Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 19:15:48 -0500 Subject: So what if Murray and the Bell Curve hypothe

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Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 19:15:48 -0500 From: Oliver Garfield Subject: So what if Murray and the Bell Curve hypothesis is correct? I am in one of the groups with an inferior bell curve since I am not an Asian. However I have a respectable IQ and graduated from an IVY league College. I now teach students in a public trade school who are not academic hot shots. They are by and large interested in learning but not too well prepared and take on the average at least 5 years to finish high school and have a fairly high drop out rate. I make these remarks as a prelude to the basic question all educators face. "How can we prepare these students to hold jobs, understand how to take care of themselves in a complex world?" It doesn't make any difference how they came to be badly prepared, or whether they take longer to get through a curriculum they have to be educated and prepared to participate in society even if according to Mr. Murray there are genetic reasons for their predicament and ours. Our focus must be not a sterile debates about genetic links that we are not now in a position to identify and even more to do anything about. Our present focus must be on wfinding the most effective ways to educate them to the level they require for continuing labor force participation. This is a separate topic. On the other hand we must acknowledge that our bodies and minds are formed by genes. Many forms of mental retardation can be specifically identified early and either dealt with by abortion, or by careful monitoring of diet. It is not so far fetched that certain genes will be identified whose output can be corrected at an early age so that long term effects will not increase the damage. Schizophrenia may be diagosed earlier and appropriate medicines started before years of schooling are wasted. Autism may be found to be caused by genetic anomalies. Such possibilities are far from remote. I for instance have gout and have taken a single pill daily for over twenty years. While not a mental condition gout is notable for the simplicity of the cure, and the considerable incapacitation from a single gene metabolic disorder. All of us have some recessive or defective genes. Our job as a society is to correct the effect of those genes as best we can. Gradually we are gathering the tools to do this. But we are not there yet. Until we are we must accept that each of us has genetically caused problems and limitations and we do not know at what age they will manifest themselves. *********************************************************************** *Oliver Garfield email: oliver@panix.com * *World Health Foundation phone: 212-877-4230 * *125 Riverside Drive * *New York, NY 10024 * * * ***********************************************************************

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