View Full Version : Autistics are undomesticated humans?

Little bit
08-24-2016, 02:08 PM
I have several autistic relatives, officially diagnosed and otherwise, and I have to say, this theory seems to have some merit to me. What do you think?

Autistics As Undomesticated Humans
Signs of "domestication syndrome" in humans are generally attenuated in autism.
Posted Aug 24, 2016

Assume this theory could be proven true, would it be beneficial to maintain these genetics as a fail-safe in case society collapses and is there mechanism in which autism could be more prevalent, resulting in more 'undomesticated' humans? Is nature trying to solve a problem or could our current lifestyles be creating a less than ideal environment for birthing domesticated humans?

My son is HFA, what used to be called Asperger's, and he loves the idea of being an undomesticated human, btw. I think he's always considered himself as such but didn't use the term per se.

08-24-2016, 02:30 PM
the term domesticated/undomesticated only applies to non-human animals

08-24-2016, 06:07 PM
Addressing both posts...

Aren't there a suite of genes that strongly correlate with domestication across animal species?

08-24-2016, 09:09 PM
What does "domestication" mean? in a practical sense?
Is it purely genetic, in which case what can we do about it?
Or does it mean that a parent needs to intensively interact with a child for the first x months of life?
(As we do with an animal we want to completely domesticate.)
In which case, although it seems to be more prevalent in Western countries at present, those with longer parental leave after birth should show benefits compared with those where the newborn goes straight into care by strangers with little interaction.

A clinical psych?ist has recently written about a number of behavioural conditions that he believes are developmental (that is, they arrive some time after conception).
The good news is that he has found treatments that he has seen to work.
And if I weren't spring cleaning this week, I would probably know where I put that book, and mention the details.

Whatever the answers, it is good that the authors of this paper are trying new approaches.

Little bit
08-25-2016, 01:10 PM
Aren't there a suite of genes that strongly correlate with domestication across animal species?

I imagine so, but I do not know them. My suspicion is epigenetic factors, or imprinting, could be at play, too. The author of the blog post actually wrote a book called "The Imprinted Brain," which I haven't read and probably should. Based on his past blog offerings, autism, imprinting, epigenetics, and related topics are his main focus:

I have a lot of autistic relatives, and score very high myself on ASD tests, so it's clear to me that genetics is playing a big role in my family. Considering the deleterious effects of autism on one's relationships, and by extension future success of leaving descendants, it's hard to see autism as a Mendelian trait. But it may work similar to an X linked gene, maybe is X linked for all I know, such that it increases the genetic success of females at the expense of males?

08-25-2016, 06:19 PM
If it is an X linked trait, shouldn't we theoretically see it more in females, being they have twice as many X chromosomes as males? I have never met an autistic female whereas I've met at least a dozen autistic males.

Little bit
08-25-2016, 09:10 PM
@ Kale:

No, X linked mutations disproportionately affect males because females have 2 X's while males only get one. Hemophilia is an example of such inheritance:

As a female who scores very high on ASD traits myself, my feeling is the ASD is under diagnosed in females because they are able to cope, or disguise, their symptoms better. I remember a study that showed that diagnosed females have a much higher load of deleterious mutations than diagnosed males but I suspect there are compensating factors for females, perhaps linked to the X gene or higher levels of estrogen perhaps, that protects them. I also suspect that otherwise deleterious mutations for males may in fact, be advantageous for females, providing a mechanism for them to be maintained in the population. I'm just speculating, however.

08-26-2016, 01:21 PM
My friend has a son who is autistic. Not one of the extreme cases, but still...

08-27-2016, 05:52 AM
I have HFA, & no were not domesticated, there are some of us that actually can live by ourselves, get married, have kids, get a job, go to college, basically e ,can have a life like most people, but it's more challenging that others, as we see things a bit differently.

But it could depends what type of HFA person it is, Autism is a very wide spectrum.

08-28-2016, 01:16 PM
I don't know whether autistic people or those with Asperger's are "domesticated" or not but if you want to see "undomesticated" humans go to a local junior high school classroom on a Friday about 2:45 in the afternoon before a major holiday. There you will see humanity in all it's undomesticated glory.