Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

Henry Bauer, Peter Breggin , Harvey Bialy, Giordano Bruno, Erwin Chargaff, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Crick, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw, Freeman Dyson, Peter Duesberg, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, John Fewster, Galileo Galilei, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Edward Jenner, Benjamin Jesty, Michio Kaku, Adrian Kent, Ernst Krebs, Thomas Kuhn, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, Eric Penrose, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick, Sherwood Rowland, Carl Sagan, Otto Rossler, Fred Singer, Thomas Szasz, Alfred Wegener, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson.
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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Belief)

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AIDS elite at 25 – top trio meets in public at the New School tonight

But will audience dare to question progress?

Celebrating “AIDS at 25”, three of the AIDS elite will meet at the New School tonight in a New York Times panel to discuss progress to date.

New York Times Talks

AIDS at 25: What’s Next?

Mon., June 19, 6:30 p.m. Admission: $25 at nytimes.com/timestalks or call 888.NYT.1870. A limited number of complimentary New School student, faculty, staff and alumni tickets are available by calling 212.229.5488 or emailing boxoffice@newschool.edu.

Location: Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first New York Times story about a rare, often rapidly fatal form of cancer afflicting gay men. What we now know as AIDS has gone on to become a worldwide pandemic with no known cure. Some of the leading voices in the quarter-century-long struggle to identify and combat this disease talk about the victories they have helped attain and the challenges that remain. Panelists: Allan Clear, executive director, Harm Reduction Coalition; Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Larry Kramer, Founder, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP; and Mathilde Krim, PhD, founding chairman, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Panel discussion moderated by Brent Staples, New York Times editorial board.

Their names are the most celebrated in the socio-politics of AIDS: Anthony Fauci, Mathilde Krim and Larry Kramer.

Anthony Fauci is the short, well dressed director of NIAID, which is responsible for guiding the research and development of medications in AIDS, as well as possible vaccines. Result so far: no vaccine, no cure, no explanation, and no genuinely good medications but merely ones which act rather like a flame thrower used inside a house to chase mice. Initially the weapon may kill the mice (infections), but it soon enough burns down the house (ie kills the patient: half of AIDS patient deaths now are due to drug symptoms – such as liver damage – which are not AIDS diseases).

Mathilde Krim is the short, blonde-bunned founder of AmFAR, the prominent charity devoted to a similar goal. Best known for winning the support of Elizabeth Taylor and for saying to this reporter, on the topic of whether HIV caused AIDS, “Well we can’t prove it does, but Peter (Duesberg) can’t prove it doesn’t!”

Larry Kramer is the short, regal playwright and orator who is fond of accusing officials, and gays themselves, of behaving in ways that put the health of the gay community at risk, but has never bitten the bullet and examined whether scientists have the same range of human motivations, some of which may betray the gay community in just as lethal a manner. Kramer, in fact, has despite his artistic grasp of the emotions at play has never been able to move beyond fearing the virus to fearing the men and women behind its status.

Since this is an unprecedented opportunity to ask questions from the audience of these movers and shakers of HIV?AIDS science and politics, perhaps someone will formulate an enquiry which politely asks them to explain how a virus that does not kill T-cells after all, that is not significantly present in AIDS patients, and that is not transmitted through man-woman sex (all now established in mainstream scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals) can possibly be responsible for so many deaths over the years, and how it can be spreading throughout the world in a pandemic which threatens the very survival of some African nations?

Prize for best query

Maybe you can formulate a cleverer question today, in time for it to be asked by this correspondent or his deputy tonight. Prize to be awarded for best suggestion: free copy of Harvey Bialy’s inimitable book, “Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS: The Life and Scientific Times of Peter H. Duesberg”, which explains how the issue of the true cause of HIV?AIDS was settled in 1988, if not earlier.

Some suggestions:

1. Dr. Fauci, how come the Virus appears to be contagious in poorer countries overseas and not in the US and Europe? Are rich people immune as long as they are not gay?

2. Dr. Fauci, how is it that at least five listed AIDS diseases have little to do with immune deficiency – wasting, cervical cancer, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, dementia, lymphoma?

3. Dr. Fauci, how come that after the Virus has been replaced (controlled, neutralized) by antibodies to it, people develop AIDS diseases after ten years or even twenty years, when antibody immunity is still effective and the Virus is not present more often than a needle in a haystack?

4. Dr. Fauci, do you support Dr. Gallo in still saying that the Virus kills T cells and that this is the cause of AIDS immune deficiency? If so, how does the Virus kill cells it is not inside, in a body in which it is almost totally absent? Does this “conundrum” after twenty years (as it is now called in mainstream literature eg by Zvi Grossman of NIAID and Tel Aviv in Nature Medicine in March) suggest we have the wrong cause of AIDS after all?

5. Dr. Fauci, if HIV positive people are already full of antibodies which have replaced their Virus, what kind of viral antibodies will the vaccine that we are still asked to spend more billions hunting, provide?

6. Dr. Fauci, if the occurrence (prevalence) of HIV in the US has remained flat at around a million HIV+ people for twenty years, how did the Virus cause the rise and decline in AIDS in the US?

7. Dr. Fauci, if it is the Virus that is killing AIDS patients, how come more than half are now dying of liver damage, which is a drug symptom and not an AIDS symptom?

8. Dr. Fauci, what exactly is the rationale for spending more on AIDS than on the much, much bigger killers cancer and heart disease?

9. Dr. Fauci, do you support funding for the widely admired research Dr. Duesberg is undertaking down a new path in cancer research? If so, will you lend your weight to advising NCI to support his grant applications?

10. Dr Fauci, what co-factors could explain whether people get sick soon or much later?

11. Dr Fauci, if the initial effect of HIV is to increase T cell count as you wrote in your review in 2003 in the textbook Fundamental Immunology, why not use HIV to combat AIDS? Would this not be better than using antiretroviral drugs, which you wrote decreased T cell count, and when stopped, saw T cell count improve?

12. Dr. Fauci, is there a single prediction based on the current paradigm that has come true?

5 Responses to “AIDS elite at 25 – top trio meets in public at the New School tonight”

  1. David Crowe Says:

    My question> “Is science about continuously questioning the status quo? If so, can you explain why people who question HIV=AIDS=Death are attacked so vehemently? If not, when did this change?

  2. I have to remain unknown for my career (pathetic I know!) Says:

    With regard to Hirm’s statement – if Duesberg’s research and the HIV=AIDS research are equal, are we not suppose to accept the null hypothesis? Afterall, is that not the method through which SCIENCE is conducted?

  3. truthseeker Says:

    Does the above statement make any sense at all? Can anyone translate if it does?

    Perhaps “Unknown” would like to expand somewhat?

    Otherwise, we will have to conclude that it is a prime example of the confused state of mind of those who work on the front lines of this field.

  4. I have to remain unknown for my career (pathetic I know!) Says:

    Truthseeker

    Dr. Duesberg’s claim that HIV does not cause AIDS is equal to the null hypothesis – which is what is accepted in science if the data does not say otherwise. Thus, if Hirm is concluding that there is no more evidence for current HIV=AIDS theroy than there is for the null hypothesis, the null hypothesis should be accepted.

    I am on your side! It is a little funny, however, how someone who complains about intolerance jumped all over me because they misread what I typed. Practice what you preach.

  5. truthseeker Says:

    Wasn’t aware of jumping all over you, Unknown Careerist, merely raised the issue of whether what you wrote was intelligible, which now you have expanded it, is partly resolved. However, who is Hirm? Don’t recall mentioning him or seeing him/her mentioned anywhere.

    Nor do we recall complaining of intolerance, but you are right, it is the fundamental problem of this field, wherein all would be resolved as quickly as the mystery of your comment above if censorship was lifted, which may of course be the reason it is not. There are all too many people whose importance would vanish if the Virus was repudiated as the cause of global havoc, and drugs, poverty and disease recognized as having their normal effects without any help needed. Why, even our own negligible role would vanish, leaving us at a serious loss as to how to gain attention without special talent or expertise, so we certainly sympathize with all these people who now play such a self-important role on the world’s stage. The question is whether they should knowingly feed depressing propaganda and damaging drugs to people who accept their authority, and thus support themselves and their family, by playing a role in this tragi-comedy. Is it no longer a crime to betray trust in a world that cheats? To kill others so that one may serve oneself and one’s family? Or is their stupidity a fact rather than an excuse?

    Whatever, it would all crumble in a second if not maintained by censorship, where the unknowing mob goes hand in hand with its leaders, to enforce it. So yes, we do complain of intolerance, the enemy of truth and social harmony.

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