Stick with it there's a very funny cake at the end

About twenty blogs ago we had a thread which KC supporter/member of staff Sirius keeps commenting on and I'm sure most of you are missing the witty exchanges, so I've brought it forward.
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.

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?

And we have an another reply from the top blogger terrierman. Where else do you get this sort of cerebral stuff on Easter Saturday.

My one-word answer to Sirius is: YES.

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.
So there you are Sirius, you've got your homework set...

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!


alfmcmalf said…
Quite amusingly in my opinion we were watching the three part series Andrew Marr did on Charles Darwin which was excellent - and we noted that at the point he made reference to how eugenics emerged just post Darwin the shot went to footage of a Golden Retriever.

There is a lot of hot air puffed over the supposed purity of our breeds. When privately and in fact on some forums people have told me that breeders have been known to periodically mix a bit of GSP in with GWPs, Bracco in with Spinone etc.

It may well often be the case of Pedigree says purebred. DNA test says no.

Very interesting post Beverley even if a bit academic for an Easter weekend.
Anonymous said…
So is that JH's reply or yours BC? or are you like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and answer for each other now? OK then I am feeling very generous BC so I will give you a second chance to ACTUALLY answer the "Closed" question I actually asked and not the edited one you have now shown on here. So take two with the question” then ask her this one “Closed” question ( I assume you know such a question only requires a yes or no answer, it’s the type politicians hate being asked) Q: Is the statement made in PDE about the creation of the Kennel Club in 1873 and I quote ““lies a dark and dirty secret, the Kennel Club was BORN out of the eugenics movement” based on FACT yes or no? "ok then ask her this one “Closed” question ( I assume you know such a question only requires a yes or no answer, it’s the type politicians hate being asked) Q: Is the statement made in PDE about the creation of the Kennel Club in 1873 and I quote ““lies a dark and dirty secret, the Kennel Club was BORN out of the eugenics movement” based on FACT yes or no? Sirius (remind me how many time did Jeremy Paxman have to ask that politician the question that he didn’t actually answer?)
Pai said…
That's interesting that some breeders, who DO know better but are afraid to buck the system openly, might be outcrossing in secret.
Beverley Cuddy said…

What a wit you have! It was buried in your copy, but I found that little glimmer of humour.
I call you a chicken, you allude to being Paxman - a well known brand of stuffing!
I don't normally talk to zombies, but you're being particularly dense. That first reply is obviously from Jemima as that's what it says in the paragraph before. And I think you'll find that the short answer is "yes" as repeated in the second answer from Terrierman.
And have you written your philosophy essay yet for Patrick the Terrierman. Thought not.
"Buck, buck, buck..."
(Or is that the AKC motto?)
As Hugh and Jamie would say "Chicken out!"
Reveal who you are if you want to keep the conversation going.
Anonymous said…
so JH would much rather come out with an inaccurate sound byte for her commentary then to tell the actual truth....well that that accounts for the other allowed to make such wild and inaccurate claims with out proof or evidence to substantiate them “The dogs are falling apart, and the number of genetic problems are increasing at a frightening pace!!” just how many new problems have been found in the past year, 5 years, 10 years and , and so do you then mean that ALL dogs are falling apart!?!?!, nice sound byte but no actual evidence to justify your claim to quantify what is a “Frightening pace”.....and I prefer turkey at Easter over chicken any day. Sirius
Anonymous said…
well in reply with the claim that Galton deals with in his paper “HEREDITARY TALENT AND CHARACTER” published in 1865
That his theory of intelligence in human beings due to hereditary transmission and that intellectual capacity is so largely transmitted by descent, and goes to great lengths to show what he feels links are in four “clans” of great thinkers or artists or noted persons and that they too have distinguished relatives during a period of history, however he fails to acknowledge that what accounts equally for such success would be education, power , wealth and social status influence and patronage all of which were limited to just a small percentage of the population, to put it into context based on this paper
Galton proposes that laws of inheritance would mean that it would be the reason for humans to be affected by “the poisonous effects of opium, or of calomel, and an aversion to the taste of meat(So does this mean children of vegetarians will never like the taste of meat!?!), are all found to be inherited. So is a craving for drink, or for gambling, strong sexual passion, a proclivity to pauperism( so does this mean if you parents don’t earn much you never will!?!?), to crimes of violence, and to crimes of fraud” or perhaps you prefer his views on different races/cultures in the human race “The Red man has great patience great reticence, great; dignity, and no passion; the Negro has strong impulsive passions, and neither patience, reticence, nor dignity, He is warm-hearted, loving towards his master's children, and idolised by the children in return. He is eminently gregarious for he is always jabbering, quarrelling, tom-tom-ing, or dancing. He is remarkably domestic, and he is endowed with such constitutional vigour, and is so prolific, that his race is irrepressible.” With all respect Galton’s paper deal not with modes of inheritance or even much with natural selection let alone with any form of planned breeding programme of either humans or any animal, it deals with behaviour and beliefs and values within set orders of society or cultures in other words it deal with Nuture and NOT Nature.
He does not set out any proposal for planned breeding or purity of blood, which was to form his later theory of Eugenics this paper at its core deals with his thoughts and observations on moral and mental development in humans. It is commonly regarded that Galton who based his work on what he considered statistical evidence, based on the mathematical statistics (the Quetlet form developed around 40 years prior) which used preset and defined tables to calculate which were rigid and acted as parameters ie the BMI that Quetlet produced unlike the modern scientific which use set compare and justify which unlike the study of tends, median, modes and forecast based in evidence from random or pre selective populations to provide an ability to model, forecast, or track which allows us to draw inferences about the process or population being studied.

Much is made that the register is a closed one, which is greatly untrue, the recent support of the KC for working Blood Hounds proves that, also in recent year so dogs from native stock has been brought into this country (or via parts of Europe), the mixing of different sizes of particular breeds was common up to just a few years back when Toy and Miniature poodles could be registered on their potential to make size. Much has been made to say the evils of line breeding and try to make false claims that outcrosses are far healthier and and make claims the hybrid vigour is superior of crossing breeds/species, if so how can they defend the most basic principle of health in any animal is its ability to reproduce is something that is not possible in mules or the many variants of developed breeds like Ligers. It is a common mistake to expect crossing or breed/species to produce a superior breed/species that are genetically superior to their parents; this is true only in certain circumstances: when a hybrid is SEEN (or dare I say it TESTED!!!)TO BE superior to its parents. When the opposite happens, and a hybrid inherits traits from their parents that makes them unfit for survival, the result is referred to as OUTBREEDING DEPRESSION this is often found in the crosses between wild and hatchery fish that have incompatible adaptations, the resulting offspring lack the strength of its parents and are infact more prone to problems than either side of its parentage .
Beverley Cuddy said…
In 1997 Prof Michael Herttage at a London conference on the state of British dogdom told those attending that there were more than 300 hereditary diseases in pedigree dogs and that another one was being discovered every month. And who was taking part at that conference to hear this and others things of great concern? The KC. I'd say that should have given everyone cause for concern.

As for your other post I'm afraid I keep dropping off, I see you've found the copy and paste function on your computer, you just need to learn how to edit and punctuate and make a point.... and people might actually read what you've copied.
As for the KC being up for opening the register... like with the Belgian Shepherds? Like lets mix four breeds up against everyone's wishes and then realise we screwed up and try to separate them again. Or like the request to open the Beardie register up to working Beardies - refused even though overseas KC's have registered the same dogs and if imported into this country you'd have to register them!
Or like the request to bring some new blood into Bulldogs for health reasons that came in to the KC at the same time as the request to cross Boxers with Corgis to get around the anti-docking laws and encourage the tailless mutation (allied to spina bifida). Which one got he KC approval - the Boxer cross of course! Cosmetic reasons counting above health of course as usual.
Such a lot for the KC to proud of...
So much so you are even ashamed to give your name Sirius.
Anonymous said…
this may be completely silly, but for all of this supposed ''victorian'' snobbery in dog breeders, i have to say that a lot of these arguments coming from terrierman and beverly cuddy and gemima harrison sound very much like ''scholars'' speaking down to the less-intelligent....granted these 3 seem like very intelligent folks, but why the need to be so condescending? sorry
Beverley Cuddy said…
I'd like to point out I was only copying and pasting all the academic stuff and adding the joke and the cake reference.
I always fell asleep in history lectures!
Jemima and Patrick are indeed very clever, but I must admit I'm less interested in the past and concerned about the future.
Anonymous said…
Gosh BC someone says you sound condescending (and it wasn’t me!!!). Well again I see you blow smoke on my previous post and decided to attack the person and not the facts?!?! But that does seem to be a trait in your previous blogs. As for you school sleeping habits perhaps that does account for you not being able to read ........... an assessment of Galton Work that JH has tried to use to justify her lie of the KC being born out of the Eugenics movement, as for terrier man (by the way I didn’t realise that you must be such a fan of hunting with dogs then?!?!) his somewhat tunnel view of the KC again does not let him focus on ALL their work and allows him to get so many errors in his rants too. Wow I didnt know you knew how to edit too (such a talent) and I will have to try and follow you lead in punctuation and fact checking (like the bang up job the Hairy Dogmother did with all the info on the web). So you base that claim of the dogs falling apart on ONE quote made over 12 YEARS AGO, (I am sure a cheap shot journalist would even say one made in the last century , but we shall leave that for TV producers shall we?!?!), so what have been all these other conditions that have happened , happy for you to provide the list, and was that claim made on the 200 (approx at that time ) breeds registered by the KC or the total number recognised by the FCI?? I see you also dodged the question on outbreeding depressions too, of you have such views on the assumed benefits of outcrossing (as you listed above) you surly must have one on the risks too?!? I suspect you still have this hang up about who I am but your pal JH has publicly made a claim that she knows who I am, but as many have comet o expect when asked to prove her claims she becomes silent.............but she must of shared her answer with you by now, so no need to tell you now is there?!? Sirius
Anonymous said…
I will now assume that as you have been told just who I am you will be sending my new contract to write for Dogs Today in the post (as that was the barrier you said in the past to do so)............. but perhaps I better not count my Chicken before they hatch !!!
Beverley Cuddy said…
The observation that dogs were in crisis with a new hereditary disease was being discovered every month was made at a seminar co-organised by the KC and the person I quoted is someone deeply embedded within the KC organisation - so I don't see how you can attempt to be so dismissive! The fact it was so many years ago makes it worse, because it means the KC were well aware of the problems - yet still hadn't pressed the panic button until the TV documentary forced their hand.

If you have further questions about that observation perhaps you need to address them to the Professor? as to whether he was talking about FCI or KC - it's semantics. Dogs - no matter what their country of birth - were in trouble back then and still are today.

Sirius, until you say who you are I'm not wasting my time talking to you. You try to make this personal - but there are bigger issues here than a silly game of charades.

I'd say to the KC stop dodging the punches, take it on the chin - reform, start getting better. For dog's sake.

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