|Flickr photo by Mary Harrsch|
No, I am not joking.
I really didn't want to write a third snarky post in the row, but this is too much. I know researchers sometimes publish things like this as sort of a tongue-in-cheek paper, but really.
But when I opened up my e-mail this morning, there it was" Newer insights to the neurological diseases among biblical characters of old testament", sandwiched between "The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study" and "Family-based association testing of glutamate transporter genes in autism".
The paper is available online, so go read it if you want. But the, uhm, substance of the the reasons for the historical diagnosis can be summed up as follows -
1. Samsom had "violent movements of the body" at various times which might have been seizures. Seizures are common in some people with autism.
2. Samson is said to have eaten a swarm of bees and honey that he found in the carcass of a lion. Abnormal eating habits have been seen in children with autism.
3. Samson showed a "failure to understand deception" because he believed his strength lay in his hair and that he would lose his strength if his hair was ever cut. I think it would have been more plausible if they went with resistance to change instead of the deception angle, but that's just me.
4. Samson performed many physical feats throughout his life, feats he may have only been able to perform because he was insensitive to pain. Some people with autism have been found to be insensitive to pain.
So there you have it, Samson joins the ranks of those with a post-humorous diagnosis.
Mathew SK, Pandian JD. Newer insights to the neurological diseases among biblical characters of old testament. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2010 [cited 2010 Nov 19];13:164-6. Available from: http://www.annalsofian.org/text.asp?2010/13/3/164/70873