Related Links

* The Mythical "Aryan Race":
My Research

* The "Race" Myth:
Ritchie Witzig article

* Are Jews smarter today?:
Dr. Kevin McDonald's review of Itzkoff

*Connections between Eugenics and the Third Reich:
Stephen Saetz article

Aspirations to develop a homogenous "race" of people were based on the premise that there once existed a "pure race." It was accepted that "in the beginning" people were divided regionally and each region shared similar characteristics and phenotypes. variation in humans is gradual--image from Cold Springs LabOver time regions began to dilute and interbreed with each other, and this type of "contamination" introduced variation. The quest to return to a small degree of genetic variation would be, genetically speaking, deleterious to a population. Everyone would have the same alleles at one locus. Many detrimental consequences result from genetic uniformity. For example, inbreeding increases the chance that offspring who are homogenous for certain bad recessive alleles. Moreover, decreased genetic variation in a species diminishes the potential for natural selection to act, which would compromise its ability to adapt to environmental fluctuations. From what science tells us thus far, the existence of a homogenous species is nearly impossible. Even if that goal could be reached, that species would be at a genetic disadvantage comparatively.

Science has revealed that alleles exist in all populations all over the world in some frequency. As you move across a map of the world, some alleles are naturally distributed in higher concentrations in some areas than others and are gradually distributed or diluted over geographical space (Jurmain 2000:484). This trend is defined as a cline. For example, the B allele (of the ABO blood system) is found in the highest concentration in Eurasia, (central Asia, western Siberia, and central Mongolia) and the highest peak is found in the Himalayan area. Generally, the frequency of B declines in populations as you move westward of Eurasia (Jurmain 2000:484). It has also been said that 85 percent of human variation exists between individuals and the remaining exists between populations (Jurmain 2000:416). Therefore, while some characteristics are more frequent in some populations than others, it is impossible to define a population by one particular set of alleles. For this reason, it is biologically impossible to define a race. The classification system would be subjective. For example, clines show that traits are phased out so when would blond hair stop being blond and start being brown? Race is a social concept disguised in the eugenics movement as a biological one.

It is important to note that eugenics and Nazism evolved along different trajectories and they are not synonymous. Eugenics was associated more with an elitist effort to breedNazi rally during the Third Reich superior individuals. While it was most definitely a stark form of racism, the extent to which it was taken was not as inhumane and violent as the Nazi's disastrous concentration on negative eugenics. The synthesis between Nazism and eugenics was a process of adaptation on both sides. The First World War marked a turning point in the transition from eugenics as a cultural elitism to state social planning (Weindling 1989:9). The Nazi takeover marks a fundamental change in course of eugenics. The war period destroyed the value attached to the individual life and the Nazi's began to implement extreme negative eugenics measures.


Audra Milligan @ 2001