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Friday
Aug022013

Bill Hamilton

 Though he died, in 2000, one of the most decorated evolutionary biologists in the world, thanks to inclusive fitness and his later work on sex ratios and the evolution of sexual reproduction, Hamilton was “a classic case of misunderstood genius,” his biographer writes. Of course if Hamilton were misunderstood, it was probably to his advantage -- especially in his last years, when his youthful enthusiasm for eugenics resurfaced as a bullheaded conviction that the human genome was deteriorating rapidly as a result of modern medical interventions. And he had just the program for fixing it: selective breeding of the kindest, brightest, and healthiest, matched with active infanticide for the “defective.”