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aspienewbie22
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02 Jul 2012, 5:00 pm

Evolution isn't about choosing mates

Not in its entirety, no. But this is a huge part. Mates are chosen on multiple levels, all of which are intended to ensure our offspring are fit (have high probability of surviving and reproducing themselves). We like ATTRACTIVE mates, because generally, the traits we find attractive mean "healthy." Nice skin, hair, bright eyes, good teeth, strong body...these all reflect a healthy individual. Subconsciously, animals also choose mates from pheromones. There is a link between pheromones and MHC alleles (immunity), and animals tend to choose mates whose immune system compliments their own, so that their offspring can have stronger immune systems under different conditions. And, assuming mating does take place, even gametes undergo a level of selection. Sperm competition occurs when the female's reproductive tract (immunologically driven) selects the "best" sperm. Eggs are fertilized by sperm that can penetrate their zona pellucida. If there are not complementary receptors on both gametes, fertilization will not occur.

So, while evolution ultimately acts on populations, individuals that comprise a population can not be entirely discounted.



naturalplastic
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02 Jul 2012, 6:09 pm

The original post is pure nonsense.



Every variation of every trait of every organism is "the result of evolution".

Every organism has a range of variation.
Humans have ranges in variations in every trait including the way that our nervous systems are wired-and the varied kinds of behavior that results from that varied wiring.

So saying "autism is the result of evolution" is a meaningless tautalogy. Its true, but so what? Dandruff and alcholism are also the results of evolution.

But if your contention is that the whole human race is evolving towards autism- that is different, and is meaningful statement.

So (a) where is your evidence for this?
Are autistic people reproducing at higher rate than neurotypicals

Have autistic people been growing in proportion to the whole human population over these past few thousand years?


And (b) even in theory why WOULD that happen? Under what circumstances would the whole human race become more autistic?
What possible advantage would autism have?

Also: why do you frame the question "what are the objections to the idea that [the human race is evolving towards autism]"

Thats like asking "what are the objections to the idea that the Moon is made of green cheese?"

Since there is no scintilla of evidence for your contention that the human race is evolving toward autism its up to you argue FOR the theory, not for us readers to argue against it.



Cyd
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04 Jul 2012, 8:23 am

naturalplastic wrote:
The original post is pure nonsense.



Every variation of every trait of every organism is "the result of evolution".

Every organism has a range of variation.
Humans have ranges in variations in every trait including the way that our nervous systems are wired-and the varied kinds of behavior that results from that varied wiring.

So saying "autism is the result of evolution" is a meaningless tautalogy. Its true, but so what? Dandruff and alcholism are also the results of evolution.

But if your contention is that the whole human race is evolving towards autism- that is different, and is meaningful statement.

So (a) where is your evidence for this?
Are autistic people reproducing at higher rate than neurotypicals

Have autistic people been growing in proportion to the whole human population over these past few thousand years?


And (b) even in theory why WOULD that happen? Under what circumstances would the whole human race become more autistic?
What possible advantage would autism have?

Also: why do you frame the question "what are the objections to the idea that [the human race is evolving towards autism]"

Thats like asking "what are the objections to the idea that the Moon is made of green cheese?"

Since there is no scintilla of evidence for your contention that the human race is evolving toward autism its up to you argue FOR the theory, not for us readers to argue against it.


Why would it happen - that's a good question. I can think of a couple of reasons but there is one empirical fact that people don't like much and that is that thought and emotion exist within the same universe as matter and must, therefore, be subject to the fundamental laws that govern this universe.

People are not happy. They haven't been happy, on a large scale, for going on 3 generations - and each new generation is less and less willing to put up with that - they don't like not being happy and they don't want to watch others being unhappy. Whether the part of the brain that handles emotion and behavior is causing that or the unhappiness and unwillingness to continue with it is affecting that part of the brain - it doesn't matter. It could be both. Wouldn't a sort of "merry-go-round effect" be necessary to keep the process from grinding to a halt? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

An autistic meltdown isn't the same as an NT meltdown. An NT meltdown comes after an extended period of seething and boiling under the surface and new generations are becoming less and less willing to participate in extended periods of that kind of misery. Is it because their brains are changing? I don't know. Are their brains changing because of it? I don't know. All I know is that there must be an effect because neither exists in a vacuum.

At any rate, evolution wouldn't produce one from the other. The change would take place over time. My father is dead but it is obvious, in hindsight, that he would have fallen on the spectrum, as would his father AND mother. But, until science shifts gears and looks at it without the assumption that "autism" is a "defect", there is no way of knowing.