Category Archives: pack gene

CRISPR changes everything

Autism

Some mental illness may no longer need to be diagnosed through social tests.    While the United States busys itself with corporate protectionist legislation like the TPP to protect the major drug companies, some of the world is experimenting with the new precise, cheap and repeatable gene editing method known as CRISPR.

In the past gene editing was hit or miss.  Practiced more like chemistry, it was more like a million misses to a marginal hit.  Identifying a gene was not enough, splicing it became a major endeavor for companies like Monsanto.   Experiments on human DNA (except perhaps if you count our GMO diet) was effectively impossible.

As of 2015, the CRISPR technique, takes a precise strand of DNA and inserts it, reliably, in a larger DNA strand, precisely where it is told to insert it.   This is the holy grail of both nano scale assembly, and made to order DNA.  The mind reels.  Designer babies are eminent.  Greatly reduced aging is possible.  DNA based nanites can built to both manufacture on the table top and enhance human attributes.

These are in the future (AFAIK), but before all that, apparently we have already begun to use it verify genetic disease.  The technology is not even a year old and Chinese scientists have already implanted a suspected autism gene in monkeys, to see if their behavior varies.  It does.

The implications are huge for all illness from athletes foot to cancer, but it’s important that the first study is on behavioral disease.  If the civilization gene is correct and psychopathy is genetic, we could be close to a completely different world.  There are no suspect genes (other than the debunked warrior gene) at the moment, but it is possible to find, were the right people to take interest.  Now, a new way to verify that first study is readily available.

Conversely should some mental illnesses become officially understood to be genetic, psychopaths should  be easier to diagnose.  Psychopaths are the highest functioning mental illness.  ASPD stage psychopaths are well known for feigning other mental illnesses to evade detection.  A narrower field of patients through genetic screening for other disease means less misdiagnosis, and more understanding of the social consequences of widespread psychopathy.  That ultimately means real targeted help for the psychopaths.

Science behind civgene: The puzzle box

 

Responding to some rather silly accusations that I just made civgene up.   This was always intended as a destination in hard science, at the least.   First the septic may want to look at the paper on falsification.   And then go on to answer why civgene is not just ‘the pack gene’ plus intelligence.

Now for a behavior feather in the cap of civgene. Imagination vs visualization.  You many want to see some earlier psychopath/animal vs empath comparisons here.

Humans know humans can be trusted.  Humans know visible appearance (the primary sense) can differ from attributes. The foundation of imagination.

Website.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/humanspark/lessons/experimenting-with-experiments/video-segments/?p=432

Direct to movie.
http://www-tc.pbs.org/wnet/wp-content/blogs.dir/7/files/2010/12/Humans-vs.-Chimps_RE-DO1.mov

Autoplay is off on the movie below. Usually you click or tap and try space bar. It’s a little over 3 minutes long.

The key here is the failure of the primates to recognize either that a human pointing was an attempt to assist or that the identically sized boxes are actually different weights.

Now for one of the original foundations of civgene.  The puzzle box experiment.  Please fast forward to 41:30.  I have not preset the video to that for you because the whole thing is worth watching, but the last 20 minutes are key. If it’s taken down it’s a Nova called ‘Ape Genius’ if it’s ever taken down.

There are three testable differences that separate humans from apes.
1. Apes have vastly superior visual memories.
2. Humans quickly reconcile that an object may not be as it visually appears.
3. Apes won’t suspend their own observations when taught by demonstration.

Evolution favors imagination over imitation.

Is the civilization gene just the ‘pack gene’ plus intelligence?

macaques

With 24+ human brain related genetic changes (compared to a handful among other animals) it may be that civgene was second to last genetic change and the pack gene reactivation the final step.  It may be that the pack gene, not civgene that is not dominant.  This makes sense if early man was hostile to non kin, making the ‘pack gene’ a disadvantage, until the civilization gene suddenly gave those with a ‘pack gene’ all the advantages of the conscience, making the pack gene in turn an advantage.

http://www.hhmi.org/news/human-brain-evolution-was-special-event

In most other animals looking for a common behavior between two species is a strong indicator, but animals have a tall cliff of genetic change to climb to reach human intelligence levels.  When the civilization gene is found, it may yet be discovered it is switched on and off by gene held in common with other animals.  This has no behavioral implications, but might make finding the civilization gene a two part job.  Namely with the pack gene being found first.

Interestingly, if a human pack gene exists, and both the pack gene and civgene are not dominant, it may be that lacking either one results in psychopathy.

Complex behaviour CAN occur from simple rules, but, if pack behaviour and raw intelligence alone can create conscionable behaviour, selfish game theory should demonstratively fail for most intelligent primate species.  Just make the test simple enough.   Inclusively property, freedom, and friendship (the core conscionable behaviours) need to defy strictly selfish game theory in a modelable way.  I am leaving currency, investment and civilization out because they require some intelligence as part of the model.  That may not even be strictly the case though as monkeys have demonstrated the ability to abstractly grasp currency (making markets), after being taught to use a (human invented) currency.  They are intelligent enough to use it, but have no motivation to attempt to do so.

Part of the civgene theory is that it overshoots past sympathy and into and irrational level of trust or empathy.  Sympathy is logical, but empathy can be very self destructive and can be illogical.  Like the battered wife who stays for life or the soldier who dies for his country.  Why is that promise(a currency) so important?  So important that humans project loving behaviours on all animals?  What other animal actively tries to protect every creature they encounter?  None.  No intelligence is needed to display this behaviour.  Yet no other animal does it.

Human IQ and EQ (metamind quotient) are rarely separable.  Only in the case of psychopaths where EQ is catastrophically lower if not zero.  The metamind acts like an automotive supercharger, inherently dependent on the displacement of it’s engine (IQ) to determine it’s total power.  EQ can be a productive part of the most complex and technical decision making.  You can’t separate higher intelligence from the change that made it happen.   It’s an architecture dependent feedback loop.  The same way two unique pieces of software running on duplicate hardware processing the same data can perform very differently.  Likewise for logically identical software adapted to run on different computer architectures.  Parts of the system are specialized with different compromises.  In nature a  randomly generated, environment tested, specialization in animals IS evolution.  In specialization, intelligence isn’t just smarter, it’s smarter at something.  A trade off.

People with a conscience aren’t just smarter, they are smarter at long term risk management.  This is consistent with the specialization view of evolution.

In addition I think most of those those genetic mutations will turn out to be a brain platform change, possibly changing the way the entire brain works.  Effecting the entire range of behaviours of early man each time.  But even if this turns out to be bunk, we know a major platform change happened at least once.  By it’s accompanying behaviour change.  When property, friendship and freedom first appeared as civilization.  When suddenly competition took a back seat to cooperation.  Human intelligence is thought to have slowly increased over time.  If intelligence plus pack instincts defined conscience, homo sapiens entire one to two hundred thousand year history would be dotted with the slowly improving remnants of failed civilizations.  Not the sudden appearance in the past ten to twenty thousand years.  Specifically, structures, and property.

I will revisit this question if the data changes!