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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2007
    James Watson is a Nobel laureate for his role in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA and its role in genetic inheritance.

    Watson got in trouble recently for claiming Africans were innately less intelligent than other people.

    Numerous geneticists lined up not only to denounce his claims as offensive but to argue that they were simply false. Yes Africans test lower on IQ tests on average than other people - but virtually all the difference can be explained in terms of poorer maternal and neonatal health care and malnutrition.

    Turns out there may be a reason Watson got the science so spectacularly wrong.

    Seems he had his genome sequenced and the data released publicly. A company looking at the results conclude that he has recent African ancestry -probably within the last three generations.

    So maybe he couldn't help getting the facts wrong, maybe he's just not as bright as most other people.

    Somehow I don't think that'll be his conclusion though.

    From the article:

    A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

    An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.

    "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."

    The findings were made available after Dr Watson became only the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome online earlier this year. Dr Watson was forced to resign his post as head of a research laboratory in New York shortly after triggering an international furore by questioning the comparative intelligence of Africans. In an interview during his recent British book tour, the American scientist 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".
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2007
    Pretty ironic....

    But also the fact that all of us descended most likely from Africa to begin with, and were hairy as well always makes racism a pretty ironic pursuit and practice.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2007
    I love irony. I also think Watson's comments were misconstrued, but that's not the point.

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