Watson has inhabited the Earth for 79 years, clearly needing more education on matters of race and stereotyping. To use Africa, the cradle of civilization from whence people originated, as an example of inferiority is offensive. Africa from the Pyramids to Nelson Mandela have offered contributions to humankind that are held in the highest esteem. Hence his apology. Watson didn't mean what he said.
In an interview published Sunday in The Times of London, Dr. Watson is quoted as saying that while “there are many people of color who are very talented,” he is “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa.”
“All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
In a statement given to The Associated Press yesterday, Dr. Watson said, “I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said. There is no scientific basis for such a belief.” (AP Photo/ Graham Barclay)
"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."
Who knows what this will do to Dr. Watson's book sales, as he was about to embark on his book tour before igniting this firestorm. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory suspended Watson from his duties as chancellor as they debate what to do about the furor. Knopf, his publisher, is in a quandary about how to responds as well. His book is the ironically titled, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science.