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.

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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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Richard Johnson of Page Six gives Celia a boost, notes Gallo is Corrected

New York Post unafraid to back Harper’s author

Gallo South African team loses Cup to Canada

The top buzz column in Manhattan draws attention today (Jul 11 Tue) to Celia Farber’s defense team scoring a World Cup win over her detractors in HIV?AIDS today in Cuckoo Over AIDS Writer

The column notes that the Gallo team which launched the offensive against the newly minted media celebrity’s article in Harper’s March issue, “Out of Control: AIDS and The Corruption of Medical Science” (see Blogroll List on this page bottom right, where all the pages mentioned are listed), has now been replied to by the Rethinking AIDS team captained by David Crowe of the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society.

The ’56 errors’ claimed by Gallo and his colleagues in the South African Rockefeller Foundation funded Treatment Action Campaign and the Treatment Action Group in New York were carefully analysed and none of them passed muster. In a reply posted on the Rethinking AIDS site, the group found no errors whatsoever in the Farber piece. The only error was one which Farber finally realized herself, she says, which is the rather obvious one that cuckoo clocks are not grandfather clocks.
So-called community AIDS activists were sprung like cuckoo birds from grandfather clocks at the appointed hour to affirm the unwavering AIDS cathechism: AIDS drugs save lives. Apparently she (or Richard Johnson or the Page Six editors) is still confused, since cuckoo clocks do actually have pendulums (pendula?):
CUCKOO OVER AIDS WRITER July 11, 2006 — CELIA Farber, the maverick author of “Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS,” is having the last laugh on the medical-industrial complex that’s trying to destroy her. Farber, part of an insurgent group which distrusts most of the research done on AIDS, was attacked earlier this year after Harper’s published a comprehensive article she wrote on the subject. A pharmaceutical-promoting organization in South Africa called TAC (Treatment Action Campaign) spearheaded the attack and composed a manifesto claiming Farber’s story contained at least 56 errors. But now another group, Rethinking AIDS, has released a rebuttal finding “no serious errors.” Farber tells Page Six, “There was one error, actually, that was brought to my attention by a clock collector. I likened the drug-promoting activists to cuckoo birds sprung from grandfather clocks, but grandfather clocks have pendulums. I regret the error.” The cuckoos forgive you, Celia.

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