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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, PDDs were estimated to occur in two to six per 1,000 births in 2003 with autism being the most common PDD, affecting an estimated one in 250 births. As of 2004, as many as 1.5 million Americans are were believed to have some form of autism. The disorder is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and is not associated with any specific racial or ethnic background. Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels also do not affect the chance of the disorder's occurrence.
Read more: Autism - symptoms, Definition, Description, Demographics, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment www.healthofchildren.com...
ADHD is 5 to 7 times more common in boys.
ADHD occurs in people of every level of intelligence.
ADHD is much more commonly diagnosed in the United States than in Europe, and the stimulant medications are used vastly more in the United States as an intervention strategy.
The face of a frog: Time-lapse video reveals never-before-seen bioelectric pattern For the first time, Tufts University biologists have reported that bioelectrical signals are necessary for normal head and facial formation in an organism and have captured that process in a time-lapse video that reveals never-before-seen patterns of visible bioelectrical signals outlining where eyes, nose, mouth, and other features will appear in an embryonic tadpole.
Originally posted by mistermonculous
So, the current thinking seems to be that changes in the human genome, absent all the environmental pressures we've neutralized with our technological prowess, are being culturally driven. Allow me to whip out a couple of relevant links which pitch this idea pretty effectively.
It's also been fairly well substantiated that evolution is not necessarily the work of Ages: a lot can happen in a few generations.
Although this can and does manifest in obvious physical traits, what I would like to address is the subtle alterations and possible wide-scale divergences in the neurological department.
This brings me to the fact that ADHD and Autism have been recently found to be heritable, not acquired conditions. Furthermore, both conditions are becoming exponentially more prevalent in the general population with each passing decade. And, finally, they have been found to share a genetic marker.
Hallmarks of our culture include an emphasis on multi-tasking, the imperative to understand and organize complex systems, and the need to rapidly assimilate and synthesize disparate and ceaseless streams of information. All of the above dove-tail nicely with what I would term the advantages of these conditions. Speaking as a high-functioning autist, I would also posit that some of my symptoms appear to be an adaptive response to over-stimulation.
Leaving aside the more debilitating forms Autism can take, it is conceivable that approaching these conditions as pathological and/or deficient is short-sighted at best. Those "afflicted" are pressed to be "treated" because their symptoms are difficult to accommodate within many social systems. However, it behooves one to point out that those very systems demand conformity, rote learning, and adherence to heirarchical rule; and it is therefore quite difficult to say where the fault truly lies: in round peg or the square hole? It's always easier to try and shave that peg down to size.
Are these conditions, then, a healthy adaptive response to a unhealthy system? In addition, of course, to the advantages outlined in the paragraph previous to the above.
And if so, is there an obverse adaptation occurring?
Genetic markers have also been found for sociopathy. Likewise, incidences of this deviation appear to be on the rise in the general population. The advantages and possible cultural sources for this condition are clear, and I hope you'll excuse my not elaborating upon them. Suffice it to say Look Out For Number One becomes the only operative philosophy possible when one is born without empathy or conscience. Sociopathy is the profit motive made flesh. Brett Easton Ellis was Onto Something.
Personally, I believe it to be a maladaptation; a cultural and evolutionary dead-end.
So, what's the punchline, guys?edit on 5-9-2011 by mistermonculous because: linkage, brah.edit on 5-9-2011 by mistermonculous because: flurghin.
I wonder if their is a genetic marker for "normal person syndrome". I'm sure if they haven't found it yet, it's just a matter of time. Once we've identified it we can then move to develop treatments for the condition.
I think that the punctuated equilibrium that you find missing may be found when one considers Adaptive Radiations, which are my personal fave when it comes to speciation.
It seems to me that the environment may be considered capable of demanding speciation all by itself based on its own needs and deficits.
It does not make sense to me that the only element within the environment that responds to Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety should be the human element.
I just finished a rather rigorous course in Biology and I was very surprised at the end of the whole thing to find just the type of thinking that you exhibited in your post; punctuated equilibrium, adaptive radiations and the idea of ecological or adaptive speciation are all but teetering on the edge of the round file.
Maybe regions of our environment that undergo some calamity may then begin to demand or invite speciation as it strives to regain equilibrium
If that environment demands adaptive radiations then sexual selection becomes secondary to the demands of the environment, in fact the environment demands the sexual selection.
Sexual selection (could) just be a byproduct of the demands of the system for stability through variety thus satisying Ashby's Law.
I suspect that we are all getting ready to place a lot more value on the work of Rupert Sheldrake and his theory of Morphogenic fields. I am holding out for the idea that the environment, including culture and society, can demand speciation.
I am really interested in what you think.
To me it just seemed like people with personality types that don't quite fit perfectly with western society.
The broadening and relaxing of the rules of definition for autism (‘autism-spectrum disorders’) and the explosion of ‘diagnoses’ that followed have resulted in a cruel injustice being done to those who are truly and seriously autistic. I mean the ones who are really sick: it is on them that attention and research should be focused, but instead, the whole focus of public perception is now on people who just have trouble coping with social situations.