The Aryan Race is unhappy that James Watson has been exposed

Oh, look. The “race realist/scientific racist/just plain racist” gang is very upset that James Watson’s reputation has been besmirched. Errm, further besmirched. Um, OK, blackened to scorched ashes.

Let’s take this apart for the fun of it, shall we?

Brilliant DNA pioneer

True. It’s a good idea to use a bit of reality as a jumping off point for your swan dive into fantasy. But yes, Watson is an incredibly smart guy who accomplished a significant piece of work in the 1950s. That is not, however, incompatible with the fact that he’s also a delusional egomaniac bristling with lots of other bad ideas.

to be wiped from history books

False. We don’t throw away significant data or past scientific contributions. Watson and Crick will still be mentioned. Their famous Nature paper will still be cited. You know, one of the most famous developmental biologists of the last century was Hans Spemann, who was a literal Nazi supporter, and we still discuss his science. Watson will remain in the history books, it’s just that after “co-discoverer of DNA structure”, we’ll also add “and notorious racist”. See? More words, not fewer!

bcuz he said IQ differences exist between races

True. He said that. But he went further to make the unfounded claim that the causes were genetic. It’s that overreach (and also his unapologetic misogyny and racist contempt for non-white people) that led to the loss of honors conferred on him.

& he was very sad about that fact.

No, not particularly. He was pretty gleeful about the superiority of his race when I talked to him. He said stuff about how he was regretful that other races were inferior, but that’s about as sincere and persuasive as me saying that I am so sad that Lana Lokteff has her head stuck up her ass. We all know I’m not sad at all.

Cultural Marxist quacks hijacked his work,

When I see someone talking about “Cultural Marxist”, they have just confirmed that they do, indeed, have their head stuck up their ass. “Cultural Marxism” is a fiction.

But no, that’s false, no one has “hijacked” his work. The worthwhile stuff was all published and made freely available to the world. Everyone gets to use the information about DNA. And further, there has been so much work done to further illuminate the structure and function of DNA by others that it’s not really about him anymore.

stab him in the back.

We’ve known about Watson’s distorted and self-serving view of his history since the 1960s, when he laid bare his selfish little soul in The Double Helix. Everyone just said, “That’s Jim”, and let him babble on. Honor after honor was piled on, in spite of the fact that virtually everyone who worked with him knew he was a petty little shit on the subject of race and gender. He got old, rich, and famous. He only finally got slapped down when he made a lecture tour where he rambled about how melanin made black men into horny rape-monsters, which he illustrated with slides of women in bikinis, and declared that Africa was hopeless because everyone there had an IQ below 80. Finally Cold Spring Harbor stepped in because he was embarrassing the institution. The latest motion to strip of him of even his honorary titles was made because he reneged on his promises to stop dragging CSH’s name through the mud (they have a lot to make up for as a center of the eugenics movement in the first half of the last century, so they’re sensitive on this subject).

Rather than being stabbed in the back, I see a recalcitrant old man who was treated with kid gloves for over half a century, by an institution that only reluctantly rescinded his welcome when his petulant, nasty act became too much to bear.

It’s only correct ‘science’ if it is anti-White

Modern science sans Watson is not anti-White, except in the sense that “White” is not a valid scientific construct to be taken seriously. The study of human genetics is not well served by pandering to the hateful notion that some humans aren’t human at all.


  1. says

    So, do you think his racism, among other “endearing” traits, influenced his research? It’s pretty clear (to me) that it’s influenced his conclusions…

  2. says

    PZ @ 4: Heh, I was gonna mention old Bill Shockley. If anyone’s interested, there’s probably still a Silicon Valley sperm bank or two out there with some of Bill’s guys on ice, right next to the out-of-date Halo Top flavours no-one likes.

  3. ck, the Irate Lump says

    I find it’s best to not even attempt to take anyone with the red “X” in their user name on Twitter seriously. For the uninitiated: it means that this person thinks that they’re being “shadow banned” by twitter for expressing their controversial conservative opinions. Their evidence for such an assertion? That their tweets don’t get as many likes and retweets as they think they deserve. In other words, they’re conspiracy theorists.

  4. unclefrogy says

    racists biggest problem, what they complain about really is that their ideas are not universally accepted without question. They complain that when ever their beliefs are questioned and examined closely they fall apart as utter bull shit and are rejected. a complete self-serving fantasy
    uncle frogy

  5. cartomancer says

    You would think, wouldn’t you, that they might come up with a new and unfamiliar bit of racism every now and then? If racism was such a fruitful and productive field of endeavour then there would be all sorts of exciting new racism coming out every month. You’d wait eagerly on your copy of Racism Today to discover that somebody thought the Chinese are genetically terrible at Backgammon, Peruvians are descended from Reed Warblers, the English have an inborn disadvantage when it comes to stacking shelves properly – that sort of thing.

    But no, it’s always some variant on creaky old 19th Century racism. It’s almost like there’s no scientific basis for it and it’s just some sort of inherited cultural baggage or something.

  6. petesh says

    I yield to no one in my disgust at Watson’s racism, but you can make a case that his misogyny is even worse. He made it very clear that in his youth that he was aggressively heterosexual and considered women’s value as entirely based on their sexual appeal to himself. I’m not sure how he rates black men vs white women, but presumably black women are the lowest of the low to him (defining black as non-white, whatever that means). Frevvinsake women are more successful than men just at surviving (which has to count for something to a biologist, doesn’t it?). The man is such a pig that I actually question his brilliance; his famous work did, after all, involve both a collaborator and a theft. But on that maybe I’m just biased.

  7. methuseus says

    Even when I was worried that “affirmative action” would keep me from the highest honors at a university (spoiler alert: it was my own laziness that did that) I never understood how treating non-white people as equals would diminish my life experiences. I’ve come very far since then, of course, but I still don’t understand why even postulating that non-white (which is a meaningless term) people are somehow “inferior” makes me better in any way whatsoever. It doesn’t even make me feel better about myself in any way, so why bother with the mental gymnastics?

  8. zenlike says

    One of her fellow deplorables, in a reply to her tweet, actually referred to Nikola Tesla. Drink!

  9. alkisvonidas says

    When I see someone talking about “Cultural Marxist”, they have just confirmed that they do, indeed, have their head stuck up their ass. “Cultural Marxism” is a fiction.

    Or, one might argue Cultural Marxism is the only Marxism in existence. I mean, are there born Marxists? Born-again Marxists? Genetic Marxists? Inquiring minds want to know!

  10. alkisvonidas says


    Well, I’m joking, of course, but I still don’t understand what the “cultural” moniker refers to. Is it meant in the sense that someone might be called a cultural Christian or Judaist or Muslim, i.e. non-practicing but thoroughly familiar and freely associating with a certain culture?

    If so, the people who invented the term must have had enough sense to realize it wouldn’t fly, in the presence of facts, to just call liberals “marxists”, and it would be too old fashioned to call them commies.

  11. hunter says

    I’m always somewhat bewildered when someone brings up the “genetic basis” for other races being inferior. Considering that there’s as much genetic variation between members of the same “race” as there is between races, somehow that just doesn’t hold water.

    (Considering that we share about 98% of our genome with chimpanzees, the idea that the genetic difference between races is too small to measure makes sense. Also –stray thought here — given that, think about how much of our genome we share with Homo habilis or Homo erectus. And they are different species.)

  12. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @21: To be fair, it’s not entirely made up.

    In essence, classical Marxism downplayed the importance of culture both as a phenomenon and as an arena for resistance. The Marxists were very classically militaristic: win by getting an industrial army together.

    By the 20th century, Marxist scholars like Gramsci, Adorno and Horkheimer were pointing out that this wasn’t really accurate. So they became to be referred to as “cultural Marxists”, in the sense that they included culture in their analysis and thought that fighting in the cultural field (such as against the awful jazz – yes, Adorno hated jazz) was deeply relevant.

    “Cultural Bolshevism” is of course a Nazi conspiracy theory, but if you squint and look just right, you could say that a duck island looks like a skull and that Adorno and Horkheimer look like people suggesting that the left should spread ideologies that destroy capitalism. Where it gets totally made up is the idea that therefore people offering entire banal and mainstream ideas about civil rights, anti-racism, diversity and protecting women and gays are actually engaging in a Marxist plot to secretly weaken Western culture so that Communism can take over.

    The most obvious problems with the modern Cultural Marxist argument is

    1) It’s a strawman that deliberately misrepresents their opponents. The vast majority of people on the Left didn’t become inspired by reading Adorno. It’s not even that they got inspired by people who agree with Adorno. Folks like Chomsky, Tim Wise, Shaun King, etc. bring a lot of folks closer to the Left, and most of them are harshly critical of ideas like the Frankfurt School. The right uses this approach to basically claim that the entire Left is an ideological monolith, such that you can dismiss Foucault and Chomsky in the same breath.
    2) It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Incidentally, it just occurred to me that the most hilarious irony is that, by the Nazis’ own reasoning, they are almost certainly Communist puppets. After all, if you wanted to create an ideology that discredited the West and whites, you could do little better than their fascism.

  13. cjcolucci says

    Someone can be a great scientist and a racist shit at the same time. Watson’s being a racist shit doesn’t invalidate his scientific greatness, and his scientific greatness does not validate does not validate his racist shit. How hard is this to understand?
    If Watson wants to put his scientific credibility behind his racist shit, he can do it the normal way: do some research and write it up for publication. If he comes up with some serious, credible research and it gets circular-filed everywhere, maybe someone will be able to make a coherent point. Until then, he’s just a cranky, racist uncle who happens to have been, in his day, an important scientist.

  14. damien75 says

    That makes me wonder : is there an entity that would be to “scientific” racism what NCSE is to creationism and global warming denialism ?

    In other words : what is a good resource to fight “scientific” racism ?

  15. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    cjcolucci: “Watson’s being a racist shit doesn’t invalidate his scientific greatness,…”

    Well, actually, yeah, it kinda does. His racism is deeply unscientific–indeed anti-scientific. That makes me wonder if Watson really understands science at all. There are certain things that sound science coupled with the available data allow one to say with a degree of confidence. Watson’s assertions about race go far beyond that–indicating that he doesn’t understand the data and calling into question whether he really understands science.

  16. says

    Cultural Marxist quacks hijacked his work, stab him in the back.

    The fucking brass ones it takes to defend James Watson, of all people, from having his work “hijacked” and being stabbed in the back. If not for the fact that it’s just one Nazi’s spin on events, that would be one of the clearest examples of karma in the history of history.