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Slate dumps on Jim (pre-owned Nobel for sale) Watson

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… co-discoverer of double helix. Here.

In case you didn’t know what else not to like about Watson (who got dumped for racist remarks):

Watson was 79 at the time, and people familiar with his field knew that he was genetics’ embarrassing, cranky old uncle. But this wasn’t the ranting of someone who was losing his grasp on reality. He has always been a horrible human being.

One of his earliest sins: Watson didn’t credit Rosalind Franklin, a chemist also working on DNA at the time, for her crucial research on X-ray diffraction images, without which he and Francis Crick would not have been the first to discover the double helix structure. (Linus Pauling and others were right behind them and would have figured it out.) In Watson’s The Double Helix memoir, he calls Franklin “Rosy” (not a nickname she used), critiques her clothing and makeup, and characterizes her incorrectly as another scientist’s assistant.

Watson was also famously insulting and arrogant as a professor at Harvard, even for a professor at Harvard. Fellow faculty member E.O. Wilson described Watson in the 1950s and ’60s as the “Caligula of biology” for his contempt of scientists who studied anything other than molecules. Wilson wrote that, unfortunately, due to Watson’s stroke of genius at age 25, “He was given license to say anything that came to his mind and expect to be taken seriously.” More.

Well, E.O. Wilson, who wants to give half the planet (not the elite’s half, you may be sure) to wild animals, is just the one to judge, isn’t he!

If you can bear to read the whole screed: Listening to self-righteous progressives tear Watson apart is almost (no, not quite) enough to make one like him.

See also: What am I bid for one used Nobel Prize?

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9 Replies to “Slate dumps on Jim (pre-owned Nobel for sale) Watson

  1. 1
    hrun0815 says:

    Don’t be shy, News: Do you agree with the ‘self righteous progressives’ or not? And if you think it is the ‘progressives’ that are picking on poor Jim, does that mean the non-progressives (whoever that might be) should defend him?

    Without any clear statements one might get the impression that yet again you want to have your cake and eat it, too.

  2. 2
    News says:

    hru0815, it is quite easy – and good for mental health – to have no use for such vices as racism and no use for moral preening at the same time. There is altogether too much moral preening in the Slate account of the affair.

    = yes, yes, guys we know you have all the correct thoughts on race, now cut the cake, will you?

    Some of us think that Crick was the brains of the duo, actually, but he died a while back, so…

  3. 3
    hrun0815 says:

    So the answer is yes, you do want to have your cake and eat it. Racism is bad, but Slate pointing these out is ‘moral preening’ by ‘self righteous progressives’.

    It’s a good thing that the news outfit at UD would never think of ‘altogether too much moral preening’.

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sometimes you get two cakes.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    you made this slate the moral master. i don’t know what Watson said except once about africa and genes and smarts. however all many evolutionists say the same things.
    its truly left wing enemies of mankind that do tear up their own people who wander too far away from doctrine.
    if a nobel guy only matters for his issue then all of them only matter for their own study.
    YET if they like their ideas, on everything, they invoke they should be listened too as smarter people.
    Time to sell off this SLATE publication along with Watsons nobel prize.

    By the way. Saying others were right behind wAtcso could be said for all inventions/discovery’s. ALL of them.
    give credit where credit is due.

  6. 6
    wayne moss says:

    @ #5 Robert Byers,

    You’re kinda right — we progressives have mined our own harbors regarding the race issue. Now conservatives are loathe to bring it up for fear of wording something the “wrong” way, and liberals are rhetorically bound to believe that real conservative racism – whether covert or not, is at the root of the continuing problem. And in this delicate dilemma, we can’t ever really talk about anything real — we can only talk about talking about it…. So we’re left with this shallow farce of “gotcha” and preening, and fake righteousness….

    But I wouldn’t be too hard on Slate. They did post a short series of essays (written by a liberal) suggesting we take an unemotional look at what science has to say about races:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....onism.html

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    wayne moss 6

    Interesting insights. I agree, we can’t talk about anything real on that topic. The preening and fake righteousness emerge out of the moral sense that we still retain in our culture, but it’s distorted. If people remain silent long enough, eventually a younger generation comes alone that cares nothing about the unwritten moral laws that keep people silent.

  8. 8
    Robert Byers says:

    Wayne Moss
    YEC don’t agree their are races. i don’t care what slate says about races as its just more ideas about genes and race and smarts.
    They are not the boss. in fact they probably do believe in race equals smarts and attack this Watson because he puts it wrong or something.
    its about truth, freedom to speak the truth, freedom to be wrong about whats true.
    A evil establishment is now dictating to the people what they can think and say.
    That is what must be destroyed.
    Then simple justice and liberality will allow people to disagree.
    The immoral and illegal punishments must be stopped.
    this Watson is a evolutionist and saying common things about race and smarts.
    its false ideas but its not important to punish someone.
    They are eating their own.

  9. 9
    lifepsy says:

    If Watson was a black man who had made racist remarks about whites, he would be worshiped today by the church of political correctness as a ‘champion of diversity’ or something. “Progressive” positions tend to lack any consistency in rationale.

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