Friday, October 19, 2007
The ugly past creeps in, part 2
So what did I hear when I finally emerged from the pile of crumpled Kleenex I was buried under?
Nobel-prize-winning scientist James Watson told The Sunday Times 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."
So my grandmother has some distinguished company. To continue on from my earlier post, "Radical Compassion," the past seeps up, like toxic ground water, to taint the present. Unless we examine our individual pasts, our national past, the flawed assumptions and assertions that those in the past called truth will find their way into the so-called "truths" of today. In the 19th century, "scientists" measured human skulls and made declarations about intelligence and ability based on these measurements. (See the lovely chart, above.) Guess who came out as superior?
It's an absolute wonder to me that - with all the dangerous, discredited theories (humors, skull shape, bleeding the sick) that we have gone through in the name of Science - scientists don't have a deeper sense of humility about what they do. And how can ANYONE make such sweeping statements about an entire continent, with its multiplicity of peoples? Which also just happens to be the continent responsible for the development of all human life. What standards are they using and who invented those standards? "Western" scientists, of course, with their deep cultural biases.
You'd think with a Nobel, he'd show signs of intelligence. whereas all the evidence says, "not really."
There, I've vented. Think I'll go hide my head again.