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economist gmo eugenics nature synthetic biology

The multi-trillion dollar synthetic biology revolution reduces plants and animals to meaningless bundles of matter that can be done better by a company.

A journalistic special about synthetic biology in The Economist described the practice as following:

Reprogramming nature (synthetic biology) is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance. But if you could synthesize nature, life could be transformed into something more amenable to an engineering approach, with well defined standard parts.

The Economist (Redesigning Life, April 6th, 2019)

The idea that plants and animals are meaningless bundles of matter that are wholly composed of well defined standard parts that science can master as an engineering approach, is not plausible for diverse reasons.

In chapter ^ this article will show that a flawed idea (a dogma), more specifically the idea that the facts of science are valid without philosophy, or a belief in uniformitarianism, lays at the root of synthetic biology or eugenics on nature.

This article also provides a brief philosophical overview of the history of eugenics (chapter ^), the roots of the Nazi Holocaust (chapter ^) and eugenics today (chapter ^).

A Short Introduction

Eugenics is an emergent topic in recent years. In 2019, a group of over 11,000 scientists argued that eugenics can be used to reduce world population.

(2020) Eugenics is trending. That's a problem. Any attempt to reduce world population must focus on reproductive justice. Source: Washington Post (PDF backup)

Richard Dawkins

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins — best known for his book The Selfish Gene — provoked controversy when he tweeted that while eugenics is morally deplorable, it would work.

Source: Richard Dawkins on Twitter

This article is highly critical on eugenics, but purely based on philosophical reason.

In chapter ^, a philosophical substantiation is provided for the argument that eugenics resides on the essence of inbreeding.

What is Eugenics?

Charles Darwin

Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, is credited with coining the term eugenics in 1883, and he developed the concept based on Darwin's evolution theory.

Pan Guangdan

In China, Pan Guangdan is credited with the development of Chinese eugenics, yousheng (优生), during the 1930s. Pan Guangdan received eugenic training at Columbia University from Charles Benedict Davenport, a prominent American eugenicist.

The original logo of the eugenics congress, founded in London in 1912, describes eugenics as following:


Eugenics is the self direction of human evolution. Like a tree, eugenics draws its materials from many sources and organizes them into an harmonious entity.

The ideology of eugenics is for humanity to self-control and scientifically master evolution.

With eugenics, one is moving towards an ultimate state as perceived from an external viewer (the human), which is opposite of what is considered healthy in nature that seeks diversity for resilience and strength.

blond hair and blue eyes for everyone


An attempt to stand above life, as being life, results in a figurative stone that sinks in the infinite ocean of time.

Cows in the US that have been improved by eugenics, provide evidence.

 Cows and eugenics
cow 58
Cows critically endangered by eugenics While there are 9 million cows in the USA, from a genetic perspective there are just 50 cows alive due to the nature of eugenics that resides on the essence of inbreeding

Chapter ^ provides a philosophical substantiation for the inbreeding argument against eugenics.

The History of Eugenics

In the West, eugenics elicits thoughts of Nazi Germany and racial cleansing or racial hygiene. However, the eugenics ideology had been developing since almost a century before the Nazi party existed.

The Nazis didn't need psychiatry, it was the other way around, psychiatry needed the Nazis.
[Show video Diagnose and Exterminate]

Since 1907, several countries, including the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, were practicing eugenics-based sterilization of people deemed unworthy of living.

Since 1914, twenty years before the Nazi party was founded, German psychiatry started with the organized murder of psychiatric patients through starvation diets, and they continued until 1949.

(1998) Euthanasia by Starvation in Psychiatry 1914-1949 Source: Semantic Scholar

The systematic extermination of people deemed life-unworthy, developed naturally from within psychiatry, as a honourable branch of the international scientific community.

The Nazi Holocaust death camp extermination program began with the murder of more than 300,000 psychiatric patients.

Psychiatry: The Cradle of Eugenics

Forced Euthanasia

Peter R. Breggin

The German psychiatric eradication program, that started in 1914, was not a hidden, secret scandal of psychiatry—at least not in the beginning. It was organized in a series of national meetings and workshops by leading professors of psychiatry and directors of psychiatric hospitals. So-called euthanasia forms were distributed among the hospitals and each death was then given final approval in Berlin by a committee of the country's leading psychiatrists.

In January 1940, patients were transferred to six special extermination centers with a staff of psychiatrists. At the end of 1941, the program was clandestinely outraged by Hitler's lack of enthusiasm, but by then between 100,000 and 200,000 German psychiatric patients had already been murdered. Since then, individual institutions, such as the one in Kaufbeuren, have continued on their own initiative, even taking in new patients for the purpose of killing them. At the end of the war, many large institutions were completely empty and estimates from various war tribunals, including that of Nuremberg, range from 250,000 to 300,000 dead, mostly patients of psychiatric hospitals and homes for the mentally handicapped.

The tragic thing is, the psychiatrists didn't need a warrant. They acted on their own initiative. They did not carry out a death sentence handed down by someone else. They were the legislators who set the rules for deciding who should die; they were the administrators who worked out the procedures, supplied patients and places, and determined the methods of killing; they pronounced a sentence of life or death in each individual case; they were the executioners who carried out the sentences or – without being forced to do so – handed over their patients to be murdered in other institutions; they guided the slow dying and often watched it.

The bond between Hitler and psychiatrists was so close that much of Mein Kampf literally corresponds to the language and tone of the major international journals and psychiatric textbooks of the period. To quote some of many such passages in Mein Kampf:

  • To demand that the feeble-minded be prevented from producing equally feeble-minded progeny is a demand made for the purest of reasons and, if carried out systematically, represents the most humane act of mankind…
  • Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy should not let their suffering continue in the bodies of their children…
  • Preventing the ability and opportunity to procreate in the physically degenerate and mentally ill… would not only liberate humanity from an immense misfortune, but also lead to a recovery that seems hardly conceivable today.

After taking power, Hitler gained support from psychiatrists and social scientists from all over the world. Many articles in the world's leading medical journals studied and praised Hitler's eugenic legislation and policies.

Psychopathology: A Shared Fundamental Theory

Psychiatry and eugenics share psychopathology as a fundamental theory for validity.

Psychopathology is fundamental to philosophy of psychiatry, and in the case of eugenics it is self-evident that scientific mastery of evolution requires mind to be causally explainable.

Eugenics is the self direction of human evolution

Science and the Attempt to Break Free from Morality

The emergence of the Nazis followed a strong demand within the scientific community to break free from morality for the greater good interests of scientific progress.

The emancipation of science movement had been going on for centuries, since before the eugenics movement started.

Friedrich NietzscheThe declaration of independence of the scientific man, his emancipation from philosophy, is one of the subtler after-effects of democratic organization and disorganization: the self- glorification and self-conceitedness of the learned man is now everywhere in full bloom, and in its best springtime – which does not mean to imply that in this case self-praise smells sweet. Here also the instinct of the populace cries, “Freedom from all masters!” and after science has, with the happiest results, resisted theology, whose “hand-maid” it had been too long, it now proposes in its wantonness and indiscretion to lay down laws for philosophy, and in its turn to play the “master” – what am I saying! to play the PHILOSOPHER on its own account.

Science has attempted to rid itself of moral constraints in order to become the master of itself and to advance immorally, for the the greater good interests of science.

GM: science out of control (2018) Immoral advances: Is science out of control? To most scientists, moral objections to their work are not valid: science, by definition, is morally neutral, so any moral judgement on it simply reflects scientific illiteracy. Source: New Scientist

Uniformitarianism: The Dogma Behind Eugenics

When science is practiced autonomously and intends to get rid of any influence of philosophy, the knowing of a scientific fact necessarily entails certainty. Without certainty, philosophy would be essential, and that would be obvious to any scientist.

Most scientists today believe that science has nothing to do with philosophy.

Science is no more or less than the application of the process of observe, hypothesise, test, repeat. There's no suggestion of belief, philosophy or validity, any more than there is in the rules of cricket or the instructions on a bottle of shampoo: it's what distinguishes cricket from football, and how we wash hair. The value of science is in its utility. Philosophy is something else.

Source: Naked Scientist forum (2019)

The belief that science can be practiced autonomously, independent of philosophy, is based on a dogmatic belief in uniformitarianism, which is the belief that the facts of science are fundamentally valid without philosophy, independent of mind and time.

Uniformitarianism provides science with a fundamental inclination to break free from morality, to advance immorally, without thinking about whether it is actually good what is being done.

To most scientists, moral objections to their work are not valid: science, by definition, is morally neutral, so any moral judgement on it simply reflects scientific illiteracy.

(2018) Immoral advances: Is science out of control? ~ New Scientist

Most scientists today describe their ethical position as being humble in the face of observation, and place the scientific truth before the moral good.

A Dogmatic Fallacy

The idea that the facts of science are valid without philosophy, is a dogmatic fallacy.

William James
Truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct from good, and co-ordinate with it. The true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons.

Science is a method invented by philosophy to acquire knowledge from truth, which is a belief-based concept (dogma).


The belief that science can emancipate from philosophy implies that the interests of science weigh higher than human moral interests and free will, which is called scientism.

Eugenics is an extension of scientism.

The following philosophical logic explains why the fundamental beliefs at the root of eugenics are a dogmatic fallacy:

If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.

Science as a Guiding Principle for Life?

woman moral compass

The emancipation of science from philosophy, as described in chapter ^, implies that the knowing of a scientific fact necessarily entails certainty, because without certainty, philosophy would be essential.

Freedom from all masters!

The declaration of independence of the scientific man, his emancipation from philosophy ... science now proposes in its wantonness and indiscretion to lay down laws for philosophy, and in its turn to play the “master” – what am I saying! to play the PHILOSOPHER on its own account.

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil (Chapter 6 – We Scholars).

While repeatability of science provides what can be considered certainty within the scope of a human perspective, which utility can be made evident by the success of science, at question would remain whether the idea that the facts of science are valid without philosophy, is valid on a fundamental level.

While from an utilitarian perspective, one could argue that certainty isn't at question. When concerns the usage of the idea as a guiding principle however, which would be the case with eugenics, it would become important.

A guiding principle concerns what is essential for value to be possible, a priori or before value, and that implies that science cannot logically be a guiding principle for life.

David Hume (2019) Science and Morals: Can morality be deduced from the facts of science? The issue should have been settled by philosopher David Hume in 1740: the facts of science provide no basis for values. Yet, like some kind of recurrent meme, the idea that science is omnipotent and will sooner or later solve the problem of values seems to resurrect with every generation. Source: Duke University: New Behaviorism

Eugenics Today

Eric Lichtblau (2014) The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men Source: wayne allyn root (2020) Is America Starting Down the Path of Nazi Germany? I cannot express how truly sad writing this op-ed has made me. But I'm a patriotic American. And I'm an American Jew. I have studied the beginnings of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. And I can clearly see parallels with what is happening in America today.

OPEN YOUR EYES. Study what happened in Nazi Germany during the infamous Kristallnacht. The night of Nov. 9-10, 1938, marked the beginning of the Nazis' attack on the Jews. Jewish homes and businesses were looted, desecrated and burned while the police and “good people” stood by and watched. Nazis laughed and cheered as books were burned.
natasha lennard (2020) Forced sterilization of poor women of color There need be no explicit policy of forced sterilization for a eugenicist system to exist. Normalized neglect and dehumanization are sufficient. These are Trumpian specialties, yes, but as American as apple pie.” Source: The Intercept

Embryo Selection

Embryo selection is a modern example of eugenics that shows how easy the idea is accepted by the short term self-interest perspective of humans.

Parents want their child to be healthy and prosperous. Laying the choice for eugenics with parents could be a scheme for scientists to justify their otherwise morally deplorable eugenic beliefs and practices.

(2017) 🇨🇳 China's embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions about eugenics In the West, embryo selection still raises fears about the creation of an elite genetic class, and critics talk of a slippery slope towards eugenics, a word that elicits thoughts of Nazi Germany and racial cleansing. In China, however, eugenics lacks such baggage. The Chinese word for eugenics, yousheng, is used explicitly as a positive in almost all conversations about eugenics. Yousheng is about giving birth to children of better quality. Source: (2017) Eugenics 2.0: We're at the Dawn of Choosing Our Kids Will you be among the first parents that pick their kids' obstinacy? As machine learning unlocks predictions from DNA databases, scientists say parents could have options to select their kids like never before possible. Source: MIT Technology Review

The Inbreeding Argument against Eugenics

This article started with the assertion that eugenics fundamentally resides on the essence of inbreeding, which is known to cause weakness and fatal problems.

The following philosophical logic was provided to provide an insight:

An attempt to stand above life, as being life, results in a figurative stone that sinks in the infinite ocean of time.

In chapter ^, a philosophical case was made that science cannot be a guiding principle for life.

Eugenics results in a situation similar to incest (inbreeding) because the output of science is history.

Man that sticks his head into his anus

With eugenic self-control of evolution, based on science, evolution would be guided by history, a fundamental perspective into the past instead of a perspective into a moral future, which results in a fundamental unhealthy situation that is similar to inbreeding.

blond hair and blue eyes for everyone


 Cows and eugenics
cow 58
Cows critically endangered by eugenics While there are 9 million cows in the USA, from a genetic perspective there are just 50 cows alive due to the nature of eugenics that resides on the essence of inbreeding

Chad Dechow – an associate professor of dairy cattle genetics – and others say there is so much genetic similarity among cows, the effective population size is less than 50. If cows were wild animals, that would put them in the category of critically endangered species.

It's pretty much one big inbred family says Leslie B. Hansen, a cow expert and professor at the University of Minnesota. Fertility rates are affected by inbreeding, and already, cow fertility has dropped significantly. Also, when close relatives are bred, serious health problems could be lurking.

(2021) The way we breed cows is setting them up for extinction Source: Quartz

Moving Inwards

Eugenics moves inwards in the context of an infinite ocean of time, which is opposite of what is vital for prosperity in time.

Eugenics is fundamentally an escape attempt that results in accumulating weakness in the infinite scope of time.

Defense of 🍃 Nature

This article has shown that eugenics can be considered corruption of nature from the perspective of nature. Eugenics moves in the opposite direction as what is fundamentally required for resilience and strength in time.

Regrettably, the fundamental intellectual flaws of eugenics are hard to overcome intellectually, especially when it concerns a practical defense.

woman moral compass

Intellectual Challenge: Wittgenstinian Silence

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

Albert Einstein

Perhaps... we must also give up, by principle, the space-time continuum,” he wrote. “It is not unimaginable that human ingenuity will some day find methods which will make it possible to proceed along such a path. At the present time, however, such a program looks like an attempt to breathe in empty space.

Within Western philosophy, the realm beyond space has traditionally been considered a realm beyond physics — the plane of God’s existence in Christian theology.

Whereof one cannot speak

What is the meaning of an insight into the origin and purpose of existence itself, when the insight that language attempts to unlock, cannot be said?

When it concerns the protection of nature against eugenics, the assertion of a moral aspect of which one cannot speak, cannot be easily converted into practical arguments, that can be used to facilitate a defense.

Animal Protectors are Silent

Vegan Forum Eugenics on Animals How many cows are in the field? Just 1 in 180,000 according to genetics! Source: 🥗 Philosophical Vegan

To facilitate an effective defence for animals, one will be required to make strong arguments.

The Wittgenstinian Silence problem is likely the cause that intellectual people who might defend animals, naturally feel inclined to take an intellectual back seat, despite their intuition that eugenics is morally wrong.

Silence is the most appropiate response when one is confronted with a fundamental intellectual inability, combined with the intuition that intellectual strength might be vital for the animals that they care about. From that sense, Wittgenstein was simply right.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

Animal Protection Fails

The natural inclination to take an intellectual backseat, caused by the Wittgenstinian Silence problem, isn't understood by most people, and therefore activism against GMO is literally fading away.

While the GMO debate has been percolating for nearly three decades, data indicate it's now over.

[Show sources] American Council on Science and Health Alliance for Science Genetic Literacy Project

Scare Mongering Propaganda

GMO is poison

The Western anti-GMO movement was predominantly driven by the financial interest of the $250 billion USD organic food industry, which indirectly caused a re-enforcement of the fundamental arguments for GMO by scare mongering for GMO based on arguments for human health and food-safety, while the GMO industry directly competes on arguments for human health and food-safety.

This explains that anti-GMO activism faded away. The scare mongering propaganda was a losing battle that was directly fueling the GMO industry.

With a loss caused by the scare mongering propaganda of the organic food industry, an intellectual defense based on aspects of moral meaning whereof one cannot speak, is additionally difficult.

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