Question by Caramel: What is the scientific community’s official and unofficial opinion of James Watson’s racist remarks?
“One of the world’s most eminent scientists claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that ‘equal powers of reason’ were shared across racial groups was a delusion.”
Honestly, do most scientists consider blacks to be less intelligent and more aggressive than other races? Recently, there was the discovery that all non-blacks are part Neanderthal, and I hear people saying that blacks are a different sub-species, since Neanderthals were classified separately from Homo Sapiens. White supremacists are using this new discovery to demonstrate blacks’ genetic distance from whites and people of other races. Well, if that’s true, then I guess that we’re the only true full-blooded humans (oh darn it, I’m half white. I guess I’m part caveman too). Evolutionary theory, while it has many positive qualities, has always been tainted with racist overtones. Sometime early in the 1900’s, scientists found a black man and put him in a zoo, claiming that he was the missing link in human evolution from apes!
Of course, some races have larger brains than others, and evolutionary biology claims that:
1. A steady increase in brain size made humans progressively smarter.
2. People with larger brains tend to be smarter.
My responses are:
1. Ancient hominoids may not be equivalent to modern humans, which includes all races.
2. There is no provable relationship between brain size and intelligence. It’s the organization of the brain that matters. Even Albert Einstein had only an average-sized brain.
3. Homo Erectus people (“ape-like people”?) had sea-faring societies some 700,000 years ago. Primitive? I doubt it. Even the Neanderthals were more advanced and civilized than science portrayed them as being.
4. The brain can adapt to change, meaning that people can develop their own brains. A person that is given continual training in mathematics from the time that they’re very young will have a “math brain”, and will actually be physically different than someone that grew up in an environment where intellectual endeavors were considered to be weak and pointless.
For the longest time, Neanderthals were portrayed as looking like half-ape hominoids. Neanderthals mated with “regular humans” from Africa, so they must have been the same species. I’d bet that even the Homo Erectus from a million years ago were human, and that if we found H. Erectus DNA and cloned one, that he/she could mate with a person born in 1985, and that she/he could excel in academics just like a person nowadays. And even if this person couldn’t, it wouldn’t change the fact that we are all modern humans in 2010. BTW, there are still people alive today that have skulls with features similar to the ones found on the H. Erectus skulls.
Consider human history. There is evidence that the original ancient Egyptians were black, and the Aztecs and Mayans were building civilizations that paralleled what the Greeks and Romans built. The Nubians were totally black, and they built things similar to the Egyptians. The Vikings had larger brains, but they were the savages back then.
I guess since the assumption that “All people are created equal” isn’t accepted by evolutionary theory, it creates the perfect ideological breeding ground for racism. I hope to have as many people as possible answer this question, and I may even pose this question to the National Academy of the Sciences. Thank you for reading (and hopefully responding).
Answer by John
I would tend to agree that some people are born “better adapted” for certain activities than others. Hence, some have innate perfect pitch, however, pitch can be learned. so learned traits define who we are as well as inborn traits. And the larger brain theory is not necessarily true. Some early hominid species had larger brain capacities than modern humans do. Additionally, being innately better at one thing than someone else does not make one superior. Obviously, Hitler was good at inspiring people through speech-making, yet he was clinically insane.
So basically, racism is a bunch of idiotic drivel made up by those who cannot help but inflate their own opinion of themselves.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!