October 25, 2007

Watson dumped permanently from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Expect a new round of gloating and putting the boot in:

Controversial DNA scientist retires

By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer1 hour, 52 minutes ago

James Watson, famous for DNA research but widely condemned for recent comments about intelligence levels among blacks, retired Thursday from his post at a prestigious research institution.

Watson, 79, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York announced his departure a week after the lab suspended him. He was chancellor of the institution, and his retirement took effect immediately.

Watson shared a Nobel Prize with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins in 1962 for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule. He is one of America's most prominent scientists.

In his statement Thursday, Watson said that because of his age, his retirement was "more than overdue. The circumstances in which this transfer is occurring, however, are not those which I could ever have anticipated or desired."

Watson, who has a long history of making provocative statements, ran into trouble last week for remarks he made in the Sunday Times Magazine of London. A profile quoted him as saying that he's "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."

He said that while he hopes everyone is equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true." He also said people should not be discriminated against because of their color, adding that "there are many people of color who are very talented."

Watson later apologized. But by then, London's Science Museum had canceled a sold-out lecture Watson was to give there, and London's mayor had branded the comments "racist propaganda."

In the United States, the Federation of American Scientists said Watson was promoting "personal prejudices that are racist, vicious and unsupported by science." And the Cold Spring Harbor lab said its board and administration "vehemently disagree with these statements and are bewildered and saddened if he indeed made such comments."

The lab suspended Watson's administrative duties last Thursday.

Watson had served at the lab for nearly 40 years, having been named director in 1968. He was its president from 1994 to 2003.

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

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

La commedia est finita!

Anonymous said...

"...unsupported by science."

Phucking pathetic, I must say.

So Steve, how many articles have you personally written explicating the very supporting science that it is claimed does not exist? Not to mention the voluminous work of such eminences in the field as Arthur Jensen, Linda Gottfredson, et al.

eh

Vic said...

Un freaking believable.

Juan said...

Maybe now James Watson can be hired as a senior editor at Vdare, since he's already been marginalized by society.

mostly anonymous said...

One thing to remember, and I know this will cause peoples' heads to explode, but England right now is hardly the land of personal freedom. The place has more surveilance cameras per capita than any place on earth.

I disagree with both Watson and our host in that I find the evidence that intelligence is inherited to be unconvincing, but normally you wouldn't fire a geneticist for stating his opinions about genetics in an interview, so this is a case of Lysenkoism. But I think this is more of a case of England becoming really weird in the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it’s best that society maintains the illusion of absolute genetic equality for intelligence by silencing Diogenes-like Dr. Watsons. What if everyone knew and believed the science about strong genetic basis for racial differences in intelligence?

Most whites would feel guilty (rabid racists are an insignificantly small percentage, smaller than any other group I’ve experienced). Intellectually disadvantaged racial groups would feel resentful, angry and demand explicit moves towards a more Marxists system frightening our capitalist overlords and driving society into a historic nightmare. Various racial groups would view each other with more difference potentially leading to further estrangement if not antagonism (especially from the lesser advantaged). Finally, it would legitimately feed an already overblown sense of persecution Jews feel leading to even crazier and socially corrosive overreactions to imagined threats.

The truth aside, the current counterweight problems of maintaining the popular lie of absolute intellectual genetic equality is that it implies wrong doing, malfeasance and injustice in the reality of inequality. Most whites feel guilty. The less gifted feel victimized and are resentful, angry and demand endless explicit redresses, concessions and handouts (which never address the underlying problem as Dr. Watson noted). Various less gifted racial groups are encouraged to band together and vie for significant economic and opportunity redistributions from the gifted groups creating an artificial equality of ends (but not means) which is what really matters to most people of any color. There are social and economic incentives for all races to mix and even intermarry (if you’re white, the best way to get your kid into Harvard is to marry a Black or Hispanic) reducing social tension. We live in a relatively free, prosperous society with a few irrational taboos like the ones Dr. Watson stumbled upon.

So which world is worse? Steve should noodle over the pros/cons of this, and let us know why he thinks the way of “truth” in matter of different racial genetic intelligence is a better approach.

Anonymous said...

My understanding from reading quotes from some who knew Dr. Watson was that he could be a bit difficult to deal with and maybe just a little too enthusiastic about eugenics, but as another example of the death of academic freedom...well...it makes baby Jesus cry...assuming there ever even was a historical Jesus...which is something that academic freedom will help us to understand.

And now for some not entirely unrelated posts you may find interesting:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x34ak2_mexican-flags_news

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/694a6eb0-4eb5-11dc-85e7-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

MensaRefugee said...

Anonymous said...

Maybe it’s best that society maintains the illusion of absolute genetic equality for intelligence by silencing Diogenes-like Dr. Watsons.
-----------------------------------

Want to visit South Africa for vacation? If so, at least you are consistent so youre entitled to your opinion :)

Anonymous said...

"So which world is worse? Steve should noodle over the pros/cons of this"

Overall, "good" science always trumps "bad" science.
Denying something exists, when it obviously does, is bad science.
Your question seems to reflect what many say about religion being undermined and eventually abolished, which is, "once this is accepted as fact, what do we do to appease the teeming mass of paranoid dum-asses to keep an even more perverse cultures from developing than we currently enjoy?"
The quick and dirty answer, I suppose, is that life is plentiful and cheap, nowadays, while qualified scientific ideas are *relatively* scarce.
I'd buy into the scarce commodity, and let the world intellectual market sort out the rest.
It may cause cultural disruption. It may cause wars. It may inspire some genocidal acts, but what else is new?
I'd rather have half the population we have now running about in the world, with half an idea of what's actually going on, than twice as many as we have now, aimlessly lumbering through a fog towards an inevitable brick wall.
All too often life is really about limited choices, with no "ideal" choice available on it's menu.
That is, choosing between what is unpleasant, and what is extremely unpleasant: self-knowledge and possibly WWIII, or semi-peacefully careening into oblivion.

Evil Neocon said...

WHAT did I tell you? Watson HAD to be punished, or PC would fail. Elites depend on that, as a means of control, so Watson HAD to go.

I predicted something along those lines. Though truthfully I expected an English prosecution. Schoolgirls quite literally have been prosecuted for "hate crimes" for refusing to participate in group projects with classmates who don't speak English.

It's all of course class-based, aimed at working-middle class whites by elite whites and minority allies. Sustainable when the good times rolled, not so much anymore.

Global economic downturn in the G7 nations means less government revenue and cutbacks in goodies. Sarkozy is suggesting people who retire before 65 get no free medical care. Germany is no longer giving long term unemployment but merely free food.

Mostly Anon -- Jews do not have an unjustified fear of persecution. Jews in America do not fear a pogrom here, but don't want distant relatives in Europe or Israel to be refused entry fleeing another Final Solution as they were during the Thirties. Very illustrative was the voyage in 1939 of the MS St. Louis. Cuba, America, England, and every other country refused to take the 900-odd Jewish refugees from Hitler in. It was US policy to refuse entry to Jews, as it was in Switzerland and England. US Jews do not have very many relatives -- Hitler had most of those who would have formed their extended families murdered.

You might excuse them for being deeply suspicious over this. People betrayed by false promises of protection or sanctuary tend to act like this. Nevertheless an exit strategy for the pitiful remnants of their extended families in Israel (or Europe in post-Christian, newly Muslim state) explains most of the Jewish opposition to Immigration reform. I don't agree with them but I understand their motivation and don't dismiss it as paranoia. Certainly Ahmadnutjob (and before him, Rafsanjani, and before him, Khomeni) has threatened to wipe out Israel and Jews world-wide. As one Holocaust survivor said, "when someone tells you he wants to kill you, believe him." If North Korea can produce nuclear missiles anyone can.

If it ever came to that, I would be in favor of letting in the survivors of post-Apocalyptic Israel, however many they might be. Israel is filled with high-IQ engineering types, their lists of patent holders and Nobel Science winners is amazing for such a tiny nation. THEY would be a plus for America. IMHO most American Jews rightly suspect that "realists" and Buchanon types would turn them away like the MS St. Louis in 1939 to appease Muslims. They are probably right too.

A pity since Israel probably has the best of the world's geneticists outside of Cold Spring Harbor.

Evil Neocon

Mark said...

Well, "freedom is just another word for nothin' left to lose." It would appear that James Watson, Nobel Laureate, now has nothin' left to lose.

The Multicult has overplayed its hand on this one. Watson is now a distinguished scientist without a job. He's almost 80, so he probably ain't gunna go out and get another. What incentive now does he have to not speak his mind? But he does now have a great story to share about the hazards of the Mutlicult, if he wants to bother telling it.

Keep in mind that the PC enforcers can only succeed when they have something to take away from you. What do they have left to take away from Watson?


Intellectually disadvantaged racial groups would feel resentful, angry and demand explicit moves towards a more Marxists system frightening our capitalist overlords and driving society into a historic nightmare.

Blacks would have nothing to gain by becoming Marxists. Besides, they're practically there anyway. But the white political reaction to further black radicalization would be more than enough to offset the consequences of a black move to the far, far left. What would the right have to fear? They're already 90% Democrats anyway.

You make a good point. And I think not talking about it is future solution. But, let's face it, we're not bringing up the issue: they are. They're the ones blaming us for the economic disparity between whites and blacks, between Africa and the West. It's always all our fault. It's not as if we're running up to some ugly lady walking down the street and calling her ugly. She's following us around, hounding us to know why we won't go out with her.

Anonymous said...

"Most whites would feel guilty (rabid racists are an insignificantly small percentage, smaller than any other group I’ve experienced). Intellectually disadvantaged racial groups would feel resentful, angry and demand explicit moves towards a more Marxists system frightening our capitalist overlords and driving society into a historic nightmare."

Wait a minute -- that's what already exists...so what say we quit trying to teach this pig to sing by pretending all races are equal?

Even if the races were to completely merge, there would still be disadvantagement and inequality (among blacks, there has always been discrimination against those with darker skin and kinkier hair). The less bright would still envy the intelligent and successful, and the unattractive would still be resentful toward the beautiful.

Kipling was right about the White Man's burden. Think about how much time, energy, and money is spent by whites arguing among themselves about what to do with unintelligent blacks and browns?

--Lillian's Bracelet

Hans Gruber said...

"I disagree with both Watson and our host in that I find the evidence that intelligence is inherited to be unconvincing, but normally you wouldn't fire a geneticist for stating his opinions about genetics in an interview, so this is a case of Lysenkoism."

Intelligence isn't inherited? Of course intelligence is inherited! Otherwise the slug in your lawn would merely need the right environment to be the next Einstein (or, heck, even bacteria!). What you must mean is that the genes responsible for human intellect do not vary enough within mankind to produce a statistically significant difference in intelligence (or the capacity for intelligence) between individuals; in other words that every human being has a more or less equal capacity for intellectual work and only environment or experience change IQ (the perfect blank slate). This would mean that although we inherit our intelligence we all inherit the same set of genes pertaining to intelligence. Of course, this is flatly absurd! Nobody believes that. After thinking on it, I'm sure you won't either. The variation in intelligence is partly inherited; no geneticist is going to quibble with that. We are not all potential Einsteins just as we are not all potential Michael Jordans. However, what is controversial (but for political rather than scientific reasons) is whether different races have different IQs averages.

Think about it, though. If this were different variety of pigeon or rattlesnake, wouldn't Watson's conjecture be the expected result? The various "races" are populations which were separated for tens of thousands of years (with some cross-breeding), and were subjected to very different environments with varying degrees of severity. Different cultures. Different environments. Different founders (evolution can be driven in part by bottlenecks or migration with unrepresentative founders). Are we to believe that each environment had precisely the same selection pressure on intelligence? Sure, it's possible. But it doesn't seem very likely. Occam's razor dictates we ought to EXPECT differences in populations which are separated this long and in such different environments.

What is a valid point of contention is how big the gap is and how much of the gap is due to genetics. It very well may be that there isn't a meaningfully large gap here due to genetics; that today's gap is mostly the result of differences in environment. Heck maybe the gap is so small as to be statistically insignificant. But, again, the idea that each race has precisely the same frequency of alleles pertaining to intelligence seems, on its face, patently ridiculous.

Hans Gruber said...

"Maybe it’s best that society maintains the illusion of absolute genetic equality for intelligence by silencing Diogenes-like Dr. Watsons."

Assuming it would be a good thing, you actually think it's possible to maintain this illusion?

Mark said...

Very illustrative was the voyage in 1939 of the MS St. Louis. Cuba, America, England, and every other country refused to take the 900-odd Jewish refugees from Hitler in. It was US policy to refuse entry to Jews

Because, as you know, the one and only purpose of America is to serve the Jews. It was also, as you know, the responsibility of Great Britain to sacrifice a second entire generation of young men to save the Jews, after having lost the first - 750,000 of them - in the war only 2 decades prior.

Sure, America didn't take in Jews fleeing Hitler. We pretty much weren't taking in anyone at the time. It may be morally commenadable to take in people fleeing persecution, but it is not a moral obligation. The first moral obligation of any country is to look after the best interests of its own.

You also fail to acknowledge that one reason Americans didn't love Jews is because of their support for radical political endeavors. Many or most of the thousands of anarchists deported by J Edgar Hoover were Jewish.

And if not Jews, why not everyone else? More Ukrainians (8 million) died in WW2 than Jews. Probably more Poles, too. Why didn't we have an obligation to take them in, as well?

If we were to take in every population fleeing real or potential persecution our population would top 1 billion by next Tuesday. Sorry, but the job of preventing persecution is first the job of the persecutors and second the job of the persecuted, who, after all, frequently are the cause of their own misery.

rob said...

Who'll replace Watson at Cold Spring Harbour, and will they have to get Al Sharpton's approval before they hire him?

Simon Newman said...

evil neocon:
"IMHO most American Jews rightly suspect that "realists" and Buchanon types would turn them away like the MS St. Louis in 1939 to appease Muslims."

But it's uncontrolled indiscriminate immigration that is giving Muslims and other anti-Jewish populations the critical mass in the USA that they might one day be able to enact such a policy! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. If the USA were to discriminate according to the actual wishes of the current US population, European and Israeli Jews would be given refuge, because the population is mostly pro-Jewish. But the anti-Jewish population is growing rapidly, because of the immigration policy that American Jewish groups support!

fwood1 said...

"Most whites would feel guilty"

I disagree. Right now, I doubt that most whites actually feel racial guilt. Rather, they keep their true opinions to themselves, or only voice them among friends. After all, if you speak out you may risk becoming another Watson.

Anonymous said...

In our post-modern world, good science or bad science is not relevant (esp. in a softish science like anthropology where the bridge won't collapse if you're wrong). What is relevant is power. The powers that be are committed to racial egalitarianism for a variety of reasons and will squash anyone who rocks the boat!

Proofreader said...

Who are we kidding? If the truth about race and IQ was widespread, it wouldn´t make a difference in the real world. Blacks wouldn´t riot and you would still have Affirmative Action.
I´ve never met a Black man who wasn´t ready to admit that they aren´t quite as smart as Whites. And guess what? They don´t care, because their self-esteem isn´t built on their intellect. They value other qualities, such as high status and the good life.
Blacks in White countries have found their niche, so to speak, a life on the fringes of society and mostly freeloading, and they are content with their position.
Whenever they wine and protest or even riot, it´s because they fear they´re going to have all their goodies taken away from them. They need our compassion and our deep but hidden conviction of their inability to function normally.

Edmund Burke said...

HAS THE LIBERAL MEDIA COMDEMNED THESE PEOPLE????




“We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we’re a new Mestizo nation.”

“Our devil has pale skin and blue eyes…”

“We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.”

– Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, founder of La Raza




"Around the year 2040, whites will become a minority in the United States and, believe me, it will be 'payback time'."

- Pro-Immigration Activist, Jorge Sanchez




“And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.”

- African Studies professor, Dr. Kamau Kambon




"Blond hair and blue eyes are a biological defect."

"The white race is a disease, and the only cure is a bullet. The rule of whites is history. Soon they will be our serfs. It's now the Age of the Brown Man."

- Hindu nationalist, Ramesh Sharma




“The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists. Make no mistake about it we intend to keep bashing the dead white males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as ‘the white race’ is destroyed–not ‘deconstructed’ but destroyed."

- Jewish studies professor, Dr Noel Ignatiev


.

Roy said...

The sooner it is proven that race and IQ correlate, the sooner we can sooner we can stop our suicidal immigration policies.

Anonymous said...

"...the Federation of American Scientists said Watson was promoting 'personal prejudices that are racist, vicious and unsupported by science.'"

Moral cowards that they are; at least they're probably not, you know, creationist (code word for Christian) in their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable that there are so many demented white people who need to feel superior to somebody in order to be anybody. And they will go to any pseudo-scientific extent to try and convince themselves that they are right. They will deny thousands of years of human history and hard scientific evidence.

I am an African and I have taught in many of your colleges as well as in Africa, and I have also worked on Wall Street. I didn't find this much vaunted superiority - just plain unbridled rascism, ignorance and fear. The reasons that account for disparity in development have nothing to do with superior intelligence (however that is defined by lunatics who are hung on it); there is simply no historical or scientific basis for such claim. But then it is too much to expect that those with rascist blinkers will see or accept this!

Anonymous said...

Notes from the Left….
The idea that certain individuals are imbrued with an intrinsic superiority is an intoxicating one. Just thinking about it gives me the warm & fuzzies. It suggests that despite my personal weaknesses and failures (of which there are many) I have been blessed with an inner gift that sets me apart from other less fortunate human beings. I suspect this sense of euphoria is similar to the one felt by 16th century monarchs when the doctrine of “Divine Right” was conceived to justify the political and social inequity that surrounded them.
As a scientist, Watson should be allowed to ask questions irrespective of social sensitivities or relevance to modern reality. However, the answer to the debate of genetic difference is an obvious one. Just as environmental factors have influenced the genes responsible for biochemistry in different populations, certainly the genes that relate to intellectual and emotional capacity have been similarly influenced. In fact, Jared Diamond (another well accomplished white man), postulates that the associated hardships of non-industrialized societies (e.g. New Guinea and Sub-Saharan Africa) may have caused individuals in those societies to develop an intellectual advantage and a related genetic ‘superiority’ and that the lack of industrialization in these societies is purely the result of overwhelming environmental disadvantages. I’m not aware of anyone who is calling for Diamond’s head on platter, perhaps because everyone loves a white man that stands up for the little guy.
The more important question than genetic difference is: what enables a person to become an effective specialist (e.g. carpenter, surgeon, politician, writer, etc.) in our society? Reason would suggest that formal education, informal education (e.g. knowledge share with family & friends, internship at your uncle’s law firm, etc.) and human will are far more important factors. I mean seriously, can anyone argue that Harding or Bush were more effective and intellectually adept than Mandela or Thatcher?
The core value of most disadvantaged people (and those that sympathize with them) is simply equal opportunity. I’m not a moralist. I simply believe that the future of humankind is best served by a social order that resists the predetermined hegemony of one group over another and instead aims for equal access and allows the cream to rise to the top.
Professional athletics is a great proxy for this broader debate. It’s quite amusing now but, for decades many well educated people (all right…mostly just white men) thought blacks did not have the intellect, discipline, will power, physical gifts, etc. to compete in professional sports. Fifty plus years ago, the barriers were slowly dismantled and that notion has been obliterated, just ask Max Schmeling.
What is most interesting about the human experience is that it is a continuous string of ironic and unpredicted outcomes. Are the disparities we see in test scores, Nobel Prize winners and technology patents, the result of genetic difference or the lingering echoes from centuries of disadvantage and oppression? The only way to answer the question is to Level the Playing Field and allow future generations of Blacks, Asians, Whites, Women, [please insert social group of choice] to slug it out in the laboratories, universities, and chat rooms of the world.

- Ms. Blackman

Mark said...

Jews in America do not fear a pogrom here, but don't want distant relatives in Europe or Israel to be refused entry fleeing another Final Solution as they were during the Thirties. Very illustrative was the voyage in 1939 of the MS St. Louis. Cuba, America, England, and every other country refused to take the 900-odd Jewish refugees from Hitler in. It was US policy to refuse entry to Jews, as it was in Switzerland and England. - evil neocon

You see, this is what causes Jews to piss people off. Having referenced the history of England pre-WW2, I now know that the UK
took in 100,000 Jews
in the period leading up to the war, saving them from certain death.

But nevermind that effort. Instead let us blame Britain for the 900 Jews they didn't take in. Why does anti-Semitism persist? Well that would have to be part of the reason - an ethnocentric bigotry that says "I'm allowed to be concerned with my own people, to give you no credit for the good that you do for us, and to expect you to only be concerned with the good of all of humanity, rather than you and yours."