"WHERE TRUTH IS NO DEFENCE: I WANT TO BREAK FREE" by Fredrick Toben, Peace Books, Norwood 2001 (ISBN 0 9585466 1 4)
"EUGENICS: A Reassessment" by Richard Lynn, Praegar, Westport Connecticut 2001 (ISBN 0 275 95822 1)
Richard Lynn is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Ulster. He has written a number of articles and books on human intelligence. In 1996 he wrote "Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations", in which he described how the less intelligent in most societies tended to outbreed the more intelligent.
In this book Richard Lynn puts forward a case for eugenics. Eugenics would involve increasing the level of intelligence, health and "moral character" of the population. This would not only reverse the dysgenic tendencies now at work but positively increase the economic, scientific and military strength of nations that practised eugenics.
Eugenics would also serve the needs of individuals as people, according to Lynn, like to have children who are healthy, intelligent and of good character.
At various times, going back as far as ancient Greece, individuals have suggested that, if selectively bred, humans could be improved to the point of creating a utopian society.
The English statistician, biologist and psychologist, Sir Francis Galton, advanced more modern ideas in the Nineteenth Century. It was Galton who coined the term "eugenics" and set out its basic principles. In fact he wrote a number of books and articles promoting eugenics over a period of 45 years until he died in 1911.
The objectives of Galton's eugenics would be to raise the level of health, intelligence and moral character of the population. Health was not merely an absence of disease but also the presence of energy, vigour and what he called physique. The intelligence of a population was seen as a major component in its cultural, scientific and economic achievements. To maintain and promote civilisation the intelligence of a population needs to be improved and prevented from declining. The maintenance of civilisation also required moral character that Galton believed comprised of a strong moral sense, energy, zeal for work, integrity, trustworthiness, and a sense of social obligation.
Of course for eugenics to work there must be a relationship between the desirable traits and genes. Our modern knowledge of genetics was not available to Galton but he did ascertain that eminent men were often descended from eminent fathers and often had eminent sons. He also noted that some brilliant men came from impoverished backgrounds hence indicating that environment did not have an overwhelming influence on how children developed.
Galton however believed that the population of Western nations was deteriorating genetically due in part to the influence of natural selection declining. He saw an inverse relationship between ability and fertility as the more able and enterprising men had fewer children than the less able.
Galton advocated positive eugenics which would consist of measures to encourage procreation of the most competent. He also advocated negative eugenics to curtail the fertility of those "afflicted by lunacy, feeble-mindedness, habitual criminality, and pauperism". Immigration of refugees, high in desirable traits should be encouraged but others should be rejected. Meanwhile the emigration of undesirables should be encouraged.
During Galton's lifetime his ideas won considerable acceptance, both in Britain and other countries. Great minds such as Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer and the Socialist Sydney Webb supported his ideas. There was even a Eugenics Society established in Britain. Throughout the first six decades or so of the Twentieth Century eugenics tended to be widely supported. At the same time many spoke with disquiet about the dysgenic trends prevailing in most countries.
In certain countries eugenic policies were implemented. These included the promotion of birth control as it was thought that the birth rate among the less able would be reduced by promoting knowledge about contraception and providing family planning clinics. In some places the differential fertility levels between social classes was reduced, apparently due to these measures.
Another policy was the sterilisation of the mentally retarded, the insane and criminals. A number of countries introduced laws to allow this. These included the United States, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Japan. Between 1934 and 1976 there were about 60,000 people sterilised in Sweden, about double the number sterilised in Nazi Germany. The Japanese Sterilisation Law was only revoked in 1996.
Restricted immigration to the United States under the 1924 Immigration Act could also be seen as a success for eugenicists. Immigration of eastern and southern Europeans was restricted and at the time it was believed that these people had below average intelligence. Lynn doubts that they were in fact below other Europeans in ability. The 1924 Act also restricted Hispanics and blacks, both groups now shown to have less ability than whites.
Eugenics tended to fall out of favour in the 1960s. The limited eugenics policies were largely finished and immigration restrictions in the US (and Australia) were lifted. Many people, who should have known better, asserted that intelligence and personality traits have no genetic basis. Furthermore there was more emphasis on individual rights, including the right to procreate and less on societys needs.
There were some exceptions. A few articulate and thoughtful men still supported eugenics and these included William Shockley, Roger Pearson and Robert Graham. Graham not only wrote on dysgenics and eugenics he even went so far as to set up a sperm bank for the storage of semen from intellectually distinguished men. By 1997 there had been 207 children born with well above average I.Q.s due to this sperm bank.
Apart from these exceptions the move away from eugenics predominated in Western societies. In the East however eugenics found some support, especially in Singapore and China. Singapore introduced measures such as tax rebates and a special dating agency to encourage a higher birthrate among graduates. In 1994, China introduced a Eugenics law to reduce the numbers of congenital disorders.
THE OBJECTIVES OF EUGENICS
Of those who have promoted eugenics there has been some dispute as to which qualities should be considered desirable. Some thought that qualities such as physical courage, beauty and artistic talent were the most desirable. Many with nationalistic motives saw eugenics as a way to increase the military and economic strength of a nation.
Eugenics could be used to reduce the occurrence of genetic disorders. There are about 7,000 of these and they include genetic diseases like Tourettes syndrome and sickle cell anemia, and chromosomal disorders like Downs syndrome. These generally reduce the life chances of the afflicted individual, are an economic burden on society and can be a severe emotional drain on families with an affected child. Medical advances over the last century increased the likelihood of survival of individuals with genetic disorders and hence had a dysgenic effect. Conversely in more recent decades prenatal diagnosis has sometimes led to pregnancies being terminated if there is something wrong detected in the foetus.
Mental illnesses present a dilemma for eugenicists. There is plenty of evidence from studies of twins that indicates that problems like schizophrenia, depression and manic-depressive psychosis are at least partially genetic in origin. There are costs in treating these disorders and an economic cost when otherwise healthy individuals cannot perform satisfactorily due to their disorder. Schizophrenics tend to be about four times likely to become involved in violent crime than the general population. On the other hand there is evidence of a relationship between mental illness and creativity. Many geniuses and eminent people have at times had psychotic episodes or suffered mental instability. This would indicate that genes for mental illness have some positive benefit, hence Lynn sees that their elimination by eugenics is not desirable.
Intelligence is perhaps the most important thing that a eugenics program should be involved with. There is massive amount of evidence to show a predominantly genetic basis for intelligence. Furthermore intelligence is positively correlated with academic success, employment and earnings. Poor intelligence is associated with poor employment prospects, criminality teenage pregnancies and other social problems. High intelligence confers benefits on the individual and raising the average level of intelligence would enhance a nations scientific and cultural achievements, and increase its economic and military strength.
Conversely eugenics could be aimed at reducing the number of mentally retarded. Around 2.7% of the population are considered retarded. Most fall into the mildly retarded category and about 0.5% of the population fall into the moderately, severely or profoundly retarded categories. The mildly retarded tend to be born into low income families while the more retarded come from families in all income levels. The retarded suffer disproportionately from the problems of the low intelligence people described in the previous paragraph. The badly retarded females have low fertility levels. Unfortunately in Western societies mildly retarded women tend to have above average fertility levels hence adding to the prevailing dysgenic tendencies. They tend to make poor parents with a high proportion of the children suffering from abuse or neglect.
Lynn looks at personality factors. He sees no reason to consider eugenics in regard to factors like neuroticism (sometimes called emotionality), introversion or extroversion, or openness. Two other factors however, namely conscientiousness and agreeableness, are considered desirable and Lynn thinks that raising the level and occurrence of these factors should be of benefit to society. Moreover psychopaths tend to be low in these two personality factors. He considers the problem of psychopathic personality important enough to devote a chapter to it.
Psychopathic personality (sometimes also known as antisocial or sociopathic personality disorder) is distinguished by criminality, poor work performance, physical aggressiveness, drug abuse, disregard for the truth, and failure to stay in monogamous relationships. Anything from 40% to 75% of prison inmates in Western societies are considered to be psychopaths. Up to 6% of the population is likely to be psychopaths and males are much more likely to exhibit the condition than females. In the US it has been found that a high proportion of teenage mothers, and the males who got them pregnant, show psychopathic tendencies. The children born to these mothers are disproportionately likely to become teenage mothers themselves. In fact the psychopath problem is inter-generational with bad parents breeding bad children and continuing the cycle of disadvantage and social disorder characterised by what has become known as the underclass.
There are exceptions, as Lynn points out, where some intelligent people with a degree of psychopathic tendencies can be creative and move into jobs that are stimulating but not subject to external discipline. These people do not seem to be a problem but problems and costs associated with full-blown psychopaths, especially the less intelligent, would make a reduction in their numbers a priority for a eugenics program.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CLASSICAL EUGENICS
Back in the 1860s when Galton first suggested eugenics the process of genetic inheritance was not understood. Nevertheless selective breeding of plants and animals had been carried on for centuries and there seems no reason why the same principles could not be applied to humans.
Eugenics assumes that desirable traits (or for that matter undesirable traits) traits are heritable. Lynn asserts that there is overwhelming evidence that many genetic disorders, intelligence, personality traits like conscientiousness and even psychopathic personality are heritable and hence amenable to eugenic improvement.
Classical negative eugenics is designed to reduce the fertility of those with little ability or other desirable qualities. Programs for this include those providing information and services on contraception and abortion so that people can control their fertility. An objective would be to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and births. Lynn claims that these occur most amongst those of low intelligence and those with psychopathic personality. Single mothers often come from the ranks of the unemployed and the least educated and a major reason for this is that the less educated are less likely to use contraception.
Teenage birth rates vary greatly from country to country. In the United States 51% of black teenagers and 22% of white teenagers have babies while in Japan and the Netherlands the rates are 3% and 4% respectively. However compared to the teenager birth rate, the abortion rate in Japan is very high.
In an attempt to promote sexual abstinence, and reduce pregnancies amongst teenagers, Just Say No campaigns were introduced in some US schools with limited success. Sex education in schools which includes instruction to girls on contraception has had mixed results. Some researchers in the US claim it has no impact on teenage births. On the other hand the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden provide such education and have noticeably lower rates of teenage births.
Other methods of reducing teenage pregnancies include school-based clinics and promoting the use of contraception. A more controversial method of handling the problem is abortion.
Lynn claims there is a eugenic benefit with abortion. He points to a study in England that showed abortion was more likely to be carried out in the more deprived areas of the country where the less able and less conscientious are likely to live. A study in the US claimed that legalising abortion led to a big increase in abortions among the poor, blacks and the underclass, which in turn led to a reduction in the number of criminals being born.
Another chapter of Lynn's book deals with incentives, coercion and compulsion in achieving negative eugenics. Incentives for teenagers not to get pregnant have been tried in the US with some success. In some areas there have been incentives offered to encourage women to use contraception or for men to become sterilised.
Welfare for unmarried mothers is thought to have dysgenic effects in that dull and lazy young women may prefer to get pregnant and live on welfare rather than study or work. Research in the US has in fact found that there is a positive relationship between welfare benefits and the number of teenage mothers. Conversely an increase in wages for females can lead to a decrease in illegitimacy.
One of the most controversial forms of negative eugenics is the sterilisation of the mentally retarded. Laws authorising sterilisation were introduced in the state of Indiana back in 1907. Similar laws were introduced in other parts of America and some countries of Europe.
Sterilisation is now rare but there are exceptions. In both Britain and the US parents of handicapped daughters have had them sterilised. In the US some female criminals have had their sentences for child abuse reduced on the condition that they were sterilised (generally temporarily with Norplant implants).
It has been suggested that people actually be required to have licences to become parents. Obviously psychopaths or the mentally handicapped would not be granted licences although there may be difficulties enforcing this. A solution could be to use temporary sterilisation or long-lasting contraception in children during puberty.
Classical eugenics could be used to induce those with the best qualities to have more children. Financial incentives have been suggested and so has increased taxation on the childless. Flat rate incentives would not have a eugenic effect as, proportionate to income, the poorer (and generally duller) would benefit the most. To overcome this some societies have given higher benefits to those likely to have superior ability. Singapore is the most obvious example in recent history where measures were introduced in 1987 to encourage women graduates and high earners to marry and have more children. Within three years the proportion of births to educated women had risen noticeably. Measures including financial incentives aimed at raising the birthrate were shown to be successful in Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the 1980s.
Lynn further suggests that in addition to financial incentives there should be a degree of moral pressure on intelligent and educated to have children.
Lynn also suggests a eugenic immigration policy, citing the success of Jews, Japanese, Chinese and Koreans in the US. He ignores the fact that most countries in north East Asia have very low birth rates are unlikely to be a major source of migrants. He also does not consider the fact that migrants tend to be above the average ability compared to those left behind in their home country. He gives no consideration to the problems that might arise if a successful immigrant minority becomes disproportionately influential in the host countrys politics.
On the other hand Lynn points out that most of the current immigration into the US is dysgenic with many migrant groups scoring considerably lower on I.Q. tests than white Americans. They also perform poorly in the economy. Similar problems with immigrants have occurred in Norway, Britain and Holland.
On the question of ethnic quotas on migrants, Lynn takes the view that "Political leaders of countries can legitimately take the view that immigrants of their own racial and ethnic type would be more easily assimilated and make better citizens than others." He further states "many immigrants into the Western democracies are from third world countries whose populations differ racially and culturally from the indigenous populations. This inevitably causes racial and ethnic conflict and the development of legislation and a bureaucracy that attempted to contain these conflicts." He points out that affirmative action exacerbates resentment.
Based on a paper by the American National Bureau of Economic Research he writes "They conclude that multicultural societies are less well governed and have poorer economic performance than ethnically and racially homogenous societies because competing ethnic and racial groups expend too much of their energy and resources in trying to advance the interests of their own groups." Lynn points out that America no longer works as a "melting pot" in the way it did when migrants were mainly European in origin.
Overall Lynn sees advantages in classical eugenics but considers that problems with their implementation would come from political, not genetic or ethical considerations. Lynn believes that programs with a major eugenic impact may not be possible but to the extent that any were introduced they would have a positive result.
THE NEW EUGENICS
Lynn defines the new eugenics as "attempts to improve the quality of the gene pool by the use of medical technology, or what has become known as human technology".
Some of those techniques have to some extent already been used. Artificial insemination by donor (AID) or egg donation for instance although its unlikely that it will be much more widely used. This is because most people would prefer to have children who inherit their genes. AID has been available in the US for decades but it is estimated that only 1% of births involve this technique. Egg donations appear even rarer although advertisements have appeared in college newspapers offering money for egg donations from those considered of good genetic quality. The small numbers involved in both techniques would indicate the eugenic impact on society is minor.
Techniques for the prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders have been developed in recent decades. The main techniques are amniocentesis, ultrasound scan, maternal serum screening, fetal biopsy, and chorian villus sampling. Some of these techniques can only be used well into pregnancy and some carry a small risk of miscarriage or fetal damage. The aim of these techniques is to allow therapeutic abortion if serious problems like anencephaly, spina bifida or Downs syndrome are detected. Obviously the use of these techniques required that abortion be legalised and that the women involved not be opposed to abortion. Nevertheless evidence from England and Wales shows that some of these disorders are noticeably less common. An exception is Downs syndrome but it appears in that case that, although the disorder is being detected, the tendency for women to have children at an older age has increased the number of Down's syndrome babies being conceived. Overall it is estimated that prenatal diagnosis has reduced the incidence of genetic diseases and disorders by 5%.
Over the last decade or so a technique known as embryo selection has been developed. This involves growing a number of embryos in vitro and then taking a sample cell from each and testing for genetic and chromosomal defects. An embryo thus determined to be free of problems is implanted in the mother. Hence problems like Downs syndrome could be screened out without resorting to abortion. As the procedures is refined it should be possible to choose the embryo likely to result in a child with better intelligence and other desirable traits.
Genetic engineering and gene therapy could be developed to the point where they had eugenic uses. In fact gene therapy was used to treat a small number of children for adenosine deaminase deficiency, a defect of the immune system.
Lynn examines ethical objections to human biotechnology but finds them wanting. He finds no convincing arguments against them and believes they will do no harm to individuals or society.
In discussing the failure of eugenics in democratic societies he confronts two social changes that had occurred in Western societies to make eugenics difficult. Firstly was the concept that individual rights have precedence over social rights. In other words the individuals right to look after number one went ahead of their obligation to society.
The second social change involved groups in society that have a vested interest in opposing eugenics. Apart from civil liberties groups there are those like medical workers and special educators who specialise in working with the handicapped. As the numbers of handicapped reduces the jobs for people specialised to work with them will dry up. Other vested interest groups are the ethnic minorities not placed well on the bell curve. If the US made its immigration policies more eugenic it would restrict the intake of blacks and Hispanics and no doubt upset blacks and Hispanics already in the country.
AID will continue to be used but only by a relatively few people. On the other hand we should see an increase in the prenatal diagnosis of disease and disorders, in fact there have already been cases where the parents of impaired children have sued doctors for failing to inform them about these procedures. Theoretically it may be possible in future to detect fetuses with low intelligence or undesirable personality traits although its not likely that enough women would contemplate abortion in such cases to have any significant eugenic effect. Similarly, Lynn cannot see cloning or genetic engineering making a significant impact.
Lynn is most optimistic about embryo selection and IVF. Once the procedure is widely available and the benefits known he thinks most people who can afford it will use it. Currently IVF in many countries is very expensive. There is also the problem that some governments have banned embryo selection. In those cases couples wishing to use the procedure will, in many cases travel to countries where it is legal. As embryo selection is more widely used Lynn foresees two castes developing in society those conceived by the procedure and who therefore are healthier and more intelligent, and those who were unplanned and being less intelligent form a genetic underclass.
Lynn believes that eugenics will be pursued more vigorously pursued in authoritarian states, especially China. In 1993 China introduced the Eugenics and health Protection Law which prohibited the marriage of those with mental illness, venereal diseases and hepatitis. Another law passed in 1994 allowed sterilisation of the mentally retarded and prenatal testing of pregnant women. China has shown it is willing to use some of the techniques of classical eugenics and there seems little reason why it would not use the new techniques described by Lynn. In fact China, or any other authoritarian state for that matter could make embryo selection mandatory. Lynn believes that an authoritarian state embarked on a eugenic program would obtain formidable economic and military advantages over the Western democracies.
The final chapter of the book describes the evolution of the eugenic world state.
Lynn believes that both dysgenics and eugenics will continue to affect nations.
Dysgenic fertility is a feature of many developing nations. In Brazil in 1996 the fertility rate for women with secondary education was only 1.8, but for those with no education it was 5.0. A similar pattern is found in the rest of Latin America, the Middle East and most of Africa. In much of Latin America, white women have substantially lower fertility rates than blacks, Amerindians or those of mixed ancestry, hence whites will form a decreasing minority in those countries.
The dysgenic patterns and the higher birth rates in the third world will affect Western countries. More people from the third world will enter Western countries as asylum seekers, refugees and migrants (both legal and illegal). This will carry dysgenic trends into those Western countries that fail to stop this and it looks as though few will. This will add to the problem of dysgenic fertility already a problem in most advanced countries. In the US for example Hispanics and blacks have both been shown to have lower average IQ levels than whites and both have higher fertility rates.
Problems with dysgenic immigration and dysgenic fertility will put the US in dire straits. Already the imprisonment rate for Hispanics is three times higher than that of whites and the rate for blacks is ten times higher. This disparity will probably widen as will the disparity in economic success; hence racial antagonism will increase. The economic performance of the US will tend to fall behind. Lynn foresees two possible scenarios. Either the country will break up along racial lines into separate nations, or more likely it will fall back into the political anarchy, dictatorships and economic inequality prevalent in much of Latin America. By then the US will no longer be a force in global politics.
Similar problems can be seen occurring in Europe, although not to the same extent. The number of blacks and Asians in Britain multiplied by ten in the period 1961 to 1991, and continues to grow. Birth rates among non-whites are higher and illegal immigrants and asylum seekers continue to flood in.
Other European nations have similar problems. Immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa show the same low I.Q., poor educational success, high rates of unemployment rate 50% higher than whites and a crime rate eight times higher than whites. In Sweden the black crime rate is two to three times the rate for whites. In Holland, immigrants from Surinam, Turkey, and North Africa score average I.Q.s of 89, 88, and 84 respectively.
Lynn is pessimistic about the likelihood of anything being done about dysgenic fertility or dysgenic immigration in Europe but the problems are not as bad as in the US. Hence Europe is likely to replace America as a major global power.
He sees the situation as quite different in East Asia where he claims dysgenic fertility has ceased or is minimised. Immigration is either not occurring or is at such a low rate as to have no effect. Add to this the high I.Q. scores Lynn claims an average of 105 for East Asians. He sees this as a major factor in the rapid economic development of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. Moreover the culture and leadership of these nations is more favourable to eugenics. As we have seen, Singapore and China have already made important steps in this direction.
China with its large population will, or so Lynn thinks, come to dominate the world. It had no qualms about a rigorous population control policy and so should have no qualms about pursuing a rigorous eugenic policy. The result will be that China will be the most powerful nation on earth.
Although Lynn's prophesy of a Chinese-dominated Eugenic World State seems to verge on science fiction he is undoubtedly correct in that those countries who adopt sound eugenic policies will be the most successful and dominant in the future.
Overall his book forms a sound argument in favour of eugenics. Nevertheless there are some causes for reservation.
For instance how can we really determine who is a psychopath? On page 122 of the book is a table showing the percentage of opiate abusers in various countries considered to have psychopathic personalities. The percentages vary widely both between and within countries. There are four figures for the US and they range from 53.9% to 100%. On page 119 a table showing prevalency rates of psychopathic personality in the general population again shows wide variations both in and between countries (from 2.5% to 6%). It would appear there is a wide discrepancy in the criteria used to determine who is a psychopath and this would severely hinder a eugenics program aimed at reducing the proportion of psychopaths in the community.
Lynn admits that those with subclinical psychopathic personality (or for that matter some mildly psychotic problems) can be creative and hence play a useful role in society. However if a government gets involved in a eugenics program it will end up being run by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats tend to be very conformist and conventional people who will in turn favour other conformist and conventional people. Its likely that they would not favour a program aimed at producing enough of the odd, eccentric or non-conforming type of people that many creative types are. For that matter, if embryo selection becomes commonplace how many couples would risk trying for a child that is a subclinical psychopath or psychotic on the chance that he or she may be creative.
Lynn may also be overoptimistic about the success of Asians and the likelihood of a Chinese led Eugenic World State. While some Asians, Japanese and Koreans for example, are noted for their intelligence others are not. Most countries of Southeast Asia have not caught up with the Western nations in regard to living standards or economic performance. An exception is Singapore but its population is mainly made up of the descendants of Chinese migrants. Japan already has a problem with illegal migrants (although nowhere as bad as in many Western nations). With low population growth the countries of North Asia are likely to face pressures for increased migrant intakes by the nations of South Asia.
Like Western countries the most developed nations of Asia are as likely to come under siege from the poorer nations as they are to dominate them.
IMPLICATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA
One would like to be optimistic about Australias ability and willingness to face the problems of dysgenics and eugenics but the way most of us have looked at, or rather NOT looked at these matters is worrying. At the moment we have two main sources of dysgenic tendencies that affect our society. These are the family support parts of our welfare and taxation system, and our immigration policy.
Family support tends to favour the lower socio-economic classes and hence those likely to be below average in intelligence along with the least conscientious. Rather than encouraging our best and brightest to reproduce themselves the system saddles them with extra taxes to subsidise the families of the less able.
Our immigration policies have improved slightly from the time, not so long ago, when migrants could go on unemployment benefits as soon as they arrived in this country. Nevertheless with a net migration level around 100,000 a year we still seem to be putting quantity above quality. Many migrant groups still show very high levels of unemployment and welfare dependency. To make matters worse their birth rates are well above average. Add to this backdoor immigration from New Zealand and it is obvious that the dysgenic effects of immigration have not been satisfactorily handled.
Rather than gracefully sliding down to third world status Australia should be seriously reforming its immigration policy. Numbers should be seriously reduced and the emphasis placed on quality and ability to assimilate into our society. Criteria for selecting migrants could include not only health checks but psychometric tests to weed out the dull or psychopathic. With rising living standards and lowering birth rates the populations of north Asia will dry up as sources of migrants. Taking in other non-whites will intensify dysgenic tendencies but a source of quality migrants could be eastern Europe. Meanwhile migrants from New Zealand should face the same selection processes and criteria as other migrants.
While we should be reducing our migrant intake it would make sense to introduce measures to raise the birth rate along eugenic lines. Means tested family benefits should be allowed to fall in value slightly and the means test itself should be eased or eliminated altogether. This would give more benefits to more families including those of the most able in the community. The proportion of unmarried mothers should come down if welfare for single mothers comes down in value and welfare benefits for unemployed females looking for work is raised. The student allowance rate should be raised and tax for low income earners lowered hence reducing the incentive for young girls to choose unmarried motherhood over study or work.
Raising the fertility of the more able women in our society should not be too difficult. Reintroducing tax deductions for those with children would have a eugenic effect as these deductions would benefit the better paid and generally more able parents. Government paid maternity leave benefits would mitigate the economic costs faced by those who have to leave work to have children.
Some of what Lynn calls the new eugenics is already being used, including prenatal diagnosis and therapeutic abortion. Embryo selection and IVF may play some part in the future although its unlikely these procedures will become universal. AID will still be rarely used and genetic engineering and cloning are likely to remain in the realm of science fiction.
Nevertheless even using more traditional methods, such as highly selective immigration and eugenics biased family support it should be possible to achieve a positive outcome. The initial costs could be high but the long-term benefits should be a more prosperous society and a serious reduction in crime and other social problems. The billions we have spent on education have had no positive impact on many social problems and in fact many have tended to worsen over recent decades.
The initial stumbling block however will be finding enough politicians with the nous and courage to introduce a eugenics program again we may be in the realm of science fiction.
Lynns book is not easy to obtain and is very expensive, hence the quite lengthy review which should give you a good idea of the books contents.
THE PREHISTORY OF THE MIND by Steven Mithen, Thames and Hudson, London 1996 (ISBN 0-500-05081-3)
Mithen tries to find the origins of the mind in prehistory and how it came to be able to create art, religion and science. A few quotes may give you an idea of what the book is about: