This is the extent some people are going to ‘prove’ what causes autism.
Having a degree in sociology and cultural anthropology, I was stunned. This ‘researcher’ went to a LOT of work to show how the bigger ills in our society go back to Neanderthal and Homo Sapien Sapien genetic mixing. The saddest parts to this are 1- this ‘scientist’ is completely serious, and 2- a number of people without education in these areas might not only be persuaded this is possibly true, but continue the generalization into a sort of racial slurring.
I’ve seen some pretty wild arguments around autism and Asperger’s, but using it to explain Neanderthal culture is as disgusting to me as the books that came out some decades ago on the naturally lower intellectual capabilities of the black man.
I adore the Geico cavemen, and I’ve said myself in other places that the commercials would be a good metaphor for how someone with Asperger’s might feel in normal society. However, it was only a cute jest, and it hardly means I believe modern humans can or should be subdivided into ancient genetic lineages to explain current medical or functional problems.
Every day I hear an ad on the radio espousing the statistical probability of having a child with autism, which they compare to other birth defects of sorts that aren’t as common. I bet parents of children with leukemia and cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and whatever else are so tired of hearing those ads.
How deeply do we want to dig to prove autism is the worst nightmare a family can go through? To the point of trying to prove it’s a genetic throwback going back to Neanderthals?