Re: Eugenics

John Cole. (jrc@TEI.UMASS.EDU)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 15:04:17 -0400

It was indeed supported by "mainstream" scientific theorists of the time in
the 19th C (and later--J huxley and others flirted with it right up and
through Hitler and Stalin....). Darwin's cousin Galton semi-inventor of
statistics, invented stats and championed fingerprinting as a means of delaing
with eugenics. Ironically, this was one of the several sources of
anti-science, anti-intellectual populism 100 years ago--social reformers
equated the eugenics movement with science and didn't like it! *Opposing it*
got Boas in hot water with some leading sociolgists and biologists of his day
with his demonstrations of the effects of culture on immigrants. The corker
may have been his statistical demonstration that Northern-raised African
Americans had higher intelligence than southern whites (data from WWIarmy
testing---let's not get into an IQ debate here!!). Ideas like this got him
forbidden to teach Columbia "men" as undergrads, in fact--hence his many
recruits from Barnard ....).

--John R. Cole