Neurodiversity, Hidden Knowledge and Hidden Talent

africanWoman1Anything that is understood or known consciously is understood or known unconsciously first. I can’t imagine how the reverse would be true. Knowledge has to come from somewhere, right?

I often know I know something before the answer emerges. Knowing that I know, I trust that the answer will emerge, and so it does. We don’t often consider how long an insight or understanding has already been grasped before the veil lifts. I suspect hidden knowledge can stay hidden a very long time.

Hormone levels in humans fluctuate in response to a number of environmental influences. One of the most powerful and subtle is light. Cradled in equatorial Africa, our ancestors were exposed to the diurnal cycle of day and night. Human sexual hormone levels ran 24-hour cycles, as they do today, peaking and troughing at specific times in the cycle, with evenings about 30% lower than mornings.

Several weeks before a child is born, a crucial environmental trigger tells the child at what speed he or she will mature during his or her lifetime. The trigger is the amount of testosterone in the mother’s blood. High and low levels lead to very different outcomes of maturation speed. Change in the rate and timing of maturation is the single most powerful force that determines the evolution of our species.

The pineal gland can mediate testosterone levels, varying those levels according to the amount of light we are exposed to. It has been hypothesized that as light influences testosterone levels through the pineal gland, maturational trajectories vary over time.

The bun in the oven grows larger in a hormone stew. Studies conclude that the time of year a child is conceived influences the features of that child, specifically the child’s degree of maturational delay and acceleration. Autistic children’s birthdays congregate in specific seasons.

About 50,000 - 80,000 years ago, our ancestors departed Africa. Some anthropologists estimate they hugged the ocean and estuary shorelines, creeping or boating farther and farther from the equator. The farther from Africa’s equator that they traveled, the more light changed.

Seasonal changes in light caused radical changes in hormone levels, warping the short diurnal cycle in a second long wave pattern with overlapping variations. Children emerged with widely varying maturational speeds, creating the clay that would become the form that individuals in the culture would be molded from.

We can still see the results of equatorial societies plunged into the effects of varying light. African-Americans transplanted to the U. S. exhibit swings to the extremes of maturational delay and acceleration. We observe more autism and Asperger’s at the delay-end along with astonishing creativity around musical and physical proclivities. At the same time, faster-maturing, creative-in-a-different-way, more aggressive males congregate at the accelerated end of the spectrum. Jews run a similar pattern of maturational delay and acceleration, congregating at the maturational extremes. These two ethnic societies hold far more maturational variation than cultures that have not recently been upended. With the increased variation come gifts. And, there are the burdens imposed by a society not compelled to seek the assimilation of unconventional characteristics.

Equatorial societies transplanted to radically different light environment can see explosions in autism rates. In Minnesota and Sweden Somali autism rates have skyrocketed. Consider light changes as the cause of this surge.

Stable cultures have a chance to adjust to the light of their location on the planet.

It is only now becoming evident that light can transform the features of our children, the characteristics of our culture and the direction that our species evolves. Perhaps, unconsciously, we’ve known this all along.

Proceed to author’s FREE book download on this subject (The book is called Evolution, Autism and Social Change). 10 minute introductory video here.

on 09/19/09 in Evolution | 2 Comments | Read More

Comments (2)


  1. Heresiarch says:

    “Autistic children’s birthdays congregate in specific seasons.”

    Interesting observation. Are you prepared to reconsider the merits of astrology? It is, after all, a system of correlations between human temperaments and seasons of birth. The underlying theory invokes the positions of celestial bodies at birth as formative influences on temperament. A physical explanation might cite seasonal variations in the proportions of electromagnetic wavelengths reaching Earth, as well as varying gravitational influences, as the various celestial bodies fall into and out of alignment.

    Seasonal variations in visible light might be only part of the story. Solar output includes nonvisible wavelengths as well.

    You might look at where on the calendar autistic birthdays clump, and then compare autistic temperament with the personality characteristics associated with the corresponding zodiacal signs. Might reveal some surprising correlations.

  2. Geschwind and Galaburda discussed the season of birth effects emerging in studies in the 80s. They hypothesized the pineal gland influencing testosterone levels, changing seasons of light influencing diurnal light based endocrine systems.

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