I am beginning to suspect that there’s some serious genetic stratification in Iran.

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56 Responses to Iran

  1. JW Bell says:

    That’s a cliff hanger.

  2. testing4324 says:

    Details, please. Or just some pointers in the right direction.

    • Grels says:

      Just guessing, but could it be about the regional differences? Iranians from the north and west are close to their Azeri and Kurdish neighbours, while south is more Baloch and/or Gulf Arab. Northeast is sparsely populated but one would expect more Turkmen and perhaps Pashtun influence.

  3. IC says:

    As crossroad of Eurasia, all gene flow through the region (Iran) should left its marks behind in its population.

    In recorded history, we already know Greek/Roman from west to east. Mongol from East to west. I am sure there were more similar passing through prehistorically.

    • IC says:

      Phenotypically they are very diverse in looks.

      These are most we know in media (majority)

      Then these are Iranians

      These are also Iranians.

      • JW Bell says:

        The blonde Persian girls are dyed. I believe you’re trying to refer to Azerbaijan Iranians. One of who recently received the fields medal and is quite pretty for a mathematician.

        • testing4324 says:

          Maryam Mirzakhani looks quite androgynous, as do a lot of other people with “autism-like” symptoms.

          • JT says:

            Iranians of both sexes have what most people (including Iranians) would perceive as masculine traits – strong midface and jaw, long middle & lower faial region.

        • CM says:

          Iranian-Azeris don’t strike me as being any whiter than Persians. I think the only Iranians noticeably whiter than the majority of society are the Iranian-Kurds and people from Gilan province.

    • IC says:

      There is belief in India that
      Aryan = Iran (Same word with different spelling, same way like water = wasser) = persian people.

    • IC says:

      As middle point of Silk road, most significant gene flow would be carried out by traders like Marco Polo who would had girlfriends/wifes in each town along the road like today’s truck drivers. And this important biological activities were not recorded in history.

    • et.cetera says:

      “Nope” to everything you just wrote. The same conditions hold in virtually every patch of Asia between the Ural Mountains and the South China Sea.

      • IC says:

        As simple as Jayman style answer. Your simple approval and disapproval is meaningless for scientists since we dont care social approval.

        But you are still welcome.

        • et.cetera says:

          Look. If I had wanted to spar with you with “prestige” in mind, I would not have replied under a handle I barely use, and hence have nary a chance to accrue “status” to. No, the reason I replied as I did is because:

          You’re wrong.
          People who can’t acquire freely available information by themselves do not deserve to have it.

          If you really want to play the scientist, you’d be better served by starting to think about what could invalidate your idea. I already gave you a pointer: look at the populations and history of Asia outside of Iran. Does it still stand out in the way that you think you see after you’ve done that?

    • Flinders Petrie says:

      As crossroad of Eurasia, all gene flow through the region (Iran) should left its marks behind in its population.

      There are major geographic boundaries that restricted movement from neighboring regions (Zagros and Albrez mountain ranges, and major deserts). But interestingly, the southern boundary (Persian Gulf) was much reduced in prehistory. Prior to the Holocene, the Tigris and Euphrates emptied much further to the east, crossing through several oases (I recall something like 500 km of post-pleistocene marine transgression?).

      So the ancient genetic flow probably came from the Arabian Peninsula. There’s also the whole idea of a Garden of Eden in the Arabian Gulf region, where people exploited the marshlands and massive springs now submerged beneath the Gulf. The original Dilmun. The mixing of Tiamat and Abzu. Maybe this is the home of AMH 2.0 who spread west and conquered Europe at 45 kya? All we need are scuba gear and peace in the Middle East to find out…

  4. IC says:

    Egypt is another region of interest for gene flow research due to its narrow bottleneck nile river valley as only passway for human. Both sides are limited by uninhabitable desert. Thus its gene cline distribution will indicate the direction and magnitude of gene flow between Africa and Eurasia.

    • IC says:

      BTW, bidirectional asymmetrical genes flow is the most likely correct model for Nile river valley.

    • sabracakeboo says:

      I thought that the modern Egyptians were mostly arabs and that the Coptic people, dwindling in number are geneticly closest to ancient Egyptians. Of course there arent many left because they are largely Christian. Of course to have that many angry, aggressive people in Iran??… it could be in the genes….lol

      • gcochran9 says:

        ” mostly arabs” – I doubt it. Easy enough to check, though. Probably the Copts are indeed more genetically old-fashioned.

        • sabracakeboo says:

          Im probably wrong but I read an article about 15 yrs ago, i think it was national geographic magazine that said that the Copts were the closest genetically to the Egyptians of biblical times and that modern egyptians were mainly arabs who had migrated to that region much later. Regardless… just watching the masses swallow all that b.s. from the grand poobahs over there about everything from marrying 9yr olds to dying and having 50 virgins is baffling. I dont even think the nutjobs in charge are buying their own nonesense. Its a means to control the masses. It just makes me question the genepool. I mean they’re just lining up to drink the kool-ade.Not exactly the sharpest knives in the block. Ya get me? Btw. I love reading your posts and research. Brilliant ,provocative, take no prisoners stuff. Very exciting break from my daily dull fodder. I dont comment very often. I learn more from reading than commenting So you won’t be hearing a whole lot for me 😉

          • sabracakeboo says:

            I think I might be right. Copts dont consider themselves to be genetically similar to modern arab egyptians . They consider themselves to be the natives of the land. I could be wrong?Once I thought I was wrong…but I was mistaken 🙂

          • athEIst says:

            You are cheating some very dedicated terrorists out of 26 virgins each.

  5. No clue what you are referencing, but figure you’ve got something back there.

  6. W. Carleton says:

    I’d still like to know your thoughts on Kevin MacDonald. You asked the audience awhile back what they’d like you to discuss. Someone mentioned the above. You didn’t answer. It would be very interesting if you did so.

  7. IC says:

    Mesoamerican Biological Corridor
    Central America is another point of interest for gene flow study.

  8. William Norton says:

    100,000s of Northern European slaves should have left their genetic mark unless their offspring were eleminated.

  9. dearieme says:

    Do the Iranians go in for lots of cousin marriage, or uncle/niece marriage?

  10. j mct says:

    I know I read something about a dog descended disease here, and I think I read about wolverines here also, but I am not sure about that. If so, I wonder where the story idea for this came from.

  11. j says:

    The Mongol invasions destroyed vital irrigation systems and “decimated” (ie 10% remained alive) the population of the Iranian plateau. That small but proud nucleus of Indo-Iranian people rebuilt Persia. Many are quality people. Half of the population of Iran are Central Asian Turks (Azeris), arrived in recent centuries. There is large population of Arabs in the South. The rest is undifferentiated Persian speaking agriculturalists. It is stratified but Iran is a big country, the Parsis are a tolerant people and there is little ethnic tension.

  12. dearieme says:

    “Decimated” in the Roman army meant that 10% were killed, not that 10% survived.

    • spottedtoad says:

      The massacres at Urgensch and at Merv are alleged to have included a million people killed after each city surrendered. Even if this is exaggerated, it’s still hard to conceive of; as Michael Axworthy wrote of Genghis Khan’s campaigns in Iran, we think of 20th century genocides as unprecedented but “forget what enormities were perpetrated with the cold blade alone.”

      • athEIst says:

        Probably an extreme exaggeration. Cities before the industrial revolution maxed out at around 800,000. Rome, Alexandria and Byzantium in the west, later Cairo and Baghdad, in China surely and perhaps in India but not in Uzbekistan.

    • Maciano says:

      90% were killed. Decimeren in Dutch today means leaving 10%.

      • AppSocRes says:

        Dearieme is right. You are wrong. Check; (1) Roman history and (2) an English dictionary. English, not Dutch, is the language usually used on this site.

  13. j says:

    Dearieme is wrong. According to Oxford Dictionary, inverted commas
    ” … (also known as scare quotes) mean to draw attention to an unusual, ironic, or arguably inaccurate use. ” The Mongols cared little about the finer points of punctuation, they depopulated Iran.

    • dearieme says:

      Stop being stupid. I used inverted commas because I was quoting a word you used. I have no views on how many people the Mongols massacred.

  14. PCA of West Eurasia. Present-day Iranians from various parts of Iran are marked with red dots.

  15. akarlin says:

    Iran is a patchwork quilt of different ethnicities. In particular, the Persians are at a bit more than 50% of the population while Azeris are at 25% (there are far more of them in Iran than in Azerbaijan itself).

    Azerbaijan does extremely poorly on the PISA tests – around 85 converted to the standard IQ scale. Curiously, Mirzakhani is an ethnic Azeri.

    That said, according to Rindermann’s estimates, Iran is about 3 points below Azerbaijan (84 vs 87). If Azeri Azeris ~= Iranian Azeris, it would imply that Azeris are brighter than Persians.

    I recall looking at a map of major industrial and military-industrial objects in Iran. They were almost entirely concentrated in the majority ethnic Persian areas. That could indicate greater cognitive competence amongst Persians relative to Iran’s other nationalities but of course it could also indicate an understandable concern for national security on the assumption that Persians would be more loyal to the regime than the other nationalities.

    Despite a modest IQ, Iran does surprisingly well in the International Math Olympiad. To be fair a great deal of it is just down the effort that various countries are willing to make on it but it is a curious result nonetheless. It might be a useful exercise to trawl down that list and get an ethnic composition estimate from the names/surnames.

    Incidentally, its worth noting that Azerbaijan is distinctive on PISA in that it does far far better on math than on reading – a gap of almost 10 IQ points! (a feature it shares with other ex-Soviet countries but to an even greater extent). This might be of relevance in explaining Iranian mathematical achievement.

    • j says:

      Another point of reference is the excellence of the Parsi in their Diaspora. Do they represent an inner nucleus of the Persian nation?

    • CM says:

      Maryam Mirzakhani is most likely not Azeri. Where did you learn she was? Keep in mind nationalists from the Azerbaijani Republic often make up claims of famous people in Iran being of Azeri descent, and often non-Iranians are also subject to this bizarre form of nationalism as Freddie Mercury and Bianca Balti have also been claimed by Azerbaijan despite having no connection to the country. However, Nima Arkani-Hamed is of half Iranian-Azeri descent.

      I’m not sure if there’s an IQ difference between Persians and Azeris in Iran, but Azeris are jokingly referred to as ‘Torke khar’ (donkey Turks – Azeris are colloquially referred to as ‘Torks’ in Iran) because they are allegedly a bit slow and simple. Ethnic stereotypes and jokes in Iran may or may not mean anything, but there’s a chance that if other Iranian ethnic groups stereotype Azeris as being stupid then there might be some kind of basis for it. For what it’s worth, I suspect people from the Iranian province of Gilan are probably more intelligent than the average Iranian.

      This Kurdish blogger wrote something interesting about ethnic differences in Iran when discussing Iranian academic achievement in Sweden:

      He writes: “The Mede provinces of Iran – Azeri and Kurdish – both have lower than average per capita income, even excluding the oil producing provinces. Furthermore, I have never seen any evidence that Azeris are over-represented in Iranian academia, and some evidence that they are under-represented. According to Iran’s Statistical Yearbook, the Azeri provinces are underrepresented in their national share of college students. This alone doesn’t tell us much since they could move to other cities to study, and because those Azeris who have already migrated to Tehran are not included. Azeris are a little less than 20% of the population. The American estimate of 25% is often circulated, but self-identified survey data shows a smaller share. Non-Farsi speakers are probably a little less than half the population. Yet, according to this guy, research by Alireza Sarafi shows that only 10% of Iranian PhD students are non-farsi speakers.”

      If we want to know Iran’s national IQ the best thing is to just go there and do tests, which nobody seems to have done since the 1950s (a time when most of Iran was also illiterate, semi-literate and extremely poor).

    • Harold says:

      In the subfields of mathematics and computer science I know about, there is quite a lot of Iranian contribution and, in comparison, no Arab contribution that I can think of.

    • Jewish and Armenian minorities in Iran do also quite well. Although low in number, some of the richest are among them.

      Azeris I met were mostly not smart at all, although it could be a selection problem. However, Azeri Iranians I met were much smarter. But that’s just my experience.

  16. Mirza says:

    Azerbainjanis are basically a ‘turkified’ Iranian ethnicity
    Genetic studies confirm that the genetic differences between them and nearby Iranian peoples are slim

    • j says:

      Azeris are Turkish speaking Persians – ergo I stand corrected. Thanks. But then, where is the stratification suspected by Cochran?

      • JT says:

        Different levels of population there since ancient times?
        Elamites and so on.
        According to Greeks there were even some kind of hunter-gatherers on the coast.

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