"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Our friend Steve Sailer alerted me to this paper by Dr. Gregory Cochran purporting to explain the IQ adavantage of 12-15 points held by Jews of European origin. He tries to explain that it arose from their being forced by law into careers that require a greater application of the intellect.

This is yet another manifestation of the longstanding disrespect for the Jewish intellectual heritage. Anyone who, like Hunter Baker, has taken courses in Jewish Law, knows the tremendous degree of intellectual vitality that is invested in its study and application. And that same law which, when studied at all in secular venues, is studied at the university level, was traditionally taught to Jewish kids from about the age of 10.

When you train a whole society to consider the realities of life through the prism of legal categories, you are in essence fomenting a culture of the mind. No one should be surprised - even if, like me, you have some criticisms of the priorities applied - that it produces stronger minds. (Cochran mentions this theory, but rejects it because professional Rabbis were less than one percent of the population. What he does not consider is that scholarship among Jews went well beyond careerism and many of the greatest scholars never assumed rabbinic positions.)

I intend to write a series of articles countering Cochran's paper, the first of which will run in Monday's American Spectator on-line. Reform Club visitors get to scoop the rest of the world and read it early by following this link.


Hunter Baker said...

My experience of education at the hands of a Jewish legal scholar did reveal the kind of tremendous intellectual vitality to which Jay refers. I do agree that sturdy Jewish intellect probably owes something to the training.

At the same time, I believe that God did, in fact, choose the Jews before all other people. I also believe that their gifts may be God-given.

Secular Jews don't like that talk. What say you, Jay.

Jay D. Homnick said...

I was taught to "say nothing".