Dysgenics (also known as cacogenics ) is the study of factors producing the accumulation and perpetuation of defective or disadvantageous genes and traits in offspring of a particular population or species.
The adjective "dysgenic" is the antonym of "eugenic". It was first used c. 1915 by David Starr Jordan, describing the supposed dysgenic effects of World War I. Jordan believed that healthy men were as likely to die in modern warfare as anyone else, and that war killed only the physically healthy men of the populace whilst preserving the disabled at home.
In the context of human genetics, a dysgenic effect is the projected or observed tendency of a reduction in selection pressures and decreased infant mortality since the Industrial Revolution resulting in the increased propagation of deleterious traits and genetic disorders. Richard Lynn in his Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (1996) identified three main concerns: deterioration in health, in intelligence and in conscientiousness.
Fertility and intelligence
Lynn argued that natural selection in pre-industrial societies favored traits such as intelligence and character but no longer does so in modern societies. The hypothesized dysgenic decline in human intelligence is traced to a change in the distribution in fertility and intelligence by Woodley (2015).
Lynn and Harvey (2008) suggest that designer babies may have an important counter-acting effect in the future. Initially this may be limited to wealthy couples, who may possibly travel abroad for the procedure if prohibited in their own country, and then gradually spread to increasingly larger groups. Alternatively, authoritarian states may decide to impose measures such as a licensing requirement for having a child, which would only be given to persons of a certain minimum intelligence. The Chinese one-child policy was an example of how fertility can be regulated by authoritarian means. Geoffrey Miller claims the one-child policy was implemented to reduce China's population explosion, and "to reduce dysgenic fertility among rural peasants." However, the one-child policy has made longstanding exceptions for rural families so that those families could have 2 children.
Cyril M. Kornbluth's 1951 short story The Marching Morons is an example of dysgenic fiction, describing a man who accidentally ends up in the distant future and discovers that dysgenics has resulted in mass stupidity. Mike Judge's 2006 film Idiocracy has the same premise, with the main character the subject of a military hibernation experiment that goes awry, taking him 500 years into the future. While in the Kornbluth short story, civilization is kept afloat by a small group of dedicated geniuses, their function has been replaced by automated systems in Idiocracy.
- "cacogenics". Freedictionary.com. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
Cacogenics, the study of the operation of factors that cause degeneration in offspring, especially as applied to factors unique to separate races. Also called dysgenics.
- Oxford English Dictionary
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- Lynn, R. (2008). "Dysgenic fertility for criminal behaviour". Journal of Biosocial Science. 27 (4). doi:10.1017/S0021932000023014.
- Woodley, Michael A. (2015). "How fragile is our intellect? Estimating losses in general intelligence due to both selection and mutation accumulation". Personality and Individual Differences. 75: 80–84. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.047.
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- "Dysgenics: Genetic deterioration in modern populations: by Richard Lynn. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996, 238 pp. $59.95.". Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems. 21 (3): 343–345. 1998. doi:10.1016/S1061-7361(98)80008-8.
This could be one of the most important books written in the last fifty years.
- Leon K (February 1995). "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life". Scientific American. 272.
Lynn's distortions and misrepresentations of the data constitute a truly venomous racism, combined with scandalous disregard for scientific objectivity.
- Rosenthal S. "Academic Nazism". Department of Sociology, Hampton University. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- Berhanu G. "Black Intellectual Genocide: An Essay Review of IQ of Wealth of Nations" (PDF). Gotberg University, Sweden. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- Lynn, R.; Harvey, J. (2008). "The decline of the world's IQ". Intelligence. 36 (2): 112–120. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2007.03.004.
- Edge, Chinese Eugenics, http://edge.org/response-detail/23838/
- Mitchell, Dan (2006-09-09). "Shying away from Degeneracy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- Devlin, Bernie; Fienberg, Stephen E.; Resnick, Daniel P.; et al., eds. (1997). Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to the Bell Curve. New York (NY): Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-94986-4. Lay summary (13 November 2010).
- Neisser, Ulric, ed. (1998). The Rising Curve: Long-Term Gains in IQ and Related Measures. APA Science Volume Series. Washington (DC): American Psychological Association. ISBN 978-1-55798-503-3.
- Conley, Dalton; Laidley, Thomas; Belsky, Daniel W.; Fletcher, Jason M.; Boardman, Jason D.; Domingue, Benjamin W. (14 June 2016). "Assortative mating and differential fertility by phenotype and genotype across the 20th century". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (24): 6647–6652. doi:10.1073/pnas.1523592113.
- Beauchamp, Jonathan P. (11 July 2016). "Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201600398. doi:10.1073/pnas.1600398113.
- Dysgenics online ebook.