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The Roots of Racism and Abortion http://www.eugenics-watch.


The Roots of Racism and Abortion

An Exploration of Eugenics
by John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe

Acknowledgements and Dedication
Chapter One: The Definition and the Pedigree of Eugenics
Chapter Two: Francis Galton and the Eugenics Society
Chapter Three: Eugenics Takes Shape in America
Chapter Four: Slamming the Doors Shut
Chapter Five: Sterilizing the Unfit
Chapter Six: Eugenics Captures Feminism
Chapter Seven: Laws Against Mixing Races
Chapter Eight: The Scopes Trial
Chapter Nine: World War II and the Nazi Holocaust
Chapter 10: Eugenics after World War II
Chapter 11: The Drive to Develop the Pill and the IUD
Chapter 12: Funding the Eugenics Movement
Chapter 13:The Abortion Debate
Chapter 14: Social Biology Today - DNA and the Race
Chapter 15: Population Control Today
Chapter 16: "Modem Genetics Is Eugenics"
Chapter 17: Bioethics, Shaping the Battle Field
Chapter 18: What Do We See Today?

Copyright © 2000 by John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe. All rights reserved.

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I am at a loss about how to give proper credit to my sister, Katharine S. O'Keefe. It is an exaggeration to
say that the sentence structure is mine, and the ideas are hers. But 95 percent of the original thought in this
book is hers, not mine; it would be easier to footnote the new ideas that are mine than to note hers.

I am indebted to the insights offered by the members of the Maryland Eugenics Seminar.

I am also indebted to many people who offered insights, criticism, support and encouragement as I wrote,
including Katherine Adams, Jack Ames, William and Jane Applegate, Elsie Bergamini, Rachel Bohlin,
Matthew Bowman and Will Goodman, Laura Carroll, James and Ann Creegan, Mary Daly, John DeLozier,
Diane Duhig, Cathy Fagerstrom, Olga Fairfax, Thomas Furtado, Jeanne and David Gaetano, Nancy
Gerdes, David and Nancy Graham, Don Greger, C. Lawrence Hamm, Lucy Hancock, Ph.D., Harry and
Nancy Hand, Diane Hess, Doug and Kris Johncox, Connie Kneisly, Lianne Laurence, John Leonard, Barry
and Diane Levy, John Marcus, Christopher and Patricia McKenna, Arthur McKnew, Rebecca Messall,
Jane Meyerhofer, Nash and Catherine Monsour, Jack and Pat O'Brien, John and Martha O'Keefe, Cathy
and Gerry Roth, Dian Schlosser, Charles Suraci, Mary Kay Truckenmiller, James Vittitow, Sherrie Wade,
Joseph P. Wall, John Walton, Juli Loesch Wiley and John Wysong. I am especially grateful to Suzanne
Abdalla for her research and suggestions, but also for her faith that the work would make a difference.

My wife made heroic sacrifices cheerfully for months as I wrote.

Finally, I am keenly aware that my friend James Miller worked his heart out on the issues addressed in this
book. The book is dedicated, with respect and affection, to his memory.

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The principal manifestations of eugenics are racism and abortion. Eugenics is the driving force behind
euthanasia, artificial or assisted insemination, environmental extremism, genetic engineering and coercive
population policies. It shapes debate over welfare reform and health care reform. It is found in
anthropology, sociology, psychology -- in all the social sciences. It is found in many works of modern
literature, especially science fiction. Such a potent force deserves some study.

Eugenics is a deadly serious effort to take charge of evolution and drive the human race forward into a
new and improved world. The key idea is simple: We breed better roses, better tomatoes, better dogs,
better horses. Why do we hesitate to breed better humans?

Most people have never heard of eugenics. When you talk about it, most people think at first that you are
mispronouncing "euthanasia." And then among that small handful of people who have heard of it, nearly
all are confident that it is a thing of the past.

The idea of breeding a better race bothers people in our time. But often, people are disturbed about human
breeding because it sounds too much like something that Hitler did, not because they have any specific
well-informed objections to it. In other words, when people hear about eugenics separate from the horrors
of Nazism, it can sound good.

In fact, there are a few scholars who know what it is, and know that it is part of today's world -- and
consider it a good thing. They know about Hitler's eugenics, a serious effort to achieve a master race by
controlling birth, but they think that today's eugenics movement is different from the 1940s movement, and
believe that this time eugenics is benign.

This book will help you see what eugenics is, to see that it is widespread in our time, and to understand
that it is grave assault on humanity. Once you understand what it is and how it works, you will find it in
many places, and wonder why others don't see it also.

After World War II, the eugenics movement had a public relations problem. Hitler was serious about
building a master race, and anything that resembles his ideas too closely smells bad. So the leaders of the
eugenics movement continued their work under other names, and tracing their work takes a little effort.

Eugenics has a curiously effective disguise. The leaders of the post-war eugenics movement talked about
"crypto-eugenics." That makes it easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the eugenics movement is some
kind of conspiracy. This turns out to be one of the best defenses that the eugenics movement has. If a
movement ever looked like a conspiracy, even briefly, then some potential critics will decide that it didn't
exist, because conspiracies don't exist.

Despite the secrets, eugenics is an ideology, a movement, not a conspiracy. You can find it in the morning
paper. You can find it in many social programs. You can find it in the novels you read. You may be able to
find it in your own family, and very likely in the mirror.

Once you see how eugenics works, you will never let go of the knowledge. The plain fact in history is,
there have been several different truly evil schemes that put the value of life on a sliding scale. One was
racism: white people are better than yellow people, who are better than red or brown people, who are
better than black people. At the beginning of the 21st century, it is easy for most people to reject any such
scheme as evil. We can hope that as soon as people understand that the same kind of sliding scale can be
built in other ways, they will be ready to resist those schemes also.

Another sliding scale is based on IQ testing. The idea there is that people with a high intelligence level are
better than normal people, who are better than "morons" with a lower IQ, who are better than "imbeciles"

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with a still lower IQ. Using this scale, eugenicists made a serious effort from the 1920s through 1960s to
sterilize "imbeciles," to persuade "morons" to use birth control, to win the support and encouragement of
normal people, and to increase the population of the above-average. Today, IQ tests are still used in
schools everywhere, but they are not used to decide who should have children (at least not openly). Peter
Singer, now a professor at Princeton, may bring back the old pattern, since he proposes infanticide for
humans with a low IQ, and better protection for dolphins and apes with high IQs.

There is another sliding scale, based on a twisted theory of evolution. The idea is that protozoa led to
vegetables, vegetable life evolved into animal life, animals evolved until there were mammals, mammals
evolved until there were primates, primates evolved into savage humans, and some (not all) of the savages
evolved into civilized humankind. The idea shows up in jokes ("How can you date that Neanderthal?"), but
also in serious discrimination against aboriginal peoples.

The sliding scale that kills people today is a developmental theory, similar to the evolutionary scheme. The
idea is that sexual activity produces a clump of cells, the clump gives rise to a valuable embryo, which
becomes a still more valuable fetus, which becomes a truly precious infant. Then the infant becomes a
child, the child becomes an adult, and the adult declines into an old person, and the old person becomes a
corpse. This idea -- of humanity accumulating over months until you get a real person -- almost died in the
beginning of the 19th century, when scientists were able to see sperm and eggs under a microscope, able to
observe fertilization, able to understand the explosive moment in which life begins.

From the Greeks until the 19th century, philosophers and scientists had discussed the beginnings of life
without any understanding of fertilization. For example, both Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas believed there
was a sharp dividing line somewhere in the early days of life, separating something pre-human from a real
though small human being. Before that point, what happened was interesting but did not involve the life of
a new human being. They guessed that the critical event -- "ensoulment" -- took place during the first
trimester of pregnancy.

The microscope almost ended such speculation permanently, showing that the critical event is fertilization.
Unfortunately, before the new science of embryology took hold in people's minds, Darwin's theories
strengthened the old developmental theory. The explosive moments at the beginnings of life did not seize
the imagination of the modern biologist.

Darwin's theories encouraged biologists to cling to the ancient Greek picture, with stages of pre-human
development over a period of time, with gradual changes leading slowly up to some point at which there
was finally a real human being. Ideas like this allow biologists to ignore the moment of fertilization, and to
apply a sliding scale of value to humans.

As the field of biology laid the foundations for the 20th century, Darwin's theories triumphed over the
microscope. As a result, the old idea survived, that size and weight and complexity and value and rights all
accumulate gradually, that the beginning of physical life is different from the beginning of truly human life.

Today, the theory of eugenics still plagues us -- evaluating human life on a sliding scale, and devaluing
some lives. To defeat it, you must first understand it.

John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe
March 25, 2000

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The Definition and the Pedigree of Eugenics

Chapter One:

The Definition and the Pedigree of Eugenics

Did you ever meet a little snob on a playground who thought he was better than everyone?

Jack: Sometimes you sound like a snob. Do you think you are better than other people?
Eugene: I don't think I'm better; I know I'm better.
Jack: Oh? What makes you think that?
Eugene: I'm smarter.
Jack: That makes you better than other people? Are you also stronger, faster, wiser, more loving?
Eugene: Look, you asked me a question, and I answered. I'm smarter. It's all objective and scientific; my
IQ is higher than yours, a lot higher. That's just the way life works; I was born smarter than you. I'm

Well, the little snob is back, all grown up. He still thinks he is better than you, and now he takes it all very
seriously. His ideas are called eugenics.

Eugenics is pretty simple, in some ways. Eugene, the snobby kid with the bow tie, really believes that a
high IQ makes him a better human being. For him, what matters most about people is how smart they are,
and he believes that:

intelligence is the key human quality

intelligence is measurable
intelligence is inherited
the world would be a better place if more people were smart like Eugene

There is more to the theories of eugenics than Eugene's snobbery, but not much more. If you ever met
Eugene or anyone like him, you already understand the dark heart of eugenics, the "ideology of

The opposite of eugenics: All men are created equal

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

On July 4, 1776, a document creating a new and independent nation was made public, signed by a group of
courageous men who had been meeting to debate the future of a continent. The Declaration of
Independence began with words that have stirred the hearts of Americans and many other people around
the world for over two centuries. These words have great power, but what exactly do they mean? Are we
equal? In what sense are we equal?

The American ideal is based on the idea that people are equal. Eugenics, by contrast, is based on the idea
that people are not equal. To understand America, or to understand democracy, or indeed to understand
the religious beliefs that people have held in this nation, we must develop a clear understanding of

In 1994, two scholars wrote about the idea of equality, offering two possible definitions. In The Bell
Curve, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray made a distinction between equal opportunity and equal
endowment. They argued that it is noble for a nation to make sure that every citizen has an equal
opportunity to prosper. But they said it is obvious that people are not endowed equally. Some people are

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taller than others, some are stronger than others, some people are more intelligent than others. And these
inequalities are at least partly because of genetic differences, not because of differences in the way
children are raised.

"We must learn to accept inequalities," wrote Herrnstein and Murray. In fact, they wrote, the framers of
the Declaration of Independence would not have said that "all men are created equal" if they had
understood genetics.

Equality. The word has a nice sound, and a long history. But what does it mean? Different people use the
word to mean different things: who is right? And does it make any difference what the word means?

The American Revolution was fought over a declaration that "all men are created equal." The French
Revolution started with ideas about "liberty, equality and fraternity." So the word matters, somehow.

It is true that the framers of the Declaration of Independence did not understand modern genetics. But still,
perhaps their idea of equality was based on something other than genetics. Perhaps they meant that we
have equal dignity, because we are all children of one loving heavenly Father.

A New Generation of Americans

When John F. Kennedy became President of the United States, he spoke about the meaning of "equality."
He had fought in World War II, as a lieutenant in the Navy, and had been the skipper of a PT boat; he
became President after Dwight Eisenhower, who had been the Supreme Allied Commander in that war.
So his election represented a shift in leadership from one generation to another. Kennedy referred to
this change, saying that t"he torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."But the t"orch"in
his speech was very specific: it was a belief in the fundamental basis of human equality. Here are his

We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom -- symbolizing an end, as well as a
beginning -- signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the
same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago. The world is very
different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all
forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at
issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but
from the hand of God. We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the
word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new
generation of Americans ...

Human Dignity

In American society today, many people work hard to avoid saying things about politics that seem to
require a belief in God. So it is worthwhile trying to find a way to talk about equal dignity without referring
to God. But the clearest expression of this equality, whether you accept the theology or just use the
language as a metaphor, is the idea that we have equal dignity, because we are the children of one loving
Father. This Father loves us equally, whether we are rich or poor, tall or short, quick or slow, smart or not
so smart. In fact, if there are any hints of any inequality in the Father's love, it seems that the Father has a
distinct preference for those children who are weak or vulnerable.

The concept of "equal dignity" is not the same thing as equal endowment or equal opportunity.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees "equal protection of the laws," a concept that
stands between equal dignity and equal opportunity.

Eugenics: a theory of inequality

In the 19th century, a British thinker named Francis Galton laid the foundations for a theory of humanity

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that is based on inequality. The name of his theory is "eugenics."

The word "eugenics" is based on two Greek words -- eu (eu) which means good, and gen (gen) which
refers to birth or race. Other words which use the prefix eu- include:

eulogy: good words, usually about a deceased person

euphemism: good phrase, used to hide something ugly
euphonic: sounding good
euphoria: feeling great
euthanasia: literally means good death, but the practice of mercy killing might be a quick road to
eutopia: literally means good place, but Thomas More played with the word, pointing out that is
very close to utopia, which means no place

It is interesting that many of the words using the prefix eu- are ironic, hinting at goodness but actually
referring to serious problems.

The Greek root gen, referring to production or birth or race, also shows up in a variety of words, including:

genes: the pieces of a DNA molecule that produce various traits in the next generation
genetics: the study of genes
genus: a class of things sharing common attributes
generic: of the same kind or class
general: originally meant of the same kind or class
genius: a person who is born with great abilities
gender: once referred to kind, sort, class; now refers to sex (i.e., male or female)
genealogy: a systematic listing of ancestors and descendants
generation: the offspring of the same parent or parents, one step in the descent of a family from an
generous: once referred to someone from a noble family or high lineage, now refers to someone who
gives freely
genesis: beginning, origin
Gentile: referring to nations other than Jews
gentle: once referred to a person from a noble or highborn family; now refers to a person whose
behavior is moderate and kind
genitals: the organs of the body used for reproduction
degenerate: n. a person whose behavior does not measure up to the family's expectations, or the
family's previous reputation. v., to fall from one's ancestral quality
congenital: having some specific characteristic that seems to be an innate part of your nature, e.g.,
congenital liar
regeneration: regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs; or to spiritual conversion or "rebirth."

Miscegenation refers to mixing races. In the 1920s, the eugenics movement pushed through
anti-miscegenation laws, prohibiting intermarriage between blacks and whites.

When you look at the history of the root word gen, and at the way it has developed over the last 25
centuries, it is striking that the references to birth have always been related to ideas about race. In
eugenics, the focus shifts back and forth between tiny genes and the whole race. The alternative to
eugenics is to focus more on the individual, and speak about the overwhelming dignity of the human
individual (who has genes and belongs to the race).

There is a word related to eugenics worth noting: dysgenic, referring to a bad birth or bad generation. The
prefix dys- is the opposite of eu, meaning bad or unfortunate, but it is not used much except in a medical
context (dyspnea, difficulty in breathing; dyslexia, difficulty in reading; muscular dystrophy, malnourished
muscles). Eugenics is a noun that refers to (1) a pseudo-science about improving the human race, (2) a
program of action to improve humanity, and (3) an ideology about improving the human race that

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functions like a religion. Eugenicist is a noun, referring to a person who believes in eugenics. Eugenic is an
adjective used by eugenicists to refer to desirable traits, or to a likelihood of producing "fit" children.
Dysgenic is used only as an adjective, to refer to undesirable traits, or a likelihood of producing "unfit"

The idea of eugenics became popular in the 19th century. An Englishman named Francis Galton coined the
word and promoted the idea. He did not claim that the idea was his own; he said that he was building on
the ideas of other people, especially Plato, Thomas Malthus -- and of course his cousin, the eminent
naturalist, Charles Darwin.

So what did they say?

Plato's words about eugenics

Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 427 BC to about 347 BC. His thought had a
tremendous impact on all of Western culture. One of his greatest works was the Republic, in which he
explored the idea of justice, and how to develop a just society. He favored a system of aristocracy, or rule
by the best people.

Plato's discussion includes military matters, and he talked about a class of people who would be devoted to
guarding the society, a kind of warrior class. Soldiers should be fierce when dealing with enemies, but
should not be a threat to their own neighbors. Achieving and maintaining this balance is difficult, Plato felt,
and so he discussed some ideas for breeding the kind of people he wanted. His ideas about breeding
soldiers are shocking, and it is possible that Plato was making fun of someone else's ideas. But whether
Plato took the ideas seriously or not, 19th century eugenicists were fascinated.

Plato noted that dogs are frequently gentle to people they know, but fierce to strangers. Dog owners pay
attention to their breeding, selecting only those considered to be the best. If the owner does not pay
attention to breeding, the value of the dogs -- or birds, horses or other animals -- can deteriorate quickly.
The question, then, is whether the techniques of animal breeding can be adapted to humans, to raise
soldiers. Plato found human breeding plausible, if the rulers of the society were willing and able to be
deceptive, manipulating people into accepting the rulers' plans. Breeding a soldier class requires that the
rulers select the best of both sexes, and have them mate as much as possible, while discouraging mating
among the inferior.

Plato's scheme for a perfect society included not only barnyard methods of breeding humans and
deception, but also promiscuity and abortion. Men and women considered too old to have healthy children
could engage in sexual activity promiscuously, but any child they conceived accidentally was to be

Not all Greeks favored abortion and infanticide. Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is called the "father
of medicine," lived at about the same time as Plato. His greatest legacy is the charter of conduct he wrote
for medical professionals, which was used for ages. It includes unequivocal opposition to euthanasia and
abortion: "I will give no deadly drug to anyone, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such, and
especially I will not aid a woman to procure abortion."

Population problems in Scripture

In the Book of Exodus, we can see what happens when people no longer pay attention to individuals. The
descendants of the Jewish patriarchs became numerous in Egypt. Then a new pharaoh came to power who
was not mindful of what Joseph had done for his predecessors in years past. He saw the Jewish population
as a threat. "Look!" he said. "The Israelite people are growing in numbers and in power, surpassing us! We
should respond intelligently, and prevent their continuing growth." So he began to oppress them with
forced labor. When that did not achieve his goals, he started a campaign of population control, ordering
the Hebrew midwives to kill all the boys who were born.

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This grave evil began when the new Pharaoh no longer saw individuals like Joseph; instead, all he saw was
a population of foreigners.

In the Second Book of Samuel (chapter 24), there is another story about the evil of seeing people as
numbers rather than as individuals. The chapter begins, "The Lord's anger against Israel flared again, and
he incited David against the Israelites, prompting him to take a census of Israel and Judah." Joab argued
with King David about it, but David persisted, and ordered a census. "Afterward, however, David regretted
that he had carried out the census. He said to the Lord, 'What I have done was a serious evil; I have
sinned.'" Then David was punished severely for carrying out a census. But the story does not explain what
is wrong with a census. In fact, elsewhere in the Bible, there are careful tallies of the population. But it
does seem plausible that the problem is straightforward: it is wrong to think of people as numbers, stripped
of their individuality. In any case, carrying out a census is apparently a morally hazardous task; there is
something about a census that can be seriously wrong.

Thomas R. Malthus

Thomas R. Malthus was an English clergyman and professor of history who lived from 1766 to 1834. He
wrote an extremely provocative and influential book entitled An Essay on the Principle of Population.
The central idea in the book is about population and food supplies. He said that population, if allowed to
grow without any interruption, can double every 25 years, while the food supply cannot increase that fast.

If the population doubles each generation, then in two generations it will increase by a factor of four, and
in three generations it will increase by a factor of eight, and in four generations by a factor of 16, etc.
Unless this geometric progression is interrupted, the population would theoretically increase a thousandfold
in ten generations, a millionfold in 20 generations, a billion-fold in 30 generations. Sooner or later,
according to this bleak model, the population will outstrip the food supply, and there will be massive
starvation. Malthus said that there are alternatives to starvation: war, disease and vice.

Like all the clergy of his time -- indeed, like all Christian clergy until the 20th century -- he considered
artificial birth control to be a vice. However, people today who adopt his ideas, called neo-Malthusians, no
longer oppose birth control. In fact, they promote it.

According to Malthus, the idea that population will inevitably outstrip the food supply does not undercut
the idea of a loving God. However, Malthus argues, God's concern seems to be about the human race as a
whole, not about the individual. Hunger andwant may be hard on the poor, but they lift humanity out of
torpor, and drive people to develop their minds. Of course, starving people in order to produce a better
race may seem cruel, and Malthus admits that it is "partial evil." But, he argues, "evil seems to be
necessary to create exertion, and exertion seems evidently necessary to create mind."

If hunger and pain are the tools that God uses to drive a lazy human race to develop mentally, as Malthus
argues, then should people care for the poor? Malthus was not enthusiastic about caring for the poor. In his
day, caring for the poor was generally among the responsibilities of a clergyman, but Malthus thought that
charity just encouraged the poor to marry and create more poor children. Also, he said, giving food to "a
part of the society that cannot in general be considered as the most valuable part" meant that there was
less food available for the "more industrious and more worthy members."

Enrichment: arithmetic and geometric progression

"Arithmetic progression" is a fancy name for something that is quite familiar. It goes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 ...

"Geometric progression" can be simple doubling: 1 - 2 - 4 - 8 - 16 - 32 - 64 ...

But there is another form of "geometric progression" that is found throughout nature. It starts 1 - 2 . . .,
but then proceeds not by doubling the previous number, but by adding the two previous numbers. The
series of numbers is called the Fibonacci series. You can carry this out for as long as you want, and use

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it to generate a number that the Greeks called the "golden mean."

a b c d e f g h
(=a+b) (=b+c) (=c+d) (=d+e) (=e+f) (=f+g)
1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34
b/a c/b d/c e/d f/e g/f h/g
2 1.5 1.66667 1.6 1.625 1.61538 1.61905

The "golden mean" ratio is found all over nature, in petals, leaves, shells and elsewhere. There is an
important difference between this series and simple doubling; with the Fibonacci series, each new item
(or, in biology, each new cell) has a unique "heritage."

Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal"

The callous attitude that Malthus adopted was not new with him. In fact, 70 years before Malthus
published his Essay on the Principle of Population, another clergyman, Jonathan Swift, wrote a blistering
satire of the callous attitude he saw developing in England. Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal for Preventing
the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making
Them Beneficial to the Public."

In it, he wrote that it is a "melancholy object" to see women begging everywhere, "followed by three, four,
or six children, all in rags." Anyone who could find "fair, cheap and easy method of making these children
sound and useful members of the commonwealth" should have a statue set up. He had a scheme that
would not only end the scandal of having beggars everywhere, but would "contribute to the feeding, and
partly to the clothing, of many thousands." Incidentally, the plan would also prevent abortions.

How does the remarkable proposal work? Swift's sarcastic proposal was cannibalism. "I have been assured
by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at
a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled;
and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout." Infant's flesh might be somewhat
more expensive than other meat, but it could be served at "merry meetings, particularly weddings and
christenings." Thrifty shoppers can also use the skin to make "admirable gloves for ladies, and
summer-boots for fine gentlemen."

Swift was not serious about cannibalism, but he was very serious about criticizing a callous attitude toward
the poor. He was appalled that many comfortable people were ready to ignore the difficulties of their

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a British scientist whose theories about evolution and natural selection
became the foundation of modern biology. The idea of evolution, or the gradual development of life forms
from earlier, simpler ancestors, was not new with Darwin; other scientists had explored it. In fact, Charles
Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had proposed a theory of evolution in the 1790s. But Charles
Darwin presented evolution in a new and more convincing way, including a theory about the mechanism
that drives evolution, a process which he called "natural selection."

Darwin accepted the idea put forward by Malthus, that populations of living creatures including humans
propagate geometrically, so that they are always pushing the limits of the food supply. But he went beyond
Malthus, saying that when animals compete in this life-or-death struggle for food, the strongest and most
fit survive, and the weak are weeded out. In his view, this brutal competition is the natural breeding
process, selecting the best and letting the others die out. In this way, the "survival of the fittest" promotes
steady progress: slow but steady evolution.

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Darwin's put his ideas forward in 1859, in a book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural
Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In this book, he wrote about
the evolution of animals. Later, in 1871, he applied the same ideas explicitly to humanity, in The Descent
of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Darwin's work had huge implications for religious thought. His account of evolution assumes that the world
is millions of years old, but many clerics of his time believed that the world was created in 4004 BC (as
calculated by Archbishop James Ussher). His description of how various living creatures developed
requires millions of years, but the Bible describes creation taking place in just six days. His theory of
natural selection seems to diminish God's role in watching over and guiding the universe. Further, it
seemed that Darwin erased or minimized the distinctions between animals and humans. Darwin closed his
book on the preservation of favored races with a summary of the grandeur of evolution. Contemplating the
variety of different living things, he found it interesting that they "have all been produced by laws acting
around us." These laws included:

. . . a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to

Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved
forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we
are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows. There is
grandeur in this view of life, with its various powers, having been originally breathed into a
few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed
law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful
have been, and are being, evolved.

One key question about the works of Thomas Malthus was the value that he placed on the individual
person, as opposed to the whole race. Reading Darwin, you have to ask the same question. In the summary
at the end of his book, Darwin writes (about animals), "And as natural selection works solely by and for
the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress toward perfection."
Clearly, Darwin takes the long view, and is really overlooking the individual even when he writes about
"each being." Obviously, whatever natural selection -- meaning war and famine -- may do for the race as a
whole, it is not good for the individual.

When Darwin enthused about the benefits of violence and death, he was writing about animals and lower
life forms. But still you have to ask, if they are all improved steadily over time by war and famine, why
should humans be different? And in fact, Darwin did not see a different set of rules for humans. In The
Descent of Man, chapter II, Darwin wrote, "The early progenitors of man must also have tended, like all
other animals, to have increased beyond their means of subsistence; they must, therefore, occasionally
have been exposed to a struggle for existence, and consequently to the rigid law of natural selection." He
was cautiously optimistic about the evidence that civilization was winning the struggle for life. He wrote,
"There is great reason to suspect, as Malthus has remarked, that the reproductive power is actually less in
barbarous, than in civilised races."

Darwin thought that war and famine played a role in keeping down the population of "savages," but saw
another mechanism at work that Malthus had skipped. He wrote that Malthus "does not lay stress enough
on what is probably the most important of all, namely infanticide, especially of female infants, and the
habit of procuring abortion. These practices now prevail in many quarters of the world; and infanticide
seems formerly to have prevailed, as Mr. M'Lennan has shewn on a still more extensive scale. These
practices appear to have originated in savages recognising the difficulty, or rather the impossibility of
supporting all the infants that are born."

Darwin's attitude toward infanticide and abortion was not simple. He did not approve of them any more
than he approved of war and famine. However, he linked them with the beginning of rational thought: "If
we look back to an extremely remote epoch, before man had arrived at the dignity of manhood, he would
have been guided more by instinct and less by reason than are the lowest savages at the present time. Our
early semi-human progenitors would not have practised infanticide or polyandry [having more than one
husband]; for the instincts of the lower animals are never so perverted as to lead them regularly to destroy

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their own offspring." In other words, Darwin condemned infanticide, even though his theories led others to
do it. Before turning to the work of Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, we should take note of Darwin's
attitude toward eugenics, which Galton championed. Some writers have worked hard to separate Darwin's
views on evolution from his cousin's views on eugenics. However, in the closing paragraphs of his book
The Descent of Man, Darwin quoted his cousin and endorsed his views.

Referring to humans, not to animals, he expressed the same concern that Plato had voiced: "Man scans
with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; but
when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such care."

He noted that "free choice" can drive racial improvement: "He [man] is impelled by nearly the same
motives as the lower animals, when they are left to their own free choice, though he is in so far superior to
them that he highly values mental charms and virtues. On the other hand he is strongly attracted by mere
wealth or rank."

He believed that a selection process could improve the human race, if a socially acceptable mechanism for
selection could be found, but did not see clearly how the selection process might work: "Yet he might by
selection do something not only for the bodily constitution and frame of his offspring, but for their
intellectual and moral qualities. Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree
inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian and will never be even partially realised until the laws
of inheritance are thoroughly known. Everyone does good service, who aids towards this end. When the
principles of breeding and inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our
legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining whether or not consanguineous marriages [marriages
between close relatives] are injurious to man."

He accepted the view that measured value by wealth: "The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a
most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their
children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in
marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the
reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society."

He spoke about struggle among humans as the driving force for improvement. His words are not
completely clear about what the "struggle" was supposed to look like; it is not clear that he meant to say
that warfare and genocide are necessary tools in the improvement of the human race. His words may not
have been as chilling in his own day as they are in retrospect. In any case, what he wrote was: "Man, like
every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence
consequent on his rapid multiplication. If he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain
subject to a severe struggle." It is worthwhile noting that his views about our ancestors are complimentary
to some animals but insulting to some humans:

The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly
organized form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a
doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a
party of Fenians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection
at once rushed into my mind -- such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked
and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement,
and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. They possessed hardly any arts, and
like wild animals lived on what they could catch; they had no government, and were merciless
to everyone not of their own small tribe. He who has seen a savage in his native land will not
feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature
flows in his veins. For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little
monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper, or from that
old baboon, who descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade
from a crowd of astonished dogs -- as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies,
offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves,
knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.

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Given his views about the people of Tierra del Fuego, it is fair to wonder who he thinks has risen "to the
very summit of the organic scale":

Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own
exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead
of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hope for a still higher destiny in the
distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as
our reason permits us to discover it; and I have given the evidence to the best of my ability.
We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with
sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other
men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into
the movements and constitution of the solar system -- with all these exalted powers -- Man
still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Darwin spoke of our "lowly origin," but we don't have to give him the last word. By contrast, Psalm 8 says:

What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou dost take thought of
him? And yet thou hast made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and

Review of Chapter One:

Pedigree of Eugenics

1. What does "equality" mean?

2. What does "eugenics" mean?
3. What did the ancient Greeks say about eugenics? What does Scripture say?
4. Who was Thomas Malthus, and what was his key idea about population?
5. Who was Charles Darwin, and what did he say about evolution and human life?

Discuss: Is the life of a poor man valuable? What were the views on this question held by
Plato, Malthus and Darwin? Were their views like or unlike Christianity? Were their views
like or unlike the American ideal?

Malthus on God and evil

To furnish the most unremitted excitements of this kind, and to urge man to further the
gracious designs of Providence by the full cultivation of the earth, it has been ordained that
population should increase much faster than food. This general law. . . undoubtedly
produces much partial evil, but a little reflection may, perhaps, satisfy us, that it produces a
great overbalance of good. . . . I should be inclined, therefore, as I have hinted before, to
consider the world and this life as the mighty process of God, not for the trial, but for the
creation and formation of mind, a process necessary to awaken inert, chaotic matter into
spirit, to sublimate the dust of the earth into soul, to elicit an ethereal spark from the clod of
clay. And in this view of the subject, the various impressions and excitements which man
receives through life may be considered as the forming hand of his Creator, acting by general
laws, and awakening his sluggish existence, by the animating touches of the Divinity, into a
capacity of superior enjoyment. The original sin of man is the torpor and corruption of the
chaotic matter in which he may be said to be born.

The partial pain, therefore, that is inflicted by the supreme Creator, while he is forming
numberless beings to a capacity of the highest enjoyments, is but as the dust of the balance
in comparison of the happiness that is communicated, and we have every reason to think that

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there is no more evil in the world than what is absolutely necessary as one of the ingredients
in the mighty process.

It seems highly probable that moral evil is absolutely necessary to the production of moral

Malthus's views on the poor

The poor laws of England tend to depress the general condition of the poor in these two
ways. Their first obvious tendency is to increase population without increasing the food for its
support. A poor man may marry with little or no prospect of being able to support a family in
independence. They may be said therefore in some measure to create the poor which they
maintain, and as the provisions of the country must, in consequence of the increased
population, be distributed to every man in smaller proportions, it is evident that the labour of
those who are not supported by parish assistance will purchase a smaller quantity of
provisions than before and consequently more of them must be driven to ask for support.

Secondly, the quantity of provisions consumed in workhouses upon a part of the society that
cannot in general be considered as the most valuable part diminishes the shares that would
otherwise belong to more industrious and more worthy members, and thus in the same
manner forces more to become dependent.

These excerpts are from the first edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population
(1798) by Thomas Malthus.

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Francis Galton and the Eugenics Society

Chapter Two:

Francis Galton and the Eugenics

Francis Galton (1822-1911) was an English scientist who studied heredity and intelligence. He was the
person who coined the word eugenics, using Greek words to express what was originally a Greek concept.

He was a cousin of Charles Darwin. Erasmus Darwin was Francis Galton's maternal grandfather and also
Charles Darwin's paternal grandfather. Erasmus Darwin developed a theory of evolution that Charles
Darwin later expanded and refined.

Galton defined his new word this way: "Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may
improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally." But he
wanted more than a little study. In 1905, he wrote about the three stages of eugenics ã first an academic
matter, then a practical policy, and finally "it must be introduced into the national consciousness as a new

In Memories of My Life, Galton said that the publication of Darwin's book on evolution stirred a rebellion
against religious dogma: "The publication in 1859 of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin made a
marked epoch in my own mental development, as it did in that of human thought generally. Its effect was
to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and to arouse a spirit of rebellion against
all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern

He became an openly anti-Christian bigot. For example, he wrote about prayer, dismissing the idea that
God would ever listen to anyone's prayers for good weather, basing his argument on mockery, not data: "I
do not propose any special inquiry whether the general laws of physical nature are ever changed in
response to prayer: whether, for instance, success has attended the occasional prayers in the Liturgy when
they have been used for rain, for fair weather, for the stilling of the sea in a storm, or for the abatement of
a pestilence. The modern feeling of this country is so opposed to a belief in the occasional suspension of
the general laws of nature, that most English readers would smile at such an investigation." Is English
scorn a reliable measure of truth?

Galton's chief intellectual contribution was laying the foundations of eugenics. He described his ideas in
an article entitled "Hereditary Character and Talent" (published in two parts in MacMillan's Magazine,
vol. 11, November 1864 and April 1865, pp. 157-166, 318-327), expressing his frustration that no one was
breeding a better human race:

If a twentieth part of the cost and pains were spent in measures for the improvement of the
human race that is spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle, what a galaxy
of genius might we not create! We might introduce prophets and high priests of civilization
into the world, as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating cretins. Men and women of the
present day are, to those we might hope to bring into existence, what the pariah dogs of the
streets of an Eastern town are to our own highly-bred varieties.

While the reader ponders who might be in charge of this breeding program which is supposed to produce
geniuses and "prophets and high priests of civilization," Galton continued with chilling language:

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The feeble nations of the world are necessarily giving way before the nobler varieties of
mankind; and even the best of these, so far as we know them, seem unequal to their work.
The average culture of mankind is become so much higher than it was, and the branches of
knowledge and history so various and extended, that few are capable even of comprehending
the exigencies of our modern civilization; much less of fulfilling them. We are living in a sort
of intellectual anarchy, for the want of master minds. The general intellectual capacity of our
leaders requires to be raised, and also to be differentiated. We want abler commanders,
statesmen, thinkers, inventors, and artists. The natural qualifications of our race are no greater
than they used to be in semi-barbarous times, though the conditions amid which we are born
are vastly more complex than of old. The foremost minds of the present day seem to stagger
and halt under an intellectual load too heavy for their powers.

When Galton said that it is necessary for the "feeble nations" to give way before the "nobler varieties of
mankind," was that a justification for genocide?

Further on, he wrote,

No one, I think, can doubt, from the facts and analogies I have brought forward, that, if
talented men were mated with talented women, of the same mental and physical characters as
themselves, generation after generation, we might produce a highly-bred human race, with no
more tendency to revert to meaner ancestral types than is shown by our long-established
breeds of race-horses and fox-hounds.

It is interesting to note that the animals he mentioned were the same as those that Plato mentioned. He

It may be said that, even granting the validity of my arguments, it would be impossible to
carry their indications into practical effect. For instance, if we divided the rising generation
into two castes, A and B, of which A was selected for natural gifts, and B was the refuse,
then, supposing marriage was confined within the pale of the caste to which each individual
belonged, it might be objected that we should simply differentiate our race - that we should
create a good and a bad caste, but we should not improve the race as a whole. I reply that this
is by no means the necessary result. There remains another very important law to be brought
into play. Any agency, however indirect, that would somewhat hasten the marriages in caste
A, and retard those in caste B, would result in a larger proportion of children being born to A
than to B, and would end by wholly eliminating B, and replacing it by A.

Let us take a definite case, in order to give precision to our ideas. We will suppose the
population to be, in the first instance, stationary; A and B to be equal in numbers; and the
children of each married pair who survive to maturity to be rather more than two and a half in
the case of A, and rather less than one and a half in the case of B. This no extravagant
hypothesis. Half the population of the British Isles are born of mothers under the age of thirty

The result in the first generation would be that the total population would be unchanged, but
that only one-third part of it would consist of the children of B. In the second generation, the
descendants of B would be reduced to two-ninths of their original numbers, but the total
population would begin to increase, owing to the greater preponderance of the prolific caste
A. At this point the law of natural selection would powerfully assist in the substitution of
caste A for caste B, by pressing heavily on the minority of weakly and incapable men.

The customs that affect the direction and date of marriages are already numerous. In many
families, marriages between cousins are discouraged and checked. Marriages, in other
respects appropriate, are very commonly deferred, through prudential considerations. If it was
generally felt that intermarriages between A and B were as unadvisable as they are supposed
to be between cousins, and that marriages in A ought to be hastened, on the ground of

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prudential considerations, while those in B ought to be discouraged and retarded, then, I

believe, we should have agencies amply sufficient to eliminate B in a few generations.

I hence conclude that the improvement of the breed of mankind is no insuperable difficulty. If
everybody were to agree on the improvement of the race of man being a matter of the very
utmost importance, and if the theory of the hereditary transmission of qualities in men was as
thoroughly understood as it is in the case of our domestic animals, I see no absurdity in
supposing that, in some way or other, the improvement would be carried into effect.

On Indians, he wrote:

Excellent observers have watched the American Indians under all these influences, and their
almost unanimous conclusion is as follows:-

The race is divided into many varieties, but it has fundamentally the same character
throughout the whole of America. The men, and in a less degree the women, are naturally
cold, melancholic, patient, and taciturn. A father, mother, and their children, are said to live
together in a hut, like persons assembled by accident, not tied by affection. The youths treat
their parents with neglect, and often with such harshness and insolence as to horrify
Europeans who have witnessed their conduct. The mothers have been seen to commit
infanticide without the slightest discomposure, and numerous savage tribes have died out in
consequence of this practice. The American Indians are eminently non-gregarious. They
nourish a sullen reserve, and show little sympathy with each other, even when in great
distress. The Spaniards had to enforce the common duties of humanities by positive laws.
They are strangely taciturn. When not engaged in action they will sit whole days in one
posture without opening their lips, and wrapped up in their narrow thoughts. The usually
march in Indian file, that is to say, in a long line, at some distance from each other, without
exchanging a word. They keep the same profound silence in rowing a canoe, unless they
happen to be excited by some extraneous cause. On the other hand, their patriotism and local
attachments are strong, and they have an astonishing sense of personal dignity. The nature of
the American Indians appears to contain the minimum of affectionate and social qualities
compatible with the continuance of their race.

Here, then, is a well-marked type of character, that formerly prevailed over a large part of the
globe, with which other equally marked types of character in other regions are strongly
contrasted. Take, for instance, the typical West African Negro. He is more unlike the Red
man in his mind than in his body. Their characters are almost opposite, one to the other. The
Red man has great patience, great reticence, great dignity, and no passion; the Negro has
strong impulsive passions, and neither patience, reticence, nor dignity. He is warm-hearted,
loving towards his master's children, and idolised by the children in return. He is eminently
gregarious, for he is always jabbering, quarrelling, tom-tom-ing, or dancing. He is remarkably
domestic, and he is endowed with such constitutional vigour, and is so prolific, that his race is

Amidst the condescending and insulting generalities, Galton states that the Negro is outgoing, and so his
race is irrepressible. But Indians do not have good social skills, so their survival may be threatened. In
fact, they are so lacking is social graces that infanticide is common, and has caused the demise of some
tribes. He later returns to this idea, that their moral character, built into their being, is defective and
threatens their survival:

In strength, agility, and other physical qualities, Darwin's law of natural selection acts with
unimpassioned, merciless severity. The weakly die in the battle for life; the stronger and more
capable individuals are alone permitted to survive, and to bequeath their constitutional vigour
to future generations. Is there any corresponding rule in respect to moral character? I believe
there is, and I have already hinted at it when speaking of the American Indians.

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Galton wrote in 1864 that the American Indians were too reserved for their own good, and that their
survival was threatened by their behavior. The following year, with the close of the Civil War, the
American military turned its attention to the Indians. One of the tactics that Gen. George Sherman had
used in Georgia, and which Gen. Philip Sheridan also had used in the Shenandoah Valley, was destroying
supplies. They had attacked the power of the Confederacy by destroying the crops that fed the army (and
the civilians). After that war, as the railroads and white civilization pushed west, the same tactic was used
against the Indians. Sharpshooters began slaughtering the principal source of food for the Plains Indians ã
herds of buffalo.

According to Gen. Sheridan, the buffalo hunters did more to settle "the vexed Indian question than the
entire army has done in 35 years." In 1875, Sheridan addressed the Texas legislature on the matter of
buffalo hunters, and had strong words of support:

For the sake of a lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated.
Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle and the festive cowboy, who follows
the hunter as a second forerunner of an advanced civilization.

By 1890, the Plains Indians were subdued, pushed aside to make way for an "advanced civilization." In
1893, efforts began to rescue the buffalo from extinction, since there may have been fewer than one
thousand left (down from 40 million in 1830).

Galton is not responsible for brutality against American Indians, attacking them by destroying their food
supply. There is no evidence that buffalo hunters or even Gen. Sheridan ever read Galton's essay. But it is
important, when evaluating his theories, to understand that he wrote about the Indians in 1864, noted that
their very survival was endangered, and blamed them for their own problems. Then over the next 30
years, their problems increased dramatically, for reasons that had nothing to do with melancholy,
reticence, or paddling techniques. During his life time, Galton had the opportunity to compare his theories
to reality. In the face of miserable realities that might have shamed him, he stuck to his theories.

Galton started a "biometric laboratory" at London University, and funded a research fellowship. In his
will, he also left money to found the Chair of Eugenics there.

He studied medicine, but never practiced as a physician. He traveled in Africa, but kept his distance from
the people and studied them. He wrote about weather (coining the term "anticyclone"). His pioneering
work on fingerprints led to their use in identifying people.
He devised new statistical methods, including correlational calculus. His work included use of a statistical
tool called the "bell curve."

Galton's mathematical approach to life was sometimes absurd and offensive. Once, when he saw a woman
in Africa with large breasts, he walked around her with a sextant, measuring angles. He kept track of how
many pretty girls he saw as he walked down the street, grading them on a scale of one to ten, and later
charting the results.

His books include Hereditary Genius (1869), English Men of Science (1874), and Inquiries into the
Human Faculty (1883), Noteworthy Families (1906), Memories of My Life (1908) and Essays in
Eugenics (1909).

"Nature vs. Nurture"

In three of his books, Galton studied what happened in families that were, in his view, desirable. He
understood that a child who is raised among wealthy and educated people, among people who think and
talk about ideas and about large plans for the future of the world, are likely to benefit from what they see
and hear. They will benefit from their environment. But he was convinced that intelligence is inherited,
and that brilliant parents were likely to have brilliant children. Some of his contemporaries believed that
brilliant people were likely to have dull children, so he collected as much data as he could to make his

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From Galton's time forward, there have been debates about whether heredity or environment plays the
major role in shaping a child. Sometimes this is called the "nature versus nurture" debate. If a child is very
smart, is that because the parents were smart and the child inherited intelligence? This would be the
"nature" position. Or is the child shaped more by the good habits of the intelligent parents? This is the
"nurture" position.

Galton and all of his followers have been very interested in "twin studies" as a way to sort out the effects
of heredity and environment. Identical twins, of course, have the same genes. If a pair of identical twins
are separated at birth and raised apart, then the similarities and differences between them can be very
interesting. The similarities are more likely to be due to heredity, and the differences are more likely to be
due to environment.

The nature-nurture debate may overlook the most important forces that shape human life: (1) the grace of
God in the heart of the individual, and (2) human freedom, which responds to heredity and environment
but is not bound by them.

Eugenics Society

Francis Galton wanted to make sure that people kept thinking about eugenics, so he took several steps to
make sure that the study would continue after his death. As noted above, he left money in his will for
research in eugenics at London University. Perhaps his most important legacy, though, was that he
inspired the Eugenics Education Society, founded in 1907. In 1926, the name was simplified, and it
became the "Eugenics Society." In 1989, the name was changed again, to the "Galton Institute."

The Eugenics Society brought together many powerful and influential people from various disciplines to
exchange ideas about eugenics. Anyone who wants to understand the history of eugenics must study the
Eugenics Society (ES). Even a quick look through the membership of the ES shows how far eugenics ideas
spread. A more careful study of the membership shows how the pieces of the eugenics movement fit
together. Some examples follow.

ES Member: Lord Beveridge

William Henry Beveridge (1879-1963) was a British economist who was interested in social security and
full employment. During World War II, the government invited him to help make plans for a new
approach to many problems in society ã to draw the blueprints for the new welfare state. The "Beveridge
Report" (formally, Social Insurance and Allied Services) set a goal of making poverty a thing of the past,
and it had a tremendous impact on all social services in Britain.

Anyone influenced by Malthus would have to give careful thought to a proposal to balance population and
food. Malthus had taught that population growth would always tend to outstrip food. Did Beveridge
disagree, or did he have some ideas about how to get around the Malthusian dilemma? In 1906, Beveridge
had written a paper called "The Problem of the Unemployed," with a solution. Men who can't take their
place in industry should be recognized as unemployable, and should be maintained as "the acknowl-edged
dependents of the State." But the price for government support was "complete and permanent loss of all
citizen rights ã including not only the franchise but civil freedom and fatherhood." In other words, if you
couldn't work, the government would feed you, but would not allow you to have children.

The Beveridge Report does not call for forced sterilization of non-workers. But from the beginning, the
men who designed the welfare state were thinking about how to balance jobs and population ã partly by
lowering the population.

Beveridge was the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science for almost 20 years,
from 1919 to 1937. That position gave him the ability to influence the thinking of students preparing for
careers in many different fields, including economics, government and foreign service. He was succeeded
by Prof. Sir Alexander M. Carr-Saunders (1886 to 1966), also an officer of the Eugenics Society, who was
director of the London School of Economics from 1937 to 1956.

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Efficient Administration of an Empire

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was not just a fine little college turning out
well-trained accountants. It is hard to grasp the grand scale of its ambition. The LSE was founded in 1895
by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, leaders of the Fabian Society. It was then that the British, referring to their
colonies and possessions around the globe, said proudly, "The sun never sets on the British Empire."
Educated British citizens thought about how to run the world. The task of the LSE was to train people to
apply scientific principles to global responsibilities.

Economics, like any science, must try to understand patterns. But economics looks at money and people,
so there is a tremendous mental and spiritual struggle built right into its very core. It is very hard to make
general statements about humans and at the same time to hold fast to the importance of individuals. It is
even harder to study finances and hold fast to the dignity of individuals. It is possible, but it is hard.

To make matters worse, the founders of the LSE were Socialists, who were exploring ideas about society
as a whole. They did not mean to ignore individual people, but the temptation was always there.

At the LSE, people thought about the problem of running the world, or at least a large part of it ã not the
problems of individuals. The tools of economics deal with general principles, not individuals. Their politics
were focused on society, not the individual. Into this fell eugenics, a new ideology that could work like a
religion, and it too focused on society as a whole, not on the individual. Their questions, their training,
their politics and their "religion" all tended to focus on the challenges of society as a whole, not on the
dignity and worth of the individual.

When the LSE became a stronghold of eugenics, a curious and very important thing happened. The
politics of the time were about money and the control of money. There were conservatives who still
believed in some kind of aristocracy, and they adopted eugenics ideas because the ideology of arrogance
fitted them. Eugenics told them that they were on top because they deserved to be on top. They were
opposed by progressives, who talked about the working man and about a more just distribution of wealth.
But the progressives talked about society as a whole, not about the individual. So the progressives at the
LSE also adopted eugenics. From that time, people in both major British parties have supported eugenics.

ES Member: John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was perhaps the most influential economist of the 20th century. His
ideas had a huge impact in the United States during and after the Great Depression, and in Britain after
World War II. This influential economist was an officer of the Eugenics Society (Vice President in 1937,
and a Director from 1937 to 1944).

Like Beveridge, he was concerned about full employment, balancing population and jobs. He argued for a
national policy on population, and looked forward to a time when it would be possible to measure and
improve the genetic qualities of a society, as well as controlling their size.

After World War II, the industrialized nations met to consider how to assist reconstruction and to stabilize
global finances. Keynes represented Britain at the meetings, and helped to lay the foundations for the new
World Bank. Over time, the World Bank became a powerful force for population control, providing funds
but also putting pressure on governments to adopt national policies with population targets.

ES Member: Richard M. Titmuss

Richard Titmuss (1907-1973) taught Social Administration at the London School of Economics from 1950
until his death. He has been called the "high priest of the welfare state," and according to the Dictionary
of National Biography he influenced an entire generation of social administration students, affecting
university teachers, administrators and social workers from New York to Toronto to Mauritius and

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He wrote a report on Mauritius in the 1950s, and said that family planning should be the first priority. The
government of Mauritius followed his advice, and Mauritius became a hotbed of activity for Planned

ES Member: Eliot T. O. Slater

Eliot T. O. Slater (1904-1983) was a psychiatrist, and editor in 1972 of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Slater was a student of Dr. Ernst R¸din in Munich, the founder of the German eugenics society (Society
for Racial Hygiene), who received the Goethe Medal for Art and Science from Adolf Hitler "in
recognition of his achievements in the development of German Racial Hygiene." Slater wrote in support of
the German eugenics program in 1935-36. In later years, he promoted a change in the abortion laws and
he signed "A Plea for Voluntary Euthanasia" in 1971.

Twnety-seven members of the ES were in the Abortion Law Reform Association, which worked to end
the prosecution of abortionists in Britain, an effort that succeeded in 1967.

Journals edited by ES members have included:

Behaviour Research and Therapy

British Heart Journal
British Journal of Clinical Practice
British Journal of Inebriety
British Journal of Psychology
British Journal of Psychiatry
Economic Journal
International Journal of Sexology
Journal of Asian Demography
Journal of Biosocial Sciences
Journal of Medical Genetics
Mankind Quarterly
Medical Digest
Prenatal Diagnosis
Prison Medical Journal
Quarterly Journal of Medicine
Sociological Review
Women's Own

One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world is the Lancet. It was not among the journals
edited by an ES member. But when Sir Squire Sprigge, editor of the Lancet for 30 years, died, the ES
expressed their gratitude for his work, saying that "the progressive policy which the Lancet under his
guidance adopted towards the problems of negative eugenics, was from the beginning reflected in that
journal's favorable attitude towards sterilization and in the space devoted in its columns to the birth
control movement." Sprigge was not a member of the ES, but his wife was.

Since eugenicists were writing and teaching in every corner of the social sciences, students either resisted
it consciously, or absorbed some eugenics thought. But since 1945, there has been little or no organized
resistance to eugenics. So it is fair to expect that everyone working in any social science in the English-
speaking world has some taint of eugenics.

Suppose it is true that tomatoes and horses and humans all progress into the future by natural selection.
Suppose improvement depends on this "law of the jungle." What happens when a species disrupts

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natural selection? Charity keeps the poor alive, so that war and famine do not weed out the "unfit" in
the human race. Eugenicists fear that charity can disrupt human evolution. One solution is to replace
natural selection with artificial selection, so that thoughtful leaders of society can decide who should
have children and who should not.

This does not mean that every textbook in economics, sociology, psychology and all the rest must be
scrapped. But it does mean that a student who wants to avoid eugenics must read textbooks with a critical
eye. At each step, it is important to identify eugenics, and to ask, "What would change in this book if we
replaced eugenics here with a firm commitment to the dignity of the individual?"

One more ES member: Lord Dawson

In 1936, King George V was weak and despondent, perhaps dying. He asked his physician, Lord Dawson,
to kill him. The King of England is also the head of the Church of England, which frowned on killing
anyone. But King George was not terribly keen on the teaching of the Church of England, and wanted
euthanasia regardless. So Lord Dawson, according to his memoirs published years later, killed the king.

King George had not wanted a funeral at Westminster Abbey, but he got one anyway. The funeral
procession included a carriage with his crown. As the carriage turned into the abbey, the crown was
jostled and fell off into a gutter, and the cross broke off the crown.

From Positive to Negative Eugenics

Francis Galton was the Honorary President of the Eugenics Society for several years, and he spoke
hopefully about persuading people with desirable genes to marry and have large families. Galton's
successor at the helm of the Eugenics Society was Major Leonard Darwin (1850-1943), a son of Charles
Darwin. Leonard Darwin, who ran the Eugenics Society until 1928, made the transition from positive to
negative eugenics, and promoted plans for lowering the birthrate of the unfit.

Built into the idea of natural selection is a competition between the strong and the weak, between the fit
and the unfit. The eugenicists believed that this mechanism was thwarted in the human race by charity, by
people and churches who fed the poor and the weak so that they survived and thrived and reproduced.

To be effective, artificial selection had to consider two different questions. (1) How do you ensure that the
strong and fit have more children? This is called positive eugenics. (2) How do you ensure that the weak
and unfit have fewer children? This is called negative eugenics.

After a century of eugenics, it is fair to look back and draw some conclusions: positive eugenics is much
harder than negative eugenics. Negative eugenics is easier, but is based on brutality. Sometimes, programs
that started out promoting positive eugenics ended in negative eugenics. Galton himself preferred to
emphasize positive eugenics.

In 1925, Leonard Darwin wrote an article for the journal of the Eugenics Society, Eugenics Review,
pushing the idea of locking up everyone whose genes might be considered defective. To save the human
race, he said, force or compulsion "would be necessary in many cases." He promoted a policy that he
called segregation, but he did not mean separating whites from blacks; he meant separating the fit from
the unfit. "Compulsion is now permitted if applying to crimi-nals, lunatics, and mental defectives; and this
principle must be extended to all who, by having offspring, would seriously damage future generations,"
he argued. Leonard Darwin's ideas were not dismissed; one of the British leaders who supported
segregation was Winston Churchill.

The leaders of the progressive movement in Britain also supported negative eugenics. The people who had
founded the London School of Economics, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, were also leaders of the Fabian
Society. (The Fabian Society later became one of Britain's major political parties, the Labour Party.) As
early as 1909, the Fabians, led by the Webbs, said, "What we as eugenists have got to do is to 'scrap' the

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old Poor Law with its indis-criminate relief of the destitute as such and replace it by an intelligent policy
of so altering the social environ-ment as to discour-age or prevent the multiplication of those irrevocably
below the National Minimum of Fitness." In 1930, a Fabian leader, Archibald Church, introduced a bill for
eugenic sterilization. The purpose of the bill was to make sure that "those who are in every way a burden
to their parents, a misery to themselves and in my opinion a menace to the social life of the community"
would be unable to have children.

If it was difficult to get more children from the fit, it might be easier to get fewer children from the unfit.

Eugenics Abroad

Britain was not the only nation affected by the eugenics movement. In 1912, delegates from around the
world met for the First International Eugenics Congress. The second world eugenics congress met in 1921,
and the third in 1932. Nations with eugenics activists included India, Australia, Canada, the United States,
Germany, France, Japan, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa.

In 1908, an American group called the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene was established, triggering
a new international movement for mental hygiene. It had two aims: to improve treatment for the insane,
and to safeguard the mental health of the public. No one would argue with the first goal. But how do you
guard the mental health of the public? In practice, this sweet-sounding goal became eugenics. By 1930,
there were mental hygiene associations devoted to protecting the public from mental problems in 24

The eugenics movement in Germany was very strong. In 1904 Dr. Alfred Ploetz founded a journal called
the Archiv fur Rassen- und Gesellschaftsbiologie, or the Archive for Racial and Social Biology. In 1905,
Ploetz and Dr. Ernst R¸din founded a German eugenics society, called the "Society for Racial Hygiene."
Later they changed the name a little, adding the word suggested by Francis Galton: the "Society for Racial
Hygiene (Eugenics)."

In his book Fundamental Outline of Racial Hygiene, Ploetz called for the elimination of "counter-
selective processes." He was concerned about social processes that reversed the work of natural selection
by eliminating the strong and favoring the weak. He did not like war, because it eliminates the strong. And
he opposed charitable programs to protect the weak and the ill. He suggested that doctors who were
present at the birth of a weak or malformed child could provide an easy death with a small dose of

In 1922, a German lawyer named Karl Binding and a German psychiatrist named Alfred Hoche published
a slim book with a clumsy title: Permission to Destroy Life Not Worth Living (Die Freigabe der
Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens). They argued in favor of euthanasia, or mercy killing. The cost of
maintaining useless people was too high, and the government could spend the money on better things.
Religious barriers should be pushed aside, so that the government could get on with the job of killing the
physically and mentally defective (painlessly). Destroying useless lives was necessary for the survival of
society as a whole, they wrote.

In 1935, a French-American Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Alexis Carrel, wrote Man the Unknown, in which he
advocated building euthanasia institutions to deal with criminals and the mentally ill, using some suitable

Step by step, positive eugenics gave way to negative eugenics. In 1910, Francis Galton and the President
of the new Eugenics Society, Montague Crackanthorpe, gave a reception for Ploetz in London. Later,
Ploetz and his colleague R¸din built the German racial hygiene program, and both were ardent supporters
of Hitler.

Review of Chapter Two:

Galton and the Eugenics Society

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1. Who was Francis Galton?

2. What is positive eugenics? What is negative eugenics?
3. Identify the Eugenics Society and explain its influence briefly.
4. What is the London School of Economics, and what is its relevance to eugenics?
5. Did the idea of a master race affect other nations as well as Britain?

Discuss: How much damage can ideas about a master race do?

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Eugenics Takes Shape in America

Chapter Three:

Eugenics Takes Shape in America

From the beginning of American history, the goals and ideals of the nation have always been high, higher
than Americans could reach easily. The Founding Fathers stated their belief that "all men are created
equal," although John Adams and others had to force their friends to talk about the obvious inequality of
slavery. From the first days of our history, there was a tension between high ideals and painful reality.
Would Americans lower their ideals, or improve the real world?

Every year, Americans have celebrated the Declaration of Independence, and repeated the inspiring words
it contains. But at the same time, Americans held slaves, lied to Indians and drove them off the land, and
took half of Mexico away in a display of contempt for neighbors south of the shifting border. Slavery, war
against the Indians and contempt for the Mexicans all came before the eugenics movement. But when you
look at these shameful parts of American history that do not in any way reflect respect for equality, it is
easier to understand how eugenics could take root in a nation devoted to the principle of equality.

Slavery began in the English colonies in first generation. Colonial accounts record that in 1619, a Dutch
ship arrived at Jamestown, and "sold us twenty negars." By the time of the Revolutionary War, there were
nearly 700,000 slaves, in a total population of 2.5 million. In 1860, as the war that would free them
approached, there were almost four million slaves.

When the Constitution was adopted, it included a complicated formula for counting people in order to
decide how many Representatives each state should have. The figure to be used was "determined by
adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and
excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons." The "three-fifths of all other persons" was a
reference within the Constitution itself to the "peculiar institution" of slavery.

Americans found it very hard to choose between the ideal of equality and the reality of slavery. The
arrivals from Europe and their descendants who called themselves Americans had trouble with the Native
Americans also. George Washington got his first military experience in a war against the French and
Indians. Andrew Jackson entered history fighting the Indians in Florida. When William Henry Harrison ran
for President, his campaign was based largely on his leadership in fighting Indians in the Midwest.
American history includes a long list of broken promises, broken treaties, broken lives.

Sometimes historians say that wars are inevitable when different ways of life collide, that the Indian way
of life simply had to give way before the more advanced civilization of the European immigrants. But there
are alternatives. In Mexico, for example, there is a spot called the Plaza of the Three Cultures, marking a
battle between the Spanish conquistadores and the natives they encountered. After that battle, a new
culture blending two old cultures was born. In much of Latin America -- in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador,
Bolivia and Peru -- over half of the population is Indian or people with mixed ancestry. To be sure, the
Spaniards killed and enslaved many Indians, and racial and cultural difficulties persist; but the Indians
were not wiped out or driven into reservations.

American treatment of Mexico was not a source of pride. What happened was very simple: the United
States wanted the land which is now New Mexico, Arizona and California, and took it. In his Memoirs,
President Grant, who fought in the Mexican War, said, "For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure,
and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a
weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not

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considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."

One of the earliest and best known incidents in America's rich tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience
was the act of Henry David Thoreau, who went to jail for a night when he refused to pay taxes to support
the Mexican War.

The justification for the war was summed up in the idea of "manifest destiny." The nation was destined for
growth. The phrase was first used by John L. Sullivan in an article about Texas, but many other people
seized upon it. The idea was that the United States was superior in numbers, wealth and power; therefore,
it could and should and would rule the continent. Might may not make right, but it builds nations. These
shameful parts of American history are not examples of eugenics. Rather, they show that the nation has
always been somewhat ambivalent about equality, and has not always lived up to its high ideals.
Destructive ideas can take root here. When the eugenics movement began, there was precedent for such
ideas, even though the nation had struggled to maintain its commitment to equality.

American Eugenics Society

When the idea of eugenics began to spread around the world, the United States was not left behind. Here,
as in England, a group of people met to think about it and to make plans to implement it. In 1910, the
Eugenic Record Office (ERO) was founded in New York. In 1916, the Birth Control Review was founded,
a monthly journal advocating eugenics. There was a blizzard of groups set up to improve the human race
that did not mention eugenics in their names, but still promoted it: the Brush Foundation for Race
Betterment, the Dight Institute ("To promote Biological Race Betterment"), the Race Betterment
Foundation (using money from Kellogg's corn flakes), the Human Betterment Foundation (advocating
sterilization). Eugenics was everywhere.

One way to get a handle on eugenics is to look at one organization, the American Eugenics Society (AES).
It was and remains an influential group, bringing together many different strands of a sprawling movement.

The AES was founded in 1922, building a network connecting many people involved in the eugenics
movement. Officers of all the groups listed above joined the AES. The founders of the AES included
Madison Grant, Henry H. Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn and Henry Crampton. Madison
Grant was the author of The Passing of the Great Race (1916) and wrote the preface to The Rising Tide
of Color Against White World Supremacy. These books promoted white supremacy, but with some
urgency, explaining that the white "race" was losing ground to other people.

Grant's words in The Passing of the Great Race explain one of the chief goals of the eugenics movement,
including the AES, in the 1920s. Grant wrote that sterilization could "be applied to an ever widening circle
of social discards, beginning always with the criminal, the diseased and the insane, and extending gradually
to types which may be called weaklings rather than defectives, and perhaps ultimately to worthless race

Henry H. Laughlin had been the Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office from 1910 to 1921; later,
he was President of the Pioneer Fund, a eugenics organization that still functions today. So the AES
brought together activists from different eugenics groups.

Irving Fisher taught political economy and economics at Yale University for 40 years. He said that the
purpose of the AES was to "stem the tide of threatened race degeneracy" and to protect the United States
against "indiscriminate immigration, criminal degenerates, and race suicide." He affected the thinking of
generations of leading economists.

Henry Fairfield Osborn was the president of the American Museum of Natural History from 1908 to 1933.
He wrote about evolution in From the Greeks to Darwin. In 1923, during a national debate on restricting
immigration, Osborn spoke enthusiastically about the results of intelligence testing carried out by the
Army: "I believe those tests were worth what the war [World War I] cost, even in human life, if they
served to show clearly to our people the lack of intelligence in our country, and the degrees of intelligence

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in different races who are coming to us, in a way which no one can say is the result of prejudice. . . . We
have learned once and for all that the negro is not like us."

The work of the AES included: racism and white supremacy, limiting births among the dysgenic, restricting
immigration, sterilizing people with disabilities, and looking for ways to increase the number of people with
good genes.

Intelligence Tests

To understand the impact of eugenics on the thinking of leaders, you have to look at IQ tests -- where they
came from, who developed them, why, and what they expected from them.

In particular, you need to understand what people expected from IQ testing. Lothrop Stoddard, for
example, believed that millions of years of evolution were at stake, that the work of evolution could be lost
irretrievably if the racial heritage of the intelligent people was lost.

Stoddard believed that he had identified the most valuable treasures on earth: white people. He wanted to
protect their heritage, with vast schemes. The schemes included laws restricting immigration and more
laws against marriages between whites and non-whites. He wanted to contain the spread of Asians and
maintain white power over the wealth of the developing world.

Intelligence testing can strengthen a destructive lesson that can be drawn from evolution. Evolution puts
all life on a sliding scale that ascends step by step from tiny organisms to larger and more complicated life
forms, and then finally to humanity. Darwin's followers in the early 20th century believed that the greatest
achievement of the evolutionary process was the white race. By their understanding of the process, if
whites were the best, then it was acceptable to ignore the welfare of non-whites, or even to hasten their
extinction. Similarly, measuring intelligence puts everyone on a sliding scale of measurable value, and
makes it tempting to encourage those with higher IQs while setting aside -- and even phasing out -- those
with lower IQs.

Mental Hygiene Movement

At the turn of the century, a new movement began, to address the problem of mental problems and
treatment. The movement called itself the "mental hygiene" movement. Its starting point as an organized
body was the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, founded in 1908. The group had two goals, and
both of them sound good: improving treatment of the insane, and safeguarding the public's mental health.
But in practice, these goals can be polar opposites. The first goal, protecting the insane, is about the care
and treatment of individuals. But the second goal is about the society which is afflicted by the presence of
mental disease. That society can be "treated" by removing or by sterilizing the mentally ill -- or even by
exterminating them.

The central question is evaluating a program to address "mental hygiene" is whether it protects the dignity
and worth of each patient, or whether the purpose is to "protect" society. The second goal can be used to
justify barbarity. From the beginning of the mental hygiene movement, the first goal has served to shield
the movement from scrutiny, sometimes making barbarity palatable.

The Jukes and Kallikaks "studies"

In 1877, Richard Dugdale published a study of a family whom he called the "Jukes" family. He referred to
a mother several generations back in the family as "Margaret, the mother of criminals," and then studied
her descendants. He said that in 75 years, her descendants had cost the state of New York over $1.25
million -- which, at the end of the 19th century, was a stupendous sum of money. Dugdale's book became
very fashionable, and many other people wrote similar studies.

Henry Goddard, a member of the AES, published one in 1912, tracing the descendants of a man whom he
called Martin Kallikak, a fictitious name for a Revolutionary War soldier. According to Goddard's account,
Martin seduced a feeble-minded girl, and she produced a feeble-minded son, who had 480 descendants (as

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of 1912). Of the 480, Goddard said, 33 were sexually immoral, 24 were drunkards, three were epileptics,
and 143 were feeble-minded. To clarify the case, Goddard claimed that Martin married a young woman of
normal intelligence, and they had 496 descendants, with no feeble-minded children at all. Goddard's study
seemed to provide evidence for a link between bad genes, feeble-mindedness and immoral behavior.

Among the books in the new literary genre, the Kallikak case history was the most dramatic, and was cited
often. The point of all the stories, of course, was that feeble-minded people multiply like hamsters,
dragging society down more and more in each generation. Allowing them to breed just makes a bad
problem worse.

Writers used Goddard's study to stir up prejudice against the disabled and to build support for eugenics
programs. For example, in her book Woman and the New Race, Margaret Sanger (AES member) wrote:
"The offspring of one feebleminded man named Jukes has cost the public in one way and another
$1,800,000 in seventy-five years. Do we want more such families?"

Goddard's work went beyond his effort to link bad genes, weak brains and poor morals. He was one of the
pioneers in the effort to measure intelligence. Like Galton, he believed that intelligence was an innate
ability, rather than a set of abilities that a child develops under supervision and training. Like Galton, he
thought that intelligence could be measured on a sliding scale.

Galton's ideas about measuring intelligence attracted researchers in Europe and America. In France, Alfred
Binet (1857-1911) developed tests to measure intelligence, and Lewis Terman (1877-1956) of Stanford
University revised them for the United States. Terman was also a member of the Advisory Council of the
AES. The Stanford-Binet tests are still used to measure one's intelligence quotient, or IQ.

Goddard did research at the Training School for Feebleminded Boys and Girls in southern New Jersey, and
he invented the word "moron" to describe some of the children there. Moron is the Greek word for fool,
and Goddard used it to refer to people with an IQ of 50 to 75.

Goddard was on a committee that developed IQ tests for the Army in World War I. Robert Means Yerkes
(AES member) organized IQ testing for 1.7 million US Army recruits in 1919, and summarized his findings
in Psychological Examining in the United States Army. This was the report that led to Henry Fairfield
Osborn's nasty remark that World War I was worth the bloodshed because this book came out of it, and
showed "once and for all that the negro is not like us."

AES member: Lothrop Stoddard

Stoddard was an eloquent white supremacist. He wrote a book explaining why he thought it was urgent for
all white people to work hard to keep non-white people in their place. Many of his ideas were carried out.

In The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, Stoddard summarized his views of global
events, especially World War I, and their impact on what he called Red Man's Land, Black Man's Land,
Brown Man's Land and Yellow Man's Land. Overall, he thought that the situation just before the war had
been good. The white man had been "the indisputable master of the planet." White men had "swarmed for
centuries to plant their laws, their customs, and their battle-flags at the uttermost ends of the earth." North
America and Australia "had been made virtually as white in blood as the European motherland.; two other
continents, South America and Africa, had been extensively colonized by white stocks; while even huge
Asia had seen its empty northern march, Siberia, pre-empted for the white man's abode." And where the
white man did not own the land, things were still not bad according to Stoddard's understanding, because
there were vast areas where "uncounted myriads of dusky folk obeyed the white man's will."

He summed it up: "In other words, of the 53,000,000 square miles which (excluding the polar regions)
constitute the land area of the globe, only 6,000,000 square miles had non-white governments." Nearly
two-thirds of that was represented by China and its dependencies.

However, World War I had spilled a great deal of white blood, and non-whites were asserting their

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strength. So Stoddard hoped to see several things happen. His plan included several short-term goals: (1)
rework the treaty that ended World War I so that there would not be more war; (2) prevent any emigration
(migration out) from Asia; and (3) strictly control immigration within the white areas. In the future, he
hoped to see a new idealism based on biology, with more and more people understanding the importance
of heredity and the "supreme value of superior stocks" (i.e., Galton's religion). He hoped that it would be
possible to "exorcise the lurking spectre of miscegenation." He also wanted "segregation of defectives."

Stoddard was casting about in his mind for a new way to think about humanity, a new consciousness.
When he spoke of civilization, he skipped over the individual, and valued "germ-plasm" and the whole
civilization. He said, "Civilization of itself means nothing. It is merely an effect, whose cause is the
creative urge of superior germ-plasm."

In chapter 11 of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, Stoddard wrote:

Fortunately, the majority of thinking Americans are to-day convinced that Oriental
immigration must not be tolerated. Most of our leading men have so expressed themselves.
For example, Woodrow Wilson, during his first presidential campaign, declared on May 3,
1912: "In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie [a disrespectful term for cheap laborers
from Asia] immigration, I stand for the national policy of exclusion. The whole question is one
of assimilation of diverse races. We cannot make a homogeneous population of a people who
do not blend with the Caucasian race. Their lower standard of living as laborers will crowd out
the white agriculturist and is in other fields a most serious industrial menace. The success of
free democratic institutions demands of our people education, intelligence, and patriotism, and
the State should protect them against unjust and impossible competition. Remunerative labor
is the basis of contentment. Democracy rests on the equality of the citizen. Oriental coolieism
will give us another race-problem to solve and surely we have had our lesson." (Quoted by
Montaville Flowers, The Japanese Conquest of American Opinion, p. 23 (New York, 1917).)

Fear of Babies

Parents who love and cherish their children can often find it hard to understand how much fear they can
inspire. But for centuries, ambitious rulers looking at babies have been able to see them as threats. The
Egyptian Pharaoh who saw Hebrew children as serious enemies was only one example.

The racist eugenics movement in the United States also displayed such a fear of babies. The following
example is taken from an article (quoted by Stoddard) about Japanese immigration:

There may have been a time when an anti-Japanese land bill would have limited Japanese
immigration. But such a law would be impotent now to keep native Japanese from possessing
themselves of the choicest agricultural and horticultural land in California. For there are now
more than 30,000 children in the State of Japanese parentage, native-born; they possess all the
rights of leasing and ownership held by white children born here. . . . The birth statistics seem
to prove that the danger is not from the Japanese soldiers, but from the picture brides. The
fruitfulness of those brides is almost uncanny. . . . Here is a Japanese problem of sufficient
gravity to merit serious consideration. We are threatened with an over-production of Japanese
children. First come the men, then the picture brides, then the families. If California is to be
preserved for the next generation as a 'white man's country' there must be some movement
started that will restrict the Japanese birth-rate in California. When a condition is reached in
which two children of Japanese parentage are born in some districts for every white child, it is
about time something else was done than making speeches about it in the American Senate. . .
. If the same present birth-ratio were maintained for the next ten years, there would be
150,000 children of Japanese descent born in California in 1929 and but 40,000 white
children. And in 1949 the majority of the population of California would be Japanese, ruling
the State. (The Literary Digest, August 9, 1919.)


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Eugenics Takes Shape in America

The worst part of eugenics is that it calls for killing some people -- the weak, the "defective," the people
with bad genes, those judged to be unfit. Galton preferred to talk about happier aspects of eugenics, but
the dark side was always there. And in fact, some physicians did start practicing infanticide, killing -- or
refusing to treat -- newborns they judged to be defective.

One of the most dramatic cases of infanticide was the Baby Bollinger case. On November 12, 1915, Anna
Bollinger gave birth to a boy with several serious problems. The child could live if a surgeon corrected
some of the problems right away. But the hospital surgeon, Dr. Harry J. Haiselden, found the baby
"defective," and decided not to operate. The baby's death five days later was the lead story in the Chicago
Daily Tribune, and opened a national debate.

In the extensive press coverage of the baby's death, Haiselden said that this was not the first case. He said
he had diagnosed many other "defectives" over the previous decade, and had let them die. Other
physicians came forward to say that they had done the same. Newspapers all over the nation covered the
stories, and many of them supported infanticide.

Some of Haiselden's supporters were predictable, including Charles Davenport, the founder of the
Eugenics Record Office; Irving Fisher, a prominent eugenicist (and AES founder, a decade later); and
Clarence Darrow, who would later defend eugenics in the Scopes trial. But there were many surprises.
Helen Keller, who had been been blind and deaf, defended Haiselden, while John Harvey Kellogg, founder
of the Race Betterment Foundation, criticized infanticide. With the help of a friend, Haiselden wrote and
starred in a motion picture about infanticide. It was entitled The Black Stork. Ads described it as "a vivid
pictorial drama that tells you why Dr. Haiselden is opposed to operating to save the lives of defective
babies." One ad proclaimed that "Dr. Haiselden's photoplay The Black Stork will drive deformed babies
from the country." It was shown from 1916 through the 1920s; a revised edition was shown in small
theaters for another decade.

Further Reading
The annotated membership lists of the English and American eugenics societies are invaluable tools for
anyone working to understand modern eugenics. They are available from LeMaitre Press, or on line at

For more on eugenics and infanticide, see The Black Stork, by Martin S. Pernick, New York: Oxford
University Press, 1996.

Review of Chapter Three:

Eugenics Takes Shape in America

1. What are the problems in American history that are like eugenics? What happened to the Indians? What
happened to Americans of African descent? What is "manifest destiny"?
2. Identify the American Eugenics Society.
3. What is the "black stork"?
4. Explain the response of the eugenics movement to World War I.
5. What are IQ tests used for?

Discuss: What is special about a human being?

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6 of 6 17-02-2010 01:51
Slamming the Doors Shut

Chapter Four:

Slamming the Doors Shut

Since it was dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor greeted millions of immigrants
sailing to the United States. In 1903, a poem by Emma Lazarus was inscribed on the pedestal, stating
America's welcome for immigrants:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The eugenics movement brought a desire for Greek-like fame, a desire for conquest -- and a determination
to avoid the contagion of the dysgenic tired, poor and huddled masses. The statue stayed in place, but in
1924 the doors of welcome slammed shut to many. Henceforward, immigrants would be scrutinized for
their ability to enrich the nation.

Lothrop Stoddard urged white Americans to stop ruining the country by letting weak people come in. A
similar voice was Madison Grant, who wrote The Passing of the Great Race, published in 1916. Grant
was concerned about blacks, but also about unrestricted immigration. In the first great wave of
immigrants, from the 1830s to 1850, about five million people came to the United States from northern
Europe -- from Germany, Ireland and Great Britain. In the second great wave, another ten million
immigrants came, still with a majority from northern Europe. But more and more immigrants arrived from
southern and eastern Europe -- from Italy, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Then between 1890 and 1930, 22
million people arrived, and this time the majority were from Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal,
Russia and Spain.

During this influx of non-blondes, Grant wrote about white supremacy, but more specifically about Nordic
superiority. His book was a best-seller, and was reprinted many times, with revisions in 1918, 1920, and
1921. It was translated into German, French and Norwegian.

There had been some concern about immigration before, but the eugenics movement brought a new, sharp
focus. In 1882, Congress had passed two laws about immigration, one barring convicts and people likely
to need public care, the other barring the Chinese. In 1907, the government made an agreement with
Japan to limit Japanese immigration. In 1917, Hindus and some other Asians were excluded. But in 1921,
Congress passed restrictions limiting the number of immigrants to 357,803 (not counting immigrants from
North and South America). And that year, U.S. Rep. Albert Johnson, head of the House Committee on

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Slamming the Doors Shut

Immigration and Naturalization, opened hearings on immigration. Johnson appointed Harry Laughlin as an
expert witness on eugenics.

Laughlin had worked with Charles B. Davenport to start the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) in New York
in 1910. Their intention was to provide statistical data for the study of human traits, and Davenport
developed a questionnaire used by trained workers in door-to-door interviews, amassing 750,000 records
by 1924. The mass of data -- the sheer bulk of it -- was impressive even if it was worthless, and it gave
credibility to pronouncements from the ERO.

In his testimony to the Congressional committee, Laughlin relied heavily on intelligence tests, particularly
the extensive testing that Robert Yerkes had done with Army recruits. He used them to argue that
southern and eastern Europeans were not as intelligent as northern Europeans. He made racist arguments,
but dressed them up as science.

The eugenics movement persuaded policy-makers in the United States -- the nation of immigrants -- that
unrestricted immigration was a serious threat to the nation's health. In 1924, the government passed the
Johnson Act, setting limits on the number of immigrants who could come here from various nations. The
limits were designed to encourage immigration from northern Europe and to discourage immigration from
the rest of the world, southern Europe included. The law was effective; the number of immigrants

The Johnson Act turned out to be one of the most lethal bills ever passed. Fifteen years after its passage,
Jews trying to escape from Nazi Germany were refused asylum in America. It is not possible to know how
many Jews would have fled to the United States if they had been welcome. Of the six million Jews who
died under Hitler, would 10,000 have been saved by a more hospitable policy? Would half a million
people have been saved?

The annual immigration quota for Germany was 25,957. That is, 25,957 German people were allowed to
move into the United States each year, but no more. The number of people who applied for visas during
one year under Hitler was six times the quota. That is, well over 100,000 people applied for visas and
failed to get them. Further, besides the people who applied, there must have been others who knew they
were not welcome and did not even bother to try.

A clear understanding of the impact of the Johnson Act requires a quick review of the expansion of Nazi
power. Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, assumed dictatorial power in
March, and began to take steps against the Jews in April. In September 1935, Germany passed the
Nuremberg laws, stripping Jews of the right to vote and prohibiting marriage between Jews and non-Jews.
It is not fair to expect that everyone in the world would understand what was about to happen in
Germany, but it was clear that the Jews there were in trouble. So in July 1938, representatives from 32
countries met in France to discuss the problem of refugees. They failed to get much done; in fact, most
Western countries made it clear that they would not welcome Jewish refugees. On November 9-10, 1938,
there was a night of terror for Jews, remembered as "Kristallnacht," or the "Night of the Broken Glass,"
when Nazis smashed Jewish shops all over Germany and Austria.

The following spring, in 1939, there was a bill in Congress to permit an additional 20,000 refugees --
children -- to come to the United States. The bill died in committee.

In May 1939, the British government issued a new policy concerning Palestine, which they governed: no
more than 75,000 Jewish refugees would be admitted there over the next five years.

There is no doubt that the anti-immigration policy contributed to the deaths of many Jews. To say that the
Johnson Act killed hundreds of thousands of people is a good guess, but only a guess. However, there
were hundreds of people whose names are known without guesswork who sailed to the United States and
were refused entry, who then returned to Europe and were killed by the Nazis.

On May 15, 1939, the S.S. St. Louis sailed out of Hamburg, carrying 936 Jewish refugees bound for Cuba.

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Slamming the Doors Shut

Many of them hoped to go the United States eventually, but planned to wait for permission in Cuba. The
ship arrived in Havana on May 27, and the refugees learned that the Cuban government had tightened its
anti-immigration policies. Only 22 people were allowed to disembark. Police used spotlights on the harbor
to make sure no one jumped overboard and tried to swim to relatives waiting in boats nearby. One
passenger committed suicide.

On June 2, the ship steamed out of Havana and sailed toward the United States. Despite frantic pleas to
the government as they sailed slowly past Florida, the refugees never got permission to land. In fact, the
Coast Guard shadowed the ship to make sure no one tried to swim ashore. On June 6, the ship turned back
toward Europe, 913 refugees still aboard, while friends around the world tried desperately to open doors
anywhere outside Nazi domination.

At the last moment, France, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to take them. However,
Germany conquered three of these nations shortly afterwards, and many of the well-traveled fugitives
were caught. Over 600 of the refugees who had seen the lights of Miami died in Nazi concentration

Further Research

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, has deeply moving material about the plight of the S. S. St.
Louis passengers. The tragedy was also described in Smithsonian Magazine, June 1995.

Review of Chapter Four:

Slamming the Doors Shut

1. What was the Eugenics Record Office?

2. Who was Harry Laughlin?
3. What was the Johnson Act?
4. What was the effect of the Johnson Act on Hitler's work?
5. When refugees were fleeing from Hitler, how close did they get before they were sent back to die?

Discuss: What is the impact of laws that restrict immigration on a program of eugenics?

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3 of 3 17-02-2010 01:52
Sterilizing the Unfit

Chapter Five:

Sterilizing the Unfit

The eugenics movement began as a pseudo-scientific study, but one with some practical applications.
Restricting immigration was one practical step. The other major eugenics initiative of the 1920s was
promoting sterilization of the unfit.

Sterilization is a medical term which refers to killing germs. To keep a wound from becoming infected,
physicians work hard to keep everything sterile. Before penicillin was discovered, wounds were sterilized
by cauterization, searing the exposed flesh with red-hot metal. Surgeons preparing to operate are
scrupulous about the sterile field, the area covered with sheets that have been heated to kill all bacteria,
and they use instruments that have been sterilized by heat or by immersion in alcohol.

The eugenic sterilization campaign was not about colonies of bacteria; it was about colonies of feeble-
minded people. The "germs" that the eugenicists wanted to kill were the germ cells of the unfit. When
eugenicists talked about sterilization, they meant a procedure that would make a person incapable of
having children.

To sterilize someone, you can remove part of his or her reproductive system. If a surgeon removes the
womb or uterus from a young woman, she cannot have children. This operation is called a hysterectomy.
A responsible physician caring for a patient who has cancer of the uterus may treat her by removing her
uterus; a eugenicist caring for the human race might remove a healthy uterus to rid society of future
difficulties. Similarly, if a physician removes a young man's testicles -- or castrates him -- he will not have
children. Castration is routine on farms; for example, beef comes from steers, which are castrated males.
Routine or not, the operations can be physically and emotionally traumatic.

It is possible to sterilize men and women using less serious operations. A doctor can cut the tubes that
deliver the germ cells, the woman's ovum and the man's sperm. Cutting the tubes between a woman's
ovaries and her uterus is called a salpingectomy. The comparable operation for a man is called a
vasectomy. After these operations, the patient can still engage in sexual activity, but will not have

In the 1920s, eugenicists in the United States and elsewhere pressed hard for sterilization laws, to give
physicians and the heads of institutions the authority to sterilize their patients, with or without their
consent. With (and sometimes without) these laws, they sterilized tens of thousands of vulnerable people.
Most of the operations were salpingectomies and vasectomies.

American laws permitting sterilization of the feeble-minded began in Pennsylvania, in 1905. Fortunately,
the governor vetoed the law immediately. But other states passed laws and began to implement them. The
push for sterilization did not gain full steam, though, until after World War I. Then, with the IQ tests
available, the mental health lobby began promoting eugenic sterilization. By 1930, 27 states had started
sterilization campaigns.

Other countries that passed or at least debated similar laws included Britain, South Africa, Germany,
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland and Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

In the United States, eugenic sterilization continued for decades. In some states, laws permitted the
operation, but few were done. Some states ended the practice. But by the mid-1950s, 27 states reported

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almost 60,000 sterilizations performed.

California led the way, with two fifths of the total, or 19,985. More women than men were sterilized:
23,667 men compared to 35,519 women.

Sterilizations reported in the U.S. at the height of the eugenics program up to January 1, 1957

Alabama 224 Iowa 1,682 New Hampshire 670 South Dakota 779
Arizona 30 Kansas 3,025 New York 42 Utah 732
California 19,985 Maine 305 North Carolina 4,472 Vermont 252
Connecticut 542 Michigan 3,550 North Dakota 961 Virginia 6,683
Delaware 871 Minnesota 2,313 Oklahoma 556 Washington 685
Georgia 2,490 Mississippi 602 Oregon 2,177 West Virginia 98
Idaho 33 Montana 256 South Carolina 201 Wisconsin 1,793
Indiana 2,325 Nebraska 852

Buck v. Bell

The statistics do not show the inhumanity of the sterilization campaign. To understand what the eugenics
movement did, it is important to look at specific examples.

One of the most destructive dramas in the eugenics movement played out in central Virginia. Virginia's
forced sterilization law was challenged in court immediately. The case involved a young woman named
Carrie Buck, who lived in an institution for the feeble-minded near Lynchburg. The head of the hospital
was enthusiastic about eugenics, and many women were sterilized there without their knowledge, let alone
consent. The hospital decided to sterilize Carrie Buck openly, under the new law. There was a trial in
Amherst, Virginia, and "experts" testified that she was feeble-minded. In fact, the experts testified that she
was from a family of immoral degenerates. Carrie and her mother and her "illegitimate" daughter were all
judged to be unfit.

The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the decision that opened
the floodgates of forced sterilization and permitted 30 states to assault 60,000 people over the next 40
years. The key sentence in the decision was simple: "Three generations of imbeciles is enough." The Court
voted 8-1 (with only Pierce Butler dissenting) to allow the states to sterilize the dysgenic.

Who were these "three generations of imbeciles"?

Generation of imbeciles #1. Emma Buck was not a model citizen. She lived in Charlottesville, with no
fixed address, and got in various kinds of trouble. At some point, social workers decided that the time had
come to get her off the streets, and there was a hearing to determine whether she was feeble-minded. The
hearing was little more than a formality, but it was still degrading. Her inquisitor tested her ability to carry
out simple tasks by demanding that she pick up a book and deliver it to someone else in the room. She
ignored this demeaning request. Her refusal -- dignified or spunky or sullen, take your pick -- was taken as
evidence of feeblemindedness, and Emma Buck was locked up in a hospital near Lynchburg.

Generation of imbeciles #2. Emma had three children: Carrie, Doris and Roy. Carrie became pregnant
when she was a teenager, so the Commonwealth sterilized her. Doris was also sterilized, although she
didn't even know what they had done to her until a reporter showed her and her husband the hospital
records decades later. Finally understanding why they had no children, she wept. Roy had three children,
so the Buck family may have survived despite the grim determination of the eugenicists.

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When the mother, Emma, was locked up, Carrie was placed in foster care in Charlottesville. Things
worked passably until she became pregnant. Years after the event, when she had no reason to lie
(although there was no way to corroborate her story), she said that she became pregnant when her
guardian's nephew raped her. Her guardian, whether or not he knew the father's identity, was apparently
mortified by her pregnancy and swept her out of society along with her mother. Carrie was
institutionalized because she was pregnant, which indicated to some people that she was an immoral,
feebleminded, syphilitic Jukes & Kallikaks epidemic in the making. After some years in the hospital near
Lynchburg, she wangled her way out as a domestic worker, and made her way in the world. She married a
local sheriff named William Eagle. After his death, she moved north to Front Royal, Virginia, where she
picked apples and married Charles Detamore, an orchard worker. She did some cleaning and nursing. Her
life was not extraordinary, but no one who knew her after she left Lynchburg ever considered her feeble-

Generation #3. Carrie's child, Vivian, was declared feeble-minded because she did not smile and coo at a
social worker who visited her as an infant one afternoon. Vivian went to school in Charlottesville, and was
a normal student. Despite her failure to coo as an infant, she was on the honor roll one spring. She died of
the measles when she was eight.

Three generations of imbeciles: a street person who didn't jump when ordered to do so, a rape victim, and
an honor student.

There was enough resistance to eugenic sterilization to prevent the campaign from sweeping the entire
nation. And there were some heroes, including the lone dissenter on the Supreme Court, Justice Pierce
Butler. Butler was a Roman Catholic, and while the decision was pending, critics wondered aloud whether
he would be ruled by Rome and would vote against sterilization. In the end, Butler did not explain his
vote; he simply noted that he dissented from the ruling.

Eugenicists made repeated efforts to pass sterilization laws in Alabama, but they were stymied repeatedly
by the Catholics there. Catholics were not a strong voting bloc; only three percent of the people were
Catholic. But that handful worked very hard on this issue, and beat back the laws for several years.

Further Reading

This story of Carrie Buck is told in detail in an excellent book by J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson, The
Sterilization of Carrie Buck (Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press: 1989).

The entire text of the Supreme Court decision follows.

Buck v. Bell
No. 292
274 U.S. 200
April 22, 1927
May 2, 1927

1. The Virginia statute providing for the sexual sterilization of inmates of institutions supported by

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the State who shall be found to be afflicted with an hereditary form of insanity or imbecility, is within
the power of the State under the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 207 .

2. Failure to extend the provision to persons outside the institutions named does not render it
obnoxious to the Equal Protection Clause. P. 208 .

143 Va. 310, affirmed.


ERROR to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of Virginia which affirmed a
judgment ordering [p*201] the Superintendent of the State Colony of Epileptics and Feeble Minded to
perform the operation of salpingectomy on Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in error. [p*205]

HOLMES, J., Opinion of the Court

Mr. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a writ of error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of Virginia
affirming a judgment of the Circuit Court of Amherst County by which the defendant in error, the
superintendent of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded, was ordered to perform the
operation of salpingectomy upon Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in error, for the purpose of making her
sterile. 143 Va. 310. The case comes here upon the contention that the statute authorizing the judgment
is void under the Fourteenth Amendment as denying to the plaintiff in error due process of law and the
equal protection of the laws.

Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above
mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the
mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child. She was eighteen years old at the time of the trial of her
case in the Circuit Court, in the latter part of 1924. An Act of Virginia, approved March 20, 1924,
recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the
sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard, &c.; that the sterilization may be effected in
males by vasectomy and in females by salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life;
that the Commonwealth is supporting in various institutions many defective persons who, if now
discharged, would become [p*206] a menace, but, if incapable of procreating, might be discharged with
safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society, and that experience has
shown that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, &c. The statute
then enacts that, whenever the superintendent of certain institutions, including the above-named State
Colony, shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients and of society that an inmate
under his care should be sexually sterilized, he may have the operation performed upon any patient
afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity, imbecility, &c., on complying with the very careful
provisions by which the act protects the patients from possible abuse.

The superintendent first presents a petition to the special board of directors of his hospital or colony,
stating the facts and the grounds for his opinion, verified by affidavit. Notice of the petition and of the
time and place of the hearing in the institution is to be served upon the inmate, and also upon his
guardian, and if there is no guardian, the superintendent is to apply to the Circuit Court of the County to
appoint one. If the inmate is a minor, notice also is to be given to his parents, if any, with a copy of the
petition. The board is to see to it that the inmate may attend the hearings if desired by him or his
guardian. The evidence is all to be reduced to writing, and, after the board has made its order for or
against the operation, the superintendent, or the inmate, or his guardian, may appeal to the Circuit Court
of the County. The Circuit Court may consider the record of the board and the evidence before it and
such other admissible evidence as may be offered, and may affirm, revise, or reverse the order of the
board and enter such order as it deems just. Finally any party may apply to the Supreme Court of
Appeals, which, if it grants the appeal, is to hear the case upon the record of the trial [p*207] in the

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Circuit Court, and may enter such order as it thinks the Circuit Court should have entered. There can be
no doubt that, so far as procedure is concerned, the rights of the patient are most carefully considered,
and, as every step in this case was taken in scrupulous compliance with the statute and after months of
observation, there is no doubt that, in that respect, the plaintiff in error has had due process of law.

The attack is not upon the procedure, but upon the substantive law. It seems to be contended that in
no circumstances could such an order be justified. It certainly is contended that the order cannot be
justified upon the existing grounds. The judgment finds the facts that have been recited, and that Carrie
Buck is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may
be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health, and that her welfare and that of society
will be promoted by her sterilization, and thereupon makes the order. In view of the general declarations
of the legislature and the specific findings of the Court, obviously we cannot say as matter of law that
the grounds do not exist, and, if they exist, they justify the result. We have seen more than once that the
public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon
those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by
those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. 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 tubes. Jacobson v.
Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11. Three generations of imbeciles are enough. [p*208]

But, it is said, however it might be if this reasoning were applied generally, it fails when it is confined
to the small number who are in the institutions named and is not applied to the multitudes outside. It is
the usual last resort of constitutional arguments to point out shortcomings of this sort. But the answer is
that the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within
the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similarly situated so far and so fast as its means allow. Of
course, so far as the operations enable those who otherwise must be kept confined to be returned to the
world, and thus open the asylum to others, the equality aimed at will be more nearly reached.

Judgment affirmed.


Review of Chapter Five:

Sterilizing the Unfit

1. What is "sterilization"? What is coercive sterilization, and why would anyone do it?
2. Describe briefly the American campaign for coercive sterilization.
3. Who was Carrie Buck, and why was she sterilized?
4. Identify Oliver Wendell Holmes. What did he say in his opinion in the Buck v. Bell case?
5. Who resisted coercive sterilization?

Discuss: Is sexual activity public or private? Is marriage public or private? Is having children a
public decision, or a private decision?

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5 of 5 17-02-2010 01:57
Eugenics Captures Feminism

Chapter Six:

Eugenics Captures Feminism

One of the most important developments in the expansion of eugenics was its relationship with feminism.
The alliance between the two movements was a curious tangle from the very beginning, and remains a
tangle today. Feminists and eugenicists had very different goals, but some of them agreed about some
things that they wanted in the short run. The person who brought the two movements together in an
alliance that has lasted to this day was Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger was
an eloquent writer, but Planned Parenthood has not made much of an effort to publish and distribute her
books for the last 50 years. But if her followers did not want people reading her books, her opponents did.
When the copyright on her books finally expired and it became legal for anyone to publish them, Planned
Parenthood's critics began to distribute her books, precisely because she was an eloquent eugenicist.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the legacy of Margaret Sanger still plagues us; she was an
effective leader in the war to inflict contraception, sterilization and abortion on the world. She talked
about the exaltation of joyful sex, but ended by trivializing human sexuality into barnyard activity. She
talked about service to the poor, but she built an organization that has killed millions and millions of
people, tiny children who were executed for the crime of being conceived in poverty. She helped to lay
the foundations for global population control, pitting wealthy white nations against the rest of the world.

Despite her influence, her work is often misunderstood. She is generally seen as some kind of feminist
hero, when most of her work is better understood in terms of eugenics. She subverted feminism, betraying
the idealists to power-hungry men. One way to understand her life's work is to examine the alliance
between feminists and eugenicists that she built, an alliance that lasts to this day.

Sanger wrote many things, but there were two books that show her thought especially clearly. Both were
published when the American eugenics movement was just hitting its stride, and both were written to get
feminists excited about eugenics.

The title of one of these books, Woman and the New Race (New York: Brentano's 1920), shows exactly
what Sanger is setting out to do, but readers today are so unaware of eugenics that they miss what was
obvious then. The title would be clearer to us today if she had named the book Feminism and Eugenics,
but it would not have been clearer to readers of the 1920s. They understood the title without difficulty,
since there was so much talk at the time about building a new race, improving the human species through
eugenics. The other book, Pivot of Civilization (New York: Brentano's 1922) has a less revealing title, but
is nonetheless transparent when the reader knows a little about eugenics. The "pivot" is womankind. The
new civilization that they can bring in, if they choose to do so, is one in which the next generation will be
a new and improved product.

Sanger's defenders, who are properly uncomfortable when her commitment to eugenics is exposed, make
much of the fact that she offered some criticisms of eugenics. She asserted that the vision of the
eugenicists was too limited or was impractical. But her criticisms of other eugenicists do not mean she was
not one herself. She criticized eugenics, but from the inside. You can criticize your own ideology or
religion in the third person. If a Catholic were to say, "The Catholic Church ought to pay a lot more
attention to [pick a problem]," it would not in any way indicate distance from or disloyalty to the Church.
Sanger was a member of the [English] Eugenics Society and the American Eugenics Society, and she
joined those societies because she believed in their ideas.

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In the end, though, it does not matter whether she referred to eugenicists as colleagues or as competitors;
what mattered was what she believed and taught. So what did she think? She accepted the Malthusian
theory that overpopulation is the root of all evil. In her view, a glut of humans was the root cause of
warfare, low wages, famine and plague, to mention just a few. In Woman and the New Race, she wrote,
"No despot ever flung forth his legions to die in foreign conquest, no privilege-ruled nation ever erupted
across its borders, to lock in death embrace with another, but behind them loomed the driving power of a
population too large for its boundaries and its natural resources."

Her attitude toward human individuals is full of contempt, charging that "woman has, through her
reproductive ability, founded and perpetuated the tyrannies of the Earth. Whether it was the tyranny of a
monarchy, an oligarchy or a republic, the one indispensable factor of its existence was, as it is now, hordes
of human beings -- human beings so plentiful as to be cheap, and so cheap that ignorance was their natural

Women who fail to adopt Sanger's theories were also objects of her scorn: "The creators of
over-population are the women, who, while wringing their hands over each fresh horror, submit anew to
their task of producing the multitudes who will bring about the next tragedy of civilization." Sanger
charged that these uncooperative women are guilty not only of bringing in the four horsemen of the
Apocalypse, but also a list of other evils: "While unknowingly laying the foundations of tyrannies and
providing the human tinder for racial conflagrations, woman was also unknowingly creating slums, filling
asylums with insane, and institutions with other defectives. She was replenishing the ranks of the
prostitutes, furnishing grist for the criminal courts and inmates for prisons. Had she planned deliberately to
achieve this tragic total of human waste and misery, she could hardly have done it more effectively."

At the end of Woman and the New Race, Sanger described her goal, and again put feminism in a
fascinating context. "What is the goal of woman's upward struggle?" she asked, then offered three possible
answers: "Is it voluntary motherhood? Is it general freedom? Or is it the birth of a new race?" She
embraces all three goals, and dozens of others, including an end to every evil known to humanity. But
over and over, feminism is a means, and the end is an improved race: freedom and "voluntary
motherhood" will "remake the world."

Neither of these books has been easy to get in recent years. Planned Parenthood held the copyright on
these books until they expired, and did not promote them, despite their eloquence. Slowly, the truth will
come out: Sanger and her followers brought death and destruction for unborn children -- not to assert
women's rights, but to build a master race.

Further Reading

Margaret Sanger's two books, Pivot of Civilization and Woman and the New Race, are now in the public
domain, and are available (on disk please email for a copy) so that readers may judge for themselves what
Margaret Sanger was about.

A Plan For Peace

by Margaret Sanger
Sanger's "Plan for Peace"was published in the journal she had founded, the Birth Control Review
(April 1932, p. 107-8). A note with the article said it was a summary of an address before the New
History Society, January 17th, in New York City. Her P " lan for Peace"as published in BCR is
reproduced in its entirety here, with notes inserted.

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First, put into action President Wilson's fourteen points, upon which terms Germany and Austria
surrendered to the Allies in 1918. [Sanger takes note of the existence of other peace plans.]

Second, have Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint
a Parliament of Population, the directors representing the various branches of science: [Sanger thought
that the work of controlling population was a matter for science] this body to direct and control the
population through birth rates and immigration, and to direct its distribution over the country according
to national needs consistent with taste, fitness and interest of the individuals. [Is Sanger referring to
religious opposition as a matter of taste?]

The main objects of the Population Congress would be: a. To raise the level and increase the
general intelligence of population. [positive eugenics]

b. to increase the population slowly by keeping the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per
thousand, decreasing the death rate below its present mark of 11 per thousand.

c. to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known
to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic,
epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of
1924. [Sanger supported the anti-immigration laws.]

d. to apply a stern and rigid [!] policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population
whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be
transmitted to offspring. [Sanger supported eugenic sterilization.]

e. To insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be
born of feebleminded parents by pensioning all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily
consent to sterilization. [Aware of the resistance to sterilization, Sanger supported paying bribes or

f. To give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization. [What
did she mean by a d" ysgenic group"? Indians? How is this different from objective d" "above?]

g. to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught
to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.

The first step would thus be to control the intake and output of morons, mental defectives, epileptics.
[Sanger used impersonal terms from industry -- intake, output -- referring to the birth of vulnerable
people. What is "intake"?]

The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers,
unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under
government medical protection, and segregate them on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for
the strengthening and development of moral conduct. [Sanger proposed to use medical personnel for a
government program that was not designed for the benefit of the patients.]

Having corralled this enormous part of our population and placed it on a basis of health instead of
punishment, it is safe to say that fifteen or twenty millions of our population would then be organized
into soldiers of defense -- defending the unborn against their own disabilities. [The "defense"is that the
unborn will be kept out of existence. Sanger's language inspires cynicism.]

The third step would be to give special attention to the mother's health, to see that women who are
suffering from tuberculosis, heart or kidney disease, toxic goitre, gonorrhea, or any disease where the
condition of pregnancy disturbs their health are placed under public health nurses to instruct them in
practical, scientific methods of contraception in order to safeguard their lives -- thus reducing maternal

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mortality. [Sanger proposed to use maternal health programs to push contraception.]

The above steps may seem to place emphasis on a health program instead of on tariffs, moratoriums
and debts, but I believe that national health is the first essential factor in any program for universal

With the future citizen safeguarded from hereditary taints, with five million mental and moral
degenerates segregated, with ten million women and ten million children receiving adequate care [in
her view, care is adequate if it includes contraception], we could then turn our attention to the basic
needs for international peace.

There would then be a definite effort to make population increase slowly and at a specified rate, in
order to accommodate and adjust increasing numbers to the best social and economic system.

In the meantime we should organize and join an International League of Low Birth Rate Nations to
secure and maintain World Peace.

A short article following Sanger's P

" lan for Peace"in the Birth Control Review referred to the views of
a prominent economist and officer of the Eugenics Society: P " rofessor John Maynard Keynes, eminent
authority on post-war economic problems, speaks of contraceptive information as the most important
aid on the political horizon and says that without it we might as well throw all treaties into the waste
basket."Sanger had powerful support for her view that peace required population control.

Review of Chapter Six:

Eugenics Captures Feminism

1. Who were the "suffragists" and what did they do?

2. Who was Margaret Sanger? Was she a feminist or a eugenicist?
3. What is the "pivot" of civilization, in Sanger's view? When Sanger wrote about a "new race," what did
she mean?
4. What did Sanger mean by "segregation"? Describe Sanger's "Peace Plan."
5. What are the links between Planned Parenthood and the American Eugenics Society?

Discuss: What is the relationship between eugenics and feminism?

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Laws Against Mixing Races

Chapter Seven:

Laws Against Mixing Races

The Children of the Slaves

Racial tension in America has a long history, and it certainly did not end when the Civil War (or War
between the States) was over in 1865. One powerful white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan (or
KKK), was started within a year of the end of the war, led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former
Confederate general. The Klan grew for several years, but was suppressed by the Federal government
after Congress passed the Force Bill in 1871, giving Federal troops authority to attack the Klan.

In 1877, Federal troops withdrew from the South, and in 1890 Southern states began passing laws that
took away the voting rights of blacks. Blacks organized in many different ways to protect their gains. In
1881, Booker T. Washington organized a new school for blacks, Tuskegee Institute. In 1909, W.E.B. Du
Bois, the first black to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard, was among the founders of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The following year, the National Urban League was
founded to help blacks who were moving from rural to urban life.

In 1915, the Ku Klux Klan was re-organized, and it attracted over two million members. It opposed
everything and everyone it considered un-American, including blacks, immigrants, Jews and Catholics.
The KKK was strongest in the South, but had followers across the country. So the eugenics movement did
not invent racism. However, it did strengthen it, and provided a pseudo-scientific basis for it.

The great push of the eugenics movement to stop marriages between blacks and whites drew from the
racism of the time. In the 1920s, eugenicists passed laws in more than half of the states that prohibited
such marriages.

The language of race

The English language has a variety of words that refer to children whose parents have different racial
backgrounds. Creole refers to a person born in an area that was not native to his ancestors, like the
descendants of French-Canadians in Louisiana or descendants of the Spanish in Jamaica. A mestizo is a
person with one white (especially Spanish or Portuguese) parent and one Indian parent. Other terms that
were used in years past included: mulatto, referring to a person with one white parent and one black
parent; quadroon, referring to a person with one white and one mulatto parent; and octoroon, referring to
a person with one white and one quadroon parent. (Today, when any such identification is thought
necessary, the terms that people generally use are bi-racial or mixed-race.)

The eugenics movement drew some of its inspiration from the Greeks, who had discussed breeding horses,
dogs and humans, and breeding horses remained a matter of interest. Harry Laughlin did research on
thoroughbred horses. One of the mottoes used by the American Birth Control League was "breeding a
race of thoroughbreds," referring to humans but using the language of stables and barnyards.

One of the stable-based terms formerly used to refer to a person with one white and one black parent was
mulatto. The word was used before the eugenics movement developed. It is taken from the Spanish word
for a young mule, mulato. A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse (or mare). The
progeny of a female donkey (or jennet) and a male horse (or stallion) is a hinny. Crossing the breeds is an
old practice with familiar results; few breeders want hinnies, but many breeders produce mules, which

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combine the strength and hardiness of the parent species. Mules are usually sterile, because of the mixture
of genes.

The use of the word mulatto to refer to humans with mixed parents brings up a series of questions. The
word was used because the parents are different. But just how different are they? These are the questions
that lead to racism: Are whites and blacks from different species? Will their offspring be an improvement
over the parents like a mule, or a step down like a hinny?

Eugenicists understood that biracial people are not sterile like mules, but still they feared that if whites and
blacks intermarried, both of them could disappear over time.

Lothrop Stoddard (author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy) stated his
concern, and was characteristically blunt: if intermarriage continued unchecked, the whites would
disappear. Recall that for Stoddard and many others, the most advanced species on earth was not mankind
in general, but the white man.* In their understanding, wiping out or weakening the most advanced
creature on the face of the earth would set back the clock of evolution -- not by a few centuries, but by
ages. Progress -- which was God's great work, or was perhaps the real name of God -- could be defeated
by inter-racial marriage.

The opponents of mixed marriages dispensed with fine distinctions; they opposed any mixing of races or
genes, which they called miscegenation. And they wrote laws to ban the practice.

In all, 30 states passed anti-miscegenation laws that stayed on the books until the advent of the civil rights
movement. Of these, 16 kept their laws on the books until the Supreme Court threw them out in 1967:
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Another 14 states
passed anti-miscegenation laws, but repealed them in the 1950s or 1960s: Arizona, California, Colorado,
Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and

For example, Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 made it "unlawful for any white person in this state to
marry any save a white person, or a person with no other admixture of blood than white and American
Indian." In writing the statute, one of the challenges that the Virginia racists faced was their own proud
history. According to a publication from the Registrar of the State Bureau of Vital Statistics, the law had
to take account of "the desire of all to recognize as an integral and honored part of the white race the
descendants of John Rolfe and Pocahontas." Because of the Pocahontas loophole, you could have a little
Indian blood (one great-great-grandparent) and still be counted as white. But "every person in whom there
is ascertainable any negro blood shall be deemed and taken to be a colored person."

The law automatically voided all marriages between whites and blacks. The law prohibited leaving the
state to get married and then returning, and specified that the "fact of their cohabitation here as man and
wife shall be evidence of their marriage." The penalty was stiff: "If any white person intermarry with a
colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and
shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years."

Virginia judges continued to defend anti-miscegenation laws for decades. In 1955, the State Supreme
Court of Appeals decided that the laws served legitimate purposes, including: "to preserve the racial
integrity of its citizens," and to prevent "the corruption of blood," "a mongrel breed of citizens," and "the
obliteration of racial pride."

The trial that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where anti-miscegenation laws were
overturned, involved a Virginia couple, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving. On January 6, 1959, they
pleaded guilty to the charge of miscegenation, and were sentenced to a year in jail, which they could avoid
by leaving Virginia and staying out for 25 years. The trial judge said:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on

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separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no
cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for
the races to mix.

The Lovings left Virginia for awhile, but in 1963 they challenged the law in Federal court. When the
anti-miscegenation laws were finally toppled in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court said (in Loving v. Virginia)
that distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry was "odious to a free people whose
institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality."

The Tuskegee Scandal

Racism and eugenics came together to produce odious laws, but also to create one of the worst scandals in
the history of medicine. In 1929 researchers from New York decided to observe the course of a disease if
it was not treated at all. They recruited hundreds of poor black men with syphilis, and watched them for
40 years -- without treating them. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease; untreated, it can lead to
tumors, blindness, deafness, paralysis and death.

In 1925, there was a meeting of the Advisory Council of the Milbank Fund, a philanthropic group that
worked "for the promotion of health, the lowering of the death rate, the increasing of the efficiency rate
and the lengthening of the average American life." The council discussed care of the elderly, and the
meeting was downbeat. According to a report in Birth Control Review (January 1925, p. 22), they were
asking questions like, "Is it really worthwhile to live long?" and "How much are we willing to pay, in cash,
for added years of existence?"

One participant, Dr. William H. Welch, Director of the School of Hygiene of Johns Hopkins University,
asked, "Aren't we just keeping the unfit alive at the expense of the fit instead of letting nature do the
weeding?" While that meeting was about care of the elderly, a few years later, the Milbank Fund put up
cash for a callous study of "letting nature do the weeding." Starting in 1929, Milbank provided the funds
to recruit the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, by offering to pay $50 apiece for their burial
expenses. In 1932, the federal government took over the study, but Milbank continued to pay for the
burials. After treatment for syphilis became available in 1936, the men were still not told they had syphilis,
still not treated. They were told only that they had "bad blood."

The governmental body that took charge of the study was the U. S. Public Health Service, which is led by
the U. S. Surgeon General. The Surgeon General at that time was Dr. Hugh S. Cumming, who had been a
member of the Advisory Council of the American Eugenics Society in its early days and lent his prestige
to the organizers of the Second International Congress of Eugenics.

The purpose of the Public Health Service is to protect the health of society. When an epidemic is
spreading, it is the PHS that has responded, by necessary but inconvenient means like imposing
quarantines on ships that may be carrying infected passengers. A quarantine -- isolating people who may
be carrying a contagious disease -- makes sense when you are fighting smallpox. But there is a danger of
abusing quarantines. For example, many eugenicists wanted to impose a quarantine of the "feeble-
minded," in order to keep them from breeding. When Robert Yerkes ran his intelligence tests that were
used to justify laws restricting immigration, he was working for the Public Health Service. And the
anti-immigration laws were understood at least in part as a public health measure.

Apparently, it was easy for public health concerns to blur the differences between contagious diseases,
mental problems, and even unwanted ethnic groups. And syphilis among blacks seemed to combine these

Different Ways to Accommodate

Tuskegee was built by Booker T. Washington, a great man who became a controversial figure.
Washington urged blacks to be accommodating, to work hard to excel in a predominantly white culture.
This approach came under fire from more aggressive leaders, including W. E. B. DuBois, a founder of the

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But DuBois made a number of accommodations himself. He was a Harvard graduate, and had lived among
people who considered themselves to be the natural leaders of the nation and world. At some point, he
adopted the view that eugenics made sense. But obviously, his version of eugenics was not pure white
supremacy like Lothrop Stoddard's. Instead, DuBois thought that each race had some desirable and some
undesirable citizens. His view of eugenics was not explicitly racist, but was still useful to racists, who
could argue that one race had many desirable citizens, and another race had many undesirables.

Review of Chapter Seven:

Laws Against Mixing Races

1. Explain the terms half-breed, mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, miscegenation.

2. What is the KKK?
3. What was the purpose of anti-miscegenation laws?
4. What was the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, and who ran it?
5. What is the Public Health Service, and how did they get involved in the Tuskegee experiment?

Discuss: Which of the following is a social disease, and why: syphilis, miscegenation, racism.

Did the Surgeon General Know?

Hugh S. Cumming was U.S. Surgeon General from 1920 to
1936, the period when the Tuskegee Syphilis Study began,
under the U.S. Public Health Service. He was succeeded by
Thomas Parran, who was Surgeon General during twelve
years of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, from 1936 to 1948. In
1944, Parran wrote an extensive paper on how to reorganize
the U.S. Public Health Service for the next ten years. Venereal
disease takes only one page out of well over 500 pages; the
subject was minor in the government's organizational scheme.
But Parran was an expert on syphilis; he wrote two books
about it. He was keenly aware of the devastation caused by
the disease, and wrote about the need to treat patients at all
stages. However, the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which
hundreds of poor black men with syphilis were left untreated
so that researchers could observe the course of the disease,
went forward while he was running the Public Health Service,
and reports about the progress of the study went to the PHS
regularly. This cruel experiment is among the most outrageous
abuses of trusting patients in medical history.

* Havelock Ellis, a prominent eugenicist, wrote an article about Stoddard's book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy in which he criticized Stoddard's
fixation on "the Nordic peoples." But Ellis does not challenge the idea of white supremacy, he just thinks that non-Nordic Europeans should get their due. (See Birth Control
Review, October 1920, p. 15.) BACK

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The Scopes Trial

Chapter Eight:

The Scopes Trial

In 1925, there was a minor criminal trial in a small town in Tennessee that riveted the attention of the
nation, because it focused on some issues of eugenics. The focus was not clear and sharp; neither side
presented its arguments with complete clarity, and the word eugenics was never used in the trial. But
many issues came out clearly.

The trial was The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes. It was sometimes called more simply "the
monkey trial." It concerned a teacher who broke the state's law against teaching the theory of evolution in
a public school. The trial lasted eight days, getting press coverage all over the nation. Scopes was
convicted, but that was a trivial detail. The real question was about the relationship between science and
faith in American life. A play about the trial, called Inherit the Wind, simplified and distorted the real
events; this bit of fiction left many people thinking that they had to choose between scientific progress and
religious teaching.

Clarence Darrow, who was recognized as one of the best trial lawyers in the nation, defended Scopes; he
spoke of the trial "as if it was a death struggle between two civilizations." William Jennings Bryan, a
Midwest politician who had been candidate for President of the United States three times, took part in the
prosecution; he said the case was a "battle-royal between unbelief that attempts to speak through
so-called science and the defenders of the Christian faith."

The Offending Book

Scopes taught science, including biology, at the Rhea County Central High School in Dayton, Tennessee.
In 1925, during the spring semester of his first year as a teacher, the state passed a law against teaching
evolution. Scopes thought that he could not teach biology properly without teaching evolution, and
considered the law to be unconstitutional. He broke the law, and was arrested for it.

The statute said that it was unlawful "to teach any theory that denies the story of Divine creation of man
as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

The book that Scopes used was A Civic Biology Presented in Problems, by George William Hunter. The
book, published in 1914, had been used in Tennessee for some years. The book presents standard
biological facts about cells, muscles, respiration and such topics; but it also teaches eugenics.

The title Civic Biology is similar to one of the phrases used to refer to eugenics, "social biology." In a
front page of the book, facing the title page, there is a mild but clear piece of propaganda. There are two
photographs, a city street and a country lane. The caption: "Compare the unfavorable artificial
environment of a crowded city with the more favorable environment of the country."

Chapter 14 includes the material on evolution, with protozoa, worms, insects, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Man is grouped with the apelike mammals. Hunter writes that "there is an immense mental gap between
monkey and man" [emphasis added]. He adds that monkeys "seem to have many of the mental attributes
of man," and this "justifies his inclusion with man in a separate mental genus." Hunter states that "early
man must have been little better than one of the lower animals." The chapter concludes with a claim of
white supremacy.

Later in the book, in chapter 17, Hunter returns to the subject of eugenics. "If the stock of domesticated

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animals can be improved upon, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of
men and women on the earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection."

In marriage, Hunter says, there are some things that "the individual as well as the race should demand." To
have children with tuberculosis, syphilis, epilepsy or feeble-mindedness is "not only unfair but criminal."

He reviews the Jukes and Kallikaks stories, the family trees that were supposed to show the need for
eugenics (see chapter 3), and says that there are hundreds of families like them. He calls them "true
parasites," and says, "If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them
from spreading."

The book would not be acceptable in any school system in the United States today, because of the things
that it says about the poor, blacks, and people with disabilities.

When people talk about the Scopes trial, their ideas are usually shaped by the distorted propaganda in the
movie, not by the actual trial. The real event concerned a book that asserted the supremacy of whites,
encouraged contempt for the poor, and hinted at forced sterilization or even more violent acts.

Testimony at the Trial

The first witness for the defense was Maynard M. Metcalf, a member of the American Eugenics Society.
Metcalf was a zoologist, and he described evolution in general terms. Darrow intended to teach the jury
about evolution with a series of witnesses, but the judge excluded all such testimony and asked the jury to
ignore as much of it as they had already heard. Darrow submitted a series of statements by scientists,
which became part of the public debate but not the criminal trial.

Scopes himself never testified at his own trial. He spoke briefly when he was sentenced -- he was
convicted and got the minimum penalty ($100 fine), which he called unjust. The real action at the trial was
a debate between William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. In fact, Darrow called Bryan (a lawyer
for the prosecution) as a witness and interrogated him. Their whole debate was stricken from the official
record of the trial, when the judge decided it was all irrelevant to the charge against Scopes. But for the
press and for history, this was the real show.

On the witness stand, Bryan defended the Bible, but did not insist on a literal interpretation of every line
in Genesis. When Darrow asked about the six days of creation, Bryan said "I do not think it necessarily
means a twenty-four hour day." When Darrow pressed him about whether they were literal days, Bryan
replied, "My impression is that they were periods, but I would not attempt to argue as against anybody
who wanted to believe in literal days."

The debate referred to evolution in general, but it was the beginnings of human life that people really
cared about. The Tennessee law did not prohibit teaching that monkeys were descended from protozoa; it
prohibited teaching that man is descended from lower animals. Bryan wrote a summation of the case for
the jury (which he did not give, because both sides agreed to dispense with arguments) which was later
published. In it, he attacked "evolution," saying, "Its only program for man is scientific breeding, a system
under which a few supposedly superior intellects, self-appointed, would direct the mating and the
movements of the mass of mankind -- an impossible system!" Bryan's word was evolution, but he
described eugenics.

Bryan said that the views taught by Scopes were the unrelenting enemy of the Gospel: "Darwin says that
science has nothing to do with the Christ ... and yet this spirit is the only hope of human progress. A heart
can be changed in a twinkling of an eye and a change in the life follows a change in the heart. If one heart
can be changed, it is possible that many hearts can be changed, and if many hearts can be changed, it is
possible that all hearts can be changed -- that a world can be born in a day. It is this fact that inspires all
who labor for man's betterment. It is because Christians believe in individual regeneration and in the
regeneration of society through the regeneration of individuals that they pray, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'"

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Bryan charged that evolutionary views "if taken seriously and made the basis of a philosophy of life ...
would eliminate love and carry man back to a struggle of tooth and claw."

He quoted a recent publication from Britain which said, "The greatest danger menacing our civilization is
the abuse of the achievements of science. Mastery over the forces of nature has endowed twentieth
century man with a power which he is not fit to exercise. Unless the development of morality catches up
with the development of technique, humanity is bound to destroy itself." At the end of the 20th century,
most readers would agree with Bryan's point that science without morality can destroy humanity, because
we have seen the power of the nuclear bomb. But there is still a great deal of debate about whether
biological sciences without morality can be as destructive as physics without morality.

"Science," Bryan said, "has made war more terrible than it ever was before. ... If civilization is to be saved
from the wreckage threatened by intelligence not consecrated by love, it must be saved by the moral code
of the meek and lowly Nazarene [i.e., Jesus Christ]."

William Jennings Bryan and the gold standard

Bryan ran for President three times as the candidate of the Democratic Party. He is remembered
principally for arguing against the gold standard. The gold standard was not eugenics in disguise, but
there is a point worth noting.

The question was: should paper money be backed up by gold sitting in a vault somewhere, or would
it be acceptable to have paper money backed by silver as well? Bankers in the East wanted to stick with
the gold standard; Bryan spoke for people who wanted a more relaxed money policy.

The point that is relevant here is simple. Malthus and his followers argued that the resources of the
world are limited, and that a growing population will eventually bump against that ceiling and people
will starve. More hopeful people argue that the resources of the world are immense, and can be
increased by care and hard work.

There is a limited amount of gold in the world. If the wealth of the globe is measured in gold, then
the wealth is limited.

Bryan spoke for the people who looked at the vast nation and saw immense wealth that could not
and should not be limited by the amount of gold in a vault somewhere.

Pushing Faith and Science Apart

Bryan defended the Bible, and made predictions about the eugenics ideology that were borne out a few
years later. However, he did not make a clear distinction between real science and false ideologies
promoted by some scientists. He described at length how Charles Darwin had lost his faith as he
developed his theories, and defended the Bible against Darwin's ideas. In retrospect, some people argue
that Bryan might have served the truth better if he had defended the Bible and also urged more careful
scientific research that might have answered Darwin's questions.

Darrow and the other lawyers who were defending Scopes offered a number of interesting ideas about
how to reconcile religion and science. However, they undercut any impact those ideas might have had by
picking unnecessary fights. Twice, Darrow spent time objecting to the prayers that different pastors
offered at the beginning of the day in court. He made himself look like an opponent of religion in general.

Darrow and the others put a lengthy series of statements from various scientists into the record of the trial.
After introducing the expert testimony, Darrow picked an unnecessary fight about religion, asking that the
judge remove a sign that said, "Read Your Bible." The extensive testimony from experts -- that Darrow

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was urging the nation to read, whether or not the jurors heard it all -- included many arguments about
ways that you could fit the Bible and evolution together. But all those lengthy and sometimes technical
arguments were completely boring compared to Darrow's antics and the response he got.

One of the attorneys for the prosecution argued for keeping the sign up, speaking out heatedly against "a
force that is aligned with the devil." If people cannot remind each other to read the Bible, he said, "that
then is time for us to tear up all of the Bibles, throw them in the fire and let the country go to Hell." An
officer trying to restore order in the court said, "People, this is no circus. There are no monkeys up here."
Darrow suggested that they put up a second sign, saying, "Read your evolution."

How do you get back from that to an analytical study of variation and heredity, or 129 different species of
beetles on the island of St. Helena, in the testimony of the scientific expert whose testimony was
submitted for the record just before the ruckus? The judge had the sign removed, but the damage was

To this day, the trial is often remembered as "the monkey trial." An exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution
in Washington about the history of science has a panel about the trial. As you walk past the exhibit, the
image that catches your eye is a monkey.

Review of Chapter Eight:

The Scopes Trial

1. What was the Scopes trial about?

2. What did the textbook used in Tennessee say about eugenics and white supremacy?
3. In the trial, what predictions did William Jennings Bryan make? Was he right?
4. What impact did the American Eugenics Society have on the Scopes trial?
5. During the trial, did reporters focus on monkeys or on white supremacy? Since then, has the emphasis

Discuss: In 1998, an article in Newsweek explored the ways scientists (including physicists
and astronomers) and theologians were getting past the sense that science and faith are at
war. But none of the scientists in the article were biologists. Why? Was this just an accident?

A Civic Biology Presented in Problems

by George William Hunter, A.M.

American Book Company -- New York, Cincinnati, Chicago -- copyright 1914

The book that John Scopes was using when he broke Tennessee's law banning the teaching of evolution
was Hunter's Civic Biology. Most of the book is straightforward biology, but it also presents some of
the author's views and values, including eugenics, white supremacy, contempt for people with
disabilities and an impatience with charity. Excerpts follow.

Hunter's Civic Biology, p. 195-196

Evolution of Man. -- Undoubtedly there once lived upon the earth races of men who were much
lower in their mental organization than the present inhabitants. If we follow the early history of man
upon the earth, we find that at first he must have been little better than one of the lower animals. He
was a nomad, wandering from place to place, feeding upon whatever living things he could kill with his
hands. Gradually he must have learned to use weapons, and thus kill his prey, first using rough stone

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implements for this purpose. As man became more civilized, implements of bronze and of iron were
used. About this time the subjugation and domestication of animals began to take place. Man then
began to cultivate the fields, and to have a fixed place of abode other than a cave. The beginnings of
civilization were long ago, but even to-day the earth is not entirely civilized.

The Races of Man. -- At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man,
each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are
the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the
Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and
the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the caucasians, represented by the civilized white
inhabitants of Europe and America.

Hunter's Civic Biology, p. 261-265

Improvement of Man. -- If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to
ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might not be
improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number
of factors in which we as individuals may play a part. These are personal hygiene, selection of healthy
mates, and the betterment of the environment.

Eugenics. -- When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race
should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed
down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of
thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only
unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics.

The Jukes. -- Studies have been made on a number of different families in this country, in which
mental and moral defects were present in one or both of the original parents. The "Jukes" family is a
notorious example. The first mother is known as "Margaret, the mother of criminals." In seventy-five
years the progeny of the original generation has cost the state of New York over a million and a quarter
dollars, besides giving over to the care of prisons and asylums considerably over a hundred feeble-
minded, alcoholic, immoral, or criminal persons. Another case recently studied is the "Kallikak" family.
(Footnote: The name Kallikak is fictitious.) This family has been traced back to the War of the
Revolution, when a young soldier named Martin Kallikak seduced a feeble-minded girl. She had a
feeble-minded son from whom there have been to the present time 480 descendants. Of these 33 were
sexually immoral, 24 confirmed drunkards, 3 epileptics, and 143 feeble-minded. The man who started
this terrible line of immorality and feeble-mindedness later married a normal Quaker girl. From this
couple a line of 496 descendants have come, with no cases of feeble-mindedness. The evidence and the
moral speak for themselves!

Parasitism and its Cost to Society. -- Hundreds of families such as those described above exist
today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such
families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals,
these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting,
stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public
money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give
nothing in return. They are true parasites.

The Remedy. -- If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent
them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes
in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of
perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in
Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country.

Blood Tells. -- Eugenics shows us, on the other hand, in a study of the families in which are brilliant

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men and women, the fact that the descendants have received the good inheritance from their ancestors.
The following, taken from Davenport's Heredity in Relationship to Eugenics, illustrates how one family
has been famous in American History. ...

Euthenics. -- Euthenics, the betterment of the environment, is another important factor in the
production of a stronger race. The strongest physical characteristics may be ruined if the surroundings
are unwholesome and unsanitary. The slums of a city are "at once symptom, effect and cause of evil." A
city which allows foul tenements, narrow streets, and crowded slums to exist will spend too much for
police protection, for charity, and for hospitals. Every improvement in surroundings means
improvement of the chances of survival of the race. ...

In the final section of the excerpts from Hunter's book, notice the way he talks about the
environment. First, even when he is focusing on the environment, his concern is about
how to strengthen the race. Second, he talks about the race and then about c" haracteristics"
of a person, skipping any mention of the person. Third, although he does not state it
explicitly, it is clear that the damage to the environment which he describes is caused by
dysgenic people. Finally, note that he is concerned not only about improving life, but
about the survival of the race.

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Chapter Nine:

World War II and the Nazi Holocaust

The massive slaughter that Adolf Hitler caused in Germany and all Europe is well known. His unreasoning
and violent hatred of Jews is also well known. The purpose of this chapter is not to describe World War II
in detail, nor to describe the Holocaust in detail. The purpose of this chapter is to put German eugenics in
context, to see how much evil came of Social Darwinism (in conjunction with other causes), and to
understand some of the links between eugenics in Germany and eugenics elsewhere.

One of the bizarre aspects of education in America today is that so many students have heard of World
War II, but have not heard of eugenics. World War II was in many ways a continuation of World War I;
both wars were started by Germans who believed in a version of eugenics theory, and felt that a racially
superior people deserved more land. The most horrifying aspects of World War II were the labor camps
and death camps, designed to use and kill people considered to be inferior, particularly Jews. To
understand the camps, you must understand Europe's long history of antisemitism -- and also the shorter
history of eugenics.

Adolf Hitler hated Jews and tried to exterminate them. Much of his explanation for hatred is based on
eugenics. How can anyone begin to understand World War II if they don't understand eugenics?

Further, Hitler and his supporters knew that their ideas about building a better race had support outside
Germany. French and British eugenicists did not want a war with Germany, but they understood Hitler's
racial goals. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in England, Marshal Philippe PÈtain in France, and the
leading advocate of neutrality in the United States, Charles Lindbergh, were all supportive of eugenics and
were all members of eugenics societies at some point.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Europe was confidently carving up the globe, establishing empires.
There were both winners and losers among the Europeans: Spain's empire had shrunk, Portugal's had
shrunk and France's had declined, while the British Empire had grown. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was
huge. Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands had ambitions. On the other side of the ocean, America had
spread across an entire continent, and had acquired Cuba and the Philippines. But Germany had been left
out of the land grabs. Germany had access to the ocean, but had never been a great sea power. When
Germans thought about expansion, they did not plan expeditions overseas; they looked at their neighbors.
So when they launched World War I, they attacked other European nations.

A mixture of motives drove Hitler and his followers. They wanted land for the German people, land like
the colonies that their neighbors had amassed overseas, land to grow into -- lebensraum. They had a lust
for power, the desire to establish themselves as the rulers of the continent, imitating the heroic Romans --
and using the title Kaiser, or Caesar. They wanted a rematch to end the humiliation of Versailles, the
treaty that ended World War I and imposed crippling conditions on Germany.

Eugenicists in other parts of the world argued that the desire for land was a failure of their movement.
They said that a proper regimen of population control would keep people content within their borders, and
would make wars of conquest unnecessary. So it may be unfair to charge the eugenics movement with
encouraging the Germans to go to war for land. However, Hitler's lust for power was unmistakably a form
of eugenics. He believed passionately in improving the human race. His conviction that the Aryans were
the peak of evolution, and that the world would be better off if the Aryans controlled more of the world
more firmly, were ideas that circulated in the eugenics movement.

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It is nonsense to try to understand World War II without looking at the thinking of the man who led
Germany to war. To understand how this huge slaughter came about, we must understand the thinking of
Adolf Hitler. And his thinking was not hidden.

Ideas Have Consequences

Within German society, there were many people who took eugenics into realms not experienced
elsewhere. German eugenics was influenced by an aristocratic French writer, Arthur Count de
Gobineau (1816-1882). In the mid-1850s, Gobineau had published a racist tome entitled Essay on the
Inequality of Human Races. He argued that a tiny fair-haired Aryan aristocracy had always been the
flower of Europe, but it had lost its vigor by intermarriage with inferior races. The French generally
ignored the book, but Germans loved it. In 1890, the book was revived, and in 1894 admirers founded
the Gobineau Association, which included many teachers.

In 1899, an Englishman holding German citizenship, Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927),

published a book building on Gobineau, entitled The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. He argued
that the Germans were the purest of the Aryans, and he attacked Jews and blacks. The book was
reprinted over and over.

When Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf -- exalting the Aryans, promoting eugenics, and damning
the Jews -- his writing was powerful, but not original.

Antisemitism in Mein Kampf

In 1923, Adolf Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, the Nazis. He led an
uprising that earned him international attention and a prison term. While he was in the Landsberg prison,
he wrote a book about his life and his hopes called Mein Kampf (or My Struggle).

The book includes Hitler's well-known hatred of Jews, or antisemitism. He wrote, for example: "Was there
any form of filth ... without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an
abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light -- a kike!" His
language was inflammatory and insulting, appealing to gutter instincts.

He described a time of "the greatest spiritual upheaval" when he "had ceased to be a weak-kneed
cosmopolitan and become an anti-Semite." He brought the fervor of a convert to the cause of
antisemitism, and described it as a spiritual question. Characterizing hatred as the requirement of religious
faith may seem bizarre to many people, but Hitler was vehement about it: "I believe that I am acting in
accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for
the work of the Lord."

One of the curious aspects of Mein Kampf is that a casual reader who had never heard of the Jews might
well come away from the book with a great desire to meet these remarkable people. Hitler hated them,
and blamed them for a variety of things, including pornography, prostitution and syphilis. But he also
blamed them for Communism and for its opposite, capitalism. He blamed them for democracy: "The
Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of
power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight." Hitler said that the Jews ran
everything, and that unless there was a change, the Jews would one day "devour the other nations and
become lords of the earth." If a Martian dropped in and read Hitler's book, he might catch on that Hitler
was consumed by hatred and set aside all the criticisms of Jews, and hope to meet one of these powerful

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Eugenics in Mein Kampf

The antisemitism in Hitler's book is well known, but the eugenics is less familiar.

He described the Jews as the best example of eugenics at work: "The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is
represented by the Jew. In hardly any people in the world is the instinct of self-preservation developed
more strongly than in the so-called 'chosen.' Of this, the mere fact of the survival of this race may be
considered the best proof. ... What people, finally, has gone through greater upheavals than this one -- and
nevertheless issued from the mightiest catastrophes of mankind unchanged? What an infinitely tough will
to live and preserve the species speaks from these facts!" And yet, in the name of eugenics, Hitler set out
to wipe them off the face of the earth.

Hitler's book makes the Jews sound like fascinating and in many ways attractive people. However, the
hatred in the book cannot be treated as a joke. Hitler and his Nazis drove the Jews into work camps and
death camps, where about six million Jews were killed. Millions of other people died in the war, including
other targets of Nazi eugenics -- Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill. But the Jews were
particular targets, and the Nazis caught and killed about one third of all the Jews in the world.

One of the great puzzles about the Nazi Holocaust is its horrific efficiency. Europe has a long and
shameful history of antisemitism. Why was the Nazi assault so much worse than anything before? Part of
the explanation is that the Germans are efficient, taking pride in "getting the job done," whatever the job
is. But part of the explanation, surely, is that Nazi antisemitism was mixed with eugenics.

Throughout most of the history of Christianity, there has been antisemitism. The scripture read by
Christians has passages that say "the Jews" did various things. These passages can be taken out of context
and used to stir up antisemitism. This has happened many times in the history of Christianity. But the texts
are being abused, and read in ways that the author did not intend. The passages would not be changed
much (if at all) if you said instead that "all the people there" or "the crowd" did these things. St. Paul's
letters report various times that "the Jews" undercut his work, but the modern reader would probably
understand the passages better if we substituted the phrase "our own people" for "the Jews." That is, Paul
is eloquent about his disappointment in many of his own people (the Jews). The use of scripture as a basis
for antisemitism has been common in history, but it requires ignorance.

Antisemitism based on the Gospel has another problem, a built-in contradiction: Jesus was Jewish, along
with all of his apostles. And still further, Jesus commanded solemnly that we love each other.

Christians must admit that there has been a long history of antisemitism, but antisemitism among the
followers of Jesus the Nazarene is obviously wrong. In Nazi Germany, on the other hand, the seeds of
antisemitism were planted in the soil of eugenics. Eugenics tends to increase one's contempt for other
individuals or other nations.

To take a single example, look at the words of the first man chosen for the chair of eugenics established
by Francis Galton at London University. Karl Pearson, a pre-eminent eugenicist, wrote that the
evolutionary progress of the human race requires warfare. He argued that war was necessary to get rid of
inferior humans. He wrote: "This dependence of progress on the survival of the fitter race, terribly black
as it may seem to some of you, gives the struggle for existence its redeeming features; it is the fiery
crucible out of which comes the finer metal. [When wars cease] mankind will no longer progress [for]
there will be nothing to check the fertility of inferior stock; the relentless law of heredity will not be
controlled and guided by natural selection."

Pearson also wrote: "History shows me one way and one way only, in which a high state of civilisation has
been produced, namely the struggle of race with race, and the survival of the physically and mentally fitter
race." That is different from Christianity, even from Christianity tainted with the evil of antisemitism.

Mein Kampf: Eugenics and Antisemitism Together

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Hitler echoed standard eugenics thought about miscegenation: "Any crossing of two beings not at exactly
the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will
probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it
will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for
a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but
in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus
sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel ..."

Like eugenicists from the Greeks on, he used animal models in an attempt to clarify his thinking about
humans: "The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward
delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the
goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force,
strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox
who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly
there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice." In other words, it is permissible for Germans to kill
the unfit, because the Germans belong at the top, and the way to get there is to kill, and we should not be
sentimental about such natural events.

In his understanding of eugenics, evolution justified or even demanded violence: "Therefore, here, too, the
struggle among themselves arises less from inner aversion than from hunger and love. In both cases,
Nature looks on calmly, with satisfaction, in fact. In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak
and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or
opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species'
health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development."

Like other white supremacists, he was extremely concerned about the possible damage to evolution that
miscegenation could do: "No more than Nature desires the mating of weaker with stronger individuals,
even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since, if she did, her whole work of
higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, night be ruined with one blow."

Like white supremacists in the United States, he took it for granted that the history of North and South
America proved the importance of opposing miscegenation. "Historical experience ... shows with
terrifying clarity that in every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of
the cultured people. North America, whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic
elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture
from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the
aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of
racial mixture. The Germanic inhabitant of the American continent, who has remained racially pure and
unmixed, rose to be master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim
to defilement of the blood."

Hitler's ideas about miscegenation were the same as the white supremacist ideas in America, but the
application was different. In America, racists feared contamination from blacks. By contrast, Hitler's
principal fear was contamination from the Jews.

He considered the Jews to be the threat to Aryan success, but also saw them as the source of arguments
against eugenics. After laying out his view of eugenics, he turned to the critics: "Here, of course, we
encounter the objection of the modern pacifist, as truly Jewish in its effrontery as it is stupid! 'Man's role is
to overcome Nature!' ... Millions thoughtlessly parrot this Jewish nonsense."

When Hitler said, "All who are not of good race in this world are chaff," the thought was not original, nor
specifically Nazi. It was simple eugenics.

Cooperation with Hitler, Support for Eugenics

Hitler's main opponents were France, Russia, England and the United States. But in three of these nations,

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he found national leaders who were ready to get along with him. These three men were all eugenicists.

Henri Philippe PÈtain (1856-1951) was a French hero in World War I who is credited with holding
Verdun against the German assault. But he did not like parliamentary governments, and preferred
dictatorships. After Hitler's armies defeated France in 1940, he led the French government. His admirers
say that he protected France as well as possible after a military defeat, but others consider him a traitor
who cooperated with the Nazis. After the war, the French government put him on trial for collaboration
with the enemy; he was convicted and imprisoned for the rest of his life. PÈtain was a member of a
French eugenics society.

Arthur Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) was the British Prime Minister just before World War II. He is
remembered chiefly for his policy of "appeasement" toward Germany. He tried to negotiate with Hitler,
rather than go to war. To be fair to him, it is important to say that his policies were popular in Britain at
the time. However, on September 30, 1938, he agreed to let Germany take over most of Czechoslovakia in
order to satisfy the Germans and prevent war. This ill-fated decision, called the Munich agreement, has
become a byword for naivete, retreat and cowardice in the face of an unscrupulous and greedy enemy.
Hitler took what he was given in peace, then launched a war to take some more. Chamberlain was a
member of the Eugenics Society.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) was the first person to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, from
New York to Paris. The flight made him an international hero. However, he later used his fame to oppose
America's entry into World War II, and his arguments were extremely disturbing.

Between 1931 and 1935, Lindbergh worked with Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) on an artificial heart, and the
two men deserve great credit for it. However, during this same period, Carrel was working on the book
Man, the Unknown, published in 1935. He suggested building euthanasia institutions for killing the
mentally ill with some suitable gas. Lindbergh did not break off his relationship with Carrel because of this
savage proposal; in 1938, they coauthored a book, The Culture of Organs.

In 1938, Lindbergh visited Germany, and accepted a medal from Hermann Goering, a Nazi official. This
caused an outcry in the United States.

In 1939, Lindbergh returned to the United States after years in Europe, and immediately began speaking
out against America's entry into the war. He made arguments echoing eugenics themes, that the war would
kill the wrong people. He charged that America was being dragged into the war by Jews (among others).

In 1940, Hermann Goering, Air Minister and chief of the Luftwaffe, launched the "Battle of Britain,"
bombing the British in preparation for an invasion across the English Channel. This included bombing
civilians, to terrorize them. Nevertheless, in 1941, Lindbergh became a leading spokesman for a newly
founded peace group called the America First Committee.

Lindbergh was later a Director of the American Eugenics Society.

excerpt from "Social History and the Eugenics Societies"

by Katharine S. O'Keefe
Research on the history of eugenics and the eugenic societies could affect our understanding of crucial
events in this century. For example, Neville Chamberlain was a member of the English Eugenics Society
in 1935 while Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Marshal PÈtain, who led the Vichy government in
France, was a member of the French eugenic society in the 1930s. Charles Lindbergh, the leading
exponent of appeasement in America in 1940, was a director of the American Eugenics Society in the
1950s. To write the history of the period of appeasement while not knowing that the architect of

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appeasement in England (Chamberlain), the would-be architect of appeasement in America

(Lindbergh), the architect of the Vichy government (PÈtain), as well as the architect of the Nazi party
(Hitler), were all eugenicists, is as if we were to write post-war history without mentioning that Stalin,
Tito and Mao TseTung were all Communists. Similarly, we will never understand population control, if
we do not know that the main agent of this biopolicy, the International Planned Parenthood Federation
(IPPF), spent the first seventeen years of its existence in rent free quarters at the headquarters of the
English Eugenics Society and even was a member of that Society in 1977.

The Machinery of Death

Hitler's writing was not original. He took the ideas of others and applied them effectively, without mercy.
The machinery of death begins with an ideology that permits or encourages killing, and the murderous
ideology of eugenics took root in Germany before Hitler.

As we saw above (see chapter two), in 1922, before anybody had ever heard of Adolf Hitler, Hoche and
Binding published a book calling for the destruction of lives that were not worth living.

Two of the chief architects of the racial policies of the Nazis were Dr. Alfred Ploetz and Dr. Ernst R¸din.
In 1904, Ploetz founded the journal Archiv f¸r Rassen- und Gesellschaftsbiologie (or Archive for Racial
and Social Biology to publish articles about eugenics. The following year, Ploetz and R¸din founded a
society to promote eugenics, called the "Gesellschaft f¸r Rassenhygiene" (or Society for Racial Hygiene).
They understood term "racial hygiene" to be a German translation of the English word "eugenics," but
they also used the phrases "racial biology" and "social biology" to refer to the same collection of ideas.
Their ideas did not become the foundation of public policies until Hitler came to power. But by that time,
they had already been thinking for three decades about how to use sterilization and euthanasia. They were
ready to act.

Just a few months after Hitler came to power, Germany passed the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditary
Disease in Posterity," the Sterilisation Law. The chief architect of the law was R¸din, who had pushed his
ideas in a variety of posts, including Professor of Psychiatry at the Munich University, Director of the
Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Genealogy and Demography, and Director of the Research Institute for

Others who had pushed for eugenics before Hitler came to power were Professors Dr. Erwin Baur, Dr.
Eugen Fischer, and Dr. Fritz Lenz. In 1921, the published a textbook that was used around the world:
Human Hereditary Teaching and Racial Hygiene.

In 1923, Munich University established a chair for racial hygiene. The first Professor for Racial Hygiene
was Dr. Lenz. He called for the introduction of racial hygienic education into high schools and
universities, saying: "As soon as racial hygienic conviction has become a living ideology, then the racial
hygienic organisation of life, even public life, will happen by itself."

Baur and Fischer also worked at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human
Hereditary Teaching and Eugenics. The KWI was a hotbed of eugenics.

Another man who worked at the KWI was Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer. In 1934, Von Verschuer
was invited to take the ideas from the KWI to a new university, to be the founder and first director of the
Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Research at Frankfurt University. There, von Verschuer
trained an assistant named Josef Mengele. When Fischer retired as the head of the KWI, von Verschuer
returned from Frankfurt and took over the post.

Mengele went on to the Auschwitz camp in Poland. Originally, Auschwitz had been planned as a
slave-labor camp, to provide workers for IG Farben (a company that produced Zyklon gas, for the gas
chambers), but it was turned into a death camp. When Mengele arrived at the camp, there was a typhoid
epidemic that required his immediate attention. He selected out hundreds of the sick immediately and sent

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them to the gas chamber.

He conducted experiments that still horrify the world, including some experiments on living and fully
conscious prisoners. But he was not isolated in his barbarity: he sent data and even body parts back to the
KWI, where various people wrote papers based on what Mengele had done. Von Verschuer was
particularly interested in Mengele's tuberculosis experiments, injecting the bacteria into identical twins and
watching the course of the disease.

After the war, Mengele fled to Argentina and lived for some years on gold and jewelry taken from prison
inmates, including gold fillings. Von Verschuer was rehabilitated. He was not able to return to Berlin, but
he founded a new genetics institute in Munster, and worked there until his death in 1968. He did not turn
away from his old ideas. When a white supremacist journal, Mankind Quarterly, was founded, he was on
the masthead as an advisor. He was a member of the American Eugenics Society in the 1950s.

Further Reading
For more about German eugenics, read Murderous Science, by Benno M¸ller-Hill (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1988) and Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis, by Robert N. Proctor
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988)

Mein Kampf is available on line at

Review of Chapter Nine:

World War II and the Nazi Holocaust

1. As eugenics grew in Britain and the US, what was happening in German eugenics?
2. Did the systematic killing of innocent people in Germany start under the Nazis?
3. What was the attitude toward Hitler of eugenicists in France, Britain and the USA?
4. Identify Josef Mengele and Otmar von Verschuer. What happened to them after the war?
5. In what ways was Nazism based on eugenics?

Discuss: What are the ingredients necessary for war or other massive violence? Which
ingredients did anti-Semitism supply in World War II? Which ingredients did eugenics

What does it take to make war?

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler said, "In 1914 as long as the German people thought they were fighting for
ideals, they stood firm; but as soon as they were told to fight for their daily bread, they preferred to give
up the game."
Different people give very different explanations for war. To persuade or induce millions of
people to risk their lives, you need a mixture of motives and abilities, including an enemy, weapons, a
practical goal, and an ideal. In World War II, the Nazis used eugenics for three of the four critical
ingredients of war.
There must be a clearly defined enemy, someone to oppose and to shoot at. Eugenics provided
that: dysgenic Jews and their Marxist allies.
There must be weapons; eugenics did not provide that.
There must be a practical goal, something to be achieved by the bloodshed. Eugenics offered that:
living space for the master race.
There must be an inspirational ideal, greater than material goods, to justify sacrifice and
bloodshed. Eugenics provided that: a better world populated by an improved race and run by the best

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World War II and the Nazi Holocaust

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8 of 8 17-02-2010 02:00
Eugenics after World War II

Chapter 10:

Eugenics after World War II

Eugenics has been one of the major forces shaping this century. Despite that, very few people have ever
heard of it. One reason for this dangerous ignorance is a mistaken belief that eugenics died when Hitler lost
the war. So at the end of the 20th century, a key question about eugenics is: what was left of it after World
War II? If it had changed, what were the changes?

The eugenics movement had worked in several areas, such as promoting white supremacy, forced
sterilization and immigration control. What happened to these projects? Did they flourish, or disappear, or
change? What happened to the overall vision of humanity, the "anthropology" of eugenics, focusing on
genes and the race but ignoring the individual? What happened to the twin programs of getting "more from
the fit, less from the unfit"? The organizations that were established to promote eugenics -- including the
Eugenics Society in Britain and the American Eugenics Society here -- were damaged by their association
with Nazism; did they recover?

These are some of the obvious questions about post-war eugenics. The answers to some of these questions
were clear within a few years.

Katharine O'Keefe, an American researcher, began working in the late 1980s to understand post-war
eugenics. She has challenged the view of many historians, who assume that eugenics ended with the defeat
of Hitler. She has focused attention on the eugenics societies, and we will follow her lead.

C. P. Blacker and "Crypto-Eugenics"

In the late 1950s, a leader of the British eugenics movement put forward an interesting idea. Dr. Carlos
Paton Blacker had been an officer in the Eugenics Society since 1931; he had been Secretary, then
General Secretary, then Director, then Chairman. His proposal to the ES was:

That the Society should pursue eugenic ends by less obvious means, that is by a policy of
crypto-eugenics, which was apparently proving successful in the US Eugenics Society.

"Crypto-" means "hidden." The phrase "crypto-eugenics" was not invented by critics of the movement; the
word came from an officer of the ES. Some years later, English eugenicists debated whether it was fair to
characterize "crypto-eugenics" as sinister. But Blacker himself described it as a policy of pursuing eugenic
goals "by less obvious means."

In 1960, the Eugenics Society adopted Blacker's idea, passing a resolution which stated (in part):

The Society's activities in crypto-eugenics should be pursued vigorously, and specifically that
the Society should increase its monetary support of the FPA [Family Planning Association, the
English branch of Planned Parenthood] and the IPPF [International Planned Parenthood
Federation] and should make contact with the Society for the Study of Human Biology, which
already has a strong and active membership, to find out if any relevant projects are
contemplated with which the Eugenics Society could assist.

At the time this resolution was adopted by the Eugenics Society, Blacker was the Administrative Chairman
of IPPF. When IPPF was founded in 1952, it was housed in the offices of the Eugenics Society.

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From Blacker's proposal, we can see several things. Leaders of the eugenics movement were concerned
about their public image, but were continuing at least some of their work. One of their tools was the
International Planned Parenthood Federation, which promoted access to birth control. Eugenicists were
still interested in biology, or some part of biology. And there was something like "crypto-eugenics" in the
United States, a success story that the British wanted to imitate.

So what was happening in the United States?

The Fraudulent Reform

The dominant figure in American eugenics after World War II was a complex individual, Frederick Osborn
(1889-1981). He is credited with reforming eugenics, removing the taint of racism and putting the field
back on a firm scientific footing. But during his "reform," from 1947 until 1956, he was president of the
Pioneer Fund, a secretive white supremacist group. So he did not oppose racism; he opposed open racism.
His reform of eugenics, then, would disguise, not remove, the taint of racism.

Osborn was a Major General. But he never made much of his military rank after World War II, perhaps
because he was a little uncomfortable holding such a high rank without ever seeing combat. He was in
charge of boosting troop morale during World War II, and got his exalted rank by politics. He spent most
of his life boosting eugenics.

In 1956, Osborn traveled across the Atlantic to give the annual Galton Lecture at a meeting of the
Eugenics Society. The speech was later published in the Eugenics Review (volume 48, number 1, April
1956). His words were well received then, and remain fascinating today.

In the address, entitled "Galton and Mid-Century Eugenics," Osborn stated his devotion to the cause.
Galton had envisaged a movement to raise the average of human intelligence and character that would
"sweep the world and make man at least the master of his own destiny on earth." But it had not happened,
and the movement was reduced to "a few small handsful of men in various countries . . . not influencing
public opinion." In fact, Osborn noted, "The very word eugenics is in disrepute in some quarters." Despite
these problems, Osborn affirmed that "I still believe in Galton's dream."

Then Osborn posed the key question: "What have we done wrong?" He was concerned because "we have
all but killed the eugenic movement."

The Pioneer Fund

The first president of the Pioneer Fund was Harry Laughlin, from the Eugenics Record Office in New
York. Laughlin had promoted coercive sterilization and racist immigration controls. The Pioneer Fund
promoted white supremacy, but did not do so openly. For example, in 1939 the Pioneer Fund offered to
guarantee a college education to any child born to an Air Force officer in 1940 if the officer had three
children already. That does not sound racist. But memos from the Pioneer Fund show that before the
Pioneer Fund made the offer, they ran a study to see what kind of people would benefit. They made the
offer after they were convinced that in most cases it would benefit white people whose ancestors were
in America before the Constitution was signed.

It is hard to imagine such moral blindness. Speaking just a decade after World War II, when tens of
millions of people died fighting the savagery of a master race ideology, is Osborn concerned about the
deaths of the Jews? Is he sorry about what happened to that the Nazis killed the feeble-minded? Is he
ashamed of the role that eugenics played in Germany and Japan, churning out death for civilians? No, he is
troubled because they had almost killed the eugenics movement.

So what went wrong, according to Osborn? He said that they had "failed to take into account a trait which
is almost universal and is very deep in nature. People simply are not willing to accept the idea that the

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genetic base on which their character is formed is inferior and should not be repeated in the next
generation. We have asked whole groups of people to accept this idea and we have asked individuals to
accept it. They have constantly refused ... they won't accept the idea that they are in general second rate."
As you try to understand why people may have been slow to accept that they were second-rate, keep in
mind that Osborn considered the upper five or ten percent of the population to have the intelligence and
character that the entire human race should have.

Osborn's response to the challenge was a proposal he called "voluntary unconscious selection." The idea
was to alter laws, customs and social expectations, so that individuals would decide for themselves that
they did or did not want to have children. The way to persuade people to exercise this voluntary
unconscious selection was to appeal to the idea of "wanted" children. Osborn said, "Let's base our
proposals on the desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate and
responsible care." In this way, the eugenics movement "will move at last towards the high goal which
Galton set for it."

Osborn's speech shows that the eugenics movement was hurt, but not dead. They still held to Galton's
dream, they were trying to find new ways to achieve it, and they were still making plans.

Planned Parenthood and the Population Council

In Britain, one tool for crypto-eugenics was the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Starting in
1952, IPPF gradually built birth-control organizations in most of the nations of the world. One of the
affiliates, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was the new name of the old Birth Control
Federation of America, founded by Margaret Sanger.

Planned Parenthood promoted birth control, but also worked unceasingly to develop more effective
contraceptives. In the United States, Planned Parenthood funded research that led to the development of
the oral birth control pill.

While Blacker worked with IPPF, his counterpart in the United States, Frederick Osborn, worked with a
similar group. Osborn was among the founders of an effective organization called the Population Council.
The Population Council was founded in 1952, the same year as IPPF, at a meeting in Williamsburg,
Virginia. It was the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller III. Its purpose was to control population growth
around the world.

John D. Rockefeller's leadership in the Population Council was not the first Rockefeller foray into
eugenics. When Alexis Carrel wrote his book advocating euthanasia institutions with a suitable gas for
exterminating various people, he was on the staff of the Rockefeller Institute. The Rockefellers financed
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in the 1920s, and provided funds for Ernst R¸din for genetic research in the

The founding conference brought a very powerful group together in Williamsburg. Rockefeller brought
with him several officers of the Rockefeller Institute, including Detlev W. Bronk, then president of both
the Rockefeller Institute and the National Academy of Sciences. There was a representative from the
Carnegie Institution. Two members of the wealthy Osborn family were there -- Fairfield Osborn,
representing the Conservation Foundation, and Frederick Osborn, Secretary of the American Eugenics
Society. Warren S. Thompson came, as director of the Scripps Foundation for Research in Population

Thomas Parran, former Surgeon General during the Tuskegee syphilis study, was there. Pascal K.
Whelpton from the Population Division at the United Nations came, and so did two men who ran the UN
Population Division in later years, Frank Notestein and Kingsley Davis.

The Population Council began its first years of operation with $2.6 million in capital contributions,
primarily from John D. Rockefeller III and the Ford Foundation, along with an endowment of

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approximately $1.5 million.

The Population Council put some funds into developing the contraceptive Pill, but was far more
enthusiastic about the intrauterine device, or IUD. An IUD is a piece of metal or plastic inserted into a
woman's uterus. It inflames the uterus, and prevents implantation of a newly conceived baby into the
mother's uterus.

A feminist author, Germaine Greer, commented on the post-war movement, saying: "It now seems strange
that men who had been conspicuous in the eugenics movement were able to move quite painlessly into the
population establishment at the highest level, but if we reflect that the paymasters were the same -- Ford,
Mellon, Du Pont, Standard Oil, Rockefeller and Shell -- are still the same, we can only assume that people
like Kingsley Davis, Frank W. Notestein, C. C. Little, E. A. Ross, the Osborns Frederick and Fairfield,
Philip M. Hauser, Alan Guttmacher and Sheldon Segal were being rewarded for past services." In other
words, the population control movement was the same as the old eugenics movement -- the same money,
the same leaders, the same activities -- but with a new excuse.

United Nations Involvement

One of the places where the eugenics movement made strides after the war was in the new global peace-
keeping operation, the United Nations. In 1948, when the United Nations was founded, the Americans and
British pushed through a provision for population studies as an official function of the UN. Some other
countries resisted the idea, but the U.S. and Britain succeeded in making a Population Commission part of
the international body.

Another part of the new UN was the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or
UNESCO. Its first director was Julian Huxley, a determined eugenicist who used his global platform very
effectively. His family had worked with the Darwins for decades promoting eugenics, and he spoke of the
ideology in religious terms.

The Shift to Genetics

Before the war, in 1938, the American Eugenics Society had laid out its research aims, including many
investigations in sociology, psychology, anthropology and biology. But they noted especially the important
new fields: population study and genetics. These two fields corresponded with the chief aims of the
eugenics movement -- "more from the fit, less from the unfit."

The eugenics movement discovered (or invented) the population explosion after the war, and used it to
whip up global hysteria. From 1952 on, a major part of the eugenics movement was the population control
movement. The population explosion made it possible for the eugenics movement to continue its work on
one of the two new fields discussed in 1938. The field of genetics offered the hope (or illusion) of
improving the human race, and after the war the field of genetics also grew.

One of the leaders in the field of genetics was Dr. Franz J. Kallmann. According to the journal of the
Eugenics Society in Britain, Kallmann had been "associated with Dr. Ernst R¸din, investi-gating in genetic
psychiatry." He was half Jewish, so he was driven out of Germany in 1936 by Hitler. Nonetheless, he
testified on behalf of von Verschuer after the war, and he became a member of the American Eugenics

Kallmann moved to the United States and taught psychiatry at Columbia University. In 1952 he was
president of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), a group started by eugenicists. Society
members later developed hundreds of prenatal tests without looking for cures, although every test was
hyped as a potential lead toward a cure. Detecting prenatal problems often leads to eugenic abortion, so
the impact of the ASHG was destructive, not medicinal. Over the next years, at least 124 people were
members of both Kallmann's American Society of Human Genetics and the American Eugenics Society.

Open Racism Declined

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Open white supremacy declined after World War II outside the American South. The idea that Aryans or
Nordics should rule the world sounded too much like Hitler, and people shied away from it when they
recognized it. It continued in many subtle forms which we will study later.

White supremacy declined, but did not disappear completely. In 1960, a member of the Eugenics Society,
Reginald Ruggles Gates, founded a new periodical to advance racist ideas. The Advisory Council of the
new journal, Mankind Quarterly, included yet another member of the Darwin family, Charles Galton
Darwin. One idea advanced in the journal is the belief that anthropology, if it is understood honestly,
shows that mankind is divided into four species. An early issue of the journal stated that desegregation
happened because "American anthropologists were responsible for introducing equalitarianism into
anthropology, ignoring the hereditary differences between races ... until the uninstructed public were
gradually misled. Equality of opportunity, which everyone supports, was replaced by a doctrine of genetic
and social equality, which is something quite different."

Review of Chapter 10: Eugenics After World War II

1. What organizations rebuilt the eugenics movement after World War II?
2. What is "crypto-eugenics"?
3. What was the key to post-war recovery for the eugenicists?
4. Identify Maj. Gen. Frederick Osborn. Summarize his 1956 Galton Lecture.
5. Identify the Pioneer Fund.

Discuss: What is the difference between "voluntary unconscious selection" and "freedom of
choice," other than the length of the words?

"Voluntary Unconscious Selection"

excerpt from Frederick Osborn's Galton Lecture


It is eighty-six years since Galton published his Hereditary Genius; eighty-six years since he gave us the
hope that the average of human intelligence and character could be raised to the level of the upper five
or ten percent today; since he envisaged the eugenic movement as something that would sweep the
world and make man at last the master of his own destiny on earth. It has not happened. The eugenic
movement is nothing but a few small handsful of men in various countries; here in England, in the
United States, in India, in France. They are not influencing public opinion. The very word eugenics is in
disrepute in some quarters. Yet I still believe in Galton's dream. Probably most of you do. We must ask
ourselves, what have we done wrong?

I think we have failed to take into account a trait which is almost universal and is very deep in
nature. People simply are not willing to accept the idea that the genetic base on which their character is
formed is inferior and should not be repeated in the next generation. We have asked whole groups of
people to accept this idea and we have asked individuals to accept it. They have constantly refused, and
we have all but killed the eugenic movement.

People will accept the idea of a specific hereditary defect. They will go to a heredity clinic and
ask what is the risk of our having a defective child. They balance that risk against the chance of their
having a sound child, and they usually come up with a pretty sound decision. But they won't accept the
idea that they are in general second rate. We must rely on other motivation.

Given the right circumstances, people will have children in proportion to their ability to care for
them. If they feel financially secure, if they enjoy accepting responsibility, if they have warm affectional
responses, if they are physically strong and competent, they are likely to have large families, provided

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they have reasonable psychological conditioning to this end. If they are unable to feed the children they
have, if they are afraid of responsibility, if their affectional responses are weak, people don't want many
children. If they have effective means of family planning, they won't have many. Our studies have
shown this to be true all over the world. On such a base it is surely possible to build a system of
voluntary unconscious selection. But the reasons advanced must be generally acceptable reasons. Let's
stop telling anyone that they have a generally inferior genetic quality, for they will never agree. Let's
base our proposals on the desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate
and responsible care, and perhaps our proposals will be accepted.

It seems to me that if it is to progress as it should, eugenics must follow new policies and state its
case anew, and that from this rebirth we may, even in our own lifetime, see it moving at last toward the
high goals which Galton set for it.

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The Drive to Develop the Pill and the IUD

Chapter 11:

The Drive to Develop the Pill and the IUD

Without doubt, the most difficult topic to discuss in a study of eugenics is the matter of birth control. The
motives of the people who developed various birth control methods do not necessarily resemble the
motives of the people who use them. There are few topics that have been addressed with so much heat
and so little light. And yet, we have been able to discuss race, religion and politics, so we will plunge
ahead and address this topic as well.

In 1939, a Swedish population expert described for Americans what her nation was doing, and made a
distinction between two strategies of negative eugenics. Alva Myrdal addressed the Birth Control
Federation of America on January 19, and her paper was published in the Birth Control Review in April
1939. Her intent was to describe a governmental population policy that was appropriate for a democracy,
in contrast to "the turmoil of contemporary fascist and communist experiments."

Sweden's birthrate was below replacement level; parents were not having enough children to replace
themselves. Measuring the replacement level is a little tricky. At first glance, you would think that if each
set of parents has two children, that is replacement level: two parents in one generation produce two
children in the next generation. But that is not enough, because some of those children will die young or
be sterile. So replacement level is a little over two. That year, though, Alva Myrdal said that Sweden
"faces a catastrophic decline in her population in the future." So many parts of the population plan
concerned ways to make parenting easier and more attractive.

But some of the plan was about undesirables. According to Myrdal, "a small bottom layer of society could
rightly be regarded as biologically inferior," and "the scope for negative eugenics thus becomes narrow."
However, she explained, a complete plan for improving the quality of the Swedish people had to do
something about mid-grade undesirables, not just those at the very bottom of the heap.

Part of the Swedish approach was coercive sterilization, which was "utilized with a residuum of all social
classes whose perpetuation is considered least desirable. A law was enacted in 1934 enforcing sterilization
of persons suffering from grave hereditary character and themselves incapable of consent. So far, these
cases have not outnumbered 250 annually and have consisted mainly of mental defectives."

In addition to forced sterilization of some, there was a provision for voluntary sterilization when a person
suffered from an illness, deformity, epilepsy or "would be incapable of caring for or rearing children."

Sweden's plan was not limited to sterilization, though:

Next to be considered is a border-line group, probably the most difficult to handle in any
eugenic program. The hereditary capacities of this group are doubtful and thus do not indicate
sterilization, but its social capacities are unfavorable to child rearing. It is officially planned,
but not yet put into effect, to influence this group to severe family limitation through direct
propaganda and instruction in contraceptive methods.

The Swedish model, an approach to population planning in a democracy, included forced sterilization
supplemented by some voluntary steriliation — and propaganda for contraception for the borderline

Myrdal was by no means the first to identify this problem group. In 1931, a four-volume series The

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Science of Life by H. G. Wells (still popular today for his science fiction) and Julian Huxley provided a
popularized approach to eugenics. In volume four, they write that there are "ten thousand certifiable
defectives in every million of the English population" but the "increase of idiots and imbeciles" is "easily
controllable." On the other hand:

All those who have had experience of birth-control work in the slums seem to be convinced
that there is a residuum, above the level of the definable "defective," which is too stupid or
shiftless or both to profit by existing birth-control methods. These "unteachables" constitute
pockets of evil germ-plasm responsible for a large amount of vice, disease, defect, and
pauperism. But the problem of their elimination is a very subtle one, and there must be no
suspicion of harshness or brutality in its solution. Many of these low types might be bribed or
otherwise persuaded to accept voluntary sterilization.

Eliminating the pockets of evil germ-plasm subtly and without coercion was a familiar problem. Myrdal
said the Swedes had a solution: propaganda and contraception.

But there were problems with using contraceptives for population control. One large problem was the
persistent opposition of Roman Catholics and some other religious groups. Another problem was
technical: contraceptives were unreliable. Barrier methods — condoms, cervical caps and diaphragms —
were available, but did not work with 100 percent efficiency.

During World War II, the Nazis ran experiments in their camps in a search for effective birth control
agents. After the war, whatever data they had amassed was lost to the public. It may have been worthless,
or may have been destroyed, or may have made its way into the hands of researchers who waited a few
years and then used the morally tainted information.

Pill Research

In the 1950s, Margaret Sanger and her organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, began
funding research to develop a contraceptive that would be more effective than condoms. One of the early
researchers was Dr. Carl Djerassi, who worked at Syntex, a drug firm. In 1951, the Syntex team
succeeded in synthesizing a sex hormone. Dr. Gregory Pincus and Dr. Min Cheu Chang from the
Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology were also interested in birth control research. The Searle
drug firm invited Pincus to do research for them, and in 1953 Searle patented a compound similar to
Djerassi's. Pincus teamed up with Dr. John Rock from Harvard, and they began work on preventing
ovulation using a sex hormone.

Pincus, Chang and Rock were all funded in part by Planned Parenthood. Also, in 1952, Margaret Sanger
persuaded a wealthy donor, Katherine Dexter McCormick, to provide substantial funding for Pill research.

From the beginning, the idea was a little odd. The reproductive system is complex. The idea was to upset
the system using hormones taken by mouth. There is no direct connection between the mouth and the
ovaries. The question then and now is, how many systems in the body will be disrupted before a drug
taken at the top end of the body alters the way an organ works in the middle of the body?

Pincus and Rock developed an oral contraceptive, Enovid, that did suppress ovulation and did not have
massive and obvious side effects. They tested their drug on volunteers and psychotics for one year, then
moved to Puerto Rico, where they had a huge number of women to use as potential lab rats.

Puerto Rico had been a target for population controllers for decades before Pincus's Pill project arrived. In
the 1930s, population controllers had opened a sterilization campaign there, and had pushed through a law
permitting the distribution of contraceptives by trained eugenicists. Testing the Pill there was the obvious
course to take.

In 1956, they began testing in Puerto Rico. On April 22, 1960, the Food and Drug Administration
approved Enovid for use in the United States.

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IUD Research

An IUD is a piece of plastic or metal that is inserted into the woman's uterus. It inflames the uterus, and
prevents implantation.

From the perspective of population control advocates, IUDs have a huge advantage over other forms of
birth control. Once they are in place, no one has to do anything else to prevent births for some years.
Barrier contraceptives require that the user put something in place before sexual activity, and oral
contraception requires that the woman take a Pill every day. The IUD goes in and stays.

In 1961, the Population Council began funding research into the IUD. In 1963, International Planned
Parenthood Federation and the Population Council funded a world tour for Alan Guttmacher and his wife,
to study birth control methods. He returned recommending IUDs, and the Population Council expanded its
funding dramatically, spending almost two million dollars on them over the next decade. The IUD was
effective for population control, but was not good for individual women. One IUD after another was
driven off the market by damage suits. The most notorious IUD was the Dalkon Shield, which was
responsible for 18 deaths in the United States, many cases of permanent sterility, and various other

In 1974, after little more than a decade selling the device, the manufacturer A. H. Robins pulled the
Dalkon Shield off the market. But damage claims continued to pile up; before the end, 334,863 women
were participating in a class action lawsuit against the company. A. H. Robins went bankrupt. The other
major IUD manufacturers, including G. D. Searle, which sold IUDs as well as oral contraceptives, settled
some lawsuits with large payments and then got out of the business. However, since it was the American
legal system with its expensive lawsuits that drove the IUD off the market, women overseas did not have
the same protection. IUDs remained in use around the world. (Twenty years later, IUDs began to make
their way slowly back into the American market.)

How They Work

The Pill and the IUD are both described as "contraceptives," but that is not accurate. The Pill works to
prevent birth in three ways, and one of them is by causing an early abortion of a tiny human embryo. With
an IUD, the principal (and perhaps only) mode of action is to cause an early abortion. In the early days of
oral contraception, the principal mode of action was the prevention of ovulation. That still happens,
although the new low-dose pills are less effective at this than the 1960s pills. If there is no ovum, there
can't be any conception. This is genuine "contraception."

The second mode of action is a thickening of the mucus in the woman's cervix, so that sperm cannot reach
the uterus. This too is "contraception."

But the third mode of action is different. Oral contraceptives affect the lining of the uterus and prevent
implantation (or nidation). Normally, at the time of ovulation, the walls are soft and spongy, ready to
receive and nourish an embryo, and implantation occurs several days after fertilization. But the hormones
in oral contraceptives make the uterine wall inhospitable to new life. If a sperm reaches an ovum and
fertilization takes place, the newly conceived embryo will not be able to attach to the uterus (or implant)
and draw nourishment; the embryo will be flushed out and will die. This is not "contraception"; it is an
early abortion.

The IUD has the same problem, magnified. It does not prevent ovulation or thicken cervical mucus; it
works by preventing implantation.

Verbal Engineering

It would seem clear that the only things that should be called "contraceptives" are things that prevent
conception (contra-ception = against-conception).

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In his 1961 book, Birth Control and Love, Alan Guttmacher wrote: "Contraception and sterilization
accomplish the control of family size by preventing the union of sperm and egg, in this way not allowing
conception to occur. Once pregnancy is initiated, family limitation is still possible by employing a wholly
different procedure — induced abortion." At that time, he accepted the standard definition of conception,
and contraception. Conception is the "union of sperm and egg"; "contraception is interference with
conception." At that time, Guttmacher accepted that contraception was different from abortion.

In the 1960s, abortion was illegal. There were some social groups within the country who accepted
abortion, and practiced it extensively. But the law, reflecting the moral code of the majority, prohibited
abortion. So if the Pill and the IUD caused abortions, that would have made it very hard at that time to
promote them.

The solution to this problem was a change in the language. The American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists changed the definition of conception in the late 1960s. Under the old definition, conception
was a synonym for fertilization, the union of sperm and ovum. Under the new definition, conception was
a process beginning with fertilization and lasting until implantation was complete. The definition of
pregnancy was also changed slightly. Previously, a woman was considered to be pregnant when she was
carrying a newly conceived human within her body. Under the new definition, she was not pregnant until
implantation. And the definition of contraception was changed: now it referred to preventing either
fertilization or implantation.

Birth control advocates and drug companies deliberately confused these two very distinct and separate
human events (implantation and fertilization) so that they could market their wares as "contraceptives." In
this way, they were able to sell silent abortions even to women who were adamantly opposed to abortion,
and still keep a good public image.

Who Wanted Better Birth Control?

The push for effective birth control cannot be understood without reference to two related subjects: the
place of sexual activity in human life, and attitudes toward population.

In the 1920s, Margaret Sanger's books The Pivot of Civilization and Woman and the New Race described
ways to bring the eugenics movement and some parts of the feminist movement together. Coming from
different directions, they both wanted birth control. In the 1950s and 1960s, the funding came from

The Population Bomb

To understand why Planned Parenthood and the Population Council funded research into more effective
methods of birth control, it is important to understand the propaganda about a population explosion.

The person whose name is most often associated with the "population explosion" is Paul R. Ehrlich, who
taught biology at Stanford University. He wrote The Population Bomb, published in 1968, which was
circulated widely and reprinted many times. He says that the terms "population bomb" and "population
explosion" were first used in 1954, in a publication with the same name issued by the Hugh Moore Fund.
He says that over two million copies of that earlier tract were distributed. Hugh Moore had made his
fortune with his Dixie Cup Corporation. He established a fund to bring American businessmen into the
fight against population growth, and worked with Planned Parenthood both nationally and internationally.

In the 1950s, the United States and Russia were locked in an arms race, building bigger atom bombs and
hydrogen bombs and missiles. The Federal government had started moving offices outside Washington, to
minimize the chance that a few Russian bombs would destroy the whole government. School children
were taught how to react to air raids. For Americans, the great fear of the age was not about famine or
plague or invasion, but about the bomb. The Hugh Moore tract (actually written by T. O. Greissemer)
played on this fear: "The population bomb threatens to create an explosion as disruptive and dangerous as
an explosion of the atom, and with as much influence on prospects for progress or disaster, war or peace."

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Improved contraception was supposed to keep the bomb from exploding.

Changing Attitudes Toward Sex

Who has failed to notice that sexual activity can seem very attractive, without any plans for children?
Who has failed to notice that literature from the whole world throughout history is full of difficulties and
challenges associated with sexual activity, pregnancy and babies?

Throughout history, sex has been a blessing and a challenge. And yet, quite suddenly in the years after
World War II, social warfare broke out over sex, pitting the new and progressive attitudes of relaxed
sexual mores against traditional attitudes. The struggle was most visible in the 1960s, when hippies urged
the world to "make love not war." But the changes began earlier.

One key to the change was the sex research of Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey worked at Indiana University,
collecting data about sexual practices that he published in two volumes, Sexual Behavior in the Human
Male in 1948 and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953. Kinsey claimed that sexual practices
that had previously been considered aberrant were in fact quite common. His work helped to break down
taboos against public discussion of sexual activity, and to end much resistance to various practices. One
example: the Boy Scouts had a manual that encouraged leaders to help boys avoid masturbation, but
Kinsey persuaded them to end this counseling.

The Kinsey Report went beyond editing the Boy Scout manual, though. Kinsey said that 95 percent of
American men were sex offenders, and that the laws should be set aside. He argued that any sexual
practice that was not harmful (by his definition) should be permitted, that fornication and adultery were
widespread and beneficial. He and his followers worked to end public resistance to obscenity,
pornography, pedophilia and homosexuality.

Kinsey's data has been challenged. His effectiveness and his impact have not. And the central idea in all
his work was that sexual activity in all its various forms should be embraced, for healthy fun. In his view,
there was no connection whatsoever between sexual activity and having children.

In practice, though, sexual activity does often lead to pregnancy and birth. People who accepted Kinsey's
view of sex, and who wanted to engage in sexual activity without any subsequent pregnancy, were very
much interested in effective contraception.

It would seem, then, that the push for contraception came from a libertine view of sex as much as from
eugenics. This is not a complete picture, because Kinsey's "research," laying the groundwork for sexual
revolution, was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. That is, even the libertine ideas that were part of
the sexual revolution are rooted (historically) in eugenics. Robert Yerkes, whose intelligence tests were
used in the 1920s to pass racist anti-immigration laws, was chairman of the committee that funneled
Rockefeller funds to Kinsey.

Resistance from the Catholic Church

Most of the resistance to new forms of birth control came from the Roman Catholic Church. Birth control
was not invented by the eugenicists; it was embraced enthusiastically and exploited by them. But
Catholics had resisted birth control long before the explosion. They were not alone in their opposition, but
they were the most visible opponents, and they paid a very high price for it.

The Catholic Church in the early 1960s was full of optimism. From 1962 until 1965, Catholic bishops from
around the world met in Rome for the Second Vatican Council. The Council produced a series of
documents that thoroughly changed the way the Church presented itself and its message to the world. For
several hundred years, the Catholic Church had kept its distance from the rest of the world; the Council
ended that. The election of a Catholic as President of the United States was evidence of a huge and
welcome change.

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The most quoted document from the Council is The Church in the Modern World. Its official Latin name
is Gaudium et Spes, which means "joy and hope." Pope John XXIII, who summoned the Council, was a
rotund man from a peasant family; people around the world loved him, and approved of his call to "throw
open the windows" of the Church.

Most of the teaching of the Council was positive in tone, a change from previous denunciations. The
Council did speak out against evils in the modern world, especially nuclear weaponry and abortion, but
focused on the call to proclaim the good news that God loves the world.

Pope Paul VI took over the leadership of the Church and the Council when John XXIII died. Initially, he
was seen as a progressive voice. He visited the United Nations and praised their work, called for peace,
urged a global commitment to help the poor.

But in 1968, Pope Paul VI released an open letter (an "encyclical") entitled Humanae Vitae. He repeated
the Church's ancient opposition to artificial methods of birth control. He argued that sexual activity is
sacred, that it must be left open to the possibility of procreation. He warned that if people approved of
contraception, they would turn around to find that it had become mandatory.

His encyclical caused an uproar. Overnight, his relations with many world leaders turned sour; he went
suddenly from hero to villain.

What happened to the Pope affected the rest of the Church. At the close of the decade, the Catholic
Church in America and in other developed nations was bitterly divided. The joys and hopes of the Second
Vatican Council were eroding, replaced by anger. Millions of church-going couples who had grown up in
the Catholic Church and professed a deep love for the Church now turned away — from the Church itself
or at least from the teaching.

Laws against Contraception Swept Away

By 1961, birth control was readily available throughout the country. Connecticut still tried to enforce their
anti-contraceptive laws, and Planned Parenthood decided to challenge the law directly. They opened a
clinic in New Haven to distribute contraceptives illegally. The director was arrested, tried and fined.
Planned Parenthood appealed the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in their
favor in 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut.

The Connecticut law said that "Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the
purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty
days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned." Also, "Any person who assists, abets,
counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if
he were the principal offender."

The Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that the law was a violation of the right to privacy.
Although there is no "right to privacy" in the Constitution, they argued, "specific guarantees in the Bill of
Rights have penumbras [partial shadows], formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give
them life and substance."

The Court concluded that the Connecticut law was a repulsive invasion of privacy: "Would we allow the
police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives?
The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship."

This decision, which put an end to all laws against contraception, was issued on June 7, 1965. All laws
against abortion fell eight years later, on January 22, 1973, in Roe v. Wade and the companion case, Doe
v. Bolton.

Alan Guttmacher Switches on Conception

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Alan Guttmacher was an officer in the American Eugenics Society during the period after World War II
when the eugenics movement was being re-structured. He was a Director of the AES in 1955, Vice
President from 1956 to 1963, and then a Director again from 1964 to 1966.

When the International Planned Parenthood Federation was founded in 1952, Guttmacher became a
consultant for their medical publications and their newsletter. He also served on their Medical Committee
in the 1960s. He was President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1962 to 1974,
during the period when the Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut and also Roe v. Wade.

In 1961, when he was promoting contraception, he wrote that after fertilization had taken place, there was
a baby. But in 1968, when the contraception fight was apparently over and he was promoting abortion, he
said, "My feeling is that the fetus, particularly during its early intrauterine life, is merely a group of
specialized cells that do not differ materially from other cells." (See Law, Morality and Abortion, 22
Rutgers Law Review, 436.)

Change at Lambeth: Dean Inge Triumphs

Until 1930, nearly all Christian churches taught that contraception was immoral. The first major crack in
this unanimity appeared at the 1930 Lambeth conference of the Anglican Church. The Church of England
gave approval for the use of contraception by married couples.

The change was a triumph for Rev. William Ralph Inge, the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, a
member of the Eugenics Society. Margaret Sanger, in her Pivot of Civilization, said that Inge "pointed out
that the doctrine of Birth Control was to be interpreted as of the very essence of Christianity." According
to Sanger, Dean Inge said:

We should be ready to give up all our theories if science proved that we were on the wrong
lines. And we can understand, though we profoundly disagree with, those who oppose us on
the grounds of authority. ... We know where we are with a man who says, 'Birth Control is
forbidden by God; we prefer poverty, unemployment, war, the physical, intellectual and
moral degeneration of the people, and a high deathrate to any interference with the universal
command to be fruitful and multiply'; but we have no patience with those who say that we
can have unrestricted and unregulated propagation without those consequences. It is a great
part of our work to press home to the public mind the alternative that lies before us. Either
rational selection must take the place of the natural selection which the modern State will not
allow to act, or we must go on deteriorating. When we can convince the public of this, the
opposition of organized religion will soon collapse or become ineffective.

In fact, Dean Inge found eugenics in the Sermon on the Mount:

We do wish to remind our orthodox and conservative friends that the Sermon on the Mount
contains some admirably clear and unmistakable eugenic precepts. "Do men gather grapes of
thorns, or figs of thistles? A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, neither can a good tree
bring forth evil fruit. Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast
into the fire."

Inge's interpretation is not credible. It is simply impossible to imagine Jesus Christ summoning the little
children to himself, then inspecting them and casting the thorny ones into the fire.

For more on this topic, read:

Germaine Greer, Sex and Destiny, Harper &

Row (New York: 1984)

Robert Marshall and Charles Donovan,

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Blessed are the Barren, Ignatius Press (San

Francisco: 1991)

Excerpts from Humanae Vitae

Writing to "all men of good will," Pope Paul VI said: "The most serious duty of transmitting human life,
for which married persons are the free and responsible collaborators of God the Creator, has always
been a source of great joys to them, even if sometimes accompanied by not a few difficulties and by

He wrote that sexual activity within a marriage, which he called the "conjugal act," was not a
random act, but had meaning. Further, he said that there is an "inseparable connection, willed by God
and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act:
the unitive meaning [expressing love for each other] and the procreative meaning [being open to having

His understanding of marriage, which has meaning and purpose, led to the conclusion that
contraception is always wrong: "To use this divine gift destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and
its purpose is to contradict the nature both of man and of woman and of their most intimate relationship,
and therefore it is to contradict also the plan of God and His will."

Pope Paul VI predicted some problems that would arise from practicing artificial birth control. It
would lead to "conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality." Another problem was the the
impact on women: "It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of
anti-conceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical
and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish
enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion." And finally, there was the danger
of population control:

Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of
those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. Who could blame a
government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means
acknowledged to be licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem? Who will
stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider
it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious?

Review of Chapter 11:

The Drive to Develop the Pill and IUD

1. Identify John Rock and Gregory Pincus.

2. Who funded the development of oral contraception? Who funded the development of the IUD?
3. What is "implantation"? Why would anyone confuse implantation with fertilization?
4. Describe the meaning of the term "population explosion."
5. How long did it take to go from nationwide contraception to nationwide abortion?

Discuss: Is contraception an alternative to abortion, or the gateway to abortion?

Last Chapter
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Funding the Eugenics Movement

Chapter 12:

Funding the Eugenics Movement

When Francis Galton coined the word eugenics and set out to promote the idea, he launched a movement
based on an ideology. Different people at different times have been attracted by different aspects of
eugenics — and have often rejected some pieces. There is no neat package, no central headquarters, no
guiding Fuhrer. Rather, eugenics is a collection of ideas and projects about improving the human race by
social control of human reproduction.

The eugenics movement has spread around the world, and into all facets of social life. No one in the
United States (or anywhere in the developed world) today needs to look far to find eugenics: if you have
trouble finding it in the mirror, you might look in your high school textbooks, and even in papers that you
wrote yourself. It is in our newspapers (and all media), in the fiction we enjoy (and in much nonfiction), in
government, at the mall, in your best friend's head. It is a way of thinking about life that some very smart
people have been pushing for a century, with little or no resistance in the last 50 years.

To ask, then, about the funding for the movement is to pose a huge and tangled question. Nonetheless, we
will wade into the thicket, not planning to get a complete answer, but expecting to get some idea of the
size of the eugenics movement, some sense of the magnitude of the challenge we face.

The Robber Barons

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the United States changed
dramatically, from a society based on agriculture to a society based on industry. The population did not
shift from the farms to the cities right away, but the money and power shifted. Men no longer made huge
fortunes based on tobacco or cotton plantations; instead, men made huge fortunes from steel, oil, railroads
and banking. In 1934, Matthew Josephson stuck a label on the small handful of very aggressive and
successful businessmen who amassed huge fortunes in that period, and the label stuck — the "robber
barons." The eugenics movement was funded substantially by them (and other multimillionaires).

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) made his fortune in railroads and then steel. In 1889, he wrote an essay
about the life of a rich man, explaining his view that the successful should spend part of life acquiring
wealth and then part of life distributing it wisely. And he tried to follow his own advice. Unfortunately,
some of his money went to the eugenics movement.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington funded the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring
Harbor on Long Island, beginning in 1904. This beautiful little outpost of biological research and study
hosted the Eugenics Record Office (funded with Harriman money), beginning in 1910. C. B. Davenport
was the director of the Cold Spring Harbor lab, and also the director of the Eugenics Record Office.
Throughout the century, a number of universities and think-tanks have welcomed and groomed eugenics
theorists and leaders. Individuals moved among these institutions as if there were revolving doors between
them. The Carnegie Institution of Washington was among these eugenics think-tanks. For example, Robert
S. Woodward was president of the Institution from 1904 to 1920, and helped to plan the Second
International Congress of Eugenics. Other eugenics activists who went through the Carnegie revolving
door included Ellsworth Huntington, Michael Teitelbaum and Howard Newcombe.

In 1952, when the eugenics movement was reorganizing, the Carnegie Institution of Washington helped
out. George W. Corner, representing the Carnegie Institution, argued that there was "a great and emergent

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need for which special weapons are required." The Institute helped to fund research on these "special
weapons" — new birth control methods.

Edward Henry Harriman (1848-1909) made his fortune speculating on the stock market. In 1897, he
took over the bankrupt Union Pacific Railroad, and then went on to build a railroad empire in the West.
When he died, his wife inherited his money. The following year, she provided $500,000 to found the
Eugenics Record Office. The Eugenics Record Office was involved in the forced sterilization campaigns
and the anti-immigration laws.

In 1932, the Third International Eugenics Congress was held in New York, at the Museum of Natural
History. (The First International Eugenics Congress had been in 1912 in London, and the Second was in
New York.) Mrs. E. H. Harriman was among the sponsors, along with Mrs. H. B. DuPont and Dr. J.
Harvey Kellogg, among others.

John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937) made his fortune in the oil industry. He founded Standard Oil,
which at one time controlled 95 percent of the oil refining business in the country. He and his descendants
gave away hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Rockefellers funded the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Germany, when eugenicists were preparing the
way ideologically for what eventually became the world's most infamous slaughter, the Nazi holocaust.
The Rockefeller Institute supported Alexis Carrel, who advocated the use of gas to get rid of the
unwanted. John D. Rockefeller III founded the Population Council. Rockefeller money made Alfred
Kinsey's sex research possible.

In the fall of 1993, the Rockefeller Archive Center Newsletter published "The Rockefeller Foundation,
the Population Council and the Groundwork for New Population Policies" by John B. Sharpless of the
University of Wisconsin, Madison. Sharpless had been studying the files of the Rockefeller Foundation
(RF), the records of the Population Council, and the personal papers of John D. Rockefeller III. He
concluded that "Foundations and individual philanthropists are important in understanding the
impressively quick and nearly unanimous change in attitudes and ideas about population that occurred
during the 1960s." Such foundations funded the development of contraceptives, but also built the
international network of experts who shaped the public debate, who shared "a core body of knowledge
and a common mode of discourse" as well as a "shared set of assumptions about how population dynamics

Sharpless wrote, "The power to accomplish this task was based on their relationship with the philanthropic
community. In addition to the Rockefeller Foundation and the Population Council, other Foundations
active in this area included the Ford Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Fund and, to a lesser extent, the
Carnegie Corporation, and the Conservation Foundation."

Henry Ford (1863-1947) was a pioneer in the use of assembly lines, and mass-produced the first
inexpensive automobile, the Model T. He and his son Edsel (1893-1943) established the Ford Foundation
in 1936. For many years, this was the largest foundation in the world, giving away billions of dollars.

For many years, the Ford Foundation supported population control. In the 1970s, Michael Teitelbaum
worked quietly on Capitol Hill to shape American population policy (without any public debate or
scrutiny); he was supported for part of his career by the Ford Foundation. The foundation's impact on
population policy is described at length in John Caldwell's 1986 book, Limiting Population Growth and
the Ford Foundation.

John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1945) figured out new ways to get Americans to eat the abundant
grain of the Midwest. His best known product was corn flakes, a staple on American breakfast tables for

Kellogg was on the Advisory Council of the American Eugenics Society from the early days. He founded
the Race Betterment Foundation, and was a sponsor of three eugenics conferences.

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Clarence J. Gamble used part of the fortune made by Procter & Gamble products (including soap) to
finance birth control projects for the poor in many parts of the world. He helped to push through
legislation in 1937 legalizing birth control in Puerto Rico; the law specified that birth control material was
to be distributed by trained eugenicists. He supported birth control distribution in Appalachia and in rural
Japan. A leader in Margaret Sanger's Birth Control Federation, he suggested that they set up a "Negro
Project," using black clergy and physicians to promote birth control. He founded the Pathfinder Fund, to
promote population control around the world.

In 1930 in New York, many of the wealthiest people in the world were members of the American
Eugenics Society. They did not all provide funds for major eugenics initiatives, but their support certainly
opened doors. It does not hurt an organization financially if its membership includes:

J. P. Morgan, Jr., chairman, U. S. Steel, who handled British contracts in the United States for food
and munitions during World War I;

Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle, tobacco fortune heiress;

Cleveland H. and Cleveland E. Dodge and their wives, who used some of the huge fortune that
Phelps Dodge & Company made on copper mines and other metals to support eugenics;

Robert Garrett, whose family had amassed a fortune through banking in Maryland and the B&O
railroad, who helped finance two international eugenics congresses;

Miss E. B. Scripps, whose wealth came from United Press (later UPI);

Dorothy H. Brush, Planned Parenthood activist, whose wealth came from Charles Francis Brush
(1849-1929), who invented the arc lamp for street lights and founded the Brush Electric Company;

Margaret Sanger, who used the wealth of one of one of her husbands, Noah Slee, to promote her
work. Slee made his fortune from the familiar household product, 3-in-One Oil.

Wealth Opens Doors to Wealth

Rich people generally don't get rich by being dumb. The people who funded the eugenics movement were
smart enough to use their power and influence to develop additional sources of funding for their projects.
Two huge sources of additional funds for eugenics are tax dollars and corporate donations.

Today, a large part of the eugenics movement is involved in population control, a form of negative
eugenics. The funds that international bodies and national governments spend on population control
stagger the imagination. A few examples follow.

From its beginning, the United Nations was a major battleground for population control. The Vatican and
many Catholic countries resisted population control there, as did many Muslim nations. Still, the flow of
funds from the United Nations for eugenics purposes has grown steadily.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) puts out an Inventory of Population Projects every year,
which gives a quick view of programs and their financial support around the world. The inventory shows
"multilateral" support from international bodies, "bilateral" support from one nation to another, and
support from "non-governmental organizations," or NGOs.

To take one random example: in Egypt in 1988-89, there was support from three multilateral
organizations. The World Bank had supported two projects over a period of years, with a cost of over
$45 million (costs split with the Egyptian government). UNFPA had provided support for eleven projects,
expending over $30 million. The World Health Organization (WHO) had provided approximately $2.5
million over the previous 17 years.

Egypt received bilateral agency assistance from three nations. The United States provided $25 million

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over a two-year period. Germany and Japan provided much smaller sums.

There were 17 NGOs providing funds for population assistance in Egypt that year. The NGOs are much
more flexible than national governments; they can get funds approved faster than donor nations, and can
work around laws in recipient nations. One clear example is the Pathfinder Fund in the United States,
which provided funds for abortion equipment when the American government refused to do so, and
provided the equipment in a nation where abortion was illegal (by saying that the suction devices were for
"menstrual regulation). NGOs active in Egypt that year included:

Association for Voluntary Surgical Sterilization (formerly the Human Betterment Foundation,
founded by E. S. Gosney, a member of Advisory Council of the American Eugenics Society), which
provided about $125,000 for six sterilization projects;

Family Planning International Assistance, which reported "a cumulative total of $2,952,940 in
family planning commodities [that is, condoms, Pills, IUDs, etc.] to 27 institutions in Egypt";

International Planned Parenthood Federation, which spent $588,500 in Egypt that year;

John Snow, Inc, which was spending $4.5 million over seven years to save children from diarrhea,
plus another $532,000 in one year to strengthen family planning programs;

Pathfinder Fund, which was spending $300,226 over two years helping to build or improve 258
family planning clinics;

Population Council, which reported four projects in Egypt that year, including one on Norplant and
two on IUDs, at a cost of $59,000;

Rockefeller Foundation, which was spending $55,000 on two projects over several years to study
Norplant and Pill usage.

In Kenya, to take another example, the same multilateral agencies provided population control funds that
year (World Bank, UNFPA and WHO). Bilateral support came from the United States, Sweden, Norway,
Britain, Finland, Germany and Canada. There were 22 NGOs funding population control in Kenya that
year, including all the groups mentioned above.

In the years since the report used in these example, population funding has increased substantially, from
all sources.

The major international population control funders are the World Bank and UNFPA. The leader among
the national governments that have made a serious commitment to population control has been the United
States, but Japan has been catching up. The Scandinavian nations have made the largest per capita
contributions. The British and the Canadians are also large donors to population control.

Corporate Support

Each year, corporations in the United States make a long list of charitable donations. These donations are
a way that the companies can share their wealth with the community, but they also get good public
relations. When people watch a television program funded by an oil company, they don't automatically
switch their gas purchases, but the company gets name recognition and good feelings that can generate
more sales over time.

As a result, it is often possible to persuade companies that make controversial donations to stop it. So it
would be a mistake to put out a list of companies that fund eugenics today; they may stop tomorrow, and
the list would change. However, there are hundreds of companies on the list.

Drug companies that manufacture oral contraceptives and other birth control material are not likely to
change their ways quickly. American corporations that make birth control Pills include American Home

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Products, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, Monsanto, Alza, Warner Lambert and Pharmacia-
Upjohn. The products — both good and bad — of these huge companies are in every household in
America. In fact, virtually every household in the nation buys their products every time they go shopping.

The drug companies have provided funds and lobbyists in Washington for eugenics-related work. But
today, they are joined by biotechnology companies. The fastest growing companies in the nation are
computer firms and biotechnology firms.

Dark Clouds on the Horizon

There may be huge sums of new money coming to the eugenics movement in the beginning of the 21st
century. Three of the richest men in the world have indicated that they intend to use their wealth to
improve the quality of life (for some).

Ted Turner became a billionaire by developing a television network, CNN. He is giving one billion dollars
to the United Nations, doled out over ten years by his own foundation, and is steering a large portion of it
to population control.

Warren Buffett has discussed plans for a foundation to distribute his money after he dies. The foundation
is to focus on two issues: world peace and population control. His fortune in early 1999 was reported to be
over $30 billion and growing steadily.

Other billionaires have begun funding parts of the eugenics movement. Bill Gates, the richest man in the
country, and George Soros, the financier, have started putting their money into population control

The struggle over eugenics is a battle for minds and hearts, and can be won by telling the truth with
courage and love. But it is prudent to assess the strengths of our opposition. They do have money and

Review of Chapter 12:

Funding the Eugenics Movement

1. List some of the major individuals or families who funded the eugenics movement.
2. List some of the corporations that manufacture birth-control products.
3. List some of the foundations that have funded eugenics projects.
4. What governments and governmental bodies have been most supportive of population control?
5. What is a non-governmental organization, or NGO? What has been their role in promoting eugenics?

Discuss: Some of the new billionaires have indicated that they support various parts of the
eugenics movement. What would you say to them if you had the opportunity?

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5 of 5 17-02-2010 02:02
The Abortion Debate

Chapter 13:

The Abortion Debate

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced decisions in two abortion cases, Roe v. Wade and Doe v.
Bolton. The decisions swept aside the laws restricting abortion in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia. There was an immediate outcry against the decisions, from the growing "right to life" or
"pro-life" movement.

When people speak about the decisions, they often refer only to Roe v. Wade, because it was the first of
two decided. But Doe v. Bolton was also important. Roe v. Wade ended almost all legal protection for
unborn children or fetuses. It divided pregnancy into three "trimesters," and said that abortion in the first
trimester was a matter to be decided by the woman and her physician. In the second trimester, the states
could pass laws to protect the woman during an abortion (e.g., requiring that abortions be performed in
hospitals). Under Roe, the states could restrict or even ban abortion in the third trimester unless the
abortion was necessary to protect the life or health of the woman. Under Doe v. Bolton, however, health
is defined, and the definition is so broad ("medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors —
physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age") that abortion is effectively legal until
birth. If emotional and psychological factors are weighed, then every unwanted pregnancy is a threat to
health, because an unwanted pregnancy is a huge emotional and psychological burden. When health is
defined this way, then the state can ban abortion in the third trimester — unless the mother wants an
abortion. Justice William Rehnquist (later the Chief Justice) and Justice Byron White dissented. Justice
White called the rulings "an exercise of raw judicial power."

Decisions Based on Deceit

Both abortion cases were based on lies, like the 1927 Buck v. Bell sterilization case. What happened to
the women who were used in these cases — Roe and Doe — was quite distant from what their attorneys
told the court. The attorneys were not paying attention to the dignity of their individual clients, but to their
own ideas about how to improve society.

Norma McCorvey (born 1947) is currently a Roman Catholic pro-lifer and the mother of three girls, but in
1970 she was a troubled, poor Texan woman in search of an abortion. In 1970 she was introduced to
Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, two young lawyers looking for an unwed woman who wanted an
abortion so that they could challenge Texas law banning abortion. McCorvey agreed to become "Jane
Roe," the plaintiff in the lawsuit Roe vs. Wade, and was told she could get an abortion when the lawsuit
was over.

McCorvey never got an abortion and had little communication with either Weddington or Coffee until her
baby was over a year old. Meanwhile, the two lawyers had challenged the Texas law banning abortion and
had won the case. The appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court, and McCorvey found out that
abortion had been decriminalized thanks to "her" case, Roe vs. Wade, on January 22, 1973, when she saw
it on the news.

McCorvey became highly involved in the abortion industry during the 1980s. She was an active member
of several pro-abortion organizations and worked in an abortion clinic in Dallas, Texas. There, she became
acquainted with Pastor Flip Benham, the head of Operation Rescue, who spent time regularly outside the
abortion facility where Norma worked, praying and offering help to the women who approached the

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In August 1995, Pastor Benham baptized Norma into the Christian faith. Soon after, she became a Roman
Catholic and is now a pro-life speaker, the founder of "Roe No More," and a great witness for life.

Sandra Cano was poor and alone in Atlanta, Georgia in 1970. Her husband was in jail, two of her children
had been taken away from her by welfare workers, and she was pregnant.

She went for help to a legal aid clinic where she met ACLU lawyer Margie Pitts Hames, who promised to
help her get a divorce and get her two children out of foster care. Hames asked Cano what she thought of
abortion, and Cano replied that she was against it. In any case, she agreed to have her name put on an
affidavit, and — although she did not actually know exactly what she was doing — became "Mary Doe,"
in Doe vs. Bolton, the landmark Supreme Court case which opened the floodgates of abortion through all
nine months of pregnancy for any reason.

Hames and others collected money to help Cano get an abortion, which Cano didn't even want. The day
before she was scheduled to abort her baby, she ran away. She later gave birth to a daughter. Meanwhile,
Hames lied about her in court and claimed that Cano could not get the abortion due to lack of funds.

For many years, Sandra Cano felt guilty about her role in American abortion, even though she was a
victim of manipulation. In 1989, she came forward and exposed the fact that Doe vs. Bolton was based on

Both women now speak out against abortion.

Eugenics in Roe v. Wade

The 1973 Supreme Court decisions that ended all legal protection of unborn children were based on
eugenics. Despite that, comments about the decisions usually focus on privacy and women's rights, not on
eugenics. So we should look carefully at the ways in which eugenics shows up in the decisions.

(1) The appearance of eugenics in the abortion decisions that is easiest to see is the reference in a footnote
to Buck v. Bell, the 1927 case that opened the floodgates for sterilizing people who were considered to be
unfit. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court said that the Constitution protects a "right to privacy" and that
the decision to have an abortion is an exercise of this right. But, the Court stated, the right to privacy is
not absolute; it can be limited in some cases, such as vaccination and sterilization. So the abortion decision
was not about women's rights; it cited a case permitting forced sterilization.

(2) The abortion decisions were written by Justice Harry Blackmun. Blackmun's approach to abortion
follows the lead of Glanville Williams. Glanville Williams, who taught law at Cambridge University, was a
member of the Eugenics Society. In 1954, the Eugenics Society voted to support the Abortion Law
Reform Association, which set out to remove legal restrictions against abortion. Williams became
president of the ALRA from 1962, and was successful within a few years; the British law was changed in

The longest part of the decision written by Justice Harry Blackmun was his history of abortion laws. This
is not a bizarre approach, but it is not the obvious approach either. If it was his intention to discuss
abortion at length before examining the case that had come to the Supreme Court, he could have written
about the development of the child, or about the methods of abortion, or about various birth control
methods. He decided to dwell at length on the history of abortion laws. This is noteworthy, because this is
the approach taken by Glanville Williams, in his book The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law, which
Blackmun cited.

Williams's history of abortion: Blackmun's history of abortion:

Abortion in Greece and Rome, quoting Plato and 1. Ancient attitudes, especially Greeks and
Aristotle Romans,
referring to Plato and Aristotle

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Abortion and early Christianity, especially 2. The Hippocratic Oath, and Christian use of it
Aquinas and speculation about life at 40-80 days
after conception
English law, with reference to Bracton and 3. Common law, quoting Bracton, Blackstone
Blackstone and Coke
4. English statutory law, and special attention to
Rex v. Bourne
American law 5. The American law.
Exception for therapeutic abortion; Bourne case
6-8. The positions taken by the American Medical
Association, the American Public Health
Association, and the American Bar Association

A startling aspect of Roe v. Wade is its insistence that laws against abortion are recent. But this view is
taken from Glanville Williams. Williams wrote: "It is not generally realized that this rule is not older than
the beginning of the last century." Blackmun wrote: "It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the
restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of states today are of relatively recent vintage."

The Hippocratic Oath is a stumbling block for historians who want to argue that only Christians oppose
abortion. Williams and Blackmun deal with the Hippocratic Oath in different ways. Williams, incredibly,
simply skips over it; he quotes Hippocrates on some other matter, but does not mention the Oath.
Blackmun addresses it, but finds a way to set it aside. He explains that it represented a minority view
among the Greeks, but was later taken up by Christians.

(3) Most importantly, the whole idea of humanity accumulating over time, from zero person at conception
through various levels of value in each trimester up to 100% person at birth, is eugenics. The idea of
evolution through stages from insignificance to humanity is pure eugenics, based on Darwin's theories. The
whole trimester scheme in Roe v. Wade, with different rules at three stages in pregnancy, is blatantly
arbitrary, and that has always struck pro-lifers as a fatal flaw in the decision. But eugenicists are not
bothered by arbitrary decisions, since their view is that rights are invented by society, by a social contract
based on consensus, not given by God.

Eugenics devalues humans by rating people on a sliding scale. There are different sliding scales, but they
all dehumanize vulnerable people and justify various crimes against humanity. The eugenics in Roe v.
Wade is not a sliding scale based on racism; it does not assert that whites > yellows > reds & browns >
blacks. And it is not a sliding scale based on IQ testing, placing the highly intelligent over the normal, the
normal over morons, and morons over imbeciles. It is like the sliding scale in evolution, from protozoa to
vegetable life to animal life to mammals to primates to savages to civilized mankind.

Roe v. Wade reflects a belief in the idea that each individual passes through developmental stages that
imitate evolution: egg and sperm become a zygote, which becomes a blastocyst, then an embryo, then a
fetus, then an infant, then a child, then an adult, then an old person, then a corpse. Of course each person
goes through different stages in life; the critical question is whether the person's worth also rises and falls.
The 1973 decisions on abortion reflect the idea that size and weight and complexity — and value and
rights — all accumulate gradually.

Review of Chapter 13:

The Abortion Debate
1. Summarize Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.
2. Identify Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano.
3. Roe v. Wade refers to the 1927 Supreme Court decision, Buck v. Bell. What does that show?

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4. Who was Glanville Williams, and what was his influence on Roe v. Wade?
5. In Justice Blackmun's trimester scheme, does life have a clearly defined beginning?

Discuss: People who identify themselves as pro-life take a substantive position, making clear
statements. What are these points? People who identify themselves as pro-choice focus on
the procedure for handling a disagreement. But they rarely make clear substantive
statements. So what is the disagreement?

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4 of 4 17-02-2010 02:02
Social Biology Today - DNA and the Race

Chapter 14:

Social Biology Today - DNA and the

When Galton launched the eugenics movement, he used one word to refer to the science (or pseudo-
science) and also to policies based on that science, and also to a new comprehensive world view that
could function as a new religion. Today, though, the movement is larger and more complicated. The
theoretical work gets done in one place, and the applications are attempted elsewhere. The "science" of
eugenics is called social biology or sociobiology.

After World War II, the word eugenics fell into disrepute. Major General Frederick Osborn commented
wryly that genetic counseling, or "heredity clinics," were "the first eugenic proposals that have been
adopted in a practical form and accepted by the public." They were accepted, but not at face value: "The
word eugenics is not associated with them." In fact, he stated bluntly, "Eugenic goals are most likely to be
attained under a name other than eugenics." The word had to go.

The journals of the eugenics societies shifted first. In 1968, the American eugenics journal switched from
the Eugenics Quarterly to Social Biology. The same year, the English journal switched from Eugenics
Review to the Journal of Biosocial Science. Then the societies changed their own names. In 1973, the
American Eugenics Society was renamed the Society for the Study of Social Biology. And in England in
1989, the Eugenics Society became the Galton Institute.

The shift to social biology or sociobiology was supposed to get rid of any taint of Nazi connections. But it
is not clear that the new labels could do the job, because they are in fact old labels.

In 1904, at the beginning of the German eugenics movement, Dr. Alfred Ploetz founded a journal called
the Archiv f¸r Rassen- und Gesellschaftsbiologie, or the Archive for Racial and Social Biology. The
following year, he and Dr. Ernst R¸din founded a German eugenics society to carry on the same work as
the journal, called the "Gesellschaft f¸r Rassenhygiene" or "Society for Racial Hygiene." Later they added
a word "Gesellschaft f¸r Rassenhygiene (Eugenik)" or "Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics)." So the
first phrase that the Germans used for eugenics was "social biology." The various phrases — race biology,
social biology, racial hygiene, eugenics — certainly have slightly different connotations, but they were
used to refer to the same collection of ideas. To get away from Hitler, the eugenics movement went back
to Ploetz and R¸din.

E. O. Wilson: Harvard's Sociobiologist

A key sociobiology theorist, and certainly one of the most intellectually attractive, is Edward O. Wilson,
who taught at Harvard for a generation. His writing and speaking were sophisticated, witty and
challenging, and his classes were always well attended. He insisted that he was not a eugenicist, although
it is not clear what he meant by that, except that he did not want to be associated with Hitler. He may also
have been referring to a distinction from the earliest days of the eugenics movement, between science and
policy. Galton had said that eugenics was a science that led to policy, and could become a religion. Wilson
wanted his work to be considered science, although he knew well that his ideas had political implications.
Further, he was explicit about the theological implications.

Wilson has written many books and articles, including fascinating tales about ants. In 1991, a book he had

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written (coauthored with Bert H–lldobler) entitled simply The Ants won a Pulitzer Prize. Wilson's
exploration of the world of ants is intriguing and delightful, full of surprises. For example, ants (and wasps
and bees) have a peculiar method of determining the sex of their offspring, and are able to produce a caste
whose task is to rear their sisters. "Sterile castes engaged in rearing siblings are the essential feature of
social organization in the insects," Wilson writes. "The societies of wasps, bees, and ants have proved so
successful that they dominate and alter most of the land habitats of the Earth. In the forests of Brazil, their
assembled forces constitute more than 20 percent of the weight of all land animals, including nematode
worms, toucans, and jaguars."

You probably didn't know that. But if you did know it, you learned it from Wilson.

Wilson, like Darwin, amassed vast quantities of new information, but — again like Darwin — did not stop
with the data. He offers an array of intellectual challenges, including a very effective assault on
individuality. An individual ant is an incomprehensible bit of matter, lost in the cosmos, like a strand of
hair or a fingernail clipping. To understand the ant, you must understand the colony. Is the same true of

Wilson put his thoughts clearly, stating that the individual is just DNA's way of replicating itself from one
generation to the next. The remark sounds like a joke, but it is not. Wilson is serious in his conviction that
the things that matter are DNA and the race, not the individual.

Wilson's ideas are challenging partly because he was candid about the problems he was causing, and met
criticisms head on, patiently. He was aware that ideas like his had been used (or abused) to justify
genocide, and he was careful to "affirm human freedom and dignity."

In his book On Human Nature, Wilson discusses how to be proud even if you accept his beliefs. He
wanted to explore the differences between Asians, Europeans and Africans (he hesitated to call them
different "races"). Further, he wanted to explore whether there are any "racial" differences in behavior.
For example, Navaho children are often described as relatively passive, unlike playful and easily aroused
European children. 'It has been conventional," writes Wilson, "to ascribe the passivity of Navaho children
to the practice of cradleboarding, a device that holds the infant tightly in place on the mother's back." But
which is cause and which is effect? Does the practice of cradleboarding make Navaho children somewhat
passive, or did the passivity of Navaho children make cradleboarding possible for them? Wilson was
keenly aware that questions like this can cause huge problems very quickly.

It may be possible to understand cradleboards without picking a huge fight. But once you start exploring
the genetic predisposition to various forms of behavior, it is difficult to fend off swarms of racists. In 1995,
J. Philippe Rushton published Race, Evolution, and Behavior. He asserted that blacks have small brains,
large genitals and tendency to commit rape. Transaction Publishers, a respectable publishing house, put
out the book, and it was discussed soberly. Wilson would not have done that; he was aware that he was
dealing with a topic that was "emotionally explosive and politically dangerous."

Still, he was insistent that there are differences among humans and that some of the different ways that
people act are based on physical and mental properties that they inherited. To understand modern
eugenics, you have to see and understand Wilson's sensitivity:

Given that humankind is a biological species, it should come as no shock to find that
populations are to some extent genetically diverse in the physical and mental properties
underlying social behavior. A discovery of this nature does not vitiate the ideals of Western
civilization. We are not compelled to believe in biological uniformity in order to affirm human
freedom and dignity. The sociologist Marvin Bressler has expressed this idea with precision:
"An ideology that tacitly appeals to biological equality as a condition for human emancipation
corrupts the idea of freedom. Moreover, it encourages decent men to tremble at the prospect
of 'inconvenient' findings that may emerge in future scientific research. This unseemly
anti-intellectualism is doubly degrading because it is probably unnecessary."

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I will go further and suggest that hope and pride and not despair are the ultimate legacy of
genetic diversity, because we are a single species, not two or more, one great breeding system
through which genes flow and mix in each generation. Because of that flux, mankind viewed
over many generations shares a single human nature within which relatively minor hereditary
influences recycle through ever changing patterns, between the sexes and across families and
entire populations. To understand the enormous significance of this biological unity, imagine
our moral distress if australopithecine man-apes had survived to the present time, halfway in
intelligence between chimpanzees and human beings, forever genetically separated from both,
evolving just behind us in language and the higher faculties of reason. What would be our
obligation to them? What would the theologians say — or the Marxists, who might see in
them the ultimate form of an oppressed class? Should we divide the world, guide their mental
evolution to the human level, and establish a two-species dominion based on a treaty of
intellectual and technological parity? Should we make certain they rose no higher? But even
worse, imagine our predicament if we coexisted with a mentally superior human species, say
Homo superbus, who regarded us, the minor sibling species Homo sapiens, as the moral

Wilson is subtle and sensitive. But what does he say about humanity, especially in his book about human
nature? First, he is committed to scientific materialism, and believes that mankind is a product of genes
and the environment, not God:

If the brain is a machine of ten billion nerve cells and the mind can somehow be explained as
the summed activity of a finite number of chemical and electrical reactions, boundaries limit
the human prospect — we are biological and our souls cannot fly free. If humankind evolved
by Darwinian natural selection, [then] genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God,
made the species.

Wilson is extremely ambitious in his determination to explain humanity by reference to biology alone. He
discusses what happens when two philosophers talk about justice. "Like everyone else, philosophers
measure their personal emotional responses to various alternatives as though consulting a hidden oracle,"
Wilson writes. Other people have called this "oracle" our conscience, and have seen its existence as one
indication of God's presence in our world. But Wilson has a different explanation: "That oracle resides in
the deep emotional centers of the brain, most probably within the limbic system, a complex array of
neurons and hormone-secreting cells located just beneath the 'thinking' portion of the cerebral cortex."

Wilson's belief that he can find the conscience in the limbic system is a detail. He believes that biology
and sociobiology can (and soon will) explain human nature. "Biology is the key to human nature," he
writes, "and social scientists cannot afford to ignore its rapidly tightening principles."

Wilson dodges the nature-nurture debate, and affirms that both genes and the environment shape a
person. In a chapter on "Development," he writes: "The newly fertilized egg, a corpuscle one
two-hundredth of an inch in diameter, is not a human being. It is a set of instructions sent floating into the
cavity of the womb. ... In nine months a human being has been created. Functionally it is a digestive tube
surrounded by sheaths of muscle and a skin. ... The newborn infant is now seen to be wired with awesome
precision. ... This marvelous robot is launched into the world under the care of its parents. Its rapidly
accumulating experience will soon transform it into an independently thinking and feeling individual." It is
noteworthy that in his description of the individual, a person emerges some time after birth.

It is a curiosity of history that Wilson has been dead set against being labeled a eugenicist. But whatever
label the polite reader applies to him, it is important to understand his thinking. He is a serious scientific
materialist, who believes that science — biology following Darwin in particular — explains humanity. He
has an impact through his books and articles, but also in his classes, teaching some of the brightest
students in the country for decades.

Mankind Quarterly: White Collar White Supremacy

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The eugenics movement today is not all as urbane and polished as Wilson. There are still some theorists
ready to explain white supremacy. The Pioneer Fund, run by Harry Laughlin and then by Major General
Frederick Osborn, has continued its work. And in 1960, English eugenicists launched a new journal,
Mankind Quarterly.

The editor was R. Gayre of Gayre. There were two associate editors: Professor Henry E. Garrett and
Professor R. Ruggles Gates.

Gates had been married to Marie Stopes, whose career in England was similar to that of Margaret Sanger
in the United States. That is, Stopes was committed to eugenics, and built an alliance with feminists to
promote birth control. Before they parted ways, Gates had helped Stopes to launch the Society for
Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress.

The lead article in the inaugural issue of Mankind Quarterly was part one of "World Population," by Sir
Charles Galton Darwin. He was a grandson of the renowned biologist for whom he was named.
(Numerous Darwins had promoted the work started by Charles Darwin and Francis Galton; the Eugenics
Society membership list includes a bewildering array of Darwin cousins.) The article did not make any
exciting new points; it was classical Malthusian doctrine that the population will soon outstrip food, unless
we take preventive action now.

One of the most important ideas in the journal was stated explicitly in a book review. Mankind Quarterly
was launched at a time when there was a great deal of discussion about integrating schools, ending a
practice of running separate (but theoretically equal) schools for blacks and whites. Gayre of Gayre and
Gates wrote a review together (of Race and Reason, by Carleton Putnam), in which they said that
"separate schools are better for both races." They complained that "American anthropologists were
responsible for introducing equalitarianism into anthropology, ignoring the hereditary differences between
races . . . until the uninstructed public were gradually misled." Then they made a distinction: "Equality of
opportunity, which everyone supports was replaced by a doctrine of social and genetic equality, which is
something different."

This is a false dichotomy, presenting two possibilities as the only choices. In the French Revolution, the
slogan for which people fought was "libertÈ, ÈgalitÈ, fraternitÈ," or "liberty, equality and brotherhood."
When they spoke of equality, they were rejecting the concept of aristocracy, the idea that some people are
better than others because they were born better, and deserve more simply because they were born into
better families. As a practical matter, you can work toward a more egalitarian society by providing equal
opportunity. But the French revolution was not about job applications; it was a fierce and bloody rejection
of arrogance.

Equality can be expressed in theological terms: we were created by one God, we are children of one
Father. Our dignity is based on God's love for us, not on our height, weight, IQ or accomplishments. But as
the French showed, theology is not necessary to grasp the idea firmly. And many grubby street urchins
can get to the heart of the matter in a few seconds: "Do you think that you're better than me, just because
you're smarter?"

White supremacists reject the idea of equality as it is understood by most people. In Mankind Quarterly,
the concept is rejected very cleverly: the editors embrace equal opportunity and make fun of equal
endowment — and simply overlook equal dignity.

The Bell Curve: Ponderous Update of Eugenics Theory

Harvard provided a platform for updating eugenics, now called sociobiology. Harvard was also home for
Professor Richard Herrnstein, who amassed data to update eugenics research in the social sciences. In
1994, Herrnstein and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Charles Murray, published a
845-page volume entitled The Bell Curve, exploring links between intelligence and other aspects of
human life.

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The subtitle of The Bell Curve is Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. Murray and
Herrnstein argued that there is a "cognitive elite," a class of people with above-average intelligence, who
have power and influence. When the book came out, there was a national outcry, focusing on chapter 13,
"Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability." The chapter is about data which indicates measurable
differences in intelligence among blacks, whites and Asians. They summarize the data in statistical terms:
"this means that the average white person tests higher than about 84 percent of the population of blacks
and that the average black person tests higher than about 16 percent of the population of whites."

The chapter was troubling, to put it mildly. However, the national debate about racism in chapter 13
overlooked a much larger matter. The entire book, from the beginning to the end, is eugenics theory.
Racism is a grave evil, with a long and sordid history in the United States. But today, it is a single piece of
a larger whole, called eugenics.

The conclusion of the book includes an assault on the Declaration of Independence. The authors discuss
different ideas about equality, but eventually slip into the same false dichotomy that was evident in
Mankind Quarterly: equal opportunity versus equal endowment. They embrace the first, and reject the
second. Their language is a little confusing, because they talk about dignity: "At the heart of our thought is
the quest for human dignity." But in their view, the role of the government, the measure of success, "is to
permit people to live lives of dignity — not to give them dignity, for that is not in any government's power,
but to make it accessible to all." The word they use here is dignity, but the idea is equal opportunity.

With regard to endowments, they are straightforward: "Inequality of endowments, including intelligence,
is a reality. . . . It is time for America once again to try living with inequality."

Murray and Herrnstein made a serious effort to find a way to assert the intrinsic value of a human being.
They chose to talk about "letting people find valued places in society." It is interesting that intelligent
writers trying to express a fundamental aspect of human life ended up using their own new and
idiosyncratic language. But their effort, however sincere and inventive, had serious flaws. They wrote:

The broadest goal is a society in which people throughout the functional range of intelligence
can find, and feel that they have found, a valued place for themselves. For "valued place," we
offer a pragmatic definition: You occupy a valued place if other people would miss you if you
were gone. The fact that you would be missed means that you were valued.

The most glaring problem with value defined this way is that society confers value. What if people don't
miss you when you are gone: are you valuable anyway? What about cases of genocide: if your whole
community is wiped out, so that all the people who knew you and would have missed you are gone, what
happens to your value? What about abortion: the decision about terminating a pregnancy is made before
the unborn child is known, before any strengths or foibles are visible. These are practical questions for the
mentally ill who have been institutionalized, for the targets of genocide in many places (Kosovo, Sudan,
Tibet, East Timor, Armenia ...), and for unborn children.

In the concluding chapter of the book, the authors write about "Dealing with Demography." Like Malthus,
they urge an end to welfare programs that make it easier for the poor to scrape along having more and
more babies. In the same paragraph, as part of the same thought, they repeat Sanger's sugar-coated
eugenics proposal: "The other generic recommendation, as close to harmless as any government program
we can imagine, is to make it easy for women to make good on their prior decision not to get pregnant by
making available birth control mechanisms that are increasingly flexible, foolproof, inexpensive, and
safe." In the same section, they urge a shift in immigration laws, toward a system that emphasizes

The book has original thought, but most of it is a collection of research done by other social scientists in
many fields over decades. And the experts who are quoted in the book are, overwhelmingly, members of
the Eugenics Society (in England) or the American Eugenics Society. The book is a collection of eugenics
research. The authors are forthright about the fact that they are dealing with controversial topics, but they
shy away from the term eugenics. After summarizing a century of debate over intelligence tests, beginning

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with Darwin and Galton, they write: "Given these different ways of understanding intelligence, you will
naturally ask where our sympathies lie and how they shape this book." The answer they give is almost
honest: "We will be drawing most heavily from the classical tradition." They meant the tradition of
eugenics, carried forward by members of eugenics societies.

One Faith, Many Works

The theories expounded by E. O. Wilson, by Mankind Quarterly and in The Bell Curve are very different
from each other. Wilson spoke of insights from biology and from social biology. R. Gayre of Gayre and
friends held fast to the Nordic myths. Murray and Herrnstein amassed a heavy tome of data from social
scientists (overwhelmingly, members of eugenics societies). But they all took it for granted that it is
possible to evaluate humans — not just to check height and weight, but to get at the essential quality of a
human being and measure that. They all took it for granted that intelligence is the key quality of humanity,
and that intelligence can be charted, displaying how up along the evolutionary scale a particular person
has climbed. They all took it for granted that improving IQ scores is the way to improve the human race.
And they all took it for granted that progress toward an improved human species, by increasing
intelligence from one generation to the next, is the central goal of the human race.

Whatever these men may have thought of the label eugenics, they all held a coherent body of beliefs and
goals that is hard to distinguish in any significant way from the views of Francis Galton.

Review of Chapter 14:

Social Biology Today

1. What is social biology? During the Nazi era, what was the German name for eugenics?
2. Identify E. O. Wilson. Describe his work on ants and other living things briefly.
3. Identify Mankind Quarterly, and explain the use of the word equality.
4. Identify The Bell Curve, and describe its comment on the Declaration of Independence.
5. Is there a single, unified view of humanity shared by all eugenicists today?

Discuss: The word "dignity" means different things to different people. Give one definition of
the word, and describe its importance in the teaching of at least one religious community.

An Alternate View: The Dignity of Each Person

Sometimes when people live within a society that holds a series of views, it is hard to see
them clearly. You can't see the air you breathe, and it takes a little mental effort to be
aware of the air. Similarly, it may take a little effort to see a body of belief if most of the
people around you take it for granted. So, in order to make the key views of eugenics today
easier to isolate, we should look at an alternative. What follows is an exploration of
the teaching of one religious body, the Roman Catholic Church, about human dignity. This
is an excerpt from "Human Dignity: A Fuzzy Concept?" a chapter in Ban Human Cloning,
published in 1997 by the American Bioethics Advisory Commission, a private organization
in Stafford, Virginia.

... Dignity refers to the intrinsic worth or value of a person or thing, and the idea is accessible by
anyone, regardless of religion. However, it may be worthwhile looking at the way the word is used in
the Catholic Church. The word has immense richness in that tradition.

Pope John XXIII, who initiated immense changes in the way the Catholic Church relates to the
modern world, situated human dignity squarely in heart of the Church's social teaching:

[T]he Catholic Church's social teaching ... rests on one basic principle: individual human
beings are the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution. ... On this basic

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principle, which guarantees the sacred dignity of the individual, the Church constructs her
social teaching (Mater et Magistra, #119-120, May 15, 1961).
Last Chapter
Dignity, as he understood
Next Chapterit, was an attribute of an individual. Pope John Paul II also
understands human dignity to be key to the whole
Return to Eugenics Homepage idea of humanity. In his address to the United Nations
on October 5, 1995, heReturn
recalled the struggle
to Contents for freedom in central Europe, a struggle that had shaped
his life, and a major
Contact Eugenics Watch that speech, he linked dignity and freedom, and in fact
triumph of his papacy. In
described dignity as the basis for the quest for freedom. Further, he described totalitarianism as an
assault on dignity.

The moral dynamics of this universal quest for freedom clearly appeared in Central and
Eastern Europe during the nonviolent revolutions of 1989. Unfolding in specific times and
places, those historical events nonetheless taught a lesson which goes far beyond a specific
geographical location. For the nonviolent revolutions of 1989 demonstrated that the quest
for freedom cannot be suppressed. It arises from a recognition of the inestimable dignity
and value of the human person, and it cannot fail to be accompanied by a commitment on
behalf of the human person. Modern totalitarianism has been, first and foremost, an assault
on the dignity of the person, an assault which has gone even to the point of denying the
inalienable value of the individual's life.

These excerpts show the centrality of dignity in Catholic teaching. In fact, in a list of 22 Vatican
documents about various topics related to the field of bioethics, the word recurs 420 times.

Dignity is discussed at length in the Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes, or The Church
in the Modern World (December 7, 1965), a document that was addressed not to the Church, but to
everyone. There, the basis for dignity is specified, and is tied to human origins:

[T]he very dignity of man postulates that man glorify God in his body and forbid it to serve
the evil inclinations of his heart.

19. The root reason for human dignity lies in man's call to communion with God. From the
very circumstance of his origin man is already invited to converse with God. For man
would not exist were he not created by God's love and constantly preserved by it; and he
cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes
himself to His Creator. Still, many of our contemporaries have never recognized this
intimate and vital link with God, or have explicitly rejected it. Thus atheism must be
accounted among the most serious problems of this age, and is deserving of closer

The Church holds that the recognition of God is in no way hostile to man's dignity, since
this dignity is rooted and perfected in God. For man was made an intelligent and free
member of society by God Who created him; but even more important, he is called as a son
to commune with God and share in His happiness. She further teaches that a hope related
to the end of time does not diminish the importance of intervening duties but rather
undergirds the acquittal of them with fresh incentives. By contrast, when a divine
substructure and the hope of life eternal are wanting, man's dignity is most grievously
lacerated, as current events often attest; riddles of life and death, of guilt and of grief go
unsolved with the frequent result that men succumb to despair.

A more recent document (March 25, 1995), Pope John Paul II's letter The Gospel of Life,
reaffirms the connection between human dignity and origin, and adds that human dignity is also
connected to human destiny (at #38):

The dignity of this life is linked not only to its beginning, to the fact that it comes from God,
but also to its final end, to its destiny of fellowship with God in knowledge and love of him.

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Chapter 15:

Population Control Today

The long effort of the eugenics movement to get "more from the fit and less from the unfit" is by no means
ended, although both parts of this program are frequently overlooked. The savage and bloody part, of
course, is the assault on the "unfit," the unwanted, the surplus people, the useless bread gobblers.

Some of this elitist selection goes on within the United States, but most of it occurs overseas. This does not
mean, though, that Americans can leave the problem to others; the American government has promoted
racist population control policies for decades. Some Americans today argue that we should take care of
our own problems, and not try to fix the world. Other people, including most churches, urge a more
generous engagement with the entire human family. But even the new isolationists must admit that since
the United States pushed depopulation programs for decades, we have an obligation to undo the damage.

So what is population control, and where is it a problem?

For many years now, the worst population control program has been in China. The Chinese government
decided to reduce population, and set out to do so systematically, with an official policy of permitting only
one child per family. The policy has had loopholes at various times for various reasons; for example, the
ethnic Mongolians are treated more leniently. But the policy is nationwide, and it is very strict.

The Chinese family policy uses forced abortion, forced sterilization and forced insertion of IUDs. Family
planning workers monitor menstrual periods for the women in their assigned areas or workplaces, and start
to ask questions when a woman misses her period. In some factories, menstrual periods are charted on the
wall, so that everyone can keep track of everyone else.

In 1985, The Washington Post ran a three-part series (January 6-8) on China's brutal policy. Michael
Weisskopf reported, "Any mother who becomes pregnant again without receiving official authorization
after having one child is required to have an abortion, and the incidence of such operations is stunning —
53 million from 1979 to 1984, according to the Ministry of Public Health — a five-year abortion count
approximately equal to the population of France."

Family planning workers prefer to avoid pregnancy, and they have pushed sterilization. According to
Weisskopf, "local officials use methods ranging from cash rewards to coercion to get those eligible to the
operating table." And these methods produced results. "Official statistics show a high level of success: 31
million women and 9.3 million men were sterilized between 1979 and 1984, totaling almost one third of all
married, productive couples in China." The policy was not based on "choice." The Washington Post

A roundup in frigid northern China near the Mongolian border illustrates how the process
works. The campaign, which was described by a participating doctor, began in November
1983, when officials from every commune in the county searched their records for women
under the age of 45 who had two or more children. Then they broadcast their names over
public loudspeakers and set dates by which each had to report to the clinic for surgery.

There was a warning to potential evaders: a loss of half of their state land allotment, a fine of
$200 — equal to about a year's income — and a late fee of $10 for every day they failed to

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Several couples initially defied the warning but were quickly brought into line. Officials went
to their homes, confiscated valuables, such as sewing machines and building materials, and
threatened to sell them within three days unless they submitted to the operation.

The surgical team left in early January after completing its goal of 16,000 sterilizations in two
months, according to the doctor.

Despite the reports in the Washington Post, and similar stories in the New York Times and other respected
media, the Chinese government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have continued to
deny that there is coercion in their program.

Steven Mosher worked in southern China when he was a graduate student at Stanford University. He
broke the story of forced abortion and coercive population policies. The Chinese government was
outraged and demanded that Stanford punish him. Stanford found reason to throw Mosher out of their
doctoral program.

The savage program did not come to an end in the 1980s. In 1998, Rep. Christopher Smith, Chairman of
the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, held Congressional hearings on forced
abortion and sterilization in China. One of the witnesses at the hearing was Gao Xiao Duan, who had been
the administrator of a planned birth office in Fujian Province in China just two months before.

Mrs. Gao worked in an office with a sign over the entrance: "No permit, no marriage; no permit, no
pregnancy; no permit, no baby." She had a box where informers could drop reports about their neighbors
who were pregnant without authorization. The building had a detention facility to hold violators.

Mrs. Gao's testimony was detailed and powerful, with stories like the following:

I vividly remember one time that I led my subordinates to Yinglin Town Hospital to check on
births. I found that two women in Zhoukeng Town had extra-plan births. I led a planned-birth
supervision team composed of a dozen cadres [trained personnel] and public security agents.
With sledge hammers and heavy crowbars in hand, we went to Zhoukeng Town and
dismantled their houses. We were unable to apprehend the women in the case so we took
their mothers in lieu of them and detained them in the planned birth offices detention facility.
It wasn't until about a half a month later that the women surrendered themselves to the
planned birth office. They were sterilized, fined heavily, and their mothers were finally
released. I myself did so many brutal things, but I thought that I was conscientiously
implementing the policy of our party and that I was an exemplary citizen and a good cadre.

Once I found a woman who was nine months pregnant, but did not have a birth-allowed
certificate. According to the policy, she was forced to undergo an induced abortion. In the
operating room, I saw the child's lips were moving and how its arms and legs were also
moving. The doctor injected poison into its skull and the child died and it was thrown into the
trash can. Afterwards the husband was holding his wife and crying loudly and saying, "What
kind of man am I? What kind of husband am I? I can't even protect my wife and child. Do
you have any sort of humanity?"

Whenever I saw these things, my heart would break, and I felt like to help the tyrant do evils
was not what I wanted. I could not bear seeing all these mothers grief-stricken by induced
delivery and sterilization. I could not live with this on my conscience because I too am also a
mother. These cruel actions are against what I believe in.

All of those 14 years I was a monster in the daytime, injuring others by the Chinese
Communist authorities' barbaric planned birth policy. But in the evening I was like all other
women and mothers, enjoying my life with my children. I couldn't go on living with such a
dual life anymore.

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Here to all those injured women and to all those children who were killed, I want to repent
and say sincerely that I'm very sorry, sincerely sorry. I want to be a real human being.

Just a few months before the Congressional hearings, the UNFPA announced its cooperation in a
four-year, $20 million family planning program in China, and stated that China wanted an approach
"based on the principles of free and voluntary choice." Nafis Sadik, executive director of the UNFPA, told
Rep. Chris Smith that the Chinese policy was "purely voluntary," and denied that there was any such thing
as a license to have a birth.

It is tempting to set aside the words of Nafis Sadik as flat lies. They may be, but to understand the debate
over population control, it is important to know about a variety of subtle distinctions in the language. For
example, when Mrs. Gao led a team to Zhoukeng town, where they smashed two houses and arrested the
mothers of the pregnant women, was that coercion? The women eventually came to the birth center on
their own feet; they were not dragged in by the police. They could have chosen to leave their mothers in
jail while they gave birth to their own children. Most people would consider smashing your house or jailing
your mom to be coercive. But to some people, coercion means using physical force on another person's

There are other tools and terms used in population control debates. One of the most important tools for
national policy-makers is setting targets for the whole program and quotas for their subordinates. Quotas
set at the national level can lead directly to coercion at the local level. At the national level, the
government can establish a target of reducing births to an average of three per family within the next five
years. To achieve that target, they might tell regional or local family planning workers that they will be
expected to meet a quota of so many IUDs inserted and so many people sterilized. If the quotas are too
ambitious, the local workers might decide that they must use coercion — but the national program does
not say anything about force. In such a program, everyone involved in the work can be fully aware that
the program is coercive, but spokesmen at the national level can deny it with a straight face, or dismiss
documented reports of coercion as occasional abuses at the local level.

Sometimes population planners make a distinction between incentives and disincentives. An incentive is a
reward for cooperating, a "carrot." In some nations, poor women are paid cash or given gifts if they get
sterilized; such payments (or bribes) are incentives. A disincentive is some kind of punishment for failing
to cooperate, a "stick." Fines, loss of work or promotion, and loss of farmland are examples of coercion.
In the debate over population policy, some funders argue for an approach based on voluntarism, and insist
that they will not support a program that has any coercion, quotas or disincentives, but will tolerate

It is possible to blur the difference between incentives and disincentives, though. In one Chinese village,
the government installed water heaters at the town well. People who cooperated with the family planning
program were rewarded with access to hot water for washing. That sounds like an incentive. But suppose
most of the town cooperates? Then it might be more accurate to say that the few holdouts are being
punished, losing access to hot water. That would be a disincentive.

A substantial amount of population control work is accomplished through simple manipulation. Recall the
words of Alva Myrdal, the Swedish population expert, who said that her government planned to address
the problem of defectives reproducing themselves by encouraging "severe family limitation," reaching
them "through direct propaganda and instruction in contraceptive methods."

In 1999, the UNFPA announced its support for a family planning program in 32 counties in China (out of
about 2,000). In those counties, the one-child-only population policy will be suspended. Or will it be?

Nafis Sadik, as Executive Director of the UNFPA, said, "In the project counties, couples will be allowed
to have as many children as they want, whenever they want, without requiring birth permits or being
subject to quotas." However, the Chinese government may still use economic pressure to encourage
compliance. In Sadik's words, couples in these counties "may still be subject to a 'social compensation fee'
if they decide to have more children that recommended by the policy."

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The Golden Venture incident

In June, 1993, the ship Golden Venture ran aground near New York harbor. It was carrying 300
passengers who had paid high prices to smugglers to help them flee the one-child-only family policy in
China. Several passengers died trying to swim to shore; the others made it, but were arrested as illegal

They applied for political asylum. The United States will grant asylum to refugees who can show that they
have a well-grounded fear of persecution if they are sent home. Immigration judges had to decide whether
a well-grounded fear of forced sterilization or abortion was sufficient reason for granting asylum. The
government held the Chinese refugees in federal prisons during the hearings and appeals.

The matter dragged on for four years. The Clinton administration was determined not to offend the
Chinese government, and tried to send most of the refugees back to China. Some of the refugees were sent
back, and went to re-education camps. Some did finally receive asylum in the U.S. Others sought and
received asylum in other nations.

In the end, the message to Chinese refugees was clear. If you flee to the United States, you will suffer for

In 1997, a young Chinese woman named Li Xuemei became pregnant without authorization. She had
already given birth to one child, and had been fined for that. She had become pregnant a second time, and
been forced to undergo an abortion. This was her third pregnancy, and she knew that she faced severe
punishment. In early 1998, she fled from China. She went to a gang of "Snakeheads," and paid them to
smuggle her out. The Snakeheads got her out of China, and landed her in Japan with a large group of other
refugees. Japanese authorities learned about the illegal entry, and arrested them almost immediately.

Li Xuemei was the only one in the group who managed to stay in Japan; the rest were deported quickly.
But Li asked for asylum, saying that if the Japanese sent her back, she would be forced to abort her child.
The Japanese courts debated her case for months, and her child was born while she was in jail.

Eventually she was released from jail, but not granted asylum. The Japanese, like the Americans, were not
eager to offend the Chinese. Nor did they want to encourage a mass exodus. The Japanese do not have
anything like America's tradition of welcoming refugees. Further, Chinese refugees who intend to reach
the United States have to cross the largest ocean in the world, but the distance to Japan is much shorter.
Still, at least one judge admitted his admiration for Li Xuemei, who suffered so much to keep her child

The case may have been resolved quietly when she dropped out of sight.

Ambivalence in the United States

Since 1985, the American public has been aware that forced abortion occurs in China. During those years,
there has been a fierce national fight about abortion. The people in the abortion battle describe themselves
as "pro-life" and "pro-choice," so the Chinese policy should be extremely offensive to the activists on
both sides of the abortion issue. Forced abortion is an assault on life and is also an assault on freedom. It
would seem obvious for all Americans to denounce the practice.

In fact, few of the people who identify themselves as "pro-choice" have spoken out. And when the
Chinese government decided that they wanted to host the Fourth World Conference on Women in
Beijing, women's rights groups cooperated. Twenty percent of the women in the world (that is, Chinese
women) live under a government that considers pregnancy to be the government's business, that is
prepared to monitor menstrual periods, that brutalizes women regularly, that has no respect at all for
privacy or choice or women's rights. The Chinese population campaign is bloody and oppressive. To
permit Beijing to host an international conference on women is like permitting Germany to host a summit
meeting on antisemitism in 1939. And yet, women's groups went along with it.

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Hillary Clinton went to the Beijing meeting, and in her speech she did refer obliquely to forced abortion.
But her words were muted, and did not mention China explicitly. Still, the U.S. State Department was
quick to say that even her muted words were her own, and should not be understood as an official
criticism of the Chinese from the American government. When Jimmy Carter was President of the United
States, he made human rights a part of American foreign policy. In our dealings with other nations, we
would look at their record on human rights. In official meetings with diplomats or heads of state from
other nations where there were serious abuses, Americans would make sure that one of the topics they
discussed was human rights.

American relations with the Communist government of China were not smooth. For years, American
diplomats met with the Chinese to talk about trade and similar issues, and raised a list of complaints,
including concern about genocide in Tibet, abuse of prison labor, the export of nuclear technology, the
export of weapons — and forced abortion. But under Clinton, Americans stopped raising the forced
abortion issue, except for occasional pro forma complaints.

Since the early 1980s, there has been a great deal of support and praise for the Chinese population policy
at the United Nations. Under Clinton, the American government has not made any serious effort to signal
to the Chinese that our view of the one-child-only policy is different from the UNFPA view.

Support for the Chinese population policy may be widespread. Good polling data is not available, but
there were some informal surveys of several hundred people in Wisconsin and Maryland in the early
1990s. The surveys asked a random cross-section of people, "Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE China's
population policy, which includes forced abortion?" Over 20 percent of respondents said they supported
the Chinese policy.

NSSM 200: Fear of Non-White Babies

In 1975, the United States decided that protecting the nation required that we decrease population growth
around the world. The government defined population growth in developing nations as a threat to our
national security. The official policy was not put in the terms used by Lothrop Stoddard, who had written
at the beginning of the century about the "rising tide of color against white world supremacy." But the
new policy was designed to protect the power of the people in land Stoddard had called "White Man's
Land" against encroachments from Black Man's Land, Brown Man's Land and Yellow Man's Land.

UN conferences on population
Few topics, if any, have received as much attention at the United Nations as population. Since its
founding, the UN has shown remarkable tenacity, organizing one conference per decade on population.
The extraordinary series began in Rome (1954), the continued through Belgrade (1965), Bucharest
(1974), Mexico (1984), and Cairo (1994).

The Cairo conference was about "population and development," continuing a long debate. The Catholic
Church had forced population control advocates to weigh development issues. Pope Paul VI insisted
that "development is the new name for peace," and that international development would address the
problems that worried the depopulationists. Shortly after Pope Paul VI issued a formal letter (or
encyclical) entitled On the Development of Peoples laying out his approach, the Population Council
started a scholarly journal called Population and Development. The fight was on: does population
growth help or hinder development, or is it neutral?

In the 1990s, the UN also sponsored international conferences on population and the environment (Rio
de Janeiro), population and women (Beijing), and population and housing (Copenhagen). Population
controllers were determined to establish themselves as the leaders in the environmental movement and

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Population Control Today

the feminist movement, and were also ready to start a new battle over housing policies.

The recycled racism appears in a collection of official documents, including National Security Study
Memorandum 200, or NSSM 200. The "study" memo led in 1975 to a "decision" memo, National Security
Decision Memorandum 314, or NSDM 314. The purpose of national security studies like this was to make
clear for everyone involved, including American diplomats overseas, what the national government
thought about issues and more specifically about possible threats. In 1975, the government saw various
threats to American safety, or national security. Some threats were obvious; the government was
concerned about maintaining military power in the Pacific, countering the threat of Communism in
Europe, containing Communist rebels in Latin America. While it did not say so explicitly, NSSM 200 put
non-white babies on the list of threats.

The Memorandum called for increased funds for international population control programs, and also noted
that funds from other programs could be used to study ways to reduce fertility.

After the document was declassified in 1989, the Information Project for Africa distributed it to journalists
all over the world. Many people found the document extremely offensive, and used NSSM 200 to
challenge the United States at the UN population conferences.

Review of Chapter 15:

Population Control Today

1. Describe the one-child-only family policy in China.

2. Explain the following terms: coercion, quota, manipulation, disincentives, incentives.
3. Is the United States government clearly opposed to China's population policy? Are the American people
unanimously opposed to the policy?
4. What is NSSM 200, and what does it say about population?
5. Summarize the Golden Venture incident briefly. Identify Li Xuemei, and explain the significance of her
flight from China.

Discuss: What is the link between population policy in China and immigration policy

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"Modem Genetics Is Eugenics"

Chapter 16:

"Modem Genetics Is Eugenics"

"Modern genetics is eugenics." — George Annas, M.D., bioethics professor at Boston
University, speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington

Genetics is a relatively new science. The great pioneer in the field, whose experiments provided a
foundation for this branch of science, was Rev. Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), an Austrian monk. He grew
peas, and saw that various traits (size, color, wrinkles) were passed from one generation to the next. Much
more importantly, he saw that peas have pairs of some kind of hereditary factor. The pairs do not
compromise with each other; either one or the other will be dominant. That is, if you cross a tall pea with
a dwarf pea, you get some tall and some dwarf peas, but no peas of medium height. Further, in the first
generation of cross-pollinated peas, they will all be tall, and in the next generation there will be three tall
pea plants for every one dwarf.

Rev. Mendel's data, collected painstakingly over years, made it possible to understand that "genes" (the
hereditary factors in the pea) are units, that they come in pairs, and that there are "dominant" and
"recessive" traits. He presented his work to a natural science society in 1865, but at that time, his audience
missed the importance of his work completely. In fact, when he died in 1884, the importance of his work
was still unrecognized.

In 1909, the Danish botanist W. L. Johanssen gave the name gene to Mendel's units of heredity. The study
of genes and heredity was called genetics.

Blessing or Curse

Genetics holds immense promise. It can explain many things about life, and can provide insights to cure
diseases. But like "mental hygiene," genetics also holds huge dangers. Genetics can be used (or abused) to
operate on the human race at the expense of the individual. Some scientists expect that genetics will make
it possible to engineer improvements in the human race.

basic research ...

The most ambitious project of basic scientific research in genetics is the Human Genome Project. In 1988,
Congress provided funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other groups to begin mapping
out human DNA. The project began officially on October 1, 1990, with a projected budget of $3 billion
over the next 15 years.

The task is to map the human genome, the whole collection of genes carried by each person. Each cell in
the human body has a strand of DNA, a large molecule with more than 200 billion atoms. That long
molecule, bundled inside a cell, has about 80,000 genes that are associated with various traits, such as eye
color and height. Where are those genes, and what is in between them along the strand of DNA?

Mapping the human genome is an ambitious scientific project, like mapping the entire globe or going to
the moon. The knowledge will surely lead to many benefits that we cannot foresee now.

treatments and cures ...

It seems reasonable that growing understanding of human genetics should lead to many new and

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successful treatments. However, the historical record of medical use of genetic information is horrendous.
One of the simplest problems to detect genetically is Down syndrome, which includes some recognizable
facial characteristics and some mental retardation. Genetic detection is easy, because a person with Down
syndrome has an extra chromosome. But detection did not lead to treatment; for years, in nearly all cases,
detection led to eugenic abortion.

The response to Down syndrome set the pattern. Now, thousands of problems, diseases or conditions can
be detected genetically, but very few can be treated before birth. Detection means destruction.

Genetics is undoubtedly an exciting field, but focusing too much research funding on genetics has done
huge damage. For example, there is a medical condition called spina bifida that can cause difficulty
walking and other impairments. Spina bifida almost disappeared in Britain during World War II. An alert
researcher who knew that could have begun looking for the changes in diet or daily habits that wiped out
the disease. Instead, nearly all research money was focused on genetics, and researchers who were
interested in spina bifida had to focus on genetics to get funds. So for two generations, scientists looked
for the genetic basis of a disease that is caused by dietary problems.

What happened during World War II, apparently, is that there was rationing, and everyone ate bread that
had folic acid in it. If a mother does not get folic acid during pregnancy, her child's spine may be damaged.
But this insight was blocked for years by a research bias, a fixation on genetics. Anyone born with spina
bifida after 1945 has reason to complain about genetics.

Basic research in genetics will lead to cures and treatments other than eugenic abortion. But the track
record so far is shameful.

genetic engineering ... Genetics is not always seen as a great blessing; it may be the beginning of many
nightmares. Like nuclear power, which could bring cheap and safe electricity or city-destroying bombs,
genetics offers to cure diseases or usher in the new Hitler.

Genetics run amok is a threat because genetic engineering makes racial engineering possible. If it is
possible to engineer a better human baby, it is tempting to try to engineer a better human race.

Much of the basic research is genetics is poorly understood by the general public. Often, there will be few
people with the ability to oversee the scientists, who understand clearly what their work is about. The
people best equipped to detect abuses by geneticists are other geneticists. This raises a problem, because
so many geneticists are members of eugenics societies, or were trained by eugenicists.

The organization that led the push for the Human Genome Project was the American Society of Human
Genetics (ASHG). The ASHG journal and annual meetings have done much to encourage prenatal genetic
testing, which often leads to eugenic abortion.

One of the leaders in the ASHG for years was Franz Kallmann. In 1938, the newsletter of the American
Eugenics Society reported that Kallmann, "who was formerly associated with Dr. Ernst R¸din," was
working in New York. He had fled from Germany in 1936, because he had Jewish parentage. But in both
Berlin and the United States, he promoted eugenic sterilization. In fact, he thought that society should
sterilize the healthy relatives of patients with schizophrenia, as well as the patients themselves.

Kallmann was among the zealots who tried to find the genetic basis for everything, such as spina bifida.
He thought that tuberculosis was genetically based.

In order to trust geneticists to oversee their colleagues responsibly, you have to trust Franz Kallmann's
society. Undoubtedly, the ASHG has had many members who disagreed with Kallmann — about
tuberculosis, about schizophrenia, about negative eugenics and forced sterilization — but the society
never criticized him or denounced his hateful and dangerous views.

Why worry about genetic engineering?

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Genetic engineering has already been used to improve some fruits and vegetables, and some animals. Why
not use it to improve humans? Suppose that genetic engineers can make sure your next child is not short,
bald or nearsighted like you: what's wrong with that?

There are many concerns, but we will look at three:

1. Specific techniques of human genetic engineering can be grave abuses.

2. Genetic engineering and reproductive technology are dehumanizing, turning a complex

human relationship into a laboratory process.

3. Genetic engineering seems to make positive eugenics possible, but in practice it will be
linked to negative eugenics.

1. If genetic engineers could intervene to treat nearsightedness in a tiny human child living in the mother's
womb, that might be a great medical advance. But affecting sight genetically might require manipulating
the new human at the single-cell (or zygote) stage. It might require having the single-cell human on a petri
dish in the laboratory, outside the mother's womb.

In a society that is accustomed to in vitro fertilization, it is not uncommon to have human zygotes and
embryos in dishes in labs. Nonetheless, some people consider this practice offensive, inhuman and

2. One of the problems with genetic engineering is suggested in the phrase "reproductive technology." The
phrase refers to a whole list of procedures for starting human life in ways other than sexual intercourse.
The idea that human sexual activity can be reduced to techniques is obscene.

Obscenity is offensive, not because it shows sexual activity, which is a beautiful and precious thing. It is is
offensive because it strips sexual activity of meaning, taking it out of the context of a tender and private
human relationship. "Reproductive technology" does the same thing.

3. Genetic engineering seems to make positive eugenics possible, at long last. But it is sobering to look at
the cutting edge of reproductive technology in different communities. For the rich, the cutting edge is in
vitro fertilization, artificial or assisted insemination, genetic counseling, and perhaps genetic engineering
and cloning on the horizon. But for the poor, the cutting edge of reproductive technology is new birth
control technology, like Norplant implants or Depo-Provera injections.

Mary Lyman Jackson, president of Exodus Youth Services, Inc., a street ministry serving runaways and
latchkey kids on the streets on Washington, talked about genetic engineering and cloning. In testimony
before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (May 2, 1997), she said:

I live in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in a nice suburban community, but spend a lot of time on the
streets in Washington. I am very conscious of the way the differences between these two
communities are developing, and it worries me.

I hear people talking about life in the suburbs in ways that are very different than from life in
the streets. And it is the differences that concern me.

I do not know of anyone in the suburbs who has birth control pushed on them, but my girls in
the inner-city do. They tell me a different story. And I do not know of anyone in the city who
expects to get any benefit from genetic engineering. ...

I tell you one thing my street kids know. They know they have dignity. They know when you
treat them with respect, and they appreciate it. But they see a lot of disrespect. I think they
can see some things that great scientists might miss. Cloning is not a very respectful way to
treat human life.

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A researcher can get lost in charts and graphs and test tubes and petri dishes and might forget
that human life is very precious. These kids get treated as specimens and research objects
enough that they have a different attitude towards all this science.

These children know that scientists can treat people like things. They know it, because they
have seen how much work goes into persuading them to get on birth control or have an

Mrs. Jackson saw clearly that genetic engineering has revived the central eugenics agenda: "more from the
fit, less from the unfit."

Artificial insemination may not be such a wonderful service. It may distort and destroy human
relationships, and make children into salable commodities. One generation ago, human sex was fairly
straightforward, with a father and a mother engaging in sexual activity and producing a child. Now,
technicians stand ready to help, obtaining sperm from one source (the father or a sperm donor) and an
ovum from another source (the mother or an egg donor), bringing the sperm and ovum together in a uterus
(the mother's, or a surrogate mother's) or in a petri dish. If fertilization occurs, growth can go forward in
the mother's or the surrogate mother's womb. At birth, the child could have a father who commissioned
the whole project, a natural father who donated the sperm, a mother who is legally connected to the
father, a natural mother who donated the egg, and a surrogate mother who provided the child with a home
in her uterus for the first nine months of life. The child's "parents" might be half a village, and that is
before anyone gets divorced.

The new birth control methods available for the poor include Depo-Provera and Norplant. Depo-Provera
is an injection that is effective for three months. Norplant is a long-acting birth control system. It consists
of six plastic rods that are inserted under the woman's skin. For the next five years, birth control hormones
leach out of the rods. With birth control Pills, gynecologists spend much time adjusting dosage levels to
prevent complications; but Norplant cannot be adjusted that way; it is a one-size-fits-all system, designed
to last for years. In the first few years after distribution began in the United States, five percent of users
complained and then sued the manufacturer.

Norplant was developed by the Population Council, a group heavily influenced by eugenics which had
worked on IUDs in previous years. IUDs and Norplant are effective depopulation tools: once a user
accepts them, the family planning worker does not have to do anything else for a long time to prevent
births from that woman. But IUDs were once driven off the American market (at least for a time) by
lawsuits, because they damaged women, and the same thing may happen with Norplant.

Causing Sterility with Acid Burns

Norplant is not the worst birth control method available. Two men in North Carolina have traveled around
the world promoting something even worse. It is called quinacrine.

Quinacrine is a drug that was used to treat malaria suffered by U.S. troops in World War II. It is also
effective against tapeworm. But in the 1980s, a Chilean doctor began using it to sterilize women. When
quinacrine is formed into small pellets and inserted into a woman's uterus, it burns and scars her uterus. If
scar tissue forms across the mouth of the fallopian tubes, this will sterilize the woman, either by preventing
fertilization or by preventing a newly conceived embryonic human from entering the uterus.

This barbaric method of birth control has many potential side effects for women. It works by burning
women's insides, and this is often quite painful. It causes cell mutation, and therefore may be a cancer-
causing drug. It causes bleeding, backaches, fever, abdominal pain and headaches among other problems.
It causes ectopic pregnancies, which are always fatal for the child and often fatal for the mother. So the
World Health Organization opposes its use.

Using quinacrine for population control is cheap; it costs about a penny per pellet to produce. It can be
administered to a woman during a routine pelvic examination. In fact, family planning specialists who care

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more about the population explosion than about their patients can administer quinacrine without the
patient's knowledge. Thousands of women have discovered that they were sterilized using quinacrine
without their knowledge or consent.

For years, two American crusaders, Stephen Mumford and Elton Kessel, flew around the world with
quinacrine pellets in their suitcases, distributing them in Third World countries like Vietnam, India and
Bangladesh. They were responsible for mass sterilization programs affecting thousands and thousands of
women in several poorer countries.

According to Mumford, quinacrine is "essential to population-growth control." Speaking about the

population of the United States, he said, "This explosion in human numbers which . . . will come entirely
from immigrants and the offspring of immigrants, will dominate our lives. There will be chaos and

Sipharm Sesseln AG, a Swiss drug company, produced the quinacrine pellets for Mumford and Kessel.
However, due to the worldwide public outcry against quinacrine, they no longer produce it, and no other
company offered to do so (at least publicly, as of 1999). But Mumford said that he had bottles of it stored
in the basement of his North Carolina home.

Human Cloning

It may seem unfair to insist on looking at various methods of negative eugenics in a discussion of genetic
engineering. But when you look at the debate over human cloning, you see that positive eugenics cannot
be separated from negative eugenics.

In 1997, a Scottish researcher announced that he had cloned a sheep, Dolly. This was the first time that
anyone had been able to clone a mammal successfully, although scientists had been cloning amphibians
for decades.

The announcement led to an international debate over human cloning. If it is possible to clone mammals,
would anyone clone humans? Should anyone clone humans?

A few months before the announcement, President Clinton had appointed a new National Bioethics
Advisory Commission (NBAC). He asked them to study the new development in Scotland and give him
advice about American policy on cloning, in 90 days.

The Commission's advice was not easy to understand. They proposed a new definition of "cloning," and
recommended a ban — not on cloning, but on implantation of cloned embryos. This recommendation, if
implemented, would change human cloning research (if it is indeed possible) in several very significant
ways. First, it means that human cloning research would proceed on the assumption that human embryos
are not human beings. Many people do accept that assumption, but not everyone; and the assumption is
based on the eugenic interpretation of evolutionary biology. Second, it means that human cloning research
would involve a great deal of destruction; human embryos would be created for research only, and would
then be destroyed.

There is a third problem, that is subtle but important. Consider what happens if you permit a little cloning
of tiny human entities. When a researcher has a cloned human embryo in his laboratory, that is exactly
like being a little bit pregnant. That embryo will die, or become an adult human being. Cloning researchers
assure us that they will kill all the embryos, and not start raising cloned humans. But who wants the
embryos killed? Aside from a temporary concern about public relations, the only reason for killing those
human embryos would be eugenics, a concern about quality control. Pro-lifers would demand that they
live, and fertility clinics would want to use them. Researchers would want to continue their work on them.
It is dishonest to clone human embryos and pretend that you will not clone adults.

Problems with the Clone-and-Kill Option

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When President Clinton launched his National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) in
1996, American Life League responded by forming a citizens' group called the American
Bioethics Advisory Commission (ABAC). In 1997, the two groups published reports on
human cloning. The NBAC's pro-cloning report was called Cloning Human Beings. The
ABAC's response was Ban Human Cloning. An excerpt from the ABAC report follows:

The meeting of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission on May 17, 1997, concerned a number of
proposed recommendations to the President on human cloning. Among them was a call for a legislative
ban. But the proposal, as worded at that time, was extremely mischievous.

The proposal was to ban "cloning" defined as "creation of a child by nuclear transfer from a somatic cell."
The problem in this definition arises over the question of when one has created a child. Some people
consider a child to come into existence at birth or later, perhaps at age three; others think a child comes
into existence at fertilization. As of May 17, it appeared that the position of the NBAC was that a child
comes into existence at some point after fertilization, perhaps at implantation. So the definition of
"cloning" referred to nuclear transfer followed by implantation. By that definition, a researcher or
clinician who initiates a human embryo by nuclear transfer but does not implant the embryo is not
violating a ban against cloning. The researcher violates the ban only when he implants the cloned embryo.

A critique of the proposal to ban cloning, as defined this way, follows.

1. The proposal protects a clone-and-kill option.

The ban on cloning as defined would permit a researcher in the United States to use the technique
pioneered in Scotland (i.e., to transfer a nucleus from a somatic cell to an enucleated ovum) on humans,
but with the proviso that any human embryo (any embryonic child) whose life began in this way must not
be implanted (i.e., must be killed).

In the human embryo research battle three years ago, many people pointed out the evil of initiating human
life not as a service to infertile couples but solely for research purposes. Members of the NBAC frequently
stated their determination to avoid that fight. And yet, the proposal to ban cloning defined this way
amounts to approval for human cloning — solely for research purposes. With this language, it would be
legal to clone as long as you kill.

2. The proposal would ban implantation, not cloning.

Ian Wilmut's new technique is not implanting an embryo in a uterus; many researchers and many
infertility clinics can do that. What Wilmut did that was new was to transfer a strand of DNA from a
somatic cell to an enucleated ovum, and then keep the zygote alive. The proposed language would not ban
using this new technique with humans; rather, it would ban the implantation of cloned embryos. It would
be deceptive, therefore, to call this language a "cloning ban."

3. The proposal would be, in effect, a two-step approval process for cloning adult humans.

It is hard to tell whether the proposal is designed to prevent or permit cloning adult humans. If it is
designed to prevent cloning adults, it will fail. If it is designed to permit cloning human adults, it would be
more intellectually honest to say so clearly.

The proposed definition of "cloning" lumps together two separate actions: (1) nuclear transfer and (2)
implantation. Hence, a ban on "cloning" under this definition would permit the first step but not the
second step. The first step is very complicated; the second step is routine in IVF clinics all over the

Most people who are discussing a ban on human cloning mean, quite simply, banning nuclear transfer, the
Wilmut technique, for humans. This proposal permits nuclear transfer, but ban the combination of

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If you lump the two steps together and ban the combination, as proposed, then you have effectively
permitted step one, which is the complicated and new technique. But if you permit the first step, you will
be unable to prevent the second step. Pressure to approve implantation — or to implant the embryo
without approval, or to implant the embryo overseas — will build steadily, and you will not be able to
prevent it. If you approve the nuclear transfer technique, you will eventually approve implantation. And
whether you approve of implantation or not is irrelevant; it will occur.

The proposal of May 17 included a sunset provision in the cloning legislation. It would be more honest to
call the sunset provision a "step two" provision.

4. The arguments against implantation of a human embryo are hard to maintain.

Polls after the Scottish experiment showed that about 90% of Americans wanted a ban on human cloning.
The proposed language separates that opposition into component pieces: some may oppose nuclear
transfer, and some may oppose implantation, but perhaps it would be possible to oppose nuclear-transfer-
and-implantation. But this is not an honest maneuver unless you can explain the reasons to oppose
implantation of a cloned embryo.

Consider the shape of the argument after nuclear transfer has taken place (assuming it succeeds):

Pro-lifers, who oppose cloning, would argue fiercely that once you have a living embryo, you
have a grave obligation to protect his or her life. Pro-lifers, who oppose cloning, would argue
fiercely that implantation is a moral obligation. Recall that when the British were
approaching their time limit for frozen embryos and preparing to discard thousands in a single
day, the Vatican worked to recruit prospective parents to adopt the abandoned kids.

Privacy advocates such as John Robertson would argue that the privacy rights of infertile
couples include a right to this new technique, that implantation was the parents' right.
Pro-lifers and privacy advocates would be arguing for the same conclusion: permit

It is hard to imagine researchers arguing against implantation if pro-lifers and privacy

advocates argue for it.

Eugenics may offer an argument against implantation: the child whose life began with cloning
might be abnormal in some way, or have a low quality of life. The eugenics argument,
however, would be an argument against implantation in some circumstances, not against
implantation of cloned embryos in general.

If the arguments against implantation are weak, then it is an error (at best) to permit nuclear-transfer-
without-implantation, and to pretend that this is an effective barrier to cloning adult humans.

5. A ban on implantation is unenforceable.

If the United States were to ban cloning in this way, a team of researchers could carry out nuclear transfer
in one place, and then ship the embryo to another clinic for implantation. It is not clear that either party
would be violating the proposed ban on nuclear-transfer-and-implantation.

Even if you were to tighten the language in some way to make clear that nuclear transfer in a laboratory
followed by implantation in a clinic somewhere else is illegal, it is still hard to imagine how you would
check on the source of the embryos. During meetings of the NBAC, various people noted many times that
in vitro fertilization clinics do not meet the standards of the rest of the medical profession.

6. The proposed ban is not compatible with international cooperation.

At the May 17 meeting, the NBAC discussed recommendations to be forwarded to the President,
including one suggested by Alexander Capron, that the United States cooperate with other nations that

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also ban cloning, in order to prevent international or transnational abuses. But the proposed definition of
cloning is very different from the definitions used elsewhere, and would make honest cooperation more

In fact, the proposed ban on implantation is an invitation to international abuse. If a team of researchers
were to carry out nuclear transfer in this country, then ship the embryo to another country where nuclear
transfer is problematic but implantation is not, they might be able to clone, implant, and bring the child to
birth without violating any laws — although both countries tried to ban cloning. This scam would not
work everywhere, since Germany bans nuclear transfer and also bans implantation, and Spain bans
importing embryos. But England might be a possibility.

It would be a scandal if the United States passed a "ban" on human cloning, only to become the most
attractive location for human cloning research. If other nations hear that we have banned cloning, who
will explain to them that we didn't mean it, that our ban applies to implantation, although it says "cloning"?
It would be a scandal to ban but not ban, to write a ban with a wink.

7. A ban on implantation amounts to forced abortion.

Many people (though not everyone) consider a human embryo to be a member of the human family,
possessing all of the God-given rights that any human has. From that perspective, a requirement that some
embryos (in this case, cloned embryos) be discarded is the same as forced abortion. Obviously, discarding
cloned embryos does not end a pregnancy, and is not abortion in that sense. But discarding embryos does
end the life of human beings, and is abortion in that sense. To require such deaths by law would be new in
this country, although the Chinese have had forced abortion for some years.

8. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Many people argue that experimenting upon or killing embryos is gravely evil. It would be cynical to
pretend to accommodate that position in any way by approving of one evil (nuclear transfer) on the
condition that it is followed by another evil (discarding or killing the embryo). Two wrongs do not make a

9. The proposal would make education and communication harder, not easier.

One of the tasks of a national bioethics group, discussed at several meetings of the NBAC, is to facilitate
the national dialogue about bioethical issues. But this proposal is centered on a quirky definition of
"cloning" that would make it much harder to communicate. At NBAC meetings, members felt it was
necessary to specify "cloning in the baby-making sense" when they were referring to nuclear-transfer-
and-implantation. Speakers at their meetings used the word "cloning" to refer to: (1) the whole process of
making genetically identical adults by asexual replication, or (2) more specifically to the critical technique
that initiates life, "nuclear transfer." (Of course, there are other unrelated meaning, referring to cloning
cells and other entities). None of the experts who testified before the NBAC used the word "cloning" to
refer to nuclear-transfer-and-implantation.

There is a great need for precise language, but this proposal would obfuscate the discussion. If this
language were adopted, anyone who wished to refer to Wilmut's new procedure would have to use some
clumsy circumlocution. What Wilmut did that was new is generally called "cloning." It is hard to
understand why anyone would use the word in this novel way unless they intended to cause confusion.

10. The proposal invites cynicism.

A quirky definition of "cloning" would make it possible to appear to ban cloning even as you actually
permitted it. Polls that showed 90% of Americans were in favor of a ban on cloning. On the other hand,
none of the professional societies polled by the NBAC supported legislative restrictions of any kind. It
seemed impossible to bridge these two radically opposed views. But if one were to redefine cloning, it
would be possible to ban something, and assure the public that you were responding to their concerns, but

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still permit the researchers to move ahead without restraint. That would be a scam. It could work, because
it would be very clever, but it would still be a scam.

Human Cloning and Eugenics

On June 17, 1997, Sen. Bill Frist held a Senate hearing on "Ethics and Theology: A
Continuation of the National Discussion on Human Cloning." The following argument offered
by John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe is from that hearing, as reported in the Congressional Record.

1. Eugenics

One nightmare scenario built on human cloning that is in the back of many people's minds is Brave New
World, a science fiction novel about a world shaped by eugenics written by Aldous Huxley, whose family
were leaders in the British Eugenics Society for at least three generations. In that novel, cloning is used to
produce workers efficiently. But no one today is openly planning to manufacture workers that way, so a
concern about eugenics may strike some people as misplaced. It is not misplaced; eugenics is a real threat.

Cloning could be used to breed slaves, but could also be used to breed an elite. Many white supremacists
studying global demography have noted that 95 percent of the next generation will be born in developing
nations. For eugenicists, this is a nightmare, and cloning northern Europeans could relieve their anxieties.

There is a more immediate problem than cloning either drones or elites, though. In reproductive
technology today, the cutting edge for the rich is genetic counseling and artificial or assisted insemination
— and now, perhaps, cloning. By painful contrast, the cutting edge of reproductive technology for the
poor includes Norplant and Depo-Provera. This is true within the United States and around the world. It is
foolish to pretend that plans to improve the quality of life for the rich can be separated from plans to
decrease the population of the poor; the issues are related. The old eugenics slogan still applies: "More
from the fit, less from the unfit: that is the chief aim of birth control."

Further, the whole idea of human cloning is based on a flawed vision of humanity, a twisted kind of
anthropology, that is immensely dangerous even though it is not always easy to see. The key idea in
eugenics is to treat humans like animals. It is obvious that breeding roses and tomatoes and cattle to
improve the species is a good idea; why do we hesitate to breed the world's most valuable species? The
proponents of this idea have rarely stated it so baldly since the fall of Berlin. But the idea is simple:
humans are smart animals. So the proponents of human cloning made an immediate leap from a report of
sheep cloning to plans for human cloning, stepping over the bright line — animal versus human — that
divides legitimate science from horror.

An alternative view of humanity is that humans are made in the image of God, and are invited to live with
God forever. It is standard in the field of bioethics to insist that such religious views have no place in a
dialogue in a pluralistic society. So religious speakers often use a word that everyone can understand, that
can refer to humanity's unique relationship with God but is also accessible to everyone in the culture. That
word is "dignity." Opponents of cloning who testified before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission
(Leon Kass, Gilbert Meilaender, Rev. Albert Moraczewski and several members of the public) used the
word frequently. But the supporters of cloning (John Robertson and Ruth Macklin) and the NBAC
members themselves never used the word in their dialogue, except to disparage it (until the final meeting
when Dr. Bernard Lo intervened with great determination to get the word into their report).

Dr. James Childress was pulled reluctantly into a discussion of human dignity at the NBAC meeting on
May 2, 1997. His remark was fascinating, because he situated dignity in society rather than in the
individual. He said that when critics of cloning express a concern that the practice would "undermine
human dignity," that "suggests to me that we are talking about a value in the society that would be
seriously subverted. But I don't think it would be subverted by five, ten, perhaps even 100 acts of human
cloning. But it might well be subverted by a social practice of cloning." By contrast, the Catholic Church

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teaches that the touchstone by which all social policies in all fields should be measured is the impact on
the dignity of the individual.

2. Penetrating through denials about eugenics

In his remarks about the cloning hearing, Sen. Ted Kennedy noted that cloning might "give rise to
unacceptable forms of eugenics." One wonders what forms of eugenics are acceptable. Throughout the
discipline of bioethics today, there is discussion of a resurgence of benign eugenics.

The NBAC report mentions that some people are concerned about eugenics, but then it quickly falls into a
trap, denouncing the bad science that was used by eugenicists earlier this century. Eugenics fell into
disrepute after World War II, not because of bad science but because Hitler lost the war. Most histories of
eugenics say that the field was reformed by Frederick Osborn, a leader in the American Eugenics Society,
who drove out the racism and bad science. But in fact, Osborn was President of the Pioneer Fund, a
secretive white supremacist organization, during this "reform." And at least 126 members of the American
Eugenics Society (AES) were also members of the American Society of Human Genetics ...

In the 1960s, Osborn urged that the AES continue its work, but under a different name. In a speech in
1956, he said people "won't accept the idea that they are in general, second rate. We must rely on other
motivation [to reduce the birth rate of the dysgenic]." He called the new motivation "a system of
voluntary unconscious selection." The way to persuade people to exercise this voluntary unconscious
selection was to appeal to the idea of "wanted" children. Osborn said, "Let's base our proposals on the
desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate and responsible care." In this
way, the eugenics movement "will move at last towards the high goal which Galton set for it."*1

Osborn stated the public relations problem bluntly: "Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under a
name other than eugenics."*2 He pointed to genetic counseling as a prime example: "Heredity clinics are
the first eugenic proposals that have been adopted in a practical form and accepted by the public. . . . The
word eugenics is not associated with them."*3

The effort to understand eugenics today is still plagued by the flat denials of its most articulate
proponents. For example, the Eugenics Quarterly was renamed Social Biology in 1969, and the American
Eugenics Society was renamed the Society for the Study of Social Biology in 1973. And yet the nation's
most prominent teacher of social biology, E. O. Wilson at Harvard University, says he is not eugenicist. It
is impossible to define the word in a way that respects history and excludes Wilson's views. He teaches
that there is a continuum from animals to humans, that intelligence is what makes us special, and that
"[t]he organism is only DNA's way of making more DNA." He has written studies of ants that are
delightful until you grasp that his understanding of ants is a metaphor for the human race: in his view, the
race is what matters, and the individual is insignificant.

3. New issue: forced abortion The NBAC recommended that research go forward on somatic cell nuclear
transfer as long as the process did not result in "creating a child." But embryos become adults (after being
children at some undefined intermediate stage) unless they die along the way. A policy that permits human
cloning (i.e., somatic cell nuclear transfer) but prohibits making children requires the death of embryonic
(or fetal or infant?) human beings.

The NBAC did not discuss the issue of forced abortion at all, although their recommendation requires it.
Note that forced abortion is not compatible with a pro-life position, nor with a "pro-choice" position. It is
compatible with eugenics.

Alexander Capron said that embryos die all the time in in vitro fertilization (IVF), and that this is not new.
He misses the point. IVF clinics are not currently required by law to kill embryos. The issue of
government-mandated killing of humans at any stage is new in the United States (although the practice is
not new to the oppressed people of China).

4. New issue: objectification by law

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The NBAC report includes a professional discussion of objectification, or treating people as things. It is
one of the concerns that some critics raise about human cloning. But the NBAC did not discuss the fact
their recommendations are very specific in demanding that cloned humans be treated as things.

The policy of the President and of Congress, expressed in law, is that human embryos can be neither
created nor used solely for research purposes in Federally funded projects (at least under HHS). The
NBAC proposed not only that cloned embryos could be used for research purposes in the private sector,
but that they must be used solely for research purposes.

This is mandated objectification. This is a mandate to discriminate against human beings whose lives are
initiated by cloning — to treat embryonic humans whose lives began normally in one way, and to treat
embryonic humans whose lives began by cloning in a (lethally) different way.

The recommendation to mandate objectification may have been an accidental oversight by the NBAC.
However, it is worth noting that treating people like animals is compatible with eugenics. Eugenics, which
denies that there is a significant difference between animals and humans, would permit such mandated

5. Protect legitimate science

The technology of cloning is immensely exciting. It may save billions of dollars in animal husbandry.
Perhaps it can be used to rescue some endangered species. Certainly it offers powerful insights into basic
biology. But the excitement has been overshadowed by immense concern about the horrors of a brave
new world. It is the task of policy makers to discern, explain and defend the bright line between the
legitimate excitement of science and the horror of technology run amok. Fortunately, the bright line in this
situation is familiar to every human being on the globe. It is the line between animals and humans.
Eugenics would resist drawing a sharp line between animals and humans.

The obvious line should be strengthened, not only for the sake of the human race but also for the sake of
science. Those who seek to draw the line anywhere else are attacking science, demanding that scientists
operate under a cloud of suspicion.

6. Freedom from fear

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have known that technology makes many new and
wonderful things possible. But it seems that the great servant of technology became our master in 1945.
Two generations have grown up with the bomb, living with constant if quiet fear. Many people have an
expectation or belief, often unstated, that whatever can be done, will be done. This is a form of slavery.

In his testimony before the NBAC, Leon Kass spoke about human freedom and dignity, and noted that the
prospect of human cloning offers the human race a tremendous opportunity to fight for freedom. Human
freedom is not in cloning, but in refusing to clone, making a choice for the whole human race. If we look
at sweet technology and see fascinating possibilities, and then refuse to go down that road because it is
wrong, and if we can make that refusal stick — if we can do that even once — the slavery of the bomb
will be broken. We will know once again that humanity can use technology without being overwhelmed.
What can be done, need not be done. Fight for freedom.

Review of Chapter 16:

Modern Genetics Is Eugenics

1. What is the cutting edge of reproductive technology for the rich? What is the cutting edge of
reproductive technology for the poor?
2. What is artificial or assisted insemination?
3. Who developed Norplant? What else has this group done?
4. What is quinacrine, and who promotes it?
5. What was the recommendation about human cloning from President Clinton's bioethics advisory group

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Discuss: If the NBAC proposal is adopted and cloning is permitted for experimental purposes,
what is the argument against implantation?

1 Osborn, Frederick, Galton Lecture, Eugenics Review, 1956-1957, p. 21-22. Back

2 Osborn, Frederick, Future of Human Heredity (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1968), p. 104. Back
3 ibid, p. 91. Back

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12 of 12 17-02-2010 02:07
Bioethics, Shaping the Battle Field

Chapter 17:

Bioethics, Shaping the Battle Field

We have seen how anti-immigration policy supports depopulation policies. The Johnson Act
passed by the eugenics movement in the 1920s kept out Jewish fugitives when Hitler was
preparing to kill them. Anti-immigration laws today support the Chinese one-child-only
population policy.

Bioethics functions in a way that is similar to anti-immigration policies. Just as

anti-immigration policies support population control (negative eugenics), so bioethics
defends p" ositive"eugenics in the area of genetics and reproductive technology.

Bioethics is a new discipline. The word first appeared in the late 1960s, and it has been used in two ways.
Van Rensselaer Potter was probably the first person to put the word in print, in his book Bioethics: Bridge
to the Future (Prentice-Hall Biological Science Series: Englewood Cliffs, 1971). Other people began using
the word at about the same time, and it is interesting to look at the different ways they used the word.

Potter's concern was Malthusian. He did not see how the world could survive if mankind continued to
populate and pollute at a great rate, and wanted a way to talk about the problem. He was looking for an
ethical framework that would incorporate the new insights of biology. But more, he wanted an ethical
scheme that would pay attention to all life, pay attention to life as a unity, pay attention to the future of
the whole planet with its precious but fragile veneer of life spread in a thin layer over the surface.

Traditional ethics did not take account of the needs and rights of the entire biosphere, the whole web of
life. Potter saw a need for a new ethical framework that would develop ways to talk about such questions.

Another group of people began using the word at about the same time, including the bioethics pioneers
who began work at an institute called the Hastings Center to explore the new field. This group included
Daniel Callahan, Willard Gaylin, Robert Veatch, Marc LappÈ and many others.

It is not easy to characterize the views of such a group; they were all intelligent and complex individuals,
taking different approaches. But in general, they were interested in developing a new discipline called
bioethics because they wanted to find ways to handle new ethical questions raised by progress in biology
and medicine. For example, respirators and other sophisticated new equipment made it possible for
hospitals to keep a heart beating and lungs going after the brain shut down and the patient appeared to be
dead. If you could keep a heart pumping after a person died, or even outside the body, then you could not
say that a person is dead when the heart stops. So when is a person dead? How do you define death? That
question did not vex philosophers in past centuries. Advances in medicine brought new ethical questions.
Bioethics was supposed to provide the tools to deal with the new questions.

Getting rid of anomie

... It reminded me of a conversation more than 30 years ago with Harry McPherson, a wise Washington
lawyer, then on Lyndon Johnson's White House staff. I asked him about the criticism that the "War on
Poverty" was was not getting at the fundamental dysfunction that trapped families in blighted

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neighborhoods. Employing a single-word definition from sociological literature for "a breakdown or
absence of social norms and values," McPherson replied, "If you think it's hard to eliminate poverty,
just try getting rid of anomie."

David S. Broder, Washington Post,

p. A31, June 30, 1999

Does bioethics lead to anomie?

The questions that the early bioethicists wrestled with included abortion, coercive birth control, genetic
engineering, organ transplants, artificial insemination, euthanasia, and many other similar matters.
Population was among the concerns of the Hastings Center group, although it was not the starting point
for them, as it was for Potter.

When you look through the articles and papers written in the first years of bioethics, there are two striking
characteristics about them. First, the issues that they were discussing were all issues that mattered within
the eugenics movement, with only one significant exception. The exception is truth-telling, the limits of
what a physician was ethically required to tell a patient: this question runs through bioethics literature, but
not previous eugenics literature.

Second, very few of the new bioethicists asserted traditional ethical conclusions like the Hippocratic Oath
with any vigor. You can't say that every bioethicist parroted the views of the eugenics movement. But
what you can say is that bioethics did not offer any serious resistance to any evil that developed within the
eugenics movement. Bioethicists would quibble and caution and wring their hands and especially "develop
new safeguards," but "stop it" was not in their vocabulary.

Bioethicists have been able to say no when things have stopped already. For example, in the 1990s,
bioethicists at Johns Hopkins University put together an excellent study of the ethical problems in a
radiation study conducted by the military in the 1950s. When the United States was developing nuclear
weapons, some soldiers were deliberately exposed to radiation so that researchers could study the
problem. The soldiers who were used as guinea pigs were not told what the experiments were. The
research was inexcusable, and 40 years later some bioethicists said so, firmly.

It would be easier to take bioethics at Johns Hopkins seriously if they were able to speak as forthrightly
about more recent problems. It would be especially useful if bioethicists at Johns Hopkins could examine
grave bioethical abuses right at their own institution.

In the 1960s, when population control groups were developing and promoting IUDs, scientists associated
with Johns Hopkins worked on a new design. They came up with an IUD that resembled a louse, called
the Dalkon Shield. The Dalkon Shield was introduced in January 1971, and about 2.2 million women used
it over the next four years. But the device turned out to be deadly, not only for tiny embryos but also for
women. Thousands were hurt, and some died. The women sued, and in the end the class action suit had
334,863 claimants. The manufacturer, A. H. Robins, went bankrupt.

The complaints against the Dalkon Shield drove it off the American market in 1974, but population
control groups continued to use it overseas.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins had a role in the development of the Dalkon Shield, and in the distribution
overseas. But what was their role, exactly? Did anyone at Johns Hopkins make any effort to pull the
Dalkon Shield, at least, off the shelves in developing nations? There are many tough questions, still
unanswered, about the scandal.

Joseph Fletcher and Situation Ethics

Bioethics is based at least in part on situation ethics, developed by Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991). Fletcher

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taught ethics at Episcopal Theological School and at Harvard Divinity School from 1944 to 1970, and then
at the University of Virginia until 1977. He was a member of the American Eugenics Society, and also of a
series of groups promoting various parts of the eugenics agenda, including three euthanasia societies (he
was president of the Society for the Right to Die from 1974 to 1976), two abortion societies, and one
sterilization association.

During his academic career, Fletcher became increasingly concerned about legalism, an excessive
concern about the letter of the law. In his book Situation Ethics he argued that the only rule that really
matters is love, a serious commitment to love. An ethical person should examine each unique situation,
and try to figure out the loving thing to do, without applying rigid rules. He argued that all efforts to
formulate unchanging moral laws have failed. Obviously, he had to address the Ten Commandments in
some way, and he attacked each and every one of them, showing that there are always some
circumstances in which all reasonable people would agree that the law should be set aside.

Jesus of Nazareth, whom some believe to be the son of God and all consider a great moral teacher, also
spoke about summing up the whole Law briefly. His brief summary had two commandments: love God
with your whole heart and soul and strength and mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Fletcher went a step beyond Jesus, and reduced the law to a single principle: love. And indeed, withing a
few years after the book came out, Fletcher renounced his belief in God.

The prefix bio-

To understand the new term bioethics, look at some other words with the prefix bio-.

biology: the science of life

biochemistry: branch of chemistry dealing with the life processes of plants and animals
biography: history of a person's life
biodegradable: able to be decomposed by biological means
biosphere: living beings together with their environment, an entire system including different
forms of life
biotechnology: applied biological science, like bioengineering or recombinant DNA technology
biotherapy: treatment of disease using substances from living organisms, like herbs and penicillin
biosocial: concerned with the interaction of the biological aspects and social relationships of
living organisms
biorhythm: a rhythm inside a living thing that seems to control its biological processes
biodiversity: the numbers of different species of plants and animals in a particular location

It is interesting to note that his first concrete example is abortion, and his concluding example is the use of
nuclear weapons. He justified both, in certain circumstances — abortion in the case of rape, and nuclear
weapons in Hiroshima. The book was published in 1966. The previous year, the Roman Catholic Church,
Fletcher's chief adversary, had concluded the Second Vatican Council, a long meeting of all the bishops,
and had released a number of documents stating the teaching of the Church. One was called Gaudium et
Spes [Joy and Hope], or The Church in the Modern World. In general, the Council was very upbeat, and
so is this historic document. But it does contain two statements that contrast sharply with Fletcher's
methods and conclusions. In section 51 of Gaudium et Spes, the Pope and bishops together taught that
"abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes." In section 80, they declared, "Any act of war aimed
indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a
crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation."

The Belmont Principles

In 1974, just a few years after the field of bioethics began to organize, the Federal government financed a
huge bioethics project. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (or HEW, later called the

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Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS) put together a commission to think about how to
protect people used in research. The group was called the National Commission for the Protection of
Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

The Commission met and studied and exchanged ideas for some years, and in 1979 they released a paper,
"Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research," or more simply the
"Belmont Report." The name was taken from a conference center in Elkridge, Maryland, where the
commission thrashed out some ideas during four days of intensive discussion in February 1976.

The Belmont principles are not supposed to be about the whole of life, like the Decalogue from Mount
Sinai; they are limited to a specific need, protecting human subjects in research. Still, to understand
bioethics and modern eugenics, you must understand the Belmont principles.

First, it is noteworthy that the Belmont Report speaks of "principles and guidelines," not rules. This is the
language of Joseph Fletcher. Further, the principles are supposed to "assist in resolving the ethical
problems," rather than "resolve the problems." This is characteristic of Fletcher's post-Sinai approach.

The Belmont Report identifies three basic ethical principles that are "among those generally accepted in
our cultural tradition." In other words, ethical principles depend on social consensus.

The three principles are: respect of persons, beneficence and justice. Some bioethicists have since divided
beneficence in two, adding non-maleficence as a fourth basic ethical principle. These words sound
impressive, but it is not clear that they convey much meaning.

The first principle, respect of persons, sounds a little like a concern about the overwhelming dignity of
each individual. But in 1976, the nation was already torn apart over the question of who is and who (or
what) is not a person. The abortion debate was often phrased in terms of personhood: is the child or fetus
in the mother's womb a person? In eugenics theory, offspring accumulate value over a period of months,
and personhood is a legal status conferred by the State at an arbitrarily set time; in many other world
views, personhood is part and parcel of being alive and human, and comes with the beginning of life at
fertilization. Is abortion moral? Is it ethical to use human beings in the first days of life for research?
Speaking of respect of persons does not begin to answer these key issues of our time.

The second principle, beneficence, is Latin for doing good. No one is opposed to it, but what does it
mean? Take, for example, one of the major issues that bioethics tackled, euthanasia. If a person is in pain
and you try to relieve it, that certainly sounds like doing good. But if you "relieve the pain" by killing
them, that may not be good, especially since you cannot guarantee that a dead person is free of pain and
suffering. Throughout the world, throughout history, there have been stories about life after death,
including the possibility of eternal suffering. It is not possible here to prove or to disprove theories about
life after death, but it is foolish and narrow-minded to dismiss them. Euthanasia may be beneficent if
humans are merely smart animals; euthanasia may be eternally harmful if humans are eternal creatures.
The second principle of bioethics does not help to resolve this matter.

Non-maleficence is Latin for not doing evil; this is the part of beneficence that some bioethicists use as a
fourth principle. But the Report cuts the heart out of the Hippocratic Oath, and even claims that the Oath
is a basis for situation ethics, pointing out that the Oath says that physicians should benefit their patients
"according to their best judgment." What Hippocrates had in mind, surely, were questions like when to
rest and when to exercise, or when to wait and when to operate. But the Belmont Report expands the idea
of "best judgment." The original Oath had clear prohibitions, including unmistakable words against
abortion and euthanasia. But the Belmont Report refers to a vague beneficence. Further, beneficence can
mean doing good for the individual or for society, possibly even harming the individual for the good of

The third principle, justice, also turns out to be elusive for the authors. The Belmont Report rounds up a
variety of theories about justice, and does not put them together. In fact, the Report poses questions about
equality, asking, "Who is equal and who is unequal?" It follows this question by asking, "What

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considerations justify departure from equal distribution? Almost all commentators allow that distinctions
based on experience, age, deprivation, competence, merit and position do sometimes constitute criteria
justifying differential treatment for certain purposes." But in the United States exactly two centuries after
the Declaration of Independence, why did the matter of distinctions based on various conditions lead
bioethicists to ask, "Who is equal?"

What did emerge from the Belmont Report was a set of guidelines about informed consent. Before a
person is used in research, the person must understand what it is all about, and agree in writing to permit
it. This has led to an increase in the paperwork that patients sign when they enter a hospital. At least one
member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission calls the informed consent process "an empty
secular ritual," but sticks to it faithfully anyway.

The Role of Bioethics Today

Bioethics is still a new field, but it is well established in universities and hospitals.More than 25
universities offer programs leading to degrees in bioethics, or to degrees in a larger field (such as
philosophy or history) with a concentration in bioethics. There are dozens of professional journals in
bioethics. Medical schools generally include a variety of bioethics courses in the curriculum. Divinity
schools that train pastors also teach bioethics.

In many hospitals, chaplains have been replaced by bioethicists, who have been trained to help people
deal with death. They may or may not believe in life after death, but are ready to talk at length about the
feelings that patients have as they approach death, and are ready to help families cope with grief. They are
also trained to help physicians, patients, families and hospital administrators make decisions about
whether or when to turn off life-sustaining equipment. Such issues include medical and legal
complications. Insurance companies and managed-care organizations have more and more influence on
decisions about medical care, and bioethicists are trained to help everyone involved to understand each
other's needs and interests.

Under President Clinton, bioethics expanded its role in national policy-making. Clinton's predecessors had
appointed various ad hoc commissions to advise the government on specific issues, such as protecting
research subjects. But in 1996, President Clinton created a new body, the National Bioethics Advisory
Commission (NBAC). The idea was to establish a permanent group that would deal with a wide variety of
bioethical issues, to replace the temporary groups of previous years.

The NBAC was supposed to advise the government on bioethical issues, but it would also have some
power to focus public attention on specific questions and problems. Obviously, in a free country with a
vigorous free press, no single institution can end any discussion. But the NBAC would be able to set the
agenda for public debate, decide which topics to discuss.

The first chairman of the NBAC was Harold Shapiro, president of Princeton University. There were a total
of 18 members, experts in medicine, law and public policy. One member was an expert in comparative
religions, but none were priests or rabbis or ministers. This, surely, was among the most bizarre events of
the recent history: a nation in which the overwhelming majority of the citizens believe in God and go to
church or synagogue assembled a group of experts to give advise on life and death issues — without any

In the first few months, as the NBAC was just getting itself organized, a scientist in Scotland reported that
he had cloned a sheep. For decades, efforts to clone mammals had failed, and the report from Scotland
was revolutionary. It raised the possibility of cloning other mammals, including humans. President Clinton
turned to his brand-new advisory body and asked for their advice about a national policy on human
cloning. This gave the NBAC much publicity, and probably ensured that it would survive.

The NBAC not only sets the agenda for public discussion of issues, but also lays down some of the ground
rules. During their meetings on human cloning, they invited representatives from various churches to give
their views. But over and over, they asked people to put their views in nonreligious terms, so that they

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could be understood by everyone in a pluralistic nation. The chairmen of NBAC subcommittees did not
ask speakers who offered their ideas in secular terms to rephrase their remarks in religious terms. In other
words, it is the view of the NBAC that completely nonreligious language is neutral. The members of the
commission did not include clergy, and the language they sought to use was specifically nonreligious.

As we saw in Chapter 16, the NBAC recommended that this nation permit human cloning as long as the
cloned embryos were destroyed before they got very large. This "clone-and-kill" recommendation is pure
eugenics. It assumes that human beings in the first days of life are less than human or other than human,
and that value accumulates over time. But also, the NBAC recommended that cloned embryos should be
destroyed because they were likely to be defective in a variety of ways.

It is worth dwelling on this point. Suppose that researchers do succeed in cloning humans, and in a few
years there are clinics and laboratories all over the country churning out cloned embryos. The question
then is not whether to start cloning, but whether to kill the embryos or to try to keep them alive. What are
the arguments for and against implanting cloned embryos in a mother's womb? Infertile parents would
want to proceed with implantation. Pro-lifers would demand implantation, since anything else kills a living
human being, however tiny. Researchers would be curious about the results. The only argument for
hesitating before implanting a cloned embryo is a concern about quality control. And the NBAC
adopted this purely eugenic recommendation unanimously.

People who offer themselves as experts on matters like the beginning of life (cloning, human sexuality)
and the end of life (euthanasia) are performing some of the functions of a priestly class. Bioethics today
functions as the priesthood of the eugenics movement.

Review of Chapter 17:

Bioethics, Shaping the Battle Field

1. Identify Joseph Fletcher, and explain the term "situation ethics" briefly.
2. List words that have "bio-" as a prefix. Explain the term "bioethics," giving two different definitions.
3. What are the "Belmont Principles"?
4. What is the role of bioethics today? Who trains bioethicists, and where does a bioethicist work?
5. Identify the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and describe its initial work briefly.

Discuss: If you try to build an ethical framework in which everyone in your society has a veto
over any statement of principles, is there a way to avoid having your statement degenerate
into toothless and meaningless platitudes?

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What Do We See Today?

Chapter 18:

What Do We See Today?

The eugenics movement has a long history, and now it is easy to find its influence everywhere. For
example, one of the most popular tabletop magazines in the country, National Geographic, is regularly
loaded with eugenics propaganda. The beautiful pictures in the familiar yellow-bordered cover are
everywhere. Every month, millions of people read articles describing problems that would be fixed by
population control. People read the articles, enjoy them, and keep them for years — rarely if ever noticing
that they are taking poison!

One of the clearest examples of eugenics in National Geographic was an article in 1991 about elephants.
It described how poachers have been killing the huge and fascinating animals just to get their tusks,
leaving the carcasses to rot. The article is full of information, easy to read, well illustrated — really
delightful. But if you take time to look at it critically, there are glaring problems everywhere. And when
you see them, you wonder how you missed them at first, and why no one else saw them. In fact, you
might wonder why there aren't any protesters picketing in front of National Geographic's offices.

The article is racist. There are four pictures in the article of people who kill elephants. In two, the people
are white, and they are called "hunters" or "marksmen" who are culling the herd. In two, the people are
black, and they are called "poachers."

The article starts out talking about poachers, and draws readers to sympathize with the victimized
elephants. In fact, in one photo, there are armed men jumping out of a helicopter and killing the poachers.
But as the article goes on, it turns out that elephants have an enemy even more dangerous than poachers
— the growing human population. Elephants in the wild need a lot or room, and they are being crowded
out by people. Surely, if it makes sense to kill people to protect elephants, it also makes sense to keep the
population down to protect them.

There is a map that shows how much space the elephants need to live properly. It is a little less than a
quarter of the continent of Africa. Does that mean that all the African people should vacate a quarter of
the continent? Not exactly. The ideal arrangement suggested in National Geographic is that a few natives
should stay to work as servants when wealthy Europeans come there on safaris.

It is hard to believe how bad the article is until you see it for yourself. But once you do see it, then you
start to notice that National Geographic is always describing the world as overpopulated, always links
people with pollution, always paints humanity as a threat to the health of the earth.

Protecting elephants from poachers does not require population control throughout Africa. Elephants and
humans can live together peacefully.

National Geographic is by no means the only magazine that pushes eugenics. Nearly every newspaper
and magazine and news outlet does the same thing. The ideology of eugenics is deeply ingrained in
American culture today, everywhere. It will stay there until people challenge it.

To see eugenics in the media, watch for stories about problems that would be fixed
completely or partially by population control. With each story, ask yourself whether there
are solutions other than population control.

Eugenics in the Science Curriculum

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What Do We See Today?

In the summer of 1999, there was a battle in Kansas about how to teach science in the public schools. A
school board subcommittee proposed standards that all the schools were to meet. The standards included
teaching about evolution and natural selection, and some Christians who believe in the literal
interpretation of the Bible resisted. The fight between the two sides resembled the Scopes trial in many
ways, including one-sided reporting of the event.

What people hear about the Scopes trial today is that Christians in Tennessee resisted teaching evolution.
Almost no one today is aware that the book John Scopes used taught evolution — and eugenics, white
supremacy, forced sterilization. In the same way, stories about the confrontation in Kansas reported that
the Christians have a narrow agenda, but did not examine the proposal from the committee that wrote the
science standards for the Kansas State Board of Education. That proposed curriculum included a great
deal of eugenics — Malthusian doctrine, population propaganda and environmental extremism.

For example, in third and fourth grades, "All students will demonstrate an awareness of changes in the
environment. Through classroom discussions, students can begin to recognize pollution as an
environmental issue, scarcity as a resource issue, and crowded classrooms or schools as a population
issue." This is sheer lunacy. Anyone who sees a population problem in Kansas is out of touch with reality.
The educators who wrote this into the curriculum are fanatics who are deeply committed to a belief
system that is not based on verifiable facts. It is not possible to defend this item by saying that students are
supposed to recognize a population issue "in classrooms and schools," not elsewhere. Overall, Kansas is
sparsely populated; if some school is crowded, that's a construction issue.

The committee proposed that students in the fifth through eighth grades learn: "When an area becomes
overpopulated by a species, the environment will change due to the increased use of resources. Middle
level students need opportunities to learn about concepts of carrying capacity. They need to gather
evidence and analyze effects of human interactions with the environment." The "carrying capacity" of
Kansas is substantial, and a better question might be, "How many continents can Kansas feed?"

The committee's proposed curriculum was uniformly critical of human interaction with the environment.
Students were to learn that humans are altering parts of the ecosystem, and that "the changes may be
detrimental to ecosystem function." This is certainly true as far as it goes, but it is unbalanced. Humans
can improve the world in many ways — by farming that takes immense quantities of food from the
ground, by gardening that arranges natural beauty in new ways, by architecture that lifts stone into the
sky, by art and music and medicine (for humans and animals).

To discuss ways that humans damage the ecosystem — without any mention of the good humans do — is
not honest, and therefore not science.

The proposed curriculum describes humans as "complex, soft machines that require many systems to
operate properly." It pounds away at a distinction between things that are natural and things that are
"human-made," but then describes humans simply as animals without ever looking at the ways in which
we are different from animals. Are we part of the ecosystem or not? Do we belong here or not? The
message of the curriculum seemed to be that we fit badly (if at all) on the earth, and we must tread lightly
or we are trespassing.

The educational standards proposed by the science committee writing for the Kansas State
Board of Education were based largely on the work of national organizations, the National
Research Council (NRC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS). The idea that humans are smart animals that pollute is likely to show up in every
state's science curriculum.

The Family Cap in Welfare Reform

In 1993, New Jersey was the pioneer in a controversial experiment in welfare reform. Throughout the
country, at the state and national levels, there was a push to reform a system for helping the poor that had
grown unwieldy. Most of the reform was aimed at breaking the habit of depending on the government, and

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moving people from welfare to work — just getting people back to work. But one relatively minor piece
of welfare reform — in New Jersey and elsewhere later — was a provision called the "family cap."

The family cap was supposed to be a response to the numbers of children who were born to single mothers
on welfare. It ended the practice of automatically increasing benefits whenever another child was born.
Proponents of the family cap said that the old system had rewarded the wrong behavior, and had
encouraged "illegitimacy."

The amount of money involved was small. It varied from state to state, but in general a woman receiving
help from the government would get cash, rent assistance, food stamps and medical care adding up to
about $20,000 each year. For each child she had, she would receive an additional $1,000 per year, or a
five percent increase. The family cap did not change the additional benefits that a woman received for
children who were already alive; it affected children yet to come. A woman would not receive additional
benefits if the child was conceived and born while she was on welfare.

The clear intent of the family cap was to discourage women from having more children while the mother
was unmarried and dependent on the state. It was supposed to change her behavior. But it was not clear
how she was supposed to avoid having more children, or what behavior she was supposed to change. Did
the social planners want her to use barrier contraception, or modern birth control methods like Norplant
and Depo-Provera, or get sterilized, or get an abortion if she became pregnant, or be chaste? The message
of the family cap provision was not specific; she was just supposed to avoid more births.

In the event, the birth rate for women on welfare in New Jersey did in fact drop. But why? The number of
surgical abortions did not change much. The Population Council and Wyeth-Ayerst, a drug company,
promoted Norplant in New Jersey very aggressively, but it did not catch on. Depo-Provera did become
very popular, though, and probably explains the decline.

When the family cap provision was debated at the national level in 1996, an odd thing happened.
Pro-lifers were divided on the idea. Some opposed it because it might encourage women to have
abortions, or because they had been telling pregnant women for decades that the pro-life movement was
ready to help a pregnant mother in need with no strings attached. But others supported it as a "pro-family"
law that would "fight illegitimacy."

The intent of the law was to drive down births among people on the margins of society. The arguments for
the law sounded like Margaret Sanger's hostility to welfare. Champions of the law included Charles
Murray, author of the eugenics update, The Bell Curve. The result of the law was to increase chemical
abortions via Depo-Provera. If pro-lifers could support the family cap, then clearly the eugenics
movement is alive and well!

Locating and understanding eugenics in modern politics can be a little frustrating, since
everyone resists the e" ugenics"label, and because many of the people now pushing eugenics
proposals are doing so without any clear understanding of what they are doing. But in
general, look for eugenics whenever a law is supposed to drive down the birthrate of the

Eugenics Resurgence at Princeton

At the beginning of the 20th century, the London School of Economics laid the foundations for
generations of eugenics theory, guaranteeing that anyone who studied economics or indeed any social
science in English in this century would be taught eugenics. Today, there is a massive resurgence of
eugenics, with little organized opposition. One institution that is especially worth watching is Princeton
University, which could become a focal point like the London School of Economics, with a number of
overlapping eugenics programs and initiatives.

Princeton, like most of the Ivy League schools, has a long history of involvement in eugenics. For
example, Dr. Carl C. Brigham was among the leaders in the use of intelligence tests to screen out

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immigrants in the 1920s; he taught psychology at Princeton at the time.

Princeton took a leadership role in negative eugenics when the Osborn and Milbank families helped to
fund the Office of Population Research (OPR) there. (The Osborn family includes Major General
Frederick Osborn, the postwar "reformer"; the Milbank Fund provided the money for the infamous
Tuskegee syphilis study.) OPR was extremely influential in shaping American foreign policy regarding
population. Today, OPR is housed in Notestein Hall, named for Frank Notestein, who promoted
population control through the Milbank Foundation as a researcher, the Population Council as a founding
trustee and later president for nine years, and the United Nations Population Division as the Director.
Princeton remains deeply committed to population control.

When President Clinton launched his National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), he appointed
Harold Shapiro as chairman. Shapiro, a calm and urbane leader, is president of Princeton University. As
chair of the NBAC, Shapiro was in a position to shape the debate over human cloning, and must take a
major share of responsibility for the commission's "clone-and-kill" recommendation (proceed with somatic
cell nuclear transfer, but kill the human embryos before they become recognizable to the naked eye).

In 1998, Shapiro gave the opening talk at an international bioethics conference in Tokyo, and called for an
"aggressive, serious conversation" between bioethics and social sciences — but not between bioethics and
theology. By "aggressive, serious conversation," he meant an exchange of views that was vigorous, with
ideas put forward with some passion, with a real intent of changing the way people think. If social
scientists follow Shapiro's proposal, that could strengthen the eugenics movement in the academic world.

When Shapiro spoke in Tokyo, he had already begun to implement his own proposal at Princeton, by
bringing in animal-rights activist Peter Singer to teach there. Singer was the founder of the International
Association of Bioethics (IAB), which sponsored the Tokyo meeting. The IAB takes no official position
on any matter of substance; rather, it offers itself as a forum for a free exchange of ideas. The only
position that the IAB takes is opposition to censorship.

Singer himself is forthright and aggressive in his view that intelligence is the quality that matters most, and
that some apes have more intelligence than some humans — and are therefore more worthy of legal
protection. He supports infanticide for eugenic purposes. Some critics have responded to his proposals by
trying to censor them, which is a little like throwing Br'er Rabbit in the briar patch.

Shapiro's call for an aggressive conversation will encourage social scientists — especially Princeton
professors — to consider how to incorporate Singer's views into their work.

Declining family size

Your own generation Your grandparents' generation

How many children did your parents How many children were in your paternal
have? Include yourself, brothers, sisters, grandfather's family (that is, in your father's father's
half-brothers and half-sisters. family, including himself and his brothers, sisters,
half-brothers and half-sisters)?
Your parents' generation
How many children were in your paternal
How many children were in your grandmother's family (that is, in your father's mother's
father's family (including himself and his family, including herself and her brothers, sisters,
brothers, sisters, half-brothers and half-brothers and half-sisters)?
How many children were in your maternal
How many children were in your

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mother's family (including herself and her grandfather's family (that is, in your mother's father's
brothers, sisters, half-brothers and family, including himself and his brothers, sisters,
half-sisters)? half-brothers and half-sisters)?

What is the average family size for How many children were in your maternal
your parents? (Add the family size for grandmother's family (that is, in your mother's mother's
your mother and for your father, and family, including herself and her brothers, sisters,
divide by 2.) half-brothers and half-sisters)?

What is the average family size for your grandparents?

(Add the family size for your grandparents, and divide by

This is a not a scientific survey; the sample is far too small to prove anything statistically. But many
people can see in their own families that average family size has declined. There are many personal
and specific reasons for this — always interesting, sometimes painful. But sometimes, people can look
in their own families and see one major effect of the eugenics movement. Overall, family size has
declined, because of population explosion propaganda. This is not a criticism of your parents; the
point is that you need not look far to find the effects of eugenics.

Review of Chapter 18:

What Do We See Today?

1. National Geographic magazine describes two threats to elephants. What are the two threats, which is
most serious, and what is their solution?
2. Describe the Malthusian and eugenicist ideas found in the science standards proposed by the science
committee writing for the Kansas State Board of Education.
3. What is the "family cap"? What is it for, and how is success measured?
4. Identify Peter Singer, Frank Notestein and Harold Shapiro. Explain the phrase "aggressive serious
5. Compare family size over three generations. How many brothers and sisters do you have? How many
first cousins do you have? How many siblings did your father have, and how many did your mother have?
How many siblings did each of your grandparents have? Is there a trend?

Discuss: Can Princeton University promote eugenics as effectively as the London School of
Economics did?

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Eugenics is a grim reality, but I find that understanding it clearly is a source of great joy and hope. For
nearly everyone, to see it clearly is to reject it firmly.

In the 20th century, there were huge struggles against Fascism and then against Communism, and both
were swept away. Holdouts remain, but the future will not be shaped by these anti-human ideologies.
Eugenics will also be swept away. It has done as much damage as Fascism and Communism; it has a
longer history and a tighter grip. But it too will fall. It cannot keep the allegiance of intellectuals, because
it is based on nonsense. And it cannot maintain the support of anyone else either, because it is joyless.

Consider the human dilemma as described by sociobiologist E. O. Wilson:

We keep returning to the subject with a sense of hesitancy and even dread. For if the brain is
a machine of ten million nerve cells and the mind can somehow be explained as the summed
activity of a finite number of chemical and electrical reactions, boundaries limit the human
prospect — we are biological and our souls cannot fly free. If humankind evolved by
Darwinian natural selection, [then] genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God,
made the species. ... However much we may embellish that stark conclusion with metaphor
and imagery, it remains the philosophical legacy of the last century of scientific research.

Wilson's physics and astronomy are relics of the 19th century; he is wrong about the philosophical legacy
of science. Astronomers are not troubled by a Creator, and physics since Heisenberg has room for human
freedom. It is only biologists, out of touch with physics, who still think that faith and science may be in
conflict. Religion is at peace with science, except with biology as it is taught by eugenicists. The truth will
come out, and perhaps in just a few years.

Wilson's description of humanity is degrading, enslaving and joyless (as well as wrong). To his credit, he
recognizes that it is "admittedly unappealing."

It is interesting to look at the careers of two men who examined human nature with a scientific bent.
Alfred Kinsey, whose writing helped launch the sexual revolution, was raised as a Christian, but in college
he came under the influence of eugenicists, including the Huxleys. Then he spent his life studying sex, but
without joy.

Walker Percy, one of the great novelists of the century, was also shaped for years by eugenics. He was
especially impressed by the sweeping vision of the universe painted by H. G. Wells and Julian Huxley in
The Science of Life. But Percy later rejected eugenics. He was a physician and an observer of humanity,
skeptical and ready to listen to science, but he came to see that science cannot explain the glorious tangle
of the human mind. He converted to Catholicism. When you recognize eugenics, you find that Percy's
novels are full of blistering satires of the joyless ideology of arrogance.

The contrast between the joy of the believer and the joylessness of the materialist is easy to see. Kinsey's
biographer records an incident when Kinsey corrected his son's religious bent. The innocent little boy said,
"Look at the pretty flower, Daddy. God made it." "Now, Bruce," dad replied, where did the flower really
come from?" Bruce knew the right answer: "From a seed." The implication, notes Judith A. Reisman, "is
that if one believes in God, one cannot believe in seeds."

The poet Piet Hein certainly knew about the existence of seeds (and bulbs), but noted:

Brown earth

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To yellow crocus
Is undiluted

The truth will prevail, and eugenics will be swept away with the other bloody failures of the 20th century.
Freedom and dignity are not illusions. Human life is a great gift from a loving God, and it is full of wonder
and awe and joy.

Final essay (choose one):

Is genocide implicit in the theory of natural selection? Will eugenics always lead to massive bloodshed?

Read over the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55), and then write an imaginary conversation about it between a
eugenicist and a Christian. (The simplest way to structure the conversation is to go through the Magnificat
line by line, responding to each line with a sentence or two from each side.)

Locate eugenics theory in a chapter of any standard social science textbook, and explain what would
change in the book if the taint of eugenics were replaced with an unswerving commitment to the
overwhelming dignity of each person.

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