The passage below from Descent of Man Revisited discusses a controversial idea of the Jewish IQ question, based on some misleading notions of economic competition in a social darwinist notion of economic selection. This explanation for Jewish IQ is all Darwinists can think of, but I think the whole idea is mistaken. And it is a dangerous idea because it can and does lead to the idea that economic competition entails a form of natural selection on populations that increases intelligence. I find the idea doubtful in general and in the Jewish case.
A much better explanation lies in the history of the Askhenazis who migrated from Israel via the Caucasus (and Italy?) to the northern Germanic regions. Koestler’s theory has been rejected, but he was on to something. In all the propaganda over Jewish IQ the place of the Northern Europeans is ignored: but surely as we examine the strong blending of German and Jewish source populations in the later medieval to modern period the strong suggestion is that Jewish intelligence shot ahead starting with crossbreeding with Indo-European populations. It then up-amped itself in the context of the unique nature of Jewish culture.
And I for one find this no accident. I think that the Axial Age shows the parallel transitional phases of Greek, Italic, Israelite/Canaanite, Persian, Indian, and Chinese (and probably West African) zones (note the direct spectrum placement across Eurasia. One of the subtexts of this period is, I suspect, a realization that the Aryan populations were of very high intelligence compared with the Semitic. One of the outcomes of the Israelite epoch was to accelerate a Semitic population up to par with the Aryan. It is a clear irony of Axial to modern history to see this reversal of smart Aryans, and less smart Semites, switching to smart Semites, smarter than Aryans. How this happened is not quite clear, but surely, contra most secularizing thought, there were spiritual guides feeling their way, guiding the Jews to the discovery of the Aryan secret. Not a few abducted babies were involved this, a skulldugery that has my approval. No doubt Jewish cultural factors accelerated this expansion of the gene pool,
This is controversial and speculative, so treat it with skepticism. But the current social darwinist theory is dreadfully off.
Note that the macro effect operated beyond intelligence irregardless. The Greek achievement at high intelligence is well matched by the in may ways less sophisticated, yet cogent, literature of the Old Testament. It had more influence in the end, being the foundation bed for a world religion. So all the key changes shown in the macro don’t depend on the intelligence of the groups involved.
In any case, I think that the Germanic foundation to the Jewish IQ thinking (and not a little chauvinism) has been neglected, the whole question having been misjudged all around. Trying to Darwinize the question was the wrong approach.
The Ten Thousand Year Explosions
The Ten Thousand Year Explosions
And Punctuated Equilibria
This is the title of a book on the subject of recent historical evolution, G. Cochran & H. Harpending, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (New York: Perseus, 2009), a suitable title for our quite different discovery of the ‘macro’ effect. This book is really about microevolution, in the evidence of natural selection. But we can see that the ‘historical evolution’ of civilization is a macroevolutionary and teleological process of mysterious origin, but clear in its effects. The book cited also has some controversial and speculative Social Darwinist speculations about the increase in intelligence in the Judaic group due to economic competition, a dangerous fallacy of economic ideology. We can see that there might be a kind of Axial Age macro effect instead. The driver of higher civilizations is rapidly ‘creating intelligence’ for a future man, and the genetic components of this remain to be discovered. This is suspiciously similar to the claims for a ‘great explosion’:
The Great Explosion That the emergence of man was very sudden in a process like punctuated equilibrium has been pointed out by writers such as Richard Klein. Although the issues are complex and open to both ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ interpretations, it defies easy understanding to see how a creature as complex as man could appear in a set of random mutation events. The macro process in world history with its directed character operating on large species level units looks suspiciously like what we are looking for. Richard Klein, The Dawn of Human Culture: A Bold New Theory on What Sparked the “Big Bang” of Human Consciousness (2002).