Autism May Have Had Advantages in Humans' Hunter-Gatherer Past

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Autism May Have Had Advantages in Humans' Hunter-Gatherer Past, Researcher Believes

Science Daily

June 3, 2011

Though people with autism face many challenges because of their condition, they may have been capable hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times, according to a paper published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in May.

The autism spectrum may represent not disease, but an ancient way of life for a minority of ancestral humans, said Jared Reser, a brain science researcher and doctoral candidate in the USC Psychology Department.

Some of the genes that contribute to autism may have been selected and maintained because they created beneficial behaviors in a solitary environment, amounting to an autism advantage, Reser said.

The "autism advantage," a relatively new perspective, contends that sometimes autism has compensating benefits, including increased abilities for spatial intelligence, concentration and memory. Although individuals with autism have trouble with social cognition, their other cognitive abilities are sometimes largely intact.

The paper looks at how autism's strengths may have played a role in evolution. Individuals on the autism spectrum would have had the mental tools to be self-sufficient foragers in environments marked by diminished social contact, Reser said.

The penchant for obsessive, repetitive activities would have been focused by hunger and thirst towards the learning and refinement of hunting and gathering skills.

Today autistic children are fed by their parents so hunger does not guide their interests and activities. Because they can obtain food free of effort, their interests are redirected toward nonsocial activities, such as stacking blocks, flipping light switches or collecting bottle tops, Reser said.
Bob Dylan Roof

I haven't read the rigorous article, but judging by the summary above this "research" sounds like the rationalizations of an individual intent on justifying his antisocial existence. An evolutionary "purpose" for Hikikomori confirms the sperg's existence in his religion of science and confers legitimacy upon his deviate social existence.

In my estimation, most of these "neurodiverse" conditions are symptoms of the pathology of overcivilization and modern urban life.

So we don't need them anymore?
Beefy Rep
This is true of most anyone, d e facto . The wino on the street corner, the castrated office drone, the autistic and his copious knowledge of trains or dinosaurs: in a different world where there were mammoths to slay, they all would have been tight, and each would have had a role in the hunt. Or they would have perished. A few thousand years of evolution under the auspices of agriculture hasn't yet changed this much, at least in terms of innate capabilities.