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DNA Test And The Racism Row


Racism is often built upon ignorance, fuelled by fear and hatred. It isn’t often based on science. But when a Nobel-Prize winning scientists claimed black people were less intelligence than white, he prompted a public outcry. But a DNA test has perhaps left the scientist with something of a red face. The test revealed that the scientist has up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

Unhinges Racists

In fact, DNA tests reveal that all white Europeans can trace their ancestry back to black Africa – the origins of man. But in Dr James Watson’s case, the fact he has so many black genes is seen by some as poetic justice, after the scientists claimed whites to be cleverer than blacks. The high levels of black genes shown in his DNA are similar to those whose great grandparents were African.

Test Results Published Online

After the test, Dr Watson published his fully sequenced genome online. The fact Watson questioned the comparative intelligence of black Africans to whites caused an outcry that resulted in his forced resignation from his post as head of research in a New York laboratory. His claims stirred an international furore after the American said he was gloomy about Africa’s future 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”.

16% Black African Ancestry

The fact that the DNA test of Dr Watson shows he has significant black make-up in his genes clearly adds an ironic twist to his remarks. Across the world, other scientists and politicians dismissed his comments as racist, his lectures were cancelled and scientific colleagues distanced themselves from his remarks. Dr Watson’s test revealed that not only were 16% of his genes probably from a black African ancestor, 9% were of Asian descent.

Tests Disprove Racists

DNA based tests have been used by some sociologists as ideological weapons against racism – by revealing we are all African under the skin if you go back far enough in our ancestry and even in some cases, only a few generations back.

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