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Re: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)

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  • Leif Ekblad
    James, How does that paper support your position? As I outlined in my answer to Nils, ASD isn t be linked to any particular mutation, thus it cannot be caused
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 6, 2013
      How does that paper support your position?
      As I outlined in my answer to Nils, ASD isn't be linked to any particular mutation, thus it cannot be caused by any particular mutation that happened the last 5,000 years. Additionally, as I also described in the answer to Nils, there is considerable overlap between these "disorders", and I've shown that all neurodiversity traits are correlated. A similar finding was also posted here by Robert (link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(13)70011-5/fulltext). The fact that the traits are correlated makes the recent mutation model highly improbable.
      So, all that I have written does agree with the current view of adaptive evolution. Also note that I say nothing about the genetic / neuroscience background of ASD or ADHD because I think it is the wrong approach to the problem. Before you can try to attribute something to a genetic background you need some meaningful description of the problem (which the current "disorder" labels aren't). Using a scientific approach to neurodiversity is a reasonable background that can be used to find the evolutionary, genetic and neuroscientific background.
      Then we have your 'model' that you still haven't presented any evidence for, and which isn't compatible with natural selection or the current knowledge of genetics. The new study of nematodes you presented might possibly relate to the honeybee model, but there is no evidence whatsoever that this is something that is relevant for higher animals or humans. To my knowledge, the only consistent phenotypes in higher animals are gender-based (male and female).
      Leif Ekblad

      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 1:30 AM
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)


      Nothing you say fit with what is currently known about adaptive evolution. I have cited one of the most pertinent papers and you continue to ignore it, and any other facts. Analysis of 6,515 exomes reveals the recent origin of most human protein-coding variants "Of 1.15 million single-nucleotide variants found among more than 15,000 protein-encoding genes, 73% in arose the past 5,000 years, the researchers report." You can either address the 1.15 million single-nucleotide variants that arose in the past 5,000 years or continue to tout the ridiculous theory of a neurodiversity phenotype that evolved in Eurasia during 2 million years. I'm done trying to educate you, and am tired of your foolishness.
      James V. Kohl
      Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)
      Independent researcher
      Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.

      From: Leif Ekblad <leif@...>
      To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, April 4, 2013 5:55:56 PM
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)



      James, you could have read my other post, but I can answer you again.
      If you think that disorders evolve you have completely misunderstood the argument. Most of ADHD, ASD and dyslexia are not disorders, but human variation.
      Lets start with ADHD. ADHD is based in a different attention profile. This profile evolved in Eurasia during the last couple of million of years because of a different hunting strategy. This hunting strategy was adapted to a less productive climate and sparser populations. Unlike in the tropics, larger groups of people couldn't get together and form hunting parties, rather a few hunters needed to be able to hunt large mammals. Valerius Geist outlined a very possible way how this might have been done in his Neanderthal paradigm (link: http://cogweb.ucla.edu/ep/NeanderthalParadigm.html). The attention profile was a key adaptation in Neanderthal that was transfered by introgression into modern humans, and thus this DID NOT evolve as an adaptation in our species. Rather, it was retained because it offfered some advantages when kept at a reasonable level (balanced selection).
      Bipolar is similar. It is a seasonal adaptation that cannot have evolved in the tropics.
      Then we have ASD. The primary trait in ASD is different communication. ASD is both the lack of neurotypical communication AND the presence of another type of communication. This has no evolutionary value in our species. In fact, it is selected against in larger social environments, but has still been retained because it is linked to successful traits. The Neanderthal communication traits are mostly an example of divergence under isolation, but part of it could also be specific hunting adaptations (stims are useful for silent signalling between hunters, which the neurotypical nonverbal communication is not because it cannot be used over larger distances).
      The model is simple and well-known. First the neurodiversity phenotype evolve in Eurasia during 2 million years. Then it is introgressed into modern humans from Neanderthal. Last, the linkage between traits in the phenotype slowly break-up. What we have today is no longer a consistent phenotype, but a large set of traits that are correlated to each other to various degrees (a syndrome).
      Leif Ekblad
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 1:30 AM
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)

      Leif should explain to everyone how ADHD, dyslexia, ASDs are naturally selected to support his claim that Nils and I do not understand natural selection. Does that make sense? His theory does not. If those conditions are not due to "gene damage" does that mean the disorders have adaptively evolved? How might that happen? Why? Is there a model for that?

      James V. Kohl
      Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)
      Independent researcher
      Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.

      From: Leif Ekblad <leif@...>
      To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, April 3, 2013 6:07:58 PM
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)


      Nils, just as Kohl, obviously doesn't understand natural selection or
      genetics. It is impossible for damaged genes to reach 20-30 percent in any
      population. That's also why it is impossible that ADHD or Dyslexia are gene
      damage. No condition that has such high prevalence can be a disorder or gene

      Leif Ekblad

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Nils K." <n-oeij@...>
      To: <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 12:16 PM
      Subject: [evol-psych] Diagnosis: Human (+ comments)

      Dear All!

      The NYT article copied below is totally misunderstood. ADHD is
      only one of some 15,000 - 20,000 new genetic diseases/disorders
      popping up in the 1900s, mostly. For most of these genetic
      diseases/disorders there are no medicines. ADHD is one of the most
      common genetic mental disorders, and is a disorder for which there
      exist useful medicines. I do think the 11 percent mentioned
      in the article below is a too low estimate. I do think that the
      ADHD number is just as high as for, for example, dyslexia, namely
      some 20 percent. For common genetic diseases /disorders I've found
      what I call the 20 - 30 percent rule. But what is important to
      understand here is that the numbers of gene-damaged children in the
      world are exploding due to the worldwide general mutagenic pollution
      of the human body and brain. With all mother's milk containing
      dioxins -- today and in all future -- this catastrophic result is
      exactly what we must expect.


      [COPY from NYT:]

      Diagnosis: Human
      By TED GUP
      Published: April 2, 2013 1 Comment
      THE news that 11 percent of school-age children now receive a diagnosis of
      attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ? some 6.4 million ? gave me a
      My son David was one of those who received that diagnosis.

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      In his case, he was in the first grade. Indeed, there were psychiatrists who
      prescribed medication for him even before they met him. One psychiatrist
      said he
      would not even see him until he was medicated. For a year I refused to fill
      prescription at the pharmacy. Finally, I relented. And so David went on
      then Adderall, and other drugs that were said to be helpful in combating the

      In another age, David might have been called ?rambunctious.? His battery was
      little too large for his body. And so he would leap over the couch, spring
      reach the ceiling and show an exuberance for life that came in brilliant

      As a 21-year-old college senior, he was found on the floor of his room, dead
      from a fatal mix of alcohol and drugs. The date was Oct. 18, 2011.

      No one made him take the heroin and alcohol, and yet I cannot help but hold
      myself and others to account. I had unknowingly colluded with a system that
      devalues talking therapy and rushes to medicate, inadvertently sending a
      that self-medication, too, is perfectly acceptable.

      My son was no angel (though he was to us) and he was known to trade in
      to create a submarket in the drug among his classmates who were themselves
      too eager to get their hands on it. What he did cannot be excused, but it
      be understood. What he did was to create a market that perfectly mirrored
      society in which he grew up, a culture where Big Pharma itself prospers from
      off-label uses of drugs, often not tested in children and not approved for
      many uses to which they are put.

      And so a generation of students, raised in an environment that encourages
      medication, are emulating the professionals by using drugs in the classroom
      performance enhancers.

      And we wonder why it is that they use drugs with such abandon. As all
      learn ? at times to their chagrin ? our children go to school not only in
      classroom but also at home, and the culture they construct for themselves as
      teenagers and young adults is but a tiny village imitating that to which
      were introduced as children.

      The issue of permissive drug use and over-diagnosis goes well beyond
      hyperactivity. In May, the American Psychiatric Association will publish its
      D.S.M. 5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is
      called the bible of the profession. Its latest iteration, like those before,
      not merely a window on the profession but on the culture it serves, both
      reflecting and shaping societal norms. (For instance, until the 1970s, it
      categorized homosexuality as a mental illness.)

      One of the new, more controversial provisions expands depression to include
      forms of grief. On its face it makes sense. The grieving often display all
      common indicators of depression ? loss of interest in life, loss of
      irregular sleep patterns, low functionality, etc. But as others have
      those same symptoms are the very hallmarks of grief itself.

      Ours is an age in which the airwaves and media are one large drug emporium
      claims to fix everything from sleep to sex. I fear that being human is
      fast becoming a condition. It?s as if we are trying to contain grief, and
      absolute pain of a loss like mine. We have become increasingly disassociated
      estranged from the patterns of life and death, uncomfortable with the
      of our own humanity, aging and, ultimately, mortality.

      Challenge and hardship have become pathologized and monetized. Instead of
      enhancing our coping skills, we undermine them and seek shortcuts where
      are none, eroding the resilience upon which each of us, at some point in our
      lives, must rely. Diagnosing grief as a part of depression runs the very
      risk of delegitimizing that which is most human ? the bonds of our love and
      attachment to one another. The new entry in the D.S.M. cannot tame grief by
      giving it a name or a subsection, nor render it less frightening or more

      The D.S.M. would do well to recognize that a broken heart is not a medical
      condition, and that medication is ill-suited to repair some tears. Time does
      heal all wounds, closure is a fiction, and so too is the notion that God
      asks of us more than we can bear. Enduring the unbearable is sometimes
      what life asks of us.

      But there is a sweetness even to the intensity of this pain I feel. It is
      thing that holds me still to my son. And yes, there is a balm even in the
      I shall let it go when it is time, without reference to the D.S.M., and
      the aid of a pill.

      Ted Gup is an author and fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at
      Harvard University.


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