I post a lot about the idea that schizophrenia and autism are in some ways opposites.  Although the two conditions have a common genetic link, there’s also research showing they are genetic opposites on a certain continuum.  Autism has been described as extreme male brain, while schizophrenia has been described as extreme female brain.

I have also suggested other ways they are opposites (though some of these are kind of speculative).

a) autistics tend to come from high social classes while schizophrenics tend to come from lower social classes

b)autistics tend to have cold climate ancestry while schizophrenics tend to have warm climate ancestry

c)autistics tend to be good at math and science while (premorbid) schizophrenics tend to be good at art and people

d)autistics tend to be trusting while schizophrenics tend to be paranoid

e)autistics tend to be atheists while schizophrenics sometimes think they are Jesus

Well it seems, eminent scientists increasingly see autism and schizophrenia as opposite ends of a spectrum. About 35 minutes into the youtube video below, a scholar discusses a neurological continuum: blind variation vs selective retention.

Schizophrenics rank high on the former while autistics are at the opposite extreme.  The theory seems to be that blind variation is needed for generating hypotheses while selective retention is useful for focusing in on the right ones.

I’ve noticed that some of the most aggressive critics of behavioral genetics blogs like this one, tend to be on the schizophrenic end of the continuum.  I believe their aggression towards us is an evolutionary strategy. In prehistoric times, they would have simply killed anyone with an autistic type rational personality allowing their schizophrenic genes to thrive at the expense of autistic genes, but in civilized times, they just verbally attack.

Of course us autistic types also have attack dogs.  Witness all the pro-science blogs devoted to attacking anyone who is paranoid about big pharma or believes in alternative medicine or spirituality.

PS: The above video is well worth watching in its entirety.  Among other interesting points the scholars make is that the greatest novelists in the World would have an average IQ of about 120.  The reason given is that the type of talents needed to be a great novelist (i.e. insight into human nature) are not measured by IQ tests.  I actually think they’d average in the 130s because of the verbal component of good writing, and because regardless of whether a specific mental ability like social insight is directly measured by IQ tests, it’s still indirectly measured by g.

 

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