Two edgy areas of discussion in the blogosphere at the moment. First, the old minefield of Jews and intelligence, or at least particular kinds of intelligence, was made a little safer by articles in the New York Times and the Economist. Dan Drezner summarizes, which prompts an incidental observation: Drezner's blog features a plug by Andrew Sullivan and Drezner has substitute-blogged for Sully while he was on vacation. And yet Sullivan would benefit from reading Drezner's blog more carefully than he seems to, because Dan observes that one of the authors of the paper linking Jewish genes and intelligence
has also advanced the idea that, "homosexuality is caused by an infection."
The theory is explained more fully here. And yet for Sully, the debate is just another excuse to rehash his Bell Curve antics:
Eventually, the empirical links between intelligence and genetics will be unable to be denied. But sit back and watch people try.
On a different note, but in a debate likely to attract many of the same participants, is Tom Sowell's thesis that dysfunctional social behaviour of African-Americans is due to the proximity of their ancestors to the Ulster-Scots:
The culture of the people who were called "rednecks" and "crackers" before they ever got on the boats to cross the Atlantic was a culture that produced far lower levels of intellectual and economic achievement, as well as far higher levels of violence and sexual promiscuity. That culture had its own way of talking, not only in the pronunciation of particular words but also in a loud, dramatic style of oratory with vivid imagery, repetitive phrases and repetitive cadences.
A very different take on the influence of the Ulster-Scots on America than that which we had posted about a few months back. A book topic for David Trimble, now that he has some time on his hands?