Consider that you were asked how to ensure human survival. Where would you begin? Conservation of resources jumps to mind. We need to conserve resources in order that economic activities may continue. Alas, this is a false start. Resources are always defined by a given economic system, and only it determines what is and what is not a resource. Therefore, conserving resources implies only the perpetua tion of the appropriate economic system. Conservation of resources as we know them has nothing to do with the survival of mankind, but it has very much to do with the survival of the industrial system and society we live in today. We have to start, therefore, at a more basic level. This level, some may argue, is addressed by ensuring for human beings "clean genes. " Again, this is a mistaken beginning. It is thoroughly mistaken-for reasons of science. It is a false start because malfunctioning organs and morphological structures are not only due to deleterious hereditary factors but particularly due to unfavorable environments during early growth and development. Moreover, eugenics is not acceptable to any but a small fraction of society. Eugenics may not be irrelevant to our future, but is premature and should be of little concern until we understand how human genes and environment interact.
Springer Book Archives