Eugenics And The Eugenics Movement

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Michael Olson
PS 308
PS 308 Essay Eugenics has always been given such a notoriously bad connotation, and rightfully so. Eugenics is essentially the belief in controlling the human population by means of improving the gene pool through different processes, and increasing the likelihood of traits which are generally more desirable to the whole of the species. Now that probably sounds familiar, doesn 't it? People commonly connect the eugenics movement with the Aryan belief that Hitler infamously believed in. In fact, Hitler wrote a letter to one of the eugenics movements leadings proprietors, Madison Grant, praising his writing of his book “The Passing of the Great Race” calling it “his bible”. In Hitler’s famous autobiography
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He was half-cousin to the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, whose works helped form the ideas in which eugenics is founded upon. The ideas of social darwinism is often connected to those of eugenics in that the notion of social darwinism rooted in the ideas that Darwin presented in his famous work “On the Origin of Species” which outlined his theory of evolution. Like evolution, both it and eugenics have always verb highly controversial. The whole school of eugenics was taken very seriously. It was being taught in schools and was actually an academic discipline that people studied. Eugenics wasn 't just a belief system for society to be prejudiced about, it was also backed up scientifically by use of phrenology and physiognomy. In and of itself, both of these sound scientific, however they are not in the least bit accurate. Phrenology is the analyzing of the shape and form of the skull in the belief that it will determine personality traits. Phrenologists also believed that specific parts of the brain had specific functions that were localized like certain areas delay with self-esteem or combativeness, or any trait of the human being. Similarly, physiognomy was the conception of peoples personality by analyzing their outer appearance and making assumptions based off of that. At the time, these schools of thought were both considered to be scientifically accurate and sound. However as time went on, the validity of the “sciences” suffered
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