Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

When Geeks Meet, Are They More Likely To Have Autistic Kids?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the only-if-they-vaccinate-them dept.

Science 327

An anonymous reader writes "Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism, an idea that is fairly common currency in Silicon Valley. But many researchers say the proof isn't there yet. From the article: 'Baron-Cohen proposes that systemizing ability can be inherited — and that in information-technology (IT) enclaves such as Silicon Valley, where hypersystemizers are more likely to meet, pair off and have children, the result is a higher incidence of autism. Back in 1997, for example, he concluded that fathers of children with autism were more than twice as likely to be engineers as were fathers of non-autistic children. But autism researchers ... found that fathers of children with autism were more likely to work in medicine, science and accountancy, as well as engineering, and less likely to have manual occupations. They suggested that these fathers were simply more likely to have reached a higher level of education. Baron-Cohen says that when he reanalysed the data and controlled for education level, he found that fathers of children with autism were still more likely to be engineers, although the difference was smaller.'"

cancel ×

327 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This is racist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933456)

I can't condone studies that perpetuate a stereotype at the expense of a vulnerable group.

Re:This is racist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933508)

Are you an idiot?

Re:This is racist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933604)

There you go, perpetuating a stereotype that all ACs are idiots by displaying idiotic behavior. I cannot in good faith support such statements and ask /. editors to erase the comment database going back three years.

Re:This is racist! (2)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933582)

Uh? If the mechanisms and inheritance are better understood it can lead ways to alleviate or avoid the condition. As someone who's significant other is officially diagnosed Aspie and a software engineer I'd like to know my odds and all the ways I could mitigate the risks. I would be perfectly fine with another Aspie/high functioning autistic in the family, but the more severe end of the scale scares me profoundly.

Re:This is racist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933656)

This all explains /.

He is a psychologist? (2)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933492)

I thought he just made films about annoying people..

Re:He is a psychologist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933800)

You are probably referring to his cousin ... [wikipedia.org]

Re:He is a psychologist? (0)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933802)

They are the Baron-Cohen brothers - one is an academic and one is a film actor. I am unable to judge which is most annoying.

Autism: The new fad in personality disorders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934048)

How many adult 'geeks' have undiagnosed, yet are highly functional, autistic disorders? Everyone's got something wrong with them...

Re:Autism: The new fad in personality disorders (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934494)

Agreed, and the reason why we have supposed "higher rate of autism" as engineers is that engineers usually realize they have no business trying to sort out emotional problems, they seek out professionals "who know better" by taking the misbehaving child to a psycologist, and the psych says "why yes, your child misbehaves, here are some drugs" and we dope the kid up.

The non engineering parents with the lower rates of autism usually don't bother with taking the child to the doctor because they don't see a need for it, they realize that kids will be kids and they use a modicum of discipline to address the behavior issue.

Most of today's autism issues are a simple case of "yeah, you're a child, you're not an adult and not capable of making adult decisions yet, so you still need to do what I say until you're legally an adult, then you can go and screw up your life as you see fit". Most parents today, especially those in a "professional" capacity, will rarely discpline their kids or even act like parents at all, most cases of autism I have dealt with are merely children acting out because the boundaries are not clearly defined by their parents and the parents not having any fucking clue what to do with the kids.

Re:Autism: The new fad in personality disorders (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934634)

most cases of autism I have dealt with are merely children acting out because the boundaries are not clearly defined by their parents and the parents not having any fucking clue what to do with the kids.

The Bullshit is strong in this one.

Re:Autism: The new fad in personality disorders (1)

lynnae (2439544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934546)

every single one of them if you pay attention to the internet.

ahh, different Baron-Cohen (2)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933494)

Who else said, "wait, is that Ali G?"

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (3, Funny)

prodigel (2479082) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933646)

Who else said, "wait, is that Ali G?"

As I trust Wikipedia 100%, they are surely cousins :D

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (1)

dvoecks (1000574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933682)

I heard an interview on an NPR podcast where they mentioned it, too... not that some random guy on the internet is much better than Wikipedia.

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933830)

Odd; from Wikipedia:

"Baron-Cohen is the son of Judith and Vivian Baron-Cohen"

Aren't "Judith" and "Vivian" two female first names? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933986)

Go watch the Young Ones

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934480)

Best reply ever!

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (2)

xrayted_za (584407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934052)

No, Vivian (usually abbreviated to Viv) is a common male name, probably the most famous being Viv Richards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viv_Richards)

Re:ahh, different Baron-Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933652)

Guilty

Borat!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933502)

oops.

Dupe (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933516)

Isn't this a dupe [slashdot.org] ?

Wasn't it a terrible story the first time around?

Re:Dupe (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933634)

yes and yes

Solution: (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933524)

Date a blonde.

jk

Re:Solution: (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933648)

There are blond geeks. I'd pretend to be one, but I'd get lots of marriage proposals.

Re:Solution: (1, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933852)

Unfortunately that doesn't dissuade Internet marriage proposals; my scraggly brown locks do nothing to protect me. I would share, but an independent review board of ethicists told me I probably shouldn't. (Also, "blond" is masculine, "blonde" is feminine. Unless you were trying to imply that Linus Torvalds gets a lot of marriage proposals?)

Re:Solution: (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934092)

my scraggly brown locks do nothing to protect me

Perhaps you need to specify 'ask me biology questions in my journal'?

Re:Solution: (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934322)

my scraggly brown locks do nothing to protect me

Perhaps you need to specify 'ask me biology questions in my journal'?

Probably still not specific enough.

Re:Solution: (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934088)

There are blond geeks. I'd pretend to be one, but I'd get lots of marriage proposals.

I don't have much choice (I don't want to dye my hair). However, I'm male, so I don't think the joke applies.

Re:Solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934076)

Insightful.

Mating modestly intelligent females will produce healthy offspring with a chance to improve on your own genes.

Females who are like you, certainly make good partners, but are bound to produce low-quality offspring.

About blondes, it's not so much being blonde as being a good looking blonde. Their symmetry indicates strong and average genetic makeup. They won't win any math contest, but they will live to see your grand-sons.

A minority of geeks might be good looking, but if the RNG didn't kick their face there surely is a cancer waiting to kill them and make your life miserable. Just don't do it.

Re:Solution: (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934490)

Actually, I'm curious to know how this breaks down by race. Also, how many of these children are of mixed-race parents? It's generally good to have mixed race children as they're often more healthy than "old-blood" regional pairing. Of course, with mass-transit these days in every major country, it's not much of an issue as it once was 50 years ago. So that should help.

Of course it's wrong (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933538)

If it were true, that would imply that when geek guys meet geek girls, they get it on, instead of just looking awkwardly at each other.

Re:Of course it's wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933694)

That would imply that geek guys meet...you know...

Re:Of course it's wrong (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933738)

If it were true, that would imply that when geek guys meet geek girls, they get it on, instead of just looking awkwardly at each other.

My geek girlfriend and I (we're both engineers) get it on... the awkward looks back and forth are just a kinky bonus :D

Re:Of course it's wrong (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933974)

If it were true, that would imply that when geek guys meet geek girls, they get it on, instead of just looking awkwardly at each other.

Umm, have you actually met any geek girls? Better grab on to something*.

* blatant over-generalization based on anecdotal experience

Re:Of course it's wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934508)

Geek girls are incredibly kinky and fun.

Or perhaps... (4, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933540)

Parents that are in better paid positions such as engineering ones are more likely to be able to afford to have their children properly diagnosed. Poor children with learning disabilities are just lumped into the "stupid poor kids" category.

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933654)

I really hope you are right...

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933822)

You have that backwards. People who are more well off tend to get diagnosed less frequently because they have the means to avoid such diagnoses. The poor students though, end up needing to get diagnosed and having less control over it than the well off do.

Re:Or perhaps... (3, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934072)

People who are more well off tend to get diagnosed less frequently because they have the means to avoid such diagnoses.

You apparently have never been around a parent that has a ASD child. You don't "avoid such diagnoses" as avoiding them only makes life more difficult for the child as well as the parent. Depend on the degree of the ASD, it's not like other conditions where you can just live in denial and hope no one notices there might be an issue.

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934244)

Thats only true if getting a diagnoses is a large disadvantage, and that you can use bribes to use the same means and drugs as you would have gotten from the diagnose. Its no longer like that.
Now, what happen is that you get the diagnose. If you are poor, this will be a huge advantage. If you are rich, your parents will make sure you get the actual help you need.
If your disease is troublesome(learning disability), the poor kid loses most of his chances of rising and aquirering IE scholarships, while the rich kid might get tutors who finds a way to directly bypass the learning disability.

However, your second argument is correct: The poor students have it worse, and might even be spoonfeed damaging medicine, or discourages from getting a proper education.

Re:Or perhaps... (3, Interesting)

rhakka (224319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933860)

or it's environmental, and things that more affluent professionals are exposed to in their work or choose for their lifestyle is to blame. Lack of Vitamin D from working indoors. toxic components in electronics. whatever... the indoor built environment most engineers/medical personnel or the like is used to is simply FULL of new, offgassing, toxic components on a fairly regular basis.... especially if they like buying new stuff at home too. New Car smell? New couch, desk chair, pressboard desk, carpeting? There are neurotoxins in those chemicals...

My money is on "environmental/lifestyle choice".

Mod Parent Up (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934164)

Mod parent up. There is no scientific data to his theory but it's a theory that's worthy of gathering new bits of scientific data.

Re:Mod Parent Up (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934176)

I should have said "his or her" theory - thus perpetuating the myth that everybody posting on technology blogs is a "him".

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934278)

Engineers aren't the only people who buy new couches, or work indoor in toxic environments. If these were the triggers, who would be exempt? There are people who work manufacturing these things: carpet, new cars, couches. Wouldn't the manufacturers' children have a higher rate of autism? You might want to reconsider your bet.

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

rhakka (224319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934458)

to whoever modded me as a troll, Go buy a new plastic rolling chair mat sometime. Throw it under your desk. If you don't get a sore throat on the first day, working a regular day on it, send me your address and I'll send you $20 toward the cost of the mat. I am AMAZED at the level of toxins we tolerate normally.

Obligatory (0)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933560)

WTF?

People with more money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933564)

So, people with more money are more likely to get their kids medical care and get a diagnosis? Shocking! What a revelation! Next they will tell us that people with more money are more likely to have a nicer house.

Re:People with more money (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933846)

No, well off people have been more likely to get their kids vaccinated, duh.

Already posted right? (1)

TheTruthIs (2499862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933566)

I think this story has already been posted.

Re:Already posted right? (1)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934030)

I think this story has already been posted.

Same researcher, similar conclusions [slashdot.org] . Not sure if the results are from separate studies, though.

Meet or mate? (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933616)

I've met lots of geeks and don't have any children, autistic or otherwise. Am I doing it wrong?

Stupid is good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933618)

So is the implication that smart people have autistic children or just lazy smart people? Did they make sure to consider geographical settings or perhaps early child rearing techniques used ? Surely intelligence is'nt the only link. Otherwise now we have a good reason for people to be stupid. Propogation of the species.

When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrums (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933630)

If a kid was socially awkward, we just called them shy or socially awkward (or geek and dorkwad on the pejorative side). Now every kid who isn't happy all day and whistling zippidty-do-da out his ass 24-7 has some kind of disorder. Not to dismiss those who legitimately have real autism (and they are out there), but all this "My kid has autism spectrum disorder/Asperger's," etc. shit has gotten ridiculous. Between that and all these ADHD kids (we called that hyperactive or just "rebellious" when I was a kid), these kids are so doped-up that I'm amazed they can even walk upright. Christ, NOBODY took medication when I was in school (except for one diabetic kid we had). And I don't recall meeting a single kid that had a "peanut allergy" before a public hysteria began over it.

Now get off my lawn!!

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933828)

And I don't recall meeting a single kid that had a "peanut allergy" before a public hysteria began over it.

Yeah, that's because they all died when they ate their first peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933878)

Yeah, that's because they all died when they ate their first peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

I'm pretty sure someone would have noticed that pattern long before the 90's.

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933838)

We used to also thin that the Eartth was flat and that Mercury was delivering messages to the Olympians in the sky. Science and technology have explained these phenomena to us in addition to enlightening us to autism and ADHD. I have ADHD and was labeled "rebellious" during my more youthful years. I was nearly the most misunderstood and underestimated child at my school.

I have since gone on to become the most successful and well-balanced member of my family in the past 400 years. So maybe calling them rebellious just gives them the motivation to prove otherwise.

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933856)

When I was a kid 24.679 years ago I had 4 kids in my 9am class with special needs, 2 in my 10 am class, 6 in my 11 am class, and 5 in my noon class. I had an average of 4.25 kids with special needs in my classes. There was only a 0.003% mention of incidence of autism on a daily sliding window basis but that didn't matter because we all got the same number of pencils, exactly 1 per week for the school year for 36 weeks of school, but on leap years we didn't get an extra 0.00555 pencils which I thought was wrong, nor did anyone take into account the total length of carbon trace each of us used or the exact pressure each of used pushed with.

When I was a kid we didn't have autism.

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934034)

Used to be, when someone was acting weird, we thought they were possessed by a demon. Used to be people just died of "old age". Used to be, you could cure sickness with leeches.

Every once in a while, we learn something about the human body and brain that lets us understand it better.

Also, they don't medicate for autism/Asperger's. You believe a lot of crap.

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934154)

And I don't recall meeting a single kid that had a "peanut allergy" before a public hysteria began over it.

The predominant method of roasting peanuts changed in the 80's to a faster, higher-temperature process that changes the protein profile of the resulting peanut products. Most people don't seem to have a problem with this.

I don't know of a good study comparing the two (or how one could ethically design such a study).

Re:When I was a kid we didn't have autism spectrum (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934500)

I don't recall meeting a single kid that had a "peanut allergy" before a public hysteria began over it.

It's a real thing. I have a cousin who runs a day care and she says that the number of kids she deals with who are allergic to peanuts has exploded from practically nothing in the last 5-10 years. She says if some of them even smell a peanut they could go into a coma.

Me and my friends ate tons of peanuts when we were kids, and never heard of peanut allergies...

some of the "slow learners" were probably autistic (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934638)

They really didnt separate them out from other slow learners. Now there is a chance you can develop targeted therapies then like iPad communicators shown on 60 Minutes.

Autism in Silicon Valley (2, Informative)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933684)

At a recent speaking engagement, Temple Grandin (who knows a thing or two about autism) said that Steve Jobs was definitely "an Aspy" and that there are many more in Silicon Valley but she won't use their names because they're still alive.

I disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934124)

Temple Grandin (who knows a thing or two about autism) said that Steve Jobs was definitely "an Aspy"

No. He was just plain... an ass.

Re:Autism in Silicon Valley (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934162)

Steve more likely had the ADD/Aspergers overlap than being only an Aspy.

There's sometimes misdiagnosis with ADD and Aspergers as certain types can look very similar while having completely different root causes.

Re:Autism in Silicon Valley (1)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934208)

I had mononucleosis once, does that mean I am now qualified to diagnose it in others? A hallmark of the autism spectrum is difficulty communicating - Steve Jobs, seriously?

Re:Autism in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934382)

Simon Baren-Cohen is one of the leading autism researchers in the world, while Temple Grandin is an autistic autism activist. Using Temple Grandin's reference to back up Simon Baren-Cohen is kinda silly in that context.

Re:Autism in Silicon Valley (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934568)

I'd put Baren-Cohen in the activist category too. Every couple of years he announces how autisum is because of X, and then turns out it's not. It's starting to wear thin.

Diagnosis bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933714)

More like to have autism or more likely to be diagnosed?

As bad as the vaccination and autism people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933726)

Summary-

One guy says this...and it reinforces what some people believe through anecdotal evidence.
Other scientists say nah, not really
Guys does better research, oh, yeah, its not really that big a difference...but we need to look at it more

*eyeroll*
*SIGH*

Age of father (2)

TheHonch (1390893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933760)

I've heard that older fathers are more likely to have kids with autism (think it was on the news), and isn't it more likely that a man with a lengthy education get kids later? And it maybe takes the nerdiest ones a bit longer to find a mate... (Like me)

Yes... (0)

Mike (1172) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933778)

When geeks meet and have sex, that's like incest.

Re:Yes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933832)

When geeks meet...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*wipes tear away from eye* Oh deary me. That was a good one.

Re:Yes... (1)

Mike (1172) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933900)

Hahahaha, you actually made me LOL.
Thanks, I needed that.

Re:Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934024)

For no obviously good reason, I was tempted to give you a +1 insightful.

But that would be a bit too vain.

(and yes, I do have mod points right now....)

As bad as the vaccination and autism people... (0)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933786)

Summary-

One guy says this...and it reinforces what some people believe through anecdotal evidence.
Other scientists say nah, not really
Guys does better research, oh, yeah, its not really that big a difference...but we need to look at it more

*eyeroll*
*SIGH

Evidence is ambigous (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933792)

So the guys claim is only backed by his own research while two other studies had opposite results. I think we shoudln't jump to any conclusions just yet.

Moral of the story (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933898)

Non-geeks should bang geeks so they can have kids who are just plain smart.

Re:Moral of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934104)

Kids that are just "above average", not smart.

Brother of Borat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933914)

That guy is the brother of Borat (Sacha Baron-Cohen) how that can be serious matter? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Baron-Cohen

Assortative Mating (2)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933934)

... to give it it's proper name. Basically, people with similar behaviours end to seek out each others company. For example, heavy drinking smokers will probably find themselves at the bar or outside in smokers' alley. Similarly, ability to survive economically will determine where people can live. If some of these behaviours are genetically determined then they are also more likely to reproduce and so lead to a concentration of those genetic predispositions. But, and this is the bit but, there's a very thin thread between genes and complex behaviours, despite what you might read in the papers. There is a breathtaking array of interactions between, for example, genes and environment in producing behaviour and that are far from being properly inderstood that Baron-Cohen's thesis is, to put it mildly, overinterpreting the available evidence.

nt (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933956)

Correlation and causation and all of that jazz.

I could be more detailed but why bother?

Asperger syndrome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933962)

I worked one summer at a camp (paid for by the state) for children with Asperger syndrome.
Most had parents that where very successful in their profession.

Asperger syndrome is genetic and if you have a "small" doze of it, you tend to be very focused on one subject and a little asocial.
Social enough to meet a partner though...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome

Kind of lacking in the empathy area.
Recognize anyone around you?

Evolution to geeks: (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934038)

Marry the cheerleader (football captain). That is all.

Yes, after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934066)

Autism is the superior evolutionary track of humans.

Socially queer and smart is the only way forward!

We'll have none of that socializing in this house damn it, get to your capsule and learn ancient egyptian!

I hope not! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934138)

"When Geeks Meet, Are They More Likely To Have Autistic Kids?"

I've met about more than ten fellow geeks already this morning and the thought that by doing so I've made them more likely to have kids of any kind is kind of disturbing. I'm off to wash my hands...

Intelligence downside (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934144)

Look -- there _has_ to be some downside to intelligence. Neuroses, depression, whatever. Otherwise, the entire human race would have self-selected for some higher intelligence level than IQavg=98 sd=15 .

There has been more than enough evolutionary time to estabilsh equilibria during the agriculture phase (5ky), probably also during the industrial phase (150y), but not yet enough during the info phase (50y).

Re:Intelligence downside (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934612)

Depends on what you mean by downside. Intelligence might have only upsides for the individual, but unless it promotes reproduction, it won't be reinforced by evolution.

The "downside" might simply be that intelligent people have more interesting things to do than breed like bunnies.

Definitely not (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934202)

Geeks are not more likely to have autistic kids.
- but there is a very high probability that they will have kids that are indistinguishable from autistic kids.

Psychologically speaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934246)

Most of the brilliant minds in human history were just this side of sanity. Almost all of them exhibited signs of classic mental disorders. Except maybe Tycho Brahe, but he died in a particularly manly way.

The takeaway? Engineers, marry artists (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934280)

Engineer + engineer = autisim. Artist + artist = ADHD or bipolar or just plain nuts (my family.) Engineer + artist = gifted kid.

Too bad who you fall in love with has nothing to do with personality types or abilities.

Re:The takeaway? Engineers, marry artists (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934380)

And if the artists all marry engineers they won't be starving anymore so it's win-win!

Geeks must date hot models (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934386)

That's the conclusion, folks. Therefore, Julieanne Hough must dump Ryan Seacrest and date me. Julianne, call me.

Re:Geeks must date hot models (1)

lynnae (2439544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934570)

i wish i had points

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934402)

> When Geeks Meet, Are They More Likely To Have Autistic Kids?

I'd assume that they'd have to have sex first.

Conservative families (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934410)

From my experience, the more Conservative the family, the higher chance they will have an autistic kid. All of the people with autism that I have known came from very religious and conservative families. Of course, that is from my limited perspective in a conservative area of the country.

Intelligence != Autism (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934548)

The main problem with the research is the sample selection. He is comparing autistic SMART children against normal AVERAGE-Intelligence populations. No wonder the autistic kids seem smarter.That skewed selection is devastating if you wish to draw actual conclusions about autism and usefulness for intelligence.

er....what about engineer moms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934562)

So, why are we just looking at engineer fathers? The premise states both parents, but the focus seems to be on the dads. Darn it, I know there aren't many of us, but women engineers do exist.

correlation not causation (1)

PaddyM (45763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934572)

For crying out loud. How many times do we see this? I think it has to do with more educated people being older when they have their first child and nothing to do with their personality.

Age is more than a number (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934630)

It's the age that is important. Higher educated geeks tend to have children later in life.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>