Actually, there was a time when the progressive movement embraced biology. This was also a time when political correctness and egalitarianism were much smaller influences on the progressive movement, which was really more about effective social engineering. So, the progressive movement embraced eugenics.
The thing about eugenics is that it is seen as racist and classist today. But, in early 20th century America, "racism" and "classism" weren't thrown around so casually. The progressive movement was really not any more sensitive to political correctness than anyone else. So, the progressive movement, for once, endorsed the only type of social engineering that would actually work, at least based on the science of the time: eugenics.
Something funny happened after that. Scientists began to discover the role that social environment plays on human behavior. Genetic determinism was all of the sudden no longer justified by science.
Progressives rejoiced because this made social engineering and improving society much easier and much easier for the public to swallow. So, we get the war on poverty, "broken window" theories, midnight basketball, etc. There was one problem: they didn't work.
You see, progressives kept up well with the science until some time in the 1990s. It was then that scientists began to note that the prior decades had gone too far in denouncing genetic determinism. Instead of replacing it with a mixed, complete view of human nature, environmental determinism had replaced genetic determinism.
Yet, scientific research showed, overwhelmingly, that nature did in fact matter quite a bit. Progressives, for the first time, refused to acknowledge the new scientific evidence and instead engaged in name calling. Thinks like "racist" and "sexist" come to mind.
Why does this matter?
Because progressives may finally come to their senses. It really is bad to have a class of social engineers obsessing over funding expensive and ineffective programs. But, it is probably worse to have these same social engineers deciding who gets to have kids and who doesn't.
The problem is that the second group of social engineers are on much sounder ground in terms of science. This is the exact dilemna pointed out by libertarians like Charles Murray. Murray, like me, sees eugenics as both a practical and moral mistake. Yet, the science behind it is actually pretty accurate.
The concern is that this will be abused to advocate eugenics. This, in my opinion, is a real problem.
But, recognizing the role of biology can help a lot of social problems make more sense. Men, for instance, are overrepresented among both the most intelligent and least intelligent members of society. This may help explain why men are dramatically over represented in both corporate boardrooms and prisons.
Sound research in biology can, and has, been abused. But, that does not mean suppressing it in favor of more politically but not scientifically correct conclusions is a good idea.