Friday, October 19, 2007

Intelligence: A product of environment and upbringing (?)

Dr Watson of the Watson and Crick model posited a new model to looking at economic development and social equality when he told a leading newspaper 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". He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".

Of course, we could just excuse a great scientist like him with rambling things like this every once in a while – with the dismissal that figuring out the structure of those helices were a mind-twisting thing – I am sure, but I had not expected the great eminence's grey cells to be this far twisted. Maybe he is just off his rockers or he is a conceited, Klan(ny) bigot. Not too sure, but the pattern points to the latter.

Some of his other pronouncements that have made the hall of shame previously.

- In 1997, he announced that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual.
- He has also suggested a link between skin color and sex drive, proposing that black people have higher libidos, and argued in favor of genetic screening and engineering on the basis that "stupidity" could one day be cured.
- He has also claimed that beauty could be genetically manufactured, saying: "People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would great."

…Has anyone ever been intelligent? Alberto Savinio said that complete, balanced intelligence has always been a special case. And he added: ‘The effort made by man to climb the steps of intelligence is so painful, so desparate… The damages resulting from an incomplete intelligence are so much greater than those arising from frank and submissive stupidity.

’We would doubt the usefulness and real value of such prized intelligence, prized intelligence because it doesn’t actually exist. The very fact that some of us—not all of us—search after intelligence simply goes to show that it isn’t natural, it isn’t human, it isn’t of this world. […] ‘Intelligence,’ says Savinio, ‘is the holy Grail, but stupidity, that Cinderella, poor, modest, despised, vilified stupidity, is what the true, spontaneous, lasting love of man in the end returns to.’ Savinio thinks that man, even in metaphysics, divides his affection between intelligence (the lover, the holy Grail) and supidity (the wife or consort). After all the deceptions of intelligence, it is she, good, magnanimous stupidity, who consoles us deeply.Stupidity is loyal and constant, we have known her from time immemorial, she awaits us in the sweet home to share with us, with imposing resignation, the colossal misfortune not to be intelligent. --- Alberto Savinio

An interesting viewpoint addressed here seems to say that the hounding associated with this controversy was a bit much for an old eccentric kook. I do not agree.

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