Tuesday, 9 February 2010

DNA, eugenics and the future of the 'race'

I belong to a number of mailing lists, one of my favourites is RADSTATS@JISCMAIL.AC.UK the mailing list of Radical Statistics.  This morning a member posted a quote from Havelock Ellis from The Task of Social Hygiene (1912)
Eventually, it seems evident, a general system, whether private or public, whereby all personal facts, biological and mental, normal and morbid, are duly and systematically registered, must become inevitable if we are to have a real guide as to those persons who are most fit, or most unfit to carry on the race.
He was a supporter of eugenics - basically selective breeding of humans. Havelock Ellis writing a century ago could never have dreamed on the potential of the DNA database and computers for registering and controlling populations. 

Tont Blair however was well aware of the potential and strongly argued for everyone to be on the DNA database, dismissing civil liberties complaints with the question 'if you are innocent what have you to fear? There is in fact much to fear and GeneWatch UK are running some excellent campaigns on this topis that I would urge everyone to look at and hopeful support. But surely whatever the problems with the DNA database no-one would seriously argue in the 21st Century for eugenics?

Must blog this I thought and moved onto my next e-mail - the excellent DS Drug News, a daily summary of news concerning drugs- and the second item was a story run by BBC news entitled "Should drug addicts be paid to get sterilised?" detailing a current programme Project Prevention in the US which is paying drug and alcohol addicted women $300 each to get sterilised.

Hat tips to Ted Harding (via RadStats) and DS Daily

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