"When your children grow up, they will be loathe to admit that their father is a silly crank who rails against science. That is too bad."
I've actually thought about that a lot.
My activism began about a decade ago when I read Edwin Black's "War Against the Weak", a history of eugenics. I was shocked and angered, and felt a deep shame that the medical profession played a role in something like eugenics.
I wondered: what would I have done? Eugenics was mainstream from 1900 through the 1930's. All of the best medical schools endorsed it, and many taught courses in it. It was "scientific". People in the profession who opposed it (and there weren't many) were labeled with the equivalent of "deniers" that we have today.
I hoped that I would have had the insight and courage to oppose eugenics, and to protect my patients from it. My patients after all are prime eugenic targets-- neurologically handicapped kids.
I have come to understand that eugenics is not over. If anything, it is more pervasive, albeit insidious, than it was in the early 20th century. Now-a-days eugenics is 'cleaner'. We search out and abort handicapped babies. Now some countries are killing handicapped children at birth.
And I've come to see that this horrendously anti-human crusade has other forms-- overpopulation fanaticism, anti-pesticide lunacy, global warming hysteria. It's the same people really-- quite literally, the membership of the eugenic organizations of the 1950's simply shifted over to the population control organizations of the 1960's. The same malevolent loons wage war on DDT and demand control of the world's energy. Same junk science. Same inhumanity. Same arrogance. Same malevolence.
So when my kids grow up (three of our four are already in college, grad school and working), I want them to know exactly what I did. I rail against eugenics, population control, anti-pesticide fanaticism, and global warming hysteria.
I want my kids to know that I stood against it.