A few years ago I blogged that schizophrenic traits evolved to cope with tropical environments and autism evolved to cope with cold environments. My theory was based on research showing schizophrenia and autism to be at opposite extremes of the neurological continuum as well as research claiming tropical folks evolved to have high birth rates at the expense of survival rates while Northerners evolved to have high survival rates at the expense of birth rates.
Since schizophrenia was stereotyped as a black disease and the allegedly super-cold adapted East Asians were stereotyped as socially awkward nerds, I began to think that up to a point, the overdeveloped social brain of schizophrenia might be useful for having high birth rates because you can attract numerous sex partners, while the underdeveloped social brain of autism might be useful in the cold where you need to focus on making tools, clothes, fire and shelter; not picking up women.
Of course an alternative argument is that you need to be more social in the cold because surviving the novel challenges of cold winters requires team work, but the idea of cold climates selecting for autistic type traits and warm climates selecting for schizophrenic type traits, seemed to better explain race differences, at least if you believe the stereotypes.
However a commenter on this blog named “Philosopher” considers this one of the dumbest theories he ever heard and I suspect it’s because he views autistics (or as Philosopher calls them “autists”) as such pathetic creatures that he’s sickened by my claims that they have any kind of survival value, and is appalled at the idea of them being naturally selected at a “high” stage of evolution when humans finally left the tropics.
Philosopher is also furious that certain heroes of mine like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who Philosopher considers autistic, are two of the richest people in the World, so he’s convinced himself they’re brainwashed suckers who give their money to Africans instead of advancing their own ethnic genetic interests. Bob Rubin and Steve Schwarzmann are far more powerful, Philospher gushed.
Now if Philosopher really wants to trash autistics, he could just call autism a disease, and not something that was selected for at all, but that’s letting them off too easy. Philosopher instead compares autistics to breeds of dogs who were deliberately selected by their masters to be obedient little robots who could be easily manipulated.
In a comment so horrifying I am only now revealing a brief excerpt, he wrote:
Pumpkin can’t tell the difference between selected for and selected by.
The reason East asians look similar, have low [testosterone], are more autist and more conservative in persuasion are:
1. The are selected for by Master, much like thoroughbred racehorse owners.
2. They are selected by their environment which is controlled by….1 (see above).
Of course Philosopher has no evidence of this, but he views wanting evidence as an autistic trait, and not something a self-described socially intelligent intuitive schizophrenic like Philosopher needs to bother with.
Philospher’s views remind me of a theory proposed by a Chinese scientist Dr. Bruce Lahn (famous for ground-breaking discoveries about the selection of brain genes).
In a 2006 Wall Street Journal article, scientist Henry Harpending claimed Lahn wanted to co-author a behavioral genetics article for Scientific American about why “Chinese are boring.”
“I think that Bruce doesn’t understand political correctness,” said Harpending.
Lahn wondered whether China’s imperial times selected against rebellious people.