Why is Eugenics seen as an illegitimate and unfactual science or policy?


We’re being explained about chromosomes and gametes and shit, and the recent video we watched mention Chromosomes cross-exchange in the gametes in the first or second cycle. The idea I understood was “genes are swapped between them, so they won’t end up really anything like the parents” which confused me more because that is pretty much how genetics work. I am like my mother physically, and my dad in the metabolistic and internal systems. So I asked my science teacher if the cross-exchange was why eugenics is seen as illegitimate, and she said something along the lines of “no, eugenics is about making a pure race, but often there is more genetic variation intra-race than inter-race.”


I don’t understand this? Does she think race is a continental thing? Because a northern euro is far different than a south Euro in genetics, to the point I would call different races entirely. And there is far more difference between race in the phenotype viewpoint.


tl;dr learning about chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis, and sexual reproduction, and I am confused about the cross-exchange and what my science teacher is saying. What is the scientific flaw about eugenics? Not its practical flaw in which I could name many, what is it’s scientific flaw?

In: 1

The basic scientific problem that invalidates eugenics is that heritability is not the same as genetics. If I speak spanish, it’s quite likely that my children will as well. First language is very heritable, because most people speak the same language that their parents do. But it obviously isn’t genetic. But for many other things, whether something heritable is genetic in origin or not can be very difficult to tell. Heart disease, for example, is heritable – but is that because people can be genetically predisposed to heart disease? Or is because people tend to eat the same foods and drink a similar amount of alcohol, and be of a similar socio-economic level, that their parents and grandparents did? (The answer is probably both, but it is very difficult to tell what percentage it is of each.) Most of the things that we would like to select for with Eugenics – longevity, intelligence, low incidence of disease – fall into that category of things where they are to some extent heritable, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely genetic in origin.

>often there is more genetic variation intra-race than inter-race

This means that actual genetic differences between ‘races’ are little or even insignificant compared to the genetic differences that there are among the same race.


>Because a northern euro is far different than a south Euro in genetics, to the point I would call different races entirely.

No, you’re calling them different races based solely on appearance, which is a very small portion of genetics.

In the rest of genes (which are the ones that matter), we’re alike. A person with a different external aspect doesn’t equal more e.g. health or intelligence, yet eugenics has always been about external aspects, which have virtually nothing to do with what otherwise eugenicists claim.

In addition to biology, there are also ethical reasons for why eugenics is bad. In order for eugenics to work, one must decide which genes and genelines are good and should be further spread and which ones should be cut.

The problem is, who do you trust to ethically make a decision about this? Who would you personally trust to decide whether your own genes are worth allowing to live on? Then if you can think of some entity you’d trust with this decision, do you think everyone else would also trust that same entity?

So even if there in theory is a positive gain that could theoretically be achieved via eugenics, the execution of an ethical eugenics program is essentially impossible. Hence why it’s essentially blanket banned, as most of the people willing to enact an eugenics policy are only supportive of it of their own genes are on the list of those to be preserved and the genes of people they don’t like are cut. So, essentially, it usually just boils down to just racism.

Eugenics has a bad reputation due to being imposed on people (forced sterilization …) in the past. Genetic counseling before having children and genetic testing of the unborn to make sure they are healthy is also a type of “eugenics” but today we do not call it eugenics due the bad reputation that term has. All of this is voluntary thus our perception about it is different.

I think your teacher would agree that genetics function the same scientifically no matter what society the babies are being conceived in. The social-Darwin era lead humanity down a dark path in the name of science. This is what she means when she criticizes eugenics. Gattaca is a movie that shows a society where genes determine every aspect of your cast in society
People can self-select whom they choose to procreate with. The effects genetically act as they do accordingly.
When the government makes policy who can procreate and pass on their genes, that is a line that society after WW2 has decided not to cross again.
Choose whomever to have babies with= the modern social norm.
The government decides who can and cannot reproduce=The strongest demographic group decides who the undesirables are, and takes away their power to make babies.