Carrie and Emma Buck 1924
Carrie Buck and birth mother (Emma) 1924, eugenics, sterilization, US
ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Episodes

Before the Third Reich: America’s Darwinist Eugenics Crusade

Episode
1579
Guest
John G. West
Duration
00:22:38
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On this classic ID the Future, John West, managing director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, explains the Darwinian basis for getting rid of the “unfit.” One way this manifested itself in the twentieth century was in the eugenics movement’s disturbing push for compulsory sterilization, right here in the United States. One of the most famous such instances was Carrie Buck (to the left in the picture accompanying this episode), sterilized as “feeble minded” despite going on to live a normal productive life. Her case went to the Supreme Court, where the court, in an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., ruled against Buck. She was sterilized five months later.

Listen in to learn about prominent scientists who supported these efforts, and the disturbing facts about how far they advanced toward making their ideas a reality. You’ll also learn about some of the religious leaders, Catholic and evangelical, who opposed them. To dig deeper, get West’s book Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science. And to explore the connection between Darwinism and Hitler’s racist ideas and goals, see the new book from historian Richard Weikart, Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
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