Saturday, October 20, 2007
Scientist's Remarks on Blacks Cause Furor - WP
Furor indeed! I’m incensed. Well, maybe not that mad, but I’m still pretty po’d. How could one of my boyhood heroes say such a stupid thing. After all, the discovery of DNA, the instruction set to the human body, was revolutionary to human science and defined my ninth grade experience, 36 years ago.
But wait a minute, the emeritus Watson is 79 and prone to say stupid things for quite some time. Now I can recall that my Dad said some pretty crazy things prior to and certainly once he got into his seventies. In fact, once I know a person is beyond seventy, I expect them to say crazy things. Additionally, if that person is front-loaded with a Nobel, I know that I am likely to hear some serious contradiction.
At his age, Watson can easily confuse the world he started in and the one that is about to consume him. He can do this daily, weekly, or monthly, until he takes his last breath, and particularly when someone sticks a microphone in his face or quotes him for publication. I think the people who care for and depend on him should have better judgment in what circumstances he is placed.
It makes sense that Watson is not claiming to be misquoted, but rather simply cannot understand, with refection, how he could say the things attributed to him. It is called senility people. Get ready; it is coming for all of us.
To be clear, Watson’s statement on black v. white intelligence was better left for a proper debate on testing validity. He is revisionist on his assumed equality in ‘white’ social policies of the past or present. Leading countries have continually sought and exploited disparities of less advanced groups at every turn.
But let’s save our energy for leading science, and properly ignore this old man who has contributed much. Hopefully his caretakers will begin to do a better job. I felt the same way when Andrew Young derailed on Korean store owners in Atlanta a while back. We will all eventually get to a place where we say stupid things. We can only hope that we have something of equal or greater value to offset the inevitable symptoms of the ravages of time.
James C. Collier
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