James Watson Wants to Sell His Nobel Prize; If Only He Had Some Dignity to Add to the Auction Block

About seven years ago, I heard that James Watson, the man credited with discovering the structure of DNA along with Francis Crick, was speaking in Chicago. I had to see him — who knew when that opportunity would come up again? The event itself was fine. I remember his making jokes about the silliness of religion and saying that he was hesitant about being quoted on the back of Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion so he wrote a blurb that was so bad, it was unusable. I’m sure I laughed at that.

But I also remember being a little taken aback by some of the politically incorrect statements he was making. (I don’t remember specifics.) It wasn’t so bad that I felt compelled to walk out of there; I was just surprised that someone so intelligent would just say whatever came to mind with no filter whatsoever.

And now he’s auctioning off his Nobel Prize because, he says, he needs the money:

He said he is selling his prized medallion because he has no income outside of academia, even though for years he had served on many corporate boards. The gold medal is expected to fetch between $2.5 million and $3.5 million when it goes to auction Thursday… Watson said that he will use the money to purchase art and make donations to institutions that have supported him, such as the University of Chicago.

Man, it must be nice to need money so badly… so that you can buy a painting. I hope I’m that needy one day.

There’s a reason no one is eager to hire him, though. His public comments over the past several years have been racist, sexist, and just generally disturbing. (To be sure, they may have always been that way, but I didn’t start noticing it until a few years ago.)

Slate‘s Laura Helmuth explains:

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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit from Kansas Group Claiming the Teaching of Evolution in Science Class Promotes Atheism

Last year, the Kansas State Board of Education was sued for — wait for it — promoting atheism by way of evolution. I know you can’t even say the words “Kansas” and “Science” in the same sentence without laughing, but that really happened.

The group Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE) filed the lawsuit because they believed the new science standards adopted by the Board of Education, which included the teaching of evolution, were endorsing an atheistic worldview:



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On International Space Station, Photos of Russian Space Pioneers Are Replaced With Religious Icons and Crucifixes

Sharp-eyed Redditor Vakhnenko noticed something striking in recent pictures of the Russian crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In previous photos, you could see, on the wall behind the space travelers, black-and-white portraits of famed cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space) and rocket engineer Sergei Korolev (the father of the Soviet space program).

Those photos have now been replaced by about half a dozen Christian icons — and two gold crucifixes.



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Carl Sagan’s Voice Guides Us Through Human Exploration of the Solar System in This Beautiful Short Film

Digital artist and animator Erik Wernquist created a really beautiful film using the words of Carl Sagan (reading from A Pale Blue Dot).

The short film, called Wanderers, is all about human exploration of the solar system:



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Curt Schilling Complains About How People Say He Doesn’t Get Evolution… Then Shows That He Doesn’t Get Evolution

Curt Schilling, the former baseball pitcher, has finally responded to the controversy that erupted because of his tweets.

In case you need a reminder, last week, Schilling began promoting Creationist ideas on his Twitter account…

ESPN writer Keith Law was one of several people responding to his nonsense… and he was suspended for it. Law then returned from his suspension with this brilliant tweet.

Anyway, what does Schilling say now?

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