October 19, 2007
Nobel Winner Issues Apology for Comments About Blacks
By CORNELIA DEAN
James D. Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel prize for deciphering the double-helix of DNA, apologized “unreservedly” yesterday for comments reported this week suggesting that black people, over all, are not as intelligent as whites.
In an interview published Sunday in The Times of London, Dr. Watson is quoted as saying that while “there are many people of color who are very talented,” he is “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa.”
“All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
In a statement given to The Associated Press yesterday, Dr. Watson said, “I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said. There is no scientific basis for such a belief.”
But his publicist, Kate Farquhar-Thomson, would not say whether Dr. Watson believed he had been misquoted. “You have the statement,” she said. “That’s it, I am afraid.”
The story goes on to report that Watson is hardly the first notable scientist--nor Nobel winner-- to have exotic ideas about race.
Dr. Watson, 79, is hardly the first eminent researcher to assert that inherited characteristics like skin color are correlated to intelligence and that people of African descent fall short. For example, William B. Shockley, a Nobel laureate for his work with transistors, in later life developed ideas of eugenics based on the supposed intellectual inferiority of blacks.
None of which exactly inspires confidence in the current blind faith in the consensus of "science" experts on the subjects of global warming, embryonic stem-cell research, or a host of other subjects that have been declared closed to discussion because scientists say there is nothing more to be said.
At the risk of stating the obvious, scientists can be stupid, too. That's why they must never, merely because they represent "science," be granted the power over life and death.