For an institution like Harvard to say that there is merit to an idea that has already been discredited, like the idea that IQ is based on race ethnic origin, doesn't advance academic work. It legitimizes racism and discriminatory practices.
These miraculous discoveries present us with countless dilemmas and are far outpacing our abilities to grasp and address their ethical, legal and social implications. We need more public and professional education and attention to how it is affecting our lives and how it should affect our lives.
Throughout history, dominant groups have depicted or represented minority groups in a variety of negative ways in order to maintain control or mastery. I have found many clear and stunning connections between historical representations of LGBT people and Jewish people.
Ever since The Science of Desire by Dean Hamer (1993), the scientific world and gays and lesbians around the world have been plagued by the idea of a single gene controlling human sexual orientation. The specter of de-gaying by gene therapy has haunted us ever since.
What of legacy? Did the violent effects of eugenically-charged language die with the discrediting of the eugenics movement, or do they continue, protected by the shroud of historical forgetfulness? There are hints.
Is there any connection between the eugenics movement and the anti-choice movement? Forcing a woman to give birth -- which the anti-choice movement effectively requires -- really is not that different conceptually from preventing her from giving birth.
Today, the idea of the state medically taking away someone's right to procreate against their will seems impossible. But from the 1930s to the late 1970s, North Carolina used eugenics to justify mandatory sterilization of people with mental disabilities, criminals and other undesirables.
Darwinism was itself a major agent of dispelling sympathetic sentiments. Evolutionary thinking inspired modern scientific racism. For Darwin, evolution explained the phenomenon -- so he saw it -- of racial inferiority.
The black community is the frequent testing ground for bad legislation and restrictive medical policies. But this time, according to sponsors and anti-abortionists, its purpose is to stop discrimination -- before birth.