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Why didn’t natural selection prevent sister’s schizophrenia?

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Writer asks.

Writer Priscilla Long struggles with her sister’s death, related to schizophrenia:

It’s related to genetics, we know that. If you have an identical twin with schizophrenia, your chances of getting it are 40 to 65 percent. If you have a parent, brother, or sister with it, your chances are 10 percent. This compares with about one percent of the world population that suffers from the illness. One percent, though, is not a small number; in the United States it amounts to about three million people. The most severely afflicted find it difficult to get up, get dressed, eat, go to work, come home. They barely function. Susanne, once intelligent and competent, graceful and well appointed, could no longer keep a job or even take a bath. So why didn’t natural selection, over thousands of years, cause the genetic propensity for this extreme disability to die out?

The genetically inherited disease sickle cell anemia persists because it provides protection against malaria. Could there be an analogous relationship between schizophrenia and imagination?

If imagination is put on a continuum from high to low, people afflicted with schizophrenia are on the high end. Their imaginations fire up to the point of hallucination. Creative persons who are less crazy also imagine what is not there, but they create art or social revolution or a dinner party. (People with schizophrenia can also be quite creative before the disease takes its toll. Susanne loved to draw, paint, and make batiks.)

Imagination, suggests Princeton molecular biologist Lee M. Silver, is related to the brain’s “noise” (random firings of neurons, or nerve cells), thus generating more associations. Brain scans of people with schizophrenia and their unafflicted family members show mega-amounts of random noise. Brain scans of control subjects (no schizophrenia in the family) do not.

How to say with sufficient compassion what must be said?:

It is terrible to lose a family member to schizophrenia and suicide. But Darwin’s followers’ claims are a glaring neon sign, attracting attention to itself, not genuine insight.

“Natural selection” is a spook; it could not cause Priscilla’s sister’s affliction to die out. There is no lab-designed series of tests life throws at any life form to cause “the fittest” to survive.

It would have been better for Priscilla Long never to have learned that “natural selection” operated as some kind of powerful force to guarantee better survival skills.

The fact that such a belief is taxpayer-funded by law does not make it less of an illusion.

Sadly for listening to Lee Silver’s theories on the subject, most highly creative people do not suffer from schizophrenia. I have lived most of my life in groups of creative people where the affliction was largely unknown. Schizophrenics who are highly creative will stand out, of course; other won’t. Some people are found dead somewhere and no one is on hand to give a clear account of why.

If there are “answers,” we can surely find them but we ought to begin by diminishing the mere noise.

First, life is an experience to be lived, not a problem to be solved. Along those lines, Long offers an insight of far more value than is commonly accorded:

Now, though, following our national deinstitutionalization policy, carried out without the community support that was supposed to go with it, our mental health care system has disintegrated. According to the devastating picture drawn by Torrey in American Psychosis, at least 20 percent of prison inmates and about a third of homeless people are severely mentally ill. Our system of non-care is, by the way, ultra-expensive.

Coulda called that one. Any time we default to a theory instead of wise and compassionate human action in real time, life becomes ultra expensive and complex. – O’Leary for News

See also: What to do with our education in human evolution? Stuff it!

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7 Replies to “Why didn’t natural selection prevent sister’s schizophrenia?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    If natural selection existed, children would not die of cancer.

    Children do die of cancer.

    Therefore natural selection does not exist.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    There are better answers from the bible and creationist presumptions.
    Its not that complicated.
    Its just in a spectrum. These people are not more creative or have more imagination.
    its simply that their memory is being interfered with.
    its simply a triggering malfunction for memory.
    One side of the coin gives them more imagination for art or this or that and the other side makes their imagination get in the way of real life.
    its the same equation.
    We are souls. We can’t have problems with our souls.
    therefore its all in the memory organ of the material world.
    its a simple spectrum from the worst to the everyone distracted when tired or drunk.
    Schizos are just drunk by the triggering mechanism connected wit their memory.
    its as if ones dreams take control too much.
    very sad and evil but I think it can be healed by drugs to interfere with the triggering mechanism. No need to change genes.

  3. 3
    Barb says:

    Robert Byers suggests,

    These people are not more creative or have more imagination.
    its simply that their memory is being interfered with.
    its simply a triggering malfunction for memory.

    No. NO.

    I had an uncle who was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia many years ago, and underwent a couple of course of electroshock therapy (in vogue at the time). There was nothing wrong with his memory. The causes of schizophrenia are still unknown (http://www.news-medical.net/he.....auses.aspx), but environmental factors may play a part.

    its a simple spectrum from the worst to the everyone distracted when tired or drunk.
    Schizos are just drunk by the triggering mechanism connected wit their memory.
    its as if ones dreams take control too much.

    This actually sounds as though it were written by a schizophrenic.

    Again, no. Memory has nothing to do with it. It could be a combination of factors. And it is sad, but there is nothing evil about it. It’s a disease. Drugs sometimes work, but it depends on the dosage and the willingness of the person who takes it. Going “off your meds” for a schizophrenic can have serious consequences.

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    Barb
    I;m surte it is all in the spectrum of mental problems that are about memory interference.
    I know its a new way at looking at it. Its not about mere memory loss etc. its a bigger more profound concept that memory interference is affected by triggering problems.
    if on LSD , acid, etc etc there is not a memory loss as such behind their trips. yet their trips are from manipulation of the memory.
    our dreams are founded on our memories yet we don’t remember them, much, when we wake up.
    Schizo is a ordinary reaction in the spectrum. they are just worse.
    They are worse phobic people.
    Its not the brain but just the memory. they get stuck just like when everybody gets a song stuck in their head. Yet otherwise ones memory is fine.

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    Robert continues,

    Barb, I;m surte it is all in the spectrum of mental problems that are about memory interference.

    Schizophrenia has nothing to do with one’s memories.

    I know its a new way at looking at it. Its not about mere memory loss etc. its a bigger more profound concept that memory interference is affected by triggering problems.

    Again, whatever the “triggering problems” are they have nothing to do with one’s memory.

    if on LSD , acid, etc etc there is not a memory loss as such behind their trips. yet their trips are from manipulation of the memory.

    So if someone tripping on acid hallucinates giant spiders, that means that somewhere in their memories are giant spiders? Or you could be completely wrong.

    our dreams are founded on our memories yet we don’t remember them, much, when we wake up.

    Dreams have little to do with memories, as I’ve pointed out on another thread. I’ve dreamt things that had absolutely no basis in reality.

    Schizo is a ordinary reaction in the spectrum. they are just worse.

    Schizophrenia is not an ordinary reaction to anything. It’s a mental illness.

    They are worse phobic people.

    Schizophrenia and phobias are two entirely different things.

    Its not the brain but just the memory. they get stuck just like when everybody gets a song stuck in their head. Yet otherwise ones memory is fine.

    Their memories might be intact, but their brain is misfiring. Again, their memories have nothing to do with it.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    Barb
    Well i think I’m right. its my hypothesis and well supported as i see it.
    I don’t think we have brains doing our thinking for us. We just have souls using the memory ability. so the interference with memory is the only problem.
    I don’t see schizo as different then bad trips on drugs. Its the same mechanism.
    however drugs interferes only for a while with the triggering mechanism.
    Memory is the source for almost all we do. Its not about mere minor things we memorize.
    We sit upright only because of our memory. not because of brain wiring.

  7. 7
    Barb says:

    Robert continues,

    Well i think I’m right. its my hypothesis and well supported as i see it.

    You can think whatever you want, but you haven’t provided one iota of evidence or data to support your hypothesis.

    I don’t think we have brains doing our thinking for us. We just have souls using the memory ability. so the interference with memory is the only problem.

    One difference: I believe that humans are souls, not that humans have souls. Our brains do think for us by means of complicated neural networks. This is well proven. Read an anatomy and physiology textbook sometime.
    Interference with memory, however, does not cause or contribute to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. It may affect schizophrenics as seen by this study: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....122417.htm
    To suggest that schizophrenia is entirely related to one’s memories is completely false.

    I don’t see schizo as different then bad trips on drugs. Its the same mechanism.

    No, it is not. Bad trips on drugs are caused by external factors (LSD) not by brain chemistry. Schizophrenia has multiple causes including hereditary factors and environmental factors.

    however drugs interferes only for a while with the triggering mechanism.

    Drugs interfere with everything, and the effects of taking drugs (particularly hard drugs like LSD) can linger for years. It isn’t temporary.

    Memory is the source for almost all we do. Its not about mere minor things we memorize.

    I have done plenty of things without having conscious memories of doing so before. It’s called learning. You should try it sometime.

    We sit upright only because of our memory. not because of brain wiring.

    We sit upright because we were designed to do so, not because God implanted memories of this in us. Babies don’t sit upright. They don’t have the muscle control to do so.
    Your comments go far beyond ignorance and fall squarely into “complete and utter stupidity” territory. If you believe you’re right, you’re going to have to link to some studies proving your hypothesis.

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