James Watson on Jesus as Scientist

Speak­ing Wednes­day night at Har­vard, James Wat­son, the co-dis­cov­er­er of DNA, was asked by NPR’s Robert Krul­wich: “Can a gen­tle per­son do well in sci­ence?” His response: “Jesus would not have suc­ceed­ed.” Sad com­men­tary, and it’s the type of com­ment that you’d expect from Wat­son. But it’s also some­what dis­proved by the career of E.O. Wil­son, who shared the stage with Wat­son that night. You can get more cov­er­age of this con­ver­sa­tion over at the New­Sci­en­tist.

In the mean­time, check out our Sci­ence Pod­cast Col­lec­tion, which includes Krul­wich’s pro­gram, Radio Lab. These pod­casts are also avail­able on our free iPhone app.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Dig­i­tal Ency­clo­pe­dia of Life

E.O. Wilson’s Olive Branch: The Cre­ation

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Comments (6)
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  • Jonathan says:

    I won­der about the per­cep­tion (and I am assum­ing his mean­ing here) that Jesus was gen­tle. There was the spit­ting, throw­ing peo­ple out of the tem­ple, etc. He was def­i­nite­ly active.

  • Yeah, Wat­son’s too much of an atten­tion seek­er these days.
    He some­times valid points and I can under­stand his need to speak his mind, but every­one needs to cen­sor them­selves some­times.

  • lasmartone says:

    Why is James Wat­son still get­ting speak­ing engage­ments?

  • Mike says:

    Wat­son exhibits a pecu­liar­ly juve­nile emo­tion­al sen­si­bil­i­ty. (His state­ments here about Crick­’s car and women are typ­i­cal.) And when he speaks about sci­ence he often speaks in terms of raw ambi­tion (pro­fes­sion­al com­pe­ti­tion and so forth). Frankly I don’t think he can help it. He’s a bril­liant sci­en­tist but an odd duck.

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