author={Gregory M. Cochran and Jason Hardy and Henry C. Harpending},
  journal={Journal of Biosocial Science},
  pages={659 - 693}
This paper elaborates the hypothesis that the unique demography and sociology of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe selected for intelligence. Ashkenazi literacy, economic specialization, and closure to inward gene flow led to a social environment in which there was high fitness payoff to intelligence, specifically verbal and mathematical intelligence but not spatial ability. As with any regime of strong directional selection on a quantitative trait, genetic variants that were otherwise fitness… 
How Jews Became Smart : Anti-" Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence " l
Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (NHAI) provides a novel answer to a longstanding question: why do Jews of Ashkenazi ancestry carry so many recessive genes for harmful conditions? It argues
Population Genetics of the Ashkenazim
The results Strengthen the inferences that Ashkenazim trace their ancestry to a genetically diverse population in the Middle East that underwent a series of founder events – reducing genetic diversity relative to the ancestral population – and that subsequently experienced significant gene flow during the period of Ashkenazi residency in Europe.
Tay-Sachs and French Canadians: A Case of Gene-Culture Co-Evolution?
Tay-Sachs, an inherited neurological disorder, is unusually common among French Canadians from eastern Quebec. Two alleles are responsible, one being specific to the north shore of the St. Lawrence
Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy
It is argued here that the evidence favors what is termed the “default hypothesis”: Because of their above-average intelligence and concentration in influential urban areas, Jews in recent history have been overrepresented in all major intellectual and political movements, including conservative movements, that were not overtly anti-Semitic.
Religious norms, human capital, and money lending in Jewish European history
The ambitiouness of our agenda deserves emphasis: we are proposing the hypothesis that widespread and/or persistent human behavior can be explained by a generalized calculus of utility-maximizing
A review of studies shows that Oriental Jews in Israel have an average IQ 14 points lower than that of European (largely Ashkenazi) Jews, but it is proposed that this difference can be explained in terms of the Cochran, Hardy and Harpending theory.
Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population
The AJ population shows evidence of past founding events; however, admixture and selection have also strongly influenced its current genetic makeup, and although it is found evidence for positive selection at some AJ-prevalent disease loci, the higher incidence of the majority of these diseases is likely the result of genetic drift following a bottleneck.
Human Biological and Psychological Diversity
Many evolutionary psychologists have asserted that there is a panhuman nature, a species typical psychological structure that is invariant across human populations. Although many social scientists


The possibility of a selection process in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.
The conclusion of the Risch et al. (2003) analysis of the frequencies of the various inherited disorders that are found in relatively high frequency among Ashkenazi Jews was that the LSDs are not unique in this population and the relatively high prevalence of LSDs stems from a genetic drift, rather than a selection process in favor of the LSDS.
A population-genetic test of founder effects and implications for Ashkenazi Jewish diseases.
  • M. Slatkin
  • Biology
    American journal of human genetics
  • 2004
A statistical test of both aspects of the founder-effect hypothesis is developed, and the relatively high frequency of alleles causing four different lysosomal storage disorders, including Tay-Sachs disease and Gaucher disease, can be accounted for if the disease-associated alleles are recessive in their effects on reproductive fitness.
Darwinian adaptation, population genetics and the streetcar theory of evolution
This paper investigates the problem of how to conceive a robust theory of phenotypic adaptation in non-trivial models of evolutionary biology, and develops a foundation of this theory in the context ofn-locus population genetics.
Human Genetics: Lessons from Quebec Populations1
The population of Quebec, Canada (7.3 million) contains ∼6 million French Canadians; they are the descendants of ∼8500 permanent French settlers who colonized Nouvelle France between 1608 and 1759.
Controversy in human genetics: founder effect in Tay-Sachs disease.
In recent reports [1-3] the high incidence of Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) in Ashkenazic Jews has been ascribed to heterozygote advantage. We would like to offer an alternative explanation: founder
Geographic distribution of disease mutations in the Ashkenazi Jewish population supports genetic drift over selection.
Competing LSDs and nonlysosomal storage diseases in terms of the number of mutations, allele-frequency distributions, and estimated coalescence dates of mutations provide compelling support for random genetic drift rather than selection as the primary determinant of disease mutations in the Ashkenazi population.
Human genetics: lessons from Quebec populations.
  • C. Scriver
  • Medicine
    Annual review of genomics and human genetics
  • 2001
Genealogical estimates of historical meioses and analysis of linkage disequilibrium show that sectors of this young population are suitable for linkage diseqilibrium mapping of rare alleles, and how the population benefits from what is being learned about its structure and how its uniqueness could facilitate construction of a genomic map of linkage Disequilibrium are discussed.
  • R. Lande
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1976
The concept of adaptive zones is clarified by the construction of an adaptive topography for the average phenotype in a population, which shows that with constant fitnesses theaverage phenotype evolves toward the nearest adaptive zone in the phenotype space, but if fitnesses are frequency-dependent the average phenotypes may evolve away from an adaptive zone.
An unexpectedly high frequency of heterozygosity for alpha-thalassemia in Ashkenazi Jews.
A high frequency of heterozygosity for deletional alpha-thalassemia (-alpha3.7) in Ashkenazi Jews is found, and it is hypothesized that positive selection pressure for an as yet unknown linked allele on chromosome 16 may be a significant factor leading to this high frequency.