Watson’s disgrace

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    • #8691
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/st … 80,00.html

      This is a bit of an old story. I kept meaning to mention it here, but always forgot to do so until now. James Watson was the co-discoverer of the gentic code; a discovery that revolutionized biology. A month ago or so, he made some remarks about black people having lower intelligence than other races, and was subsequently widely shunned and denounced.

      I’m curious to know what the members of this forum think about this turn of events.

    • #78790
      canalon
      Participant

      Polls are enabled…

      And I would have voted an old racist who probably enjoys making controversial statement (makes publicity), and whose controversial statement will always be blown up by the media. But a nobel prize is an award for wonderful acomplishments and certainly not a proof of universal competence as many laureatees have proved…

    • #78824
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      Thanks for setting up the poll for me Canalon. I couldn’t figure out how to do it :D.

      Hmm, so far it’s looking like nobody cares about Watson… otherwise known as cheezeburger (gosh that sounds tasty right now)

    • #78843
      Ultrashogun
      Participant

      From what I read he basically saud that anybody who has worked with black people knows that they arent as well adapted to a working environment. I personally dont have any experience with this, but Ive heard the same thing on many independent accounts.

    • #78849
      mith
      Participant

      Well the availability heuristic isn’t very scientific is it?

    • #78864
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      I’m worried about the potential damage his statements may do. People with little knowledge, or already harboring racist thoughts may take him at his word. He’s a very famous influential person, and an authority on genetics!

    • #78950
      BioLad
      Participant

      I figure he has freedom of speech like everyone else. Although I also think that as a scientist, if he were wanting to make such a claim he should produce evidence to support it. Seriously, if you are going to say something that controversial you’d better have proof. I guess the same would go for Farakahn though when he says us whities were the result of experiments by evil mad black scientists. I’d love to see the evidence for that!

    • #79116
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      We all have freedom of speech. But don’t you think it would be damaging if the president of the U.S. said something prejudicial about Jews? There are already LOTS of anti-semites, and if they felt the president supported their views who knows what they’d do? The thing is the power and notoriety of a person adds a lot of impact to their words.

    • #79140
      Jones
      Participant

      Seems to me this is only a big deal because of who he is. A lot of people think that way and this should not be a shock. It only really matters how the man acts on the belief. Maybe publicly stating that blacks are not as intelligent as whites was not such a fantastic idea, but he’s only human. If he has reason, then what’s the problem? And I hate to say this because I am honestly not racist, and I don’t think it’s blacks to whites as more as it’s Africans to ‘Westerners’ but we are smarter, and that’s really as a whole rather than parts of africa because I most certainly am not saying that EVERYONE in Africa is uneducated. Really it’s because Western civilization is more technologically advanced.
      Does that make sense?

    • #79153
      mith
      Participant

      Education is not a measure of intelligence. If it was, the kalahari bushmen would think you’re dumb for not knowing how to find water in a desert.

      In fact the "intelligence quotient" is not really an intelligence measure either. Read Gould’s Measure of Man to get more details on how various tests are biased towards literacy(in english).

    • #79154
      MichaelXY
      Participant

      Nicely put Mith, I could not reply as I was reeling in pain from biting my lip.

    • #79174
      Jones
      Participant

      Okay, not unintelligent per se, but not um, modern? Not exactly stupid, because yes they do have there own measure of intelligence in their culture, but really kind of uncivilized.

    • #79175
      mith
      Participant

      Let me put it this way Jones, if you put a baby from Africa into a family of Westerners, would the baby become "modern" and "civilized"? Or do you believe there is something inherently genetic that prevents them from being so.

      More specifically, do you believe Angelina Jolie’s kids will be unable to cope with computers?

    • #79176
      MichaelXY
      Participant

      Would it be wrong for me to ref this link?

      http://almaz.com/nobel/peace/2004a.html

    • #79192
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      I think there’s a good chance that Angelinas kids will be neurotic as hell, but that probably won’t have much to do with their race :).

    • #79229
      BioLad
      Participant
      quote AstusAleator:

      We all have freedom of speech. But don’t you think it would be damaging if the president of the U.S. said something prejudicial about Jews? There are already LOTS of anti-semites, and if they felt the president supported their views who knows what they’d do? The thing is the power and notoriety of a person adds a lot of impact to their words.

      I totally agree. Freedom of speech does also bring with it responsibility of speech. All I’m saying is that if he wants to say Un-PC things and has good scientific proof/evidence to support his claim this it would be one thing. However, I just don’t think he had any proof which just makes this another case of "open mouth, insert foot".

    • #79232
      alextemplet
      Participant

      Aren’t Asians supposed to be the most intelligent race?

    • #79233
      mith
      Participant
    • #79236
      AstusAleator
      Participant
      quote alextemplet:

      Aren’t Asians supposed to be the most intelligent race?

      You racist! I’m totally shunning you now. You’re dead to me.

    • #79243
      alextemplet
      Participant

      Oh come on! A little racist humor can be fun! So long as it’s kept humorous and not serious.

    • #79249
      Jones
      Participant

      I never said that people in africa are born stupid, that would be rediculous. It’s very possible that a child born to a black couple in a tribe in africa and for some reason had to be adopted by a couple in san diego could very easily grow up to be modern and civilized. People don’t have instincts like animals do, the way a person is raised has everything to do with how they end up.

    • #79250
      Jones
      Participant

      Alex made a funny. lol.

    • #79263
      alextemplet
      Participant
      quote Jones:

      Alex made a funny. lol.

      I’m not all serious and solemn, you know. 😉

    • #79266
      mith
      Participant

      http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/b … s_gladwell

      I think everyone should read this article before any further comments(on the topic).

    • #79267
      Jones
      Participant

      Yeah, I know you’re not. 🙂

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