Amren, Auction, Bell Curve, Bell Curve controversy, Civilisation, Controversy, Correct, IQ, James Watson, James Watson Racist, Jared Taylor, John Derbyshire, Nobel Prize, politics, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, Race and intelligence, racism, VDare, Watson
James Watson, the genius who – with Francis Crick – discovered the structure of DNA, has fallen on hard times. Ostracised for his comments on race and intelligence many years ago, the distinguished scientist has now felt the need to auction his Nobel Prize medal to the highest bidder.
Some have greeted this pitiful news with heartless derision:
“This sounds awful” – wrote Adam Rutherford in the Guardian – “…an 86-year-old hero ostracised for his views, shooed from public life by the people who walk in his scientific shadow…. But it’s not awful. Watson has said that he is “not a racist in a conventional way”. But he told the Sunday Times in 2007 that while people may like to think that all races are born with equal intelligence, those “who have to deal with black employees find this not true”. Call me old-fashioned, but that sounds like bog-standard, run-of-the-mill racism to me.”
No sympathy there then. Rutherford’s twisted viewpoint is repeated across the spectrum of the uninformed mainstream. It is only outside of this spectrum that the matter is seen for what it is – an unambiguous tragedy and a disgrace to science.
A man who has done more than anyone alive to aid humanity’s understanding of itself; a man whose invention and wit upgraded the field of science, exposed the hidden potential of medicine and stirred the imagination of a million minds is reduced to near-penury simply for holding an unfashionable opinion.
Watson reminds me of nobody more than the British code-cracker Alan Turing who, after breaking the enigma code of the Nazis and thus enabling the defeat of fascism, was cast out to the margins of society by his ungrateful country for being homosexual. (Turing later committed suicide by biting into an apple injected with cyanide).
The Left adores Turing and so he is wildly (and rightly) venerated. Watson annoyed the Left and so he is ostracised. That says a lot about which political wing is currently dominant over academia, doesn’t it?
And is Watson actually wrong? Surely that is the most central and vital thing to consider. Here is the statement that got him into this mess:
“I am 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… people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.”
This (admittedly clumsy) statement is far from ‘hateful’. It is grounded in fact by a crushing weight of experiment and analysis. Here is an excerpt from the book-length study of the subject ‘The Bell Curve’:
“Ethnic differences in measured cognitive ability have been found since intelligent tests were invented. The battle over the meaning of these differences is largely responsible for today’s controversy over intelligence testing itself…There are differences between races, and they are the rule, not the exception… External evidence of bias (in IQ tests) has been sought in hundreds of studies…Overwhelmingly, the evidence is that the major standardized tests used to help make school and job decisions do not underpredict black performance, nor does the expert community find any other general or systematic difference in the predictive accuracy of tests for blacks and whites.”
Those who would call James Watson ‘ignorant’ are themselves ignorant, and those ‘scientists’ who back these catcalls should not be considered scientists at all.
That word “ignorant” is hurled as a damning slur by those who actually embody it’s true meaning.
Defend the Modern World said:
The irony is lost on them. Or they don’t even care, which is just as likely.
If he’d only just added the word average before the word intelligence it might have started a sensible debate about positive discrimination and it would have been much harder to attack him for it. However without that word in the sentence it can be read as implying that all the members of one race are all more intelligent than another. Anybody with half a brain knows that that’s not true. I just don’t know what’s so difficult about adding one word into the sentence, its not the first time a prominent scientist has done this either, William Shockley made the same mistake. To be honest though I think its just damaging the debate about the genetics of intelligence to always be bringing race into it every time its mentioned. It would be better to leave that debate for a time when people have grown up a bit. It just helps the lefties to shut the wider debate down. We need to have the wider debate because if the birth rate of people on benefits is much more than the birth rate of everyone else then that will lead to some big problems over time. If more intelligent women keep choosing careers over childbirth, then eventually we are going to have no Watsons and Cricks. Whatever you think of eugenics you have to agree a significant FALL in average intelligence is a problem, but the PC crowd always manage to torpedo the debate before it really gets going.
As for the treatment of Watson himself, you’re right its a disgrace. He’s quite old now so it should not have been a big deal that he said it, anybody knows your grandparents are never going to be the most politically correct people (Prince Philip springs to mind). At least he is getting a fairly large sum for the prize, and maybe making a bit of a comment about what he thinks of it in the process.
Compare this with the treatment of Mehdi Hasan, who said in 2009 that non-Muslims are stupid like cattle without the intelligence to understand the complexities of Islam, itself a breathtakingly stupid comment as people can convert to a religion and leave it. The comment of course was inspired by that book of endless wisdom and incitements to violence that is bothering us a lot lately. He is still writing articles for various newspapers (including of course the Guardian) and was invited to a truly dumb debate at Oxford university in 2013, where he won the debate. That result in itself suggests to me that even in that institution, stupidity is nowadays quite a thing. The very rise of that particular religion in the modern world is also suggesting to me that the human race as a whole is heading in the wrong evolutionary direction at the moment.
Defend the Modern World said:
Very true. What he said was clumsy, but his general point is universally agreed upon by respectable scientists. There are certainly stupid White people and very intelligent Black people (Dambisa Moyo etc..).
Defend the Modern World said:
Mehdi Hasan is an imbecile.