Rocking the Cradle


A Little Known Chapter of History

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species.  To this end, I hold M&M duels.  Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters.  That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately.  The winner gets to go another round.  I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior.  I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theatre of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.  Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest.  Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength.  In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.  When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd.  Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Incorporated, Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 USA, along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."  This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free ½ pound bag of plain M&Ms.  I consider this "grant money."  I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament.  From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.  There can be only one.

- The Web

In the final analysis, eugenics reflects political and social prejudices rather than scientific fact.

- David Micklos, editor, American Eugenics Movement Archive

by Peta Woodhouse

Many books have been written about New Zealand history, but how many cover our country's sexual history?

It sounds like a plan hatched in Nazi Germany, but it was happening here.  Discussions about weeding "inferior offspring" out of the population were taking place among New Zealand officials in the 1920s.  Wellington author Helen Smyth researched the discussions about eugenics for her book, Rocking the Cradle - Contraception, Sex and Politics in New Zealand.  The book is the culmination of an 8-year "obsessive" journey into researching the past 100 years of New Zealand social and sexual history, in particular the complexity of contraceptive rights and methods.

Ms Smyth says it is incredible how recently New Zealand considered sterilising and even killing off members of the population deemed "unfit."  In 1924, the Government set up a Committee of Inquiry to consider "Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders."  It recommended a Eugenics Board be established to determine who should be allowed to reproduce.

"The medical officers, teachers, hospital superintendents, prison officers, asylum workers and judges were to give the names of people they thought to be feeble minded, or mentally defective.  Moral 'imbeciles' such as homosexuals were to be included, as were children with epilepsy.  The Board, headed by a psychiatrist, would assess those named to it.  Options for action included segregated colonies, marriage prohibition, sterilisation and or lifelong committal to a mental asylum," said Ms Smyth.

Doctors were invited at a Eugenic inquiry to give evidence and solutions to "impaired health, low morality and insanity [which] descend to the offspring and are a continual drain upon the community.  Many suggested strong medicine, setting a standard of intelligence and sterilising all people below it, shooting sexual offenders, segregation into colonies and killing 'bad cases' in a kind of lethal chamber.  People think of these [attitudes] as belonging to Hitler's Germany but it is astounding that we have documents recommending a kind of lethal chamber."  However, after a parliamentary debate to consider marriage prohibition and sterilisation of "mental defectives," the Government backed down.

Eugenic thinking gained momentum in Western cultures around the turn of the century and held sway until Hitler's experiments in World War II brought the theory into international disrepute.

Rocking the Cradle also follows the history of the Family Planning Association, exploring the connected realms of sex and politics, birth control methods, morality and religion, contraception for and attitudes toward Maori, feminism, sex education and the quest for contraception.

Ms Smyth gives shocking examples of how desperate women were for reliable contraceptives in the first half of the 20th century.  An official record taken in the 1930s reads: "The family has been on relief for the last six years.  They have four children between 5½ and 12 years of age.  The 2 youngest are undernourished.  Mother has consistently tried contraceptive means without any success.  She is unable to get a doctor's advice.  Six miscarriages have been induced since the youngest child was born, by means of a catheter.  Says she would rather risk her life than have another and if she is unable to secure a catheter would use a knitting needle."

But even as late as the 1950s doctors were rejecting barrier contraceptive methods.  In 1960 the New Zealand Medical Association wrote to the Family Planning Association and was quoted as saying: "We view with repugnance the suggestion that premarital instruction in contraception needs to be given; for it is in negation of the purpose of marriage."  The reluctance of officials to encourage birth control is linked back to an ideology during the first half of the 20th Century that Anglo-Saxon, home-grown babies were deemed a vital resource for the country.  By the time the Pill arrived in 1961 people were desperate for it.

"New Zealand's acceptance of the Pill was phenomenal," says Helen.  Within just 5 years women were swallowing some 100,000 packets of the Pill each month.  A study of married women showed New Zealand had a potential pill-taking population of 250,000.  Within 5 years, 2 of every 5 married, fertile women were on the Pill.

Ms Smyth became interested in writing the book while working as the Family Planning Association's publicity officer in 1990.  "A lot of women who had set up the Family Planning Association were dying and the archives were not well set up.  I collated the archives and in 1992 I applied for funding [for the book].  It came through and for 8 years it has ruined my life!" she jokes.  She said researching material became an obsession.  One of the most fascinating aspects had been discovering how conservative New Zealand's attitudes were until so recently.  "At times I was gob smacked.  The more I explored the more incredulous I became."

Rocking the Cradle was published by Steele Roberts Limited, $29.95.

Source: Contact 25 May 2000

Better Than Sex: The Growing Practice of Embryo Eugenics

by William Saletan

"Mommy, where did I come from?"

Throughout history, parents have squirmed at that question because it involved sex.  Now, many are squirming because it doesn't.  For children born through in vitro fertilisation - 3 million and counting - the answer involves injections, selections, and lab dishes.  The hard part is explaining the siblings we rejected: nearly half a million embryos frozen in US clinics alone.  For thousands of children, the story now includes preimplantation genetic diagnosis [PGD], a technique for weeding out flawed embryos.

What flaws are we screening for?  That's the most uncomfortable question of all.  Sometimes the flaw is a horrible disease.  But increasingly, it's a milder disease, the absence of useful tissue, or just the wrong sex.  If you think it's hard to explain where babies come from, try explaining where baby-making is going.

In its early days, PGD targeted fatal childhood diseases such as Tay-Sachs.  But a new survey of US fertility clinics, scheduled for release this week by the Genetics and Public Policy Center, suggests the line is moving.  Among clinics that offer PGD, 28% have used it to target genes whose associated diseases don't strike until adulthood.  The list includes Alzheimer's, which afflicts some people in their 30s but usually arrives much later.  According to next month's Journal of Clinical Oncology, PGD has also been used to wipe out colon cancers that don't develop until age 45 to 55 and are treatable, if detected early, with survival rates of 90%.

For some of these adult-onset genes, the risk of illness is less than 50%.  But it feels mean, even arbitrary, to quibble about probabilities.  American clinics target these genes anyway, to prevent "cancer predisposition syndromes," if not cancer itself.  Even if your child never gets sick, just knowing he has the gene can cause anxiety, as British regulators noted four months ago when they approved PGD for colon cancer.

Probability and life span aren't the only standards we're relaxing.  We're also applying PGD to less serious diseases.  Encouraged by Britain's ruling on colon cancer, a London hospital is proposing to prevent autism by eliminating male embryos, which are more likely than females to get the disease.  Two weeks ago, the New York Times described an American patient who plans to screen her embryos for an arthritis gene.  The probability that the gene will cause the disease is only 20%, and if it does, the disease is highly manageable.

Once you screen for one gene, it's tempting to screen for others.  The woman who's targeting arthritis, for example, added that gene to an already-planned test.  Another patient, described in the same article, set out to scan his embryos for colon cancer and ended up chucking two more for Down syndrome.  "You kind of feel like you shouldn't be doing it," his wife confessed.  "But then why would we go through all of this and not take those extra precautions?"  Soon, you're hunting even for dormant genes.  A PGD technique unveiled 3 months ago can find genes that won't harm your child but might, if combined with other genes, cause disease in a later generation.  British patients are already asking clinics to filter out embryos carrying such genes.

If you're screening embryos for the benefit of future kids, why not do it for kids already here?  Some embryos are particularly suited to donate cord blood to a sick elder sibling; nearly ¼ of American PGD clinics have sorted embryos for this purpose.  Originally, this was done for diseases such as Fanconi's anemia, in which the embryo could be checked both for its own sake - to avoid the bad gene - and for the blood match.  Today, however, it's also being done for leukemias that have no clear genetic cause.  In the GPPC survey, 6% of clinics that perform PGD admit they've used it to identify which embryos are useful donors, even when the test offers the embryos no benefit.

Once you start treating a child as a tissue bank, it's hard to stop.  Last month, after a Swiss couple used PGD to pick a donor embryo for their ailing son, a British clinic director scoffed, "The idea that it's a slippery slope and soon babies could be born to help sick parents or family friends is illogical."  The reason, he argued, was that "there are only enough stem cells in cord blood to treat a certain size of child."  In fact, however, the ailing Swiss child turned out to be too big, and the donor infant, having failed to provide enough cord blood, was subjected to a painful bone-marrow extraction as well.

And what if genetic tests find disease-free embryos of both sexes?  Why not let parents pick the sex?  "If they're already going through all the intervention," asks a New York fertility doctor, "Who are we to tell them, if the technology exists, that we can't do it?"  According to the GPPC survey, most US clinics that offer PGD have no policy against nonmedical sex selection, and 42% have done it.  Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, an American IVF entrepreneur, says his clinics have done PGD for about 2,000 couples, and "85 to 90% of those couples have done it simply for gender selection."  Two years ago, when GPPC asked Americans whether they approved of PGD for sex selection, 40% said yes.

Many clinics purport to offer sex selection only to "balance" families.  Originally that meant that if you had 3 girls and no boys, you could exclude female embryos.  But "balance," like other terms, is evolving.  In New York, says Steinberg, "Couples have maybe one girl and want a boy," or vice versa.  A Canadian mother of two boys and a girl says she came to Steinberg because "we were desperate to have another girl and our daughter really wanted a sister.  It was important for us to balance our family."

If PGD were evil, it would be easy to head off such abuses by banning it.  But it's not. PGD prevents hellish diseases.  In those cases, you have to say yes.  And once you start saying yes, it's hard to say no.  That's why they call it a slippery slope.

A version of this piece appears in the Washington Post Outlook section.  William Saletan is Slate's national correspondent and author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.

Source: Slate 16 September 2006

Negative Eugenics

by Gregg Easterbrook

from the review of Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Report by the President's Council on Bioethics

Consider what might happen if biotechnology allows relatively convenient "negative eugenics" - checking embryos or early fœtuses for genes associated with any unwanted quality, and discarding potential life that does not pass muster.  Media chatter about designer babies is scoffed at by most biologists; science understands so little of how DNA translates into proteins, let alone into limbs or brains, that the idea of manipulating genes to determine the characteristics of a person seems well into the future.  (Researchers have known for a quarter-century, for example, where the gene for cystic fibrosis is and what it looks like chemically, but they still do not know what to do about it.)  Yet it may not be that long until there are screening tests, perhaps less invasive than amniocentesis and perhaps inexpensive, that warn of naturally occurring genetic markers associated with shortness, baldness, color-blindness, susceptibility to disease, and other traits.

So should the typical parent have embryos or early fœtuses screened, and reject any that do not live up to an ideal?  Some parents might seek perfect children out of vanity, but many parents might feel that they have a kind of fiduciary responsibility to bring their children into the world with the best possible prospects.  If broad genetic screening can be done at the embryo stage, before the big moral dilemmas of abortion are engaged - most embryos fail naturally, so the discarding of an embryo does not offend nature, at least - it may indeed introduce the practice of a sort of eugenics.  Think of the number of bald or clumsy or color-blind people who have made great contributions to the world, or whom you personally have loved...

Source: The New Republic post date 15 January 2004 issue date 26 January 2004

Perfecting Mankind

The genetic revolution of today was anticipated by the eugenics movement, which wanted to shape the human gene pool through social policy and legislation.

Eugenics was the invention of the British amateur scientist Sir Francis Galton (1822 - 1911), a cousin of Charles Darwin.  The son of a prosperous family, Galton pursued scientific investigations in diverse subjects including heredity, physical anthropology, geography, and meteorology.  The term "eugenics," from a Greek root meaning "good in birth," was coined by Galton in 1883, though he began writing on eugenical ideas in the 1860s.  In the book Hereditary Genius (1869), he wrote about accomplished men from a period spanning two centuries, the majority of whom were from families of "good reputation."  Such families, he decided, were more likely to produce talented offspring.  Galton concluded that it was possible to produce "a highly gifted race of men" by the process of selective breeding, which he later termed "positive" eugenics.  Discouraging the reproduction of "undesirables" was subsequently termed "negative" eugenics.

Galton believed that photography was a truthful, precise scientific tool.  He began to use the medium about 1878, inventing a technique he called composite photography; he thought that facial characteristics correlated with mental traits and that composite portraiture was a kind of "psychological inquiry."  Galton used both extant photos and portraits that he took himself to make his composites.  He first experimented with existing head shots of British prisoners, distilling the "typical" physiognomic features of each criminal group by re-photographing several of the portraits onto the same photographic plate to make a composite portrait.  But Galton was disappointed with the outcome: the portraits seemed merely to illustrate "the common humanity of a low type."  Criminals blended too easily with other members of the lower classes.

Nevertheless, Galton experimented until the end of his life with a variety of techniques for making composites, including placing strips of mirrors at different angles to images and viewing the results through a telescope and creating compound photos with a copy-camera of his design.  Despite his odd improvisations, Galton claimed that composite imagery was "a system of pictorial statistics."  Galton spent the last decade of his life promoting the English eugenics movement.  He was knighted in 1909.

"Fitter Families" contests were staged at state agricultural fairs throughout the US in the 1920s.  They judged the eugenic worth of local families.  Mary T Watts, the co-organiser of the first contest at the 1920 Kansas Free Fair, explained that when anyone inquired what the contests were, "we say, ‘while the stock judges are testing the Holsteins, Jerseys, and whitefaces in the stock pavilion, we are judging the Joneses, Smiths & the Johns.’"  The American Eugenics Society supported the contests, which grew out of a "Better Baby" competition at the 1911 Iowa State Fair.  The family contests were featured at seven to ten fairs yearly and were held in the "human stock" sections.

To compete for the title of a "Fitter Family," a "healthy" family generally had to provide a family history ahead of time.  Then, family members all took a variety of examinations, including a medical exam, syphilis test, and psychiatric evaluation.  The information was entered on an examination form in the form of grades ("A" for "psychiatric," in one instance, but only "B" for "dental"); other categories were given descriptive answers by the eugenics workers for things such as "physical, mental, or temperamental defects" and "special talents, gifts, tastes, or superior qualities."  First-place winners received silver trophies.  Any family that got a "eugenic score" of B+ or higher received a bronze medal.

Some of the photographs here were taken by professional photographers.  They were probably distributed to local newspapers, where the winners often got front-page coverage.  In 1924, the eugenics department of the Kansas Free Fair prepared a report on the contests and gave advice to others wanting to start them; it listed methods of generating publicity as the first item.

Like the American movement, German eugenics appeared in the late 19th century and appealed mainly to the middle class.  Its general goal was to save Germany from "degeneration" due to a declining birth rate, hereditary disease, crime, and social "deviancy," and to preserve the "racial" composition of Germany.

The Imperial administration (1871-1919) disapproved of eugenics as a violation of personal liberty.  Official interest in eugenics rose in the Weimar Republic after the massive losses, starvation, and national destruction Germany experienced in World War I.  Scientists proposed using eugenic methods to reconstruct the country.  Eugenics began to receive state funding for research as well as for a national eugenics institute.

Before long, eugenicists wanted to apply their studies of heredity to improving the biological quality of the Volk (folk).  The Volk is a semi-mystical concept that combines the idea of a pure German racial identity with the German language and an attachment to the land.  Racial hygienists advocated improving the race by using sterilisation, but the procedure was illegal until the Nazis implemented it in 1933.  Although the ideas of Weimar eugenics overlapped with the Nazi eugenics, they were not the same.  Many eugenicists in Weimar were Jews who lost their positions after 1933.  Others had to submit to new racial ideas or risk the same fate.

Source: International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street New York, NY 10036 (212) 860-1777 website; showgirl photo © International Center of Photography; Maxwell family photo is a gelatin silver print from the collection of the American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia.

The Evolution of Eugenics in the Third Reich

by Cody Hatch

Citizens of modern democracies often find it difficult to understand how Germans could possibly embrace their so-called Final Solution, the extermination of all Jews.  It seems incomprehensible that any country would willingly follow such an inhumane course of action.  Yet their choices were not the result of spontaneous insanity or mass psychosis.  Rather, the Final Solution appears in hindsight to have been the logical conclusion of a chain of events that began with the popular acceptance of eugenics theories, continued with the next logical step of mass sterilization of the mentally defective, was followed by euthanasia in incremental stages of ethnic-German undesirables, and finally culminated in the killings of over eleven million people arrogantly deemed “unworthy of life.”

To our modern sensibilities, possibly the most disturbing phase would be how this process actually began.  We would like to think that such evil required a conscious choice to step across a clear line of demarcation.  However, the first step taken in Germany seemed at the time relatively innocuous.  Eugenics then had a wide appeal, not just in Germany, but abroad.  In America, a strong movement toward human genetic improvement was supported by John D Rockefeller, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and even Theodore Roosevelt (Peter Quinn, Race Cleansing in America 34).  Eugenics programs were also well advanced elsewhere across Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, and were increasingly popular in Australia and New Zealand.  Today such ideas are often viewed as lunacy.  Hugh Gregory Gallagher writes in By Trust Betrayed that “…it was the madness of the Germany of the twenties and thirties which found its expression in Hitler” (4).  But Gallagher’s remarks do not really ring true.  During much of this period German eugenicists actually worried, and correctly so, that they were being outstripped by the United States.

Germany seemed especially receptive to eugenics theories.  As early as 1922, “racial hygiene and eugenics united [in Germany] in a national and professional discourse that defined values, perceptions, and the approach to racial characteristics” (James Glass, Life Unworthy of Life 31).  But initially, eugenicists were unable to get desirable plans implemented.  This caused much concern among those Germans who feared their country might never recover from the devastation of World War I without firm and decisive measures to improve the genetic stock.  They looked with envy upon the United States, a country which had already gone much further than mere discourse.  “By the late 1920s, 15,000 individuals had been sterilized in the US […]” (Proctor, “Nazi Biomedical Policies” 30).  But the prayers of the German eugenics movement were answered when the Nationalist Socialist Party gained power in 1933.

The new Nazi government embraced many aims of the eugenics movement, and soon enacted laws allowing for forcible sterilization of the mentally defective.  In 1934, the first full year of the operation of the Nazi program, 62,400 people were sterilized, a number that steadily increased in subsequent years (Black, IBM and the Holocaust 96).  In all, some 400,000 people were eventually sterilized in Germany, most of them ethnic Germans.  Quantitatively, this was further than any other country had gone, though qualitatively there was little difference.  Germans evidenced few qualms about this endeavour.  Moreover, by the mid-thirties medical orthodoxy had firmly embraced eugenics, even to the extent that abortions for healthy German women were considered treasonous and punishable by death (Proctor 32).  It was now accepted that potential lives deemed at risk of congenital illness or mental retardation should be curtailed by sterilization of both sexes thought to harbour undesirable genes.

Before long, any boundary between “potential” and “actual” that might at first have existed began to blur with the start of the euthanasia programs.  The first euthanasia program was an outgrowth of the Nazi sterilization program and was initially targeted at deformed or retarded infants.  The justification was similar to that which had been used for the sterilization program.  In effect, these killings were seen as something akin to postnatal abortions.  At first, only children younger than three were targeted, but the program was soon extended to all minors, including teenagers (D F Wyszynski, “Men with White Coats and SS Boots” 298).

Considering later events, it seems odd that victims of the initial euthanasia programs were almost entirely ethnic Germans.  Indeed, for years the euthanasia programs explicitly denied the doubtful mercies of euthanasia to Jewish children (Wyszynski 298).  This underlines the idea that the killings were for the good of the patient and/or the family.  But as the killings continued, attitudes shifted.

World War II started with the German invasion of Poland; the burdens of war put a huge strain on the German economy.  As is common, measures that would not have been tolerated during peacetime were passed with almost no comment during war.  The children’s euthanasia program was quietly extended to include adults.  Between 1939 and 1941, some 70,000 Germans patients at mental hospitals were killed.  However, this program was one which proved to be controversial – so much so that the adult euthanasia program (known as T-4) was officially concluded.  However, the children’s euthanasia program was retained and was in fact widely accepted.  Proctor writes that “hospital archives are filled with letters from parents writing to health authorities requesting their children be granted euthanasia” (36).

Although the T-4 program had been officially shut down, killings did continue.  So did the program’s focus on the health of society, rather than on the well-being of the patients or their families.  Once humanitarian trappings were removed, anti-Semitism provided its own compelling logic.  The war-inspired patriotic fervor fanned the flames.  The Ministry of the Interior ordered the gassing of all Jews in German hospitals for fear that the Jews might infect German patients.  Glass writes that “the gassing of Jewish patients recovering in hospitals proved to be an acceptable and popular solution to this perceived threat” (64).  To conduct the killings, prototype gas chambers were constructed in the hospitals, many of which were later shipped to, and reassembled at, concentration camps.  In retrospect, these killings were a clear foreshadowing of the Holocaust soon to come.

By late 1941, the euthanasia operations were drawing to a close.  Germany’s mentally ill had already been eradicated, as had the crippled and anyone judged “incurable.”  So, too, had small groups of Jews, Gypsies, and in at least one case, the entire population of a home for the elderly (Proctor 35).  The success of these operations suggested expansion, and the “Jewish Question,” long debated, was finally solved.

This Final Solution was announced at the Wannsee conference, which took place in early 1942.  While many different solutions had been debated, including simply deporting all the Jews from German territory, in the end it was decided that the optimal solution was just to kill them.  It is widely assumed that the Final Solution would never have been hit upon were it not for preceding events.  The T-4 program had left Germany with the physical infrastructure to accomplish genocide.  Further, after that program had been shut down, the killings had continued in a more decentralized fashion, meaning that both the bureaucratic systems and the societal attitudes to accept such a massive undertaking were already in place.  Ordinary Germans who might initially have recoiled in revulsion were primed to accept Jewish extermination as another incremental, logical, gene-cleansing, society-benefiting step.  After all, they were already killing thousands upon thousands for the good of Germany.  Once that was accepted, increasing the kill rate seemed only natural, particularly under the stresses of a World War.

Seeing Germany’s slow, yet seemingly inevitable slide into madness, we have to wonder if it could happen again.  We may look around at the societies in which we find ourselves and reassure each other that such could never, ever happen.  Yet many Germans may have thought the same in the twenties and thirties.  The first step is small, but the slope is steep.  The spirit of patriotism which is enflamed in war; the acceptance of war’s unavoidable deaths; the pressures on government medical programs to care for the old, the deformed, and the retarded; the financial burden on the taxpayer; and the moral acceptance of abortion, assisted suicide, and forced sterilization may all have an additive effect that one day will accelerate a slide into a humanitarian abyss.  Even though many of these steps in isolation are harmless, or even in the proper context positive, we must wonder exactly how far it is a society may go before they reach the cliff.  Perhaps no society will ever take that fall again, but we can best ensure this by understanding the signposts that heralded Germany’s collapse into the void.

Works Cited

Black, Edwin.  IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation.  New York: Crown, 1997.

Gallagher, Hugh Gregory.  By Trust Betrayed: Patients, Physicians, and the License to Kill in the Third Reich.  New York: Holt, 1997.

Glass, James M.  “Life Unworthy of Life”: Racial Phobia and Mass Murder in Hitler’s Germany.  New York: BasicBooks, 1997.

Proctor, Robert N.  “Nazi Biomedical Policies.”  When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust.  Ed. Arthur L Caplan.  Totowa: Humana P, 1992.

Quinn, Peter.  “Race Cleansing in America.”  American Heritage Feb/Mar 2003: 34-44.

Wyszynski, D F.  “Men with White Coats and SS Boots: The Children’s Euthanasia Programme during the Third Reich.”  Pædiatric & Perinatal Epidemiology 14 (2000): 295-300.


Allen, Garland E.  “Science Misapplied: The Eugenics Age Revisited.” Technology Review Aug/Sep 1997: 22-32.

Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah.  Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.  New York: Knopf, 1996.

Sofair, Andre N, and Lauris C Kaldjian.  “Eugenic Sterilization and a Qualified Nazi Analogy: The United States and Germany, 1930-1945.”  Annals of Internal Medicine 132 (2000): 312-320.

Volokh, Eugene. “The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope.”  Harvard Law Review 116 (2003): 1026-1138.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeffery Brehm <>
Date: Apr 14, 2005 6:24 AM
Subject: Hey

Hi Cody:

I read your eugenics paper.  I remember having a chat on a campus in the US with folks promoting birth control.  One of the famous folks in the States in Planned Parenthood is Margaret Sanger.  I think it'd be better to say notorious since she promoted a lot of the same ideas as eugenics folks in your paper.  The fellow I chatted with was aware of her very prejudice ideas.  But today the head of Planned Parenthood is a minority.  What am I saying?  Just that it seems that we aren't aware of the roots of lots of things and how they are perpetuated today.  Australia has a lot of history in eugenics too.  What about N Zealand?

I live in China and have been here for about 15 years with my family.  We are caring for beautiful abandoned handicapped children.  It is really a blessing.  They are lots of joy.  I remember hearing a Chinese intellectual say, "Man can't become a god and can't become grass."  I believe it.

By the way, I got into the Flat Rock site because I was looking for information about the Chinese driving exams.  The article by Lim was very entertaining.  The exams are different now.  I just passed part one in Chinese today.  I have to drive with a policeman tomorrow.


See also:

bulletSpare Parts Department (in the Science section) - for a discussion of the pitfalls of high-minded designer genetics...

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