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Weaponised Autism as the Font of Human Creativity

What makes humans special? How is it that we are able to unleash the energy of the atom, transmute handfuls of sand into powerful djinn, and generally manipulate matter in any way not strictly forbidden by the laws of physics, while our hominid ancestors gather dust in the natural history museum? What tectonic forces have torn such a chasm between us and our surviving cousins, still banging rocks together in the animal kingdom?

For most of history this was no great mystery: only humans have an immortal soul, granted to us by a Creator who made us in His own image.

Then Linnaeus and Darwin revealed we were merely naked apes, sparking the great debate that remains unresolved almost three hundred years later: what is our secret sauce as a species?

Some rely on bold conjectures: it’s our big brains. Others make convincing arguments for our language skills, or twiddle their opposable thumbs suggestively.

Wrong, says Simon Baron-Cohen. In fact, the font of all human creativity, the source of all our knowledge, and the key to becoming masters of the universe is… autism.