Friday, October 19, 2007

Douche Bag Of The Week: James Watson

When I first heard about Nobel Prize-winning James Watson's comments about race, I copy and pasted the article here so I could do some editing and create this post. I didn't read the entire article until now, and boy is it a doozy.

He has actually said that women should be able to abort their babies if tests showed that the fetus carries genes of homosexuality.

AP via Yahoo! News:

London's Science Museum canceled a talk by Nobel Prize-winning geneticist James Watson after the co-discoverer of DNA's structure told a newspaper that Africans and Europeans had different levels of intelligence.

James Watson provoked widespread outrage with his comments, which quoted the 79-year-old American as saying 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." He told the paper he hoped that everyone was equal, but added: "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true."

Watson, who serves as chancellor of the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., was to deliver a sold-out lecture at the Science Museum, but the institution said Watson's comments had gone too far and the event had been canceled.

This is not the first time Watson's speaking engagements have caused a stir. The Independent catalogued a series of controversial statements from Watson, including one in which he reportedly suggested women should have the right to have abortions if tests could determine their children would be homosexual.

In 2000 Watson shocked an audience at the University of California, Berkeley, when he advanced a theory about a link between skin color and sex drive.

His lecture, complete with slides of bikini-clad women, argued that extracts of melanin — which give skin its color — had been found to boost subjects' sex drive. "That's why you have Latin lovers," he said, according to people who attended the lecture. "You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient."
Read more outrageousness at London's Daily Mail.

How can people who are so smart be so stupid? This straight old white guy is my Douche Bag of the Week.


John said...

It's very sad to be reminded that even brilliant people are sometimes the victims of the prejudices they grew up with. Such a shame, as Watson has contributed so much over the course of his life.

michael sean morris said...

Yes, I was a little sick in my mouth when I read this story too. Especially for a scientist to even refer to race. There's only one race of humans - they're called humans. Is that elementary enough for you, Dr. Watson?

Anonymous said...

You may not know this but, within the biological sciences community, Watson is known as being a monumental prick in every conceivable way. He's infamous for being icky even in the most casual settings.

Based on the reputation, thefact that he has such fucked-up and, frankly, un-scientific views doesn't surprise me much.

BUT - most people in the country don't know he a complete ass in general and might actually take his words as truth. So, yeah, "douchebag" is, in fact, being kind.

more cowbell said...

Yeah, this was outrageous. And as far as what "testing shows" -- how can a friggin' Nobel prize winner not be aware of the inequities in standardized testing? What standardized testing shows is the result of lack of opportunity, the result of centuries of institutionalized racism, that's what it shows, asshat. This guy seriously needs to git hisself some learnin' around the concepts of institutionalized racism and white privilege. What's sad though, is that those on the extremist or conservative side of the spectrum will hear his comments, and just assume that his Nobel status means he must know what he's talking about, and therefore, his ignorant comments must be true.