TED Conversations

john weis

This conversation is closed.

Is autism the result of human brains moving to the next step of neural connectivity? Is this evolution in action?

While watching the 60 Minutes show on the remarkable intellect of a young man who was, for a time, treated as autistic, I was struck with the idea that maybe the current epidemic of autism is due to selective breeding. Humans have evolved with a unique brain mass and neural connections that give them an intellect beyond that of other primates. To achieve our brains, there have no doubt been many instances of trial and error where greater intellect was selected for, and mistakes selected against.

Just as two tall people tend to have tall children, intelligent parents can have intelligent children. That intelligence can be considered to be both hard wired as well as acquired. Maybe the children of smart people with complex neural networks possess new nervous connections, pushing the evolution of the brain. The "mistakes" may be children for whom the nervous connections are not fortuitous while the new nervous connections that are good can create a child with a remarkable intellect....much like the profile on 60 Minutes.

Evolution means species are never static...this may be such an example.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 22 2012: Wish I could hit reply on that post --

    @Zared......Oy, you've gotta talk by voice....not much can be said by typing. That's what separates true science from bad science =o) -- it's called a conversation and a debate...if you can't speak with words, you're just not tough enough on your data (tear)

    This is what separates the winners of science from those who are very disinformed -- Read the DSM-IV for ASD - Aspergers Syndrome and also about the 12 year old with aspergers, etc.

    I said, just give me a ring -- I'd love to learn a thing or two from someone with empty science ;o)
    • Jan 22 2012: Aspergers syndrome is not a beneficial condition. It is a development disorder. True science is logic, not emotional. Emotions corrupt judgement. This is the base for bad science. There is no winners of science because true science is about getting accurate facts, not about being competitive or tough. Passion does play a role in science, but it does not play a bigger role then analytical skills. Empty science is emotional without logic.

      Here is the definition of autism.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494/

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.