Ted Sallis

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Another Jewish Genetics Paper

Another paper has come out similar to the Atzmon work reviewed in my previous TOO paper.  Having exhaustively examined Atzmon’s study, and seeing that the new Behar work (“The genome-wide structure of the Jewish people“) essentially says the same thing, I’ll keep the comments brief. I have also written the current TOO article (“Jewish Ethnic Genetic Interests“) as a dialogue on the complex topic of how to think about Jewish ethnic interests. Comments on these articles are welcome.

The Dienekes blog does a good job summarizing the paper, so I’ll highlight the major relevant points.

The PCA analysis, a method I view as somewhat weak but with some utility, again shows Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews as spanning the gulf between European and Middle Eastern populations.  Also see here which includes this figure:

Global “admixture” analysis, similar to Atzmon’s Structure data, shows the Ashkenazi as similar to other Jewish populations (and to Cypriots) and roughly midway between Europeans and groups like Palestinians.  Another view is here.


The regional “admixture” analysis again shows the intermediate nature of Jewish populations and their greater similarity to Middle/Near Easterners than to Europeans.

The link to the original paper’s abstract is here. Note the large proportion of Jewish authors.  Again, these data are essentially produced by Jewish scientists, not by “anti-Semites.”

The authors write:

Most Jewish samples form a remarkably tight subcluster that overlies Druze and Cypriot samples but not samples from other Levantine populations or paired Diaspora host populations.

Therefore, this statement suggests that Jews are not Middle Eastern (“other Levantine populations”) nor European (“paired Diaspora host populations”) but a separate population in between.  However, they seem to be basing that statement on the PCA, which is not reliable.  However, as the “admixture” analysis yields the same “in between” ancestry profile, the statement itself is probably sound.  Note that it mimics Atzmon as well as other previous studies on this topic reviewed here in the past.

The authors also commented thus:

The positioning of the Ashkenazi-Moroccan-Sephardi cluster between contemporary European and Levantine populations is of interest. This intermediate location is not surprising for Ashkenazi Jews, and might intuitively suggest some gene introgression from Central and EastEuropean host populations15. However, the overlapping location of Moroccan and Sephardi Jewish communities should be considered in the context of their historical chronicles. The traditional scenario suggested by historians to explain the establishment of these latter communities is as follows: 1) migration from the Levant to the geographic region corresponding to contemporary Iraq some 2,500 years ago, 2) movement to North Africa during the Arab expansion beginning in the 7th century, 3) movement through Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula to merge with and probably overwhelm any small pre-existing Jewish community from the Roman era, 4) expulsion of an estimated greater than one third of the population from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 (Spain) and 1497 (Portugal) ACE, and 5) re-settlement throughout the then existing North African Jewish communities or establishment of new Jewish communities such as the Turkish and Bulgarian communities under Ottoman rule. Therefore, the clustering of Sephardi and Moroccan Jews is not surprising, but their clustering so tightly with Ashkenazi rather than Middle Eastern (Iran, Iraq) Jews and not with their host populations is surprising. It is also noteworthy that previously reported mtDNA analysis showed that four maternal lineages underwent dramatic expansion as part of the demographic history of Ashkenazi Jews, and these lineages were also found exclusively among Sephardi Jews, but were not present in non-Jewish samples. These results might suggest either shared ancestry prior to the events leading to the generation of these Diaspora communities, or a previously underappreciated level of contact between these communities. An additional scenario might be Central-Eastern European genetic introgression into Ashkenazi Jews and an Iberian-European gene introgression into Sephardi Jews. According to this formulation, a potentially homogeneous European genetic variation would have generated the genetic proximity between the Jewish communities, with the detailed geographic sources within Europe being different.

Note that contra Atzmon, they are looking at the data and speculating about Central/East European admixture. This is a consequence of an over-reliance on PCA which, like Fst, is mindlessly used by populations genetics, over-interpreted, and ends up yielding information of limited usefulness.

What would be better – if it is possible – are “admixture” analyses that could distinguish northwest, southern, central, and eastern European genetic contributions, and then determining how much of each type is present in the Ashkenazim (and Sephardim).  Just looking at placement of groups along a couple of principal components of variation, in a manner which is very context dependent on populations used, cannot determine why a population is where it is.

Further, actual gene sharing analyses (e.g., Atzmon’s IBD analysis) is much more relevant to genetic interests than abstract placements on these graphs.  Even more to the point, higher order genetic structure is not really being considered in these papers.  If it was, I’d suspect greater differentiation between continentally defined groups.

The Atzmon and Behar studies are indeed useful.  But they are, in my opinion, flawed by the conformist tendency of population geneticists to use certain metrics as the foundation of their work when these metrics leave much to be desired.  Do any of these people using Fst for example ever address Jost’s criticisms?

Ted Sallis (email him) writes on scientific issues. 

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Ted Sallis: Taking a Initial Look at the American Third Position Party

Ted Sallis: The American Third Position Party (A3P) is a new political party that purports to represent the interests of the white American majority.  As such, it is a refreshing change from the standard Republicrat/Democan one-party system and gives hope that, finally, the political system can be used to further our specific group interests. 

These are early days and one cannot make any definitive conclusions about A3P at this point.  However, some progress has been made, and the party has put forth some initial positions on major issues, so it is worthwhile to examine these. Readers are urged to look at A3P’s program and policies.  I have no major disagreement with their stance on crime, economy, education, etc.  Instead, I would like to take a closer look at two of their major policy initiatives. Emphasis added to all quotes. 

The following summarizes the party’s key positions on immigration:

 To safeguard our identity and culture, and to maintain the very existence of our nation, we will immediately put an indefinite moratorium on all immigration. Recognizing our people’s right to safety, and respecting the sanctity of the rule of law, we will immediately deport all criminal and illegal aliens. We believe, too, that American citizenship should be exclusive and meaningful. As such, the American Third Position will end the practice of automatic birthright-citizenship for children of illegal aliens. To restore, with civility, the identity and culture of our homeland, we will provide incentives for recent, legal immigrants to return to their respective lands. 

This is good – stopping the influx, deportation of illegals, and an end to the concept of “anything goes” birthright citizenship.  Even more impressively, the possibility of repatriation of “recent, legal immigrants” is brought up – the only instance of an American political party raising the “R” issue.  I would like even more – a more comprehensive repatriation program for example, but this is a good start. Also: 

Immigration affects our culture. It affects the way we feel, act, and operate within a community. It affects whether or not we can have actual communities at all. It affects our welfare and livelihood in ways that are immeasurable, aside from the efforts we go to in protecting against it. Immigration erodes our culture and sense of identity. In cities where many cultures meet, there is an atmosphere of hostility. Neighborhoods become atomized, and a true community is never established. 

True and good, but it’s not only culture. Not surprisingly, I would like to have seen a more explicitly Salterian mention of the actual physical, demographic, biological effects of immigration.  They add: 

While we accept that ethnic minorities are, and will always be, part of America, we want our will to be observed and exercised as it should be, and as it should have been. We have a right to sovereignty and to exercise our will as a people. We want an America that is recognizable to us, one that we can feel comfortable in. We believe that this desire is not unique to our nation or our own people, and we believe that all people’s have a right to sovereignty. Accordingly, we will stop all immigration into America, except in special cases. To help restore our national identity, we will offer generous grants to recent immigrants who have a desire to return to their countries of origin. While this can be easily repositioned by a media who is hostile to our people or to a political establishment who relies on recent immigrants for votes, we only mean to create a system of mutual benefit, where the wills of both parties are observed and respected, as they should be. Wherever a recent immigrant has a need to get back home but is without the resources to do as much, we will lend a helping hand. 

I don’t know about the first set of phrases, but I understand that this party needs to navigate within the streams of the politically possible – for now – and that a too radical program at first may be difficult.  A contrasting argument would be that it’s a mistake to start off too moderate.  An initial moderate stance may “lock in” this moderation and prevent future shifts toward more radical positions since, having attracted a mass of more moderate supporters at the beginning, the party would be loathe to lose that support by shifting towards more radical solutions to the pressing problems of race, culture, and nation.  Truth be told, I’m more supportive of the latter mindset – that it is better to lay your cards on the table at the beginning and build in depth with more revolutionary support.  Of course, the assumption here is that the A3P leadership and I actually agree on these more radical ideals.  It may be that our vision is not congruent, and that the party program is what it is because that’s what the party leaders want it to be.  And, of course, A3P leadership has the right to formulate their own party’s positions as they see fit.  I merely make suggestions and offer some contrary views.

The A3P also has an excellent position on space exploration.

This is important; I am a very strong supporter of space exploration (both manned and unmanned).  This is part of Western Man’s Faustian soul, will yield important information and discoveries, and, hopefully, eventually lead to Western Man’s expansion into, and colonization of, space (assuming of course we are not first Third Worldized out of existence).  That the A3P has included space exploration as a key part of their program is therefore encouraging and demonstrates a willingness to look at long-term objectives, and also the ability to look beyond the standard “right-wing fare” (immigration, economy, crime, etc.). 

One point though is that they should go beyond space exploration and put together a broader position on overall science and Technology.  In other words they should also: encourage the development of alternative and novel sources of energy, promote advances in biomedical research (which should include not only basic research and that aimed at disease therapeutics, but also research on race and eugenics), stimulate development of advanced computing, and encourage continued and expanded research into the fabric of the universe and of reality itself (e.g., astronomy and, especially, both theoretical and applied advanced physics, cosmology, etc).  Further, Americans need to be in the lead of what can be called “global disaster abatement” – research aimed at investigating and, if possible, preventing asteroid strikes, super volcano eruptions, pandemics, environmental degradation, etc.  While some of the latter may seem like “science fiction,” that is more a function of our limited knowledge and imagination than it is to any real limitation of the possibilities. 

The A3P can also state an interest in Western cultural artifacts – an interest in opposing the current “Winter” of our High Culture, and its sewer-like degraded atmosphere, with a contrasting encouragement of Western cultural rebirth and the creation of a civilization that can make us, our ancestors, and our posterity proud.

In summary, there is some more work to be done and I hope that a bit of constructive criticism will be appreciated.  However, all in all, A3P seems at this point to be a very positive development, and I wish them well.

A major concern is that the landscape of “movement” history is littered with the scattered remnants of past projects that, initially, looked promising and generated enthusiasm, but quickly petered out due to lack of progress and direction, infighting, the action of infiltrators and agent provocateurs, diminished interest of activists with short attention spans, and the ability of the establishment to use a variety of methods to thwart nationalist progress.  We can hope that things will be different this time.

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Ted Sallis: Ethnic Nepotism: A Prescription for Fitness

Ted Sallis: In the comments section on my previous blog on Jewish genetics, Hunter Wallace pointed out this screed by Ian Jobling — a leading proponent of the Philo-Semitic Branch (PSB) of pro-White activism.  While I hope that the academics whose work was unfairly attacked in that essay will directly respond on their own sites, I would like to reproduce a heavily edited version of something I had previously written. 

Jobling confuses descriptive and prescriptive arguments about ethnic nepotism. As we shall see, he is not the only one who makes such an elementary error.  There has in fact been a lot of “squid ink” squirted around this issue by individuals who really should know better, if they were not so blinded by ideological concerns.

For example, a favorite quote from Richard Dawkins (for Asian supremacists and their followers) is as follows, this from The Selfish Gene

Kin selection is emphatically not a special case of group selection. … If an altruistic animal has a cake to give to relatives; there is no reason at all for it to give every relative a slice, the size of the slices being determined by the closeness of relatedness. Indeed this would lead to absurdity since all members of the species, not to mention other species, are at least distant relatives who could therefore each claim a carefully measured crumb! To the contrary, if there is a close relative in the vicinity, there is no reason to give a distant relative any cake at all. Subject to other complications like laws of diminishing returns, the whole cake should be given to the closest relative available. (p. 290) 

There are problems with this cake analogy. The pursuit of ethnic genetic interests (EGI) is not about parceling out “goodies” (“cake”) to co-ethnics in an indiscriminate fashion. It’s about making relevant and contextual choices to maximize your proportion of distinctive genetic information in the next generation. 

It’s also not about the “evolution” of anything. As discussed more fully with respect to Brigandt’s article below, there is no reason why a specific behavior that would enhance EGI needed to have “evolved.” We are talking about rational thought mechanisms able to make an adaptive decision about what is prescriptively adaptive — not instinct. 

A problem with the cake analogy is that the “cake” in question may be a collective good or some form of action or sociopolitical ideology which is suited for application on a large, population scale, and is not relevant to “close kin.” All things being equal, it would be more adaptive to “spread the cake” of immigration to America to your close kin overseas rather to non-related co-ethnics. When it comes to immigration policy, we are not talking about making a choice between your uncle Joe immigrating or some random co-ethnic. We are instead asking whether (large) numbers of genetically distant peoples should be allowed to migrate to your territory; we are making a choice of whether the future demography of your nation will consist of co-ethnics or aliens. If the “cake” in question is access to the carrying capacity of an entire nation, then obviously, the “cake” cannot be reserved for “close kin.” No person that I know of has an immediate family that numbers in the millions or tens or hundreds of millions. Only ethnies fill the bill for certain rather large “pieces of cake.”

Therefore, certain types of “cake” are not scalable down to individuals and extended families

Of course, the thing about this is that the “cake” goes in both directions: By giving co-ethnics the “large cake” by successfully influencing immigration policy, you are getting the “small cake” of your own genetic interests being maximized. Note also that Dawkins says that when a closer relative is in the “vicinity,” then that is who should get “the cake.” 

In other words, he is suggesting a relative, contextual metric, despite earlier stating that we should not give out “cake” based on relative genetic distance. If the close relative is at hand, give the cake to him; this implies that if the closer relative is not at hand, give it to the more distant relative. Indeed, then, looking at “cake” which is scaled to populations, one favors the “close relative” of co-ethnics over others when given the choice. Even at the individual level, in circumstances in which favoring family is not possible, the “close relative” of co-ethnics, “when in the vicinity,” takes the “cake” over the “distant relative” of non-ethnics. 

Of interest to this issue is Brigandt’s confused article (“The homeopathy of kin selection: an evaluation of van den Berghe’s sociobiological approach to ethnicity,” Politics and the Life Sciences 20: 203–215, 2001). There he attempts to explain why ethnic nepotism is not “adaptive.” The problem is that the argument  boils down to Brigandt’s definition of a behavior being adaptive only if it has evolved. He asserts that ethnic nepotism could not have evolved because various population groups were isolated from each other during their evolution; hence, there was no selective pressure for ethnic nepotism. As a result, ethnic nepotism could not have evolved and therefore it makes no sense to say it is adaptive. 

Putting aside the argument of whether ethnic nepotism could have evolved (see Notes 1,2), the problem here is the semantic one of defining ‘adaptive.’ If we wish to define ‘adaptive’ in the sense that Brigandt does, then he may be correct, given that caveat of the notes below. However, let’s look at this crucial quote by Brigandt from the same paper (emphasis added): 

True enough, it is an evolutionarily better strategy to spend beneficial behavior towards fellow ethnics than towards outsiders, because you are more closely related to them. 

Well, yes. That, in one sentence, is a reasonable summary of Salter’s entire prescriptive argument — which is different from Brigandt’s descriptive argument about the likelihood that ethnic nepotism could have evolved. Indeed, herein lies the problem, in that Salter (and I) would define adaptive as “an evolutionarily better strategy.” In this sense of adaptive, whether a strategy is adaptive is independent of whether or not is has evolved

Most people would define adaptive in the sense that Salter and I use it, and not as Brigandt uses it. (See also Kevin MacDonald’s comments here and here on how rational choice mechanisms are capable of adaptively attaining evolutionary goals in novel environments — including the multi-racial environments of the contemporary world.) In other words, for most people, adaptive means “an evolutionarily better strategy” — a strategy that succeeds better than alternatives in maximizing fitness in future generations. 

How about a more specific example?  Let us assume that an Irishman has no evolved tendency to favor Irish over Nigerians. Is it, or is it not, adaptive for him to invest in preventing Ireland from being over-run with Nigerians, and the Irish being displaced?   This is the important question here.  Does an Irishman have any genetic interests beyond that of his immediate family?  Or, once beyond that family, do all human magically become genetically identical from the interests of our specific Irishman?  

If groups are not genetically identical — as alleged “race realists” should know — then interests differ depending upon, as Brigandt admits, how closely related you are to people.  The extent of these interests depends on numbers and more important on relative genetic distance.  From an Irish perspective, a Nigerian immigrant does more genetic damage that a Chinese, who in turn does more damage than a Pakistani, who does more than a Syrian, who does more than a Greek, who does more than an Italian, who does more than an Austrian, who does more than an Englishman, who does more than a random Irish unrelated co-ethnic.  

Context is crucially important.  In many cases, there is no advantage to the Irishman to engage in ethnic nepotism.  If the Irish were demographically secure, if no non-Irish were in Ireland, if there was no ethnic competition, then the Irishman should concentrate on helping immediate kin against the non-familial Irish competition.  However, in cases in which Irish interests are faced with non-Irish interests, particularly on issues on a scale beyond normal familial interests, then ethnic nepotism can be adaptive. 

On the other hand, in some cases, “humanism” is adaptive — joining humanity to fight an alien invader, or to avert some global ecological catastrophe.  Alternatively, in some cases, a narrow struggle as between the Irish and English is adaptive.  

Given the world-wide racial crisis for European peoples, sometimes an intermediate racial nepotism may be adaptive.  Context always matters.  Relative interests always matter.  There is no set-in-stone rulebook which says one must always engage in indiscriminate ethnic or racial nepotism — that’s a straw man that no one is advocating, and that’s not part of Salter’s prescription.  Instead he advocates a nuanced, nested view of genetic interests in which a person normally invests mostly in self and family, but, at times, may also need to invest in the ethny, dependent upon circumstances.  

Context may change.  Regardless of the past, the English vs. the Irish are hardly the major threat each group faces today, given Third World immigration and racial displacement in each nation.  In the past, persons of Irish and Italian ancestry engaged in conflict in East Coast American cities, due to competition over urban ecological niches.  Today, after decades of extensive intermarriage between those groups, assimilation, as well as the emerging colored threat in the cities, that ethnic hostility as in large part completely disappeared.  

Where to invest in genetic interests, and when to do so, will always be legitimate questions that depend upon context.  EGI is fluid, not completely fixed.  However, what is beyond question is that EGI exists, since genetic differences between groups exist and to quote Brigandt: “it is an evolutionarily better strategy to spend beneficial behavior towards fellow ethnics than towards outsiders, because you are more closely related to them.”   

It is curious — quite curious — that an anti-racist academic can admit this, but an alleged “pro-White race realist” like Jobling attempts to deny it.  Cui bono?   It would be one thing if what he’s saying in these essays was correct — after all, there is the long Western tradition of valuing truth-telling over political convenience. 

But it is not correct – and he’s making himself look foolish defending the narrow interests of a group that has heretofore opposed all manifestations of race realism — moderate or otherwise. 

What about arguments such as “don’t people have genetic similarities to mice?  We should avoid killing mice!”  

The whole point of EGI is differences in distinctive genes (or as I would put it, distinctive genetic information).  Harpending makes this point in the article reproduced in the appendix to On Genetic Interests (OGI), when he refers to the fact that people share many genes with an onion. But what is important is genetic similarity beyond that of random gene sharing.  After all, evolution ultimately works on the differences in genetic information within and between populations.  

It is quite clear that if all organisms were perfect genetic clones of each other, then there would be no basis for the natural selection of those types best “fit” for a particular environment.  Selection works on differences; kinship is based upon relative differences.  An Irishman and his brother share many genes with a random, unrelated Irishman.  What’s important for distinguishing the familial interests of the brothers from that of an unrelated co-ethnic is the genetic information shared by the brothers that the unrelated stranger lacks.   

From the perspective of a human, the relationship between humans and mice, from a purely reductionist genetic standpoint, are the genes and gene sequences shared by humans that are distinct from mice.  Random gene sharing does not require humans to place murine interests above their own.  Random gene sharing does not require one human population to favor another if the two are in conflict. 

This mouse-human example also ignores the issue of relative interests and context as described above for our Irish case.  Killing a mouse does not reasonably harm the genetic interests of any individual human in comparison to another person not killing the mouse.  Indeed, if the mouse carries harmful germs, eliminating that rodent can be adaptive; there are no counter-balancing relative interests imposing genetic costs.  That is contrasted to ethnic activism in favor of your ethny, and against an alien ethny which, for example, promotes mass immigration, racial integration and miscegenation, and “civil rights” for other alien ethnics. 

The mouse “argument” also importantly ignores genetic structure. We may share X% of gene sequences with a mouse, but a mouse is structurally different genetically than a human, so that an infinite number of mice do not, and can not, ever constitute an interest to a human greater than one other human. (Note: one cannot completely blame Jobling for this point, since I am not satisfied with how this was handled in OGI).  

Likewise, from the standpoint of an Englishman, any number of English-Bantu hybrids will never exhibit the genetic information characterizing a genetic structure (e.g., coinheritance of genome-wide units of distinctive genetic information) typical of a single given Englishman.  Genetic interests are ultimately about genetic information, not merely the numbers of copies of individual genes or gene sequences.  This flaw in the original EGI concept is one that I hope will be corrected in future editions of OGI.  

Nevertheless, the point is obvious.  How could “kin selection” for our vaunted “family kin members” have evolved anyway?  After all, don’t numbers of non-familial ethnics, non-ethnics, and even mice contain more copies of particular genes than our immediate kin?   The same ridiculous “argument” about “gene sharing” used against ethnic nepotism can be used against familial nepotism.  Jobling no doubt shares more total gene copies with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team than with a single member of his own immediate family.  Should he invest all his resources in buying new sneakers for the globetrotters?  Or, perhaps, in feeding a nest of house mice? 

Further, genetic identity (e.g., population genetics, forensics, paternity) is not based on the numbers of gene sequences, but the patterns of gene sequences within individuals and within groups.  Ultimately, evolution is working on differences in gene (sequence) frequencies in organisms and populations, not those scattered randomly throughout the biosphere.  Genetic structure is important, and recent published work has begun the process of quantifying it. 

In conclusion, I have to tell Hunter Wallace: you are right and my “fence-sitting” about the PSB was wrong.  Even after all the destructive memes that have been emanating from the PSB: a multiracial White separatist (sic) state, racial preservation for its own sake is “insane”; Whites needs to surrender to the racial status quo, and all the rest. 

I naively held out hope that an accommodation could be found between the PSB and traditional “pro-White” factions.  I hoped that the only real differences between the PSB and traditional racial nationalists was merely that the former wanted inclusion of Jews, and that something — perhaps Svigor’s assimilation idea – could be a long-range solution for bridging that gap. 

But, this was mistaken.  There are fundamental differences that set the PSB apart — their ultimate interests are different from ours.  I am concerned — as I believe Hunter Wallace is — that the PSB may attempt to subvert racialism in the same manner that the neoconservatives subverted traditional American conservatism.  If this occurs, racial nationalism (for European-derived peoples) will be replaced by some sort of anti-EGI, aracial culturalism that defends White values rather than White people.  We’ll be told to accept “Asians and others” and to distinguish between the bad “NAMs” (a concept meant to condition us to accept “high-IQ, law-abiding” non-Whites) and the good “AMs.”  As genetic studies continue to emphasize the differences between Jews and Europeans, the PSB can be expected to further critique and attempt to delegitimize EGI and ethnic nepotism.  

Whatever the PSB strives for with their activism, their vision and goals are not ours. 


1. Given that selective pressures on humans have continued up to the present, and may be accelerating, it is quite possible that selection for ethnocentric behavior could have taken place during periods in which different ethnies were in close proximity (e.g., in historical times). It may even be taking place today, as non-ethnocentric ethnies are being demographically displaced by those who place a higher value on such behaviors. And, of course, brain scans show that Whites have a stronger (negative) response to Black faces than to those of Whites, which suggests an evolved heightened “danger” response to the phenotypically alien. 

Although this does not in any way alter the irrelevancy of Brigandt’s argument, it is worth noting that the argument itself may just be plain wrong. We also need to follow through on the implications of Brigandt’s argument. Let us say he is right in that the bulk of behavioral evolution took place within homogeneous groups/societies and, thus, selection for ethnic nepotistic altruism could not have evolved. 

The problem is that the Whites of today, most of them, live within multiracial, multicultural societies quite different from that in which their “instincts” evolved. And the overall “small world” globalist environment means that peoples in general are being exposed to things for which their mental/behavioral modules have not been “evolved” to handle (again, this is assuming Brigandt is correct). Therefore, “evolved behavior” cannot be deemed as “appropriate” — i.e., it cannot be truly adaptive in the modern world, can it? 

You cannot have it both ways. If ethnic nepotism cannot have evolved because human behavioral evolution took place in “racial isolation,” then one cannot assert that behaviors that evolved in such isolation can “protect” the adaptive interests of individuals in radically different environments today.  We have now introduced a factor that simply did not exist in the “environment of evolutionary adaptiveness” — group competition between the co-ethnics and non-ethnics. Broader genetic interest didn’t exist before, as the only group in the environment was co-ethnics, and the only genetic distinctiveness was at the individual and familial level. 

Sorry — that doesn’t apply anymore in multiculturalism or in the “global economy” as a whole. There is now the whole issue of group genetic interests. If Brigandt is correct, “evolved behavior” took place in isolation; hence, such behavior cannot handle the modern realities. Rational thought processes are needed for adaptive behavior today, just as Salter has argued. 

2. See here for a view that competition between groups can create conditions suitable for intra-group cooperation. Given that human evolution has been accelerating, perhaps the argument that ethnic nepotism could not have evolved is wrong.  Again, if certain human traits have been selected for since the Neolithic, and, indeed, during historical times, then human behavioral evolution has been occurring during the period in which different ethnies have been in contact and in conflict.  In those circumstances, ethnic nepotism may have evolved, and in the context given, they may well have been adaptive.  As explained above, there are circumstances in which the “cake” can only be distributed between large population groups, and is not scalable to familial kin.  In those cases, ethnic conflict can select for ethnic nepotism without any conflict to narrower spheres of genetic interest.  However, in the last analysis, whether ethnic nepotism “evolved” is not required for it to be the “evolutionarily better strategy.”

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Ted Sallis: More Jewish Genetics: The "Weak Khazar Hypothesis"

Ted SallisAn important new paper (free online; see here) has come out on Jewish population genetics.  

The populations used in this study are described as: 

The Middle Eastern populations included in the study were Bedouin (46), Druze (42), Mozabite (29), and Palestinian (46). The European populations were Adygei (17), Basque (24), French (28), Italian (13), Orcadian (15), Russian (25), Sardinian (28), and Tuscan (8). Middle Eastern and European non-Jewish individuals were taken from the H952 subset of the HGDP-CEPH panel [24]. The Jewish samples included Ashkenazi Jews (20), Moroccan Jews (20), Tunisian Jews (20), and Turkish Jews (20). 

The major findings are described below, emphasis added: 

Abstract: Background: Genetic studies have often produced conflicting results on the question of whether distant Jewish populations in different geographic locations share greater genetic similarity to each other or instead, to nearby non-Jewish populations. We perform a genome-wide population-genetic study of Jewish populations, analyzing 678 autosomal microsatellite loci in 78 individuals from four Jewish groups together with similar data on 321 individuals from 12 non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations.

Results: We find that the Jewish populations show a high level of genetic similarity to each other, clustering together in several types of analysis of population structure. Further, [statistical analyses] place the Jewish populations as intermediate between the non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations. Conclusion: These results support the view that the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry and that over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations of European descent. 

Neighbor-joining population trees obtained for the three distance matrices were generally quite similar (Figure 3). All three trees are divided into a European side and a Middle Eastern side, with the four Jewish populations located in the interior. 

This result … assigns the Jewish populations and the Palestinians to the same cluster (Figure 2), and by the relatively close placement of the Palestinians and the Jewish populations in MDS plots of individual distances (Figure 5). 

What about the Khazars? 

One frequently discussed conversion that likely occurred in the 8th century at the far eastern edge of Europe, north of the Caucasus and Black Sea regions, is that of the Khazarian kingdom [60, 62, 64]. The demographic effect of this conversion is debated, so that only a small minority of the Khazars may have adopted Judaism. While the ultimate fate of the Khazar population remains unknown, the theory has been advanced that a large fraction of the ancestry of eastern European Jews derives from the Khazars [60, 62-64]. This theory would predict ancestry for the eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish population to be distinct from that of the other Jewish populations in the study. Although we did not observe such a distinct ancestry, it is noteworthy that in some analyses (Figures 2 and 3), as was observed in the recent study of Need et al. [10], we did detect similarity of the Adygei, a north Caucasian group from the area once occupied by the Khazars, to the Jewish populations. 

This is consistent with what I’ve said in the past. The data are consistent with a “weak Khazar hypothesis” — that Ashkenazi Jews may have some fraction of Khazar ancestry but are more closely linked to other Middle Eastern groups. On the other hand, the “strong Khazar hypothesis” — that the Ashkenazim are merely “converted Khazars without any connection whatsoever to the Middle Eastern populations of the classical world (i.e., Hebrews)” — is highly unlikely.  Not only are the Ashkenazim genetically close to the Sephardim (who have traditionally been considered as likely Hebrew descendants), but this study yet again confirms previous findings of a significant fraction of historical Middle Eastern ancestry in the Ashkenazim. 

Therefore, the idea that the Ashkenazim are simply Khazars with no Middle Eastern ancestry is untenable.

However, equally untenable is the idea that the Ashkenazim are “just like Europeans” and are not distinct from the European genepool.  It is quite clear that Europeans are different from Middle Easterners, with various Jewish groups positioned intermediate to those two major Caucasian continental population groups.  Indeed, it may be reasonable to see Jews as a “mini-race” as they are distinct from both Europeans and Middle Easterners and are indeed more similar to each other than to these other groups.  This conclusion is supported by the work of Need et al. (Note 1), which demonstrated that 1/4 Jewish ancestry can be detected in individuals.  This ability to detect 1/4 Jewish ancestry, in a reasonably reliable manner, within the broader Caucasian family suggests a degree of racial differentiation of Jews sufficient for consideration as a separate (sub-) racial group.

In general, these findings support Jewish history and tradition, given the commonalities of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim, as well as the Middle Eastern connection.  One would think that persons of Jewish ancestry would be well pleased with these findings, which have a strong empirical basis.  Indeed, persons who falsely claim that the Ashkenazim are “Europeans” are as anti-Semitic as those who continue, in the face of all contradictory evidence, to peddle the “strong Khazar hypothesis.”

Note that discussions of the Ashkenazim as a group do not necessarily cover all individuals of this group.  Likely (and supported to some extent by this paper) individual Ashkenazim may be essentially genetically European, and others genetically Middle Eastern, even when most of their fellows are intermediate to those populations. Global similarity analyses, such as the quantitative measurement offered by 23andme (using over 500,000 autosomal SNP markers), may be useful to determine the genetic affinities of individual Ashkenazim (and Sephardim); particular individuals may be quite different from their ethnic genetic centroid.

That being said, this paper’s data are fairly clear that the Ashkenazi (and Sephardic) genepool, as a whole, is not European, and it is not Middle Eastern either.  It is a unique and distinct blending of these ancestries.  This analysis is in no way a commentary on the debates found elsewhere on the Internet about “are the Jews white?”  Different people draw the line of “whiteness” at different places within the Caucasian family of peoples.  The issue here is, instead, empirical determination of the place of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in the genetic spectrum of human populations.  This paper is an important contribution to our understanding of this complex and fascinating topic. 

This paper also refutes some self-serving stupidity that a part-Jewish and highly confused commentator has been making, in that he incorrectly asserts that the major biological/genetic split of Caucasians is within Europe, with northern Europeans (who he bizarrely believes underwent racial differentiation in India [!] of all places) separate from the other Europeans, who he thinks are in the Middle Eastern population branch. Of course, autosomal analyses consistently show this is incorrect, and I’ve previously cited those papers in other forums.  From the present paper (emphasis added): 

Neighbor-joining population trees obtained for the three distance matrices were generally quite similar (Figure 3). All three trees are divided into a European side and a Middle Eastern side, with the four Jewish populations located in the interior. This division is supported by relatively strong bootstrap values… …the basic pattern visible in all three trees, in which the Middle Eastern and European populations cluster separately with the Jewish populations in the center. 

European populations included are examples of Basque, French, Italian, Orcadian, Russian, Sardinian, and Tuscan.  Basque, Italian, Sardinian, and Tuscan are southern European. Orcadian is northern European, the French can reasonably be seen as “central,” and Russians are eastern European.  Given that European genetics is clinal as well as clustered, the arrangement of the populations in the “trees” is what one would expect. 


1. The Need et al.  paper also clearly shows a variety of European populations (similar to those analyzed in the paper discussed here) clustering separately from Middle Easterners, with Jews in an intermediate position.  Thus, different research groups, using different marker sets, are coming to the same conclusion – a conclusion supported by other peer-reviewed papers as well.

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Jewish Intermarriage

There has been a lot of talk about the “high” intermarriage rate (~ 50%) of American Jews and how this “proves” a willingness to assimilate.  However, in Separation and Its Discontents, Dr. Kevin MacDonald analyzed the data and concluded that the 50% rate was likely an over-estimate, at least for first marriages (i.e.,  those most likely to lead to family formation), and because of undercounting conservative and orthodox Jews.  In addition, even if we accept a 50% rate, I previously commented on other forums that such a rate is actually indicative of a resistance to assimilation, not a tendency toward it.  That is because not only do virtually all white gentile ethnic groups have an intermarriage rate greater than 50% (as the work of Alba has shown), but proportion of the population needs to be figured in.  The larger a group, the greater the probability, and possibility, of finding a mate of the same ethnic (or religious) background; the smaller the group, the greater the chance of mating with someone different – that is, if the people in question have no innate resistance to assimilatory intermarriage.  Given that Jews make up a very small percent of the American population, the Jewish intermarriage rate in the absence of anti-assimilation pressures should be much higher than 50%, in fact at least 80%.

An excerpt from a relevant article, emphasis added:

Individuals that make up ethnic groups may influence the group’s rate of assimilation. While not necessarily providing the ultimate explanation for variations in assimilation between ancestry groups, ethnic capital plays a vital mediating role in the transmission of ethnicity. Not only is ethnic capital an outcome, as is implicit in the assimilation literature, but it plays a role in ethnic choice, as individuals with greater ethnic capital will be more likely to retain ethnic identification and invest in their children’s ethnic capital, a subject that has received little attention in the literature. The lack of an explicit concept of ethnic capital has contributed to the focus on group-level, structural analyses of assimilation rather than at the level of the individual….

While the concept of ethnic capital has been shown to incorporate existing theories, its utility depends on its ability to expand theoretical and empirical knowledge about ethnicity. To demonstrate the usefulness of an ethnic capital approach to assimilation, we examine the causes of intermarriage, a key product of and contributor to assimilation among American Jews. The Jewish intermarriage rate of about 50 percent is extremely low, given environmental odds of intermarriage of 98 percent. This compares with ethnic intermarriage rates of 80 percent for U.S.-born whites (Alba 2000:218-220) and religious intermarriage rates of 38 percent for Catholics and 65 percent for moderate Protestants (Sherkat 2004), each of which would be expected to have far lower intermarriage rates than Jews given the greater size of the groups. American Jewry may represent the outer limits of resisting assimilation for white ethnic groups in the United States.

Even though the intermarriage rates for Catholics and Protestants, when adjusted for population, demonstrate a far greater willingness to “mate with the other” than the Jewish rate, those religious comparisons are not reasonable; the correct comparison should be to the ethnic intermarriage rates.  After all, what does Catholic or Protestant intra-religious marriage really mean?  A Catholic marrying a Catholic could be an Irish ancestry person marrying another Irish, or an Italian or a Pole.  Or, it could very well mean the Irish person marrying a mestizo Mexican, mulatto Puerto Rican/Dominican or an Asiatic Filipino.  Likewise, a Swedish ancestry Protestant can “marry within the faith” with a Korean or a Negro.  On the other hand, the vast majority of American Jews are Ashkenazi and a sizable fraction of the small non-Ashkenazi minority is still Caucasian Sephardic or “Oriental” (e.g., Iraqi, Iranian, etc.) Jews.

Therefore, comparing Christian vs. Jewish intermarriage is like comparing apples and oranges, and makes the Jewish resistance to intermarriage less extreme than it really is.  Given the strong ethnic/racial component to Jewish identity, the real comparison is the white gentile intermarriage rate of 80 percent.  Even with a Jewish rate of 50% — likely an overestimation — that’s almost two-fold lower than what is should be.

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