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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All hail World AIDS Day – let the ink and the electrons flow

Today (Dec 1 Thu) is World AIDS Day, and once again we will all be reminded of the extent of the plague of the fearsome virus, the need for a renewed international effort to prevent it sweeping the world, the praiseworthy efforts of concerned world leaders such as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Holbrooke and Anthony Fauci to turn the AIDS aid tap another notch, the sheer ignorance of Africans in the realm of sexual relations, the generosity of the drug companies in reducing the price of their pills, and so on and on. In other words, much the same as last year and the year before that and before that and before that.

For as usual not much has changed over the last year, though it is claimed in some African countries that the spread of HIV has eased, owing to the ABC of prevention – Abstinence, Be Faithful, Use Condoms – applied by the same supposedly ignorant Africans previously out of sexual control.

No vaccine, though thirty are being tried out, according to the BBC Health Correspondent. No cure. No explanation of how HIV causes AIDS. No proof that HIV causes AIDS. No explanation as to how AIDS could possibly be spreading outside drug use among the heterosexuals of Africa and beyond, when the possibility of transferring “HIV positivity” in ordinary sex is negligible to the point of vanishing, according to AIDS mainstream science.

No explanation of why it wouldn’t be simpler to adopt the critique of dissent in AIDS science and simply acknowledge that HIV is not the cause of AIDS or anything else, and return to treating all symptoms of AIDS as if they were caused by what they usually are and always were caused by – recreational drugs, TB, malaria, and a myriad other diseases in Africa, malnutrition, fear, panic and hopelessness, and worst of all, the remarkably toxic drugs used in AIDS treatment.

For if that was done, all the myriad inconsistencies, puzzles, paradoxes and lack of explanations in HIV?AIDS would melt away in an instant, leaving absolutely none to be accounted for, and no one confused, instead of everybody baffled who thinks about the topic for more than five minutes.

But that of course would be too simple. For economically, politically and socially, it would be the most complex matter in the world. The very idea is enough to give the editors of Nature and Science a stroke, and doctors in their offices and AIDS scientists in their labs across the world heart seizure.

Not to mention strike fear in the hearts of drug executives, politicians, activists, gays, health workers, WHO statisticians, officials and university administrators and their wives and sons and daughters and dogs and cats and the whole massive infrastructure of dependents whose very life blood would freeze at the prospect of HIV being revealed as “the wrong cause of AIDS, sorry.”

However, today being a day of celebration of sorts – celebrating the conjoined efforts of all who are trying to rescue the world from this ever mounting threat, second only to bird flu in its promise of devastation – we would like to stop criticizing for once and join in the party.

Yes, we too at New AIDS Review welcome World AIDS Day.

We care, do you?

For one very good reason. The very good reason that it serves to keep AIDS in the headlines and the whole fantastic paradigm in view, like some gigantic inflated Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Denis the Dragon cartoon balloon of science, torn loose from the moorings of good scientific review and already high in the sky, though not yet totally beyond the gunsights of the skeptics.

For how otherwise could this science blog’s fundamental point be made so easily? Without this extraordinary example of questionable science inflated by hot air and other invisible supports to global domination, we would be lacking history’s greatest example of Kuhnian paradigm resistance, whereby a flawed but established paradigm is maintained by the secret closemindedness of its supporters against all the attacks of logic and evidence mounted by those who wish to replace it with something better.

Without the staggeringly obvious and conclusive example of AIDS, by now the most suspect paradigm of all time, it seems to us, we would lack a paradigm exhibit of unprecedented size and vulnerability.

A prize exhibit on which well over $130 billion has been spent so far, a paradigm for which no proof has ever been offered, or even valid evidence, according to the best scientific literature.

A prize exhibit of a paradigm which has resisted proper independent review for almost two decades, while achieving no valid results whatsoever in terms of preventive, palliative or cure for the fatal defeat of human health it is supposed to account for. (No, Dr Watson, the drug cocktail does not save lives, unless you prefer to credit Time Magazine rather than the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and not even the review papers, but those written by the mainstream scientists in AIDS in support of HIV?AIDS).

So we too are happy to join hands briefly with the HIV=AIDS establishment and dance around the World AIDS Day pole, forgetting for the moment, as they seem to do in their resistance to review, the lives devastated and sacrificed by this unmoored belief.

For we acknowledge with shame that we too benefit from the existence of this marvel, this incredible gas-filled dragon balloon cartoon figure of a paradigm, which now rules the minds of so many millions and very soon billions, and which presents such a wonderful target for any one who wishes to assert the strange phenomenon of the mental inertia and group mindedness of scientists, fully paid up members of the one profession which supposedly makes a practice of self-questioning its own bias.

But of course, while the target is enormous, an extremely large balloon easily resists a kick in its Mickey Mouse pants, however large the boot. What is needed here is a bazooka.

Well, as we have hinted before, a rocket of much larger firepower, a veritable literary Exocet missile is currently being loaded, polished and aimed. We can say no more at present. But it is not impossible that this World AIDS Day may be the last time that the AIDS higher ups of Washington and in the great American and European universities are seen dancing around the AIDS Maypole in December.

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