news article today in the Independent newspaper...
“We suspect that the early development of inherited autism was in part an evolutionary response to ultra-harsh climatic conditions at the height of the last Ice Age. Without the development of autism-related abilities in some people, it is conceivable that humans would not have been able to survive in a freezing environment in which finding food required enhanced skills”, she said.
Good to see those on the spectrum getting some positive acknowledgement..
Greetings. Sorry I did not spot this earlier - before Three-in-the-Morning (!)... I am Posting to put this Thread back to near the top. Thank You in advance. (Why are Wednesdays always so quiet?!)
I know that this puts me amongst one of those irritating people who "just Copies and Pastes stuff in order to look clever"... but: I finally looked at the article properly, now. There are lots of Adverts, and I cannot download PDFs, I know not why. But this is part of the Article, for anyone adverse to clicking Links.
Prehistoric autism helped produce much of the world's earliest great art, study says
Harsh Ice Age conditions may have favoured the selection of genes which allowed some humans to focus on tasks in great detail for long periods, scientists believe.
Harsh conditions favoured the natural selection of genes which predisposed some humans to develop abilities to focus on tasks in great detail for long periods; to perceive their environments in three-dimensional terms in an enhanced way; to develop greater image retention abilities; and to develop greater aptitudes to identify and analyse patterns of geography and movement.
Ancient cave paintings in Chile 'irreparably' damaged by graffitiDiscovery of cave paintings reveals Neanderthals were artistsPrehistoric cave paintings help solve the mystery of Europe's bisonTourism putting 4th century Silk Road cave paintings under threat
All of these aptitudes, often found in people on the autistic spectrum, allowed ice age humans to make more efficient flint hunting spearheads (a very time-consuming process needing intense detailed focus), to remember in minute detail (and navigate through) thousands of square miles of hunting terrain, and to remember and analyse patterns of animal behaviour.
But these same newly evolved abilities also made it possible to produce realistic art – dramatic and dynamic images of animals from memory and to draw them in perspective (to mimic 3D reality) in artistic compositions reflecting the patterns of nature.
“Detail focus is what determines whether you can draw realistically; you need it in order to be a talented realistic artist. This trait is found very commonly in people with autism and rarely occurs in people without it,” she added.
I found it interesting as well. It would be good if this research was developed. And most of all, if - when - what they credit Autism with, was paid attention to by the masses! Thank You Miss Elephant, this Forum (and beyond) needs more articles like this one.