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Surprising Science

Why Eugenics Will Never Work

While eugenics is most certainly morally dubious, it simply does not work at a practical level. Any strategy to decrease genetic diversity in humans would make us less able to survive change. 

What’s the Latest Development?

As the availability and popularity of genetic testing increases, ethical questions about the sanctity of nature also arise in which a dystopian future of eugenics figures prominently. As it turns out, not only is eugenics (the active selection for certain biological traits) morally dubious, it may never achieve its stated goal of creating a smarter and stronger human population. For one, selective breeding squanders biological diversity. “It’s widely acknowledged that a species that limits its gene pool leaves itself extremely vulnerable to any change from its ideal conditions. If the world itself changes—which is pretty much a guarantee—the human population could very well be stranded at a dead end.”

What’s the Big Idea?

While discussing the practicalities of eugenics may be seen as giving tacit approval to its moral legitimacy, those who would, and who have, pursued a course of selective human breeding have not been obviously troubled by its ethical implications. Those who operate with crude cost-benefit analyses might be persuaded to curb their desires by the simple fact that eugenics would not benefit our species. “Selecting and deselecting certain genes of people shouldn’t be done because it’s the wrong way to go about building up a strong, healthy, and smart population. Instead, the widest array of genes should be supported.”

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