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Conversations with JD Watson

March 7, 2006

Incompatible Cultural Phenotypeness Separate Human Groups, Not Intelligence

Oct 31 2007, in PhysOrg Forum

A. Watson Retires From Cold Spring Harbor Lab…ull/2007/1025/2


Watson was widely condemned after The Sunday Times quoted him on 14 October as saying 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." Watson subsequently apologized, but the damage had been done…" end quote

B. Culture And Intelligence–?cq=1&p=247

The core (wordnet.princeton) definition of "intelligence" is "the ability to comprehend, to understand and profit from experience". These surviving abilities are different for the different phenotypes within a genotype, therefore each phenotype has its own meaning of "intelligence".

Intelligence is to culture approximately as essential amino acids are to proteins. Culture evolves in response to circumstances only by use of intelligence and to the extent and scope feasible by the extent and scope of intelligence.

C. It's Culture, Not Intelligence, Watson…

Watson's statement is not backed by data and is scientifically incorrect. It could have been made by a chemist but not by a biologist. Intelligence and Culture are Biology, not chemistry.

A modern updated biologist can state that the Curtain that seperates between USA, China, Russia, Muslim world etc., is the Phenotypic Cultural Curtain, the primary darwinian striving of each phenotype to survive at all costs…

But it shall come to pass one day that humans will understand their biological nature and biological environments and cooperate rather than fight for survival…

Dov Henis


Apr 29, 2003 Dov, in biologicalEvolution forum.


Quotation from April 2003 issue of Scientific American (SA), "A Conversation with James D. Watson":

" SA: In a recent issue of Nature, Walter Gilbert of Harvard University wrote that "molecular biology is dead," largely because its subject, DNA, had been subsumed into every other field.

JW: I agree with him, in the sense that it's a tool. Everything comes from DNA. So you can say you're studying DNA in canary behavior, or you can say you're studying canary behavior. I think we're studying canary behavior! There are still very major problems to solve on how information is stored and retrieved and used in the brain. It's a bigger problem than DNA, and a more difficult one.

SA: If you were starting out as a researcher now…

JW: I'd be working on something about connections between genes and behavior. You can find genes for behaviors, but that doesn't tell you how the brain works. My first scientific interest was in how birds migrated. Until you know how the bird brain works, you're not going to know how genes can tell that bird where to migrate. Because, you know, that mother bird isn't telling the young one where to go! So it's got to be inherited. There are lots of other big behavioral things [to solve]. Some people say they're mystified that men can like men, but I say, "It's just as mysterious as why men like women!". These things are so difficult. Francis insists that brain research doesn't have [the equivalent of] a DNA molecule. It doesn't have a central thing from which everything else flows. "


Merriam-Webster definition of DNA :

"Any of various nucleic acids that are usually the molecular basis of heredity, are localized especially in cell nuclei, and are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases which project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate".


Seems to me that the account of the conversation is blurred:

(1) DNAs denote in the conversation also genes or genomes, and even a tool, whereas in fact they are structural components of genes, genes that are symbiotic coommune members of genomes which are the in-cell base living organisms that are the presently known basest life modules of all Earth organisms.

(2) Therefore "You're studying DNA in canary behavior" is NOT also "You're studying canary behavior".

(3) "…how genes can tell that bird where to migrate. Because, you know, that mother bird isn't telling the young one where to go! So it's got to be inherited". I wonder if birds raised to maturity in isolation and released where none of their kin are do indeed know where to migrate, even if the date and act of migration are genetic. I would expect that, like for all organisms that live in communities (including single cell organisms) group communication/behaviour is as functional as intra-intercell toolings are for the survival of genome.

(4) I posit ad absurdum that all phenomena of life must be and are fractal, from in-cell upwards, and that all aspects of culture/civilization of ALL organisms are in-kind extensions of in-cell protein toolings.

(5) "Francis insists that brain research doesn't have [the equivalent of] a DNA molecule. It doesn't have a central thing from which everything else flows". At the risk, to which I have become resigned, to again be regarded "strange", at least, I posit ad absurdum also that the constitution of multi-celled organisms like mammals is, in future terms, similar to a space station comprising a tremendous number of individual space ships many of which (but not all) of repeat/similar contents, with cell functions/functional structure specified/dedicated per location/assigned task at the central control board of the space station…


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