GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-12 > 1198258997
From: Jon Entine <>
Subject: [DNA] Differences vs.. Superiority/inferiority
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:43:17 -0500
Is it wrong to say that men are taller than women or that men are faster
runners and swimmers than women?
Of course not. That's a statement of scientific fact. It's grounded in
Does that mean that men are superior to women? Or even that men are superior
swimmers than women? Of course not. It means what it says.
It would help if you tried to understand population genetics. It's just a
way to understand how human differences parcel out as a result of selective
pressures in different environments. My anthropology 101 textbook has an
Inuit Indian, representative of populations with more natural body fat (of
northern Asian ancestry) standing next to a beanpole African. They have
different body types as a result of which genes were selected for survival
in far different evolutionary environments.
Disease proclivities represent the same differences. Do you believe that
every part of the human body has been selected but not the brain. No one,
certainly no scientist, believes that. Male and female brains are different
as the result of adaptive differences. This is just science. What we DO with
the information is key. By framing any SINGLE characteristic as
superior/inferior, YOU become the one engaging in simple stereotypes with
all the potentially damaging implications.
Again, all I can say is, if you read what I've written, especially in book
form, it is the very opposite of inflammatory.
Two days ago, I was in Tucson, and Michael Hammer was the person introducing
me at a talk on my book. Would he endorse something racist. I'm speaking in
Seattle in March, and Mary-Claire King, the women who identified the BRCA1
gene where the first breast cancer mutation was found, and who is
prominently featured in the book, is introducing and co-presenting an event
on my book. Within the past week, I got a congratulatory emails from
Batsheva Bonne-Tamir in Israel and Mark Thomas in the UK.
If smart people on this list can't discuss the realities of genetic
differences with out feeling the need to invoke Hitler, we're in big
On 12/21/07 12:25 PM, "Sue Waite-Langley" <> wrote:
> I cannot believe that I agree with David...but in this case I do. First, in
> no way was his post inflammatory. It was well thought out and written.
> Regardless of what you WRITE in your book...what you've discussed on this
> forum is your apparent assertion that the Jews are intellectually
> genetically superior to other groups. Whether they are or not...or whether
> ANY race is superior for ANY reason based on DNA is treading a very thin
> line. I imagine that had DNA testing been available in the 1930's...Hitler
> would have used it to "prove" that the Germanic peoples were superior to all
> other races just as it would have been used here in the US to "prove" that
> whites had the "right" to enslave blacks because they were genetically less.
> We all know that careful "analysis" of any data can yield a positive answer
> to the hypothesis that is being investigated. If we've learned nothing in
> the pursuit of genetic genealogy we should have all realized by now that we
> are all genetically related...we are all one. Genetic accidents that result
> in brilliance of any type happen across the board in all peoples. Whether or
> not the society or even the household into which a child is born is
> respectful and able to foster that brilliance has much more to do with
> whether the genetic gift is realized. Sue
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jon Entine" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 10:47 AM
> Subject: [DNA] Inflammatory post by David Faux
> Hi David,
> I make NO claims in my book of Jewish superiority. That's absurd and I'm
> incredibly offended. NO WHERE is that claim made or even hinted at.
> It's a thoughtful book about the history of the Israelites and Jews through
> the prism of DNA. Period.
> Before you issue such absurd attacks, at least have the decency to read at
> least part of it.
> Kirkus Reviews, about as unbiased a source as you can get, called it ³an
> epic tale of the Chosen People...engaging reading for Jews and non-Jews
> Library Journal wrote: "[Jon Entine's] explorations take him from his own
> Jewish family members' cancer diagnoses to genetic labs commercial history
> of Israel and Zionism, and the split between social anthropology and
> biological anthropology."
> Another reviewer wrote: "Jon Entine examines the history of the Chosen
> People through the lens of DNA analysis. A central issue about Judaism is
> whether it is a religion or a race. "Abraham¹s Children" attempts to answer
> the question. Given the complexity of the question, the answer proves both
> straightforward and complex, a simple 'yes'."
> As for the concept of the "chosen people,"
> The title repeats the words of the Bible. It does not reflect a conclusion
> or an associated set of values. I ANALYZE THE CONCEPT WHICH IS IN THE BIBLE.
> That's what scholars do.
> For what it matters, he title was chosen by the publisher. I thought that
> readers might misconstrue the phrase chosen people as the book in no way
> claimed the Jews were a chosen people. They believed, and I now agree, that
> the entire book stands as a refutation of the belief that Jews are special.
> The concept of chosennness, even in biblical terms, does not mean as you
> seem to believe that Jews are special. It just means they were chosen by God
> (I'm an atheist, so I don't believe any of this) to be the people to
> acknowledge theological Oneness--the fact there is One God. Christians
> believe that Jews were chosen as well. They also believe that Judaism is a
> wayward religion
> My book challenges almost every aspect of the Bible, including the Jewish
> "right of return," which some people base on the concept of chosenness. If
> Jews are a "chosen people," then so are Arabs.
> The discussion of IQ represents one chapter in the book. I discuss it
> because over 4,000 years of their history, rightly or wrongly, Jews have
> always been considered, and have considered themselves, a "race" by gentiles
> -- except for the period after World War II when using such terminology was
> considered inappropriate. My book is a book on the arc of Israelite/Jewish
> history. You can't ignore 4,000 years of how history has treated the Jewish
> people. Judaism is not just a faith based religion; it is an ancient tribal
> religion, based on blood ancestry, updated to modern times. That's what my
> story is about.
> It does not claim that the Jews are the "chosen people".
> On 12/21/07 11:19 AM, "David Faux" <> wrote:
>> I have had the night to think about what you have written, and the
>> put forward in your book. I still reach the same conclusion - that there
>> something more than mildly "racist" about using the term "chosen people".
>> Yes, you can refer to the Bible, but so do the people at BritAm who
>> that the British are the "chosen people". Actually as I recall from my
>> childhood in Canada there was red across the whole globe showing the
>> Empire, and the fact is that the world speaks English as the lingua
>> not Hebrew or Yiddish. I find my own people being termed "the chosen
>> offensive, and I find your use of the term in relation to Jews offensive
>> used in the context of discussing genetics.
>> If I may ask, how many IQ tests have you administered? You entirely
>> Gardner's work suggesting that IQ may be more complex than anything pins
>> results on Spearman's concept of "little g", the general intelligence
>> that purportedly underlies the scores on standard IQ tests. I have
>> administered hundreds of Wechler Adult Intelligence Scale - Revised tests
>> my day and am in a position to comment on their use as a tool to
>> conclude that "my group is better than your group". These are excellent
>> and have high pedicitive validity for children after the age of 10. They
>> however designed by a New York Jew and the test may be most applicable to
>> York Jews. Their applicability to those in rural America or to Puerto
>> or African Americans or to children of recent Asian immigrants (for
>> is highly debatable. This is what troubles me most, your unwillingness to
>> address the fact that social factors such as test taking attitudes
>> influence the scores, even dramatically.
>> That being said it is undeniable that Jews are as a group highly
>> intelligent. One only has to look at their absolute numbers (low) and
>> representation on the rosters of university professors (high). One of my
>> profs (she is Jewish) did an autopsy of Einstein's brain and there were
>> anatomical differences (compared to all other brains she had dissected),
>> particularly in the right parietal lobe which makes a strong contribution
>> higher mathematics. I would not be at all surprised if there were
>> seen between Jews and non - Jews using PET scan or fMRI imaging
>> Still, would these reflect genetics or environmental factors. A great
>> (although N=1 is questionabe in any situation) would be the two
>> in the Minnesota Study of Twins Raised Apart with one being raised as a
>> Jew in
>> Israel and the other in a German home in Nazi Germany.
>> I have not the slightest doubt that if you pick a Jewish individual at
>> random in NYC and use the WAIS-R to test 20 of their cousins, then compare
>> test score and those of 20 of my cousins we are not going to fare well
>> (although some of us will score substantially higher than many of the
>> participants). I maintain that part of the reason is social, in rural
>> Canada it is considered a lofty goal to become a long distance trucker and
>> park your truck in the laneway. It is a badge of pride. That would not
>> in NYC. How many Jews are truck drivers? Yes, the answer is obvious.
>> However the explanation is not.
>> I am not sure why you chose to ignore Larry's data in relation to the
>> Germans having the highest measured IQ in Europe. Should you not refute
>> study that provides this information since it may dampen your major
>> premise of
>> Jewish superiority. Here is something else to ponder. You have indicated
>> that Jews exceed others in intelligence (as measured by IQ tests). The
>> European data suggest that Germans have the highest IQ scores. Many
>> Jews have ancestors who lived in Germany. The word Ashkenaz actually
>> Germany does it not? Is it not possible that despite their tumultuous
>> together, the high IQ of both groups reflect shared genetics, with a high
>> introgression of non - Jewish German genes into the Ashkenazi gene pool.
>> today many Ashkenazi have non - Jewish ancestors, and many Germans have
>> ancestors (including very likely one notorious anti - Semetic dictator).
>> true this does complicate things a bit.
>> As the world continues to change the rate of intermarriage is
>> increasing. My daughter married a Korean. In our extended family, an
>> Catholic cousin married an Orthodox Jew. All of her children are Orthodox
>> Jews but at the genetic level are half Irish. Perhaps you are providing a
>> snapshot of the present but you are not showing us what we will see
>> the lens in 100 years time unless social factors play a primary role.
>> David K. Faux.
>> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
>> with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
>> quotes in the subject and the body of the message
P. (513) 527-4385
C: (513) 319-8388
FAX: (801) 527-4384
Jon's new book: Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of The Chosen
People --- http://www.abrahamschildren.net
|[DNA] Differences vs.. Superiority/inferiority by Jon Entine <>|