The traditional concept of Eugenics - the art and science of consciously guiding human evolution - has been totally discredited. When we think of eugenics today we think of some of the most shameful episodes of human history, from Hitler and the Nazi's trying to create a master race of blond haired, blue eyed Aryans, to the treatment of African Americans prior to the success of the civil rights movement in the mid twentieth century.
Eugenics has now become associated in our minds with the denials of rights to minorities, forced sterilisations, and even mass murder and genocide. So all in all - not a good thing.
But there is a movement afoot to bring it back. Not in its old form, but in a new, less coercive form. The modern eugenics movement is not about choosing who is allowed to breed (or even live), but instead is all about using genetic information to choose who you as an individual choose to breed with.
The first company to enter the market with a 'eugenic dating' product was gene partner, which seeks to match partners based on a correlation of the genes which express the HLA (human leukocyte antigen). This is because there is evidence to show that people tend to choose partners based on their HLA-dependent odortype. In other words - a persons smell can influence whether you find them attractive, and gene partners are able to incorporate this into an online matching service using a genetic analysis.
A second company announced this month that it is launching eugenicdating.com - 'The World's Most Elite Dating Agency'.
The cost of getting a genetic test, as well as the range of different things which can be linked to genetics, is expanding at a rapid rate. This is likely to make services like these much more common and much more advanced over the next few years and decades.
But the moral implications of these services are different from those associated with traditional concepts of Eugenics. So I am wondering what people think - would eugenic dating be immoral?