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Raymond Cattell was one of the most important minds in twentieth-century psychology. He was especially influential in developing personality and intelligence tests that were used by the military and various businesses in determining the compatibility of different people for jobs. But a book he published late in life, called Beyondism: Religion from Science, came under withering criticism for his argument that the races as we know them today would fade away due to a process of natural selection, in which people chose to breed with others based on individual genetic factors. Essentially, he was advocating a form of eugenics, and the fact that he cited scientists who had argued that blacks and other nonwhites were genetically inferior to whites raised a firestorm within the academic community. This was both because eugenics had a longstanding association with such virulent racists as the Nazi Party, and because by the late 1990s, theories about the genetic differences between racial groups were being discredited. One geneticist argued that Cattell's work "encourages the propagation of radical eugenist ideology" and that the concept of "beyondism" was a "neo-fascist contrivance." The controversy reached a fever point when he was nominated for the American Psychological Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He declined the award, and died one year later, in 1998.
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