Why Dr. Watson Worries Me ?

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

  1. 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.
  2. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not engage in any research that could even form the basis of the statements attributed to Dr. Watson.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.

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3 thoughts on “Why Dr. Watson Worries Me ?

  1. I share the same concern and worries with you over watson and his replicas that you often meet/see/experience in India. I am more worried about fact that if there is enough of condemn from the global community or they simply look that as african headache?

    Is someone going to go deeper into such works such as watson and say its enough of scientific bull shitting now!!!

    we all know such search are largely done to prove how whites/priviledged have been superior. But intrestingly, the catch is ,how would they whites feel superior unless there is someone who is low down the order and inferior genetically or intellectually? Therefore whites need black to make them feel superior.this super intelligience, sucks maan!

    My larger concern of not being done enough ,to curb such racist dwarfs how long we would be dealing with them one-on one?
    I believe ripping of the chancellorship ,will not do much as these watsonnians are deeply rooted in each society and have prevailed for centuries.They make it a point to show their ugly face through their search, to prove/proclaim their superoirty either with the help of science, religion or myths .

    Coming back to India, Watson can be tackled in the west but such watsonnian clones cannot be tackled in India. Indian watsonnian clones are lethal, as they take help of “common sense” which is largely constructed largely by the brahminical order or “resoning” again rooted in brahminism. Either of this will lead to conclusions how the white/brahmins have been genetically intelligient( i would say suckers)

    such so called nobelist or scientist deserve severe actions…….

  2. You know that the Nazis banned psychometric tests because Jews performed above average on them?

    Unfortunately, the Mismeasure of Man is more a work of propaganda than science. It is a popular book because it tells people what they want to hear, but it got seriously panned in specialist academic journals. Gould misrepresents the position of those he criticises and omits studies that contradict his argument.

    I’d recommend Nevan Sesardic or John Carroll’s articles below. Also, see Ian Deary’s recent paper in Nature for an up to date take on psychometrics and intelligence.

    Philosophy of Science that Ignores Science: Race, IQ and Heritability, Philosophy of Science 67 (2000), pp.580-602.

    http://www.ln.edu.hk/philoso/staff/sesardic/getfile.php?file=POS-2000.pdf

    Also, see John Carroll’s review in relation to factor analysis, or David Bartholomew’s Measuring Intelligence: Facts and Fallacies.

    http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/~reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/carroll-gould.html

    The neuroscience of human intelligence differences

    IJ Deary, L Penke, W Johnson – Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2010 – nature.com

    http://www.larspenke.eu/pdfs/Deary_Penke_Johnson_2010_-_Neuroscience_of_intelligence_review.pdf

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