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Mental Disorders And Evolution: What Would Darwin Say About Schizophrenia?

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Published: November 16, 2012 by David Schultz

It's a question that's baffled evolutionary theorists for decades: if survival of the fittest is the rule, how have the genes that contribute to serious, debilitating mental disorders survived?

It's been shown that people who suffer from schizophrenia, autism, anorexia and other disorders are less likely to have children. And yet, the genes that cause these disorders aren't going away. In fact, some of the disorders appear to be becoming more common. Evolutionary theory wouldn't predict that.

Scientists have a few theories that attempt to explain this paradox.

One is that the genetic mutations that cause these disorders occurred relatively recently, so not enough generations have passed to allow the evolutionary process to weed them out.

Another theory is that the genetic mutations that cause a disorder in one person somehow make that person's sibling more likely to have children. In a situation like that, the mutation offers a net benefit to a person's family.

A team of Swedish and British scientists recently tested these theories by comparing the rates at which people suffering from mental illness have kids to those of their siblings. The data came from a medical database of more than 2 million Swedes.

The researchers found that the siblings of people who suffer from schizophrenia, autism and anorexia had on average the same or fewer children than the general public, which would seem to confirm the first theory. But they also found that the siblings of people who suffer from depression or substance abuse had significantly more children than the general public, an outcome more in line with the second theory.

We talked with Dr. Peter McGuffin, a professor at King's College London who worked on the study, which was published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry. Here are highlights from the interview, edited for length and clarity.

Q: You say at the beginning of your paper that "psychiatric disorders have long puzzled researchers by defying the expectations of natural selection." Why?

A: It's particularly the case with schizophrenia, which in this paper and in many other papers has been shown to be a disorder that drastically reduces your fecundity — the number of kids you have. It's often referred to as reduced fertility but, strictly speaking, people with schizophrenia aren't infertile. It's just that they're less often likely to find a partner and have kids.

Schizophrenia is estimated to have a heritability of around 80 percent. Same is true for autism. So if these disorders are very heavily influenced by genes, but the people who have the disorders are less likely to pass on their genes, why aren't the disorders becoming less common in the population?

Q: What are some of the theories as to why this might be going on?

A: There are other gene disorders that have selection pressures against them, but are maintained in the population. A brilliant example of that is sickle cell disease. If you have sickle cell disease, the chances are if it's untreated it's going to kill you before you reach early adult life. Whereas, if you have the sickle cell trait — which is to say, you have one copy of the gene, not two copies — it protects you against malaria if you happen to live in an area where malaria is rife. So there's a selective disadvantage to having the disease, but there's a selective advantage to having the trait.

Q: Your study looked at not just people who were affected by psychiatric disorders, but also their siblings. Why?

A: The hypothesis would be that the relatives of the people who have the disorder, who don't actually have the disorder themselves, are compensating by having more children. I mean, not deliberately compensating by going out and having more children, but there's just something about their makeup that makes them have more kids.

So that's essentially what we were testing in this paper. We were looking at the fecundity of schizophrenics, which we found to be low, as was the fecundity of people with autism. The question is, do their relatives actually make up for this by having more kids because they're advantaged in some way? And the answer is no in the case of schizophrenia, but yes in the case of depression.

Q: If I'm someone who is the sibling of someone who has a psychiatric disorder, what do I need to know? Do I need to think twice about having biological children?

A: You need to know you'll have an increased risk of getting the disorder yourself compared with the general population. The risk in siblings is increased, but it's not increased so dramatically that it ought to stop you from having kids.

These aren't single-gene disorders. These are complex disorders where being a relative is just a risk factor, not a certainty factor.

Q: So ultimately, if I'm the sibling of someone who has one of these disorders, I should be aware of the risks, but it's not something that would make me say "I'm not going to have children."

A: It shouldn't make you say that. And if you are particularly concerned about it and you have more than one relative affected by it in the family, it might be worth seeking [genetic] counseling from an expert who knows what the risks are. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:14 PM
Replies (21-30):
stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I believe perhaps you are taking the idea of primitive brains in a way it is not meant. A brain that is more primitive is one that acts more on intuition and instinct and survival mechanisms than one who is not. What I was not saying is that mental illness makes the brain more primitive but that lower IQ increases these senses all of us possess. It is often said that one who has acquired a high ability of academic intelligence has less instinctual skills as was prescribed by some study I read back in 1993 or 1994. It stands to reason that perhaps as a brain progresses in instinct or academia that one may become more advanced at a cost to the other. I cannot find this study or I would post it. It was acquired from a library during a psychology paper I was writing about the debate of nature vs nurture which at that time the professor I had was of the school of thought that you must pick one or the other and I sought to challenge it, but I digress.

As paranoia plays hard on the primitive traits, and if lower IQ made a person tend more toward their primitive traits, thus the primitive brain it would stand to reason that it would indeed cause a further heightened reaction to the particular brain set of a schizophrenic. It in no way suggest they are animals and should be locked away. I was merely looking at if lowered IQ did tend a person to a stronger primitive mind set ie triggering their survival traits that perhaps this can explain why society is becoming more hostile since there are so many environmental factors that are being suggested as causes for lowered IQ, with or without a diagnosis of mental illness.

Quoting lancet98:


It suggests nothing of the kind.   Lower intelligence does NOT involve a 'more primitive brain' at all.   Such theories belong in the garbage can and nowhere else.   They have led to prejudice and eugenics and are nothing more than disgusting.

In fact, most developmental disabilities are about UNEVEN abilities, not no abilities.   Some abilities are at a higher level and others are lower - this is the typical picture with developmental delays.   The key is early education and training.   The brain can compensate for a lot.

There is absolutely NO such thing as 'heightened reaction' to mental illness.   People are always exactly as sick as the physical process affecting their brain, dictates.   There is no middle ground on this.  

 It's exactly as if you had a sprained ankle, you would limp less severely than if you had a broken leg.     A person is just as sick as he is supposed to be based on how the disease affects his brain.   It's directly observable by MRI.   RIght after brain cells in the hearing centers of the brain are destroyed, people start to 'hear voices'.   What kind of hallucinations they have, depends on which areas of the brain are most affected.

 The disease of schizophrenia can be so mild it can't even be diagnosed, or it can be so severe that a person is very disabled (and even more disabled, if no treatment is given).   That has nothing to do with intelligence.   I've met developmentally disabled people who had mild schizophrenia, and those who had severe schizophrenia.

Nor are people with lower intelligence, necessarily having fewer coping skills.   That's also a disgusting premise.

The whole thing is based on ridiculous and groundless assumptions based in prejudice and the idea that the developmentally disabled have 'primitive' brains.   Which is disgusting.

No matter how a human brain is affected by illness, it NEVER becomes 'something different', or a 'primitive' brain.  Even profoundly developmentally disabled people have definite likes and dislikes, even nonverbal, multiple handicapped men with IQ's under 20 will blush when a pretty girl walks by.   No matter what sort of brain disease a person may have, they are still profoundly human, and always will be.

 It's an injured human brain, and the disabilities will be a direct reflection of what was injured and how badly.   All symptoms of schizophrenia are caused by a brain disease.   Depending on what area of the brain is affected, that will be the symptom they get.   There is no 'heightened response'.

Of course, it's necessary to be realistic.  Imagine the difficulty of comforting a child who is severely developmentally disabled, and can't understand what you're saying, that the hallucination isn't real and won't hurt him.  Imagine the difficulty of teaching a young child who is psychotic, blind and developmentally disabled.   Yet skilled therapists do exactly this.

Yet even a profoundly developmentally disabled person with a very low IQ, if they have schizophrenia, can learn coping skills and while it may take more time to teach it by repetition, they do learn those things.   I took care of a young man who had an IQ around 40, and he would give himself 'time outs' to reduce sensory overloading and understood that his medicine 'made the bad guys go away'.   I wish some people with three times his IQ would do that!

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting stormcris:
Quoting Clairwil:

See the results on page 10 of:

http://www.groups.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/IQ-and-Mental-Illness-12Aug2010.pdf

Would this suggest that the lower the IQ the more primative the brain thus the heightened reaction to various mental illness because of a lack of coping skills?

I don't know.

I don't have sufficient data to make even a 'better than random' guess.




DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM
1 mom liked this

 


Quoting krysstizzle:

Hmmm, interesting. Understanding evolutionary biology in humans is extremely complicated since culture is so very intertwined in and around our biology. 

They also didn't mention environmental factors having an affect on mental disorders, which could potentially be very significant. 


 The other thing that makes it complicated is that genes that govern things like schizophrenia are many and they tend to co-exist with genes that govern other traits, some of which may be adaptive.  There's not one "schizophrenia gene" as far as I know.  Rather, it is an interaction between many genes that, as you pointed out, also interact with environmental factors. 

x_Starr_x
by Bronze Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Idk how I feel about the post my son has schizophrenia
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
x_Starr_x
by Bronze Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Idk how I feel about the post my son has schizophrenia
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
romalove
by Roma on Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

We don't know what the chemicals we've been spewing into air and water and food supply are doing.

We don't know how much the constant exposure to media is doing.

We do know that people are more likely to be diagnosed with these things because we know and recognize more.


krysstizzle
by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting DivingDiva:



Quoting krysstizzle:

Hmmm, interesting. Understanding evolutionary biology in humans is extremely complicated since culture is so very intertwined in and around our biology. 

They also didn't mention environmental factors having an affect on mental disorders, which could potentially be very significant. 


 The other thing that makes it complicated is that genes that govern things like schizophrenia are many and they tend to co-exist with genes that govern other traits, some of which may be adaptive.  There's not one "schizophrenia gene" as far as I know.  Rather, it is an interaction between many genes that, as you pointed out, also interact with environmental factors. 

Yup, toss in some epigenetics, and you've got a giant vat of uncertainty.

la_bella_vita
by Bella on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

 Interesting.

lancet98
by Silver Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 2:30 PM

 

 

Quoting stormcris:

I believe perhaps you are taking the idea of primitive brains in a way it is not meant.

I am in fact taking it how it has been used  by you, and how it has always been used: 1.) to promulgate ridiculous ideas about schizophrenics and schizophrenia, and 2.) to promote sterilization and euthenasia of the developmentally disabled.   YOUR problem is that you have written something repulsive, and now make transparent attempts to pretend you did not say what you said.

 A brain that is more primitive is one that acts more on intuition and instinct and survival mechanisms than one who is not.

But that is absolutely absurd.   In point of fact, people with schizophrenia do NOT operate more on 'instinct...intuition...survival mechanisms'.   That's absolutely wrong and it's absurd.   If they DID that, they wouldn't walk into streets and get hit by cars, freeze to death outdoors or dig their eyes out with forks.

The first hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is 'concrete thinking' and it involves the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you are claiming.   Totally.   An absolutely literal interpretation with NO intuition or whatever in the world you are about to propose the word 'instinct' means.

I myself feel there is no such thing as 'instinct' - and if you're about to start chattering about 'right brain and left brain' thinking - let me just tell you that the idea that one sort of thinking occurs in one side of the brain and another opposing or contrasting sort occurs on the other half of the brain is the most ridiculous thing any group of people EVER believed.   There is no such dichotomy of thought.   None.   Doesn't exist.  Right and left brain thinking is the biggest joke on the public that was ever perpetrated.

The second hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is specific cognitive  abilities impaired.   So, for example a person may not be able to write down a set of numbers he hears recited, or he may not be able to recognize certain facial expressions, or he may have trouble understanding certain words or sentence structures.

The third hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is psychotic thinking.   In other words, thinking, emotions are distorted - thoughts that have no connection (or very tenuous ones) are connected, and thoughts that are not significant are marked as significant. 

What I was not saying is that mental illness makes the brain more primitive but that lower IQ increases these senses all of us possess.

But that is patently ridiculous.   Neither mental illness nor lowered IQ increases 'those senses all of us possess'.  That's absurd.   It's a cultural myth.

Mental illnesses are brain diseases.   They kill brain cells.   The way the person behaves at any point is governed by what processes that early growth failure later disrupts.   Killing some brain cells or having a disrupted process later due to that abnormality, does not make one's senses sharper.

IN FACT, neither mental illness nor lower IQ has any direct, indirect or inverse  relationship to the acuity of the senses. 

The main reason people with schizophrenia perform poorly on IQ tests is that they are constantly being distracted by millions of sounds and sights.   The slightest thing can distract the person with schizophrenia.   Together with the cognitive and psychotic thinking, a person with schizophrenia appears to be 'lower IQ'.   In fact, most are not lower IQ at all, but simply cannot perform well on IQ tests because their focus is so shattered, because of their symptoms.

People with schizophrenia are often hyper-alert due to paranoia - you would be too if your brain was doing that.   Paranoia is, again, a symptom, a result of excess activity on the meso-limbic pathway (also the origin of most hostility and anger). 

It is often said that one who has acquired a high ability of academic intelligence has less instinctual skills as was prescribed by some study I read back in 1993 or 1994.

Yeah and I think that's idiotic.   However they engineered that study, congratulations to them for creativity, but it's not born out by my long life experience.   To me it's just proof that people can design studies to reinforce cultural myths.  Read some studies about elite athletes before putting too much credence in that one study.

First, I don't have any idea what 'academic intelligence' is - I don't even think that whatever it might be defined as, that it can have much relationship to overall intelligence that an IQ test measures.

First, IQ tests are very, very limited measures.   We have to be skeptical about conclusions from IQ tests that support social pogroms and mistreatment or stimatizing of  vulnerable citizens.

It stands to reason that perhaps as a brain progresses in instinct or academia that one may become more advanced at a cost to the other.

It doesn't stand to reason for me.   I think it's an absurd idea.   Certainly SOME people with very BAD educations or other problems may develop in such a one dimensional fashion, but this ridiculous idea of the socially inept, instinct-ignoring academic is tiresome.

I cannot find this study or I would post it. It was acquired from a library during a psychology paper I was writing about the debate of nature vs nurture which at that time the professor I had was of the school of thought that you must pick one or the other and I sought to challenge it, but I digress.

I think it's a ridiculous and artificial and stupid school of thought.   Most of the very intelligent 'academic' people I've ever known, were not only very well balanced, respecting and making extremely creative use of instinct and tuition (and emphasizing its crucial role in innovation and discovery), but also were very happy people with lots of friends, and a very well balanced life.   And again, research bears THIS out - lots of researcch. 

As paranoia plays hard on the primitive traits,

That is an absolutely absurd claim.   Paranoia doesn't do anything of the sort.   It's a symptom of a disease and is due to excessive brain activity on several pathways, and it 'plays on' NOTHING.   It is a symptom of the disease just as a pain in the head is a symptom of migraines.

and if lower IQ made a person tend more toward their primitive traits,

I absolutely disagree with such prejudicial and descriminatory statements, and I thnk they are repulsive statements.  AND proof that I did not 'take you the wrong way' AT ALL.

thus the primitive brain it would stand to reason that it would indeed cause a further heightened reaction to the particular brain set of a schizophrenic.

You're talking pseudo academic gobble-dee-gook and nonsense, and you're completely unconvincing.   There is absolutely NO rule that someone who is developmentally disabled is going to be 'more' schizophrenic if they happen to develop schizophrenia.  And NO proof that someone who is developmentally disabled is using a more 'primitive' brain.   Such things are disgusting proposals.

It in no way suggest they are animals and should be locked away. I was merely looking at if lowered IQ did tend a person to a stronger primitive mind set ie triggering their survival traits that perhaps this can explain why society is becoming more hostile since there are so many environmental factors that are being suggested as causes for lowered IQ, with or without a diagnosis of mental illness.

Again, more pseudo academic gobble-dee-gook.   And now you're switching to something completely different - that your 'primitive mind' found in these lower IQ people, is causing a 'hostile society'.  

In fact, people with lower IQ are not by any stretch of anyone's imagination, even your lauded professor's, proven to be more 'hostile', 'instinctive' or anything like it, neither are the mentally ill.

And lowered IQ is no more responsible for all of society's ills today, than the man in the moon!

There is just as much evidence that societies are becoming LESS hostile, it just depends on what you feel like believing.   Maybe you have some political agenda behind your 'society is becoming more hostile' belief, I can't say, but I see it as nothing less than a bizarre belief if one looks at history.

If you compare survival and quality of life to the Middle Ages in Europe, society today is incredibly less hostile and more stable.   If you compare today to the past where the disabled begged for their food in the streets, ditto.

Quoting lancet98:

 

It suggests nothing of the kind.   Lower intelligence does NOT involve a 'more primitive brain' at all.   Such theories belong in the garbage can and nowhere else.  

lancet98
by Silver Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

 

I think the best takeaway message parents can get from the original article that started the thread, is that not everybody writing about schizophrenia, really has much understanding of it through history or offers much constructive information.   Most who write about it have some very misguided ideas.   My best source of information has been the very people who have this illness.   And since each person is so individual in how the illness affects them, each person with the illness, has something to teach us.

For a GOOD read, try Mueser and Gingerich's 'COPING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA'.    A great, positive and HELPFUL book!   Communication and understanding really is the key....not musing about what Darwin would have said about it, or why it still exists.  

Quoting x_Starr_x:

Idk how I feel about the post my son has schizophrenia


 

stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

You take it as repulsive and you are still taking it the wrong way as evident by your response. Primitive thought is not bad nor is schizophrenia in essence but apparently your passion about the subject has taken offense to all of it. It has nothing to do with premoting rediculous ideas about schizophernics it is simply understanding. However, there have been papers on schizophrenics and primitive thought. Concrete thought is primitive thought. Civilized thought is abstract.

T h e   consensus  of  the  psychological  findings  is  summarized  in 

Osborne’s Re-waluation of  the  Concept of  Schizophrenia as follows: 

“The  chief  finding  in  the  thought  processes  of  schizophrenia 

is a  regression  to  an  earlier  type  of  thinking”  . . . “a  type 

found  in  primitive  peoples  and  possibly  used  now  by  civilized 

man  before  he  developed his complex  culture.”  “There  is  a 

regression  from  abstract to  concrete  thinking.”  “This  symp- 

tomatic expression is  so  definite  and  characteristic  that  psy- 

chological  tests  have  been  devised  and  employed  t o   detect 

change  from  abstract  to  concrete thought.  This  is  a measu- 

rable  deviation.”

162  JOURNAL  OF  PSYCHOLOGY 

Yet I am not sure why I am bothering because you are obviously too far into the idea that people have harm in mind. I never switched it was always about the lower IQ with or without relation to mental illness. Comparative to the middle ages has little bearing on this discussion. The increase in violence is noted by the crime statistics. We are all capable of violence and at any given time could hit a breaking point that does not mean we or any other person should be as you suggest in the first paragraph. 

The whole point of my original was to see if we are contributing to violence by lowering IQ.

Quoting lancet98:



Quoting stormcris:

I believe perhaps you are taking the idea of primitive brains in a way it is not meant.

I am in fact taking it how it has been used  by you, and how it has always been used: 1.) to promulgate ridiculous ideas about schizophrenics and schizophrenia, and 2.) to promote sterilization and euthenasia of the developmentally disabled.   YOUR problem is that you have written something repulsive, and now make transparent attempts to pretend you did not say what you said.

 A brain that is more primitive is one that acts more on intuition and instinct and survival mechanisms than one who is not.

But that is absolutely absurd.   In point of fact, people with schizophrenia do NOT operate more on 'instinct...intuition...survival mechanisms'.   That's absolutely wrong and it's absurd.   If they DID that, they wouldn't walk into streets and get hit by cars, freeze to death outdoors or dig their eyes out with forks.

The first hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is 'concrete thinking' and it involves the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you are claiming.   Totally.   An absolutely literal interpretation with NO intuition or whatever in the world you are about to propose the word 'instinct' means.

I myself feel there is no such thing as 'instinct' - and if you're about to start chattering about 'right brain and left brain' thinking - let me just tell you that the idea that one sort of thinking occurs in one side of the brain and another opposing or contrasting sort occurs on the other half of the brain is the most ridiculous thing any group of people EVER believed.   There is no such dichotomy of thought.   None.   Doesn't exist.  Right and left brain thinking is the biggest joke on the public that was ever perpetrated.

The second hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is specific cognitive  abilities impaired.   So, for example a person may not be able to write down a set of numbers he hears recited, or he may not be able to recognize certain facial expressions, or he may have trouble understanding certain words or sentence structures.

The third hallmark of schizophrenic thinking is psychotic thinking.   In other words, thinking, emotions are distorted - thoughts that have no connection (or very tenuous ones) are connected, and thoughts that are not significant are marked as significant. 

What I was not saying is that mental illness makes the brain more primitive but that lower IQ increases these senses all of us possess.

But that is patently ridiculous.

The main reason people with schizophrenia perform poorly on IQ tests is that they are constantly being distracted by millions of sounds and sights.   The slightest thing can distract the person with schizophrenia.   Together with the cognitive and psychotic thinking, a person with schizophrenia appears to be 'lower IQ'.   In fact, most are not lower IQ at all, but simply cannot perform well on IQ tests because their focus is so shattered, because of their symptoms.

People with schizophrenia are often hyper-alert due to paranoia - you would be too if your brain was doing that.   Paranoia is, again, a symptom, a result of excess activity on the meso-limbic pathway (also the origin of most hostility and anger). 

It is often said that one who has acquired a high ability of academic intelligence has less instinctual skills as was prescribed by some study I read back in 1993 or 1994.

Yeah and I think that's idiotic.   However they engineered that study, congratulations to them for creativity, but it's not born out by my long life experience.   To me it's just proof that people can design studies to reinforce cultural myths.  Read some studies about elite athletes before putting too much credence in that one study.

First, I don't have any idea what 'academic intelligence' is - I don't even think that whatever it might be defined as, that it can have much relationship to overall intelligence that an IQ test measures.

First, IQ tests are very, very limited measures.   We have to be skeptical about conclusions from IQ tests that support social pogroms and mistreatment or stimatizing of  vulnerable citizens.

It stands to reason that perhaps as a brain progresses in instinct or academia that one may become more advanced at a cost to the other.

It doesn't stand to reason for me.   I think it's an absurd idea.   Certainly SOME people with very BAD educations or other problems may develop in such a one dimensional fashion, but this ridiculous idea of the socially inept, instinct-ignoring academic is tiresome.

I cannot find this study or I would post it. It was acquired from a library during a psychology paper I was writing about the debate of nature vs nurture which at that time the professor I had was of the school of thought that you must pick one or the other and I sought to challenge it, but I digress.

I think it's a ridiculous and artificial and stupid school of thought.   Most of the very intelligent 'academic' people I've ever known, were not only very well balanced, respecting and making extremely creative use of instinct and tuition (and emphasizing its crucial role in innovation and discovery), but also were very happy people with lots of friends, and a very well balanced life.   And again, research bears THIS out - lots of researcch. 

As paranoia plays hard on the primitive traits,

That is an absolutely absurd claim.   Paranoia doesn't do anything of the sort.   It's a symptom of a disease and is due to excessive brain activity on several pathways, and it 'plays on' NOTHING.   It is a symptom of the disease just as a pain in the head is a symptom of migraines.

and if lower IQ made a person tend more toward their primitive traits,

I absolutely disagree with such prejudicial and descriminatory statements, and I thnk they are repulsive statements.  AND proof that I did not 'take you the wrong way' AT ALL.

thus the primitive brain it would stand to reason that it would indeed cause a further heightened reaction to the particular brain set of a schizophrenic.

You're talking pseudo academic gobble-dee-gook and nonsense, and you're completely unconvincing.   There is absolutely NO rule that someone who is developmentally disabled is going to be 'more' schizophrenic if they happen to develop schizophrenia.  And NO proof that someone who is developmentally disabled is using a more 'primitive' brain.   Such things are disgusting proposals.

It in no way suggest they are animals and should be locked away. I was merely looking at if lowered IQ did tend a person to a stronger primitive mind set ie triggering their survival traits that perhaps this can explain why society is becoming more hostile since there are so many environmental factors that are being suggested as causes for lowered IQ, with or without a diagnosis of mental illness.

Again, more pseudo academic gobble-dee-gook.   And now you're switching to something completely different - that your 'primitive mind' found in these lower IQ people, is causing a 'hostile society'.  

In fact, people with lower IQ are not by any stretch of anyone's imagination, even your lauded professor's, proven to be more 'hostile', 'instinctive' or anything like it, neither are the mentally ill.

And lowered IQ is no more responsible for all of society's ills today, than the man in the moon!

There is just as much evidence that societies are becoming LESS hostile, it just depends on what you feel like believing.   Maybe you have some political agenda behind your 'society is becoming more hostile' belief, I can't say, but I see it as nothing less than a bizarre belief if one looks at history.

If you compare survival and quality of life to the Middle Ages in Europe, society today is incredibly less hostile and more stable.   If you compare today to the past where the disabled begged for their food in the streets, ditto.

Quoting lancet98:


It suggests nothing of the kind.   Lower intelligence does NOT involve a 'more primitive brain' at all.   Such theories belong in the garbage can and nowhere else.  


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