Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Biology and the Jews

My recent meditations about the fate of the Jews were of course put on the net with some trepidation. Almost any discussion of the topic at all is likely to elicit immediate shrieks of racism -- particularly if a gentile is making the comment and the comments are not wholly laudatory. I am therefore delighted to see that a reasonably polite "Reply" to my comments has appeared which addresses my arguments rather than simply abusing me. I believe that I have already covered the points he raises but I obviously need to sharpen up my message.

I am not surprised, however, to see signs that emotion has overwhelmed logic in the reply. A central point in my posts on the subject was comparisons of Jews with others and my critic rightly sees that. His comment on the subject is, however, quite astonishing. He says of my comparison between Jews and Christians:

The problem is that he is comparing the number of members of a nation, with the number of adherents of a religion

Christians are members of a religion and Jews are not? What is Judaism then? Judging by the frequency of blue eyes among Askenazi Jews, Jews often are clearly not geneticaly connected to the Middle East. As far as I am aware, in fact, no member of the Ashkenazim can trace their ancestry to the Middle East. And I gather that it would be a rare Jew who identifies Jews as a race. That would make Jewish pride racist and the number of Jews who would wish to wear that label must be vanishingly small. What makes Jews Jews is their religious heritage, even if most Jews are not these days religious. What irreligious Jews trace back to as the source of their Jewishness is not a place but a forebear who identified himself or herself as a follower of the Jewish religion. So I see no invalidity at all in my comparison between Jews and Christians. Lots of Christians are pretty nominal too. My father never went to church but he would always put himself down on forms as "Church of England".

My critic says that it is understandable that Jews have proliferated less because they are endogamous and exclusive. But that is a point I make too. Endogamy (marrying within the clan) is very common in the human race and I think it is precisely the Christian abandonment of that which is wiser and a step forward. And biology looks primarily at numbers and the numbers do clearly show that the exogamy and general welcoming of others which is basic to Pauline Christianity has been a more adaptive survival and perpetuation strategy. From a purely biological standpoint, one could argue that Christianity is a more highly evolved form of Judaism. OK. I know that those will be taken as fighting words but they are not meant to be. They are meant as a normal deduction from the numbers within evolutionary biology. That Christianity is a more highly evolved form of Judaism is also, of course, a central Christian claim but, as an atheist, I am not influenced by that.

The remaining point in what my critic says is to deny that Jews have adopted a less than optimal survival strategy. Many groups are listed which are either extinct or smaller in number than the Jews. That however is to sell Jews short. I was not interested in such trivial comparisons. I don't for one second deny the miracle of Jewish survival. They have clearly outdone all of humanity in terms of the time they have survived. I was looking only at how they could survive in more security. Pharaonic Egypt one looked as if it would last forever but it did not. The same could be true of the Jews. It does not pay to be complacent. In other words, I wanted to compare Jews with the MOST successful of other groups, not with any of the many less successful groups. Jews are undoubtedly illustrious as far as survival is concerned but can they learn something from other groups that are also illustrious survivors? In particular can they learn from groups that could be seen as MORE successful in various ways?

What I did, then, was to look at another group that has not only survived for a significant length of time (c. 1500 years) but done so in style -- without having to endure horrendous pogroms, holocausts and decimating wars -- the English. Their influence on the modern world has been immense so I was comparing Jews not with unsuccessful groups but with an outstandingly successful group. The English may well by now have had their day but how they had such a splendid day is surely of interest. For nearly a thousand years their land has not been invaded. Unlike most other countries and groups, foreign soldiers have not tramped through their land, destroying, stealing, killing and raping women. Instead the English have conquered huge slices of the lands of other people and left those lands in the control of their descendants. Biologically, that is hot stuff, awesome, even. It is certainly without precedent. So we see, for instance, that Richmond-upon-Thames, the affluent southwest London borough has given its name to 55 settlements on three continents.

And so I still think that Jews can learn from the English. But you will have to read my earlier posts to see why and how I think they can do that. I have combined my three previous posts into a single article here.



Bystander intervention still lives on in Australia: "A passer-by thwarted a bank robbery in Sydney's west this morning after tackling a thief as he fled with a bag of cash, police say. The thief entered the bank on Jersey Road, Plumpton, about 10.50am, telling staff he was armed and demanding money, a police spokeswoman said. However the thief was not believed to be armed, she said. "We've been told he then allegedly took a female staff member hostage," she said. The man then left the bank with cash, but was tackled a short time later by a member of the public, she said. The man was in custody at Mount Druitt police station, and was believed to be uninjured, she said."

Another reason why NOBODY should trust the British government with personal information: "More than one Government computer goes missing every day, ministers have admitted. Since the start of 2002 nearly 3,000 computers have been lost or stolen across Whitehall, which equates to eight every week. In total 1,774 laptop computers and 1,035 desktop computers have been lost or stolen, a rate of nearly five a week and three a week respectively. This year alone 238 laptops and 40 desktops have gone missing. The past seven years have also seen 676 mobile phones, 202 hard drives and 195 memory sticks lost or stolen. The worst offender is the Ministry of Defence, which handles some of the most sensitive information in Government. It has had 866 laptops stolen and has lost 178 - more than half the total of missing laptops. The MoD is losing laptops at a rate of nearly three a week and has also had 157 desktops stolen and lost seven. The Department of Work and Pensions, which processes details of millions of bank accounts, national insurance contributions and benefit and pension payments, is not far behind. The DWP has had 828 desktops mislaid or stolen - 80 per cent of all those lost to the Government since 2002 - as well as 271 laptops."

Corruption's cost, beyond Blagojevich : "Gordon Tullock is not a household name. It's a shame that he's not. In contrast, disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a household name. It's a shame that he is. These two men have little in common except that Mr. Tullock, an eminent economist, is the first scholar who systematically grasped and explained why the actions of politicians such as Mr. Blagojevich are so harmful to the rest of us. It takes no genius to understand why Blagojevich sought to enrich his purse and enlarge his power by allegedly trying to sell a US Senate seat. . As H.L. Mencken observed long ago about homo politicus: `[I]t is to his interest to augment his powers at all hazards, and to make his compensation all the traffic will bear.' Understanding just how actions such as Blagojevich's create widespread harm, however, is more involved than it appears."

The New Deal would have worked, if . : "The standard liberal-progressive-socialist litany is that socialism, in the New Deal and subsequent years, would have succeeded, if only the government had spent more money for a longer time. Many liberals lament that the New Deal didn't go far enough in socializing the economy. That was a major reason for the savage antagonism between the liberal establishment of the 1960s and the New Left student radicals like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the spiritual parents of president-elect Obama's educational policies. In addition to blind religious faith in the secular religion of socialism, liberal-progressives are beset by ignorance. For three generations, students have been taught a completely false version of the Depression's causes and of the actual results attained by President Roosevelt's New Deal."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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