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Author Topic: Co-Discoverer of DNA Structure Watson Suspended  (Read 4127 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 19, 2007, 05:03:01 PM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7052416.stm

I heard from many professors Watson's personality is not very liked in the scientific community, and many people thought he did not deserve that Nobel anyway, that both he and Crick usurped the mantle of Rosalind Franklin so to speak when they were specifically asked not to, and got to publish there findings before others who were asked to did.

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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 06:56:57 PM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7052416.stm

I heard from many professors Watson's personality is not very liked in the scientific community, and many people thought he did not deserve that Nobel anyway, that both he and Crick usurped the mantle of Rosalind Franklin so to speak when they were specifically asked not to, and got to publish there findings before others who were asked to did.

Franklin was not even investigating the structure of DNA, her research focused on different areas of molecular biology, they used her research for their discovery, of course, but their research was original. Franklin probably also deserves a Nobel for her work, but she died before one could be presented. Watson's personality aside (which most either love or hate), he has many great accomplishments in the field of molecular biology; furthermore, the ideas he presented, different cognative abilities amongst ethnic groups, are hardly far fetched and a significant number of geneticists believe that further research will demonstrate as much before too long. Of course, his choice to speculate on this highly probable scientific truth before the irrefutable evidence has been formally published was politically disastrous; however, it's unfortunate that the PC gestapo has been able to wield sufficient influence to censor discussion of what should be a purely scientific issue...speculation on these matters of genetics should be encouraged, not persecuted.
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 07:06:28 PM »

 Roll Eyes Surprise, surprise.... Who'd have thought genetics would be used as eugenics?....
speculation on these matters of genetics should be encouraged, not persecuted.
While I certainly think research should be encouraged, speculation is not research. Watson did not propose an hypothesis, he made a claim based on evidence he had neither accrued nor examined, to wit: "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true". It's got nothing to do with being PC. He made an unscientific claim based on non-existent "evidence".
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 02:40:05 AM »

Watson has made many great contributions to science based on his intuition, as do all great scientists. Yes, for something to be accepted as a valid scientific theory it must undergo scientific analysis and criticism, but there has to be some intuition to give direction to research. You must first identify a problem and state a hypothesis in order to answer it scientifically. If you look at Dr. Watson's statement, that's exactly what he did, he said that while he would like to think that all ethnicities are intellectually equal national intelligence tests, economic disparity, and personal experience seem to suggest that this may very well not be the case...and the impact of small founder populations for various ethnicities (for example, 70% of all Finnish men can trace their Y-chromosomes to a single person just a couple thousand years ago...obviously this man's personal genetics have had a substantial impact on the entire Finnish population) has created substantial differences in physical stature and ability, it would be highly unlikely that it did not have a similar impact on intelligence.

Dr. Watson's intuition, with is essentially nothing more than a claim that genetics influences intelligence, is most likely correct (consider the studies of identical twins separated at birth...IQ is one of a list of similarities); however, we probably won't know for sure and have all the details for another 10-20 years. However, many would seek to deny him the right to use this intuition to ask very interesting questions in genetics, this is censorship, it's bad policy and it's bad for science. As far as your claim that the claim was 'unscientific', he was not publishing an article in Nature, he was discussing intuition on a matter related to genetics with a newspaper; and there is more than enough out there to suggest that the issue of genetic influence on intelligence is worth studying. Political correctness has no place in scientific theories.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 02:52:51 AM »

Political correctness has no place in scientific theories.
And apparently Science doesn't either. The statement:
"It is clear that black people are less intelligent than white people-just ask any employer of black people"
isn't science GiC, and I think it's sad that you think it is.
1) Watson hasn't examined the socio-economic factors involved.
2) Watson hasn't actually accrued any evidence for his statement- he has applied his own bias and pulled evidence out of where the sun doesn't shine.
3) Watson has made an hypothesis into a conclusion without proof. It's absolutely fine to propose a scientific examination to show whether white people are more intelligent than black people, it's not fine to say that your hypothesis that white people are more intelligent than black people is proven without any scientific evidence for it.
4) Watson's claim would mean that the gene for intelligence is the same gene for skin colour- prove it.

Again, it's not about being PC, it's about the Scientific Method. Watson made a claim which is idiotic enough to disprove his own hypothesis.
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 03:34:27 AM »

And apparently Science doesn't either. The statement:
"It is clear that black people are less intelligent than white people-just ask any employer of black people"
isn't science GiC, and I think it's sad that you think it is.

Genetic determinism of intelligence is scientific, it may not be definitively proven but there is substantial support for the theory. And you will note that Dr. Watson did not say that African intelligence is inferior to other intelligences (such as those of Europeans or Japanese), only that it is 'not the same as', which is why Dr. Watson was surprised at the outcry, that there is genetic drift (especially considering the size of many founder groups) is a very plausable hypothesis.

Quote
1) Watson hasn't examined the socio-economic factors involved.

Watson is a geneticist, so he addresses issues of genetics, which is a wonderful thing because here we can get absolute answers in time, something that won't come from psychology and sociology. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that several traits are caused by genetics; that intelligence is one of them seems fairly obvious when one compares humans to other species closely related in evolution, to extend this to assume there is a genetic difference causing intelligence differences within a species is hardly far-fetched.

Quote
2) Watson hasn't actually accrued any evidence for his statement- he has applied his own bias and pulled evidence out of where the sun doesn't shine.

It's interesting that the overwhelming majority of the criticism is comming from politicians and civil rights activists; geneticists are remaining fairly quiet on the issue, sure some are trying to distance themselves from him but I don't know of any that have presented evidnece to discredit the underlying theory of genetic determinism. And genetic determinism is not pulled out of Watson's posterior, but is rather heavily favoured amongst geneticists.

The problem is not that Watson's scientific theories are not plausable, rather the problem is that the implications of said theories are politically incorrect and unpopular.

Quote
3) Watson has made an hypothesis into a conclusion without proof. It's absolutely fine to propose a scientific examination to show whether white people are more intelligent than black people, it's not fine to say that your hypothesis that white people are more intelligent than black people is proven without any scientific evidence for it.

But Watson didn't definitively say anything, infact he said that he hopes all peoples are genetically equal, he just doesn't think that it's likely. Scientists make statements about how likely or unlikely some theory seems to them constantly, usually no one takes note...the ONLY reason that someone took note here was not because his assumption contradicted some established theory in genetics, but because it went beyond the bounds of what the PC thought police viewed as acceptable.

Your side is condemning him for being unscientific without presenting any genetic evidence for a contrary theory in genetics...which is utterly absurd.

Quote
4) Watson's claim would mean that the gene for intelligence is the same gene for skin colour- prove it.

Not true at all. Watson's claim would mean that, like the genes for skin colour, the genes for intelligence are affected by the influence of small founder groups and genetic drift and that unlike skin colour genes for intellience are influenced by different enviroments and darwinian natural selection.

Quote
Again, it's not about being PC, it's about the Scientific Method. Watson made a claim which is idiotic enough to disprove his own hypothesis.

And before Watson publishes such a theory in Nature the requirements of the scientific method must be fulfilled; however, the fact that there is not yet definitive proof for his theories does not mean that they should be silenced, especially since the opposite theories have perhaps even less evidence in the field of genetics.
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 03:54:54 AM »

It should also be noted that one of Watson's great contributions to molecular biology has long been regarded as his biological intuition. No one complained when Watson intuitively guessed that the structure of DNA was a double helix, which was then verified by testing. In fact, throughout his career Watson has guided many scientific research projects with his biological intuition, often with spectacular results. It is interesting that only now when his intuition points in a direction opposed not by science but by ideology do people rise up in arms.

To quote Henri Poincare, 'It is by intuition that we discover and by logic that we prove.'

So, if and when Watson's intuition is verified by hard scientific evidence will we be allowed to crucify those who opposed him as they now seek to crucify Dr. Watson without genetic evidence to oppose his suggestion?
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 04:54:11 AM »

^^ I would have to agree with GIC on this one. It's absurd to believe that there may not be any differences among the races after thousands of years of evolution and geographic separation when it comes to Watson's theory. If evolution has influenced real physical differences among different groups of people, why not in the area cognitive abilities/reasoning also? This doesn't mean that any one group is superior to the other, but simply there could be some *minor* differences among racial groups. I'm sure the PC police don't like it, but it's a reality they may have to deal with once more scientific research is done in this area. It's also foolish to suscribe to evolutionary theory, but then deny and lambast someone as credentialed as Watson who claims that the result of evolution may be some discernable differences among racial groups. 
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 06:31:52 AM »

it's a reality they may have to deal with once more scientific research is done in this area.
Spiffing. I agree. So do the blessed research, gather your evidence and then get back to us.
Thats what I am saying. The only people who seem to be obsessed with PC issues are yourself and GiC. I'm certainly not. I'm in favour of proper scientific research, not people spouting theories based on politico-cultural views with no scientific evidence.
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 11:42:03 AM »

Spiffing. I agree. So do the blessed research, gather your evidence and then get back to us.
Thats what I am saying. The only people who seem to be obsessed with PC issues are yourself and GiC. I'm certainly not. I'm in favour of proper scientific research, not people spouting theories based on politico-cultural views with no scientific evidence.

But there is enough evidence for genetic determinism that Watson no doubt takes it as granted. Sure, we haven't mapped the genes for intelligence with certain traits of intelligence yet, but we have several studies which demonstrate that there are high correlations of intelligence between non-adopted siblings (.60, and virtually none between adopted siblings) and that monozygotic twins have even higher correlations of intelligence (.86).

View ths in the light of darwinian natural selection and genetic drift and Dr. Watson's statements become highly probable. So who cares if we don't have a definitive proof yet, there is certainly enough evidence out there to speculate about the matter to a newspaper.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 11:45:27 AM »

The issue I have with this is the way that he stated his hypothesis: "People who have to deal with black employees". As though having a black employee is inherently a problem. There is the racism. Sure, do your research on this subject if you want, but you'd better make sure you state your hypothesis and your findings in a scientific manner. Sweeping generalizations such as this one really ought to be below Nobel Prize winners.
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 12:11:49 PM »

The issue I have with this is the way that he stated his hypothesis: "People who have to deal with black employees". As though having a black employee is inherently a problem. There is the racism. Sure, do your research on this subject if you want, but you'd better make sure you state your hypothesis and your findings in a scientific manner. Sweeping generalizations such as this one really ought to be below Nobel Prize winners.

A sweeping generalization is what earned Dr. Watson the Nobel Prize.
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 03:49:53 PM »

A sweeping generalization is what earned Dr. Watson the Nobel Prize.

Not necessarily.  All he did was take Franklin's x-ray data and converted it to molecular data, something that was considered easy by any scientist.  The real discoverer of DNA's structure was Franklin, as many scientists would speculate.

I would agree with George and Yb-analyst that his statement was more racist than respectfully and scientifically hypothetical.

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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 07:07:37 PM »

Not necessarily.  All he did was take Franklin's x-ray data and converted it to molecular data, something that was considered easy by any scientist.  The real discoverer of DNA's structure was Franklin, as many scientists would speculate.

I would agree with George and Yb-analyst that his statement was more racist than respectfully and scientifically hypothetical.

God bless.

Free speculation on matters of race and genetics should be allowed and even encouraged if we are not to retard progress in this field. Of course, it will progress in any case but it is best if politicians and civil rights activists just keep their distance.
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 09:17:39 AM »

Free speculation on matters of race and genetics should be allowed and even encouraged if we are not to retard progress in this field.

If by "free speculation" you mean "respectful, scientific hypothesizing followed by true, unbiased, ethical experimentation" then I agree with you. If, though, you mean the idiot who says, "My black neighbour is wack," then I must respectfully speculate that your hypothesis is invalid.
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2007, 12:36:46 PM »

If by "free speculation" you mean "respectful, scientific hypothesizing followed by true, unbiased, ethical experimentation" then I agree with you. If, though, you mean the idiot who says, "My black neighbour is wack," then I must respectfully speculate that your hypothesis is invalid.

Or that the black employees one has to deal with are wack...
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 01:19:45 PM »

If the good Dr. meant black folks in general, then I vehemently disagree with him.  If he meant the ghetto culture of black Americans, then of coarse, he's 100% correct.  Although they do have a knack for finding 40's of malt liquor and vulgar rhyming. Wink  Compare the Dr. George Washington Carver to the animal 50cent...
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2007, 01:22:23 PM »

"respectful, scientific hypothesizing followed by true, unbiased, ethical experimentation"

Remove the word 'respectful', respect is not necessary for the scientific method and ultimately has no scientific value it is a social and cultural value; also remove the word ethical, experiments are scientific if and only if they follow the scientific method, social and cultural norms and systems of morality are not essential to science -- then I agree with you.

In fact, this whole thing has been blown out of proportion by those attempting to impose the unscientific concepts of the culturally generated concepts of respect and ethics on scientific intuition. Dr. Watson is a scientist, he made a statement that he believes have scientific methods, if you disagree fine but don't condemn the man until you can scientifically prove his hypotheses to be untrue. Until there is genetic evidence either for or against genetic determinism, both sides in the scientific community should have the right to voice their opinions without repercussions; once sufficient scientific data is in and properly analyzed we can then arive at a proper scientific theory which will limit viable speculation unless new research sheds new light on the matter.
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 01:31:09 PM »

If the good Dr. meant black folks in general, then I vehemently disagree with him.  If he meant the ghetto culture of black Americans, then of coarse, he's 100% correct.  Although they do have a knack for finding 40's of malt liquor and vulgar rhyming. Wink  Compare the Dr. George Washington Carver to the animal 50cent...

Cheesy

The good doctor spoke only about general variation in differing groups with differing founder populations...the question is really whether or not certain genes exist in different populations, but rather certain alleles or sets of alleles related to intelligence manifest themselves more or less frequently in different populations. Of course there are many black people more intelligent than many white people, but are these allels or set of allels that determine intelligence more probable in one population or the other? Dr. Watson say yes and after a cursory overview of the admittedly limited data available I would say that this is at least a viable scientific hypothesis worthy of further scientific investigation, which, accordingly, should be a viable field of speculation.
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2007, 03:44:14 PM »

Dr. Watson is a scientist, he made a statement that he believes have scientific methods, if you disagree fine but don't condemn the man until you can scientifically prove his hypotheses to be untrue.
I neither agree nor disagree with his hypothesis, and I feel no need to pick either one. As I've said before, let him test it and see what he comes up with. I object only to the manner in which it was stated. He could have said it much less provocatively and still gotten his point across.

Oh, and respect and ethics matter greatly to anyone, scientist or not, who lives in society. They may not matter for his job, the same way the quadratic equation has no bearing on my job. Yet a man is not only the sum of his work; ultimately he must live within the norms of his society.
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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2007, 06:33:23 PM »

He could have said it much less provocatively and still gotten his point across.
Need I remind you whom you are talking to? Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2007, 06:35:22 PM »

LOL!  Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2007, 07:19:59 PM »

Need I remind you whom you are talking to? Cheesy

It shouldn't be any wonder that I like Dr. Watson. Wink Anyone who can offend millions in just a few words is to be respected...it's not an easy thing, people say stuff like this all the time, but when Dr. Watson said it it carried enough weight to scare people...yes they moved quickly to discredit him, probably to ease their own fears, but they did take note.
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2007, 07:25:11 PM »

GiC, time for another reposting of the famous Mae West quote....
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2007, 10:24:15 PM »

GiC, time for another reposting of the famous Mae West quote....

 Cheesy I think you're right...

'Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often' Wink
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 01:07:06 AM »

I must re-echo YbA's post.  I don't think it's shocking to find different genetic linkages to IQ, but I think Watson would have said it better, or less pejorative if it can be.  To include people's dealings with black employees was unnecessary and un-hypothetical, let alone unscientifically speculative.

Don't you think that it's better to state something in a more respectful manner (or to remove the insult as much as necessary, understanding that the truth may be offensive, and better to be put in the least disrespectful manner)?  I would rather have my atheist friend say "I disagree with Jesus that He is God.  I think that's quite problematic." rather than "I think Jesus is an idiotic delusional schizofreak."  Both are insulting, just one less so than the other.

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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2007, 02:34:08 AM »

This is interesting:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6057734.stm

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2007, 03:51:17 AM »

This is interesting:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6057734.stm

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

Interesting, but there are some flaws to his thinking. For one thing monogamy reduces sexual dimorphism, which he expects to somehow begin increasing...social conditions just don't allow for this.

But this point is moot becuse he's making predictions ignoring one of the most popular research goals today, genetic engineering. Evolution is over for the human race, we are soon reaching the point where we will control our own evolution, the future human will look however we want it to look. And while there may be inequality between rich and poor at first, in time the technology will eliminate such genetic conditions as stupidity.
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« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2007, 08:16:46 AM »

Even though I tend to believe that Dr. Watson did not mean anything bad when he said that intelligence in one group of people should not be expected to be the same as in the other, I very strongly doubt that "Africans" can be lumped together as opposed to "Europeans" lumped together. Strictly scientifically, genetically, all politics aside, that is just not a correct approach.
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« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2007, 08:26:17 AM »

Interesting, but there are some flaws to his thinking. For one thing monogamy reduces sexual dimorphism, which he expects to somehow begin increasing...social conditions just don't allow for this.

But this point is moot becuse he's making predictions ignoring one of the most popular research goals today, genetic engineering. Evolution is over for the human race, we are soon reaching the point where we will control our own evolution, the future human will look however we want it to look. And while there may be inequality between rich and poor at first, in time the technology will eliminate such genetic conditions as stupidity.

I always thought Hardy and Weinberg forgot to add a sixth law of "human element" to their other laws.
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2007, 08:33:00 AM »

Even though I tend to believe that Dr. Watson did not mean anything bad when he said that intelligence in one group of people should not be expected to be the same as in the other, I very strongly doubt that "Africans" can be lumped together as opposed to "Europeans" lumped together. Strictly scientifically, genetically, all politics aside, that is just not a correct approach.

Dr. George, thus far you're the only one here so far qualified to comment on the scientific merit of his statement. Thank you.
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2007, 10:18:44 AM »

Even if it can be proven that there is a intelligences gene, witch I agree that there probably is. There are many problems associated with playing scientist. Usually when science tries to manipulate something it causes deficiencies in something else. Take modern medicine as an example. When trying to cure an illness usually damage is done to other areas or deficiencies created. I would think the same applies here. When manipulating a gene for more intelligences they have to sacrifice from other areas to increase intelligences. They have to steal from John to pay Paul. Lets say that they increase a humans intelligences through DNA manipulation. I can bet that he/she won't be able to out sprint Bruce Jenner. Nature has it's balance. We only have so much to play with and nature has done it's job well. I say leave well enough alone. If science trys to build an oracle of intelligences it will have to be in a Hubble. It won't resemble human life. As with all science it can be used for good, but due to human nature it probably won't.
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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2007, 11:35:01 AM »

Even though I tend to believe that Dr. Watson did not mean anything bad when he said that intelligence in one group of people should not be expected to be the same as in the other, I very strongly doubt that "Africans" can be lumped together as opposed to "Europeans" lumped together. Strictly scientifically, genetically, all politics aside, that is just not a correct approach.

I agree with the difficulity of classifying 'Africans' in one group, because of the considerable genetic diversity amongst human populations on the continent, but I do not find it unlikely that something meaningful can be said about the genetics of the descendants of the Indo-European tribe; but this could be better compared to decendents certain tribes from the African continent, rather than against 'Africans' in general. But the essence of Watson's statement was his well-founded belief in genetic determinism; because of this wouldn't you agree that it is viable that there are different genetic differences amongst decendents of different founder groups just as we have found other genetic differences? Especially considering the fact that our level of intelligence is, in all probability, controlled by a relatively small number of genes considering that the Homo genus is only about 2 million years old and the rise of modern intelligence spans a time of a mere 200k years?
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2007, 12:43:40 PM »

Even if it can be proven that there is a intelligences gene, witch I agree that there probably is. There are many problems associated with playing scientist. Usually when science tries to manipulate something it causes deficiencies in something else. Take modern medicine as an example. When trying to cure an illness usually damage is done to other areas or deficiencies created. I would think the same applies here. When manipulating a gene for more intelligences they have to sacrifice from other areas to increase intelligences. They have to steal from John to pay Paul. Lets say that they increase a humans intelligences through DNA manipulation. I can bet that he/she won't be able to out sprint Bruce Jenner. Nature has it's balance. We only have so much to play with and nature has done it's job well. I say leave well enough alone. If science trys to build an oracle of intelligences it will have to be in a Hubble. It won't resemble human life. As with all science it can be used for good, but due to human nature it probably won't.

I fail to understand where you are coming from. Ultimately, are genes are simply an analog computing device, and one that is turing complete. Thus, I fail to see why we should be limited in our programming capabilities of the human genome; yes, we may be limited by the number of genes, but once we better understand their interaction and the details of the computation there is no reason that we cannot introduce new chromosomes or develop better reading programmes and mechanisms to use the genes we have more efficiently. Theoretically there are no limitations, the only limitations we have exist due to our currently limited knowledge, a problem the next century will no doubt correct.
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2007, 12:50:09 PM »

Surely Josef Mengele is standing in an uncomfortable place and applauding...
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« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2007, 01:56:55 PM »

There are some proven physiological differences between different genetic groups, no doubt. It is not at all a stretch to expect some minor cognitive differences as well.

Obviously Dr. Watson expressed this extremely poorly, especially in the remark on black employees. It not only caused him to lose his credibility, it has now forced his (perhaps timely) retirement. If there is something to be said about black employees in general, it would not be genetic but sociocultural in origin. And as anyone knows, sociology and cultural studies are very inexact sciences, making any conclusion useless to put into practice in our daily lives. It's so much easier and better to judge people by their actions, not by their perceived genetic/ethnic/racial characteristics.
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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2007, 04:06:58 PM »

I fail to understand where you are coming from. Ultimately, are genes are simply an analog computing device, and one that is turing complete. Thus, I fail to see why we should be limited in our programming capabilities of the human genome; yes, we may be limited by the number of genes, but once we better understand their interaction and the details of the computation there is no reason that we cannot introduce new chromosomes or develop better reading programmes and mechanisms to use the genes we have more efficiently. Theoretically there are no limitations, the only limitations we have exist due to our currently limited knowledge, a problem the next century will no doubt correct.

Your correct. With time comes knowledge. The problem is time isn't on our side as individuals. If we concentrate our efforts on living longer and healthier. We may be able to accomplish the same goals as genetic enhancement. Gaining knowledge through time. After all who knows how intelligent one can become over hundreds of years of life. The problem is everyone is looking for instant gratification.
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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2007, 04:38:20 PM »

Your correct. With time comes knowledge. The problem is time isn't on our side as individuals. If we concentrate our efforts on living longer and healthier. We may be able to accomplish the same goals as genetic enhancement. Gaining knowledge through time. After all who knows how intelligent one can become over hundreds of years of life. The problem is everyone is looking for instant gratification.

Well, whether or not these advancements are going to help me personally, I do not know -- for all I know I could be killed driving home from work this evening. However, I am comfortable with my own mortality, I'm not one of those people who anxiously awaits the singularity (though I do follow the related scientific advancements because they are most intersting), I'm more concerned about the advancement of the human race and thus speak of the eventual potentials of the human race.
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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2007, 06:31:49 PM »

Dr. George, thus far you're the only one here so far qualified to comment on the scientific merit of his statement. Thank you.
Although I highly respect George's opinion, a doctorate does not automatically qualify someone to speak, nor does the lack of one disqualify. I had a professor of theology (who holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity) who sincerely believed that the Deuterocanonical books were written in the 17th c. A.D. by the RCC as a part of the Counter-Reformation. People with doctoral degrees are people, too, and they can say some pretty inane things, just as people without them can. All a Dr. before your name means is that when you do say something inane, you have no excuse.

That said, my non-doctoral-holding self must concur with Dr. George. His words are quite wise.
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« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2007, 07:02:51 PM »

Dr. George, thus far you're the only one here so far qualified to comment on the scientific merit of his statement. Thank you.

Aristokles, thank you for the compliment, but I must say that I am a doctor only in the USA. In my native Ukraine, my degree is a "Candidate of Medical Sciences" ("kandydat medychnykh nauk"), which is not regarded there as a doctoral degree! It is higher than a Master's, but lower than a doctoral. Here in the US it was evaluated as an M.D./Ph.D. right away, and I officially worked as a postdoctoral felllow, and now I am officially an assistant professor at a university; but if I return to Ukraine and look for professorial positions in universities, I would first have to defend another thesis (a thicker one than for the "candidate" degree)... (and also bribe some high-positioned posh boss Sad )
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« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2007, 08:32:31 PM »

Aristokles, thank you for the compliment, but I must say that I am a doctor only in the USA. In my native Ukraine, my degree is a "Candidate of Medical Sciences" ("kandydat medychnykh nauk"), which is not regarded there as a doctoral degree! It is higher than a Master's, but lower than a doctoral. Here in the US it was evaluated as an M.D./Ph.D. right away, and I officially worked as a postdoctoral felllow, and now I am officially an assistant professor at a university; but if I return to Ukraine and look for professorial positions in universities, I would first have to defend another thesis (a thicker one than for the "candidate" degree)... (and also bribe some high-positioned posh boss Sad )

Well, George, we are glad you're here! Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2007, 11:48:15 PM »

Although I highly respect George's opinion, a doctorate does not automatically qualify someone to speak, nor does the lack of one disqualify. I had a professor of theology (who holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity) who sincerely believed that the Deuterocanonical books were written in the 17th c. A.D. by the RCC as a part of the Counter-Reformation. People with doctoral degrees are people, too, and they can say some pretty inane things, just as people without them can. All a Dr. before your name means is that when you do say something inane, you have no excuse.

That said, my non-doctoral-holding self must concur with Dr. George. His words are quite wise.

He's also an M.D.

I'll take his alphabet soup listing of degrees over anyone else's here in a heartbeat on this topic, Y-man.
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« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2007, 01:49:30 AM »

He's also an M.D.

I'll take his alphabet soup listing of degrees over anyone else's here in a heartbeat on this topic, Y-man.

And, lest we forget, Dr. Watson is a Nobel Laureate, it was his credentials that even made this an issue. So no one is going to make their case here by appeal to authority alone: your side because the career of Dr. Watson speaks for itself, and my side because we simply don't want to make arguments by appeal to authority.

So why not present some viable scientific evidence for your accusations against the good doctor, rather than trying to gain votes?
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« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2007, 05:48:45 AM »

I'm not on any side, GiC. Go argue with someone else. I don't care about Watson, only George's qualifications here vs yours.
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« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2007, 07:51:02 AM »

There is no doubt that a genetic determination of intelligence exists. But intelligence is such a complicated thing.Smiley We grow up constantly having a certain "internal dialogue" about things we are encountering, and our culture plays a colossal role in that dialogue. Who are those "significant adults" that surround us - parents, grandparents, older siblings, nannies, teachers, tutors, etc. - all that matters a lot. So, when we say that intelligence in Africans is "different" from intelligence of "us" ("Europeans"), we need to consider both factors, biological and also, necessarily, historical and cultural. Honestly, I, as a teacher, every now and then have difficulties understanding my African-American students, and never have any difficulties understanding my students from Kenya, Zaire, Zambia, Nigeria - because the way these latter, "African African" students think is much closer to my own. Their upbringing and primary and secondary education were much more "European" than that of the African American students...
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