Discover magazine has the latest in a long series of science writers claiming that the growing ease of genetic tests will open the way for a new eugenics. But not to worry, the new version of the old evil won’t be forced by the state. No, no: It will be a choice eugenics. From, “The Inevitability of Eugenics . . . as preventative Health,” by Razib Kahn:

The real fundamental issue here is that genes are at least somewhat in the picture, and genes are mystically powerful. But modern eugenics is really just part of the broader portfolio of preventative health. Since Neuroskeptic’s post on the “new eugenics” a few years back there has been great advancement, such as noninvasive prenatal screening for chromosomal abnormalities. There has been moderate controversy, but in a world of routine in vitro fertilization and occasional surrogacy this does not rise to the level of alarm or salience. The primary point here is that the “new eugenics” is not going to be about a top-down agenda about remaking the genome of the human race and producing a lineage of Übermensch. It is going to come into being through a collective series of choices by couples and individuals in terms of what their vision is for a healthy and happy child. It will happen piecemeal, in banal and unnoticed steps.

“Preventative health” was the point of the original eugenics; improving the human herd to prevent “the idiots” and “unfit” from dragging the free thinkers “fit” into a societal and financial sink hole. It was called “racial hygiene” in 1930s Germany, which passed eugenics laws based on those then in existence in California.

Not only that — and pay very careful attention here — the old evil had the enthusiastic backing of “the scientific consensus” and members of the progressive ruling elite of that era. So, I believe, does the new eugenics, and the euphemistic relabeling as “preventative health” should have us all taking warning! Eugenics as preventative health won’t remain any more voluntary than the original eugenics.

Think about how the Free Birth Control Rule already forces business owners and religious organizations to violate their faith precepts to accomplish the overarching moral purposes of the progressive coalition and ruling elite. More, think about the cost control imperative we see developing like a violent thunder storm. Have you noticed that the technocrats and our betters in government happily dictate our personal behaviors to promote “wellness” and save money on health care?

Anyone who thinks that in such a cultural paradigm, “preventative health” eugenics would long remain voluntary hasn’t noticed — or agrees with — the outright statism that Obamacare has unleashed. And we are barely into the “liftoff” stage.

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Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC