Three Mad Gene Studies

It is the Fourth of July, and I want to post someday an entry entitled The Future of Freedom just because it makes such a good title. I haven’t given the subject enough thought to come up with something on the spur of the moment, but I have thought about something along related lines. That subject is the future of freedom from mental illness.

These three consortium studies, funded by the National Institute of Heath, the NIH reports, have discovered the genetic variety to account for 1/3 of the risk for schizophrenia. These studies were developed by people who don’t buy into the notion of recovery in the first place when it comes to the severely disturbed. World Health Organization studies going back to the sixties have found recovery rates in developing countries to be twice as high as those in the developed world. These results are as bad as the recovery rates in the developed world. The very recovery rates that these studies are intended to reinforce. Let me point out that 33.3% is missing 66.6%, that is to say, you’re batting way less than 50%. These researchers go onto say about their subject:

Still, most of the genetic contribution to schizophrenia, which is estimated to be at least 70 percent heritable, remains unknown.

How do you come up with a figure like 70% when you can only account for 1/3, or as you say, when most of the contribution remains unknown? You can’t. You just jockie stats to make it look like you know something when you know absolutely zilch. These researchers are talking about getting excited about their findings “leading to multi-gene signitures or biomarkers for severe mental illness.” Dream on, laddies and lassies, dream on. It ain’t gonna happen, not in your lifetime nor in mine.

What do these studies tell us? One thing we know already. These studies cannot help us to predict the development of a serious mental illness from the genetic make up of a fetus with any degree of accuracy. You are not going to get 100% in the results from these studies. We are not being very exacting here. This is not hard science, it’s just more junk science, more pseudoscience.

There is the element of chance, folks, of course, and some of it is within human control, or rather, beyond the domain of the chromesome.

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