Sunday, April 23, 2006

This Might Explain It

My friend Donna Bethell, physicist and killer cyclist, responds to my previous post:

"My sister Linda, a developmental pediatrician, was telling me recently about some truly hyperactive kids that she sees. These boys are more than just antsy. They are almost literally bouncing off the ceiling - jumping off furniture, oblivious to risk, can't be stopped. She says that at international conferences, physicians from Europe say they never see this problem and think the Americans are exaggerating. We hit on the explanation: the syndrome is highly inheritable and from the 16th to the 19th centuries, just about everyone in Europe who had it immigrated to the New World. What else would induce anyone to get on a leaky old boat, cross a stormy ocean, plow into the wilderness, face savage warriors, and keep going until stopped by another ocean? It's the scientific underpinning of the old adage: the ones with get up and go got up and went.

"The gene pool of Europe has been depleted of the hyperactive, risk-taking, but ultimately constructive and inventive genotypes. The few that didn't immigrate were selectively killed off in two World Wars, the crowning disasters for Europe."

Anybody got any better ideas?


Joke said...

Sounds plausible to me. I just need to have my sons marry some nice European girls to bring SOME balance to things, otherwise their houses will need to be padded on the inside and all the furniture trampoline-ized.


emma said...

That sounds reasonable...the movers & shakers moved on...that is the beauty of our country...we are never satisfied & are always looking for something or someone to better ourselves & our country. The other thing we can't ignore it the decline of the Catholic church in Europe...they aren't even reproducing themselves for sustainability.

Anonymous said...

I think it has to do with European lifestyle: all that biking and walking. My nephews were tested for ADHD when they lived in the suburbs, but now that they live in a rural area of the Midwest, they've got no extra energy after walking a half-mile to/from the bus stop, mowing the 5-acre lawn, climbing the apple trees, chasing various animals, etc.

angelic doctor said...

I'm not sure I even buy the diagnosis.There is very little truly objective physiological evidence for it's existence and all testing is quite subjective, often with the diagnosis as a foregone conclusion. In my clinical experience ADHD-diagnosed patients are overwhelmingly male, usually from problematic homes and often simply lazy academically.
The tag offers cover to poor parenting and poor teaching.
As proud as I am of our American experiment, I find your explanation a bit triumphalist. Just my two cents...