Friday, 17 February 2012

Autism caused by 'No Cannibals'?

There is yet another hypothesis for the aetiological drivers behind autism spectrum disorders which, just like the others, blames cannibals and is ignored by the autism community, the scientific community and the blogger community alike.

This one is different, however, in that it does not require autistic people to actually be cannibals for a change. Rather, it requires that the lack of the need for humans to guard against intra-specific predation has led to a de-selection of the mental and physical tools required to keep this brain-intensive skill on the genetic 'wants list'.

It goes something like this; A long time ago, probably 107,000 years ago, give or take a tick or two, people were people and people, like spiders, eat people when hungry enough. It's not as if we were eating our own brothers and sisters. Even little dragons don't do that (well, 20% less much).

It was some folk who'd been away for rather a long time up north found their way down south and, having polished off all the bears and elephants, turned their attentions to the people who were already happily occupying the Levant. These people, the Neanderthals, were very well equipped for taking advantage of this new food source. Recognising the Levantine folk as being sentient hunters, rather than risk a head-on encounter, the Neanderthal would remain at higher altitudes undetected, approaching and watching only at night. Only after considerable observations and planning had been completed did they chance a series of night raids which eventually became known to our ancestors, and later us, as the sagas of The Watchers in the Ge'ez and Hebrew chronicles, now known as the Bible (Gen 6).

Aadi, 'we' managed to extricate ourselves from this situation, with the help of a little Neanderthal DNA which we'd acquired along the way. The development of modern empathy was crucial to this great escape. After the Neanderthal predators had been discovered and descriptions of them were circulating, they moved into a more hands-on management role and more or less established the styles of man-management we see used right up until, well, still today in fact. Bluntly, any attempt to communicate secretly with ones' co-captured kin was met with a swift and brutal extinction of the dissenting person or persons.

When we finally managed to escape, we did it with our eyes. To this day, we celebrate with football.

That period of empathic development was an anti-predator adaptation. Now that it is no longer needed, it is falling away. Our bodies are no longer convinced that we must have empathy in order to survive so nature, the mother, the father, whatever steers our beings into being, decides that empathy is too expensive to sustain, and invests in FTW instead, a condition caused by getting food tokens confused with real food without the presence of the threat of cannibalism.

How can we test this hypothesis and how would it explain:

'New Autism Research Reveals Brain Differences at 6 Months in Infants Who Develop Autism'

as well as the 'Cannibal Hypothesis' does?

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