Quote note (#168)

The level of apocalypticism to be found in scientific abstracts rarely reaches the Dark Enlightenment threshold, but there are always exceptions. Here’s Olav Albert Christophersen, on ‘Thematic Cluster: Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder’, originally published in Microbial Ecology in Health & Disease (2012). Indicatively, the paper is subtitled ‘Should autism be considered a canary bird telling that Homo sapiens may be on its way to extinction?’ The full abstract:

There has been a dramatic enhancement of the reported incidence of autism in different parts of the world over the last 30 years. This can apparently not be explained only as a result of improved diagnosis and reporting, but may also reflect a real change. The causes of this change are unknown, but if we shall follow T.C. Chamberlin’s principle of multiple working hypotheses, we need to take into consideration the possibility that it partly may reflect an enhancement of the average frequency of responsible alleles in large populations. If this hypothesis is correct, it means that the average germline mutation rate must now be much higher in the populations concerned, compared with the natural mutation rate in hominid ancestors before the agricultural and industrial revolutions. This is compatible with the high prevalence of impaired human semen quality in several countries and also with what is known about high levels of total exposure to several different unnatural chemical mutagens, plus some natural ones at unnaturally high levels. Moreover, dietary deficiency conditions that may lead to enhancement of mutation rates are also very widespread, affecting billions of people. However, the natural mutation rate in hominids has been found to be so high that there is apparently no tolerance for further enhancement of the germline mutation rate before the Eigen error threshold will be exceeded and our species will go extinct because of mutational meltdown. This threat, if real, should be considered far more serious than any disease causing the death only of individual patients. It should therefore be considered the first and highest priority of the best biomedical scientists in the world, of research-funding agencies and of all medical doctors to try to stop the express train carrying all humankind as passengers on board before it arrives at the end station of our civilization. [XS emphasis]

(Mutational load is, of course, genomic entropy — and the kind of ‘Social Darwinian’ or eugenicist mechanisms that might dissipate it are all, today, strictly unthinkable.)


June 13, 2015admin 21 Comments »
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21 Responses to this entry

  • Different T Says:

    From a discussion with kgaard about money in Japan:

    Do you think this is likely to increase traditional family formation? I think it will accelerate its destruction. Do you think this is likely to strengthen the “soul” of its people? I think it will weaken and destroy it. Do you think this will reverse “dysgenic” trends? I think it will accelerate and (once the technology catches up and the people are desperate enough) perfect and idealize these “dysgenic” trends.

    And more recently regarding the breakdown of marriage:

    Seems more likely we are moving towards either defacto (maybe even dejure) ownership of the proles from birth (state or corporate; as the means of reproduction will be artificial and owned), or completely atomized and subsidized proles.

    Justification/Incentive from the elite: We are moving toward single payer healthcare / the promise to insure away all risk.

    Ability: The technology needed for mass-agriculture of humans is rapidly advancing (assume this is agreed)

    Conceptualization: Monsanto and other bio-tech are currently setting lesser legal precedent for the patenting of living organisms

    Desperation / Justification for the proles: Your quote is a decent starting place

    See also: pussytivereinforcement.com


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 1:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    NL goes Alex Jones.
    Of course, I blame the Neoreactionaries for it all.
    If only they thought good thoughts, lol.
    “Power of attraction, don’t you know!” lol


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 3:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    This looks like crackpot science, a la the infamous gyres explain everything paper…

    Autism prevalence does not appear to have increased over the period 1990-2010. It also appears to be broadly non-variable geographically. (PDF)
    This would seem to indicate that Autism levels are (a) stable at the present time, and (b) that there’s no firm basis for assuming significant dietary involvement.

    Beyond that, the author appears to genuinely have no idea what a mutational meltdown is, and the hypothesis underlying the paper is not supported by any data. He says: “The actual germline mutation rate in human populations has not been well enough studied, but various forms of evidence (i.a. the rapid rise in the reported incidence of autism) suggest that the average mutation rate in large populations may now be much higher than the natural one.” Is he a scientist or an essayist? Why not attempt to test this theory, even if only on a reduced scale?

    …Truth be told, this study doesn’t even flesh out firm hypotheses; it’s basically an essay or editorial, made worse by the fact that certain of his references don’t support his claims. “Paracetamol [is] mutagenic against mitochondrial DNA in the brain (9)” is a fine example of this, as reference 9 (another essay by the same author) shows no data to support this claim, but instead posits another wild hypothesis.

    A subsequent paper by the same author plots a (laughable) way for mankind to avert extinction: If we want to sidestep disaster, the author claims that “it will be necessary worldwide to make new laws regulating” the dietary fat composition of foods. So it looks like no eugenics shall be required, at least…!


    SVErshov Reply:

    yes, he talks a lot about mutation rate and in modern science nobody have any idea what mutation rate is and how to calculate it (applicable to human genome). there is increase in male infertility, true, and if sperm of low quality it cant fertilise anything (unless via in vitro fertilisation)

    In regions which is out of reach for modern medical services prevalence of autism significantly lower. is there any autism in places like Ladakh. I doubt that. So, if enhancement in quality of medical service lead to increase in number of autistic child in population, then these same services is the main cause of autism.

    in my book this stupidification of human race goes in same package with other prerequisites for self destruction. no drama, machetes do not discriminate on IQ merits. sorry, if somebody have autistic child in family, not mean to offend anybody.


    NRx_N00B Reply:

    “In regions which is out of reach for modern medical services prevalence of autism significantly lower. is there any autism in places like Ladakh. I doubt that. So, if enhancement in quality of medical service lead to increase in number of autistic child in population, then these same services is the main cause of autism.”

    Wouldn’t anything that pops the cap off selection pressures accentuate dysgenic effects—including modern medicine—because it has the tendency to pollute the gene pool? A temporary “resource glut” that may have been spurred by a eugenic phase, can lead to massively reduced selection pressures, then population overshoot. Modern medicine and other forms of “prosthetics”—tools, computers, including AI at the extreme etc—only accentuate dysgenic effects.


    SVErshov Reply:

    This kind of categories as gene pool and accumulation of mutations rather a pure speculations at the moment. It can serve any political agenda, just show me the money. fact is that people in modern world getting more stupid, but in traditional societies which due to some reason do not have access to modern medicine, it is quite the same.

    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 3:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#168) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 4:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • megaman_ Says:

    Not very scary, that which terrifies you, Admin, after use of psychedelics.


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 9:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    Between genomic entropy and onanistic AI, the future is looking about as promising as a crack whore’s STD test results.


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 10:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    Bruce Charlton has argued along similar lines, but his explanation is more Gnon-worthy because he theorized that the mutational load has always been high, and the only thing that kept it in line was the high rate of child mortality.

    Low child mortality = dysgenic decline.
    High child mortality = eugenic improvement in the species.

    A rather wicked problem, to be sure.

    A more interesting explanation is that the cause of autism is excessive prenatal exposure to ultrasound scans.

    Supposedly the Chinese have a fantastic research base on the topic, but all of the articles are in Chinese, and not known in the West. Apparently the alternative ethical standards vs. forced abortion and euthanizing the autistic enabled comparative dissection of remains that proved key in proving the connection.


    The Index Reply:

    If high infant mortality = eugenic improvement how do you explain Arabs?


    jay Reply:

    Arabs inbreed too much. Hence whatever eugenic gains is offset.


    Rasputin Reply:

    “If high infant mortality = eugenic improvement how do you explain Arabs?” LOL.


    SVErshov Reply:

    child mortality mainly associated with hospital infections. but human embryo have number of mechanisms to detect developmental abnormalities and embryos with high level of mutations will not develop and never ever born. it may look like normal or delayed period and woman even did not notice any pregnancy.


    peter connor Reply:

    Just so.


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 10:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    However, the natural mutation rate in hominids has been found to be so high that there is apparently no tolerance for further enhancement of the germline mutation rate before the Eigen error threshold will be exceeded and our species will go extinct because of mutational meltdown.

    Classic self-destruction: expanded too far, too fast, and never stopped to check what each effects each change was creating, as conservatives would have them do. Genomic entropy indeed. The solutions would be manifold, but a first might be moving people out of cities. Then again, I wonder if the mutation rate differs between apartment dwellers and suburbanites.


    peter connor Reply:

    I don’t actually think there is any evidence of increased mutation rate, and it isn’t necessary to the conclusion. The problem is that the defective genes are not being eliminated, and in many cases they are being encouraged to reproduce at higher rates than the more fit part of the population. Idiocracy is here, and politicians love it….


    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 11:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • peter connor Says:

    Not at all surprising, since it is 200 years since the Malthusian world that weeded out defective genes has been in full operation…..The result, per Michael Woodley, Bruce Charlton, and me, has been a rapid drop in average intelligence and no doubt other indicators of fitness, perhaps 15 IQ points. If you are skeptical, as you should be, take a long look at the downward progression of SAT scores in the last 60 years, despite the dumbing down of the test and the “reforming” of scores in 1995, which effectively added 100 points to everyone’s score….


    Posted on June 15th, 2015 at 12:22 am Reply | Quote
  • Scott Alexander Says:

    This is very very dubious – current consensus is that most of autism increase is a change in reporting practices – see http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1919642

    If there were really an increase in mutational load, we would expect it to show up in eg height. We’re no longer making such large nutritional gains anymore that they could offset a really big genetic decrease in height, and if shortness were increasing at the same (claimed) rate as autism it would have to be really big.


    Posted on June 15th, 2015 at 12:36 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    The Japanese averaged 1.50m height until the 1960s. The diet was atrocious. Yet they made awesome cars, airplanes, all manner of advanced tech and culture.

    The brain is a fairly resilient thing.


    Posted on June 15th, 2015 at 2:55 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/06/14) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] (1.83m) under. He and his commentariat pay respects to the great Godfrey Elfwick in #WrongSkin. This could be very bad news. Maybe giving a species control over it’s evolution isn’t such a great […]

    Posted on June 15th, 2015 at 9:48 pm Reply | Quote

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