A Troublesome Inheritance

Nicholas Wade has a new book out, on the reality of human biological differences.   Not just differences in color, but differences in traits that have social consequences, such as personality and cognition.

The existence of such differences is obvious enough, and there’s nothing theoretically difficult about them – natural selection naturally takes a different course in different circumstances, nor does it take very long to generate differences of the kind and magnitude we see around us.

The book is generally reasonable, but Wade is not a geneticist, and it shows.  His errors on genetics mostly don’t make much difference, but they make me itch, not least when it’s a subject close to my heart.

It’s like this: Taylor Anderson wrote some science-fiction books in which an old American destroyer is thrown into an alternate history early in WWII: nasty intelligent dinosaurs are  fighting almost-humans descended from lemurs, but the geography is all the same.  Four-stacks need fuel, and our heroes manage by building a crude refinery for oil from a field at Balikpapan, in Borneo.  But, as is well known, Balikpapan oil is so light that it could be used in WWII diesel engines without any refining at all – the IJN often did so.  After a mistake like that, I could take no pleasure in  Anderson’s series. At least not after the first two or three books.

When Wade talks about adaptation to high altitude among Tibetans occurring in only 3000 years, it makes me itch.  Sure, it’s Rasmus Nielsen’s mistake, but I itch.  When he says that Ashkenazi Jews are 5% to 8% European – when the real number is at least 45%, probably higher – I know it’s Harry Ostrer’s mistake, based on an outright lie by Doron Behar, but I still itch.

He does mention, and criticize,  the people who have played a prominent role promulgating falsehoods about race, mainly that there are no significant interpopulation differences: Franz Boas, Jared Diamond, S. J. Gould, Ashley Montagu, and Richard Lewontin.        Bozos, all of them.  Good for him.

He thinks that different populations have different distributions of personality traits (a result of different selection pressures) , and that a social institution that comes easily to some groups may not come easily, maybe  not at all, to other populations, even when there are big payoffs and vigorous attempts. That is certainly what the world looks like. He thinks that this failure-to-copy is significantly influenced by genetic differences , and of course that’s very likely – although we don’t know a lot about the genetic basis of such traits at this time.   IQ differences must also play a part in failure-to-copy.

He discusses the evolution of Jewish intelligence, and there he does all right, except of course when he disagrees with Henry and me  There’s something mysteriously attractive about the notion there were factors that induced selection for higher IQ among Jews well before a few of them colonized Europe (Charles Murray seems to think so) : but since the non-Ashkenazi Jews don’t have unusually high IQs,  the idea has to be mostly or entirely wrong.  At least he doesn’t buy into the selection-for-Talmudists idea. Although I could, I guess, if anyone had any evidence that this actually ever happened.

When he mentions how the number of Jews around the Med declined so much from Roman times, possibly implying  selection by differential defection from emerging Rabbinic Judaism  (channeling Botticini and Eckstein), I can’t help remembering that the original Roman-era population estimate is completely bogus.  When he says that there were 500,000 Ashkenazi Jews in 1500 AD, he’s just wrong.  Maybe if you throw in the Sephardic Jews, but why would you do that?

He goes seriously wrong when he talks about other population differences in IQ (other than the Ashkenazi Jews) . He cites Ron Unz, of all people, and ends up dismissing the hereditarian view- Lynn & Vanhanen for example.  And since IQ is so unstable and unknowable and all that, he drops it.  I know that all talk about IQ is super-controversial, and maybe this is a tactical decision on his part; but I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.  Psychometrics is on solid ground, more solid than our current knowledge of personality differences.

A useful book, we may hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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222 Responses to A Troublesome Inheritance

  1. Pingback: Roundup of Book Reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance | Occam's Razor

  2. John says:

    While agree with Greg’s criticisms above, I also don’t think that we should not see the forest for the trees. Despite a few flaws, this is a magnificent book (about 2/3 of the way through, started reading today). Hopefully Wade’s book will help to break the silly race-is-not-real dogma that reigns today in American universities.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Wade’s book will be helpful, but all it does is inform the public about what common sense should have done already. I plan on getting around to reading it but I don’t expect to learn very much from it.

      Now I’m greedy, Greg wrote one book that was right on the cutting edge of science and I want more. I have read through the comments and I can’t help but wonder about “Better Brains, Past, Present and Very Near Future.” That is the book I want to read, like I said, I’m greedy. I think it was a brilliant strategy to talk about the Ashkenazi Jews in the “10,000 Year Explosion” and completely avoid talking about the other end of the spectrum. It’s a fascinating subject how humans have changed through time. I think it sad that such an important subject is honestly addressed by one rude physicist who doesn’t give a shit what other people think, he just wants to know the truth. Sure there are other sharp bloggers, many of whom comment here that are as honest but science shouldn’t need to be poked with a sharp stick.

  3. Robert Ford says:

    Sadly, I don’t think we’re gonna make any gains on the race/IQ thing for…indefinitely. Lefties have no idea this stuff exists and if they did they wouldn’t care. Right wingers aren’t much use either – we’re in an HBD bubble. The game has ended, everyone is walking to their car and we’re the ones going against the crowd back towards the arena:)

    • Bismarckian says:

      The HBD bubble will end as soon as offspring genetic engineering gets going in a few decades.

      Liberals only oppose HBD because it strikes them as infringing on people’s human rights.

      • sabracakeboo says:

        God forbid!lol.. Its so politically uncorrect as to be taboo… but that aside, jews have been hated and persecuted throughout history..even now in Europe and (sigh), even here in the ole USA. Recently when Israel had to defend itself against hamas a large number on f.b. publicly demonized jews in general. I did alot of clipping for a while. Were certainly smart enough to not arouse Jealousy over the i.q. thing. People hate us enough. Smart? Nope! Nothing to see here people……better to just blend the hell in I say and not draw attention 😉

  4. Pingback: linkfest: A Troublesome Inheritance | hbd* chick

  5. JayMan says:

    The review we were all waiting for.

    I brought up that point about the Tibetans earlier, echoing what you wrote.

    Wade does make a few other mistakes, many of which I have been compiling. I don’t want to make the perfect the enemy of the good, especially considering the knowledge of the topic John Q. Public has, but I think it’s important that if we’re going to tell the story, we tell the story right.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Agree – getting important details badly wrong is not helpful; it empowers the obfuscators. The middle-ground waverers waiting to be educated/persuaded are the target audience, and they can be heavily influenced by something which is already known to be seriously wrong by an order of magnitude, like “If he’s so wrong about that, how do I know I can believe any of this?” Many people simply don’t know anything about this subject area, not even basics, because they have been consistently told there is nothing to see, so move along please. It’s not a fatal flaw, but it doesn’t help.

    • Bones and Behaviours says:

      If Siberia was inhabited early by Europeoids at the time cold-adapted Mongoloids were reckoned to have evolved there, then they have to have emerged upon the plateau. This implies a very long period of occupation.

      Khams Tibetans are probably phenotypically close to the first Mongoloids – unquestionably Mongoloid and yet both robust and dolichocephalic. Certain New World populations may also come close.

  6. Charlie says:

    Suppose that IQ had falled one standard deviation, 15 points, since Victorian times. Further suppose that an IQ 3 St dev above the mean was required to be in the running to produce an advance in theoretical mathematics. That would mean that among Victorians 2.28% of the population could contribute while among moderns 0.13% could. That makes the proportion of the population that can contribute 17.5 times less, all other things being equal.

    That doesn’t seem such a stretch for a world which can draw its mathematical explorers from a total population 5ish times the size, from a much larger geographical area, from a larger proportion of the populations of each area, has a better/wider reaching education system, has a worldwide instant communication system, has worldwide cheap transport, has a large professional class of explorers, has computer to ease the discovery/publishing/distribution process easier and so on.

    Yes, I know I put it under the wrong post, but I was just thinking it over.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Which is why most people attending Cambridge back in the day found calculus a breeze –
      EXCEPT THAT THEY DIDN’T.

      There are a lot of notions that make sense, as long as you are totally ignorant. This is one of them.

      No more, please.

      • Charlie says:

        I was not aware that insults followed by demands for silence were valuable contributions.

        As you say, perhaps if I wasn’t so ignorant I might see the merit of your approach.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Well, I blame myself. I should be generating better insults, up there with “He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.”

          The whole idea of a one-std drop in genetic IQ over, say 120 years is ridiculous. It would have changed the world in a thousand obvious ways – none of which have happened. Subjects that are only easy for the top 2% today would have been easy for the top 15% then. But that didn’t happen – get it? Old farts, people who went to school 50 years ago, would be noticing the rising generation (let me be exact – the descendants of the groups that were here 50 years ago) is having significantly more trouble with the same subjects. But they’re not.

          Since the people producing new results in higher math are mostly from the same groups that were doing so in 1900 (plus the Japanese), the available population has not increased all that much. More like two or three: drop the fraction with enough talent by a factor of 17 and you’d see collapse. We haven’t seen collapse, so that never happened. Now if you knew nothing about the general state of research in math and physics, I guess you could maybe convince yourself that there had been such a collapse.. But then why should I care what you think?

      • Charlie says:

        No general evidence?

        If England had a high average IQ then we might expect it to lead the world into the industrial revolution, and dominate world achievements in business, science and technology while conquering 25% of the globe all with no immediately obvious cause. Calculus might come easily enough to the population for one of them to have a fair claim to inventing it.

        If the average IQ of the English population fell a bit then the country might stop doing all those things also with no immediately obvious cause.

        Is the evidence consistent with a fall in IQ? Yes. Is this consistent with the evidence presented in A Farewell to Alms? Yes. Is this consistent with some increase (slowing) in reaction times? Yes. Does 15 points seem a bit high. Yes.

        Did I claim it had been demonstrated? No. Have you presented any substantive evidence against. No.

        I don’t expect people to care about my opinions in and of themselves. I do expect that if I present evidence and facts that they be considered on their merits and not dismissed because of who I am, especially if who I am is unknown anyway.

        As for vague claims about Cambridge students, they are not evidence.

      • jamesd127 says:

        Does seem to me that people today have significant trouble with problems their predecessors breezed through. How many university graduates today can pass the flemyng of wreches?

        This 1836 calculus book is targeted at students before they go to university: http://books.google.com/books?id=ddo3AAAAMAAJ

        Sampling the book at random, I rather think that page 151 would make the hair of today’s Advanced Placement Calculus Student fall out.

      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        Galton himself had trouble at Cambridge with math. He had a breakdown of some sort and had to take an ‘ordinary ‘ degree not a first class one. He stumbled on the math. His real facility seems to have been in languages. When he first went to school at the age of five he was surprised that the other little kiddies couldn’t read Greek. They didn’t know the Iliad. He was sent to France and spoke French in his elementary years. When he was about twenty he picked up Arabic in a couple weeks of self study.

        Galton all his life made lists and numbered everything. But he didn’t seem to do formal proofs. He discovered ‘regression to the mean’ with a pencil drawing.

        The recent excitement around the issue of if Victorians were smarter before all that nasty dysgenic stuff kicked in, should be resolvable. He measured reaction times, heights, weights and other anthropomorphic characteristics for three pence. All the cards included the person’s name. In other of his studies he has biographies of many of these same people also with their names. Some diligent scholar could match up the life histories of these peoples with the scores they got at the International Health Exhibition.

        The exhibition looks like a High School Science project rather than a serious scientific lab. It was just a couple blocks from his house. Many of the participants were probably locals. It should be possible to get a handle on the characteristics of his sample.

        He seemed to be embarrassed about asking men to remove their shoes so just subtracted an inch. He wanted to do skull sizes but couldn’t figure out how to do it without asking the ladies to remove their bonnets.

        He achieved his first fame as a big game hunter although apparently in one day he had shot at forty hippopotamuses and missed them all. Strange dude.

      • Toad says:

        gcochran9: Now if you knew nothing about the general state of research in math and physics, I guess you could maybe convince yourself that there had been such a collapse..

        Now we know about the four flavours of quarks and color charge and quantum chromodynamics and bozons and gluon tubes and eleven-dimensional strings. Someone like Tesla, who was considered a genius in his time, would be baffled by all this because of the Flynn effect.

        And we now know that nothing can go faster than the speed of light (it’s the law). And distant galaxies are receding faster than the speed of light because of the big-bang (the only thing capable of producing redshift). But there really aren’t, it’s just that the spacetime-continuim is stretching out between us, so it just looks that way.

        Could a Victorian scientist come up with any of this, I think not.

      • little spoon says:

        Greg is quite good at insult matches, apparently. Got a sibling?

      • JayMan says:

        @little spoon:

        “I don’t suppose there is some study that shows aptitude for insulting is strongly heritable and not the result of conditioning from lots of sibling rivalry in one’s formative years?”

        You do know that the childhood family environment has no impact on how people turn out, right?

      • Paul Rain says:

        Charlie: I don’t think that that the collapse of the British/(Engish/Scottish/Protestant Ulstermish) Empire is a good example of decline in IQ. A decline in moral character and an increase in egalatarianism/equalitarianism- sure. Intelligence- hell no- despite the dysgenic effects of the first fraticidal war which killed so many of the hard-working Welsh miners, as it did the young upper classses.

        If Britain had had an electoral system that wouldn’t have allowed the criminal Attlee to power, and America had been run by healthy isolationists rather than insane Comsymps, the British empire would still have existed into the 70’s at least.

        • gcochran9 says:

          England made bad choices, educated people in the classics while neglecting engineering education. So they fell behind industrially – which was the real currency of power. Control of India wasn’t as useful in WWI & WWII as control of Silesia.

    • Jim says:

      jamesd127 – I looked at p. 151 and it just seemed to be a description of a cycloid. I glanced quickly throught the book and most of the problems seemed pretty routine. If you want some fun calculus problems check out Bourbaki’s “Functions of a Real Variable”.

    • guest poster says:

      When I was an engineering student (1980s), I had a look at my Dad’s old engineering textbooks (1950s vintage). They were FAR more rigorous. And they had to do all their calculations with slide-rules, not electronic calculators.

      We’re total wusses compared to our forefathers.

      • DK says:

        The idea that we are smarter today because we know more is laughable. Just because someone was taught calculus does not mean that he is smarter than every human who lived before 17th century. How can this be not entirely obvious?

  7. Magus Janus says:

    Greg, you really need to write more. Like, books, papers, etc. I know you’re busy as is (family, work, blog, etc.), but I consistently find your blog one of the best to read, and can only imaging you’d have even more of an impact if you did more “official” writings of the book variety. Look at the impact 10k evolution had…. do more!

  8. zCBu9k7axY says:

    Re: Taylor Anderson – most WWII naval vessels were steam powered and designed to burn something very heavy like NSFO or bunker B/C.

    • Patrick L. Boyle says:

      There is a lot of confusion here.

      I just finished Vaclav Smil’s book on marine diesels but I lost it in the mess somewhere. The good news is that I ran across my copy of ‘The 10,00 Year Explosion’ which had also been lost.

      As ‘zCBu9k7axY’ says most WWII naval vessels were steam powered. But that’s deceptive. If you are counting Liberty Ships that’s true. They were powered by triple expansion steam piston engines. This is what most people mean by the term steam engine. The USS Enterprise (the first nuclear carrier) technically had a steam engine too. The piston steam engine was an obsolete prime mover technology even at the time. Warships well before WWII had all been converted to oil fired steam turbines.

      In the Taylor Anderson series (which I have not read) the relevant four stacker seems to be the USS Walker which was not a diesel. The Wickes class destroyers like all the other destroyers built near the end of WWI was powered by oil fired steam turbines. Such engines were probably not punctilious about their fuel stocks. If Anderson said the Walker was a diesel, he was wrong.

      In modern global shipping the low speed diesel has largely replaced steam turbines. These are fueled by essentially nearly unrefined sludge. That’s part of their economic advantage. Rudolph Diesel originally designed his engine to run on almost anything – and it has. Hyundai makes an engine for cargo container ships and oil tankers that is three stories high and spins up to a breathtaking 80 rpm. This is the kind of vehicle that now literally ‘brings coal to Newcastle’. In central England they import coal from the other side of the world because diesel ships get such good mileage.

      All the new warships now use gas turbines – with rather less good gas mileage.

  9. Harold says:

    I sometimes wonder if Pinker is a fool or a liar.

    Pinker tweeted: “Disagree w much of Wade (goes beyond data, gets some wrong)”. Which is a reasonable statement if we interpret “much” in an absolute sense, but not if we interpret it in a relative, percentage of the book sense.

    Earlier in his reddit ama he was asked:
    “What do you think is the likelihood of in the future discovering intelligence differences between population groups…”

    To which he replied
    “It’s possible, but I don’t think that evolutionary theory predicts that they should occur.”
    Of course it does.

    Further “It’s hard to think of an environment in which the human hallmarks of intelligence, sociality, and language would NOT be adaptive”.
    Here Pinker has trouble thinking of the current environment in which he lives.

    He ends with “Intelligence just isn’t particularly dependent on geography. Combine that with gene flow and you can’t predict a priori that there ought to be race differences.”

    So according to Pinker if different groups of a species inhabit different environments and if a certain polygenic trait is “adaptive” in all of them, and there has been “gene flow” between the different groups, we can then conclude that we should find that trait equally distributed amongst the groups. Nevermind differences in how adaptive it may be in each group, vast differences in population size among the groups, obviously insufficient gene flow to cause other polygenic traits to be equally distributed, and so on.

    Then there‘s that Pinker gave a speech on Jewish intelligence based on the Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending paper and seemed to find its ideas quite plausible. Maybe it skipped his mind.

    Does Pinker believe what he is saying? Can he really be that stupid? I hope he still has the piece of his brain they cut out, being an optimist I think the day may come in his lifetime when he will want it put back in.

    • JayMan says:

      Working theory: Pinker is a lot cleverer than you think: https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/463372172988133377

      • Harold says:

        So you think he is a liar then?

      • Harold says:

        His tweet on Wade also links to Murray’s review, inducing some to read it who otherwise wouldn’t…

        • JayMan says:

          Right. With Pinker, think effect of what he says, not what he actually says, it seems. Remember his defense of Richard Lynn to Ron Unz, too.

          Indeed, Pinker was my first introduction into what would eventually be HBD for me.

      • Magus Janus says:

        What Jayman said. Pinker is playing the “inside” game. he’s within the fortress of madness as an inside agent. If he came out and said what we all know to be true in a blunt fashion, he’d get kicked out.

        Instead, he works on “easing” the information in in digestible amounts.

        I’m fairly confident if you cornered him in a bug proof room and asked him what he really thought, you’d find it deviates very little with what we all know to be true.

        He’s not an idiot. Basically, he’s not a Gladwell.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Given the current climate, who can blame Pinker for a little…. dissimulation? Asking someone what they”really” think about race today is like askling someone in Massachusetts what they “really” think about witches in 1650. You have to be very careful with your answer.

      • jamesd127 says:

        On the contrary, lots of people could, and did, deny the existence of witches, and not get called a witch, but today, if you doubt that someone is a racist, you are a racist.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Plus he defended Sommers, which ought to be quite hard to forget about.

    • 420blazeitfgt says:

      His full tweet is this: “Disagree w much of Wade (goes beyond data, gets some wrong) but he explodes race-is-only-a-social-construction myth. http://goo.gl/t8SzqA

      The reddit question is:
      “What do you think is the likelihood of in the future discovering intelligence differences between population groups using neurological comparisons and genetic comparisons rather than by just comparing IQ scores? Academics today seem to dismiss the idea as impossible. But is the idea that groups can evolve in very different environments and not end up with different intelligence levels realistic? I’ve read that more than half of genes are expressed in the brain.”

      His full answer is:
      “It’s possible, but I don’t think that evolutionary theory predicts that they should occur. It’s hard to think of an environment in which the human hallmarks of intelligence, sociality, and language would NOT be adaptive, which is why, as Ambrose Bierce put it, our species has infested the whole habitable earth and Canada. Intelligence just isn’t particularly dependent on geography. Combine that with gene flow and you can’t predict a priori that there ought to be race differences.”

      • Harold says:

        I elided the end of his tweet as it was irrelevant to my point. I probably shouldn’t have, as it makes it seem his tweet was anti-Wade rather than hedging his bets (as pseudoerasmus suggest is his wont).

        As for his reddit answer, I only elided the Bierce bit about Canada. I did so for brevity. His answer with the Bierce bit makes him sound even stupider. The more I read his answer the stupider it sounds. I struggle even to know where to begin criticising it. Cats also have a unique suite of traits which have enabled them to infest most of the inhabitable earth (and, yes, Canada). Surely one of these traits is speed, are we now to conclude all cats are equally fast (If you don’t like this trait pick another)? Intelligence isn’t particularly dependent on geography he tells us, as if the only difference in the last few thousand years between the lives of the Chinese and, say, an African pygmy tribe is the geographic location in which they took place. Combine “that” he says, but what was “that”? That all human groups have at least enough intelligence, sociality, and language ability to have enabled them to colonise their part of the world, and that there has been gene flow between human groups (even though obviously negligible for long periods)? From this, and without further data (which we obviously have some of), we can’t predict there ought to be race differences? Nonsense. From that, and without further data, it ought still to be taken as the null hypothesis that there will be race differences.

        His answer was either written by someone who has yet to fully unshackle his mind from dogma, or it was written by a dissimulator. I find either hard to believe and am genuinely interested in which he is.

      • athEist says:

        the whole habitable earth and Canada. A bit of Bierce I had missed–Thank You

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        “It’s possible, but I don’t think that evolutionary theory predicts that they should occur. It’s hard to think of an environment in which the human hallmarks of intelligence, sociality, and language would NOT be adaptive, which is why, as Ambrose Bierce put it, our species has infested the whole habitable earth and Canada. Intelligence just isn’t particularly dependent on geography. Combine that with gene flow and you can’t predict a priori that there ought to be race differences.”

        Perhaps here is where his foolishness is evident.

        The brain is a fucking expensive organ in humans. It is expensive developmentally (demands lots from mothers, including at birth) and it is expensive to maintain, and it leaves infants very vulnerable for a long time as they grow to maturity.

        There is enormous selection pressure to reduce the [investment in the] size of the brain in humans that is counterbalanced by the fact that it is needed in animals as social as we are, and in some groups more is needed. Not for nothing have the Roma found a niche that they have survived in for so long.

        A simple application of evolutionary theory would tell anyone that.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Combine that with gene flow and you can’t predict a priori that there ought to be race differences.

        Ahhh, I get it now. “Gene flow” is the magic pixie dust of the race deniers.

        You know, people in South-East Asia have a form of sickle-cell anemia, but they have higher average IQs than those in sub-Saharan Africa, or at least those in Southern China do and those in Southern China have the sickle-cell anemia trait.

        Now, the genetics of sickle-cell anemia among the two groups are likely different, so this example does not refute the “magic pixie dust” thesis, however, selection is good at accepting the useful genes and discarding the worthless genes acquired from other populations.

      • jb says:

        It’s possible, but I don’t think that evolutionary theory predicts that they should occur.

        Read the first two words and forget the rest. Pinker says it’s possible that there are genetic differences in intelligence between population groups! That right there is the starkest of heresies to the Church of PC, which maintains that the matter is so thoroughly settled that any dissent at all is equivalent to insane hatred. Getting people to acknowledge that this is in fact an open question is probably the harder part: but once that door has been opened, anything can walk through. Pinker has to be well aware of this.

      • Harold says:

        What you say is very true jb.

        I tried to get someone to admit the mere possibility of genetics caused cognitive differences between different groups, in the comments at the following link (with lots of awkward prose, spelling errors, and incorrect use of words): http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/11/who-is-juan-galt.html

        Regarding Pinker, the consensus seems to be he is a cunning dissimulator trying to slowly change peoples minds while not letting people know he is not one of them. Wait! Guys, are you sure that’s not anti-semitic?

      • jb says:

        @Harold

        Interesting thread. I had a similar (but shorter) discussion with Jason Antrosio here. I actually seemed to rattle him a bit! He basically ran away, claiming that he was “working on a much longer piece to address these questions,” which as far as I know never actually happened.

        I think there is a vulnerability here! It’s always hard to force someone to admit that they are wrong (this is true of any issue, not just race). It’s easier to argue that the question is still open, because then the other side is forced into arguing that there is zero possibility that they might be wrong. Claiming infallibility can be a very difficult position if the other side has arguments that are even somewhat plausible. If you can clearly demonstrate that your opponents’ minds are closed, you cost them a certain amount of credibility in public debate.

        For myself I am generally quite willing to acknowledge the possibility that the other side might be right. (In fact on this particular issue I think it is indeed possible!) But I am relentless in focusing on the fact that the issue is not yet settled.

      • jb says:

        I forgot to link to a later comment I posted on Jason’s blog. Part of his response was to deny that he is a “devout anti-racist” (which he of course so is)!

        I think he was touchy about the word “devout,” and quite understandably so. Traditional religions at least acknowledge that they are religions, but people like Jason are loath to acknowledge that the ideas they are defending are in fact sacred to them. Ideas that are sacred are not necessarily thereby false, but again, it costs you credibility among non-believers and those who may be lukewarm.

      • My opinion of Jason Antrosio is this. People on HBD blogs love erecting a straw man of non-biological anthropology so as to knock ot down (whilst cherry picking from it.) And Jason loves acting it out.

        Obviously his argument against race, is based on fallacies. Perhaps more relevantly he misrepresents bioanthropological texts, in fairness probably due to his lack of background and not deceptiveness, since I found him unable to argue about bioanthropology himself when asked to explain.

        Irony is North American concerns about abuse of the word ‘race’ are rooted in their own local culture and history, yet all scientific terminology is supposed to be universal, and culturally value neutral. (Not surprisingly race a current concept in the former USSR and other regions resistant to globalism/Americanisation.) It actually takes a lot of internalised bias to seek global word redefinitions according to a subjective, national experience. It shows that though some North Americans will swing left or right, their attitudes are collectively shaped, like everyone else, by their culture to the point they aren’t fully aware what they’re saying really connotates.

      • About the page ‘Race Redux with Henry Harpending: What are people “tilting against”?’ on Jason’s blog, this is a good example of what is wrong.

        “My next move is to try and convince them of the historical importance of the race idea, explaining how race emerges with colonialism, before Darwin, and that anthropology was born as an academic discipline exactly in the heyday of what we call “scientific racism.” Running over this history risks confirming their notions that race is an old-fashioned idea rooted in past generations, but this historical reckoning does have several purposes. In outlining this historical importance, I am also trying to dispel the idea that racial categories have been an eternal and unchanging aspect of human history, and then also to later set up the context for why the concept of culture became so important to anthropology–what Franz Boas was tilting against.”

        Though all scientific concepts are constructs of culture, popular concepts are not the same as scientific concepts.

        Pan troglodytes means ‘cave dwelling satyr’ which seems hardly appropriate, and is rooted in old, European wildman images. No one claims for this that chimps are an invalid category because European concepts of apes changed, or people stopped expecting to find Europe’s legendary creatures in remote countries, Nor are people who accept the category Pan troglodytes as useful, affirming the reality of European folklore images.

        Consequently racial concepts may be rooted in the culture of the time they were erected, but are independant of all baggage from extra-scientific views of race.

  10. GCochran : But why don’t you consider Botticini-Eckstein’s attrition thesis simply complementary with yours ? Lynn estimates Mizrahi IQ at 91, ~0.5 SD higher than the average in the Middle East. Surely that requires an explanation. Lynn estimates Sephardic IQ at 99, which is about the same as Spain, but most Sephardic Jews arrived in Spain with the Arabs, did they not ? Or has that been ruled out by genetics ? What’s known genetically about the lineages of the Sephardim ?

    • gcochran9 says:

      The hypothesis hangs upon a high estimate of the Jewish population in the Roman Empire that is just a mistake some Syrian made a long time ago. Nothing there.

      Moreover, the Middle East has changed over the past couple of thousand years, for the worse. Today the place has a scattering of endogamous groups, mostly religious groups like the Maronites in Lebanon, Assyrian Christians, Alawites, Druze, various Jewish groups, etc. They’re genetically distinct from the general Arab population today, and they’re like each other – which means that they must be closer to what the Middle East population used to be. At least some of them are smarter than the general population of the Middle East today. Maronites for example. I think some groups stayed the same, while the average IQ dropped in the general Moslem population. I don’t know why, but that’s what it looks like.

      The Sephardic Jews were already in Spain when the Arabs invaded: they welcomed the invasion and helped garrison towns they took. As for their origins, I don’t think we know much. The problem is perfectly solvable though, say using fine-grained mtDNA analysis and sequencing Y-chromosomes. Or maybe looking at the autosomes: perfectly solvable.

      • ”The Sephardic Jews were already in Spain when the Arabs invaded: they welcomed the invasion and helped garrison towns they took.”

        Yes, there were already Jews in Spain when the Arabs invaded, but it’s also part of the historical record many Jews arrived in Spain, with, and after, the Arab conquest. Especially Andalusia.

        ”Moreover, the Middle East has changed over the past couple of thousand years, for the worse. Today the place has a scattering of endogamous groups, mostly religious groups like the Maronites in Lebanon, Assyrian Christians, Alawites, Druze, various Jewish groups, etc. They’re genetically distinct from the general Arab population today, and they’re like each other – which means that they must be closer to what the Middle East population used to be. At least some of them are smarter than the general population of the Middle East today. Maronites for example. I think some groups stayed the same, while the average IQ dropped in the general Moslem population. I don’t know why, but that’s what it looks like.”

        But, like the Copts in Egypt and the Zoroastrians in Iran, these religious minorities in the Levant & Mesopotamia are usually assumed to be residues of an attrition process, loss via conversion — kind of like what E & B proposed for the Jews. Is that view untenable ?

        ”The hypothesis hangs upon a high estimate of the Jewish population in the Roman Empire that is just a mistake some Syrian made a long time ago. Nothing there.”

        E & B settle on a total world population of 5-5.5 million Jews circa 50AD, of which 1 million were outside the Roman empire. They list like 2 dozen citations. Did they all track back to that Syrian Orthodox bishop of the 13th century AD ? E&B also single out the estimates of Israeli demographer Sergio DellaPergola :

        ***…Our estimate of 5– 5.5 million Jews on the eve of the first Jewish-Roman war is obtained by adding to the estimate of 4.5 million Jews in the first century BCE provided by Della Pergola an estimated 0.5– 1 million Jews as the outcome of natural growth and the documented conversions of pagans to Judaism in the two centuries before the destruction of the Second Temple.****

        DellaPergola explains his reasoning here ( http://bjpa.org/Publications/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=18536 ). No mention of any bishop Syrian Orthodox or otherwise.

        • gcochran9 says:

          When the Arabs invaded, there were already enough Jews in Spain to be a significant military factor. I doubt if one can estimate the size of later flows, not from the historical record anyhow. As to the origins of those Jews, we know pretty much nothing, except that they were already there in at least some number by the early 300s.

          Della Pergola doesn’t give any explanation at all for his Roman-era population estimate.

          In the Levant, Palestine and Syria, the population (the Moslems anyhow) has changed a lot since Classical times. Much more ancestry from the Arabian peninsula, a fair amount more from sub-Saharan Africa. This hasn’t happened in the endogamous groups.

          I have seen, and even created, various ideas about how group X changed genetically because of of biased defections/conversions over the years. it could happen: but why would anyone think that those who chose to be permanent second-class citizens, subject to special taxes, were the smart ones?

          In Palestine, for example, virtually all the remaining Jews converted by Byzantine times. Those that hadn’t been killed or exiled earlier in the revolts.

          I think that demographic change is a more likely explanation than selection. The Maronites, for example, just stayed up in the hills: were mostly farmers like everyone else, but hard to control. Not a commercial elite

      • aisaac says:

        “why would anyone think that those who chose to be permanent second-class citizens, subject to special taxes, were the smart ones?”

        Because the ones who are left are the ones who could afford to pay special taxes – the others would have either converted or been to poor to reproduce.

      • Jacobite says:

        Just to detour for a moment to European anti-Semitism, note the language re the Mohammedan invasion: “They welcomed the invasion and helped garrison the towns they took.” Alfred Rosenberg in a nutshell.

  11. Pinker says a few words here and there to please all parties, so that everyone can project his own affinities onto him. I see hereditarians and (more moderate) cultural-enviro types both appealing to him. Steve Sailer, who often reads too much into things, seems to think Pinker is a closet Sailerite. Pinker should review Wade’s book to flesh out what he said in his tweet.

    • Julian says:

      Pinker tweeted one of Sailer’s posts on lead paint just the other day. Given his supportive comments about the CHH Ashkenazi jewish paper I suspect he finds the hereditarian position quite plausible. He’s also involved with Steve Hsu in the Cognitive Genomics Project.

      • Yes but “lead not responsible for crime time series” isn’t terribly incendiary. I’ve seen Pinker’s (very nice) explication of CHH’s thesis on YouTube and that’s also not nearly as risky as if the thesis had been about Africans & African-Americans. I’m telling you, he’s very very cautious.

    • Julian says:

      ***Yes but “lead not responsible for crime time series” isn’t terribly incendiary.***
      @ pseudoerasmus,

      It’s more the fact that he is happy to link to Sailer. Similarly, his brutal take down of Malcolm Gladwell relied in part on a Sailer post. When Gladwell tried to embarrass him for that he stuck to his guns.

      I agree though that he is very cautious, but that is understandable.

      • Paul says:

        Wasn’t Pinker a member of the famous HBD email group created by Sailor, before human differences became cool? I think he was. If I’m right, Sailor’s certainty comes from this.

  12. AlanL says:

    > Balikpapan oil is so light that it could be used in WWII diesel engines without any refining at all – the IJN often did so

    I suspect you may be making exactly the same mistake you accuse Mr Anderson of. I am not aware that the IJN had any diesel powered major warships (except subs). Iirc the only major diesel-powered surface combatants of that era were the German “pocket battleships”.

  13. Roma in the Glaucoma says:

    He does mention, and criticize, the people who have played a prominent role promulgating falsehoods about race, mainly that there are no significant interpopulation differences: Franz Boas, Jared Diamond, S. J. Gould, Ashley Montagu, and Richard Lewontin. Bozos, all of them. Good for him.

    Is “bozo” the word for individuals who have been so successful in denying an obvious reality and getting so many millions to disbelieve their lying eyes (and lying ears, nose, etc)? But “individuals” isn’t the right word either. Ashley Montagu was born Israel Ehrenberg, which would have made the pattern even clearer. The genetics of objectivity and mendacity are an interesting topic.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      It’s almost as if those lineages that can manipulate the mental states of members of other lineages such that many members of those other lineages fail to reproduce have a selective advantage or something.

      • Roma in the Glaucoma says:

        I agree. And one could speculate that instilling fear in the other lineages would be useful too. That way, even people who weren’t manipulated into believing falsehoods would be frightened to identify the obvious pattern in a list of names like (say) Franz Boas, Jared Diamond, S. J. Gould, Ashley Montagu, and Richard Lewontin. See Steve Sailer for more on this possibility:

        The War on Pattern Recognition

  14. Gottlieb says:

    Other approaches could be made about why people of high technique intelligence currently appear to be less smart people of the same class 120 years ago , seem to be . It’s funny because we see the Victorian world as a very idealized and romanticized , when in reality , many absurdism and beliefs was to be popular . The result of the world we live in today is the work of genius Caucasian ‘man’ (and woman) . The work of a small class will be recognized as the work of an entire people , when in fact , this work continues to be a work of a small class .
    I think people nowadays, because of democracy and the idea of relativism believe that when opinions differ , are equally correct , precisely because of the emphasis on the individual . We are taking (very) seriously the idea of multiple perspectives . As a result , people who were born to be the ‘pragmatic memorisers’ (a large part of the academy ) believe to be ‘problem solvers’ and they will apply the ( not creative ) and limited mechanical knowledge which decorated by years of higher education as solutions to problems . In Victorian times , the social and economic problems existed , but people were not as concerned about solving them , especially because the professional class was strongly based on social class. And richer people tend to overlook the problems of the poor and even the middle class, especially in an English classicist scenario of the early last century.
    This may be a possible explanation to the scenario in which we are experiencing today. But there are many other and with different characters.
    Nowadays , any university professor became a scientist . Another problem is the ongoing process of reducing the merit or the mechanization of the criteria for entry into higher institutions , let alone in countries like the U.S., where even some highly subjective criteria ( despite having a direct relationship, since intelligence tends to relate to social class ) are used . Most intelligent people simply are not problem solvers . The human intelligence and its phenotypic manifestation at their highest technical levels , not only serves to alleged technical functions of system maintenance .
    I think that creativity can play a very important role in this, since most of the maintainers of high iq system are not highly creative . The release of sexual and general behavior may have created multiple channels so that at least 30 % of the population of problem solvers have channeled their creative energies to superficialities of the modern world or for yourself . What is not an entirely bad thing , the problem is that the nature of the human mind is competitive and extremist by nature .
    But as I said in the blog Hbd Chick, all that is happening was planned by Communists and their friends .

  15. GCochran,

    ”but why would anyone think that those who chose to be permanent second-class citizens, subject to special taxes, were the smart ones?”

    Because the smart ones were better able to afford the head tax ? Look at the Copts in Egypt today, who on average have a much higher status in society than Egyptians at large. It’s also true of Christians in Syria since the 19th century and also Iraq in this century. (Tariq Aziz was a Christian, for the most famous example.)

    The Maronites, for example, just stayed up in the hills: were mostly farmers like everyone else, but hard to control. Not a commercial elite

    Actually Maronites and other Christians inhabited the entire strip from Tripoli to Beirut to the west of Mount Lebanon, both lowlands and highlands.

    And the Maronites sure act like the products of an early commercial elite today. In the USA, Brazil, France, West Africa, Argentina, Mexico (e.g., Carlos Slim), etc. Plus Lebanon has been more advanced economically than most other Middle East countries (not a high bar, admittedly) and its regression coincides with extensive Maronite emigration. And because of a Maronite we got George Bush in 2000 ! (Though maybe that guy is one of those other crazy Lebanese Christian denominations.)

    I understand that the Maronites are, at least in part, the products of mountain refugia, like so many similar groups. But they just seem too successful, both at home and in the extensive diaspora, in comparison with most other highland ethnic groups like the Kurds or the Pashtuns or the micro-ethnic relicts in the Pamirs or the Himalayas. The Maronites seem more like the Basques — a minority which has contributed disproportionately to the larger society.

    ”I doubt if one can estimate the size of later flows [of Jews into Muslim Spain], not from the historical record anyhow. “

    I agree, but that’s why I asked what the genetics might tell us about the relationship of those Jews who would later be called “Sephardic” to the Ashkenazim and the Mizrahim. We want to test historical narratives with more objective information. But as far as I can tell, on the question of the composition of Spanish Jewry, you are relying on those insecure historical narratives just as much as anybody else. You choose to believe that most Spanish Jews at the time of their expulsion in 1492 represented natural increase from the population of Spanish Jews at the time of the Arab conquest. Not sure that’s a better-founded assumption than saying the population increased in part because of migration from other parts of the Muslim world, which is something attested historically (but unreliably).

    For me the problem with the Sephardim is :

    The Ashkenazim clearly have a higher IQ than the contemporaneous European majority amongst whom they lived in recent times.

    The Mizrahim also have a higher IQ (by 1/2 SD) than the contemporaneous Middle Eastern majority amongst whom they lived in recent times.

    The Sephardim, however, left Spain ~500 years ago and absconded mostly to Italy, Turkey and Morocco. That half millennium messes things up a little bit. The Sephardim of today are not smarter than the Spanish population of today, but they are smarter than the Middle East & North African populations. What’s the right comparator population for the Sephardim ? After all, it’s based on that issue that we decide whether there’s something in need of explanation, or not.

    We also can’t be too certain about the relationship between the Spanish gentile population of today and yesterday, either. (1) Many of the 8th century Iberian gentile population converted to Islam, and conventional historiography tells us (sort of like in India) the lower-status Iberians converted ; (2) many Muslims (whether descended from converts or not) left Spain after 1492, but many also converted and chose to stay as Christians ; (3) likewise many of the Jews converted to Christianity after 1492, and many chose exile ; (4) some of the Jewish conversos continued to be harassed after 1492 and left for the Americas ; but (5) some stayed on — I don’t know what is the status of these findings ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2668061/ ) but seems like many Muslims and Jews stayed on in Spain as converts because their gene flow shows up in modern Iberians.

    ”Della Pergola doesn’t give any explanation at all for his Roman-era population estimate.”

    Well, he does actually.

    *********
    Later literary and archeological sources provide the basis for the inference about the continuing development of Jewish population in antiquity. In very synthetic generalization, as against a relatively slow and steady development of total world population until the eve of the 20th century, three periods of major Jewish population expansion stand out (see also Baron 1971; Biraben, 1979):

    1.The first corresponds with the period of the Kings, at the height of Israel’s political influence in antiquity. King David’s censuses can be interpreted to provide a figure around 2-2.5 million people–possibly including non-Jews under Jewish rule–within the extended boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel. After the fall of the First Temple in Jerusalem, during the 8th century B.C.E., and the consequent deportation of Israelites to Babylon, the permanent bases of a Jewish Diaspora were created.

    2.The emergence of a second Jewish population peak can be posited toward the time of the construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Hasmonean period (3rd-2nd century B.C.E.). This new peak, variously estimated, and here cautiously put at around 4.5 million people during the first century B.C.E., has been interpreted by some scholars as reflecting, among other factors, significant numbers of non-Jews around the Mediterranean basin joining into the fold of Judaism. On the other hand, the Jews’ first and second century’s struggle against the Roman Empire and their final defeat determined a dramatic Jewish population decline, possibly down to around 1-1.5 million individuals, or less. Most of this decrease was presumably due to the loss of a distinct Jewish identity and the assimilation of large masses of Jews into the surrounding cultures, under the hegemony of Christianity and, later, of Islam.
    *********

    This is from the Della Pergola link earlier, but not from the citation used by Botticini & Eckstein in their book which may or may not have more extensive documentation. (Can’t find that particular citation.) Anyway, maybe the above is a little arbitrary and not systematic enough.

    But based on what do you reject the proposition that there couldn’t have been 500,000 Ashkenazim in 1500 ?

    • Sorry, should have been : based on what do you reject the proposition that there COULD HAVE BEEN 500,000 Ashkenazim in 1500 ?

      • marlowe says:

        RE: Population figures,

        Matthew White in ATROCITIES makes a few comments:

        “Estimates of the pre-revolt population of Palestine run anywhere from 0.5 million to 6 million. Religious historians tend to favor the high numbers, which are based on written sources like Josephus; archaeologists favor the low numbers, which are based on land use and population densities [….]No matter what anyone says, it’s unlikely that the ancient population of the area came anywhere close to 2 million, which was the number of inhabitants at the time of independence in 1948.”

        (p. 52)

      • gcochran9 says:

        For the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, we know that the Ashkenazi population was about 15,000 in 1500. There were some in Moravia and Bohemia, also some in rural Germany ( cattle dealers) – but the Ashkenazi Jews had been expelled from most of Western Europe by 1500. The total was probably less than 50,000 in 1500. Much, probably most of the ancestry of modern Ashkenazi Jews was probably in that 15,000.

    • marlowe says:

      “1.The first corresponds with the period of the Kings, at the height of Israel’s political influence in antiquity. King David’s censuses can be interpreted to provide a figure around 2-2.5 million people–possibly including non-Jews under Jewish rule–within the extended boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel. After the fall of the First Temple in Jerusalem, during the 8th century B.C.E., and the consequent deportation of Israelites to Babylon, the permanent bases of a Jewish Diaspora were created.”

      Is the reference to the Fall of the First Temple in ” the 8th century B.C.E.” in the original? The Fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple is usually dated to circa 587 BC (i.e., the early 6th century BC)

    • marlowe says:

      ***…Our estimate of 5– 5.5 million Jews on the eve of the first Jewish-Roman war is obtained by adding to the estimate of 4.5 million Jews in the first century BCE provided by Della Pergola an estimated 0.5– 1 million Jews as the outcome of natural growth and the documented conversions of pagans to Judaism in the two centuries before the destruction of the Second Temple.****

      In contrast, Seth Schwartz (in IMPERIALISM AND JEWISH SOCIETY, 200 BCE TO 640 CE) estimates the Jewish pop. in Judea on the eve of the First Jewish War as 500,000.

      • gcochran9 says:

        It shouldn’t be that hard to generate a reasonable estimate of the population ( back in the day) for places that are in Israel today, based on the archaeological record and the farming methods/productivity of the time. Now it might be hard to have tremendous of confidence in those estimates, but they’d be worth something, likely as an upper bound.

      • marlowe says:

        gcochran9:”It shouldn’t be that hard to generate a reasonable estimate of the population ( back in the day) for places that are in Israel today, based on the archaeological record and the farming methods/productivity of the time. Now it might be hard to have tremendous of confidence in those estimates, but they’d be worth something, likely as an upper bound.”

        White basically uses the pop. in 1948 as the upper limit, which seems reasonable:

        “Estimates of the pre-revolt population of Palestine run anywhere from 0.5 million to 6 million. Religious historians tend to favor the high numbers, which are based on written sources like Josephus; archaeologists favor the low numbers, which are based on land use and population densities [….]No matter what anyone says, it’s unlikely that the ancient population of the area came anywhere close to 2 million, which was the number of inhabitants at the time of independence in 1948.”

        (p. 52)

        • gcochran9 says:

          And the population of Palestine at the time of the Great Revolt wasn’t all Jewish: significant number of Samaritans and others. The question of how many Jews in the Roman Empire is surely harder, because what you don’t know about places like Egypt and Cyrene and Syria is the percentage Jewish, even if you knew or could estimate the total population of those places.

  16. Actually B & E say there were 500,000 Jews in Western Europe in 1490, not differentiating between Ashk & Seph. Wade probably just took those all to be Ashk which is obviously wrong.

  17. dearieme says:

    “King David’s censuses can be interpreted to provide a figure around 2-2.5 million people–possibly including non-Jews under Jewish rule–within the extended boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel.” But most of the OT is myths, not history.

    • Yes. I’m just quoting the guy. Anyway, the fact remains, the Jews of the Arab lands are smarter than Arabs and that needs explaining. Cochran is saying the Mizrahi Jews are like those relict Christians of the Middle East — both representative of the pre-Muslim population of the ME whereas the post-Muslim population has gene flow from Arabian peninsula and Sub-Saharan Africa. But is the gene flow big enough to explain the Mizrahi/Arab gap ? I have a hard time believing that such relict minorities like Mizrahi and Maronites could be a representative sample of the pre-Muslim population. Of course Cochran can set me straight….

    • marlowe says:

      dearieme:“King David’s censuses can be interpreted to provide a figure around 2-2.5 million people–possibly including non-Jews under Jewish rule–within the extended boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel.” But most of the OT is myths, not history.”

      Yeah, anything that relies on “King David’s censuses” as a way to estimate the population of ancient Israel is akin to estimating the military power of 5th century AD Britain by using Geoffrey of Monmouth as your source.

  18. j3morecharacters says:

    Greg: “I think some groups stayed the same, while the average IQ dropped in the general Moslem population. I don’t know why, but that’s what it looks like. ”

    In the endogamous groups, like the Druze, there is zero intrusion of African genes. Not so in the general population.

    • SpaghetiMeatball says:

      The druze, maronites, assyrians, etc. even look less african than the general mideast population.

    • gcochran9 says:

      As far as I can tell – mostly from success levels rather than from IQ studies that have not been made – all of the endogamous groups in the Middle East do pretty well ( Chaldean Christians, Maronites, Copts, Armenians, various local Jewish groups do pretty well, better than the the general populatiion of the Middle East, but don’t produce a lot of superstars. And all of those groups lack the African and South Arabian genetic components that are big in the general Arab-speaking Moslem population.

      Moreover, the Middle Easterners of Classical times didn’t look particularly backward//

      Simplest explanation is that something bad happened to the general population, rather than separate parallel positive developments in all the endogamous groups, someof which were pretty rural…Occam’s razor. . And we have a candidate for that something, maybe more than one candidate.

      • Actually the most parsimonious explanation is that these endogamous groups are unconverted residues of larger original populations which converted to Islam. Your view requires assuming an unproven factor — an overall dysgenic effect on the Middle East population stemming from the Arab conquest, based on gene flow from the Arabian peninsula and Africa. Do the Copts of Egypt lack African gene flow, and did they lack it before the Arab conquest of Egypt ? Even today they do live up and down the length of the Nile from north to south. If there are any genetic studies on the Copts you would know better. But if the Copts do have African gene flow then you’d need some explanation to reconcile that with the African element in the Levant, no ? The “residue” theory also has the benefit of explaining the Greeks and the Armenians of Anatolia prior to their expulsion and genocide, respectively, early in the last century. Both groups were overachievers in the Ottoman empire. Whatever traces of modernity there were in Turkey in 1920, the Greeks of Asia Minor and Ottoman Armenians were resposible for disproportionately — they owned most of the factories and banks, for example. And economic historians of modern Greece also generally attribute the accelerated pace of urbanisation and industrialisation in Greece to the arrival of the Greek refugees (like Aristotle Onassis). The Armenians in Syria & Lebanon haven’t been there since pre-Conquest times, they’ve been there since the Ottoman genocide, so there’s no need to talk about them in the context of the overall Middle East.

        • gcochran9 says:

          The gene flow from the Arabian peninsula and Africa is proven. The dysgenic effect, who knows?

          There’s no evidence supporting your ‘unconverted residue” effect, of course. I guess that makes it parsimonious. You’re not convincing me: try again when you have more.

      • JayMan says:

        @pseudoerasmus:

        One of the important pieces of evidence for “dysgenesis” in the Middle East following Arab conquest is the rise and fall of the Islamic golden age. Something happened to the population, and it wasn’t good.

        • jamesd127 says:

          The Islamic golden age ended in a left singularity. I don’t have any evidence for the systematic killing of intellectuals in that left singularity, but systematic killing of intellectuals is very common in left singularities, and in Cambodia significantly lowered the average IQ of the population.

      • Greg : I don’t dispute the gene flow, I’ve seen the African mtDNA frequencies in Levantine & Mesopotamian populations. It’s the dysgenic effect that’s unproven. You’re not convinced by the residue theory ? Why does it matter ? In the absence of genetic evidence for the dysgenic effect your history is no better than anybody else’s.

        Jayman : Yes, it’s called the Mongols.

      • Maybe those Turks have huge amounts of African gene flow and that’s why they had to rely on those smart Christians for doing much pretty anything other than farming. Actually, Turks show almost none. But there’s plenty of evidence Turks are heavily intermarried with Greeks and Armenians via (presumably) converts. One might even says Turks are mostly converted Greeks and Armenians.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        In South Asia, a lot of Muslims are descended from people at the bottom of the caste pyramid. Islam is a more egalitarian religion than Hinduism, so it attracted the losers under the old system more than the winners. Perhaps something similar happened in the Middle East?

  19. Are there estimates from autosomes now or still just mtDNA lineages ?

    • Earlier I said,

      I have a hard time believing that such relict minorities like Mizrahi and Maronites could be a representative sample of the pre-Muslim population. Of course Cochran can set me straight….

      By which I mean : although the Maronites et al. are indeed unmixed leftovers from the pre-conquest population of the Middle East, that still does not mean they are a representative slice, cognitively speaking, of that pre-Islamic Ur-population of the Middle East.

      • j3morecharacters says:

        Was there an homogeneous pre-Islamic Ur-population ever in the Middle East? Since the very beginning one can find many different peoples: Chaldeans, Accadeans, Sumerians, Arameans, you name it. Maybe living Assyrians are representatives of the original Assyrians, the Parsis of Darius’s Aryans, we Jews of Hebrew/Aramean pastoralists, but there was significative interfaith dating in the past 3000 years.

  20. Greg, there is a parsimonious explanation for Sephardim ending up in “dirty jobs” AND Askhenazim thriving in urban, literate professions: superior hygiene. It’s well-established that the Jewish purity code (15-20% of the Mosaic Law) was important aspect of Jewish observance, and it included scientifically sound practices such as hand washing, bathing, avoiding corpses, speedy burial, avoiding vermin and (most) insects, and protecting the water supply, This is not to say that the concept of cleanliness was perfectly aligned with scientific notions of hygiene, but it was close enough.

    We know infectious disease was the primary source of mortality (and morbidity). Just imagine the advantages gained by what amounts to a hygiene cult — or even just obsessive hand washing. So improved hygiene leads to longer life expectancy…plus Jews are first to go through the demographic transition of fewer but higher quality children. Longer lifespan and improved health increase the returns to investments in human capital (e.g., literacy and numeracy). For Sephardim, the practice of hand washing (or better hygiene in general) could have given them an initial advantage in dirty jobs (butchers, tanners, etc.). Don’t you think it’s odd that for Askhenazim, you and Boticcini-Eckstein discard persecution as the original impetus to urban/literate/numerate professions — yet for Sephardim, you still accept persecution as an explanation? Hygiene would explain an initial advantage in both sets of professions — and (cultural/historical) founder effects may have been extremely important for the direction each population took.

    • Plus, creating a stigma against intermarriage is a hell of a lot easier if you view goyim as unclean. You see the same dynamic at play with Roma — they also have a strong purity code (which gets some things right, some things wrong)…but it definitely provides a strong barrier between insider and outsider.

      You know how little admixture it takes to see populations converge. Too much inward admixture through history, and the theory of IQ falls apart. So it’s not enough to “have a taboo” against intermarriage — as if taboos against intermarriage could just be created out of thin air. Effective and lasting taboos “nick” with human nature in some way. An intuitive hygiene code — that makes almost any type of contact with outsiders more difficult — sets the stage for a population to evolve distinctive characteristics.

      • JayMan says:

        I do recall hearing that the Ashkenazi fared comparatively well during the Black Death, and tha

      • JayMan says:

        (stuck keyboard)…and their practices apparently had something to with that, FWIW.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Washing your hands protects you from flea bites and from breathing in pneumonic plague – how?

          First, no one knows if the Jews of Europe had a lower death rate from the Black Death. The necessary records don’t exist, and back in the day, people were not that good at making accurate on-the-fly demographic estimates during cosmic catastrophes. Nor are they now. Next, since a lot of people blamed the Jews for the Plague, just before massacring the them, they were motivated to say that the Jews suffered lower casualties. The operative phrase is ” Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”

          However, I would predict that they did in fact suffer mildly lower death rates from bubonic plague, because they were prosperous. But we’re not talking a lot lower, maybe 50% instead of 60%.

      • Hand washing may not protect you from flea bits, but avoiding insects (Leviticus 11:20-23) and vermin (Leviticus 11:29-31) sure as hell does. Avoiding food, drink, dishes, and possessions that come in contact with vermin is a pretty good idea too (Leviticus 11:32-38).

        Agreed there’s no hard data on differential mortality rates during the Black Death. However, this is an overwhelming amount of hard data from the 19th and early 20th centuries that Jews tended to live 5 to 10 years longer than neighboring gentiles, primarily due to a lower infectious disease burden. I agree that it’s difficult to separate that from wealth effects — but some of the best data covers the Lower East Side of NYC when the recent immigrants were poor.

      • Maybe the drastically lower rates of alcoholism could explain the almost complete absence of cervical cancer (HPV) in Jewish women. Or perhaps not.

      • Speaking of the Black Death, an old idea is that Europe became brachycranialised near-immediately subsequent to the Plague because people with such genes had far better resistance. Is there any evidence for this?

        There was certainly no ethnic displacement involved.

    • gcochran9 says:

      The non-Ashkenazi Jews ended up with ‘dirty’ jobs ( in some places, some times) because A. there were plenty of literate competitors for urban literate professions ( Greeks, Copts, etc) and B. The Moslems, especially in their period of decline (after 1300 or so) felt like shitting on them. Cleaning cesspools and drying the contents for fuel is what you do when nobody lets you do anything else. Being a hangman is not a disease risk.

      I don’t think that hygiene had anything to do with the jobs that the Ashkenazi had. Jewish literacy, and a Christian ban on usury, did.

      • Hangmen handle corpses of men who just shit their pants.

        Does hand washing make for a better doctor? A doctor that doesn’t kill his patients as often as others sure looks like a great doctor.

        As for middlemen, they sit in the center of networks: dense cities, far flung trade networks. Both cities and long distance trade were good ways to die from disease.

  21. I really don’t know about the Jewish population estimates. Maybe the demographers and historians are all deluded. Would not be the first time. But some explanation for Mizrahi/Arab IQ disparity is needed.

  22. baloocartoons says:

    I can’t believe it’s being published. Anyhow, this is reblogged and illustrated here:
    A review of Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” and links to several other reviews:
    http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2014/05/nicholas-wades-troublesome-inheritance.html

  23. Simon in London says:

    “since the non-Ashkenazi Jews don’t have unusually high IQs, the idea has to be mostly or entirely wrong”

    Ancient Greeks seem to have been smarter than modern Greeks, mostly as a result of selection pressure (eg Turks chopping the heads off the smart Greeks) rather than population replacement by Slavs etc. Couldn’t the same have happened to Sephardic Jews, at least in theory?

    • marlowe says:

      “Ancient Greeks seem to have been smarter than modern Greeks, mostly as a result of selection pressure (eg Turks chopping the heads off the smart Greeks) rather than population replacement by Slavs etc. Couldn’t the same have happened to Sephardic Jews, at least in theory?”

      Something else to bear in mind is that we have plenty of evidence in the historic record that the Ancient Greeks were smarter than just about everybody else. Furthermore, other literate peoples in the Med thought so, and they talked about it.

      Where the ancient Israelites are concerned, however, there is no evidence that they were above average.* Furthermore, they did not, in contrast to today, impress their gentile neighbors as being especially bright.

      *I’m sure that someone will bring up the Bible, both Old and New Testaments (yes, the bulk of the NT was written by Jews), as evidence to the contrary. It’s no better than the Roman literary corpus (Virgil, Horace, Livy, etc), and, last time I checked, no one is of the opinion that the ancient Romans were intellectual titans. Remember, intelligence is not a zero sum game. No one is claiming that the Israelites were stupid, only that they were not superior.

    • gcochran9 says:

      We have the category of non-Ashkenazi Jews, a set of populations: Moroccan Jews, Yemeni Jews, Syrian Jews, Sephardic Jews, Iraqi Jews, Iranian Jews, Bukhara Jews. Romaniots. Egyptian Jews. Karaites.

      There’s no evidence that any of these groups have an average IQ as high as 100 today. Pretty good evidence that some of the larger groups don’t.

      Nor is there any evidence that they ever did.

      But there is something attractive about the idea that they must have, once upon a time. Even though nobody in the Greek or Roman world ever noticed it. Or any one else of those times, as far as I know. Not attractive to me – attractive to other people.

  24. Matt says:

    Cochran: it could happen: but why would anyone think that those who chose to be permanent second-class citizens, subject to special taxes, were the smart ones?

    All things equal you wouldn’t.

    But being intelligent maybe doesn’t have much to do with why you choose your religious identity. (As the Ashkenazi experience in Europe demonstrates – not exactly rational success maximising, is it?).

    And being able to thrive while subject to special taxes, and being so high status within your culture that it’s actually a better deal for you to remain within that culture, taxes and all, than join the masses, those could be signs of intellect.

    The advantage of the boiling off idea as applied to the Ashkenazis (and perhaps other Jews) seems to be that the selected group could be “fully formed” in a short few generations (one seems impractical based on previous posts here), with a large enough starting population that it is possible.

    Does the Jewish experience in Europe look like this, that they were every bit as “elite” from the start, then expanded only in numbers, not ability, or does it look like they slowly got smarter relative to the native population?

    • gcochran9 says:

      The real advantage is that there isn’t the slightest evidence that it ever happened. While there is plenty of evidence for wealth selection.

      As far as I can tell, nobody talked about Ashkenazi Jews being smarter than average until after the end of the Middle Ages. Nobody said it during the High Middle Ages, as far as I know. As for gradual change, there is simply no evidence. But even boiling off takes time. Moreover, it takes very unusual circumstances for “boiling off” to do anything noticeable very rapidly, because historical defection rates are almost always low – and they have to be low, because if they were very high, the population would simply disappear and we wouldn’t be sitting around talking about them.

      The records we do have about Ashkenazi Jews converting to Christianity back in the Middle Ages are very limited. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which is a big part of the whole story, it appears to have been rare. Much later, in Europe before the first World war, conversion was pretty common among prosperous educated Jews -like the Von Neumann family.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        I wonder whether the Ancient Greeks were so far out in front that nobody in the ancient world paid much attention to the rank order after the Greeks.

      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        There is a pretty good classical source for IQ estimates in the ancient world. Vegetius asks the question – ‘Why have to Romans succeeded and not others?’. He considers intelligence and briefly outlines his estimates of the smarts of the various peoples in the Mediterranean basin. He remarks that Greeks are clearly the smartest people (not Romans). He doesn’t mention Jews at all.

        Another Silver Blaze kind of phenomenon.

      • Carl Lumma says:

        “It was first attested in 1165 by Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote about
        a “large number of learned men” in “Astransbourg””

      • Matt says:

        Gcochran: As for gradual change, there is simply no evidence. But even boiling off takes time. Moreover, it takes very unusual circumstances for “boiling off” to do anything noticeable very rapidly, because historical defection rates are almost always low – and they have to be low, because if they were very high, the population would simply disappear and we wouldn’t be sitting around talking about them.

        The records we do have about Ashkenazi Jews converting to Christianity back in the Middle Ages are very limited. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which is a big part of the whole story, it appears to have been rare.

        OK, if this is the way the historical records of defection rates are.

        There are currently signals of a bottleneck down to ≈300-400 individuals http://www.ashg.org/2013meeting/abstracts/fulltext/f130120972.htm in the Ashkenazi Jewish genome (http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/ibd-length-distribution-and-demographic.html).

        If this is reliable, is this more likely to be explained in your view by a rapid phase of conversion out of the group, splitting off of subsets of the group or death (or something else)?

        It doesn’t seem likely to be a single generation event, but the IBD signal should be able to model it as over a large number of generations if it was…

  25. Anonymous says:

    mainly that there are no significant interpopulation differences

    but those differences are in parameters of distributions, distributions with a lot of overlap.

    and although race is easy to “see” in a very high dimensional “snp/allele space”, it can’t be seen at lower dimensions.

    and humans are much more alike at genetic level than chimps.

    the real upshot of hbd has to be whether racial disparities, disparities at the level of populations should be worried about or whether any attempt should be made to “correct” them. at individual level someone’s race tells you much less about him than 15 minutes of talking to him.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      at individual level someone’s race tells you much less about him than 15 minutes of talking to him.

      Not true. If I was hiring astronauts or computer programmers, I think that someone’s race tells me a lot, like whether I should even spend the time to interview them, since time is short.

      • JayMan says:

        I guess that’s why this list of Black astronauts is an empty page.

        Seriously man.

      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        I think hiring an astronaut is exactly the opposite of hiring a computer programmer. First of all only government agencies (so far) hire astronauts and programmers are very seldom hired directly by government.

        In general, government gets its programming services through contractors. The State of California for example didn’t have programming or any other computer specialty as a separate civil service classification. They did have an accounting track but not one for computer systems. So general public administration managers ( who only took Political Science in school) would be promoted to oversee large computer operations with no relevant background. The answer was to hire private market contractors.

        But the government has had a long record of hiring pilots. For example the Tuskegee Airmen experience. There, as in the astronaut experience, the government has always favored black pilots for internal political reasons. Blacks were hired not in spite of their being black but because they were black.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        But the government has had a long record of hiring pilots. For example the Tuskegee Airmen experience. There, as in the astronaut experience, the government has always favored black pilots for internal political reasons. Blacks were hired not in spite of their being black but because they were black.

        Are you suggesting that better qualified candidates could have been passed over because they were not black?

        Hey, Jayman, some of those AfAm candidates look like the Aboriginal Australians Andrew Bolt was censured over for claiming that they look white. And how many were given preference over better qualified non-AfAm candidates? The suspicion in my mind will always be: All of them. When you engage in affirmative action it taints the whole group.

        When are we going to see preferences for Mexican American Astronauts? Asian American Astronauts?

      • Susan says:

        “suspicion in my mind will always be: All of them. When you engage in affirmative action it taints the whole group.”

        So it’s better to not give anyone from that group a chance in the first place, as you suggest above? Yeah, a much better approach. And most of those people in Jayman’s link look pretty black to me.

      • Jedi Wonk says:

        Well, I have run into an awful lot of blacks who are noticeably smarter than I am. My study-slacker 15-year-old is his father’s son cognitively–he got a perfect score on the high school freshman version of the ACT, and still, at 8PM on a Saturday night at a table in bar of a hotel next to a major convention center, with him, me, the CEO of Qualcomm, a friend who had been one of the most powerful chairmen of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce ever, and inventor Dean Kamen, the real rockstar was, well, a rockstar. Will.I.Am.

  26. ”All things equal you wouldn’t.”

    I don’t know why. You would assume that the jizya (the Islamic head tax on dhimmis) would select for both more religious and more wealthy. I would not be so bold as to the say the Mizrahim are genetically more religious than the Ashkenazim, but it is no secret that the Mizrahim are the most religious element in Israel today.

    Also there was another economic disability which tolerated non-Muslims were subjected to : you could only bequeath to, or inherit from, your own co-religionists. So if a Jew converted to Islam he could not inherit from his unconverted parents or bequeath to his unconverted adult children.

    ”As far as I can tell, nobody talked about Ashkenazi Jews being smarter than average until after the end of the Middle Ages. Nobody said it during the High Middle Ages, as far as I know”

    Why on earth does that matter ? Jews are reported as merchants and money lenders in Europe as early as Carolingian times. By definition merchants and money lenders must be numerate. But most of the European population probably were not, given their lack of age awareness. Clark has that table of age-heaping data in A Farewell to Alms. High rates of age-heaping for England ca 1350 amongst the “rich” and in Italy in the early 1400s, the lowest rate listed is Florence at about 1/3.

    As for Jews in the Middle East, they were not legally restricted from any occupation, unlike in Europe, but they were still concentrated in the trades, money-lending, trading, etc. There was one area Jews were prominent in Muslim countries where they were absent in Europe : dealing with Europeans / Christians. Muslims would use Jews to engage in commerce, diplomacy, espionage or any other direct interaction with infidels.

  27. marlowe says:

    From the review in THE NEW CRITERION:

    “Moreover, the statistics that the author uses are suspect. He says of the United States that its homicide rate is less than 2 per 100,000. The last time I looked the rate was 4.7 per 100,000—itself a very sharp decline of recent years. ”

    Haven’t read the book, but I’m assuming that the “less than 2 per 100,000” rate is for Whites in the USA. Am I correct?

    • Anonymous says:

      The US has the highest rate of incarceration by far even for whites.

      • marlowe says:

        Anonymous:”The US has the highest rate of incarceration by far even for whites.”

        What do incarceration rates have to do with the homicide rate?

  28. dearieme says:

    Gosh, why bother with IQ testing? Just weigh their gold.

  29. Gottlieb says:

    http://www.thephora.net/forum/showthread.php?p=640010

    Ashkenazim are neurologically different of their non-ashkenazis cousins jews.
    As I have said lately . We put a good load of anecdotal evidence on the relationship between behavior commonly found in many Ashkenazi Jews and left-handed and ambidextrous people . I concluded that especially for these last two groups , there are several highly specialized subgroups with considerable quantitative and qualitative variation of skills (most than right handed people) , as was logically plausible to find in populations that are derived from the mutant part of the human genetic pool.
    A lot of autoimmune diseases in Ashkenazi relates both his endogamous pattern of mating , and the entry of new blood by 10% of historical exogamous marriages with the communities in which Jews have lived , but also the predominant personality types within this population that models the standard types of mating they involve .
    The type of average Jewish personality ( a bit like my own personality ) and actually own personality , the fundamental tool of socialization of the human species , induces in collective terms for the mating patterns of a particular community which will search .
    A mutant of the human genetic pool is where focus both heterozygotics manifestations and manifestations of the recessive phenotypes of the same nature , such as autism and schizophrenia. If Ashkenazi Jews have always placed historically great preference for intelligence rather than health then it is expected that they have sought, especially when the social context was different and more like social Darwinism, where the concept of intelligence was more situational than based on academic success as today.

    The high verbal IQ , combined with low spatial IQ , is a psychometric characteristic found in aspie population. When you visit a part of behavioral statistics of this population in the Wrong Planet website , you will browse a prevalence of atheists , liberals, vegetarians , significantly higher percentage of left-handed and ambidextrous than in the control population( several studies have found the same results ) , a much higher percentage of homosexual , bisexual , asexual (discrepancy with heterosexual predominance found in control populations ) .
    It appears that Ashkenazim have chosen specific personality types to mate , they are most commonly found in left-handed and ambidextrous and has selected a mutant and so much more random ( extreme ) part of human biology .
    I believe so much in a genetic bottleneck event that founded the Ashkenazim , who are clearly smarter than their Jewish peers , as the selection process that has kept this legacy generated by the initial event .
    If it is true that left-handed and ambidextrous thrive in violent societies , not only because they have combat advantage because of the surprise effect, but also because some groups of lefties and ambis than right ones are more endowed with psychopathic traits ( greater capacity for survival situational in extreme conditions) then this could explain the large presence of the same (lefties) as well as their genetic ( breast cancer , most cases of autism , schizophrenia , autoimmune diseases , allergies , extremes in intelligence, behavior and health )

    It’s like comparing a shoal of fish swimming unlike the mouth of the predator. 😉
    Ashkenazim are the ‘leftover’ of shoal, that were not eaten by the shark.

  30. Philip Neal says:

    Ultra-Orthodox Jews retain the traditional practice of arranged marriage to this very day. Samuel Heilman’s study of them, Defenders of the Faith (1992), devotes seven fascinating pages (279-286) to the factors which make for eligibility. The matchmakers, or shadchanim, have one main positive requirement called yichus.

    “Yichus means having the right family and community connections. It means being related to someone important – a scholar, a famous rabbi – or having a family known for its piety. Yichus means not having skeletons in the closet – skeletons like a family member who has left the world of religious observance. Even if one has yichus, there are other matters that can somehow disqualify or diminish one’s chances for finding a good match… The person who is too dark-skinned or with unusual features may be in trouble.”

    Examples of negative factors given are psychological or emotional problems, a divorce in the family, ‘Sephardic’ (i.e.any non-Ashkenazic) antecedents, cleft palate cured by surgery, poor Yiddish, dark skin and – intriguingly – red hair. “I had a hard time finding a wife because my hair was red… They thought I looked too much like a goy.”

    Near this book on the shelves I spotted Piety and Power: the World of Jewish Fundamentalism by David Landau (1993) and From Yeshiva to Work: the American Experience and Lessons for Israel by Amiram Gonen (2001), the latter being essentially a sociological report on hardship and unemployability among the Ultra-Orthodox of New York. Landau confirms that an ilui, a brilliant yeshiva student, is ‘the most desirable commodity on the yeshiva marriage market’ (p 215-6). However, Gonen suggests that such a catch can be something of a white elephant, as an ilui should ideally be kept in religious study for his whole life at the expense of his parents and in-laws. Families with many girls face a grim prospect and some women never marry for want of a dowry. He also observes that religious learning is seldom a path to prosperity. Some yeshivas give an adequate general education leading to university and the professions, but others teach so little English and mathematics that careers such as accountancy and computer programming are beyond the reach of their graduates.

    Heilman has interesting hydrological information about ritual baths or mikvaot. They must be continually replenished with running rain water, of which a minimum amount is specified but no minimum proportion to water of other origin. As with swimming pools, you must be completely clean in the normal sense to enter one (nowadays they are accompanied by showers), but unlike swimming pools they may contain no disinfectants or chemicals or any kind, or they would be rendered impure.

    • j3morecharacters says:

      Philip, your information about Jewish ritual bath, the miqwe, is factually incorrect. The bath water must have any proportion of rainwater or river water or even well water, that is stored in the otzar (treasure) tank. This water must “kiss” (be in contact) with the municipal running water. Technically, the miqwe is municipal water. Most cities add biocides like chlorine or chloroamines (in case of Israel) to the water, and some add fluor too, so the miqwe contains all those chemicals and more. It is pure according the Jewish religion, not according to “green”, “ecologycal” or “health” criterions.

      Regarding accounting and computer programming being out of the reach of yeshive graduates, in fact both professions need little math above compound interest and programming is the preferred occupation for yeshive graduates (ulpana graduates, which is its female equivalent).

      • Philip Neal says:

        I am happy to bow to your superior knowledge. I emphasise that Heilman and Landau are specifically concerned with Hasidic Haredi communities and that what they report is not alleged to be generally true of observant Jewish life: they explicitly contrast Hasidic practice with that of the Modern Orthodox and the Lithuanians.

        My interest is in what these baths used to be like in the days when plagues were common. I should have imagined that any form of communal bathing would tend to increase the risk of infection whatever the quality of the water. Is there a religious requirement for the municipal water, as distinct from the water taken from the otzar, to flow continuously?

      • j3morecharacters says:

        I wish to correct myself: in current Israeli health regulations, all miqwaot fall under swimming pool regulations and its operators have to ensure 1 ppm active chlorine concentration in the water. As far as I know there is no religious requirement for running water. I dont know if in the past this ritual submersion promoted diseases or not. Seems reasonable that it did.

    • Philip Neal says:

      Some, but not all, Gypsies also practice arranged marriage (another pattern is elopement). “The Rom appear increasingly to favour marriage between cousins (though first cousins are in principle felt to be too close), and the partner is preferably from one’s own vitsa [clan] or, failing that, the mother’s or grandmother’s… Sometimes an equal exchange of women between families (usually sister-exchange) is in fact arranged, and dealing with relatives makes that much easier; but such exchanges lead to difficult situations if one of the unions breaks down. Bride-price itself can be a major problem area, and another reason for preferring to acquire a daughter-in-law from close family is that it reduces the chance of chicanery (for example, of the daughter’s being taken back by her father without return of the bride-price).” Angus Fraser, The Gypsies (1995).

      Rom here mean a large Gypsy sub-group, also called the Roma. Not all Gyspies in the sense of travellers of Indian descent are Rom.

  31. nooffensebut says:

    “Wade is not a geneticist, and it shows.”

    Bullshit. Most geneticists are parroting GWAS-Jihadist propaganda, demanding that we throw away all candidate-gene research. Wade’s treatment of monoamine oxidase A makes Steven Pinker, John Horgan, and Adrian Raine sound like dim Miss America contestants. They preferred to cite Lea and Chambers’ copy-and-paste error that 77 percent of Chinese men have the warrior gene. They preferred to cite the Widom and Brzustowicz claim that MAOA doesn’t affect non-whites, which was achieved by packing the non-white sample with women and is contradicted by numerous studies. MAOA’s VNTR affects women differently or not at all because women have 2 X’s, a second VNTR affects women more, MAOA methylation affects women only, and women are just less violent partly due to physical weakness and culture. Geneticists prefer to study the gene-environment interaction between MAOA-3R and maltreatment, even though the MAOA-3R-IQ interaction is stronger and the MAOA-2R main effect is stronger. Wade focused directly on MAOA-2R (probably because of my influence), which earns him a gold star and a happy-face sticker. Even Charles Murray called MAOA research “tentative” and “disputed,” which is a stupid thing to say.

    “Psychometrics is on solid ground”

    Bullshit. Psychometrics is full of apparent contradictions because we let the soft-science psychologists control it. There are many possible explanations for the g factor besides a common neurological circuit or brain physiology, and we should start thinking about them in light of Hampshire et al. The point made by Duckworth et al about motivation influencing low-stakes IQ tests and their correlation with life outcomes is perfectly legitimate. The fact that the Flynn effect has greater influence on Raven’s Progressive Matrices than tests that put less emphasis on fluid IQ should give doctrinaire psychometricians pause.

    Geneticists have a complexity bias that is contradicted by psychiatry’s evidence of important neurotransmitters. Psychologists have a simplicity bias when it comes to general intelligence and endocrinology (see Rushton’s disproved ideas about race and testosterone).

    • Pincher Martin says:

      “Most geneticists are parroting GWAS-Jihadist propaganda, demanding that we throw away all candidate-gene research. Wade’s treatment of monoamine oxidase A makes Steven Pinker, John Horgan, and Adrian Raine sound like dim Miss America contestants.”

      If Wade’s book was simply about your pet issue of the Warrior Gene, or if Pinker, Horgan and Raine were geneticists, then maybe you would have a point in this paragraph.

      But since neither of those things are true, your over-the-top reaction here to a one-sentence criticism that Cochran supports with evidence in his review of Wade’s book seems to be mostly about your shaky place in the world

      What percent of Wade’s book is taken up by a discussion of MAO-A gene? Three percent, at the most? It’s not always about you, buddy.

    • Pincher Martin says:

      “Psychometrics is full of apparent contradictions because we let the soft-science psychologists control it.”

      The concept of g would be nowhere without those “soft-science psychologists” inventing, nurturing, and advancing the concept. So if they appear to “control it” – and you’ll have to explain how they manage to get away with that trick – perhaps it’s because they have done so much work to both test and improve it.

      Other areas outside of psychology may have contributions to make to the field of psychometrics, and of course some finding outside the field of psychology might invalidate it entirely, but your complaint is still as nonsensical as saying that we must get the concept of “comparative advantage” out of the hands of economists.

      “The point made by Duckworth et al about motivation influencing low-stakes IQ tests and their correlation with life outcomes is perfectly legitimate.”

      And yet she and some of her fellow scholars on that paper are “soft-science psychologists.” How did they manage to break free of doctrinaire psychometrics?

      • gcochran9 says:

        I’ve talked to people who’ve done some testing of Duckworth’s ideas about ‘grit’: appears that she’s utterly full of it. Whoever would have expected that from someone with a MacArthur grant in the social sciences?

        I’ve also recently talked to some pretty prominent GWAS people. I should really post about that sometime, possibly after they get tenure…

      • nooffensebut says:

        “If Wade’s book was simply about your pet issue of the Warrior Gene, or if Pinker, Horgan and Raine were geneticists, then maybe you would have a point in this paragraph.”

        Wade deserves a pat on the back for getting something right that more respected people like Pinker, who has already criticized the book, got obscenely wrong. Whenever anyone calls another person’s idea an “obsession” or a “pet issue” it means that they can’t argue with that person, but they want to somehow shame them with a vague social taboo against nerdiness or political incorrectness. I would say that the reason Wade repeatedly mentions and almost every review of his book mentions MAOA (and the reason that I am obsessed with this pet issue) is because most behavioral candidate-gene studies have been false positives or not yet replicated findings, and it has a knock-out gene syndrome and other pieces of supporting evidence. When GWAS start producing relevant, replicated hits for violence and IQ and not just GCTA estimates, I’ll be obsessed with those, too.

        “The concept of g would be nowhere without those ‘soft-science psychologists’”

        I haven’t called for disbanding the field of psychology, but eventually it should meld with neuroscience. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that proponents of general intelligence defend it against the Hampshire study. It’s not like substituting a more complex definition of intelligence, perhaps one based more in genetics than neurology or including distinct neural components, would prove Stephen Jay Gould was right all along.

      • JayMan says:

        @nooffensebut:

        “I don’t think it’s too much to ask that proponents of general intelligence defend it against the Hampshire study.”

        You didn’t see Sailer on it?

        Steve Sailer: iSteve: IQ: Intelligence and/or motivation?

    • nooffensebut says:

      “You didn’t see Sailer on it?”

      I think I saw that, and I’m glad we basically agree. You are referring to Duckworth et al, not Hampshire et al, the fMRI study. I have been looking at SAT predictors, and income and race predict math scores better than verbal. I suspect motivation is part of the explanation. I don’t think we should ignore cognitive dissonance on “our side.” For instance, we have articles of faith in general intelligence, oh, and also that Asians are good at math. I would like to know what that really means, not just leverage Asians to defend IQ. I recently got around to reading Rushton’s whole book. He describes genetic similarity theory right after citing a study of IQ hybrid vigor in Hawaiian Eurasians.

      “Pause. But then, have used that pause wisely:”

      Pinker engaged in some similar hand-waving in his discussion about the Flynn effect. I don’t know… but it sounds to me like those “rules” could be a form of knowledge. Maybe we need a better fluid IQ test. We shouldn’t let ourselves off too easily.

    • JayMan says:

      @nooffensebut:

      There is an abundance of evidence for a biological g, (see here and here, for starters) so while I noted what you said, you will understand if I don’t take it too seriously.

    • Creek says:

      “and we should start thinking about them in light of Hampshire et al.”

      Here’s Emil Kirkegaard on it: http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=3809

      • nooffensebut says:

        Thanks. That’s helpful. I see the Handbook of Psychology says Varimax should only be used for restricted rotation in PCA. Poor PCA might not invalidate the lack of overlap for verbal and other tasks. Duncan et al, 2000, also found a lack of diffuse recruitment for high-g verbal skills using PET.

    • nooffensebut says:

      I do not question a general factor of intelligence, just like I do not question a general factor for height-intelligence. I do not question biological correlates of intelligence. I do not question biological g. I question neural g. Good things do go together, but that does not prove that they are one thing. If psychology decides to permanently laugh off imaging, we have a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are quite correct “nooffensebut”…sort of.

      The g factor which is extracted depends on the battery and on the population. Different battery, different population, different g. And if a test has a very low positive correlation with others it will necessarily be low in the g factor. Such tests are usually not included in IQ batteries. Hampshire et al. tested people with tests like these and voila no g.

      And obviously, the distribution of intercorrelations may not be uniform. If there’s a bunch at the high end then the tests with these high intercorrelations may just be different versions of the same test in a manner of speaking. In this case g would just be whatever these bunch of tests are measuring.

    • Anonymous says:

      If one simply stops believing in fluid IQ, the following contradiction is resolved.

      The most heritable and the most g-loaded of the old Wechsler subtests and some others are the most culturally loaded.

      http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2013/10/17/the-heritability-of-intelligence-not-what-you-think/

      I did a correction for reliability and information came out as the most heritable with some data on http://analyseeconomique.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/transracially-adopted-intermediate-iq-hereditarian-nonsense/.

  32. marlowe says:

    Wealth is a very imperfect proxy for IQ. Does anyone think that JP Morgan was smarter than Josiah Willard Gibbs? Does anyone think that Cecil Rhodes was smarter than James Clerk Maxwell?

    • The IQ/income correlation is much higher at the country level than at the individual level. The national level can scale down to large group level, such as sub-national ethnic groups.

    • Jim says:

      J. P. Morgan did well in school and studied for a while at the University of Goettingen. I vaguely recalled reading somewhere a long time ago that he quite impressed his professors there. I’m sure there have been some not so bright individuals who have became wealthy but for your intended point J. P. Morgan is not a good example.

      • marlowe says:

        Jim:”J. P. Morgan did well in school and studied for a while at the University of Goettingen. I vaguely recalled reading somewhere a long time ago that he quite impressed his professors there. I’m sure there have been some not so bright individuals who have became wealthy but for your intended point J. P. Morgan is not a good example.”

        I never said that Morgan wasn’t intelligent. I simply said that the correlation between wealth and high intellect is decidedly imperfect. Hence, Morgan’s vastly greater wealth does not provide solid evidence that he was smarter than Gibbs.

  33. marlowe says:

    Anonymous:”that is, intensive study of the babylonian talmud was unique to them.

    judaism is the exegetical religion par excellence. and the yiddish version was the par excellence par excellence.

    imagine if every roman were required to read and understand aquinas.”

    I’m guessing that you meant to write “every Italian.”

  34. Gottlieb says:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/07/ashkenazi-jews-are-not-inbred/#.U2vQwa44YzQ

    ”Heterozygotic” ashkenazim genes * = * ” genetics of autism” (or lefthandedness, or sinaesthesia, or whatever-non-selected normative genes), paraphrasing Temple Grandin.

    Ashkenazim continue to flee to the Shark.

  35. Greying Wanderer says:

    I’d have thought the estimated size of Jewish armies / casualties etc during the Roman wars would provide a clue to population size in various regions.

    • marlowe says:

      Greying Wanderer:”I’d have thought the estimated size of Jewish armies / casualties etc during the Roman wars would provide a clue to population size in various regions.”

      White in ATROCITIES estimates the death toll in the Roman-Jewish Wars (66-74, 132-135 AD) at around 350,000.

    • marlowe says:

      Greying Wanderer:”I’d have thought the estimated size of Jewish armies / casualties etc during the Roman wars would provide a clue to population size in various regions. ”

      Just to show how unreliable the literary record is when it comes to numbers, Josephus reported that 1,197,000 were killed in the Siege of Jerusalem in the First Revolt. Other sources report the death tolls in Jewish revolts in Cyrene and Cyprus at 220,000 and 240,000 respectively. Not many serious demographers would take these figures seriously.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Sure but you should be able to make a reasonable guess from the number of legions needed.

      • marlowe says:

        Greying Wanderer:”Sure but you should be able to make a reasonable guess from the number of legions needed.”

        For what it’s worth, here’s the WIKIPEDIA description of the Roman forces in the First Jewish Revolt:

        “Roman guard (3,000) in early stage
        Syrian Legion (30,000) in Beth Horon;
        5 Legions (60,000–80,000) at Jerusalem siege”

  36. pfayn says:

    Why can’t there be multiple forces at play when explaining Ashkenazi IQ? It’s more likely a combination of a few factors. While I do think Cochran and Harpending’s theory explains a lot of it — perhaps the bulk of it — I don’t believe European Jews circa 1000 were just some average intelligence, random Middle Eastern population that happened to be at the right place at the right time when the anti-usury laws began to be enforced. They were already intelligent and predisposed to scholarship / intellectual labor / finance / trade.

    As others have mentioned, I too don’t buy Lynn’s average Sephardic IQ estimate of 99 (what’s his source?). Rather I would guess it’s somewhere between the Euro and Ashkenazi averages. You see similar intellectual overachievement in Sephardic communities — for example, look at the history of Sephardic Jews in Amsterdam, amongst many other examples dating back from medieval Spain to today. (I don’t know much about the history of other Jewish groups, but for those who say that Syrian Jews have IQs that are similar to Arabs in their host country, I invite you to take a drive around southern Brooklyn. Their architectural tastes might be garish but what you see will quickly change your mind.)

    As for John Durant’s theory (very interesting, and btw great book!), the question becomes *why* did this group of people devote so much to hygiene so early on? *Why* did this group of people flock to monotheistic beliefs before anyone else? Isn’t it possible that the people from the Canaanite-like population that were attracted to Judaism in its formative years were ever so slightly smarter than average? And this general Canaanite-like population was already pretty intelligent to begin with — as Dr. Cochran hinted, if we look at contemporary proxy populations from the ancient Levant that weren’t strongly affected by Arabian admixture it does seem to be so. Also: Phoenicians.

    tl;dr… Jews were always pretty smart, but some of them became waaay smarter due to recent evolution in Europe.

    • Another reason I concentrated on Ashkhenazim and the Mizrahim was Lynn’s datum for the Sepharadim is not as good, IMO, as those on A & S. He notes that Sephardic Jews are overrepresented in high-status professions pretty much everywhere they reside, but he reports IQ test scores from the USA. “In the United States, three studies have found that Ashkenazic children obtain higher IQs than Sephardic children. In the first of these, Riverda Harding Jordan (1921) reported that Romanian Jewish children obtained a nonverbal IQ 4.7 points lower than Russian Jewish children. This was confirmed in two further studies by Morris Gross (1967, 1986), who found that Ashkenazic 6-year-olds obtained higher IQs than Sephardic children. In the first study of 90 children, the Ashkenazic children outscored the Sephardic on vocabulary by 17 IQ points. In the second study, the Ashkenazic children outscored the Sephardic by 12 points (Gross, 1986).” Lynn, Richard (2011-09-05). The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement (Kindle Locations 8381-8385).

    • marlowe says:

      pfayn:”I don’t believe European Jews circa 1000 were just some average intelligence, random Middle Eastern population that happened to be at the right place at the right time when the anti-usury laws began to be enforced. ”

      They weren’t a “random Middle Eastern population”; by AD 1000, the European Jews had experienced significant mixture with Gentile Italians.

    • marlowe says:

      pfayn:”Isn’t it possible that the people from the Canaanite-like population that were attracted to Judaism in its formative years were ever so slightly smarter than average?”

      Some points to bear in mind:

      1. Monotheism: Iron Age Judaism was not monotheistic. If King David* existed, he was not a monotheist. Monotheism developed slowly during the First Temple period.

      2. Monotheism and Intelligence: Very iffy. One might argue for a correlation between philosophical monotheism and high intelligence (cf the Classical Greek philosophical tradition), but the ethical monotheism found in the Old Testament is another matter. There is nothing there that argues for superior intellect.

      * Before anyone brings him up, Abraham almost certainly did not exist.

      • jamesd127 says:

        * Before anyone brings him up, Abraham almost certainly did not exist.

        We know Aaron existed, why not Abraham?

      • marlowe says:

        Jamesd127:”We know Aaron existed, why not Abraham?”

        1. Aaron: We don’t know that he existed. Serious historians do not believe in the historicity of *Aaron, Moses, the Exodus, etc.

        2. Abraham: If anything, Abraham is even more mythical than Aaron. The earliest Biblical figures who might (and I mean might) have actually existed are the ones who are associated with the United Monarchy of Judah and Israel: Saul, Samuel, David, etc. And, even in that case, they would only have a very remote similarity to the people described in SAMUEL and KINGS. For a good cross cultural comparison, look at The Nibelungenlied. The historical kernel of the tale comes from the Fall of the Burgundians in AD 436 and accounts of Attila. But the story as we have it bears virtually no resemblance to the actual events. The United Monarchy is a similar tale.

        *Please don’t try to base arguments on the “Y-Chromosomal Aaron.” That does not supply support for the guy who is described in the PENTATEUCH.

      • marlowe says:

        Jamesd127:”We know Aaron existed, why not Abraham?”

        “In the early to mid-20th century, leading scholars such as William F. Albright and Albrecht Alt believed the patriarchs and matriarchs to be either real individuals or believable composite people living in the “patriarchal age”, the 2nd millennium BCE. In the 1970s, however, new conclusions about Israel’s past and the biblical texts challenged this portrait. The two works largely responsible were Thomas L. Thompson’s The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives (1974), and John Van Seters’ Abraham in History and Tradition (1975). Thompson’s argument, based on archaeology and ancient texts, was that no compelling evidence pointed to the patriarchs living in the 2nd millennium and that the biblical texts reflected first millennium conditions and concerns; Van Seters, basing himself on an examination of the patriarchal stories, agreed with Thompson that their names, social milieu and messages strongly suggested that they were Iron Age creations.[5] By the beginning of the 21st century, and despite sporadic attempts by more conservative scholars such as Kenneth Kitchen to save the patriarchal narratives as history, archaeologists had “given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac or Jacob credible ‘historical figures'”.”

        (WIKIPEDIA)

      • jamesd127 says:

        *Please don’t try to base arguments on the “Y-Chromosomal Aaron.” That does not supply support for the guy who is described in the PENTATEUCH.

        Y chromosomal Aaron founded the hereditary Hebrew priesthood. If a single individual founded a hereditary priesthood that lasted until Roman times, had to be an event with considerable similarity to what is described in the Pentateuch.

        Further many of the events in the Pentateuch have the ring of warts and all history. Thus, for example, the people cry out that the princes of Israel were not destroyed by fire from heaven, but were murdered by Moses.

        If the Pentateuch did not exist, and all that we knew of the Hebrews was recorded history from Roman times, we would conclude that they had a hereditary religious priesthood, and a non hereditary or semi hereditary political and military leadership, had had this system for a very long time, and would conjecture that it originated in a religious leader who was too holy to get his hands dirty, and a political leader who exercised the actual power, and sometimes had to act embarrassingly irreligiously:

        Which is pretty much the Pentateuch story.

        • gcochran9 says:

          The notion that almost all Cohens had the same y-chromosome turned out to be an error, stemming from low-res genoyping.

          • jamesd127 says:

            gcochran9 wrote

            The notion that almost all Cohens had the same y-chromosome turned out to be an error, stemming from low-res genoyping.

            According to Wikipedia:

            46.1% of Kohanim carry Y chromosomes belonging to a single paternal lineage (J-P58*) that likely originated in the Near East well before the dispersal of Jewish groups in the Diaspora. …

            Thomas, et al. dated the origin of the shared DNA to approximately 3,000 years ago

            According to Christian and Talmudic tradition, the high priest Aaron lived three thousand three hundred years ago.

            Three thousand three hundred years is about 164 generations, thus 46% corresponds to an extraordinarily low non paternity rate, a very high fidelity rate among the wives of Jewish priests.

            • gcochran9 says:

              Those dates are not worth much: dating Y-chromosomes using STRs has been a huge mess, often wrong by as much as factor of three. Soon you will see results from sequencing the whole Y-chromosome, from looking at SNPs instead of STRs. Then the results will mean something.

              The odds are high that a more accurate estimate will produce a drastically different TMRCA.

              And at most, such a result would demonstrate that 46% of modern Cohens are descended from some one guy: the result isn’t going to say who. It may be possible to show that that man was not Aaron (if the date is seriously wrong), but it would not be possible to prove that it was Aaron.

      • jamesd127 says:

        the biblical texts reflected first millennium conditions and concerns; Van Seters, basing himself on an examination of the patriarchal stories, agreed with Thompson that their names, social milieu and messages strongly suggested that they were Iron Age creations.

        And when did the iron age begin?

        Around 1300BC.

        When is Moses believed to have lived?

        according to Talmudic and Christian tradition, around 1300 BC

        When are the books of the Hebrews first written?

        According to Talmudic and Christian Tradition, a few generations after Moses, which is to say, early iron age.

      • marlowe says:

        jamesd127:”Y chromosomal Aaron founded the hereditary Hebrew priesthood. If a single individual founded a hereditary priesthood that lasted until Roman times, had to be an event with considerable similarity to what is described in the Pentateuch.”

        Well, as Greg has pointed out, that study was flawed.

        jamesd127:”Further many of the events in the Pentateuch have the ring of warts and all history. Thus, for example, the people cry out that the princes of Israel were not destroyed by fire from heaven, but were murdered by Moses.”

        Actually, The Pentateuch has the air of myth, not history: Adam and Eve, the first murder, the Flood, eponymous founders of nations, etc.

        james127:”If the Pentateuch did not exist, and all that we knew of the Hebrews was recorded history from Roman times, we would conclude that they had a hereditary religious priesthood, and a non hereditary or semi hereditary political and military leadership, had had this system for a very long time, and would conjecture that it originated in a religious leader who was too holy to get his hands dirty,”

        Why would we conjecture that it began with a single man?

        jamesd127:” and a political leader who exercised the actual power, and sometimes had to act embarrassingly irreligiously:”

        Why?

        jamesd127:”Which is pretty much the Pentateuch story.”

        A euhemerized version.

        • jamesd127 says:

          Why would we conjecture that it began with a single man?

          Because groups of people without strong leadership cannot do diddly squat. An institution that systematically favors the descendants of a single individual was likely founded by that individual or a close relative.

          The bronze age ends, and the iron age begins, in a dark age. In the early bronze age there were very large political entities. But in the late bronze age, political entities were tiny – family sized, with the notable exception of Egypt.. Thus, nations that emerged in this period probably did have eponymous founders. Observe that people in first century times frequently refer to “The house of X”, where X is an individual and his house is his large family by several wives and concubines, their servants, and followers – and in subsequent generations, the house of X tends to be composed of the numerous offspring of X. “The house of X” when referring to first century Xs obviously refers to real historical individuals, hence no reason to doubt that earlier Xs were real. It is simply the way things work.

          Thus an early iron age nation most likely begins with a large late bronze age family with an eponymous patriarch X, the house of X, subsequently made into a nation and obtaining conquests under the leadership of a great early iron age leader.

      • marlowe says:

        jamesd127:”And when did the iron age begin?

        Around 1300BC.”

        Which is several centuries after the date that tradition assigns to Abraham.

        jamesd127:”When is Moses believed to have lived?

        according to Talmudic and Christian tradition, around 1300 BC”

        That tradition is utterly worthless. Moses did not exist. The Exodus did not happen. It is as mythical as Theseus.

        jamesd127:”When are the books of the Hebrews first written?

        According to Talmudic and Christian Tradition, a few generations after Moses, which is to say, early iron age.”

        Serious scholars do not accept the traditional dates for the Pentateuch.The oldest strands in the Pentateuch (The “J” author) are usually dated to the 9th-10th centuries BC, although some scholars argue for a date as late as the 8th-9th centuries BC.

    • gcochran9 says:

      In much the same way, it wasn’t just a big meteorite that killed the dinosaurs, it was also not washing behind their ears.

      You run Occam’s razor backwards. Why do you do that? What’s the appeal?

      Lynn bothered to look at IQ numbers in Israel -that’s his source. in an article (Intelligence Differences between European and Oriental Jews in Israel, Hanna David & Richard Lynn, J. biosoc Sci, 2006) the authors that the average IQ of Oriental Jews (Mizrahi Jews) was 1 std lower than for Ashkenazi Jews. And their educational accomplishments are in accord with those measured IQs. The Ashkenazim assumed that the second generation of the Mizrahi Jews would catch up, after growing up in Israel and getting an Israeli education. They always assume that of every group: it never happens, and then they are always surprised. it didn’t happen in Israel, either.

      Now the Ashkenazi are not a totally random bunch of Middle Eastern Jews: they have the most European ancestry of any Jewish group. At least half European. To the extent that you actually are European, it’s harder to start out smarter than Europeans, right?

      • “Now the Ashkenazi are not a totally random bunch of Middle Eastern Jews: they have the most European ancestry of any Jewish group. At least half European. To the extent that you actually are European, it’s harder to start out smarter than Europeans, right?”

        But the Jews of northern Europe in 1000 had had how many years of working in urban trades in the diaspora ? 1000 years ? 1300 years (if they moved north from Alexandria) ?

        • gcochran9 says:

          They must have originated mostly from Roman Jews, who were mostly not white-collar. Generations of artisan ancestors doesn’t seem to have the same effect as generations of moneylenders, tax farmers, estate managers, etc.

      • pfayn says:

        European

        The following aren’t rhetorical questions — I’m actually asking. How is it possible to tell which portion of ancestry comes from an early formative population compared to a later interjection from a population that was already very closely related to the original one? Looking at prehistory it seems important to have this methodology figured out.

        So in this specific case, Ashkenazi Jews, how can we tell what portion of their ancestry came from an early eastern Mediterranean population, and what portion was contributed by Greeks/Italians/other populations that already have strong eastern affinities to begin with?

        And what is meant by half European? By that logic Greeks and Italians — the progenitors of Western culture — are only half European as well. We know the massive contribution the early Levantine farmers (EEFs) had on Europe. Isn’t is possible Ashkenazis (and some Italians, and some Greeks) are related to an original highly EEF-like population, with only little admixture from Roman-era converts? Likewise, I’m aware that mtDNA studies purport European matrilineal original for Ashkenazis, yet others argue that in fact these are ancient middle eastern lines. Considering that it looks more and more that southern Europe = ancient near east, how can we tell without lots of specific ancient DNA samples?

        • gcochran9 says:

          You can look at an mtDNA haplogroup that is common in Ashkenazi Jews, like N1. N1 is considerably more common in the Middle East than it is in Europe, but it exists in Europe too. You then look at the fine details, that determine the subclade (N1b2). You then see that the Jewish versions are members of the European subclade.

          Or, you could look at K1a1b1a, an mtDNA subclade carried by about 20% of Ashkenazi Jews. The most closely related mtDNA genomes are found in places like Italy: none of the close lineages are found in the Middle East. Behar concludes from this that it must be Middle Eastern in origin, but he was just lying.

          This general pattern – Middle Eastern fathers, local mothers has been observed for other Jewish populations – possibly all of them, other than groups entirely descended from converts.

          I’m pretty sure that some Ashkenazi Jews won’t like this result. It could be worse: the founding mothers don’t seem to have been German. Barring a time machine , you might think that it’s too late to do anything about it. but I’m not so sure. I can easily imagine methods of changing your mitochondrial DNA, or indeed any part of the genome – so that you could effectively change your ancestry to whatever your heart desires, or at least that of your children.

          You can also use the autosomal genome, which means that you’re looking at vast numbers of neutral loci. There you find that the Ashkenazi Jews are somewhere between Southern European ( i.e. Tuscan Italians) and Middle Eastern Like Druze and Palestinians. I’d bet that the Druze are closer to the Middle Eastern component found in the Ashkenazi than the Palestinians are, because the Palestinians have picked up a significant amount of sub-Saharan African ancestry, while the Druze and the Ashkenazi have not.

          The middle easterners who were part-ancestors of the EEF were fairly different from Middle Easterners today, and for that matter from Middle Easterners in Classical times. And it was a while ago ( ~8000 years – things have had time to change some.)

          Others can argue all they want, but the answer (in terms of maternal ancestry of the Ashkenazi Jews) is settled. Soon we’ll have an equally final answer on the component, from whole-genome studies of the Y chromosome.

      • A2M says:

        If he average Ashkenazi IQ is in the range 110-115, than the 14 point gap of Mizrahi lead to 96-101. Using South Italy as confront having similar african admixture (The History of African Gene Flow into Southern Europeans, Levantines, and Jews), given average south italian IQ around 90 (Lynn), the outcome is that Levantine Jews have an advantage from 6 to 10 points, more probably the first.

  37. Carl Lumma says:

    > since the non-Ashkenazi Jews don’t have unusually high IQs, the idea has to be mostly or entirely wrong

    Maybe only the smart ones left for Europe.

  38. Greying Wanderer says:

    off-topic but related to earlier posts

    mixed couple, woman with red hair, two sets of twins, one of each pair white with red hair which implies the father must be a carrier of MC1R also (?) so two copies of MC1R -> white kid with red hair (or maybe i am missing something?)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1103391/Mixed-race-couple-birth-black-white-twins–second-time.html

  39. A2M says:

    Are there studies upon intelligence or other testable abilites in artisans and skilled laborer descendants? I’m interested due the origin and cognitive style of men like Faraday, Gauss, Franklin in respect of ones like Euler, Riemann and many other.

  40. unladen swallow says:

    Greg saw your remark regarding the percentage of European ancestry for Ashkenazi Jewish populations, You said 45 percent is closer to the mark than the 5-8 percent estimate, I wonder what your best guess based on the latest data? Just curious.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Probably 85-90% of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry is European – looks like from Italy and France. I think we need to see a modern y-chromosome analysis using whole genomes, rather than STRs, to have equivalent knowledge of Ashkenazi paternal origins. So I’d say that the European ancestry component is > 42%, maybe a fair amount more.

  41. Cplusk says:

    Sephardic Jewish population is 2 million and was even lower during 20th century. According to Wikipedia they won 10 Nobels. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardi_Jews#List_of_Nobel_laureates)
    Isn’t that too high for an average iq of 98?

    • unladen swallow says:

      I think virtually all of them were born in Europe or European colonies outside of Europe, so I don’t know if the individual was entirely Sephardic in ancestry. The most recent guy appears to be half Ashkenazi and half Sephardic. Does 10 Nobels seem like a lot from the perspective of a population with the same IQ as Europeans generally? There was a gap of nearly half a century between the first and second winner, I don’t think Ashkenazi Jews waited 48 years between their first and second prizes. I count around 193 Nobel Prizes for Jews, so 183 went to Ashkenazi Jews and 10 for Sephardic Jews, a 18-1 ratio, seems about right, given the IQ difference, even if all 10 Sephardis have no Ashkenazi ancestry which seems doubtful.

      • Cplusk says:

        Your ratio is wrong because they do not have the same population. Today, Ashkenazi population is around 11 million, Sephardim is just 2 million so 11 million Sephardim would (probably) get 55 Nobels. Furthermore, during the 20th century number of Ashkenazi Jews were much higher, they made up %92 of Jewish population in 1931. Sephardim also are being compared to the Spaniards. Spanish population is 50 million and with an iq of 97-100 they got 8 nobels (mostly literature) So in my opinion Sephardim is probably the most intelligent group of people in the world after Ashkenazi. (though i did not see any data on Lebanese Christians, Parsis or some other high caste Indian tribes)

      • A2M says:

        Italian population ranged from 32 to current 57 millions units (excluding immigrates), birthing a total of 20 Nobels. The local Sephardic community hardly peaked over 100.000 units, nowaday 35.000, that generated 4 of those Nobels. Numbers can’t lie. I can’t tell if this discrepance arised by selection of high performance humans during Reconquista (it’s known that emigrant have an advantage in IQ than non-emigrant, probably higher in times of distress), or due the discrimination during and after such episode (after all, the word ghetto is venetian in origin), or just due the fact that verbal/performance iq discrepancy makes Continental Jews better suited for learning and intellectual jobs But certainly Sephardi got an edge, albeit not sharp ad Ashkenazi one.

  42. Davide says:

    I am the author of quite a few recent (2013-2014) peer-reviewed works showing that IQ related allele frequencies vary significantly across populations and predict average intellectual levels. (It’s a shame that Wade’s work does not mention these because they provide direct evidence for his argument, whereas the evidence provided by his book is solely indirect).The alleles also tend to cluster, that is the presence of an high IQ allele predicts the presence of other high IQ alleles. The correlations between alleles and with national IQs are staggering (around 0.9). The first paper in the series can be found here (for subsequent papers, please email me and I’ll be happy to provide): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7hcznd4DKKQUTgyQXhwRmZTLVU/edit?usp=sharing

  43. Greying Wanderer says:

    @marlowe

    “For what it’s worth, here’s the WIKIPEDIA description of the Roman forces in the First Jewish Revolt:

    “Roman guard (3,000) in early stage
    Syrian Legion (30,000) in Beth Horon;
    5 Legions (60,000–80,000) at Jerusalem siege””

    Yeah. So assuming
    no. of legions = scale of rebellion * ferocity

    and further assuming from the mass suicides that the ferocity was well above average i’d guess at Judea being a 2-3 legion size problem.

    (with places like Cyprus and northern Egypt being additional 1-2 legion problems)

  44. Pingback: From the Steveosphere on “A Troublesome Inheritance” | VDARE.COM

  45. Gottlieb says:

    As some Jews seem to have the same facial features usually found in people with Williams syndrome.

  46. j3morecharacters says:

    (1) Josephus Flavius’s numbers, even if they seem difficult to believe, must be taken seriously. He was one of the top leaders of the revolt and had the best information. His geography and history were much doubted but as we learn more about his times, they are being proved true to the tiniest detail. Then, he was writing for the Roman elite who knew all the details and could not be lied to. Josephus would not even try so I think.
    (2) Regarding Sepharadim, there is a misunderstanding. Sepharadim are descendants of the Jews expulsed from Spain and later from Portugal. Their number is less than half million. Miscellaneous non-Ashkenazi communities such as the North African Arab-speaking Jews, the Caucasian, Bucharan, Bagdadi, Persian and so Jews are commonly (mis)classified as of Iberian origin. Frequently all Not-Ashkenazi (incl. Ethiopian converts) are thrown together under the Sepharadi umbrella. Portuguese Jews were socially and financially far above German Jews – Example: Disraeli.

    • marlowe says:

      j3morecharacters:

      “1) Josephus Flavius’s numbers, even if they seem difficult to believe, must be taken seriously. He was one of the top leaders of the revolt and had the best information. His geography and history were much doubted but as we learn more about his times, they are being proved true to the tiniest detail. Then, he was writing for the Roman elite who knew all the details and could not be lied to. Josephus would not even try so I think.”

      Josephus states that 1,197,000 died in the siege of Jerusalem in the First Revolt. Tacitus estimated the death toll at 600,000. Which one is right? Perhaps both are wrong?

  47. Greying Wanderer says:

    @Marlowe
    “Just to show how unreliable the literary record is when it comes to numbers, Josephus reported that 1,197,000 were killed in the Siege of Jerusalem in the First Revolt. Other sources report the death tolls in Jewish revolts in Cyrene and Cyprus at 220,000 and 240,000 respectively. Not many serious demographers would take these figures seriously.”

    I generally agree that numbers in antiquity tend to have an extra zero added for effect but I dunno if it’s always true. In a siege Romans killed everyone inside and in a big siege the population of the city might include everyone from the surrounding hinterland. It’s similar with the estimates of the people killed when the Mongols took a city. The numbers sound much too big for the city itself but if the standard ratio of city to hinterland was 1:10 then a million killed in a siege would mean a city of c. 100,000 plus c. 900,000 refugees from the surrounding countryside (or if the ratio was 1:20 then a city size of 50,000 plus 950,000 refugees etc).

    Dunno, normally I’d agree but with those peoples who might actually count how many they killed like Romans or Mongols I wonder.

    Anyway the main point I was making was comparing the forces sent against Judea with the forces used in Gaul, Iberia etc and the casualties there to get a relative feel.

  48. Greying Wanderer says:

    @marlowe
    “Other sources report the death tolls in Jewish revolts in Cyrene and Cyprus at 220,000 and 240,000 respectively”

    To continue being OCD about this if those numbers were adult males I’d find it hard to believe but if it was men, women and children then the men of fighting age might be 40%? / 88,000 or 30%? / 66,000, the vast majority not professional fighters so two legions plus auxiliaries sounds plausible to me.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      more OCD ness

      just to be clear i’m not saying i think there were 5 million people i’m saying i think it’s possible for there to have been 2 to 2.5 million and for 1.2 million of those to have been killed if the bulk of the population fled to the place with the biggest walls.

      • marlowe says:

        Greying Wanderer:”just to be clear i’m not saying i think there were 5 million people i’m saying i think it’s possible for there to have been 2 to 2.5 million and for 1.2 million of those to have been killed if the bulk of the population fled to the place with the biggest walls.”

        Well, as previously noted, Seth Schwartz argues (in IMPERIALISM AND JEWISH SOCIETY, 200 BCE TO 640 CE, 2001) that the population of Judea at the time of the First Revolt was around 500,000 (“By the first century the Jewish population of Palestine had grown massively, perhaps to as much as 500,000”), so, if one accepts his figures, 1.2 million dead would mean that every single Jew was killed plus a huge number of Gentiles as well.

      • marlowe says:

        Greying Wanderer:”just to be clear i’m not saying i think there were 5 million people i’m saying i think it’s possible for there to have been 2 to 2.5 million and for 1.2 million of those to have been killed if the bulk of the population fled to the place with the biggest walls.”

        I know that I keep mentioning White’s ATROCITIES, but it is a very handy book for things like this. He offers the very reasonable suggestion that the total population of Judea (Jews and Gentiles) was under 2 million (p.52, “No matter what anyone says, it’s unlikely that the ancient population of the area came anywhere close to 2 million, which was the number of inhabitants at the time of independence in 1948.”).

        So, accepting Schwartz’s figure for 500,000 Jews, how many Gentiles should be added? Another 500,000 ? 250,000?

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  54. New Deal Democrat says:

    gcochran9,

    I could have used your combativeness on The Straight Dope when I posted a book review of “The 10,000 Year Explosion.: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution.”

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=605733

    Eventually they banned me for expressing an inconvenient truth.

    – New Deal Democrat

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