James Watson refuses to go along with happy talk about racial equality:
“It has been more than a decade since James D. Watson, a founder of modern genetics, landed in a kind of professional exile by suggesting that black people are intrinsically less intelligent than whites.
In 2007, Dr. Watson, who shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, told a British journalist that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says, not really.”
Moreover, he added, although he wished everyone were equal, “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” …
And yet, offered the chance recently to recast a tarnished legacy, Dr. Watson has chosen to reaffirm it, this time on camera. In a new documentary, “American Masters: Decoding Watson,’’ to be broadcast on P.B.S. on Wednesday night, he is asked whether his views about the relationship between race and intelligence have changed.
“No,’’ Dr. Watson said. “Not at all. I would like for them to have changed, that there be new knowledge that says that your nurture is much more important than nature. But I haven’t seen any knowledge. And there’s a difference on the average between blacks and whites on I.Q. tests. I would say the difference is, it’s genetic.’’
Dr. Watson adds that he takes no pleasure in “the difference between blacks and whites’’ and wishes it didn’t exist. “It’s awful, just like it’s awful for schizophrenics,’’ he says. (His son Rufus was diagnosed in his teens with schizophrenia.) Dr. Watson continues: “If the difference exists, we have to ask ourselves, how can we try and make it better?” …”
Watson is the Galileo of our times.
I can identify with what he says here on so many levels. He isn’t motivated by racial animus. He just doesn’t believe it is true because it isn’t supported by the evidence. We’ve been measuring racial differences in intelligence for a century now. He refuses to yield to the social pressure to endorse racial equality because he has a personality type that values truth over the feelings of other people.
Note: As a Scorpio INTP, I am accustomed to following the truth wherever it leads me. Imagine what it must be like to be James Watson, the scientist who literally discovered DNA, and to be scolded and lectured in your area of expertise by “journalists.”