Science Speaks but Society Cherry-Picks Ideals

One question I still have for modern science is – have they been able to discover why the female brain is smaller than the male? Granted, I utilize deduction a good bit so my non-scientific conclusion to the brain size issue is that: men are bigger and stronger (biologically) than the female gender…therefore their brains by necessity would be slightly larger. I have always thought that organs were in proportion to their bodies.

I cannot remember which thread we were in, but I believe we discussed context – and taking things in or out of context. I see this as a huge hurdle for the historian. i.e.: Social Darwinism was the social reaction to Darwin’s theory – but they only took what they wanted, or could use, to further support their schematic. In “The Descent of Man (1871),” Darwin addressed the different physicalities of non-Europeans and Europeans, he said:

But since he attained to the rank of manhood, he has diverged into distinct races, or as they may be more fitly called, sub-species… Nevertheless, all the races agree in so many unimportant details of structure and in so many mental peculiarities that these can be accounted for only by inheritance from a common progenitor; and a progenitor thus characterized would probably deserve to rank as man.[1]

Not only does Darwin credit the different races of human being as all being human, but he also extends the right of manhood to the ancient progenitor. This says that all races are human, and the species that we came from also as being human – for modern science, that could classify the Lucy specimen as more human than primate. Society shifted the concepts around to fit their liking and industrialism benefited more from deeming certain humans as unfit – because they could be paid less or nothing, taken advantage of like livestock, and worked to death without society batting an eye. If society allowed all races natural human rights, then their workforce would take a direct hit. Society read that same passage, but they focused in on the word “sub-species” to indicate that sub was below or not as good as.

I watched “Schindler’s List” last night to set the mood for my eugenics piece and to remind me how brutal and inhumane it is to look around and decide that a certain mass of people no longer have the right to take up space. This is why eugenics has such an ugly dating card – but the blame should fall on the human office, or the “what we do with our information,” and not the information itself. If eugenics were only “limited breeding” based on health factors it rather makes sense. i.e.: If I knew that I had a “bad” gene that could be passed down and would hinder or destroy my child’s life, then I would take necessary precautions to either not have children or ask science to alter the “bad” gene – I would not throw caution to the wind and leave it up to chance. I will even go farther, to address the overpopulation fear – there are too many people living on the earth, and with the growth rate of 1 birth every 8 seconds, and only 1 death every 10 seconds, the earth is in a world of trouble – at this moment the world population is 7,297,467,699+.[2] This is where it is an individual problem – why does one family need more than a normal amount of people? This is not 1862, and Farmer Elijah does not need thirteen young pups to man his field, nor do people have rational fears that their young children will not survive to ten years old. The individual responsibility is to keep one’s family at a reasonable size so that one can give each child a good life.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Darwin, Charles. “The Descent of Man (1871).” Darwin:  A Norton Critical Edition, Texts, Commentary. 3rd ed. Ed. Phillip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 175-254.

United States Census Bureau. “U.S. and World Population Clock.” 2016. Web. 8 Jan 2016. http://www.census.gov/popclock/

Picture c/o:  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/47/22/82/4722825fcf7a9dbd67089499cb6ee153.jpg

[1] Darwin, “The Descent of Man (1871),” p. 245.

[2] Census, “World Population Clock,” 8 Jan 2016, 9:04 a.m.

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