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.
----------------------------------------------

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)

BEST VIEWED IN LARGE FONT
Expanded GUIDE TO SITE PURPOSE AND LAYOUT is in the lower blue section at the bottom of every home page.

Cholera indexes how bad conditions can be in Africa

Presumably cholera acts too quickly to be misdiagnosed as AIDS, but its outbreaks surely indicate how rough conditions are on the ground in many places. A little item in the Times from Reuters at the bottom of the second page on Sunday salutes this perennial threat.

The New York Times

August 28, 2005

Cholera Kills Hundreds in West Africa

By REUTERS

DAKAR, Senegal, Aug. 27 (Reuters) – Cholera outbreaks caused partly by heavy rains battering West Africa have killed hundreds of people in the last few months, prompting appeals for medicine to help thousands of sufferers, United Nations officials said this week.

(more)

(show)

The New York Times

August 28, 2005

Cholera Kills Hundreds in West Africa

By REUTERS

DAKAR, Senegal, Aug. 27 (Reuters) – Cholera outbreaks caused partly by heavy rains battering West Africa have killed hundreds of people in the last few months, prompting appeals for medicine to help thousands of sufferers, United Nations officials said this week.

The number of recorded cholera cases in West Africa this year is 24,621, with at least 401 deaths in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal, according to United Nations data.

In Guinea-Bissau, the hardest hit, cholera deaths have more than doubled since Aug. 9, rising to 188 from 84. An official in the Health Ministry in Bissau, the capital, which has borne the brunt of the epidemic, said more than 9,000 cases had been recorded and that the disease was spreading rapidly in the provinces.

In Congo, a cholera outbreak in a convoy of about 3,000 soldiers traveling with their families in the east killed at least 16 people and infected hundreds, aid officials said Friday. Relief workers said the convoy, had dropped off hundreds of infected people in villages along the way, spreading exposure to local residents.

Cholera can kill victims within 24 hours by inducing vomiting and diarrhea that cause severe dehydration, but it is treatable using a simple mixture of water and rehydration salts.

Often associated with heavy rains that flood latrines or contaminate wells, cholera usually kills people who are so poor they cannot afford basic health care.

Several countries have sent aid, including France, China and Portugal, but United Nations officials said more was needed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Bad Behavior has blocked 167 access attempts in the last 7 days.