A Dangerous Form of Eugenics Is Creeping Back Into Science

Most people think we have come a long way from the sordid days of blatant eugenics, when everything from thalassophilia (love of the sea, or nomadism) to prostitution, rebelliousness, criminality, mental illness, and personality traits were thought to be inherited. That was all supposed to have ended when the Nazis revealed the true nightmare of eugenic ideas with their "final solution." But like the endless number of movie sequels that have overrun our theaters, eugenics is back with a new cas

Garland Allen
Feb 5, 1989
Most people think we have come a long way from the sordid days of blatant eugenics, when everything from thalassophilia (love of the sea, or nomadism) to prostitution, rebelliousness, criminality, mental illness, and personality traits were thought to be inherited. That was all supposed to have ended when the Nazis revealed the true nightmare of eugenic ideas with their "final solution." But like the endless number of movie sequels that have overrun our theaters, eugenics is back with a new cast of characters and a slightly different script, but the same tired and dangerous old plot.

No one will admit it, of course, and no honorable scientist will say that current research on the inheritance of social or behavioral traits perpetuates the old notions of eugenics. Yet in the last several years, book after scientific book and paper after paper have reported genetic links to everything from alcoholism and criminality...