‘Outspoken atheist Professor Richard Dawkins is no stranger to controversy. But a tweet arguing that eugenics – the kind of selective breeding advocated by the Nazis – would “work for humans” has landed the biologist in hot water.
“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice,” the professor and author of ‘The God Delusion’ tweeted on Sunday. “Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology.”
The modern eugenics movement was popularized in the United States in the early 20th century and taken to terrifying extremes by Nazi Germany – which sterilized, institutionalized, and mass murdered the mentally ill, homosexuals, Jews, and all those it deemed ‘degenerates’.
Though Dawkins didn’t endorse eugenics, he was savaged by commenters for even suggesting that it might ‘work’.
Dawkins, wrote Harvard Chaplain Greg Epstein, is giving “every manner of passive and active bigot an opening to ‘consider’ persecution on steroids.” New York Times columnist Charles Blow called Dawkins’s “eugenics crap” “dangerous,” and said that its practice in the US had led to the forced sterilizations of black women in the South.’