October 18, 2007

Race and Real Science?

Today I read a CNN.com article of yet another scientist, Dr. James Watson, a Nobel Prize Laureate, had pronounced that the African is less intelligent that other races.

In the newspaper interview, he said there was no reason to think that races which had grown up in separate geographical locations should have evolved identically. He went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".
Not even his observation; hearsay, which is not even close to a scientific inquiry. Is this trend going to fuel even more bigotry.

Watson is not the first scientist to show sympathy for the theory of a racial basis for intellectual difference. In March of last year Dr. Frank Ellis from Leeds University provoked anger in Britain after he admitted he found evidence that racial groups perform differently "extremely convincing."
The author of this article must have forgotten William Shockley, another Nobel Laureate, whose passion became eugenics and the precursor argument of "The Bell Curve."


Hathor said...

"people who have to deal with black employees find this not true"

I remember while I was waiting for orders (Army - Ft. Sill, OK)I was sent to work in ordinance doing some bookkeeping task. The local civilian employee, showed me over an over again what to do, where the numbers went and when to add and subtract. This went on every day until he let me just sit there. I would ask him for work, but he never gave me any. Always told me that I was not ready. This was right before I was discharged. The First Sargent verbally reprimanded me, because that boss had reported that I had performed unsatisfactory. She didn't believe that he had not given me any work and I am sure that she never thought that he was lying because I was black. He told her what he believed to be true, a preconception that I could not add and subtract or follow his directions. I surely think it was because I was black.

Two years later as a college student, I was working at a retail store in the layaway department, and the clerk training me was amazed that I learned so quickly. I am going to a mostly white State University and she didn't think I was capable of adding and subtracting or following directions. There had never been any black people working in retail sales jobs until a few years before I started working. Most of her co-workers had very low expectations of black people.

field negro said...

Hi Hathor, just lurking in your neighborhood. Love your site!

BTW, Michael Fisher quoted you on his blog as well.

You are so quotable :)


Hathor said...

Didn't know Michael Fisher. Had to google to find him. Thanks for letting me know. Here's the link in case anyone is interested.

A. said...

I was pleased to hear that his lectures in England at two prestigious venues were cancelled. When that was announced, there was a journalist on the BBC news saying that he didn't think they should have been cancelled, partly because he didn't believe in censorship, but also because he thought it would be better for him to air his views in public so that he could be shot down in flames in public - a bit like that one who wrote the holocaust didn't happen. I don't hold with that view because there are always people who half listen and will see him as an eminent scientist first. I read that in the past he also said a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual.

Today on the BBC it said that Watson has retired from his post. Not a moment too soon.

Hathor said...

I pretty much agree with you. If he was invited to lecture, it was because of a certain message or scientific discussion they wanted, if they thought that what he was to speak on might get diluted with pseudo science, they have a right to cancel. It is not a matter of free speech, his interview was published, wasn't suppressed and Watson still has the right to speak those thoughts, but others have the right to keep him out of their house.