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Home > Articles > Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? - 20 Possible Explanations

Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? - 20 Possible Explanations

Posted: Wed, February 13, 2013 | By: Hank Pellissier

Ashkenazi Jews are smart. Shockingly brilliant, in general. Impressive in brain power. How did they get that way…?

This excellent article, viewed by over 140,000 readers - has been moved.  To find it, CLICK HERE



Just because an article seems to be reasoned doesn’t mean it’s not racist. What is the essential difference between what Pellissier has written about Ashkenazi Jews and Hitler’s racist thought in Mein Kampf. Pellissier uses the same questionable technique to elevate one race over others. Are you saying that all the rest of humanity are untermenschen?

By Sam Spade on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:12am

I have not read this author’s works beyond this well written study of the Ashkenazi. So, the following may be an observation which is out of context:  It does appear logical that this race of humans enhanced their intelligence out of necessity and out of diligence. The most important potential, I believe, comes from their predecessors- particularly Solomon. King Solomon was granted wisdom from their God, according to the Old Testament. Further, their common bond would would be strengthened by their deep religious convictions. This is important for their young to grow up and learn how they fit into to their host societies.

By Michael Trickey on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:02pm

I do not agree with Sam Spade about the racism of this article. I must admit that I had an uneasy feeling at first. Pellissier does not label the Jews as super intelligent but he triads to explain how and why a small people has reached such an unusual IQ. Part of the explanation is not pleasant: dump all the low IQs and you end up with high IQ (first diaspora) or persecution. Any group can do that, and any group will do that if forced to do it. The Jews presently alive are the unveiling beneficiary of the un-natural selection, enhanced by traditional Jewish values. They are not Supermen, just higher IQ that would return to normal after a few centuries without persecution, not likely to happen. It may seem racist but it is true science and does not create a “special race”. Admitting an African-American kid to college without the correct level is in my opinion much more racist. We have plenty of very smart black people, or any other group. This quick review of articles is well built and does not mean anything on an individual level.

By Guy Rosenschein on Nov 18, 2012 at 3:01pm


The observations aren’t at all racist. The environmental factors discussed could just as easily be applied to any sub-group of humanity. That they are all (theoretically) applicable to a specific group just creates a “perfect storm” which apparently concentrated intelligence/success amongst an identifiable minority.

There have been plenty of folks outside the specific group who have demonstrated equal or greater success than any individual Ashkenazi. The question being asked is “why is there such a concentration of gifted individuals within this definable sub-group?”. The suggested causes are just that - suggestions. They are worthy of further debate and research. Does learning a second language improve the likelihood of an increased IQ? Does playing chess make a person smarter in the long run? Is a more carefully considered diet beneficial to mental strength?

Equally, while it is abhorrent to contemplate the unwarranted acts of atrocity that have been carried out against Jews throughout history, the resultant effects must certainly be taken into consideration when considering the possible impact they had on the general mental capacity of a clearly delineated sub-group. While it might be hard to accept, the discomforting data that’s already out there might lead to better insight into how to improve out minds and those of the generations to come.

The reasons that a particular sub-group of humanity might exhibit superior mental capacity have seemingly come at great cost - it honors them and us to examine the reasons for their apparently exceptional abilities and learn.

By Ironic Chef on Nov 18, 2012 at 7:36pm

Nice idea !

By Sade Goldshtein Shosh (Rose) on Nov 18, 2012 at 9:09pm

I cannot agree more, any group of any religion/ethnicity under the same circumstances would have achieved the same results. This group has paid a high price because of its high IQ and because of this price the IQ has grown higher.
The rest is history or religion depending on one’s point of view.

By Guy Rosenschein on Nov 19, 2012 at 4:54am

This article somewhat reminded me of the old series titled “Prey”. It was about a conflict between humans and superior, new human species that evolved “naturally” in mysterious way. Those super-humans had higher intelligence, enhanced strength and different emotions, and formed secret organizations all around the world.

The show was actually low quality, acting was mediocre, with lot of bad science, but I found the main plot interesting.

Hypothetically, could some social, ethnic or religious group which rarely bred with others, and experienced a very high positive selection, for example through constant persecution and threats of all kinds, evolve into a superior human species or subspecies? I would guess that it is very unlikely but possible.


By andrej on Nov 22, 2012 at 2:22am

That is a scary thought but could have ben a good movie! I think we have our genes to deal with and although selection does change the ratio it will not create a “super-human race”, at least I doubt that.

By Guy Rosenschein on Nov 22, 2012 at 7:21am

Very interesting article, if nothing then just for the idea. I think not all is based on scientific truths. But so what.
And the end point: That we should all do something constructive for our kids, I’ll buy into that!

By Niels Bogeskov on Nov 25, 2012 at 3:52pm

Fascinating article, thank you.

Small but important quibble:  You use the AD/BC dating in an article extolling Ashkenazi IQ.

Not only academics, but the educated population in general, is now using
CE/BCE instead.

Since AD/BC refers to the Christian god figure,(AD = Anno Domini - Year of Our Lord; BC = Before Christ)  it is considered in better taste to use secular terms that would not be offensive to most of the world which is not Christian..

Hence CE = Common Era and BCE =Before the Common Era.

By Hypatia on Nov 25, 2012 at 7:15pm

OK, so let’s be vigilant that we, in the U.S.,do not allow our hard-attained genius to get pissed away by video games, bad public schools, indifferent parents, and all the other devices that, in our American “culture” might well have the effect of diluting our abilities.

I am deadly serious that only a small fraction of Askenazi teenagers today know Jewish history (not to mention the history of Israel), and are so busy being typical mindless American kids that they are sliding DOWN the scale!

Distressing, too, the high percentage of Jews in the banking and securities fields who participated in and facilitated the destruction of the U.S. economy by Wall Street.  Brains are fine, but MORALITY is even finer! 

By Hypatia on Nov 25, 2012 at 7:30pm

Measuring “IQ” is at best a questionable measurement of how us humans as a group do on tests created by us humans to quantify a not very quantifiable aspect of us humans.

How flattering it is to us Jews to think we are so so smart.  But as an old man I say unto you I have met in my life an awful lot of non Jews who were at the very least as smart as myself which says almost nothing.

Over time we Jews have intermarried and merged into the general gene pool of all humanity- I would lean on the last 500 years of historical challenges as a better explanation of perceived “higher Jewish intellect.

By jacob liebert on Jan 03, 2013 at 12:26pm

Education Emphasized, Way Back in B.C. says it all.  It is the reason the initial higher IQs continue to grow.  Look at those incredible numbers in Hungary.  It is the culture as much as the genetics.

By Mr. StemCell on Jan 03, 2013 at 7:35pm

The numbers in Hungary surely demand more than a “perceived” label.

By Mr. StemCell on Jan 03, 2013 at 10:15pm

One mistake I noticed…you said Ashkenazi were originally from Israel. This is not true. Ashkenazi were the elite rulers of the Khazar society who converted to Judaism during the 8th or 9th century A.D. The Khazars lived between the Black sea and the Caspian sea. After the fall of their empire, they came as refugees to what is now western Germany along the Rhine river. Today, a true Ashkenazi must be able to trace their lineage back 1,000 years to this western German region.

I am grateful that an honest discussion of the Ashkenazi high IQs is available here on the internet. I do not believe I share any ethnicity with them, but I am very impressed by their high intelligence and contributions to society.

On the other hand, I loathe their legalized counterfeiting “fractional reserve” debt enslavement banking system. And I wish their leaders would not act like sociopaths regarding the Palestinians in Gaza.

By Pete on Jan 09, 2013 at 4:41pm

One more reason Jews are smarter:

1, If a Jewish woman mates with a non Jew the children are Jewish. If a Jewish man mates with a non Jew the children may not be Jewish.

2, Men tend to select mates for thier beauty.
Women tend to selct mates for their competence.

These two factors combine to pump competent/hign I.Q.genes into the Jewish gene pool.


By tim baker on Jan 23, 2013 at 10:51pm

This sample is actually from Yeshiva College. It’s not representative, though the verbal scores are still quite high

By rj on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:42am

Ancient jews were of darker skin and were exiled to Babylon. They got assimilated into Iran and are now muslims, namely the city of hamadan. Today’s AShkenazi white jews are converts from 650 AD as the entire kingdom of the Khazars (Ashkenaz) converted to judaism. So, any connotation to the ancient Israel is an outright LIE. Yes, the Ashkenazi are jews by religion; however, by race are whites and have always been white.

By asdfghjk on Jan 29, 2013 at 9:53pm

The Khazar/Ashkenaz empire was into the slave trade as they would capture the slavic people. The Varangian Rus vikings invaded them and the Ashkenazi jews fled northwards into germany and Poland where we find them in concentrated numbers. If so, their ancient homeland would be between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, which is Georgia nowdays. SO, after the war, jewish homeland should have been created by expelling the Georgians and not the palestinians. Israel is 800 miles away from where it should be.

By asdfghjk on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:04pm

Regarding asdfghjk’s comments: The idea that Ashkenazi Jews descent from the Khazars was popularized around 70 years ago by Arthur Koestler’s book The Thirteenth Tribe. It’s a plausible hypothesis, and generated considerable research. It turns out it’s not true. Analysis of Ashkenazic languages (not only Yiddish but previous languages) and Ashkenazic DNA demonstrate pretty conclusively that Ashkenazic Jews are indeed who they say they are. That said, there’s also evidence of gene flow from local populations over the last 2,500 years. Some, maybe, from Khazars. Some from Greeks or Romans. Nothing surprising there.

As for Jews being “white” or “dark skinned”: ancient Hebrews were, from what little textual and archeological evidence we’ve got, a “mixed” people from the beginning. No surprise there either: the ancient Levant saw Hittites and Hurrians from the north, Egyptians from the south, and “sea peoples” combine, recombine, and combine again. To impose our idea of race on the identities of ancient Levantine peoples is an exercise in futility.

By Tom on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:51am

This was a very interesting article.

I grew up in NYC and went to Stuyvesant H.S. At that time entrance to the school was based ENTIRELY on getting a high score on an entrance exam. I remember about 40% of the students were Jewish and 30% were Asian. Very few students were black, but the ones who were were totally integrated - they were just as smart and capable as anyone else, obviously.

Ashkenazi intelligence is a fact and facts are not racist. What is racist is treating an INDIVIDUAL differently because he or she is a member of a particular group. While Jews as a group might be extremely intelligent, a particular Jew may not be; same with any group. It would also be wrong to deem that a particular individual has more value before God because of high IQ.

Additionally, while some of the factors leading to Jewish intelligence are genetic (due to horrible natural selection), others are environmental. The reason world IQ scores are so low, for example, is that so many people worldwide suffered malnutrition during their formative years. The reason many inner-city black kids do badly on IQ tests include controllable factors such as not having a parent read to them at night or being exposed to trauma at a young age (both of which might be indirectly related to not having a stable nuclear family).

Instead of looking at facts as exclusionary (gee, aren’t Jews superior), use facts as tools to improve life for all people (what can we learn from the Jewish experience that might help others). Think of how much better the world might be if no child suffered from malnutrition, for example, or if inner-city kids grew up in stable families in safe neighborhoods. How do we create the conditions so these types of things will naturally occur? And, how do we also nurture and appreciate unique gifts besides just IQ? While high IQ is great, values like empathy, compassion, integrity, etc. might be more important.

By Shefali on Feb 11, 2013 at 7:00am

Is this why the Haredi families are dumb as bricks and live off of Israeli tax money to pursue their Talmudic studies instead of contributing to society?

By Gedolim on Feb 11, 2013 at 9:22am

The Ashkenazi are not descendants of Abraham who were descended through Noah’s son Shem. Ashkenaz is mentioned in ancient texts as being the great-grandson of Noah through his son, Japeth.  The Japeth tribes settled north of where the Abraham tribes lived in what was called the maritime nations.  These nations included Cyphrus, Crete, Turkey, western Iran and areas around the Black Sea.  Their ethic groups included the Scythians, Medes, Khasars and Indo-Europeans who later migrated to the Rhineland and Russia.

They may have merged with the Mesopotamian Jews following the diaspora but they didn’t start out as being in the twelve tribes.

By independent109 on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:04am

Why do so many Jews support socialist policies or do they support socialist polices as long as they benefit them?

By Jon Swenson on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:41am

chalk this one up, a large percentage of the Ashkenazi genome is “European” so who would marry into this peculiar non-conformist people? Gentile peculiar non-conformists or in other words geniuses of the gentile persuasion. In the ancient world and the middle ages this problem became so acute that laws were passed prohibiting intermarriage though they had probably only a limited efficacy.

By Hillel on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:05pm

A fascinating and insightful study - we forget the impact of the accumulation of many small differences.  It is how a small group of individuals ultimately are over represented in the “intellectual elite” and how a nation can bury itself in debt.  It is the “little foxes that spoil the vine”.  It is, evidently, the small differences that ultimately matter.  vv

By Terry Taerum on Feb 11, 2013 at 7:20pm

Not’s the money they are able to spend on high standard education from day one that makes the difference..the privilege…
We come from the same source and shall return to the same source.

By Ben Nathan on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:04am

Unfortunately, outside of Lake Woebegone it is not possible for all the children to be above average.

By Stefan Stackhouse on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:02pm

I don’t think money is the answer.
Son of Holocausts survivors I grew up quite poor, went to public school and end up as a physician, member of Mensa.
Success is not buying education, it is also a state of mind, failure is not an option.
I was never told it is ok you did your best!
It was more like: ok, you can certainly do better.
No matter what half of the population is always under average ... except in Lake Woebegone.
Maybe Azkenazi are from Lake Woebegone, that’s the final answer.

By Guy R. on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:39pm

I found Shefali comment interesting, by a unique test the school selected the best, no credit for minorities or disadvantaged people. The minorities, who ended up being the majority of the school, were treated fairly and did not have to apologize for being there. The second part referring to reproducing the conditions of high IQ is more academic than real, but to some extend it may help. Among conditions that lead to a low IQ is the lack of exposure to intellectual activities outside the school. And yes I have know very stupid Ashkenazi Jews, we are talking about average here, I think I met the ones who averaged against Einstein. Low IQ is no reason for contempt, bad behavior is.

By Guy R. on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:52pm

Money is most of the answer, as far as increasing the chances to become a more “advanced” member of society, so is being “street-wise”, knowing how to breed money. The other side of the equation is being strict with your children and having a culture (and understanding of history) to pass on to them. The modern day Ashekanzi still have a culture that has mitigated assimilation and but has morphed throughout the years, it’s current form being Judaism fused with political Zionism, which attempts to impose the responsibility of being politically active and aware, thus it could contribuite to an increase in IQ scores. The draw back of their culture is that it promotes ultra-nationalism for the Israeli state and breeds racism among their ranks.

By Gedolim on Feb 13, 2013 at 8:50am

@Sam Spade is completely right!  How is this study any different from “studies” of the Jewish or Negro brain done by Nazi propagandists?!  There is logically no difference between the following two statements:
1) Jews are smarter than non-Jews
2) Non-jews are dummer than Jews
Those jewish readers who think this is tolerable are exhibiting the utmost hypocrisy!  It’s as if the readers/commentors who find the first sentence tolerable are admitting that the problem with Nazi propaganda was just its ineloquence.  Would the “studies” of Goebbels have been acceptable as long as they only claimed that Aryans were smarter than non-Aryans, without ever making negative comments about non-Aryans?!  Of course not!!!  This article and the one from New York Magazine are hypocrisy and double standards at their most despicable and reprehensible!  My word, how quick a people can forget their own history!  Double standards in speech breed a victim mentality. Shame on all those who praise this article and its related study.

By Christopher Thompson on Feb 14, 2013 at 5:18pm

Christopher Th. is missing the point completely. The IQ number at the beginning of the article are true, known for about 20 years. It is a curiosity, or racism, but it is a fact. Are we going to argue about the fact that black people have a darker skin? We may wonder why, it has been studied, and explained. IQ is not in the genes, it is built on the template formed by the genes. Any child raised in a family that is smart and devoted to him/her will gain 20 points at the end (the exact number is my guess). The issue is now how do we achieve that, all parents actually raising their children? Is this prospective more scientific and less racist? If we could achieve that our society would be much smarter, no matter realign or ethnicity. By the way, the studies published by the NAZI never existed, not even the data, it was pure fiction. Having lost many family members from age 3 to age 72 in the Holocaust I am not here to support any racist ideology.

By Guy R. on Feb 15, 2013 at 10:50pm

By comparing Ashkenazi experience with that of the Confucian influenced Asian, we should note some commonality.  Chinese, Korean, and Japanese academic excellence appears to stem from strongly valuing it.  Asian cultures not strongly infused with Confucian values struggle in comparison.  Whatever a society values will be promoted environmentally through parental, group, and institutional pressure and genetically through sexual selection over many generations.  I am sure this applies to societies valuing hunting, combat, artistic, or musical excellence as well.

By Dennis Arashiro on Feb 16, 2013 at 8:22am

This article does sound quite racist - especially the idea that Eurpean Jews are smarter than the middle eastern (sephardic) ones. But there is some truth to it, but the cause is neither racial nor genetic.

Those cultures which have been exposed to education and civilized societies for more generations have become smarter than the rest, not because of their race or their genes.

In the case of Jews, this has been going on for longer than any other people (you need to study theosophy to understand why this is so).

By David on Feb 16, 2013 at 9:54am

1, The only true IQ test is real life.
2, On the one hand, by this measure, an objective viewer sees that Jews are by far the most intelligent—a mere speck of the human population responsible for a staggeringly large portion of its life-improving contributions.
3, On the other hand, by this same measure, an objective viewer sees that Jews rank with the least intelligent—choosing to remain associated with a group whose members are routinely abused and killed, this responsible over time for a staggeringly large tally of avoidable suffering. Viewed objectively, raising a child Jewish places personal desires of the parents over the child’s future safety, not a high IQ act.
4, Clearly it’s good for the world that there are Jews. Clearly its bad for Jews that there are Jews.
5, Is there a way to retain the flow of life-improving contributions flowing from Jewish culture while eliminating the suffering they occasionally endure—if mistreatment of Jews ended for certain, would Jewish culture gradually become less productive?
6, Is it possible that by emulating relevant Jewish child-rearing processes that Jewish productiveness could spread to non-Jewish cultures?

By Tim Baker on Feb 16, 2013 at 9:58am

@Guy R., are you saying that Nazi propaganda would have been proper and acceptable as long as it were true?  Nonsense!  There is a danger anytime, even in the interest of “science”, when one group is elevated above another.  Why? Because even if we dignify truly scientific studies of that sort, there is a danger that people will be misled by spurious “scientific” studies later on, especially in societies that are less educated. Do you not think that most Germans believed the Nazi race “studies” were true and scientific?  Do you not think that Hutus believed the claims about Tutsis were factual?  My point is that the population can be persuaded to believe fact or fiction. Once factual race studies are considered acceptable, then we have opened the gates to spurious ones.  The slippery slope that’s created is why these types of discussions are dangerous.

By Christopher Thompson on Feb 16, 2013 at 2:20pm

“the little foxes that spoil the vine”...  instead of this being a debate about racism we should do like Einstein did - accept the data and attempt to understand what is under the data.  In his case, it was fitting the traditional time space frame construct with irreconcilable data about the constancy of the speed of light.  Something had to give, and in the end it was the construct and not the data.

In the case of the distribution of intelligence the data stands - there is a construct that needs to be given the boot.  What is not clear is which construct and attempts to find sinister explanations for what is obviously accurate data is a waste of time.  It is always possible that all groups ought to have the same high distribution but due to the accumulation of small differences (the little foxes) this is not the case.  There is no magic formula but my guess is if people focused on giving their own children the necessary support instead of hoping government will do the job for them, these differences would lessen over time.  You only need to look at someone like Condeleezza Rice to realize what can be accomplished - and I don’t think she is Ashkenazi, nor are many other highly accomplished people.

By Terry Taerum on Feb 16, 2013 at 6:33pm

Now that is very different, should we do studies like this and / or publish them? It is very dangerous, I agree with Christopher, it can and will be misused, no question. On the other hand, knowing why a group is “better”, ruling out genetic superiority which is BS, may be useful. We must weight benefit vs. risk, both are huge in this case. I lean towards telling the truth and using it for improvement but I must agree that there is an enormous risk. By the way a similar value system in Asians, mostly expatriate Asians, has brought the same results, so maybe we should try to use these values. Of course we all know that a stable, intelligent, educated family will have more successful kids than the opposite type of family. The Government cannot fix that because kids live with mom (and dad sometimes), they go to school 6 to 8 hours a day “only”. This is a different topic…

By Guy R. on Feb 16, 2013 at 7:37pm

I respect the Jews as much as anyone, and always tell those pushy Christans who demand that I abandon Hinduism and join their mob that if I had to leave Hinduism I would certainly prefer to join the Jews and certainly not the Christians who put so little value on the intellect.

However, may I remind this author that the number system we use and which has enabled complex mathematics was invented by Hindus, not Jews, and that apart from the Bible there is no Jewish literature that can compare with Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.  The Jews will say these authors were unthinkable without the Bible but then so was Marx without German philosophy.

Jews had to work hard in intellectual occupations to survive. That is the long and short of it.  In India Brahmins, people of priestly castes who have had to study Sankrit texts over millennia are also know for being peternaturally clever.

By Ganpat on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:14pm

Interestingly I was taught that our numeral system was invented by the Arabs. I do not know the actual answer. The Jewish literature is quite rich, it is in Yiddish which limits its spread but it is diversified. For the past 2000 years the Jewish literature was also in French, English, Spanish and other languages. A match for Shakespeare or Tolstoy, I don’t know. I have personally met Brahmins and I must concur with Ganpat about their intelligence (as an average, not individually). Basically people who are carefully selected (by their peers or their enemies) and well trained end up with a high IQ, and I believe that.

By Guy R. on Feb 20, 2013 at 7:59pm

Khazarian hypothesis proven,last week, analysis by Johns Hopkins Israeli scientist re-examined Behar’s autosomal DNA study. Those who believe the Ashkenazi population are a specific race,with attributes linked directly descendant from the Levant…may be wrong.All the studies indicating higher IQ attributed to “race”, bear in mind if this analysis holds up to peer review, it means that the various diverse tribes and clans forming the converted Judaic Kharzar empire shared the same history,epigenetic, environmental,religious,socio-cultural factors that lead to the modern European Askenazim. In a nutshell, the high “IQ’s” came from people originating from the Caucus region and not ancient Judiah. Suggest you read the analysis,Shlomo Sand was right all along. Racial pride = European hubris.
For those who care, look it up. Autosomes contain history,just open the” book “and read it.

.A 2012 study by Eran Elhaik[74] analyzed data collected for previous studies and concluded that the DNA of Eastern and Central European Jewish populations indicates that their ancestry is “a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries”. For the study, Palestinians were assumed to be a valid genetic surrogate of ancient Jews, whereas the Druze were assumed to be non-Semitic immigrants into the Levant. Armenians and Georgians were also used as surrogate populations for the Khazars. On this basis, a relatively strong connection to the Caucasus was proposed because of the stronger genetic similarity of these Jewish groups to modern Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijani Jews, Druze and Cypriots, compared to a weaker genetic similarity with Palestinians. This proposed Caucasian component of ancestry was in turn taken to be consistent with the Khazarian Hypothesis as an explanation of part of the ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews.

By wbsky on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:38pm

This last contribution is interesting and proves something that we all know, the Jews were mixed with local populations for 3000 years. The Hebrews who left Egypt during the Exodus were certainly very different from those who entered 400 y before, mixed to the Egyptian population over the centuries. The same happened in Asia and Europe. I do not believe in any racial supremacy, any People submitted to the same fate over thousands of years would have either disappeared or become high IQ people. Whether the Kazhars did actually form the spine of the new Jewish People or not is interesting but not very important. The main point of the article is that Azkenakis Jews have a high IQ and most people willing to raise their children following the same ideas (religion is irrelevant) would ,after a few generations, reap the same benefits.

By Guy R. on Feb 26, 2013 at 5:19pm

Actually, the numeral system we currently use is the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, so named because the Hindus invented the concept of zero and the Arab traders disseminated this knowledge. There is a subset of Hindus who are amazingly proficient with numbers - Ramunajan, for example, was a savant.

By Shefali on Mar 16, 2013 at 3:00pm

My opinion is based on my personal experience, generalities not specifics. I have found that Ashkenazi Jews are not that brilliant, or at least not as much as they think they are.. They are clever and cunning, but that does not necessarily represent intelligence.  What they have more than anything is persistence, which is the great enabler of their accomplishments. I have found that Ashkenazis in positions of leadership will often surround themselves with people of far lesser intelligence whom they can control and manipulate with ease.  They seem to have a distain for anyone that they perceive to be smarter than they are.

Personally, I have far more respect for Israelis and Sephardic Jews.  They are down to Earth, and when you talk to them, you feel as if you are conversating with a normal human being.  Ashkenazis, in general, are batpoop crazy.

By Brian Murdock on Apr 01, 2013 at 4:33am

I should not need to point out that personal experience of any ethnic group is not a good guide to be applied to all members. For example, for a lot of my life I held a mild antipathy towards people who had a Northern Irish accent and a “certain look” about them. It was only when I came to teach someone who fitted that description perfectly that I examined why I felt this way. Then I remembered a neighbourhood kid I had several fights with when I was 7 years old, who was Northern Irish and had this look about him.
It’s easy for simple circumstances to condition us either overtly or covertly and for us to extrapolate to all similar events or people. It’s what Humans do.

By Dirk Bruere on Apr 01, 2013 at 5:26am

Your comment is interesting, my experience has been very different. And again one’s experience is a small bias sample of a group. In Israel I have met people like in the US and Europe, some smart and some stupid. I think the Israelis are more educated than most but otherwise just another western country. I dealt with Sephardic Jews in Europe, mostly in business, and I was impressed by their un ethical manners and the fact that they think of people outside the group as stupid. For the Ashkenazi I have had different experiences, some of them were brilliant and very successful, others were more average. We must remember that IQ is not exactly the same as intelligence anyway. All this makes no difference in individual contacts, we may find smart reliable people in any group.

By Guy R. on Apr 01, 2013 at 3:57pm

I’m Ashkenazi and my IQ is 145. My dad and sister are 160. Mom was never tested but was 94% mean in HS. I think a lot of anti Semitic behavior has its roots in jealousy of the various talents, scientific contributions and medical field Ashkenazi etc who are successful . I don’t say this to be arrogant, it is simply fact. I would love to know a what anti Semites think of the fact that a lot of their healthcare, like Polio vaccine or our advancements in physics (Einstein) are credited to Ashkenazi and other Jewish tribes.

By Sheila Epstein hunter on Apr 13, 2013 at 9:16pm

As most people know, IQ tends to degrade over the years. My own experience is interesting, 159 at 20 in med school, 149 at 40 (in a different language); now close to 60 I will not try again. This is a note not related to the article.
To follow on Sheila’s note, I wish we had a study of IQ in antisemitics. I bet despite some extremely smart people (H. Ford, Lindbergh) their average would be very low, same of course for many different forms of racism. Such a study would be very possible, many people are proud to be racist.

By Guy R. on Apr 14, 2013 at 4:44pm

There is a well known inverse correlation between religiosity and IQ*. This result has been peer reviewed and published by nature, the most prestigious scientific journal in the world. The whole idea that Jews are more intelligent has been artificially constructed through propaganda after the Second World War and fuelled by these retarded conversations who take these IQ claims as truth. Einstein for example was a well-known Atheist who referred to all these religions as childish superstitions, yet people refer to him as Jewish. Most of the scientific studies which objective is to show that Jews are more intelligent are politically driven.


By Ibn Gosset on Apr 20, 2013 at 3:46pm

Ibn Gosset is right for the wrong reason. 1- Religion has almost nothing to do with belief in God, and Einstein as far as I could research believed in God but was not religious (+10 pts at least on the IQ!). 2 - Research made in the 1980’s mostly in the US have shown that some group have a higher IQ, and despite Mr. Gosset opinion the research does exist, it was presented in details at a Mensa meeting in NY in 1997. Some groups did not do well at all and it was never published in the media at large. 3- Ashkenazy Jews are 80 to 90% non religious, while Sephardic Jews tend to be more religious. And most extremely religious people would never take an IQ test anyway. This support strongly the point that religiosity and IQ are inversely correlated, and I agree. Should I assume that the number of Nobel prices given to Jews were politically driven as well? I would tend to agree to the Price Price given in Norway by a “social Jury” but the real prices are given in Stockholm by a real academy. Had Einstein stayed in Germany he would have not been killed? It was propaganda that led him to flee his country? As a non religious Jew I can tell you that there is propaganda, plenty of it ...  in your post. Some people would even read some antisemitism, but we know it is only Jewish propaganda. Best regards.

By Guy R. on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:05pm

Read: ... some groups have higher IQ.
Read: ... tend to agree for the Peace Price given in Norway.

By Guy R. on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:41pm

I find it amusing that, in a forum discussing IQ of Ashkenazi Jews, I am treated of anti-Semitic for providing a scientific link on the inverse relationship between IQ and religiosity as well as reminding the fact that Einstein did not adhere to the superstitions associated with the Abrahamic religions and was a well-known atheist.

However I am used to that: call a guy anti-Semitic and you’ll win any argument every time, no matter how ridiculous the argument is.
To clarify, I am according, to the silly definition of Judaism used on this forum (religion is DNA based and not a theory on how to explain the universe) an Ashkenazi Jew from my mother side. However, I got my aptitude for mathematics and science from my dad side. My mum, who knew this, used to joke around during my childhood that if one day I become a great scientist, I will be immediately labelled an Ashkenazi Jew and if I become a criminal then this point of my cultural background will be left out.

Given the fact that we are all coming from the same origin, we are all a bit of everything. So a self-promoting agenda which is to keep the good ones, label the bad one as something else will yield this kind of objectionable situation where a great percentage of scientist are labelled as Jewish where most of them are/were atheists.

To come back to Einstein, for example, a great German scientist, he happened to be an atheist, there is no doubt about this:

I think besides wasting people’s time, these racist studies on IQ and race exacerbate tensions throughout the world.


By Ibn Gosset on Apr 21, 2013 at 2:22am

Ibn, I may have been a little harsh but I read the complete study where the Jews did not make number one. This is a reliable study performed in the US and Canada at 80% and around 20% in Europe as much as I remember. There was no distinction between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews but at the time most Jews in the US and Canada were Ashkenazi. Any study has flaws and mistakes despite a rigorous process. These are facts. The why is in my opinion we must consider: 1- a sad selection by a very hostile world (pogroms, Inquisition…) which statistically will shift the numbers and eliminate the weak and the sick. Half of my family died during the Holocaust and they were supposed to be very smart. It is irrelevant, difficult times will eliminate more poor, less smart and sick people in any group. 2- the expectations from Jewish families are high, the drive is high to succeed.
IQ is not only in the gene, the genes provide the working material and a child with Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) will never achieve a high IQ (even in an Ashkenazy family) but depending on the family he may be almost completely functional or he may be “retarded”. I am a physician as you may have guessed and this comes both from studies and from my personal experience.
I do no believe for a minute that a high IQ makes the Jews or the Ashkenazy superior to anyone. It is an incidental finding and it may benefit everybody to find out why, education, expectations, philosophy of life. Religion is not even on my scope for the achievements of the Jews.
You are right if you succeed you belong to the group, if you fail, people against your group will label you, no questions.
I cannot be sure how Einstein felt but eh was brought up in a Jewish assimilated German family. He was Jewish. So were some famous criminals, including Madoff.
Race based study may be useful, and dangerous, like everything including nuclear power.
I did not mean to insult you but your first post sounded strange about an agenda after WWII, the Jews who survived were probably a few points higher, I do not think that killing people by millions is an acceptable way to select the best, unfortunately it is what happened.
I share your opinion about religion at 100%, it is a way to control people. Whether God does or does not exist is irrelevant to religion. And people who believe in religion on the average cannot score high on the IQ scale. Again nothing to do with the article. I do not personally think that being Jewish is a religion, it is a group with shared values derived from a religion. Regards.

By Guy R. on Apr 21, 2013 at 11:09am

The whole idea that, “us”, Jews are smarter comes from the self-proclaimed idea that we are the chosen people.

Given that intelligence is the most important characteristic of our species compared to the others, we therefore think that we must be smarter that the rest of the world. And because it’s a nice think to believe it is easy to believe it as well especially if we just hang out with ourselves.

The idea that the Holocaust created a race of super smart being is a textbook example of a sophistry.

Evolution happens on a much slower pace. If adversity in a race yields smarter people then Blacks in the US should be the smartest of us all yet on these stupid racist IQ researches Blacks are always put dead last yet the adversity they have faced throughout their history is nowhere near the adversity we faced during the holocaust both in terms of intensity and in length.

It’s the 21st century, we really need to free ourselves of these idiotic superstitions and embrace an era of reason and change.


By Ibn Gosset on Apr 22, 2013 at 2:26pm

I never thought of the chosen people having anything to do with IQ. The studies I read were made by a mix of Jews and non-Jews, and were quite rigorous. These studies were about IQ, not intelligence. Intelligence is a more complex concept. Adversity is not what selects a group, it is physical destruction, at least in the animal kingdom. The Holocaust was a large drop in an ocean of persecution and interestingly the Jews now alive are a small group that grew out of the Hebrew elite taken in captivity in Babylon. The majority of the Hebrew remained in Judea and disappeared for lack of leadership, ironically some are now probably Palestinians. The elite, the leaders, returned to Jerusalem 70 years later and restarted a country with the small group that came back. That is almost experimental selection. I do not believe in superstition and I have known plenty or Jewish morons, smart Christians and Muslims, and what is the point? Statistics have no interest when it comes to individuals. Extremists are the same in all religions, not smart but dangerous, but we are moving away from the article. Regards.

By Guy R. on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:51pm

Katya Gibel Mevorach also warns about the danger of seeking supposed inherited “genetic intelligence” in Jews as a group in her piece: “Not an Innocent Pursuit: The Politics of a ‘Jewish’ Genetic Signature.”

By Ibn Gosset on Apr 23, 2013 at 3:56pm

I have not read the link yet but we are getting into dangerous territories and I may have to agree with you. We are not talking about a huge difference in IQ and I look at the entire issue as an interesting curiosity that may be helpful for all. IQ is not all in the genes and I think that looking at a successful group may be useful like looking at a better car an copying some good features. If the education or values of a group bring success, or happiness or any positive feeling I am willing to look into that. If we are trying to look at the article in terms of racism, either antisemitism or Jewish supremacist I am out. I still believe the facts are true but their interpretation is a totally different issue.

By Guy R. on Apr 23, 2013 at 6:18pm

Jews are greedy. You have to be smart to own the world, and greedy as fuck. The Nobel peace prize is ownedby Jews. That puts things in perspective . Jews have bewb persecuted throughout history for their jewery. They are the most satanic, evil doing, race of people. They murder men Men women and children, profit from wars they fabricate,  profit off the backs of the working class, own the corporation of the united states,  print the money atthe fed, and give this for free to their Jew friends at the banks. Because of these facts,  Jews have proven themselves craftier then about any other civilization, although achieving this using below the belt tactics .  I am a very intelligent individual and have a little Ashkenazi in me yet the reality of this world is that too much pain and suffering exists and it has been unduly caused in the name of greed.
Ucc 1-308 without prejudice
Freedom is a privelage, of which you are the beneficiary
Understand your rights and don’t let the Jewish corporation of the united states own your little slave ass,  if you do though,  don’t complain when you’re in a concentration camp.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  Take control of your own education andconfirm facts.  9/11 was about Jews killing Arabs and making Christians hate Muslims. Don’t believe me? Then ve a good slave

By Kevin j on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:58am

Not so much that the rest of humanity is necessarily untermenschen in regards to mathematics and linguistics compared to Ashkenazi Jews; so much as the vast majority of non-Jews don’t have their supposed genetic advantage in those fields.

Having outstanding minds, and horrible genetic diseases linked to that really balances out to a zero net gain; meaning that in the overall scheme of things the Ashkenazi a just folks like the rest us.

Show me a group with those mental gifts, plus high spacial intelligence, without the genetic diseases, plus greater physical strength, empathy and sociability, endurance, reflexes, resistance to diseases, faster healing, etc. and then you’ll have a group of superior humans.

By Dr_Zinj on Apr 24, 2013 at 11:46am

The Jews are an intelligent and creative group, I will give you that, but you are far from superior. I am as white as you can get and my IQ is in the top 4% nationally. There aren’t enough Jewish children in this country to even make up the top 1% of high IQ students in this country. Most of those other kids are white. Jews and Asians as a group do have a higher IQ on average than most others, there is no denying this, but when it comes to exceptional intelligence leaps and bounds above the average generally that person is white. Asians display little creativity. Jews experienced an acceleration in their natural selection due to persecution over the years. In our modern egalitarian society this is very unlikely to happen. You will eventually revert to the mean and your grasp on our society and culture will be no more. This will never happen for Whites and Asians in my opinion, as we have been above the mean all throughout recorded history.

By anglo on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:03pm

Kevin J may have some Jewish blood but only on the front bumper of his car. He claims to be very intelligent, and everybody is entitles to their opinion but to make me believe it there is a serious lack of evidence.
Dr. Zinj makes a good point, selection has side effects that cannot be denied.
Anglo got me confused with his second sentence: there are not enough Jewish children to….the top I have met many people in the 1% from many groups, including Jews, I am sorry but I cannot understand the meaning of this statement. It seems like stopping the persecution of the Jews would lead to an average IQ, and it is probably true on the long term. Whether Whites and Asians would remain above average is more questionable, recorded history is anywhere between 50 and 100 years for this issue, quite short. The Egyptians were the most advanced civilization at some point, look at them now.
After disagreeing with Ibn Gosset, and he failed to convince me, I must give him credit, studying the IQ of a specific group is dangerous, it requires people with exceptional intelligence and zero prejudice. The others have convinced me Ibn that you are right.

By GuyR on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:56pm

The biological arguments which has been advanced on this forum on the supposed natural selection process, its speed, and the pseudo superiority of one (absurdly defined) race over the others reminds me of the sophistries Adolf Hitler pathetically tried to rely on in his idiotic book Mein Kampf. Hitler had failed to understand evolution and so does the people in this forum. The reasons people believe in these supposed IQ superiority is due to the same reasons Germans believed they were superior to the Jews during WW2: propaganda.

By Ibn Gosset on Apr 27, 2013 at 1:43pm

Jews are not a race, White or Black are not a race, the Human race is defined quite clearly.
In lab we get subsets of mice in 10 to 30 generations by “not natural” selection. The number of generations depends on the character we want, diabetic, cystic fibrosis,... Mice are one race-equivalent and the subset is whatever character we have chosen.
Natural selection is different and may take more or less time.
Many Africans (and African Americans) have an abnormal hemoglobin that will not accept the parasite of malaria, this makes them resistant to malaria, at a cost, this hemoglobin does not function well in low oxygen saturation. It is assumed that a white population in Africa for a few centuries would have developed the same trait, because the other population (“normal” hemoglobin) would have been decimated by the disease. This is most likely what happened to the original African population.
Antisemitics are a plague (see above Kevin J) like malaria, the comparison has value. No race, no IQ and no Jews in this example.
The selection process can be accelerated when faced with daunting threat, and it probably happened in natural selection as well, where some bacterias live on nuclear sources rebuilding their DNA faster than it is damaged or some fish in extremely hot waters.
But I agree that some studies might be better off not taken, and certainly not published.
By the way many countries in Europe do not allow any questions in census about race, religion or ethnic origin.

By guyR on Apr 27, 2013 at 3:42pm

Provided that we agree on any of the idiotic definitions of what makes a Jew (whether religious, ethnical, racial, cultural etc ...), it’s not like the Jews had to pass an IQ test to select for the “IQ gene” (and that we can keep track of that now) before the Germans decided whether they should die or not, the same way there is a specific abnormal hemoglobin gene which helps with malaria.
I maintain that the blacks were far more persecuted than the Jews throughout their history yet they finish always dead last on the same backward xenophobic IQ studies which put the Jews first. You either have to admit that the argument on the Holocaust as an accelerating selection process for IQ is flawed or that the study is flawed or both are wrong, but you can’t accept that these two things can be right at the same time else the Blacks should be higher than the Jews in these IQ studies.
The 3rd Reich had many similar “legitimate studies” from “legitimate independently pear reviewed institutions” which claimed that the “Germanic race” whatever that is, was better at everything compared to the Jews however you want to define it.
We are at the verge of the 3rd world war and Israel is very much at the center of the international tensions. There is enough instability in the world. We ought to calm things down instead of fueling these tensions with idiotic racist claims like the ones in this forum.


By Ibn Gosset on Apr 27, 2013 at 7:14pm

A Jew is any one who would have been killed as such by the Nazis, fair enough?
Let say we decide to hunt down (actual hunt in the forest with a gun) a group of animals, almost any mammal will do, and we kill a significant number. We repeat the process every generation for about 60 generations, I would bet a lot that at the end we will be hunting a very rapid and very difficult to find animal. This works only if we kill a significant number of members each time. None of them will take the speed test, they will just try to run or hide. Of course looking at the Holocaust is completely flawed, I am looking at 2000 years of persecution.
Talking about the Nazi studies, they were not even close to being scientific, not more than their pretended medical experiments that, not mentioning the moral issues, were not scientifically useful.
Yes I agree about the situation of the world entirely and again why is Israel so important with the size of New Jersey and no actual value of the land (bare and no oil or minerals of significant value).
I never claimed that it was a good idea to study the topic and even less to publish it. But on the other hand the comment of our good friend Kevin J. tells me that regardless of what is published some people reading a telephone book will find a message in it that tells them to kill the Jews.

By Guy R. on Apr 27, 2013 at 8:06pm

The analogy of families being chased in the forest is ridiculous. The definition of Judaism in its core is flawed to begin with because Muslims were Christians before they became Christian and Christians were Jews before they became Christian. On top of that Jews have married Muslims and Christians in our recent history. So these people have the same DNA but their religious leaders have different kind of funny hats.

The first thing a “high IQ” individual should do when he witnesses hatred towards his people is not to call them anti-Semitic or jealous but to question whether this hatred is legitimate.

Perhaps if we’ve been persecuted throughout our history it is not always others people fault, perhaps we also have a share of the blame as well.
I did not like Kevin j’s comment on concentration camps (many innocent people died during this tragic period of our history), but although extreme in his views Kevin j tells some truth when he talks about the Fed, the Rothchilds, Madoff etc (If you have money you can buy almost everything: countries, people, media) ...

Our cooperative behavior within ourselves but consistent deceit towards others is maybe profitable in the short term but threatens our own existence in the long run. This can easily be shown within the mathematical framework of the iterative prisoner’s dilemma.
We are all the same people (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Blacks, Asians etc …).

The first step towards reconciliation is the systematic rejection of religion or any artificial constructed ethnical differences for a better world to our children.


By Ibn Gosset on Apr 28, 2013 at 4:02am

The analogy was about animals, not human beings.
Except for that I agree about the funny hats or outfits and I don’t think religion has any other purpose than controlling people, which it does very well.
If there is a god, and that is anybody’s guess, then fine, does that mean we must kill each other? Does this god have moral values, and are they the same as any religion we know of?
Actually when people ask me what my religion is I answer that I have the same religion Jesus had, which gets me funny looks but nobody can argue with that answer.
Your criticism of Jewish behavior is unfair since your examples, and many more, are individuals, not representing a group and Henri Ford, among many, was extremely wealthy and nevertheless very antisemitic. Madoff was not very respectable as a human being but does that represent the Jews in any way? The Rothchilds are not better or worse than the Rockefellers, different religion and I don’t even know the religion of the Rockefellers, but because they are not Jewish nobody cares, is that not an interesting example of double standard?
I agree with many of your opinions but I am afraid from a practical point of view they may not be easy to implement.

By guy R. on Apr 28, 2013 at 9:38am

I could say interesting meaning it isn’t, so I just go it could be better comments.
I read that we no longer use ad and bc, well I am sorry but we do in the old world; and I don’t think this is an offense as mentioned it is a reference point, no more for the non christian.In response to another comment, to be jewish is a question of being born from a jewish women but you can also be religious or non religious and you can convert yourself to jusdaism as well, which to my point of view should not be if you have no jewish blood.
Jewish people are smart not just because they struggled and yes like said in a comment there are smart black people too(and by saying that, you mean actually that most black people aren’t), so yes there are smart people in most ethnic groups but because you mentioned black people, they struggled quite a bit don’t you think not only during the period when they were treated as slaves but before in africa as they were living in a very hostile environment; you see perhaps jewish people were smart before to be persecuted, perhaps it is because they are the chosen people that they have been persecuted and because they are indeed much smarter than the average population, the problem is that intelligence is part of a human gene pool so no matter what it will be transmitted, the only way to lower that is to blend the blood with another race less smarter, which actually works both ways, to make a line of people smarter mix them with another smarter pool of people. for an intelligent person it is really difficult to become less intelligent because intelligent people need to feed their brain and intelligence, they need to learn and they raise their kids the same way.
have you noticed that when someone can no longer argue or defend his point of view or get what he wants just by negotiating he gets violent, that is what the different cultures did in the past but even if only today the jewish world population is only of 20 million it still make a huge impact on the rest of the humanity.
Human beings have been at war since the early ages and it is part of not being intelligent but also to maintain a balance and for a primitive person it is normal to be fueled with hatred and not control it, it is also a very good tool to control a population and then a region; the problem is that jewish people until recently were dispersed and had no country so the fact that israel exist allows the jewish people to protect themselves now which for the rest of the world presents a bigger problem.
what would be the world if there was no smart people, remove the jews and the asians..well take a map of the world and check out the few countries were the population isn’t that smart, it is were you want to live!!??
I read also from a lab person that jewish isn’t a race, my daughter who graduated from one of the top ivy school in this country in biochemistry would argue that.
There is something in the jewish population that the rest of the people don’t have and that’s what makes the difference but I won’t explain you what it is.

By andsowhat on May 11, 2013 at 1:27pm

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