BaalChatzaf

Jacob Barnett - Physics Whiz

Recommended Posts

We have a potential Einstein (or Ed Witten) in our midst. Jacob Barnett, not quite 13 years old has mastered quantum physics and is enrolled in a university. See article in: http://en.wikipedia....i/Jacob_Barnett.

He objects to the current Big Bang theory for the right reason. He claims the theory cannot account for the amount of carbon actually observed in our cosmos. Smart lad! He objects to the theory on empirical grounds, not philosophical grounds. There is much hope with the young man.

Here is the icing on the cake. Young Jacob is a diagnosed Aspergarian! He is an extremely well functioning high level autistic lad. Another piece of evidence that supports my hypothesis that being Aspergarian or high functioning autistic is the next step in human evolution. Young Jacob is in the company of Newton, Einstein and Dirac. (Ba'al now departs the stage humming "Tomorrow Belongs to Me").

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Young Jacob is in the company of Newton, Einstein and Dirac. [baal]

Let's wait a few years on that, shall we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Young Jacob is in the company of Newton, Einstein and Dirac. [baal]

Let's wait a few years on that, shall we?

Point well taken. Newton, Einstein and Dirac were all Aspies. Eventually we shall see if young Jacob makes it in physics.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baal,

Have you ever heard of an Aspergarian who didn't have a high IQ?

The ones you hear about general have a mental talent. The ones you don't hear about are probably average or below average. Part of intelligence, for a human anyway, is the ability to navigate in human company and interact productively with all sorts of folks. It is in this area that all autistics, including Aspies, have a problem. One of the tell-tale signs of autism is the inability to read body language and to imagine what other people must be feeling or thinking. For an autistic, "the problem of other minds" is no mere philosophical puzzle. There is more to intelligence than being a math whiz or physics whiz.

For non-verbal autistics the problem is beyond social awkwardness or incapacity. It is the ability to communicate. Humans are the animals that speak and share thoughts. Without that ability, it is difficult for an autistic to lead a totally human life. At a low level autism is more than a variation in the breed, it is a definite disability and handicap.

One of the sad things is that the neuropathology of low functioning autism is not really understood nor are the causes understood well. As a result medical and psychiatric science cannot do much for low functioning autistic people at this juncture. One of my grand nephews is a low functioning autistic who stopped speaking when he was about two. Right now he is going to a special school and is doing alright considering his condition, but eventually if he cannot communicate he will need to be cared for the rest of his life. His is not feeble minded. He learns, he can do manual tasks and he can even make music (without words), but he is not a mute. He can hear and see but he does neither signs nor speaks. He is in a very hard place in the long run.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another piece of evidence that supports my hypothesis that being Aspergarian or high functioning autistic is the next step in human evolution.

Except that 'evolution' implies an increased level of success in a little endeavour called sexual reproduction. Until the physics department aspies get laid more that the football team I think your hypothesis is a little flawed.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another piece of evidence that supports my hypothesis that being Aspergarian or high functioning autistic is the next step in human evolution.

Except that 'evolution' implies an increased level of success in a little endeavour called sexual reproduction. Until the physics department aspies get laid more that the football team I think your hypothesis is a little flawed.

Bob

Baal,

Can high-level autism be passed on genetically?

Bob,

That's hilarious.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's a genius so far. Incredible genius. I hope his brains don't over-run the facts available to him and he decides to do something else or not do anything else. What made Einstein a genius wasn't his mathematical ability, was it? My father's creative genius peaked around 20 and he gave it up. If he hadn't and if his brain hadn't been so full of crap he could have been a towering literary talent. The world is over-run with wasted and wasting brains. If I could only go away for a thousand years and see what had happened while I was in suspended animation and what people had become. I do know genius is not simply brains. Genius takes a certain mental orientation and character too. In the creative areas I'm interested in the basic question is what is right and true? This covers science, literature and philosophy. That wasn't my father's orientation. He was a power-lusting social metaphysician. If you don't value and seek truth you won't find it and recognize or value it as it floats on by down the river of your ungrasping mind. When you create you create a representation of truth. I guess you can do this in painting and sculpture too: "Guernica."

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another piece of evidence that supports my hypothesis that being Aspergarian or high functioning autistic is the next step in human evolution.

Except that 'evolution' implies an increased level of success in a little endeavour called sexual reproduction. Until the physics department aspies get laid more that the football team I think your hypothesis is a little flawed.

Bob

Baal,

Can high-level autism be passed on genetically?

Bob,

That's hilarious.

Mike

There is evidence that autism is in part genetically conditioned. It is generational and it runs in families. It appears to be to some degree heritable. When auties mate and have babies, there is a much higher incidence of autism in the offspring population than in the general population (and the symptoms show up early for low functioning autism). You might want to read this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/autism-and-genetics-a-breakthrough-that-sheds-light-on-a-medical-mystery-1996221.html. The findings are preliminary. It may take years to pin point the chromosomes and locations.

Simon Baron-Cohen, one of the world's leading authorities on autism has a hypothesis indicating assortive mating among autistics may be at work. See http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/baron-cohen05/baron-cohen05_index.html. This article in -Wired- deals with the (so-called) autism epidemic in Silicone Valley: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html.

Here is the key sentence from the ariticle: One thing nearly everyone in the field agrees on: genetic predisposition. Identical twins share the disorder 9 times out of 10.

You might ask could there be an environmental factor at work or a psychological factor? There could be but the case for a genetic basis is marginally stronger. There was a recent ruckus in which vaccines were implicated. It turns out that statistically vaccines are not a significant factor. You might want to see this article: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/autism-vaccine-fraud-wakefield-cost-money-deaths/19793484/.

The underlying problem is that medical science is at a very primitive stage in dealing with brain related conditions. We have learned more about how the brain operates in the past fifty years than has been gathered by folk-methods and simple empirics in the previous 2500 years. And yet for all that, we are still in a pre-Pasteurian state with regard to brain related diseases, syndromes and conditions.

In any case the condition is real, it is physical in nature (not purely psychological as was believed at an earlier time), but the chemical and metabolic pathways producing the condition in the brain are simply not yet well understood. Not only is the condition real, the condition is becoming more frequent. It is now running at about one percent of the general population.

And there is absolutely nothing hilarious about it. I was lucky and inherited the high functioning variety of the condition. My younger life was more difficult than life is for a "normal", but not so difficult as to leave me disabled and requiring constant care. My young grand nephew has to go to special schools and if he does not (re)acquire speech (he spoke until age 2) he will require care which is a great expense to both his parents and to society. Nothing hilarious there.

Fortunately the high functioning version of the condition turns out "geeks" and "nerds" (although some geeks and nerds are neurologically and genetically normal) many of whom go into the computer related fields (particularly software) and crank out the programs and apps you find useful. Here is an exercise question for you: why are aspies drawn to the computer fields like iron filings to a magnet? Why are there so-many nerds and geeks doing mathematics and theoretical science? And it is not simply because they are smarter.

Ba'al Chatzaf (once a nerd, always a pain in the arse).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's a genius so far. Incredible genius. I hope his brains don't over-run the facts available to him and he decides to do something else or not do anything else. What made Einstein a genius wasn't his mathematical ability, was it? My father's creative genius peaked around 20 and he gave it up. If he hadn't and if his brain hadn't been so full of crap he could have been a towering literary talent. The world is over-run with wasted and wasting brains. If I could only go away for a thousand years and see what had happened while I was in suspended animation and what people had become. I do know genius is not simply brains. Genius takes a certain mental orientation and character too. In the creative areas I'm interested in the basic question is what is right and true? This covers science, literature and philosophy. That wasn't my father's orientation. He was a power-lusting social metaphysician. If you don't value and seek truth you won't find it and recognize or value it as it floats on by down the river of your ungrasping mind. When you create you create a representation of truth. I guess you can do this in painting and sculpture too: "Guernica."

--Brant

There are hopeful signs. Young Jacob sees problems in the current expansionary theories and hypotheses accounting for the cosmos. He is intrigued by an not good prediction in in the frequency of the element carbon. In short, he sees empirical anomalies with the theory (as well he should). It is not predicting as well as one wants a theory to predict. He has not been misled by philosophical and metaphysical issues. Smart lad! Good lad! Physics is empirical to the sub-basement, even theoretical physics.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another piece of evidence that supports my hypothesis that being Aspergarian or high functioning autistic is the next step in human evolution.

Except that 'evolution' implies an increased level of success in a little endeavour called sexual reproduction. Until the physics department aspies get laid more that the football team I think your hypothesis is a little flawed.

Bob

You are quite right other-Bob. My so called hypothesis is really just a hunch and it has more holes in it than swiss cheese. I frankly admit to being swayed by an observer bias and it might be a manifestation of some passive-aggressive attitudes I got while I was younger being picked on and roughed up by the "normal" bullies. One of the results of my childhood is that I learned to fight, fight well and fight very, very dirty. After I broke wrists and partially crippled some bullies they finally let me be. And it entirely possible that I am harboring a grudge so I see my condition in a strangely favorable light. (Ha Ha Ha, I'll get even, I will be Evolution's darling child!)

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Although most students with AS/HFA have average mathematical ability and test slightly worse in mathematics than in general intelligence, some are gifted in mathematics and AS has not prevented some adults from major accomplishments such as winning the Nobel Prize (source).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing funny about autism or anything similar to it.

My declaration of hilarity was made to Bob_Mac concerning his comment of sexual reproduction being an issue.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fortunately the high functioning version of the condition turns out "geeks" and "nerds" (although some geeks and nerds are neurologically and genetically normal) many of whom go into the computer related fields (particularly software) and crank out the programs and apps you find useful. Here is an exercise question for you: why are aspies drawn to the computer fields like iron filings to a magnet? Why are there so-many nerds and geeks doing mathematics and theoretical science? And it is not simply because they are smarter.

I'd say for the same reason I like math/science/computer programming. Ayn Rand referred to chess with the term "metaphysical absolutism" or something similar. In other words, the rules of chess are definite. Math/science/computer programming are the same way. You're dealing with strictly defined identities in m/s/cp. Either that or you're coming up with the strict definitions.

Liberal arts are much more 'loose' with definitions. The whole 'touchy feely' part of it takes precedence there.

What's your answer?

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fortunately the high functioning version of the condition turns out "geeks" and "nerds" (although some geeks and nerds are neurologically and genetically normal) many of whom go into the computer related fields (particularly software) and crank out the programs and apps you find useful. Here is an exercise question for you: why are aspies drawn to the computer fields like iron filings to a magnet? Why are there so-many nerds and geeks doing mathematics and theoretical science? And it is not simply because they are smarter.

I'd say for the same reason I like math/science/computer programming. Ayn Rand referred to chess with the term "metaphysical absolutism" or something similar. In other words, the rules of chess are definite. Math/science/computer programming are the same way. You're dealing with strictly defined identities in m/s/cp. Either that or you're coming up with the strict definitions.

Liberal arts are much more 'loose' with definitions. The whole 'touchy feely' part of it takes precedence there.

What's your answer?

Mike

Arrghhh! Smart as paint ye arrre!

In math, science and software one can be literal. Not only that, one -should- be literal, strict and rigorous.

Touchy feely is dreck!

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arrghhh! Smart as paint ye arrre!

In math, science and software one can be literal. Not only that, one -should- be literal, strict and rigorous.

Touchy feely is dreck!

Ba'al Chatzaf

Hehe. I'm not sure about "smart as paint" but "touchy feely is dreck!" sounds pretty good to me.

Ever since I've been "training" myself to think in definite terms I've gotten a lot better at math/science/engineering/programming, but my ability to write essays for those god-awful general ed courses has gone straight down the gutter. The mere act of using a synonym has gotten harder. Hell, if you use synonyms in math you're generally doing something seriously wrong! :lol:

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe. I'm not sure about "smart as paint" but "touchy feely is dreck!" sounds pretty good to me.

See the English Actor (long dead now) Robert Newton play Long John Silver in -Treasure Island-.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...