In honor of St. Patrick’s week, I must say a bit more about Irish American comic Rosie O’Donnell. When Rosie was ten-years-old, her mother died of breast cancer. Several minutes into the video below, she explains how a school teacher (a 27-year-old woman) befriended her, and became like a mother to Rosie. The sad thing is, this mother figure, like Rosie’s real mother, also died of breast cancer:
Because Rosie, despite her high intelligence, is not a science person, she probably thinks of this as some creepy supernatural phenomenon, but scholar J.P. Rushton would probably argue this is a classic example of his genetic similarity theory. In other words, the teacher’s genes somehow subconsciously predisposed her to be motherly to Rosie because Rosie shared copies of those same genes, and that explains why the teacher died of the same disease Rosie’s mother did.
But because the school teacher mothered Rosie, Rosie became rich and famous, and has probably given millions to breast cancer research, potentially saving the lives of millions of people who share copies of the breast cancer genes.
Rushton would have probably argued that this is how altruism between unrelated people gets selected for, and he unearthed volumes of evidence showing spouses and even best friends are most similar on the most heritable traits.
Rushton argued that if someone went around killing everyone who shared genes similar to themselves, then that person’s genes would vanish. Thus, if someone went around being nice to people who shared copies of one’s genes, then those genes would thrive.
Of course I should make clear this was simply Rushton’s theory, it is not a widely accepted model, and even within the HBD-o-sphere it’s controversial.
But it seems to make sense on my blog. I’ve argued that I have certain autistic like obsessions, and a poll of my readers found a shocking number of you folks are autistic. So it’s almost as if your genes are subconsciously causing you to support the blog of someone who shares copies of your genes, and I in turn provide some of you with friendly guidance in life (although I’m not a professional).
Indeed there is so much mental illness on my blog, that I remind myself of the Don Cheadle character in Manic, who was a thirty-something counselor, working with a group of mentally ill people.