Re: [xmca] Watson redux

From: David Preiss <davidpreiss who-is-at>
Date: Mon Dec 10 2007 - 14:56:40 PST

Interesting how ironic science can be. (That reminds me of Nazi
scientists that had a jewish background. Uh! If these analysis can be
applied to them, how enjoyable!) On the other hand, I can't help but
think that these findings will be part of the anecdotic stories
thousands of college professors and textbook writers will include
within their narrative in the following years when talking about
genetics and human behavior. I am so glad they will be. I just hope
students learn the right thing beyond the irony behind the situation
and that's the difference between racism and science.

On Dec 9, 2007, at 3:54 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

> The following was forwarded to me by a colleague. Thought people
> might find
> it interesting.
> mike
> --------
>> 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
> science.
> "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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David Preiss, Ph.D.
Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
Escuela de Psicología
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
Macul, Santiago

Fono: 3544605
Fax: 3544844
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Received on Mon Dec 10 14:59 PST 2007

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