Re: Moorad's comment is sound

From: <>
Date: Tue Jun 21 2005 - 19:24:55 EDT

In a message dated 6/21/2005 1:33:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
Rich commented: "Moorad has made an excellent statement. I concur. There
is no more advanced work on the social sciences than the Bible."

With impeccable logic such as this, who am I to argue?

There is no argument. If you've been following the saga of the K. MacDonald's
evolutionary strategy of Judaism then you might be interested in Henry
Harpending's paper on Ashkenazi IQ. It was discussed in the NY Times and the
Economist recently, only the authors did not know enough about religion to conclude
that self selection was the cause of the high mean Ashkenazi IQ. Harpending is
on the evolutionary psychology list at yahoogroups and I posted the quotes
below from Lamm because Harpending did not conclude correctly as to where the
selection stresses were coming from. They're internal. Harpending did not raise a
counter argument. There is none.

Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence
Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, Henry Harpending
Department of Anthropology
University of Utah
Salt Lake City UT 84112 USA
Running head: Ashkenazi Intelligence
Keywords: Intelligence, Ashkenazi Mutations, Evolution

Harpending does not see self selection as the cause of the high mean IQ,
but there is enough evidence such as below that vitrually clinches
the argument from Jewish scholars themselves.

Please see this snip below from the Jewish Way in Love and Marriage:

The study of Torah is Judaism's highest ideal. Nobility in Jewish
society was limited to the wise men of the community who studied
Torah "by day and by night," not for the sake of gain or for
prestige, but *lishmah*, for itself. The very first petition to God
in the Silent Devotion prayed three times a day is a petition for
intelligence. The rabbis gave it such a high priority that they
declared,"A Torah scholar of illegitimate birth takes precedence over
a high priest ignoramus." Accordingly a priest's greatest achievement
is the marriage of a daughter to a *talmid chakham* (scholar) or a
son to a *bat talmid chakham* (the daughter of a scholar). The reason
for marrying a scholar is self evident in light of the hierarchy of
Jewish values. The Talmud says the reason for marrying a
scholar's daughter is "so that in case he dies or is forced into
exile, his children will be scholars" (because their mother as well
as their father, has espoused the ideal of Torah study).

Today one may add, the ideal wife *herself* be scholarly, not
necessarily only the *daughter * of a scholar.
The Talmud turns to hyperbole to emphasize the exalted goals one
should seek in a marriage mate: "All the prophets prophesied only so
that a person should marry his daughter to a Torah scholar"; and,
"whosoever marries his daughter to a Torah scholar, the Torah
considers him as though he cleaved unto the Shekinah (the indwelling
of God's presence)." This emphasis on scholarship, translated to a
secularized form, probably accounts for the disproportionate number
of Jews on the list of Nobel laureates and on faculties and campuses
of American colleges. Torah scholarship has thrived in all
the countries of the Jewish dispersion and in every century of the
Jewish millenial history despite the condition of the Jew, the degree
of persecution, the lure of alien temptations, or the abject
poverty of society.

The emphasis on learning, the selective genetics involved in marrying
the scholar - even to the extent of giving one's fortune for it- and
the insistence on having children imbued with that value is reason
enough for the superb development of the Jewish mind.

But what if there was no scholar to marry? The rabbis urge coming as
close to it as possible: "If one does not find the daughter of the
learned, he should marry the daughter of a *gadol ha-dor* [a man
great in wisdom and charity and leadership]. If one did not find
such, he should marry the daughter of a communal leader. And if not
her, the daughter of the keeper of the charity fund. And if not her,
then the daughter of the children's teacher. But on no account should
he marry the daughter of an *am-ha-aretz* [one ignorant of the law to
the extent that he is not sufficiently knowledgeable to be
careful with the observance of its details.
In sum, one should strive to marry as intelligent and intellectual a
person as possible, and to do so, it is proper to spend one's whole
From the chapter Preferred Partners in Maurice Lamm's The Jewish Way
in Love and Marriage, Harper & Row, 1980 ppgs. 102-103

Maurice Lamm ackowledges his profound debt in writing his book to his
brother Dr. Norman Lamm, president of Yeshiva University, Rabbi
ZviSchacter, Rosh Yeshiva, Head of the Kollel at YU, Rabbi David
Bleich, Rosh Yeshiva, faculty of Cardozo School of Law, Adaire Klein,
librarian at Yeshiva U of Los Angeles.

Note that the author rejects persecution as cause of the high
intelligence but calls it "selective genetics."

The late rebbe menachem schneerson, presumed to be the moshiach of
his generation for his towering scholarship, was married to the
daughter of the previous rebbe.

Harpending's paper and the quotes from Lamm above provide further
support for the arguments in my paper True Religion, The Darwinian
of Biblical Symbols.

From the abstract:
The evolutionary strategy of Judaism is revealed in the allegory of
Jacob and Esau, “the elder shall serve the younger,” by
observing the successes and failures of Jacob and his progeny over three
generations coupled with Jacob’s cunning breeding of Laban’s
flocks, cited by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species. This earliest known
Biblical source for religiously disciplined group selection is
identified. The relevance of religious discipline as
nascent “pastoral science” for modern communities is

There is no doubt that the Bible contains an evolutionary strategy and so
I have to agree with Moorad's statement!

It is impeccable logic, Burgy!

rich faussette

Received on Tue, 21 Jun 2005 19:24:55 EDT

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