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The Disabled in the Second Wave of Eugenics

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, has been both an admired and a highly controversial branch of science.  Birthed in the mid-nineteenth century by British scholar Francis Galton upon his discovery of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, this field of study has inspired scientific communities and governments throughout the world to seek advancement of the human population and eradication of social issues by selectively promoting reproduction among favored individuals and by inhibiting reproduction with unfavorable individuals. This cause for eugenics even compelled certain authorities to implement forced sterilization and, most strikingly, the utter genocide of Jews and other peoples by Nazi Germany. With such egregious events having occurred in the name of eugenics, the drastic decline in the popularity of this field is indeed feasible. Continue reading

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