Stupidity should be cured, says DNA discoverer
- Stupidity should be cured, says DNA discoverer
18:13 28 February 03
NewScientist.com news service
Fifty years to the day from the discovery of the structure of DNA, one of
its co-discoverers has caused a storm by suggesting that stupidity is a genetic
disease that should be cured.
On 28 February 1953 biologists James Watson and Francis Crick discovered
the structure of DNA - the chemical code for all life. The breakthrough
revealed how genetic information is passed from one generation to the next and
revolutionised biology and medicine.
But in a documentary series to be screened in the UK on Channel 4, Watson
says that low intelligence is an inherited disorder and that molecular
biologists have a duty to devise gene therapies or screening tests to tackle
"If you are really stupid, I would call that a disease," says Watson, now
president of the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, New York. "The lower 10 per
cent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what's the cause of
it? A lot of people would like to say, 'Well, poverty, things like that.' It
probably isn't. So I'd like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 per cent."