Thursday, June 09, 2005

Genetic analysis turns out good for the Jews

This economist article is the best I've read about the oh-so politically incorrect scientific report that a lot of biology blogs seem not to want to touch. According to newspapers, a team of scientists are reporting that their genetic analysis of Ashkenazi Jews provides evidence of evolutionary selection for higher intelligence. The scientific argument supported by this new evidence goes like this:

1) There sure seems to be a lot of smart Jews, doesn't there?
2) Some genetic markers unusually common in Ashkenzi Jews turn out to affect genes previously implicated somehow in the biology of nerve cells
3) Notice how brains would be nowhere without nerve cells?
4) Notice how intelligence would be nowhere without brains?
5) Did I mention how many smart Jews there seems to be around?
5) QED: Genetic analysis shows Ashkenazi Jews have been selected for higher intelligence.

Does the evidence seem slim? Quit yer kvetching! Everybody trying to understand the biology of intelligence should be so lucky!

If you want the spiel complete with all the handwaving, go read the Economist.

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