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Thread: Neoteny

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    Neoteny

    I came across this while reading around the net on a blog I find quite interesting. I'd like to know what those of you that don't mind a little bit of reading (not much really - I promise) think of it. I'd like your critical opinions.

    For those of you that may have relatives or friends that display autistic behaviors or tendencies, it may be impart some interesting insight into that for you.

    In short as I understand it, neoteny is the opposite of acceleration in the maturation process of animal species such as humans.

    I'd like to know your thoughts. Thanks for your time.

    Neoteny, testosterone, estrogen and the rate and timing of maturation. | Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human evolution, social transformation, left organizing and internet activism - how they all connect

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    Re: Neoteny

    I had read a little about neoteny before, in that evolution tends to produce organisms which are more and more like the children/infants of the original species. The picture of the baby chimp is a great example, since it has less hair and flat snout, thin, and is less muscular. Almost looks like a little person.

    IMO it's very plausible that evolution is inherently biased towards neoteny. Inuitively I think if I'm going to change a recipe, it would probably work best to do it before I finish cooking the dish. Afterwards, there's more backing up, and repair work (and how do I unmix the water and flour?). Evolution might almost have to use the infant for the starting point, to the next jump in the chain. Though, it can go any directions but I'm thinking what would be the most successful change.

    I hadn't thought about this from a psychological/brain perspective as much. Neoteny could be a cause of autism, if it's preserving some of the characteristics of an earlier brain wiring (like fast assimilation of information) into later stages of brain wiring. AFAIK autism often doesn't get noticed until the later brain wirings happen (around age 2 or 3 I think?). Which would be consistent with the theory.

    I certainly think it's possible that eviromental factors could be speeding up evolution. It's a very interesting idea...

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    Re: Neoteny

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    I came across this while reading around the net on a blog I find quite interesting. I'd like to know what those of you that don't mind a little bit of reading (not much really - I promise) think of it. I'd like your critical opinions.

    For those of you that may have relatives or friends that display autistic behaviors or tendencies, it may be impart some interesting insight into that for you.

    In short as I understand it, neoteny is the opposite of acceleration in the maturation process of animal species such as humans.

    I'd like to know your thoughts. Thanks for your time.[
    The thing I got out of reading the article is that there is a built in adjustment factor concerning animals (especially humans) and their interaction with the environment. The example that came to mind is that when times are tough, food is scarce and its nutritional value is relatively minimal, testosterone levels will be higher creating a situation of male dominance in the family structure. This would have advantages like extending maturation because food is hard to come by, giving young males more time in the family group to learn necessary survival skills and male dominated societies tend to me more aggressive toward outsiders.

    When times are easier and more fat is in the diet the family structure shifts to be more maternally oriented, more nest-builder in intent, giving way to larger multi-family groups and the beginnings of civilization and culture.

    I suppose it is possible but I don’t see the connection with autism. I am no expert on the subject, and I may be wrong, but I do not see autism as a stage of development that would be affected by neotony. I see autism as being caused by other external reasons separate from ordinary developmental factors.

    A while back I read several articles on the causes of autism and one was giving immunizations too early. Another possible reason was the addition of thimerosal as an additive to multi-dose immunization vials as a preservative. Thimerosal is purported to contain about 49% mercury.

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    Re: Neoteny

    Quote Originally Posted by Elone View Post
    The thing I got out of reading the article is that there is a built in adjustment factor concerning animals (especially humans) and their interaction with the environment. The example that came to mind is that when times are tough, food is scarce and its nutritional value is relatively minimal, testosterone levels will be higher creating a situation of male dominance in the family structure. This would have advantages like extending maturation because food is hard to come by, giving young males more time in the family group to learn necessary survival skills and male dominated societies tend to me more aggressive toward outsiders.

    When times are easier and more fat is in the diet the family structure shifts to be more maternally oriented, more nest-builder in intent, giving way to larger multi-family groups and the beginnings of civilization and culture.

    I suppose it is possible but I don’t see the connection with autism. I am no expert on the subject, and I may be wrong, but I do not see autism as a stage of development that would be affected by neotony. I see autism as being caused by other external reasons separate from ordinary developmental factors.

    A while back I read several articles on the causes of autism and one was giving immunizations too early. Another possible reason was the addition of thimerosal as an additive to multi-dose immunization vials as a preservative. Thimerosal is purported to contain about 49% mercury.
    Thanks so much for the input. Thimerosal wasn't on the scene until the 1940's sometime and even though we can not go back an diagnose people from before the 1940,s, there is certainly strong enough evidence of what we are referring to as Autism had been around long before then.

    As I posted in an other thread, there is evidence now that about one fifth of the population of every animal species, including human displays signs of what is referred to by evolutionists as "highly sensitive" behavior. We have come to call it Autism.

    Highly sensitive person - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: Neoteny

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    Strange the relativity to a closed Universe and the idea that women eventually turn into males and males turn into women! I'd better go get a beer!

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