A troublesome defect

Fred Reed has read Nicholas Wade’s book too, and while he identifies a similar flaw to one that I observered myself, he has a different take on it.

A minor defect of the book, understandable since Wade works for a very PC newspaper and may want to keep his job, is that he dances away from the conclusions to be drawn from what he says. Differences among people are actually small, he asserts, and only in cumulative effects on societies do they really count. Yet he puts the mean IQ of Sub-Saharan Africans at 67, of Europeans at 100, and of Jews at 115. He also says that four of every thousand Europeans have IQs in excess of 140, but 23 Jews. These are huge differences and, if real, have equally huge implications.

As is the case with high-IQ atheists versus high-IQ theists, the implications of the various sizes between the populations that possess different average intelligence is seldom considered. Take the numbers Fred cites: 0.4 percent of Europeans have 140+ IQs but 2.3 percent of Jews do. But first, I suspect this is erroneous and that 2.3 percent of Ashkenazi Jews are actually indicated. Further research indicates that I was correct, as Wade actually wrote:

Average northern European IQ is 100, by definition, and 4 people per 1,000 in such a population would be expected to have IQs above 140 points. But among Ashkenazim, if the average IQ is taken as 110, then 23 Ashkenazim per 1,000 should exceed 140, the Utah team calculates, a proportion almost six times greater than that in northern Europe. This helps explain why the Jewish population, despite its small size, has produced so many Nobel Prize winners and others of intellectual distinction.

This reasoning doesn’t hold up. The global Jewish population is 13,854,800. This would seem to indicate 318,660 Jews with 140+ IQs.  However, since Ashkenazim account for 74 percent of the global Jewish population and “enhanced cognitive capacity is confined to the Ashkenazic branch of the Jewish population”, the likely number of high-IQ Jews around the world is 235,809 Askenazim plus 14,409 non-Ashkenazim for total of  250,218. A very conservative estimate of the global European population is 680 million. This indicates 2,720,000 Europeans with 140+ IQs around the world.

Therefore, crediting Jewish success to their high level of intelligence when there are at least 11 high-IQ Europeans for every high-IQ Jew isn’t logically credible. Especially because there are at least 48 high-IQ Han and 5 high-IQ Japanese to factor in as well.