Register to reply

Nikolai Tesla, Eugenicist

by BWV
Tags: eugenicist, nikolai, tesla
Share this thread:
BWV
#1
Dec4-12, 02:57 PM
P: 328
another god with feet of clay...

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/pale...ables-by-2100/

The February 9, 1935 issue of Liberty magazine includes many other fascinating predictions by Tesla for the future of humanity, which weíll no doubt look at in the weeks ahead. But for the time being Iíve transcribed only the eugenics portion of Teslaís predictions below, to remind us that we should be cautious when making gods of men:

The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then manís new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct. Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah
Study shows readers absorb less information when reading on a Kindle
Undergrad researcher unearths dino discovery
Drakkith
#2
Dec4-12, 08:58 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,844
What about it?
BWV
#3
Dec9-12, 06:55 PM
P: 328
Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
What about it?
what about what? thought it was an interesting article, particularly with the near canonization of Tesla in popular culture, such as this piece:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

Drakkith
#4
Dec9-12, 07:00 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,844
Nikolai Tesla, Eugenicist

Yes, many famous people in history have skeletons in their closet if you will.
Energystrom
#5
Dec10-12, 07:10 PM
P: 21
See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenic..._United_States

"Some states sterilized "imbeciles" for much of the 20th century. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1927 Buck v. Bell case that the state of Virginia could sterilize those it thought unfit. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974."

Skeletons, as said, just not mentioned frequently.
BWV
#6
Dec10-12, 08:59 PM
P: 328
Yes, a largely forgotten history, how American eugenics was at the forefront of the progressive movement and was an inspiration to the Nazi eugenics program. The defense at the Nuremburg trials used buck v bell to argue that the allies were being hypocritical prosecuting nazi war criminals for practices which existed in the US.
phinds
#7
Dec10-12, 09:13 PM
PF Gold
phinds's Avatar
P: 6,300
Quote Quote by BWV View Post
Yes, a largely forgotten history, how American eugenics was at the forefront of the progressive movement and was an inspiration to the Nazi eugenics program. The defense at the Nuremburg trials used buck v bell to argue that the allies were being hypocritical prosecuting nazi war criminals for practices which existed in the US.
Well we are, after all, a nation founded on hypocrisy (All men are created equal ... unless they're black) so they they should have known we wouldn't take that defense seriously.
mheslep
#8
Dec22-12, 01:12 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
Quote Quote by phinds View Post
Well we are, after all, a nation founded on hypocrisy (All men are created equal ... unless they're black) so they they should have known we wouldn't take that defense seriously.
The former was stated as you say in 1776 which may have been hypocritical, but then it was stated atop the four proceeding millennia of governing philosophies holding that nobody was created equal to those borne to rule. The latter incidence of the Nuremburg trial was in 1945 after the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and 600,000 dead in a war to right the prior wrong. A fair take on the history would be that the principal of equal creation is taken quite seriously my Americans.
mheslep
#9
Dec22-12, 01:18 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
Yes, many famous people in history have skeletons in their closet if you will.
That euphemism indicates something hidden by the subject. Tesla's eugenics claims were not, even if they were ignored by his later god makers.

Another scientist with similar feet of clay: Shockley

enosis_
#10
Dec22-12, 01:37 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
I'm not certain he was expressing his personal opinion - other than in making the prediction - which has another 87 years to be proved true or false. Might this comment be out of context and only an analysis of a eugenics position?
zoobyshoe
#11
Dec22-12, 05:08 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,630
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
I'm not certain he was expressing his personal opinion - other than in making the prediction - which has another 87 years to be proved true or false. Might this comment be out of context and only an analysis of a eugenics position?
To me, it definitely reads as if he's advocating it.
sshai45
#12
Dec22-12, 05:12 PM
P: 64
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
The former was stated as you say in 1776 which may have been hypocritical, but then it was stated atop the four proceeding millennia of governing philosophies holding that nobody was created equal to those borne to rule. The latter incidence of the Nuremburg trial was in 1945 after the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and 600,000 dead in a war to right the prior wrong. A fair take on the history would be that the principal of equal creation is taken quite seriously my Americans.
But how would that go with eugenics?
phinds
#13
Dec22-12, 05:29 PM
PF Gold
phinds's Avatar
P: 6,300
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
The former was stated as you say in 1776 which may have been hypocritical, but then it was stated atop the four proceeding millennia of governing philosophies holding that nobody was created equal to those borne to rule. The latter incidence of the Nuremburg trial was in 1945 after the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and 600,000 dead in a war to right the prior wrong. A fair take on the history would be that the principal of equal creation is taken quite seriously my Americans.
Yes, I agree actually, I just don't like our early hypocrisy on blacks, women, native Americans, Asians, and so forth.

My own take is that America is in many ways a truly disgusting country, seriously flawed, but has as its main redeaming virtue the fact that it is by far the best the world has ever seen.
enosis_
#14
Dec22-12, 08:16 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
To me, it definitely reads as if he's advocating it.
I'll admit the bloggers post sounds that way - but I'd like to see the original quotes.
zoobyshoe
#15
Dec24-12, 08:10 AM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,630
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
I'll admit the bloggers post sounds that way - but I'd like to see the original quotes.
What was posted at the Smithsonian link is presented as the original quote from Tesla, taken verbatim from the article:

Quote Quote by Tesla
The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then manís new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct. Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
It's not a paraphrase or digest. The blog author refers to it as a 'transcription', which implies he copied it verbatim from the magazine with the Tesla interview.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Tesla coil Electrical Engineering 6
Modifying GT to Tesla Aerospace Engineering 1
Tesla: The New Wizard General Discussion 8
Nickola Tesla General Discussion 7
Magnetism and Tesla's Introductory Physics Homework 2