[xmca] Watson redux

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sun Dec 09 2007 - 10:54:50 PST

The following was forwarded to me by a colleague. Thought people might find
it interesting.
>From The Sunday TimesDecember 9, 2007

DNA pioneer James Watson is blacker than he thought

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

JAMES WATSON, the DNA pioneer who claimed Africans are less
intelligent than whites, has been found to have 16 times more genes of
black origin than the average white European.

An analysis of his genome shows that 16% of his genes are likely to
have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most
people of European descent would have no more than 1%.

The study was made possible when he allowed his genome - the map of
all his genes - to be published on the internet in the interests of

"This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-
grandparent who was African," said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics,
whose company carried out the analysis. "It was very surprising to get
this result for Jim."

Watson won the Nobel prize, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins,
after working out the structure of DNA in 1953. However, he provoked
an outcry earlier this year when he suggested black people were
genetically less intelligent than whites.

This weekend his critics savoured the wry twist of fate. Sir John
Sulston, the Nobel laureate who helped lead the consortium that
decoded the human genome, said the discovery was ironic in view of
Watson's opinions on race. "I never did agree with Watson's remarks,"
he said. "We do not understand enough about intelligence to generalise
about race."

The backlash against Watson forced him to step down as chancellor of
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York state, after 39 years at the
helm. He had said he was "inherently gloomy about the prospects for
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".

The analysis by deCODE Genetics, an Icelandic company, also shows a
further 9% of Watson's genes are likely to have come from an ancestor
of Asian descent. Watson was not available for comment.
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