August 29, 2017

THE sub-title of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was “The preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” It’s not difficult to see the implications of this, and what the results of  taking this philosophy to its logical conclusion would be. If nature selected against the unfit, would it not make sense to give nature a hand? Darwin questioned the wisdom of vaccination, since it allowed “weak members of civilised societies [to] propagate their kind.”  He wrote: “Excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed." (The Descent of Man, 1871)


Darwin’s ideas led to a surge in the practice of eugenics — the theory that the human race could be improved by selective breeding and the elimination of the unfit. Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton, advocated a system that would allow “the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” (Inquiries into the Human Faculty and Its Development, 1883).

 On June 5th 1883 Galton wrote to The Times, proposing that Chinese people, whom he believed to be a superior race, should be encouraged to emigrate to Africa to replace what he called “the inferior Negro race.” He wrote, “The gain would be immense to the whole civilized world if we were to out-breed and finally displace the negro.” Galton would be arrested for racism if he were alive today, but such extreme views were by no means uncommon then.


 It wasn’t just people with a different coloured skin that were regarded as inferior, but also those with physical or mental disabilities,  a low IQ, or even the poor and destitute.  In Nazi Germany around 270,000 aged, disabled and infirm citizens were eliminated, years before Hitler sent six million Jews to the gas chambers. Hitler’s philosophy was built upon evolution, and the Germans were the ’master race’ which he sought to advance. Members of other ethnic groups, the sick, infirm and elderly were a hindrance to the process.

  However, many people are unaware that eugenics was practiced in the United States before the time of Hitler. In more than 30 states compulsory sterilization laws led to more than 60,000 people being sterilized. Many of these were mentally disabled or ill, or belonged to socially disadvantaged groups. Some states continued to sterilize residents into the 1970s. Eugenics was also practiced in Australia in the early 20th century, and in Sweden as late as the 1970s.


 We may think that the world is different now, but a more subtle form of eugenics is being practised in what we think of as the “civilised” world. This time the unborn are the victims. Advanced genetic testing and pre-natal screening is being used to “eliminate” disabilities and abnormalities through abortion.  People born with Down’s Syndrome can live long, happy and fulfilled lives. In February the Western Gazette reported that the world’s oldest man with Down’s Syndrome, Kenny Cridge, who lives in Yeovil, Somerset, had just celebrated his 77th birthday. Yet some 90% of Down’s pregnancies are terminated. In Iceland, no baby with Down’s has been born since 2008, and Denmark boasts that Down’s will soon be “eliminated” there — meaning that all such babies will be killed before birth. Where will this quest to create a “perfect” race end?


The belief that we evolved from ape-like ancestors has persuaded many that  the human race is evolving, which is driving the desire to create a “perfect” race.  There is a huge difference between eliminating disease and preventing people with disabilities from being born. We have laws banning discrimination against disabled people, yet no protection for those still in the womb! The Bible says that we are created in God’s image, and that He knows and values us from the moment of conception. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… Your eyes saw my unformed body.” (Psalm 139: 13 & 16). We need to  return to the Biblical view of human life to counteract this modern version of eugenics.

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