Talk:Eugenics/Archive 1

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Old, unsectioned comments

Just because a few researchers didn't manage to find something in the congressional records doesn't mean it wasn't a factor; many politicians had enough sense even in the 1920s not to commit all of their thoughts to paper for posterity. The influence of pro-eugenics/pro-white-supremacy popularizers like Lothrop Stoddard ("The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy") and Madison Grant ("The Passing of the Great Race") over the public debate was such a major one that it simply cannot be ignored when talking about the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924. Also, one of the "researchers" mentioned, Richard Herrnstein, could hardly be considered an objective party in this debate, as his stance on issues like the heritability of IQ arguably provided a strong incentive for him to seek to exonerate eugenicists from charges of xenophobia-driven political activism.


Eugenics also persisted longer in the United States than in any other country with Virginia only halting its sterilizations in 1979. This sentence is incorrect for at least two reasons: 1. Virginia's sterilization program was put disuse long before 1979 (their laws were effectively disabled by 1974, but almost all sterilization had ended in the USA by 1963, even if some of the laws stayed officially on the books for much longer), 2. "eugenics" is itself an ideology, and as an ideology it became extremely unpopular in the USA after WWII; the sentence is getting "sterilization" and "eugenics" confused as one and the same, which is a common error but is more confusing than helpful. If one wanted to say something along these lines, I would instead use something like: "Eugenics as an ideology persisted in the United States until the end of World War II, when the atrocities of the Nazis were almost universally condemned. Sterilization laws, however, were used in significant numbers for at least twenty more years, and generalized racism persisted for much longer." --Fastfission 03:35, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It may have become extrememly unpopular under the stark label "eugenics", and it may have been purged from the law books, but it is still popular and encouraged in prenatal screenings. Haaretz took pains to remind us of that in this article on Zionism's love for eugenics which ought to be incorporated. It's a bit tricky 'cause it's "pre-state Israel". 142.177.17.193 16:15, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I can't get that link to work, but anyway, I think that eugenics as it originally was expressed is fairly dead in any mainstream sense. However I'll add a note about crypto-eugenics, which may or may not still persist, depending on how you look at it... --Fastfission 22:21, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Okay, the site worked this time. Looks legit, but I'm not sure it needs specific mentioning here in an article on eugenics (unless we are going to list every person who advocated eugenics, which would be quite a long list). Did they ever institute any policies based on eugenics? The only specifics things I see in that article are birth control distribution programs, which can have links to eugenics but not always, and anyway aren't terribly shocking/interesting in and of themselves. The only thing in the article I can see that even says the "eugenics exists today" is a vague statement about voluntary pre-natal screening -- which is not quite the same thing and it is arguable whether or not something like that is really eugenics. I tried to hint at that a little bit in my last couple paragraphs I recently added. --Fastfission 22:52, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Eugenics usually refers to efforts by society (in some form) to improve the genes of the human race or a subgroup. Individual efforts, whether based on sophisiticated gene-testing or just physical appearance, are closer to simple sexual selection. In any case, eugenics is not as "dead" as some would like. China's 'one-child' policy became eugenic when a law was passed requiring couples to receive gene counseling prior to marriage - couples with unacceptable genetic flaws have been required/encouraged to seek sterilization (and there are even allegations that some ethnic minorities, like Tibetans, are diagnosed as having more "flaws" than the Han majority). While I'd be hard-pressed to call it "legitimate," here is a website that keeps the pot boiling - www.neoeugenics.com [warning, the site contains offensive material]. Anyway, I've added a mention of the AES and a couple of notable members from the 1960's. (Hardin also served as AES president for a couple of years.) Will McW 21:36, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, there are of course fringe groups for every subject under the sun. I don't think there are any large scale eugenics movements -- I don't know anything about the Chinese situation you mention though so I can't comment on that. I'd be somewhat surprised that China has supposedly instituted mandatory genetic counseling for all marriages and nothing much has been made of it, but I'll look into it (the only country I know of that does mandatory genetic counseling before marriage is Cyprus, because of the high incidence of thallassemia, which rides the very fine line between eugenics and disease prevention). For the record, the page on One-child policy has nothing which would indicate this is the case. I'm a bit wary of posting AES members -- there were so many "members" and "membership" itself doesn't mean much unless you know the time period (membership in the 1920s = not that surprising; in the 1960s = pretty notable). Somewhere around here I have a list of many of the notable members of the Advisory Committee which could be useful, but then again, that sort of thing ought to go on the page of the AES, which does not exist at this time. But anyway, I will mull on this. In any event, I agree on the general distinction between programs aimed at group vs individual benefit being the key factor that distinguishes eugenics (as a group-selective approach). --Fastfission 00:21, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
FF- In 1995 the Chinese government actually passed what they called a "National Eugenics Law" (some claim that is a mis-translation) that later was renamed the "Maternal and Infant Health Law" after an outcry. I gather that it was revoked recently. There are numerous references on the Internet to it. I agree that eugenics was viewed very differently prior to WWII. The two members that I mention were both from the 1960's, and one was a president. It is too easy to think of eugenics as belonging to the past or to another country. (In that same vein, it might be worth including a reference to 'stirpiculture' and the Oneida Community.)Will McW 00:33, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I found references under the "Maternal and Infant Health Law," which is somewhat interesting and may warrant some inclusion. Anyway, again, I think the article does an okay job of indicating that there are a few fringe things in the present age which are somewhat eugenic in nature but as a whole -- to my knowledge -- there are no governments with active eugenics programs and eugenics is seen very unfavorably. I don't think the article tries to say it was from another country (most of the article is on American eugenics), though for the most part it IS part of the past at this point unless one starts to speculate about genomics in the future or on a more broad-based definition of eugenics (i.e. all social programs relating to marriage). But anyway. I'm removing the somewhat un-germane essay from below because it's really just getting in the way of this Talk page, people can use the Talk:History if they want to read it. --Fastfission 13:50, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Good contribution on China. Another topic that I don't se mentioned in the modern eugenics section is any mention of the Pioneer Fund and The Bell Jar. The Pioneer Fund has a pre- and post-war history of funding eugenicly-related research. And while the Bell Jar did not propose any methods for improving intlligence, its research into the inheritability or intelligence is often accused of being related to eugenics. Those two topics are repeatedly discussed vis a vis eugenics, both in Wiki articles and many other references. Would you, FF, be interested in writing a couple of sentences on that topic?Will McW 07:31, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think you mean The Bell Curve, not The Bell Jar (which is a book by Sylvia Plath). I don't think it really belongs under eugenics -- it is more a case of scientific racism, which already has a bit on the book. In any event, I did realize that for some reaosn scientific racism wasn't linked to from this article, so I have added that link in... I'll try to work scientific racism into the text somewhere, I think it is relevant here.--Fastfission 13:00, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

BTW, don't forget sexism. Alive and kicking.

"genetic diseases of a serious nature"

Methinks someone should expand on that. That kind of eugenics have been happening /very/ often in more modern countries where they can detect it. For example, in the US, cases of Downs Syndrome has reduced dramatically.

Although I see what you are getting at, Downs Syndrome is the wrong example, since it's developmental rather than genetic, (far as I know)Gzuckier 18:03, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure that Down's syndrome is caused by trisomy -- more than the normal number of copies in a chromosome. Which means it is genetic in nature but I'm not sure what the ultimate cause is (that is, I don't think it is caused by a genetic problems in the parents). Either way, it doesn't really get at the real question... --Fastfission 20:44, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Right about the trisomy, so it is indeed genetic but not heritable, I was fuzzy in my terminology. Except that, checking on emedicine.com, I find that I'm only half right in my belief that trisomy victims are sterile; males are sterile but
"In the few affected females who have had children, about one half of the offspring have been affected."
So it does turn out to be relevant after all. Well, I learn something every day. Gzuckier 17:23, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)


The line between "eugenics" and "early detection" is in general pretty murky. Generally though, eugenics is (in my reading of it) concerned with large-scale results: "improving" the human species as a whole. Parental choice, early detection, etc., is usually concerned with smaller-scale results: not having this particular child, without any feeling that this is a decision which will shape the future of the gene pool, etc. But that's just my historical reading of it, it isn't necessarily what other historians say (most don't bother trying to make any distinctions). As for China, well, it's a very vague law, as far as I know (though I don't know as much about that). The difference between someone doing this in the USA and someone doing this in China, though, is that in China, if you have a certain "genetic disease of a serious nature," you have to either not marry or be sterilized; in the USA, it might lead you to abort a fetus or something like that. There are a couple ethical questions mixed up in there, but they are different questions. --Fastfission 02:00, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

``consumer eugenics´´ or ``free-market eugenics´´

Basically "21st Century Eugenics". What do you think of it? Does anyone want to write about it?

I think there's really as much as anyone can say at this point in the last section. People talk about implications of genetic engineering and argue whether it would be eugenics or not but beyond that there's nothing else to write at this point, in my opinion. --Fastfission 19:16, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As FF has said, modern efforts generally use different appellations. The article on "Liberal eugenics" brings the field into the modern age, though it has only a few differences from traditional eugenics. Transhumanism is an effort which includes some eugenics goals. -Willmcw 05:55, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The term I've seen for this in a number of sources, which ought to have its own article at some point, is reprogenetics (when reproductive biology and genetics are combined). I think it is worth talking about in its own page, even if it can be perhaps interepretted as a form of eugenics (it is a controversial question). At some point, I'll write this up. --Fastfission 00:27, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Eugenics Links Censorship

Why were the following links removed from the external links section of this eugenics article?

How many links constitutes turning something into a directory? There are several topics that have dozens of links supporting a claim. Dariodario 05:20, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I don't think we need to turn this page, primarily about the history of eugenics, into a modern white supremcist web portal. I think an equal number of pro- and anti- sites is a good way to avoid becoming a directory in this respect, which is what they are. Additionally, the links on this page lead to other pages which link to those sites (on the pages which are more specific to them, such as Cosmotheism). So I think it's fine as it is. --Fastfission 13:55, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why would an encyclopedia article be primarily about the history of a thing rather than a comprehensive treatment of a thing? Enyclopedia: "A work that treats comprehensively all the various branches of knowledge...." (M-W Unabridged.) Would an encyclopedia article about the Otto thermomechanical cycle appropriately focus primarily on the histories of various automobile factories? --hitssquad 10:32, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
When the subject itself is primarily historical in nature, then I think the article can be historical in nature. The article on the luminiferous aether is about the history of the aether. Some very non-mainstream people still believe it exists, but it is primarily invoked as a historical entity. I would argue that such is the case with "eugenics" in the modern world. -Fastfission 16:20, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I can understand your concerns. It is not my desire to turn the eugenics article into a white nationalist directory, however, I added links which provide high quality resources on the subject of eugenics. Could you please be so kind as to tell me for future reference how many links are too much? At what numerical point does a wikipedia article enter into the grey area of becoming a directory? I wish to have precision and non-ambig knowledge on this issue so I avoid making this mistake again. I ask because some articles have dozens of external links and resources, while other articles which are more controversial tending to hurt peoples feelings have less links and resources (in support of the concept). Please help me to understand the rules and regulations in these regards. Thanks for your help. Dariodario 04:21, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Mankind Quarterly link is somewhat relevent, as it is closely linked to the Pioneer Fund and the Bell Curve controversy. Even so, it should be in those articles rahter than here. Many of the other links are to sites that favor eugenics but do not have any solid information about the topic. For example, the Neo-evolution site is just a bunch of essays and book reviews, essentially a one-man blog in favor of eugenics. We are not here to criticize or promote eugenics, just to describe it. -Willmcw 10:13, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)

There are obviously no hard and fast rules to "how many links are too much." The goal of the external links are to provide links to quality sites about the topic of the article. The Prometheism site should be on the "Prometheism" entry, if it survives VfD. Ditto with the Cosmotheism. The Solar General site is primarily about white nationalism and can go under that entry. Mindkind can probably go on this page. I agree the Neo-Eugenics website is not very great and will drop it. I don't think we need to link to a web portal. Let's assume that our readers can use Google too if they want, and only link to things which inform the entry they have just read or provide a source for future information. When it looks like a Wikipedia page has just become a dumping ground for links to modern wacko groups, that's when it becomes a problem. --Fastfission 21:06, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

All in all, I think it's probably wise to find a better way of covering what one person calls neo-eugenics. It is a substantially different topic then paleo-eugenics. There's an article at Liberal eugenics that seems to have similarly theoretical material. Perhaps that's where these links would be located best. -Willmcw 04:59, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)
I don't buy the liberal/paleo distinction (I especially don't buy the "paleo", which is such an obvious dig to pretend that the eugenics of the past was literally ancient history), and most of the links I've seen don't look terribly different from the sorts of things from the 1920s and 30s ("Oh, IQ is falling, Blacks commit more crimes, we need immigration reform"). These guys aren't advocating anything new, anything that has any other name than "eugenics." I think there ought to be a page for reprogenetics (which is structurally, technologically, and motivationally quite different) but that's about it. --Fastfission 05:30, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Maybe so, but is the existing section on contemporary eugenics comprehensive? Is the intent to keep this article on the broad topic of eugenics, yesterday, today, and tomorrow? There are at least two modern topics of note - the scientific efforts, which have been reincarnated as human genetics and birth defect prevention, which are covered, and the white supremacist/religious aspect, which is embodied in these new religious movements, old religious movements, and related -isms. The eugenic aims of preventing congenital disease and selecting for or against certain traits (gender, etc) are accepted (or not rejected) in the scientific community, but are anathema to some religions, notably the Catholic Church, possibly other large religions too. I think that there may be another paragraph's worth of material on modern eugenics and anti-eugenics. However, those topics are a swamp that, as an editor, I am not eager to enter. -Willmcw 06:43, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

I'll write up an additional paragraph for this stuff; but I'm not going to make something fringe out to be anything bigger than that (the internet neo-eugenics). I created an entry for reprogenetics which I think covers the modern selection technologies well enough, and poses the question as to their differences with eugenics. --Fastfission 20:45, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"Eugenicist"

I'm moving this text over from Talk:Prometheism. This is a recurring issue, and better discussed on this page.

If I am not mistaken, a person who is a "eugenicist" is a researcher or practictioner of eugenics, not merely a believer or proponent. By analogy: I am in favor of astrophysics, I believe in astrophysics, I could even write articles about astrophysics, but none of those would make an astrophycist. If Dr. Nuenke's degree and career are in eugenics, then he is a eugenicist. If he advocates eugenics, then he is a eugenics advocate.
Regarding the task at hand - since Promotheism, as expressed by Nuenke, is his own creation, perhaps this content should be a subsection of a Nuenke biography? Nuenke may be more notable than Promotheism, and would be easier to write an NPOV article about. Just a thought. -Willmcw 00:54, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)
Would it though? Apart from the non-notability issue, there's precious little information about him online. He (if he's a he) has written book reviews for amazon.com, not as an employee but just as a reader; had one review published by Mankind Quarterly; and has been mentioned by people on the Stormfront and Vanguard websites. That's about it. I wonder what a practitioner of eugenics would do?  ;-) It reminds me of "theorist of conspiracies". SlimVirgin 01:16, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)
I usually use "eugenics advocate" over "eugenicist," and reserve the former only for people who did truly influential work on the subject or influenced policy (Galton, Laughlin, Davenport, Goddard, Grant, Stoddard, Popenoe, etc.). I'm still not sure what line separates the two, though, as someone who has spent a number of years doing scholarly research on the history of eugenics. The term "eugenicist" has always bothered me because it invokes a certain type of shrill 1920s activism/alarmism that doesn't seem to apply to Francis Galton (who was more of a Victorian eugenicist than anything else, if I had to make up a term), and also employs a certain amount of power that most of these characters didn't have (Laughlin was the only one who really had any real influence on policy; everybody else just wrote books and letters and had their little studies, and so forth). But anyway, I digress.--Fastfission 05:30, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

New response

If you read over the biography of Harry H. Laughlin you can see exactly what a eugenicist does did. -Willmcw 01:36, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, interesting. I wonder how someone like Nuenke, who seems to be an online book reviewer, might be a practitioner. It throws up many interesting possibilities. I found a copy of his self-published online book, by the way. Link for you at Talk:Prometheism. SlimVirgin 02:06, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

In the modern era I'd suppose someone is a "eugenicist" who conducts research on genetic traits in humans with a focus on improving the strain, who councils couples on eugenic reproduction, or who teaches eugenics formally. That lady who pays to have drug addicts sterilized might be called a eugenicist. If Dr. Nuenke, for example, is a professor in anthropology or heredity, then I could see where he might be a "eugenicist". On the other hand, if he is only a proponent of the science (or religion) of eugenics, then he deserves a different title. "Eugenics advocate, proponent, priest, worshipper, etc". -Willmcw 04:58, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

In the modern era, "eugenicist" is usally an insult. Aside from that, "proponent" is better for a minor character, though I usually prefer "advocate". --Fastfission 05:30, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Reverted changes, "myth"

I reverted the changes by User:Harkenbane, who claims that "This section perpetuated the myth that eugenics and Nazi Germany are strongly linked, and has been edited for historical accuracy." (edit diff). This is not only against all mainstream historical scholarship, but it is patently false in many key and important respects. The addition of a section on "Jewish eugenics" makes me suspect very much the motivations of this user; the entire edit smacks a very nasty sort of revisionism and denial. The connections are evident in all of the mainstream scholarship on the subject, which I've added in a references section. I think practically from their titles alone, and their academic presses, even an observer ignorant of the literature should be able to see my point. If not, one need only read the historical links at the bottom to see that "historical accuracy", according to all mainstream scholarship, is not of the opinon that the Nazi eugenics programs were a "myth." --Fastfission 01:56, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

User:Harkenbane's only other edit was to vote at the VfD in favor of keeping Jewish enthnocentrism, now deleted; and it was felt at the time that s/he was a sockpuppet possibly related to Stormfront, as the vote was mentioned on their website just before a bunch of sockpuppets, Harkenbane included, turned up. SlimVirgin 02:24, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)

Regarding my changes to the eugenics section, my changes were not "patently false" in any key or important respects, and if they were, I wish you would provide a refutation. The simple facts are that 1. The Nazis did not invent eugenics (which is admitted earlier in the article), nor did they take the science more seriously than a number of other countries did, and that 2. Jews were, and still are, involved in the eugenics movement. Therefore, to imply that the eugenics movement was or is a "Nazi" movement is simply false, and this is what my two points demonstrate.

Regarding the claims that I am some sort of "revisionist," etc, you are again incorrect. I am not a poster on Stormfront, although I do subscribe to two pro-eugenics egroups, and slinging mud at me for that reason serves no purpose. The issue at hand is whether or not my claims are correct. If you can show these to be wrong, then please do - I am a member of a religion dedicated to the pursuit of truth, and would be pleased if you could show me where I have the facts wrong.

Rather than simply reinstating my changes, then, I would like to read your responses. I see nothing wrong with the article pointing out the vast number of forced sterilizations carried out on unwilling victims, for instance, as this is perfectly factual, and it does no good to pretend that they were not carried out with eugenics in mind. But it's equally factual that the link between eugenics and the Nazis is an exaggeration, and I don't think the article should perpetuate this urban legend.

--Harkenbane Mar 03, 2005

1. The article does not state that the Nazis invented eugenics, as you yourself note. As for their use of it compared to other countries, I think it has been well demonstrated that they did take it considerably more "seriously" than other countries did, however, inasmuch as it became integrated into a centralized form of government and became official policy, something which is unique to them. The difference between the Nazis and US is that in the US, the "Eugenics Movement" was always an entity independent of the government (which could try to influence it), whereas it was official medical policy in the German state. See Proctor's book for more information. 2. The article clearly states that a number of countries, groups, and political ideologies took up eugenic philosophy at various times. However the edits you made were clearly attempting to distance the Nazi state from eugenics, which is disingenuous to say the least. The article as it stands is carefully worded to make clear that eugenics had Anglo origins, was imported to the USA and other countries, and then was taken up en masse by the Nazi state, after which it fell out of favor with mainstream world. As a basic narrative, this is what mainstream historical scholarship says happened, and whether or not you think eugenics as an ideology is valid anyway, this is what happened. The vast majority of all historians of eugenics agree with this approach, including all of the literature I have cited (which is the current "canon" in this scholarship) and so this is the version to be reflected in an encyclopedia article on the
subject. The view that this is an "urban legend" is revisionism, by definition. --Fastfission 19:22, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't like the current version much myself, there is a destinct difference between genocide and eugenics. Killing mentally retarded persons isn't eugenics in a society that didn't allow them to reproduce to begin with. Ever seen a pregnant person with the down syndrome?

Homosexuals were in the closet those days, and since they generally do not tend to reproduce I find that statement odd as being part of the nazi eugenics program. What irks me is the tone of the piece, which is sarcastic and written from a political instead of a neutral viewpoint. Our current society imprisons and executes criminals, is this a form of eugenics. Can a christian write that abortion is the ultimate fulfillment of eugenics without being muffled as well?

Another thing that irks me is the blatant accusation of racism. By doing so Fastfission indicates that his interests with this subject is far from neutral or sincere. I asume his real motivations are protecting Wikipedia from some absolute evil (racism) which he finds reason enough to censor or wipe out the contributions of others who have a genuine interest in eugenics.

--Scandum Mar 04, 2005

I'm an academic who has spent a considerable amount of time studying the history of eugenics and have done considerable original research on the topic. I'm well-versed in all of the standard literature and know which points are in contention and which are not. It is my goal to keep ideological revisionism out of Wikipedia articles that I know something about, and this is one of them. The article as it stands does not say that eugenics necessarily equates to genocide, it says that at one point in history, eugenics did equate to genocide. It is not claiming that genocide is a normative quality of eugenics, but notes that a large number of people have been wary of eugenics because of its once slide into genocide. This is an accurate historical statement, whether or not you agree with that large number of people. If you find something "odd," feel free to look at the cited literature. I recommend the Proctor and Kuntz books in particular for a good overview of the Nazi's eugenics programs. And if you look again, you'll see I accused Harkenbane of revisionism, not racism, but your slip says enough about your own interests. I don't need someone with two edits telling me about whether I'm trying to be neutral and sincere on Wikipedia, thank you. --Fastfission 19:22, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Accurate historical statements would be listing what criteria the nazis used for their eugenics program. That way you don't have to make any value judgements because the information will speak for itself. I have little interest in revisionism, just factual information. If the nazis selected on blue eyes, say so, respect the reader to draw his own conclusions instead of force feeding him conclusions based on unmentioned facts. Otherwise you might just as well erase the entire page and write: Eugenics are bad, m'kay?
--Scandum Mar 05, 2005
The article adequately explains who the Nazis targetted, why, and how. It does nto say "eugenics are bad," it says, "The Nazis did X with eugenics." Please feel free to read the article before drawing conclusions on what it does or does not say. It says that most people now think that eugenics are bad which is not an essentialist statement, and adequately reflects the change in social attitudes towards eugenics which have developed since at least the 1960s. --Fastfission 21:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Germany under Adolf Hitler was infamous for its eugenics programs, which attempted to maintain a "pure" German race.
It doesn't explain what a pure german race was considered to be. We all come from Africa remember? How Pure is Pure? 100% ? Are you sure you can back that up?
  • Among other acts, the Nazis performed extensive experimentation on live human beings to test their genetic theories.
What is considered extensive? Were these 'live human beings' asked to fill in a questionary, or did it involve an anal probe? What is the reader "supposed" to "think" when "reading" this? Why the "quotations", does that mean the reader is supposed to "know what is really meant there like a secret language only the members of the secret order know about" ?
  • During the 1930s and 1940s the Nazi regime forcibly sterilized hundreds of thousands of people who they viewed as mentally "unfit,"
Jesus Christ, what were the "criteria" it speaks of? Are we "reading" the same "article" ?
  • Many of their concerns for eugenics and racial hygiene were also explicitly present in their systematic killing of millions of "undesirable" Europeans,
What does "racism" has to do with "eugenics" ? Explain "undersirability" as a "neutral" statement?
Are we reading the same article? Or are you really stating this collection of vague crap that leaves almost everything to the reader's imagination explains who the Nazis targetted, why, and how?
And it's not just the nazi part which is either bull or in violation with the neutral point of view, please stop playing the revisionist, racist, whatever, card. It's a nasty way to deal with people. And yes, this includes steering the discussion toward nazi germany. As far as I'm concerned there are more interesting things to say about eugenics than mentioning yet another genocide.
--Scandum 9 Mar 2005
Haha, so let me get this straight. On the one hand, you want every since aspect of the Nazi eugenics program fleshed out in this article. On the other, you resent the emphasis on the Nazi account. Seems a tad confused. Okay, for you, I won't play the "revisionist" card, I'll play the "ignorant" card (meant in the kindest sense), because you seem to have no knowledge on the subject at all and are just throwing out "objections" based on nothing but air. In the order of your "concerns": The concepts of racial purity used in Nordicism/Aryanism/etc. by the Nazi theorists is outlined on the racial hygiene page. The reason "pure" is in quotes is because they said they wanted purity—don't get on my case because the concept doesn't make any sense. For details on one particular aspect of experimentation, see for example the page on Otmar von Verschuer. It involved such unpleasant things as culling the eyes of twin children in the concentration camps so that they could compare how similar they were to one another. Josef Mengele, etc. The criteria for the Nazi sterilization policy is outlined on the page for compulsory sterilization. The connection between German racism and eugenics is fairly explicit and was about notions of racial purity, as the article notes. The reason "undesireable" is in quotes is because it is their concept of undesireability (that they judged certain people to be "undesireable" is a neutral statement about their opinions). It's not vague so much as it doesn't try to explain every aspect of their policies in detail, though they exist at different places in the encyclopedia as it is, all linked to from this article. Perhaps you'd like me to make the section on the Nazis longer? That wouldn't be too much of a problem. See, here I thought you didn't like the emphasis on it, but instead that's all you want the article to be about! --Fastfission 23:36, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but your claims of having carried out research, of being well versed in all the standard literature, of having several edits in the encyclopedia, and of your goal to keep ideological revisionism out, are not relevant; let us assume for the time being that you are the very picture of perfection, if this will faciliate discussion. All that is relevent is whether my edits were justified. The article states, and I quote, "Though eugenics has been almost universally reviled since its ultimate fulfillment in the Holocaust..." This is flatly ridiculous. One could just as easilly claim that political purges are the ultimate fulfillment of Communism (although fortunately, the Wikipedia article on Communism does not make this error). Totalitarianism has frequently resulted in mass murder, whereas eugenics has not, and your claim that "at one point in history, eugenics did equate to genocide" is inconsistent with these facts. To say that the ultimate fulfillment of eugenics is the Holocaust is simply deceptive, and derives from the common and improper conflation of Nazism with eugenics. I hope you either will demonstrate that mass murders were common to most eugenics-supporting nations, or else make good on your honorable intentions to keep Wikipedia free from ideological revisionism, as the spurious link between Nazism and eugenics is precisely that.

(By the way, you did write, "The addition of a section on 'Jewish eugenics' makes me suspect very much the motivations of this user..." If you didn't mean this isn't a "blatant accusation of racism," it's understandable that you may have.) Harkenbane

My claims to my purposes were not directed at you, they were directed to the person who doubted my motivations. I explained them. In any event, I'm fine with it as it currently stands, but not with the nonsense you posted before. And yes, I am suspicious of your motives, but that's not the same thing as accusing racism. The fact that you are still insisting that the link between Nazism and eugenics is "spurious" continues to warrant that suspicion. --Fastfission 00:49, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Though there was overlap, the German eugenic efforts seem to have been separate from the "final solution." I've modified the disputed sentence to read, "Though eugenics has been almost universally reviled following its extensive use by Nazi Germany,...". Despite what HB says, the Germans were enthusiastic practitioners of eugenics. -Willmcw 22:08, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)
They are not wholly separate from the "final solution." The euthanasia programs are exactly where the techniques of mass death such as the use of poison gas were developed, and many of the practitioners moved directly from their now-empty hospitals to the camps. The rhetoric of eugenics and racial hygiene was present at every level of the Nazi anti-Semitic policies. Among the most brutal experiments of Mengele were in relation to heredity for the purpose of eugenics. I am of course not saying that eugenics was the only motivation behind the Holocaust (there were of course a plurality of motives, and depending on what type of historian you are you will see different things as being dominant), nor that eugenics inevitably leads/led to the Holocaust, but rather that eugenics was certainly present. This has been well documented by a number of historians, again the Kuntz and Proctor books are very explicit along these lines, but even Christopher Browning (a non-historian of science) gets into this stuff. --Fastfission 21:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thank you; I appreciate your flexibility, and while I may have liked to see my original edit survive, I think that is an acceptible compromise. I will leave it at that.

You may notice, however, as another poster has, that the tone of the entire article is far from neutral; consider the statement: "Before the death camps of World War II, the idea that eugenics, in an ultimate expression, could lead to genocide was not taken as a serious possibility." While this is technically true, the wording is such that it again implies that the Holocaust is indeed the "ultimate expression" of eugenics. "Wikipedia articles are supposed to represent all views;" in my opinion, this article does not reach this standard. While I consider it unlikely that my pointing out such things will result in any change to the article, I would like my opinion to be noted, should future discussion arise as to the acceptability of this article in its present form.

Harkenbane 23:06, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The tone of the article is historical. Unfortunately the history of eugenics is not a pretty one. Wikipedia article are not supposed to represent all views. Please re-read the policy on Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Eugenics of the 1920s-1930s was psuedoscientific, racist, and coercive, and was a crucial component in the policies of Nazi Germany. These are historical facts, regardless of whether you think that eugenics in an ideal world would not have been like this. If you'd like to suggest word or tone changes, please feel free to. I'm an entirely reasonable person and I'm happy to hear another opinion. But I will not allow you to insert pro-eugenics historical revisionism. --Fastfission 00:49, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
First, the history of eugenics is neither pretty nor ugly from a neutral point of view. Wikipedia can support all views, a racist might give a thumbs up when reading about germans selecting on blond hair, while the rest might give it a thumbs down. As already pointed out, it's not up to wikipedia to label the eugenics practiced in the 20th century as racist, coercive, or pseudoscientific. Just submit your historical facts and people will be able to draw their own conclusions.
--Scandum Mar 05, 2005
Ugly is my assessment; the article does not say it. Please learn to separate my interpretations on the history from what the article says; they are two different things. The article puts out the facts. The facts are ugly. The former is a statement about the article, the latter is a statement of my opinion. To label 20th-century eugenics as racist, coercive, and pseudoscientific is to take the position of mainstream scholarship. But anyway, you'll notice that the article does not say eugenics was racist, coercive, or pseudoscientific in such words, but describes instead the goals of the eugenicists, their methodology and its modern criticisms, and the manner in which their programs functioned. The fact that a reader would conclude from such things that they are racist, coercive, and pseudoscientific is exactly an act of drawing conclusions. Please read the article before commenting on it, in the future, you seem to have not done such as of yet. --Fastfission 21:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Fasfission requested a reference regarding eugenics laws or practices in the UK. I found a 1933 Guardian article about it, so I've added a quote from that article and linked to it, just after the sentence saying most non-Catholic countries adopted eugenics laws. Hope that's okay. SlimVirgin 19:53, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

My problem was not with saying that Britain had eugenics policies, but to insist that it was one of the top countries to practice eugenics. I'm happy with inserting information about their programs and encourage it. But the edit in question was one which removed the designation of the U.S. as having what we can qualitatively say is the "second largest" eugenics program, which they certainly did if you take the total of their sterilization, immigration, segregation, education, institutional development and backing, works produced, etc., which were exceeded only by Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s (though exceeded dramatically, as the U.S. never had a centralized state to enact policy with any efficiency). So anyway, I hope that makes the nature of my disagreement on that issue clear. I'm fairly sure that Britain did not sterilize very many people under its sterilization laws (I have a feeling they got overturned), but I will double-check that before editing anything on that subject. --Fastfission 21:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Just a note: I hadn't realized that it said that Britain was a "notable exception" before, which is a bit of an exaggeration. --Fastfission 00:42, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Neutral POV?

Wikipedia articles are indeed supposed to "represent all views." I refer you to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikiquette . Consider the article on communism, which I find to be a far better piece in this regard. There is mention of gulags and purges, but these are not central to the article's thrust. Like eugenics, communism is extremely unpopular throughout the western world, but the article on communism includes a great deal of information on communist thought, and several interjections on how various different communists view certain facts. Especially relevant to our own discussion is this passage:

"Some communists who reject Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism point out that these states were in fact not communistic. However, other Communists will stand in solidarity with the Communist regimes and point out their many successes such as Stalin's industrialization or the impact of Mao's regime on women and the poor in China. These Communists will claim that the figures on deaths in gulags and famines have been greatly exaggerated by the Western press."

By contrast, the POV of the eugenics article is not at all neutral, precisely because it has not only a historical, but a *mainstream* point of view, as Fastfission admits. Mainstream scholarship is not reliably neutral with regard to unpopular social movements, but more importantly, eugenics is not a merely historical movement. The article doesn't discuss the scientific aspects of eugenics (the article gives the impression that the science ended with Galton - what about modern research into the heritability of intelligence or equations allowing predictions on the IQ of a couple's offspring?), nor the worldview of the eugenics movement. This last is of particular interest, given the fundamentally alien nature of the eugenic mindset, which has given rise to cult movements such as Prometheism and Millennium. The article instead spends a great deal of space discussing National Socialism and the Holocaust, when A) the German eugenics laws predate Hitler's rise to power, and B) Modern eugenists are not Nazis, and do not support Hitler's regime. Such topics do have some relevance, but their importance is drastically overblown throughout the article.

Unfortunately I am too busy to offer further comment on this or suggest specific changes, but I hope I've made my position abundantly clear. I may return to this issue at a future date if my input is of any use to you.

Harkenbane 21:18, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)


No, the article does not spend a great deal of space on National Socialism and the Holocaust. I count one paragraph in an 18-paragraph article. -Willmcw 19:15, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
Along with that, the Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View policy trumps the Wikiquette policy as far as I know, so please refer to that if you want to throw a book around. The reason the Communism article has such a diverse set of opinions is because there are, and have always been, significant voices arguing for Communism in mainstream discourse. The academy is full of people who will argue that Stalinism bears no resemblance to Marxism-Leninism; it is what the NPOV policy labels a significant point of view (the point of view that Communism was created by the Illuminati, for instance, is not included in the article, because despite its belief by a few cranks it is not a POV espoused by serious sources). The number of serious sources who currently argue that Nazi Germany's eugenic policies were not "eugenics" are, to my knowledge, nil. Even the source you mentioned, who publishes in pro-eugenics sources and is not what I would call "mainstream," only argues that the Nazi eugenic policies were relatively measured in scope and that they had no connection to their genocidal policies (an opinion well countered by the vast majority of serious scholarship). As for the research into heritability, you are too eager to merge separate things, things which purposefully distanced themselves. The IQ researchers very deliberately said, "we are not advocating eugenics," at every turn after the 1940s, as the article outlines in its description of the distancing these people did (and continue to do). Modern research into heredity is not the same thing as eugenics, though as the article notes some people have wondered if there isn't some connection. So I'm not sure what you're wanting here in that respect—a claim that all IQ research is really eugenics? I find that to be a pretty judgmental POV. As for the German eugenic laws, yes, some eugenic laws predated Hitler, but the National Socialists passed loads of their own eugenics legislation which had a greater effect, scope, and intention than the Weimar laws. I've seen no evidence of a "worldwide eugenics movement" except among a dozen marginalized figures on the Internet, which I'm not sure warrants enyclopedic mention. I do think a line could be added that some people today, though fairly marginalized, advocate eugenics and desire to distance the philosophy from the Nazi excesses, but that's about all I'd give to it. The POV you are trying to have advertised is not neutral (that the Nazis didn't have eugenic policies, their excesses had nothing to do with eugenics, that eugenics has persisted on in spite of all of this, etc.), it is fringe. Furthermore, as Willmcw notes, the article spends a total of one paragraph on the Nazis. If you have specific sentences or paragraphs you disagree with or find to be not neutral, please focus on those in the future so that we're not just talking about some hypothetical article you seem to imagine is out there going on and on about Nazis, rather than the actual one which is on the page. --Fastfission 21:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Lynn "corrections"

Ah, another day, another brand-new user inserting historical revisionism to the "eugenics" page. Coincidence? Who knows. Doesn't really matter either way. But anyway—I don't recall even a revisionist like Lynn saying that only 300 to 400 Germans were sterilized (the Nazis own proud declarations were literally a thousand times higher than that, so maybe you're not carrying the zeros correctly), which is clearly nonsense, but needless to say, erasing the notes of the euthanasia program, the rhetoric of racial hygiene, and other clearly documented aspects of the German situation (and aspects that even the Nazis were transparent about) has brought us to the more absurd ends of this historical revisionism being pushed into this page, and was thus once again appropriately reverted. Keep it coming, guys—it takes you more time to type up this nonsense than it does to correct it, thank goodness. --Fastfission 22:09, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Here is the sentence from Lynn's paragraph on page 28 of Eugenics: a Reassessment that mentions 300 to 400 Germans sterilized — "It has been estimated that between 1933 and 1939, 300 to 400 Germans were sterilized, about half of whom were mentally retarded and the other half were mentally ill and and physically disabled (Bok, 1983; Muller-Hill, 1988)." It would seem that Lynn might have intended the word "thousand" to follow the phrase "300 to 400," considering that the last sentence in that paragraph reads, "As a proportion of the population, more sterilizations were carried out in Sweden than in Nazi Germany," and considering that Lynn mentions on page 34 that, "In 1997 it emerged that approximately 60,000 people had been sterilized in Sweden between 1934 and 1976. This was about double the number as a proportion of the population that had been sterilized in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939." (In 1950, Sweden had a population of 7 million. Germany (including Austria) had a population 76,275,200 in 1939. This would mean ~0.86% of Sweden's population was sterilized, and 0.39-0.52% of Germany-Austria's population was sterilized.) --hitssquad 06:55, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think it can go without saying that Lynn is a pretty lousy historical source (the lack of a "thousand" is a pretty big omission). If you'd like, I can post some of the reviews of his work in historical journals; they aren't pretty. Maybe we can stick to respected historical sources for our history. Also, I think that calling eugenics a "science" is a bit of a stretch -- it is more of a social philosophy, and the science with which it claims to engage is human genetics/heredity/psychology/etc. Eugenics is about how to run/structure a society, not how to conduct experiments, etc. --Fastfission 16:07, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Eugenics definition

Fastfission wrote: I think that calling eugenics a "science" is a bit of a stretch -- it is more of a social philosophy, and the science with which it claims to engage is human genetics/heredity/psychology/etc. Eugenics is about how to run/structure a society, not how to conduct experiments, etc. The M-W Unabridged lists it as a science, and there is no mention of philosophy in either of its two senses: 1 : a science that deals with the improvement of hereditary qualities in a series of generations of a race or breed especially by social control of human mating and reproduction — compare EUTHENICS, GENETICS 2 : the process or means of race improvement (as by restricting mating to superior types suited to each other). Euthenics is also listed there as a science: a science that deals with developing human well-being and efficient functioning through the improvement of environmental conditions — compare EUGENICS. Here is another dictionary definition: the study of methods of improving humans by allowing only carefully chosen people to reproduce. Again, there is nothing mentioned about philosophy. Dictionary.com similarly says it is The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding and again does not mention philosophy. Dorland's Medical Dictionary terms it the improvement of a population by selection of its best specimens for breeding; it does not mention science or study, but it also does not mention philosophy. (The M-W Unabridged Dictionary terms science 2 a : a branch or department of systematized knowledge that is or can be made a specific object of study; terms study (as used in the dictionary definitions above of eugenics) 5 a : an organized branch or department of learning : SUBJECT; and terms philosophy 3 a : a system of motivating beliefs, concepts, and principles.) --hitssquad 18:34, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Under what definition of "science" would eugenics possibly fit? Eugenics is about taking the results of a science (studies of human heredity, genetics, psychology, etc.) and applying them to social policy. Marxism calls itself a science, too, but that don't make it so. I think we could call eugenics an "ideology" but I thought that would be a little too strong for you. Fact is, as you've shown, there's no consensus definition for it. All in all, I think to call it a social philosophy is not a stretch in the slightest—eugenics is an approach to thinking about how to use social policy to affect certain end goals. It uses results and interpretations from various fields of scientific inquiry (historically: human heredity/genetics, psychology, statistics, biometrics, economics, anatomy, etc.), but is not a science under anything but the loosest and most antiquidated definition of "science." It is not "an organized branch or department of learning" in any rigorous definition. Dictionaries tell you how a word has been used, they are not records for what it means, and a dictionary will have a much looser definition of something like "science". If eugenics is a "science," then so is Marxism and Creationism. If you wanted to call it a "study" I think that would be fine (Encyclopedia Brittanica defines it as "The often-controversial study of improving the human race through genetic means is called eugenics.") though I think "social philosophy" is more to the point (considering that most eugenics involves no studying and all advocacy). The only way I would allow the word science to be a description of eugenics is if it were in scare quotes (i.e. Eugenics is a "science") to reflect the dubious quality of that label. I'd like to avoid scare quotes though, I find them a bit too POV.--Fastfission 19:10, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Eugenics is about taking the results of a science (studies of human heredity, genetics, psychology, etc.) and applying them to social policy. Wouldn't that make it an engineering discipline? (Engineering 2 : the science by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to man in structures, machines, and products — M-W Unabridged.) --hitssquad 03:02, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Haha, well, I think engineering might be a bit closer, sure. But engineering generally doesn't mean that they apply them to the structure of society. The engineering of a government is called politics. Are you happy with it as it currently is? I think by phrasing it in the way as "(sometimes labeled a "science")" we note that it is sometimes called that (oddly enough) and the quotes are ambigious enough that it means the page isn't necessarily endorsing that POV but isn't completely calling it into question, either. --Fastfission 15:54, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What's Civil Engineering then?
Well, let's consult Civil engineering: "In modern usage, civil engineering is a broad field of engineering that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of fixed structures, or public works, as they related to earth, water, or civilization and their processes. Most civil engineering today deals with roads, structures, water supply, sewer, flood control, or traffic." Boy, ya sure got me that time. Not a science. Again, I think one could argue that eugenics is closer to something "applied" like engineering, but it's a bit of a stretch. Eugenics, in the 1920s and 1930s, was a label attached to a number of things, whereas now it is generally regarded as the ideological superstructure that holds together a number of practices, beliefs, and methods. I think definition currently on the page is pretty straightforward. --Fastfission 07:12, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Social Engineering! :p

Brave New World, ordering of links

I see no reason Brave New World shouldn't be listed. It is often brought up in allusion to eugenics (i.e. Bush's statement about entering a "Brave New World" of stem cells and genetics). Certainly relevant for a "See also" section.

As for the ordering of links, the mainstream opinion is currently that eugenics was wrong and emphasizes the historical approach (I cannot see a way to separate "historical" and "anti-eugenics" websites as most are one and the same). It should be listed before the fringe eugenics advocacy websites, since this article is more about the history of the idea than it is about its present fringe manifestations.

I don't mind listing Lynn's book but I do want to mark it off as controversial and not accepted by most mainstream pscyhologists or geneticists. I have no problem listing controversial things but I do want to make sure they are demarcated so as not to cause confusion over the "scientific" opinion. --Fastfission 16:20, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Captions on book listings

Lynn's book is an empirically supported scholarly thesis that cites dozens of studies; it is far less political than "War against the weak". Maybe a better idea than to simply label books with the subjective term "controversial" would be to list scholarly or notable objections that have been raised against them. AndyCapp 23:17, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Lynn's book is extremely controversial and most geneticists and even psychologists have taken umbrage with it (and let's not even get into the historical accuracy of it; it is full of blatant errors and deliberate misinterpretations). "Controversial" is not a subjective term -- perhaps you need to look up what it means. It means, "it has attracted controversy," which Lynn's book certainly did. The Origin of Species is also a controversial book; the term does not judge accuracy. The reason for labeling it was a "controversial book supporting eugenics" is that on the face of it, it is not clear what its status is in the scientific community by its title alone. Black's book, on the other hand, is much more straightforward: from the title alone you can tell exactly what his agenda is and judge it accordingly. It is not a controversial book because it has generated controversy (the most biting reviews of it say that Black says nothing new). If this were a page about each book, I'd be glad to index in detail how they were reviewed and received. As such, this is a page about eugenics as a whole, and noting which books are inside and outside of the general canon serves a purpose for the reader. It does not say, "this book is inaccurate" -- it lets the reader decide how they feel about the mainstream acceptance of a book. It is simply a reflection of how it was received; again, it is a sociological argument, not an ontological argument. I'm changing it back; if you have further thoughts on this please let me know. If you're having difficulty distinguishing between sociological and ontological arguments, I'd be happy to clarify. --Fastfission 00:12, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Regarding categorization under "pseudoscience"

Please see Category_talk:Eugenics for a discussion on the appropriateness or lack thereof of this categorization. AndyCapp 13:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

NPOV dispute

This neutrality of this article is disputed because it reads like a tirade against eugenics. I dispute the listing of anti-eugenics websites first, implying that they hold the "correct" point of view. Convention is to list neutral websites or those supporting the subject matter first. For an example, see abortion - it lists neutral sites first, then pro-choice (i.e. pro-abortion) sites, then pro-life (i.e. anti-abortion) websites. The article on eugenics should follow this convention. The categorization under "pseudoscience" is also disputed; see Category_talk:Eugenics. I also dispute the listing of "Brave New World" under the "See also" section, which insinuates that eugenics will lead to the scenario described in "Brave New World". In addition, all the references are opposed to eugenics, and scare quotes are being used around many of the terms in the article. This article should disseminate facts and present a balance of views; right now it reads like a tirade. AndyCapp 13:26, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Point by point:
  • This article is primarily historical in nature, because that is the role eugenics has primarily in popular culture. It is a reference to things in the past primarily. It presents the history of eugenics as it is represented in mainstream historical literature. The only people who dispute this version of the history are neo-eugenicists, and even they are usually more than happy to admit, "Yes, this happened this way in the past, but it doesn't have to be this way in the future." How would you prefer this page read?
  • I see no way to diffentiate "historical" and "anti" websites so I place them together. They are listed first because they provide the context with which to understand the "pro" websites, which is clearly the minority viewpoint. I'd be amused if you would support a website you thought was "neutral" on eugenics.
  • Most of the references are historical in nature, which you'd know if you had read them. Most historical works on eugenics are not favorable towards it, because the history of eugenics is a fairly ugly thing by modern mores. If you want to recommend some "neutral" sources, feel free. Richard Lynn is about the opposite of neutral, though. I could cite some bioethical literature which talks about eugenics but I doubt that would really please you. In any event, the references are actually the references which were used in constructing the article. So they must stay regardless, so long as the article content is as it is.
  • Scare quote are appropriate for terms like "inferior" and "feebleminded", to imply that WP does not take a stance on their accuracy.
  • Brave New World is a well-known and well-read book about a eugenic society. It is so well-known that even President Bush uses it to talk about the future possibility of genetic engineering. It is a common cultural trope in relation to eugenics. To place it in a "See also" section does not imply that it necessarily follows from eugenics any more than putting "Pioneer Fund" in there implies that such a foundation will necessarily be created either.
Please state your responses to this issues if you wish to maintain a valid POV objection. The historical narrative of eugenics is presented in a very standard and neutral historical fashion, and the discussion of how eugenics has entered into modern biomedical discourse is very accurate and straightforward. If your idea of a "neutral" page about eugenics is the sort of thing put forth by a fringe web movement of neo-eugenicists, or of the small and highly controversial group of modern scientists who advocate eugenics (i.e. Lynn), then I think you really ought to reevaluate what WP:NPOV really means. --Fastfission 16:36, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, please be specific about what parts of the text you consider to be NPOV or a "tirade". I have really had it up to here with people who complain about the "bias" of a page but have apparently never read it, or who take an impression away from a page that is obviously more in their head than in the page itself (i.e. the fellow who complained that it featured too much about the Nazis when in reality it has a single paragraph about them). --Fastfission 16:46, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, it has been a week. Any further comments on the "NPOV dispute"? --Fastfission 01:18, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

It looks good to me. -Willmcw 01:19, May 11, 2005 (UTC)

I have been following this article closely and I would like to express my support for Fastfission. Keep up the good work!--CJ 00:18, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I, of course, agree, except for the bit about Brave New World being about a eugenic society. BNW is about a totalitarian society in which eugenics is just one of the methods of thought control. The amniotic environment, Pavlovian conditioning and soma featured far more prominantly in BNW than eugenics. However, the book is commonly used as an example of eugenics (correctly or not), so discussion of that can go on the BNW article, and the link remain in the see also section. Joe D (t) 00:27, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, I'd disagree a bit in my reading of BNW (I think you are underestimating the importance of the reproductive system in BNW and the biologically instituted class structure), but anyway that's not really the key issue here. ;) I'd also like to note that I by no means think this article is at all perfect -- I have some plans for it to shunt certain sections off to different, more-relevant articles (the entire Galton article needs to be rewritten, and some of this can go there) while beefing up other sections (the part on US and German policy could be fleshed out in more detail), and a more detailed section on the objections made at the time to eugenics would be nice (the statistical problems, the ethical problems). But I don't think it is terribly POV in its current form. --Fastfission 02:20, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Sterilisation in the United Kingdom

[The author's description of his reference 1 is an error. Although the article referenced was published in a British newspaper, it was reporting the introduction in 1933 of compulsory sterilisation in Germany, not in Britain.] unsigned comment moved from top

That is correct. The Guardian [1]. Here is an excellent reference on the history of forced sterilisation bills in the Unitede Kingdom The Enemy of Eugenics, which highlights G.K. Chesterton's successful effort to defeat the sterilisation clause of the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act that was pushed by Winston Churchill. Thanks for catching the error. -Willmcw 00:33, May 22, 2005 (UTC)

more neutral

I made an attempt at making a more neutral introduction. I tried this by getting rid of very weird sentence structures and instead getting straight to the point. Eugenics isn't a science or pseudo science, it's a proven concept that has worked in practice. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics#Eugenics_and_genetic_engineering

The ethical and political implications shouldn't be our concern, and I reformulated the line that presented eugenics and racism to be one and the same. Eugenics focusses on individual characteristics while racism focusses on characteristics of a group. Hence eugenics and racism are mutually exclusive. --Scandum 10:17, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

No, the article didn't mention racism before, and it doesn't mention it now. I'm reverting your edit, which removed some important internal links. However, I will say that a belief in the efficacy of eugenics and in racism are two (slightly) separate things, albeit mostly held by the same people. -Willmcw 10:32, May 25, 2005 (UTC)
Sure, human and pseudo science were very important links, please stop your vandalism and add back the human links if you find it so important, or dispute that a practical and proven concept (dog races being the prime example of playing with hereditary features) is a pseudo science. As far as I know nazi germany was the only racist government practicing eugenics, while many other non racist countries with larger populations practiced and are still practicing eugenics as well. I wonder if your interests lie with eugenics or something else, in which case I suggest you focus on pages that actually relate to racism. --Scandum 08:14, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
The current intro is:
Eugenics ... advocates the manipulation of human reproduction for the purposes of attempting to improve the human species over generations in regards to hereditary features.
The ERO and similar groups sought to improve the overall condition by "educating" people or by forced sterilization. That was loosely connected with a parallel effort to encourage procreation by more desirable genetic groups. While the particular efforts may have been directed at specific strains, and even individual characteristics, they are still attempts to improve the human species. All in all, I think that the current intro is succinct and accurate. Thanks, -Willmcw 10:50, May 25, 2005 (UTC)
I disagree, the old introduction was oddly worded and held an untruth. Confusing racism with eugenics is not only offensive to the jews since it indicates the nazis had scientific proof that jews are inferior, but is also offensive to people who support eugenics. Perhaps you should back up your actions with evidence before you resort to vandalism again. --Scandum 08:10, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for contributing to the project, but that last revert overwrote an edit by another user. Please look more carefully before reverting. Regarding the change, the article barely mentions racism or Jews and your edit did nothing to change that. What it did was to remove a mention of pseudoscience. The applicability of that term to eugenics was recetnly discussed at Category talk:Eugenics, please consult that page for evidence. In view of these two issues, I'm going to revert your changes. thanks, -Willmcw 08:26, May 27, 2005 (UTC)
It looks like the NPOV of the article is still under discussion, which was the only edit of your buddy. Looking at the discussion I see 2 persons being very stubborn about their viewpoints, but to make it look less odd I turned science into a link as well.
Nothing in the article about german eugenics, nor the Racial policy of Nazi Germany justifies labeling their racial politics as eugenics, nor their eugenic politics as racist. I think you should provide evidence first before supporting such claims, as well as keeping it in the nazi section. Instead I placed a link to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which leaves little doubt about both positive and negative eugenics being in violation with this declaration. While I do not dispute the impact of WWII on nowadays ethical values it is still an assumption while the UDHR is a verifiable fact and epoch: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html. --Scandum 14:27, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
As a side note for fastfission, I'm not confusing the cause with the effect. You are supporting untruths and speculations you do not bother to back up. For most nations (including european ones) the holocaust had as much influence as the genocide on 90 million native americans. Hence you cannot use it as the explenation of a universal rejection. The UDHR however has been adopted by hundreds of nations.
I hope you stop the power trip you're on, with this meaning you do not delete every single thing that isn't to your liking, as the history page clearly shows. I would also like to remind you that everyone is allowed to edit articles, and such a thing as 'ownership' does not exist. --Scandum 16:23, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
You seem to be either very confused or very ignorant about your history. A few facts:
  • The Nazi party based many of their more repressive racial policies on their understanding of eugenics. Such is clear from their own tracts. Reference: Proctor, Kevles, Kühl.
  • As a reaction to the Nazi politics, a number of scientists began publicizing anti-eugenics opinions. When the US entered the war these became used as a major point of contrast with the Nazi enemy. Reference: Barkan.
  • The UN Declarations which followed the war were a result of an attempt to formulate standards which would avoid genocides such as those committed by the Nazis. Reference: Barkan.
The revulsion to the Nazi policies was the cause of the UN Declarations. The UN Declarations did not cause the revulsion. For someone who is pretending to want me to "back up" my "untruths", you sure aren't citing a lot of your own references, buddy. I don't have any notion of "ownership" here, I just don't want some POV-pushing neo-Eugenicist who is ignorant of heavily researched history creating a misleading article. You're far from the first such person to try and do this, and you'll be as unsuccessful as the others in the long run. --Fastfission 18:02, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

On the contrary, you even fail to give proper links to your sources, or incorporate your knowledge about them into the appropriate sections of the article. All I see checking the history is a reverting bully who makes fascist claims like "you'll be as unsuccessful as the others in the long run".

The UN is as much inspired by WW I, Japan's cruelty, Italy's fascism, imperialism, the threat of the sovjet union and various other disputes throughout history. Human rights are still an issue, and eugenics is the last concern when adressing it. Racism was and still is a major issue. Your attempt to label eugenics as the ultimate evil shows a bias that just doesn't belong in a site favoring a NPOV. You're the POV pusher here. As the article's history shows, you are everything but a team worker. --Scandum 18:45, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Proper links? I gave you references to books written by well-respected historians. Take a look at the "References" section in the main article for each of their full citations. You've provided nothing. Zip. Nada. Nil.
The UN had a lot of origins. However it is well documented that their rights declarations, declarations on race, etc. were a direct response to the Holocaust. Need proof? Go ahead and take a look at the sources I cited.
I've never tried to label eugenics as "the ultimate evil". I'd love to see you cite anything I've added to the article which has ever implied such a thing.
As for the article's history: I'm overjoyed when other people add quality content. But when people come in and try to obscure well-documented historicla facts because they make their particular ideology look bad, I don't have a lot of patience. If you really examined the contents of the article history you'd see that I've done a lot more for it than just reverted it. But anyway, I don't feel the need to justify myself to you. I've never "bullied" anybody -- I've asked for explanations, provided well-cited counter-arguments, and in the end come to reasonable compromises with reasonable people. My last revert of this for the day, take care you don't break the 3 Revert Rule yourself, I'd hate to see you get blocked for being ignorant of something like Wikipedia policy. --Fastfission 18:59, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
You reference sources noone can access without buying a book. Despite your conviction, few people are going to fall for that one. You are clearly bullying, and your statements and reverts in that department speak for itself. Few people contribute because you scare off everyone who doesn't share your POV. I've seen a decent edits being flushed down by you and your buddy quite a few times.
The UN has no specific declaration on eugenics, they however made their declarations as general as possible and hence they certainly cover eugenics. I doubt you can show proof of more than 3 nations openly rejecting eugenics, so far the only way to state that eugenics is universily rejected is using the UDHR.
You not only seem to be willing to justify yourself to me, you don't to over half the people trying to contribute on this article. --Scandum 19:22, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you have heard of these wonderful institutions called libraries. They are quite useful for getting access to these things we call "books", which are one of the primary methods for dispensing of mainstream scholarly information -- the sort of information this page is based on. I use them to get my books, for I too do not fancy buying everything I want to read. I could cite citations from scholarly journals as well but I figured those would be even more difficult for you to access. Such is the state of scholarship.
But heck. I'll put in some effort for you. According to The United Nations of Canada, the UNHR was created "created primarily to avoid a recurrence of the horrors experienced during World War II." Cause and effect. You might want to look at the UNESCO statements on race, too, which were more directly worded to oppose Nazi racial policy. Unfortunately I don't have any good online links for that but a brief history of the UNESCO statement is: William B. Provine, "Geneticists and Race" Amer. Zool. 26 (1986):857-887.
The "universal" does not refer to politics though the way in which discussions of eugenics are quickly reviled whenever they pop up should be a good indication of that. Again, the Barkan and Kevles books are good places to start (and should be quite accessible) if you need descriptions of the changing scientific, political, and popular attitudes towards eugenics in the US and Europe. Unfortunately there are not too many great online sites that provide a very comprehensive look at the history of eugenics -- most of the best ones are focused on small incidences (i.e. Virginia's laws), the Holocaust itself, or are essays about the origins of eugenics. So unfortunately we must rely on printed matter for the more general historical trends rather than specific questions.
I'm happy with adding a note about the UN statements later in the article. They do indeed serve as interesting barometers of changing attitudes. But they are the effect, not the cause. The cause was revulsion to the Holocaust. And they were just one of a number of changes that happened after the Holocaust in attitudes towards science and race. Practically any of the books cited talk about this in some degree. Unfortunately not all historical research can be done from in front of your computer. If you do not know enough about the subject to reference anything but web sources, I suggest you leave the article to the many people who actually do know something about its subject matter.
How I "scare" people is beyond me -- though I suppose being confronted with references to well-respected books can be somewhat scary to people of dubious intellectual persuasions! Compare my contributions with yours and tell me who is the single-minded POV pusher and who is the person putting in an effort to develop an encyclopedia. You've yet to back up a single assertion you've put forward, and yet you have the gall to criticize me for citing academic sources! Please get real. --Fastfission 19:50, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Most people I know show interest in dysgenics as well as discussing minor forms of positive eugenics. On the other hand I doubt they'll be interested in how effective gas chambers are for killing people, or how many bars of soap and lamp caps you can make out of 5 million jews. Your worldview is off, and the untruths you placed in this article indicate motivations that have little to do with providing a quality article.
Next your sources are not available where I live. I suggest you follow wikipedia guidelines and use verifiable sources available on the world wide web. The UN was created to stop wars, and your source which references to the "horrors of the second world war" isn't talking about 150.000 victims of negative eugenics, but about the 50 million people who died, sometimes in horrible ways.
You have lost all perspective haven't you? --Scandum 07:38, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Uh, riiiight. Listen, if you want to accuse me of having some sort of super-bias, please cite the lines. Your desired line of "The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948 caused the philosophy to become almost universally rejected." is factually untrue. The adoption did not cause the rejection. The adoption itself was caused by the horrors of the second World War. If you don't believe that to be in reference to eugenics, then why do you want to have it inserted into the head section of this page anyway? It is well documented in every respected history of eugenics that the revulsion to eugenics came because of the Nazis use of it. If you cannot get your hands on a single printed source relating to eugenics, including ones which are available for almost nothing used on Amazon.com. Here's a dare: give me your city and state information and I'll find you a local public library with a copy of this book.
You have yet to cite a single source for your opinions on this. As such I can only assume you have none. Your blatant ignorance is not an excuse for changing content on this page any more than it would be on a page about nuclear chemistry. Just because you can't access the dozens of sources I cite does not mean you have a valid claim for disregarding them, especially since they are published by major academic presses.
You clearly have no goal of improving this page, and clearly have no factual grounds to stand on in your claims of "untruths". --Fastfission 19:35, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Please do the research if you want to contribute. Thank you. Rickyrab | Talk 20:44, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Bullying by Fastfission and Williamcw

Anyone observing the history of the discussions will see there are issues. Complaints are always answered the same way by these two users who are very stubborn and consequently making it impossible for different minded people to contribute without dealing with non stop reverts and edits. Discussion seems pointless as well, because they easily call someone a nazi or racist and even bluntly state they do not wish to reach consensus.

Unverifiable sources are used, as well as non factual statements that are either backed up by the author's knowledge about how the average human feels about something, or a random statement fished up with google that was floating around on the internet.

Since it seems impossible to reach consensus I'd like more neutral people to get involved and either explain why this is normal on wikipedia, or that these individuals are POV pushers and that their behavior is unacceptable. With their current attitude I doubt the situation will improve.

Can you please state the specific issues that are POV in the article? Thanks, -Willmcw 19:09, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
Let's look at the change he wants to make:
My version:
After World War II, however, the invocation of eugenics by the government of Nazi Germany as a justification for its racial policies caused the philosophy to become almost universally reviled.
His version:
The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948 caused the philosophy to become almost universally rejected.
Now notice that when I pointed out that the UNDHR was created itself as a response to "the horrors of World War II", he them claimed that this wasn't in reference to eugenics. So he wants to insert something which is logically implausible (the adoption of a UN resolution resulted in universal revulsion) and then when it is pointed out that the UN resolution was the result of World War II he wants to claim it has nothing to do with eugenics. And yet he still wants it in the introductory paragraph claiming that it was what led to the revulsion of eugenics. All of this is pretty ridiculous even without having much knowledge of the subject, or looking at any of the basic sources I've mentioned, all of which are considered standard texts on the subject (which he apparently has no access to and has never read and yet thinks himself an expert on the topic).
In any event, this entire "dispute" comes down to something which is plainly a factual question and has nothing to do with pushing my "POV" in any way. The guy clearly wants to expunge the one reference to the Nazis in the intro -- and a very neutral one at that, it doesn't at all imply that what the Nazis did was actually eugenics -- and in some way make it seem that the UN was behind people disliking eugenics. Which, aside from being logically incoherent, is historically incorrect, as is evidenced by his inability to cite any sources at all in support of it.
Now the ultimate rejection of eugenics is a complicated historical question, one which I've done quite a bit of original research on (which I'm not going to try and go into or insert into this article). Many sterilization programs continued around the globe, including in the US, for a few more decades (whether this had anything to do with the question of eugenics is a somewhat even more difficult question to answer, one which I have spent a number of years working on as an academic researcher). In the US and Europe, most skepticism of eugenics (both in the scientific community and popular) began before the Holocaust as well -- it had already lost a good deal of influence before WWII broke out, as it was becoming more and more associated with fanatical jeremiads than it did real science. Even scientists who believed that such a thing was possible and good (i.e. Julian Huxley) wrote essays about distancing the ideas of hereditary modification from any notion of "eugenics", which was considered (by its opponents and its proponents) as more of a "religion" than anything else. The idea that the Holocaust was the sole cause of these changes of attitude is a view applied somewhat in retrospect -- attention to the "scientific" pretensions of the Holocaust did not become really focused until the late 1960s. All that being said, it is not a wholly incorrect generalization to say that the Holocaust had a tremendous effect on ideas of heredity, race, and political governance, and the UNESCO statements are an especially good indication of this. Eugenics and Nazism became synonymous over time, which is what is behind the near-universal revulsion.
But this guy is clearly a crank, and he is not making a nuanced historical argument. If he doesn't give a detailed and specific list of the lines in the article he considers POV within a few days, we should remove the POV warning. --Fastfission 19:40, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I just showed up on the page to make sure that a spam link added by a user who only added promotional links into a variety of articles was removed... from when it was first added to when I removed it I paged through the various edits. Personally I do not see what the alleged NPOV problems are supposed to be. Other than emotional complaints of bullying (for which I don't see proof either, editors are here to edit, that's what was done, it's not bullying to remove someone else's changes that you find to be of poor quality) there's not even an attempt to explain why the tag was added. Without a solid reason for someone to respond to (a practical solution out of the alleged article content conflict), the NPOV tag has no business being there. DreamGuy 21:46, May 28, 2005 (UTC)

You must have skipped the talk having 'Neutral' in the topic title. --Scandum 08:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Concerns

After World War II, however, the invocation of eugenics by the government of Nazi Germany as a justification for its racial policies caused the philosophy to become almost universally reviled.
First there is no proof at all presented in the article that indicates any relationship between the nazi eugenics and race politics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability
Fastfission only backs this up with evidence that's not available on the www, and I highly question it since no summary of the information is available in the nazi section. Even though I speak english well, the country I live in generally doesn't. The work in question was never translated; hence isn't available in the public library. One cannot expect someone to spend money in order to access a source. If this information is as universal as fastfission claims it to be I expect it to be on the www.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoid_weasel_terms
According to this link this article is guilty of a half-hearted attempt to give it the appearance of neutrality. The weasel term is the reference to some people thinking eugenics to be a pseudo science. Since you guys agree that Eugenics is a social philosophy, pushing it into the pseudo scientific catagory is questionable. The excessive usage of quotation marks takes away from the neutrality and readability of the article as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoid_peacock_terms
Eugenics being "universily" reviled is a peacock term. The only thing coming close to something that can be proven is the adoption of the UDHR by most nations. The UDHR wasn't geared toward stopping eugenics, but racism and mistreatement of others. As pointed out, eugenics and dysgenics are topics that can be discussed openly, putting it into practice will partially go against the UDHR however.
I think it's too much of a unneutral statement to asume the concept of eugenics is "universaly" "reviled", especially with over 1 billion chinese putting up with (though minor) eugenic laws.
Another point is that the holocaust only made an impact in the western world. The chinese are much more considered with the cruelties inflicted upon them by the Japanese. The japanese in turn had 2 nukes thrown upon civilian targets. The germans had their cities firebombed. The africans are dying of AIDS. The Americans seem most upset still about Pearl Harbor. 50 million people died as a result of non racist or eugenic actions in the second world war.
I think the perspective isn't right for the eugenics article. Racism is one thing, but eugenics was practiced by too many nations to be a nazi trademark. Relative to it's population Sweden was more active.
I hope you see the points I'm trying to make, as well as attempting to make some effords to resolve these issues. --Scandum 09:50, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry Scandum - but I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Fastfission and WilliamCW have my total and unflinching support in this dispute. --CJ 18:12, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Before I give you the "proof" you want -- what form of proof do you accept? Do you take books? Articles? Links? Authors? Short quotations? Long quotations? Page numbers? Because clearly you don't take the "References" section to provide valid references, or at least you don't want to bother to check on them, because there are at least seven books on there describing in detail the role of eugenics in Nazi racial politics. The Proctor book is the definitive book on Nazi medical/racial politics but Kevles, Barkan, Kühl, Kuntz, and Weindling all cover this. Considering this is your first concern, and by far the easiest to shoot down, I'm just wondering what sort of "proof" you require here. If you do a Google search for "nazi eugenics site:edu" you'll get 9,000 good references to Nazi eugenics; "nazi eugenics racial site:edu" pulls up 4,700 references specifically to their racial policies.
If you'd like we can change "some people" to "most mainstream scientists and historians". Of course making any statement about community consensus is difficult, even if there was poll data, but as we've discussed on Category talk:Eugenics, there are ample available references in the contemporary scientific literature which regard it as pseudoscience, and the number in historical literature would could be pulled out would be far more than would be worth typing up. Given that the number in the scientific literature has been established to a fair enough degree that a number of users unconnected with either me or you seem to be convinced that it is enough to consider it a consensus of sorts, the burden falls on you to either show it is not a consensus or to provide some sort of alternate yet solvable criteria for establishing whether it is or not. Saying that you don't believe it doesn't count, and throwing out some personal logical argument of yours about how if you believe in heredity then you must believe in eugenics doesn't do it either.
"Universally" is not a peacock term, I'm not sure you are understanding what peacock terms mean (they are things like "So and so is the smartest scientist in the world"). It would not be a peacock term to say that "cannibalism is almost universally reviled" or that "incest taboos exist in almost all cultures". Nor would it be inaccurate, nor would it be non-neutral.
Something you seem to be missing, and perhaps the article could use more on this, is that what is interesting about anything which could be possibly considered post-WWII "eugenics" is that it enthusiastically proclaims that it is not eugenics, and there are debates as to whether it really is "eugenics", and the importance of this simple word is there simply because eugenics is associated with Nazism. The reason that people deny they are "closest eugenicists" (as James Watson put it) is because "eugenics" generally means "pseudoscientific" and "Nazi". So they re-frame their theories of heredity modification in a way that they can claim it is not either of those two things, and thus not eugenics (see, i.e. reprogenetics).
Now if you have some special insight into the Chinese mind and eugenics, please feel free to add a bit to the article, and provide a reference or two. It is not something I am fluent in or have read any great deal about. However don't just add things to the article if you can't at least provide a print reference to them. I can look up pretty much any reference you can provide, my access to library services is unlimited for all intents and purposes. Any argument that the US and the Germans, at the very least, are not concerned with the Holocaust or eugenics is pure poppycock.
Okay. So let's get this straight. You have a number of concerns which fall under the category of "factual". They are pretty straightforward and easily rebutted but if you'd like we can work to include some more nuance if that would please you. But "factual" opinions are not the basis of NPOV disputes.
The only thing you've listed which would fall under "POV" or "bias" is the association of Nazism with eugenics. However it is easily demonstrated that this association is present in the minds of commentators, scientists, and historians. Every commentator on the history of the uses of human heredity engage with the Holocaust, whether they support "eugenic-like" programs or not. The inclusion of the fact that eugenics has been indellibly associated with Nazism is a matter of fact. This article must report that this association is present whether or not any of us agree with this association or not. Does that make this at all clear? There are 144,000 hits on google for "Nazi eugenics" -- I'm not making up this association here. This article does not say that the association was justified -- it very clearly says that the Nazis used a rhetoric of eugenics to justify their policies. One can always say, "well, that's not what I think eugenics should mean." But that doesn't change the fact that they used the rhetoric, nor does it change the fact that people associate eugenics with Nazism and the Holocaust.
The point you're trying to make, as I see it, is "I don't think eugenics should be associated with the Nazis." But eugenics is associated with the Nazis, whether you think it should be or not. I don't think that Stalin's purges should necessarily be associated with Karl Marx, but I don't get to choose how "associations" work. I don't see any real efforts towards trying to resolve any issues. You've not suggested any changes that make any sense, you have not tried to understand what those who disagree with you have said. You've still provided zero references of your own while loudly complaining that you can't get any references I've given. You've been disagreed with by everybody who has commented and yet you somehow think this is a bullying cabal. I'm not impressed by your efforts as "resolution", to say the least. --Fastfission 22:48, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Regarding proof, 1 good link to an article showing nazi scientific research finding jews to be inferior would do.
Once again, I have no problem with references to nazi eugenics, but I do have a problem with labeling the holocaust as an eugenic policy. Racial genocide is quite the opposite of eugenics.
I'd rather see the real eugenic policies of the nazis highlighted, the other policies are already dealt with in the holocaust section. Aknowledge Sweden had relatively the biggest eugenic program, the nazis had the cruelest eugenic program.
I suggest we further discuss the pseudo-scientific dispute on Category talk:Eugenics.
"Universally" becomes a peacock term realising Hitler ended an eugenics program due to protests from the german population. As well as that the US continued it's eugenic programs for some decades after the second world war. Humanitarian and egalitarian movements were already existant and established. It looks more like it's human nature to reject canabalism, rape, and other violations of the human dignity and rights. It might be best to look for an article describing this process in more detail to refer to.
Aknowledge that my main problem lies with the racial reference in that line. --Scandum 08:54, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for a good link, but meanwhile I updated the article to refere to what is probably the most brutal eugenic program of human history. Of course I made sure that Nazi Germany remained in the spot light Herr Fastfission ;) --Scandum 22:14, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Please read the article before criticizing it. I don't see anywhere in the article that says that the Holocaust was a eugenic policy. I'm not sure what "good link" you're waiting for. -Willmcw 05:37, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
If you carefully (or not so carefully) read the message your message is posted under you would understand.
But I asume we have reached some sort of consensus? Fastfission hasn't provided 1 link showing the Nazis had scientific evidence that Jews are inferior, maybe because there wasn't any? So I asume the article can stay clear of statements confusing discrimination based on culture, religion, and race as eugenic practices. Otherwise we could link the spanish inquisition as well.
--Scandum 12:44, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
First of all, I'm not sure why a link relating to Nazi research on Jews is necessary at all for the claim that people were repulsed by the Nazi eugenics programs. But anyway, want some links? How about this one, see the section "II. Genetically unacceptable". The Nazis used all sorts of veneers of science to show that Jews were predisposed to various negative social traits. Also take a look at the copious amounts of work on Nazi racial hygiene and eugenics at this exhibit. Both of these links are already linked to from the article, by the way.
Again, the article doesn't say the Holocaust was a eugenic policy. The only line relating to it says that, and I quote, "Many of their concerns for eugenics and racial hygiene were also explicitly present in their systematic killing of millions of "undesirable" Europeans, including Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals, during the Holocaust, and much of the killing equipment and methods employed in the death camps was first developed in their euthanasia program." I've bolded the operative line.
I'm not "acknowledging" anything because 1. I don't see the point, 2. the question of who had the "biggest" relies on whatever sort of metric you use (which is a complicated question that I'll go into if you're really unable to understand what that means), and 3. this is not about "who had the biggest program" but whose program is the one that got the most attention, and since the Swedish program was really not even publically known about until the last few years then it clearly isn't the one that people are reacting to when they think of eugenics. Even the Swedes are reacting less to the fact that they had a eugenic program than they are to the fact that they had a program which was similar to the Nazis! It is the association with the Nazis which makes sterilization programs so exciting for people to discover these days in the first place.
I don't understand your comment on the "universally" -- again I think you might just be confused as to the facts, much less the English language.
T-4 was certainly brutal but the line is about what people reacted to. The euthanasia policy is one of the many policies they had which were reacted to in this fashion. The Nazis were giving eugenics a bad name even before the Holocaust was known about, even before the second World War had started. One of the most prominent anti-racist books at the time, Julian Huxley's We Europeans (1935) was published long before this. Huxley was himself favorable towards eugenics, by the way, but even in his work you can see that the word "eugenics" is becoming too associated with the Nazis for his taste.
Nobody is implying that the end of WWII meant that all nations gave up their eugenics programs. If you'll read what I spent considerable time trying to write up in a plain language up above, you'll see that's not what I was saying. You'll also see that the article itself goes into detail about how this was not the case. But the fact that eugenics took on a negative association with the Nazis after WWII is true, even if it did not end various programs. The full effect of the association of the Nazis with "eugenics" did not come into fruition until the 1960s when the Holocaust began to take a more central role in the collective memory of WWII, and there began to be a focus on the Nazi use of science. But for the sake of brevity, the statement that the association of "eugenics" with the Nazis has led to its controversial and disavowed status, is correct. At best, I'd be willing to change the phrase a bit to end the exact temporal association, but I'm not sure it is necessary for this article. --Fastfission 20:57, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The article mentions Germany, the USA, as well as Britain to be the biggest eugenics practicing nations in history. Since Britain was the obvious exception I'm not sure how accurate and neutral this web site is?
The website hints at eugenics and the holocaust to be related, but also addresses politic, economic, and other motives. The website's entrance page features a picture of what I asume to be Auswitch, making me wonder how broad and accurate it's scope is. It doesn't provide any facts about the scientific nature of the holocaust. It vaguely mentions racial science in a long text without any kind of backing or verifiable facts. With great minds like Albert Einstein and the general success of Jews research might actually prove the opposite. I think linking to the T-4 project as a reference is more in context than a stretched claim that the racial policies, hence the holocaust, were applied eugenics.
I'll look for a source focussing on what exactly motivated the Germans to kill 6 million Jews. I'm sure some research has been done on that question, but from the looks of it trying to track it down along the eugenic pathway won't lead to the right site.
--Scandum 21:55, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Germans didn't think Albert Einstein was a great mind. If you knew anything about Nazi science then you'd know that. See the article on Deutsche Physik if you don't know what I'm talking about.
What you are "looking for" has nothing to do with your purported NPOV dispute -- which is about the reactions to the Holocaust and reactions to eugenics, a totally different topic than the many motivations the Nazis had.
The links between eugenic rhetoric and the Holocaust are available all over the web and in a dozen cited books. If you don't have access to any print sources on eugenics, and apparently know nothing of its history, then you really shouldn't be editing this article, since you clearly know nothing about the history of the topic. I'm shifting the burden of proof: if you disagree with something I've written and provided a reference for, it is up to you to cite something which disagrees with it. I'm tired of playing games here with someone as ignorant in the topic as you appear to be. Either show you have some real reasons for believing what you believe, or doubting what you doubt, or find a better use for your time. --Fastfission 23:49, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your link only highlights that the Germans rejected a scientific theory simply because the person who developed the theory was a Jew. The Germans obviously didn't follow the scientific method whenever it concerned Jews.
Your way of thinking seems strongly related to the one of the nazi period. Whenever the word Nazi is involved you stop thinking straight and go out of your way to work on your second agenda.
I think I'll find more of the same in the printed text you mention. The holocaust wasn't anymore eugenic than the sovjets who killed millions of political prisoners. At least the sovjets used an individual selection method to determine if someone was a political threat or not, the Germans didn't even bother.
--Scandum 08:55, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Before reverting or adding anything, please provide at least 'one reference which backs up your opinions.
I changed the text a bit to be more historically precise -- if you have a problem with it, please state exactly what you dispute. Do not simply revert content, especially when it is clear that you have never read anything on the subject. --Fastfission 15:41, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I tried, but I can't find a link about the existance of research into racial matters that justified the Holocaust, possibly because there never was any such research published by the Nazis. The Untermensch claims were possible based on the "common knowledge" of those days. Most people had racist believes back then, as nowadays folks tend to forget.
I also haven't found any eugenic material promoting racial extermination. Obviously the holocaust wasn't applied eugenics, and your claims that it was is basicly historical revisionism.
As much as you want the holocaust to be linked to eugenics, the relationship is based on rhetoric, and not on facts, and your inability to prove your claims backs up my statements. I suggest you read some real books instead of holocaust horror pulp.
--Scandum 21:40, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

By the way, here is an excerpt from the Brittanica Student Encyclopedia's article on eugenics:

From the late 19th century through the end of World War II in 1945, eugenics became a part of a broad, and often destructive, social movement to “improve” the human race. This was particularly evident in Germany beginning in the 1920s and throughout World War II. Following eugenic theories that advocated eliminating "inferior" races, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party exterminated some 6 million Jews and murdered millions of others, including Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, and persons who were mentally ill or physically handicapped. (See also genocide; Hitler, Adolf; World War II.)

And here is another from Encyclopedia Brittanica itself:

The assumptions of eugenists came under sharp criticism beginning in the 1930s and were discredited after the German Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of Jews and the murder of many Gypsies, mentally ill persons, and homosexuals.

I just want to put that out as a bit of contrast, so you can see how much more careful our article is about making explicit connections. --Fastfission 21:01, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Aha, euencyclopedics: the art and science of improving encyclopedias! Way to go! :) Rickyrab | Talk 20:39, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Danger, Danger

My skin crawls at the thought of entering into a discussion about improving humanity by restricting reproduction. The horror of it all is the arrogance that can only lead to declarations that "your kind is not worthy of being here." It makes no difference whether you call your program "ethnic cleansing," "the final solution," or "Eugenics."

Has there ever been a Eugenicist who recommended curtailing the propogation of his or her own personal genetic legacy for the greater good of humanity?

The tragic reality is that every perpetrator of genocide sincerely believes that the group that is the object of his or her extermination efforts deserves its fate. If one can shroud one's savagery in a mantle of philosphy or theology one can delude oneself and others into believing that his or her unspeakable actions are morally justified.

Sorry, the word "Eugenics" is nothing more than a fine sounding word whose consequences inevitably lead to atrocities. The lessons of history are abundantly clear on this matter. Pseudo-science is the proper assessment of "Eugenics" - Robert Howard

It's only sensible that an eugenicist would subject him/herself to a scientifically sound selection method?
The tragic reality is that millions of people suffer from genetic diseases, and that their numbers are increasing. If one can shroud one's guilt in a mantle of philosphy or theology one can delude oneself and others into believing that his or her lack of action is morally justified.
Being a nihilist above anything else I stand somewhere in the middle. I don't like the thought of people being forced to subject to scientific tests to determine how much offspring they should have, nor do I like the thought of 10 year olds with terminal cancer. Just like in WWII, those doing nothing and watching it happen are as guilty as those that commited the crimes against humanity.

Isn't it ironic? --Scandum 09:30, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

The problem with Robert Howard's line of reasoning is that eugenics does not necessarily entail an attempt to restrict reproduction. "Eugenics" is simply an attempt to improve humanity from a genetic perspective, regardless of the methods used. Dsh34 18:36, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It is worth noting though that eugenics is an attempt to improve humanity as a whole from a genetic perspective. Which separates it out from individual based therapies (whether there is a full separation is a question in some debate in modern bioethical literature, however strictly speaking most ethicists take the point of view that it should be assumed implicitly separate and that it must be argued or demonstrated than an individual task is truly "eugenic" in nature). But Mr. Howard is not unique in associating ideals of eugenics with coercive programs -- it is a form of the slippery slope argument, one of the few which unfortunately has been born out a few times in history, which is what gives it some pause for consideration. --Fastfission 20:16, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There are probably good ways and bad ways of doing eugenics - after all, there are genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis that are best gotten rid of, but using such things as birth restrictions and stereotyping people is the type of thing that the Nazis did. So, yeah, eugenics requires responsibility in order to avoid becoming dysgenics. Rickyrab | Talk 20:34, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Careful, someone might call you a neo-nazi and demand someone checks your IP.
It's good to hear a reasonable voice though. --Scandum 21:26, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Dsh34's changes

Here's what I changed about Dsh34's changes:

  • If we are going to state what the eugenicists advocate, we should also note the common claim of increasing the intelligence of the human race. No biggie there, I just noticed it was lacking in the claims.
  • It is worth pointing out that a number of the eugenic programs of the early 20th century were "notably coercive or restrictive." Such is not a terribly POV thing to say and I think it needs to be front-and-center. Why? Because it is the coercive and restrictive programs that people think of when they hear "eugenics", which is why it is controversial.
  • It was not called a pseudoscience just after WWII -- there were those in the 1930s who were already calling it things of that nature, even those in the 19th century who didn't think it was really as scientific as it claimed to be. So the "after WWII" qualifier is not technically accurate, nor necessary.
  • I support listing a few of the figures who supported eugenics and who are now considered to be progressive or mainstream (i.e. DuBois) as a way of highlighting its early appeal.
  • I think the following line:
After WWII, however, eugenics began to fall out of favor among the public due to its association with Nazi Germany.
Is less precise than what I had:
It began falling into serious disrepute in scientific circles in the 1930s, around the same time eugenic rhetoric was incorporated into the racial policies of Nazi Germany.
It is worth noting that it was falling into disrepute before WWII began, it was not just an overnight affair.
  • I don't see what Incest taboo has to do with eugenics, so I removed it from the "See also" section.
  • I'm wary of labeling Richard Lynn a eugenicist. He has certainly advocated a "reevalution" of eugenics and thinks certain eugenic principles valid but I'm not sure he's a "eugenicist" in the standard sense. So I gave a slightly more verbose addition to him on the "See also" section.

But I'm happy to discuss these changes with User:Dsh34 and other interested parties. (You can see precisely what I didn't change by looking at this diff). --Fastfission 21:32, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The incest taboo is an eugenic law. I know, brothers and sisters should be allowed to breed if they so wish without being restricted by nazis who worry about corrupting the 'gene pool' with 'inferior genes'.
Your lack of insight into the various matters of this subject is astounding.
--Scandum 21:47, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The incest taboo has not until very, very recently ever been justified with any genetic reason. It is not a "eugenic law" -- the taboo has never been eugenic in purpose, it is remarkable because it is a "taboo" which has existed for ages, long before any idea of heredity was established. And gosh, is that all you disagree with me on in those changes? Not very much for somebody who did an all-out revert, is it? --Fastfission 21:54, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It was taught in school when I was a child that incest can cause birth defects. So very, very recently my ass. Since the laws aren't removed and have scientific backing they are eugenic laws.
I didn't bother with the rest of your claims, they're futile arguments and mainly POV, which is exactly why people keep editing, and you keep reverting the article. You're just more stubborn.
--Scandum 22:20, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The incest taboo goes back thousands of years; the study of eugenics was started barely a hundred and twenty years ago. Just because the taboo was helpful in minimizing hereditray disease does not mean that the taboo is related to eugenics. Such an assertion, without a source, is original research. If you can't discuss issues here, then please don't revert them in the article. Thanks, -Willmcw 22:47, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
Many incest laws date from the 20th century.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbreeding which explains genetic consequences
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/KVC/eugen.htm listing incest as negative eugenics.
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/LAW/04/columns/fl.grossman.incest.04.09/ mentions historical and nowadays motives for incest laws.
--Scandum 08:49, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Read that last source - it undercuts the case by saying that incest taboos are derived from Leviticus, that inbreeding is far less of a problem than once thought, and it doesn't mention eugenics at all. -Willmcw 16:24, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)
The only thing keeping those laws in place are genetic motivations however. Not like it's a huge problem, but still what seems to be an accepted eugenic practice by the majority of the population. Even without a law people will avoid it. --Scandum 14:23, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Unless somebody has done a poll we shouldn't speculate about what the majority of the populace think. -Willmcw 15:23, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)

"Vandalous" exit

Unless of course it's a statement you agree with yourself, then you support calling it 'universal'. I'm done dealing with a bunch of hypocritic pseudo-scientific nazi editors.
Have fun dictating your viewpoints ;) --User:Scandum 05:21, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Scandum, please read Wikipedia:No personal attacks:
  • "Political affiliation attacks, such as calling someone a Nazi"
I reverted User:Scandum's deletion of a major portion of discussions on this talk page. See history.--AI 18:48, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I figured the discussion was over. If you enjoy having it here that's fine with me. I also didn't call anyone a nazi, but was refering to a 'nazi editor' which is a subjective. Since you guys have such a hard time with basic concepts I'll explain it: A nazi is oftenly refered to as a fascist, which in turn stands for a reactionary or dictatorial person.
Scandum, can you explain this censorship?[2] --AI 22:26, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
They were all discussions I started, and non succeeded in reaching consensus.
Scandum, deleting discussions from talk pages, whether you started them or not, is generally considered a form of vandalism. Please refrain from doing it in the future. If the talk page becomes long or filled with old discussions, it is better to archive them than delete them. --Fastfission 15:46, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Reference annotation?

I annotated the reference for future use (since they are generally not called out explicitly in the text) -- is this useful or just ugly? I'm weighing the pros (would help someone make use of the references) and cons (somewhat unwieldly formatting, makes them take up a lot of space). Any thoughts? --Fastfission 01:21, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It looks helpful to me. Thanks for doing that. -Willmcw 03:10, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)
It's good, more is better. Maybe ISBN numbers would help make it more useful.--AI 03:12, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)