Finally, Chapter 8 discusses the origins of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy.
As indicated above, part of the argument in Chapter 1 is that evolutionary group strategies need not be viewed as determined by ecological contingencies or evolutionary theory.
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Group evolutionary strategies are proposed to be theoretically unconstrained on a variety of dimensions, and the remaining chapters flesh out the specific characteristics of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy.
Group strategies are viewed as experiments in living which can be developed and maintained by purely cultural processes, although a later chapter discusses how variation in evolved systems may predispose individuals to form cohesive, genetically exclusive groups.
In addition, Jewish populations in very diverse areas have significantly more genetic commonality than is the case between Jews and the gentile populations they have lived among for centuries.
This is illustrated in the following figure from Kobyliansky and Micle (1982): Here is a recent New York Times article on Jewish population genetics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 9, 2000.
The article is based on a study of genetic distance between Jewish and non-Jewish groups titled, "Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes," by M. Chapter 3 discusses some preliminary issues which are important for the general theory that Judaism constitutes an example of a religion that can be viewed as a group evolutionary strategy.
There is a pronounced tendency toward idealizing endogamy and condemning exogamy apparent in the writings of the Tanakh.Of the hundreds of human groups in the ancient world, Judaism was the only one that avoided the powerful tendencies toward cultural and genetic assimilation characteristic of Western societies.Judaism as a group strategy depends on the development of social controls reinforcing group identity and preventing high levels of genetic admixture from surrounding groups.Finally, data are discussed indicating that there were limits on within-group altruism among Jews.Although altruism toward poor Jews was an important aspect of Judaism, there was also discrimination against poorer Jews, especially in times of economic and demographic crises.This material is relevant to the hypothesis that Judaism represents a group strategy which is fairly (but not completely) closed to penetration from gentile gene pools.