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.It's hard to see what else he *could* have meant by his remarks, and he doesn't exactly say he was misquoted. I guess he realized he bumped up against the limits of religiously-permitted thought for the freethinking secular scientist.
I also found the original remarks he made about aborting homosexuals, and they're even more interesting than I could glean from the indirect quote in the newspaper account from earlier today and from the CNN account of his recantation above.¹ Anyway here's the original direct quote:
"If you could find the gene which determines sexuality and a woman decides she doesn't want a homosexual child, well, let her" abort.Which he elaborates on here (HT: Dale)
I remember him turning to me the day the headline “Abort babies with gay genes, says Nobel winner” appeared in a British broadsheet 10 years ago. Eyes wild and voice uncharacteristically strained, he asked: “What should I do about the press?” He refers to the incident again at lunch. “It was a hypothetical thing,” he explains. “If you could detect it pre-natally, could a woman abort a child who was homosexual? I said they should have the right to, because most women want to have grandchildren, period. We can’t do it, but it’s common sense. Anyways,” he says, shaking his head wearily, “it was a bad day when that headline hit. I was just arguing for the freedom of women to try and have the children they want, not what is right or wrong.”I'm curious about what he meant by "we can't do it" presumably meaning "we can't stop women" from aborting pre-gay children -- which is on the face of it, nonsense. (It may be unwise to do it, or some people may get around such a law, but we certainly *can* ban abortion for gay selection. Society uncontroversially bans certain medical procedures for certain purposes.)
After libel-suit threats, he "clarified" his remarks, but leaped even deeper into worship of The God Choice.
But when asked where society should draw the line over abortion, he replied:This 1997 article in the Independent shows that this distinction apparently didn't mollify gay groups, for no rational reason I can discern that is compatible with the pro-choice attitudes commonly held among homosexuals, too many of whom see opposing abortion as one of those evil things that horrible religious fundamentalists do.
"Society shouldn't. I think women should have the right to an abortion if they want one, irrespective of whether there is a disease. I am pro-choice and I believe men and committees should play no part in women's decisions.
"I don't see where you can draw the line. Some people might not want a child who is dyslexic. A woman could say that some day, if a gene were discovered for musical ability, and her child didn't have it, she might want to abort.
"Someone else might say, I do not want my child to be short because I love basketball and he'll be too short to play. There could be 1,000 different reasons and many of them we would consider absurd. But I believe a woman should be able to walk into a clinic for an abortion and not have the state interfere."
Watson is simply correct: if you are pro-choice, you can have no moral qualm about aborting babies that test positively for a predisposition to homosexuality. None. And if the specific, repeated disclaimer that one is pro-choice himself doesn't prevent one from being tarred over it, then what the Cultural Elites are indicating by their reaction is that -- well, they're just gonna plug their ears and say "tralalala, lalala. I'm not listening. You're evil. I'm not listening."
When a reasonably reliable pre-natal test of that sort becomes available (that's "when" not "if," assuming that "nature" plays any role in same-sex attractions in the first place, and it's an Article of Faith among gay groups that they do), I want to be around to see whether the gay-rights establishment is really about protecting homosexual persons or just a tool of the Democratic Party and the kulturkampf left. If past is prologue -- the latter.
UPDATE Friday: The excommunication continues. Watson is suspended from his lab.
LONDON - A prominent American scientist who set off an international furor with remarks about intelligence levels among blacks canceled a book tour of Britain and returned home Friday, after his employer suspended his administrative duties.
James Watson, 79, is chancellor of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Late Thursday, the lab's board said it had suspended Watson's administrative responsibilities pending further deliberation.
UPDATE 2: The Bigot Is Dead. Long Live ... The Other Bigots (I guess). Watson is forced to resign from his lab outright.
Nobel laureate James D. Watson, the renowned co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, resigned Thursday as chancellor of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the aftermath of an uproar over racial comments he made recently. ...
Watson, 79, said in an e-mail statement that the change in leadership was "overdue."
"The circumstances in which this transfer is occurring, however, are not those which I could ever have anticipated or desired," he continued.
Further proof that no scientist will ever find any differences in group intelligence. Any who say there are any will be defrocked and turned into "nonscientist." The progress of reason is a thing of beauty.
¹ "In 1997, Britain's Sunday Telegraph quoted Watson as saying that if a gene for homosexuality were isolated, women who find that their unborn child has the gene should be allowed to have an abortion." It's feminism-blasphemy to say "be allowed to"???