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November 23, 2007

PC Mob Forces Nobel Laureate to Resign in Disgrace

James Watson put his foot into a pile of politically correct poop last month. The Nobel Laureate, famous for his pioneering work in genetics, was quoted in the Sunday Times of London 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.

Within days, he had been forced to resign his position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). With his presentations cancelled by the Science Museum of London, he then left Britain "in disgrace" after being pummeled by a mob of critics. The common refrain against Watson's remarks were that they were "racist and most regrettable," not "backed by science" and only of use to the "far-right organizations such as the British National Party."

However, Watson is backed up by scientific research that can be referenced here and here in excruciating detail. With "over 100 years of data showing that ethnic groups differ in their general intelligence" the refusal to examine this body of evidence rationally reflects poorly on a scientific community terrified to buck the current social dogma.

James Watson felt it necessary to issue an apology -- quoted out of context by the New York Times. (Surprise!) So to those few reading about this unfortunate witch hunt, here is what he really said:

"We do not yet adequately understand the way in which the different environments in the world have selected over time the genes which determine our capacity to do different things. The overwhelming desire of society today is to assume that equal powers of reason are a universal heritage of humanity. It may well be. But simply wanting this to be the case is not enough. This is not science."

The full text of his remarks were published at the Independent on October 19, 2007.

Thus a distinguished career goes down in flames, thanks to the howling mobs who are so wedded to the PC mantra that they can't even bring themselves to acknowledge something that may (or may not) be true. It brings to mind the hell Lawrence Summers went through for daring to suggest the brains of men and women are wired differently, a possible reason fewer women are involved in hard sciences.

(On a related note, police in Britain find they cant even arrest drug dealers because of racism.)

With many thanks to husband-dude for this post!

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Comments

I heard a good debate of this whole Watson deal on Michael Savage.

From what I've heard, Watson's remarks on African intelligence are somewhat justified when you take into account what disease and hunger does to the human brain and IQ over a period of generations.

That said, Watson was a part of the "eugenics movement" that believed in racial purity, sterilizing the sick and mentally ill, and other disturbing viewpoints that came out of the Hitler playbook.

While I wouldn't dismiss and would keep an open mind about Watson's African intelligence views, I don't embrace what this guy stands for wholeheartedly. There's a dark side to him.

Happy Holidays Pam.

Posted by: Chris "Lucky Dawg" at November 29, 2007 12:22 AM

Lucky Dawg,

Excellent comment on James Watson and one I would like to expand upon.

Hitler took the playbook from the American Eugenics movement, not the other way around and took it to the extreme in a way only an authoritarian regime could.

As someone whose "heritage" - (http://patrickmead.net/?p=211) is considered suspect, I agree wholeheartedly that eugenics is evil when applied by the state. Or by anyone in a coercive and violent fashion.

Regarding those connections; it was far too easy to come up with linkage of Cold Spring Harbor's past history in the eugenics movement and by implication link Watson's current statement to that time.

One of the current missions of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is to make sure that the history of eugenics is not repeated - as stated on their web site they "apologiZe for their (past)role in such a demoralizing area of research."

Watson in my opinion made a remark based on statistics that there are differences and was railroaded for it by the pc crowd.

Also worth reviewing is this article from the New York Times dated April 7, 1998 on the misuse of genetics - to quote "Dr. Watson shares no part of the eugenicists' belief in coercive policies against those deemed genetically undesirable."

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A04E2DC113AF934A35757C0A96E958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3

To put it mildly, this is a "contentious" issue.

Posted by: husband-dude at November 29, 2007 04:06 PM

If he had made comments about cultural differences rather than intelligence, he might have "slid through". It has been a few years since I read Dr. Thomas Sowell's "Race and Culture", but I think he addressed this issue, again describing cultural nuances (in some African nations, as well as others) rather than directly addressing the intelligence issue.

Posted by: joe-6-pack at November 30, 2007 07:17 AM


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