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Jono
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22 Oct 2011, 10:04 am

ruveyn wrote:
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).

ruveyn


As far as reproductive advantage goes, being an aspie is actually a disadvantage, since aspie males usually find it harder to find a mate.



Joker
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22 Oct 2011, 3:24 pm

Jono wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
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).

ruveyn


As far as reproductive advantage goes, being an aspie is actually a disadvantage, since aspie males usually find it harder to find a
mate.


Not all of us have that problem :wink:



DW
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22 Oct 2011, 6:34 pm

Well... the whole idea is an if at the moment =/



MadnessMaddened
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23 Oct 2011, 5:43 pm

Perhaps, you have this the wrong way around.

Maybe, just maybe, for some reason this isn't evolution of any kind, perhaps it is a degeneration?

AS seems more suited to non-simian society?
It seems as society evolved, some stragglers/outcasts always existed... Perhaps this was some un-evolved aspect that remained in the minority throughout?

Your logic that we are somehow better than those without AS is some sort of fantasy-self-denial. Some solitary fellow with an IQ of 150 who cannot function perfectly within a group is less worthy overall than someone with lower than average intelligence who can.

AS individuals are smarter than everyone else, is a BS claim. It's nice that everyone look for an exception claiming Einstein had AS, with no proof other than a few eccentricities. There are those will claim Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, anyone you like as AS. Hell, some claim Obama has AS. Just do a google search for any person of any remote significance along with the keywords "asperger syndrome" and you'll find someone making some form of claim about them.

This is nothing more than something we use to feel good about ourselves for whatever shortcoming we may have.

Look at the majority of people with AS - where they are. What do they do?
What kind of percentage are unable to hold a job? What percentage lacks a relationship?
How many are reliant on medication? How many AS adults live with their parents?

The key to humanity and it's endeavours isn't intelligence (or lack there of), to sum it up in one word is: leadership.
Those who do not fit in are excluded, anyone and everyone who would hold the group back would not be part of said group for long. And for the most part used as scapegoats for anything and everything that may go wrong.

In such a hypothetical scenario, do you honestly believe there would be any sort of patience for anyone's issues regardless of their supposed brilliance??



Thom_Fuleri
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23 Oct 2011, 5:58 pm

There are some advantages - heightened sensitivity to taste, for instance, would be useful for detecting whether certain plants were edible - but mostly I suspect this is a side effect. Some other adaptation that benefits the species as a whole also occasionally produces the odd aspie. As long as there is a net gain, the adaptation will take. So it could be that an adaptation that makes 10% of the men in the tribe grow stronger but makes 1% of the men autistic would still be of benefit. We're not all that well designed.



naturalplastic
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23 Oct 2011, 8:39 pm

Well- AS is a - (probabably mostly) inherited trait linked to genes that in now only endemic but not dominating the species.

For what youre suggesting to come true something would have to occur in the environment that would cause having AS to become a selective reproductive advantage.

The first thing that comes to mind would be some kind of sexually transmitted disease.


If AIDS got out of control and spread even faster than it is-then it would hit people who get laid the most often, and passover the fourty-year-old virgin types.

The result would be a massive holocaust of death to NT's that would simultaneously inflict very little damage on the aspie population.

IF that went on for generations then the ratio of NT's to aspies would even out.

In hundred or two years you would have a world population dominated by aspies.

So in rertrospect AS would be seen as an adaptation to sexual transmitted diseases.

Thats about the only scenario I can think of .



Last edited by naturalplastic on 23 Oct 2011, 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DW
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23 Oct 2011, 9:19 pm

Like I said, I thought of the idea and I further researched the idea.

I don't hold a solid view of for or against.

@MadnessMaddened: I don't think we are better than others, I just think that some of us may have some advantages compared to NTs, all the while NTs may hold some advantages over us. I also never said that Einstein had AS, I said that it was a possibility that some people accept and others reject.



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23 Oct 2011, 11:45 pm

There is an annoying thing though, if you want to compare AS to NT.

The benefits of AS apply to society (analysis, logic, invention), but the drawbacks apply to the individual (poor social integration etc), whereas the benefits of NT apply to the individual (better social support, better reproductive fitness) and the drawbacks apply to society (inflexibility, antidisestablishmentarianism, divisions).

In other words, when individual survivability is tested, AS will fare significantly worse than NT, and we'll be wiped out first. However, when group survivability is tested, groups with a high AS proportion will fare significantly better than those with less, and will be wiped out last. Not to mention that our characteristics tend to place us away from groups most of the time...

Therefore, in a, say, zombie post-apocalyptic scenario, the groups who shun AS will be wiped out, the AS who shun groups will be wiped out, and the most stable population will be that of the mixed groups who accept AS participation the most.

It's not anything like a bacterial mutation, where the individuals who possess it themselves benefit, and those who don't possess it and don't acquire it in time will die.

To draw an analogy, my idea of the issue is that aspies are essentially heterogeneous catalysts. We, while remaining distinct from the people in our societies, can form tenuous associations through which we change society to a less entropic form while remaining essentially unchanged ourselves from the very changes we help to initiate.


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DW
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24 Oct 2011, 2:55 am

Yea, I'd agree with what you are trying to say. Interesting idea regarding segregating individuals in a population into several groups rather than just 2.

Oh and the bacterial resistance example is used for simplicities sake. In all reality, of course this 'idea' has absolutely nothing to do with said known phenomenon that occurs in bacterial populations.



naturalplastic
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24 Oct 2011, 10:49 am

enchantedsleeper wrote:
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.


Yes. Saying "the most intelectual would survive makes sense" in fact doesnt make any sense at all!

In fact its counter to common sense to think that philosophy professors would survive the apocalypse in greater proportion than Amish farmers or hill billies or whatever.

And who said that aspies were more - either intelligent or intellectual- than nt's anyway?

There are different kinds of intelligence. And there are different kinds of aspies.

Some aspies do excelt intelectual persuits (Einstein mayve been an apsie), and some aspies excel in carpentry, and in skinning hides, and in animal tracking. The latter would do well in an apocalypse. But those latter may not do as well as less craft-skilled nt's who are skilled at making alliances and can get more rescources with less work by networking.

In Siberia Russian scientists raised caged wild foxes.

One day they started a program to breed for more tameness.
The head scientist simply went to each caged fox and stuck in his hand in a mitten.

If the fox cowared, or snarled and attacked the gloved hand it was ignored.

But if came up and sniffed the gloved hand then they would take the fox out and breed it to other foxes with same lack of skittishness.

Within a few years they had created a whole new species of tame dog-like foxes.

So the nicer foxes are the equivalent of the aspis minority in our population today.

The nasty (or shy) foxes are like the majority neurotypicals of today.

The breeder with the glove is the equivalent of some new factor in the environment that will exert new selective force on the human population.

The generations later tame dog-foxes are the analog of the new kind of humans to come.

So your job is to imagine what kind of trait aspies have now that may or may not be an advantage NOW- that could become a matter of life and death in some future.
What is the human aspie equivalent of sniffing (rather than biting) the guy's glove?



DW
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24 Oct 2011, 4:39 pm

That's why I revised what I meant by intellectual and admitted that using the word intellectual may not have been the best choice =O



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24 Oct 2011, 10:34 pm

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


Great idea. When can you come over?



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24 Oct 2011, 10:50 pm

We should do a two-pronged approach.

Breed with ASs and... eliminate NTs.


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24 Oct 2011, 11:26 pm

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


Great idea. When can you come over?


:wink:



HalibutSandwich
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25 Oct 2011, 2:38 am

I wouldn't call it a beneficial mutation, but just nature trying different things. And if luck comes our way it may be the thing that allows us to survive better than NTs. For example imagine a bird species that eats nothing but red berries. Every so often a mutation makes a juvenile bird have a preference for yellow berries. But there isn't that many yellows around so it still eats red berries. But it still passes it's preference for yellow berries to it's offspring, maybe with a 50/50 chance. Then climate change or whatever makes the red berry trees die out and yellow berry shrubs start taking over, Who's going to survive?

So, NT's are like the red berry lovers. Auties are like the yellow berry connoisseurs. But until the yellow berry shrub comes along in abundance we'll always be in the minority. When it does we'll own the place.



langers
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26 Oct 2011, 5:37 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
enchantedsleeper wrote:
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.


Yes. Saying "the most intelectual would survive makes sense" in fact doesnt make any sense at all!

In fact its counter to common sense to think that philosophy professors would survive the apocalypse in greater proportion than Amish farmers or hill billies or whatever.

And who said that aspies were more - either intelligent or intellectual- than nt's anyway?

There are different kinds of intelligence. And there are different kinds of aspies.

Some aspies do excelt intelectual persuits (Einstein mayve been an apsie), and some aspies excel in carpentry, and in skinning hides, and in animal tracking. The latter would do well in an apocalypse. But those latter may not do as well as less craft-skilled nt's who are skilled at making alliances and can get more rescources with less work by networking.

In Siberia Russian scientists raised caged wild foxes.

One day they started a program to breed for more tameness.
The head scientist simply went to each caged fox and stuck in his hand in a mitten.

If the fox cowared, or snarled and attacked the gloved hand it was ignored.

But if came up and sniffed the gloved hand then they would take the fox out and breed it to other foxes with same lack of skittishness.

Within a few years they had created a whole new species of tame dog-like foxes.

So the nicer foxes are the equivalent of the aspis minority in our population today.

The nasty (or shy) foxes are like the majority neurotypicals of today.

The breeder with the glove is the equivalent of some new factor in the environment that will exert new selective force on the human population.

The generations later tame dog-foxes are the analog of the new kind of humans to come.

So your job is to imagine what kind of trait aspies have now that may or may not be an advantage NOW- that could become a matter of life and death in some future.
What is the human aspie equivalent of sniffing (rather than biting) the guy's glove?



This scenario is quite possibly already happening in the human population. Technology. This may be aspies undermining (unconsciously or unintentionally) our daily environment to make it more aspie friendly and less NT suitable. The possibilities being that as face to face socialization becomes less and less important and the ability to specialize more and more important, eventually the NTs are at a disadvantage and Aspies have the advantage. Already with the comparatively new concept of free choice in marriage (considering that throughout history arranged marriage was the norm) aspies are at an advantage in finding mates like ourselves (I think once we do marry we are more likly to stay together) which helps to purify (if you will) the traits that create or provide the specialists tendencies. And lots of aspies and other nuerodiverse people marry and have children, when you are young you (to the young person who felt like aspies can't have relationships) may feel like that isn't true but give it time. I have been married for 10 yrs and have 3 children and most, if not all, the people I know who are neurodiverse are also in relationships and or have children. And having 3 plus my husbands other child (4 all together) does make us more reproductively successful then most NTs who I know :lol: