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James Watson Rap | by jurvetson
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James Watson Rap

Secret to his success: “Go to where there are smart people. It’s very boring to be with dumb people.”


“Schizophrenia is the essence of stupidity. If you tweak it the other way, you may have the essence of intelligence. We may find out why some people play the piano better than others.”


“Two companies are sequencing my DNA. I told them they can publish everything except for genes indicating a propensity for Alzheimer’s. There is no cure yet.”


“There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy about our government. It is being run by rich white trash. They have no regard for truth or reality.”


When asked about Francis Collins’ book about discovering God as a scientist: “He’s the only scientist I know who believes what he does. Our morality is in our human nature. Religion does not correlate with morality.”


When pushed, “I’ve just tried to avoid God as much as possible. As Darwin said, it does no good to try to convince others not to believe in God.”


(At lunch, I asked him why he held his punches on that one topic, and he had a pragmatic reply: “much of my funding comes from sources that would be insulted by an attack on religion.”)


“Instead of causes, we should ask why people don’t get cancer. There are natural inhibitors. Much of the current research on cancer is misguided.”


When asked if we will discover a cure for aging: “Well, we’ve been pretty successful with plastic surgery. (laughter) Alzheimer’s is the issue. Without a cure, our country would not benefit from living much longer.”


When asked about parents that genetically screen embryos: “I can’t think of a better use of money.”


“People talk of the danger of discovering that someone has stupid genes. But we already know they are stupid!”


“Unsuccessful psychopaths are in prison. Successful ones are in temp employment agencies. Instead of 3% of the population, maybe it’s 30%.”


And an emotional disclosure that seems to lie at the root of his passion: “We have a compromised child. We made so many mistakes parenting him because we didn’t know. We could have been a better parent from age two to five… Oh, the misery. I just want knowledge.”

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Taken on September 19, 2006