What If He's Right?
79-year-old Nobel Prize winner James Watson, who received the award for his part in discovering the structure of DNA, has a tenancy to dip his toes into very troubled waters. In his most recent book, he has remarked that, "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."
Dr Watson told The Sunday Times 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 said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067222.ece
What if Watson is right, and the genes responsible for differences in human intelligence are found?
Oddly enough, it may move us closer to the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s ideal of a society in which one is not judged by the color of his skin. Racial quotas will be abandoned as useless, so no-one will think someone got into college, or got a job, because of his race.
On the other hand, many racists will see this as vindication, and assume that, since the average Black is less intelligent than the average White, it would be OK to discriminate against Blacks in hiring, college admissions, etc. This would, of course, be wrong and foolish, as medians and standard deviations tell us nothing about individuals. One of the reasons for the "lies, damned lies, and statistics" line is that, when papers give us statistical summaries, such as means, standard deviations, covariances, etc., they do not release the data from which those numbers were derived, and much information is lost. So it will be if it can be proven that Whites are, on average, more intelligent than Blacks. Of course, it may also be shown that Asians are more intelligent, on average, than Whites, too, and the the Ashkenazim are, for genetic reasons, the smartest of all. That would really cheese off the KKK crowd!
Recognizing that only a fool would judge an individual by his race alone, and moving to the tratment of groups, how might such a finding affect our policies toward Africa and, more importantly, to our own Black communities? Would be get even more patronizing than we already are, or would we give them up as a lost cause?
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