DNA Testing – Blood and Race
When it comes to genetics and race past history has witnessed many terrible atrocities, but could DNA testing change all that? Human genetics have been focal point of major tragedies throughout history. The eugenic movement gained momentum at the start of the twentieth century. Its foundation was the belief that some people were indeed genetically superior. The belief in the genetic superiority resulted in people not wishing to debase their make-up by breeding with those from the’ lower’ gene pools. DNA testing today would show these beliefs to be total hogwash. The idea that a person’s blood could be pure is a genetic impossibility as we are all the products of various centuries of migration throughout the whole world.
DNA Testing and Our Ancestral Make-Up
DNA testing nowadays reveals our genetic make-up is usually incredibly mixed with strains from many different continents across the globe. The early belief was that the genetically inferior should be prevented from having any children. In the early part of the century sterilisation was used for this purpose until its ban in the 1960s. The idea however of genetic superiority did lead to one of history’s worst atrocities – The Holocaust.
DNA Testing and Hitler
If DNA testing had been available during WW2, it would have been a most interesting insight into Hitler’s own genetic make-up . The notion of a ‘Master Race’ and ‘those of the same blood belong to the same Reich’ resulted in death and destruction on a horrendous scale. But the whole premise is based on an illusion. The notion that the human race could be improved by selective breeding, or ‘racial refinement’ goes back many thousands of years to the time of the Greek philosophers, but eugenics really only took hold in the last one hundred years. DNA testing is now far more widely available and more and more people use DNA testing to discover their ancestral roots. If this had been an option in Nazi Germany, the misconceptions of pure blood and racial supremacy could have been completely blown out of the water.
DNA Testing – A More Sophisticated Understanding
After the world woke up to the atrocities of Hitler’s Germany however, eugenics lost its stronghold. DNA testing and a more sophisticated understanding of humanity means that concepts of racial superiority are most unpopular. However, some people are concerned that DNA testing could in fact be used in a more sinister way to glean out weak genes to help create a more perfect or a more superior human being. In reality DNA testing can be used as a very powerful tool for dispelling myths and misconceptions connected to racial purity. Ancestral DNA testing can for example prove to a BNP member that he has African blood in his veins as well as blood from Europe and Asia.
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