Deadly Genes Make Euro Jews Smarter: Scientist

Scientists spark furor with controversial DNA theory
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2009 4:20 PM CDT
Ashkenazi Jews have a higher rate of some deadly genetic diseases and of high IQs.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – The genes that make European Jews susceptible to deadly diseases may also increase their intelligence, two scientists say. Arizona physicist Gregory Cochran stumbled on the theory when pondering why natural selection hasn't removed bad DNA from the gene pool that makes Ashkenazi Jews get so many diseases. His answer: The DNA that endured made them smarter than other racial groups, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cochran notes that although Ashkenazi Jews constitute 3% of the US population, they’ve received more than 25% of American Nobel Prizes and make up 22% of Ivy Leaguers. “This is not a legitimate area of research,” said one anthropologist, while other critics fault Cochran for not performing experiments. He retorts, “OK, then I guess Einstein's papers didn't mean anything either.”