The pseudo-scientists have done it again: successfully pitched an inane argument dressed up as "new research" to a middle-brow audience of journalists and editors always happy to unveil a "controversial" fake discovery legitimating racial and ethnic genetic inequality. One of the co-authors has made equally absurd claims before, arguing, the LA Times writes, that "some unidentified pathogen prompts a hormonal imbalance that makes babies more likely to become gay."
Henry Harpending and Gregory Cochran wrote a book that ignores a ground rule of statistics, not to confuse correlation with causation, especially when the correlation is likely to be entirely spurious.
They argue that the increased likelihood of Ashkenazi Jews to have certain mutations associated with neurological disorders AND to have higher IQs than themselves reveals the connection between these two attributes:
[Cochran] was struck by the fact that so many of the diseases involved problems with processing sphingolipids, the fat molecules that transmit nerve signals.Danger, Will Rogers, danger! There are hundreds, even thousands, of possible attributes associated with Jewish stereotypes, so it is not surprising that Cochran hit on one that yielded a correlation with some genes that have a higher but still rare probability of existing among Ashkenazi Jews. Their paper was turned down by peer reviewed journals and is a laughing stock among the scientific community.
This seemed an unlikely coincidence.
Though the Times makes this all clear, even publishing the researchers' claims as talking points gives them too much credibility. If the Times is not going to turn its pages over to people debating whether one's astrological sign may cause more rare cancers, only to have real scientists demolish this assertion, because why waste the space to promote a nondebate, then why are they allowing themselves to be used to stage, or rather, create, this particular "controversy"?
The real information here is that absent scientific evidence it exists, some people still prefer to inhabit a world based on geneticized racial superiority: it is this fascination with the racist fantasy, be it one of attraction or repulsion, that allows these lame cliches to persist. The only evidence in support of their research is that the scientists are non-Jewish, hence confirming their theory's prediction that they lack the Jews' "abundance of brain power."