By Hilary White
LONDON, November 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A leading international anti-religion crusader and supporter of Darwinian theory, Dr. Richard Dawkins, has said that the pseudo-science of eugenics that drove the Nazi regime’s genocidal project “may not be bad.”
Since the end of the second world war, the name of eugenics, the social philosophy that the human species or particular races ought to be improved by selective breeding or other forms of genetic manipulation, is one that conjures instant images of the Nazi death camps and “racial hygiene” programs.
In a letter to the editor of Scotland’s Sunday Herald, Dawkins argues that the time has come to lay this spectre to rest. Dawkins writes that though no one wants to be seen to be in agreement with Hitler on any particular, “if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability?”
Dawkins holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, but is best known as one of the world’s most outspoken current opponents of religious belief, giving lectures and interviews and writing articles in which “fundamentalist” Christianity is among his favourite targets.
“I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler’s death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them,” Dawkins wrote Sunday.
Dawkins’ campaign against religion has led him to publish a book, “The God Delusion”, in September this year and he is one of the instigators of the notion, popular with journalists, that the Catholic Church’s opposition to artificial contraception will result in mass starvation.
Dawkins is also a leader of the movement to gain legal “human” rights for great apes, arguing that since there is no such thing as a soul, there is no moral difference between apes and humans.
The atheistic philosophy of utilitarianism, that led in the 1930’s to the Nazi eugenics program, is now a respectable stream of thought in much of the contemporary academic world.
Ardent advocates of eugenics and utilitarianism, including Darwinism, can be found today among Nobel Prize winners and many of the leading lights of academia who hold extreme atheistic opinions like those of Richard Dawkins. Such people argue that the genetic improvement of the human species grows logically from the desire to use genetic manipulation to eliminate diseases.
Dr. Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Ivy League Princeton University and is a leading advocate of utilitarian bioethics and a promoter of infanticide and euthanasia. Common to many utilitarians, Singer is also an ardent animal rights activist and is often called the “father” of the modern animal rights movement.
James Watson, the Nobel Prize winning discoverer of DNA and the first director of the Human Genome Project, promotes the idea of “improving” the human race by “inheritable genetic modification,” most often referred to as “germline genetic engineering” at the embryonic stage. Such genetic re-engineering of the human race, once the stuff of science fiction, has become a legal reality in many countries that allow genetic screening in IVF facilities.
Watson, though not as outspokenly anti-religious as Dawkins, has ridiculed the notion of an overarching value to human beings. Speaking at a conference at UCLA in 1998, he said, “I think it’s complete nonsense … saying we’re sacred and should not be changed…to say we’ve got a perfect genome and there’s some sanctity? I’d like to know where that idea comes from because it’s utter silliness”
“If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it? What’s wrong with it? Who is telling us not to [do] it?”
Many modern eugenics enthusiasts advocate sterilization, abortion and infanticide as well as genetic modification of people at the embryonic stage. Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist, John Sulston, who also worked on the Human Genome project implicitly advocated the extermination of the disabled when he said, “I don’t think one ought to bring a clearly disabled child into the world.”
Professor Robert Edwards, the IVF pioneer who helped bring to birth Louise Brown, often called the “world’s first test-tube baby, outraged disabled rights groups when he said, “Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease”.
Read Dawkins’ letter:
Read “The Inherent Racism of Population Control” by LifeSiteNews.com.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Canada’s National Broadcaster Promotes Anti-Religion Extremist
German Scientist Urges IVF Doctors to Re-Appraise Nazi Eugenics