Why Shouldn’t We Have a Eugenic Policy?

  • Marc Lappé


It is remarkable to me that the century which has elapsed since Darwin’s pronouncement in The Descent of Man has brought forth no better analogy for the practice of human genetics than the breeding of animals. Another reflection of this curious persistence can be found today in the human application of the selfsame equations for heritability developed by Lerner and Dempster in the 1940’s for poultry breeding (1). No matter that the metric traits used by Lerner and Dempster are not analogous to I.Q. scores, or that the confounding of genetic estimates by interactional components greatly reduces the potency of the equations (2). The assumption remains that somewhere underneath that labyrinth of culturally distorted behaviors and attributes, lurks the animal known as Homo sapiens sapiens.


Moral Responsibility Caste System Human Genetic Diversity Poultry Breeding Moral Acceptability 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Lappé
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life SciencesHastings CenterHastings-on-HudsonUSA

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