Meaning of Eugenics

What is Eugenics:

Eugenics is the elimination of individuals who are considered by conventional science to be carriers of defective genes or who do not meet established genetic and biological standards.

The word eugenics comes from the Greek and is made up of eu indicating ‘good’, ‘correct’, and genius, which refers to the origin. It shares the same root as the word euthanasia, being that, in this case, Thanatos indicates ‘death’.

Eugenics was widely applied in the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945, incurring in mass murders and selective sterilizations among the population. It was considered a method to “improve the race.”

Eugenics is considered a social philosophy that integrates knowledge from various areas such as genetics, psychology, biology, anatomy, politics, economics, medicine, among others, to justify the “self-direction of human evolution.”

Eugenics currently claims to be used for therapeutic purposes only. Eugenics was reformulated in 1991 by the American psychologist Tristram Engelhardt (1941-), and baptized as breeding genetic engineering.

Eugenics theory

The theory of eugenics is described for the first time by the Englishman Francis Galton (1822-1911) in 1883, who is inspired by the methodology of selection and improvement of horse breeding as part of his foundation in the application in the human race. .

Galton’s theory of eugenics was based on three principles to justify the power of man to intervene in the selection of birth and improvement of the human species:

  • Darwin’s theory of natural selection, developed by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) as part of his theory of the evolution of species,
  • The Malthusian population theory, developed by Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), which states that world resources have a limited capacity inversely proportional to population growth,
  • The verification of the increase in diseases considered degenerative of the race, such as syphilis and tuberculosis.
You may be interested:  Meaning of Overweight

This theory was used as the foundation for the first theory of anthropology called social evolutionism or social Darwinism, now abandoned.