Default
Finally, A Watson Defender!
Thumb sailer
November 19, 2007, 12:17 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

More than a little too late, but, still, good for William Saletan, the "Human Nature" columnist for Slate, for gearing up his courage to become one of the few James Watson defenders:

 

Created Equal

Race, genes, and intelligence.

From: William Saletan Subject: Liberal creationism

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …

Declaration of Independence

Last month, James Watson, the legendary biologist, was condemned and forced nto retirement after claiming that African intelligence wasn`t "the same as ours." "Racist, vicious and unsupported by science," said the Federation of American Scientists. "Utterly unsupported by scientific evidence," declared the U.S. government`s supervisor of genetic research. The New York Times told readers that when Watson implied "that black Africans are less intelligent than whites, he hadn`t a scientific leg to stand on."

I wish these assurances were true. They aren`t. Tests do show an IQ deficit, not just for Africans relative to Europeans, but for Europeans relative to Asians. Economic and cultural theories have failed to explain most of the pattern, and there`s strong preliminary evidence that part of it is genetic. It`s time to prepare for the possibility that equality of intelligence, in the sense of racial averages on tests, will turn out not to be true.

If this suggestion makes you angry—if you find the idea of genetic racial advantages outrageous, socially corrosive, and unthinkable—you`re not the first to feel that way. Many Christians are going through a similar struggle over evolution. Their faith in human dignity rests on a literal belief in Genesis. To them, evolution isn`t just another fact; it`s a threat to their whole value system. As William Jennings Bryan put it during the Scopes trial, evolution meant elevating "supposedly superior intellects," "eliminating the weak," "paralyzing the hope of reform," jeopardizing "the doctrine of brotherhood," and undermining "the sympathetic activities of a civilized society."

The same values—equality, hope, and brotherhood—are under scientific threat today. But this time, the threat is racial genetics, and the people struggling with it are liberals. [More]

 

As G.K. Chesterton wrote in 1922 in Eugenics and Other Evils:

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.

Also, good for Saletan for showing some sympathy for William Jennings Bryan.