The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

Should we implement a eugenics program?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,043 times Debate No: 25190
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




I am pro- eugenics because things have gotten out of hand. Desired traits are no longer picked out for reproduction in today's society. Signs of this are increased rates of allergies, autism, and worsening eye site. People with lower intelligence have more children than people with higher intelligence have. This will have exponential effects over generations and create weaker and weaker generations.


I accept and I thank my opponent for starting this debate. Given that this debate only has 3 rounds and that my opponent has presented his opening argument, I assume that this round is for actual debating and so I will post my arguments too.

First things first.


Pro hasn't specifically defined his resolution, but given the title of the debate and the fact that he took "pro" suggests that his resolution is as follows; "A eugenics program should be implemented."


Eugenics: a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed. [1]

Burden of Proof

Pro will have the BOP as he is advocating this policy. Pro must argue both for the necessity of eugenics and the feasibility of such a policy to fulfil his BOP.

Now on to the main course...


1. Who Will Enforce This Policy?

When left to their own devices human beings tend to have sex. A lot. Often without contraceptives. Therefore, we can not count on the public self-enforcing such a policy, which leaves the government.

Given this, Pro must contend that the government should have the power to control who is allowed to pro-create and who is not. Already such a policy would fail as virtually no one would agree to giving the government so much power. I leave it to Pro to argue for how such a program could be realistically passed and agreed upon. I also press the question to Pro, what should be done if a couple procreates without government consent?

2. Gene Therapy

The fact of the matter is, eugenics is quickly becoming an obsolete method of fighting disease and promoting positive traits. Gene therapy and other forms of genetic engineering give the same results, but without requiring us to hand over the ownership of our reproductive organs to the government. Granted, gene therapy is still a young field, but already we are seeing that gene therapy can successfully cure HIV, Leukemia, Beta-Thalassemia (blood disorder), and adrenoleukodystrophy (a fatal brain disease) [2].

These are things that simply outside the scope of eugenics. It would take generation of selective breeding to just so much as lower the odds of developing one of these diseases and here we have gene therapy which is able to treat and cure new diseases literally every year. Forget about allergies and eye sight, we're solving much bigger problems at an annual rate.

3. Inbreeding

One huge problem with eugenics is its "catch 22"-like nature. That is, the quickest way to ensure the traits you want are being passed on is to make the breeding qualifications as discriminatory as possible. However, when you have a small breeding group you inevitably end up with a phenomenon known as Inbreeding depression. Inbreeding depression is caused by any sort of population bottle-necking, such as eugenics. This reduces genetic variation which can result in copious amounts of genetic issues such as:

  • Reduced fertility both in litter size and sperm viability
  • Increased genetic disorders
  • Fluctuating facial asymmetry
  • Lower birth rate
  • Higher infant mortality
  • Slower growth rate
  • Smaller adult size
  • Loss of immune system function

The more selective your eugenics program is, the more pronounced these issues will become down the road. [3]

This pretty much defeats the point of eugenics all together. You could always lower the standards of who can breed to ward off these problems, but that brings me to my next point.

4. Regression Towards the Mean

Regression towards the mean, in genetics, refers to a phenomenon where the children of an offspring with a particularly well developed trait, such as being 7 feet tall, end up with a watered down version of this trait that places them between their parents and the genetic average [4]. Meaning, if you have two parents, each being 7 feet tall, you are only expected to reach about 6'4".This phenomenon doesn't just affect the body, it affects IQ as well [5].

Given this, it's clear that eugenics would be a waste of time unless the standards the government sets for breeding privileges are particularly high. For information on why this wouldn't work either, note argument 3.

More importantly, regression towards the mean goes both ways. My opponent pointed out in his original argument that unintelligent people tend to have more kids than intelligent people. This is true, but this has been noted since the 19th century (perhaps it was always the case) and yet IQ scores are higher now than ever [6]. The reason for this is that, just as the offspring of the strong and intelligent tend to not be as strong or intelligent, the offspring of the weak and stupid tend to be stronger and smarter in accordance with the average.

In light of these last two points, it is clear that eugenics is a complete waste of time when standards are low and a detriment to the human genome when standards are high.

5. Humans Have Never Been Better

As it turns out, contemporary man is significantly smarter and healthier than humans have been throughout our history. For starters, increased nutrition as a result of our superior infrastructure has resulted in us growing 3-8 inches on average since the mid 19th century [7]. Furthermore, as a result of our superior understand of body mechanics, human performance is higher than ever before. In the last Olympics alone (London 2012), 117 Olympic records were broken [8]. In the 2008 Olympics, more world records were broken than in any previous Olympic Summer Games ever [9].

What's more is that human beings are now living longer than any population before us. People in developed nations are now expected to live an average of 75-90 years old [10]. We live on average almost 3 times longer than our ancestors did prior to 30,000 years ago [11]. Finally, humans are smarter now than ever before. This phenomenon is known as the Flynn effect.

"Dutch conscripts gained 21 points during only 30 years, or 7 points per decade, between 1952 and 1982."

"Ulric Neisser estimates that using the IQ values of today the average IQ of the US in 1932, according to the first Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales standardization sample, was 80."

"Comparison of the IQ distributions indicated that the mean IQ-scores on the test had increased by 9.7 points..."

One postulated theory given to explain this increase is heterosis, that is, hybrid vigor associated with historical reductions of the levels of inbreeding [6]. This means that aggregate IQ's may have increased as a result of the exact opposite of eugenics-like breeding.

I'm almost out of characters so I'll save the rest for the next round and move on to my conclusion for round 1.


Due to the reasons posted above, it is clear that eugenics is both superfluous and even detrimental when taken to an effective level. Human beings are in no way at risk of falling from grace due to a degrading genome. To the contrary, we have never been better off and thanks to scientific breakthroughs we stand to continue getting better off at a progressively faster rate.

To better counter my opponent's arguments, I request that Pro outline the specifics of his proposed eugenics policy in terms including - but not limited to - method of enforcement and standards of procreative permission.

I look forward to your response.

5. [video]
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent makes two arguments that I believe are false. One being that eugenics would not work/ it is unneeded. Another being eugenics would be impossible to implement.

I will start with the first one.
It is a fact that people in developed countries, at any fitness level, have a very good change to be able to breed. This has created a phenomena of people with lower intelligence having on average more children than people with higher intelligence. And on average, those children have lower intelligence and breed more than the children of an intelligent couple. We like to think it is our right to breed inconstantly as we want to and have as many children as we want with whomever we want to. Future generations of mankind are being settled with the results of what we do, or don't do. Intelligence, health, and other factors which have desirable magnitudes are not picked out for natural selection anymore. This must be recreated artificially if the human race wants to advance.
There is no better example of the success of eugenics than the breeding of dogs, and the intelligence of the Ashkenazi Jew. I will start with the former. Dogs have been a huge boon to the advancement of humans over the years. They have adapted around us, becoming dogs from wolves. This symbiotic relationship has helped both humans and dogs survive and thrive. Dog breeding as been going on as long as there have been dogs. Humans picked out the dogs with desirable traits - artificially- and created breeds of which had unique traits. To think this could not be applied to humans is false. As in example of the Ashkenazi Jew, who on average, are one sigma greater in intelligence than gentiles, or about 115 IQ. This was directly the result of Jewish culture placing a very high importance on education. People who got educated on average were more intelligent and on average had more children. Over generations, this effect magnified. This is a prime example of the benefits of eugenics, direct or indirect.
I will move onto your argument that eugenics would be impossible to implement. This is again, false. You assume that eugenics must be the artificial selection of people who breed. This is only one the methods. Another method is a form of antidisgenics. You implant birth control in all children at age 10. Those who wanted to have children would apply to make sure they didn't have any diseases. If this were implemented, humans would advance at an incredible rate.


I thank My opponent for his timely response.

Counter Arguments

1. Eugenics Wouldn't Work

I will focus on Pro's argument involving Ashkinazi Jews as this is clearly the stronger argument. First and foremost, Pro has not sourced any of his claims, so they are all called into question. The fact is, there is no evidence that Ashkenazi Jews underwent a self-imposed eugenics program and there is a plethora of evidence that the Ashkenazi IQ is so high because of non-eugenics related reason such as their diet, avoidance of smoking and insistence on education as laid out by Dr. Stephen Carr Leon [1]. Furthermore, the high Ashkenazi IQ comes from an advanced verbal and mathematical intelligence but not spatial intelligence. This suggests environmental pressure for specialization as eugenics would be expected to raise nearly all cognitive functions without lowering any other function. One reason given for this is the employment restrictions on Jews throughout most of the time they lived in Europe. This left only finance and international trade, occupations requiring more intelligence than farming and crafts. It's easy to see how this would result in unintelligent Jews starving to death, while intelligent Jews lived on to breed.

Consider also, "Today's Ashkenazi Jews suffer from a number of congenital diseases and mutations at higher rates than most other ethnic groups; these include Tay-Sachs, Gaucher's disease,Bloom's syndrome, and Fanconi anemia, and mutations at BRCA1 and BRCA2." [2]

If pro wishes to contend that Ashkenazi's are evidence of successful eugenics, here you go.

That brings me to my last point. Pro's argument here doesn't actually support eugenics. As Pro subtly hints at, this is an example of "indirect eugenics". There's no such thing as "indirect eugenics". Unintentional artificial selection is called natural selection.

2. Eugenics Can't be Implemented

My opponent claims that artificial selection is unnecessary because we can simply implant birth control in children at age ten and not 'un-sterilize' them unless they applied for breeding privileges and had their application passed. First of all, this is artificial selection. Antidisgenics is a method of breeding out disease via control of human mating. Second, this in no way deals with the problem of implementation. If people won't agree to giving government control over their breeding privileges, what makes you think they would agree to letting the government sterilize their children, thereby giving government control over their breeding privileges?

Finally, we already have a gene-based method of curing diseases. It's called gene therapy and I outlined this case in the previous round.


Pro didn't actually counter any of my arguments, he merely mentioned the conclusions two my arguments arrived to and presented arguments for his case. This suggests that Pro didn't actually read my arguments thoroughly, if at all. This is clear by the fact that he completely ignored my gene therapy argument when it clearly undermines his argument made in round 2. In fact, most of the arguments my opponent made in this round where preemptively countered by arguments I made in round 1. To recap;

1. Who will enforce this policy

- partially addressed (argument Pro presents doesn't actually support case)

2. Gene therapy

- ignored

3. Inbreeding

- ignored

4. Regression toward the mean

- ignored

5. Humans have never been better

- partially addressed (addressed conclusion sort-of, but not actual argument)

In conclusion, I have debunked Pro's arguments in this round while my arguments have arguably not yet been contended. As such, his BOP has yet to be fulfilled. I extend my arguments and I look forward to your response.

Debate Round No. 2


dylancatlow forfeited this round.


Pro has forfeited the last round even though he has been active during the time his argument was due. This leaves no conclusion other than my opponent could not refute my arguments and therefore Pro failed to fulfill his BOP.

Conduct - Con. Pro ff'd

Spelling and grammar - tie

Arguments - Con. Pro failed to fulfill BOP

Sources - Con. Pro never sourced any of his claims

I thank my opponent for his time

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by adontimasu 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for Con for Pro missing a round. Arguments for Pro's inability to fulfill his burden of proof, and - due to his forfeit - his inability to combat the idea that eugenics would never work. Sources goes to Con for his vast amounts of reliable sources, while Pro provided no sources whatsoever. Victory: Con.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments didnt fulfill the BOP of showing why there should be a eugenics program and con's points dismantled the Pro's case, FF the last round, no sources.