I doan know why, but dey’s sumfn bout dem aging white scientists-one er dem chuckleheads–dey alwuz love dem to scuttle deir reputations right befo’ dey die. It happmd to Richard Herrnstein when he published Da Bell Curve with Charles Murray. What wuz he thinkin’? He wrote it, den up’n died. I reckon James Watson will up’n die soon too. I’s a-gwyne to tell ya bout it below da fold.
There’s really not much to say. James Watson, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the DNA double-helix with Francis Crick (who based their work on Rosalind Franklin’s work), stood up in front of the entire world and unceremoniously dropped his trousers.
The 79-year-old geneticist reopened the explosive debate about race and science in a newspaper interview in which he said Western policies towards African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when “testing” suggested the contrary. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.
Key phrase: could be found within a decade. They have NOT been found. As for “testing” a la Herrnstein, Cavalli-Sforza demolished Herrnstein’s estimates of heritability. And what are the chances of finding these differing genes between races when scientists have no idea what race is? Ask Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Richard Lewontin, or Craig Venter.
Yes, about 0.01 percent of the genome varies along dimensions of hair, skin, and eye color, etc, little polymorphisms related to particular climates and ecologies. Big whoop. A very broad scientific consensus is that “race” is a bogus and useless biological concept. Rather, it is a sociological construct. But don’t let that stop you, you crazy old stork, James Watson. Get your freak on!
The newly formed Equality and Human Rights Commission, successor to the Commission for Racial Equality, said it was studying Dr Watson’s remarks ” in full”. Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”. He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
Dude, if you want to get gloomy about Africa, read Joseph Conrad, or any of Devilstower’s excellent diaries on What’s the Matter with Africa?
Or just write your own bigoted story, and immortalize your bogus racism.
His views are also reflected in a book published next week, in which he writes: “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”
I think Steven Rose gave a pretty decent response:
This is Watson at his most scandalous. He has said similar things about women before but I have never heard him get into this racist terrain. If he knew the literature in the subject he would know he was out of his depth scientifically, quite apart from socially and politically.
Watson embarrasses everyone. Well, he’s ready to up’n die anyway