Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jewish Genius? No thanks to that logic.

In 1891, Joseph Jacobs, a prominent Jewish intellectual living in England, published a book entitled Jewish Statistics. When one opens the book today, the first thing that comes to mind is, could a Jew really have written this? On the inside cover, there are pictures of four Jews, each one a representative "type" of Judaism, according to Jacobs. In the back of the book are graphs, which plot the intelligence of Jews. Jacobs graphs Jewish intelligence alongside gentile intelligence, and infers that, though Jews are not smarter per se, their bell curve is more spread out; that is, there are more "insane" and "brilliant" Jews--there are more on the extreme ends of the curve--than with gentiles. This logic holds less water than it did in 1891, when the notion that race determined intelligence was widely believed. After all, we no longer believe in scientifically different "races," but rather we know now that everything is just genes. If you are smart, it is because you have good genes, and if you're dumb, you don't. More important than the flawed science of Jacob's reasoning are the social and political ramifications, which, after the eugenics of Nazi (and even American) scientists and thinkers, are now apparent to us.

But wait--for some sick reason, some people are still interested in pursuing this kind of repulsive reasoning. One Jewish friend of mine has recently sent me an article by Charles Murray called "Jewish Genius," published this month in a Jewish journal called Commentary. This terrifying article boasts statistics about the high Ashkenazi IQ, and myriad pseudo-sociological reasons for Jews' remarkable brilliance. This article, which I encourage you all to read, is not only offensive politically, but also intellectually. Race science? Aren't we beyond that already? Read and prepare to vomit.

1 comment:

betty said...

What if we just think that Philip Roth is smarter than EVERYONE?