The 9 Most Influential Works of Scientific Racism, Ranked

Former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade has just published a book about race and genetics that has stirred up debates over scientific racism that go back over 250 years. Where did his ideas come from? Here are nine major works of scientific racism that are still influencing thinkers today. » 5/13/14 12:34pm 5/13/14 12:34pm

How the pseudoscience of Social Darwinism nearly destroyed humanity

Following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1860, many political theorists and opportunistic politicians applied his findings to human society. In the 20th century, these ideas were put into practice — and it nearly destroyed us. Here’s why Social Darwinism was one of the worst ideas ever. » 9/13/13 11:35am 9/13/13 11:35am

Is China selectively breeding a new generation of genius babies?

There's a provocative and somewhat disturbing article over at Vice about China's recent foray into genetics and the country's unabashed attempt to boost the collective IQ of its citizens. In it, Aleks Eror interviews NYU evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, who donated DNA to help a Chinese biotech firm… » 3/18/13 12:20pm 3/18/13 12:20pm

Possibly the strangest men's rights movement in history

In the late 1920s, a peculiar confluence of fashion and fascism came together in England. The Men's Dress Reform Party, an outgrowth of the eugenics movement, agitated for men to dress in more beautiful, flowing clothing reminiscent of what they wore during the Elizabethan era. Mostly, this seemed to mean wearing… » 2/20/13 4:42pm 2/20/13 4:42pm

Despite his own mental illness, Nikola Tesla advocated eugenics for the…

Nikola Tesla is often cited as geekdom's favorite inventor—advocate of alternating current, pursuer of wireless electricity and the death ray—but some of his beliefs about the future of science and culture wouldn't be quite so popular today. In addition to his predictions about labor-saving robots and his claims that… » 11/17/12 10:00am 11/17/12 10:00am

Genetic Testing Promises to Reveal Your Child's Sports Aptitude

For $149 dollars, Atlas Sports Genetics will test your child’s DNA and send you a report listing the sports where your child is likely to succeed. Some parents see it as a way to steer their child toward an activity that is a good match for their abilities. But psychologists and ethicists fear that assigning your… » 12/01/08 2:20pm 12/01/08 2:20pm

Genetic Discrimination Banned — Gattaca Still Possible?

Yesterday the United States Congress passed the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), which bans health insurance companies and your employers from using your genetic information against you. This is a major step in the right direction, but does it go far enough to prevent a dystopian, Gattaca-style… » 4/25/08 1:40pm 4/25/08 1:40pm

Five Large-Scale Attempts to Change the Course of Human Evolution

Charles Darwin first explained the principles of sexual selection in his controversial book The Descent of Man (1871). Ever since then, people have wanted to tinker with human evolution via artificial sexual selection. Dictators, mad doctors, and crazed social scientists have proposed — and even carried out — human… » 2/28/08 7:40am 2/28/08 7:40am

The Breakfast Club Meets Mad Max... On Skates!

Corey Haim is initiated into the Rollerboys, a fascist street gang that skates down the street with synchronized arm movements, in this clip from Prayer Of The Rollerboys. Which may be the weirdest dystopian movie ever. America is collapsing, Harvard is moving to Asia, and street gangs like the Rollerboys hold all… » 2/05/08 12:00pm 2/05/08 12:00pm