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Africans are less intelligent than Westerners, says DNA pioneer:

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.

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”.

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.”

Well,

1) This isn’t surprising coming from Watson. He has a long track record (one story from someone who has done research at Cold Harbor is just that, but many is a trend).

2) I’ll be interested in seeing what he says in the book. I hope it is a bit more nuanced, seeing as not everyone in the First World is the same race. There are some black and brown people who are citizens of Western nations after all! Does his “our” include us? Who exactly is we Dr. Watson?

3) There are sensitive topics that are best spoken of clinically, bandying about anecdotes about black employees really won’t cut it. That’s low hanging fruit for Steve Rose. Seriously.

4) That being said, Watson is not a racialist, just as W.D. Hamilton was not racialist. He’s just really blunt (or stupid or off his meds depending on how you look at it) and he is offering his opinion on what he believes to be the most parsimonious explanation for the variation he sees in the world out there. Is he wrong? Is he too much of a geneticist so that there is always nail ready for his hammer? Perhaps. I’ve said as much about W.D. Hamilton. Nevertheless, Watson’s views aren’t that exceptional. There are many other biologists who would view Watson’s evaluation of the issues in regards to intergroup differences as reasonable, whether they agree with him or not. Not because they have a particular racialist impulses, but because evolutionary biology implies the plausibility of human variation on a host of traits. Including behavioral and cognitive traits.

5) A snip from the article:

Steven Rose, a professor of biological sciences at the Open University and a founder member of the Society for Social Responsibility in Science, said: “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.”

Ah, alas, the time for show trials is over comrade Rose. Now, here is something to repeat five times before breakfast: legal equality is not contingent upon biological equality, is does not necessarily imply ought and natural does not necessarily imply good. These are old lessons, centuries old, but it maybe that we have to learn these simple lessons again in the interests of a liberal order. What we hold to be good, true and right is not good, true and right because the world is as it is, but because it is what we wish it to be. And for us to most efficiently attain what we wish we must wrestle what what is. Live not for the fashions of the day, honor the timeless truths of nature.

Addendum: Watson’s new book is titled Avoid Boring People. Well, at least he’s trying to contribute to the trend he’s promoting.

(Republished from GNXP.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: Human Biodiversity, Watson 
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  1. Based on the treatment of others in similar positions Jensen, Rushton, Murray, Hernstein, Lynn, Vanhannen, et alia et alia he may face arrest and will risk physical assault, book burning, a ruined reputation, etc 
     
    BUT 
     
    He won’t be scientifically refuted and the problems that could be solved via genetic engineering won’t be (at least not as soon as they could be). 
    I hope that the other side here enjoy the feeling of moral superiority while they watch the avoidable misery of their fellow humans

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  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Is James Watson a racist? 
     
    Define “racist.” He’s certainly a blasphemer against liberal dogma on race. 
     
    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”. 
     
    So the EHRC is a scientific body? No, it’s an ideological enforcer backed up with illiberal laws. The ideology and laws go back to one particular high-g ethnic group who have been trying to close down debate on racial differences for decades. Remember: There’s Gould in them thar ills!

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  3. Gora, 
     
    People who try to shut down the debate on racial differences annoy me as much as they do any race realist. And I agree, a lot of them are Jews. But would it kill people like you to admit that Jews might have good reasons for having an aversion to this particular discussion? We (non-Jewish Europeans) did try to wipe them out in the name of racial purity a mere 60 years ago. You can’t expect something like the Holocaust to not have an effect on how the survivors and their descendants approach race-related issues.  
     
    Last statement I will make about the Jews, promise!

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  4. But would it kill people like you to admit that Jews might have good reasons for having an aversion to this particular discussion? And homosexuals, and the Rom, and people living in Poland, and the Irish… y’know, we could list every group that would have reason to beat around the bush on this topic, and it would include every single human being on the face of the Earth. 
     
    Doesn’t mean we don’t have to address it.

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  5. Well said, Razza. I despair of the fools who argue that legal rights should be dependent on some supposed biological fact.

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  6. Caledonian, 
     
    I’m not saying don’t address the issue of race and intelligence. I’m just saying, when people freak out, we should take a second to understand where they are coming from and make the appropriate assurances. We have a much better chance of reaching people that way.

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  7. If you decide to broach one of the most sensitive topics of the past few centuries, and discuss it from a perspective that has been used to justify a great deal of human suffering (by people who beleive “is” = “ought”), then you should carefully consider the way you present your ideas, to ensure there is no misunderstanding and that your views consider all possible objectios, both rational and otherwise. 
     
    In other words, Watson may be a Nobel prize Winner, but he is also a first class moron.

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  8. I see all of the typically shallow responses are included in the article. The notion that a scientific assertion would be deemed “offensive” tells you where we are here. Of course, Mr. Vaz buried the lead by mentioning that objection last.

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  9. Fromf the original interview/article in The Sunday Times: 
     
    He says that he is ?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?, and I know that this ?hot potato? is going to be difficult to address. His hope is that everyone is equal, but he counters that ?people who have to deal with black employees find this not true?. He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because ?there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don?t promote them when they haven?t succeeded at the lower level?. He writes that ?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?. 
     
    link

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  10. See, this is exactly the big problem you’d have if you treat the literature/language graduates as “intellectuals”. They just love to talk and spin lies and then print them into history books. 
     
    Whoever is the we – first world, does that include the old civilizations that this “special” race destroyed. 
     
    Dont even reach into history before year 1980. I believe the bombing of Baghdad just happened recently?

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  11. We (non-Jewish Europeans) did try to wipe them out in the name of racial purity a mere 60 years ago. 
     
    Acually “we” (non-Jewish, non-Nazi Europeans) did quite the opposite. (“We” being my parents, who were shot at and bombed). 
     
    bandying about anecdotes about black employees really won’t cut it. 
     
    His statement struck me the same way at first, but perhaps he was trying to appeal to people’s perceptions since information on the issue is suppressed and distorted in the general media. 
     
    However, contrast Watson’s blunt but reasonable (apologetic, even) statements with the lies, threats and insults from…a criminal, apparently.

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