American Eugenics Movement
The eugenics movement began in the 20th century by a man named Francis Galton. As the cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton believed that eugenics was a moral philosophy to improve humanity by encouraging the ablest and healthiest people to have more children (Carlson). This Galtonian ideal of eugenics is often thought of as positive eugenics. Eugenics can be defined as the outgrowth of human heredity aimed at "improving" the quality of the human stock (Allen and Bird). At the other end of the spectrum is what can be classified as negative eugenics and is presently in disrepute. Negative eugenics entails selective breeding in which the least able from the population is taken out of the reproduction pool to preserve humanity's best traits.
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With this new priceless information, eugenicists can screen unwanted diseases as well as undesirable traits in the future generation of children and essentially achieve a perfectly healthy society. Thanks to the Human Genome Project there has been a resurgence in the study of eugenics. With more information becoming rapidly available, eugenicists better understand the concepts as to how certain genes and alleles work. This has led to a new definition of eugenics. Rather than being viewed with disdain and disrepute, eugenics is now often seen as a way to reproduce through the careful planning of parents by using genetics as a way to better society (Allen and Bird).
Currently eugenics is beginning to resurface from underground and is rapidly gaining the media's attention. Eugenics is sees an instructive way for evaluating how genetics can be used. Eugenics once provided social control over the past period of violence and chaos. We, society, are once again adopting a similar belief as to that of our ancestors, where claims about genetic basis' for behaviors are still as controversial as ever. Where the "bottom-line" is quickly becoming society's new motto. As health-care costs climb as quickly as fuel prices, society is beginning to accept a "bottom-line" to the analysis of the cost to benefit ration of human life. If society begins to make decisions solely based on