James D. Watson, nobel prize winner for discovering DNA double helix structure, seems to be good at making controversial comments.
Recently he has made comments about how geographically separated races may not have evolved identically, and he was inherently gloomy about the future of Africa. He tends to believe, the intelligence of difference races are not the same, and Blacks may not be the same intelligence as ours (the white).
Apparently this kind of comments are not politically correct in America, in which racist is more of a problem due to the fact of mixed race society. However, I believe Dr. Watson, and other scientists should be entitled the rights to do research on the following issues:
- Whether difference races show different brain activities depending on the task they are assigned to do, and whether the results have genetic basis?
- Whether there is connection between these above finding and the history of difference races?
- If there are differences between races, what does that mean for our world, and what should we do about it on the basis that everyone is equal?
These research are pure science and should NOT be considered racist, although racists could use these findings as reasons for them to be racist. For people who are not doing science, which means pursuit of truth with scientific methods, it may be difficult to understand why we should do science which seems immoral or politically incorrect, and probably that’s why many scientists would not talk about these issues. I believe Dr. Watson is a brave man to talk about this, although he may have done it in an inappropriate way.
Although no strong evidence to support Dr. Watson’s “hypothesis” at this moment, it is not proved wrong either. Science is about proving something is wrong, and accept the rest “correct” as facts because there is no evidence to show it is wrong. Whether different race have different brain activities at the level of molecule, is something can be tested and proven. Whether they act differently for different tasks, can be proven too.
We have accepted physical differences between races. Black can do sports better. We agree Blacks can do music and dance in a much more different way than other races. It is even accepted that the bell curve of penis size of different races are different. Apparently, in US, White and Black guys say Asians have smaller penis (on average, to be scientifically exact, not a generalization for all case-by-case comparisons), do not seem to be racist comments ( or people will not bring it up). So if there are differences between races, in many different aspects, why it cannot be intelligence as well?
Of course, nobody wants to be called “Stupid”. However, differences in intelligence is not just about being smart or stupid. Human intelligence is a very complex thing, and cannot just be measured by SAT test scores and IQ. Intelligence applies to all skills, especially human skills such as reading, writing, social skills, artistic skills and many others. While tests may show certain race have a lower IQ on average, just like other aspects of what identifies a race, such as skin color, height, even penis size, it does not decide who is superior, and who is inferior. All races were well adapted to their own isolated environment. And now the world is a melting pot, so that by understanding the differences between races, it can be potentially very helpful.
I believe many people will still disagree. But one thing is interesting, in computer games, different races have different born abilities. Night elf have more spirit and agility and Tauren, which have more stamina and power. Perhaps, in order to be politically correct, we should not do science which could be taken advantage by racists, and games should create all races equal.
Talking about equal, equal does not need to be based on everyone is created identical. Some people are born to be artists, others engineers, other scientists.
The last thing is, scientifically, this “race and intelligence” hypothesis has not been proven wrong yet. So what if it is true? If you say it is false, I doubt any scientist can provide solid evidence either. If Africans are really genetically different, and the situation in Africa has its genetic basis, isn’t a good thing that now we know? So Africans can then improve themselves based on scientific facts. If scientists are not allowed to do this kind of research, we never know.
On the other hand, developed world do want Africa to be better right? Or are they afraid that Africa would find their way out?
Download the Watson Interview in PDF