June 2, 2008

James Watson interviewed by Henry Louis Gates

James Watson is interviewed for the first time since getting Watsoned by Henry Louis Gates, head of the Harvard Afro-American Studies department at The Root.

HLG: What do you think of deCODE's recent estimate of your percentage of recent African ancestry?

JW: I haven't seen the paper … [but] if I'm 16 percent African, then I'm 16 percent African. That's ... a fact; I don't care. You don't judge people by, quote, race, you judge them as individuals. So it's the individual that counts, and no one should be discriminated by what they look like.

HLG: Do you trust admixture tests—I mean, tests that can say you're 16 percent African, or 20 percent Native American?

JW: Well, the African one I can believe, but I just can't see where that 7 percent Asian came from.

I explained here why it's extremely unlikely, based on the photos of relatives and ancestors and detailed genealogical information in Watson's autobiography, that Watson is 1/6th black or 1/4th nonwhite.

Gates also explains the Meaning of It All in the accompanying "The Science of Racism."

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

40 comments:

Ron Guhname said...

Gates makes an interesting point. After years of reading both science-types who take genes seriously, as well as all kind of white nationalists, I've found that many of these people have said they want to enslave blacks again....

Did I say "many"? I meant not one.

Black paranoia is boundless. They're comforted by their fantasies and have no interest in actually asking race realists what they think.

And as Steve has recently emphasized, not only do race realist not advocate such things, they have ZERO impact on public policy anyway.

Racial hysteria is really just a way to advance leftist politics--it has no connection to reality.

Billare said...

Except for the endless paeans to the concept of African "education", Watson nicely summarized my views.

Note that people don't live up to most of their existing potentials, judge them individually, and be optimistic about uncovering truth. Truth, as uncovered by science, is the only thing that lifts us up from base human nature and infighting.

HLG clearly admits that he fears the truth no matter the process it is arrived at.

William said...

His words caused a ripple effect of shock, dismay and disgust among those of us who embrace the range of biological diversity and potential within the human community... - HLG

WTF?

Anonymous said...


Nature has given us an extra basketball gene, as it were, in lieu of native intelligence.


Hmmm, where have I seen that before?

William said...

It was as if one of the smartest white men in the world had confirmed what so many racists believe already: that...environmental factors such as centuries of slavery [and]colonization...don't amount to a hill of beans.

I know such things are said, and said often, but I still find it shocking that anyone actually accepts their truth - the idea that how your great-great-great grandpappy was treated has anything to do with how you might turn out. What does it say that even when blacks live in countries with no history of slavery or little to no history of colonization that they still score low on such tests? Or that even black children adopted and raised by whites score poorly?

I remembering seeing the late Carl Sagan, of whom I am no great fan, plugging one of his books on the Regis & Kathy Lee show years ago. Regis was suggesting that giraffes have long necks because their parents stretched their necks to reach the foliage. Sagan's reply was incisive: "Jewish boys aren't born circumcised."

William said...

Note something HLG says in one of his middle paragraphs:

although no such connection [of genes to intelligence] has been made, and will probably never be made on any firm scientific basis, it seems to me.

Compared to his last:

Dr. Watson only confirmed something I already, with great trepidation, have come to believe: That the last great battle over racism will be...fought in a laboratory, in a test tube, under a microscope, in our genome, on the battleground of our DNA. It is here where we, as a society, will rank and interpret our genetic difference.

First he claims fair confidence that no link between genes and intelligence will ever be made, then he claims that he has "great trepidation" over exactly that. Which is it, Mr. Gates: trepidation or confidence?

KlaosOldanburg said...

"It's just that racists are determined to use biology to re-enslave black people,"

how ironic that slavery is most prevalent in africa. the racists have failed miserably at enslaving black people, especially compared to other black people.

Jersey Devil said...

Because if I'd said anything like that, it was so inappropriate!

Oh gosh, white-gloved hand over the mouth! What he is a Stepford wife or one of the greatest scientist the world's ever known? It's terrible that at 80 years old this brilliant man is reduced to groveling and apologizing over a remark that is very likely true. Thanks political correctness for stifling important debate for three decades now!

Xtra Laj said...

I got the impression that Watson was moderating his views to Gates.

I'm also fairly disappointed that they failed to have a genuine discussion of the issues. On the other hand, I'm not sure how quantitative Gates is, and that matters a lot.

AO.

Dmytro said...

I blogged about this and hit on the themes of black paranoia and indifference to truth.

So that’s all science comes down to. Not finding truth, but just the final battle (after which I’m sure we’ll get our uptopia) in the war on racism. Gates seems to see where the evidence is headed (”some scientist somewhere will claim to have proven this through our genes”-although finding the exact genes with 100% certainty isn’t necessary for social implications, see my FAQ) but doesn’t seem to care and can’t get beyond any question but “Is it good for blackness?”

DissidentMan said...

You don't judge people by, quote, race, you judge them as individuals.
The $24000 question is why ? If space aliens land am i supposed to welcome them into my society on the grounds that they have wonderful characters? (Of course if they did have wonderful characters that would certainly help their cause.) Would I be told by holy men that my rejection of the aliens was immoral and contrary to God's will? Will the usual double standards apply where they aren't required to engage in any pious "planet-of-origin blindness", but I am? What if the first aliens introduced into human society are well behaved exceptions purposefully selected for their ability to soften attitudes toward the bulk of them? What if when many of them are present their behaviour gets markedly worse and similar to their behaviour on their home planet as a consequence of their having more influence over their environment? No! We must not ask such questions. That would be anti-ET and anthropicist. If we do commit these dreadful offenses against the Almighty we should then engage in loud repentance even though we'll never be forgiven anyway. To prove that our hearts are in the right place we should also adopt alien spawn, and be willing to disown our own offspring because ones love of children should be based on said children's characters, and not on their relatedness to you (reader). It astounds me in this day and age, when humanity has come so far, that pockets of anthropicism still exist, and it makes me angry.

Anonymous said...

Where is science's Thomas More?

Watson's reputation is secure based on his accomplishments. He's had taken from him one of the most important things in his career. He will not get his old job back. His science work will stand. And, if he is an atheist, when he's dead he's done. His reputation won't matter to him then because there will be no more him.

Gates seems like just another tribalist, only of the acceptable kind. And he does like to write about himself, doesn't he?

Svigor said...

Did I say "many"? I meant not one.

I hung around Stormfront for years and never heard anyone express such desires. The actual white supremists amount to a handful. Most take the wicked position of wanting to separate from blacks; the hardliners want to ship them to Africa.

Why wanting to separate all the evil white racists from the halo-ed blacks is a bad thing is anyone's guess.

I still find it shocking that anyone actually accepts their truth - the idea that how your great-great-great grandpappy was treated has anything to do with how you might turn out.

The argument goes, whites had a head start, which is why they're so far ahead. The fact that whites throw trillions down the black hole to no effect doesn't register, I guess. "Good people" don't say or think that, they just take their whipping like good little slaves.


What does it say that even when blacks live in countries with no history of slavery or little to no history of colonization that they still score low on such tests?

That you're a racist (that means evil, for dinosaurs like you unlikely to be familiar with the vernacular).

Or that even black children adopted and raised by whites score poorly?

Ditto; oh, and it says that rich white people are vicious racists, too.

Dedalus said...

The exchange was just what I thought it would be. Depressing.

Well it's official (not like it hasn't been for some time). We are living deep inside a Politically Correct, Multi-Cultural Police State. The rules of this society will ONLY succeed in making the people meaner and dumber.

Mean - because their expectations are so high, and so unrealistic. But even the realistic expcetations function they way they've always functioned, for the most part, ie; as resentments waiting to happen.

Dumb - as a result of select groups being successfully placed above criticism and left in peace to worship their Myth of Innocence which states under no uncertain terms that they can do no wrong, and that they never do and have never done ANYTHING wrong. No, things are done to them. But never the other way around - ever.

With the predictable result that they never learn, never grow. But why should they? After all, in this arrangement they are REWARDED for their self-deception, ie; that there are NO differences among the races and EVERYTHING can be explained by, well, them.

You'd think that such an obvious inability to learn and grow would make it impossible to ever be able to teach. Wrong again. Gates is at Harvard!

Svigor said...

If space aliens land am i supposed to welcome them into my society on the grounds that they have wonderful characters?

You didn't need all the examples. Just jump right to the end next time: if the first alien debarks and starts frying people with his ray gun, and the second, and the third, and the ten-thousandth...at what point am I allowed to stop judging each alien as a new discovery, unique, beautiful, and without precedent?

Because this is what liberalism demands...

William said...

Where is science's Thomas More?

I think you pretty much answered it. Thomas More could look to the afterlife for salvation and for justification. James Watson cannot. Thomas More believed that if God held his name in esteem that was all that mattered. Watson has only fickle humanity.

Why, James - it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole world...but for an interview with Henry Louis Gates?

Maybe we'll still get lucky. Watson is looking pretty frail. Maybe on his deathbed he will say "I meant what I said."

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, "where is the love" [?] for Henry Louis Gates for being among the first public intellectuals to "de-Watsonize" Watson? I think he actually "scored" a couple of points (linguistically; Gates' specialty, admiditedly - but still impressive - "against" such a giant.) This was both a civil, and deep exchange. p.s., i am a leftist (socialist) and always find you a good read - well, good for links, anyway.

dearieme said...

Thomas More liked to watch Protestants being tortured in his own house. Neither Gates nor Watson seems to be as contemptible as that.

RobertHume said...

I wonder if Gates realizes that if blacks accepted that their mean IQ accounted for their mean achievement that they would no longer be bitter and could find their best roles in life.

And as a side benefit, whites would not need to feel guilty.

And the 6 million US blacks with higher IQs than the average white could no longer worry about "acting white" as they find their appropriate interests.

Marc said...

I hung around Stormfront for years and never heard anyone express such desires. The actual white supremists amount to a handful.

White supremacists on Stormfront amount to more than a handful. Nazi flags and swastikas are all over that stupid site.

I agree that no one wants to bring back slavery, though. It's just ridiculous.

Brian said...

Who is Henry Louis Gates again?

Anonymous said...

Svigor,

Just out of curiosity, what drew you to Stormfront in the first place, and what made you decide to stop visiting the site?

Steve

Truth said...

"...environmental factors such as centuries of slavery [and]colonization...don't amount to a hill of beans."

Then why did it take the Irish 1,500 years, wanton affirmative action and gross EU welfare to catch up to the English?

Sideways said...

The comments over there are a quite amusing.

"do you think you or any of your relative or family would stand me in intelligence? people like you make the Caucasian race look less approving"

That's an excellent way to assert superior (or even average) intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Watson may have well reminded Gates that one reason the widespread subjugation of blacks would be unlikely is that blacks themselves need to participate en masse for slavery to take place.
Gates has made a career of lying to himself, and to others, as a black apologist, and has underminds himself as worthy of being a participant in a serious scientific dialog, since the very idea of a particular hypothesis "terrifies" him.
The fact that he still injects himself into any rational debate after admitting as such makes him no more than a token liberal media clown, creating even more confusion, especially since his "example" of his not being able to play basketball exposes not only his ignorance, but his total disregard for a statistical function that all of us employ each and every day of our lives:
The Bell Curve.
Those who don't understand it constantly assert their "exceptions" as if they disqualify the statistical rule, though they would never try it when making their way about the world on a day to day basis.
For example, many people die on our nations highways, but the fact is, many more DON'T, which is why they will use an automobile in their everyday lives, and NEVER say, "well, since a few people get killed on our highways, the statistical conclusion that driving is generally safe is wrong."
Whenever "debating" any of these racial manipulators and apologists, it's important to discover if they have any reckoning of the bell curve statistical approach, or have any respect for it.
If they don't, you'll get nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The comical irony is Gate's reference to Copernicus when defining the importance of Watson's work.
If one replaces the subject of genetics as it relates to race, with the subject of whether the earth revolves around the sun, and pretend Gates as an advocate of the church, and Watson as Copernicus, the fidelity of the replay of a sorry era of history is absolutely astonishing!

Ron Guhname said...

"Hey Steve, 'where is the love' [?] for Henry Louis Gates for being among the first public intellectuals to "de-Watsonize" Watson?"

Gates concluded that Watson is a racialist who will produce the same results that a racist would (and he thinks racists want to reinstitute slavery). Not quite a resuscitation, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

White supremacists on Stormfront amount to more than a handful. Nazi flags and swastikas are all over that stupid site.

If I've spent more than 6 minutes total at such sites I'd be surprised. I hate them because they can make the anti-immigration movement seem racist. I like them because they remind people of the difference between reasonable (VDare, FAIR, iSteve) and unreasonable.

Probably the most "unreasonable" site I visit much is AmRen, and only because it links to some really good news stories (the kind the MSM prefers to bury).

Anonymous said...

"Then why did it take the Irish 1,500 years, wanton affirmative action and gross EU welfare to catch up to the English?"

Going by per-capita GDP, the Irish haven't just caught up with the English, but surpassed them. According to Wikipedia, Ireland's per-capita GDP in '05 was about $41k, compared to $26k for England. I doubt "EU welfare" was the main cause of this, since Spain and Portugal have probably received more EU aid than Ireland and don't have per-capita GDPs as high.

As for affirmative action, I'm not sure what you are referring to. The main way the Irish got ahead in America initially was by successfully fighting for a piece of the action in city jobs, unions, etc. Then later generations of Irish-Americans made there way into professions, Wall Street, etc.

- Fred

Truth said...

"I doubt "EU welfare" was the main cause of this, since Spain and Portugal have probably received more EU aid than Ireland and don't have per-capita GDPs as high."

That's an ongoing debate in EU circles right now. The debate is not over if EU Largesse has caused to 'Irish miracle' but to what degree.

The Irish set-asides did not occur here, but in England over the last half of the 20th century. In the US the Irish mainly took low-paying government jobs that WASPs didn't want such as in Urban police and fire departments. These were jobs that were closed to other minorities at the time and the Irish then effectively corrupted union leadership to ensure a continued monopoly on jobs. Keep in mind, the Irish/Scots here have also created America's habitually poorest neighborhoods.

But, I must admit Fred, I am highly impressed by your championing the achievements of the Irish with their significantly lower IQ. The Irish once scored collectively 78 on one IQ test (generally not accepted by 'race realists')And are thought to have an IQ of about 93. I guess given enough time, a 'lower IQ' people can not only succeed but thrive.

I'm with you!

noxor said...

Why would anyone want to enslave blacks again? What have the net gains been for whites in the South or in South Africa, where blacks were not enslaved anyway? For whites the interaction with blacks has just been a net loss. I think race realists are just looking at putting as much distance between themselves and blacks. That's about as far as their ambitions go.

noxious said...

"Then why did it take the Irish 1,500 years, wanton affirmative action and gross EU welfare to catch up to the English?"

Good question. If the EU redistribution system were dropped overnight most of the "gains" of dubious growth candidates such as Ireland and Greece would probably evaporate overnight. Remember too that many German, French and English companies relocated to these EU candidates in order to cash in on the EU largesse, so that much of the growth is by "foreign" companies there to cash in. I'd say its a case of these little countries getting their hands into the (German) cookie jar by way of the centralistic and socialist EU elites. In addition the Irish and Greeks do not display the vandalism so prevalent amongst blacks who manage to destroy anything built for them by whites, so the infrastructure sponsored by the EU will probably last a while.

I've heard a few things about black's treatment of facilities in the US and of course New Orleans was a classic, and in South Africa the vandalism of blacks is recognized even by their own elites who like to buy their properties in white areas (for obvious reasons). In that kind of cultural environment it just does not pay to institute artificial infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

Lot of women would be perfectly happy not to work and just have babies - it's just that there are few *men* for them. If I'm "moralizing", I'm definitely not "self-righteous", as I'm one of those guys running away from women who keep talking about babies myself."

When I read this, I thought WTF is this person getting his info...then I saw the commenter's name: "Truth" of course, who regularly pulls fantasies out of
his ear.
In this country, Irish descended people consistently score the same as every other European ethinicity. There is no difference. I don't want to go anecdotal on you, but people I knew whose IQs were in the 160+ range were Irish/Scottish, but maybe that's because of where I lived on the US east coast.
In Europe, peasants score 5-10 points below average on the whole. Countries which have been mainly rural do add IQ pts as they become more urban. Question is, what is the base IQ they are adding on to? Is it 93 (Ireland and Yugoslavia in the early 90s), or Guinea (65).

As for Irish neighborhoods being the poorest, where are they? Boston perhaps. But even they are infinitely better and less crime ridden than black neighborhoods. They are at least inhabitable. Most white memories of working class neighborhoods include being able to walk the streets at night in safety, until the neighborhood started to "change." Now you can't sit outside, much less walk around.

Truth said...

"In this country, Irish descended people consistently score the same as every other European ethinicity. There is no difference."

I'd love to see a citation.

" I don't want to go anecdotal on you, but people I knew whose IQs were in the 160+ range were Irish/Scottish, but maybe that's because of where I lived on the US east coast."

Ancedotal

"Countries which have been mainly rural do add IQ pts as they become more urban."

Norway and Finland are primarily rural as is 90% of Africa.

"As for Irish neighborhoods being the poorest, where are they?"

Al along the Appalachian trail.

" But even they are infinitely better and less crime ridden than black neighborhoods. They are at least inhabitable. Most white memories of working class neighborhoods include being able to walk the streets at night in safety, until the neighborhood started to "change." Now you can't sit outside, much less walk around."

Completely non sequitor.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

My previous response to you didn't make it past Steve's screening, probably because it quoted Costello's voice over intro to "The Departed", which contained a derogatory term for African Americans. The salient point the speaker (an Irish-American mob boss) of that voice over made was that the Irish scrapped and fought (dirty at times) for their achievements in America, and he felt that example should have been a lesson to blacks, that "no one gives it to you, you've got to fight for it".

Regarding the Irish in Ireland, the average IQ score I've seen for them is 94 -- lower than that of the English (100), but both still within the normal range. I don't think a lower (though still normal-range) average IQ necessarily precludes a country from becoming wealthier than a country with a slightly-higher average IQ. Ireland made some smart policy decisions to attract foreign employers and investment (e.g., setting its corporate income tax rate so low), and in any case, any economy needs a lot more Indians than chiefs.

On the other hand, I think a country with a barely-functional average IQ of 71, such as Ghana, is severely handicapped by such a low average IQ. Even if it imported enough chiefs, its Indians might not be competent enough to function in an industrial economy. If Sailer's theory is right though, some of this IQ deficit might be ameliorated by better nutrition.

- Fred

Truth said...

"to blacks, that "no one gives it to you, you've got to fight for it..."

Yes, but in the movie they were refering to bloodthirsty criminals...blacks are already quite good at that, and digested that lesson years ago.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, but in the movie they were refering to bloodthirsty criminals...blacks are already quite good at that, and digested that lesson years ago."

I think the context of the quote was broader than that, particularly when it included JFK's election as a capstone. Of course two years after the movie came out, we've got an African American as one of the two major party nominees for president.

As for blacks and organized crime, have they really excelled at that? I guess that drug kingpin played by Denzel Washington in the recent movie also starring Russel Crowe was one example, but I can't think of any big, established black crime families like the famous, Irish, Jewish, or Italian ones.

- Fred

Truth said...

The whole crime family thing ended back in about '92 when Gotti went to jail. The Sopranos was more of an anachronism from the writer's childhoods adapted for the modern age. The Irish Mafia was largely whittled down to New England and basically ended in the early 80's, and the Jewish crime families have, for the most part consolidated their former violent crime endavors into quasi-legal industries such as entertainment and banking.

If there were ever a black arch criminal with a household name such as Lansky, Gotti or Spillane, he would have been assigned first priority by the feds and arrested quickly as a large percentage of law enforcement personnel on the local and federal level are Irish or Italian. This made payoffs much more difficult (and expensive) for black organized criminals.

As a matter of fact, this is one of the reasons, the Mexicans have taken over the streets of Los Angeles. During the original crack wars, the DEA and the FBI focused the lions share of it's attention on blacks gangsters and allowed the Mexicans/Saladorenans/Colombians to extend their tentacles into areas historically controlled by blacks.

Blode said...

"The Irish once scored collectively 78 on one IQ test (generally not accepted by 'race realists')" - truth

I'd love to see a citation.

blode said...

... And blode kills the thread, just before truth was going to cite the Goddard study (1917) that he hasn't read.

Just a hunch.