Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update (3 March, 2015, 12 Adar, 5775)
1. Irish red hair a result of our lack of sunlightÂ by Lynne Kelleher
2. Is there a such thing as red-headed Jews?
3. Red hair amongst Jews From Wikipedia
4. American liberals and conservatives think as if from different cultures
5. Ashkenazic Jews are Smarter by Hank Pellissier
6. 7 surprising facts about cannibalism by Phil Edwards
7. Black parents give birth to white baby by Andy Soltis
8. Kurds may be less close to Jews than was once thought
9. YDNA in Europe by Countries
1. Irish red hair a result of our lack of sunlight
by Lynne Kelleher
Irish people developed their red hair because of a lack of sunlight, according to new research from a leading DNA lab.
Irelands DNA has revealed that one in 10 Irish people have red hair but it is thought that up to half the population could be carrying the redhead gene even though they are blonde or brunette.
The DNA laboratory carrying out research into the flame-haired gene believes it is so associated with Ireland and Scotland because it is connected to a lack of vitamin D, which is related to the lack of sunlight.
It is thought Ireland, Scotland and northern England have the highest concentration of Titian-haired people in the world because the Celtic colouring is genetically programmed to work better in our sun-starved countries.
"It's to do with the cloudy climate," said Helen Moffat, marketing manager at IrelandsDNA.
"Scandinavia has perhaps less hours of sunshine but Ireland and Britain are much cloudier so the Vitamin D we get is much lower in comparison to somewhere like Scandinavia where they seem to have more sunshine.
"The fairer you are, the more vitamin D you can absorb. Red hair is associated with fair skin due to the lower melanin concentration and this has advantages as more vitamin D can be absorbed."
In Ireland 10 per cent of people are redheads while in Scotland up to 13 per cent have red hair and in England six per cent have red hair.
This is considerably higher than in the rest of the world. Outside Europe, only .06 per cent of people are redheaded.
For a child to have red hair, both parents must be carriers, but neither of them have to have red hair, and then there is still only a 25 per cent chance that their offspring will have it.
2. Is there a such thing as red-headed Jews?
To cite some examples of well-known Jewish-Americans with red hair, Madeline Kahn, Danny Kaye, and Art Garfunkel all were natural redheads. Stereotypically, red hair has long been associated with Ashkenazi Jews both in Italy and in Spain during the Inquisition as well as in Eastern Europe and Russia. The Bible also makes reference to the ruddy complexion of David and Esau.
Red hair results due to a lack of negative selection; for example, in Equatorial Africa red hair is selected against because high levels of sun harm fair skin. ... red hair is found in varying degrees of rarity primarily among European populations, most particularly, in Scotland and Ireland and among East Europeans Jews, but it also occasionally occurs in populations not normally associated with red hair. Christopher Columbus, for instance, was a red head.
3. Red hair amongst Jews
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Red hair is also found amongst the Ashkenazi Jewish populations. In European culture, prior to the 20th century, red hair was often seen as a stereotypically Jewish trait: during the Spanish Inquisition, all those with red hair were identified as Jewish. In Italy, red hair was associated with Italian Jews, and Judas was traditionally depicted as red-haired in Italian and Spanish art. Writers from Shakespeare to Dickens would identify Jewish characters by giving them red hair. The stereotype that red hair is Jewish remains in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia.
4. American liberals and conservatives think as if from different cultures
January 22, 2015
Source: University of Virginia
Summary: American conservatives think more like Asians, and liberals are the extreme Westerners in thought styles, new research suggests. The so-called "culture war," the lead author said, is an accurate if dramatic way to state that there are clear cultural differences in the thought processes of liberals and conservatives.
Additionally, the study indicates that thought styles -- whether analytical or holistic -- can be changed through training, enough so to temporarily change political thought and the way a person might vote.
"We found in our study that liberals and conservatives think as if they were from completely different cultures -- almost as different as East and West," said study leader Thomas Talhelm, a U.Va. doctoral candidate in cultural psychology. "Liberals and conservatives categorize and perceive things differently, just as East Asians and Westerners look differently at the world."
According to Talhelm, political conservatives in the United States, generally, and East Asians, particularly, are intuitive or "holistic" thinkers, while Westerners, generally, and American liberals, in particular, are more analytical thinkers.
The so-called "culture war," he said, is an accurate if dramatic way to state that there are clear cultural differences in the thought processes of liberals and conservatives.
"On psychological tests, Westerners tend to view scenes, explain behavior and categorize objects analytically," Talhelm said. "But the vast majority of people around the world -- about 85 percent -- more often think intuitively -- what psychologists call holistic thought, and we found that's how conservative Americans tend to think."
Holistic thought more often uses intention and the perception of whole objects or situations, rather than breaking them down to their parts -- such as having a general feeling about a situation involving intuition or tact.
Analytic thinking styles tend to look at the parts of a situation, and how they work together toward the whole. This involves "slicing up the world and analyzing objects individually, divorced from context," Talhelm said.
Studies show that analytical thinkers predominate in Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic societies (termed "WEIRD" societies in 2010 by a team of cultural psychologists at the University of British Columbia). But they make up only about 15 percent of the world's population.
So in a WEIRD society, such as the United States, analytically thinking liberals are "extreme Americans," Talhelm said, in the sense that they are particularly disinclined to think in the style of a vast majority of the rest of the world, including their holistic-thinking conservative countrymen.
There is value in both ways of thinking, Talhelm said. Intuitive thinking likely is the "default" style most people are born with, while analytical thinking generally must be learned, usually through training, such as in Western-style school systems. Psychologists test thought styles by giving study participants a short battery of tests to determine if they are holistic or analytic thinkers.
One such test asks participants to choose two of three items to categorize together, such as a mitten, a scarf, and a hand. Analytic thinkers usually match the scarf and mitten because they belong to the same abstract category -- items of winter clothing. Holistic thinkers usually match the mitten and hand because the hand wears a mitten. When Talhelm and his colleagues matched thought styles with political leanings of participants, they found that the liberals tended to be analytic thinkers and the conservatives holistic thinkers.
He noted that liberals in the West tend to live in urban or suburban areas and often have fairly weak social and community ties, move more often and are less traditionally religious. They are more individualistic than conservatives and very unlike most people in Eastern cultures. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to be more connected to their communities and may live in the same areas throughout their lives, maintaining strong social and familial bonds and commitments, and are more traditionally religious. This puts them more in line with the holistic-thinking majority of the world. "This study shows that the two sides in the 'culture war,' conservatives and liberals, really approach the world as if they came from two very different cultures," Talhelm said.
His study participants were primarily university students and adults who participated online.
5. Ashkenazic Jews are Smarter
By Hank Pellissier
Researchers who study the Ashkenazim agree that the children of Abraham are on top of the IQ chart. Steven Pinker, Â who lectured on 'Jews, Genes, and Intelligence' in 2007 - says 'their average IQ has been measured at 108-115.' Richard Lynn, author of 'The Intelligence of American Jews' in 2004, says it is 'only' a half-standard higher: 107.5.Â Henry Harpending, Jason Hardy, and Gregory Cochran, University of Utah authors of the 2005 research report, 'Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence,' state that their subjects, 'score .75 to 1.0 standard deviations above the general European average, corresponding to an IQ of 112-115.' Charles Murray, in his 2007 essay 'Jewish Genius,' says 'their mean is somewhere in the range of 107-115, with 110 being a plausible compromise.'
A Jewish average IQ of 115 is 8 points higher than the generally accepted IQ of their closest rivals 'Northeast Asians' and approximately 40% higher than the global average IQ of 79.1 calculated by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and Global Inequity.
Plus, contemplate this astounding tidbit: Ashkenazi 'visual-spatial' IQ scores are only mediocre; in one study their median in this category was a below-average 98. They surmount this liability by logging astronomic figures in 'verbal IQ', which includes verbal reasoning, comprehension, working memory and mathematical skill; a 1958 survey of yeshiva students discovered a median verbal IQ of 125.6....
.... Here's my new list, Â many related to each other - presented in roughly chronological order:
In 586 B.C.E., Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Babylonians, led by their monarch Nebuchadnezzar, 'who carried into exile all the [Jewish] officers and fighting men, and all the craftsmen and artisans, only the poorest people of the land were left.' (2Kings 24:10-14)... These 'Babylonian' Jews returning to Israel discovered that their poorer brethren that were left behind a half-century earlier had slipped away via assimilation, vanishing into neighboring pagan creeds. Cyril Darlington, in his The Evolution of Man and Society, suggests that the temporary separation of the Jewish elite, and permanent removal of the uneducated and unskilled, provided a genetic intellectual boost to the creed.
People of the Difficult Book:
The Torah (the first five books of the Jewish Bible) and the Talmud (recordings of rabbinic discussions) are intellectually complex and sophisticated. Practitioners of Judaism are required to learn and study the extensive, mentally rigorous laws. Thematic content of the scriptural passages is not simplistic or literal, it is, conversely, designed for comprehension on multiple, abstract, metaphorical levels. Blind faith and slavish devotion, encouraged by other faiths, is not conducive to Judaism. Instead, worship in the ancient monotheism demands significant literacy skills due to the cognitive demands of the texts, with tradition maintaining that understanding the Talmud requires 'study of seven hours a day for seven years.' Charles Murray notes that, 'no other religion made so many demands upon the whole body of its believers,' with the subsequent analysis that, 'Judaism evolved in such a way that to be a good Jew meant that a man had to be smart.'
Healthy Hygiene & Diet:
... With lower disease rates, Jewish bodies would not have suffered as much as Gentiles and this would have improved their mental capacities.
This notion has been repeated elsewhere. In 1953, research by Johns Hopkins University pharmacologist David I. Macht surmised that all the dozens of meat items banned by Jewish dietary laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus were, in fact, more toxic than the kosher flesh that was permitted.
Education Emphasized, Way Back in B.C.
' Jeremiah Unterman of Jerusalem informed me that the Torah instructs every Jewish father to teach the Torah to his children, and Marisa Landau notes on a futurepundit.com 6/4/05 discussion that it's forbidden by the Jewish religion to keep child illiterate. Additionally, LandauÂ reports that Jewish women learned to read and write, a phenomenon that was unique in the ancient world. Landau also mentions that it has long been a custom among Jews to provide a full pension - for up to 10 years, Â to an intelligent son-in-law who wishes to entirely devote himself to study. The Jews, it seems, invented the notion of Â 'scholarships.'
In the medieval era, the French monk, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) penned this about Jewish education: 'A Jew, however poor, even if he had ten sons, would get them all to letters, not for gain as the Christians do, but for understanding of God's law.Â And not only for his sons, but his daughters.'
Mandatory Schools For Males
Â - In 64 A.D., the high priest Joshua ben Gamla issued and implemented an ordinance mandating schools for all boys, beginning at age 6. Within 100 years, Jews had established universal male literacy and numeracy, the first ethnicity in history to achieve this.
The progressive, demanding edict created a huge demographic shift. The high, oft-times prohibitive cost of educating children in the subsistence farming economy of the 2nd to 6th centuries prompted numerous Jews to voluntarily convert to Christianity, leading to a decline in Jewish population from 4.5 million to 1.2 million.
Natural 'eugenics' favored two groups in this situation: 1) the sons of wealthier, ostensibly more intelligent Jews, who could provide greater funding for the schools that maintained their offspring's membership as Jews, and, 2) the smartest boys who could quickly learn reading, writing and arithmetic at a pace at which they could afford to 'stay Jewish.'
Who was left out? Removed from the gene pool? Answer: the poorer, uneducated Jews, and/or those with the lowest IQ.
Â 80-90% of Jews were farmers in 1 AD.Â But only 10-20% remained in agriculture by 1000 A.D. The education required by Joshua ben Gamla's edict delivered verbal and math skills to Jewish boys, enabling them to move out of subsistence rural life into highly-skilled urban professions, involving sales, trade, and financial transactions.
Moving from a pastoral environment into cities implements an IQ boost, due to urbanism's increased complexity, literacy, and technology. A Hanoi National University study in 2006 showed a whopping 19.4 IQ difference between city and country students.Â A 1970 survey in Greece recorded a difference of 10-13 points. Other studies note smaller discrepancies of only 2-6 points, but unanimously, urban residents always score higher, and Jews are one of the world's longest-urbanized ethnicities.
Dialectic and Rational Thought
Â Dr. Sam Lehman-Wilzig informed me that one of the noteworthy approaches to Jewish learning is 'dialectic.'Â The Talmud itself is not a'law code' but instead, a huge compendium of ARGUMENTS. Jews are encouraged to see different perspectives of an issue, and they're taught to question everything, including the Law, the Rabbi's logic, and one's own belief system. Rabbis developed argumentative principles, an entire system of questioning that the Jews have utilized for 2,000 years in both religious and secular debates.
The analytic, strategic skills developed in both Jewish dialectic and critical thinking are an important component of IQ tests, and they're essential in legal, academic, science, and engineering careers.
Clever Clerics Propagate:
A major difference between Catholicism and Judaism is that priests have been celibate since the 4th century Council of Carthage decreed that they abstain from conjugal relations, whereas Jewish rabbis have always been encouraged to marry and multiply. In the Middle Age this resulted in massive IQ depression for Catholics, because their brightest, academically gifted boys were usually locked up in seminaries that wasted their gene pool. Meanwhile, Â sage, scholastic Jewish rabbis were marrying smart women and creating large, clever families.
Breeding for Brains:
...Â In A History of the Jews, author Paul Johnson notes that, 'among the Jews the most intelligent people have always been very valued and sought after as husbands, so they procreate and spread their good genes.' Charles Murray observed another matchmaking tendency, when he notes that 'by marrying the children of scholars to the children of successful merchants, Jews were in effect joining those selected for abstract reasoning ability with those selected for practical intelligence.'
Ashkenazi merchants plied their wares over a vast area, originally to Islamic regions, but later internationally - from rubber in Brazil to silk in China. To prosper in the exchange, they memorized multiple languages. The stateless tribe needed diverse fluency anyway, to communicate in adopted lands with their neighbors that spoke German, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Dutch, etc.
Neurologists today recognize that multiple language learning enhances memory, mental flexibility, problem solving, abstract thinking, and creative hypothesis formulation. Explanations of the benefits abound; I recommend listening to the video, 'Bilingualism Will Supercharge Your Baby's Brain.'
Squeezed Into Brilliance:
Jews in Europe were officially excluded from 'common' occupations such as agriculture from 800-1700 A.D. Indeed, they were usually not allowed to own land. The restrictions forced Ashkenazim for 900 years into urban vocations that were cognitively more demanding, such as trade, bookkeeping, commerce, sales, and investment.
Winnowed By Persecution:
The most intelligent and/or wealthy Ashkenazim were better equipped to escape Inquisitions, pogroms, persecutions, holocausts, and other genocidal threats because they: 1) could afford to emigrate; 2) could predict the need to do so; and 3) had social and economic opportunities in the nations they fled to. Poorer, less connected, and less astute Ashkenazi ranks thus were inexorably depleted.
Ashkenazim are prey to about nineteen debilitating genetic diseases, and it's been surmised that several of them might have cognitive 'side effects' that can enhance intelligence. Many of the disorders can kill or severely weaken those who have two copies of the gene, but if you inherit just one, you get a 'heterozygote advantage' that can include neuron growth promotion and accelerated interconnection of brain cells. For example, having just one of the allele in Tay-Sachs and Niemann-Pick, Â GM2ganglioside - could moderately increase dentrite growth.
Another Ashkenazi ailment is Gaucher's disease, which seems to promote axonal growth and branching.Â A survey discovered that out of 255 employed patients of Gaucher's disease at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, were in occupations that require IQs over 120, and 15% were scientists. Another survey of Ashkenazim with Torsion Dystomia revealed an average IQ of 121.
I interviewed Gregory Cochran via email; he's the University of Utah co-author of the 2005 research report, 'Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence.' In his words, 'any IQ boost due to Gaucher's [would be] a good deal less than 10-15 points [but] It may be that big for Torsion Dystonia: everyone who has treated them marvels at how sharp they are' [However] only a fraction [of Ashkenazi IQ elevation] is due to particular mutations like Gaucher, in our opinion.' In another interview, Cochran pinpointed the fractions as, 'One in two thousand Askenazi, at most, carry a Tay-Sachs mutation and a Gaucher mutation, the two most common.'
Aubrey Max Sandman, PhD, an electrical engineer in London, sent me an email asserting that positive attitude is what counts, not genetics. His opinion is that non-Jews do not work as hard as Jews, to attain their full potential.
In actuality, 'positive thinking' actually does elevate IQ.Â 2011 research at Michigan State University revealed that a subject's 'mind set' makes a difference in intelligence because their attitude determines if they react productively, or self-destructively, to their mistakes. The report will soon be published, hopefully with specific data charting IQ gains, in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.
Chess historically has been a highly favored activity among Ashkenazim; a 1905 magazine described it as the 'Jewish National Game.' Almost 50% of Grandmasters are Ashkenazi. The visual, organizational, and strategic skills required for chess build up the precuneus in the superior parietal lobe, and the caudate nucleus, a part of the basal ganglia in the subcortical region. Admittedly, these benefits are not hereditary, but youngsters who practice the game can elevate their memory storage, strategic planning, and IQ.
Music has been revered in Jewish religious traditions for 3,000 years. ... Researchers today believe music training optimizes neuron development and improves brain function in math, analysis, memory, creativity, stress management, concentration, motivation, and science.
Comfortable Supportive Families, With High Expectations:
Success promotes success, on the neurological level. Victory provides a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates motivation for further accomplishments. Ashkenazi children generally understand they are capable of high achievement, and they're urged to develop their skills for contribution to humanity.
Is stern discipline necessary to produce these results? Ashkenazim have long discouraged spanking of their children; strong familial ties, incessant encouragement, and hard focused work at excellent institutions, seems to be sufficient.
Â Untermensch Go Elsewhere?
Â A 40+-year old Jewish commenter from New York City with the nomenclature 'AS A MATTER OF FACT' Â informed me that - in his opinion - Ashkenazi who lack high intelligence and creativity end up feeling inferior.Â He believes this eventually leads to the 'untermensch' marrying outside of the tribe. Only the ubermensch remain to reproduce. His point of view was echoed by another poster - Efox - who stated that less intelligent Jews incapable of being their own 'Priest' inevitably left Judaism to join another religion.
A commenter who identified himself as 'zeev from jew york city' informed me that many rabbis were 'Einsteins of Empathy' , Â amazingly kind, patient, loving and understanding of other humans. The high-level 'empaths' Â impacted their congregations, making their lives better and promoting their ambitions and enterprizes.
Fear of Anti-Semitism? Â
Commenter Morris Wise stated a paranoiac position after reading my original article on the instapundit.com website.Â In his opinion, Jews are driven to attain high academic success, career achievement, and wealth, because they want to feel safe, protected and insulated from anti-Jewish feelings in the outside community.Â This point-of-view can, of course, be justified by the long history of resentment and persecution that Jews have experienced.
6. 7 surprising facts about cannibalism by Phil Edwards
Wednesday, February 18, 2015Â
Â Â Extracts:
Cannibalism can show up at the most unexpected points in history.
Most people don't associate cannibalism with the Soviet Union. But as Timothy Snyder describes in his book Bloodlands, the 1933 Stalin-imposed famine in Ukraine was so severe that cannibalism became surprisingly prevalent. The state had to set up an anti-cannibalism squad, and hundreds of people were accused of eating their neighbors or, in some cases, their family members. (Ron Rosenbaum shares many of the gruesome details in a book review for Slate.)
... Among anthropologists, the Fore people in Papua New Guinea are known for cannibalism. Up until the late 1950s, they ate the bodies of relatives to cleanse their spirits. Thousands of Fore contracted kuru and died ("kuru" actually comes from the Fore word for shaking). But not all of them fell victim to the disease: over the last 200 years, some Fore have also developed a genetic mutation that protects them from the prions that transmit kuru.
The Fore were adapting to cannibalism, with natural selection possibly playing a role in reducing their susceptibility to disease. Scientists have been trying to study this further, but in recent decades, cannibalism has been declining among the Fore because of changing social mores and laws. If that continues, kuru may be wiped out entirely.
Cannibalism was sometimes used as a medical treatment
There are many horrifying examples of cannibalism in Europe throughout history. But one of the most bizarre is that cannibalism was occasionally seen as a remedy. To pick one example, in Germany from the 1600s to 1800s, executioners often had a bizarre side job that supplemented their income: selling leftover body parts as medicine.
Apothecaries regularly stocked fat, flesh, and bone.
As described in Kathy Stuart's Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts, human fat was sold as a remedy for broken bones, sprains, and arthritis. Usually, this human fat was rubbed as a balm, not eaten. However, apothecaries regularly stocked fat, flesh, and bone, and there are also examples of a human skull being ground into a fine powder and mixed with liquid to treat epilepsy.
That treatment may sound strange, but remember that eating placenta has become a modern-day health fad. Most of the time, the popular verdict on cannibalism is clear, don't do it. But occasionally, what's cannibalism and what isn't has been surprisingly hard to define.
7. Black parents give birth to white baby
By Andy Soltis
What happened is that baby Nmachi is a blond, blue-eyed white baby born to two black Nigerian immigrant parents at a London hospital.
'The first thing I said was, 'What the flip?' ' said the father, Ben Ihegboro....
He quickly sought to dispel any speculation.
'Of course she is mine. My wife is true to me,' Â the 44-year-old customer service adviser said. 'Even if she hadn't been, the baby still wouldn't look like that.'
Genetics experts don't believe in miracles, but they didn't have any simple answers to the mystery of baby Nmachi. Instead, they offered three theories:
# She's the result of a gene mutation unique to her. If that is the case, Nmachi would pass the gene to her children, and they, too, would likely be white.
# She's the product of long-dormant white genes, passed on to her by her parents, that might have been carried by their predecessors for generations without surfacing until now.
# While doctors have said Nmachi is not an outright albino, or lacking in all pigment, they added that the child may have some kind of mutated version of the genetic condition, and that her skin could darken over time.
8. Kurds may be less close to Jews than was once thought
Where are The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?
Some have promoted the notion that the Kurds represent a Lost Tribe. Some claims have been made regarding a genetic relationship between the Kurds and the Jews on the basis of a similarity between Kurdish Y-DNA and a Y haplotype that is associated with the Jewish priesthood.
However, in genetic testing of the Y chromosome of 95 Muslim Kurds, only one sample (1.05% of the Kurds tested) matched the so-called Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), consisting of six specific Y-STR values. Various misleading statements have associated typical Kurdish Y-DNA with that of the Jews. However, these attempts are based on several sources of confusion:
(1) The Cohen Modal Haplotype in its original form includes only six Y-STR markers, which with the scientific advances since that time, are now understood to be far too few to adequately identify a unique, closely related group that shares common descent from one relatively recent paternal ancestor. The same six marker values can be found by random mutations in other populations that are only remotely related. They are thus identical by state, but not Identical by descent. The 6-marker CMH cannot be used as a clear indicator of Cohen genetic ancestry, without additional data. Thus its presence should not be used as grounds for probable Jewish ancestry in a population.
(2) It is touted as a fact of great significance that the most common (modal) 6-marker haplotype of the Kurds is only one step from the CMH, but in fact, these same six marker values that were found to be the 'Kurdish modal haplotype' Â can be seen in the data, in numerous sources, to be the most common haplotype amongst a wide variety of J2 Y chromosomes, wherever they may be found, in ethnic groups of the Middle East or in Europe, thus, it is hardly an indication of a close relationship with the Cohanim priesthood, or with the Jews.
(3) The fact that the 2001 paper by Nebel found a somewhat greater similarity between the Y-DNA of the Kurds and the Jews than between the Jews and the Palestinians does not point to a uniquely close relationship between the Jews and the Kurds. This study did not compare Jews with other non-Kurdish Iraqis, or with the people of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, or other nearby lands. The available data indicates that these peoples are all closely related, with the Jews and Kurds making up just two per cent of a diverse family of Middle Eastern peoples in this region.
The Genetic Bonds Between Kurds and Jews
by kevin brook
9. YDNA in Europe by Countries