Racial remark causes an uproar!
October 21, 2007 9:36am CST
Biologist James Watson,79, an American who won the 1962 Nobel prize for his role in discovering the double-helix structure of DNA made some really racial remarks. He is on the board of trustees at New York's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which Watson has led for nearly four decades. He has been suspended from his administrative responsibilities pending a review of his comments. The controversy began with an October 14 interview Watson gave to the Sunday Times, which quoted him 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." Watson also asserted there was no reason to believe different races separated by geography should have evolved identically, and he said that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true." Now, the idea that humans could evolve differently living in different parts of the world, exposed to different cultures and environments has some merit. Scientists and psychologists have been saying we are the products of our upbringing for years! But for someone in such a level of importance to make such a stupid remark in this day and age...wow! What a mess. "The biologist apologized "unreservedly" Thursday for his comments and said he was "mortified" by the words attributed to him. "I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said," Watson said during an appearance at the Royal Society in London. "I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways that they have." "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief." Talk about an extreme example of putting your foot in your mouth! http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/10/19/uk.race/index.html
• United States
21 Oct 07
Yeah, he did put his foot in his mouth. It sounds like what he said did not come out the way he intended. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone misspeaks occasionally. Why is that the reason for anyone to lose a job over? Or is it a case of some issues and things can be said and discussed and others cannot? This is political correctness at it most glorious.