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Ashkenazi intelligence

Jew Ashkenazi have a lower intelligence than white people. Backman (1972) gives the following: IQ 91.3 for Non-verbal reasoning IQ 95.1 for Short term verbal memory IQ 107.8 for Verbal IQ 109.7 for Mathematical

Average IQ for Ashkenazi in United States is 100.975, according to the Backman series of tests.

The Ashkenazi intelligence article has been nominated for deletion again, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Race and intelligence (history)#One more? Ashkenazi intelligence (see also Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ashkenazi intelligence) and because that article was a derivative of the Ashkenazi Jews article, and contains important information directly relevant to this topic, it is being archived here for reference purposes, as of its 25 October 2007 version so that whatever is appropriate can be re-incorporated into the main Ashkenazi Jews article:

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Ashkenazi intelligence refers to the controversial theory purporting the general intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews, the Jews of Central and Eastern European origin who are the descendants of Jews who settled in the Rhineland beginning about the year 800 AD.

Psychometric Findings

Psychometrics research has found that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest mean score of any ethnic group on standardized tests of general intelligence, with estimates ranging from 7 to 17 points above the mean IQ of the general white population at 100, which ranges from 107 for Germany to 90 for Turkey according to Richard Lynn's estimates for 2006 [4]. These studies (see references) also indicate that this advantage is primarily in verbal and mathematical performance; spatial and visual-perceptual performance is average. However some statistic data on Israel, which has about 50% of Ashkenazi Jews in its population show that Israel achieves lower average IQ scores than countries of Europe or East Asia (IQ and the Wealth of Nations). (Israel 94, England 100, Hong Kong 107). Israel however is multicultural in nature, where Jews, Muslims (around 1/4 of population) and Christians reside. Besides being controversial, this work relies on existing studies "of questionable validity",[1] leading to results even the authors don't believe to be correct.[citation needed]

Source Sample sizes. Number of Ashkenazi Jews tested. Average IQ Ashkenazi Jews in USA and/or UK
Backman 1972 1236 107.8 verbal IQ
Backman in present study 150 107.5 crystallized IQ
Lynn Estimated 103.5 Ashkenazi Jews in Israel
Macdonald 1994 Suggested IQ 117
Storfer Suggested IQ 112
Shuey 1942 764 1.2 below non-Jewish whites
Bachman 1970 Lesser than 100 112.8
Herrnstein/Murray 1994 59 112.6

Cochran et al.

The 2005 study Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence[2] by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending at the University of Utah noted that European Jews were forbidden to work in many of the common jobs of the middle-ages from C.E. 800 to 1700, such as agriculture, and subsequently worked in high proportion in meritocratic jobs requiring higher intelligence, such as finance and trade, some of which were forbidden to non-Jews by the church. Those who performed better are known to have raised more children to adulthood, according to Cochran et al., passing on their genes in greater proportion than those who performed less successfully.[3]

Cochran et al. hypothesized that the eugenic pressure was strong enough that mutations creating higher intelligence when inherited from one parent but creating disease when inherited from both parents would still be selected for, which could explain the unusual pattern of genetic diseases found in the Ashkenazi population, such as Tay-Sachs, Gaucher's disease, Niemann-Pick disease, Mucolipidosis type IV, and other lipid storage disorders and sphingolipid diseases.[4] Some of these diseases (especially torsion dystonia) have been shown to correlate with high intelligence, and others are known to cause neurons to grow an increased number of connections to neighboring neurons.[5]

Reviews of the controversial paper have been both positive and negative, with critics claiming the argument to be far-fetched and unsupported by direct evidence.[4] Many genetically-isolated human groups have faced multifarious adaptive pressures one could cherry pick to justify presently exhibited group traits.[6]

Alternative explanations

  • Israeli Ashkenazi's scores may average lower than U.S. and British Ashkenazi, Lynn suggests, due to selective migration effects in relation to those countries, and to immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc countries having posed as Jews to escape poverty. It should be noted that its difficult to classify who is a "Jew" or "Ashkenazi" because of intermixing along family trees. The data isn't necessarily strong enough, however, to rule out identical scores for Ashkenazi across these nations (Malloy (2006)).
  • Jews settling in the Rhineland were from the beginning mostly money-lenders and merchants (as well as rabbis). A biological (hereditary) explanation for high Ashkenazi IQ may be that modern Ashkenazi Jews are descended mostly from the several thousand Jewish settlers that belonged to these traditionally high-IQ occupations. This self-selection may also explain why Ashkenazi Jews have significantly higher IQ scores than Mizrahi Jews. An environmental (cultural) explanation for high Ashkenazi IQ is that since it was forbidden for Christians to take interest and money-lending, Jews took the opportunity and developed into a relatively wealthy social group, which traditionally can afford higher education to their children. The extent to which intelligence is hereditary (determined by genes) remains a controversial subject.
  • Talent in the study of Torah traditionally contributed to one's social success in Jewish communities; those more lacking in the capacity for such study were perhaps more prone to assimilate into general culture, thereby raising the average intelligence of the given community. (Murray 2003, Shafran 2005)
  • Among the devout, daily study of the Talmud was required and respected. Those who left the fold of Orthodoxy replaced daily Torah study with rigorous secular scholarship.
  • The affluent tended to be more intelligent and fertile, as well as educated, propagating higher intelligence and a greater reverence for scholarship. A Torah scholar would often marry the daughter of an affluent merchant in exchange for the latter's extended financial support for the scholar's studies.
  • European Jews' history of persecution selected for high intelligence, leaving a positive effect on the hereditary component of their IQ.[7]
  • Persecution led Jews to embrace education as a transportable asset, to better adapt to novel surroundings.
  • Jews reached a population bottleneck in the 14th Century at the height of the Black Death when they were widely blamed for the plague. This small population allowed a few random genetic changes (genetic drift) to take root as they could not do so in a larger population that resists drift.

See also


  1. ^ Barnett, Susan M. and Williams, Wendy (2004). "National Intelligence and the Emperor's New Clothes". Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books. 49 (4): 389–396. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence
  3. ^ The Jews rarely married outside of their faith, creating a reproductively isolated population in which, in the statistical models of Cochran and his co-authors, this pressure would be able to influence gene frequency over nine centuries and 35 generations.
  4. ^ a b Wade, Nicholas. Researchers Say Intelligence and Diseases May Be Linked in Ashkenazic Genes, The New York Times, June 3, 2005. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  5. ^ Patients with torsion dystonia (relatively common in Ashkenazi Jews), for example, are reported to have an average IQ of 122.
  6. ^ An account of Gould's "just-so" stories critique, especially applicable to the Cochran's speculative sources of Ashkenazi intelligence.[1]
  7. ^ See the NYTimes coverage for more information.[2] Cochran et al. 2005 is forthcoming in Cambridge's Journal of Biosocial Science. [3]


  1. Cochran, G., Hardy, J., and Harpending, H. (2005). "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" (PDF). Journal of Biosocial Science (Forthcoming).
  2. Herrnstein, R.J. & Murray, C. (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press.
  3. Lynn, R. and Longley, D. (2006). "On the high intelligence and cognitive achievements of Jews in Britain." Intelligence, 34, 541-547.
  4. MacDonald, K. (1994). A People That Shall Dwell Alone. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  5. Murray, Charles (2003). Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950. HarperCollins.
  6. Storfer, M.D (1990). Intelligence and Giftedness: Contributions of an Early Environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

External links

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

in all objectivity, public opinion...

In all objectivity, some people proposed some theories which made it into publications that had a large audience. It doesn't matter how controversial those theories are and even if they turned out to be completely wrong and unfounded. Wikipedia seems against the practice of weeding out theories that aren't popular to appease sensitivities.

As a Jew, I say this

I am an Ashkenazi Jew, and I agree that to describe any ethnic group as more intelligent than another is, as said, pseudo-scientific racism. This article epitomizes such, and I fully condone its deletion. That is in hopes that such articles, or references to such, will never again be found on Wikipedia. This is an encyclopedia, not a breeding ground for biased theories which provided no credence to the advancement of any science.

"this article seems racist"

The evidence in this article just doesn't seem one hundred percent credible. I think the veracity of this page should be questioned for the sake of all parties, both those who read this article and those to whom it refers. The subject matter of this article may or may not be incorrect. Misinformation is very dangerous, and this article seems quite racist. Therefore I believe this this article should be flagged as disputed until the information within can be thoroughly proved.

I am proposing this page as a place for people who think that the subject of "Ashkenazi Jews" is about eugenics, racial theories, intelligence testing, IQ, and such. It obviously is an issue these days, but it is not really what the history and culture of over 8 million people is about. So lets have a topical page here about Ashkenazi Intelligence. You fold can write as much as you want here, because you really are on topic on this page. --Metzenberg 06:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This sounds like BS and will end up being fodder for anti-semites.

Deletion: Ashkenazi is a nebulous category, etc.

Recommned the deletion of this page, for a multitude of reasons: 1. The data relied upon is not valid due to small, non-representative sample sizes. The most valid and representative testing so far has shown that Jews have approximately 107 IQ, using a study that tested around 1,300 disporic Jews. (all other proceeding this study had less than a hundred)

2. Ashkenazi is a nebulous category. It's a mixture of religious and ethnic aspects.

3. It's far too narrow. Often I see people trying to compare large ethnic groups such as "white europeans" to Ashkenzaim. White europeans have an average IQ of about 100, but it ranges from low 90s in the case of Serbians to 107 in Germans and the Dutch. 107 is essentially the same IQ as the average Ashkenazim IQ. Additionally, several "east asian" ethnicities have higher IQs yet.

4. there is already a section in the ashkenazi section and someone seems to have the uncanning ability to slip usually invalid data about Ashkenazi intelligence into them.

5. The most pornounced differences occur only in disporic Ashkenazim, which itself is a problem. I don't believe anyone has ever studied groups such as "American born ethnic finnish methodists" which is essentially a category as equally narrow as the ashkenazim Jews used in these studies.

6. Due to number one, almost all the claims /correlations pointed to in this wiki are factually incorrect Ernham 22:10, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

According to this, Israeli ashkenazim IQ hardly seems to be higher then 103,5 (Israeli population: 20% of Arabs (average IQ 87), 40% of sephardim (average IQ about 88) and 40% of ashkenazim. 103,5 is less then Hong Kong average IQ score.--Igor "the Otter" 15:15, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Ashkenazi Jews/other European Ethnicties and east asians updates

Hello. This is generic message I will be placing on several IQ-related atricles that have touched on Ashkenazim Jew IQ. Much is being written/compared/correlated on wikipedia regarding ashekenazim, much of which is incorrect given most modern research regarding it.

The modern interpreation of Ashkenazim IQ is that Jews have slightly higher verbal and mathematical IQ than the average white population and the same or lower IQ in perceptual and spatial. The below letter, compiled with data and written by Richard Lynn, shows that the IQ of diasporic A. Jews just in Verbal IQ is approximately 107. Not only is this substantially lower than many other studies in the past that relied on flawed non-representative samples and had small sample sizes, but it is merely the verbal IQ. One of the main trends of the A.Jew IQ has been very high verbal, with everything else being at least somewhat lower than that, meaning that this data suggests that the IQ of A.Jews may actually be significantly to slightly lower yet. In any event, most assertions being made on wikipedia are completely offbase and needs to be re-written with the understanding of these more recent studies and extrapolations of the experts in IQ, such as Lynn. I'm writing this in hopes people will take it open themselves to clean up wikis related to Ashkenazim since I really don't want to go to the trouble of running down every wiki and editing it myself.

Lynn has also now compiled a list of European nations/ethnicities and their respective IQs. The Dutch, Germans, and Poles all have approximately the same IQ according to the data as A.Jews, which throws even more monkey wrenchs into the wikis I've been reading, ones that say things like Jews success in field X could be linked to higher IQ. If this were the case, their would be way more German, Dutch, and Polish Nobel laureates. This is just an example. Basically, A.Jews, according to the accepted and recent interpretations, slightly exceed several European ethnicities and are essentially the same as many others. Further, now that Lynn has taken the time to break down IQs by ethnicities, all wikis generally related to IQ should include the data if they cite Ashkenazi IQ in the wiki. It smacks of some kind of racism to only single out A.Jews as an ethnicity and not others when we have the data on others. this seems to be a repeated bias I see on IQ-related wikis.

It should also be noted that both Flynn and Lynn have found that when correcting for the FLynn-effect, the East Asian IQ advantage drops to statistically negligble or close to. Again, this is the recent findings and wikis should reflect such. In any event, here is the cite/info-filled letter.

Dr. Richard Lynn The Intelligence of American Jews Sat Feb 14 01:24:26 2004

The Intelligence of American Jews Dr. Richard Lynn University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Summary. This paper provides new data on the theory that Jews have a higher average level of verbal intelligence than non-Jewish whites. The theory is considered by examining the vocabulary scores of Jews, non-Jewish whites, blacks and others obtained in the American General Social Surveys carried out by the National Opinion Research Centre in the years 1990-1996. Vocabulary size is a good measure of verbal intelligence. Jews obtained a significantly higher mean vocabulary score than non-Jewish whites, equivalent to an IQ advantage of 7.5 IQ points. The results confirm previous reports that the verbal IQ of American Jews is higher than that of non-Jewish whites.


It has often been asserted that Jews have a higher average level of intelligence than non-Jewish whites of European origin. Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p.275) have written that "Whenever the subject of group differences comes up one of the questions sure to be asked is 'Are Jews really smarter than everyone else?' ” and their answer to this question is an affirmative. Eysenck (1995,p.159) asserted that "As far as Jews are concerned, there is no question that they score very highly on IQ tests". Levin (1997,p.132) has written that “in every society in which they have participated, Jews have eventually been recognised (and disliked for) their exceptional talent”. Seligman (1992, p.133) writes of "the extraordinarily high Jewish g levels”.

Despite these assertions, the purported high IQ of the Jews has never been systematically reviewed and is not even mentioned in recent textbooks on intelligence, such as those of Brody (1992) and Mackintosh (1998).

There have nevertheless been a number of studies of the intelligence of Jews in the United States. Among those who have discussed this question, there is a general consensus on two points. First, that Jews have a higher average IQ than gentile whites (this term is used for non-Jewish whites). Second, that Jews are stronger on verbal ability than on visualization and visual-spatial ability. Beyond this, there is a considerable range of conclusions. A review by MacDonald (1994,p.190) concludes that “taken together, the data suggest a mean IQ in the 117 range for Ashkenazi Jewish children, with a verbal IQ in the range of 125 and a performance IQ in the average range”. Storfer (1990,p.314) writes that “Jewish people, considered as a group, tend to excel in some cognitive domains – for example, verbal and numerical ability – but not in others, as witness their unexceptional performance on certain types of spatial or perceptual problems. Storfer concludes that American Jews have an average IQ of about 112 on the Stanford-Binet, largely a test of verbal ability.

Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p.275) reach a similar conclusion “A fair estimate seems to be that Jews in America and Britain have an overall IQ mean somewhere between a half and a full standard deviation above the mean, with the source of the difference concentrated in the verbal component” (1994, p.275). In the sample they analysed, Jews had an average IQ of 112.6 in relation to American whites on four verbal subtests (word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic and mathematics) of the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test). Their estimate of a Jewish advantage of between a half and a full standard deviation is equivalent to an IQ range of 7.5 to 15 IQ points. The estimates proposed by Storfer and Herrnstein and Murray are similar but much lower than that suggested by MacDonald (1994).

Despite the widespread consensus on the high Jewish verbal ability, not all studies have shown that Jews have a higher verbal IQ than gentiles. Furthermore, virtually all the existing studies are unsatisfactory because the samples have been unrepresentative, very small or for other reasons. An early study carried out in the mid-1920s of 702 Jewish and 1030 non-Jewish white 9-13 year olds tested with the Pintner-Cunningham test (a largely verbal test) by Hirsch (1926) found the Jewish children obtained a mean IQ only 1.5 IQ points higher than the gentiles. However, at this time a number of Jewish families spoke Yiddish as their first language and this would have handicapped the children to an unknown extent. A later study by Shuey (1942) of students entering Washington Square College in New York in 1935-7 tested with the American Council Psychological Examination, a test of verbal abilities (with subtests of completion, arithmetic, artificial language, analogies and opposites) found that 764 Jewish freshmen scored 1.2 IQ points below 236 non-Jewish whites. All the students were native born, possibly suggesting that the performance of the Jewish students was unlikely to have been depressed by unfamiliarity with the English language although some of these may still have been speaking Yiddish as their first language.

Furthermore, Jewish and gentile students at this college cannot be regarded as respresentative of their respective communities. A more recent study by Hennessy and Merrifield (1978) with an impressive sample size of 2,985 Jewish, gentile, black and Hispanic college bound high school seniors found a difference of less than 1 IQ point between Jews and gentiles on tests of verbal ability and reasoning but the sample may not have been representative of the populations.

Another problem with a number of the studies that have found that Jews have higher verbal IQs than gentiles is that several of them are based on very small sample sizes. For instance, Seligman (1990, p.130) writes that “Jewish verbal superiority appears unmatched in any other ethnic group. An often-quoted 1970 study performed by the Ann Arbor Institute for Social Research shows Jewish tenth-grade boys with an average verbal IQ equivalent of 112.8 (on the Stanford-Binet metric) about three quarters of a standard deviation above the average for non-Jewish white boys”. This is the Bachman (1970) study in which the number of Jewish boys was 65. In the Herrnstein and Murray (1994) data set in which Jews obtained a mean verbal IQ of 112.6, the sample size was 98 and was not drawn to be nationally representative. There is only one study of the intelligence of American Jews in the last half century which appears to be representative and had a reasonable sample size. This is Backman’s (1972) analysis of the data in Project Talent, a nationwide American survey of the abilities of 18 year olds carried out in 1960. The study had sample sizes of 1,236 Jews and 1,051 white gentiles (in addition to 488 blacks and 150 Orientals). IQs for six factors were calculated. The mean IQs of the Jews in relation to gentile white means of 100 and standard deviations of 15 were as follows: verbal knowledge (described as “a general factor, but primarily a measure of general information” and identifiable with Carroll’s (1993) gc or verbal comprehension factor - 107.8; English language – 99.5; mathematics – 109.7; visual reasoning (“a measure of reasoning with visual forms”) – 91.3; perceptual speed and accuracy – 102.2; memory (short term recall of verbal symbols) – 95.1. These results are consistent with the general consensus that Jews perform well on tests of verbal ability (although not of English language) and mathematics and less well on visual and spatial tests but the verbal IQ of 107.8 is towards the low end of the estimates of Jewish verbal ability suggested by Herrnstein and Murray of an IQ between 107.5 and 115. However, the differences in the IQs for the various abilities are so great as to raise doubts about the results.

The existing state of the research literature on the IQ of American Jews is therefore that some studies have shown that their verbal IQ is about the same as that of gentile whites while other studies have shown that it is considerably higher at 107.8 (Backman, 1972), 112.6 (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994) and 112.8 (Bachman, 1970). However, the last of two of these studies have sample sizes of fewer than 100. There is room for more data on the IQ of American Jews, and it is to the presentation of this that we now turn.


The American National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in Chicago carries out annual surveys on approximately 1,500 individuals in continental United States (ie. excluding Hawaii and Alaska). The samples are representative of the adult population of those aged 18 years and over except that they exclude those who cannot speak English and those resident in institutions such as prisons and hospitals. Full details of the sampling procedures are given by Davis and Smith (1996).

The NORC surveys collect a vast amount of information about the respondents' opinions on a variety of topics and also on their demographic characteristics such as their income, education, age, ethnic group, religion, etc.etc. The first items of information of particular interest to us are the respondents' religion and ethnic group. An analysis of these enables us to categorise the respondents as Jewish, non-Jewish white, black and other. The second item of interest is the respondents' score on a 10 word vocabulary test. Vocabulary is a good measure of both general intelligence and verbal intelligence. For instance, in the standardisation sample of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) the vocabulary subtest correlates .75 with the Full Scale IQ, more highly than any other subtest (Wechsler,1958) and the Full Scale IQ is widely regarded as a good measure of general intelligence or Spearman’s g (Jensen, 1998). We are therefore able to examine the vocabulary scores as a measure of the verbal and general intelligence of the four religious/ethnic groups.

As noted, the annual NORC surveys are carried out on approximately 1,500 individuals. A single year does not therefore provide many Jews. To rectify this problem we can take the results of a number of years and combine them. This gives rise to a further problem that the vocabulary test has not been administered in every annual survey. From 1990 onwards, the vocabulary test was given in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996. The data collected in these years are used to analyse the vocabulary scores of the four ethnic/racial groups.


The results are shown in Table 1. Reading from left to right, the columns show the numbers in the four groups, the mean vocabulary scores, standard deviations and conventional IQs based on a gentile white mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15. Thus, expressed in this way, the Jewish group obtains a mean IQ of 107.5, significantly higher than the gentile whites (t=5.82); the blacks obtain a mean IQ of 89.7, significantly lower than that of gentile whites (t=17.89); the “others” obtain a mean IQ of 98.6, not significantly different from that of gentile whites.

Table 1. Vocabulary scores and verbal IQs of American Jews, non-Jewish whites, blacks and others.

Ethnic Group N Mean Sd IQ Jews 150 7.32 2.16 107.5 Gentiles 5300 6.28 2.03 100.0 Blacks 806 4.96 1.94 89.7 Others 219 6.09 2.37 98.6


The results provide seven points of interest. First, they confirm the previous studies showing that American Jews have a higher average verbal intelligence level than non-Jewish whites. Second, the 7.5 IQ point Jewish advantage is rather less than that generally proposed and found in the studies reviewed in the introduction finding that Jews have verbal IQs in the range of 110-113 but is closely similar to the figure of 107.8 obtained in the Bachman study which is arguably the most satisfactory of the previous studies in terms of the size and representativeness of the sample.

Third, the present data has strengths in comparison with a number of previous studies in so far as they are based on a nationally representative and reasonably large sample size of 150 Jews and 5,300 gentile whites. The very close similarity between the present result and the Bachman result suggests that the best reading of the verbal IQ of American Jews is 107.5 (present study) or 107.8 (Bachman). These figures are well below previous estimates of Jewish verbal ability.

Four, an average verbal IQ of 107.5 would confer a considerable advantage for American Jews in obtaining success in professional work. There would be approximately four times as many Jews with IQs above 130, compared with gentile whites. This may provide a plausible explain for the 4.8 over-representation of Jews listed in American reference books of the successful such as Who’s Who, American Men and Women of Science, The Directory of Directors, The Directory of Medical Specialists and the like and calculated by Weyl (1989).

Five, the small difference of 1.4 IQ points between the non-Jewish whites and the “other” category is not statistically significant or very informative. The category is largely made up of Hispanics and Asians, which are themselves a heterogeneous category. Hispanics have mean IQs below whites (e.g. Herrnstein and Murray,1994), East Asians have about the same IQ as whites (Flynn, 1992) or slightly higher than whites (Lynn,1995), while South Asians have mean IQs lower than those of whites according to the calculations of Flynn (1992). Aggregating these groups produces a combined mean very close to that of non-Jewish whites.

Six, despite some three quarters of a century of research and quite a number of papers on the intelligence of American Jews there is still a lot of useful research to be done on this question. Probably the best approach would be to analyse Jewish abilities in terms of the construct of g and of the eight second order cognitive factors in the taxonomy of intelligence proposed by Carroll (1993) and the similar taxonomy advanced by McGrew and Flanagan (1998). These second order factors are fluid intelligence (reasoning), crystallized intelligence (verbal comprehension and knowledge), general memory and learning, visualization, broad retrieval ability, cognitive speed and processing speed. Probably all that can be concluded with a fair degree of confidence at present is that Jews have high crystallized intelligence (verbal ability) of which the vocabulary test used in the present study is a good measure and that on this ability their IQ in relation to gentile whites is approximately 107.5. The Backman (1972) provides IQs for several of the second order factors (given in the introduction to this paper) but these are so variable and in some instances so low as to raise doubts about their credibility. It is difficult to credit that the Jewish sample could have a non-verbal reasoning IQ of 91.3, and at the same time a mathematical IQ (“quantitative reasoning” in the McGrew and Flanagan taxonomy) of 109.7. It is also difficult to credit that the Jewish sample could have a verbal IQ of 107.8 while at the same time having a short term verbal memory IQ of 95.1. These results are in need of checking and replication. At present it is doubtful whether any conclusion can be reached about the intelligence of American Jews except that their verbal intelligence or, if this is preferred, their gc (crystallized intelligence) is about 107.5.

And here is a link to the list of White ethnicities IQs:,,2-2105519,00.html Ernham 03:37, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Some of the reasoning above seems artimetically off - 4 times as many Jews above as the goyim. First this is probably BS - ( a study I read say that Jews are barely even, but forget that ) I believe it should read 4 times as likely per 1000 population etc. But with such a small poplulation this would mean Jewish success must not be merit based - nepotism, money, power ( getting those research grants, etc). None of this leads to heaven.


please consider adding these references

also here's a link to Pinker, Steven. "The Lessons of the Ashkenazim: Groups and Genes." The New Republic, June 2006. The one you have seems to be just the introduction.

best regards, Sergei

rambling bullshit

A big part of this article is rumbling unintelligible BS that must be verified and wikified

Formalize Reclamations into Seperate Section

As an ashkenazi jew myself, I at first approached this article with the common fallacy of believing what I wanted to believe, that my people really were smarter than most. Hell, we've been calling ourselves the chosen people so long it gets easy to believe it sometimes. After reading the literature offered here, I must agree that the studies done were done badly and should be read with credulity. Although I don't think the page should be deleted (just as an article on Lamarck's model of evolution shouldn't be deleted just because it is unsupported by evidence), I do think the proclamations against the "evidence" should be formalized, wikified, and made prominent enough that the reader does not take the article as fact (but also doesn't have to wade through the abovementioned "rambling bullshit").

Can someone confirm or refute this statement, since 1900 have Nobel Lauretes been people identifying themselves as Ashkenazi Jews? Thank you Chas11098 05:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Chas110908

This is not scientific

"For example, although Ashkenazi Jews represent only about 0.25% of the world population, they make up 28% of Nobel prize winners in physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics, and have accounted for more than half of world chess champions.[5] In the United States, Ashkenazi Jews represent 2% of the population, but have won 40% of the US Nobel Prizes in science, and 25% of the ACM Turing Awards (the Nobel-equivalent in computer science). A significant decline in the number of Nobel prizes awarded to Europeans and a corresponding increase in the number of prizes awarded to US citizens occurred at the same time as Nazi persecutions of Jews drove them from Europe during the 1930s and the Holocaust reduced their number in Europe during the 1940s."

This whole paragraph makes me ashame. It's almost the only "evidence" (?) in the whole article to "prove" the hypothetical higher intelgence in Ashkenazis.

Well, it's easy to admit that there could had been many other factors than simple "inteligence" in order to select the actual Nobel prices, isn't it?

You can't base on the ammount of Nobel prizes to claim that Ashkenazis are more intelligent. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 25 December 2006.

Note that this IP's only other contribution (around the same time) has been to call Judaism a "ridiculous and racist religion". I reverted that edit, because it was accomanied by vandalism (removing others' discussion). - Jmabel | Talk 21:06, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
It's really weird to assume that the drop in Nobel prizes was just due to the Holocaust rather than Europe generally being devestated by Fascism and war. This whole article is pretty wtf. P4k 13:47, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Crit Section

It jumped out at me reading the article that the critique section contains an item that gives an intrawiki link on the word "verifiable" to a page about a tenuous, controversial thesis by none other than Charles Murray. I will delete the last item in the critiques section (which seems to also contain an original argument), unless I am asked not to. A statement as strong as "the giants of post renaissance science are gentiles from three countries" needs a lot more in support of it than the ramblings of a highly controversial and largely discredited figure like Murray. 13:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

The Criticism section should be considered for deletion. It is simply a subjective rant.

The first item cites "creativity, combined with motivation and capacity for sustained work" as a possible explanation for accomplishments in science. Then goes on to cite Einstein’s "physicist's intuition and a rare strength in imaginal thinking" as a reason for his accomplishments. Stating that some standard intelligence tests do not measure these features is criticism against some standardized tests, not the entire body of evidence supporting the phenomenon - which encompasses disproportionately high test scores, high achievement, and some genetic evidence. The difficulty in measuring imaginal intelligence is not evidence against its existence.

The second item states "that giants of post-Renaissance exact sciences are Gentiles coming mainly from three countries: Britain, Germany and France" (consequently after major Jewish expulsions from these countries), and that could not be a result of a "national intelligence". This argument is irrelevant. Ashkenazi Jews have never comprised a nation. They are a genetically isolated group of people - which are the exact subject of scientific inquiry. Jkrup4 19:08, 1 February 2007 (UTC)J. Krups 1 February 2007

On the contrary, deleting the criticism section would be extremely POV. 20:10, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The Role of Very Strict Intermarriage in "Jewish Intelligence"

Jews (particularly the Ashkenazim) have always shown a VERY strong aversion to outmarriage (i.e. until recent times they very rarely married and had kids with non-Jews) [5] (pg. 10) -- this is well known and documented in many sources. More could be said in this article about the role that strict intermarriage plays in Ashkenazi intelligence, because many believe that this has helped the Ashkenazim retain their strong mental/intellectual characteristics over time, the characteristics honed over many generations in the self-ghettoized shtetls of Eastern Europe. There are portions of the Talmud that states that if a partner is not available for a young woman, she is allowed to marry and have kids with her uncle so as not to marry outside of the ethno-religious community, the uncle/niece marriage sanctioned in the Old Testament. In fact, antisemitic accusations against Jews have at times accused them of semi-fanatical "inbreeding" in order to keep their bloodlines "pure" at all costs and to avoid breeding with non-Jews at all costs as well. Indeed, orthodox and highly traditional Jews today still "sit shiva" if and when one of their relatives marries outside of the ethnic/racial community; this basically means that they 'mourn' the person's death (even though they aren't really dead: they've just "married out").

There were/are also supposed "eugenic" practices where top Jewish scholars (usually top-notch yeshiva students/scholars, rabbis, Talmudists) would marry the daughters of rich Jews and produce MANY children (we're talking 8, 9, 10 or even more) since they had the means to support that many kids due to wealth of the female's father; this allowed the so-called "prime genes" of these top Jewish scholars/rabbis/Talmudists to be passed on much more so than the more "average" Jews in that particular community, thus hypothetically increasing these "good genes" over time in the overall Jewish gene pool. So, I think a bit more could be written here about the Jewish tendency NOT to intermarry with the populations they live amongst and it's role in facilitating Ashkenazi intelligence. -- 06:16, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Apparently, it was not at all uncommon (in fact, it was very common, even EXPECTED) for Ashkenazi Jews to marry and have children with their cousins even on in to modern times, since Ashkenazi Jews had such huge families (at least 5-6 children per woman, often more), and those people had many kids, and so forth. This left a large pool of closely related potential marriage partners and, since these extended families often lived near each other in the shtetls and Jewish ghettos, they would naturally gravitate toward marrying and having kids with each other (throughout history, neighbors often married each other in extremely tight-knit, closed-off communities).
For instance, even in 1919, Albert Einstein married his cousin Elsa Löwenthal...actually she was his 'double cousin' (Elsa was Albert's first cousin [maternally] and his second cousin [paternally]); in America this is stuff we joke about happening in West Virginia (a state thought to be very 'backwards,' i.e. cousins marrying cousins and other close relatives), but apparently this tradition of consanguineous [6] marriage (marriage to blood relatives) has a VERY LONG tradition in Jewish communities, particularly Ashkenazi ones. In fact, it seems that the Ashkenazi groups in Central/Eastern Europe were, for at least 1,000 years, VERY large extended families with high levels of endogamy (marriage within the kinship group), all living within the same general area/region. This seems to be where their intelligence springs from, even though it has, over time, narrowed the genetic diversity of the population and has been the springboard for certain diseases/disorders that are/were quite common amongst Ashkenazi Jews because of this inbreeding. -- 02:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Few questions

I have researched in the scientific literature data on cranial capacity for Ashkenazi to not avail. Does anyone have any information on that? (with the standard deviation). Also, I think it would be worthy to add the standard deviations for the averages presenteds, from the research I have seen the SD appears to be conflictual. Also, my second question would be, does anyone have any information on Sephardic Jews average IQ, with the standard deviation. While they supposedly represent 20% of the Jews or something such, still they do have an impressive contribution (according their list here on Wikipedia). Has there been an study on such ratio excluding IQ? Thanks. Fad (ix) 04:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Can we erase this bizarre article

Can we erease this freaky, quasi-racist article yet? It's very existence disproves its thesis. For goodness sake, Ashkenazi is a Jewish religious sub-category referring to Jews who practice the customs of the Rhema. Can somebody tell me how practicing the customs of the Rhema makes somebody more intelligent? Also, in Judaism if a Sephardi woman marries an Ashkenazi, she becomes Ashkenazi. Can anyone tell me how this marriage would spike her IQ. I think they are incorrectly using Ashkenazi to refer to all of European Jewry, then making wild racist claims. Shia1 08:55, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I came up with a better idea. Why don't we simply move this article to another name: Weird Zionist Race Theories that Embarass Sensible Jews. Shia1 08:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Agreed, this is disturbing. 18:33, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. An article on "African intelligence" would probably be viewed as racist, and this should be treated no differently. This page is based largely on IQ results. But the intelligence page says that "Intelligence, Intelligence quotient (IQ), and g are distinct. Intelligence is the term used in ordinary discourse to refer to cognitive ability. However, it is generally regarded as too imprecise to be useful for a scientific treatment of the subject." This page is also based on Ashkenazi success in areas that "presumably require high intelligence" -- but that's hardly scientific or reliable terminology. So this article definitely rubs me the wrong way, and I'd propose it either gets a new title and modified, or that we remove it entirely. Organ123 21:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. If there is any verifiable logically-consistent wiki-worthy component to this article (I see very little), it should be in the Ashkenazi jews article instead. 21:21, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Buldog123's musings

Richard Lynn estimated the Jewish verbal IQ to be 107.5, based on General Social Survey data. However, after looking at the data (it's available on the General Social Survey web applet), I've seen because the WORDSUM (as the IQ test is called) scores are not at all normally distributed, it's impossible to use them to make accurate estimates of group IQ. To show you what I mean, the following group means are based on WORDSUM GSS data from 1990 on, setting Americans, rather than whites, as the mean:

Graduate-degree holders - 110

Professional/technical workers - 108

College graduates - 107

Managers, administrators - 102

Blacks - 90

These are all much lower (and for blacks, much higher) than the actual means. Understating group differences is typical of left-skewed distributions like WORDSUM scores (to give you an idea of how left-skewed it is, more than 60% of test-takers score above average). Richard Lynn probably knows this but doesn't care. Bulldog123 13:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

There are many, many ways to make claims of a population if the data is not normal. It seems you have no idea what can be done with statistics when you have a large sample size. That said, where is your source with credentials to compete with one of the world's foremost experts on intelligence testing? Ernham 04:24, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Richard Lynn didn't. All he did was find the z-score of Jews and convert it to an IQ. He's purposely misrepresting the data--which isn't surprising, given that he's a Holocaust revisionist ( see, for example, ). Bulldog123 16:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Um, ok, I think nothing good can come out of a dialogue with you. You can take your personal "research findings" to your blog though, not wikipedia.Ernham 16:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Either all the IQ data collected in the last 50 years of the average IQs of different ethnic, occupational, and educational groups is wrong, or using the simple method of finding groups' z-scores on the GSS vocabulary test vocabulary test, whose scores are nowhere close to normally distributed, and converting them to IQ on a scale where the mean is 100 and the standard deviation 15, yields inaccurate results. Gee, I wonder which is more likely. Bulldog123 01:32, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
He states why most studies have been flawed. He is an expert; you are a nobody. Who should we believe?Ernham 02:34, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting that we change the article. I'm suggesting that anyone who trusts Lynn check out the data himself. The General Social Survey and Lynn's article are both online. Moreover, in a more recent paper by Lynn (On the high intelligence and cognitive achievements of Jews in Britain, Intelligence, Volume 34, Issue 6, November-December 2006, Pages 541-547, Richard Lynn and David Longley), he revises his old estimate of the IQ of Jewish Americans up to 109.5 (for overall, not merely verbal, IQ; "it is proposed that the best reading of the IQ of Jews in the United States is 109.5."). Bulldog123 15:30, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
What iwas the sample size and how did they determine "who was a jew"? These are some problems, among others, that plagued essentially all the previous studies because they "cherry picked" samples and often only had tiny sample sizes.Ernham 16:52, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Is spatial IQ really average? In the famous Backmann study, Jews scored only 91 on spatial, compared to 100 for non-Jewish whites. Cochran estimates that Ashkenazi Jews score a half standard deviation below non-Jewish whites on spatial tests - i.e., about 93. Bulldog123 05:10, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

no, it's really not.Ernham 04:19, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

so, this survived deletion, eh?

Looks like I'm going to have a busy spring break. I count no reasons to keep this versus the massive list of reasons why it should be delete. (ashkenazi are not even a valid ethnic group for study because of conversion)The vote was something like 20 for deletion, 15 against it, none of whom, I might add, supplied any valid reason for keeping it. Apparently "googling" something is a valid reason to some of them, however, a very odd litmus test; "jews suck" probably gets a lot of hits on google, too. The information is contentuous and redundant(it's mention in several other places). This wiki merely adds some silly anecdotal spin on the "facts" generally given in the other wikis. I had no idea anecdotes were what enclopedias dealt in. Silly me.Ernham 00:31, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleaned up Article

I shifted the large second paragraph into the sections of Expert Findings and Achievements, and turned the alternate explanations into bullet points (allowing me to make it more concise). I also did some minor revision, and added sources for IQ estimates. Ashernm 20:19, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Experts' estimates of the Jewish IQ

Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, in The Bell Curve, estimate the Jewish IQ to be a half to full standard deviation above the white mean--i.e., 107.5 to 115. They cited the book Intelligence and Giftedness: The Contributions of an Early Environment, by Miles D. Stofer. Storfer estimates it at 112.

Another person who has written about Jewish IQ, Kevin MacDonald, in The Culture of Critique, estimates it at 117 [7]. Law professor Richard Posner and psychometrician Arthur Jensen cite his estimate in their books.

Cochran and others, in their famous paper which made the New York Times and Economist, estimate it at 112 to 115. [8]

Richard Lynn, in his most recent paper on the topic, revised his estimate of the overall IQ of Jewish Americans to 109.5. [9]

The range of IQs as estimated by these experts is: (1) 107.5 to 115; (2) 112; (3) 117; (4) 112 to 115; (5) 109.5. As far as I know, no other experts have written extensively on the topic. Thus, the range of IQs as estimated by experts is 107.5 to 117. The average estimate, if we take the median of the ranges, is 112.7. Bulldog123 01:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

The fact you think you can just average the means supplied by a handful of disparate studies and come to any useful number really makes me question anything you say regarding stats/data. Almost every study done to date fails to provide valid sample sizes for a population comparison analysis(you can't "prove" anything statistically) and to make matters worse, next to none of them are representative sample sizes. It's not exactly the scientists fault; it's very, very hard to get a valid,representative diasporic A Jew IQ. It has yet to be done to date. Ernham 16:59, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

According to this, Israeli ashkenazim average IQ hardly seems to be higher then 103,5, more probably - about 100. (Israeli population: 20% of Arabs (average IQ 87), 40% of sephardim (average IQ about 88-91 according to different sources) and 40% of ashkenazim. 103,5 is less then Hong Kong average IQ score. So some statistics must be wrong - either Euro-American or Israeli. Why the same etnic group shows so different scores? --Igor "the Otter" 09:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

40% number is wrong. There are more then 50% ashkenazim in Israel, according to and So average ashkenazim IQ in Israel is even less then 100.--Igor "the Otter" 11:46, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Igor, it could be that the Ashkenazim who went to Israel had lower IQ's on average, or that Israeli fertility patterns are more dysgenic, or any number of reasons. The Israeli figure, even if correct, is not authoritative. I'm going to delete that paragraph from the article, because the calculations are somewhat unreliable.
Actually, the oberved phenomenon is for more intelligent persons to immigrate, whether it's a backwards or forwards immigration, as long as that immigration is by choice, which going to Israel would clearly be. There is nothing wrong with the "data" or the calculations either. Those are the numbers when you don't have a bogus cherry-picked Jewish sample like they try to use in the US/UK.Ernham 03:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
2 anonimus Please show me statistic data about Israeli IQ you consider more correct and authoritative then those of Richard Lynn which I've added, then delete my editings. Esle it looks like vandalism. If this article is only about non-Israeli ashkenazim intelligence, then this article must be renamed. I'm restoring my editing back. And please sign your posts. Also I'm adding link to Israeli population percentage.--Igor "the Otter" 18:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Original Research template & completely disputed

This article is not only founded on pseudo-scientific racism (hence completely disputed tag), it fails to respect the most basic guidelines of Wikipedia. First, WP:SOAPBOX, second WP:NOR, in particular WP:OR#SYNTHESIS which I will permit myself to quote:

Editors often make the mistake of thinking that if A is published by a reliable source, and B is published by a reliable source, then A and B can be joined together in an article in order to advance position C. However, this would be an example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, and as such it would constitute original research.

One article in one review by one controversed Gregory Cochran & al does not warrant a Wikipedia article. Now, to "clean up" of this article, since Wikipedia procedures have failed to delete it (this tells a lot about the editors of Wikipedia, who tends to conflate this with the blogosphere):

  • section "expert findings" is not unsourced, but the terms "expert" are laughable. How many more real scientifics debunk these silly claims (which, by claiming Askhenazi Jews are so smart, actually back-fires by backing up all anti-Semitic theories - but the authors of this article obviously haven't considered that if you can argue that "Askhenazi Jews" are so smart, you can also argue the same stuff that Hitler did).
  • "Statistic data on Israeli IQ" is irrelevant here (I thought we were talking about "general intelligence of Askhenazi Jews" whatever that pseudo-scientifical concept means. So now we are talking about "general intelligence of Israeli citizens"? I'm sure the non-Askhenazi Israeli citizens will enjoy that.
  • "Achievement". How great are the individuals whom the great Askhenazi "race" has managed to create! I fear that soon some Askhenazi will claim that Baruch Spinoza, a Marrano, was actually a "Moor", because of his "heretical" thoughts...
  • "Cochran et al." is actually the only "reference" of that article, but it fails to respect WP:RS and has yet to be confirmed by true scientifics.
  • "Alternative explanations" is a nice subsection on the specific opinions of contributors to this article.

This is a most desesperate article, which should be, at best, merged to Gregory Cochran since he is the only stumbling block of this sand castle. Good luck, and enjoy yourself editing, but please don't take out these tags until you merged, at minimum, that article to Cochran. Tazmaniacs 21:06, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this article needs a major overhaul, but there are more sources beyond the report highlighted in this article that have not been added, just do a google search. By the way, according to Wikipedia, Scientific racism is "label sometimes given to theories or arguments which suggest that scientific evidence shows significant evolutionary differences between races." First of all, articles on this type of research should not automatically get a dispute tag if it they are based on scientific sources. Secondly, the explanations for a higher Ashkenazi IQ are not necessarily "evolutionary" based, so again this does not fit. Again, feel free to clean this up, but this article (and Race and intelligence) have survived deletion attempts. Joshdboz 21:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
This article is just an embarrassment. How can people who clearly have such a poor grasp of science make any pronouncements about intelligence, anyway? It should be deleted, because while Wikipedia doesn't make judgments about the veracity of theories it describes, I don't think every crackpot theory needs to have a page, either. If it's not going to be deleted, then at least it should have a section refuting it that is thorough and definitive.QuizzicalBee 04:27, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Please add one. Joshdboz 20:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The article is based in part on the findings of psychologists, specifically psychometricians or intelligence experts. You can read the American Psychological Association's statement on the field and the validity of its tests generally here - . Alternatively, see the Snyderman and Rothman 1988 survey of experts in the field. Cochran has volunteered an explanation of the observed difference between Ashkenazim and other groups.

  • You are conflating facts and morals; the truth is irrelvant to what Hitler would do or say. You are effectively using the fallacy of 'guilty by association.'
  • To find a representative Ashkenazi IQ one would have to poll Ashkenazim from all over the world, including Israel, America, etc. Therefore, it's probably best to specify results by the country tested.
  • Spinoza was Sephardic, as in, originally from the Iberian peninsula. In other words, what the hell does heresy and Spinoza have to with Ashkenazi intelligence?
  • You are correct in your evaluation of the alternative explanations. I think they are worth deleting, but I'm not quite sure if that's appropiate with regard to Wikipedia's guidelines, so I leave it to someone else's discretion.
  • I agree that the article is too 'Cochran-centric,' but the subject has recieved sufficient attention that I think it merits preservation. The psychometric research has been consistent in finding a difference, though not in its specific magnitude.

Ashernm 04:14, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


I motion for the serious and thought out deletion of the article on the following grounds: 1. The group mentioned has highly ambiguous standards for classification. Also, racial purity is not guaranteed (It was mentioned above that a woman marrying in would automatically become one). 2. The article contains unsourced statements with special regard to statistics. 3. The article contains sections of editorial slant that hint towards the idea of Jewish racial superiority. Even though I am an Irish Catholic doesn't mean that I can just go and say that Irish Catholics are smarter than everyone else. Trust me, I would know. I hope that those of the Jewish faith would share the same persuasion. 4. The article itself seems to be a promotion of its topic. This violates NPOV rules. I just say that we delete this article and/or merge its essential content into a racial intelligence analysis page. Peace, Deepdesertfreman 04:17, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

All of these don't address the notability of the topic. 1 is true but irrelevant to whether we have sourced content on the topic. 2 is a problem, so if you see any please go throuhg and remove or tag such statements. 3- if there are any editorial slanting issues then by all means NPOV them. 4- I don't see at all. JoshuaZ 04:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

A poorly sourced article

Fundamental aspects of this article reside on a website that does not satisfactorily reference its own notions [10]. A primary source is provided on this website which is used to reinforce the author's sentiments -- but is stated to be unavailable. No effort has been made to restore that source, so its 'pardon-me' but "the relevant web-page is no longer available" is simply an insufficient excuse.

Quoting a segment of the author's notions on the homepage from the referenced website [4]-[11] -- "Although there are scores of websites currently on the Internet that purport to characterize the Jews and their impact on the world, nearly all of them are sponsored by groups whose ultimate objectives vis-à-vis the Jews range from defamation to outright elimination."

This is a partial and silly judgment. One can easily argue that the "scores" of "nearly all" such websites are matched by oppositional websites -- which might also have their own sponsoring. Essentially, this already casts a dubious light on the author's convictions.

On the same Web-page [12], the cited source [1] is stated to be from the 1997 CD-ROM "Encyclopedia Judaica." The next best reference I could find is the Jewish Encyclopedia website [13], which does not categorically, or vaguely, mention anything concerning "173 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize." There is a total result of 50 names when "Nobel Prizes" is inputed into the sites search engine. The author would of done well to of provided the names and references of these people. Instead, the the author has made an effort to provided 294 names of US Nobel Prize winners -- making no mention of those that are Jewish, of Jewish ancestry, or more importantly on the concern of this article, those that are of Ashkenazi Jewish origin.

Ultimately, the following statement is a poor one to purport as fact given these circumstances:

"Ashkenazi Jews have made disproportionately large contributions to intellectual pursuits. Though they are about 0.25% of the world's population, they comprise 28% of Nobel Prize winners(alongside Sephardi) in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Economics, and have accounted for more than half of world chess champions.[4][14]"

In regards to Ashkenazi Jews "accounting for more than half of world chess champions" -- please read the footnotes here, from the same website: [15]

The following text is taken from a portion of those footnotes. It is NOT evidence to support the above account: "Based on his surname, Kramnik is most probably of Jewish descent, but the extent of his Jewish background has been difficult to determine."

Nor is this: "Although Anatoly Karpov is generally described as being of pure Russian ethnicity, according to GM Lev Alburt, he is not without "some Jewish grandparents."

GM Lev Alburt does not explain his insight into Karpov's genetic line. These are opinions being purported as fact. The numbers are improperly generated, which consequently results in this part of the article as being nothing else than fallacious.

I doubt much of the surrounding text can hold itself together, either, which I will later look over. Brigand 05:44, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


I've extensively checked through a portion of this article and its links and explained a number of issues in detail. The partial deletion is justified as there is no rational reason for its existence given this analysis. Furthermore, no contention has been offered on why this section should remain. If one feels to revert the article to include the deleted text, then please offer your explanations as to why -- that should include your own analysis which presents a refutation. I've noticed this article has survived deletion due in part to statements such as "it seems to be well sourced" -- being seemingly well sourced is not enough if those sources are wholly inadequate.

Otherwise, reverting this section is allowing it to exist for the sakes of existing -- without solid evidence. Brigand 00:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Lynn data

According to the latest data: 2006. The highest IQ among Europeans is in Italy at 1002. I have corrected and updated the information.

See: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:55, 7 May 2007 (UTC).

Tay Sachs and Human Evolution:
      In case anyone is interested, and I can imagine one person, the gene that HEXA regulates(GMA2) has been found to be upregulated during human evolution(Page 8)([[16]]

check out this page too

Comment on "A poorly sourced article"

  • Although somewhat tangential to the discussion here, let me comment on Brigand's baseless allegations concerning the JINFO.ORG website. He first attacks our list of US Nobel Prize winners. This list is provided solely for the purpose of defining the larger group relative to which our statistics on American Jewish Nobel Prize winners were compiled. There are various ways of defining nationality; the Nobel Foundation uses citizenship at the time of award. A breakdown of Prize winners according to nationality is no longer provided on the Nobel Foundation website,, although the nationality of each recipient is indeed given: [17]. You can, therefore, go through's complete listing of Nobel Prize winners and compile your own list of American Nobel Prize winners, which we have done. We have simply made that list available for the benefit of anyone wanting it, or wanting to check our percentage calculations on American Jewish Nobel Prize winners. The webpage has nothing to do with "reinforcing [our] sentiments"; it is simply a straight-forward, objective compilation, using the definition of nationality employed by the Nobel Foundation.
  • Brigand then notes that the online Jewish Encyclopedia yields only fifty hits when searched for "Nobel Prizes" and "does not categorically, or vaguely, mention anything concerning '173 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize'." This is because the last time that encyclopedia was updated was in the early 1940s. As is clearly stated at the Jewish Encyclopedia website: [18]: "This online version contains the unedited contents of the original encyclopedia. Since the original work was completed almost 100 years ago, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.)." He then states: "the author would of [sic] done well to of [sic] provided the names and references of these people. Instead, the the [sic] author has made an effort to provided [sic] 294 names of US Nobel Prize winners -- making no mention of those that are Jewish, of Jewish ancestry, or more importantly on the concern of this article, those that are of Ashkenazi Jewish origin." How Brigand managed to find the link to US Nobel Prize winners, which is buried in the footnotes on [19] and is titled simply "US nationality," but nevertheless managed to miss the principal links on the webpage, which do indeed give lists of Jewish and half-Jewish Nobel Prize winners (with references), I will refrain from speculating upon. As we clearly state, the lists provide references for all names not found in the 1997 edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica.
  • Brigand then goes on to attack the Wikipedia article's statement concerning Jewish world chess champions by citing statements in one of our footnotes concerning Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik. We do not, and have never listed either Karpov or Kramnik on any of our lists of Jewish chess players. That footnote has nothing to do with the accuracy of the Wikipedia statement (since deleted by Brigand) concerning Jewish world chess champions. There are multiple published references for all of the world champions given in our "long list" of chess players: [20]. As for statistics on Nobel Prize Prize winners, the Encyclopaedia Judaica: Second Edition, published in January 2007, contains biographical entries on 168 Nobel Prize winners (as of 2005). Jinfo 03:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Stupid Article

Dear All

Several facts should be mentioned:

1. Ashkenazi Jews have different I.Q scores, even if from the very same ancestry and heritage, same genetics, and many times-from the same families, when they are living at different places over the world- for example: the children’s of a Jew who came from Poland to Israel have, in average, I.Q score of 103, while his counterpart children’s-or even his nephews, which live, for example, in the USA have an IQ score of 115.

2.Richard Feynman, had an I.Q score of 125, high when compared with average people-but very low for a world class physicist (actually one of the 10 greatest of all time)-many similar examples could be given easily.

3.Sephradi Jews, have great achievements as well- wining many scientific Nobel prizes, as well as major world class achievements at the financial field, cultural field and etc. More, the average IQ score of the Sephardic Jews that living in Europe is about 103 (same as the non-Jewish western Europe average IQ score-but with larger standard deviation) while their counter parts in Israel, again, many time their own family members, have an average IQ score of 90, about almost 1SD below their European citizens equivalence. More, many twins studies have shown that the IQ score is some how genetically determined –but more than 50% is dependended on the environment in which one living.

4.If it was only a matter of a simple I.Q test, which, from my point of view, can, at best, check simple common sense (i.e if one would take a class of 20 children he will get 20 different scores/solutions, but when he would sum it-he would see that he have answers for all of the questions-i.e there are no riddles which can estimate geniuses ), they can not predict, however, even if having great pretensions, creativity, special ability to solve extraordinary problems and etc.

5. the Jews of Israel, even if considered “stupid” regarding their average IQ score (about 93-96, as the average in many eastern European countries) – still had and have many great achievements: about 30 Israeli living scientists are prominent nominates for receiving the Nobel prize ( as was the late Yuval Neeman) – while many said that only the discrimination against Israel prevent them for receiving it ( their achievements are undeniable) –several Israeli scientists, however, did receive the Nobel even if with major hindrance. The Israeli hi-tech industry is Second only to this of the USA as said Bill Gates himself. The Israeli weapon industries are between the 3-5 world biggest and considering to be the most technological advanced . Israel is between the 20-25 most developed countries, it’s gross domestic product (per population) is between the 30 highest and that’s even though many investors prefer not to invest in Israel because of it’s political status-not to mention the Arabic boycott which only Israel suffer from (else it was between the 5, if not higher…).

6. Jewish great achievements were long before the exile- in all the fields and aspects of living: war theories, building , science, culture, spiritual achievements and etc. During the exile –any time and any place where emancipation was given (Rome (before people in Europe started to hate Jews) , Spain, western Europe, USA).

7. From the pure mathematical/statistical point of view, an average IQ score of 115 is honorable. but: a. there are few much larger populations (i.e. than the Jews)that having almost the same average but don’t having the same achievements (it's true, however, that for the Japanese which having an IQ average score of 110 and a 120,000,000 people population (9-10 times than the Jewish people), only in Japan, there is a kind of correlation between their average IQ score and their achievements- but this correlation is far from being r=1.0 (i.e. 100% correlation). b. if it was only a matter of IQ score, than the Jews should had great achievements only in comparison to their population size -but not in absolute measurements -i.e. the amount of Jewish great figures should be than less than 0.1, or even worse, than it is now.

And there are, also, more fundamental methodological problems, like that in the average of the Sephardic population of Israel, Ethiopians Jews, which are 8% of the sample, and unlike other Jewish groups, not from the Jewish genetic pool-and historically speaking, convert to Judaism only 600 years ago-were counted. The problem is that they have an IQ average of 78-because of coming from a non developed country (their younger generation have higher IQ average). More, the discrimination against Sephardic Jews-at the first decades of Israel-had it's own impact-and no one can deny that the IQ score, could be changed over time-as it was with Hungarian, Italian, Japanese and Jewish people which immigrate to USA at the beginning of the 20CE.The IQ score can tell if one is very stupid or if he is smarter than the average, but cant tell if one is an Einstein-it is a known fact for many. The IQ score just check more of the same, nothing else.--Gilisa 20:49, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

1. It may simply mean that the Ashkenazim of lower intelligence immigrate to Israel, and those of higher intelligence to the US.

2. Yes, there's no linear correlation between IQ scores above 120 and success/income, as far as I know.

3. Sephardic Jews may also be self-selected for talent and may also have experienced eugenic pressures similar to those of the Ashkenazi Jews - especially those who chose to stay in Europe after 1498.

4. Yes, intelligence is not the only thing necessary for success. It is, however, an important ingredient of success.

5. Israel's intellectual success has come mostly from the Ashkenazim. It's high tech sector is nowhere near being the world's second largest. It's per capita GDP is not extraordinary given the nation's average IQ.

6. "Jews before the exile" is a speculative notion. We do not know whether (or to what extent) modern Jews are descended from the Jews of ancient Israel. The cultural and intellectual achievements of ancient Israel are quite modest in comparison to that of her neighbors (Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and, particularly, Babylonians who played a major role in the creation of the Torah).

7. There are no ethnic groups, apart from Ashkenazi Jews, whose average IQ is anywhere close to 115. The Japanese IQ is around 107, I thought? As for the extremes of achievement (half of all the world's chess champions have at least one Jewish parent), it really depends not just on the average IQ (creativity quotient, etc.), but also on the standard deviation.

I'm opposed to deleting this article. The causes of the extremely high achievement of Ashkenazi Jews (compared to non-Jewish Europeans and to Mizrahi Jews) should be investigated and, hopefully, put to good use by society in the future. Let's hope this article encourages some young budding scientist to pursue this matter.

You didn’t gave any good answer, Ashkenazi Jews who immigrate to Israel mostly have very close relatives aboard-so how came they are "so different". Secondly-Israel is a world leading in many scientific fields- including math and physics. third, there is almost no different, today-between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews achievements and unlike you said- the Israeli hi-tech industry have a very similar percentage of Sephardic and Ashkenazi employees, actually- of about the 10 most successful Israeli Hi-Tec companies, 3 were established by Sephardic Jews- and the Sephardic Jews achievments are highly notable when compared to those of the Europeans if compared by the population size. More, I think that the Japanease average is about 110, even if it is "only" 107- they are 120 million and they should have much more smart people than Jews have-when it comes to sums. And, oh-geneticlly we are talking about very close related groups (Ashkenazi and Sepahrdic), and yes-we know it from many historical accounts and from many genetical studies that the Jews before the exile are the ancestors of the now living Jews- dont argue with that, really.- you really gave bad, unsupported answers, seriously-it allmost sounds racist.--Gilisa 11:11, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

marginally noted

Sephardic Jews do have about 11 nobel prizers and they are only 3 million peoples, and they did have a golden age through the middle ages and later, especially in spain when they were the scientific and the social elite. About 30% of the world Ashkenazi Jews are in Israel-so who come that they are "so diffferent", it's not them that are different-but the invalidity of the I.Q test through different places, your explanations have no sense at all.--Gilisa 04:25, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I just wanted to poke my head in to say that I am for deletion of this article as well, for all manner of reasons listed previously.--Shink X 05:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


Why, exactly, was this study met with almost great praise and circulated among such prominent outlets, such as the frontpage of New York magazine? Why has there been so little backlash against it? While granted, I don't think the study should be suppressed... I think it's appalling that it was featured in such prominent outlets, with such a positive reaction. Where do people get off on this? Why is nearly all other research into mental differences among "races" met with condemnation, yet this was applauded?

It's nothing short of scientific idecency, an outright assault on people's humanity that this was pumped around in the outlets like that. And again, WHY has there been such a lack of condemnation?

  • Because the subjects are Jews. Funkynusayri 19:32, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Funkynusayri, can you explain what you meant please? .--Gilisa 11:26, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Deleting this article

I find this article to be avery bad one- for many reasons, and I suggest that this article should be nominated for deletion.--Gilisa 11:28, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

could use a better source for Cochran criticism

One of our main anti-Cochran sources is an unpublished internet essay on a graduate-student's website. Surely there's a better source than that? --Delirium 05:30, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Thank you, IZAK 05:27, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Question on table

Does "nn" stand for "not known"? I'm confused by this -- can someone who knows more about this than I do fix this?

  • nn is sort of a generic numeric variable, and stands in for a place where a number is needed. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:54, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Achievement Section, Questionable

Couldn't it be argued or even proven that Ashkenazi-achievements are mainly due to self-promotion rather than superior ability? This is proven in the times Hitler removed Jews from positions of power and influence resulting in Germany going ahead in leaps and bounds regarding technologies and other advancements. I can't imagine anyone disagreeing on Hitler's Germany not being a great step in human discovery, even though there may have been doctrines that others found unacceptable. Druidictus 21:24, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Druidictus, take a look at the record - Hitler's Germany took a straight and rapid trip to the bottom. The engineering faets rested on advances made before the Nazis seized power.

Nepotism wouldn't be able to explain performance in cognitive ability tests or meritocratic measures such as the nobel prize.--Nectar 06:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
High average IQ could certainly lead to disproportionately high numbers of Nobel Prizes. And it is hard to imagine that "self-promotion" could be a factor in achieving high IQ scores. Wikismile 19:17, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Druidictus, do you know the phrase "To much ado about nothing"? thats Hittler and his "achievments". Did you know that Hittler at the begining of his time as "leader" forced Jews to work for his Germany? And if there is someone who worked for "self-promotion" is this German von Braun, working for Nazi Germany and NASA, and many other Germans who sudenlly turned from inthusiastic Nazis to Democrats. Hittler didnt do any good to Germany, what he did do, is that now being a German is humiliating, after the whole world has seen how easy it is to persuade Germans to become animals at the smell of meat, and make them jump as little dogs who bark to much. Besides, Hittler was a complete fool. Its not a big achievment to beat France, anybody can do that. But going against Russians? Only an idiot can do that. M.V.E.i. 17:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Ashkenazi Jews have been found to have essentially the same IQs as Germans and the Dutch. Iq can hardly be a direct proxy to such overwhelming achievement for such a small group, then, even though Germans too have been overrepresented in Nobel prize winning.Ernham 17:22, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Although assumed for many years - Jewish IQ superiority is largely a myth. A recent large study says average at best, but not the highest by far. Sticking together socially is far more important for econmic, etc results than IQ anyway. ( Would you rather have 10 more IQ points or be Bill Gates son, if you wanted to get rich?) Strong social/familial cohesiveness wins the game over the decades and generations. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11 December 2006.

Koestler, Khazars, etc.

If you have a problem with the contents of Koestler and Wexler's books, I'd suggest you articulate those objections in an impartial and scholarly manner inside the article. Of course, that also means you'll have to explain the ideas that are contained in those books. Putting a "disclaimer" above the books as you have done is not NPOV. If you can't keep your emotions or personal biases out of the article, maybe you shouldn't be editing it.

You are correct to ask for an explanation for such statements; I am happy to provide such an explanation. In regards to Arthur Koestler's 1976 book, The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage (Random House), I offer the following information. Most of the significant claims in his book have been throughly debunked by historians.
...Leon Wieseltier can only be commended for debunking Arthur Koestler's attempt to rehabilitate the long discredited theory of the non-Semitic origins of East European Jewry [NYR, October 28].
A glance at Koestler's intellectual meanderings and fluctuations across the past three decades can only lead one to conclude that his intentions this time around in The Thirteenth Tribe were not the advancement of knowledge but cruel mischief, unforgiveable attention seeking (considering the predictable Arab response already noted by Wieseltier). Koestler, therefore, deserves to be openly chastised for misusing his considerable intellectual talents and devoting them to such a peripheral theory bordering on fantastic speculation, a tangential issue in Jewish history even in its heyday a generation or so ago.
Professor Henry R. Huttenbach, Department of History, The City University of New York, New York City


Book review followed by point by poitn refutations

Errors in the Thirteenth Tribe, by Kevin Brook

[Kevin Brooks, a historian on this subject] writes in a Usenet newsgroup post:

From: Kevin Brook
Subject: Re: Khazars
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2001-12-17 16:43:19 PST
Many elements of Arthur Koestler's thesis were proven false, while a few others were proven true. Some of his false claims are:
  • His concept that German Jews did not migrate to eastern Europe in large numbers.
  • His claim that French and German Jews mostly died out in the Middle Ages.
  • His exaggerated population figures for Khazaria.
  • His claim that Crimean Karaites descend from Khazars.
  • His supposition, based on Gumplowitz and other Polish Jewish scholars, that certain Polish placenames were named after Khazars. Only in Hungary and Transylvania do we find placenames that actually come from Khazars.
  • His claim, based on Mieses, that an Austrian legend about Jewish princes was based on the Khazar rule of Hungary.
  • His claim, based on Poliak, that Ashkenazic shtetls were derived from Khazar village life.
  • His claim that Ashkenazic Jews have hardly any genetic or anthropological connections to the ancient Judeans.
The following book reviews of his "The Thirteenth Tribe" provide various opinions (Rosensweig, Wieseltier, Szyszman, and Majeski are highly critical of Koestler's book but sometimes their criticisms are illegitimate; by contrast, MacLean, Steiner, Cumming, Schechner, and some other reviewers were more positive):
Abramsky, Chimen. "The Khazar Myth." Jewish Chronicle (April 9, 1976).
Adams, P. L. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Atlantic 238 (September 1976): 97.
Anonymous. "Lost Empire: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Economist 259 (April 24, 1976): 121.
Blumstock, Robert. "Going Home: Arthur Koestler's Thirteenth Tribe." Jewish Social Studies 48:2 (1986): 93-104.
Brace, Keith. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Birmingham Post (1976).
Cameron, James. "Ask the Rabbi: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New Statesman 91 (April 9, 1976): 472.
Cumming, John. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Tablet (1976).
Du Boulay, F. R. H. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") London Times Educational Supplement (June 18, 1976).
Fox, Robin Lane. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Financial Times (1976).
Fuller, Edmund. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Wall Street Journal (1976).
Grossman, Edward. "Koestler's Jewish Problem: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Commentary 62 (December 1976): 59-64.
Kanen, R. A. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Library Journal 101 (August 1976): 1632.
Kirsch, Robert. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Los Angeles Times (1976).
Klausner, Carla L. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Kansas City Times and Star (September 12, 1976).
Maccoby, Hyam. "The Khazars and the Jews: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." The Listener 95 (April 8, 1976): 450.
MacLean, Fitzroy. "Shalom Yisrah: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New York Times Book Review (August 29, 1976): 4.
Majeski, Jane. "Chutzpah: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." National Review 27 (November 12, 1976): 1248-1249.
Mason, Philip. "The Birth of the Jews? The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Spectator 236 (April 10, 1976): 19.
Meyer, Karl E. "Conversion in Khazaria: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Saturday Review 3 (August 21, 1976): 40.
Raphael, Chaim. "Chosen Peoples: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Times Literary Supplement (June 11, 1976): 696.
Rosensweig, Bernard. "The Thirteenth Tribe, the Khazars and the Origins of East European Jewry." Tradition 16:5 (Fall 1977):139-162.
Salamone, V. A. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Best Sellers 36 (November 1976): 262.
Schechner, Mark. "All the Difference in the World: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Nation 223:17 (November 20, 1976): 535-536.
Sheppard, R. Z. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Time 108 (August 23, 1976): 60.
Sokolov, Raymond. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Newsweek. 1976.
Steiner, George. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Sunday Times (April 6, 1976).
Szyszman, Simon. "La question des Khazars essai de mise au point." Jewish Quarterly Review 73:2 (October 1982): 189-202.
Toynbee, Philip. "Who Are the Jews? The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." London: Observer (April 4, 1976): 27.
Wieseltier, Leon. "You Don't Have to Be Khazarian: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New York Review of Books (October 28, 1976): 33-36.
(Author?) (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") New Yorker 52 (September 20, 1976): 145.

I don't think there is a strong enough argument here to delete all reference to Koestler's book. I'm about halfway through The Thirteenth Tribe and I find it far from rambling, incoherent, or whatever other ad hominems his distractors have hurled at the work. As the reviewers above (for the most part) have done, there is scholarly discussion to be had, but to just dismiss this important work because Kevin Brook and several others don't like it is not what Wikipedia is about IMHO. I'm adding the reference back in the article. 18:18, 10 June 2007 (UTC)Alan

Moved from Article


I moved this from the article after hearing that it was it at least rewritten carefully citing an actual study, metrics and particulars of any study -- if not simply removed.

Ashkenazic Jews are the group with the best results in intelligence testing.
Their contribution to many areas of cultural achievements (for example: philosophy, physics, mathematics, chemistry, music, psychology, biology, medicine) far exceeds their proportion in the general population.
Please refer to race and intelligence for a theory of the coincidence of higher IQ and neurological disease in Ashkenazi Jews.

Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 04:00, Apr 18, 2004 (UTC)

Hi Bcorr, you are correct that this description is very sketchy. It's an echo of the material on race and intelligence, which seems to have come mainly from Greg Cochran's article on Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor page. Greg Cochran is an evolutionary biologist with an interest in neurology, as evidenced from PubMed. This article, "How the Ashkenazi Got Their Smarts", circulates in various blogs and other resources, and never does he quote a peer-reviewed article. Perhaps most can be gained by contacting him, (he works at Amherst College, MA, dept of biology). I've been unable to figure out his email address - perhaps you have ways. At any rate, this is not the first time I've heard an evolutionary biologist make rather off-the-hand remarks that turn out to be wild speculation. JFW | T@lk 16:01, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have seen repeatedly that Cochran works (worked?) at Amherst. I have neither seen nor found any evidence that this is factual, and cannot find out who he is other than the Pournelle page. (anon, 19 July 2005)

That's just from PubMed. I'm not even sure if he officially works in Utah. JFW | T@lk 17:52, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I have his email address if you still want it, JFW.--Nectarflowed T 20:08, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

So do I. His domain doesn't give away his present position, and I'm in no rush to ask him. JFW | T@lk 21:53, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


Has anyone else actually read the massive material recently added to the article? It is a lengthy tract claiming that the Ashkenazi are not descended from the Biblical Jews. As far as I know, this is very much a minority opinion, as inappropriate as an earlier article that claimed that the Pashtoon are descended from the Biblical Jews. I suggest reversion to User:Esparkhu's version of 10:39, Nov 26, 2004. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:20, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)

It's mostly Khazaria nonsense; the cites given (for example Brooks) don't come to the conclusions the author of this article has. While the information about Khazar Jews may be accurate to a degree (if outdated), the claim that Ashkenazi Jews and Khazars are the same is simply not true. Genetic and linguistic evidence indicates that Ashkenazi Jews descended from Jews living in the Roman empire, and particularly the Italian regions, who migrated northwards from there to Germany, where Yiddish began to develop, and from there eastwards to Poland, Hungary, Ukraine etc. It is possible that Khazar Jews make up some of the ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews, but it is a minority at most, and that connection is itself still unproven. As Brooks himself concludes "Are all Jews around the world descended from the Khazars? Certainly not. East European Jewish ancestry originates substantially from ancient Judea, and the same is true of most other modern Jewish populations (with the exception of groups like Libyan Jews and Ethiopian Jews). But, it is rational to conclude that some Jews also have some Khazar ancestors." Jayjg 02:30, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Also, in Polish history it is noted that at the moment Poles came into contact with the Khazars, there were already Jews in Poland - and these groups were considered completely distinct, both by the outside world and by themselves. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 02:44, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)
While I'm the farthest thing from an expert on the subject, I do find the "Ashkenazi = Khazars" claim to be rather contrary, if not completely antic. Also, couldn't we do better than quoting large, repetitious chunks of fourteen(!) other encyclopedias? They may just qualify as fair use (no more than 10%, etc), but I don't like the way they comprise the bulk of the history section. The hodgepodge reminds me of a lazy college student's essay. It'd be best to excise the quotes and (if possible or necessary) rewrite the data, or simply summarize. In my opinion, of course. -- Hadal 04:06, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • User:Jmabel's judgment is correct, too much speculative and hypothetical nonsense was added to the article, and so I have joined Jmabel's advice to revert and have done so. Thank you. IZAK 05:00, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Be warned about genetic studies that are interpreted as demonstrating that Askenazim are descended in large part from ancient Middle Eastern Jews. The studies are simply not capable of supporting any very firm conclusion, and interpretations usually rest on what the investigators believe anyway. Since historians do not usually know much genetics, nor geneticists much history, there is a danger that each group will uncritically accept the other's beliefs. As far as descent from the Khazars is concerned, one would need to know what their genetic markers looked like, and we don't. Furthermore, there is no genetic signature that distinguishes Jews from all other populations. Rejection of the Khazar idea is usually about as arbitrary as its acceptance; more information is needed, but we won't get it if everybody thinks the question is answered - or should never be asked.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

you feeble minded, those genetic test dont tell the whole truth! Those genetic test ALSO say that ashkenazi are VERY closely related to Khoisen africans.....

Genetic tests don't connect modern Jews to ancient Israel. They connect them to each other - slightly. There is no genetic test that can bridge unknown history or is related to soil tests. The group we call Jews today may, or may not, be the Jews of Israel. For all we know the Palestinians may be the Jews - actually more likely to carry David's blood than anyone else. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11 December 2006.

The genetic studies that I have read about are really not reliable. The sample size tends to be under a hundred, when the actual population is many millions of people. It's impossible to generalize on such a massive population with such a minuscule sample size with any degree or illusion of accuracy and to do so is junk science and poor methodology. By having these papers quoted as "absolute evidence" (which they aren't!) of a certain genetic marker (such as 8,000,000 Jews coming from four women) we are in essence submitting to the use of junk science. This isn't even the way that the people doing the tests wanted us to use their results, likely. Until we have the technology to test millions of people's genetic markers, there is absolutely no way we can figure out "where a large ethnic group" comes from, whether it is homogeneous or heterogeneous or any other piece of information, really. LCastus 07:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The Behar study (the four Ashkenazi mothers) was about 640 individuals and used 14 markers. That's the first reasonable size study. The cost of sequencing is going down rapidly. Of course, one thing about studying Ashkenazi Jews is, it's not like studying Finns, where you go to Finland and find people who speak Finnish. The researchers actually choose their sample (i.e., they decide who is an Ashkenazi Jew), which means that any notion of statistical validity is out the window. I agree with you that a lot of the earlier studies of other populations (done in the 1990s) are really bogus. For example, the study of the Ethiopian Jews that everybody puts so much weight on had, I think, 38 individuals. I originally added that material, and when I did so, I added a paragraph that said frankly exactly what you are saying here, about the questionable statistical validity. Of course, that paragraph was my synthesis, and somebody else insisted that it be removed, which was the correct thing to do in this case. I do think 640 individuals is enough to say with some accuracy that there were a lot of them with Middle Eastern origin. Don't forget that haplotye analysis increases in validity and accuracy over time, as new markers are identified and can be applied to old studies. --Metzenberg 16:43, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


I'd love to see a history section. I could make a try, if nobody disagrees.--Wiglaf 16:17, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

A history of what, Ashkenazi Jews? Jayjg | (Talk) 19:19, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yes, a short one about their immigration to the Rhineland and later migrations to Eastern Europe as well as a summary of Jews in East European history. But, that is just me, and I won't insist on such a section.--Wiglaf 23:07, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It seems reasonable to me, though there are other articles dealing with Jewish history. Ashkenazi specific stuff would make sense here. Jayjg | (Talk) 01:19, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Jay, do you know if general paths of Jewish migration are already covered somewhere? -- Jmabel | Talk 06:23, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)
I don't recall an article on it, I'll try to look for one tomorrow. Jayjg | (Talk) 06:32, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've been doing some reading on this lately. If we don't already have something, I'll try to help. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:04, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)
The closest I can find is History of the Jews in Germany. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, Wikipedia is huge. Jayjg | (Talk) 01:06, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I've found a source that is very informative on the various migrations since about 1650 (and especially since the 19th century), how the Jews fit the various societies, how some countries might be best understood as containing multiple Jewries, of the splits between Orthodox and modernizing tendencies, etc. Unfortunately, I have been able to borrow it only briefly. Someone is strongly encouraged to track down a copy and mine it heavily; with any luck I might be able to borrow it some other time myself. It is:

  • Riff, Michael, The Face of Survival: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Past and Present with personal memoirs by Hugo Gryn, Stephen Roth, Ben Helfgott and Hermy Jankel; epilogue by Rabbi Moses Rosen. Valentine Mitchell, London, 1992, ISBN 0853032203.

I read it this weekend & took a lot of notes. Not as detailed as I hoped, but very suggestive. I've found material to add to a lot of articles. I'll add to various places over the next few weeks. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:09, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)

The Riff book has a lot of good detail, especially post-1850, but that isn't where the story should start. Some points that should make it into the article:

  1. During and after the Chmielnicki Uprising (1648–1654) tens of thousands of Jews were killed. Prior to that, there were some 200,000 Jews in Poland. This triggered the first of many waves of migration out of that area. Probably half of the Jews either were killed or left.
  2. Another major migration in 2nd half of 18th century triggered by Poland's political decline.
  3. Because of this and other migrations over the next 250 years, many areas of East Central Europe had growing populations of Jews, often with Galician roots. In areas where the economy was largely rural and undeveloped -- Northeastern Slovakia, Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia, parts of Transylvania -- they often became intermediaries (peddlers, even lessors or managers of noble estates). Also, many Jew migrated to the cities, where a lot became involved in commerce and industry. Transylvania & Sub-Carpatathia developed density of Jews comparable to Galicia. Moldova (where they were about 20%) similarly.
  4. Urbanization: Jews from Prussian Poland mostly went to Berlin and Breslau. "By the turn of the century over a third of the Jews in Bohemia (92,746) lived in Prague and its immediate environs, while nearly a quarter of those in Moravia lived in Brno." [Riff, p. 31]
  5. By the time of the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, Jews constituted a very large proportion of the middle class in East Central Europe. During late A-H Empire, middle mgt & bureaucracy., + banking, retail, and "the free professions". As a result, as national elites grew and were competing for middle-class role, it was Jews they were competing with.
  6. Assimilation and acculturation took many different directions. In Hungarian-ruled areas, even most Orthodox learned Hungarians and saw themselves as "Magyars of the Hebrew persuasion". Similarly, in Austrian-ruled Bohemia and Moravia, Jews were acculturated as Germans, but after independence learned Czech. Similar in lesser degree elsewhere, even at times Poland.
  7. The Kresy (part of Russian Empire: Polish Lithuania-Belarus & Volynia): ethnically diverse, politically backward. Relative lack of anti-semitism. Shtetls intact, Jews were about half (or even more) of the larger towns. Acculturation was toward Russians, and not much of it at that, because the towns were more Jewish than Russian.
  8. Important social splits: Orthodox, Hasids, (post 1890s) Zionists of various persuasions, Folkists (nationalist, like the Zionists, but wanting to remain geographically where they were), various religious reform movements, esp. the Neolog in Hungarian areas, Bundists and other socialists, I'm sure things are missing from this list.
  9. Important geographical issues: Can't be neatly divided by country, and besides, borders moved. Speaking of Poland c. 1900, Riff (p.30) writes that it had "Not one Jewry, but several" in different parts of the country.


Should there be an explanation of how to pronounce the term? Yes, I know, Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but at least The World Book Encyclopedia puts pronunciations at the top of many of its articles, and I'm guessing a lot of readers would see the "nazi" in the name, try to pronounce it "not-see" to sound like the name of one of the major ideologies opposing Judaism, and imagine allegations of Nazi-Ashkenazi collaboration or compare Zionism to Nazism. --Damian Yerrick 00:45, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Go for it. We sometimes do that, especially on foreign words (see SAMPA and ISA for modes of phonetic spelling; probably give both), and I have heard this one innocently mispronounced. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:17, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)
I'm adding the pronunciation: [ˌaʃkəˈnazi] (not with [ʦ] as in Nazi). --Damian Yerrick 04:35, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

absolute pitch?

The following was added anonymously and without citation to the "medicine" section: "However, an interesting note is that there is a relatively high occurence of absolute pitch in Ashkenazim." I've brought that over here pending citation. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:39, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

  • Here's some possibly relevant material, but it seems more to mention that this is believed possible rather than known to be true: [22]. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:17, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)


"Many studies report Ashkenazim to have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group, with the most pronounced gains in tests of verbal ability."

This is errenous. The Japanese are the world smartest people with an IQ of 111. The Ashkenazim in the United States have an IQ of 115 but elsewhere they do not. The Ashkenazim in Israel for example score on average 100. (User:Egud 7 May 2005)

I believe there is the possibility of an incongruity. In particular, the article on the wealth of nations and IQ gives a substantially different number. Frankly, most of the research is pretty loaded. It is quite possible that bad science was being done: it certainly was in the case of the wealth of nations/iq book. Danielfong 02:46, 6 August 2005 (UTC) Danielfong 02:46, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

The data regarding average IQs of ethnic groups is better for U.S. groups than groups in other countries. What's disputed regarding the U.S. data is the interpretation of it, i.e., what is the source of the disparity (partially genetic, the most common response from experts, or 100% environmental).--Nectarflowed T 05:42, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Everyone is "the world's smartest" in their own IQ tests. If I made an IQ test here and now, and got 100% right, would I be the world's smartest? Also, intelligence isn't simply mathematical or verbal reasoning. It's much more. Therefore it's wrong to say group X is the smartest due to having the highest IQ. Not to mention that the Soviets were the world's best in many thing in their own Olympics. They weren't in other countries' Olympics. -- 01:40, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

You're absolutely right, and that's why the article doesn't say that Ashkenazim are the "smartest" because they have the highest average IQ. All that it says is that "According to many studies, Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average intelligence of any ethnic group as measured by IQ", something which can be empirically measured and quantified. Any claims of of Askhenazim being "better" or "smarter" are only personal interpretations not supported by that data, and most importantly, not made in the article. Yid613 04:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
All claims must be verified. Michael 06:57, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

This whole section on IQ needs to be gutted and re-written without on the racist nonsense. I'll do so as soon as i have time, using the recent largest moss representative, thus valid, study ever done on Ashkenazi IQ by Bachman/Lynn.

I absolutely agree. The whole "achievement" section is racist and has no place in wikipedia.

Some studies say the Jews have a high IQ - of course other studies say they have an average or low IQ. A racist section in wiki? But if it doesn't say Jews are superior then it will be called anti-Semitic, get your high IQ guys working on that problem. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11 December 2006.

The section is not racist. It merely states a sourced fact: Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ in the world. It doesn't say Jews are better or worse than others or smarter because being smart isn't just about IQ. Just because it pisses off somebody, doesn't mean we shouldn't mention it.
However, I do remember some articles showing that Jews aren't with the highest IQ but with one of the highest so, I suppose to be on the safe side, we can say that "Ashkenazi Jews have one of the highest IQ score in the world".
Northern 07:22, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Cochran study

I'm not sure that citing Cochrane is "original research", isn't it rather reporting the (controversial) research of these authors? Furthermore, the reversion by Jdwolff reverted all of the objective information about IQ testing (citations of other studies) which have nothing to do with Cochran at all. Also he removed the Nobel prize information, again an objective fact, not related to Cochran per se. Kaisershatner 17:27, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the study of Cochrane and the rest of the University of Utah team is being published in the Journal of Biosocial Science. The study is not any more controversial than any other intelligence research on ethnicity and is being[expected to be] followed up with further studies.--Nectarflowed T 00:40, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

At the moment, the paragraph gives immense credit to Cochran, who is just a clever loudmouth and has pushed for his research to be published in The Economist before it had even reached the professional literature and been exposed to peer review, expert commentary and the inevitable letters to the editor.

The paragraph should take the following form:

  • Reliable statistical source that Ashkenazim are in the world's top percentiles of IQ.
  • Examples (e.g. ACM prizewinners)
  • Theories
    • Conventional theories
    • Radical theories, e.g. Cochran and his lot.

Of course this paragraph is very easily misunderstood, and if not written properly will lend credence to anti-Semites (look, the Jews are just so @#^(*# clever, you can never win while they move to dominate the world, better kill 'em off etc etc). JFW | T@lk 10:39, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Just for fun, look at this. The blog exposure to Cochran's speculative theories has been quite stunning. Long live PageRank. JFW | T@lk 10:46, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have now rewritten the paragraph in a way that does not make Cochran and his lot look like they've invented the concept. I have also offered an alternative theory, which I have been unable to source but should definitely be mentioned. I must say that employment in "finance and trade" as insisted by Greg is rather stereotypical. Most Jews in 17th-20th century Poland and Russia were farmers and craftspeople; they were also very poor. JFW | T@lk 10:58, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Cochran himself mentions other theories, some of which he suggests are possible, and one is somewhat related to your theory. I'm uncomfortable with providing theories without citation, it smacks of original research. Jayjg (talk) 22:19, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nectarflowed, I don't think we should use footnotes to link to other Wikipedia articles. This is really a novelty. Otherwise, you have done very well in rewriting my dabbling. JFW | T@lk 06:32, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but I do think in this case footnotes may be a good choice. Simply referencing the same sources that race and intelligence references, such as Snyderman, M., & Rothman, S. (1987). Survey of expert opinion on intelligence and aptitude testing. American Psychologist, 42, 137–144), but not dealing with the statements and their surrounding issues and objections in depth, as 'race and intelligence' does, would not give readers the same level of verifiability.--Nectarflowed T 21:15, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm just saying it has no precendent, and more conventional approaches would be better. JFW | T@lk 18:44, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A Haredi reaction to Greg. I will condense this later. JFW | T@lk 06:40, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nectarflowed, can we please condense the section on Cochran. This bloke is really getting more attention than he deserves. Some snippets of information do not need to be here. Wikipedia has already done its share to promote this guy's work. JFW | T@lk 4 July 2005 06:50 (UTC)

Done. Does it look better?--Nectarflowed T 4 July 2005 08:02 (UTC)

I've made some additions. Some of the criticisms from the NY Times article deserve direct mention. In retrospect I think Charles Murray was a good source to quote - he got controversional for suggesting very similar things in the Bell Curve. If we cover Greg so verbosely we may as well document the response from the research community. JFW | T@lk 4 July 2005 12:34 (UTC)

PS The Economist article does not add anything, so I've removed that link.

someone please read and act on the content.
in more general terms - in recent years there have been several attempts at racist "science", be it the bell curve study, goldhagen's book on the germans or this asinine attempt at reverse prejudice.
now, the society in which being racist is so politically incorrect as to cause instant mortification JUMPS at those studies and embraces half-baked pseudo-scientific theories as facts - even incorporating said theories into encyclopedias BEFORE they are published in any journal. it's worth noting that the journal that agreed to publish the article in question only struck the word eugenics from its title in 1968. --Snottily 21:39, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
We have read that article (listed at the top of this talk page). It's not an especially well written article, interesting as it is, so I don't think we should necessarily take at face value any positions it takes. The current scientific race and intelligence debate has been going on off and on over the last 30 years. It's a minority scientific opinion that a study becomes pseudoscience if its results are considered undesireable.--Nectar T 23:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

There is an article here in Wikipedia about Gregory Cochran, apparently written by one of the members of his cult. The entire Cochran section should be moved there and referenced from here. Including it here, in a relatively incomplete article on Ashkenazi Jewry, makes it seem vastly more important than it really is. It is a minor piece of research, virtually all theory with no empirical science, by two authors who are neither geneticists nor historians. Metzenberg 6 April 2006 (UTC)


This is wrong fact, that Ashkenazi Jews came Europe through Khazaria Khaganate, first Jews came to Germany in 1600s, Jews were pushed eastwards after decline of Khazaria - they played important role in Poland early history and in Hungarian history. So, you have to correct your text.

That is a theory. It gets mention in the article. There were Jews in Germany well before the 1600s. You have to correct your grammar. JFW | T@lk 20:33, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
In addition to the DNA evidence, there is overwhelming linguistic and historical evidence that the Ashkenazi Jews originated in the Middle East and arrived in northwestern Europe, before moving eastwards. The Khazar theory has popular with a few Jewish writers in the middle of the 20th century, when many Jews wanted to disassociate themselves from Germany. More recently, it has been taken up by various anti-Zionist groups because it suggests that modern Jewish ancestry is not Middle Eastern. However, this theory has no mainstream support among historians, or in linguistics or human genetics.

Who "were" they before the 10th Century????

This article seems incomplete in that it states that Ashkenazi origins go back to the 10th Century in Central/Eastern Europe. Were their ancestors from previous centuries Pagan Europeans who converted to Judaism and/or intermarried into small Diaspora Jewish communities in Central/Eastern Europe? Would this intermarriage/conversion explain the significant population growth of European Jews up towards the Industrial Revolution and onward before the Holocaust of WWII?

Ashenazic Jews are most closely related to Roman Jews, and the intermarriage ratw was quite low, 0.5% per generation. See: [23]. Jayjg (talk) 19:02, 17 August 2005 (UTC) Your source does not support your claim - it is very important to look at the data, rather than the claim made by the title or abstract. As is typical of investigations of Jewish ancestry, the study uses commonly accepted history as a basis for both design and interpretation of the experiment. But the history is really not that clear - particularly on the origin of the Ashkenazis, which is essentially a legend. A cold look at the historical evidence indicates that Jews migrated throughout the Roman empire, and beyond, and there is no reason to suppose that they did not intermarry with local populations. There seems to be resistance to the idea that a substantial portion of Jewish ancestry comes from places other than Israel, but the genetic data is entirely compatible with that view. True, the Ashkenazi population can be seen as distinct (in some senses) from other European populations, but that does not in itself tell us where it came from. We will be enlightened only by assembling a complete picture of the genetics of the several populations that might have contributed to the Ashkenazi.

RE: Who "were" they before the 10th Century????

Good point! Like most other historical articles about the Ashkenazi population, there is nothing mentioned about how the Jews got from the Judea/Mediterranean Basis during the Roman Empire times to places in Northern Europe such as Germany and Northern France. It seems new insights into Ashkenazi DNA are answering some questions about Jewish migration patterns. Apparently, the male Y-chromosome patterns of Ashkenazi Jewish decent match the y-chromosome patterns of other Middle Eastern populations such as Lebonese, Iraqis, etc. This is proof that atleast the original male founders of the Ashkenazi community were of Southern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern origin. However, studies on the mtDNA (the founding mothers' side) have shown that the female founders might be from local European ancestry. This is interesting for several reasons. One is that in Jewish tradition "Jewishness" is passed on through the mother. However, according to DNA evidence it appears "Jewish" males intermarried non-ethnically Jewish woman. Despite this anamoly, it does explains some things. For one, it explains why most European Jewish populations look like their host communities (because the intermarriages of the southern Jewish traders with European women) while still maintaing Jewish culture and religion.

An historical framework for this DNA evidence has not been explored and fully elaborated on. In other words, how exactly did the Jewish male traders from the Mediterranean Basin move into new communities in the North? How did these males then intermarry the local women (probably converting the local women when intermarrying)?. Also, which communities did the Jewish males move from (maybe somewhere in Italy? Maybe in Greece? Maybe Mesopotamia?) and in what specific time periods did this migration take place(400s, 500s, 600s CE, etc.)? If anyone has information they should add it to the Origin of Ashkenzi article which is probably being merged into the Ashkanzi article. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 26 Sept 2005.

I've just found an article in Discovery about a new research which claims to have found that 4 founding mothers in the Rhein basin (Germany) are the common ancestors of all current Ashkenazim. Here is a link: I think this is relevant to this section but I don't know how to fit it in. Penedo 21:58, 29 January 2006 (UTC) But they weren't from the Rhine basin - that is merely the interpretation of the authors, based on their reading of the history which (like this page) asumes that the Rhineland population was the basis of the Ashkenazi population. Actually the authors have no way of knowing where the women camce from. the fact that the haplotypes were found in some other Jewish populations could be explained by migration from europe into other Jewish populations. See how assumptions get turned into "evidence"?

IQ - why was it deleted

Lapinmies (talk · contribs) deleted the whole section on IQ and genetic causes. This may be controversial, but Wikipedia should not avoid topics because they are controversial. In fact, what was deleted was the product of careful NPOV work by many editors, involving many long discussions about the balance between one speculative article that has not even been published in print yet.

The topic has set blogs on fire for months on end. We do not dare avoiding it just like that. JFW | T@lk 21:31, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Ostjuden, Yekkes, etc.

It seems to me that, although largely forgotten post-WW2, significant distinctions were made between German Jews, sometimes called Yekkes (not sure if this is a derogatory slang word or whether the German Jews themselves used this) and so-called Ostjuden of East Europe. I don't know a great deal about it, but I recall books by Sander Gilman highlighting the extent to which these differences were considered significant in Europe by both Jews and non-Jews, extending to language (Yiddish), custom, physical appearance, etc. I know this is a touchy subject, and I don't want to harp on it, but I wonder whether treating Ashkenazim as a homogeneous mass doesn't do a disservice. Are there Ashkenazi "sub-sub-ethnic groups", or whatever is the appropriate term here? --AnotherBDA 13:32, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Yekke is a slang term used by Israelis for Jews specifically from Germany. There term is used, with some qualification, in Spielberg's recent film on Munich. Within Ashkenazi Jewry there have long been religious and national differences in culture.

Yekke is not slang, and it's not an Israeli invention. Yekkes were and are very different in look and custom from other Ashkenazi Jews. Ashkenazi is a very broad term. Within it are Hugarians, Poles, some Dutch, and Lithuanians, all of whom have different customs. 00:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The term Yekke originated in the 19th century when some of the Jews of Germany stopped wearing long coats and adopted the short "jackets" worn by other Germans. More traditional Ashkenazim referred to these modernizing Jews as "Yeckes" (the Yiddish word for "jackets", like the German word Jaecke, which is a cognate of "jacket" in English). So it started out as slang that one group of Ashkenazim used to label another. Of course, the use of the word has evolved since that time, and it has become a label for a subgroup. --Metzenberg 12:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Why are Jews smarter? Try common sense for the answer

Why are Jews smarter? There is precious little laboratory science to help with finding the answer. That being the case, to arrive at a plausible paridigm one must keep the solution very simple, and rely heavily on common sense.

In only one short paragraph, were the ideas of Galton (1860) and Wiener (1900's) mentioned, yet theirs were the only plausible model. I have been watching this phenomonon for 60 years and I think the answer is so simple, that even a child can see it. But only a child, untouched by intellectual fashion and politically correct taboos.

Here it is:

Why are Jews so smart? There are many explanations, some of which strain common sense. But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. It can all be explained quite clearly:

Through millenia of widsread illiteracy, Jewish culture valued the twin cultural ethics of learning and literacy above all else. This was true since Jesus' day, and long before. Pressures to become the most learned in the Jewish community were around forever. Many of the men were rabbis of some sort, and every one dreamed of becoming the chief rabbi. The competition for that job was stiff, and was entirely based upon mental abilities. It was not even important what was studied. Even if it had been the game of chess, it would still have produced the same result, just as long as the challenge was a hard mental contest.

Early on then, the smartest Jews rose to the highest level of their society. Moreover, the field of competition was among all men thanks to universal male literacy, and not just among a much smaller group, as it was elsewhere. So a very strong merit system was in place from the beginning, and for a very long time. This cultural accident alone can answer the question.

But there was another and even stronger pressure. As if to insure the result, the smartest men reproduced themselves moreso than ordinary males. That was because the most highly placed rabbis were freed from having to make a living. They were supported by the community so that they could study all day long. Even more significantly, the head rabbi went through wives like popcorn, a younger one each time. Culturally, it was a great honor for an ordinary father, not blessed with great intelligence but only the ability to become rich, to give up his young daughter to the Rabbis bed, once the rabbis previous wife died having her 20th child. There is even hard evidence for this gleaned from the detailed family records that Jews are well known for, even going back to Bible days. So the most intelligent men were selected not only for intelligence, but for their ability to reproduce a lot, too. This is an even surer recipe for the selection of smart genes, but the realtive smartness of the Jews was helped along from another, and most unexpected direction.

Consider how the culture of non-Jews effected their own special outcome. In the culture of Christendom, the best minds, indeed the cream of the crop, were recruited, prized, and sent into the priesthood. Thus, in a single stroke, the genes for the best minds were collected from the entire male population, every generation, and then simply sent off into the celibate priesthood, thus removing them from the gene pool forever. So while Christendom impoverished its own gene pool of intelligence, the Jews enriched theirs, thereby making the relative difference between the two populations even larger.

I can't emphasize enough the role of male universal literacy among the Jews. Not only did the Jews invent a system that produced smart men (without realizing it), but they forced their entire male population through it. That took care of all the unsung geniuses from poor families who were so often overlooked by every other system, even in lands very far away from Christendom. Indeed, who among the gentiles could read at all? Only a small part of the population, the clergy and the aristocrats. And as we all know, from the example of the colonization of South America, selecting managers solely from the aristocracy is a very bad idea.

i would like to remind you that the Eastern Orthodox Church allows the priests to be married, your theory does not apply to the whole of Christendom.
Post Script: The arguments above can also be used to explain negative outcomes, of course, such as the higher than average rates of certain inherited diseases among Jews. Also, when the arguments above are applied to other groups and races, many heretofore complex and thorny issues suddenly become clear and easily understood by all.

posted by realscientist

As a proud Jew is saddens me to have to correct this but your theory does not hold much water. Unfortunately, the push for everyone to become the most learned, and even universal literacy, are fairly recent phenomena. If you look in the halakhic works of the middle ages (cf. Shulchan Arukh and Rambam) you will see many laws pertaining to those who cannot read. If you look in the Beit Yosef you will see that the purpose of the repetition of the shemone esrei during prayer was quite clearly for those in attendence who could not read it themselves. Illiteracy was clearly a large enough problem that such the rabbis imposed a fairly major inconvencience on the congregation (be require the repetition), which is generally prohibited. In regard to the aim to be the chief rabbi, no such aim existed except for the few learned. Until the chassidic movement, probably less than several thousand men learned any gemara at a given time. While it was normal for the common people to attend lectures or study scripture and often mishna, intense learning was not the aim. It is certainly understandable to conclude that everyone wished to be a great rabbi because most of our sources from the time are great rabbis, but it is important to understand that this is a selective pool and not representative of the overall population. Avraham 15:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand why the repetition of the shemone esrei should indicate that it was for the illiterate, given that other similarly important sections were not repeated. A.G. Pinkwater 16:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

By the above we would have to say that the rich have high IQs. Maybe here and there but not as widespread as we are led to believe. Watch TV when they interview the average Jew in Israel and you see the majority fitting right in at any trailer park in my area. This of course doesn't mean low IQ but their sentiments appear to be lower level redneck by and large. I see little intellectual detachment in most Jews - hyper-emotional instead - on many sensitive subjects, not the hallmark of high IQ - more a cultural thing. Success, college education, research, etc are more likely to come from family pressure/example and social cohesion ( nepotism, opportunity etc). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11 December 2006.

The rpetition does not indicate it was ordained because of illiteracy, the fact that the Gemmorah and Shulchan Aruch give the reason for the repetition as widespread illiteracy indicates it was ordained for that reason. And Jews aren't any smarter than anyone else. Not from my seat in Ramat Beit Shemesh. 00:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

To Mr. Nobody (since you did not sign your comments) whose comments start with "By the above we would have to say that the rich have high IQs." Do you know what is "average IQ test"? Not the rich ones are smart. An average Ashkenazi has a higher IQ. What you understand or don't understand from TV is your own problem. Instead of making judgments based on some guy who said something stupid on TV, Why not trust IQ tests?
Northern 10:56, 5 July 2007 (UTC)


I see that Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe is cited as a reference. Given that I've pretty much never heard of a scholar who buys into Koestler's views:

  1. Does someone have any indication that scholars take Koestler seriously on this?
  2. What in the article comes from Koestler?

-- Jmabel | Talk 06:16, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  1. No.
  2. Nothing.

-- Jayjg (talk) 21:36, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Ashkenazi Jews in Israel: citation

I see that for Israel, we now cite ourselves!

[[Israel]]: '''''app. 2.7 mil.''''' [], []

I believe this is contrary to Wikipedia policy. We should cite the information that article cites. - Jmabel | Talk 20:49, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

    • Ok then. The reference to the Israeli demographics Wikipedia website has been replaced with another website. The first citation is supposed to be a reference to what fraction of Israeli's Jews are Ashkenazi (app. half), and the second citation to how many Israeli Jews there are (4.95 million). For clarification, that is how the approximate number was derived. Yid613 | Talk 21:43, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
    • On second thought, I have found that the numbers from the second source are still outdated, from 2002. The Wikpiedia article information was from 2004 and that is why I cited it earlier, so until a source is found outside the wikipedia that has updated statistics, the listing has been returned to its previous form. Yid613 | Talk 21:52, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

The Encyclopaedia of the Orient's article on "Ashkenazi" contains the figure of 3,700,000 Ashkenazi Jews in Israel. The Encyclopedia's copyright extends to 2005, so I assume it is updated. I have therefore added the figure in the article. This is the website. It only links the main page, you have to go to teh search engine and type "Ashkenazi". Yid613 | Talk 07:43, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Add the Mizari, Falasha, Ashkenazi, Indian, and Shepardi numbers for Israel together they don't add up.

Re:IQ and the sciences

If that section is going to be renamed to "IQ and the sciences", detailing how Ashkenazi IQ correlates to achievements in the sciences, it should only make sense that there should be another section describing corresponding accomplishments in the humanities and social sciences. It should be noted that the Ashkenazi average verbal IQ is actually higher than the Ashkenazi average spatial (mathematical) IQ. Yid613 19:38, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


The recently added part of the article concerning the khazars in the Origin of Ashkenazi section, might be a fallacious argument. The theory of khazars being the origin of the Ashkenazi, was postulated by Arthur Koestler. The article states that the theory is not disproven by DNA evidence, when in fact the DNA evidence seems to indicate that in fact the origins of the Y-chromosome is Middle Eastern in origin, and the mtDNA is local european in origin. There is no pervasive Turkish or Turkish related genetic markers as far as I know. I think that part should be taken out of that section, maybe put in another one, like "Alternative Theories" or "Koestler's One-Time Theory".The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) . The preceding comment is mistaken in just about every detail. Koestler was not the originator of the Khazar hypothesis; he merely wrote a book about it (parts of which were pretty fanciful, other parts not). No sensible geneticist would argue that the genetic evidence on Ashkenazi origins is complete or unambiguous; the commenter is accepting interpretations as if they are fact, but that is not how science works. The (presumed) lack of "pervasive Turkish...markers" is irrelevant: we don't know what genetic markers Khazars might have carried, and anyway there has never been a comprehensive analysis of genetic markers in that population.

Koestler was a novelist, and his theories have been disproven. The IP editors contributions were unsourced original research; I've restored the previous, more neutral version. Jayjg (talk) 21:34, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, Koestler was not just a novelist: he was a highly respected intellectual, and anyway why can't a novelist write about history?

I'm confused. If you had to remove the source, how is it unsourced? — goethean 22:08, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
The IP editor's claims didn't come from Koestler; rather, they consisted of his own original research, and the article itself didn't use Koestler either. Jayjg (talk) 22:12, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Here is the deleted text:

In his book The Thirteenth Tribe Arthur Koestler proposed a theory of Ashkenazi origin by the migration of people from Khazaria. This alternative theory is that a proportion of Ashkenazi are descended from the Khazars, a Central Asian tribe that converted (at least in part) to Judaism in the 8th-9th centuries. The Khazars were defeated in war, and disappeared from historical records in the early Middle Ages. According to Koestler numerous sources indicate that some Eastern European Jewish communities were founded by Khazars, but the contribution of the Khazars to the Ashkenazi population is not clear. The theory is controversial because of its implication that a large group of Jews has its origins outside of Israel, and is often ignored or disparaged in discussions of Ashkenazi origins. Koestler's theory has largely been disproven with genetic studies indicating Middle Eastern and local European origins of founding Ashkenazi populations.

Are you saying that none of this has anything to do with Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe? Or are you merely saying that the last two sentences aren't backed up by it? — goethean 22:32, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
To begin with, the Koestler book was here as a reference for many weeks or months (see question by Jmabel above), though it was not used in any of the text. Next, here are the original edits by the IP editor ( (talk · contribs); [24]. They deleted this material:

Full Roman citizenship was denied to Jews until 212 CE, when Emperor Caracalla granted all free peoples this privilege. However as a penalty for the first Jewish Revolt, Jews were still required to pay a poll tax until the reign of Emperor Julian in 363 CE. Throughout the first three centuries of the Common Era, Jews were free to form networks of cultural and religious ties and entered into various local occupations, the most prevalent occupation being trade (due to easy mobility in the dispersed Jewish communities).

and inserted, among other things, these unsourced claims:

Another theory of Ashkenazi origins, not necessarily incompatible with the above, is that some proportion are descended from the Khazars, a Central Asian tribe that converted (at least in part) to Judaism in the 8th-9th centuries. The Khazars were defeated in war, and disappeared from historical records in the early Middle Ages. Numerous sources indicate that some Eastern European Jewish communities were founded by Khazars, but the contribution of the Khazars to the Ashkenazi population is not clear. The theory is controversial because of its implication that a large group of Jews has its origins outside of Israel, and is often ignored or disparaged in discussions of Ashkenazi origins, but it has not been disproven by either historical or genetic studies.

All of these studies are preliminary, and interpretations of data tend to follow commonly accepted historical explanations of Ashkenazi origins. A definitive view must await more exhaustive studies that include larger numbers of subjects from possibly related ethnic groups, as well as more genetic markers.

There is some evidence that the origins of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe predates the migrations from Eastern Europe. Records are scant; a significant contribution from an indigenous (possibly Khazar) group has not been diproven.

None of the inserted information came from Koestler. A later IP editor ( (talk · contribs)) came along and tried to "NPOV" the insertions by converting them into essentially the form you have above.[25] They also questioned the whole validity of the section (they made the first comment in this talk section). So, in answer to your question, the article referenced Koestler without using him. Then an IP came along and made a bunch of unsourced claims, while removing material detrimental to those claims. Then another IP came along and tried to "NPOV", attributing to Koestler. Then I came along, removed all newly introduced the POV material, and removed the Koestler link. And finally, Koestler should not be cited regardless, since he was a novelist, not a historian or scientist, his work was derivative of Dunlop's, and it's all been disproven by genetic research anyway. He now falls into the "extreme minority view" category, and is promoted almost exclusively by anti-Semites. Jayjg (talk) 23:35, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Dunlap's not mentioned, either. — goethean 17:41, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
It wouldn't help those adding the "Khazar theory" material to mention Dunlop, because Dunlop himself says that there isn't enough evidence to make any claims that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars. Thus they must instead rely on the derivative and speculative work of a novelist, who was not bound by the same academic standards. Jayjg (talk) 18:02, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I am going to quit this discussion because I don't know anything about the topic. But it does raise suspicion when an editor insists that no mention of a theory appear on a page that appears to be related. — goethean 18:16, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
From WP:NOR "How to deal with Wikipedia entries about theories:... 2. state the known and popular ideas and identify general "consensus", making clear which is which, and bearing in mind that extreme-minority theories or views need not be included. The Zionism article makes no mention of the theories that appear in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf either, even though the theories raised by those works "appear to be related"; does that "raise suspicion"? By the way, I mention these works not because they are similar in intent; Koestler's intent was, in fact, to lessen anti-Semitism by proving that the Jews of today were not descended from those awful Jews who killed Jesus. However, these works are now all used by the same groups for the same purposes (which is quite ironic, in the case of The 13th Tribe). Jayjg (talk) 18:30, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm quite familiar with the use and abuse of the "extreme minority" clause to delete information. — goethean 18:33, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm pretty sure is an example of the former; do you feel it is not? Jayjg (talk) 21:49, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Goethean, how do you deal with ideas advanced by one theorist that are subsequently disproven without leaving much of a trace in the scientific paradigm on a subject? The exterme minority clause is extremely valid in keeping articles encyclopedic. What do you consider an "abuse" of the extreme minority clause? JFW | T@lk 16:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I guess I don't see what's so offensive about a sentence that mentions the view as a fact of history along with the fact that it is defunct or largely held by anti-Semites. Obviously, the clause is abused when it is used by an editor to delete views that, although they are in the minority, are not in the extreme minority. — goethean 20:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

If Koestler's work is to be mentioned, it should be as a hypothesis advanced by a non-historian layman, albeit talented novelist, who based his history on a largely recited account taken from Dunlop and his racial theory on physiognomic analyses now disproven by genetic testing as well as a few poorly-analyzed and misunderstood similarities in place names. While it's probably that the Khazars had some impact on the genetic makeup of Ashkenazi Jews, Koestler claimed, with no evidence that a serious historian would accept, that all Ashkenazi Jews were primarily Khazar in origin, which is simply false. As an interesting, marginally related and ironic side note, an article recently published states that a genetic marker predisposing the bearer to Parkinson's Disease (which was killing Koestler when he committed suicide) that appears in Ashkenazim derives from Middle Eastern ancetors. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 18:47, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

For Jaydig: What precisely is wrong with the statement that "All of these studies are preliminary, and interpretations of data tend to follow commonly accepted historical explanations of Ashkenazi origins. A definitive view must await more exhaustive studies that include larger numbers of subjects from possibly related ethnic groups, as well as more genetic markers "? That is a pretty standard warning that the genetic data is incomplete, and an observation on the way in which the extant data has been interpreted. Can you argue with getting more data? Have you read the cited papers in their entirety? How do they rule out a Khazar contribution to the Ashkenazim? What if the Khazars shared genetic markers with Middle Eastern populations?

(The prvious paragraph is not mine.) I have met several well-educated Ashkenazi Jews who 'learned' the Khazar theory as supposed truth in their youth, presumably from their parents. Several months ago, I researched how they could have come to believe such an outlandish fancy and found this Wikipedia article. The information helped me explain to some of them both the truth and the history of the notion. Given the currency of the beleif in Khazar ancestry, it would ba a shame if the debunking information is removed in a misguided attempt to suppress a neutral but inaccurate theory—which only happens to be being used this deacade for nefarious political purposes. Dvd Avins 10:05, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

DNA clues

version 1 Modern genetic accounts indicate that "Ashkenazi Jews are a group with mainly central and eastern European ancestry. Ultimately, though, they can be traced back to Jews who migrated from Israel to Italy in the first and second centuries." [26]. [27]

version 2: Modern genetic accounts indicate that Ashkenazi Jews ultimately "can be traced back to Jews who migrated from Israel to Italy in the first and second centuries." [28]. [29]

Jayjg reverted version 1 to version 2 with the edit comment, "actually, the study itself specifically states that Ashkenazi genetic origins *not* European; please stop inserting non-DNA information in DNA section" [30]

The Behar study states that "The term “Ashkenazi” refers to Jews of mainly central and eastern European ancestry, in contrast to those of Iberian (Sephardic), Near Eastern, or North African origin (Ostrer 2001). Most historical records indicate that the founding of the Ashkenazi Jewry took place in the Rhine Basin, followed by a dramatic expansion into eastern Europe."

The study does not claim that Ashkenazi Jews "migrated from Israel". That quote is taken from the CNN article. The CNN article also states that "Ashkenazi Jews are a group with mainly central and eastern European ancestry."

Therefore version 1 is more accurate than version 2. -- 01:59, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the most accurate would be to just directly quote the DNA conclusions from the study from the PubMed link (it's succinct and clear): "Both the extent and location of the maternal ancestral deme from which the Ashkenazi Jewry arose remain obscure. Here, using complete sequences of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), we show that close to one-half of Ashkenazi Jews, estimated at 8,000,000 people, can be traced back to only 4 women carrying distinct mtDNAs that are virtually absent in other populations, with the important exception of low frequencies among non-Ashkenazi Jews. We conclude that four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry, underwent major expansion(s) in Europe within the past millennium." --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 02:19, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree and edited accordingly. -- 06:01, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Much improved. Nice job. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 07:08, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
What with the other 60% (the majority)? Even so, for the 40% with "likely" Near Eastern mtDNA, this does not exclude European admixture for that 40%. Al-Andalus 12:43, 9 February 2006 (UTC).
The study doesn't comment on the origins of the 60%. In addition, mtDNA is passed essentially unchanged (except for mutations) from mother to daughter, so the 40% Near Eastern mtDNA of course excludes "European admixture". Jayjg (talk) 15:49, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

But the study only says "likely of Near Eastern ancestry"; it does not prove Near Eastern ancestry at all, it merely makes the interpretation because the haplotypes are found in other Jewish populations. In fact the haplotypes could have come from somewhere else: the study did not by any means make an exhaustive search for the haplotypes in other populations. Your certainty is not warranted by the data: you should examine your own assumptions and ask yourself why you are so ready to draw conclusions.

Al-Andalus asks, "What with the other 60% (the majority)? Even so, for the 40% with "likely" Near Eastern mtDNA, this does not exclude European admixture for that 40%." I think this is one of the dangers of interpreting early results of haplotype analysis. In fact, haplotype analysis is a cummulative process. Many haploytpes cannot be positively identified as Middle Eastern or European at this time because not enough data has been collected and analyzed. The 40% is just the low lying fruit, the ones that can clearly be placed in one of four large groups. But 40% is probably a lower limit on what more comprehensive studies in the future will eventually find. Haplotype groups can be as small as one, which is to say, there will probably never complete certainty over time, but that the confidence level will rise over time. --Metzenberg 07:07, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


More DNA clues

Not all Ashkenazi males are descended from Levantine populations. The lineage of Levite Ashkenazi Jews appear to descend from European origins. -- 01:29, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Oct;73(4):768-79. Multiple origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y chromosome evidence for both Near Eastern and European ancestries.

Behar DM, Thomas MG, Skorecki K, Hammer MF, Bulygina E, Rosengarten D, Jones AL, Held K, Moses V, Goldstein D, Bradman N, Weale ME.

Previous Y chromosome studies have shown that the Cohanim, a paternally inherited Jewish priestly caste, predominantly share a recent common ancestry irrespective of the geographically defined post-Diaspora community to which they belong, a finding consistent with common Jewish origins in the Near East. In contrast, the Levites, another paternally inherited Jewish caste, display evidence for multiple recent origins, with Ashkenazi Levites having a high frequency of a distinctive, non-Near Eastern haplogroup. Here, we show that the Ashkenazi Levite microsatellite haplotypes within this haplogroup are extremely tightly clustered, with an inferred common ancestor within the past 2,000 years. Comparisons with other Jewish and non-Jewish groups suggest that a founding event, probably involving one or very few European men occurring at a time close to the initial formation and settlement of the Ashkenazi community, is the most likely explanation for the presence of this distinctive haplogroup found today in >50% of Ashkenazi Levites.

I don't think anyone was saying Ashkenazi Jews have no European DNA. I'm sure Ashkenazi Jews have traces of all sorts of DNA in them, like most other ethnic groups, including European. This particular study seems to have found that for a small sub-group of Ashkenazi Jews, the Levites, which comprise what, 4-5% of Ashkenazi Jews, it is likely that 50% or more (i.e. 2-3% of all Ashkenazi Jews) have non near-Eastern, likely European, ancestry. That said, User:Alberuni, I've tolerated your interactions on this page, even though you are banned user, because, frankly, I didn't want to waste my time enforcing your banning. However, if you continue to edit war on any pages, or make edit summaries like this[31], or make personal attacks like this:[32], then I will enforce your Arbitration Committee ban. And no, I will not debate with you about whether or not you really are Alberuni; we've been through that before with your previous sockpuppets, and I have no more time for those games. Jayjg (talk) 18:39, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

This whole section, too, is loaded with bogus science. The main cite in this section is using a non-scientific study, a study which did not randomly collect samples, create on formal proofs, nor use randmoized population. garbage in, garbage out. Recommending the removal of the entire inclusing of it, or at least as the main foxus of the section.

Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA only traces two lines out of thousands upon thousands of your ancestors. They only traces your mother's mother's line and fathers's father's line. While Y chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA can trace these lines's migrations, there are thousands of other lines out there, and we cannot assume that the other ones followed the same migration route as that maternal or paternal lines. To assume such things is not scientific. For example after ten generations you have a possible 1024 ancestors, after thity generations you have a possible 1,073,741,824 ancestors. Of course some of these lines join back together, and so in reality you have far fewer ancestors (3 or 4 millions distinct ancestors).
The point is that you don't just have two ancestors, so even it was possible to prove that only 2 of your ancestors (in 4 millions) were maybe of ancient hebrew origin (probably everyone in the world has at least a few ancient hebrew ancestors) we cannot assume anything about your other millions of ancestors...-- 08:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

"exterminated'" vs. "murdered"

The concept of murder long pre-dates states that could declare anything illegal. Vermin may be "exterminated", but only humans may be "murdered." The previous wording was more specific and appropriate; I will revert. Dvd Avins 20:55, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

murder and extermination are in fact different term, but holocost was about extermination not murder... --tasc 22:01, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I think simply "killed" is just as accurate and less loaded. -- Schaefer (Talk) 22:49, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
there is simple english wikipedia btw. :) --tasc 23:03, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I recall a discussion about this in Talk:The Holocaust. I am too lazy busy to search for it now. IMHO, "murder" would be a correct term: it was intentional and premeditated. "Killing" is too general. "Extermination" is a Nazi term. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:51, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, "extermination," or rather its German equivalent, was chosen by the Nazis precisely because it implied the Jews were less than human. IMO, "murdered" is most specifically accurate, "killed" is unnecessarily vague but not inherrently wrong, and "exterminated" is pro-genocide POV. Tasc, do you beleive that any mass-killing is automatically not murder? Dvd Avins 06:39, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I personaly don't see anything offensive in "extermination" as opposed to "murder". If you do think that "nazi-term" is not appropriate in this article you can change it. --tasc 11:07, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I did change it and you changed it back. It started out as "murdered. It was changed to "exterminated" 4 days ago by someone else. I noteced that change and restored the prior wording. Then you made the third change. Before we change it again, let's all agree (or at least consent): are we changing it to "killed" or "murdered"? Dvd Avins 12:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I can follow history page by my own. Thanks. Let's change it to "murder" than. Though my opinion is explained above. --tasc 12:35, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ashkenazi Jews/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Pretty good article, but could really use a lot more citation of its material. - Jmabel 23:02, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 23:02, 27 October 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 20:08, 2 May 2016 (UTC)