Of James Watson's Racist Remarks and His Suspension

Friday, October 19, 2007

A news item on BBC News website entitled "Lab suspends DNA pioneer Watson" caught my attention. Reading through the article left me shocked as I learnt that the DNA scientist, James Watson, was quoted as saying that "Blacks were less intelligent than Whites".

I first knew about Dr James Watson in my Genetics class of my undergraduate work. We learnt how he co-pioneered in DNA research. I did not like the Genetics class because personally I believe in Intelligent Design rather than in the Theory of Evolution.

I am not surprised to hear these statements from an evolutionist because this is the view that has always been promoted by the theory of evolution. I am sad to say that it was because of these race "superiority" and "inferiority" views that led one Hitler of Nazi Germany to commit one of the greatest human tragedies, the Jewish Holocaust. We should also not forget that some used the theory of evolution to justify another human tragedy, slave trade in Africa.

Personally, I believe that skin colour does not determine one's intelligence. This is because there are some black people who are more intelligent than some white people much as there are some white people who are more intelligent than some black people. I think overgeneralization and stereotyping has no place in the modern world and it is very unfortunate that such a "learned" scientist could allow his personal prejudices influence him to make such unscientific statements.

It is of great relief to learn that his sentiments have been widely condemned and he has been suspended from his research institution. In addition, his public talks in Europe have been cancelled. I understand he has issued an "unreserved" apology for this mishap but I find that this apology is not welcome. At least for me!

Check more on this debate on these websites:
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/10/is-james-watson.html
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/10/dna-scientist-w.html

2 comments:

LadyBanana Friday, October 19, 2007 10:36:00 PM  

I found it difficult to believe that a supposed learned man could make such an utterly ridiculous statement in this, the 21st century...

Gianni Wise Sunday, October 28, 2007 4:16:00 PM  

yes there are still these people around. sad really. race has to my mind noting to do with intelligence - perhaps you could argue those in extreme poverty could have less access to the free network of information (the net) yet I wonder if once person experiences poverty perhaps this could contribute to a winder understanding of the world.

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