Oh Jim, Please Shut Up!

After Charles Darwin, the two most famous biologists are undoubtably James Watson and Francis Crick for their "discovery" of the structure of DNA (it's a double helix).  

Those of us who are (or were) in the scientific community know that they could not have made that finding without the data that was stolen from Rosalind Franklin.  This didn't come out until after Dr. Franklin had died and the Nobel committee doesn't give prizes post-humously so she remains an obscure name.

Those of us with some familiarity with monsieurs Watson and Crick know that their accomplishment kinda went to their heads, leading them to think they were experts in a wide variety of fields.

Those of us in any community get embarrassed when a prominent member of our community says something incredibly stupid.

Watson was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of 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."  He went on to add that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true."

Good grief!!

Mr. Watson is apologizing profusely today, acknowledging that "there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

Damn straight, there ain't.

Just goes to show that you can be smart and "rational" and still hold irrational biases.

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