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Jewish genetics


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A survey of some recent genetic studies of Jewish history - migrations during the Diaspora, well as some old results from Maurice Fishberg in the early 1900s

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Jewish genetics

  1. 1. A genetic history of the Jewish people Dave Shafer CHJ
  2. 2. The Torah gives a lot of Jewish genealogies that start with Noah and go for many generations. But this is not science, it is hearsay. Here we will look at DNA evidence to trace some of the long history of the Jewish people.
  3. 3. DNA research on ancestry is quite complicated and very technical and has nuances and fine points that we will skip over to give a simpler view of this subject.
  4. 4. Much of this material comes from this 2012 book by genetic scientist Harry Ostrer, M.D., Professor of Pathology and Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of Genetic and Genomic Testing at Montefiore Medical Center. He has spent over 20 years researching Jewish genetic history.
  5. 5. Any discussion of racial differences is a highly charged and possibly dangerous activity. Yet there is an increasing amount of hard scientific genetic facts that throw much light on Jewish history as well as that of other groups. Why should this be suppressed? Should it be? We will discuss this after this talk. Genetic research can reveal surprising things about our distant past.
  6. 6. Neanderthal man takes a selfie. Neanderthals were very similar to us, but with 13% larger brains than us. Like us, when nude they always walked with the right leg forward, to conceal the naughty bits. Recent genetic studies have shown that most of us are about 3% Neanderthal in our genetic makeup, due to this mixing shown here. But none of sub-Saharan Africa has any and the Basques in the Pyrenees have more than us. Genetics can show the history of a population group’s travels very long ago.
  7. 7. People with an anti-Jewish and/or anti Israel agenda can look toward this new and evolving information in hopes of finding ammunition against – for example – the idea of an ancient Jewish historical “right” to the land of Israel. Any information about innate differences between races can lead to bad outcomes, as history has painfully shown. But within the Jewish community this material can lead to a better understanding of the long span of Jewish history, with its many separate diasporas. At CHJ and SHJ, whether you were born Jewish or came to Judaism, this material here ought to be of interest as part of one’s general education about all things Jewish.
  8. 8. Maurice Fishberg was a physical anthropologist in NYCity and wrote this classic study in 1911. Today most geneticists carefully avoid the word “race” and use euphemisms which mean exactly the same thing.
  9. 9. Jewish genetics The extreme crowding of living and working conditions on the Lower East Side led many to think that these Jewish immigrants were an unhealthy presence in the city, with TB and other illnesses being rampant. And that therefore Jewish immigration should be reduced. Maurice Fishberg set out to find the facts, using census and medical records. The facts proved to be the opposite to the popular beliefs. Jewish TB rates were much less than those of surrounding ethnic “ghettos” in New York. He speculated that this might be due to eating kosher food and fewer risk factors like syphilis and alcoholism.
  10. 10. Annual TB deaths by ward in New York City, 1897-1899 Lowest TB rates were in wards 10, 11, and 13, where the % of Jews was the highest
  11. 11. Was there something special about the Jews who came to America, from other countries, to account for this unexpectedly good health statistic? Fishberg did more research. Why was Jewish health better than that of gentiles?
  12. 12. It turns out that world- wide, back in the early 1900s, Jews outlived Christians everywhere. In Budapest the life expectancy was 37 for Jews, 26 for Christians (much infant mortality) while in London it was 49 years for Jews, 37 for Christians. Despite a low birth rate this longevity (due to several causes, like better hygiene, kosher food preparation, etc. ) led to an increase in Jewish populations. Tsk! Tsk! Smoking is bad for you
  13. 13. Using the crude tools at his disposal, Maurice Fishberg, back in the early 1900s, started to do some basic research on a very simple question - who are these people, the Jews, his people? And associated with that is the age-old question – who is a Jew? Fishberg started out by looking for easily measurable physical aspects of Jewish people (eye color, hair color, head shapes, etc.) and assembled some statistics that sometimes led to surprising conclusions. Fishberg approached his studies as a scientist, with an open mind. Decades later the Nazis would do their own studies of this type, with a racist agenda that was happy to fudge data to suit their pre- existing opinions.
  14. 14. Fishberg measured the cephalic index (ratio of head height to width) of several thousand New York Jews, both men and women. 40 years later the Nazis would make their own measurements as part of their racial purity campaign. Jewish men showed a sharp peak in their data, sharper than other ethnic groups, implying a tighter genetic base and little intermarriage. Jewish women showed two separate peaks, implying two different genetic strains. Head shape data
  15. 15. Fishberg also considered the status of blonde or red head Jews – was this evidence of intermarriage? But the Torah talks of several red headed Jews –King David, Esau, and others. And blue eyes and fair skin may also go back millennia in the Jewish genetic makeup. Woody Allen as a Hassid in Annie Hall
  16. 16. Worldwide about 4% of Jews have red or auburn hair, especially beards in men. About 20% of Jews have blue eyes, with a lot of country variability. Here is movie star Kirk Douglas, with blue eyes and auburn hair. He was born Issur Danielovitch from Russian Jews Young Kirk and his 6 sisters
  17. 17. Maurice Fishberg, 100 years ago, thought that Jews were a distinct group in appearance and said that “One can pick out a Jew from a thousand non-Jews without difficulty” If that is true it is probably only true of Jews recognizing other Jews. Maybe there is sometimes a Jewish expression, more than distinctive facial features, that other Jews can recognize. This expression may come from life experiences.
  18. 18. There was a Get Smart episode where two Arab KAOS agents dressed in sheik's robes were rhapsodizing about the impending destruction of several free world capitals: ARAB 1: "New York." ARAB 2: "Gone!" ARAB 1: "London." ARAB 2: "Vaporized!" ARAB 1: "Paris" ARAB 2: "Obliterated!" ARAB 1: "Tel Aviv" ARAB 2: "Uh, no. Not Tel Aviv." ARAB 1: "Why not?" ARAB 2 whispers something in ARAB 1's ear. ARAB 1: "Funny, you don't look it." The old joke with the punch line “That’s funny, you don’t look Jewish” goes back to the early 1900s and was a staple in vaudeville and early TV. But I remember as a kid in the 1950s watching Myron Cohen (I think) on the Ed Sullivan show tell this old joke – and he changed the key word to “German” instead of “Jewish”. A joke told with a heavy Yiddish accent but the word “Jew” was never mentioned.
  19. 19. The classic question – “who is a Jew?” When George W. Bush was president Hu became premier of China. Here is an imagined conversation, back then, between Bush and Marty, a Jewish aide. Bush – “You look pensive Marty, what’s on your mind?” Marty – “Who is a Jew?” Bush – “What? You’re kidding! He certainly looks Chinese to me!” Marty – “Who?” Bush – “Hu” Marty – That’s what I said – “Who?” Bush – “I’m saying, Hu doesn’t look Jewish!” Marty - “Who doesn’t look Jewish? - What an odd thing to say!” Bush - “Hu looks Chinese” Marty – “Who looks Chinese? Sorry boss, I’m just not following you here. Etc. Etc. (Credit here is due to playwright Jim Sherman for this concept)
  20. 20. The Nazis had no trouble answering the question “Who is a Jew” and considered all possible family tree variations. For them it was purely genetic. These are the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. In some rare instances a Jew could be given the status of an “honorary Aryan by marriage” when the gentile spouse was a very important person.
  21. 21. An extremely rare pristine copy of a Nazi- prepared picture book for school children, showing them how to recognize Jews and the dangers they posed. Here the Jewish man is offering them candy and says you can have more if you come with me. Fishberg found that the stereotype with the hooked nose was actually rare in his survey of NYCity Jewish immigrants from all over Europe. The book, called “The Poisonous Mushroom” warned that Jews are like poisonous mushrooms, that children should stay far from.
  22. 22. From the same Nazi children’s book. A lecherous Jewish doctor is about to examine and then abuse a pure German girl. She bashes him in the face and runs away. A different page in the book homes in on the Jewish nose as a sure way to spot those who children should stay far away from. Note here his exaggerated nose.
  23. 23. These days the internet makes it much easier for anti- Semites to inform the public how to spot Jews by sight – it is that telling Neanderthal look. But did the Neanderthals wear glasses?
  24. 24. Of course you have to be careful with info you get from the internet. Reality is often somewhat different from what you find there. For example, you may read on the internet that the North Korean air force has launched a training exercise. But shown here is the reality. Online anti-Semitic rants depend on an uncritical acceptance of their “facts”. My info on Jewish genetics comes from multiple reliable sources and not primarily the internet.
  25. 25. Some early genetic results have had to be revised due to more sophisticated analysis techniques. The field is still evolving and it is a good idea to take a skeptical stance towards what you see on the internet about genetic research.
  26. 26. South Korea is 99.9% Korean and .1% Chinese. North Korea is probably 100.000% Korean and has a very proud view of itself as an extreme of racial purity. Race has always been a very charged topic world-wide. In the Torah (Numbers 12:1) we read that Moses had a black wife and his sister Miriam spoke of this is a denigrating way. Later we will hear about the flip side of that coin. Genetic heritage is just one possible way to think about being Jewish. CHJ and SHJ do not consider it relevant, if one self- identifies as a Jew.
  27. 27. Feelings of racial “purity” often go hand in hand with feelings of superiority. That 0.1% of South Korea that is Chinese really dilutes the gene pool and makes North Korea clearly the place to be. When it first came out a few years ago about our Neanderthal genetic material some black South Africans, who have none of it, proclaimed that they were the only ones 100% human.
  28. 28. Now, over 100 years after Fishberg’s pioneering studies, we have DNA analysis to give new data. We can read the human genetic code and look for genetic hints about Jewish history. For example, the European population group most closely related to Ashkenazi Jews are …..the Italians, specifically northern Italians! Stay tuned for the explanation, which is complicated.
  29. 29. Probably not what you were expecting - it is not Russia, or Poland, or Hungary, the Czech Republic, or Germany. It is northern Italy!
  30. 30. It is easy to assume that in ancient times the Jews wandered out of Israel and went directly to Fiddler on the Roof shtetls in Poland and Russia. Genetic evidence, however, shows that a much more likely scenario involves going from Israel to Italy, hanging around Rome for a very long time, intermarrying with local Italian women, and then eventually settling Northern Europe and then Eastern Europe and Russia. Not what you would think. Overall, at least 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain, the researchers estimate. But there is some dispute about the actual % values.
  31. 31. We inherit genetic material from both our father and our mother and it is an amazing fact of genetics that these two inputs can be traced back separately thousands of years.
  32. 32. Many people find it surprising that human evolution is still proceeding, and at a rate far faster than what one might expect. Mutations, like lactose tolerance – which most of the world does not possess – can arise and become dominant in a population group in just a few thousand years. There have been some genetic changes involving resistance to certain diseases, in some population groups, that have happened within historical times.
  33. 33. Rome has one of the oldest continuous Jewish communities in the world – over 2000 years of history. Roman Jews are fond of saying that they are neither Ashkenazi or Sephardic, because they predate those two dispersals of Jews outwards from Italy over 1000 years ago. They lack some of the disease mutations that later occurred among the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities elsewhere, after they were expelled from Rome.
  34. 34. The ancient Roman empire included Israel as well as Egypt (think Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra). Jewish wars of rebellion, put down by Rome, resulted in many Jewish slaves being taken to Rome. In Egypt the city of Alexandria was a great commerce center and Jewish traders there often went to Rome and sometimes settled there. Shortly before Christianity began there was much Jewish proselytizing (surprised by this!?) and many converts were made as well as a lot of intermarriage. The word “proselyte” originally meant a convert to Judaism. At one time an estimated 10% of the Roman Empire was Jewish, mostly converts! (That’s funny, you don’t look …..). But that rapidly changed once Christian persecution started. We know about Chabad proselytizing but don’t think of this as also something from the distant Jewish past.
  35. 35. Intermarriage has made it difficult to discover any simple genetic story about long-term Jewish history, migrations, etc. This table here shows a recent survey but it would be a mistake to think that intermarriage is a relatively recent phenomenon. From biblical times onward any time Jews are in any place for any time span there is always some intermarriage. Including some rather unlikely ones. We don’t know what she was thinking but we certainly know what he was thinking.
  36. 36. It would be interesting to see divorce rates of mixed-marriage couples for Orthodox, Conservative and Reform groups.
  37. 37. Throughout Jewish history converts have played a very important role. The biblical character of Ruth was a convert and she was the great grandmother of the great King David, whose descendants are supposed to include the Messiah when he comes.
  38. 38. Bill ponders going kosher If Queen Esther had children with King Ahasuerus they would have been half-Jewish by birth and gone into the Jewish genetic pool.
  39. 39. In the interest of space we will focus here almost exclusively on Ashkenazi Jews and not cover Sephardic Jews or Mizrahi- Iranian Jews, the other two distinct genetic groups.
  40. 40. Some famous Jews with one or two Sephardic parents. Spinoza, Disraeli, Pissarro, Pasternak, Hayworth, Dylan, Seinfeld.
  41. 41. Mormons claim that Native Americans are very distant Jewish descendants of the biblical Joseph and were transported here to the USA by the hand of God a few thousand years ago. It is well known that Native American DNA indicates that they came from Siberia as well as very solid archaeological evidence for a route across the Bering Strait land bridge near Alaska. There is almost no DNA overlap with Jewish DNA. Yet Mormon scientists have put forth ingenious arguments to explain this clear contradiction between their faith and genetic facts. Some of it is very technical while other ideas include a route into here through Central America and then very extensive genetic mixing with the much larger existing populations. Here we will take no position on this but will not be including the Sioux in our discussion of the Jew. See this link here for more about the Mormons. the-book-of-mormon-by-david-g-stewart-jr?related=2 Sioux Jew
  42. 42. Ashkenazi Jewish men have a complicated mix of genetic strains that indicate ancient Near Eastern origins mixed with people from the Russian steppes, and then Eastern Europe (more recently). Ashkenazi Jewish women, however, have a distinctly different genetic heritage – small Near Eastern strains and mostly Central Europe population types. Remember our earlier slide showing head shapes and how Jewish woman had two different data peaks, unlike the single one of men. It may be that Jewish men leaving the Near East in ancient times partly intermarried with local populations during their migration into Europe, along a southern route. They then settled a lot in Italy and the Vatican in Rome had a large Jewish population for a long time. After some of this intermarriage with local Italian women they were eventually expelled from Rome and Italy, over 1000 years ago, and moved north into Germany and into Eastern Europe, like Poland and parts of Russia. There the Ashkenazi settled for a long time until the Holocaust.
  43. 43. A Turkish-Mongol king converted to Judaism, about 1200 years ago, and then by fiat made his whole country convert. But this did not last long and neither Ashkenazi men or women have much of a genetic strain from that population group. The writer Arthur Koestler wrote an influential book – “The 13th Tribe” in which he speculated that Ashkenazi Jews were mostly descendants from these Khazars and were not genetically related to biblical Jews. Recent genetic analysis shows that he was wrong, although there are some Khazar lineages but it is not a major component. It mainly shows up in the Levites but not the Cohens. Our story has complicated chapters
  44. 44. As Europe expelled the Jews, sometimes more than once, they often moved into Eastern Europe and Russia into an area known as the Pale.
  45. 45. After a few hundred years of living in the Pale, some intermarriage with local people led the Ashkenazi to acquire some of that genetic material. Here you see some of the movement out of Europe as the Jews were expelled in waves from different countries.
  46. 46. It is estimated that in the 11th century Ashkenazi Jews composed only three percent of the world's Jewish population (most Jews were still in the Near East or in Spain) while at their peak in 1931 they accounted for 92 percent of the world's Jews. Immediately prior to the Holocaust, the number of Jews in the world stood at approximately 16.7 million. The contemporary population of Ashkenazi Jews is between 10 and 11 million. In a rough calculation of Sephardic and Mizrahi (Iranian) Jews it looks like Ashkenazi make up a definite majority of Jews worldwide. Holocaust death toll, as a fraction of Jewish population
  47. 47. Mixed marriages have always been more common than popular belief. In the German Empire between 1901 and 1907 about 19% of all Jewish marriages were mixed. In Amsterdam, with a sizable Orthodox population, between 1902 and 1903 it was 15% of Jewish marriages. Today there is only 2% Orthodox intermarriage.
  48. 48. Some genetic sensitivities or illnesses are very specific to Ashkenazi or Sephardic Jews. Some Sephardic Jews are highly sensitive to fava beans and can have a fatal reaction. For one person simply smelling fava plant flowers made him ill. Ashkenazi Jews have no reaction at all. There are sometimes evolutionary correlations between the genes that result in these medical susceptibilities and resistance to malaria or other diseases. The prevalence of “stub thumbs”- missing a joint, was once though to be common among Jews. It is not and is actually twice as common among Arabs. The subject of specific Jewish diseases like Tay-Sachs is a big one and will not be covered here.
  49. 49. Actor Sasha Baron Cohen, is a Cohen – from the traditional priestly class. The distinctive Cohen genetic lineage is estimated to have started about 4,400 years ago. The Lemba people of Zimbabwe were found to share this some of this genetic history. They trace their origin to Yemen. Recent studies have tempered somewhat this dramatic story. Although they definitely have a considerable Semitic genetic heritage, this is not necessarily the same as a Jewish one. Some of their cultural and religious practices could have an Islamic source. Kosher and halal are not that different. There is some ambiguity in the genetic evidence to specifically tie them to the Cohens, contrary to the initial press coverage of this story, due to more sophisticated recent genetic testing 13 years after the original results. But there may be bias on the part of some researchers, for religious or political reasons. And the weight of other evidence is heavily towards a distant Jewish origin. It is certain that none of the Lemba women have any Semitic lineage, so the Orthodox do not consider them or their children Jewish.
  50. 50. The Levites (from the tribe of Levi) were one step down from the Kohain (Cohen) in religious importance. They had certain tasks like transporting the Ark of the Covenant, some Temple duties, animal sacrifices, etc. Moses was a Levite. Recent genetic analysis of Ashkenazi Levis (family name) has shown that their lineage does not have a clear path as far back as the Cohens. In fact they, today, have multiple genetic origins that depend on the Diaspora community from which they originally came. This means that some Ashkenazi Levites are definitely not genetically related to the original Near East biblical Levites and are probably descendants of ancient converts – like the Khazars. The is not true of Sephardic Levites, who have a much closer genetic connection to the biblical Levites. This clearly shows the hazards of looking too closely into one’s genetic family tree. Unwelcome results may appear. At CHJ and SHJ all that counts is self-identification with the Jewish people.
  51. 51. I hope this material that has been given here is acceptable to Jews everywhere on the religious spectrum.
  52. 52. New York, originally called New Amsterdam by its Dutch settlers, was filled with waves of Jewish immigrants. First by Sephardic Jews escaping the Inquisition in Brazil. Then later by German Jews, then lastly by Polish/Russian Jews. Genetic analysis of current residents today can easily trace these influxes. The genetic ancestor testing result that you can get commercially is kind of like ordering a mail order bride. The results can be surprising, not what you had in mind, and maybe are not very reliable. These ancestry places generally look at only a small fraction of the possible relevant genetic data, in order to keep the analysis costs low. The information here, however, is based on a much more sophisticated genetic analysis and takes many different genetic markers into account.
  53. 53. Jews excel in certain types of intelligence but do worse than gentiles in spatial relations ability Ashkenazi Jews score higher on IQ tests than any other ethnic group.
  54. 54. A 1958 survey of yeshiva students found an average verbal IQ of 125
  55. 55. Although Ashkenazi Jews make up 2.2% of the US population they make up 30% of the faculty at elite colleges and 21% of Ivy League students. About 50% of chess grandmasters are Jewish, like Bobby Fischer here.
  56. 56. Music ability is partly genetically determined. Just before the Russian Revolution Jews made up 5% of the Russian population but 50% of the students in St. Petersburg Music Conservatory. In Odessa the situation became absurd. In 1916 in their music conservatory 80% of the students were Jewish. Officials reacted by establishing an affirmative action scholarship program for gentiles.
  57. 57. The three greatest pianists of the 19th century are generally agreed to have been Carl Tausig, Anton Rubenstein and Franz Liszt, shown here from left to right. Tausig and Rubenstein were Jewish. Tausig worked very closely with Richard Wagner and lived with the Wagner family for years. Liszt was Wagner’s father-in- law.
  58. 58. A brief interesting digression, not related to Jewish topics. If you know what to look for it is possible to tell at a glance from the outside surface of the brain whether it belongs to a violinist or a pianist. A violinist develops a distinctive fold at a certain position on the surface of the right brain lobe and a pianist develops one at a similar position on the surface of the left lobe. Amazing!
  59. 59. If there are more Jewish “geniuses”, as a percentage, than are in other groups what could be the reason? There are two possibilities. One is a broader IQ bell curve than normal but with the normal average = 100 That is the case with Scottish men and women and it gives more Scottish men than women geniuses because the men’s bell curve extends out further on both ends. But the average IQ is the same for both = 100
  60. 60. The other possibility that would give a disproportionate amount of high IQ Jews is if The Jewish IQ bell curve has the same width as that of the general population but a slightly higher average than 100. It only takes a small shift in the average, such as to 105, to make a big difference in the percentage with very high IQs. In fact Ashkenazi Jews in general have an average that is about 112 compared to the general European population. 4 out of every 1,000 Northern Europeans is 140+ IQ, but 23 out of every 1,000 Jews is 140+, or 6 times higher percentage. In America the Ashkenazi average is more like 108 compared to the general American population. In a 1954 study of the NYCity schools, 28 students were identified with an IQ above 170, which is extraordinarily high. 24 of the 28 were Jewish. Very high IQ IQ % of population You can see that at a particular high IQ value the % value height of the blue curve is several times higher than that of the red curve. This ratio becomes more pronounced as you go to higher and higher IQ values. Yet the two curves are not dramatically different in their average values. General population Jews
  61. 61. It is very likely that the most brilliant mind in all of human history was that of John Von Neumann (1903-1957), a genius in many fields, a child prodigy, and a polymath who was born into a wealthy Hungarian Jewish family. Fluent in Latin and Greek at the age of 6 he could also then divide 8 digit numbers in his head. He had massive memorization ability with essentially total recall and could effortlessly recite at will whole books he had read years earlier. He made major contributions to many branches of mathematics and physics, invented game theory and computer science. He was a key member of the team that developed the atom bomb in the Manhattan project. He could instantly perform complex mathematical calculations in his head and with a speed that stunned famous genius-level colleagues. Einstein was truly a piker in brilliance compared to Von Neumann and Einstein’s contributions were just to physics while Von Neumann made very important advances in math, physics, economics, computers and other fields. Every famous physicist or mathematician who knew him said that he had the fastest and most brilliant mind they had ever met. He was a great wit and liked to play practical jokes on Einstein, when they were both at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb and famous as a genius in his own right said that he could never begin to keep up with Von Neumann. Nobel Prize wining physicist Hans Bethe said "I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann's does not indicate a species superior to that of man“ In his personal life he was very sociable and liked to throw big parties. He liked to drive - often while reading a book, was a fancy dresser, married twice, loved to eat and drink and liked Jewish jokes.
  62. 62. In the endless nature versus nurture debate it is still not clear what role each plays in these high Ashkenazi IQ values. Furthermore Sephardic Jews do not have this characteristic. But more and more genetics is showing that IQ is mostly hereditary. Identical twins separated at birth and raised separately clearly shows this. Various theories have been put forth about how natural selection over centuries may have had a role in emphasizing the genetic component. • The survival advantage of high IQ in a hazardous anti- Semitic environment may have resulted in this being reinforced over many generations, through Darwin’s natural selection (an awful term when applied to people). • Jewish culture placed high value on learning. High IQ makes one much more of a marriage catch, resulting in more and earlier children than poor marriage prospects. • The few trades allowed to Jews (finance, medicine) rewarded math and science aptitudes.
  63. 63. You may have thought that all those young yeshiva boys and nerdy Asian students who are wearing glasses are doing so because their vision changed because of all those many hours studying books at close reading distance. Recent research has shown, however, a correlation between high IQ and early vision problems. In fact, it seems to be genetic and high IQ children have it before they start to read and they need glasses early.
  64. 64. Of course being a smart person with musical ability does not also make you a good person. It is a very perilous bridge to cross to try to go from genetic data of a group to speculations about individuals.
  65. 65. The historical hazards of considering race above individual characteristics are well known. I only got about 6 feet out on this bridge here, in Germany, before quickly turning back. I hope that this talk today has also managed to steer clear of most of the missteps that one might make.
  66. 66. This topic of IQ is very controversial and emotionally charged. It might be that cultural differences (the nurture part of nature versus nurture) explain a lot of the IQ differences among different ethnic groups. But recent science tends very much to not support that idea. It might be that there are some areas of knowledge that are best left unexplored. Furthermore, there is a lot more to a person than just their IQ. That is a great lead in to our discussion, which starts now. All views should be allowed airtime Please note that this whole slideshow has only been about Jewish genetics and not about culturally transmitted traits - like hypochondria, anxiety, non-athleticism, etc. or about what makes for being a mensch.