June 10, 2010

More on Jewish genetics

Nicholas Wade of the NYT lucidly describes some of the results from the two new Jewish genetics study (one of which you can read here):
The shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City, Dr. Atzmon said. 

Race is all about who your relatives are, and, not coincidentally, answers to the question of who you are related to turn out to be unavoidably relativistic.

Unfortunately, human beings don't deal well cognitively with things that are inherently relative. People are good at noticing that A is more likely than B, but they aren't good at formally reasoning about this relativistic comparison. Some will say that A is always true, while others will smugly attempt to disprove that "A is more likely than B" by pointing out exceptions in which B is true, as if the exception disproves the tendency.
Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East, the two surveys find. The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically, which is unexpected because they have been separated for so long.

One explanation is that they come from the same Jewish source population in Europe. The Atzmon-Ostrer team found that the genomic signature of Ashkenazim and Sephardim was very similar to that of Italian Jews, suggesting that an ancient population in northern Italy of Jews intermarried with Italians could have been the common origin. The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy.

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nicholas Wade of the NYT lucidly describes some of the results from the two new Jewish genetics study




Why are we supposed to believe that these particular studies are more reliable than the host of other politically motivated faux-studies which you've made fun of around here?


When you want to believe something, you can be as credulous as any liberal.

Anonymous said...

The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy.



And the blond-haired and red-haired Jews, they came from where?

Anonymous said...

If all Jews really share a common ancestry, where did all the pale blond and red-headed Jews come from?

And why are Sephardic Jews so notable by their absence from the ranks of Jewish scientists?

If some politicized study says one thing and the evidene of the world around us says something else, I know which one I'm going to believe.

Anonymous said...

I was likewise surprised both by the findings of trivial differences between A and S jews and by the findings that both types are 70/30 middle eastern. A jews certainly don't look 70 percent middle eastern to me, either. That said, a well done genetic study is just about impossible to attack. I don't know if this study was well done, but those who are asserting it wasn't really need some specific objections.

Anonymous said...

The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy.

Etruscans?

Anonymous said...

@anon

"And why are Sephardic Jews so notable by their absence from the ranks of Jewish scientists?"

You have one jewish population (in italy, for example). You split it. Both groups keep on reproducing with little mixing with other populations (and each other). In one environment (Europe) high IQ is especially favoured in the other it's not. Give it a thousand years. Now the two populations with common ancestors look very different. This is perfectly plausible tough I'm not at all qualified judge whether it's true or not.

Anonymous said...

@anon

"And why are Sephardic Jews so notable by their absence from the ranks of Jewish scientists?"

You have one jewish population (in italy, for example). You split it. Both groups keep on reproducing with little mixing with other populations (and each other). In one environment (Europe) high IQ is especially favoured in the other it's not. Give it a thousand years. Now the two populations with common ancestors look very different. This is perfectly plausible tough I'm not at all qualified judge whether it's true or not.

Konkvistador said...

You guys are behaving like there where no blonde or redhaired people in the italian peninsula before 800 AD.

Vitellius and Augustus Caesar would be interested to hear that.

Tony T. said...

There's a big IQ gap between both Jewish groups. How do you explain that away?

Anonymous said...

I'm Jewish and my mother born in the early 20th century into an ultra-Orthodox family in Europe, had fiery red hair and freckles. Anyway, Judaism accepts converts, so there's your explanation of the red haired and blond haired.

n/a said...

"Why are we supposed to believe that these particular studies are more reliable than the host of other politically motivated faux-studies which you've made fun of around here?"

What exactly do you find hard to believe about them? The findings are consistent with history, visual impressions, physical anthropology, and previous genetic studies.

Thousands of Ashkenazi Jews have tested with personal genomics provider 23andMe. What do they find? Amazingly, they show Middle Eastern and Southern European affinities and a high degree of relatedness to other Ashkenazi Jews (Ashkenazi show several times as many "cousins" on 23andMe's "Relative Finder" as Americans of Northern European ancestry, despite making up a much smaller share of 23andMe's custormer base).

"And the blond-haired and red-haired Jews, they came from where?"

Probably the same place increased Ashkenazi IQ came from: selection.

Steve Sailer said...

One thing that's confusing people is that "Sephardic" has a narrow sense usage (Jews from the Iberian peninsula) and a broad sense (all non-Ashkenazi Jews). This article is using the narrow sense.

Anonymous said...

How come the Yiddish language is so similar to German? Doesn't that mean that most Jews lived in Germany at some point?

Anonymous said...

30% European. that's very low considering the millenium+ involved. So do this mean the average J is closer to an Arab than to European Americans?

Dennis Dale said...

When you want to believe something, you can be as credulous as any liberal.

Don't just say things to make noise; make a damn argument or shut up and learn something. Wade has a well-earned reputation for good sense, and the studies both appear to have sufficient rigor, in stark contrast to the contrived propaganda of the Lesbian parent study.

So Sailer is here distinguishing between them on that basis, yet we get this from the gallery. I give up.

And why are Sephardic Jews so notable by their absence from the ranks of Jewish scientists?

Recent evolution? As for the "red hair and freckles", I suspect such changes can happen fairly rapidly and need not involve so much admixture that the smaller population is genetically assimilated--as the studies suggest. (paging Dr. Greg Cochran)

Genomic studies are debunking the commonly held presumption that similarities in appearance preclude genetic differences; further refuting the notion that our differences are only "skin-deep."

jack strocchi said...

Steve Sailer said:

The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy.

This comes as no surprise to me.

Italian Jews are very well integrated into Italy. Mussolini even had a Jewish mistress.

Undoubtedly there has been a Mediterranean mixture of blood between the Italic and Semitic populations. Fermi loooked like a typical Italian with dark hair and olive skin.

I am convinced there is Jewish blood in my veins. My father comes from Northern Italy, he certainly had a decent hook in his nose (no offence meant). I have always felt a strong intellectual kinship with Jews, my sister also.

Jew have won more than half of Italy's Nobel prizes. Their family culture is a bit similar to Italians in that dinner table conversations largely consist of making sarcastic remarks towards other members of the family.

Anonymous said...

King David was a redhead. Must've been a Swedish immigrant.

Anonymous said...

Fermi was not a Jew.

Anonymous said...

And why are Sephardic Jews so notable by their absence from the ranks of Jewish scientists?

Recent evolution?

Make a damn argument or shut up and learn something!

Anonymous said...

The findings are consistent with history, visual impressions, physical anthropology, and previous genetic studies.


Which "visual impressions" did you have in mind? Because my own visual impression on seeing blond-haired blue-eyed "Jews" like Lisa Kudrow is along the lines of "Damn, there's a hell of a lot of interbreedng going on there!"

As for being consistent with previous genetic studies, previous studies have not found that all modern Jews are descended from a Jewish-Italian mix which occured about 500 AD.

Anonymous said...

One explanation is that they come from the same Jewish source population in Europe. The Atzmon-Ostrer team found that the genomic signature of Ashkenazim and Sephardim was very similar to that of Italian Jews, suggesting that an ancient population in northern Italy of Jews intermarried with Italians could have been the common origin.


Does this mean that we can finally drop the fiction that Jews are a Semitic people? They must have been one five thousand years ago, but they are not one today. Abe Foxman is about as Semitic as George W Bush.

Anonymous said...

"And the blond-haired and red-haired Jews, they came from where?"

Probably the same place increased Ashkenazi IQ came from: selection.


It's like trying to discuss 911 with Truthers. You'll go throught whatever mental gymnastics is necessary in order to avoid coming to the concluson that Jews have interbred extensivly with their host populations.

Anonymous said...

You guys are behaving like there where no blonde or redhaired people in the italian peninsula before 800 AD.



I think the question was, where did all the blond and red-haired Jews come from. They seem to be an impediment to this relentlessly propagated theory of Jewish genetic purity.

Hereward said...

Light hair and eyes isn't alien to the eastern Mediterranean. A Palestinian co-worker had dark blond hair, and this coloration isn't necessarily due to the Crusades or 19th Century imperialism. The ancient Egyptians sometimes depicted Levantines with red hair and green eyes in their art.

Anonymous said...

The shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City, Dr. Atzmon said.



That's an absurd comparision to make, considering what a multi-racial and multi-ethnic Tower of Babel NYC is. All it really says is that Cambodians are not very closely related to Russians, or Albanians to Africans, these being among the people you would chose "at random" off a NYC street.

But these sort of false comparisions are rife in these "Jewish studies".

The proper comparision would be to the degree of relatedness among another distinct group of people. For instance, how related are Russians in Moscow, or Germans in Stuggart, or Irish in Dublin?

Anonymous said...

Genomic studies are debunking the commonly held presumption that similarities in appearance preclude genetic differences



1) I'm arguing for the existence of genetic differences, and against the "Jewish racial purity" crowd.

2) "Genomic studies" mandate certain genetic similarities between people with similar appearence. For instance, people with blue eyes are that way because they all have the same gene sequence which results in blue eyes.

3) Since blue eyes (or blond hair, or red hair) are not native to the people of the Middle East, and since Jews originated in the Middle East, then a small child could figure out how modern American and European Jews got these things. They slept around with the bloody untermensch!

4) Any "scientifc genome studies" conducted by Jews which contradict the above are of the same high standard as climate change research.

Fred said...

"One thing that's confusing people is that "Sephardic" has a narrow sense usage (Jews from the Iberian peninsula) and a broad sense (all non-Ashkenazi Jews). This article is using the narrow sense."

To be more precise, Sephardic also generally refers to Jews whose ancestors came from the Iberian peninsula, so it includes some Jews in former Spanish and Portuguese colonies. And there's a third category, Mizrahi, which refers to non-Sephardic, non-Ashkenazi Jews.

Dahlia said...

30% European seems huge to me while I feel that some folks are reacting as though that is 3%. If you're 30% European on average with the rest coming from the nearby middle-East... European features will definitely show up and that's before adding selection.

My Jewish friend that I mentioned the other day who stole her husband from the seminary and is from Manhattan... she's at least 50% European and happens to be the one person I've talked to about rosacea. It strikes only the super fair and she has it (as Bill Clinton famously did, too). She was giving me skin care tips in case I inherit it which is likely.

Another story that I love:
My cousin visited us from Germany last year and we met his adult children for the first time. Both kids (early 20's) were super pale, blond and blue-eyed. The boy reminded me very much of Steve's own self-description: at least 6'3" and lanky. He was the epitome of German-ness except he had kinky hair, the Jewfro, and a slightly large and peculiar nose. Think the more gentile version of Art Garfunkel. As far as is known, everyone is purely European, but one look at him dispelled that.

Anyway, I knew immediately at least he was a bit Jewish. But I also knew my American family, the younger ones anyway, would have no idea what to make of him and would be thrown for a total loop. They're good, but quite provincial, people and the only people they've ever seen with kinky hair were blacks.

Inevitably, they couldn't stand it and my brother and his wife finally blurted out to me, "What's with -----? His hair is kind of kinky and I've never seen a white person with hair like that. Is it possible that he could be part bl..."
Me: "That ain't black, y'all!"

Anonymous said...

Whence the freckles and red hair? Sexual selection -- as in shiksas! This is assuming the 30 percent European was predominantly Jewish males marrying European females, which seems reasonable when you consider that when Jewish females married European males they usually left the Jewish community.

Adam of Bremen said...

The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy.

This is the Establishment-approved version of Ashkenazi History.

Of course, no one wants to seriously study, or even respectfully acknowledge, other likely sources of Ashkenazi ethnic history.

Gee, I wonder why?! ;}

Lumpy said...

Jack,

Fermi was not Jewish, so it is not remarkable that he looked like a "typical Italian"

TH said...

Fermi loooked like a typical Italian with dark hair and olive skin.

Why would he have not? He was a "typical Italian".

history buff said...

"And the blond-haired and red-haired Jews, they came from where?"

It is surprising how many people think in stereotypes. There are more sub-Saharan African genes in the Arab population today due to the importation of sub-Saharan Africans since about 1000 A.D., by Muslims into their countries. I remember reading that only after that date was there a significant influx of black Africans into the gene pool. The ancient people of the area were a mixture though, and the blonde/blue type was part of it, in certain quarters though "blonde" in the middle-east doesn't usually mean tow-head. I believe the Hittites, an Indo-European group in Anatolia, were described as quite light. The early Hebrews were not one people--conversion was encouraged, often quite as enthusiastically as Muhammed would do later on. They were never uniformly black haired/olive, even in what is supposed to be their ancient stomping grounds. Some of the confusion about who looks "middle eastern" comes from the fact we are going by what most of them look like today, and not what the demographic map looked like a couple thousand years ago.
While author of epics, James Michener, was not a geneticist he did do his research concerning the Jewish history in the Israel region for his book The Source (maybe because he was adopted, he focussed on these genetic epics of families over generations) and he emphasized the mixed nature of the early Hebrews. Whatever they became later, especially during relative isolation in Christian Europe, they were already a "mixed" people in terms of racial phenotype when they began to go north and east in large numbers after the diaspora.

Drawbacks said...

Fermi wasn't in any obvious way Jewish, but his wife was.

OT: David Remnick was interviewed last night on the BBC by the slightly irritating Philip Dodd. He didn't come across as much of an Obama-worshipper, making a lot of the same points about the President's life and career that Steve has made here.
You can listen (it's the first item) at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00smv84

Paul Mendez said...

Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection. The theory being that Jews that more fit the local "norm" for appearance would have an advantage over their more alien-looking peers.

I know two families of fair-haired, blue-eyed Jews and maybe it's my imagination, but somehow their hair and eyes look "different" from gentile redheads and blonds. Their ancestors came from Poland, Russia and Ukraine -- all parts of the world where looking obviously Jewish could get you skimmed out of the gene pool mighty quick a couple of centuries ago. Plus, Jews who looked more like the dominant part of society might have been deemed more sexually attractive by other Jews, as in the US today, where lighter-skinned blacks are usually considered more attractive by other blacks.

Anonymous said...

So Jews are approximately as European (30%) as black Americans are. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

If all Jews really share a common ancestry, where did all the pale blond and red-headed Jews come from?

Khazaria?

ben tillman said...

If all Jews really share a common ancestry, where did all the pale blond and red-headed Jews come from?

Brothers and sisters share all their ancestors, yet they don't necessarily share the same hair color.

Whiskey said...

No one in the Ancient world, not the Greeks, not the Romans, not the Egyptians, not the Phoenicians, not the Carthaginians, not the Babylonians, not the Persians, and not the Hittites, thought the Jews were "smart." Jews at the time were viewed as stubborn (particularly where monotheism was concerned) and that was about it.

No Jewish architecture, law, medicine, or engineering flowed to other civilizations.

So the case for some selective pressure (there appears to have been a further bottleneck among Jews in Europe around 1000-1400 AD as populations crashed due to pogroms, disease/Plague, etc.) mandating intelligence.

Intriguingly, Wade has also found that pressure working on European populations, which also had bottleneck (though not as severe) from plague, wars, etc.

Think about Europe. In the Dark Ages, no literacy, no cities, no trade, no coins, much smaller populations, much smaller (height) people -- followed by recovery and trade for the first time East-West across Europe instead of North-South centered and involving European agricultural production including for the first time extensive wool/textile production and trade (white gold).

If you want the driving force behind Europe's early wealth, and pressures for intelligence (no one called the Visigoths or Gauls "smart" either) you need look no further than the requirement to get every bit of wool produced out of not very productive land, and making quality textiles for sale.

ben tillman said...

...jews certainly don't look 70 percent middle eastern to me, either.

And there's no reason to expect them to. First, NYT article says they have 30% European ancestry, not 30% "European genes" (if that concept even makes sense).

Second, if they did have 30% "European genes", there's still no reason to think that the 30% figure would be the same for all loci. The Jewish gene pool for genes governing appearance could be 90%, 70%, or 50% European (with, of course, considerable variation from one Jew to another).

ben tillman said...

There's a big IQ gap between both Jewish groups. How do you explain that away?

The groups are genetically similar -- more similar to each other than they are to the host populations -- but not identical.

ben tillman said...

How come the Yiddish language is so similar to German? Doesn't that mean that most Jews lived in Germany at some point?

How come the Canadian language is so similar to the Australian? Does that mean that most Canadians lived in Australia at some point?

Steve Sailer said...

Guys,

The article says, "Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry,"

So, the European ancestry glass is roughly 3/10ths full and 7/10ths empty. (Or maybe it's something a little different.) So, European Jews have a lot of European background and a lot of Middle Eastern background. Is that really so difficult a concept?

Tim said...

Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection. The theory being that Jews that more fit the local "norm" for appearance would have an advantage over their more alien-looking peers.

I know two families of fair-haired, blue-eyed Jews and maybe it's my imagination, but somehow their hair and eyes look "different" from gentile redheads and blonds.


I've noticed this as well. I find that Jews with fair, light coloring often retain a Mediterranean/Mideast facial structure i.e. narrow-set eyes, large nose, fleshy lips, etc. They'll have Nordic coloring but lack the Nordic facial and bone structure.

Anonymous said...

Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection.


It's fascinating to observe the strange contortions people here will go through in order to avoid accepting the obvious fact that Jews have been interbreeding with Europeans for centuries. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Anonymous said...

How come the Canadian language is so similar to the Australian? Does that mean that most Canadians lived in Australia at some point?


No, but it does mean that Canadians are descended from a common root with Australians - the English.

Anonymous said...

Some of the confusion about who looks "middle eastern" comes from the fact we are going by what most of them look like today, and not what the demographic map looked like a couple thousand years ago.


If you have access to information about what the people of the Middle East looked like a few
thousand years ago, please share it.

Instead what we're are seeing is the following argument.

Axiom: Jews originated in the Middle-East and have preserved their bloodlines intact across Millenia.

Observation: Jews today don't look very "Middle-Eastern".

Conclusion: Jews never looked very "Middle-Eastern".

No matter what, the axiom is never, ever, subject to question.

Anonymous said...

Whence the freckles and red hair? Sexual selection -- as in shiksas! This is assuming the 30 percent European was predominantly Jewish males marrying European females, which seems reasonable when you consider that when Jewish females married European males they usually left the Jewish community.



I don't see what the freckles and hair have to do with the sex of the Jews and non-Jews who procreated. In any case under Jewish law the children of a Jewish male and gentile female are considered non-jewish, while the children of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man are considered Jewish. The Jewishness passes through the female line, not the male.

David said...

>They'll have Nordic coloring but lack the Nordic facial and bone structure.<

Close-set eyes, fleshy lips, and a big mouth.

Anonymous said...

So, European Jews have a lot of European background and a lot of Middle Eastern background. Is that really so difficult a concept?



The concept is not. The evidence that the concept is correct is rather sketchy though.

Anonymous said...

In terms of "How much did they mix and did they mix with Southern Europeans or North/Central/East Europeans?", it's somewhat hard to tell the difference between a relatively larger amount of mixture from a more similar population (Southern Euros) or a smaller amount from a more dissimilar pop (North/Central/East Europeans).

But the fact that European ancestry is not significantly different in Sephardics versus Ashkenazi, assuming that these populations were a single population with an identical history and did not split until just before the Ashkenazi entered the North European plain and the Sephardics moved to North Africa/Middle East, (which may be a big assumption) militates against North/Central/East European admix.

Of course, on the other hand, the presence of North African admix (look at the paper) in Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews but not other Jewish populations would suggest to me that perhaps medieval "Spaniards" (as in, inhabitants of Spain) had more of a hand in modern Ashkenazi/Sephardi ethnogenesis than Italians.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what the freckles and hair have to do with the sex of the Jews and non-Jews who procreated. In any case under Jewish law the children of a Jewish male and gentile female are considered non-jewish, while the children of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man are considered Jewish. The Jewishness passes through the female line, not the male.

This was only a relatively more recent phenomenon.

BamaGirl said...

"Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection. The theory being that Jews that more fit the local "norm" for appearance would have an advantage over their more alien-looking peers.

I know two families of fair-haired, blue-eyed Jews and maybe it's my imagination, but somehow their hair and eyes look "different" from gentile redheads and blonds."

I'm sorry, this "mimicry" explanation is truly bizarre. Why didn't gypsies acquire it too hmmm? Why not just admit that Jews interbred with Europeans, which is obvious. Or that much of the Ashkenazim base population which settled in Europe consisted of Georgian converts anyway (which studies other than this particular one suggest)

gcochran said...

One reason that Ashkenazi might seem to have more than 30% European ancestry is because they do.

I just read both those papers: the first (published in ASHG) said that European admixture was somewhere between 30% and 60%, while the second paper (in Nature) made no estimate at all. They did note that the genetic distance from the Ashkenazim to Europeans is less than from Ashkenazim to existing populations in the Levant. Not a lot less, but less.

I'd say more like 50-50.

Steve Sailer said...

"I'd say more like 50-50."

Sailer's Law of the Fullness of the Glass is that if something has been argued over endlessly, it's probably about 50-50.

The glass is half full. The glass is half empty. Discuss.

Forever.

Adam of Bremen said...

The Invention of the Jewish People

A leading Israeli historian shatters the national myth of the Jewish exodus from the promised land. A historical tour de force that demolishes the myths and taboos that have surrounded Jewish and Israeli history, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a new account of both that demands to be read and reckoned with. Was there really a forced exile in the first century, at the hands of the Romans? Should we regard the Jewish people, throughout two millennia, as both a distinct ethnic group and a putative nation—returned at last to its Biblical homeland?

Shlomo Sand argues that most Jews actually descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered far across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The formation of a Jewish people and then a Jewish nation out of these disparate groups could only take place under the sway of a new historiography, developing in response to the rise of nationalism throughout Europe. Beneath the biblical back fill of the nineteenth-century historians, and the twentieth-century intellectuals who replaced rabbis as the architects of Jewish identity, The Invention of the Jewish People uncovers a new narrative of Israel’s formation, and proposes a bold analysis of nationalism that accounts for the old myths.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry, this "mimicry" explanation is truly bizarre. Why didn't gypsies acquire it too hmmm? Why not just admit that Jews interbred with Europeans, which is obvious. Or that much of the Ashkenazim base population which settled in Europe consisted of Georgian converts anyway (which studies other than this particular one suggest)"

Their largest populations are in South and South Eastern Europe (Spain and Romania) and Turkey, so how much pigment evolution do you really need? I wouldn't be surprised if they were quite a bit lighter than Punjabis. You can google Romani people if you want and I don't think you would see anything contradicting this. Here's a family sized population - http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c21/dalinia/Bild17921.jpg.

Plus, with a more genetically distant South Asian population, rather than a population which starts where say, the Lebanese and Iranians were (having more light pigment alleles as a baseline), you might be more constrained in terms of alleles and selection.

Of course, for all this to be relevant, we'd need to try and see how much gene flow has occured into the Romany, but they would seem to have quite dissimilar skeletal structure and apparently quite a distinct genetic profile.

No one is saying that Jews (or Romani) are identical to their host populations in pigment or that they're like these totally unmixed populations that only have visual similarities due to selection, just that the most parsimonious way for the proportions they do have to be explained may involve some small degree of selection, since it's above what you would expect from the putative ancestrals.

Anonymous said...

Several months ago someone posted in Steve's comments section a link to an article describing how Arabs had been imported into Italy (Rome?) and formed an underclass there, slowly marrying into the mainstream society over the centuries. Perhaps a substantial part of Jewish heritage comes from this group of people.

globalist said...

Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection.

"It's fascinating to observe the strange contortions people here will go through in order to avoid accepting the obvious fact that Jews have been interbreeding with Europeans for centuries. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

Power of suggesion, Watson.
A guy I knew (Jewish btw) once told me it was obvious that Jane Seymour was part-black because she played a character in a James Bond movie that was supposed to be, possibly, part black. I said "how" and he said, well, look at her long hair, how it sticks together, and something else about that face.
Now whatever you may think of the young Jane Seymour, aka Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, black African is not what leaps to mind, even in miniscule proportions. Possible yes, but you'd never tell it from the looks. However, because she was playing a voodoo priestess or some such nonsense, well--the power of suggestion kicked in. She was sort "exotic" looking by the standards of the day, I guess, but not so "exotic" looking she couldn't play an 19th century English girl a year later. Some "black person."

IMHO, maybe 50% AT LEAST of the full-Jewish people I've seen, I wouldn't have known and I used to make quite a game of guessing ethnicity, usually accurately.

Avinash Tripathy said...

"which seems reasonable when you consider that when Jewish females married European males they usually left the Jewish community."

Yes but I thought, to be a Jew your mom has to be a Jew. So it should be the other way round, children of Jewish females and European males would have been accepted in the Jewish communities in Europe while the children of Jewish males and European females would be forced to leave the Jewish community and join the local European communities.

Anyways, as it has been pointed out that the ancients in the Middle East did not consider the Jews a very creative and intelligent people and they most probably got their high IQs in Europe, what is likely is that Jews in Europe absorbed significant European genes. This brought in both, genes for high IQ and light eyes/hair into the Semitic population. Later these high IQ genes were further selected for in the European jewish populations at a rate higher than the much larger native European populations around them while the genes for light eyes and light hair just stayed around. Europeans too went through stages of eugenics (nobles having more kids, Bubonic plague etc…) and dysgenics (celibacy in the Catholic and Orthodox priesthoods, large numbers of deaths in wars etc…) but never faced the same eugenic pressures as Jews. Thus European Jews simply took European genes for high IQ and selected them further than the Europeans themselves.

Anonymous said...

And the blond-haired and red-haired Jews, they came from where?

There aren't many blond Jews out there.

Redheaded Jews, now that's a better question. Lots of Jews have red hair. But the distribution of red hair in the world is pretty strange in general (British Isles, Ural Mountains, Easter Island, Jews, etc.).

Anonymous said...

As one of the few Sephardic Jews who reads this site (I'm guessing), I just want to say that many of my family members simply talk of the Ashkenazim as being interlopers, that is, European-types expropriating our beliefs, and not really us at all. You can keep them. They're yours.

frank said...

"Think about Europe. In the Dark Ages, no literacy, no cities, no trade, no coins, much smaller populations, much smaller (height) people -- followed by recovery and trade for the first time East-West across Europe instead of North-South centered and involving European agricultural production including for the first time extensive wool/textile production and trade (white gold)."

You know, don't you, that no one even uses the term "Dark Ages" anymore because it's such bullshit?

Anonymous said...

Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East



Saying "roughly 30 percent" makes it seem like that's the mid point, with some more and some less. In fact the study placed 30 percent as the minimum, finding that Jews were between 30 and 60 percent European.

Anonymous said...

King David was a redhead


There's no way of knowing whether King David was or was not a redhead, but the Bible makes no such claim for him.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me to see so many people spout off without reading either the supplementary materials for the paper (free) or very useful analyses by knowledgeable people who have read the paper such Razib or Dienekes (links below). It's also better not to take this study in isolation or to accept off the cuff quotes from any authors in the popular press as gospel.

As Dr. Gregory Cochran pointed out above, the Atzmon paper that Steve discussed last week gave a European admixture estimate of 30-60%. I would take what's in that paper much more seriously than what the NYT extracts from an interview. The Behar paper does not give a percentage admixture estimate, but as Dr. Cochran again points out, the genetic distance values calculated between Europeans and Ashkenazi/Sephardic Jews and between Levantines and Ashkenazic/Sephardic Jews are rougly equal, suggesting closer to 50-50 admixture.

It should also be noted that in the global context, Middle Easterners are actually quite close to Europeans genetically. To some extent, recent sub-Saharan admixture in Arab populations (that Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Arab populations largely lack per the data from this study)pushes some Middle Eastern Arab populations farther from Europe on PCA plots and also influences readers' perception of the Middle Eastern range of phenotypes.

Dienekes' and Razib's discussions:

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2010/06/genome-wide-structure-of-jews-behar-et.html

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/06/genetics-the-jews-its-still-complicated/

Steve Sailer said...

Right, 30% sounds implausibly low. Half and half sounds about right, but, in the big picture, there isn't much difference between the various shores of the Mediterranean. For example, the Etruscans always said they came from what's now now Turkey, and there may be more great Europeans from Tuscany -- e.g., Dante, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Galileo -- than from anywhere else in Europe.

ben tillman said...

"Fair-haired/blue-eyed European Jews could be the result of mimicry and/or sexual selection."

It's fascinating to observe the strange contortions people here will go through in order to avoid accepting the obvious fact that Jews have been interbreeding with Europeans for centuries. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


You're dissembling. Selection based on mimicry is in no way inconsistent with the notion (which you are advancing for ethnopolitical reasons) that "Jews have been interbreeding with Europeans for centuries".

Mimicry is a very real phenomenon observable in many species other than humans. There is no reason to doubt that it has occurred in this context in at least some Jewish populations in at least some times and places. In fact, it would be very surprising if it had not.

Langobard said...

You're dissembling. Selection based on mimicry is in no way inconsistent with the notion (which you are advancing for ethnopolitical reasons) that "Jews have been interbreeding with Europeans for centuries".

With all due respect Mr. Tillman (I like and agree with almost all that you ever write and post), but what you are advancing could be just as dissembling, for ethnopolitical reasons, the notion that Jews are a 'distinct race' from other White Europeans.

As we all know, both Jewish Zionists and many, many White Nationalists want very much to believe that Jews are 'a race unto themselves -- different from all those they dwell amongst'.

I personally think, of course, that there are noticeable genetic differences between your average Ashkenazi Jew and your average indigenous European 'gentile' -- however, the differences are not that great, particularly since many of them have indeed been mixing with us over the centuries.

For example - both the daughters of Slick Willie and Al Bore married Jewish guys:

1) Marc Mezvinsky (the son of former Iowa congressman and convicted felon Edward Mezvinsky, who spent five years in prison for defrauding investors of more than $10 million in a major Nigerian scam) who Hill-Bill-ary says are "very" excited -- and "aisle' be so proud" of their daughter Chelsea's engagement to the Goldman Sachs's banker:
http://alturl.com/fo9m
&
http://alturl.com/mg3m

and

2) Drew Schiff (grandson of mega-banker and "Russian' Revolution" financier Jacob Schiff), married to daughter Karenna Gore:
http://alturl.com/jxfi

~

Even co-President (and ardent Zionist) 'Rahmbo' Israel Emanuel married a "gentile":

When the family lived in Chicago, Emanuel attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Jewish Day School, a Conservative Jewish day school.[10] After his family moved to Wilmette, he attended public schools: Romona School, Wilmette Junior High School, and New Trier West High School.[1][11] He and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel, including just after the 1967 Six Day War.[5][12]

...

Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding.[16] They are members of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel, a Modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago.[10] They have a son and two daughters; the older two Zach and Ilana attend The Maret School in Washington DC.[10]

Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. Axelrod signed the ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding, an honor that goes to a close friend.[17]

Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation is quoted as saying: "It's a very involved Jewish family"; "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago."[10] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me." ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

Yup, proud indeed.

Anonymous said...

Why is a big deal being made on blond haired and red haired Jews? All European ethnic groups have diverse hair and eye color within that ethnic group. In Sweden, the majority hair color is brown, not blond, though Swedes have a higher percent of blondes than say Greeks. So whay should Ashkenazi Jews be any different? They will have a diversity of hair and eye color. A big question is why do Asiana have the same hair and eye color and Africans and Indians also, but not Europeans? As far as the Sephardic (actually "Arab" Jews) having the same genes as Ashkenazi,more studies need to be done ot the sample of people used in this study was faulty.

David said...

>Mimicry is a very real phenomenon observable in many species other than humans. There is no reason to doubt that it has occurred in this context in at least some Jewish populations in at least some times and places.<

The crypto-thing can be part of this. I've come across about half a dozen obvious ethnic Jews who, nevertheless, did not know they were. They found out later than I did, and they've known themselves (at least in some sense) all their lives.

One girl I took to see a Broadway play about Jews in the South (she was a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner) emerged from the theatre visibly upset. "Whoever heard of," she asked tensely, "JEWS in THE SOUTH?" I was dumbfounded by her question, because her family's Jewish heritage had always been perfectly plain to me from the instant I first met her. I didn't have the heart to say anything in response to her question, though. The whole episode felt extraordinary weird.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: "As far as the Sephardic (actually "Arab" Jews) having the same genes as Ashkenazi,more studies need to be done ot the sample of people used in this study was faulty

"Sephardic" in its narrow sense refers to Jews who lived in the Iberian peninsula up to the expulsion of 1492 and their descendants. That is the sense of the word employed by this article. The confusion arises because some of those Sephardic Jews' descendants migrated to what are now Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Jews who preceded them there adopted some of the religious and cultural practices of the Sephardic Jews, hence some people lump them all together as Sephardic. Again, that is not the sense of the word employed in this article.

Anonymous said...

Why is a big deal being made on blond haired and red haired Jews? All European ethnic groups have diverse hair and eye color within that ethnic group. In Sweden, the majority hair color is brown, not blond, though Swedes have a higher percent of blondes than say Greeks. So whay should Ashkenazi Jews be any different?



Because they are (we are being told) not a European ethnic group. Therefore some of feel compelled to point out the fact that they have these distinctively European traits, logically derived from centuries on interbreeding with Europeans. Meanwhile others proffer absurd ideas such as mimicry.

Anonymous said...

I've come across about half a dozen obvious ethnic Jews who, nevertheless, did not know they were.



What specific things made it so "obvious" to you?


One girl I took to see a Broadway play about Jews in the South (she was a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner) emerged from the theatre visibly upset. "Whoever heard of," she asked tensely, "JEWS in THE SOUTH?" I was dumbfounded by her question, because her family's Jewish heritage had always been perfectly plain to me from the instant I first met her. I didn't have the heart to say anything in response to her question, though



That's swell of you. Has it occured to you that she was not actually Jewish, regardless of what is "plain" to you?

Anonymous said...

Mimicry is a very real phenomenon observable in many species other than humans.



But can you think of any instances of mimicry in humans?

ben tillman said...

But can you think of any instances of mimicry in humans?

Obviously the one we've been talking about here.

ben tillman said...

With all due respect Mr. Tillman (I like and agree with almost all that you ever write and post), but what you are advancing could be just as dissembling, for ethnopolitical reasons, the notion that Jews are a 'distinct race' from other White Europeans.

Already by the time MacDonald published his first book in 1994, there was a basis for stating that "there is overwhelming evidence for the proposition that the Jewish gene pool has been significantly segregated from the gene pools that populations that Jews have lived among for centuries, while at the same time there is significant genetic commonality between Jewish groups that have been separated for centuries." (See A People That Shall Dwell Alone, p. 25.) Everything that has come out since 1994 -- including the study referenced in Steve's post -- consistently confirms these points.

Unlike the earlier commenter, I'm not just making this stuff up. The studies cited by MacDonald, mostly by Jewish researchers going back to the 1970's, reach conclusions like the following: "not much admixture has taken place between Ashkenazi Jews and their Gentile neighbors during the last 700 years or so." [Bonne-Tamir et al. (1977), cited in APTSDA at p. 26.]

Theoretically, it takes just one instance of interbreeding to introduce, for instance, blue eyes into a population in which there is not a single allele for the trait. Five hundred years later, many, most, or all of the population could have the allele (even in homozygous form) if by chance the allele survives the initial danger of the "gambler's ruin phenomenon and then proves to have a selective advantage. The 30-60% admixture found by the researchers in this study could be the result of a tiny amount of interbreeding generations earlier.

And where is the motive for a gentile to falsely claim that "Jews are a 'distinct race' from other White Europeans"? If we knew they were the same as us, their success would be ours, and we could all sleep easy. There is, however, a reason to dissemble as the earlier commenter did: to facilitate crypsis by a genetically distinct group.

As we all know, both Jewish Zionists and many, many White Nationalists want very much to believe that Jews are 'a race unto themselves -- different from all those they dwell amongst'.

I personally think, of course, that there are noticeable genetic differences between your average Ashkenazi Jew and your average indigenous European 'gentile' -- however, the differences are not that great, particularly since many of them have indeed been mixing with us over the centuries.


I grasp your point, but the degree of difference is not all that relevant. If, by your characterization, the difference between the European and Jewish gene pools is "not that great", it sure doesn't seem to matter to the Jewish community when it decides how to treat us. And even a small difference matters from an evolutionary standpoint. Your brother may be closer to you genetically than anyone else, but you're not going to accept his cuckolding you.

With respect to appearance, there are two ways it could work out. The advantages of Jews' being able to recognize one another could outweigh the advantages of our not being able to recognize them. Or it could be vice versa. Given all the different circumstances in which Jews have lived among us, there must have been some in which the advantages of the latter outweighed those of the former.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it is so difficult for some to believe that Ashkenazi Jews do not have 70 percent middle eastern ancestry. Many Jews have physical middle eastern traits (nose and eye shape and usually fleshy face). Since Jews also contain around 30 percent European ancestry, you will get variations where some will look more European (ie: Alicia Silverstone -though she has recent Scottish ancestry too) and others like David Attell http://hyreviews.com/comics/Dave%20Attell.jpg that look unmistakenbly middle eastern.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the earlier commenter, I'm not just making this stuff up. The studies cited by MacDonald, mostly by Jewish researchers going back to the 1970's, reach conclusions like the following: "not much admixture has taken place between Ashkenazi Jews and their Gentile neighbors during the last 700 years or so." [Bonne-Tamir et al. (1977), cited in APTSDA at p. 26.




Golly! Who would have guessed that these "Jewish researchers" would have confirmed the deepest desire of Jews - that they are not like other people but have kept their genetic line intact across millenia? And that notwithstanding the evidence of our eyes to the contrary? It's a miracle!

Anonymous said...

And where is the motive for a gentile to falsely claim that "Jews are a 'distinct race' from other White Europeans"? If we knew they were the same as us, their success would be ours, and we could all sleep easy. There is, however, a reason to dissemble as the earlier commenter did: to facilitate crypsis by a genetically distinct group.



It seems obvious that "gentiles" (you've been thoroughly indoctrinated in Jewish thought) would have the motive of facilitating the expulsion of Jews.

Anonymous said...

ben tillman said...

"But can you think of any instances of mimicry in humans?"

Obviously the one we've been talking about here


Ha ha.

No, seriously, your allegations aside, can you provide any instances in which the sort of mimicry you mentioned has ever been documented in humans?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it is so difficult for some to believe that Ashkenazi Jews do not have 70 percent middle eastern ancestry



Because this study found that that they have more like 50% European ancestry.

ben tillman said...

It seems obvious that "gentiles" (you've been thoroughly indoctrinated in Jewish thought) would have the motive of facilitating the expulsion of Jews.

Your comment begs the question.

Unbelievable.

Langobard said...

Golly! Who would have guessed that these "Jewish researchers" would have confirmed the deepest desire of Jews - that they are not like other people but have kept their genetic line intact across millenia? And that notwithstanding the evidence of our eyes to the contrary? It's a miracle! - Anon

Thanks 'anon' - this was the point that I was trying to make with Ben Tillman, that so much of Jewish 'racial' theory - not that it is completely wrong -- just that it is far more rationalizing than rational, and of course both Jewish Zionists and many White Nationalists want to believe that Jews are so different from the rest of Whites.

Additionally, for that matter, just because Kevin MacDonald (KMac) said or agrees with something that many Jews favorably believe (regarding race) does not necessarily make it true.

Frankly, it does not matter Mr. Tillman whether or not (Ashkenazi) Jews are racially White or (so-called) "Semites" in a biological sense. Theirs is most of all what Wilmot Robertson terms a "thought-race" -- that is, they are far more of an ideological tribe than a biological one.

Consider -

It is the "thought-race" which made it possible for Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, who genetically could hardly be distinguished from a Mediterranean, to call himself a Negro. It is the same "thought-race" which permits former Israeli Premier Itzhak Rabin, with his fair complexion, light eyes, and many other Northern European characteristics, to designate himself a Jew. When (Lothrop) Stoddard wrote, "For his blood race he will not stir; for his thought-race he will die," he apparently believed that in a test of strength between the physical and the psychological sides of race, the latter would prevail. - Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority, p. 62n.

Langobard said...

Remember as well, Jews above all do not only wish to be considered a 'distinct race', but a 'race' that is the descendants of the biblical Hebrew patriarchs, something that is rather highly improbable and tenuous for most of Eastern European Jewry, where most of the Ashkenazim came from.

Here is an interesting perspective from a Jewish man on the more sober realities when it comes to Jewish, or Zionist, thinking on race.

Today, to trace anyone’s descent to ancient Palestine would be a genealogical impossibility; and to presume, axiomatically, such a descent for Jews, alone among all human groups, is an assumption of purely fictional significance. Most everybody in the Western world could stake out some claim of Palestinian descent if genealogical records could be established for two-thousand years. And there are, indeed, people who, though not by the widest stretch of imagination Jewish, proudly make that very claim: some of the oldest of the South’s aristocratic families play a game of comparing whose lineage goes farther back into ‘Israel’. No one knows what happened to the Ten Lost Tribes of ‘Israel’, but to speculate on who might be who is a favored Anglo-Saxon pastime, and Queen Victoria belonged to an ‘Israelite’ Society that traced the ancestry of its membership back to those lost tribes.

...

The descriptive name Judaism was never heard by the Hebrews or ‘Israelites’; it appears only with Christianity. Flavius Josephus was one of the first to use the name in his recital of the war with the Romans to connote a totality of beliefs, moral commandments, religious practices and ceremonial institutions of Galilee which he believed superior to rival Hellenism. When the word Judaism was born, there was no longer a Hebrew-’Israelite’ state. The people who embraced the creed of Judaism were already mixed of many races and strains; and this diversification was rapidly growing…

Perhaps the most significant mass conversion to the Judaic faith occurred in Europe, in the 8th century A.D., and that story of the Khazars (Turko-Finnish people) is quite pertinent to the establishment of the modern State of ‘Israel’. This partly nomadic people, probably related to the Volga Bulgars, first appeared in Trans-Caucasia in the second century. They settled in what is now Southern Russia, between the Volga and the Don, and then spread to the shores of the Black, Caspian and Azov seas. The Kingdom of Khazaria, ruled by a khagan or khakan fell to Attila the Hun in 448, and to the Muslims in 737. In between, the Khazars ruled over part of the Bulgarians, conquered the Crimea, and stretched their kingdom over the Caucasus farther to the northwest to include Kiev, and eastwards to Derbend. Annual tributes were levied on the Russian Slavonians of Kiev. The city of Kiev was probably built by the Khazars. There were Jews in the city and the surrounding area before the Russian Empire was founded by the Varangians whom the Scandinavian warriors sometimes called the Russ or Ross (circa 855-863).

Twelve tribes started in Canaan about thirty-five centuries ago; and not only that ten of them disappeared – more than half of the members of the remaining two tribes never returned from their “exile” in Babylon. How then, can anybody claim to descend directly from that relatively small community which inhabited the Holy Land at the time of Abraham’s Covenant with God?


Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal
Excerpt from his book, What Price Israel? (1953)

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it does not matter Mr. Tillman whether or not (Ashkenazi) Jews are racially White or (so-called) "Semites" in a biological sense. Theirs is most of all what Wilmot Robertson terms a "thought-race" -- that is, they are far more of an ideological tribe than a biological one.




Exactly. I've made the same point - that the "Jewish tribe" is more akin to communism or some other ideological movement than it is to a literal tribe.

Anonymous said...

I grasp your point, but the degree of difference is not all that relevant. If, by your characterization, the difference between the European and Jewish gene pools is "not that great", it sure doesn't seem to matter to the Jewish community when it decides how to treat us




That's because the "Jewish community" is a secular version of the Muslim community - motivated more by ideas than by genetics. Convert to left-wing Jewish thought and Jews will consider you part of the inner circle.

ben tillman said...

http://www.ety.com/HRP/jewishstudies/ashkenazi.htm

Authors are Anna C Need, Dalia Kasperavičiūtė, Elizabeth T Cirulli, and David B Goldstein.

I'll give you Goldstein, but do you really think Need, Kasperavičiūtė, and Cirulli are all Jews? Could be, but it doesn't seem likely to me. It does seem that Goldstein is the senior researcher, and some of the others may be his students/assistants, so he may be running the show.

Anyway, the study concludes that:

Here we show that within Americans of European ancestry there is a perfect genetic corollary of Jewish ancestry which, in principle, would permit near perfect genetic inference of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. In fact, even subjects with a single Jewish grandparent can be statistically distinguished from those without Jewish ancestry. We also found that subjects with Jewish ancestry were slightly more heterozygous than the subjects with no Jewish ancestry, suggesting that the genetic distinction between Jews and non-Jews may be more attributable to a Near-Eastern origin for Jewish populations than to population bottlenecks.

Pictures of two of the researchers:

http://www.genome.duke.edu/people/faculty/need/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Dalia-Kasperaviciute/598873893

Anonymous said...

According to tillman's link -

These analyses make clear that individuals with full Jewish ancestry are a genetically distinct group from those having no (self-reported) Jewish ancestry. Of the subjects that self-identified as Jewish and knew their type, almost all were Ashkenazim


Gee whiz!

Of course the study also shows that, as one would expect, every group is "genetically distinct". They find that the French, Northern Italians, Russians, and Druze are all genetically distinct groups. If they found that, by contrast with Jews, Italians and Swedes were close genetic cousins, they'd have something to talk about. But they didn't.

More -



we considered a random sample of 611 unrelated self-described Caucasian subjects mostly residing in America who specifically reported whether they had Jewish ancestry, and if so, how many grandparents were ‘Jewish’. All individuals were genotyped for approximately 550,000 polymorphic markers and we applied a principal-component-based method to describe the population genetic structure [8] of the sample. Out of the 611 subjects, 507 reported no Jewish ancestry, 55 reported 4 Jewish grandparents, 4 reported 3 Jewish grandparents, 37 reported 2 Jewish grandparents and 8 reported 1 Jewish grandparent. Of these, 23 reported that they were Ashkenazim, one reported four Sephardic grandparents, two reported three Ashkenazi and one Sephardic grandparent, and two reported two Sephardic grandparents. A further 62 provided European or Russian country-of-origin information for at least one grandparent and 14 were able to give no more information than ‘European-American’


There's that vaunted Jewish scientific rigor for you! The subjects were all "self-described". Do I need to point out the flaws in this approach?

And more -

The subjects were initially asked to check one of the following racial/ethnic labels: African, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern/Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander. They were also asked to write down the country of origin of all four grandparents. Following these categorizations the subjects were also asked if any of their grandparents were Jewish, and if so, to indicate which type (with Ashkenazi and Sephardic provided as examples). Only Caucasian subjects were selected for analysis ...

I'm speechless.

Langobard said...

...We also found that subjects with Jewish ancestry were slightly more heterozygous than the subjects with no Jewish ancestry, suggesting that the genetic distinction between Jews and non-Jews may be more attributable to a Near-Eastern origin for Jewish populations than to population bottlenecks. - Ben Tillman

Well Ben, this indeed may be the case, that the average Ashkenazi Jew is 'slightly more heterozygous' than the average European "gentile". However, the Near-Eastern origins of 'Jewish ancestry' in question may just as likely in fact be Khazarian rather than Semitic -- as Dr. Lilienthal suspects, as did Arthur Koestler, for the base ethnicity of Eastern European Ashkenazim.

Here is an excerpt on the 'Chazars' from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

Embrace Judaism
In the year 669 the Ugrians or Zabirs freed themselves from the rule of the Obrians, settled between the Don and the Caucasus, and came under the dominion of the Chazars. For this reason the Ugrians, who had hitherto been called the" White" or "Independent" Ugrians, are described in the chronicles ascribed to Nestor as the "Black," or "Dependent," Ugrians. They were no longer governed by their own princes, but were ruled by the kings of the Chazars. In 735, when the Arab leader Mervan moved from Georgia against the Chazars, he attacked the Ugrians also. In 679 the Chazars subjugated the Bulgars and extended their sway farther west between the Don and the Dnieper, as faras the head-waters of the Donetz in the province of Lebedia (K. Grot, "Moravia i Madyary," St. Petersburg, 1881; J. Danilevski and K. Grot, "O Puti Madyars Urala v Lebediyu," in "Izvyestiya Imperatorskavo Russkavo Georaficheskavo Obshchestva," xix.). It was probably about that time that the chaghan of the Chazars and his grandees, together with a large number of his heathen people, embraced the Jewish religion. According to A. Harkavy ("Meassef Niddaḥim," i.), the conversion took place in 620; according to others, in 740. King Joeph, in his letter to Ḥasdai ibn Shaprut (about 960), gives the following account of the conversion:(see Harkavy, "Soobshchenija o Chazarakh," in "Yevreiskaya Biblioteka," vii. 153)

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=402&letter=C#1367



And here is the seminal work on the subject of the (likely) Khazarian origins of the Ashkenazim:

The Thirteenth Tribe

Anonymous said...

We also found that subjects with Jewish ancestry were slightly more heterozygous than the subjects with no Jewish ancestry


This is the same false comparison which crops up repeatedly in these "Jewish studies". Jews are compared, not to some other distinct, homogeneous group (Koreans, Finns, Druze) but to the vast heterogeneous mass of all non-Jews in the world.

At which point the researcher triumphantly observes that .... two random Jews have more in common with each other than two random non-Jews do!

Of course he omits to mention that the same statement can be applied to every ethnic group on the planet. Two random Irishmen have more genes in common than do two random non-Irishmen. The statement is a tautology.

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK TIMES MISREPORTS THIS RESEARCH; HERE IS RESEARCH THAT DISPROVES THE NYT.

The study reported by the NYT is invalid. It had a strong selection bias as it took Judaists whose all 4 grandparents were from the same community! In the old days, people did not travel far, married locally and so people from the same were more likely be somewhat related already! It also ignored other groups.

There is a new study in Nature that contradicts the NYT reported study.

See:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/06/genetics-the-jews-its-still-complicated/

As shown on the above site, a newer study in Nature, despite having used the same questionable techniques as above, could at most prove that the Ashkenzim have a wide genetic overlap with many Caucasoid groups, such as the Armenian and Georgian, the precise location of the Khazar kingdom! This is obvious in the picture on that web page. Also, the genetic distance (in the table) between the Judaists themselves compared to that with the local population are almost the same, if not more!