This article I picked up from someone I follow on Twitter has the viewpoint that autism may have provided our species with an evolutionary advantage.
Never mind evolution (whether or not you think it is a valid explanation for how we all got here) but you can almost see it today.
Consider "the geek". And the prevalance of Asperger Syndrome in certain areas of the country heavy in technology industry that has been reported in media. Coincidence? Or, are we seeing a mini-evolutionary process in our very own culture?
Just think, too. What if we do make contact with an extraterrestrial species - and they turn out to be Vulcan-like? (noting that the stoic/logical nature of the Star Trek Vulcans was cultural, not genetic.) Think about if real Vulcans came to our planet tomorrow.
Who better than people with Asperger Syndrome to meet with them.
(I could be thinking here that if the aliens love weather, or the New York Mets, that Bil might be our ideal first contact person. But maybe not.)
Or, lets say conditions change and we are in a world where constant social interaction isn't as important as it is now, people with autism, including Bil, will flourish.
But, the way we are going, as much as geeks are needed, I don't know if people like Bil will flourish in our new world of social networking.
It really is something to think about.
Now that I am on Twitter, I am going to investigate (when I have time) people on the autistic spectrum who are active on Twitter. This should be....most interesting.