Hixie's Natural Log

2002-06-10 14:29 UTC Further eugenics debate

Nadia has joined the eugenics debate. She makes some good points,

Hixie claims this is "scientifically proven fact." Besides the (scientifically proven) fact that nothing in science is ever a "fact" (sorry, couldn't resist) [...]

My apologies; indeed, I should have said it was scientific theory with evidence to support it. This is, as you point out, as close as science ever gets to claiming anything as "fact".

I don't think that the arguments presented are nearly convincing enough that intelligence as measured by IQ is the absolute driving force in our civilization.

Indeed, as I pointed out in my last post, coming up with the exact criteria is the hardest part of the problem. There are various criteria that would have to be taken into account. This would not be a trivial matter to resolve, it would have to be under continuous scrutiny and much research would have to be done on the subject.

Hixie states, As far as an innate intelligence test goes, universities seem quite happy to rely on school grades to determine someone's innate intelligence. For a system like a university, of course the university is going to admit people that they believe can succeed in, and benefit from, the environment that they offer. Past grades are the closest existing measure for that purpose. But the university makes no guarantee that you do not deserve to exist if they don't admit you... you'll just have to take a rather more circuitous path to success.

A lot of the arguments against eugenics seem to stem from the assumption that people have an innate right to exist. Yet, before they are born, they have no such right (if you follow the argument that they do, you end up with some pretty ridiculous conclusions). So deciding who has a right to procreate doesn't actually have to be completely fair. Take humanitarian eugenics as a form of population growth control where instead of the licenses for births being given randomly, some thought is put into the process.

Sure, us "intelligent" people would like it if everyone else in the world were happy and enlightened as well.

That sure would be nice.

Lastly, well, if we do devolve, so what?

If we devolve, our descendents will have living conditions worse than we do. That, for me, is unacceptable.

Evolution will take care of us. It always does.

Evolution is not a humanitarian process. Survival of the fittest is a natural result of the way DNA and reproduction work. Personifying evolution by saying it will take care of us is misleading at best, in my opinion.

Perhaps the outcome might not be what we like, but that's suitable payback for our current arrogance.

Why should our children pay for our arrogance? If you follow that argument, why should we bother cleaning up our pollution?

There is an alternative to eugenics which doesn't require anyone to judge anyone else, and that's genetic engineering of our offspring. Unfortuately this is not currently a workable solution, because the human race does not yet understand genetics well enough.