"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

On Israeli & Ashkenazi IQ

Try to solve this math problem: (100+100+100+100+92)/5. You would think the answer would be 98.4. But not according to Richard Lynn who counted this to be 94.

It has been widely cited on the internet that Israel’s average IQ is only 94. But how did Prof. Lynn arrive at the figure?

First, he threw out three tests showing Israelis averaging 100. Then he took the two remaining tests and shaved off two points, even though most nations got additional points due to the Flynn Effect and other factors.

The reality is that he should’ve dumped the test that showed that Israelis scored only 92 on a test. It is what statistians call an outlier. In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data and for that reason it is generally discarded. For instance, if all the opinion polls showed Barack Obama winning by 5% and one poll showed McCain up 4%, you would discard the pro-McCain poll as an aberration.

Similarly if 4 out of 5 tests of Israelis show an IQ score of 100 and one is significantly below that, that lone test should be discarded.

Instead, Lynn turned 92 into 90 and 100 into 98, discarded three others tests, and came up with a very low number of 94. It is mind-boggling to think that when 4 out of 5 tests give an IQ score of 100, he somehow manages to give Israel an average score of 94!

Lynn also gives the lowest IQ estimate (107) of anyone for Ashkenazi Jews living in the United States.

At the time when these IQ tests were conducted, a majority of Israeli Jews were Sephardic who score about 14 points less than Ashkenazic Israelis. All the IQ tests were conducted prior to the arrival of a million mostly-Russian Ashkenazi Jews after the fall of the Soviet Union. At the time, less than 30% were full-bloodied Ashkenazim without any Sephardic ancestry. More than 70% of Israelis were Arabs, Sephardim or a mix of Sepharim and Ashkenazim. After the wave of Russian immigration, about 35% of Israelis are Ashkenazim without any Sephardi ancestry.

If you count anyone who self-identified as Ashkenazi as such, their average IQ would be about 107-110. [If the average IQ is 100, and Ashkenazim outscore the Sepharim by 14 points, and the two populations are equal in size, then Ashkenazim must score 107 and Sephardim 93. However, since Sephardic population was greater than Ashkenazi at the time of these tests, the former’s IQ must be somewhat higher than 107.]

But why is the Israeli Ashkenazi IQ lower than the American Ashkenazi IQ of 113-115?

Because, as noted, many of the self-identified Israeli Ashkenazim are actually half or at least a quarter Sephardic. Just take a look at the average Israeli Ashkenazi – many are clearly partly Sephardic. Living in a country where most of the population belongs to a different group, and where you feel no compulsion not to marry that group will result in significant intermarriage.

With the arrival of a million Ashkenazim from Russia, one can be pretty certain that the average Israeli Ashkenazi IQ has temporarily gone up because Russians rarely intermarried with Sephardim.

Since its inception in 1895 till the last presentations in 2007, there have been 155 Nobel Prize laureates who are of Jewish lineage.

49 for the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Biomedical Sciences (out of 189 total winners, or 25.9%)
27 for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (out of 150 total winners, or 18%)
23 for the Nobel Prize in Economics (out of 61 total winners, or 37.7% – yes, stereotypically Jewish money sense lol!)
44 for the Nobel Prize in Physics (out of 180 total winners, or 24.4%)
12 for the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 104 total winners, or 11.5%)
Out of the total 684 Nobel laureates for the above categories, a full 22.66% of them have been of Jewish lineage.

An amazing list of achievements for a people who comprise just 0.1955% of the world population!

That, as the title of my post states, is a statistical over-representation of Jewish people among Nobel Prize laureates to the value of 11590.793% (i.e there are 115.9 times as many Jewish Nobel laureates as there would be if every race had equal representation among the Nobel Prize winners).

And many of their contributions to science and society are practical and beneficial to our everyday lives (e.g. anesthesia, penicillin, blood groups, relativity which enables GPS).

Greg has referred to this hypothesis as “overclocking”. The analogy is to overclocking computer processors (computer processing units or CPUs). Some hobbyists turn up the clocks on their desktop PCs to them run faster than they were designed to run. This can cause system instability and other problems. In the case of the Ashkenazis in Europe the hypothesis proposes that selective pressures for higher Ashkenazi intelligence were so high that it caused the propagation of mutations that pushed their intelligence up so quickly (evolutionarily speaking) that the selective pressure overrode the reduction in reproductive fitness caused by the deleterious side effects on some of those who received those mutations. The problem with overclocking is that “Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don’t.”

One response to “On Israeli & Ashkenazi IQ

  1. Lushfun July 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    No idea whats the point of all this. Would be nice if you annotated (hopefully thats the word)
    for the Flynn effect so I wouldn’t have to look it up.

    I think tests matter very little, and IQ is a measure of cleverness and not creativity or intelligence as a whole. I am sure lots of people would be able to outtest Einstein but be below his creative & intellectual prowes.

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