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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    No, there were people debating weather there was a rise at all. Their argument was that there was no actual rise in cases just in diagnosis.

    The sociological study suggests 16% of the rise is due to an increase in awareness and the sample given is california, one single state. It is a large area and a large study and i give it merit. I had not at any point said that an increase in awareness would not contribute to a percentage of new diagnosis, infact i cited an old post i made in which i gave the idea a very generous slice of percentage pie.
    However it is inconclusive like many previous studies.

    The whole point of this thread was to throw up a theory as mentioned in the OP and to get responses based on that theory.
    If you are undecided thats fine.

    Ah OK. Perhaps, there is some ambiguity in the word "incidence" here.

    I largely suspect that there are many factors going on. Genetic, environmental, increasing social awareness, and changing diagnostic criteria, and probably some other stuff.

    It is always tough to take a picture like that and to separate out how much each cause has on the final phenomenon.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  2. #62
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    I am getting frustrated, i appologise if my responses echo this.

    The article linked in post 10 states this

    "The study does not answer the question as to why autism is increasing. But the national data don't show a decrease in other learning disabilities. Trends for mental retardation and speech and language impairment remained unchanged (X).

    This suggests the increase in autism is not the result of an across-the-board increase in special education classification (Y), say the researchers."
    Yes I saw that blip in the article you cited in post 10. If you think about it though, X only lightly and indirectly suggests (read: does not imply or conclude) Y (this suggestion is acting under the assumption that those who were not diagnosed as autistic prior to the enhanced diagnostic criteria were instead diagnosed with mental retardation or speech/language impairment, thus implying that enhanced diagnostic criteria primarily helped us discern the difference between mental retardation, speech/language impairments and ASD), so if that were the only basis for your argument, then I would have to remain skeptical.

    Overall, the article makes the issue rather ambiguous/unclear, and still isn't really a valid source to back up the claim that ASD is not increasing due to enhanced diagnostic criteria. It does touch upon the issue, briefly, and I did overlook that upon my first encounter with it, so I suppose your claim isn't completely unfounded (though still was not very convincing with only the information you offered prior to post 39).

    And I certainly do not disagree with the claim/findings that autism cases are increasing. Why did you put effort into bolding that one phrase?

    The other information that you cited, however, after post 39, does certainly seem to point towards ASD cases rising for other reasons than diagnostic criteria, so with that information, I am more capable of buying into your position. However, there are also articles that suggest that diagnostic criteria is the primary contribution to the rise.

    The issue seems to be pretty inconclusive at the moment, as it stands. I just think it's important to look only at the science (even if the science is inconclusive), and not rely on our narrow experience to tip the scales for us. If science hasn't decided, then I likely don't have a firm opinion on the matter. I guess you don't see things this way though, and that's fine, but do realize that your own perception should only be taken with a grain of salt, especially as evidence in a debate.

    But exactly what is it that you're trying to do here? Explore the idea that ASD is increasing because nature is selecting "for" it, and this could thus imply that ASD may be a biologically beneficial trait?

  3. #63
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    "Real Science" with controlled studies is the perfect tool to study very specific, explicitly defined problems. Nobody makes ancadotal claims about
    bacterial growth rates on highly dextrose containing media spiked with amp or if a .2M NaCl solution enhances crystallization rates of GDP:CMP cytidylyltransferase in the ligand bound form.
    I'd argue that "real science" can study a lot of problems, regardless of complexity. Science is the best tool we have for coming up with empirical answers to very complex problems.

    It is not only applicable to very specific challenges. Science works to make complex issues more simple by removing the components within a convoluted problem, isolating these components, and asking specific questions regarding these specific components. Science peels the onion, so to speak.

    I am ambivalent about this particular discussion-but what caught my eye was the overt dismissal of gem's observations as not being "data". It interests me on a more meta level.

    I would argue that the individual observations become increasingly important, the more complex the system under study becomes. The more fuzzy and ill defined the problem, the more people contaminated it is, the more likely the parameters used to define the collected "data" were flawed-thus the more room for error.
    Her observation is absolutely not data. It is an anecdote that leads to a hypothesis. Not data.

    I would argue that the more complex a situation, the less we should rely on our own perception. The more variables there are, the more room there is for our perception to add bias.

    Of course from the other end of things, complexity does leave more room for error and misinterpretation of data within controlled experiments, but I still think that science is the only method we should use for interpreting data and drawing credible conclusions.

    Both methods can be flawed, but one is less likely to be flawed, as this one makes it a goal to be as controlled and accurate as possible. It's pretty difficult to escape the lens of ourselves when analyzing a problem, but science is a tool that we can use with the explicit intent of escaping this lens.

    Also-Fi and Fe will view a system under study in a way that Ti and Te will not-evenly a technical problem. If your problem is a people problem, NFs will find those trends before an NT will, very often. Not bashing NTs in anyway, just suggesting to use caution before overt dismissal of an NF observation. Ti will find it a bit repulsive and try and push it away as it is "messy", yet it could be the key to understanding the problem.
    Hmm, I'm still skeptical about NF being more capable of finding trends in "people problems." NTs are not definitionally uninterested in people, and NFs are not definitionally interested in them.

    And again, just because one NF makes an observation (a particularly biased NF at that...her child has ASD) is not grounds for me to eliminate my skepticism. Yes, that is Ti pushing it away because it's messy, but I'm an Ne dom, so I'm still open to working off of intuitive hunches; I just don't think intuitive hunches should be used as evidence in a discussion/argument.

    But yes, once the problem has become very well defined-I also would then default to controlled studies with large numbers. But it is a continuum and you need to understand where you are on that scale and have an in depth understanding of the flaws in your data before making that call.
    Agreed.

    I certainly do not believe that every scientific study is unyieldingly conclusive. Scientists themselves misinterpret their own findings and others' findings all the time; I find myself constantly surprised at how inaccurate a lot of the scientific conclusions are that I come across in peer-reviewed journal articles, the elitist of the elite when it comes to science and scientific publications.

  4. #64
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post

    But exactly what is it that you're trying to do here? Explore the idea that ASD is increasing because nature is selecting "for" it, and this could thus imply that ASD may be a biologically beneficial trait?
    I'm not going over the previous argument anymore, i feel it has been exhausted, lets move on.

    Yes i am exploring the idea that the rise in asd is to do with genetic evolution.
    I am exploring the possibility that there may be some beneficial traits which could be merging into NT's genetics which would be beneficial. All in all i don't think anyone understands asd enough to rule out this possibility.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #65
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    I'm not going over the previous argument anymore, i feel it has been exhausted, lets move on.

    Yes i am exploring the idea that the rise in asd is to do with genetic evolution.
    I am exploring the possibility that there may be some beneficial traits which could be merging into NT's genetics which would be beneficial. All in all i don't think anyone understands asd enough to rule out this possibility.
    If ASD really is rising (we'll just act under that premise from here on), then yes, that could potentially imply (but does not by any means suggest or conclusively imply) that it has beneficial, desired traits that aid in reproduction. They could be physiologically or socially beneficial, sure, but I don't really know what specific characteristics of ASD would be beneficial. Do you have theories regarding the specifics?

    Depression is actually a very good example of a psychological disorder that evolved due to certain biologically beneficial traits that depression yields in people. The rise of ASD could be analogous.

    Oh, and I don't think all ASD cases are NTs, are they? Seems like STs could just as easily be autistic.

  6. #66
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post
    If ASD really is rising (we'll just act under that premise from here on), then yes, that could potentially imply (but does not by any means suggest or conclusively imply) that it has beneficial, desired traits that aid in reproduction. They could be physiologically or socially beneficial, sure, but I don't really know what specific characteristics of ASD would be beneficial. Do you have theories regarding the specifics?

    Depression is actually a very good example of a psychological disorder that evolved due to certain biologically beneficial traits that depression yields in people. The rise of ASD could be analogous.

    Oh, and I don't think all ASD cases are NTs, are they? Seems like STs could just as easily be autistic.


    Oh, you have misunderstood me. I mean NT's here as "Neuro Typicals".
    I believe there are many beneficial traits in people with asd and we are only just discovering them.
    I'll post a link to an article published in May this year. It's a very interesting read.

    Original, talented, different: autism can be a gift - Times Online


    Here is a another very interesting link...

    The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know
    Last edited by Betty Blue; 06-24-2010 at 02:13 AM. Reason: adding another link
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  7. #67
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post
    I'd argue that "real science" can study a lot of problems, regardless of complexity. Science is the best tool we have for coming up with empirical answers to very complex problems.

    It is not only applicable to very specific challenges. Science works to make complex issues more simple by removing the components within a convoluted problem, isolating these components, and asking specific questions regarding these specific components. Science peels the onion, so to speak.



    Her observation is absolutely not data. It is an anecdote that leads to a hypothesis. Not data.

    I would argue that the more complex a situation, the less we should rely on our own perception. The more variables there are, the more room there is for our perception to add bias.

    Of course from the other end of things, complexity does leave more room for error and misinterpretation of data within controlled experiments, but I still think that science is the only method we should use for interpreting data and drawing credible conclusions.

    Both methods can be flawed, but one is less likely to be flawed, as this one makes it a goal to be as controlled and accurate as possible. It's pretty difficult to escape the lens of ourselves when analyzing a problem, but science is a tool that we can use with the explicit intent of escaping this lens.



    Hmm, I'm still skeptical about NF being more capable of finding trends in "people problems." NTs are not definitionally uninterested in people, and NFs are not definitionally interested in them.

    And again, just because one NF makes an observation (a particularly biased NF at that...her child has ASD) is not grounds for me to eliminate my skepticism. Yes, that is Ti pushing it away because it's messy, but I'm an Ne dom, so I'm still open to working off of intuitive hunches; I just don't think intuitive hunches should be used as evidence in a discussion/argument.



    Agreed.

    I certainly do not believe that every scientific study is unyieldingly conclusive. Scientists themselves misinterpret their own findings and others' findings all the time; I find myself constantly surprised at how inaccurate a lot of the scientific conclusions are that I come across in peer-reviewed journal articles, the elitist of the elite when it comes to science and scientific publications.
    There is no such thing as conclusiveness in science.

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