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[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (2 children)

When it started, Christians thought that the end would come soon. No need to worry about eugenics.

That attitude "No need to worry about eugenics." persisted. Along comes priestly celibacy as a counter to nepotism. Nobody worries about it being dysgenic. But centuries later there is problem: the intense piety of the priest has been bred out of the population in Catholic countries.

[–]fschmidt[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Yes priestly celibacy is dysgenic. But the other eugenic effects outweighed this. Of course the earlier Christians weren't aware of the genetic effects of anything they did. The Catholic eugenics was an accident. Only after Darwin did people in the West start to worry about the quality of the human gene pool. But by now most people have become too stupid to care.

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That reminds me that understanding of hereditary came shockingly late (I keep forgetting this). There is a book

Like Engend'ring Like: Heredity and Animal Breeding in Early Modern England

by Nicholas Russell

that goes into the history, with the basics emerging in the 17th and 18th century. I feel that I ought to read it, to understand the intellectual history, but I haven't even bought a copy yet.