Thursday, July 09, 2009

Are Our Genetic Characteristics Changing Faster Than We Think?

I think this is earth-shaking, no, don't dismiss this as drivel. I read this in the Britannica Blog here. It explicates why Ashkenazi Jews are more intelligent, and perform better in IQ tests.

Sample this:
"In the same way we selectively breed dogs, so we are selectively (but not as deliberately) breeding ourselves, turning our descendants into crossbreeds. The difference is that, when it comes to human breeding, we have no idea what we’re doing. The sorts of jobs we enter into, the types of social experiences we have, the advice we take about who to marry and how to eat, each of these little decisions and actions — carried out repeatedly over multiple generations — will have effects that show up in the genome."

"Cochran and Harpending single out the Ashkenazi Jews as a textbook example of how cultural decisions from just a few hundred years ago (a nanosecond in the conventional view of evolution) have already resulted in new genetic advantages. Prior to the Middle Ages, Ashkenazi Jews lived in the middle of an important cultural route, linking Europe to key parts of Asia. The Jews were the recipients of tremendous genetic variety as ancient people crossed through their territory, settled down, married, or just mated."

"Just mated"? So, hm, that's matings' insidious contribution to the genetic pool? Further, is that why all human think of mating so much in their idle time?

And this:
"Ashkenazi Jews show slightly elevated levels of sphingolipids, a class of fat molecule. Sphingolipids are common in neural tissues and play an important role in signal transmission. Elevated levels of this molecule can lead to more interneural connections, therefore, a bit more brain.

"The authors go on to show that people of European Jewish descent, regardless of family background, perform better than average on IQ tests. They are disproportionately well represented among lists of major math and science award winners. Although they account for less than 3% of the U.S. population, they comprise 27% of U.S. Nobel Prize winners over the past two generations, account for about a fifth of CEOs, and about 22% of Ivy League students."

If such is the case I guess areas in countries that have had invasions and genocides have a better intelligence and survival instincts, right?


ZiLliOnBiG said...

then afghanis and kashmiris should have high intelligence.Who know they might be having or might in the future. Good piece of Info. :))

John said...

Guess they should. Look at the literary talent of Rushdie and Khaled Husseini :)

~ J