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DW
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22 Oct 2011, 1:52 am

I was recently reviewing human evolution/natural selection for exam purposes and I thought to myself, could Asperger's Syndrome be an example of a beneficial mutation in the human gene pool?

It's almost like the idea that some bacteria have obtained genetically mutated genes that permit resistance to antibiotics, except in this case I am imagining a scenario where in the event of disaster, some of the more intellectual individuals, including many Aspies, would survive whereas the less intellectual individuals would perish. Tying natural selection in, the Aspies would procreate and 1 million years from now there would be many more Aspies on the planet especially in relation to NTs.

I know it sounds wild, but I would be glad to hear out people's opinions, especially anyone who is interested in human evolution or biology in general.



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22 Oct 2011, 3:22 am

DW wrote:
I was recently reviewing human evolution/natural selection for exam purposes and I thought to myself, could Asperger's Syndrome be an example of a beneficial mutation in the human gene pool?

It's almost like the idea that some bacteria have obtained genetically mutated genes that permit resistance to antibiotics, except in this case I am imagining a scenario where in the event of disaster, some of the more intellectual individuals, including many Aspies, would survive whereas the less intellectual individuals would perish. Tying natural selection in, the Aspies would procreate and 1 million years from now there would be many more Aspies on the planet especially in relation to NTs.

I know it sounds wild, but I would be glad to hear out people's opinions, especially anyone who is interested in human evolution or biology in general.


Does being an Aspie give one a reproductive advantage? A mutation is beneficial if and only if it confers either a survival advantage or a reproductive advantage (which is a survival advantage from the stand point of a species).

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DW
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22 Oct 2011, 3:57 am

Well exactly... a survival advantage. Like I said, imagine there being a large scale catastrophe where 95% of the population is wiped out. Aside from several other factors, it would make sense that the more intellectual individuals would survive and reproduce. And since I view Asperger's Syndrome as an intellectual advantage, I think it could make sense that perhaps it is, at least in my mind, a beneficial mutation.

I actually did some reading and found that some individuals have already proposed that Asperger's Syndrome may be considered a beneficial mutation in the human gene pool, though they faced some scientific resistance.

*Although an important factor to remember is that it also depends on where someone's intellect is concentrated. I'm an Aspie and I don't consider myself to be a survivalist whereas many NTs do so....



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22 Oct 2011, 6:51 am

We don't have the ability to socialize very well and as a result it makes us depressed. That's beneficial?



DW
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22 Oct 2011, 7:25 am

You're looking at the negatives. Think of the positives. Think of how Aspies have helped progress mankind by whatever means. And then try to apply that to the idea of natural selection.



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22 Oct 2011, 7:28 am

DW wrote:
You're looking at the negatives. Think of the positives. Think of how Aspies have helped progress mankind by whatever means. And then try to apply that to the idea of natural selection.


I'm just pointing it out realistically, yes we do have some beneficial traits such as the abilty to think in different ways but I feel like the negatives outweigh the postives. What are the beneficial traits of having Aspergers?



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22 Oct 2011, 7:28 am

DW wrote:
*Although an important factor to remember is that it also depends on where someone's intellect is concentrated.


This is what I was thinking when I read your post. When I hear "intellectual" I think of a university professor or something, a bookworm introvert and not someone who would be particularly good in an apocalyptic scenarios. (For the most part). So I don't necessarily agree with the reasoning that increased intellect = increased survival.


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22 Oct 2011, 7:42 am

DW wrote:
You're looking at the negatives. Think of the positives. Think of how Aspies have helped progress mankind by whatever means. And then try to apply that to the idea of natural selection.


...and how many help mankind to progress vs are just seen as outsiders, a load on society or have other negative labels?

Everyone cannot make it in an NT-society, i am fortunate to have a special interest which is a marketable skill. I've heard figures that say that only 10% of us can have careers which hardly make it an advantage to have Aspergers.


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DW
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22 Oct 2011, 7:51 am

Hmm yea I see what you are saying in terms of the bookworm stuff, maybe instead of intellectual I should say abstract, out-of-the-box thinking?

I see myself as thinking outside the box, I like to call that a benefit of AS.

Let's skip the doomsday scenario and think of it this way: Mr. Einstein, whether you accept the idea that he suffered of AS or not, helped shape science and I guess humanity with his theories which arised from abstract thinking. Basically he helped change the human population for the better, which was in part due to his thinking, which could have been the result of AS... which could be considered a beneficial mutation.

Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is due to beneficial mutations in said bacterial populations. So therefore, by spreading resistant genes around, certain bacteria are helping change the bacterial population for 'their own' better.

But once again I see why some members of the scientific community don't necessarily accept the idea of categorizing AS under beneficial mutations, because once again, there are many non-AS individuals who have also made great strides in shaping the world...

I hope you guys sort of get where I am trying to go...



DW
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22 Oct 2011, 7:54 am

Like I said Ichinin, I just wanted to bring this up to see what people think. Even though it might not seem like it, I don't really have an opinion on this idea.



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22 Oct 2011, 8:02 am

I also think it's people with Asperger's that has given our species the techniques and intelligence to move us forward. When you look back in history, doesn't most of the inventors/scientists seem to have traits of Asperger's? Most of them are loners and have intense interests/obsessions and those are the people that has helped us get to where we are now.

I think with technology, people with Asperger's work along side each other, etc. and then get married and have children with Asperger's. I feel that is why we are seeing an explosion of people with Asperger's/traits. I live in an area where there are many people I feel are on the spectrum and I can usually point out one in a crowd almost daily.

We are drawn to people like ourselves. My husband and son are definitely Asperger's and the more I learn about it, the more I think I have traits of it too. It would explain a lot about me too growing up, social situations, etc.

If the world ended today, I would definitely want to be with my husband rather then an NT. I feel I would have a better chance of surviving with my husband.



DW
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22 Oct 2011, 8:06 am

Perfect example!



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22 Oct 2011, 8:25 am

Ichinin has a point here. Everyone cannot make it in an NT-society unless they have a marketable skill. I was told once the only way I'm going to succeed in this world is to be the very best at what you do. The problem is N.Ts will see you as an outsider regardless of how good you are. They will be impressed and yes you will bring something benefical to the table but you will be seen as an outsider. That is hard to shake off, admit it



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22 Oct 2011, 8:42 am

Ashuahhe wrote:
We don't have the ability to socialize very well and as a result it makes us depressed. That's beneficial?

We the lack the ability to socialize well in NT society. It could be an entirely different story in an aspie-dominated society.



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22 Oct 2011, 8:51 am

You know what? Lets breed until the whole planet is aspie, then we won't have to adapt



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22 Oct 2011, 9:10 am

DW wrote:
Well exactly... a survival advantage. Like I said, imagine there being a large scale catastrophe where 95% of the population is wiped out. Aside from several other factors, it would make sense that the more intellectual individuals would survive and reproduce. And since I view Asperger's Syndrome as an intellectual advantage, I think it could make sense that perhaps it is, at least in my mind, a beneficial mutation.



That is in The World of If. If my grandmother had testicles would she be my grandfather?

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