Famed British biologist, professor and author Richard Dawkins caused wide-spread outrage Sunday on Twitter when he defended the effectiveness of eugenics.
Dawkins, an avowed atheist, wrote on Twitter that eugenics could be used to “breed humans to run faster or jump higher,” though he admitted he does not support the idea.
“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he wrote.
Dawkins said he does not support government eugenics policies, but he does believe eugenics would work on humans as it has on animals.
“For those determined to miss the point, I deplore the idea of a eugenic policy. I simply said deploring it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work,” he wrote. “Just as we breed cows to yield more milk, we could breed humans to run faster or jump higher. But heaven forbid that we should do it.”
His tweets prompted a quick backlash, including from New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow who emphasized the dangers of eugenics.
“This eugenics crap is so dangerous. In the US it lead to forced sterilizations of women in the South — sometimes against their wills, often without their knowledge — that became so common that they came to be referred to as ‘Mississippi appendectomies,’” Blow responded on Twitter.
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Christian author Allie Beth Stuckey also questioned Dawkins’ statements.
“Dawkins defends this drivel by saying, ‘I’m not saying we should do it; I’m saying we could.’ The problem with the atheistic worldview is that there is no concrete basis for ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t.’ Why, according to his atheistic perspective, is eugenics morally bad?” Stuckey wrote.
Writer Ian Birrell noted that Dawkins once defended aborting unborn babies with Down syndrome.
“Never forget that Richard Dawkins once said it is ‘immoral’ to bring a child with Down’s syndrome into the world. ‘Abort it and try again,’ he told someone callously on Twitter,” Birrell responded. “We are living in an alarming new age of eugenics, as we have seen all too clearly today.”
Abortion has become a modern means of eugenics. Margaret Sanger, the founder of the largest abortion chain in America, Planned Parenthood, was a well known eugenicist who believed certain groups of people were not “fit” to have children.
In her 1922 Pivot of Civilization, Sanger explained her eugenic philosophy:
Such parents swell the pathetic ranks of the unemployed. Feeble-mindedness perpetuates itself from the ranks of those who are blandly indifferent to their racial responsibilities. And it is largely this type of humanity we are now drawing upon to populate our world for the generations to come. In this orgy of multiplying and replenishing the earth, this type is pari passu multiplying and perpetuating those direst evils in which we must, if civilization is to survive, extirpate by the very roots.
Today, her legacy aborts more than 340,000 unborn babies every year. And eugenics is carried out against babies with disabilities at an alarming rate. Unborn babies with Down syndrome, spina bifida and even cleft lips are aborted because of their so-called imperfections. Eugenics has proven to be dangerous and deadly for both the born and unborn because it is centered around the false belief that some human beings are more valuable than others.