Eugenics, etc.

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 11:03:28 -0400

Since I was the one being compared to the eugenicists, I want to thank Benjamin
Spatz for saying what I was trying to figure out how to say, and most likely
doing a better job of it! The only thing I would add, which brings us back to
the point about ethnocentrism, is that "eugenics" was an example of what
Melville Herskovits, discussing the effects of European imperialist expansion,
called "ethnocentrism...rationalized and...made the basis of programs of action
detrimental to the well-being of other peoples."

In message <> Benjamin Spatz writes:

> As far as I know (and, admittedly, I have not read _The Mismeasure of Man_ and
> am quite
> limited in my knowledge on the topic), no eugenics movement was ever
> "supported
> by scientific theory." Rather, such movements have frequently been supported
> by psuedoscientific theory. I posit that the difference between the science
> that tells us of gravity and of black holes us qualitatively and
> quantitatively
> different from the pseudoscience of eugenics. In other words, while science
> and pseudoscience have oft been confused, such confusion generally comes
> out of a lack of publicized information, rather than an action difficulty
> in distinguishing real science from bigoted "science".
> Ben Spatz
> (617) 661-2430

Ronald Kephart
Dept of Language & Literature
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL USA 32224-2645
Phone: (904) 646-2580