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Thread: Nobel Scientist Quits in Wake of Scandal

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by chick
    Break this down for me please...

    "Cuts both way", meaning, if he said it about any other group/peoples or geographic area, it would not be inferred as negative?
    No dear.

    I meant it "cuts both ways" because the two most prevelant stereotypes regarding intelligence I am aware of are 1) whites are inherently smarter than blacks; and 2) asians are inherently smarter than whites.

    I don't believe either is true, but if he believes the first then it's possible that he also believes the second. Had he opined the second instead of the first, he would have been denigrating himself.

    The unfortunate history of slavery and white supremacy movements in this country is what is causing the uproar in America, in my opinion. If we all believed that different races were equal back then—or even today—we would have just laughed Watson's statement off as the thoughts of some crazy old man.

    I'm not understanding this quoted statement, nor your following question.
    What he was saying, or at least my inhterpretation of what he said, is that the human race in one geographic location may have faced different selective pressures than those in another geographic location. The different selective pressures forced the various groups to evolve certain qualities important to their survival that may have been less important to the survival of humans in different regions.

    (btw. did my post just scientifically debunk your post? )
    Let me think about this for a sec.

    Um, no.
    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

  2. #22
    One of the more ironic aspects of his statement, which he doesn't recall making, is that genetics research has proven that there is no such thing as four separate and distinct races. The concept of race as we know it today, was created and promoted during western colonial expansion and rule. It is a social and political construct that has no basis in biology. Differences arise as a result of genetic mutation and are reinforced through isolation. An albino dog born from pigmented parents is still a dog.
    Last edited by antiquity; 10-26-2007 at 11:48 AM.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Edwards

    What he was saying, or at least my inhterpretation of what he said, is that the human race in one geographic location may have faced different selective pressures than those in another geographic location. The different selective pressures forced the various groups to evolve certain qualities important to their survival that may have been less important to the survival of humans in different regions.
    That's genetics 101, but unfortunately, that isn't what he said.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiquity
    One of the more ironic aspects of his statement, which he doesn't recall making, is that genetics research has proven that there is no such thing as four separate and distinct races. The concept of race as we know it today, was created and promoted during western colonial expansion and rule. It is a social and political construct that has no basis in biology. Differences arise as a result of genetic mutation and are reinforced through isolation. An albino dog born from pigmented parents is still a dog.
    The actual term that holds is geographical varients but even it needs to have further explanation and exclusions/inclusions.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by antiquity
    That's genetics 101
    Exactly.

    but unfortunately, that isn't what he said.
    No, but it was an instantiation of the general rule. He just used intelligence as the quality and Africa and Europe(?) as the different geographic regions.

    The general rule allows his instantiation to be a possibility, but it doesn't make it true.

    btw, does anyone have a link to Watson's full quote? I went to The Sunday Times' site, but couldn't get to the October 14th archive.
    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Edwards
    Exactly.

    No, but it was an instantiation of the general rule. He just used intelligence as the quality and Africa and Europe(?) as the different geographic regions.

    The general rule allows his instantiation to be a possibility, but it doesn't make it true.

    btw, does anyone have a link to Watson's full quote? I went to The Sunday Times' site, but couldn't get to the October 14th archive.
    My point was that you give him too much credit. Given his background, if that's what he meant then that's what he would have said. His comment asserting the intellectual superiority of one "race" over another was an opinion which is not supported by science. By re-interpreting his statement, you're attempting to establish a scientific basis for an unsubstantiated opinion. Don't confuse the two.

    Here's another article: http://politicalinquirer.com/2007/10...cist-comments/
    Last edited by antiquity; 10-26-2007 at 12:30 PM.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Edwards
    No dear.

    I meant it "cuts both ways" because the two most prevelant stereotypes regarding intelligence I am aware of are 1) whites are inherently smarter than blacks; and 2) asians are inherently smarter than whites.
    Whatever/whichever stereotype he chose, would have indicated a dumb and personally biased and scientifically uninformed statement, rightfully an embarrassment to his institution.

    "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically." ~ Watson

    I'm still not clear on what he said or meant, but this seems more derogatory toward the intended peoples first - eg. blacks are intellectually less evolved than _____.

    If he was referring to people per their geography, then was he isolating blacks in African nations from blacks in other geographic areas?

    Maybe, just maybe, he could have meant that "whites" geographically separated in their evolution, did not evolve as identically as those that were not separated? ie. "Caucasoids" separated (migrated) from North Africa and the Middle East, to other geographic regions, are more/less intellectually evolved.

    Reasons being? Undetermined from that quoted statement alone, but given his field of science, he is using genetics as cause? So then, given his reference to geography and peoples having evolved separately due to geography, is he indicating environment as being critical to intellectual evolution and capacity, hence, critical to genetics evolution?

    Let me think about this for a sec.

    Um, no.
    Yea, I forgot... you're a Ginger.
    Last edited by chick; 10-26-2007 at 12:36 PM.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Foolish Old
    Some how I'm not comforted by the fact that we have advanced beyond questions of race (supposedly) only to kill one another over religious differences. One day genetics will solve the race issue. We recently learned that Obama and Cheney are cousins. The human race will be convincingly proven to be one human family. Will this be true with religion? Or will we continue to kill for the glory of God(s)?
    No, we should be more advanced beyond questions of "race", but that construct has become so firmly entrenched into our psyche - our knowledge base and the dissemination thereof, and in the continuing education and understanding of human biology (and evolution), that it lingers on, even impacting genetics research, it's understanding and application.

    As this controversy reflects.

    It's not just some innocuous cerebral debate, particularly when statements come from those responsible for the research, research that guides and shapes understanding, which then influences (even establishing/legitimating) beliefs and practice.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chick
    No, we should be more advanced beyond questions of "race", but that construct has become so firmly entrenched into our psyche - our knowledge base and the dissemination thereof, and in the continuing education and understanding of human biology (and evolution), that it lingers on, even impacting genetics research, it's understanding and application.

    As this controversy reflects.

    It's not just some innocuous cerebral debate, particularly when statements come from those responsible for the research, research that guides and shapes understanding, which then influences (even establishing/legitimating) beliefs and practice.
    But it presents opportunity to debunk the bunk. Ignoring ignorant beliefs sometimes works (extinguishment), but it is a slow process before such beliefs no longer surface to our detriment.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  10. #30
    FO, yep.. I don't think it helps to ignore or brush away as unimportant. When they come from people we herald as 'experts' and leaders in the field, then all the more important to challenge.

    Even debates on "race" and culture, are interesting and necessary. But, they often become (re)directed by emotion and hate, so become tiresome, boring, and wasted effort and energy.

    But, some debates are extremely unnecessary to become entwined in, especially when they are redundant and have already been shown evidence to prove otherwise and "debunked" (eg. the endless debates in the politics forum). People sometimes allow ignorance to lead and shape debate, only to help empower and reinforce them.

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