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Were Einstein and Newton Autistic?

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 11 years ago

Science 8

Here's a neat little article hypothesizing that Einstein and Newton had a rare form of Autism, Asperger syndrome.Here's a neat little article hypothesizing that Einstein and Newton had a rare form of Autism, Asperger syndrome.

The condition, first described by Viennese physician Hans Asperger in 1944, is a disorder that causes deficiencies in social and communication skills and obsessive interests. But it does not affect learning or intellect and many people with AS have exceptional talents or skills.

Looks like Newton was a dead ringer for Aspergers, but they are just shooting in the dark with Einstein. Something mental had to be special with these physics forefathers...

(I submitted it, but it got rejected)

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8 comments

hmm (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5852471)

I'm not an MD or shrink, but Newton:likely, Einstein: no way.. You can also be obsessive and antisocial and not have Aspergers. Its reminiscent to me of every hyperactive kid being labeled. as ADD in the 90's..

Re:hmm (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5852673)

...or how in the '80s, every famous dead person was said to have been dyslexic -- Thomas Jefferson, da Vinci, Galileo, Alexander the Great. It makes me extremely suspicious of how responsibly these people can diagnose living people given the complete disregard with which they make claims about the dead.

Anyway, Einstein was a little odd and abset-minded, but he was a charming person who could certainly make conversation. There was no resemblance to the Aspergers kids I've seen.

Einstein, not likely. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5852892)

The condition, first described by Viennese physician Hans Asperger in 1944, is a disorder that causes deficiencies in social and communication skills and obsessive interests. But it does not affect learning or intellect and many people with AS have exceptional talents or skills.

There is no way that Einstein was... he wasn't anti-social. He was usually absent minded, but so am I, and I don't think that makes me autistic, or have AS. If you read any of what Einstein himself wrote, you would doubt that as well. He was the one who claimed that in order to understand something, you must be able to make anyone understand it. He would often explain his theories to children, to further his own understanding. A big part of social deficiences is not being able to relate to the other persons perceptions and understanding. Einstein was definitely not in that category.

The best letter of his was the one to FDR about the bomb... so courteous, so concise, and so ignored.

Re:Einstein, not likely. (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 11 years ago | (#5854248)

I am getting more and more into the use of bomb was correct side, even as an anarchist. The atrocities that the japanese committed were not "deserving" of massive civilian casualties in return, however; all considered they did stop them from slaughtering even more people including their own in a last ditch effort against invading US forces. Nuclear diplomacy has brought a peace to superpowers at least, the exploitation of countries without WMD is nothing to be proud of though.

Re:Einstein, not likely. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5854380)

I am getting more and more into the use of bomb was correct side, even as an anarchist. The atrocities that the japanese committed were not "deserving" of massive civilian casualties in return, however; all considered they did stop them from slaughtering even more people including their own in a last ditch effort against invading US forces. Nuclear diplomacy has brought a peace to superpowers at least, the exploitation of countries without WMD is nothing to be proud of though.

I don't know how I feel about it, really. I know that it was "necessary" in the thoughts of enforcing a complete surrender. I know that Japan has now benefitted from it, as they don't have a military to upkeep. I just doubt if it was necessary for Japan to have an unconditional surrender... and I'm curious what life would be like without it. I don't think Japan and the US would be such close allies, but it seems kind of silly... I mean, Russia and the US are allies now.

I hear stories passed down from the previous generations about walking to school hiding from bomb runs, and just can't imagine a life like that. I've just decided I'm not nearly qualified to make a decision about an event that happened before I was born, that had factors I can't conceive of. I really can't conceive of the attack on Pearl Harbor, or Guadalcanal, Nan'king, or any of them really. I just can't imagine what it was actually like.

B. Gates (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5853566)

I've heard that Bill Gates has Asperger's.

Wapner...definitely Wapner (1)

einstein (10761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5854060)

Yeah... Definitely Austistic..Yeah.

K-Mart Sucks.

This old joke about nick brought to you by the number e. Definitely.

Asperger's... (2, Interesting)

KshGoddess (454304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5854062)

I kind of take offense to how easily people are labeled as autistic these days. As I have a brother who has autism, and have seen it first-hand, I shudder to think that there are that many undiagnosed cases. As with many 'diseases' of the mind, there are differing levels of autism, from the mildly autistic (Asperger's) high-functioning peope to the profoundly autistic, who have thoroughly disconnected from the world.

I think it's just another of those "Let's try to explain everything with our new theory" things.

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