The personality of an average neanderthal, as we understand it in Edenism, reminds me very much of the shaman phenotype seen in other hominids. Neanderthals as a group act very much like a bunch of shamans from individual tribes got fed up and went North together to make their own tribe* somewhere too miserable for sane people to follow and annoy them. So I figure, why not assume that’s what happened and see where the speculation takes us? Since I still think Koanic is right about hybrid theory being the general explanation for speciation, this would (if true) be understood as a very successful evolutionary fluke.
I propose that it’s unusual for group-selected phenotypes like shamans to boil off, come together as a collection of social rejects, and form cohesive groups of their own. As a rule, these people are outliers and specialists with low general adaptation, dependent upon the group for their subsistence and evolutionary purpose. However, I also propose that this could occur if a period of extreme and rapid individual-level selection (R-selection) preceded a period of extreme and rapid group-level selection (k-selection). The period of R-selection would drive down the demand for group-selecting phenotypes while the high overhead cost of feeding and maintaining them (and putting up with their eccentric disagreeableness) remains fixed, which would remove their raison d’etre and, I suspect, cause many of them to be driven out. Combine
1. a large enough population of these unattached specialists with
2. a harsh enough series of winters to overcome their Orangutan-like sociability and low average genetic similarity and
3. the modern observation that, in populations with a high number of males for each female, female sexual selection actually prefers slow life history personality traits** like altruism,
and a viable breeding population may be plausible.
I’ve made the case before that a tribe of neanderthal-leaning homo sapiens, today, would not be viable because 1) we lost the entwives, 2) regression to the mean, and 3) Asperger’s is (in my uneducated opinion) closer in nature to a purely group-selected phenotype with a few archaic traits than a reversible diaspora of a complete, self-consistent genepool (as opposed, presumably, to the diaspora Jews). That is, I don’t believe that a similar exodus of geniuses could form a stable breeding population today (in fact, it’s a laughable proposition to imagine if you’ve ever known any of them). On the other hand, I do believe such a thing could work if a period of intense R-selection were immediately followed by a period of intense k-selection, and I’m beginning to think this was the origin story of the neanderthal species.
This speculation is based on the observations that
1. genius and Asperger’s are correlated
2. genius and shamanism are correlated,
3. Neanderthals and Asperger’s are correlated, and
4. Neanderthals and genius are correlated.
If these links are substantiated, it’s not much of a conceptual leap to suggest the remaining connections may also be correlated, suggesting a general factor explanation that:
Shamans ~ Geniuses ~ Asperger’s (ADHD/OCD/Tourette’s/Psychoticism) ~ Neanderthals
To disambiguate, the melonhead general factor would be Priests ~ Great Men ~ Dark Triad/Tetrad ~ Melonheads, which I’ve proposed is derivative from neanderthal hybrids backbreeding into some other hominid (with Denisovans being my first choice).
The shaman exodus theory of neanderthal origins is driven by commonalities in the instinctive origin myths of modern neanderthal-leaning people, as observed in their beliefs and revealed preferences. However, this could also be merely the manifestation of loneliness as Gnostic religious impulses, which appears to appeal to both neanderthal and melonhead instincts alike.
1. Genius and Asperger’s are correlated
The more precise formulation is that Asperger’s Syndrome is a large subset of Charlton’s “endogenous personality”.
Are [Asperger’s] geniuses?
Genius, according to me, requires a wide associative horizon and large amounts of conscientiousness and intelligence. The first two thereof are typical of Asperger syndrome, be it not necessarily in all cases where conscientiousness is concerned. This means that the minority of persons with Asperger who in addition have high intelligence are likely to become geniuses, or at least creative.
In studying the history of genius and the lives of geniuses it quickly becomes obvious that most if not all geniuses are Aspergoid, although a formal diagnosis is as good as never available (which is logical as Asperger was only in the 1990s added to the diagnostic manuals).
In fact the real challenge is to come up with examples of non-Aspergoid genius. If such exists, it is most likely to be found in the performing arts (singing, dancing, acting) and in the non-exact or “alpha” sciences. Possible candidates are the composer W. A. Mozart and the psychiatrist S. Freud (not that I personally consider them geniuses; I just mention them because they are generally considered that).
Straight talk about Asperger syndrome
2. Genius and shamanism are correlated
Again, this linkage is explained through the endogenous personality.
It would obviously help if the shaman was more-than-usually intelligent as well as more-than-usually creative – but it is probable that these nomadic, simple hunter-gatherer societies have not been selected for higher intelligence over hundreds of years – as have some of the more stable and more complex agricultural societies (as we will see later).
So the objective intelligence of real life shamans may have been relatively lower than what Europeans of recent generations would have considered to be average. However, it is likely that shamans were relatively highly intelligent by the standards of their people.
But it is not only the exceptional intelligence that sets the shaman apart – rather it is the different cognitive style: the shaman approaches problems differently, or creatively as we would say – he does not apply the usual, traditional, high status or socially sanctioned rules or practices; but instead generates his unpredictable answers using quite different processes and procedures.
And this is something that the shaman cannot help doing: he is made that way, he is called to a role. The shaman is probably an Endogenous personality; he embodies that power which comes from high ability combined with high creativity, and it is this which enables him to serve a crucial social function in certain rare but important situations. Most of the time he is not wanted, scary, chaotic, nasty, a nuisance, a parasite – but there are situations when he is needed. And it is for these situations that the shaman is protected by the rest of the tribe.
This, then, is the same kind of power the genius has: the shaman can be considered an example of the ‘local genius’.
Bruce Charlton, Edward Dutton
The Genius Famine
3. Neanderthals and Asperger’s are correlated
Prinicipal Component Analysis (PCA)
Factor analysis of all versions of Aspie Quiz give similar factors. In Aspie Quiz, these are called neurodiversity factor, neurotypical factor and “third factor”. In this theory, the neurodiversity factor is called Hn factor, the neurotypical factor is called Hs factor and the third factor is assumed to be related to g factor in intelligence tests, and is the hybrid vigor factor(s). Explained variance is listed below for each quiz version. An age for each factor is estimated by assuming Hs factor is 150,000 years, and explained variance is proportional to age.
As can be seen, the Hn factor becomes almost two millions years old and the g factor becomes 37,000 years old, which is the time of the hybridization. The most likely interpretation is that Hn factor is Eurasian diversity, Hs factor is the evolution of modern humans, and g factor is the introduction of Euroasian diversity through interbreeding with Neanderthals 30,000 – 50,000 years ago. In Aspie Quiz, Hn factor is used to calculate the Aspie-score, Hs factor is used to calculate neurotypical score, and g factor is positively correlated with Aspie ability group and negatively correlated with Aspie disability group. It therefore is likely that g factor is related to g-factor in intelligence tests.
The Neanderthal theory
4. Neanderthals and genius are correlated
I’d make this case in three ways:
1. Neanderthal genetics are correlated with mathematical ability at the individual level.
2. Cold stress, k-selection, and neanderthal genetics are correlated with prosperity and innovation rates at the group level (second only to Christianity).
3. Geniuses tend to look like neanderthals (i.e. big brains, big eyes, deep sockets, and archaic dimensions of the face and head).
However, that looks like a pretty daunting task right now and this thing is already pretty long, so I’m just going to go home and maybe return to this later.
*With blackjack. And hookers.
The fast strategy manifests high mating effort, risk taking, preference for immediate rewards, high cognitive and behavioral flexibility and, importantly, a generalized ability pattern. The slow strategy is characterized by an emphasis on stability, preference for delayed rewards, willingness to cooperate, high parenting effort, and persistence in cognitive and social niche construction.
The Rhythm of the West: A Biohistory of the Modern Era AD 1600 to the Present