MacDonald documents this assertion in exhaustive detail. There is a shocking and brutal honesty shown by macDonald in approaching his subject.". Harmon Holcomb, human Ethology bulletin, 11(2 14-17, june, 1996. "MacDonald has shown how the detailed patterns of Jewish history provide evidence for a host of evolutionary hypotheses about group strategies that apply to other groups oliver as well. The theoretical pluralism and evidential meticulousness of this volume makes it a case study that repays careful reading.". Richard Lynn, mankind quarterly, 37(2),. "MacDonald is to be congratulated on a brilliant attempt to develop a scientific theory of Judaism rooted in contemporary evolutionary theory.".
The main public forum for this controversy was hbes-l, the internet discussion group of the. Human Behavior and evolution Society. The events surrounding Hartung's review were recounted in an article entitled "Publisher Draws Censorship Charge" by constance holden. 177, july 12, 1996. These events were also the subject of an article entitled "Unnatural Selection" by daniel Zalewski. Paul Gottfried, rothbard Rockwell Report, 10-12, february, 1996. Presents twist his Jewish subjects as an illustration of genetic strategizing, clearly he is courting controversy by his examples and his method of inquiry. Judaism, as seen by macDonald, is a body of dietary and social prohibitions aimed at and maintaining Jewish genetic and cultural unity.
Darlington pioneered in his. Evolution of Man and Society. Psychology could do with more such serious attempts to look at the development of psychological differences between groups in an original and creative manner.". John Hartung, Ethology and Sociobiology, 16,. "MacDonald argues that the worldwide, age-old phenomenon of anti-semitism is not a disease state vectored by myths, but is instead what should be expected given the nature of human intergroup competition and the competitive attributes of Judaism. Hartung's review emphasizes a central theme of my book'that between-group competition is central to understanding historical Judaism. However, he also develops his ideas on the linkages among the history of Judaism as a competitive group, the holocaust as a reaction to judaism, and the roles that Christian perceptions of Judaism and the moral capital created by the holocaust play in legitimizing Israel. Hartung's review was considered anti-semitic by some and resulted in charges of censorship when the publisher, Elsevier, refused to publish an addendum to the review written by hartung and intended to calm the passions raised by his review.
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I found the data and reasoning compelling despite my general rejection of evolutionary anthropology in explaining complex societies. While i did find myself questioning and confronting many assertions and uses of evidence, this essay is a most worthwhile reading experience.". Hans Eysenck, personality and Individual Differences, 19(1),. "This is in fact a potentially very important contribution to the literature on eugenics, and on reproductive strategy. Taking the jews as his example, macDonald carefully traces their history in relation to the explicit theory that they have always followed certain practices that amounted to a definite eugenic policy as far as intelligence (mainly verbal intelligence) is concerned.
He uses this development to explain the undoubted high intelligence to be found in modern Ashkenazi jews, and the truly remarkable successes they have scored'Nobel prizes, chess world championships, and much, much more. MacDonald lays much stress on the r/K reproductive strategies of the jews, insisting that they pursued. K -type strategy (few offspring, long parental investment and attempts to explain the jewish personality along these lines. This, too, is a fascinating endeavour, particularly as this Jewish personality seems to have changed considerably over time'the masada warriors giving way to the talmudic scribes. On the whole this is an entertaining and intriguing account of a thousand-year-old experience involving millions of people, lacking of course the methodological refinements that would be expected in a small-scale experiment in modern times, but contributing nevertheless a possible test of eugenic principles and. I hope it will be widely read and pondered; it is a creative effort to write history along biological lines, the sort of thing.
As indicated above, part of the argument in Chapter 1 is that evolutionary group strategies need not be viewed as determined by ecological contingencies or evolutionary theory. Group strategies are viewed as experiments in living which can be developed and maintained by purely cultural processes. Chapter 8 modifies this perspective by suggesting that a threefold combination of historically contingent factors facilitated the development of Judaism as an evolutionary strategy:.) a strong predisposition to ethnocentrism characteristic of Middle eastern cultures generally; It is argued that this predisposition is genetically influenced. These individuals benefited most from the group strategy which ultimately evolved into historical Judaism. Loeb, department of Anthropology, university of Utah; "review Essay: Jewish Origins and Continuity.
Jewish Folklore and Ethnology review, 19(1-2), 36-38, 1997. "kevin MacDonald is an evolutionary biologist using the jewish people as a test case to examine certain critical theorems of that approach. MacDonald's success was due to his cautious, careful assembling of evidence. Some readers will no doubt be disturbed by the sociobiologically derived jargon. Once acclimated to the style, however, the reader will be richly rewarded with a tour-de-force, sifting of a wide range of Jewish scholarship. This volume from a barely visible publisher and unlikely to be reviewed in Judaic or social science circles, is a watershed contribution to the understanding of Judaism and Jewish life.
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Further, it is shown that within-group charity and altruism have been facilitated by strong social controls within traditional Jewish communities which enforced a high level of within-group altruism. Traditional Jewish communities were also characterized by strong social controls against Jews who cooperated with gentiles against Jewish interests or who patronized gentile businesses or aided gentiles in economic activities. Finally, data are discussed indicating that there were limits on within-group altruism among Jews. Although altruism toward poor Jews was an important aspect of Judaism, there was also discrimination against poorer Jews, especially in times of economic and demographic crises. There was also discrimination between different Jewish groups as recipients of altruistic behavior as a function of genetic distance. Chapter 7 discusses hypotheses related to the issue of whether Judaism constitutes an ecologically specialized evolutionary strategy. The following five propositions are of interest: (1) Judaism can be characterized in ecological terms as a high investment reproductive strategy which facilitates resource competition by jews with the gentiles; (2) Success in mastering the vast and complex writing Jewish religious writings was strongly associated with. (5) Jewish groups have been characterized by a set of practices aimed at socializing individuals into identifying strongly with the group and excluding individuals (and their relatives) who depart from group goals'the latter practices ultimately having a eugenic affect on psychological mechanisms predisposing people. Finally, chapter 8 discusses the origins of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy.
Chapter 5 reviews evidence for resource oral and reproductive competition between Jews and gentiles, as well as for the proposition that anti-semitism has been strongest among those gentile groups most in competition with Jews. Evidence is reviewed indicating that Jews were commonly utilized as an intermediary group between a ruling elite (and especially alien elites) and the native population. In these situations the elite gentile group actively encouraged and profited from Jewish economic interests to the detriment of other sectors of the native population. After summarizing data on this type of relationship in widely dispersed parts of the world and widely separated points in time, separate sections are then devoted to jewish/gentile resource and reproductive competition in a wide range of economic activities in Spain prior to the Inquisition. Chapter 6 discusses data indicating the importance of kin- based cooperation and altruism within Judaism, its role in resource competition with gentiles, and its importance in maintaining cohesion within the jewish community. Data are presented indicating that Jewish economic activities have often been characterized by a high degree of nepotism and within-group charity which is central to conceptualizing Judaism as an evolutionary strategy. Group rather than individual interests have been of primary importance throughout Jewish history, so that,. G., there were sanctions on individual Jews to ensure that the total resource flow into the group was maximized rather than allow individual Jews to maximize their resource acquisition.
this material was written by Israelite priests during the period of the babylonian exile. It is proposed, therefore, that Judaism as an experiment in living dates from this period (6th-5th centuries. Chapter 4 discusses those aspects of Jewish religious ideology and practice that have facilitated the genetic and cultural separation of Jews and gentiles, and is thus relevant to the hypothesis that Judaism is a self-chosen, genetically fairly closed evolutionary strategy. Of the hundreds of human groups in the ancient world, judaism was the only one that avoided the powerful tendencies toward cultural and genetic assimilation characteristic of Western societies. Judaism as a group strategy depends on the development of social controls reinforcing group identity and preventing high levels of genetic admixture from surrounding groups. This genetic separation has been facilitated by a variety of cultural practices: religious practices and beliefs, language and mannerisms, physical appearance, customs, occupations, and living in physically separated areas which were administered by jews according to jewish civil and criminal law. All of these practices date from very early stages of the diaspora. This chapter surveys these ideologies and behaviors, particularly their role in severely limiting the numbers of gentile converts to judaism and preventing intermarriage between Jews and gentiles.
This material is relevant to the mom hypothesis that Judaism represents a group strategy which is fairly (but not completely) closed to penetration from gentile gene pools. The data indicate that Jews have remained genetically distinct from the groups they have lived among despite having lived among them for centuries. In addition, jewish populations in very diverse areas have significantly more genetic commonality than is the case between Jews and the gentile populations they have lived among for centuries. This is illustrated in the following figure from Kobyliansky and Micle (1982 This page includes a figure from the hammer. Article showing genetic distances between various Jewish and non-Jewish populations. Chapter 3 discusses some preliminary issues which are important for the general theory that Judaism constitutes an example of a religion that can be viewed as a group evolutionary strategy. There is a pronounced tendency toward idealizing endogamy and condemning exogamy apparent in the writings of the tanakh. The importance of consanguineous marriages and extended kinship relationships is also very apparent in these writings, especially for understanding the activities of the patriarchs.
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George michael, a political scientist at the University of Virginia-wise, has written an academic article summarizing my writing needed on Judaism. It also reviews some of the criticisms leveled at my work, and contains an interview with. Chapter 1 develops the basic theoretical perspective of the book, including especially the idea of a group evolutionary strategy. Group evolutionary strategies are proposed to be theoretically unconstrained on a variety of dimensions, and the remaining chapters flesh out the specific characteristics of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. Group strategies are viewed as experiments in living which can be developed and maintained by purely cultural processes, although a later chapter discusses how variation in evolved systems may predispose individuals to form cohesive, genetically exclusive groups. Of critical importance are within-group social controls and their rationalizing ideology which.) effectively limit exogamy;.) enforce cultural segregation;.) promote within-group charity and economic cooperation; and.) structure mating opportunities within the group in a manner which ensures that there will be eugenic. Chapter 2 discusses the evidence from modern studies on population genetic differences between Jews and gentiles.