I Give Up

NAIROBI: This post started as a piece on the sociology of science, the history of twin studies and the flawed research into the inheritance of IQ. It was going to be a response to comments by James Watson, who won a Nobel prize for his work identifying the structure of DNA, reported in today’s Independent, that Africa is doomed because Africans are less intelligent than westerners: “All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really.”

It was going to point out that aged Nobel prize winners can make headline news even when they are spouting obvious nonsense (see also Linus Pauling and his work on vitamin C).

And would have concluded by touching on the notion that the debate on the inheritance of intelligence is generally shaped not by fresh research but by political convictions.

Then Somali government forces storm a UN compound in Mogadishu and arrest the head of the World Food Programme in the city. And I give up.


2 thoughts on “I Give Up

  1. To say DNA determines intelligence is rubbish.

    Theoretically, it is not. Consider inherited genetic disorders which impair cognition. This is not a racist theory, it is merely an acknowledgment of the role which functioning brain matter plays in neurophysiological theories of intelligence.

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