James Watson and the PC Witch-hunters

Let’s suppose that James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA together with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, is wrong about race and intelligence. And let’s even suppose that it was immoral for him to say that this fact “makes me despair about Africa.”

Does this abolish Dr. Watson’s free speech rights?  No.

Well, does James Watson merit the merry media witch hunt that has followed him, ever after making that Verboten remark, so that he is now known as “the disgraced scientist James Watson”?

I do not think so. Media witch hunting is a fundamental wrong, no matter who the target witch may be. Burning witches is wrong. 

James Watson has hit the news again, because he is selling his Nobel Prize medal, supposedly “because he is broke,” having been “disgraced” by talking about race and IQ.  The bit about being broke seems to be mythical, a little journalistic “narrative” to dress up a tale of sin and moral comeuppance.

As it happens, Dr. Watson is still the Chancellor Emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, one of the foremost biological research centers in the world. Dr. Watson could easily live from the proceeds of his best-selling books, including The Double Helix. For that matter, the many billionaires who became wealthy from DNA-based technology would be happy to help Dr. Watson stay out of the homeless shelters. After all, they owe him their vast fortunes. 

But let’s suppose the Mob Media are right that Watson is “broke” and selling his Nobel medal for food and shelter. We are obviously supposed to believe that.

The fact is that nobody, not even our despicable media, can ever take away James Watson’s Nobel Prize. The last six decades of biology and medicine -- including genomic medicine that will save billions of lives -- are simply not imaginable without Watson and Crick. Not even the New York Times Editorial Board’s official witch hunters can change the history of real science. That medal is just a tiny symbol of Watson and Crick’s achievement. Erase that medal and nothing changes.

I believe that James Watson is expressing his contempt for that bauble, and for the culture that celebrates it, by selling it for three or four million dollars. Deciphering the structure of DNA has made him and his fellow workers the most important biologists of the 20th century. The history of science is what it is, and even today’s biggest scapegoaters -- no, not even the President of the United States himself -- can change that fact.

History will see today’s woefully corrupt media much the way we see the Inquisition trial of Galileo. The Pope could not destroy Galileo’s groundbreaking discoveries in physics and astronomy, which stand today just as they did five centuries ago. It is Galileo who is immortal in history. It is Galileo who was the lone truth-seeker, while the Church has finally seen fit to formally admit that he was right -- five centuries later.

Notice that the media are now anointing publicly-exposed climate frauds like Michael Mann as “respected scientists.” They are also labeling truly historic scientists as “disgraced.” The contrast between real scientists and our vulgar and asinine media can hardly be greater.

No, James Watson is not ‘disgraced” -- not in the eyes of science and history. Not to sane and educated people. And not in reality. We do have a wholly disgraced media, and their daily record of lies and manipulations smells to very heaven. George Orwell wrote about their “smelly little orthodoxies.” Orwell worked for the BBC, and he knew from daily experience. “Progressive” orthodoxies are as smelly today as they were then.

James Watson is hardly the first of all the witches to be burned by the mob. The list of scapegoats constitutes a roll call of honor -- Justice Clarence Thomas being another great example.

When academic historians recover from this Age of Deception -- another Orwell phrase -- they will have many another PC scandal to chew on, such as the fate of Dr. Larry Summers, Bill Clinton’s economic advisor.  In 2005, Larry Summers was fired as president of Harvard, simply for saying that girls might not be as talented in math as those rare, lonely, young, and Asperger-like math geniuses who mostly turn out to be boys.

Well, maybe young girl math geniuses were overlooked in the 25 centuries of mathematical discoveries since the Golden Age of Greece. It’s possible.

Or maybe those isolated boy geniuses are simply not as sociable as girls, so that girl geniuses feel they need to hide their smarts. Or maybe they just don’t want the deep isolation and loneliness that young genius often entails. Maybe smart girl just don’t want the pain and isolation that genius boys may have to tolerate. Being a young genius is not necessarily a happy fate. If you have a choice, you might choose to avoid such loneliness.

Very isolated children have a lot more time to contemplate the logarithmic relationships between metal gears, to name but one example. Physicist Richard Feynman spent hundreds of hours as a child playing with metal gears. In later life he believed that his childhood fascination helped to develop that ‘physical intuition” that led him to major discoveries, like Feynman particle diagrams. How many sociable children would isolate themselves long enough to understand logarithmic gear ratios? Probably not many. It’s more fun to go out and play.

A Feynman brain in a girl’s body might have spent her childhood thinking about personal relationships instead of gears. Girls are attuned to sociality for obvious biological reasons.

The fact is that we just do not know what makes boy math geniuses. We do know that they keep turning up, and have done so consistently for 25 centuries.

And yet, Larry Summers was drummed out of the biggest job at Harvard, our flagship university in this country, for something he said in the innocent belief that free speech still reigned on campus. Summers’ greatest sin was naiveté about the PC mob that really runs Harvard.

Harvard was founded when Puritan ministers were the great political powers in Massachussets, but I have never heard of any Harvard President in Puritan times who was purged for making an innocent remark. In fact, starting with Ben Franklin, American history and literature is full of criticism of the Puritans.

By comparison with today’s puritanical witch burners -- the ‘progressives” -- the real Puritans were fair-minded and tolerant. They were certainly far less hateful, since hating was a great sin to devout Christians. And unlike the Marxist Left, which killed 100 million people in the 20th century, according to Marxist historians, the Puritans did not indulge in mass murder “to change society.”

That historic achievement had to await the rise of “progressives” like V.I. Lenin.

For liberal witch burners the substance of forbidden speech doesn’t matter. No matter what the scientific question may be -- global warming, genetics of IQ, boy math geniuses -- they are absolutely sure what the answer must be. Anything but their fiercely dogmatic answers are taboo, too frightening to think about.  Which is why they must destroy any expression of taboo thoughts. There is something very psychologically primitive about the emotional lives of liberals.

We can only hope that today’s Puritans will soon follow the fate of the Cromwell’s English Puritans, who did burn a few witches, yes, but orders of magnitude fewer than Karl Marx worshippers.  

P.S. An excellent, up-to-date scientific account of  the question of race and intelligence has j just been published. Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History treats the question with great sensitivity and scientific accuracy -- which shows that it can be done

Let’s suppose that James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA together with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, is wrong about race and intelligence. And let’s even suppose that it was immoral for him to say that this fact “makes me despair about Africa.”

Does this abolish Dr. Watson’s free speech rights?  No.

Well, does James Watson merit the merry media witch hunt that has followed him, ever after making that Verboten remark, so that he is now known as “the disgraced scientist James Watson”?

I do not think so. Media witch hunting is a fundamental wrong, no matter who the target witch may be. Burning witches is wrong. 

James Watson has hit the news again, because he is selling his Nobel Prize medal, supposedly “because he is broke,” having been “disgraced” by talking about race and IQ.  The bit about being broke seems to be mythical, a little journalistic “narrative” to dress up a tale of sin and moral comeuppance.

As it happens, Dr. Watson is still the Chancellor Emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, one of the foremost biological research centers in the world. Dr. Watson could easily live from the proceeds of his best-selling books, including The Double Helix. For that matter, the many billionaires who became wealthy from DNA-based technology would be happy to help Dr. Watson stay out of the homeless shelters. After all, they owe him their vast fortunes. 

But let’s suppose the Mob Media are right that Watson is “broke” and selling his Nobel medal for food and shelter. We are obviously supposed to believe that.

The fact is that nobody, not even our despicable media, can ever take away James Watson’s Nobel Prize. The last six decades of biology and medicine -- including genomic medicine that will save billions of lives -- are simply not imaginable without Watson and Crick. Not even the New York Times Editorial Board’s official witch hunters can change the history of real science. That medal is just a tiny symbol of Watson and Crick’s achievement. Erase that medal and nothing changes.

I believe that James Watson is expressing his contempt for that bauble, and for the culture that celebrates it, by selling it for three or four million dollars. Deciphering the structure of DNA has made him and his fellow workers the most important biologists of the 20th century. The history of science is what it is, and even today’s biggest scapegoaters -- no, not even the President of the United States himself -- can change that fact.

History will see today’s woefully corrupt media much the way we see the Inquisition trial of Galileo. The Pope could not destroy Galileo’s groundbreaking discoveries in physics and astronomy, which stand today just as they did five centuries ago. It is Galileo who is immortal in history. It is Galileo who was the lone truth-seeker, while the Church has finally seen fit to formally admit that he was right -- five centuries later.

Notice that the media are now anointing publicly-exposed climate frauds like Michael Mann as “respected scientists.” They are also labeling truly historic scientists as “disgraced.” The contrast between real scientists and our vulgar and asinine media can hardly be greater.

No, James Watson is not ‘disgraced” -- not in the eyes of science and history. Not to sane and educated people. And not in reality. We do have a wholly disgraced media, and their daily record of lies and manipulations smells to very heaven. George Orwell wrote about their “smelly little orthodoxies.” Orwell worked for the BBC, and he knew from daily experience. “Progressive” orthodoxies are as smelly today as they were then.

James Watson is hardly the first of all the witches to be burned by the mob. The list of scapegoats constitutes a roll call of honor -- Justice Clarence Thomas being another great example.

When academic historians recover from this Age of Deception -- another Orwell phrase -- they will have many another PC scandal to chew on, such as the fate of Dr. Larry Summers, Bill Clinton’s economic advisor.  In 2005, Larry Summers was fired as president of Harvard, simply for saying that girls might not be as talented in math as those rare, lonely, young, and Asperger-like math geniuses who mostly turn out to be boys.

Well, maybe young girl math geniuses were overlooked in the 25 centuries of mathematical discoveries since the Golden Age of Greece. It’s possible.

Or maybe those isolated boy geniuses are simply not as sociable as girls, so that girl geniuses feel they need to hide their smarts. Or maybe they just don’t want the deep isolation and loneliness that young genius often entails. Maybe smart girl just don’t want the pain and isolation that genius boys may have to tolerate. Being a young genius is not necessarily a happy fate. If you have a choice, you might choose to avoid such loneliness.

Very isolated children have a lot more time to contemplate the logarithmic relationships between metal gears, to name but one example. Physicist Richard Feynman spent hundreds of hours as a child playing with metal gears. In later life he believed that his childhood fascination helped to develop that ‘physical intuition” that led him to major discoveries, like Feynman particle diagrams. How many sociable children would isolate themselves long enough to understand logarithmic gear ratios? Probably not many. It’s more fun to go out and play.

A Feynman brain in a girl’s body might have spent her childhood thinking about personal relationships instead of gears. Girls are attuned to sociality for obvious biological reasons.

The fact is that we just do not know what makes boy math geniuses. We do know that they keep turning up, and have done so consistently for 25 centuries.

And yet, Larry Summers was drummed out of the biggest job at Harvard, our flagship university in this country, for something he said in the innocent belief that free speech still reigned on campus. Summers’ greatest sin was naiveté about the PC mob that really runs Harvard.

Harvard was founded when Puritan ministers were the great political powers in Massachussets, but I have never heard of any Harvard President in Puritan times who was purged for making an innocent remark. In fact, starting with Ben Franklin, American history and literature is full of criticism of the Puritans.

By comparison with today’s puritanical witch burners -- the ‘progressives” -- the real Puritans were fair-minded and tolerant. They were certainly far less hateful, since hating was a great sin to devout Christians. And unlike the Marxist Left, which killed 100 million people in the 20th century, according to Marxist historians, the Puritans did not indulge in mass murder “to change society.”

That historic achievement had to await the rise of “progressives” like V.I. Lenin.

For liberal witch burners the substance of forbidden speech doesn’t matter. No matter what the scientific question may be -- global warming, genetics of IQ, boy math geniuses -- they are absolutely sure what the answer must be. Anything but their fiercely dogmatic answers are taboo, too frightening to think about.  Which is why they must destroy any expression of taboo thoughts. There is something very psychologically primitive about the emotional lives of liberals.

We can only hope that today’s Puritans will soon follow the fate of the Cromwell’s English Puritans, who did burn a few witches, yes, but orders of magnitude fewer than Karl Marx worshippers.  

P.S. An excellent, up-to-date scientific account of  the question of race and intelligence has j just been published. Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History treats the question with great sensitivity and scientific accuracy -- which shows that it can be done