Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What's in the Race

According to a recent article in The Hindu, three scholars have published a paper last year which theorises that Jews are more intelligent than other races. The reason given is that their traditional occupation of doing business and making money leads them to develop genes for cleverness. A similar “study” was done in 1994 which stated that African races are dumber than others.

Both these studies have lead to huge controversy and discussion as is to be expected. But the question that I ask is – what difference does it make?

I question the hopeless futility and sheer uselessness of the entire exercise.

Okay fine, maybe Jews are smarter and Africans less so. What difference does it make? Surely, nobody in his sane mind can declare that all Jews are intelligent and that all Africans are dumb. There are always individual variations in such cases.

So when we talk about university admissions, I would certainly have to look at the individuals credentials. Or even when I’m talking about job offers.

I don’t understand when people will start treating people based on personal characteristics and not group traits. Because more often than not, group traits do not even exist. Or even if they do exist they are of no consequence is practical life.


  1. You have been tagged...check my blog for details.

  2. So how do I behave with people? I have thought about this a lot. And I am still confused about it. Do read the post & tell me what you think.

  3. I guess the problem lies not in froming steriotypes. Human beings invariably need to function in environments where we do not have enough informatin about the system but still must make judgements about it. In such situation steriotypes are a great help.

    The problem lies with not being able to break out of steriotypes fast enough. I see someone who is wearing some very funky clothes and we make the judgement that this is just some modern teenager who hangs out at discoes and is a party animals and likes and does nothing else. But lo and behold this guy starts taking about quantum mechanics. We should be able to accept that this guy might actually be a physics geek who studies at an IIT, is probably going to make the next major breakthrough in theoretical physics and has no life to speak of. The point is the original judgement should keep changing according to new information.

  4. I guess when u've intelligent parents and grow up in an environment that is conductive for intellectual growth you grow up to be one too. It's a mix of the genes and the efect of the environment.
    There will always be individual variation. AND you can't label a whole race as intelligent or foolish.
    BUT the fact remains America is run by Jews and Indians also maybe