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HST 102: Paper 7 Formal essay, due in class on the day of the debate No late papers will be accepted. Answer the following inquiry in a typed (and stapled) 2 page essay in the five-paragraph format. Present and describe three of your arguments that you will use to defend your position concerning eugenics. Each argument must be unique (don’t describe the same argument twice from a different angle). Each argument must include at least one quotation from the texts to support your position (a minimum of 3 total). You may discuss your positions and arguments with other people on your side (but not your opponents); however, each student must write their own essay in their own words. Do not copy sentences or paragraphs from another student’s paper, this is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for the assignment. HST 102: Debate 4 Eugenics For or Against? Basics of the debate: The term ‘Eugenics’ was derived from two Greek words and literally means ‘good genes’. Eugenics is the social philosophy or practice of engineering society based on genes, or promoting the reproduction of good genes while reducing (or prohibiting) the reproduction of bad genes. Your group will argue either for or against the adoption of eugenic policies in your society. Key Terms: Eugenics – The study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics). Darwinism – The Darwinian theory that species originate by descent, with variation, from parent forms, through the natural selection of those individuals best adapted for the reproductive success of their kind. Social Darwinism – A 19th-century theory, inspired by Darwinism, by which the social order is accounted as the product of natural selection of those persons best suited to existing living conditions. Mendelian Inheritance – Theory proposed by Gregor Johann Mendal in 1865 that became the first theory of genetic inheritance derived from experiments with peas. Birth Control – Any means to artificially prevent biological conception. Euthanasia – A policy of ending the life of an individual for their betterment (for example, because of excessive pain, brain dead, etc.) or society’s benefit. Genocide – A policy of murdering all members of a specific group of people who share a common characteristic. Deductive Logic – Deriving a specific conclusion based on a set of general definitions. Inductive Logic – Deriving a general conclusion based on a number of specific examples. Brief Historical Background: Eugenics was first proposed by Francis Galton in his 1883 work, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development. Galton was a cousin of Charles Darwin and an early supporter of Darwin’s theories of natural selection and evolution. Galton defined eugenics as the study of all agencies under human control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations. Galton’s work utilized a number of other scientific pursuits at the time including the study of heredity, genes, chromosomes, evolution, social Darwinism, zoology, birth control, sociology, psychology, chemistry, atomic theory and electrodynamics. The number of significant scientific advances was accelerating throughout the 19th century altering what science was and what its role in society could and should be. Galton’s work had a significant influence throughout all areas of society, from scientific communities to politics, culture and literature. A number of organizations were created to explore the science of eugenics and its possible applications to society. Ultimately, eugenics became a means by which to improve society through policies based on scientific study. Most of these policies related to reproductive practices within a society, specifically who could or should not reproduce. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s a number of policies were enacted at various levels throughout Europe and the United States aimed at controlling procreation. Some specific policies included compulsory sterilization laws (usually concerning criminals and the mentally ill) as well as banning interracial marriages to prevent ‘cross-racial’ breeding. In the United States a number of individuals and foundations supported the exploration of eugenics as a means to positively influence society, including: the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, the Race Betterment Foundation of Battle Creek, MI, the Eugenics Record Office, the American Breeders Association, the Euthanasia Society of America; and individuals such as Charles Davenport, Madison Grant, Alexander Graham Bell, Irving Fisher, John D. Rockefeller, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, David Starr Jordan, Vernon Kellogg, H. G. Wells (though he later changed sides) Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover and Theodore Roosevelt. Some early critics of eugenics included: Dr. John Haycroft, Halliday Sutherland, Lancelot Hogben, Franz Boaz, Lester Ward, G. K. Chesterton, J. B. S. Haldane, and R. A. Fisher. In 1911 the Carnegie Institute recommended constructing gas chambers around the country to euthanize certain elements of the American population (primarily the poor and criminals) considered to be harmful to the future of society as a possible eugenic solution. President Woodrow Wilson signed the first Sterilization Act in US history. In the 1920s and 30s, 30 states passed various eugenics laws, some of which were overturned by the Supreme Court. Eugenics of various forms was a founding principle of the Progressive Party, strongly supported by the first progressive president Theodore Roosevelt, and would continue to play an important part in influencing progressive policies into at least the 1940s. Many American individuals and societies supported German research on eugenics that would eventually be used to develop and justify the policies utilized by the NAZI party against minority groups including Jews, Africans, gypsies and others that ultimately led to programs of genocide and the holocaust. Following WWII and worldwide exposure of the holocaust eugenics generally fell out of favor among the public, though various lesser forms of eugenics are still advocated for today by such individuals as Dottie Lamm, Geoffrey Miller, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Glad and Richard Dawson. Eugenics still influences many modern debates including: capital punishment, over-population, global warming, medicine (disease control and genetic disorders), birth control, abortion, artificial insemination, evolution, social engineering, and education. Key Points to discuss during the debate: • Individual rights vs. collective rights • The pros and cons of genetically engineering society • The practicality of genetically engineering society • Methods used to determine ‘good traits’ and ‘bad traits’ • Who determines which people are ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’ for future society • The role of science in society • Methods used to derive scientific conclusions • Ability of scientists to determine the future hereditary conditions of individuals • The value/accuracy of scientific conclusions • The role of the government to implement eugenic policies • Some possible eugenic political policies or laws • The ways these policies may be used effectively or abused • The relationship between eugenics and individual rights • The role of ethics in science and eugenics Strategies: 1. Use this guide to help you (particularly the key points). 2. Read all of the texts. 3. If needed, read secondary analysis concerning eugenics. 4. Identify key quotations as you read each text. Perhaps make a list of them to print out and/or group quotes by topic or point. 5. Develop multiple arguments to defend your position. 6. Prioritize your arguments from most persuasive to least persuasive and from most evidence to least evidence. 7. Anticipate the arguments of your opponents and develop counter-arguments for them. 8. Anticipate counter-arguments to your own arguments and develop responses to them.