Nothing like stirring the pot--not to mention selling books--with an incendiary claim, in this case that one race is intellectually superior to another. Dr. Watson, we presume? Bingo. World-renowned geneticist James Watson, 79, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his role in helping break the DNA code, is being widely criticized after telling The Sunday Times of London that he's "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 went on, reports the newspaper, to say that "people who have to deal with black employees find...it is not true" that all humans are equal.
The Independent reports today that Watson is currently on a swing through Britain to publicize his latest book Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science due out next week in which he apparently makes similar such claims. "There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically," the London newspaper quotes from the upcoming book. "Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."
Opinions? Beware the Cyber Communists Plotting Red Revolt...
As you can see with the Home DNA test kit soon to be out, the last thing humanity needs is to fuel fascism...
Then again, doing an actual study and concluding once and for all, race does not determine intelligence would be very useful! Just as studies point out that race does not determine height... I mean science should not be scared of taboos, in my opinion scientists, or science in general, has a very delicate subject in its hands...
From a comment to the apology article:
When scientists are influenced by the fear of being labeled as racist, politically incorrect, socially inappropriate, or any of a multitude of other labels an often overly sensitive public is poised to slap onto them at first sign of error, they stop being scientists and start being 'yes men' to political correctness. Whatever Watson's intent in making the statements he was quoted as making, the net effect of those statements will be for all scientists to check their scientific results against what they perceive the public wants to hear. To me, this is just a feeding frenzy on scientific opinion at the expense of an open scientific forum. Given Watson's peer group's inclination towards political correctness over scientific pursuit, maybe he should have devoted his life to comedy instead. Obviously his peer group's priority is whether Watson can make them feel good as opposed to Watson's contribution to the mundane, such as genetics.
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