Monday, November 25, 2002

Engineer's disorder and Extreme Male Autism Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

Why women can't read maps..? Well my chickadees and cockadoos, it's all because men are just autistic super-pigs.
Autism, in its many guises, is an overwhelmingly male affliction, characterised by an abnormality in social development and communication skills and, usually, an obsessional interest in all sorts of weird, mechanistic stuff, from an early age (usually between three and five years). The current thesis among those studying autism holds that the condition is simply an extreme example of male behaviour. Simon Baron-Cohen, at the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, has put forward the ‘Extreme Male Brain’ theory of autism; simply that those abilities typical of the ‘average’ male brain — an ability to systematise, a facility for mechanistic analysis such as mathematics, computer programming and engineering — become, in their extreme form, part of what is now called a spectrum of autism. At the other end of the scale, the extreme female brain would be characterised by an extraordinary ability to empathise but a greatly impaired ability to, as he puts it, systematise. By ‘systematise’ he means an ability to read maps, do mathematical calculations, understand technical systems and so on; all those things which, colloquially, over the years, men have accused women of being hilariously useless at. The trouble is, men may now have the beginnings of scientific proof for what was previously seen as chauvinistic prejudice.
My one question.. why is scientific proof for non-egalitarian social phenomenon so much trouble for some people? Follow the evidence, said the wise TV forensic scientist, not one's wishful thoughts. When facts collide with ideology, it is ideology that must give way to adapt or else risk fading into irrelevancy. A parting thought, not entirely farfetched given the PC-ridden educational system in this country. What effect is the predominantly female teacher population having on young boys, as they teach them from an early age that they are hardwired improperly, their existence barely tolerated during classroom activity. How much damage is caused by the forced molding of young male minds into unsustainable personalities? It's not hard to imagine otherwise healthy behavior, even an "obsession" with mechanical objects like guns, becoming pathological and self-destructive. Harris & Kelbold, anyone..? Razib adds: During my freshmen year in college I took a survey course titled "Human Evolution." The professor asked the class (about 400 of us) if it was likely that Australian Aborigines had more "Erectine features" than other human races-should this possible fact be explored and publicized? 3/4 of the class answered in the negative (I was part of the 1/4 minority). The point is that for some people, facts are irrelevant. There are those who will blind themselves to the truth in the service to their ideology, but now there are those who don't even believe in the importance of facts at all. Didn't anyone tell them that sticking their heads in the sand won't help when the lion is prowling around the bend? They might not see it coming, but it will tear them to shreds nonetheless.

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
The Evolutionists
The Creationists
Of Moths and Men
The Language Instinct
How We Decide
Predictably Irrational
The Black Swan
Fooled By Randomness
Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
Darwin's Cathedral
A Theory of Religion
The Meme Machine
Synaptic Self
The Mating Mind
A Separate Creation
The Number Sense
The 10,000 Year Explosion
The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
The Origins of Virtue
Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
The g Factor
The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
Defenders of the Truth
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
The Classical World
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
History of Rome
How Rome Fell
The Making of a Christian Aristoracy
The Rise of Western Christendom
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
A History of the Byzantine State and Society
Europe After Rome
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity
The Barbarian Conversion
A History of Christianity
God's War
Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Sacred Chain
Divided by the Faith
The Reformation
Pursuit of Glory
Albion's Seed
From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
China in World History
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Great Arab Conquests
After Tamerlane
A History of Iran
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language
A World History
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Human Web
Plagues and Peoples
A Concise Economic History of the World
Power and Plenty
A Splendid Exchange
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
The Ascent of Money
The Great Divergence
Clash of Extremes
War and Peace and War
Historical Dynamics
The Age of Lincoln
The Great Upheaval
What Hath God Wrought
Freedom Just Around the Corner
Throes of Democracy
Grand New Party
A Beautiful Math
When Genius Failed
Catholicism and Freedom
American Judaism

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