Here's the link...
I'd got a bit cheesed off with Sirius slagging off real people while refusing to say who he or she is and being Easter I thought it appropriate to call a chicken a chicken.
It seems to have stirred Sirius up a bit and in her/his last comment she asks for an answer from Jemima Harrison on the Eugenics assertion in Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
Even though it's a bank holiday, here's the answer...
The phrasing of “The Kennel Club was born out of the eugenics movement” is mildly arguable. We should, perhaps, have said that “the Kennel Club was built, and continues to function, on the morally and scientifically flawed principles that underpinned the eugenics movement”. Or as this is a tad unwieldy for TV commentary: “The Kennel Club was shaped by the eugenics movement”. I don’t suppose either would make Sirius feel any happier, though.And we have an another reply from the top blogger terrierman. Where else do you get this sort of cerebral stuff on Easter Saturday.
The Eugenics Movement itself was not given a formal name until, I think, 1905, but Galton coined the term “eugenics” in 1883. And he first sketched out his theory in the 1865 article "Hereditary Talent and Character," then elaborated further in his 1869 book “Hereditary Genius”, four years before the KC was founded.
But of course the KC was was not born fully-fledged in 1873.
“In 1880 the Committee introduced a system of `universal registration' which was strongly opposed at first, but the advantage of reserving the use of a name for a dog was quickly seen and accepted. Registration in 1880 was nothing more than the registration of a name to avoid duplication in the Stud Book, the pedigree was of little importance and only came as an aid to identification at a later stage.”
In other words, the pimp-that-purity thang came later...
The truth is that the KC was absolutely refining its rules re closed stud books, purity, best-to-best etc during the eugenics hey-day of the early-to-mid part of the 20th century.
Stephen Budiansky/The Truth About Dogs:
“There was more than a passing element of Victorian racist thinking behind all of this. Books and articles about animal breeding from the turn of the last century are full of exhortations to eliminate ‘weaklings’ and to invigorate the face by maintaining the ‘purity’ of its ‘blood lines. There was much excoriation of ‘mongrels’ and ‘curs’ and ‘half-castes’, and much talk of the evil tendencies shown by ‘badly bred’ specimens.
“Virtually all such advice about ‘purity’ is directly contradicted by modern genetic knowledge; in fact it is hybrids that show vigour, purebreds that tend to exhibit debilitating inborn diseases. But eugenics was the intellectual fad of the early years of the 20th century and its scientific trappings gave it considerable influence in everything from criminology to dog breeding....”
“I am not trying to suggest that modern dog fanciers are crypto-fascists. But they have inherited a breeding paradigm that is, at the very least, a bit anachornistic in light of modern genetic knowledge, and that first arose of a pretty blanant misinterpretation of Darwin and an enthusiasm for social theories that have long been discredited as scientifically insupportable and morally questionable.”
In fact, I have a copy here of “Stonehenge on the Dog” (1879) in which there is a whole chapter on judicious crossing to improve dogs. And I also have here “Dogs of Today” by Major Harding Cox (1931) which says:
“As a rule, when cross-breeding is resorted to for the purpose of introducing new blood, or where intensive inbreeding has wrought its individual evil, it is customary to employ blood which is germane to that which is is expected to improve. Thus the Spaniel and the Setter lend themselves admirably to the process since each is in breed germane to the other. Again, the blood of the Spaniel and the Setter amalgamates well.”
Where did they forget all this?
My one-word answer to Sirius is: YES.So there you are Sirius, you've got your homework set...
The scientific breeding of humans to improve their capabilities was first proposed by Plato who suggested that human breeding be regulated by the state, with the best being bred to the best based on a numerical ranking system.
Several thousand years later, this was exactly the idea embraced by The Kennel Club when “Stonehenge” (John Henry Walsh) created the dog show point system.
The Kennel Club was the creator of a formal eugenics system for dogs, and it continues to embrace this system to this day.
Did the founders of the Kennel Club sit around in 1873 with pit helmets on planning the take over the Sudetenland?
Did it then think then, and now, that a dog is “better” or “worse” based on color of fur, that sterilization and even infanticide was a good way to “improve the race,” and that central control of breeding was (and is) is a good idea to achieve the primacy of a “pure” race?
That is what the Kennel Club is all about.
Ironically, no one else still holds tight to this rope, not because of any fussy fascination with morality or ethics, but because it does not work.
The cattle breeders figured it pretty quickly, and so too did the chicken breeders, horse racers, and the dog men at the track.
A fast horse or dog is not a wrong color, and it almost always has a low COI.
That said, I still do not know why you folks are even reading Sirius.
Ask Sirius to report back on the following connections: Plato, Bakewell, Malthus, Darwin (all three of them), Galton (both of them), John Henry Walsh, and Leon Whitney.
When he or she can write 10 paragrqphs on the above connections, we can continue on with the conversation.
Another old blog getting some really fascinating comments on it is this one...
Sorry for no new blogs today - but bank holiday TV is always full of repeats, too!
I have been having a little bit of a Tweet and can report the successful re-tweet of the Jacob story on Paul Daniel's twitter to... not a lot, actually loads - 13,000 followers - now that really was magic.
Another highlight from my Twittering is Button in F1 disaster a bad taste joke and the most fascinating blog I've ever discovered which combines cakes and dogs, two of my favourite things!