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Old January 11th, 2013 #1
Karl Radl
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Karl Radl
Default Jews and the Fields Medal

Jews and the Fields Medal


In my recent article series on the subject of jews and the Nobel Prize I pointed out at some length that compiling lists of jewish winners of any kind of prize is often a difficult and time-consuming process. (1) In the course of writing that particular article series on the disingenuous argument made in relation to the number of jews who have won and the 'disproportionate' number of jews winning the Nobel Prize: I decided that it would be of value to look at a range of different academic prizes and awards that are used in a similar way to the Nobel Prize in arguing that a 'disproportionate' jewish contribution to civilization exists.

An obvious place to start after completing the Nobels was the 'Nobel Prize of Mathematics' otherwise known as the Fields Medal. Now the Fields medal; unlike the Nobel Prizes, is not awarded annually, but rather every four years by the International Congress of Mathematicians. Now as mathematics in a sense transcends language; as it is in a sense an informal language of formal logic, some of the criticisms I made of the Nobel Prize selection procedure in relation to the language preferences and the problem of major contributions in non-European languages not carrying as much weight as those in European languages.

That isn't to say that linguistic issues will not have an impact on who is awarded the Fields Medal, but rather that because mathematics relies more on mathematical proofs that largely transcend linguistics per se than having to explain what you are doing/thinking in text then it enables a freer flow and the quicker understanding of specific ideas between contributors.

This is particularly so as the Fields Medal is only awarded to mathematicians under the age of forty and thus it helps to narrow the field of potential candidates down to those who have made a substantial contribution as opposed to those whose ideas are more in tune with current mathematical thinking.

Now when I looked into lists of jewish Fields Medal winners I could find only one, which was provided by J-Info. (2) I decided as there are only fifty-two Fields Medals that have ever been awarded it would be a relatively easy task; unlike the several hundred Nobel Laureates, to look into each winner of the Fields Medal and see if he (as there have been no female winners as of this writing) was jewish or not.

In doing so I followed the maximialist methodology that I explained the both the need for and application of in my article series on the jews and the Nobel Prizes, which involved manually going through every Fields Medalist and looking for any substantive evidence of a jewish or part-jewish origin. This again enabled me to go back over the data that is used by the J-Info list and check how accurate their claims of jewishness were.

As the astute reader may have already realised from my wording: the list created by J-Info is dubious at best as J-Info claims that fifteen out of fifty-two Fields Medal winners were of jewish or part-jewish origin.

They list the following individuals: (3)

Jesse Douglas (1936)
Laurent Schwartz (1950)
Klaus Roth (1958)
Paul Cohen (1966)
Alexander Grothendieck (1966)
Alan Baker (1970)
Charles Fefferman (1978)
Gregori Margulis (1978)
Michael Freedman (1986)
Vladimir Drinfeld (1990)
Edward Witten (1990)
Efim Zelmanov (1994)
Grigori Perelman (2006)
Wendelin Werner (2006)
Elon Lindenstrauss (2010)

This looks sound enough as some of these individuals are or were certainly of jewish origin, which I do not contest. However I note that I have been unable to find any evidence what-so-ever from print or online sources that the following individuals have any jewish ancestry.

Jesse Douglas (American)
Klaus Roth (German)
Alan Baker (British)
Charles Fefferman (American)
Wendelin Werner (German)

What is however very interesting is that the only 'evidence' that the two Americans; Douglas and Fefferman, could be alleged to be jewish is that they are included on Wikipedia's 'List of Jewish American Mathematicians'. (4) This however has nothing to do with any of their individual articles (which make no mention of any jewish parentage), but rather the source link for all these claims leads straight back to the very same J-Info page!

With Baker, Roth and Werner I can find nothing at all in their published work, biographical detail or online to make me think that any of them come from a jewish or part-jewish origin. Roth seems to me to have been claimed to be jewish, because his surname is a common one associated with jews, but is certainly not exclusively jewish by any means. (5)

Additionally J-Info doesn't provide any citations or notes on these individuals in relation to their non-evidenced assertion of jewishness on their part so we must; in the absence of any evidence, dismiss these claims and remove these individuals as jews, but rather include them as those of European origin.

We should further note; which I took pains to discuss at length in my article series on Jews and the Nobel Prize, that the issue on which the admissibility of these lists of jewish achievements turn is the definition of 'what a jew is' that the compiler of a given list is utilizing. Now; as I described in my aforementioned article series, the simple fact is that those compiling these lists do not tend to use a coherent definition of jewishness. As they have an unfortunate tendency to throw anyone they think they can label as jewish into them on the assumption that nobody knows enough about jews or has the temerity to question their veracity.

A good example in the list of jewish Fields Medalists is Grothendieck given that his father was from a Hasidic family but rejected Judaism at an early age, while his mother was a German who also rejected Protestant Christianity at a similar age. Now this puts the compiler of the J-Info list in something of a conundrum given that Grothendieck doesn't fit either of the normal definitional requirements for jewishness in that he wasn't a follower of Judaism and nor was his mother jewish.

This means that the only way that Grothendieck could be considered jewish is in terms of pure hereditary and not by either religious confession or halakha. This in effect means that J-Info are using a quasi-biological definition of jewishness and implicitly asserting that a jew is born not made.

Now if we consider that this definition of jewishness is completely at odds with the explicit claims of jews writing for gentile consumption. (6) Then we come to understand that this is not something the jews as a group wish to publicize: although to further their own ends they will happily use a quasi-biological definition of jewishness while denying they are using it!

If we further understand that the explicit recognition of the biological nature of jewishness; and how jewish intellectual systems frequently explicitly draw on this foundation for their assumptions and arguments, draws attention to the fact that jews are; as a group, incapable of becoming one with their host cultures and accounts for their surprising level of genetic separation from their host cultures as Salter has observed. (7) This further leads one; through a detailed study of jewish history, to the conclusion that the jews have historically been (and currently are) an ethnically alien and uniquely subversive group inside the nation states that they have resided in as a minority.

This; of course, is the opposite conclusion that J-Info would have us believe given that part of the raison d'etre of the site is to publicize details of jewish achievements, but as we can see from an inspection of their lists: their claims are seriously flawed by a lack of a detailed methodology for defining just who is; and in what circumstances they can be said to be, jewish as well as including individuals as jewish with no supporting documentation what-so-ever.

Now having said all that we can re-write the J-Info list of jewish Fields Medalists as follows:

Laurent Schwartz (1950)
Paul Cohen (1966)
Alexander Grothendieck (1966)
Gregori Margulis (1978)
Michael Freedman (1986)
Vladimir Drinfeld (1990)
Edward Witten (1990)
Efim Zelmanov (1994)
Grigori Perelman (2006)
Elon Lindenstrauss (2010)

That then cuts the J-Info list by a third: reducing it from fifteen jews to ten jews. We should further note that Lindenstrauss is the only Israeli on the list and that none of the individuals concerned appear to have been or be followers of Judaism.

Once we begin to compare this list with other biological groupings (i.e. such as those whose biological origins lie in Europe and are not jewish) in order to mirror the different nationalities but single biological origin ascribed to jewish Fields Medalists: then we can see that isn't quite so 'amazing' as J-Info seem to believe.

Of the fifty-two Fields Medalists the biological group stratification is as follows:

Jewish 10
European 35
Pacific Asian 6
Other 1

Or in other words:

Jews comprise 19.2 percent of Fields Medalists
Europeans comprise 67.3 percent of Fields Medalists
Pacific Asians comprise 11.5 percent of Fields Medalists

Now this means that Europeans are; as with the Nobel Prizes, out-competing jews by a factor more than three, which would thus have to mean; using J-Info's reasoning, that that the Europeans are significantly more intelligent and have contributed significantly more than the jews.

The method of claiming superiority of the jews among Fields Medalists is simple rhetorical device is to cite the fact that jews are a quarter (actually slightly less than a fifth) of all Fields Medalists and then to compare that statistic against the fact that the jews are a tiny population. (8)

Eliminating this argument from the equation is very simple as if we take an average of the population of the countries of origin of the winner (including the jewish Diaspora as a separate national entity and removing the lone Israeli winner into their own category) and then factor in population growth over the time that the Fields Medal has been awarded. This gives us a clear winner in New Zealand, which is the most over-represented country with a lone winner!

Lagging behind the New Zealanders: we have the Lebanese, Swedes, Belgians, Norwegians, Finns and the Israelis all with single winners of the Fields Medal. The jews on the other hand only come a paltry eighth when we rationalize their contribution against their population.

The problem of course is very simple: there are very few Fields Medalists; certainly when compared to the annual and longer running Nobel Prizes, and accordingly a single Medalist accounts for some 1.9 percent of the total. Therefore claiming that a quarter or a fifth of all Fields Medalists have been jews is meaningless precisely because there have not been enough Fields Medals awarded for meaningful statistical inferences and conclusions to be drawn from them.

However we should note that there is a surprising regularity in the lack of performance by jews when compared to Europeans given that; as before stated, jews have also been outperformed by Europeans in the Nobel Prizes by a general factor of three.

From this then we may conclude that there is no viable statistical or evidential case for significant jewish over-representation among Fields Medalists as well as that the single list that has been compiled is misleading in one out of every three of the names it presents. This accordingly means that the argument in relation to the jewish 'contribution' to civilization in relation to Fields Medalists cannot be upheld on the basis of the evidence available as of this writing.


References


(1) http://semiticcontroversies.blogspot...sy-versus.html
(2) http://www.jinfo.org/Fields_Mathematics.html
(3) Ibid.
(4)
List_of_Jewish_American_mathematicians List_of_Jewish_American_mathematicians
(5) Benzion Kaganoff, 1978, 'A Dictionary of Jewish Names and their History', 1st Edition, Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, p. 28
(6) Morris Kertzer, Lawrence Hoffman, 1993, 'What is a Jew?', 6th Edition, Simon and Schuster: New York, p. 7
(7) Frank Salter, 2007, 'On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration', 2nd Edition, Transaction: New Brunswick, pp. 102-103
(8) For example: http://www.jewishachievement.com/about/about.html

--------------------------


This was originally published at the following address: http://semiticcontroversies.blogspot...lds-medal.html
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Old January 12th, 2013 #2
Karl Radl
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Bump: slight corrections made to the text.
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