What is positive eugenics?

Positive eugenics means adding to the human gene pool so-called desirable characteristics. And that immediately raises the question, desirable by whom? We had one experiment in positive eugenics in the 20th century, namely in Nazi Germany, where not through genetic engineering but through selective breeding, the State, the Third Reich, decided to introduce desirable characteristics into the gene pool. The State not only eliminated the bad ones, which--and this is a value judgment--were the undesirables--homosexuals, gypsies and Jews--not only eliminated them, but then selectively bred Aryan blonde, blue-eyed women and men.

That is really a frightening thought. And this whole movement toward enhancement, whether it is at the genetic level or in other areas, is in my view problematic and it's widespread. I mean, I'm sure you all have to deal with high school kids who want to enhance their chances of making it onto the school football team and then later the college football team and who are using anabolic steroids. That's a form of enhancement. Plastic and re-constructive surgery, which is a tremendous boon for people who suffer disfiguring accidents, burn victims for example, is now increasingly being used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of those who believe themselves to be too wrinkled or too small breasted or too big in the buttocks.

My point is simply that enhancement is already a tremendous trend. You take Genentech's Human Growth Factor, which was developed as a treatment for pituitary dwarfism and is now being widely sought after, even on the black market, by parents who believe their children are a little too short, and want them to be taller. So that drug, HGF, developed under the Orphan Drug Act, has now become a blockbuster for Genentech. And when I say developed under the Orphan Drug Act, you know what that means, right?

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