October 21, 2007

James Watson -- my new VDARE.com column

Here's my new essay on James D. Watson.

I want to apologize to Dr. Watson for earlier accepting the media spin that he had completely capitulated. As my VDARE.com column says:

When Watson's own feet were held to the fire last week, however, he offered a semi-apology/semi-defense. This has been almost universally assumed to be a "complete retraction"—to quote a representatively obtuse article, The Mortification of James Watson. [Time Magazine, By Laura Blue, October 19, 2007]

But it’s not. As the headline of Watson’s response on Friday, October 19 in the UK Independent shows—"To question genetic intelligence is not racism"—his actual stance is closer to Galileo's, who is said to have muttered E pur si muove ("and yet it does move") after the Inquisition forced him to recant in public his heretical belief that the earth went around the sun.

Watson wrote on Friday:

"This is not a discussion about superiority or inferiority, it is about seeking to understand differences, about why some of us are great musicians and others great engineers."

Watson didn't specify who the great musicians tend to be—as opposed to the great engineers. But you can fill in the blanks. [More]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

33 comments:

Chief Seattle said...

Great article. One small typo, putting Larry Summers 20 years before his time:

"The former Carter Administration Treasury Secretary..."

Anonymous said...

Racial irony of the day: Bobby Jindal, a caucasian and an Indo-European who looks like Bobby Kennedy with a tan, is described as the first non-white to hold office in Louisiana

Whooping Crane or Whooping Cough? said...

President Carter or President Clinton? Who can remember which is which?

Anonymous said...

Wow. How could you honestly believe that one race is superior to another? Didn't they have a ton of studies like this when they were trying to wipe out the Jews in Europe? You must be so disappointed that whole Hitler thing didn't work out. Hey, what the heck! Try again! Why don't we just throw all the Jews and Gays and pretty much anyone else who isn't white like us into death camps and slavery while we're at it? *asshole*

Anonymous said...

James Watson is a sexist plagiarist who won a Nobel Prize by stealing Rosalind Franklin work and publishing it. That doesn't take a large degree of intelligence so, of course, he would be a racist.

You can't minimize the existence of Africans, make their lives about basic survival, limit their opportunities....and then give them a damn aptitude test!

You keep believing those statistics if you want to.

C. Van Carter said...

"As the countdown proceeds, the hysteria will only mount on the part of those who want to cover up the findings."

Liberalism has already 'advanced' beyond where a quiet retreat from universal equality to the earlier liberal position of equality before the law is impossible. What will happen after a decade more of increasing hysteria (likely to include criminalizing certain lines of inquiry, at least in Europe) until a point is reached where the science is undeniable?

So many will have gone so far out, and have invested so much, it’s hard to imagine the collapse of faith will be a quiet implosion.

Anonymous said...

But I'd definitely offer five to one odds that at least half of the one standard deviation (15 point) black-white gap will turn out to be hereditary.

My emphasis.

I don't see how it could be such a small fraction - only half.

eh

Mencius Moldbug said...

What will happen? Anything. Perhaps we'll see a new Carter administration - a Carter van Carter administration, that is. I think Larry is busy, but I'll be your Treasury secretary. We can bring back the mold standard.

And why not move the capital to Whitby? Why must America be run from America? Surely a little imperial distance would do us good. Besides, it's where the ley lines are.

No, seriously, C., economics has been a fraud for the last 75 years. If they can pull that one off, DNA is a detail.

What I'm waiting for is for one of these supercredentialed dissidents to play some offense and attack across the board, Sakharov style. It's great to speak out about individual fictions. But it also tends to reinforce the impression that everything else we learned in school is true...

dearieme said...

"That’s the difference between a university and a madrassa." That is a wonderful line by Pinker. There must already be people wondering how they can make him regret it.

chrysoperil said...

Watson writes:

"Rather than face up to facts that will likely change the way we look at ourselves, many persons of goodwill may see only harm in our looking too closely at individual genetic essences."

Many of them are NOT of goodwill: their aim is destructive, partly because they hate whites and partly because they think their chances of power will be improved by toppling whites. Animal Farm and 1984 are still the best guides to the psychology of those who profess equality in the hope of practising tyranny.

anon writes:

Wow. How could you honestly believe that one race is superior to another? Didn't they have a ton of studies like this when they were trying to wipe out the Jews in Europe? You must be so disappointed that whole Hitler thing didn't work out. Hey, what the heck! Try again! Why don't we just throw all the Jews and Gays and pretty much anyone else who isn't white like us into death camps and slavery while we're at it? *asshole*

You get this a lot when you question the dogmas underlying the cult of Holocaustianity. Pious cultists hate what you say but have no idea how to refute it. So they lash out with ad homs in sheer frustration. Of course, they never point out, and in many cases probably don't even know, that liberals like H. G. Wells were firm believers in eugenics and racial difference.

Martin said...

" Anonymous said...

Wow. How could you honestly believe that one race is superior to another?..........

10/21/2007 10:24 PM"

Ah yes, the old "you don't agree with me, ergo you must be a Nazi" argument. And afterall, there are so many Nazis around these days. Why just the other day, they were erecting yet another statue to Herrmann Goering.

Martin said...

I found the following sentence in Steve's article interesting:

"Watson's new autobiography is organized as a self-help book for leaders of scientific institutions, complete with 108 "Remembered Lessons," such as "Manage your scientists like a baseball team"—in other words, scout for young talent and release most researchers by the time they hit 40 because they are then over the hill as discoverers. Thus, at that age, Watson took on the leadership of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory."

This may at least in part explain why Watson's own faculty at Cold Spring Harbor is so unenthusiastic in his defence. Because he's a jerk. He thinks that every scientist should be fired at the age of 40? Why not just install crystal life-clocks in their hands, and then let them take their chances with "carousel".

Watson was undoubtedly a brilliant scientist, however he seems to have turned into a scientist "manager" - a species that most scientists hate.

That of course does not negate the truth of what he said, or justify the pod-people-like attacks made on him for saying it.

fcubed said...

Two quotes from Dostoyevsky apply:

“Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.”

“Realists do not fear the results of their study.”

Rohan Swee said...

c.van carter: "What will happen after a decade more of increasing hysteria (likely to include criminalizing certain lines of inquiry, at least in Europe) until a point is reached where the science is undeniable?"

Fine pickle they've got themselves in. Wasn't the Council of Europe recently condemning creationism not just as stupid and unscientific but as "a threat to human rights"? But the scientific study of evolved human differences is a threat, too. Help! I can't swing a hypothetical cat around my brain pan without violating somebody's human rights!

Best case scenario: a few years down the road the people in question will simply go into revisionist mode: of course they never denied these demonstrated sex/group differences; that wasn't what the debate was about at all. They were just trying to keep those fascists from framing the debate. Yeah, that's it.

Worst case: things are going to get more and more insane.

Rob said...

Anon, the data is already in: differences in allele frequencies of a couple of genes account for a portion of the cognitive gaps between races.

What now?

You can't minimize the existence of Africans, make their lives about basic survival, limit their opportunities...

Black Africans have become poorer, but more numerous, since colonialism ended. They made their lives about survival. Affirmative action brought many undeserved opportunities to black Americans. Why are they not winning physics Nobels? Why?

They did not have a ton of studies like this before the holocaust: Jews are smarter, and the Nazis banned IQ tests to hide it.

Cromwell said...

How could you honestly believe that one race is superior to another?

*Sigh* No one is saying that one race is superior to another. All that is being pointed out is that IQ varies between the different racial and ethnic groups.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how supporters can equate their fav politicians with charismatic people they obviously have little in common with or claiming that they are handsome in the case of Obama.

Bobby Jindal is probably a fine person and a big improvement over what passes for a LA politician, but he is no "Bobby Kennedy with at tan". He looks more like Arnold Horseshack with the fro from Welcome Back Kotter.

Anonymous said...

sad thing: anon 10;24 is not being facetious.

Funny how the left ridicules creationists then turns around and not only ignores science, but defies it!

Anonymous said...

Watson took the most sensible approach in publicly clarifying his statements. That is, drawing a clear distinction between the scientific discoverable differences between groups of people and the relative values culture places on these differences.

It is unfortunate that the MSM and many commentators here are so deeply indoctrinated by the PC Gestapo thought police they can only read his apology thru the context of absolute “with us” capitulation or “against us” denial.

Mthson said...

Hitler believed similar things, so, scientifically speaking, I think it's quite clear that it is evolutionarily and physically impossible for ethnic or racial groups to be non-identical.

Half Sigma said...

"Personally, I've never been wholly convinced that the racial gaps in IQ have a genetic component"

Steve, I am shocked that you wrote that. I have been wholly convinced for a long time, and I'm not the one who makes the issue the major point of my blog.

Anonymous said...

I see the usual loonies are in the house trying to shutdown discussion by calling racist, sexist, and whatever.

It's cute that anon claims that Watson stole Franklin's work, but doesn't offer any evidence. It also requires lots of smarts to recognize what some else has found when they don't recognize it themselves.

tommy said...

Steve, I am shocked that you wrote that. I have been wholly convinced for a long time, and I'm not the one who makes the issue the major point of my blog.

I second that.

Tom said...

Email sent to CSHL. I fear for liberalism and political correctness when the $1000 genome becomes a reality. In a less optimistic mood I'd worry that they will realize what data will be reveal and quash any results before they are published.

Now that I think about it scientists really need to start making statements with less certainty since it leads to the misconception that incomplete results are the truth and that they cant change. Unfortunately this means that the mainstream media must follow suit....

Evil Neocon said...

The relevance to the Holocaust to racial differences is not: exploration of racial differences is bad/evil and leads to another Holocaust.

It is: being an unarmed and scapegoated minority where Nationalism does not allow acceptance no matter WHAT the degree of assimilation (see also Chinese ethnics in SE Asia) is dangerous.

If anything the Holocaust validates the Zionist model, which argues that Jews need their own state to flee to, since Europeans (and others) will NEVER accept them no matter how hard Jews try to assimilate. America is argued as the exception based on it's frontier experience.

The OTHER argument wrt Africans is that the human genome is very malleable. Apply as "little" as a thousand years of sexual-natural selection for different traits and Africans could well become nerdy, Finnish-type engineers. This would of course require sustained societal efforts to change how men and women in Africa reproduce.

If you looked at Europe circa 2400BC - 100BC, in contrast to Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians etc, they were uncivilized savages who did little of note. You'd see the same circa AD 400- 800. Clearly something major happened in Europe around AD 900 that changed the way Europeans reproduced, to the same degree perhaps as Ashkenazi Jews.

THAT is the truly threatening message of Watson's remarks.

-- Evil Neocon

Bert Rustle said...

Rob wrote "... Jews are smarter, and the Nazis banned IQ tests to hide it. ..." Do you have a reference for this?

Anonymous said...

Black Africans have become poorer, but more numerous, since colonialism ended. They made their lives about survival. Affirmative action brought many undeserved opportunities to black Americans. Why are they not winning physics Nobels? Why?

I don't agree. The system and the status quo is designed to keep the white man is the position of prominence. Affirmative action did nothing more than to make sure that qualified blacks were not systemically passed over for position.

One can not properly explain the influences of slavery and/or Christianity on the mentality of African Americans unless you are in that group. All an outsider sees is a group of people that is not striving in, let's say, science.

For the ones that are, they are faced with people like James Watson and his superiority complex.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the smartest minds in science today. He is also African American and, of course, has faced racism.

Whites are no respecters of black intelligence, all blacks know that! Most of the "discoveries" by Greek Astronomers were originally discovered by Black Egyptians. Modern day Egyptians are not the same phenotype of the ancients. That is due to the migration and integration of caucasians, and others.

Whites lightened the images of the Egyptians by toting Elizabeth Taylor to play the role of Cleopatra. Much like Napoleon sought to destroy the majesty of African by shooting off the nose of the Great Sphinx.

And how can dark people be a minority when they out number white skinned people 11 to 1?

The same system that is trying to feed an inferiority complex to blacks is feeding the superiority complex to whites. Neither could be further from the truth. If you are made to believe that you are superior, you will fight to keep it that way. It's sad really!


To ANON 12:03, I mentioned the name Rosalind Franklin for you to be curious enough to do the research yourself.

James Watson is a scientific relic. He is a sexist and racist that hasn't contributed anything significant to science since he's questionable discover of the DNA double helix.

DissidentMan said...

*Sigh* No one is saying that one race is superior to another. All that is being pointed out is that IQ varies between the different racial and ethnic groups.

I disagree with this. When leftists imply that the races are equal (e.g. "The commision for racial equality"), they mean equal in the sense of being equally able to function and contribute to a civilised society. Of course the trichotomy law applies, and there are three possiblities, greater than (superior), equal, and less than (inferior). The subject demands our attention because leftists broached it in the first place with their insistance that everyone was equal, and their equality doctrine has had a tremendous impact on immigration policy and laws. Some leftists will tell you that, yes it is possible that the races do differ meaningfully, but studying the subject scientifically is immoral anyway, but why aren't these same leftists focusing their ire on the other leftists claiming that everyone is equal, since a scentifially supportable judgement of "equal" would require that these suposedly immoral comparisons be made.

tommy said...

When the first genes linked to intelligence are discovered the results will indicate only that some individuals are smarter than others by virtue of these genes. This won't be terribly controversial with the public since everyone and their dog (excepting a few of the more moronic postmodernist lapdogs) knows not every human being is equally intelligent by birth. Studies on the distribution of those genes by race will come afterward. By that time, there will be no turning back. The Church of PC and the Cognition Inquisition will be consigned to the dustbin of history and we can finally begin to address the problems associated with differences in IQ more effectively. Unfortunately, those problems will likely be far greater than they are today as a result of immigration and differential birth rates between races.

Two questions that interest me are:

1) How will the Left retool itself once the cat is out of the bag?

2) While we are waiting for advances in genetics, what studies could be conducted (aside from genetic studies) to provide further evidence of the validity of IQ and the race-IQ link and help put the critics and their objections to bed? What loose ends could psychometricians tie up?

I, for one, would like to see more studies on the correlation between IQ and economic status of individuals in various Third World countries (such as those in Latin America, Africa, and S and SE Asia). I think such studies would offer powerful evidence against those who argue that IQ tests are culturally biased. After all, if cultural bias invalidates IQ tests then IQ shouldn't be strongly correlated with success in a number of culturally different countries.

David said...

Anon. 1:23 said:

Whites lightened the images of the Egyptians by toting [sic] Elizabeth Taylor to play the role of Cleopatra.

Yes, and they made all those fake sculptures of Ancient Egyptians...and all those fake statues of Ancient Greeks and Romans...they faked the entire historical record, just as they faked the the space program.

Martin said...

"Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the smartest minds in science today....."

He would seem to be a quite competent astronomer. Being a competent scientist however, does not make one "one of the smartest minds in science".

"Most of the "discoveries" by Greek Astronomers were originally discovered by Black Egyptians. Modern day Egyptians are not the same phenotype of the ancients. That is due to the migration and integration of caucasians, and others."

You're not going to foist that one off here. Ancient egyptians were probably.....much like modern egyptians. The greeks didn't displace all the egyptians and the Arabs didn't kill everyone when they conquered Egypt, so many of those living there now must be descendents of those that were there then. Modern Egyptians are the blend of two Hammo-Semitic peoples.

"Whites lightened the images of the Egyptians by toting Elizabeth Taylor to play the role of Cleopatra. Much like Napoleon sought to destroy the majesty of African by shooting off the nose of the Great Sphinx."

And this is just nonsense. Cleopatra was macedonian (essentially greek), from a long line of macedonians dating back to Ptolemy, one of Alexanders generals. So Taylor wasn't a bad choice to play her. And Napoleon did not shoot off the nose of the Sphinx.

Ancient history is pretty well settled, and to a large degree known. Nobody who is not black is every going to believe that afro-centrist nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a political and media darling of science because he is good on camera, likes to explain science to laymen and most importantly is black. Even on TV, his scientific explanations are more enthusiastic air than illuminating substance although this may be a result of how he perceives he can best reach a mass audience that is largely innumerate and unscientific in thought.

As much as I find the guy likeably goofy, he is nothing of a great intellect. He appears to have graduated a number of prestigious institutions from H.S. thru his PhD without any particular academic distinction which indicates a tremendous amount of affirmative action at work (pure intellects do not successively make it into these institutions without outstanding production at each previous stage).

Although Tyson has been prolific in hammering out pop-science books and TV programs, his academic research and publishing track record is appears minimal to non-existent. He seems like a good man doing a valuable service for society, but don’t put him in the unenviable position of being a false god in your argument.

And forget about racism in quantitative fields, especially in fields like math, physics, engineering and even computer science. If anyone has the intellectual heft and ability to produce, it is undeniably clear and demonstrable to most anyone similarly talented in these fields. In addition, there are many willing to pay handsomely for these relatively rare but increasingly economically useful skills who only care about the color green. Most of these institutions permanetly bend over backwards to find any minimally qualified underrepresented minority to show their committment to "diversity".

Svigor said...

I don't agree. The system and the status quo is designed to keep the white man is the position of prominence. Affirmative action did nothing more than to make sure that qualified blacks were not systemically passed over for position.

How are the system and the status quo "designed" to keep the white man on top, above the black man? If American blacks are widely discriminated against, if America holds them back, then why are American blacks far and away the wealthiest large black population in the world? Black populations sitting on diamond mines aside (remaining there only at the sufferance of more capable peoples, btw), why is this?

Seems to me proximity to whites is very good for blacks (hard to overestimate just how good).

One can not properly explain the influences of slavery and/or Christianity on the mentality of African Americans unless you are in that group. All an outsider sees is a group of people that is not striving in, let's say, science.

Lol. You can explain what the white man's system is "designed" to do, but whites can't explain black "failure" (a euphemism I dislike, since blacks succeed quite well at being blacks; their "failure" is attributed to them by those who assume they're white people with black skin)?

Let me dispose with quasi-tangibles like "mentality" and get right down to brass tacks vis-a-vis the legacy of slavery:

It was the best thing to ever happen to blacks, in the long run. You should thank whatever gods you worship that you're lucky enough to be descended from the Africans brought over the Atlantic by Europeans.

For the ones that are, they are faced with people like James Watson and his superiority complex.

Yeah yeah. Poor, emotionally fragile blacks, dashed all to pieces by opinions. What's next? Whitey going to run all the blacks out of the NBA by proclaiming "blacks can't jump" from every street corner? Sell this hokum to the whites who've never lived around blacks in large numbers; I know better from long years of experience. SSAs are the least mentally fragile people on the planet (unless you count poor impulse control as mental fragility).

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the smartest minds in science today. He is also African American and, of course, has faced racism.

Each white man ever to compete with deGrasse (never heard of him, mind you) for a job has probably experienced real discrimination, stemming from the color of his skin.

Whites are no respecters of black intelligence, all blacks know that! Most of the "discoveries" by Greek Astronomers were originally discovered by Black Egyptians. Modern day Egyptians are not the same phenotype of the ancients. That is due to the migration and integration of caucasians, and others.

Please tell me you're not a shill; I hate "arguing" with black-bashers posing as afrocentrists.

And how can dark people be a minority when they out number white skinned people 11 to 1?

We finally agree on something. Please continue to emphasize this point at every opportunity.

In future, please front load your delusional afrocentrism into your comments so unsuspecting persons like myself don't take you seriously enough to respond to them.