It seems Dr. James Watson has apologized for the questionable remarks he made earlier. Here’s the story:
"I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said," Watson said during an appearance at the Royal Society in London.
"I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways that they have."
"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief," he said.
Well, I’m glad he decided to clear the air about this and that he agreed with what I said in my earlier post on this subject, that such beliefs have no scientific basis.
It seems that he’s made some similar gaffs in the past, according to the CNN article. I would say that he needs to practice a little more discipline about opening his mouth around the press.
Just to make it clear, I think he is entitled to his opinions just as everyone else is entitled to call him on a bad opinion. He doesn’t get a free "appeal to authority" pass because of his excellent scientific work in genetics.
All in all, it’s a good example of how someone in the public eye needs to use caution about how they say things, particularly to the press and particularly when the Internet echo chamber is out there ready to amplify anyone’s stupid moves.
Is he a bigot or does he just suffer from "foot in mouth" disease? Should his work in genetics excuse him from responsibility for making such statements? What are your thoughts?