Gregory Cochran

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Gregory Cochran
Gregory M. Cochran

1953 (age 65–66)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Known forThe 10,000 Year Explosion
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics, Anthropology
InstitutionsUniversity of Utah

Gregory M. Cochran (born 1953) is an American anthropologist and author who argues that cultural innovation resulted in new and constantly shifting selection pressures for genetic change, thereby accelerating human evolution and divergence between human races. From 2004 to 2015, he was a research associate at the anthropology department at the University of Utah.[1] He is co-author of the book The 10,000 Year Explosion.

Human evolution[edit]

In opposition to what he sees as the conventional wisdom that civilization has been a static environment which imposed stabilizing selection on humans, Cochran, along with like-minded anthropologists such as John D. Hawks,[2] contends that haplotype and other data indicate the selection of genes has been strongest since the advent of farming and civilization.[3]

Through his work on human evolution, Cochran has been associated since the 1990s with the human biodiversity (“HBD”) milieu,[4][5][6] which the Southern Poverty Law Center have described as scientific racism[6][7][8].

Ashkenazi intelligence[edit]

Cochran and co-authors Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending suggest that the high average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews may be attributed to natural selection for intelligence during the Middle Ages and a low rate of genetic inflow. Cochran and his colleagues hypothesise that the occupational profile of the Jewish community in medieval Europe had resulted in selection pressure for mutations that increase intelligence, but can also result in hereditary neurological disorders.[9][10]


Cochran believes an evolutionary perspective suggests that the proximal cause of homosexuality must be an infection.[11][12] Cochran does not suggest that an infectious agent that causes homosexuality is spread by homosexuals. The premise is that homosexuality reduces the number of offspring and would lead to the genes carried by a homosexual person to be progressively eliminated over generations. Cochran maintains that the observed level of prevalence of exclusive homosexuality (3 to 4 percent of men and 1 to 2 percent of women in the United States) means genes cannot be the cause of homosexuality. This argument is based on natural selection, the fitness cost of genes 'for' homosexuality being too great for its occurrence at a frequency above that of random mutation (~ 1 in 50,000). The argument assumes that evolution would have largely eliminated homosexuality related to non-infectious environmental causes, except novel ones.[13]


  1. ^ "Faculty profile". University of Utah. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  2. ^ Phelan, Benjamin (October 2008). "How We Evolve". Seed Magazine. pp. 66–73. Archived from the original on 2015-09-12. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Gregory Cochran; Henry Harpending (2009). "Overview: Conventional Wisdom". The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. Basic Books. pp. 1–25. ISBN 978-0-4650-0221-4.
  4. ^ Sailer, Steve. "Roster of Human Biodiversity Discussion Group Members". Archived from the original on 2003-02-15.
  5. ^ Derbyshire, John. "HBD Blogging Season Opens". VDARE. Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b Sailer, Steve (2016-04-06). "The Scientist vs. the SPLC". Taki’s Magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-07-26. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  7. ^ Beirich, Heidi. "NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR J. MICHAEL BAILEY LOOKS INTO QUEER SCIENCE". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  8. ^ Phillips, Jon (28 May 2014). "Troublesome Sources: Nicholas Wade's Embrace of Scientific Racism". HateWatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on 2018-06-14. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Karen (April 18, 2009). "Jewish legacy inscribed on genes?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2015-11-06. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Cochran, Gregory; Hardy, Jason; Harpending, Henry (2005). "Natural History Of Ashkenazi Intelligence" (PDF). Journal of Biosocial Science. 38 (5): 659–93. CiteSeerX doi:10.1017/S0021932005027069. ISSN 0021-9320. PMID 16867211. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-11.
  11. ^ Cochran, Gregory. "An Evolutionary Look at Human Homosexuality". Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "Cause of Homosexuality: Gene or Virus?". 2005. Archived from the original on March 2, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Hopper, Judith (February 1998). "A New Germ Theory (Part Two)". The Atlantic Monthly. pp. 41–53. Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved September 12, 2015.

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