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Rory
Post  Post subject: James Watson  |  Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:38 pm
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Not sure if this is true but there are reports that Watson is selling his Nobel Prize medal both in order to liquidate his finances and to hopefully regain some of the comrades he lost following his 2007 suggestion that people of African descent are inherently less intelligent than others.

There is no evidence to suggest that those of African descent are intrinsically intellectually inferior to others. Let's hypothetically assume for a moment that such evidence did exist: would it then be racist to report the data scientifically? I don't see how that could possibly be racist - the reporter would merely be stating an empirical fact with zero added judgmental bias. Separate from the empirical facts would be the moral and social implications: why, at a biological level, does the fact hold true? What could pragmatically be done to enhance the intellectual capacity? And related issues on consent and the ethics of changing personal identity.

My point is, that whether Watson is to be regarded as racist, depends entirely on his scientific convictions at the time and his intentions in making the assertion. Was he meaning to be malicious? I doubt it but others may reach a different conclusion.

And if the general public is going to suddenly take an interest in the ethics of the science of the era of the discovery of DNA structure, why aren't they more concerned about the wilful ignorance of Watson and Crick regarding the contributions of Rosalind Franklin to the discovery? The reaction to Watson sends the implicit message that racism is unacceptable but sexism is

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Last edited by Rory on Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:39 pm
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*acceptable

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shlunka
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:34 pm

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Watson sure has been busy after answering that first telephone call. In all seriousness, no delusions, whether consoling or not, should get in the way of scientific truth. I'm also not entirely sure a controlled environment could be established to remove all cultural variables to assess the IQ of African-descendants.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:05 pm
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Well, some rich guy bought Watson's Nobel medal, and then gave it back to him - which I think is quite sweet.

Ideally the data should be derived from children who have very similar socioeconomic backgrounds (i.e. those educated at the same establishment and housed and parented under similar conditions, with similar diets).

Welcome to the Forum, btw. :)

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shlunka
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:15 pm

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Thanks! I've been a regular on the .com site for a few years now, but will be more active on this site from now on.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:19 pm
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Cool, I used to frequent the .com site too, under a different alias.

What's your favourite field of Science?

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TrivediScience
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:14 am

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Do you latest update about Watson's Nobel?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: James Watson  |  Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:41 am
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TrivediScience wrote:
Do you latest update about Watson's Nobel?

TrivediScience - Can you please clarify what you are asking? It's not clear to me.

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