[Air-L] racist comments by James Watson?

Heidelberg, Chris Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov
Mon Oct 22 05:10:36 PDT 2007

Bien!Absolute! Guillermo! Well said! 

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of William Bain
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 3:17 AM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-L] racist comments by James Watson?

It's been suggested that more variation exists "within so-called racial
groups than between them" and that race (which comes form the Italian
razza and seems to have come into English in the 16th century) isn't
that productive a scientific category. The website I'm quoting from also
carries a link to the New York Times piece reporting on James Watson's
"retraction" of his comment. Thats
http://www.racismreview.com/blog/?p=73 and it also includes what I found
to be an interesting link on whether race is a scientifically worthwhile
category. In a text I read a long time ago (I seem to recall) was a
comparison of race with class, or race discussed as *a* class in the
sense of category. Sorry that the text's lost in the mists of time, as
well as physically from my library, but maybe someone who works more
closely than I do with biology and sociology will have info on thazt.
ovibiously I have to be very careful to guard against or ciriticize
arguments promoting  eugenics/genocide. That was my original idea in
posting what I did. for what it's worth, I got to the address I
mentioned above by writing lewontin on racism into a major search engine
and it also acquainted me with something I didn't know about called
lewontin's fallacy, a statistical take. Personally I think Watson and
hopefully many others, me included, have become more aware in part
because of his mistake which, as I say, he's recognized. But I feel a
graeat deal of anger at the situation in Jena, Louisiana not to mention
that particular specific case of out-on-the-street life endangering
racism. Too much anger, I emeant to write. To the suggestion that racist
groups might use the comments of a very highly accomplished scientist to
promote racism, well, that is only part of the danger, but yes, of
course, that is the danger.
  Best regards, William

William Bain
PhD Student
Comparative Literature
Department of Spanish Philology
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
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