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Genetic Crossroads
April 30th, 2002

Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, advocates "rethinking our opposition to eugenics" in a recent BBC interview and in his Eugenics: A Reassessment (Praeger Press, 2001). Lynn told the BBC:

"The new medical technology of eugenics is going to take off, because it satisfies the needs of individuals, both for themselves and as parents. Parents would like to have children who are free of genetic diseases, and potentially in the future they will want to have children who are intelligent. This is serving people's needs and wishes. As the technology comes on line to allow them to do this, people will take it up."

Lynn is associate editor of the eugenicist publication Mankind Quarterly. He has said, "What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples....Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent" (cited in Newsday, 11/9/94). For the complete story see http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1952000/1952449.stm.

Bioethicist James Hughes argues that liberals and progressives should embrace eugenic and "transhumanist" technologies and politics. In his paper "Democratic Transhumanism," he presents an eleven-point program that includes the following: "(1) Build the transhumanist movement, (2) Guarantee morphological freedom and bodily autonomy... (5) Expand federal funding for research into transhuman technologies, (6) Create national health plans which include transhuman tech." For Hughes' complete paper see: http://www.changesurfer.com/Acad/DemocraticTranshumanism.htm.

Gregory Stock extols the virtues of inheritable genetic modifications in Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future (Houghton Mifflin 2002). For a debate between Stock and Francis Fukuyama, who has just published Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (Farrar Straus & Giroux), see http://reason.com/debate/eh-debate1.shtml


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