عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
This paper reviews and criticizes Francis Galton’s ideas on improvement of the races. Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, carried out statistical studies about UK’s important scientific, literary, sports and military figures from several generation and finally he claimed that intelligence and natural abilities of humans are transferred to them through heredity. He then proposed his thesis on improvement of the races, which is opposite to Darwin’s theory of evolution and is based on artificial selection rather than natural selection. Artificial selection supposedly increased intelligence of the human raise, which in turn would eliminate foolishness. Similar to domesticated animals, he argued, humans could be improved through artificial selection. By the early 20th century, Galton’s ideas had turned into a social movement in different countries of the world, including the UK, USA, and Germany), resulting into legislation of unethical laws by the governments, including forced sterilization. In the Nazi Germany, improvement of races turned into an instrument for racism and committing horrific crimes. The idea of race improvement was never totally gone. Scientific advancements in the field of human genetics, the discovery of the DNA and decoding human genome, alongside a number of other factors, revived the idea of improvement of races in the early years after WWII. This new wave of improving races, unlike the first wave which was based on both scientific and pseudo-scientific beliefs, totally lied upon scientific beliefs and therefore could not be the subject of criticisms similar to those made of the first wave. Yet the idea of improving the races has always been subject of serious eithical criticisms due to its horrible outcomes and the many abuses that have taken place under the name of improvement. This paper tries to investigate and analyze important scientific and ethical criticisms made of the first wave of improvement of races.