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Adoptee Studies of Psychiatric Disorders

Denis Donovan, MD, MEd
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):875. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330109014.
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To the Editor.—  For a theory to be within the realm of science it must also be falsifiable. A theory whose premises are shown to be false cannot be considered valid until and unless alternative premises, shown to be true (corresponding to the facts), adequately replace those shown to be false. Scientific method requires a constant attempt to challenge the predicates of our propositions and to accept as fortuitous (if disappointing for the theoretically devoted) the serendipitous discovery that a given proposition is false. A passionately honest interrogation of our cherished premises is all the more important in psychiatry because ours is an epistemologically weak and vulnerable discipline. This is particularly true because it is so easy to mistake the trappings of science, especially technology, for true scientific method.Because it is not morally feasible to separate identical twins at birth and cause them to be raised "by families bearing


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