Have you noticed many brilliant students of your class wear glasses? Most possibly they have myopia, an eye condition where eyeball becomes too long. Both hereditary and environmental factors are believed to be responsible for myopia. Interestingly the gene that controls growth of eyeball also controls growth of neo-cortex of brain and it explains higher percentage of myopia in high IQ people. Among all races, the rate of myopia is highest among Ashkenazi Jews, one of the four sub-groups of Jewish people. Many of the Nobel Prize winners, Chess grandmasters, top mathematicians and international bridge players are Ashkenazi Jews; these four areas are often considered to measure intellectual achievements of a race.

How successful are Jews?

There are four sub-groups of Jews. If you consider average native British IQ as 100 then Jewish IQ looks like; 110 for Ashkenazim Jews (German Jews), 99 for Sephardim Jews (Spain and Portugal), 91 for Mizrahim or oriental Jews(Arab Jews) and 66 for Ethiopian Jews. There Verbal and visualization-spatial IQ are 12 to 20 points higher than native population of a country.

Jews make up less than two-tenths of a percentage point of the world’s population, only .02 percent but they represent 10 percent of the Forbes 400 list of the world’s wealthiest people, more than 10 percent of the Fortune listed top CEOs, and 30 percent of all the Nobel Prize winners.

Over the years of 1901 to 1985, 541 Nobel prizes were awarded and 91 were won by Jews. Another way of describing it is, the rate of prize winner for European natives is 75 per 100 million populations, and the rate is 667 per 100 million for Jews.

Of the 200 American Nobel Prize winners 62 have been Jewish (31%) (data upto 2008). 21 of 89 German Nobel laureates are Jews. 3 of the 7 German and 6 of 16 US mathematicians who have won Wolf or Field Prize are Jews. 45% Nobel Prize winner economists are Jewish.

55 of the 156 top rated bridge players are Jewish (33%). Thus Jews who represent only 2% of American population produced 31% Nobel laureates and 33% top bridge players.

44% top Russian chess grandmasters are Jews (data upto 1975). Guess the religion of Gary Kasparov and Boby Fischer.

Top scholars of physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, law, and economy are they. Music and literature are their other fields of expertise; 52% of the Pulitzer Prizes for nonfiction, 15% of the fiction, 20% of the poetry, 34% of the drama, Jews have won. Joseph Pulitzer himself was a Jew.

Note that most of these achievements are of Ashkenazim Jews, achievements of other Jewish subgroups are similar to any other races. I haven’t talked about finance and banking, natural resource and energy, real estate, media and entertainment sectors. If I tell you about these sectors you will believe in every conspiracy theory that exists, from Amartya Sen Getting Nobel by marrying Emma Rothschild to most recent remote control disappearance of Malaysian plane in Diego Garcia Base.

Let’s look at the theories of their success

The persecution and discrimination hypothesis: Jews were persecuted and discriminated against for centuries. More intelligent and wealthy Jews would avoid killing by paying ransom or fleeing, low intelligent Jews would get killed. Ashkenazi Jews were persecuted more often than other Jews. Survival of the fittest and most intelligent Jews have made their descendants highly intelligent. This also explains their higher IQ. Jews are nomad for few centuries with no fixed land, so they value money and that’s why they are in banking sector. Mizrahim, Sephardic Jews were less persecuted, discriminated and practiced eugenics less, resulted in survival of low IQ children. This shows a minority population can succeed even after discrimination.

Eugenics Hypothesis: Among Jewish sub-population IQ difference is explained by saying that Ashkenazi Jews performed better eugenics practice than other Jews. Eugenics consists of custom and practice that ensure greater number of surviving children of the more intelligent. Wealthy Jews have enjoined to marry their daughter to scholars; wealth and intelligent combination created higher survival rate of intelligent children. The most highly intelligent Christian would join the church where they have to follow celibacy; whereas Judaism encourages Rabbis to marry young and avoid birth control practices. This tradition resulted in low number of intelligent descendants from Christians and high number from Jews.

Genetically transmitted intelligence: Ashkenazi Jews have parents who are highly intelligent; they provide their children with proper nutrition, health care and cognitive stimulation. Because of their low fertility rate, small family size, and housewife mothers, they can take extra care of their children.

Strong family and race network: They believe in race unity and race purity; Jews have been discriminated against for many centuries, so they have developed an unusually strong sense of solidarity and predisposition towards mutual help and support.

Strong work motivation theory: Their family and religious values put strong emphasis on success. They have strong motivation to work hard and succeed, a strong work ethic that gives them exceptional will power. Jews also attach a lot of valuation on study and education.

Marginal man theory by Thorstein Velben: Because of migration Jews become liberated from any pre-conceived ideas. Partial liberation of Jews from traditional Judaism and partial assimilation into native European society endow the intellectuals Jews with virtue of detached thinking and skepticism. Skeptical, alienated, liberated minds are best suited for study of science, where minds are not clouded by local custom, idols, religion or pre-modern form of reference.

Special aptitude theory: It says Jews are more creative, imaginative, and intelligent than other races. They have special skill in financial and business management (Nathan Glaze); ability to take quick advantage of new opportunities, recognize unprecedented situation and devise methods to handle it(Paul Johnson); emphasis and opportunity of constant practice, study and lesson from highly successful previous Jews (William Rubinstein).

Multifactorial theory by Cormac O’Grada: Following factors help them;bourgeois virtues such as sobriety, a desire to succeed, a dislike of violence, emphasis on education and learning, and high self-esteem have led them to success.

Luck theory by A. Godley: Reason behind Jewish success is luck, various world events luckily have gone in their favor.

It is interesting to note that Jews are underrepresented in two areas, sports and crime!


The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement: Richard Lynn: 9781593680367: Books

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