The Recantation of Dr. Watson

For Dr. James Watson, 79-year-old

of the

1962 Nobel Prize for medicine
for his discovery of

double-helix structure of DNA
, October marked the
nadir of a brilliant career.

The month began with Watson headed
to London to promote his new book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science,
and to lecture to a sold-out audience at the
prestigious Science Museum. An author`s dream tour.

Last week, his
lecture was canceled,
his tour terminated, his
40-year tenure as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor
Laboratory on Long Island came to an end. Across
Britain, he was being denounced as a racist.

What had the wicked Dr. Watson

Did he defend the chattel slavery
in which five of our first seven presidents engaged? No.
Did he agree with

Abraham Lincoln
that blacks did not deserve equal
social and political rights and should be
sent back to the continent
whence their ancestors
came? No. Did he argue for the segregation that was the

law in the nation`s capital
in which this writer
grew up? No. Did he utter the "N-word"


Harry Truman
, who


armed forces
, and Lyndon Johnson, who enacted the

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Watson neither endorsed segregation
nor expressed any animus toward people of color. He had
simply told The Sunday Times 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."

While there is a natural desire to
believe all people are equal, Watson said, "people
who have to deal with

black employees
find this not true."

In his new book, Watson adds,
"There is no firm reason to anticipate that the
intellectual capacities of peoples

geographically separated
in their evolution should
prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to
reserve equal powers of reason as some universal
heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."

What Watson was saying was: From a
long life and his own reading of IQ test scores, he
believes that intelligence is not

distributed equally
among the races. That conclusion
was also reached by social scientists

Richard Herrnstein

Charles Murray
in the 1990s best-seller

The Bell Curve.
The SAT scores seem to

bear them out

When Watson`s remarks hit print,
however, a new London blitz began.

The Labor Party

of the Home Affairs Select Committee

Watson with "baseless, unscientific and
extremely offensive comments"
and urged his
colleagues to "reject what appear to be Dr. Watson`s
personal prejudices."

"Anti-racism campaigners called
for Dr. Watson`s remarks to be looked at in the context
of racial hatred laws,"
said The Independent.

Steven Rose,
a founder of the Society for Social
Responsibility in Science, "This is Watson at his
most scandalous."

The Telegraph quoted Koku
Adomdza, [Email]director
of the black pressure group

The 1990 Trust,
as calling Watson a "complete
and demanding he apologize to "Africa
and all people of African origin."

Added Adomdza: "Dr. Watson is
really a relic of the oldest stock and

deserves to be made to account
for his extremely
offensive and ignorant remarks. … His very poisonously
racist opinions put students and the unsuspecting public
at serious risk."

Of these thought police, almost
all, it may be fairly said, are academic mediocrities or
political hacks who could not carry Watson`s microscope.
Yet as the scrub stock piled on, the Nobel Prize winner
appeared to buckle.

I am "mortified," Watson
said, burbling this recantation.

"To all
those who have drawn the inference from my words that
Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior,
I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I
meant. More importantly, from my point of view, there is
no scientific basis for such a belief." [
question genetic intelligence is not racism
Independent, October 19, 2007 ]

Sad. Why, with all his honors,
prestige and security, did Dr. Watson feel the necessity
to apologize for what he wrote, said and believes? Why
did he not play the man by flipping off the censors? If
they were going to take away his chancellorship, why not
go down fighting?

In the England of Henry VIII,
heretics were beheaded and their heads put on spikes.
Many men, like

Thomas More,
did not recant.

From the time of

to the 17th century, men gave up their
lives rather than

renounce a belief in God.
Others gave up their lives
rather than

renounce a disbelief in the Church
. Why could Watson
not stand up for his disbelief in the ideological myth
of the inherent equality of all men, cultures, creeds
and civilizations?

In 1990, the respected journal
wrote, "To many in the scientific
community, Watson has long been something of a wild man.
… Colleagues tend to hold their collective breath when
he speaks out."

Too bad the wild man was denatured
and domesticated.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from