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In a trilogy of books, Kevin MacDonald argues that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy.” According to his theory, Jews are genetically and culturally adapted to advance their own group interests at the expense of gentiles. Several influential twentieth-century liberal intellectual and political movements were designed by Jews to promote separatism and group continuity among themselves while undermining gentile society. According to Cofnas [Human Nature, 29, 134–156, 2018], MacDonald’s argument is based on “misrepresented sources and cherry-picked facts.” Cofnas proposed the “default hypothesis” to explain Jewish overrepresentation among the leaders of liberal intellectual and political movements: Because of their relatively high IQ and concentration in influential urban areas, Jews are overrepresented in all (non-overtly anti-Semitic) cognitively demanding activities. Dutton [Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2018] objects to Cofnas, claiming that, “from the perspective of evolutionary psychology,” MacDonald’s theory is more “plausible” than the default hypothesis because “people tend to act in their ethnic interests” and Jews are particularly high in ethnocentrism. Contra Dutton, it is argued here that there is no evidence to support the general notion that people tend to act in their ethnic interests. The evidence suggests, if anything, that Jews are not particularly ethnocentric. There are no theoretical principles or established empirical findings of evolutionary psychology that make MacDonald’s theory “plausible.”
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Kevin MacDonald (1998) has argued that a series of twentieth century ideologies which have challenged European traditions should be understood as part of a Jewish evolutionary strategy to promote Jewish interests in the West, as evidenced by Jewish leadership of and disproportionate involvement in these movements. Cofnas Human Nature 29, 134–156 (Cofnas 2018a) has critiqued this model and countered that the evidence can be more parsimoniously explained by the high average intelligence and urban location of Jews in Western countries. This, he avers, should be the ‘default hypothesis.’ In this response, I argue that it is MacDonald’s model that is the more plausible hypothesis due to evidence that people tend to act in their ethnic group interest and that group selectedness among Jews is particularly strong, meaning that they are particularly likely to do so.
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