Critical Phenomena, 1st Edition by L. Garrido, J. Brey, R.B. Jones

By L. Garrido, J. Brey, R.B. Jones

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7 Instead, the French eugenics movement advocated a variety of measures that would encourage Frenchwomen to have more and healthier children. As Lamarckians they believed that qualities acquired during a lifetime could be passed on to the next generation. They wanted “eugenical” policies that would foster the health of mothers and children, including health examinations before marriage (to ensure that the partners carried no transmissible diseases); public health programs to control tuberculosis, venereal disease, and alcoholism; construction of more sanitary housing, with space and priority for families with numerous children; and financial benefits for parents with more than one child.

With the passage of time, historical and comparative studies of eugenics have demonstrated that—like all stereotyping—wholly negative characterizations of eugenics are unfair, unjust, untruthful, and a very bad basis for policy decisions. CHAPTER 2 Eugenics and the Genealogical Fallacy Late in the winter of 1901 a British physician, Archibald Garrod, began an exchange of letters with a British biologist, William Bateson. Although neither man could have known it at the time, those letters—plus the two articles and a book which they published within the year—represent the origin of the discipline that is today called medical genetics.

Garrod and his wife had four children, three boys and a girl. All three boys died in uniform during World War I. ”12 In any event, Garrod’s fundamental interest in the “inborn errors of metabolism” was metabolic, not genetic. His hopes for the future of medicine rested on explorations of the metabolic uniqueness of each patient, not the familial pattern of disease incidence. He advocated biochemical testing, not the construction of extensive pedigrees. Toward the end of his life Garrod was invited to a meeting to discuss creating a British Council for Research in Human Genetics, but he declined to attend.

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