Joined: Mar. 2007
|Quote (JohnW @ April 04 2007,17:59)|
|Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 04 2007,17:50)|
|If Egnor is any indicator, MDs are not very intelligent.|
Now that's below the belt.
Given your sample size (1), I'm not convinced you can make this inference. Whatever the profession, a handful of eejits always manage to slip through the net. I work with a lot of MDs. They seem pretty smart to me.
Yeah, that was below the belt. Doctors can be pretty smart; my postdoc advisor was an M.D., and he was one of the smartest guys I ever met.
In thinking more about those data, it helps to remember that these are scores from the MCAT. Everybody who takes that test is, by definition, a pre-med, even if their major is biology, or engineering, or even English. And as we all know, even if most doctors are intelligent, lots of pre-meds are not. I have taught thousands of undergrads in my 26 years as a biology professor, and I have run across lots of pre-meds who I hope never get into medical school. If they do, I hope that neither I nor any member of my family ever have to be a patient in their care.
Second thing to remember is that this sort of standardized test is good for some evaluations, and not good for others. In general, from my experience, engineers (and engineering majors) tend to be very good at standardized tests (probably for lots of reasons). But standardized tests are not necessarily good for predicting success in more open disciplines, like chemistry or biology. I chaired our graduate admissions committee for many years, and I can guarantee that there is little correlation between an applicant's GRE scores and their eventual success as a biological scientist. Like the MCAT, the GRE doesn't measure some critical parameters, like the ability to put in long hours at the lab bench without going postal. Honestly, we lose more grad students because of the fact that they are unable to handle the frustration of doing basic research, repeating experiments, having experiments come out badly because of equipment or reagent problems, getting infections in their cell cultures, or overlooking some critical control. No test will measure your ability to handle that!
And no test can truly test critical thinking at the level needed for scientific research. That requires gleaning facts and methods from dozens of papers, synthesizing them into a useful experiment, and then thinking about the results (which may not be exactly the results you hoped for) in a way that generates new knowledge. Then you get to repeat it. That's tough sledding. And generally not required for MDs, unless they go into clinical or other research.
So no, I'd say that biologists are not "wimps", but I'd broaden that to say that any research scientist (chemistry, physics, geology, math etc.) probably deserves a lot of respect. Folks like FtK or DaveScot, who think that simply because they have biological functions like coughing or farting or seeing or reproducing that they understand biology at some deep level, are simply uninformed.
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
- Pattiann Rogers