‘The Pattern Seekers’: How has autism driven human evolution?

Unfortunately, “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention” by Cambridge University professor Simon Baron-Cohen never really lives up to its thought-provoking title. Despite the best of intentions, it too often feels half-baked, like a pastiche of ideas from other books.

The traditional scientific hypothesis you learned back in high school can be characterized by its “if-then” structure: If you drop a ball, then it falls to the floor. Baron-Cohen proposes an innovation that he feels is magic: the addition of the word “and,” so it becomes “if-and-then.” Seriously. While he admits that the words may seem simple, he sees this update as representing how humans introduce variables into a hypothesis to look for patterns (if you put a tomato seed in the soil and the soil is moist, then a tomato plant will grow).

Related article:  Two new drug-resistant superbugs added to CDC’s list of ‘most urgent threats’

It would be a much easier case to make if it stayed narrowly focused on the autistic traits found in successful inventors, but Baron-Cohen swings for the scientific fences. He identifies the systematizing mechanism as being responsible for an enormous array of developments.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

In this sense, his promotion of the idea that the systemization found in autistic brains is the driver of inventiveness can be seen as a forceful argument for why we should value those with autism.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend