Adult Aspergers - does it have evolutionary advantages?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by ToR original, Jul 13, 2018.

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Is ASD a postive evolutionary advantage

  1. YES

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. NO

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. ToR original Registered Member

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    I have recently been checking out funny Aspergers memes and creating some of my own to lift the doom and gloom on what I think is in the main a positive evolutionary advantage! Not sure how I should 'evidence' that statement as yet. Perhaps you can help? Must be a few Aspies here?

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What positive evolutionary advantage do you perceive? Asperger's isn't about "telling it like it is".
     
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  5. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    I see it as slightly negative in an evolutionary sense, since aspies are somewhat less likely to form large families. But I don't think positive feelings about autism require justification in the gene pool.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Couple of questions here:

    Are you asking if it will have an evolutionary advantage in the future?

    Or are you asking if perhaps its apparent recent rise is due to some evolutionary pressure?

    Because there are lots of things that can cause a rise in atypical brain structure and/or development that have nothing to do with evolution.

    You can't examine the modern human population without considering its unique qualities for ignoring natural selection.
     
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  8. ToR original Registered Member

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    Being overly emotional is a negative, some might say ...
    Forming 'large' families in an over populated world ..definitely a negative?
    Who said anything requires justification ... are you 'reading into things not said' ? Something else Aspies do not do ... which is an advantage?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  9. ToR original Registered Member

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    The question was
    what is

    "...in the main a positive evolutionary advantage?"

    The question is simply as stated

    'What do YOU (not me) see as a POSITIVE evolutionary advantage?

    So YOU would need to consider what YOU think are disadvantages (as per poster above) and then consider advantages (as per my reply).

    I see being honest, direct, logical as definite advantages .. especially in this now cluttered, bureaucratic, over populated, oft disagreeable world. Wrong?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Wrong, Asperger's isn't about being honest, has nothing to do with being over populated and Asperger's can cause some disagreements.

    One can be honest and direct without Asperger's. Being too literal, not getting along with society, this is not a real advantage. If you are going to be on the autism spectrum...Asperger's is the place to be.

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    That's about it.
     
  11. ToR original Registered Member

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    Not sure what you're on 'about '... I never said Aspergers was 'about' anything? How can it be 'about' anything? What do you mean by 'about?'.

    'Honest, direct, logical' are some (not all) known traits ... they're not 'abouts'.
     
  12. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Having specialized skills and interests is an advantage in society. But society is also very... social. So in the end I think mild autism could be mostly neutral in an evolutionary sense. Then it would depend on the local situation whether being less socially apt is offset by other unique factors. It may be an advantage in Silicon Valley in the beginning of the 21st century, but not at other times and places.
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Nope, still an evolutionary advantage. Perhaps not a societal advantage.
     
  14. ToR original Registered Member

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    How about if the 'majority' were Aspies ... would that 'society' thrive more so than the existing? Or is being highly 'social' still the defining factor for success - bearing in mind we now (in the developed world) seem to be less social than ever (people on phones in restaurants, chatting on Internet, staying home).
     
  15. ToR original Registered Member

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    How is it an evolutionary advantage if we destroy the planet with us on it ... what is left to evolve?
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution doesn't care about the fate of a biome. It has no intelligence, no ability to plan. All it cares about is maximizing promulgation of one organism's genome. And from that perspective, having as many offspring as possible is an advantage.

    As an example, being too stupid to figure out how to use birth control is an evolutionary advantage. Is it good for society, or the world at large? No. But it's good in terms of spreading that person's genes.
     
  17. ToR original Registered Member

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    Farmers know the best way to control rat break out is to let them reach a point where they die off themselves due to high numbers. They do NOT as some may think keep growing in population size. It is 'nature' that they reach a point where they begin to die in high numbers rapidly. Nature does not 'support' overpopulation.

    An old experiment (though this was a sealed environment) shows results which interestingly seem to reflect some of the social changes we're seeing in the human population.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636191/

    "In a 1962 edition of Scientific American, the ecologist John B Calhoun presented the results of a macabre series of experiments conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).1He had placed several rats in a laboratory in a converted barn where – protected from disease and predation and supplied with food, water and bedding – they bred rapidly. The one thing they were lacking was space, a fact that became increasingly problematic as what he liked to describe as his “rat city” and “rodent utopia” teemed with animals. Unwanted social contact occurred with increasing frequency, leading to increased stress and aggression.

    Following the work of the physiologist, Hans Selye, it seemed that the adrenal system offered the standard binary solution: fight or flight.2

    But in the sealed enclosure, flight was impossible.

    Violence quickly spiralled out of control. Cannibalism and infanticide followed. Males became hypersexual, pansexual and, an increasing proportion, homosexual. Calhoun called this vortex “a behavioural sink”. Their numbers fell into terminal decline and the population tailed off to extinction.

    At the experiments’ end, the only animals still alive had survived at an immense psychological cost: asexual and utterly withdrawn, they clustered in a vacant huddled mass. Even when reintroduced to normal rodent communities, these “socially autistic” animals remained isolated until death. In the words of one of Calhoun’s collaborators, rodent “utopia” had descended into “hell”.3
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If you weren't so literal you would understand my use of "about". How can that be a evolutionary positive?
     
  19. ToR original Registered Member

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    Not wasting time trying to decipher the indecipherable, insensible, pointless is an advantage.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    3,434
    It's an advantage only if you want a solitary life. If you want to learn, it's a disadvantage. If you only want to dwell on your own opinions, it might work.
     
  21. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Is asparagus different from daily sex?
     
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Right. There's a big dieoff. That's the difference between "for the benefit of the organism" (which evolution cares about) and "for the benefit of the species" (which evolution generally does NOT care about.)
     
  23. ToR original Registered Member

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    And so we have an evolutionary advantage regarding 'not overpopulating' because is there is no organism there is no species.
     

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