Is Africa behind in evolution? Revisiting Dr. Watson’s statement

Dr. James Watson once diagnosed our problem in Africa as evolutionary. He said that “I am inherently gloomy about the prospects of Africa. . . . There was no reason to think that races which had grown up in separate geographical locations should have evolved identically.”

The premise of Dr. Watson’s prediction is that the essence of human evolution is to organize a viable and successful society where government, freedom and opportunity is a collective experience that must thrive within the framework of law and order.

If this premise suffices, we can no longer blame racism or bigotry as the main reason behind Dr. Watson’s gloomy predictions about the future of Africa. There is convincing evidence that we Africans have failed in organizing such a society. To organize such a society there has to be a general understanding that our collective interests supersede all other personal interests. Organizing such a society also requires an across-the-board sense of right and wrong that will compel us to evaluate the impact of our actions on other members of the society.


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Comment by Edwin Aka on March 9, 2010 at 8:48pm
Dear Odunze

Thanks for your piece, after reading your post; I have believed that you are a Science fellow.

I belive Dr. James Watson is wrong … The root cause of our problem is religion.

Thought our history (Nigeria), starting from 1960, to date, the only time mass death (100s) occurred which was not related to religion was in Lagos, when an Army depot went up in flames. (27 January 2002) [A]

Nice quote from Christopher Hitchens: “I don't blame God. I blame religion. I don't believe there is such a thing as God. Religion makes people do wicked things they wouldn't ordinarily do. It doesn't make them behave better—it makes them behave worse. You couldn't get people to hack away at the genitals of their newborn children if they didn't think there was a religious obligation to do so. The licenses for genocide, slavery, racism, are all right there in the holy text.”

Hence I have the following hypothesis which says that “The root cause of our problem is Religion” I have not seen any Research that tries to investigate the effect of religion on human development in Africa, Nigeria to be precise.

Although there might be some work out there, however, I am willing to be a research fellow in that field. [B]


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Comment by Dodi on March 7, 2010 at 9:42pm
I beg to differ to be very honest. There are a lot of africans and afro carribean people that do not think in the same way that the retrogrades portrayed in his thesis. The problem in Africa is a problem that was put on them by foreign invaders. When Humans Europe were stone age hunter gatherers, we already had a civilization in Ile Ife. Its just another ploy by a prominent individual from one race trying to use their influence on the minds of others to demean another race. This is what he wants you to believe. And they have succeeded in doing this to Africans for thousand of years. Sorry but I don't believe Dr. Watson. He should try another explanation but this one doesn't cut if for me.

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