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Watson Says, “Ooops…Never Mind!”

Scott on October 19, 2007 at 11:03 am

In a strange twist to the already weird, sad, pathetic story of James Watson’s declaration 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,” Mr. Watson has now tried to do an “about face.”

Mr. Watson is now saying:

“I am mortified about what has happened. More importantly, I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said. I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways they have. 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.”

Perhaps Watson should have gone in to politics, because that is a fantastic non-denial-denial. What does “I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said” mean, exactly? That he didn’t say it, or that he was misquotes, or that he had a brain fart and said it but didn’t mean it, or what?

I knew that Watson had a history of opening his scientific mouth and inserting his Nobel Laureate foot, but I wasn’t fully aware of his Greatest Hits until I ran across this list of some of his more famous/infamous quotes:

* After showing images of women in bikinis and veiled Muslim women, he suggested that there is a link between exposure to sunlight and libido. Then he said, “That’s why you have Latin lovers. You’ve never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient.”

* After showing a picture of Kate Moss, he asserted that thin people are unhappy and therefore ambitious. “Whenever you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you’re not going to hire them,” he added.

* “Fat people may also be more sexual,” Watson asserted, “because their bloodstreams contain higher levels of leptin.”

* “If you are really stupid, I would call that a disease.  The lower 10 per cent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what’s the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, ‘Well, poverty, things like that.’ It probably isn’t. So I’d like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 per cent.”

Keep on talkin’, Mr. Watson. Keep on talkin’ !!!

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