Monday, June 12, 2017

"Google is perpetuating a very bad definition of ‘eugenics’"

We’ve written extensively about . . . Google’s practice of highlighting one answer to a search query


To wit: a reader sent in another example of an odd Google snippet for the definition of the word “eugenics.” Google’s definition, which is pulled from Oxford Dictionaries, a website produced by The Oxford University Press, says this (emphasis ours):

The science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis.

This definition is not only strangely sympathetic to the father of eugenics, who once wrote a novel about a utopian society in which people who fail a test are sent to a labor colony and not allowed to reproduce, it is historically inaccurate. The doctrine of eugenics was not perverted by the Nazis, who performed horrific experiments on human subjects in concentration camps, it was sustained.