American Eugenics Movement Essay

1921 Words Sep 28th, 2006 8 Pages
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. …show more content…
Future eugenicists can extort their knowledge and use it to their advantage. Eugenics is an interesting subject that is co-dependent on society; the future holds great possibilities for acknowledgment in this field of science. While studying eugenics, genetics plays a detrimental role in determining heredity. Genetics is the study and behavior of genes ("Genetics"). These genes are encoded pieces of information that comes from both parents, these genes are found on any of the 23 pairs chromosomes; these chromosomes that contain genes form the human genome. 22 chromosomes all contain the same genes although slight variations of alleles, alleles are alternate forms of genes, and the 23rd chromosome contains the information for the zygote's gender.
The gene's information is then transmitted down through the generations of relatives. With genetic testing and genetic engineering certain genes can be avoided, for example Huntington's disease, or certain physical traits can be chose, such as eye color. This can be considered a form of eugenics; the choosing of physical traits in future children is starting to gain more media attention and is a very controversial topic that is often referred to as designer babies.
Over the last 10 years scientists have been involved in the progression and completion of the Human Genome Project. "Scientists working on this project have developed detailed maps that identify the