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J.D. Watson: "Eugenics Is Sort of Self-Correcting Your Evolution"

From the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an interview with James Watson:


Eugenics is sort of self -correcting your evolution, and the message I have is that individuals should direct the evolution of their descendants, don’t let the State do it. I think it would be irresponsible not to direct your evolution if you could, in the sense that you could have a healthy child versus an unhealthy child, I think it is irresponsible not to try and direct the evolution to produce a human being who would be an asset to the world as well as to himself.

I alluded to these comments in a post last week ("Eugenic Sundays").

So much for the bizarre claim by some Darwinists and their apologists that eugenics had no real dependence on evolutionary theory. As Watson points out, eugenics only makes sense as a correction to evolution. No one thought in the countless millennia before Darwin to breed man like an animal, because no one thought of man as an animal evolved by natural selection, gone soft under domestication. 

It’s appropriate as well that the fact that eugenics is a corollary to evolutionary theory would be emphasized by Dr. Watson, who was the director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory during the decades after it had been the Eugenic Records Office, which merged with the Station for Experimental Evolution, under director Charles Davenport, America’s preeminent eugenicist. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was the nidus of American eugenics, and the legislative tsunami by which sixty thousand Americans were involuntarily sterilized began and was organized for decades at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The eugenic program at Cold Spring Harbor was the inspiration for the 1933 Nazi eugenic laws.

Watson, of course, asserts that eugenics should be voluntary, not state-mandated. Yet in doing so he merely echoes the refurbishing of post-Nazi eugenics by Fredrick Henry Osborn. Osborn, a founding member of the American Eugenics Society, restructured the eugenics movement in the 1950s and 1960s, covering up its totalitarian roots and marketing it as "voluntary unconscious selection," a corrective to natural selection impaired by human domestication (i.e. civilization).

Osborn’s suggested motto for the New Eugenics was "Every Child a Wanted Child", which now adorns Planned Parenthood’s website and is available on buttons from pro-abortion organizations. 

The slogan under the DNA Learning Center moniker on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s website is 

Preparing students and families to thrive in the gene age.

If you don’t feel a chill, you’re not reading carefully enough.

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.