At 3:17 one morning, after a long night searching a database of scientific journals from his disheveled home office in Albuquerque, [Gregory] Cochran fired off an e-mail to his collaborator Henry Harpending, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I’ve figured it out, I think,” Cochran typed. “Pardon my crazed excitement.”
The “faulty” genes, Cochran concluded, make Jews smarter.
That provocative — some would say inflammatory — hypothesis has landed Cochran and Harpending in the middle of a charged debate about the link between IQ and DNA.