Skip to comments.DNA pioneer James Watson is blacker than he thought
Posted on 12/10/2007 6:57:09 AM PST by Daffynition
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 Watsons opinions on race. I never did agree with Watsons 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 Watsons genes are likely to have come from an ancestor of Asian descent. Watson was not available for comment.
Can he still be called a racist with this discovery? Probably not.
I love it.. I always love to point out to people who claim they are 'pure' anything that genetically, the differences we identify as racial (skin color, hair color, etc) are smaller than the genetic differences that separate individuals, technically, if you trace everyone back, we all are just mutts. :->
(about as likely as Chelsea getting DNA-tested for Web Hubbell genes, I'm sure).
I don’t see any irony here. Watson did not say that any white person will be smarter than any black person.
James Watson, 1955
He does kind of have that North African, Berber look.
Whatever floats your boat, but it's lost on me how that renders the differences trivial. I've never been able to figure out how a full standard deviation difference in average intelligence between two groups is insignificant, and I certainly can't tell you with a straight face that a two standard deviation average difference is.
Intelligence is more based on cultural and environmental factors, not racial. In all situations being equal testing scenarios, you don’t see the standard deviation that you do if you pull those with diverse environmental backgrounds.
Sorry, but that is utter nonsense. The one standard deviation difference between white and black populations in the U.S. is one of the most consistent findings in psychometrics.
How much of this is genetic and how much is environmental is of course a subject of considerable debate. I think 50/50 is as good an estimate as any.
A great grandparent who was black? I can trace all of my great grandparents.I would think he could too.
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Here's the book:Matt Ridley:Some scientists, he says, believe that chimpanzees do not have a theory of mind, that is, they cannot imagine what another chimp is thinking. But studies show ambiguity. Chimps, we are told, regularly engage in deception. A baby chimp, for example, pretended he was being attacked by an adolescent so his mother would let him suckle her. Baboons, the author tells us, have performed well enough at computer discrimination tasks to show they are capable of abstract reasoning.
Nature via Nurture
by Stan Pinnegar
November 21, 2003
In the chapter The Madness of Causes we learn about such mental illnesses as bipolar disorder and, in Blame Mother, schizophrenia. The author makes the sobering point that heritability of schizophrenia is high in Western society, roughly 80 per cent, or about the same as body weight and much more than personality. And did you know that a mouse has 1036 olfactory sensors in its nose?
Nature Via Nurture:
Genes, Experience, and
What Makes Us Human
by Matt Ridley
Whoops, sorry, meant to ping you to #15.
Puts me in mind of what a joke the racial classification system is. Puerto Rico is shown as being 85% white, when anyone with a pair of eyes and a knowledge of history knows that this is not true. Most PRs have at least 25%-50% black African ancestry.
Reminds me of “The Human Stain” in which a college professor who has hidden the secret that he is black is fired for making an innocent remark construed as racist.
Does that work?
I have a great-great-grandparent who walked out of the lowlands of Georgia, who always claimed to be Native American. Can genealogy tests now tell me if she was NA or of mixed NA-African heritage?
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