T Nation

'Blacks Are Stupid': Mindset Of Eugenics



Controversy surrounding the comments of geneticist James Watson, who told a Sunday Times newspaper interviewer that black people are inherently less intelligent than whites, should come as no surprise to those who are aware of Watson's role in pushing the dark pseudo-science of eugenics.

Watson told the interviewer 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".

Watson said the notion that everyone is created equal is flawed because "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".

The geneticist explores this racist ideology further in his new book, writing, "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," he says.

Watson was the Head of the Human Genome Project until 1992 and is best known for his contribution to the discovery of DNA, an achievement that won him the Nobel prize in 1962.

But what most people are unaware of is the fact that Watson has played an integral role in advancing the legitimacy of the eugenics movement for decades.

Watson is a strong proponent of genetic screening, a test to determine whether a couple is at increased risk of having a baby with a hereditary genetic disorder.

Since such screening obviously increases the rate of abortions of babies considered "imperfect," many have slammed its introduction as nothing more than a camouflage for eugenics or "voluntary eugenics" as British philosophy professor Philip Kitcher labeled it.

Watson's advocacy of genetic engineering stretched to his call for the "really stupid" bottom 10% of people to be "cured".

Watson even urged woman to be given carte blanche to abort babies should tests determine that they are likely to be homosexual, despite the vast body of evidence indicating homosexuality is a result of environment rather than genetic code.

The geneticist has gone so far as to promote the idea of creating a kind of Nazi super-race, where the attractive and physically strong are genetically manufactured under laboratory conditions.

"People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great," said Watson.

Watson's disgusting creed of racial and genetic purity by means of state-enforced eugenics is a mindset embraced by a large body of the elite minds in government, science and academia today.

Many of them advocate ethnically cleansing up to 80% of the human population by means of genocide and forced sterilization.

Last year, Dr. Eric R. Pianka gave a speech to the Texas Academy of Science in which he advocated the need to exterminate 90% of the population through the airborne ebola virus. The vast majority of those in attendance stood and applauded Pianka's open call for mass genocide.


Sometimes people shoot themselves in the foot. The bigger the gun, the bigger the hole.
This guy just used a cannon.


"different" doesn't necessarily equal "stupid" or worse (and he isn't the only genetics genius to have such opinions about inter-group differences) but he does come off as a good example of the frontal cortex shrinking with age....


"different" doesn't necessarily equal "stupid" or worse (and he isn't the only genetics genius to have such opinions about inter-group differences) but he does come off as a good example of the frontal cortex shrinking with age....


Who can argue with that?


Is there really any objective way to measure collective intelligence? I think there are far too many variables to make it possible.


What I take away from this post is that jlesk is in favor of more babies being born with a higher risk of genetics disorders. Only the worst of human filth would be in favor of more babies being born with diseases like CF.


Correct. I think this guy is just trying to make a buck by being inflammatory. I personally think stupid knows no race, nor boundaries. It is found in abundance in all places and all races.
Of course, I am for the super race of hot women. Just make sure to engineer them with a ferocious libido and a love of sports and fast cars.


Assuming for the sake of the discussion that IQ tests do a good job measuring general intelligence, I think it's quite difficult to untangle cultural influences from genetic influences as causal factors for measured gaps.

See: http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/520.html



Let me sum up.

  1. The most common formulae used to estimate heritability are wrong, either for trivial mathematical reasons (such as the upward bias in the difference between monozygotic and dizygotic twins' correlations), or for substantive ones (the covariance of monozygotic twins raised apart neglects shared environments other than the family, such as maternal and community effects).

  2. The best estimate I can find puts the narrow heritability of IQ at around 0.34 and the broad heritability at 0.48.

  3. Even this estimate neglected heteroskedasticity, gene-environment interactions, gene-environment covariance, the existence of shared environment beyond the family, and the possibility that the samples being used are not representative of the broader population.

  4. Now that people are finally beginning to model gene-environment interactions, even in very crude ways, they find it matters a lot. Recall that Turkheimer et al. found a heritability which rose monotonically with socioeconomic status, starting around zero at low status and going up to around 0.8 at high status. Even this is probably an over-estimate, since it neglected maternal effects and other shared non-familial environment, correlations between variance components, etc. Under such circumstances, talking about "the" heritability of IQ is nonsense. Actual geneticists have been saying as much since Dobzhansky at least.

  5. Applying the usual heritability estimators to traits which are shaped at least in part by cultural transmission, a.k.a. traditions, is very apt to confuse tradition with genetics. The usual twin studies do not solve this problem. Studies which could don't seem to have been done.

  6. Heritability is completely irrelevant to malleability or plasticity; every possible combination of high and low heritability, and high and low malleability, is not only logically possible but also observed.

  7. Randomized experiments, natural experiments and the Flynn Effect all show what competent regressions also suggest, namely that IQ is, indeed, responsive to purely environmental interventions.

I realize I'm inviting the suspicion that I'm protesting too much. If I really think heritability is irrelevant to malleability, why shouldn't I be happy to accept, say, Jensen's old favored value of 0.8 for IQ's broad-sense heritability, which puts in the same range as highly-malleable height? Why go on at such length about an irrelevancy? I can only offer two replies. One is that I am trying to meet people half way: even if I can't persuade you that heritability has nothing to do with malleability, I hope to persuade you that the current estimates are not reliable, that the notion of a value for IQ's heritability is silly, and that we do, indeed, know squat about that question. The other and more basic reply, however, is that these people are wrong in ways I find intensely irritating.

So: Do I really believe that the heritability of IQ is zero? Well, I hope by this point I've persuaded you that's not a well-posed question. What I hope you really want to ask is something like: Do I think there are currently any genetic variations which, holding environment fixed to within some reasonable norms for prosperous, democratic, industrial or post-industrial societies, would tend to lead to differences in IQ? There my answer is "yes, of course". I've mentioned phenylketonuria and hypothyroidism already, and many other in-born errors of metabolism also lead to cognitive deficits, including lower IQ, at least in certain environments. More interestingly, conditions like Williams's Syndrome, Downs's Syndrome, etc., are genetically caused, and lead to reasonably predictable patterns of cognitive deficits, affecting different abilities in different ways. In many of these cases, it seems very likely (but is not yet established) that these variants cause problems with the signaling pathways which set how gene expression responds to environmental cues. Manipulating those signaling pathways during the right time windows would change what kind of mind the organism has later. The fact that different genetic disorders lead to different patterns of cognitive deficits, rather than just generally making people duller all around, suggests ways of disentangling which genes are relevant to which abilities through which molecular mechanisms. (Cf.) At a popular level, I've still not run across a better description of way the regulation of gene expression couples genotypes and environments during mental development than Gary Marcus's writings, but if you want details there is a whole rapidly-growing field of molecular developmental neurobiology (as I'm not-infrequently reminded).

I suspect this answer will still not satisfy some people, who really want to know about differences between people who do not have significant developmental disorders. Here, my honest answer would be that I presently have no evidence one way or the other. If you put a gun to my head and asked me to guess, and I couldn't tell what answer you wanted to hear, I'd say that my suspicion is that there are, mostly on the strength of analogy to other areas of biology where we know much more. I would then �?? cautiously, because you have a gun to my head �?? suggest that you read, say, Dobzhansky on the distinction between "human equality" and "genetic identity", and ask why it is so important to you that IQ be heritable and unchangeable.[/i]


Agreed. He's no better than Al Gore or Ann Coulter. Except for the killing part I guess... ok, so he's no better than Ann Coulter, but of course, he's trying to insight massive hysteria like Gore... hmmm


The problem is there is no absolute means to measure intelligence that isn't biased to favor those with the same faculties as the test designer.

Intelligence tests are inherently flawed in this regard.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as genetic superiority -- it seems a contradiction of evolution to even suggest it.

Intelligence could very well be a mechanism for sexual selection so it would be absurd to think that there is some ideal intelligent race. Intelligence, a biological capacity, continues to evolve within the human species as a whole. Are we progressing in this regard? I do not know.

As to the question of equality: Where one excels an other does not. The division of labor teaches us this.


Yeah, and I have a bridge to sell you too...


I don't think he's in it for the money. He's 80 and could probably walk into half the VC firms in the country and walk out with more money than he could spend before he dies. On top of that, I doubt he's invested in such a way as to profit from a eugenics campaign against the 'Black Community'.

Except Watson earned his Nobel based on ground breaking scientific work. I think it's a wealthy eccentric old man being eccentric. Many of the Nobel laureates tend to be opinionated (Kary Mullis and AIDS anyone?) and because of their accolades are put in high-profile positions where they can very publicly kick themselves in the teeth. If I collect my Nobel at 34 (fingers crossed :stuck_out_tongue: ), I think I'd be equally eccentric.


Well, if he is on the level scientifically I would have to question his samples and the tests he used. To make a bold statement such as race based inteligence levels, he would need a rather large sample of all the races in question with a very clean testing environment.

The samples have to necessarily represent the population at large as well the testing has to represent the environment from which the sample was taken. You can't just test some blacks who are in a gang or on welfare and won't get a job, with some middle class whites, against some Asian doctoral professors. You can't take some poor goat herder from Uganda hand him an American IQ test and expect him to kick ass at it. You have to sample black lawyers, doctors, professors, etc. as well as some ass backward, prison dwelling whites, and degenerate , rice picking asians.

I think this guy is full of shit is my bottom line. Make bold statements when you have the statistically significant data to back it up.


Make 'em ROBOTS who look like Jessica Alba or Pam Anderson. No monthly visits from 'Ms. Grumpy'. :smiley:


Me no follow. WTF?


Whilst it is problematic to suggest there is an "ideal" intelligent race, it is not fundamentally a problem to suggest that some "race" was genetically predisposed for better intellectual capacity that allows them to score higher on IQ tests. Evolution occurs at the level of the individual (some would argue the gene) not the "species as a whole" so you can have "races" that are more "intelligent" than others.

BUT when looking at human evolution there are two fundamental problems with the proposition that Watson makes. First is that Human populations left Africa less than 100,000 years ago (best estimate) and this is very little time for any meaningful mutation to arise re intelligence. Therefore you are relying on some sort of founder affect whereby "smarter" Humans left Africa, which is highly unlikely.

Further most of the "important" brain evolution (the stuff that separates us from other Apes) occurred recently so the amount of variation in these genes is likely to be low anyway.

Further Humans have never been genetically isolated from one another for extended periods of time, with the possible exception of Aborigines in Aus. We moved around ALOT and fucked, so there was plenty of gene flow. Then there is the problem of defining what a "race" is.
The reality is that whilst differences between the intelligence of "races" is not precluded, it IS highly unlikely and if it does exist it would be minor to the point of non-existence.

Once you add the fact that we do not have any meaningful way to test peoples intelligence in isolation from culture (you can "raise" your IQ by doing practice IQ tests), Watson's opinion is baseless.


I have to confess that when I read the OP, my jaw literally dropped. Not so much about what Watson had to say--everything I've ever read about him suggests he is a monumental dick--but it was this bit:

I couldn't imagine any news source, even a tabloid, writing something so full-throated crazy. So I clicked on the link the OP provided and read the article.

It was then I realized my mistake: I thought jlesk68 was quoting the news article, but he wasn't. Apparently the spittle flying was his own.


Too many Tom Clancy books.



UT professor criticized over comments about impending pandemic

AUSTIN -- A University of Texas biology professor has been targeted by talk radio, bloggers and vitriolic e-mails _ including a death threat _ after a published report that he advocated death for most of the population as a means of saving the Earth.

But Eric Pianka said Monday his remarks about what he believes is an impending pandemic were taken out of context.

"What we really need to do is start thinking about controlling our population before it's too late," he said. "It's already too late, but we're not even thinking about it. We're just mindlessly rushing ahead breeding our brains out."

The public furor began when The Gazette-Enterprise of Seguin, Texas, reported Sunday on two speeches Pianka made last month to groups of scientists and students about vanishing animal habitats and the explosion of the human population.

The newspaper's Jamie Mobley attended one of those speeches and also interviewed Forrest Mims, an amateur scientist and author who heard Pianka speak early last month before the Texas Academy of Science.

After the newspaper's report appeared, it was circulated widely and posted on "The Drudge Report." It quickly became talk radio fodder.

The Gazette-Enterprise quoted Pianka as saying disease "will control the scourge of humanity. We're looking forward to a huge collapse."

Pianka said he was only trying to warn his audience that disease epidemics have happened before and will happen again if the human population growth isn't contained.

He said he believes the Earth would be better off if the human population were smaller because fewer natural resources would be consumed and humans wouldn't continue to destroy animal habitats. But he said that doesn't mean he wants most humans to die.

But Mims, chairman of the academy's environmental science section, told The Associated Press there was no mistaking Pianka's disdain for humans and desire for their elimination.

"He wishes for it. He hopes for it. He laughs about it. He jokes about it," Mims said. "It's got to happen because we are the scourge of humanity."

David Marsh, president of the Texas Academy of Science, did not return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment. No recording or transcript of either that speech or another delivered last Friday at St. Edward's University in Austin was available for review by the AP. The Gazette-Enterprise said it reviewed a transcript of the original speech, which was provided on the condition that it not be distributed.

Allan Hook, a St. Edward's biology professor who heard both speeches, said Pianka "wasn't so perhaps adamant in his own personal views of what he thinks might happen" in his second lecture.

But Hook declined to elaborate on what Pianka said in the earlier speech, which Pianka delivered while being honored as the academy's 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

University of Texas officials don't plan to take any action against Pianka, university spokesman Don Hale said.

"Dr. Pianka has First Amendment rights to express his point of view," Hale said. "We have plenty of faculty with a lot of different points of view and they have the right to express that point of view, but they're expressing their personal point of view."