Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bursting the Neuro-Utopian Bubble - NYTimes.com

"We know, for instance, that low socioeconomic status at birth is associated with a greater risk of developing schizophrenia, but the lion’s share of research into schizophrenia today is carried out by neurobiologists and geneticists, who are intent on uncovering the organic 'cause' of the disease rather than looking into psychosocial factors. Though this research may very well bear fruit, its dominance over other forms of research, in the face of the known connection between poverty and schizophrenia, attests to a curious assumption that has settled into a comfortable obviousness: that socioeconomic status, unlike human biology, is something we cannot change 'scientifically.' That it is somehow more realistic, 'scientifically,' to find a way to change the human being itself than it is to work together to change the kind of environment that lends itself to the emergence of a disorder like schizophrenia."

Schizophrenia may be "associated" with low socioeconomic status but to make the leap that there is a "connection" between the two has nothing to do with any sort of science. Correlation is not causation. Wealthy people can and do become schizophrenic. I think Mr. Fong needs to crack open a science book or two from his UNDER-graduate studies before he continues work on his manuscript. And please drop the annoying quotes around scientifically.

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