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Category Archives: Eugenics
The Nazi movement may have made Eugenics famous, but it existed long before the 1930’s. Eugenics is formally defined by Meriam Webster as “the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population’s genetic composition.” Sir Francis Galton coined the term in 1883, but this was just […] Continue reading
Within the genre of science fiction, the issue of eugenics and the evolution of mankind through selective reproduction and genetic manipulation has played a prominent role works such as Frank Herbert’s Dune, Robert Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children, and Octavia E. Butler’s Lilith’s Brood trilogy to name only a few. While commonly dismissed in the present-day as […] Continue reading
The global population is expected to increase by almost 3 billion people by the year 2100. Genetic adaptations and manipulations will result in better nutrition, superior health, and longevity for these generations of humans. Despite the many positive outcomes positive eugenics can have for the individual, an increased population may have devastating affects on consumption, […] Continue reading
In the 1997 film, Gattaca, the directors are trying to communicate the dangers of genetic engineering and human-influenced evolution. And while the film is not subtle with its reproach of the implied eugenics movement that is inherent in genetic screening, it really hits its point home with its deleted pre-credits scene. At 8:52 of the […] Continue reading
Genetically engineering one’s kid to be altruistic would be, in my opinion, a terrible idea. Altruism is “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” I would like my kid to be kind, sure. But like any parent, I imagine I’d want my child to have the best […] Continue reading
First, I have to preface this post by saying that the film Gattaca was probably one of my all-time favorites. I could not put a number to where it would fall on any kind of list of mine, but I do know that the more time I spend thinking about it, the more I like […] Continue reading
What is “perfect?” You can cite dictionary definitions, but in the end those are essentially impossible ideals to obtain. “Perfection” as we know it is almost a purely theoretical concept, used mostly as emphasis. But Dan Fang discusses perfection in the context of scientific endeavour; what is considered a “perfect” organism, so that it is […] Continue reading
Dehumanization seems to be a common motif throughout dystopian novels, from Never Let Me Go’s clone treatments to Oryx and Crake‘s genetic enhancements, and Antic Hay is no exception. Dan Fang delves deeper into this topic in the following blog post, presenting the strange chimeric inclinations of the citizens of Antic Hay, and how that relates […] Continue reading
I’m in the midst of E. O. Wilson’s Consilience: the Unity of Knowledge, preparing for my long-procrastinated research paper, when I stumble across the following passage Wilson quotes from Nicolas de Condorcet (a French 18th century Enlightenment philosopher): “‘How consoling for the philosopher who laments the errors, the crimes, the injustices which still pollute the […] Continue reading