Mr DNA (he's an altruistic pervert)


Dawn Eden relates a jaw-dropping encounter with Dr. James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule.

I was introduced to the gaunt, aged legend by another scientist, who proceeded to tell Watson about his biomedicals company, which funded work in the genetics field.

Watson interrupted him: "Is your company geared towards research or service?"

The scientist paused for a second, taking in the unusual question. "Research," he answered.

"That's the problem with these companies today!" the Nobel laureate erupted. "Everyone's doing research in genetics and nobody's doing service. Because it's too controversial"—he sneered—"to help mothers so that they can give birth to healthy babies. ...

"They say I'm a killer," Watson went on, his tired eyes taking on fire. "It's those right-to-lifers."

"They say I'm a killer," he repeated, "and everyone's afraid of offending them." He was still looking at the other scientist. The scientist, whom I know didn't share his views, maintained an attentive silence—partly, I believe, out of gentlemanly respect, and partly out of not wanting to put gasoline on a fire.

But I had nothing to lose. So I took a deep breath, adjusted my jaw so it was back in line with my upper lip, and said, in the gentlest voice I could muster, "I'd love to know more about why you feel that way, as I'm a right-to-lifer myself."

Watson looked me in the eye and told me he was qualified to advocate in favor of mothers choosing to abort "unhealthy" children because he wished he could have aborted his own son, who is mentally handicapped.

He went on, unprodded, to say that he was an "unbeliever," so he was sure he would have had no moral qualms about killing his own child.

Just to clarify, by "helping mothers have healthy babies", he means helping them kill babies with the wrong genes.

Charles G. Hill comments:

If there's a Deep Truth here, it's this: doing good things, even great things, doesn't assure you a position on the side of the angels.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 14, 2004 12:14 AM.

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