One half of the team that first calculated that structure of DNA was the double helix, James Watson has created uproar by claiming that 'U.S. Presidents are genetically predisposed to having lower I.Q's than Leaders from other nations.'
By stating that intelligence is genetic rather than the result of environment, Watson has undermined his own credibility within the scientific community. The repercussions of his statement have been far reaching. A number of talks that he has been due to give have been cancelled by organisers in protest.
"This simply isn't true," said a genetics scientist at UCLA yesterday in response to the claim. "Look at some of the Presidents we've had in just the past 30 years. Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush. The list itself disproves Watson's suggestions. Would they be able to lead the greatest country on earth if they were a few cents short of a dollar?"
But perhaps there is a wider issue at stake here. The scientific community, and America in general strongly believes that all men are created equal and that success, and indeed, intelligence is within anyone's grasp. Even wealthy, well-connected individuals can overcome all odds to become rich and successful.
Others say that the measure of intelligence is flawed. The standard IQ test is most suited to white, middle-class males and while the majority of American Presidents up to this point have admittedly been wealthy, Caucasian men, there is a possibility that there's been some Hispanic blood in their line at some point in the past. Possibly.
We asked the White House for comment. A spokesperson for the President said "Huh?"