On Genes and Memes

Fact: “Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 850 individuals, of whom at least 22% (without peace prize over 24%) were Jews, although Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world’s population.” (from this Wikipedia page)

Explanation (Norbert Wiener):
“He had an interesting theory to account for Jewish devotion to learning. It was in fact the case that a young man who was a good Talmudic scholar, no matter how poverty stricken or unworldly, was considered a good match for the daughter of even the wealthiest family.
Adhering to Orthodox tradition the couple would raise a large family supported by the wife’s father or by the wife herself. At the same time over the centuries the learned Christian young man entered the Church and was barred from marriage. This process repeated over tens of generations could have added a genetic bias to the existing cultural bias for learning that prevailed among the Jews.”
(N. Levinson, Wiener’s life).

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