Word – Eugenics
Eugenics – Word of the Day
(adj.) The study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics ) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).
A person who practices eugenics is called a eugenicist.
“Eugenics” comes from the Greek roots for “good” and “origin,” or “good birth” and involves applying principles of genetics and heredity for the purpose of improving the human race. The term eugenics was first coined by Francis Galton in the late 1800’s (Norrgard 2008). This science was popular in America during the early twentieth century, but acquired a dark reputation mainly due to Adolf Hitler’s attempts to create a master race.
- Eugenics may seem benevolent and for the good of humanity – it would be great to have no congenital diseases whatsoever. But one must recognise the fact that it can be used for nefarious purposes.
- In the twenty-first century, eugenics has been completely discredited.
- We should move past the negative connotations that eugenics has, and see it as a very powerful tool for transforming humanity, so long as the right people are wielding this power.