Re: Book Announcement

Thu, 3 Nov 1994 11:39:45 CST

Kevin MacDonald on Phil Rushton's questions:
The IQ of Ashkenazi Jews (i.e., Jews deriving from Germany
and Eastern Europe) is the highest of any group I am aware of. My
interpretation is that, taken together, the data suggest a mean
IQ in the 117 range for Ashkenazi Jewish children, with a Verbal
IQ in the range of 125 and a Performance IQ in the average range.
These results would indicate a difference of almost two standard
deviations from the Caucasian mean in Verbal IQ. This is a very
large and unusual verbal/performance distinction, and it is
interesting in this regard that verbal intelligence represents
the type of intellectual ability that has been the focus of
Jewish education and eugenic practices. There were very direct
connections between scholarly ability, control of resources, and
reproductive success which were enshrined in religious writing
and scrupulously practiced for approximately 2000 years.
(According to Richard Lynn, verbal IQ is more closely associated
with upward social mobility in modern societies than performance
IQ.) While precise numerical estimates remain somewhat doubtful,
there can be no doubt about the general superiority of the
Ashkenazi Jewish children on measures of verbal intelligence.
There is a general Jewish overrepresentation in a wide range of
fields in the modern world, including business, science, social
science, literature, and the arts, and as Phil noted, Jews are
vastly overrepresented at the pinnacles of achievement, such as
the Nobel prizes. The results for Oriental Jews are quite
different (IQ in the normal range)--a finding which I argue
resulted from the long-term effects of anti-Semitic policies in
Muslim countries which generally prevented the development of a
highly intelligent, entrepreneurial Jewish elite.
Jews (and especially Ashkenazi Jews) also show several
characteristics of a high investment reproductive style compared
to other groups in the societies they live in, including lower
mortality rate and especially lower infant mortality rate. This
general pattern even holds for Jewish/gentile comparisons within
social class, and there is less of a social class difference in
infant morality among Jews than among other groups. Illegitimacy,
premarital conception, and divorce rates tend to be lower among
Jews than the surrounding populations, and there is some
indication of higher sex ratios. Ethnographic accounts document a
very involved, even intrusive, style of parenting among Jews (the
Jewish-mother syndrome characterized by one ethnographic account
as "unremitting solicitude"). In Europe, Jews entered the
demographic transition earlier than other groups, and even in
Muslim countries tended to have a pattern of lower birthrates
than the surrounding society. Nevertheless, Jewish populations
have been able to expand very rapidly in certain historical eras
and have often out-reproduced other groups in societies where
they have lived.
My argument is that these patterns can only be understood
within the group strategy concept in which groups are able to
structure mating opportunities and enforce group goals. In the
case of Judaism, a critical component was that the scholarly,
entrepreneurial elite had a very powerful obligation to aid the
entire community--a practice which undoubtedly opposed to some
extent the eugenic practices so central to Ashkenazic Judaism--
but one which also resulted in an extremely powerful sense of
group solidarity among the entire community of Jews.