Charles Darwin mentally ill | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Charles Darwin mentally ill

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

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.

photoThe 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.




ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES (Illustrated)
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Atheism is a religion

by Truthandlight

Everyone knows this except the mentally ill atheist.
Atheism is a religion.
They have their own worldview materialism.
They have their own orthodoxy-EVERYTHING can be explained as the product of unintentional, undirected, purposeless evolution.
They have their own brand of apostasy.Ask Antony Flew when he was vilified. Richard Dawkins accused Flew of “tergiversation.” It’s a fancy word for apostasy. By their own admission, then, Flew abandoned their “faith.”
They have their own prophets: Nietzsche, Russell, Feuerbach, Lenin, Marx.
They have their own messiah: He is, of course, Charles Darwin
They have their own preachers and evangelists And boy, are they “evangelistic

Part 2...

by Anti-Federalist

Eugenics was practiced around the world and was promoted by governments, and influential individuals and institutions. Its advocates regarded it as a social philosophy for the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of certain people and traits, and the reduction of reproduction of certain people and traits.[6] Today it is widely regarded as a brutal movement which inflicted massive human rights violations on millions of people.[7] The "interventions" advocated and practised by eugenicists involved prominently the identification and classification of individuals and their families, including the poor, mentally ill, blind, 'promiscuous women', homosexuals and entire "racial" groups——such as the Roma and Jews——as "degenerate" or "unfit"; the...

A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World: The Voyage of the Beagle (Illustrated and Bundled with The autobiography of Charles Darwin)
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THE MATHEMATICAL PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY (Illustrated and Bundled with LIFE OF SIR ISAAC NEWTON)
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Springer Evolution, Kultur und Kriminalität: Über den Beitrag der Evolutionstheorie zur Kriminologie (German Edition)
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THE MATHEMATICAL PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY (Illustrated and Extended with The Wealth of Nations and On The Origin of Species)
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