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Letter to the Editor   |    
Dr. Benes Replies
FRANCINE M. BENES, M.D., Ph.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:1760-a-1760. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.9.1760-a
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To the Editor: Dr. Eisenberg is appropriately concerned about the article describing Konrad Lorenz’s seminal observations regarding the critical periods for the development of imprinting. Having knowledge of Lorenz’s political views, Dr. Eisenberg felt obliged to inform the readership that Lorenz had embraced horrific ideas regarding racial prejudice.

It is clear, based on his work on imprinting, that Lorenz was capable of thinking in a logical and reality-based manner. But having the capability of thinking logically as a scientist does not necessarily ensure that one will arrive at moral conclusions. Beginning a syllogistic process with premises that were prejudicial in nature lead Lorenz to a tragically false conclusion. Dr. Eisenberg’s letter underscores the fact that scientific prowess can be associated with grotesquely misguided sociopolitical views. It is a sad fact that being a scientist, even a Nobel laureate like Lorenz, does not ensure that logic will prevail over prejudice.

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