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Charles Galton Darwin, Eugenics Advocate

Sir Charles Galton Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin), who helped direct the Manhattan Project, saw eugenics as the logical outgrowth of the theory of evolution and as the only way to better the human condition.
Sir Charles Galton Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin), who helped direct the Manhattan Project, saw eugenics as a logical outgrowth of evolutionary science and as the only way to better the human condition.

by Kevin Alfred Strom

I WAS INTRIGUED and then pleased and then astounded as I listened to National Public Radio yesterday morning. As soon as I switched on my Boston Acoustics radio, I heard the resonant, engaging, elegant, and intelligent words of Charles Galton Darwin — Charles Darwin’s grandson and Francis Galton’s godson and a distinguished scientist in his own right — reading a radio essay that he had recorded in 1953. Amazingly, though he openly stated that improvements in the lot of mankind could only be achieved through a eugenic application of the principle of heredity, there was no negative commentary from the “NPR Weekend Edition Sunday” program host, Liane Hansen. The Opponent will at least be writing angry letters over this; so we ought to tell NPR how appreciative we are to hear an alternative point of view amidst the sea of modern equalitarianism.

Charles Galton Darwin had a long scientific career, including being Managing Director of Britain’s National Physical Laboratory before and during World War II, President of the Physical Society from 1941 to 1944, President of the Eugenics Society from 1953 to 1959, and, near the end of his life in the early 1960s, Advisory Editor of the still-published Mankind Quarterly. He was also a major figure in the Manhattan Project. Here’s what he had to say:

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