April 30, 2007
Today at 11:00 a.m., EDT, FRC will host a Family Policy Lecture by Dr. John G. West, of the Discovery Institute entitled, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: The Disturbing Legacy of America’s Eugenics Crusade.” If you can’t join us on location here in D.C., be sure to watch the live webcast of the event. Here are the details:
This year marks the centennial of the world’s first forced sterilization law, passed by the state of Indiana in March 1907. By the early 1930s, some 30 states had enacted similar laws as part of a secular crusade to breed better humans known as “eugenics.” Promoted in the name of Darwinian evolution, eugenics led to the sterilization of tens of thousands of Americans against their will, many of whom would not be considered mentally handicapped today. Why did America’s leading scientists and scientific organizations embrace eugenics for so long? Was eugenics a logical application of Darwin’s theory, or a terrible misuse of it? What is the connection between the eugenics movement and the population control movement that arose in the 1950s and 60s? Most importantly, what are the lessons we can learn from eugenics for today’s controversies over science, bioethics, and public policy? Dr. West will explore these questions and more.
Dr. West is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He formerly was the chairman of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University. He has been interviewed by Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and has appeared on CNN, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate University and is author or editor of several books, including Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest; The Politics of Revelation and Reason: Religion and Civic Life in the New Nation, and The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia. In the fall of 2007, ISI Books will publish his book Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science.