Eugenic Birthdays

Michael Egnor

A short time ago I posted a story on the celebration in London of the 150th birthday of Karl Pearson, one of the fathers of mathematical statistics and an ardent Darwinist and eugenicist. The celebration focused on Pearson’s contribution to mathematical statistics, which was substantial, but neglected his contribution to eugenics, which was substantial, too.
The only word that Darwinists use less frequently than ‘design’ is ‘eugenics’. It’s disappeared down the Darwin memory hole following the Second World War because the Nazi programs that applied Darwinism to medicine made the real nature of eugenics so apparent that it could no longer be denied. So it was forgotten.


Eugenics is the application of the principles of animal breeding to medicine and to human society. It depends entirely on a denial of the sanctity of human life. Its modern scientific foundation is Darwinism.
The ideology that drives Darwinism and eugenics is materialism. Philosophical materialism is the assertion that all existence is ‘atoms in the void’ — the only thing that exists is matter in motion. Materialism is a denial of the existence of God, and of any transcendence or meaning in human life. Darwin provided materialism with a creation myth.
Just as Darwinism is still very much alive, eugenics is alive as well, but cleaner and quieter than it used to be. We have sperm and egg banks that systematically select donors for their appearance and for their intelligence. We have routine antenatal genetic testing and abortion of handicapped babies. There is a growing acceptance of euthanasia in the United States and Europe. Babies with spina bifida in Holland are routinely killed in the nursery with lethal injections. Support for assisted suicide is growing, and the recent killing of a helpless, severely brain-damaged woman by starvation was accepted by the American judicial system. A hundred years ago, it was a lot safer to be an unborn baby with Down’s syndrome in the United States, or a newborn with spina bifida in Holland, than it is now.
So, in coming posts, I’m going to recount the lives and work of the eugenicists, and recount the important events in the history of eugenics. Eugenics is the only meaningful idea that Darwin contributed to medicine. It’s fitting to remember the birthdays of these Darwinists who worked with such fervor to ensure that people they deemed inferior to themselves never had birthdays.

Michael Egnor

Senior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

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