View Full Version : Geneticists, Biologists, and the Impossible Bio-"Medical" Models of "Psychiatric Disorders"

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 05:00 PM
As explained by the author of the "Neanderthal Theory" of neurodiversity (see http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm) in a thread at WrongPlanet (http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp1834736.html#1834736) hypotheses that go against everything that is known about genetics and biology are routinely accepted in "medical," "psychiatric," and psychological journals and other publications.

The underlying assumption of these hypotheses is an "impossible mutation model where deleterious mutations build up to form haplotypes and syndromes" which can "explain" autism "spectrum" "disorders." "It is impossible because it goes against evolutionary theory (survival of the fittest) and genetic models (fixation and genetic drift)."

"If a mutation exists long enough in the genome, it must either go towards fixation or get lost by genetic drift. If the mutation is positive, it has magnitudes higher chance of reaching fixation than a mutation that is neutral or negative. Therefore, few deleterious mutations with survive over time. Only new ones will, and they are not linked to each other" as is claimed. "The level of deleterious mutations is always kept low in the genome, much lower than the prevalence of most neuropsychiatric disorders."

Now this sounds very convincing to me, and in agreement with what I've heard about genetics, so if true why aren't geneticists, biologists, and various medical doctors screaming about the obvious, self-evident quackery and unethical treatments that go against the Hippocratic Oath (but not whatever Hypocritical Oath these Newspeak-speaking double-plus-good duckspeakers took [1])??? Reluctance to face the military-financial-psychiatric axis of evil and state terrorism?? Or is it that it is not just the medical and anthropological establishments that are Afrocentric and speciest? Free country (America) my large intestine. If you are even capable of independent thinking, you are "mentally ill."

The only person with the aforementioned backgrounds saying anything (as far as I know) is George Church, a Harvard genetics professor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTFcJohNg2g&feature=channel_video_title). There are detractors, even amongst autism researchers, but again, as far as I know they do not have extensive backgrounds in genetics, biology, or medicine. George Church comes closest to raising the kinds of questions I want addressed but aren't being raised, let alone answered.

As I understand it, genetic defects are rare, at least genuine ones anyway. Even "diseases" such as obesity could be explained by a tendency pack on pounds when times are good in preparation for leaner times.

Unbiased or less biased researchers are harder to find than people who didn't believe that Africans where "mud people" hundreds of years ago. Even Thomas Jefferson wanted to include a tirade blaming Great Britain for the slave trade in the Declaration of Independence. He also freed his slaves upon his death. As for not doing so earlier, perhaps he picked and chose his battle, I don't know.

As I see it, there are only two plausible explanations for most of the problems associated with autism, which are confused with autism itself. Both are based on environmental toxins. The difference is that one looks to chemical toxins, while the most likely explanation looks to social toxins that cause depression and complex post-traumatic assault and battery.

Society has changed dramatically in the last several decades but none of that seems to matter to just about everyone. Some people have suggested that ADD/ADHD traits have some advantages such as Thom Hartmann (and I am sure many many others). Psychiatry also gets a lot of flack from antipsychiatrists such as Thomas Szasz. Most of these people have been arguing that schizophrenia is not a real illness for decades. Only recently has someone like Thomas Armstrong taken a stab at speculating about autism's function. In my view most of the few writers aren't doing a very convincing job.

Autistics are victims of violent crime, not disease. This was known before the truth was "discredited" through politically-motivated brainwashing by perps who wish to avoid responsibility. I'll agree that not all the blame always falls on the mother, but nevertheless usually the parents are a big part of the problem.

We know that child abuse is rampant throughout America (and probably the world). We know that parental abuse may damage childrens' brains (http://agapepartners.org/articles/72/1/Parental-Abuse-May-Damage-Childrens-Brain/Page1.html) Like, did we really need a study to show that in the first place???

Most of those people that are writing anything positive are few and far between. Geneticists and biologists saying that the "medical" "Defective Mutant Hypothesis" isn't plausible and simply has to be wrong -- there are too many autistics for one thing (let alone the entire six neurodiversity groups in "Aspie"-Quiz) -- would be most helpful in getting things on the right track.

Otherwise the handful of exceptions such as:

Leif Ekblad -- Neanderthal Theory http://rdos.net/eng/, http://rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm, http://blog.rdos.net/ ----- MY FAVORITE

Andrew Walker -- What is the point of Autism? http://www.autismusundcomputer.de/english/walker2.en.html

Andrew Lehman -- Neoteny Theory http://www.neoteny.org (and many others)

Alan Griswold -- Autistic Symphony http://autisticsymphony.com

Morton Ann Gernsbacher -- How to Spot Bias in Research, Association for Psychological Science http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2076 -- Autism Research page http://psych.wisc.edu/lang/autism-research.html

Michelle Dawson (autism research papers, often with others such as Gernsbacher) http://autismcrisis.blogspot.com/

Olga Bogdashina -- Ukraine, U.K activist (President of the Autism Society, Ukraine)

Jared Edward Reser -- Solitary Forager Theory http://www.jaredreser.com/cognitiveparsimony/partseven.html

Tyler Cowen -- Create Your Own Economy http://marginalrevolution.com/

Michael Simonson and others at the "Hunter School" in New Hampshire http://hunterschool.org, http://energeticallysensitivechild.com

Penny Spikins -- Mental problems gave early humans an edge, New Scientist 2837 02 November 2011 by Kate Ravilious

Dinah Murray, Mike Lesser and Wendy Lawson -- Montropism Hypothesis

George Church, Ph.D. (Professor of Genetics-Harvard Med School) -- modern humans could learn about difference from resurrected cousins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTFcJohNg2g&feature=channel_video_title ----- Doesn't say neurodiverse people are behaviorally neanderthal, but does say we could learn from the experience since they are undoubtably different since they are "highly optimal sibling or cousin variations on the human existence."

David Anderegg -- Nerds : who they are and why we need more of them

Katharine Beals -- Raising a left-brain child in a right-brain world : strategies for helping bright, quirky, socially awkward children to thrive at home and at school http://katharinebeals.com/

Thomas Armstrong -- Neurodiversity : discovering the extraordinary gifts of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other brain differences http://www.thomasarmstrong.com/ ----- Not impressed with his logic, but at least he makes the attempt -- an A for effort.

William Stillman -- Autism and the God Connection www.williamstillman.com ----- A bit on the flaky side, but I believe he is on to something.

Richard Louv -- The Nature Principle, Last child in the woods : saving our children from nature deficit disorder http://richardlouv.com/ ----- Autism barely gets mentioned in at least one of the books and his site.

Thomas Sowell -- The Einstein Syndrome : bright children who talk late ----- Should have gotten it, assumes that there are people with a neurological disorder that is called "autism."

are just howling in the wind of a category five hurricane.

Note 1: "newspeak," "double-plus-good," and "duckspeakers" are in the book 1984 by George Orwell.

Note: The Neanderthal Theory explains why there are inherent differences between autistics and "normal" people. It explains the hate. It may explain a fraction of the functioning problems that aren't abuse related.

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40 acres, a mule, and 40,000 years worth of interest
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 06:24 PM
Sickle-cell anaemia. Google it for a good model.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 07:14 PM
Sickle-cell anaemia. Google it for a good model.

What do you want to tell us with that? :hmm

It's not exactly the same thing or touches upon a similar problem, imho.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 07:25 PM
What do you want to tell us with that? :hmm

It's not exactly the same thing or touches upon a similar problem, imho.

That the fact that the genetic factors responsible for autism, ADHD etc. might have beneficial effects under many circumstances does not make autism and ADHD benign.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 08:19 PM
That the fact that the genetic factors responsible for autism, ADHD etc. might have beneficial effects under many circumstances does not make autism and ADHD benign.

You still cannot compare it with Sickle-Cell anemia, because it only has "benefits" in blacks, in whites it's just a desease that does not even reproduce the (anyway still based on chance) insensitivity towards Malaria in whites either. It's not an immunity, they still have malaria which they can spread, it just doesnt affect them, and the presence of sickle-cell anemia isnt enough anyway for the effect to show, there is at least one other factor (another defective gene) that needs to be present. It's a thing that is entirely irrelevant for whites.

Whereas the genetic conditions for autism and related phenomenons (AD(H)D is a symptome, not the phenomenon itself) are indeed relevant for us, and it's certainly interesting to ask whether they have real benefits, and help to explain certain things.

An observation I made and ever since wonder about f.e. is the phenomenon that left-handed people are often incredibly talented painters and drawers, and that you can even guess from the art itself whether it was a "technician" who painted it (right-handed person) or a left-handed person. People with autism also often show incredible talent with painting / drawing. They both have a different access to their brain and memory on one side and to perception of reality on the other, which is at least very interesting to dig into.

As you said in the other thread, much of our logic-brain (right side), one could argue, is not entirely beneficial either. On one hand it helps to solve problems, on the other hand, if in conjunction with a deficit of access to the left side and the different perception of yourself and the world, it can cause trouble. And those who are entirely wired on the right side alone (the equivalent of the left-wired "autists") are socially inapt too, although so far those arent said to have a "disorder", which though imho it is. You'd call them sociopaths on an individual level maybe, someone who's difficult to get along with, who's emotionally cold or something, but in fact they have a brain deficit just as well.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 09:33 PM
Sickle-cell anaemia. Google it for a good model.

Better perhaps, good -- I doubt it. The model (and some others proposed on other forums) doesn't scale up to a difference that undoubtably involves hundreds, if not thousands of genetic differences which are linked /correlated.

Someone has to explain why so many people are 1) not behaviorally the same as the neurotypical species / subspecies, 2) have numerous behavioral and even morphological differences and 3) the behavioral differences are heavily correlated.

The only workable models assume introgression or speciation. The author of the Neanderthal Theory, Leif Ekblad, developed a quiz (http://rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php) to test the hypothesis that humans are not behaviorally one species. Even at the start before weeding out irrelevant questions three factors, 1) a neurotypical factor, 2) a larger neurodiverse factor, and a small hybridization factor emerged using Principal Component Analysis -- results consistent with introgression. He assumed the neurotypical factor is 150,000 years old. If so neurodiversity, being over 10 times as diverse behaviorally, is around 1.8 million years ago. Neurodiversity was introduced back around 37,000 ago (hybridization).

Compared to chimps we aren't that smart, just more diverse -- until eugenicists who invented new nomenclature and call themselves by a different name -- autism researchers -- eliminate that diversity and thereby eliminate our strength.

Even before they succeed they'll be stopped by the collapse of society (which will be of their own making).

The craziest part is that I bet these people think they are multiculuralists and anti-racists. I haven't figured out though why or how. Perhaps they just project their own faults onto others.

Sunday, May 7th, 2017, 04:46 PM
Though people push for defending psychiatry as science, and jump to associate anti-psychiatry with Scientology, people forget there was a big debate about this among skeptics. No, psychiatry is not an unambiguous science: the notion of mental illness depends upon mind-bpdy dualism. Otherwise its just neurological disorders isn't it? And then there are things like paraphilias that are undeniably value judgements. And things like sociopathy that are evolved as alternative reproductive strategies. And things like post-partum depression that are actually normal and evolved for a social reason. (Curing normality, indeed.) Ideas about what is evidence of mental illness differ by country: in Japan nail biting is "worse" than it is in England. Blind tests show that the DX shrinks make from a set of given evidence, will vary by space and time - this is not a precise science. Many researchers and practitioners are aware of these problems and seek improvements, nonetheless conceptual difficulties still remain.

Sadly critics of psychiatry leant towards criticism of biopsychiatry: mind you psychiatry in the US especially, overlapped with the more morally and scientifically dodgy elements of eugenics. People used to assume hereditary causes for nonexistent or non-genetic things such as "feeble mindedness" hence the skepticism and paranoia about biopsychiatry in that context.

Of course things improved. The removal of homosexuality was in fact attributable to Szasz, something which has been airbrushed out. Of course it misses the point to say homosexuality is not an illness, or that things became more scientific: the silly paraphilia category is still there in a clear example of special pleading fallacy (why are gays special?), and the concept of mental illness itself prevailed as though the brain doesn't exist. The commonplace statement that homosexuality is not a mental illness is itself a taboo reflecting social changes rather than something more like a medical fact, and in that sense nothing has changed about the conflation of science with morality in psychiatry. Homosexuality is of course an anatomical syndrome first and foremost, with a signature in brain structure and digit ratio, and arguably much more. One of the consequences of demedicalisation was the refusal to admit gays are an at risk group for STIs such as HIV and other social problems such as drug use. this has not helped homosexuals. The push to demedicalise "transgenderism" is similarly politicised and socially ominous: but like paraphilias transsexualism never got a definition that is medically acceptable in the first place. If it gets removed down to faddishness it will not constitute proof that transsexuals are not ill and it will not be an improvement of psychiatry.

That said things have much improved thanks to advances in biopsychiatry and patient rights, but underlying problems persist.

Anyway low functioning autists are clearly disfunctional. High functioning autists are not, though they have domain-specific impairments. It isn't that they have some kind of gift in total, rather that their condition is a trade off from "neurotypicality". Which carries a corollary that you might as well say neurotypicals are impaired. Again the concept of mental illness cannot categorise all such "neurodiversity". Some people are improved though they are impaired, as is the nature of genetic mutations and evolution. 20th century eugenecists never got this either but psychs get a free pass for the same errors somehow.

Sunday, May 7th, 2017, 05:22 PM
This paper sums up the problems with operationalisations.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6171.2006.00061.x/abstract;jsessionid=E97F5DE94DC633D525EB 96B6925629FF.f04t01

Autism as a diagnostic construct in the last decade has undergone a process of rapid evolution in the way that it is operationalized. A by-product of the important conceptual shift is that we have been left with two terms, autistic disorder and Asperger's disorder, that point to the same thing. The existence of two terms that cannot be clearly delineated results in confusion and an added element in an already anxiety-laden mix for all those trying to come to terms with the concept of autism.

The current diagnostic criteria are ambiguous posing the risk of confusion to parents, clinicians, and researchers. Nurses have an important role in assisting parentsí construction of a unified concept of autism clinically, and through research. This paper moves beyond merely acknowledging the confusion that exists by considering the nature of the confusion, and through sharing the experience of one possible way of navigating it.