If you are from the “statistically less successful groups/communities” (SLSGs), you face wastsons every other day.
One, as a close friend of mine and physics graduate student, suggested in an empathetic tone “thousand years of untouchability, denial to education and imposed hideous works, must have led to some kind of genetic inferiority among SC/ST people.” He, thats how explained the listing of SC/ST students in the trail end of “Merit Lists”. Another with a masters in Life sciences noted, “Brahmins must be genetically superior, look at their achievements, they are everywhere”.
Forget about “acceptability”, “political correctness” I already accepted the your experience as statistics on success. The question is, “are the inferences drawn from the statistics scientific enough ?” This jump from the statistical observation to the inference is so wide that they would fail miserable to bridge. And while they are at it, I would draw a parallel to similar remarks on other “statistically less successful groups”, mainly African-Americans and then demolish their contention invoking Stephen J Gould’s Mismeasure of Man, Ashley Montagu’s “Race and IQ“. Then I would explicate the socio-cultural disparity and historical odds that stood in the way of “SLSGs”. They would be startled (and deny) my accusation that, the system by default is against these groups even now.
Dr. Watson infuses life to my friends’ superstitions. He is a nobelist and one of the fathers of Molecular Biology. Anything he says has the potential to be “golden quotes”. And he targets the only SLSG i.e African(-Americans) on which major studies/research are based. I have grown taller since the first time this abominable swipe hurt me, I can now defeat decisively any such attack calmly and rationally. But for the younger ones of us, these rabble-rousers can cause irreparable psychological damage. So please before advancing or accepting , the remarks of Dr. James D. Watson (or any celebrity like him) note the followings
- Dr. Watson was suspended from Cold Spring Harber Laboratory, Long Island following his remarks, where he has be working for nearly four decades and was president from 1994 and chancellor from 2004 till now.
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not engage in any research that could even form the basis of the statements attributed to Dr. Watson.
- Henry Kelly, president of the Federation of American Scientists, said “While we honor the extraordinary contributions that Dr. Watson has made to science in the past, his comments show that he has lost his way, He has failed us in the worst possible way. It is a sad and revolting way to end a remarkable career.”
- Dr Craig Venter, who led the human gemone project counters Dr. Watson. He said, “Skin colour as a surrogate for race is a social concept not a scientific one,” There is no basis in scientific fact or in the human genetic code for the notion that skin colour will be predictive of intelligence.