It’s high time we put the most enduring myths about human behavior to bed, and see the mind—and the world—as it is.
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When President George W. Bush was asked his opinion about including intelligent design in high school biology classes, he responded by stating that he thought that both intelligent design and evolution should be taught and then the students could decide which to accept. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8792302/ President Bush had equated the scientific value of the biblically based intelligent design with the scientific value of the theory of evolution. It might seem unfair or undemocratic to always prefer the theory of evolution to intelligent design for an explanation of the history of life on earth, but evolution is good science and intelligent design is bad. Good science will lead eventually to valid outcomes and bad science will not. To see them as having equal scientific value is to deny the differences between them.
Scientific articles do not stand alone but exist in a context of the work of other scientists. Geller’s St. Louis group is passionately committed to the belief in the existence of bipolar disorder in children. Their finding of a fifty per cent rate of conversion from depression in children to bipolar disorder in adolescence has not been repeated by other investigators. For example, the most respected scientists of rates of childhood psychiatric disorders in children, The Maudsley Hospital group in England, who have no agenda to push with regard to bipolar disorder in children, have found a 5.2% rate of conversion from depression in children to bipolar disorder in adulthood. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/179/3/210. There are other studies with results that differ from the Maudsley study and from the Geller group’s study. None have found the high rates of conversion to bipolar disorder in depressed children that the Geller group reported.
The Geller group article is dated not just by time, but by having its authors now have moved on to develop a number of controversial ideas about bipolar disorder in children such as ultraradian cycles, non-DSM cardinal symptoms, the redefinition of manic episodes, and the existence of bipolar disorder in two year old children.
I have already noted that Ghaemi’s claims about the National Comorbidity Studies are factually inaccurate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946114/ The NCS did not interview children 12 and under to assess for the existence of bipolar disorder as Ghaemi claims.
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