50 Quotes by James Watson

James Watson is an American molecular biologist who was quintessential in the research about the structures of DNA and RNA. He was the one to discover that the essential DNA components (four organic bases) must be linked in definite pairs.

As a renowned scientist, he has numerous interesting quotes regarding biology, zoology, and even human society. In this article, we shall provide you with 50 best quotes by James Watson that will surely intrigue you.

1. “Today, the theory of evolution is an accepted fact for everyone but a fundamentalist minority, whose objections are based not on reasoning but on doctrinaire adherence to religious principles.”– James Watson

2. “I came to the conclusion that the church was just a bunch of fascists that supported Franco. I stopped going on Sunday mornings and watched the birds with my father instead.”– James Watson

"People say we are playing God. My answer is: If we don't play God, who will?"- James Watson

3. “People say we are playing God. My answer is: If we don’t play God, who will?”– James Watson

4. “I have never seen Francis Crick in a modest mood. Perhaps in other company he is that way, but I have never had reason so to judge him.”– James Watson

5. “My parents made it clear that I should never display even the slightest disrespect to individuals who had the power to let me skip a half grade or move into more challenging classes. While it was all right for me to know more about a topic than my sixth-grade teacher had ever learned, questioning her facts could only lead to trouble.”– James Watson

"We're not all equal, it's simply not true. That isn't science."- James Watson

6. “We’re not all equal, it’s simply not true. That isn’t science.”– James Watson

7. “I am happy that I can aid those admirable men, both living and dead, who by their pens or their tongues have aided the great cause of human liberty and universal happiness.”– James Watson

8. “Spotting a rare bird is never worth the bite of a cur. Once bitten by a German shepherd, I knew that I preferred cats, even if they are bird-killers. Life is long enough for more than one chance at a rare bird.”– James Watson

9. “The ever quickening advances of science made possible by the success of the Human Genome Project will also soon let us see the essences of mental disease. Only after we understand them at the genetic level can we rationally seek out appropriate therapies for such illnesses as schizophrenia and bipolar disease.”– James Watson

"At lunch Francis winged into the Eagle to tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life."- James Watson

10. “At lunch Francis winged into the Eagle to tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life.”– James Watson

11. “DNA was my only gold rush.”– James Watson

12. “The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father didn’t believe in God, and so he had no hang-ups about souls.”– James Watson

13. “I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime. It might be.”– James Watson

14. “It is no coincidence that so many religious beliefs date back to times when no science could possibly have accounted satisfactorily for many of the natural phenomena inspiring scripture and myths.”– James Watson

15. “My heroes were never scientists. They were Graham Greene and Christopher Isherwood, you know, good writers.”– James Watson

"It's necessary to be slightly underemployed if you are to do something significant."- James Watson

16. “It’s necessary to be slightly underemployed if you are to do something significant.”– James Watson

17. “My wife and I have a schizophrenic son. We didn’t want to accept this for 30 years, so we put him under great pressure when we shouldn’t have. He just wanted to be looked after, and we didn’t respect that. We tried to make him independent.”– James Watson

18. “I have an odd theory on happiness, and it bothers people. My general theory is that happiness is a reward for an animal doing what it should be doing. So if a horse runs, it feels happy. Or if you are too thin, you can’t be happy, because evolution wants you to be tense and anxious, trying to wake up in the morning looking for food.”– James Watson

19. “As a child, I lived with being punier than other boys in class. The only consolation was my parents’ empathy – they encouraged constant trips to the local drugstore for chocolate milk shakes to fatten me up. The shakes made me happy, but still, all through grammar school, other kids shoved me around.”– James Watson

"The time has come to seriously ask whether antioxidant use much more likely causes than prevents cancer."- James Watson

20. “The time has come to seriously ask whether antioxidant use much more likely causes than prevents cancer.”– James Watson

21. “I first became aware of Charles Darwin and evolution while still a schoolboy growing up in Chicago. My father and I had a passion for bird-watching, and when the snow or the rain kept me indoors, I read his bird books and learned about evolution.”– James Watson

22. “By the age of 11, I was no longer going to Sunday Mass, and going on birdwatching walks with my father. So early on, I heard of Charles Darwin. I guess, you know, he was the big hero. And, you know, you understand life as it now exists through evolution.”– James Watson

"A clone of Einstein wouldn't be stupid, but he wouldn't necessarily be any genius, either."- James Watson

23. “A clone of Einstein wouldn’t be stupid, but he wouldn’t necessarily be any genius, either.”– James Watson

24. “It is extraordinary the extent to which Darwin’s insights not only changed his contemporaries’ view of the world but also continue to be a source of great intellectual stimulation for scientists and nonscientists alike.”– James Watson

25. “Genes, Girls, and Gamow’ was an attempt, even more than ‘The Double Helix,’ to mix science with one’s personal life. With ‘The Double Helix,’ no one had done it before, but I thought I’d try.”– James Watson

"It's so difficult writing about living people."- James Watson

26. “It’s so difficult writing about living people.”– James Watson

27. “Take young researchers, put them together in virtual seclusion, give them an unprecedented degree of freedom and turn up the pressure by fostering competitiveness.”– James Watson

28. “I had become monomaniacal about DNA only in 1951 when I had just turned 23 and as a postdoctoral fellow was temporarily in Naples attending a small May meeting on biologically important macromolecules.”– James Watson

29. “Ultimately, we’ll help the people we discriminate against if we try to understand more about them; genetics will lead to a world where there is a sympathy for the underdog.”– James Watson

"Some think there is something wrong about enhancing people."- James Watson

30. “Some think there is something wrong about enhancing people.”– James Watson

31. “To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly.”– James Watson

32. “If you accept that people are the products of evolution, then you have to have an open mind to the truth. Unfair discrimination exists whether we like it or not; I wouldn’t have married a gum-chewing vegetarian.”– James Watson

"The pace of discovery is going unbelievably fast."- James Watson

33. “The pace of discovery is going unbelievably fast.”– James Watson

34. “Science has always been my preoccupation and when you think a breakthrough is possible, it is terribly exciting.”– James Watson

35. “I think the reason people are dealing with science less well now than 50 years ago is that it has become so complicated.”– James Watson

"I am thrilled to see my genome."- James Watson

36. “I am thrilled to see my genome.”– James Watson

37. “The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. The brain boggles the mind.”– James Watson

38. “Remember, grab you’re future with both hands and mold it into what you want it to be. It’s the determined, who create the life they want, while the idle sit by and watch it fade away into nothingness. The future belongs to the exceptional individuals, who can see the light of the future, at the end of the tunnel.”– James Watson

39. “One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.”– James Watson

"I wanted to see if I could write a good book."- James Watson

40. “I wanted to see if I could write a good book.”– James Watson

41. “Do things as soon as you can. If a decision needs to be made, make it. It gives you more time to change your mind.”– James Watson

42. “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”

"There is only one science, physics: everything else is social work."- James Watson

43. “There is only one science, physics: everything else is social work.”– James Watson

44. “Our goal should be to understand our differences.”– James Watson

45. “I turned against the left wing because they don’t like genetics, because genetics implies that sometimes in life we fail because we have bad genes. They want all failure in life to be due to the evil system.”– James Watson

"Nothing new that is really interesting comes without collaboration."- James Watson

46. “Nothing new that is really interesting comes without collaboration.”– James Watson

47. “Science moves with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.”– James Watson

48. “The way to do great science is to stay away from subjects that are overpopulated, and go to the frontiers.”– James Watson

49. “One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural, and it was a lesson that my father passed on to me, that knowledge liberates mankind from superstition. We can live our lives without the constant fear that we have offended this or that deity who must be placated by incantation or sacrifice, or that we are at the mercy of devils or the Fates. With increasing knowledge, the intellectual darkness that surrounds us is illuminated and we learn more of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.”– James Watson

"Never be the brightest person in the room."- James Watson

50. “Never be the brightest person in the room.”– James Watson