Statistically, more men have won Nobel prizes than women (by a large margin). Most Nobel laureates are Caucasian. Most are from the western hemisphere. Other than gender, it may be interpreted to mean that if a group which makes a small fraction of the total world population, they must be better/smarter.
It's a fallacious argument of course, since there can be many other factors at play here. How much of it is because these groups have access to more funds, that most of them are based in the United States which has better and more well-funded universities? What about social factors that have nothing to do with race/religion?
Along these lines, I could submit a link about how Indians who make up a tiny fraction of the American population are so much more successful than $POPULATION , but it's a meaningless statistic to have, other than for some misplaced pride.
Consider your magnitudes though.
For example, men win
0.961/0.5 = 1.9
times the Nobel Prizes you would expect based on representation alone, whereas Jews win
0.202/0.002 = 101
times the Nobel Prizes you would expect based on representation alone.
I am not claiming that this particular statistic is meaningless. Just that it isn't necessarily meaningful, either.
If the idea of education is not universally valued, is it so hard to believe that groups that do will do better in fields that require years of study?
I read a while back an article on Slate or the Atlantic that sort of explores this very issue. The hypothesis was that Judaism was at one point defined by literacy. Basically, at some point, to be a Jew required you to be read and understand the Torah. It was enormously expensive and over time those who couldn't afford stopped being considered Jews and those who were left were the ones who could afford an education. Thus the culture became one that was placed a strong emphasis on education. Someone who've read the article or know history of the Jews better can correct me on this.
I don't know why this is on HN at all, however. When I was surprised at the supreme court ruling on gay marriage not well covered on HN (I thought the liberty angle made it appropriate), people seemed to think otherwise (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5949827).
Anyway, you'll find that Jews have similar numbers in such things as Fields medals, Senate seats, the Forbes 400, etc, all at about 15-25 percent of the total.
The top countries on that list are Japan(110),Hong Kong(107) and Taiwan(104).Germany and Singapore are tied at 103.
Did you even read the parent to which you replied?
Do you know who Ashkenazi are?
Do you realize that Ashkenazi do not have a specific country? Ie Israel IQ average is 94 because half the country are not Ashkenazi (Arabs / Sephardic Jews / others)
I did.And the 115 figure is wrong.It should actually be a range:108-115, and only for American Ashkenazim.It is a number that could be explained more by selective migration than anything else.A better comparison would have been between East Asians in the US and American Ashkenazim.The average for European Ashkenazim is about 102.
There should also be a proper accounting for the bamboo ceiling
"According to a study performed by Cambridge University called, "From Chance to Choice: Genetic and Justice," Ashkenazi Jews have a median IQ of 117."
That study does NOT specifically mention American Jews.
Jews in the US are just more dominant/successful because of lack of persecution. But when allowed to, Jews were even more dominant in Soviet Union. For example They comprised 3% of population and 58% of Nobel laureates (total number 26).
Lastly, your point about selective migration is completely hollow. I know A LOT about Jewish history and there was no selective migration of smarter individuals. If anything - smarter/richer Jews would tend to stay in the old country.
And East Asians are just less dominant/successful because of the bamboo ceiling.
There's actually a big boost second-generation immigrants get. They understand the culture they are in, but they feel they need to work hard to keep up, and they aren't too afraid to break the rules (since it's not really their culture).
If this is the case, we may see a similar increase in Muslims in the coming generations as more of them are raised in English speaking cultures (assuming it will take a generation or two for us to have a large enough sample size).
Plus the Chinese guy who built China's ICBMs (after the US exiled him, under suspicion that he as sympathetic to his home country ... smart move that was).
Oh, and Terrance Tao.
There's quite a few Chinese-Americans who did pretty well. I'm not sure what generation they are, and I'd have to check if there's a higher proportion than non-western Americans; but the general idea (which could do with some real verification) is that "outsiders" often pursue a lot of the higher risk careers which "insiders" don't tend to flock to.
Just have a look at the students at any hard-core undergraduate course, and count the number of students with black hair.
There's not so many famous Asians in entertainment, probably because of the parts available. A Chinese actor is more likely to be offered the role of "ethnic minor character", while a Jewish actor won't be so constrained.
Also Indian Americans are well represented in hard core undergraduate courses too. Not sure which direction Indian is read from. If it's the same as Hebrew and Chinese then I might have to concede :-)
2. Ashkenazi Jews come from Europe (they are basically descendents of Jewish men & Italian women) - this was just was just proven a few days ago .
3. Europe in the middle ages heavily discriminated against the Jews (mostly due to the Church). It manifested itself in a number of prohibitions on what Jews could and could not do.
4. These prohibitions put a large premium on intelligence. Then evolution took over - smart Jews were more successful and had more kids .
5. Until the late 20 century Jews had a very strong culture of marrying other Jews. So the smart Jews who had kids would only marry other Jews - thus raising intelligence with every generation (since it was not diluted by the larger gene pool of host countries)
6. This process went on for about a thousand years.
As a result, Ashkenazi population has the highest average IQ of any group (about 115 as mentioned in another comment). That in itself would not be a big deal - but that means that they have a DISPROPORTIONATELY large percent of people with really high IQ (2SD above the mean).
What I described is not controversial - it's pretty much current state of scientific thought on the issue.
In software development, you'll frequently find many people simply want to use the job as a stepping stone to middle management.
I'd guess that a big reason why people of the Jewish faith have been persecuted over the centuries is that because of their IQ advantage they gain more wealth than other peoples they may be around. It is fascinating.
please keep your blanket statements for some other place.
This type of incredulous response is one of the most annoying thing about HN. It's pretty obvious that you've never put any serious thought into the issue; yet, instead of investigating for yourself, you make up some just-so story that puts you at ease.
A simple Google Scholar search would provide you will all types of answers, but since I doubt you'll be bothered to actually read an academic paper, just listen to Steven Pinker on the subject:
The relatively hard data says that Jewish people are about 100 times more likely to win a Nobel prize than an average person. 100x is a big factor. Obviously, there must be some fairly powerful factor or factors involved, and it is interesting to speculate.
I think the real question to ask then is what is religious breakdown of the various Nobel committee's?
I still can't believe what a fucked up parable that is.
a) Happy but ignorant
b) Unhappy but well informed
and the fact that humans instinctively choose the second option. It's not a warning that knowledge is bad, it's just an acknowledgment that it's better to know the truth, even when the knowledge makes us feel worse.
I'm not going to try and interpret the data, but I do think that's interesting.
So if there are lots of jewish who are choosing the laureates, it's "normal" to see a lot of jewish ending up nobel laureates.