Again with the smart thing?

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The American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think-tank that has served as the home to many neoconservatives, hosted an event this week called Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People.

AKA, “Are Jews genetically smarter than other races?”


I thought we stopped talking about this last year after this article and cover in New York Magazine.

It seems one of the few voices of reason at the event was Prof. Laurie Zoiloth a bioethicist at Northwestern University, who I encountered briefly in college:

Judaism is about faith and values, she argued. To reduce it to biology is to make it exclusive, denying its openness to all. Worse, to suggest that Jews are genetically smart is to imply that non-Jews are inherently inferior, in violation of Jewish commitments to equality and compassion. (MORE)

Makes sense.

While I’m not totally opposed to addressing the issue, I think it should be done within the confines of science instead of think-tanks. Or in the realm of sensible humor, which Washington Post columnist Dan Milbank does nicely.

Posted on November 1, 2007

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One thought on “Again with the smart thing?

  1. AlexUtiug

    OK, I’ll bite. Yes, through the years of persecution, natural selection has eliminated the Jews who were not smart and resourceful enough to be fit for the next round of the persecution; it’s the same process as the one making the highland nations (Georgians, Armenians, Scotts, etc) typically taller and skinnier than nations living in the valleys (except for the Himalayan Sherpas – who live high in the mountains, but in a low-oxygen environment and tend to be shorter – but just as skinny), and Kenyans faster runners than New Yorkers.

    However, that does not make other nations dumber than the Jews: there is no such thing as a National Average IQ; also what’s the average IQ of Spehardi Jews? (According to the blog, for Ashkenazim, it is 107-115)…

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