October 21, 2007

From Al Montgomery:

Re: Nobel scientist suspended from job over race comments (Oct. 18): The ever increasing militance of the PC Police is becoming oppressive! When they can destroy an eminent scientist such as Watson, think of the chilling effect they have on ordinary scientists and researchers. The scientific world will forever have to be looking over their respective shoulders and a great deal of fear of one’s work being attacked by these thought fascists will be extremely detrimental to open and honest research and scientific debate. The “thought police” must be stopped now! All scientists need to speak up now whether one agrees with Watson or not.

Following are additional com­ments on this ent­ry. Type your own in­to the space right of the first one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Montgomery is absolutely correct. All scientists must speak up whether they agree with Watson or not. Not only have the actions against Watson been serious violations of the Bill or Rights particularly the 1st Amendment, they are even more importantly, the very antithesis of legitimate scientific inquiry. Willard W. Olson

October 25, 2007 5:08 PM  
Blogger figurepornography said...

Messrs Montgomery and Olson are wrong on the counts they raise.

Montgomery for not understanding that ideas like those put across by Watson in the Guardian interview were used to justify the incredibly barbarous social policies and behaviour towards non-whites in the late 19th through mid-20th Centuries in a number of Western countries, and especially in the United States and Nazi Germany of the early and mid-20th Century.

Whether the ideological framework used was Social Darwinism,eugenics, Fascism or National Socialism, the policies and actions resulted in the kinds of barbaric actions toward those groups deemed as "inferior", "unfit", "criminal" or, in any other way, socially useless by their advocates, in the horribly unique kinds of atrocities that could only be perpetrated by "educated", "rational" and technologically advanced barbarians.

In light of that historical background, I think it's perfectly understandable that many of the reactions to Watson's views are ones of horrified shock and anger.

Watson has the right to his opinions, and the right to express them. But, it doesn't mean that he, for whatever reason one can conjure up,should be immune from criticism for those views, nor for the manner in which he chooses to express them.

While I believe in giving someone due respect for whatever achievements they've made throughout their lifetime, I don't believe in giving that same person, or anyone, including you or me, a blank cheque to say and do anything they like, without having to face criticism for their words and deeds.

As for Mr. Olson's point, I'll say this; Mr. Watson may be an American citizen, but he lives in Great Britain, and, until he was fired by the university for whom he worked in light of these comments,he worked at a British educational institution, not an American one.

There is no Bill of Rights found in the British Constitution, which is an unwritten mix of laws and customs rather than an American-style written document. Therefore, since Watson resides in the UK, he falls, as does any other immigrant, expatriate or British subject, under whatever the British legal code.

The First Amendment, like the US Constitution, has no force whatsoever outside of the United States of America, nor outside of US embassies or American military facilities abroad, nor should it.

The United Kingdom is a sovereign nation, last I checked, with laws and procedures of its own for dealing with civil and criminal offences to which all people residing within its confines, whether British or foreign,are liable.

Therefore, your point, and the logic behind it, is unfounded.

October 25, 2007 7:48 PM  

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