I can't find that I have posted this before, which surprises me. The Atomic Bomb Considered as Hungarian High School Science Project . Siskind did not expect to come to such a strongly genetic answer to the intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews, but got there from the data.
I knew a fair number of people of Hungarian origin from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. There were people of Hungarian origin in my hometown- call them of peasant background- whose families came to the US circa 1920. Some ended up graduating from college, some did not. In Latin America I knew three Argentines of Hungarian origin, all Iron Curtain refugees, but each with a different history of separation from Hungary. They were neither of peasant background nor of middling intelligence- all were engineers. One was the son of a diplomat. But none were Jewish.
That was interesting speculation about trade-offs between intelligence and genetic diseases.
I believe Scotland had an outsized influence in terms of scientists, engineers and inventors in the 19th century. I've thought that would have some thing to do with the genetic talent concentrated within a relatively small population.
The Ashkenazi Jews in Hungary may represent an even more concentrated pool of talent. Has anyone examined their family trees?
It almost sounds like a Bene Gesserit breeding scheme from the Science Fiction story Dune. The Nazis genocide of the Hungarian Jews may have destroyed an amazing talent pool of the human race.
Family trees of the Ashkenazi in general: There was a bottleneck in the Middle Ages, and all of them are descended from at least one of four women. They were not allowed into many professions, so moneylending and middleman trading were big. Those put a premium on being able to do numbers in your head, keeping track of fluctuating coinages. Those guys had more children who survived, basically. Over a couple of hundred years, the results were dramatic.
A few assimilated into the general population every generation, particularly near urban areas, so that likely influenced the overall intelligence as well.
There is a chapter on this topic, Ashkenazi intelligence, in the following book: The Jewish Mystique (1977) by Ernest Van Den Haag. Highly recommended.
@ Dan Kurt - that name is familiar. I think I had it remembered as "Ernst." I will have to follow that up. Thanks.
Post a Comment