Re: Moorad's comment is sound

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 09:11:24 EDT

On 6/29/05, <> wrote:
> In a message dated 6/29/2005 3:38:18 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> My point is that the so-called connection between intelligence and genetic
> diseases does not follow. That's because genetic drift rather than
> heterozygote advantage best explains the genetic diseases.
> Unless you're deliberately selecting for a trait and concentrating
> maladaptations due to your intense selection that JEWISH SCHOLARS THEMSELVES
> SAY IS WHAT THEIR COMMUNITIES PRACTICE. Why is that so difficult for you?
> Why do you refuse to address what they say about their own practices?
> Since you know the self selection is occurring because that is the nature of
> Jewish religion, why do you look for the cause elsewhere?
> Of course, there are real bottlenecks in some populations, but that doesn't
> mean they apply in the Ashkenbazi case, does it? And you haven't responded
> to the fact that a deliberate increase in self selection might easily be
> observed as a bottleneck since only a segment of the population increased
> their selective behavior. Where's the drift? There's no drift. It's
> deliberate.
> Metzenberg:
> While I take for granted that there are innate differences between
> communities and ethnic groups, and that these may reflect biological as
> well as cultural differences, I personally fall more on the "nurture"
> side of the "nature versus nurture" debate when it comes to IQ and
> intelligence. Because the authors relied too heavily on biological
> explanations and mechanisms, they ignored cultural ones, and they failed
> to grasp that Jewish populations are actually open and partially
> self-selected.
> Lamm:
> 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.
> Gee, Rich. They even use the words self selected. Are you saying that
> Metzenberg, Lamm and the most important rabbis at Yeshiva University are
> lying? Or are you saying that they are self selecting and their high
> intelligence has nothing to do with their selections?

I never once disputed that AJ practiced Eugenics nor that this was
motivated by Talmudic scholarship. Cochran's paper can be divided
roughly in half. One part was successful and the other an utter
failure. The successful part established a relationship between
intelligence and both LSD and non-LSD. Cochran then hypothesized that
intelligence was a heterozygote advantage for these diseases.

The problem with that hypothesis is that you can measure the genetics
of AJ to determine if there really was heterozygote advantage of any
kind and there is now a considerable body of evidence that LSD
diseases in AJ and others are the result of founder effect rather than
heterozygote advantage. In fact, there was so much evidence my
citations of it was bounced by the list software because my post was
too large. So, given a relationship between intelligence and these
diseases what is the connection? Having failed a causal connection we
look for common effects of another cause. This means is that high
intelligence in AJ could also be a result of founder effect!

Getting back to your complaint I will continue to not dispute the
descriptions of the AJ community by your scholars. In fact, if the
scholars you quoted are correct, then Cochran has just accidentally
disproven Eugenics! You cannot breed for intelligence. This means that
the Talmud is in error here and adds additional suspicion for using it
as an aid in interpreting Scripture just as Answers in Genesis is
similarly suspect.
Received on Thu Jun 30 09:13:19 2005

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