We're getting speculative and philosophical. Creationists, beware.
Last night, insomnia struck and I couldn't fall back asleep. Normally, I'd aggravate myself to tears in my failure to fall back asleep, but last night was different. I took advantage of my state and got to thinking.
I made a mental list of the pictures I wanted to take, of what I had to cook, of what I had to go out and buy for the house (suburban mom, much?). Suddenly, I started thinking of movies I wanted to see, but have not had the time to. The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking, was atop that list. Sleepless and existentialist, apparently, I have come to a revealing thought. What if disability and disease are mislabeled phenomena of evolution?
Hear me out for a second.
While I don't discredit the possibility of a null relationship between "disability" and intelligence, I really do believe in the relationship between "disability" and intelligence (quotation marks, because I don't believe those words should be negative). For millions of years, species have evolved to survive. The loss of one capability or property suffers in order for another to become stronger or to appear altogether (for example: the fish coming to land; while gaining that capability to walk on earth, it loses its ability to breathe underwater).
I had the opportunity to work with autistic children in schools and while they lacked in social skills and abilities to connect with others, they really excelled in school work and were, most of the time, more intelligent than the average child their age. Are these "disabilities/diseases" which are often portrayed as negative and unfortunate, merely properties of evolution that we fail to see that way because we're living through them? (Now that is the question, Shakespeare.)
Maybe in millions of years, when people talk about how my generation changed the world (or destroyed it... let's be honest), they will also talk about how evolution continued to take place and how blinded we were because we couldn't have this objective, bird's eye view of our current situation.
What do you think? I'd love to create an open forum of discussion here. This thought is fascinating and I'd love to hear what you have to say.