mind, attitude and reaction of the beholder.

Itstime to call a spade a spade. We need the spirit of straight talking. Weneed the courage to speak truth to power, not to go in the opposite direction and become afraid of saying anything.The real agenda of political correctness is to stifle objective investigation and free speech. Ultimately, it is to eliminate criticism of the NWO manipulatorsunder the guise of stopping hate speech and making everything fair and equal.

*****

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Makia Freeman is the editor ofThe Freedom Articlesand senior researcher atToolsForFreedom.com(FaceBookhere), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwideconspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_91-96/921_frankfurt.html

http://antinewworldorder.blogspot.com/2007/10/who-was-karl-marx.html

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMl4kIxw-jo

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAYQ-rfj1CI

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyOxQJNC2Us

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dynbzMlCcw

https://www.gvsu.edu/cms3/assets/C7078FCF-E2C3-F3DD-7F8E1630561E3F3E/bias-free_language.pdf

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Secretary Clinton to visit the Virginia Military Institute …

Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm

On April 3, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit the Virginia Military Institute, the NATO headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, and deliver remarks at the World Affairs Council at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk.

At approximately noon, Secretary Clinton will receive the Distinguished Diplomat Award from the Virginia Military Institute. Established in 1996 by the board of advisers for VMIs Department of International Studies and Political Science, the Distinguished Diplomat Award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in advancing U.S. interests abroad through diplomacy.

Secretary Clintons work throughout her public life representing the United States in numerous venues and on issues of national and international importance makes this award highly appropriate, said Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, superintendent of the military college.

Secretary Clinton will also visit members of the only NATO command in North America and the only permanent NATO headquarters outside of Europe. Upon arriving at Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, Secretary Clinton will receive a briefing on NATO activities. Following the briefing, Secretary Clinton will attend a meet and greet with ACT community members.

In the evening, Secretary Clinton will serve as a guest speaker at the World Affairs Council NATO Fest 2012 Banquet at The Norfolk Sheraton Waterside Hotel. The NATO Festival is one of the World Affairs Councils most successful programs. The program honors the NATO nations and focuses on different aspects of issues the transatlantic alliance faces.

Tuesday, April 3

Approximately 12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton receives the Distinguished Diplomat Award from Virginia Military Institute, at VMIs Cameron Hall, in Lexington, Virginia. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE) Press pre-set times to follow.

For further information, please contact the Department of States press office at (202) 647-2492 or Colonel Stewart MacInnis (540) 464-7207 (office) or (540) 570-0464 (cell) or by email at macinnissd@vmi.edu.

6:10 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks to the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Fest, at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel, in Norfolk, Virginia. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

This event is open to credentialed members of the media.

For more information please contact Lori Crouch (757) 664-4067 or (757) 646-5381 or Major Robin Ochoa COM: 757-747-3227 or by email robin.ochoa@act.nato.int.

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Secretary Clinton to visit the Virginia Military Institute …

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: June 27, 2016 at 6:27 am

Eugenics, the set of beliefs and practices which aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population[2][3] played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States prior to its involvement in World War II.[4]

Eugenics was practised in the United States many years before eugenics programs in Nazi Germany[5] and U.S. programs provided much of the inspiration for the latter.[6][7][8] Stefan Khl has documented the consensus between Nazi race policies and those of eugenicists in other countries, including the United States, and points out that eugenicists understood Nazi policies and measures as the realization of their goals and demands.[9]

During the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th century, eugenics was considered[by whom?] a method of preserving and improving the dominant groups in the population; it is now generally associated with racist and nativist elements[citation needed] (as the movement was to some extent a reaction to a change in emigration from Europe) rather than scientific genetics.

The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the 1880s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.[10] Early proponents of eugenics believed that, through selective breeding, the human species should direct its own evolution. They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and “immoral”.[11] Eugenics was also supported by African Americans intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thomas Wyatt Turner, and many academics at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Hampton University; however they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and “The Talented Tenth” of all races should mix.[12] W. E. B. Du Bois believed “only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity.”[12][13]

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.[7] In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.[10] The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement.[10][14] In years to come, the ERO collected a mass of family pedigrees and concluded that those who were unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds. Eugenicists such as Davenport, the psychologist Henry H. Goddard, Harry H. Laughlin, and the conservationist Madison Grant (all well respected in their time) began to lobby for various solutions to the problem of the “unfit”. Davenport favored immigration restriction and sterilization as primary methods; Goddard favored segregation in his The Kallikak Family; Grant favored all of the above and more, even entertaining the idea of extermination.[15] The Eugenics Record Office later became the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Eugenics was widely accepted in the U.S. academic community.[7] By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States’ leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum.[16] It did, however, have scientific detractors (notably, Thomas Hunt Morgan, one of the few Mendelians to explicitly criticize eugenics), though most of these focused more on what they considered the crude methodology of eugenicists, and the characterization of almost every human characteristic as being hereditary, rather than the idea of eugenics itself.[17]

By 1910, there was a large and dynamic network of scientists, reformers and professionals engaged in national eugenics projects and actively promoting eugenic legislation. The American Breeder’s Association was the first eugenic body in the U.S., established in 1906 under the direction of biologist Charles B. Davenport. The ABA was formed specifically to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford president David Starr Jordan and Luther Burbank.[18][19] The American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality was one of the first organizations to begin investigating infant mortality rates in terms of eugenics.[20] They promoted government intervention in attempts to promote the health of future citizens.[21][verification needed]

Several feminist reformers advocated an agenda of eugenic legal reform. The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.[22]

One of the most prominent feminists to champion the eugenic agenda was Margaret Sanger, the leader of the American birth control movement. Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement.[23][24] Sanger also sought to discourage the reproduction of persons who, it was believed, would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control.[23] Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia.[25] For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.[26][27]

In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform. Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region.[28] Between 1915 and 1920, federated women’s clubs in every state of the Deep South had a critical role in establishing public eugenic institutions that were segregated by sex.[29] For example, the Legislative Committee of the Florida State Federation of Women’s Clubs successfully lobbied to institute a eugenic institution for the mentally retarded that was segregated by sex.[30] Their aim was to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more “feebleminded” individuals.

Public acceptance in the U.S. was the reason eugenic legislation was passed. Almost 19 million people attended the PanamaPacific International Exposition in San Francisco, open for 10 months from February 20 to December 4, 1915.[31][32] The PPIE was a fair devoted to extolling the virtues of a rapidly progressing nation, featuring new developments in science, agriculture, manufacturing and technology. A subject that received a large amount of time and space was that of the developments concerning health and disease, particularly the areas of tropical medicine and race betterment (tropical medicine being the combined study of bacteriology, parasitology and entomology while racial betterment being the promotion of eugenic studies). Having these areas so closely intertwined, it seemed that they were both categorized in the main theme of the fair, the advancement of civilization. Thus in the public eye, the seemingly contradictory[clarification needed] areas of study were both represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.[33][verification needed]

Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was “epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded”[34] from marrying.[citation needed]

The first state to introduce a compulsory sterilization bill was Michigan, in 1897 but the proposed law failed to garner enough votes by legislators to be adopted. Eight years later Pennsylvania’s state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907,[35] followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception) until the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 1942, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated. That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals.[36] The state of California was at the vanguard of the American eugenics movement, performing about 20,000 sterilizations or one third of the 60,000 nationwide from 1909 up until the 1960s.[37]

While California had the highest number of sterilizations, North Carolina’s eugenics program which operated from 1933 to 1977, was the most aggressive of the 32 states that had eugenics programs.[38] An IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization was appropriate in North Carolina.[39] The North Carolina Eugenics Board almost always approved proposals brought before them by local welfare boards.[39] Of all states, only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization.[38] “Here, at last, was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical, and inexpensive method,” wrote Wallace Kuralt in the March 1967 journal of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare. “The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control.”[39]

The Immigration Restriction League was the first American entity associated officially with eugenics. Founded in 1894 by three recent Harvard University graduates, the League sought to bar what it considered inferior races from entering America and diluting what it saw as the superior American racial stock (upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage). They felt that social and sexual involvement with these less-evolved and less-civilized races would pose a biological threat to the American population. The League lobbied for a literacy test for immigrants, based on the belief that literacy rates were low among “inferior races”. Literacy test bills were vetoed by Presidents in 1897, 1913 and 1915; eventually, President Wilson’s second veto was overruled by Congress in 1917. Membership in the League included: A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, William DeWitt Hyde, president of Bowdoin College, James T. Young, director of Wharton School and David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford University.[40]

The League allied themselves with the American Breeder’s Association to gain influence and further its goals and in 1909 established a Committee on Eugenics chaired by David Starr Jordan with members Charles Davenport, Alexander Graham Bell, Vernon Kellogg, Luther Burbank, William Ernest Castle, Adolf Meyer, H. J. Webber and Friedrich Woods. The ABA’s immigration legislation committee, formed in 1911 and headed by League’s founder Prescott F. Hall, formalized the committee’s already strong relationship with the Immigration Restriction League. They also founded the Eugenics Record Office, which was headed by Harry H. Laughlin.[41] In their mission statement, they wrote:

Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm. Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future.”[41]

Money from the Harriman railroad fortune was also given to local charities, in order to find immigrants from specific ethnic groups and deport, confine, or forcibly sterilize them.[7]

With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, eugenicists for the first time played an important role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of “inferior stock” from eastern and southern Europe.[42][verification needed] The new act, inspired by the eugenic belief in the racial superiority of “old stock” white Americans as members of the “Nordic race” (a form of white supremacy), strengthened the position of existing laws prohibiting race-mixing.[43] Eugenic considerations also lay behind the adoption of incest laws in much of the U.S. and were used to justify many anti-miscegenation laws.[44]

Stephen Jay Gould asserted that restrictions on immigration passed in the United States during the 1920s (and overhauled in 1965 with the Immigration and Nationality Act) were motivated by the goals of eugenics. During the early 20th century, the United States and Canada began to receive far higher numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrants. Influential eugenicists like Lothrop Stoddard and Harry Laughlin (who was appointed as an expert witness for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in 1920) presented arguments they would pollute the national gene pool if their numbers went unrestricted.[45][46] It has been argued that this stirred both Canada and the United States into passing laws creating a hierarchy of nationalities, rating them from the most desirable Anglo-Saxon and Nordic peoples to the Chinese and Japanese immigrants, who were almost completely banned from entering the country.[43][47]

Both class and race factored into eugenic definitions of “fit” and “unfit.” By using intelligence testing, American eugenicists asserted that social mobility was indicative of one’s genetic fitness.[48] This reaffirmed the existing class and racial hierarchies and explained why the upper-to-middle class was predominantly white. Middle-to-upper class status was a marker of “superior strains.”[30] In contrast, eugenicists believed poverty to be a characteristic of genetic inferiority, which meant that that those deemed “unfit” were predominantly of the lower classes.[30]

Because class status designated some more fit than others, eugenicists treated upper and lower class women differently. Positive eugenicists, who promoted procreation among the fittest in society, encouraged middle class women to bear more children. Between 1900 and 1960, Eugenicists appealed to middle class white women to become more “family minded,” and to help better the race.[49] To this end, eugenicists often denied middle and upper class women sterilization and birth control.[50]

Since poverty was associated with prostitution and “mental idiocy,” women of the lower classes were the first to be deemed “unfit” and “promiscuous.”[30] These women, who were predominantly immigrants or women of color[citation needed], were discouraged from bearing children, and were encouraged to use birth control.

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.[51][52] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[53] the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[54]

Some states sterilized “imbeciles” for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974.[55] The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[56] Beginning around 1930, there was a steady increase in the percentage of women sterilized, and in a few states only young women were sterilized. From 1930 to the 1960s, sterilizations were performed on many more institutionalized women than men.[30] By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women.[30] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.[57][58]

Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons. Men were sterilized to treat their aggression and to eliminate their criminal behavior, while women were sterilized to control the results of their sexuality.[30] Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less “desirable” members of society.[30] Eugenicists therefore predominantly targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to “protect” white racial health, and weed out the “defectives” of society.[30]

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of “mental defectives”, 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.[59]

In the 1970s, several activists and women’s rights groups discovered several physicians to be performing coerced sterilizations of specific ethnic groups of society. All were abuses of poor, nonwhite, or mentally retarded women, while no abuses against white or middle-class women were recorded.[60] Although the sterilizations were not explicitly motivated by eugenics, the sterilizations were similar to the eugenics movement[according to whom?] because they were done without the patients’ consent.

For example, in 1972, United States Senate committee testimony brought to light that at least 2,000 involuntary sterilizations had been performed on poor black women without their consent or knowledge. An investigation revealed that the surgeries were all performed in the South, and were all performed on black welfare mothers with multiple children. Testimony revealed that many of these women were threatened with an end to their welfare benefits until they consented to sterilization.[61] These surgeries were instances of sterilization abuse, a term applied to any sterilization performed without the consent or knowledge of the recipient, or in which the recipient is pressured into accepting the surgery. Because the funds used to carry out the surgeries came from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, the sterilization abuse raised older suspicions, especially amongst the black community, that “federal programs were underwriting eugenicists who wanted to impose their views about population quality on minorities and poor women.”[30]

Native American women were also victims of sterilization abuse up into the 1970s.[62] The organization WARN (Women of All Red Nations) publicized that Native American women were threatened that, if they had more children, they would be denied welfare benefits. The Indian Health Service also repeatedly refused to deliver Native American babies until their mothers, in labor, consented to sterilization. Many Native American women unknowingly gave consent, since directions were not given in their native language. According to the General Accounting Office, an estimate of 3,406 Indian women were sterilized.[62] The General Accounting Office stated that the Indian Health Service had not followed the necessary regulations, and that the “informed consent forms did not adhere to the standards set by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).”[63]

One of the methods that was commonly suggested to get rid of “inferior” populations was euthanasia. A 1911 Carnegie Institute report mentioned euthanasia as one of its recommended “solutions” to the problem of cleansing society of unfit genetic attributes. The most commonly suggested method was to set up local gas chambers. However, many in the eugenics movement did not believe that Americans were ready to implement a large-scale euthanasia program, so many doctors had to find clever ways of subtly implementing eugenic euthanasia in various medical institutions. For example, a mental institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit individuals would be resistant), resulting in 30-40% annual death rates. Other doctors practiced euthanasia through various forms of lethal neglect.[64]

In the 1930s, there was a wave of portrayals of eugenic “mercy killings” in American film, newspapers, and magazines. In 1931, the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association began lobbying for the right to euthanize “imbeciles” and other defectives. The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.[65]

Overall, however, euthanasia was marginalized in the U.S., motivating people to turn to forced segregation and sterilization programs as a means for keeping the “unfit” from reproducing.[66]

Mary deGormo, a former classroom teacher was the first person to combine ideas about health and intelligence standards with competitions at state fairs, in the form of “better baby” contests. She developed the first such contest, the “Scientific Baby Contest” for the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, in 1908. She saw these contests as a contribution to the “social efficiency” movement, which was advocating for the standardization of all aspects of American life as a means of increasing efficiency.[20] deGarmo was assisted by the pediatrician Dr. Jacob Bodenheimer, who helped her develop grading sheets for contestants, which combined physical measurements with standardized measurements of intelligence.[67] Scoring was based on a deduction system, in that every child started at 1000 points and then was docked points for having measurements that were below a designated average. The child with the most points (and the least defections) was ideal.[68][verification needed]

The topic of standardization through scientific judgment was a topic that was very serious in the eyes of the scientific community, but has often been downplayed as just a popular fad or trend. Nevertheless, a lot of time, effort, and money were put into these contests and their scientific backing, which would influence cultural ideas as well as local and state government practices.[69][verification needed]

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics by hosting “Better Baby” contests and the proceeds would go to its anti-lynching campaign.[12]

First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way until WWII. Mary T. Watts and Dr. Florence Brown Sherbon,[70][71] both initiators of the Better Baby Contests in Iowa, took the idea of positive eugenics for babies and combined it with a determinist concept of biology to come up with fitter family competitions.[72]

There were several different categories that families were judged in: Size of the family, overall attractiveness, and health of the family, all of which helped to determine the likelihood of having healthy children. These competitions were simply a continuation of the Better Baby contests that promoted certain physical and mental qualities.[73] At the time, it was believed that certain behavioral qualities were inherited from your parents. This led to the addition of several judging categories including: generosity, self-sacrificing, and quality of familial bonds. Additionally, there were negative features that were judged: selfishness, jealousy, suspiciousness, high temperedness, and cruelty. Feeblemindedness, alcoholism, and paralysis were few among other traits that were included as physical traits to be judged when looking at family lineage.[74]

Doctors and specialists from the community would offer their time to judge these competitions, which were originally sponsored by the Red Cross.[74] The winners of these competitions were given a Bronze Medal as well as champion cups called “Capper Medals.” The cups were named after then Governor and Senator, Arthur Capper and he would present them to “Grade A individuals”.[75]

The perks of entering into the contests were that the competitions provided a way for families to get a free health check up by a doctor as well as some of the pride and prestige that came from winning the competitions.[74]

By 1925 the Eugenics Records Office was distributing standardized forms for judging eugenically fit families, which were used in contests in several U.S. states.[76]

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals.[66] By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California’s.[8]

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs,[77] including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.[7][78]

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

“You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”[79]

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.[80] In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler’s 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the “science of racial cleansing”. Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the “common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics.”[81]

After 1945, however, historians began to attempt to portray the US eugenics movement as distinct and distant from Nazi eugenics.[82]Jon Entine wrote that eugenics simply means “good genes” and using it as synonym for genocide is an “all-too-common distortion of the social history of genetics policy in the United States.” According to Entine, eugenics developed out of the Progressive Era and not “Hitler’s twisted Final Solution.”[83]

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Harvard’s eugenics era | Harvard Magazine

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In August 1912, Harvard president emeritus Charles William Eliot addressed the Harvard Club of San Francisco on a subject close to his heart: racial purity. It was being threatened, he declared, by immigration. Eliot was not opposed to admitting new Americans, but he saw the mixture of racial groups it could bring about as a grave danger. Each nation should keep its stock pure, Eliot told his San Francisco audience. There should be no blending of races.

Eliots warning against mixing raceswhich for him included Irish Catholics marrying white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, Jews marrying Gentiles, and blacks marrying whiteswas a central tenet of eugenics. The eugenics movement, which had begun in England and was rapidly spreading in the United States, insisted that human progress depended on promoting reproduction by the best people in the best combinations, and preventing the unworthy from having children.

The former Harvard president was an outspoken supporter of another major eugenic cause of his time: forced sterilization of people declared to be feebleminded, physically disabled, criminalistic, or otherwise flawed. In 1907, Indiana had enacted the nations first eugenic sterilization law. Four years later, in a paper on The Suppression of Moral Defectives, Eliot declared that Indianas law blazed the trail which all free states must follow, if they would protect themselves from moral degeneracy.

He also lent his considerable prestige to the campaign to build a global eugenics movement. He was a vice president of the First International Eugenics Congress, which met in London in 1912 to hear papers on racial suicide among Northern Europeans and similar topics. Two years later, Eliot helped organize the First National Conference on Race Betterment in Battle Creek, Michigan.

None of these actions created problems for Eliot at Harvard, for a simple reason: they were well within the intellectual mainstream at the University. Harvard administrators, faculty members, and alumni were at the forefront of American eugenicsfounding eugenics organizations, writing academic and popular eugenics articles, and lobbying government to enact eugenics laws. And for many years, scarcely any significant Harvard voices, if any at all, were raised against it.

Harvards role in the movement was in many ways not surprising. Eugenics attracted considerable support from progressives, reformers, and educated elites as a way of using science to make a better world. Harvard was hardly the only university that was home to prominent eugenicists. Stanfords first president, David Starr Jordan, and Yales most acclaimed economist, Irving Fisher, were leaders in the movement. The University of Virginia was a center of scientific racism, with professors like Robert Bennett Bean, author of such works of pseudo-science as the 1906 American Journal of Anatomy article, Some Racial Peculiarities of the Negro Brain.

But in part because of its overall prominence and influence on society, and in part because of its sheer enthusiasm, Harvard was more central to American eugenics than any other university. Harvard has, with some justification, been called the brain trust of twentieth-century eugenics, but the role it played is little remembered or remarked upon today.It is understandable that the University is not eager to recall its part in that tragically misguided intellectual movementbut it is a chapter too important to be forgotten.In part because of its overall prominence and influence on society, and in part because of its sheer enthusiasm, Harvard was more central to American eugenics than any other university.

Eugenics emerged in England in the late 1800s, when Francis Galton, a half cousin of Charles Darwin, began studying the families of some of historys greatest thinkers and concluded that genius was hereditary. Galton invented a new wordcombining the Greek for good and genesand launched a movement calling for society to take affirmative steps to promote the more suitable races or strains of blood. Echoing his famous half cousins work on evolution, Galton declared that what Nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly.

Eugenics soon made its way across the Atlantic, reinforced by the discoveries of Gregor Mendel and the new science of genetics. In the United States, it found some of its earliest support among the same group that Harvard had: the wealthy old families of Boston. The Boston Brahmins were strong believers in the power of their own bloodlines, and it was an easy leap for many of them to believe that society should work to make the nations gene pool as exalted as their own.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.A.B. 1829, M.D. 36, LL.D. 80, dean of Harvard Medical School, acclaimed writer, and father of the future Supreme Court justicewas one of the first American intellectuals to espouse eugenics. Holmes, whose ancestors had been at Harvard since John Oliver entered with the class of 1680, had been writing about human breeding even before Galton. He had coined the phrase Boston Brahmin in an 1861 book in which he described his social class as a physical and mental elite, identifiable by its noble physiognomy and aptitude for learning, which he insisted were congenital and hereditary.

Holmes believed eugenic principles could be used to address the nations social problems. In an 1875 article in The Atlantic Monthly, he gave Galton an early embrace, and argued that his ideas could help to explain the roots of criminal behavior. If genius and talent are inherited, as Mr. Galton has so conclusively shown, Holmes wrote, why should not deep-rooted moral defectsshow themselvesin the descendants of moral monsters?

As eugenics grew in popularity, it took hold at the highest levels of Harvard. A. Lawrence Lowell, who served as president from 1909 to 1933, was an active supporter. Lowell, who worked to impose a quota on Jewish students and to keep black students from living in the Yard, was particularly concerned about immigrationand he joined the eugenicists in calling for sharp limits. The need for homogeneity in a democracy, he insisted, justified laws resisting the influx of great numbers of a greatly different race.

Lowell also supported eugenics research. When the Eugenics Record Office, the nations leading eugenics research and propaganda organization, asked for access to Harvard records to study the physical and intellectual attributes of alumni fathers and sons, he readily agreed. Lowell had a strong personal interest in eugenics research, his secretary noted in response to the request.

The Harvard faculty contained some of nations most influential eugenics thinkers, in an array of academic disciplines. Frank W. Taussig, whose 1911 Principles of Economics was one of the most widely adopted economics textbooks of its time, called for sterilizing unworthy individuals, with a particular focus on the lower classes. The human race could be immensely improved in quality, and its capacity for happy living immensely increased, if those of poor physical and mental endowment were prevented from multiplying, he wrote. Certain types of criminals and paupers breed only their kind, and society has a right and a duty to protect its members from the repeated burden of maintaining and guarding such parasites.

Harvards geneticists gave important support to Galtons fledgling would-be science. Botanist Edward M. East, who taught at Harvards Bussey Institution, propounded a particularly racial version of eugenics. In his 1919 book Inbreeding and Outbreeding: Their Genetic and Sociological Significance, East warned that race mixing would diminish the white race, writing: Races have arisen which are as distinct in mental capacity as in physical traits. The simple fact, he said, was that the negro is inferior to the white.

East also sounded a biological alarm about the Jews, Italians, Asians, and other foreigners who were arriving in large numbers. The early settlers came from stock which had made notable contributions to civilization, he asserted, whereas the new immigrants were coming in increasing numbers from peoples who have impressed modern civilization but lightly. There was a distinct possibility, he warned, that a considerable part of these people are genetically undesirable.

In his 1923 book, Mankind at the Crossroads, Easts pleas became more emphatic. The nation, he said, was being overrun by the feebleminded, who were reproducing more rapidly than the general population. And we expect to restore the balance by expecting the latter to compete with them in the size of their families? East wrote. No! Eugenics is sorely needed; social progress without it is unthinkable.

Easts Bussey Institution colleague William Ernest Castle taught a course on Genetics and Eugenics, one of a number of eugenics courses across the University. He also published a leading textbook by the same name that shaped the views of a generation of students nationwide. Genetics and Eugenics not only identified its author as Professor of Zoology in Harvard University, but was published by Harvard University Press and bore the Veritas seal on its title page, lending the appearance of an imprimatur to his strongly stated views.

In Genetics and Eugenics, Castle explained that race mixing, whether in animals or humans, produced inferior offspring. He believed there were superior and inferior races, and that racial crossing benefited neither. From the viewpoint of a superior race there is nothing to be gained by crossing with an inferior race, he wrote. From the viewpoint of the inferior race also the cross is undesirable if the two races live side by side, because each race will despise individuals of mixed race and this will lead to endless friction.

Castle also propounded the eugenicists argument that crime, prostitution, and pauperism were largely due to feeblemindedness, which he said was inherited. He urged that the unfortunate individuals so afflicted be sterilized or, in the case of women, segregated in institutions during their reproductive years to prevent them from having children.

Like his colleague East, Castle was deeply concerned about the biological impact of immigration. In some parts of the country, he said, the good human stock was dying outand being replaced by a European peasant population. Would this new population be a fit substitute for the old Anglo-Saxon stock? Castles answer: Time alone will tell.

One of Harvards most prominent psychology professors was a eugenicist who pioneered the use of questionable intelligence testing. Robert M. Yerkes, A.B. 1898, Ph.D. 02, published an introductory psychology textbook in 1911 that included a chapter on Eugenics and Mental Life. In it, he explained that the cure for race deterioration is the selection of the fit as parents.

Yerkes, who taught courses with such titles as Educational Psychology, Heredity, and Eugenics and Mental Development in the Race, developed a now-infamous intelligence test that was administered to 1.75 million U.S. Army enlistees in 1917. The test purported to find that more than 47 percent of the white test-takers, and even more of the black ones, were feebleminded. Some of Yerkess questions were straightforward language and math problems, but others were more like tests of familiarity with the dominant culture: one asked, Christy Mathewson is famous as a: writer, artist, baseball player, comedian. The journalist Walter Lippmann, A.B. 1910, Litt.D. 44, said the results were not merely inaccurate, but nonsense, with no more scientific foundation than a hundred other fads, vitamins, or correspondence courses in will power. The 47 percent feebleminded claim was an absurd result unless, as Harvards late professor of geology Stephen Jay Gould put it, the United States was a nation of morons. But the Yerkes findings were widely accepted and helped fuel the drives to sterilize unfit Americans and keep out unworthy immigrants.The Yerkes findings were widely accepted and helped fuel the drives to sterilize unfit Americans and keep out unworthy immigrants.

Another eugenicist in a key position was William McDougall, who held the psychology professorship William James had formerly held. His 1920 book The Group Mind explained that the negro race had never produced any individuals of really high mental and moral endowments and was apparently incapable of doing so. His next book, Is America Safe for Democracy (1921), argued that civilizations declined because of the inadequacy of the qualities of the people who are the bearers of itand advocated eugenic sterilization.

Harvards embrace of eugenics extended to the athletic department. Dudley Allen Sargent, who arrived in 1879 to direct Hemenway Gymnasium, infused physical education at the College with eugenic principles, including his conviction that certain kinds of exercise were particularly important for female students because they built strong pelvic muscleswhich over time could advantage the gene pool. In giving birth to a childno amount of mental and moral education will ever take the place of a large well-developed pelvis with plenty of muscular and organic power behind it, Sargent stated. The presence of large female pelvises, he insisted, would determine whether large brainy children shall be born at all.

Sargent, who presided over Hemenway for 40 years, used his position as a bully pulpit. In 1914, he addressed the nations largest eugenic gathering, the Race Betterment Conference, in Michigan, at which one of the main speakers called for eugenic sterilization of the worthless one tenth of the nation. Sargent told the conference that, based on his long experience and careful observation of Harvard and Radcliffe students, physical educationis one of the most important factors in the betterment of the race.

If Harvards embrace of eugenics had somehow remained within University confinesas merely an intellectual school of thoughtthe impact might have been contained. But members of the community took their ideas about genetic superiority and biological engineering to Congress, to the courts, and to the public at largewith considerable effect.

In 1894, a group of alumni met in Boston to found an organization that took a eugenic approach to what they considered the greatest threat to the nation: immigration. Prescott Farnsworth Hall, Charles Warren, and Robert DeCourcy Ward were young scions of old New England families, all from the class of 1889. They called their organization the Immigration Restriction League, but genetic thinking was so central to their mission that Hall proposed calling it the Eugenic Immigration League. Joseph Lee, A.B. 1883, A.M.-J.D. 87, LL.D. 26, scion of a wealthy Boston banking family and twice elected a Harvard Overseer, was a major funder, and William DeWitt Hyde A. B. 1879, S.T.D. 86, another future Overseer and the president of Bowdoin College, served as a vice president. The membership rolls quickly filled with hundreds of people united in xenophobia, many of them Boston Brahmins and Harvard graduates.

Their goal was to keep out groups they regarded as biologically undesirable. Immigration was a race question, pure and simple, Ward said. It is fundamentally a question as towhat races shall dominate in the country. League members made no secret of whom they meant: Jews, Italians, Asians, and anyone else who did not share their northern European lineage.

Drawing on Harvard influence to pursue its goalsrecruiting alumni to establish branches in other parts of the country and boasting President Lowell himself as its vice presidentthe Immigration Restriction League was remarkably effective in its work. Its first major proposal was a literacy test, not only to reduce the total number of immigrants but also to lower the percentage from southern and eastern Europe, where literacy rates were lower. In 1896the league persuaded Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, A.B. 1871, LL.B. 74, Ph.D. 76, LL.D. 04, to introduce a literacy bill. Getting it passed and signed into law took time, but beginning in 1917, immigrants were legally required to prove their literacy to be admitted to the country.

The league scored a far bigger victory with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924. After hearing extensive expert testimony about the biological threat posed by immigrants, Congress imposed harsh national quotas designed to keep Jews, Italians, and Asians out. As the percentage of immigrants from northern Europe increased significantly, Jewish immigration fell from 190,000 in 1920 to 7,000 in 1926; Italian immigration fell nearly as sharply; and immigration from Asia was almost completely cut off until 1952.

While one group of alumni focused on inserting eugenics into immigration, another prominent alumnus was taking the lead of the broader movement. Charles Benedict Davenport, A.B. 1889, Ph.D. 92, taught zoology at Harvard before founding the Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, in 1910. Funded in large part by Mrs. E.H. Harriman, widow of the railroad magnate, the E.R.O. became a powerful force in promoting eugenics. It was the main gathering place for academics studying eugenics, and the driving force in promoting eugenic sterilization laws nationwide.Davenport explained that qualities like criminality and laziness were genetically determined.

Davenport wrote prolifically. Heredity in Relation to Eugenics, published in 1911,quickly became the standard text for the eugenics courses cropping up at colleges and universities nationwide, and was cited by more than one-third of high-school biology textbooks of the era. Davenport explained that qualities like criminality and laziness were genetically determined. When both parents are shiftless in some degree, he wrote, only about 15 percent of their children would be industrious.

But perhaps no Harvard eugenicist had more impact on the public consciousness than Lothrop Stoddard, A.B. 1905, Ph.D. 14. His bluntly titled 1920 bestseller, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, had 14 printings in its first three years, drew lavish praise from President Warren G. Harding, and made a mildly disguised appearance in The Great Gatsby, when Daisy Buchanans husband, Tom, exclaimed that civilizations going to piecessomething hed learned by reading The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard.

When eugenics reached a high-water mark in 1927, a pillar of the Harvard community once again played a critical role. In that year, the Supreme Court decided Buck v. Bell, a constitutional challenge to Virginias eugenic sterilization law. The case was brought on behalf of Carrie Buck, a young woman who had been designated feebleminded by the state and selected for eugenic sterilization. Buck was, in fact, not feebleminded at all. Growing up in poverty in Charlottesville, she had been taken in by a foster family and then raped by one of its relatives. She was declared feebleminded because she was pregnant out of wedlock, and she was chosen for sterilization because she was deemed to be feebleminded.

By an 8-1 vote, the justices upheld the Virginia law and Bucks sterilizationand cleared the way for sterilizations to continue in about half the country, where there were similar laws. The majority opinion was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., A.B. 1861, LL.B. 66, LL.D. 95, a former Harvard Law School professor and Overseer. Holmes, who shared his fathers deep faith in bloodlines, did not merely give Virginia a green light: he urged the nation to get serious about eugenics and prevent large numbers of unfit Americans from reproducing. It was necessary to sterilize people who sap the strength of the State, Holmes insisted, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. His opinion included one of the most brutal aphorisms in American law, saying of Buck, her mother, and her perfectly normal infant daughter: Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

In the same week the Supreme Court decided Buck v. Bell, Harvard made eugenics news of its own. It turned down a $60,000 bequest from Dr. J. Ewing Mears, a Philadelphia surgeon, to fund instruction in eugenics in all its branches, notably that branch relating to the treatment of the defective and criminal classes by surgical procedures.

Harvards decision, reported on the front page of The New York Times, appeared to be a counterweight to the Supreme Courts ruling. But the Universitys decision had been motivated more by reluctance to be coerced into a particular position on sterilization than by any institutional opposition to eugenicswhich it continued to embrace.

Eugenics followed much the same arc at Harvard as it did in the nation at large. Interest began to wane in the 1930s, as the field became more closely associated with the Nazi government that had taken power in Germany. By the end of the decade, Davenport had retired and the E.R.O. had shut down; the Carnegie Institution, of which it was part, no longer wanted to support eugenics research and advocacy. As the nation went to war against a regime that embraced racism, eugenics increasingly came to be regarded as un-American.

It did not, however, entirely fade awayat the University, or nationally. Earnest Hooton, chairman of the anthropology department, was particularly outspoken in support of what he called a biological purge. In 1936, while the first German concentration camps were opening, he made a major plea for eugenic sterilizationthough he emphasized that it should not target any race or religion.

Hooton believed it was imperative for society to remove its worthless people. Our real purpose, he declared in a speech that was quoted in The New York Times, should be to segregate and to eliminate the unfit, worthless, degenerate and anti-social portion of each racial and ethnic strain in our population, so that we may utilize the substantial merits of its sound majority, and the special and diversified gifts of its superior members.Our real purposeshould be to segregate and to eliminate the unfit, worthless, degenerate and anti-social portion of each racial and ethnic strain in our population, so that we may utilize the substantial merits of its sound majority.

None of the news out of Germany after the war made Hooton abandon his views. There can be little doubt of the increase during the past fifty years of mental defectives, psychopaths, criminals, economic incompetents and the chronically diseased, he wrote in Redbook magazine in 1950. We owe this to the intervention of charity, welfare and medical science, and to the reckless breeding of the unfit.

The United States also held onto eugenics, if not as enthusiastically as it once did. In 1942, with the war against the Nazis raging, the Supreme Court had a chance to overturn Buck v. Bell and hold eugenic sterilization unconstitutional, but it did not. The court struck down an Oklahoma sterilization law, but on extremely narrow groundsleaving the rest of the nations eugenic sterilization laws intact. Only after the civil-rights revolution of the 1960s, and changes in popular views toward marginalized groups, did eugenic sterilization begin to decline more rapidly. But states continued to sterilize the unfit until 1981.

Today, the American eugenics movement is often thought of as an episode of national follylike 1920s dance marathons or Prohibitionwith little harm done. In fact, the harm it caused was enormous.

As many as 70,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized for eugenic reasons, while important members of the Harvard community cheered andas with Eliot, Lowell, and Holmescalled for more. Many of those 70,000 were simply poor, or had done something that a judge or social worker didnt like, oras in Carrie Bucks casehad terrible luck. Their lives were changed foreverBuck lost her daughter to illness and died childless in 1983, not understanding until her final years what the state had done to her, or why she had been unable to have more children.

Also affected were the many people kept out of the country by the eugenically inspired immigration laws of the 1920s. Among them were a large number of European Jews who desperately sought to escape the impending Holocaust. A few years ago, correspondence was discovered from 1941 in which Otto Frank pleaded with the U.S. State Department for visas for himself, his wife, and his daughters Margot and Anne. It is understood today that Anne Frank died because the Nazis considered her a member of an inferior race, but few appreciate that her death was also due, in part, to the fact that many in the U.S. Congress felt the same way.

There are important reasons for remembering, and further exploring, Harvards role in eugenics. Colleges and universities today are increasingly interrogating their paststhinking about what it means to have a Yale residential college named after John C. Calhoun, a Princeton school named after Woodrow Wilson, or slaveholder Isaac Royalls coat of arms on the Harvard Law School shield and his name on a professorship endowed by his will.

Eugenics is a part of Harvards history. It is unlikely that Eliot House or Lowell House will be renamed, but there might be a way for the University community to spare a thought for Carrie Buck and others who paid a high price for the harmful ideas that Harvard affiliates played a major role in propounding.

There are also forward-looking reasons to revisit this dark moment in the Universitys past. Biotechnical science has advanced to the brink of a new era of genetic possibilities. In the next few years, the headlines will be full of stories about gene-editing technology, genetic solutions for a variety of human afflictions and frailties, and even designer babies. Given that Harvard affiliates, again, will play a large role in all of these, it is important to contemplate how wrong so many people tied to the University got it the first timeand to think hard about how, this time, to get it right.

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The Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and the …

Posted: June 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

In 1803 a distinguished Virginia jurist named St. George Tucker published the first extended analysis and commentary on the recently adopted U.S. Constitution. Though it is mostly forgotten today, Tucker’s View of the Constitution of the United States was a major work in its time. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, generations of lawyers and scholars would reach for Tucker’s View as a go-to constitutional law textbook.

I was reminded of Tucker’s dusty tome in recent days after reading one liberal pundit after another smugly assert that the original meaning of the Second Amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with individual rights. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, for example, denounced the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment as a “a hoax” peddled in recent years by the conniving National Rifle Association. Likewise, Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson complained that “the NRA’s politicking has warped the Constitution itself” by tricking the Supreme Court into “recast[ing] the Second Amendment as a guarantee of individual gun rights.”

Old St. George Tucker never encountered any “politicking” by the NRA. A veteran of the Revolutionary war and a one-time colleague of James Madison, Tucker watched in real time as Americans publicly debated whether or to ratify the Constitution, and then watched again as Americans debated whether or not to amend the Constitution by adopting the Bill of Rights. Afterwards Tucker sat down and wrote the country’s first major constitutional treatise. And as far Tucker was concerned, there was simply no doubt that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to arms. “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty,” Tucker wrote of the Second Amendment. “The right of self-defense is the first law of nature.”

The individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment was widely held during the founding era. How do we know this? Because the historical evidence overwhelmingly points in that direction. For example, consider the historical context in which the Second Amendment was first adopted.

When the Constitution was ratified in 1789 it lacked the Bill of Rights. Those first 10 amendments came along a few years later, added to the Constitution in response to objections made during ratification by the Anti-Federalists, who wanted to see some explicit protections added in order to safeguard key individual rights. As the pseudonymous Anti-Federalist pamphleteer “John DeWitt” put it, “the want of a Bill of Rights to accompany this proposed system, is a solid objection to it.”

Library of CongressJames Madison, the primary architect of the new Constitution, took seriously such Anti-Federalist objections. “The great mass of the people who opposed [the Constitution],” Madison told Congress in 1789, “dislike it because it did not contain effectual provision against encroachments on particular rights.” To remove such objections, Madison said, supporters of the Constitution should compromise and agree to include “such amendments in the constitution as will secure those rights, which [the Anti-Federalists] consider as not sufficiently guarded.” Madison then proposed the batch of amendments that would eventually become the Bill of Rights.

What “particular rights” did the Anti-Federalists consider to be “not sufficiently guarded” by the new Constitution? One right that the Anti-Federalists brought up again and again was the individual right to arms.

For example, Anti-Federalists at the New Hampshire ratification convention wanted it made clear that, “Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.” Anti-Federalists at the Massachusetts ratification convention wanted the Constitution to “be never construed…to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable, from keeping their own arms.”

Meanwhile, in the Anti-Federalist stronghold of Pennsylvania, critics at that state’s ratification convention wanted the Constitution to declare, “that the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals.”

One of the central purposes of the Second Amendment was to mollify such concerns by enshrining the individual right to arms squarely within the text of the Constitution. Just as the First Amendment was added to address fears of government censorship, the Second Amendment was added to address fears about government bans on private gun ownership.

Like it or not, the idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right is as old as the Second Amendment itself.

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Conservative vs Liberal – Difference and Comparison | Diffen

Posted: June 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm

Social Issues

In terms of views on social issues, conservatives oppose gay marriage, abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Liberals on the other hand, are more left-leaning and generally supportive of the right of gay people to get married and women’s right to choose to have an abortion, as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v Wade.

With regard to the right to bear arms, conservatives support this right as it applies to all US citizens, whereas liberals oppose civilian gun ownership – or at the very least, demand that restrictions be places such as background checks on people who want to buy guns, requiring guns to be registered etc.

The different schools of economic thought found among conservatives and liberals are closely related to America’s anti-federalist and federalist history, with conservatives desiring little to no government intervention in economic affairs and liberals desiring greater regulation.

Economic conservatives believe that the private sector can provide most services more efficiently than the government can. They also believe that government regulation is bad for businesses, usually has unintended consequences, and should be minimal. With many conservatives believing in “trickle-down” economics, they favor a small government that collects fewer taxes and spends less.

In contrast, liberals believe many citizens rely on government services for healthcare, unemployment insurance, health and safety regulations, and so on. As such, liberals often favor a larger government that taxes more and spends more to provide services to its citizens.

See Also: Comparing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s Tax Plans

Some good examples of this policy split are the Environmental Protection Agency, which liberals think is vital and some conservatives want to abolish or scale down, and the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which liberals want to expand and conservatives believe should be partially or completely privatized through a voucher system connected to private health insurers.

In the early part of the twentieth century, liberals – especially those in Britain – were those who stood for laissez fair capitalism. In more recent times, however, the nomenclature seems to have reversed. The exception to this is found in Australia, where the mainstream conservative party is called the Liberal Party and the mainstream non-conservative party is called the Labour Party.

Political liberals believe that parties motivated by self-interest are willing to behave in ways that are harmful to society unless government is prepared- and empowered to constrain them. They believe regulation is necessitated when individuals-, corporations-, and industries demonstrate a willingness to pursue financial gain at an intolerable cost to society–and grow too powerful to be constrained by other social institutions. Liberals believe in systematic protections against hazardous workplaces, unsafe consumer products, and environmental pollution. They remain wary of the corruption- and historic abuses–particularly the oppression of political minorities–that have taken place in the absence of oversight for state- and local authorities. Liberals value educators and put their trust in science. They believe the public welfare is promoted by cultivating a widely-tolerant and -permissive society.

Political conservatives believe commercial regulation does more harm than good–unnecessarily usurping political freedoms, potentially stifling transformative innovations, and typically leading to further regulatory interference. They endorse the contraction of governmental involvement in non-commercial aspects of society as well, calling upon the private sector to assume their activities. Conservatives call for the devolution of powers to the states, and believe locally-tailored solutions are more appropriate to local circumstances. They promulgate individual responsibility, and believe a strong society is made up of citizens who can stand on their own. Conservatives value the armed forces and place their emphasis on faith. Conservatives believe in the importance of stability, and promote law and order to protect the status quo.

Liberals believe in universal access to health care–they believe personal health should be in no way dependent upon one’s financial resources, and support government intervention to sever that link. Political conservatives prefer no government sponsorship of health care; they prefer all industries to be private, favour deregulation of commerce, and advocate a reduced role for government in all aspects of society–they believe government should be in no way involved in one’s healthcare purchasing decisions.

Jonathan Haidt, a University of Virginia psychology professor, has examined the values of liberals and conservatives through paired moral attributes: harm/care, fairnesss/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, purity/sanctity. He outlines the psychological differences in the following TED talk:

Haidt has also written a book, The Righteous Mind, based on his studies conducted over several years on liberal and conservative subjects. Nicholas Kristof, an avowed liberal, offered an unbiased review of the book and cited some interesting findings such as:

Liberals should not be confused with libertarians. Libertarians believe that the role of the government should be extremely limited, especially in the economic sphere. They believe that governments are prone to corruption and inefficiencies and that the private sector in a free market can achieve better outcomes than government bureaucracies, because they make better decisions on resource allocation. Liberals, on the other hand, favor more government involvement because they believe there are several areas where the private sector — especially if left unregulated — needs checks and balances to ensure consumer protection.

The primary focus of libertarians is the maximization of liberty for all citizens, regardless of race, class, or socio-economic position.

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eugenics | genetics | Britannica.com

Posted: at 6:38 am

Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwins theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by survival of the fittest, helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I, many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and 40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.

Galton, Sir FrancisCourtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, LondonAlthough eugenics as understood today dates from the late 19th century, efforts to select matings in order to secure offspring with desirable traits date from ancient times. Platos Republic (c. 378 bce) depicts a society where efforts are undertaken to improve human beings through selective breeding. Later, Italian philosopher and poet Tommaso Campanella, in City of the Sun (1623), described a utopian community in which only the socially elite are allowed to procreate. Galton, in Hereditary Genius (1869), proposed that a system of arranged marriages between men of distinction and women of wealth would eventually produce a gifted race. In 1865, the basic laws of heredity were discovered by the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel. His experiments with peas demonstrated that each physical trait was the result of a combination of two units (now known as genes) and could be passed from one generation to another. However, his work was largely ignored until its rediscovery in 1900. This fundamental knowledge of heredity provided eugenicistsincluding Galton, who influenced his cousin Charles Darwinwith scientific evidence to support the improvement of humans through selective breeding.

The advancement of eugenics was concurrent with an increasing appreciation of Charles Darwins account for change or evolution within societywhat contemporaries referred to as Social Darwinism. Darwin had concluded his explanations of evolution by arguing that the greatest step humans could make in their own history would occur when they realized that they were not completely guided by instinct. Rather, humans, through selective reproduction, had the ability to control their own future evolution. A language pertaining to reproduction and eugenics developed, leading to terms such as positive eugenics, defined as promoting the proliferation of good stock, and negative eugenics, defined as prohibiting marriage and breeding between defective stock. For eugenicists, nature was far more contributory than nurture in shaping humanity.

During the early 1900s, eugenics became a serious scientific study pursued by both biologists and social scientists. They sought to determine the extent to which human characteristics of social importance were inherited. Among their greatest concerns were the predictability of intelligence and certain deviant behaviours. Eugenics, however, was not confined to scientific laboratories and academic institutions. It began to pervade cultural thought around the globe, including the Scandinavian countries, most other European countries, North America, Latin America, Japan, China, and Russia. In the United States, the eugenics movement began during the Progressive Era and remained active through 1940. It gained considerable support from leading scientific authorities such as zoologist Charles B. Davenport, plant geneticist Edward M. East, and geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Hermann J. Muller. Political leaders in favour of eugenics included U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. Internationally, there were many individuals whose work supported eugenic aims, including British scientists J.B.S. Haldane and Julian Huxley and Russian scientists Nikolay K. Koltsov and Yury A. Filipchenko.

Pearson, KarlCourtesy of Professor D.V. Lindley; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.Galton had endowed a research fellowship in eugenics in 1904 and, in his will, provided funds for a chair of eugenics at University College, London. The fellowship and later the chair were occupied by Karl Pearson, a brilliant mathematician who helped to create the science of biometry, the statistical aspects of biology. Pearson was a controversial figure who believed that environment had little to do with the development of mental or emotional qualities. He felt that the high birth rate of the poor was a threat to civilization and that the higher races must supplant the lower. His views gave countenance to those who believed in racial and class superiority. Thus, Pearson shares the blame for the discredit later brought on eugenics.

In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was opened at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., in 1910 with financial support from the legacy of railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman. Whereas ERO efforts were officially overseen by Charles B. Davenport, director of the Station for Experimental Study of Evolution (one of the biology research stations at Cold Spring Harbor), ERO activities were directly superintended by Harry H. Laughlin, a professor from Kirksville, Mo. The ERO was organized around a series of missions. These missions included serving as the national repository and clearinghouse for eugenics information, compiling an index of traits in American families, training field-workers to gather data throughout the United States, supporting investigations into the inheritance patterns of particular human traits and diseases, advising on the eugenic fitness of proposed marriages, and communicating all eugenic findings through a series of publications. To accomplish these goals, further funding was secured from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Battle Creek Race Betterment Foundation, and the Human Betterment Foundation.

Prior to the founding of the ERO, eugenics work in the United States was overseen by a standing committee of the American Breeders Association (eugenics section established in 1906), chaired by ichthyologist and Stanford University president David Starr Jordan. Research from around the globe was featured at three international congresses, held in 1912, 1921, and 1932. In addition, eugenics education was monitored in Britain by the English Eugenics Society (founded by Galton in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society) and in the United States by the American Eugenics Society.

Following World War I, the United States gained status as a world power. A concomitant fear arose that if the healthy stock of the American people became diluted with socially undesirable traits, the countrys political and economic strength would begin to crumble. The maintenance of world peace by fostering democracy, capitalism, and, at times, eugenics-based schemes was central to the activities of the Internationalists, a group of prominent American leaders in business, education, publishing, and government. One core member of this group, the New York lawyer Madison Grant, aroused considerable pro-eugenic interest through his best-selling book The Passing of the Great Race (1916). Beginning in 1920, a series of congressional hearings was held to identify problems that immigrants were causing the United States. As the countrys eugenics expert, Harry Laughlin provided tabulations showing that certain immigrants, particularly those from Italy, Greece, and Eastern Europe, were significantly overrepresented in American prisons and institutions for the feebleminded. Further data were construed to suggest that these groups were contributing too many genetically and socially inferior people. Laughlins classification of these individuals included the feebleminded, the insane, the criminalistic, the epileptic, the inebriate, the diseasedincluding those with tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilisthe blind, the deaf, the deformed, the dependent, chronic recipients of charity, paupers, and neer-do-wells. Racial overtones also pervaded much of the British and American eugenics literature. In 1923, Laughlin was sent by the U.S. secretary of labour as an immigration agent to Europe to investigate the chief emigrant-exporting nations. Laughlin sought to determine the feasibility of a plan whereby every prospective immigrant would be interviewed before embarking to the United States. He provided testimony before Congress that ultimately led to a new immigration law in 1924 that severely restricted the annual immigration of individuals from countries previously claimed to have contributed excessively to the dilution of American good stock.

Immigration control was but one method to control eugenically the reproductive stock of a country. Laughlin appeared at the centre of other U.S. efforts to provide eugenicists greater reproductive control over the nation. He approached state legislators with a model law to control the reproduction of institutionalized populations. By 1920, two years before the publication of Laughlins influential Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), 3,200 individuals across the country were reported to have been involuntarily sterilized. That number tripled by 1929, and by 1938 more than 30,000 people were claimed to have met this fate. More than half of the states adopted Laughlins law, with California, Virginia, and Michigan leading the sterilization campaign. Laughlins efforts secured staunch judicial support in 1927. In the precedent-setting case of Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Virginia statute and claimed, It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

During the 1930s, eugenics gained considerable popular support across the United States. Hygiene courses in public schools and eugenics courses in colleges spread eugenic-minded values to many. A eugenics exhibit titled Pedigree-Study in Man was featured at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 193334. Consistent with the fairs Century of Progress theme, stations were organized around efforts to show how favourable traits in the human population could best be perpetuated. Contrasts were drawn between the emulative, presidential Roosevelt family and the degenerate Ishmael family (one of several pseudonymous family names used, the rationale for which was not given). By studying the passage of ancestral traits, fairgoers were urged to adopt the progressive view that responsible individuals should pursue marriage ever mindful of eugenics principles. Booths were set up at county and state fairs promoting fitter families contests, and medals were awarded to eugenically sound families. Drawing again upon long-standing eugenic practices in agriculture, popular eugenic advertisements claimed it was about time that humans received the same attention in the breeding of better babies that had been given to livestock and crops for centuries.

Antieugenics sentiment began to appear after 1910 and intensified during the 1930s. Most commonly it was based on religious grounds. For example, the 1930 papal encyclical Casti connubii condemned reproductive sterilization, though it did not specifically prohibit positive eugenic attempts to amplify the inheritance of beneficial traits. Many Protestant writings sought to reconcile age-old Christian warnings about the heritable sins of the father to pro-eugenic ideals. Indeed, most of the religion-based popular writings of the period supported positive means of improving the physical and moral makeup of humanity.

In the early 1930s, Nazi Germany adopted American measures to identify and selectively reduce the presence of those deemed to be socially inferior through involuntary sterilization. A rhetoric of positive eugenics in the building of a master race pervaded Rassenhygiene (racial hygiene) movements. When Germany extended its practices far beyond sterilization in efforts to eliminate the Jewish and other non-Aryan populations, the United States became increasingly concerned over its own support of eugenics. Many scientists, physicians, and political leaders began to denounce the work of the ERO publicly. After considerable reflection, the Carnegie Institution formally closed the ERO at the end of 1939.

During the aftermath of World War II, eugenics became stigmatized such that many individuals who had once hailed it as a science now spoke disparagingly of it as a failed pseudoscience. Eugenics was dropped from organization and publication names. In 1954, Britains Annals of Eugenics was renamed Annals of Human Genetics. In 1972, the American Eugenics Society adopted the less-offensive name Society for the Study of Social Biology. Its publication, once popularly known as the Eugenics Quarterly, had already been renamed Social Biology in 1969.

U.S. Senate hearings in 1973, chaired by Edward Kennedy, revealed that thousands of U.S. citizens had been sterilized under federally supported programs. The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare proposed guidelines encouraging each state to repeal their respective sterilization laws. Other countries, most notably China, continue to support eugenics-directed programs openly in order to ensure the genetic makeup of their future.

Despite the dropping of the term eugenics, eugenic ideas remain prevalent in many issues surrounding human reproduction. Medical genetics, a post-World War II medical specialty, encompasses a wide range of health concerns, from genetic screening and counseling to fetal gene manipulation and the treatment of adults suffering from hereditary disorders. Because certain diseases (e.g., hemophilia and Tay-Sachs disease) are now known to be genetically transmitted, many couples choose to undergo genetic screening, in which they learn the chances that their offspring have of being affected by some combination of their hereditary backgrounds. Couples at risk of passing on genetic defects may opt to remain childless or to adopt children. Furthermore, it is now possible to diagnose certain genetic defects in the unborn. Many couples choose to terminate a pregnancy that involves a genetically disabled offspring. These developments have reinforced the eugenic aim of identifying and eliminating undesirable genetic material. Counterbalancing this trend, however, has been medical progress that enables victims of many genetic diseases to live fairly normal lives. Direct manipulation of harmful genes is also being studied. If perfected, it could obviate eugenic arguments for restricting reproduction among those who carry harmful genes. Such conflicting innovations have complicated the controversy surrounding what many call the new eugenics. Moreover, suggestions for expanding eugenics programs, which range from the creation of sperm banks for the genetically superior to the potential cloning of human beings, have met with vigorous resistance from the public, which often views such programs as unwarranted interference with nature or as opportunities for abuse by authoritarian regimes.

Applications of the Human Genome Project are often referred to as Brave New World genetics or the new eugenics; however, the ethical, legal, and social implications of this international project are monitored much more closely than were early 20th-century eugenics programs. Applications also generally are more focused on the reduction of genetic diseases than on improving intelligence. Still, with or without the use of the term, many eugenics-related concerns are reemerging as a new group of individuals decide how to regulate the application of genetics science and technology. This gene-directed activity, in attempting to improve upon nature, may not be that distant from what Galton implied in 1909 when he described eugenics as the study of agencies, under social control, which may improve or impair future generations.

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Eugenics and You Damn Interesting

Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

When Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking theory of Natural Selection in 1859, it was received by the public with considerable vexation. Although the esteemed naturalist had been kind enough to explain his theory using mounds of logic and evidence, he lacked the good manners to incorporate the readers preconceived notions of the universe. Nevertheless, many men of science were drawn to the elegant hypothesis, and they found it pregnant with intriguing corollaries. One of these was a phenomenon Darwin referred to as artificial selection: the centuries-old process of selectively breeding domestic animals to magnify desirable traits. This, he explained, was the same mechanism as natural selection, merely accelerated by human influence.

In 1865, Darwins half-cousin Sir Francis Galton pried the lid from yet another worm-can with the publication of his article entitled Hereditary Talent and Character. In this essay, the gentleman-scientist suggested that one could apply the principle of artificial selection to humans just as one could in domestic animals, thereby exaggerating desirable human traits over several generations. This scientific philosophy would come to be known as eugenics, and over the subsequent years its seemingly sensible insights gained approval worldwide. In an effort to curtail the genetic pollution created by inferior genes, some governments even enacted laws authorizing the forcible sterilization of the insane, idiotic, imbecile, feebleminded or epileptic, as well as individuals with criminal or promiscuous inclinations. Ultimately hundreds of thousands of people were forced or coerced into sterilization worldwide, over 65,000 of them in the country which pioneered the eugenic effort: The United States of America.

From the beginning, Sir Francis Galton and his league of extraordinary eugenicists were concerned that the human race was facing an inevitable decline. They worried that advances in medicine were too successful in improving the survival and reproduction of weak individuals, thereby working at odds with natural evolution. Darwin himself expressed some concern regarding such negative selection:

[We] do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. [] Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. [] Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.

The early proponents of eugenics were also distressed over the observation that the poor segments of an industrialized society tend to have more children than the well-off, an effect now known as the demographic-economic paradox. It was feared that this lopsided fertility would dilute the quality of the human gene pool, leading to the deterioration of socially valuable traits such as intelligence. Indeed, this reversion towards mediocrity was suspected by some historians to be a major contributor to the fall of the Roman Empire. The gloomy prediction of mankinds decline was dubbed dysgenics, and it was considered to be the antithesis of the eugenics movement; but it was not considered inevitable. It was believed that a society could reverse its own genetic decay by reducing breeding among the feebleminded and increasing fertility of the affluent.

The cornerstone of eugenics was that everyone has the right to be well-born, without any predisposition to avoidable genetic flaws. The 1911 edition of The Encyclopdia Britannica looked fondly upon the philosophy, defining it as the organic betterment of the race through wise application of the laws of heredity. Prominent people gravitated towards the idea and engaged in vigorous intellectual intercourse, including such characters as Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, H.G. Wells, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and US presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge. Supporters popularized eugenics as an opportunity to create a better world by using natural processes to elevate the human condition, both mentally and physically.

The eugenicists concerns regarding a falloff in average intelligence were not entirely unreasonable. It had long been observed that intelligence is inheritable to a large degree, and history had illustrated that science and culture owe much of their advancement to the contributions of a few gifted people. Ingenious composers such as Beethoven and Bach advanced the art of music, thinkers such as such as Pascal and Newton improved the power of mathematics, and insights from scientists such as Einstein and Hawking have furthered the field of physics. Deprived of any one of those men, todays world would be a measurably poorer place. Even before modern IQ tests existed, it was evident that a populations intelligence adheres to a Gaussian distribution, or bell curve. Consequently, even a small decline in average IQ causes a sharp reduction in the number of geniuses. For instance, if the average intelligence of a community were to decline by five IQ points, the number of individuals in the 130+ Gifted category would drop by 56%. A ten-point decline would result in an 83% drop. Although IQ testing is far from perfect, it is clear that even modest erosion of average IQ could severely compromise the long-term progress of a society.

As a cautionary measure, many US states enacted laws as early as 1896 prohibiting marriage to anyone who was epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded. But in 1907, eugenics truly passed the threshold from hypothesis into practice when the state of Indiana erected legislation based upon the notion that socially undesirable traits are hereditary:

it shall be compulsory for each and every institution in the state, entrusted with the care of confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists and imbeciles, to appoint upon its staff, in addition to the regular institutional physician, two (2) skilled surgeons of recognized ability, whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the chief physician of the institution, to examine the mental and physical condition of such inmates as are recommended by the institutional physician and board of managers. If, in the judgment of this committee of experts and the board of managers, procreation is inadvisable and there is no probability of improvement of the mental condition of the inmate, it shall be lawful for the surgeons to perform such operation for the prevention of procreation as shall be decided safest and most effective.

Although this particular law was later overturned, it is widely considered to be the worlds first eugenic legislation. The sterilization of imbeciles was put into practice, often without informing the patient of the nature of the procedure. Similar laws were soon passed elsewhere in the US, many of which withstood the legal gauntlet and remained in force for decades.

Meanwhile the founders of the newly-formed Eugenics Record Office in New York began to amass hundreds of thousands of family pedigrees for genetic research. The organization publicly endorsed eugenic practices, and lobbied for state sterilization acts and immigration restrictions. The group also spread their vision of genetic superiority by sponsoring a series of Fitter Families contests which were held at state fairs throughout the US. Alongside the states portliest pigs, swiftest horses, and most majestic vegetables, American families were judged for their quality of breeding. Entrants pedigrees were reviewed, their bodies examined, and their mental capacity measured. The families found to be most genetically fit were awarded a silver trophy, and any contestant scoring a B+ or higher was awarded a bronze medal bearing the inscription, Yea, I have a goodly heritage.

The eugenics movement took another swerve for the sinister in 1924 when the state of Virginia enacted a matched set of eugenics laws: The Sterilization Act, a variation of the same sterilization legislation being passed throughout the US; and the Racial Integrity Act, a law which felonized marriage between white persons and non-whites. In September of the same year, this shiny new legislation was challenged by a patient at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. Eighteen-year-old Carrie Buck child to a promiscuous mother, and mother to an illegitimate child refused her mandatory sterilization and a legal challenge was arranged on her behalf. A series of appeals ultimately brought the Buck v. Bell case before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Courts ruling was delivered by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:

It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubesThree generations of imbeciles are enough.

With the apparent vindication of these myopic eugenics laws, sterilization procedures were ordered by the thousands. Carrie Buck and her daughter Vivian were among them. It was later discovered that Carrie had been become pregnant with Vivian after being raped by her foster parents nephew, and that her commitment into the Colony had been a gambit to preserve the familys reputation. It seems that Carrie was neither feebleminded nor promiscuous, she was merely inconvenient.

These sorts of negative eugenics policies enjoyed widespread adoption in the US and Canada throughout the 1920s and 30s, with some lawmakers contemplating plans to make welfare and unemployment relief contingent upon sterilization. In the years leading up to the Second World War, however, the eugenic philosophy received the endorsement of the Nazis, and their racial hygiene atrocities rapidly dragged the eugenic philosophy from public favor. When Nazi leaders were put on trial for war crimes, they cited the United States as the inspiration for the 450,000 forced sterilizations they conducted. The eugenic laws in the US remained in force, however, and sterilization programs continued quietly for many years thereafter. One by one the state laws were repealed, and by 1963 virtually all US states had dismantled their sterilization legislation but not before 65,000 or so imbeciles, criminals, and fornicators were surgically expelled from the gene pool. As for the legal precedent of Buck v. Bell, it has yet to be officially overruled.

Even with the shifts in public opinion, concerns regarding the decline of the species still remained. It was believed that certain undesirable diseases could be reduced or eliminated from humanity through well-informed mate selection, including such maladies as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and certain types of cancer. In an effort to improve general quality of life, some scientists hypothesized that the ideal way to save humanity would be for healthy and attractive women to breed with men of science. Unfortunately, no orgy of intellectuals ensued.

In 1980, millionaire inventor Robert Klark Graham took a similar positive eugenics approach when he established the Repository for Germinal Choice in an underground bunker in Escondido, California. His goal was to procure and propagate the crme de la crme of genius DNA. It was his earnest hope that this institution would spawn thousands of gifted children to offset the unbridled copulation among the retrograde population. For nineteen years he courted the semen of Nobel Prize laureates, prosperous scientists, Olympic gold medalists, or anyone with a proven high IQ. Even as news reports decried Grahams scheme to produce a master race of superbabies, hundreds of pre-screened women made the pilgrimage to his fortress of fertility. Owing to the popularity of the Repository and the stiff requirements demanded of the donors, there was never quite enough sperm on hand, and the founder was forced to spend much of his time seeking brilliant men to come to his aid.

Graham died in 1997, aged 90, and within two years his reservoir of super-sperm dried up due to lack of funding. Reports vary regarding the exact number of babies produced by the Repository for Germinal Choice, but at least 215 were born in almost two decades of operation. Only a few of the offspring have since come forward as products of the Repository, and though they tend to exhibit intellectual and physical excellence, the sample is too small to draw any concrete conclusions. Time will tell whether these superbabies are secretly plotting to enslave humanity for their own diabolical ends.

The breeding behaviors of humans remains of utmost interest to geneticists today. In Israel, the Dor Yeshorim organization was founded to provide genetic screenings for couples considering marriage. If it is discovered that both the man and woman carry the recessive gene for Tay-Sachs disease a genetic defect which causes a slow, painful death within a childs first five years the couple are advised against marrying. The same process screens for several other hereditary diseases which are common among Jews, and owing to this eugenic guidance, the number of affected individuals has been reduced considerably. A similar screening system has been successful in nearly eradicating the disease thalassemia on the island of Cyprus. Such applications align with the original vision of eugenics before it became distorted by misguided minds: voluntary, altruistic, and based upon scientifically measurable criteria. Unfortunately the imperfections in screening methods have occasionally led to bizarre wrongful life lawsuits, where disabled individuals seek compensation for their unprevented afflictions.

It is only a matter of time until advances in genetic engineering place true designer babies within our grasp, and because the offspring of such offspring would receive a complement of tweaked genes, they fall well within the realm of eugenics. It seems that the eugenic philosophy of intelligent evolution is inseparable from humanitys future and we have only just begun to open the massive ethical worm-cans. Historian Daniel Kevles from Yale University suggests that eugenics is akin to the conservation of natural resources; both can be practiced horribly so as to abuse individual rights, but both can be practiced wisely for the betterment of society. There is no doubt that the forced sterilizations in the name of eugenics were an indefensible trespass upon the rights of individuals; but considering the value of programs like Dor Yeshorim, and the potential of ideas such as the Repository for Germinal Choice, one must be careful not to throw out the superbaby with the bathwater.

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Eugenics and You Damn Interesting

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