RE: the term "eugenics"

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Aug 22 2001 - 19:55:17 MDT

Chris Hibbert writes

> It isn't the classification of our ideas that I was saying
> was a problem, it was the label. You can talk about the ideas
> (almost) as much as you want, without running into the problem...
> If you use the term "eugenics" to label anything you espouse,
> you will immediately lose a significant part of your audience.
> If you feel the term is more important than the audience, then I
> won't try to keep you from using it.

Historical accuracy, plain speaking and meaning, all be damned.
You are, of course, absolutely right. For every person who has
ever heard of Francis Galton, or who has ever dispassionately
considered the influence of genes on people's personalities and
intelligence, there are a thousand knee-jerk simpletons. Not
only that, but people like me who don't care much what the
simpletons are thinking appear *ourselves* to be idiots because
we appear not to know that the use of such a term is suicidal---
and in that sense, it even becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

It reminds me of what happened to "sociobiology". Edward O. Wilson
had created so much animosity among leftists that the mere mention
of that word derailed thinking for at least a decade after he first
coined the term. Yes... blah blah blah it meant Nazis, genocide,
crypto-royalist politics, etc., etc. (Of course the researchers
themselves continued to make discoveries in sociobiology.) So a
new term actually *had* to be invented to placate the mindless
and the hopelessly partisan. That term turned out to be
"evolutionary psychology".

So since the mindless *always* win these fights, who can suggest
a good two-word phrase for a voluntary movement of people who
favor obtaining for their children the best natural sperm or eggs
that they can?


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