The My View by Michele Herling, executive director of the Compassionate Touch Network (“Let’s eliminate prejudices about mental illness,” Sept. 30), illustrates an alarming trend in education and the sciences. When she writes, “Mental illnesses are neurobiological, brain-based illnesses … ,” she is confusing correlation with causation. Neither neuroscience nor biology, the parent disciplines, can tell us the genetic cause of mental illness nor isolate a single gene.
Statements about such serious public health issues should be based on science, not psycho-phrenology repackaged as a statement of fact. Stigma is a social construct largely perpetuated by faulty logic; I assure you, it has nothing to do with the science of “neurobiology.” Nicholas King