From: kevin.osborne (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 11 2006 - 18:19:50 MDT
I'm in the middle of reading "Guns, Germs & Steel", and thought it
might be worth pointing out a theory the author uses to postulate a
higher-than-average IQ amongst New Guineans than amongst the general
western population, even though they are seen as some of the most
primitive peoples alive today in terms of economic development.
Essentially the #1 cause of death in pre-colonial New Guinea was
murder. Murder, unlike disease, is a directed and specifically
targeted act that can, with some difficulty, be avoided. I guess the
theory goes that the smarter you are the more likely you are going to
either a) flee b) engage in pre-conflict diplomacy c) be more valuable
to potential murderers alive than dead d) redirect existential
murderous urges elsewhere.
Basic summation: the smarter you are the more likely you are to be
avoid murder; therefore the higher the rate of murder in a given
population the higher ongoing natural selection of smarter people.
(the Bayes experts here can pull this apart as they see fit)
And I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that given the rather
long historical (and current) prevalence of anti-semitism and directed
acts of murder against Jews (of which Ashkenazim constitute 80%,
according to Wikipedia; to me this makes the two concepts seemingly
interchangable, and when not, seemingly a bit disparaging to the
Sephardic) this may well have alot to do with any genetic factor that
contributes to their undoubted record of achievement (and hotness!
Jamie Lee Curtis... dayam).
But it's worth pointing out both to the fanboys and naysayers that you
wouldn't wish for the kind of natural selection the Ashkenazi Jews
And I guess to the Ashkemazim on the list I'd offer a sincere apology
on behalf of my fellow of-non-hebrew-decent fellows past-and-present;
the ongoing prevalance of anti-semitism in various cultures is a
disgusting and seemingly inexplicable stain upon said groups.
I'd also like to offer thanks for the ongoing invaluable contributions
and for not holing up in your shells like the Amish :-)
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