Lab revokes honors for controversial DNA scientist Watson

January 12, 2019 by Malcolm Ritter
Lab revokes honors for controversial DNA scientist Watson
In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 file photo, U.S. Nobel laureate biologist James Watson visits the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia. Watson, who lost his job in 2007 for expressing racist views, was stripped of several honorary titles on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist who lost his job in 2007 for expressing racist views, was stripped of several honorary titles Friday by the New York lab he once headed.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was reacting to Watson's remarks in a television documentary aired earlier this month.

In the film, Watson said his views about intelligence and race had not changed since 2007, when he told a magazine that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—where all the testing says not really."

In the 2007 interview, Watson said that while he hopes everyone is equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true."

In this month's documentary, he said genes cause a difference on average between blacks and whites on IQ tests.

The laboratory, calling the latest remarks "reprehensible" and "unsupported by science," said they effectively reversed Watson's 2007 written apology and retraction. It said it had revoked three honorary titles, including chancellor emeritus and honorary trustee.

Watson had long been associated with the lab, becoming its director in 1968, its president in 1994 and its chancellor 10 years later. A school at the lab is named after him.

Watson's son Rufus said Friday in a telephone interview that his father, who's 90, was in a nursing home following an October car crash, and that his awareness of his surroundings is "very minimal."

"My dad's statements might make him out to be a bigot and discriminatory," he said, but that's not true. "They just represent his rather narrow interpretation of genetic destiny."

"My dad had made the lab his life, and yet now the lab considers him a liability," he said.

James Watson shared a 1962 Nobel Prize with collaborator Francis Crick and scientist Maurice Wilkins for discovering in 1953 that DNA was a , shaped like a long, gently twisting ladder. The breakthrough was key to determining how genetic material works.

The double helix became a widely recognized symbol of science, and Watson himself became famous far beyond scientific circles.

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rderkis
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2019
I absolutely HATE people who state FACTS instead of what is politically correct..
Da Schneib
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2019
Oh, look, a fundie denier trailer trash racist.

What's in your genetic background that makes you so stupid, racist?

Maybe your parents mated with pigs.
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2019
James Watson web of emerging family tree

James D Watson
born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 6 1928
the only son of Jean Mitchell and James D Watson
a businessman descended mostly from colonial English immigrants to America
His mother's father
Lauchlin Mitchell
a tailor from Glasgow Scotland
her mother
Lizzie Gleason
a child of Irish parents from County Tipperary
the
point being pointed out
this disgraced Nobel prize winner
has roots
as
those roots go into the mists of time
that
if you go back far enough
you will see
our African family tree emerging
so
what is James D Watson trying to say
because
Humans have a common ancestor
Originating in Africa
EyeNStein
4.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2019
Once again it shows that humanity is deeply flawed.
Where there is a climate that promotes and protects extremist beliefs and behaviours those things will manifest within a powerful influential minority of the population: And also in their under-educated followers.
Whether that is genocide, oppression, corruption, modern-slavery or racism.
KBK
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2019
"In this month's documentary, he said genes cause a difference on average between blacks and whites on IQ tests."

He could have said this about any two groups who have basic genetic differences, as groups, for any given varied genetic reason.

He used the word IQ, which is tied to a group of genes (I believe some near 400 genetic markers, overall)....and that is also correct.

He's not wrong. I am in no way a racist but this is a genetic reality. It's permanence is of a question, and yes it does flow and change and there are individual differences, but again, he's not wrong.

Individually there is variance and that's with any two given people. As groupings of skin color and other associated markers that we as humans use, to define that wispy thing we call 'race', this plays out as a group marker package, and yes, it is true in that sense, or context.

No matter how difficult it may be emotionally for some to address.
rderkis
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2019
Why can't some people read? I wrote the comment "I absolutely HATE people who state FACTS instead of what is politically correct.."
Why is that, in anyway, a racist remark. Or perhaps you feel it is politically incorrect to use the words "Politically incorrect", stupid.
Old_C_Code
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2019
he said genes cause a difference on average between blacks and whites on IQ tests.


This has been concluded for 20 years looking at SAT scores.
NY is a racist state pretending to be equatable.

julianpenrod
3 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2019
Remember when "science" devotees used to condemn systems, from religion to Communism, that defined "truth" only on the basis of whether it supported the political machination of the ruling order? In the end, all political systems are designed only to make the rich and powerful richer and more powerful. Even coventional systems that The West praises can eventually run into situations where their claims don't agree with the truth. They, then will likely have to start acting like systems The West called evil.
Note, too, the insistence that "science" has proven that all races are necessarily equal to whites. What "experiments", "research" proved that all races are exactly the same as the whites? If none can be provided, that cannot be asserted as necessarily "scientifically" verifiable.
mqr
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
An IQ gap exists between men and women and it has been there since it has been measured. Why mr watson does not go against women? that is a way to know that he is part of a "hidden" agenda, likely he belongs to one of those hating fraternities for the wealthy.

"Race" is not a scientific concept, you can't classify people based on "race" because it does not have a hard biologically based referent. The only "solution" that racist people found was the one drop rule, according to which if they suspect based on facial features that there has been a recent mix, then it is not completely "pure". It is not based on DNA analysis, RNA analysis, or any stable way to reproduce observations. So Tiger Woods is "black" because to the eyes of uneducated people "he is not white", but not because they have his genetic profile on display showing that he does not have the "pure" genes.

How many genes control hair color? hundreds...
How many genes control intelligence? more than one thousand
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2019
All of you should realize that this whole conversation is really mute. In most of your lifetimes using genetic engineering you will be able to choose your race and all the physical attributes that entails. Which of course will put an end to racism. And following soon after, IQ enhancement for the WHOLE human race. Which will put a end to the chemical imbalance that creates you conspiracy theorists.

I know, I know the whining cry of conspiracy theorists "Only the rich". But money will mean absolutely nothing when robots do ALL the work.
Wake up a new world is soon to be upon us. :-)
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2019
Racism is the radioactive toxic waste of politics.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2019
This scientist made a huge discovery - that DNA is a double helix. It was for that discovery that he won the Nobel Prize. That is justified.
Can his detractors now reverse that discovery so that no one can be aware that DNA is a double helix, now that they have removed the 3 honorary titles that he had rightfully earned? Not at all.
His important achievement is the reason that he won the Nobel Prize. Everything else is now, at his advanced age and health, irrelevant.
Perhaps he misspoke in his use of "overall" terms, rather than some, or the few, which might have been more acceptable rather than seen as bigoted and racist - especially if he had said that SOME Whites are lazy, or "A FEW" Asians are no good at math.
But the Lab can do what they feel they must do to this old man who was formerly a major part of their organisation.
Beethoven
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2019
@rderkis that's a nice dream but there are far too many obstacles both technical and political for it to become reality in any of our lifetimes.
rderkis
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2019
@rderkis that's a nice dream but there are far too many obstacles both technical and political for it to become reality in any of our lifetimes.


Beethoven, if you have read the SCIENTIFIC undisputable studies of the exponential growth of technology, you would know it is NOT a dream and it will be upon us in 10 years.

And Beethoven if you have 5 to 10 years left in you, death will be optional for you and your kids.

If you want I can point you to the studies. But they have been verified by (at first unbelieving) countless individuals both famous and laymen who came up with the same approximate data.
tekram
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2019
..he told a magazine that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa"

Watson really should have been saying he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of his aging brain and an aging society'. If he wasn't in denial about his diminishing cognitive ability, he wouldn't have said all these bigoted and discriminatory statements, especially in a public setting.

As to the discovery of the DNA double helix, let us not forget how Watson and Crick dishonestly obtained their x-ray diffraction data from Rosalind Franklin through a third party and did not tell anyone at King's college what they were they were doing, and that they did not ask Franklin for permission to interpret her data (something she was particularly prickly about). Remember that Watson and Crick only did the theoretical work and it was Franklin, an expert in X-ray crystallography who produced all the experimental data with Ray Gosling.
rderkis
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
Beethoven, do a google search using these terms in quotes "Speed-Technological-Advancement.pdf".
This study was originally done by Ray Kurzweil. Search terms= "Ray Kurzweil" wikipedia =for biography.
Error rate for 20 year projection = projected 20 years / 2000 yrs study(since Christ) = 1% Error rate
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
@RacistDickUS blurts again. Why are you here, racist with mommy and daddy pigs?

Go whine about brown people to your trailer park butt buddies and your mommy and daddy pigs.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2019
I love urinating on racist trailer trash genetically inferior pig dogs.
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2019
Why is Da Schneib so DUMB? I tell him time and time again "I have disabled his comments", yet he always posts following my comments. He has got to be the dumbest person I have ever encountered. Back before I disabled his comments, I read a few. of his posts He was so full of hate towards everyone and everything I muted him right away. He is DUMB.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
Racism is hatred promulgated by genetically inferior trailer trash whose parents were pigs.
Doug_Nightmare
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2019
Racism is vulgarity for culturism.

*Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future* (Press, 2011) by John Kenneth Press.

https://www.amazo...05HX923Q
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2019
Racism is when you hate brown people because they're brown.

It's a cancer upon the body politic.

And you are part of the cancer. Hopefully you'll get irradiated soon.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
This is just due to political correctness, not science. Actual science either supports the notion that differences in intelligence between genetic clusters (basically the same as races) are mostly down to genetics, or is agnostic. An inconvenient truth.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
Hey pinhead
Racism is when you hate brown people because they're brown
Denying science because of whom it comes from... let's see where have I heard this before?

"How 2 Pro-Nazi Nobelists Attacked Einstein's "Jewish Science" [Excerpt]
"In a chapter excerpted from his new book, science writer Philip Ball describes "Aryan physics" and other ludicrous ideas that accompanied the rise of Adolf Hitler..."

"[Giordano] Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges of denial of several core Catholic doctrines, including eternal damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and transubstantiation."

"Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when by the Labouchere Amendment, "gross indecency" was a criminal offence in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment..."

-oh yeah
BobSage
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2019
Read "The Bell Curve".
valis
3 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2019
Hi guys, new around here.

The reason I came here to read this story is because I hoped I would get the chance to read the comments of learned scientists who might be familiar with the data he is allegedly citing.

I'd like to add a few thoughts of my own.

Firstly, and this really frustrates me.... If any person accurately (and that is a key word) reports data that shows differences between any two or more demographics of people, then that person doesn't not become prejudice by default, and nor should their findings be seen as implying justification for abhorrent policies that undermine the rights of anyone to be treated as an individual.
(cont)
valis
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2019
(cont) 2 of 3

Secondly, no matter how viscerally a point of view sits with you; possibly as people who have already seen and heard each side of an argument as heated as this one, or as someone who has suffered very real prejudice; if you crudely dismiss the question in the manner of someone joking in their echo chamber, all you do is arouse suspicion in the minds of laypersons.

I speculate (and this is something I would consider independent of this shitstorm) that any group of humans living for many generations in colder (but not arid) climates, pre-central heating, such as around Scandinavia or Japan compared with say Kenya or Indonesia, would see intelligence and conscientiousness favoured over many generations simply because they would have had to use those characteristics in order to survive and reproduce...

(cont)
valis
3 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
(cont) 3 of 3

But, I am a layperson and no doubt haven't even got 1% of the picture. So I would like to hear from someone who thinks Watson has got a point and why, but I would particularly like to hear about the points of view of those who oppose him, with factual reasons and what the data actually says (as opposed to the political implications of any unpleasant data, or simply dismissing people as racist (which he very well may be!))

Cheers

** too late to edit my second comment above... It should say "or arid" instead of "but not arid"
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2019
Racism is vulgarity for culturism
Bigotry is an inseparable aspect of tribalism.

"Far from being the uncritical devotee of the `Noble Savage myth' as he is often represented, Kropotkin (1902) argued that the life of `savages' was split between two sets of actions and ethics, that applying within the group, and that applying to outsiders: "Therefore, when it comes to a war the most revolting cruelties may be considered as so many claims upon the admiration of the tribe. This double conception of morality passes through the whole evolution of mankind, and maintains itself until now" (quoted in Crook, 1994)."

-Internal altruism in conjunction with external animosity... internal amity + external enmity = the tribal dynamic.

We are human because of it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
Firstly, and this really frustrates me.... If any person accurately (and that is a key word) reports data that shows differences between any two or more demographics of people, then that person doesn't not become prejudice by default, and nor should their findings be seen as implying justification for abhorrent policies that undermine the rights of anyone to be treated as an individual
Tribalism is the result of competition over resources. Since overpopulation quickly followed the advent of technology, this struggle has always been with us.

Tribalism is the thing that has domesticated us. It has often required that we deny our natural instincts in order to conform; those who could not were systematically culled until, as in other domesticated, it has become genetic.

As domesticated animals we dont respond well to reason. Social admonishment, persecution, and punishment are far more effective.

Ever try to reason with a dog?
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2019
Wow, there sure are a lot of long winded people on this site. Some of them use more words than the article itself. Yet you notice they don't have the talent nor intelligence to get published.
KBK
5 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
"Waiter! I'd like another comment section. This one has gone all pear shaped...."
Old_C_Code
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2019
Read "The Bell Curve".


Yes, but remember it's an average. There are geniuses in every race.
Doug_Nightmare
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2019
"Yes, but remember it's an average. There are geniuses in every race." Averages are compared by standard deviations. Racism is ignoring the standard deviations.

Only those with IQ speak (of) it, all others dismiss human bio-diversity. Intelligence is the burden of the elect.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jan 14, 2019
Culture does shape how we think. Do not expect that an IQ test written by whites for whites will get the same results in another culture. This does not mean that the IQ in another culture is lower.
It just means that each culture needs their specific IQ tests.

As an example I'd point to the difference in how asians and europeans react to test material containing images vs. text. Asians are - due to the nature of their written language - more used to thinking in images, whereas europeans are more used to thinking in terms of text. If you give the same IQ test to both groups but structure it more image- or text-heavy you will bias one group over the other.

This also has an effect outside of tests. If a workplace is structured to be more easily (mentally) accessible by one culture than a member of another culture will likely perform sub par in that same task.
TheVogon
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 14, 2019
Shocking that he gets penaised for simply telling the truth. That blacks are on average less intelligent - EVEN when given same education, upbringing etc has been known for decades and isnt in any doubt whatsoever.

FACTS: Average US IQ = 98, Average Africa American IQ = 85, Average African IQ < 60.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2019
Sad to hear Watson's situation!

The problem with Watson's statements are primarily that it is arguable that there is a difference between populations after controlling for social differences in education et cetera, that his ethnically constructed categories are not mapping to gene flow (migration), that the individuals that *have' "black skin color" often come from the most genetically diverse area (of Africa), and that we cannot correlate IQ test differences with genetic.

The non-problem is that complex traits such as measured in IQ tests - which arguably correlate with "intelligence" in the first place - are often both biological and environmental. But I fail to see how that strengthens Watson's racism, where he extrapolates groups and their individuals without evidence.
Ojorf
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 14, 2019
Shocking that he gets penaised for simply telling the truth. That blacks are on average less intelligent - EVEN when given same education, upbringing etc has been known for decades and isnt in any doubt whatsoever.

FACTS: Average US IQ = 98, Average Africa American IQ = 85, Average African IQ < 60.


FACT: In 1950 the average white American IQ was by today's standards also about 85.

Wow, however did those smart whites manage to hoard all those intelligence genes since then to become even smarter in so short a time?

Just google the Flynn effect and be amazed, there is a LOT more to IQ than just genes.
rderkis
1 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2019
there is a LOT more to IQ than just genes.

I really don't think so. My guess is there is a lot more to measuring IQ then we are able to test for. There was a machine in the 1960 that measured IQ properly but it was politically unpopular for obvious reasons. It was called a "Ethril Cross index Analyzer". I probably butchered that name because it's been 60 years. What it did was measure a subject's brain reaction speed. The subject looked at a computer controlled blinking light and by reading the brain waves with transducers.
It could tell how long it took the subject brain to react to that signal. The beauty of it was any kind of controlled sensory input would work. (touch, etc)
The schools, administrators, counselors etc hated it because it would put a lot of people who administer those tests out of work. Plus it would be to easy to test ethnic races, men versus women etc. causing a lot of data to be published that would be politically incorrect and hurtful.
ShotmanMaslo
1.7 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2019
Culture does shape how we think.


Or maybe how we think shapes culture.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 14, 2019
Average US IQ = 98, Average Africa American IQ = 85, Average African IQ < 60.

Total BS. But it's always nice to see who is just making stuff up and can go on immediate ignore.

Median IQ is always 100. IQ tests are adjusted periodically to give this result.
An IQ below 70 is considered a disability.

For comparison: A person with down syndrome is usually in the range between 40 and 70.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2019
This thread is a train wreck. But some salient points among the personal attacks:

people who state FACTS instead of what is politically correct.


Shouting is not helping, nor is the misplaced signal word for populism. Read the article: Watson was not stating facts.

to define that wispy thing we call 'race', this plays out as a group marker package


It does not, and race is ill defined (many definitions), same as intelligence (many traits) and IQ test scores (many tests) as is the connection between them. The question is if there are differences and how much gene contributes, which is why Watson is "unsupported by science".

This has been concluded for 20 years
An IQ gap exists between men and women
that blacks are on average less intelligent - EVEN when given same education, upbringing etc has been known for decades and isnt in any doubt whatsoever.


Yet you can give no science references (instead some resort to shouting).So no.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2019
//

This is just due to political correctness, not science. Actual science either supports the notion that differences in intelligence between genetic clusters (basically the same as races) are mostly down to genetics, or is agnostic


That signal word again, and the rejection of the science in the article. We simply explain differences in IQ tests (or worse, intelligence of any kind) with differences in genes (or by implication, culture) yet. And it is enough to be agnostic to prove Watson, and hence you, wrong.

Now, for the facile claim about "races" and their supposed existence, see my longish comment on Watson. If you mean "gene clusters" as in allele clustering, it is wrong, they are mostly gradients (but of course you can make, say, continental clusters in ADMIXTURE to explain any individual's alleles as degree gene flow from which continent).

//
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2019
//

"The Bell Curve"


Discredited by and among scientists.

If any person accurately (and that is a key word) reports data that shows differences


Your comment seems well thought out, but this is not relevant here, Watson reports no data or supporting science (but makes claims that aren't supported). Incidentally, the "intelligence and conscientiousness" theory is old and, I think, unpopular since that too has no supporting data. Turn that around, since Africa is the genetically most diverse continent we should expect the opposite of Watson. Africans have the genetic riches and if there is general selection for any of the suggested constraints/traits it would most likely happen and be strongest there.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Jan 14, 2019
Culture does shape how we think.


Or maybe how we think shapes culture.

Cart before the horse: the culture was there first. Then babies get born.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2019
@torbjorn, I oppose racism totally and without reservation, and see no reason to hold anything back, as the racists do not.

If that bothers you, you are acting as an enabler. It seems only simple justice to me.

Racism is political toxic waste. When it shows up in your front yard, it might be time to get a little upset about it.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2019
Worth mentioning that I think Watson's contributions to molecular biology were unprecedented, but when he got older he suffered a mental lapse that caused him to stop paying attention to science and start expressing social and political views that are problematic at best.

I personally own The Molecular Biology of the Gene and have read it several times. Nothing in it supports these views of race, particularly not after numerous genetic studies (not to mention numerous studies of IQ tests) have shown it to be wrong.
Bert_Halls
not rated yet Jan 14, 2019
It's time for Sherman to march to the sea again.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Jan 14, 2019
@Bert, it's either that or balkanization of the US just like the USSR.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
And it is enough to be agnostic to prove Watson, and hence you, wrong.

Now, for the facile claim about "races" and their supposed existence, see my longish comment on Watson. If you mean "gene clusters" as in allele clustering, it is wrong, they are mostly gradients (but of course you can make, say, continental clusters in ADMIXTURE to explain any individual's alleles as degree gene flow from which continent).


No, being agnostic means that we dont yet know for sure whether differences in intelligence between races are mostly genetic or due to nurture. It does not prove Watson wrong.

Take one allele and it is likely to be some random gradient. Take hundreds of them over a sample representing global population (only recently possible due to routine whole genome sequencing), and the gradients will begin to show a structure, one that quite resembles old notions of races, just more fuzzy and subtly different.

https://i.warosu.org/data/sci/img/0090/26/1500051731848.jpg
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
Median IQ is always 100. IQ tests are adjusted periodically to give this result.
An IQ below 70 is considered a disability.


Obviously, not all IQ tests are adjusted, and those that are adjusted still show average differences if given to people of different ethnicities. Antialias, you cannot be serious with this comment, it is right now the dumbest thing in the comment section, and for a phys.org comment section, that is really something. You are either dishonest or not aware of the basics to even be able to engage in this discussion.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
And it is enough to be agnostic to prove Watson, and hence you, wrong.

Now, for the facile claim about "races" and their supposed existence, see my longish comment on Watson. If you mean "gene clusters" as in allele clustering, it is wrong, they are mostly gradients (but of course you can make, say, continental clusters in ADMIXTURE to explain any individual's alleles as degree gene flow from which continent).


No, being agnostic means that we dont yet know for sure whether differences in intelligence between races are mostly genetic or due to nurture. It does not prove Watson wrong.
It's enough to prove him not-right. And that's all that's necessary to prove you're a racist and a disgusting pig dog.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
It's enough to prove him not-right. And that's all that's necessary to prove you're a racist and a disgusting pig dog.


No, you have to positively prove that differences are not due to genetics but something else. Otherwise the "racist" hypothesis is still on the table. Come on, this is not a hard concept to grasp.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
Can't prove a negative.

Maybe you forgot.

But even given that, enough positives that make your theology obviously ludicrous have been proven to make the point, and you are aware of none of them. Not honestly investigating. You have an agenda.

Brown people aren't the problem. You are.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
I really despise people who try to stuff their theology into politics and come out with racism.

Sorry, not the jebus of only white people. And this is one of the reasons I'm an atheist. It's inconsistent.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
I will say this: the Catholic Cardinals appear to be at least as diverse as the US Congress, though that's not saying much.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
Meanwhile, https://pbs.twimg...pg:large

These people are literally insane.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
I am a fellow atheist, too. The root cause of differences in intelligence between various populations is a scientific question, and has nothing directly to do with theism. In fact, one could even say that in a creationist framework, we would expect all populations to be biologically equal, while evolution predicts that populations will tend to differentiate over time, especially if isolated and subject to different environment. The only question is, has this occurred in humanity or not yet? We don't really know..
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
No, you have to positively prove that differences are not due to genetics but something else.


I am 72 and have yet to see ANYTHING positively proved. If that is the standard then we are all fooling ourselves about everything.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
We know enough to know it's not an issue of simple genetics. There's not a "smart gene." There's not even a constellation of genes that are "smart genes." It's about nurture. How we raise kids.
TheVogon
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
We know enough to know it's not an issue of simple genetics. There's not a "smart gene." There's not even a constellation of genes that are "smart genes." It's about nurture. How we raise kids.


Not correct - Inherent intelligence capability is estimated to be circa 90% genetic - read the article on Wikipedia on the subject for instance. And of course it is - otherwise why cant we nurture monkeys to the same intelligence as us? How we teach / nurture kids leverages that capability, but there are still fundamental genetic differences.

For instance African Americans raised in the same economic, family and educational circumstances as Caucasian Americans still show a lower average intelligence score. Ditto Ashkenazi Jews for instance a higher intelligence score.
TheVogon
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
So we know that a) an average African American today will score substantially lower on intelligence tests than your average Caucasian American and b) some but not all of this gap is explained by socio-economic circumstances and / or education.

Like it or not that's the way it is and Watson is right.
TheVogon
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
Shocking that he gets penaised for simply telling the truth. That blacks are on average less intelligent - EVEN when given same education, upbringing etc has been known for decades and isnt in any doubt whatsoever.

FACTS: Average US IQ = 98, Average Africa American IQ = 85, Average African IQ < 60.


FACT: In 1950 the average white American IQ was by today's standards also about 85.

Wow, however did those smart whites manage to hoard all those intelligence genes since then to become even smarter in so short a time?

Just google the Flynn effect and be amazed, there is a LOT more to IQ than just genes.


Its not in doubt that education improves intelligence scores. But back then - the average African American IQ score was also lower.

Even with equal education and socio economic and family circumstances, African Americans still have a lower average IQ score although the gap is reduced.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
Culture does shape how we think.
Or maybe how we think shapes culture
Culture is designed to shape how we think. This is referred to as domestication.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2019
Can't prove a negative.

Maybe you forgot
Maybe you forgot when I showed you you can prove a negative.

"As Steven D. Hales points in his paper "You Can Prove a Negative," "You can't prove a negative" is a principle of folk logic, not actual logic.

"Notice, for a start, that "You cannot prove a negative" is itself a negative. So, if it were true, it would itself be unprovable. Notice that any claim can be transformed into a negative by a little rephrasing—most obviously, by negating the claim and then negating it again. "I exist" is logically equivalent to "I do not not exist," which is a negative." Etc
https://www.psych...negative

-and the original:
https://departmen...ive.html

-Stop propagating misconceptions.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
Not correct - Inherent intelligence capability is estimated to be circa 90% genetic - read the article on Wikipedia on the subject for instance.


More like 80%, and note that heritability is not the same as it being genetic - it lumps together all factors that are due to family, including shared environment etc. I do think it is likely there is a strong genetic component, but lets not overstate it..
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
We know enough to know it's not an issue of simple genetics. There's not a "smart gene." There's not even a constellation of genes that are "smart genes." It's about nurture. How we raise kids.


There are indeed some smart genes and constellation of smart genes. Large scale genetic studies coupled with machine learning are identifying more and more of them. But it is possible that these will only account for a rather modest part of the difference, and yet intelligence is still mostly genetic. This is because there is a possibility that complex traits such as intelligence are omnigenic. Meaning basically all genes affect it.

https://www.quant...0180620/

People who pretend we have all this incredibly complex stuff figured out already are almost invariably ignoramuses - and that goes both for devoted racists but also those who deny the genetic hypothesis.
TheVogon
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019

More like 80%, and note that heritability is not the same as it being genetic - it lumps together all factors that are due to family, including shared environment etc. I do think it is likely there is a strong genetic component, but lets not overstate it..


Lets not nit pick over 10% - we both agree that its likely that at least 4/5 of inherent intelligence capability all other things being equal is down to genes. So all other things being equal most of the difference is inherited. QED Watson is right.
rderkis
not rated yet Jan 15, 2019
Lets not nit pick over 10% - we both agree that its likely that at least 4/5 of inherent intelligence capability all other things being equal is down to genes. So all other things being equal most of the difference is inherited. QED Watson is right.


And you are right but that does not mean QED Watson is right about everything he stated. But I do agree his statements are based on science and it is his best guess based on that science.

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