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.


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.

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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Balzac illuminates HIV?AIDS as “occult science”

Ideas can kill, pointed out famed French novelist

“Prometheus: The Life of Balzac” by Andrew Maurois (1965, Hatchette) records how much time Balzac spent in the attentive study of his fellow man, which he would translate into “La Comedia Humaine”. One Maurois paragraph seems particularly prescient, for it captures Balzac expressing what many now acknowledge, which is that perhaps the gravest threat posed by the idea of HIV?AIDS may be the impact on the psyche.

In his youth, around 1824, Balzac held conversations with his more intelligent friends at the Cafe Voltaire near the Odeon Theatre, which he drew upon for his book Les Martyrs Ignores, published in 1843. One character who played dominoes at “the philosophers’ table”, as it became known, was Dr Phantasma, aged sixty three, a disciple of Mesmer. Maurois relates in his lively biography that in Les Martyrs the group talk, as they play, in a manner which sheds light on the thinking of the youthful Balzac.


Thought is more powerful than the body; it devours, absorbs and destroys it. A thought can kill…victims die of imaginary poisoning, or some disease which they haven’t got, or are driven mad by the tyranny of an idea.


“Physidor, who is Balzac’s mouthpiece, relates how an elderly physician, an adept in the occult sciences, once confided to him: “I’m going to tell you a secret. It is this. Thought is more powerful than the body; it devours, absorbs and destroys it.” A thought can kill….Every member of the circle has tales to tell of mysterious tragedies in which unregarded victims die of imaginary poisoning, or some disease which they haven’t got, or are driven mad by the tyranny of an idea. For thought is a material force. The dead can manifest themselves to the living because the life of ideas is more enduring than that of the body. We must believe in the occult sciences!”

Anyone who thinks that Balzac didn’t understand human nature should know that he also made the following observations:

“When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.”

“The more one judges, the less one loves.”

“A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.”

“A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.”

“God made woman beautiful and foolish; beautiful, that man might love her; and foolish, that she might love him”

Of course, the editorial staff of the Nation will surely think some of those are not PC, and we apologize for the offense of repeating them.

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