Friday, May 26, 2017

Anti-Racists Watch No. 79: J.D. Watson Barred from Speaking at University of Illinois

J.D. Watson, Nobel Laureate, who with Fracis Crick made the single most important biological discovery of the 20th Century, has been barred from giving a “narrowly focused scientific talk” at the University of Illinois' Institute for Genomic Biology about his recent cancer research. The reason? Comments Watson made some years past concerning racial differences in intelligence. 
Specifically, Watson is quoted by a University source as having said:
(1) I am gloomy about the prospect of Africa [because] our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really. 
(2) people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.
According to the U. of I., Watson has
apologized but has made other tasteless, sexist comments that call into question his character and judgment. 
So the reason for barring Watson from the U of I is that "he has made other tasteless, sexist comments that "call in question his character and judgment". However, neither of the above-quoted statements by Watson are either tasteless, or sexist, so how dumb are the PC police at U. of I.? Can they not understand a category difference? Apparently not, so how can we place any reliance on their allegations about Watson's public statements?

It is true that Watson's remarks may say something about his "character and judgement," but do they call in question his character and judgement. By "calling in question" the U. of I. character police insinuate what they do not have the balls to say, namely that J.D. Watson is a man of bad character and judgment. 

But is Watson a man of bad character and judgement? He is clearly a man of unusual character and judgment. He is willing to state what he believes to be facts though he must know that the political correctness police will try to destroy his career and reputation for making those statements. 

So what kind of character does that suggest Watson has, when we are calling his character in question? Evidently, he is a man who calls things as he sees them and damn the conniptions of the politically correct. So what character traits does that imply. Courage, clearly, and a commitment to asserting what he believes to be the truth however disturbing some may find it, He has, in other words, the mentality of a scientist, when a scientists is thinking or speaking in the character of a scientist.

Thus far, then, how do we score the parties to this contretemps. On points, Watson clearly leads the U. of I., two to nothing. 

But what of Watson's judgement of the facts?

Concerning statement (1), gloom about the prospects for Africa is, clearly, a matter of opinion, but there is seemingly nothing illegal, immoral or even unusual about taking a gloomy view of Africa's prospects, given Africa's poverty and its explosive population growth. 

As for the remainder of statement (1), the claim that "our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours" is presumably true." Therefore the only objection that the PC police at U. of I. can have had to this statement is the claim that "all the testing says [that African intelligence is] not really [the same as ours]." Certainly, such a claim is not PC, but is it true? Yes, "all the testing" does say that the intelligence of Africans is "not the same as ours" (Americans', that is).

Now whether the testing is correct, I personally rather doubt. Oh sure, the results have not be fiddled, and the psychos. who've done the testing (all respectable university-trained people from places like U. of I.) no doubt believe their tests have been fairly and properly administered. But what the shrinks have failed to take into account is that intelligence is largely a social construct (cf. the Flynn Effect), by which I mean that people acquire skill in dealing with the environment in which they live. Thus, when you apply yardsticks developed in Europe or the US to subsistence farmers, or hunter gatherers in Africa, the Africans ain't gonna score too well. However, if you gave a bunch of Americans a test on, say, spotting a well-camouflaged predator in the jungle, or doing whatever else Africans have to do to stay alive, the Americans would probably do a lot worse than Africans. 

So the conclusion is that the statements Watson has made about the intelligence of the inhabitants of Africa are technically correct so far as psychometry has been able to determine. At worst then, Watson can be criticized for tactlessness, although those who would place tact above truth in discussing geopolitical issues are surely fools or knaves.

As for Watson's Statement (2), what he is saying is that American employers find black Americans less intelligent than white Americans. That is hardly surprising. "All the tests," to use Watson's phrase, show black Americans have, on average, considerably lower IQ's than most other groups in America. (As in the case of Americans versus Africans in Africa, my bet is that this difference is due largely if not entirely to cultural and environmental factors. But causes are irrelevant to American employers needing workers to perform reliably and effectively outside the African-American milieu).

So again, Watson was factually correct in what he said and thus has been condemned by the U. of I. for stating a commonplace and well-known presumed truth. 

How then should we score this. On its insistence on tact over truth, some might claim the U. of I. is entitled to a point. But since discovering and disseminating the truth are the essential functions of a university, I don't buy that. And on the facts, Watson clearly earns two more points. So overall, it's Watson 4, the University of Illinois zip all. 

Sad to see how the intellectual and moral rot that is political correctness is eating the heart out of even the best of American universities.

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