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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Duesberg suggests strange effect of Montagnier’s misleading Nobel

Paradoxically, truth’s chains may be loosened, some suggest

Duesberg, saluted by flurry of email from supporters, gives reaction

He fights new battle against the money pyramid in cancer

The Nobel for medicine given Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barré-Sinoussi for her detection of what was later labeled HIV in the blood of French AIDS patients lances a certain boil in the body politic of science.

No longer will Montagnier and Gallo have to fret over why they have been so long ignored by Stockholm – was it because of their undignified public battle over priority, or more specifically, because of the bogus work said to have been carried out in Gallo’s NIH lab?

Now Montagnier’s priority is correctly recognized by the Karolinska gong, and Gallo can retreat to the firm ground of not having to make claims which tread the thin crust of suspension of disbelief over the bog of proven scientific insanity.

But what of the larger context? Is this part of a larger trend in the twentieth century of virus hunters galloping far along a track into the desert in pursuit of a mirage, and still awarding themselves the Nobel for achievement in medicine when they return empty handed?

Some might say this is what Duesberg means when he wrote the following email reply today to an earnest enquirer who wanted to know if the Nobel was justified or did the HIV/AIDS tale remain unproven, posing his question as follows:

Although I am not a scientist, I have been convinced that you have been right all along regarding the AIDS virus and HIV. However, I now see that two Europeans (whom I presume you know) have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV virus.

“In its citation, the Nobel Assembly said Barre-Sinoussi and Montagnier’s discovery was one prerequisite for understanding the biology of AIDS and its treatment with antiviral drugs. The pair’s work in the early 1980s made it possible to study the virus closely.

That in turn let scientists identify important details in how HIV replicates and how it interacts with the cells it infects, the citation said. It also led to ways to diagnose infected people and to screen blood for HIV, which has limited spread of the epidemic, and helped scientists develop anti-HIV drugs, the citation said.

“The combination of prevention and treatment has substantially decreased spread of the disease and dramatically increased life expectancy among treated patients,” the citation said.

So basically they are receiving the Nobel prize for assuming that HIV is the root cause of AIDS, which gave rise to wrong-headed attempts to cure it based on an incorrect premise. Unless HIV is no longer a passenger virus? My question is, did these two gentlemen actually observe an HIV virus infecting another cell? If HIV is a passive passenger virus that 11% of the population is born with how can it infect other cells? Now that these gentlemen’s work has been given the imprimatur of the Nobel Committee, I am afraid there is less hope than ever for a real cure for AIDS.

So, have things changed? Was HIV proven to be the cause of AIDS?

To which Duesberg, possibly the world’s leading expert on viruses, cancer and AIDS politics, replied:

You are right, the HIV-AIDS hypothesis remains unproven but hundreds of thousands are prescribed inevitably toxic anti-HIV DNA chain terminators on its basis. Likewise the HPV-cervical hypothesis is unproven, but hundred thousands are now vaccinated against the predicted cancer 30-50 years (!) after infection. Indeed this is the 7th Nobel in the last 50 years for viruses causing cancer (Rous, Temin, Baltimore, Dulbecco, Bishop, Varmus and now Zur Hausen), although cancer is not an infectious disease!

Ever since funding for research has been nationalized in the US and elsewhere, just like licensing and even paying for drugs and vaccines, science is controlled and judged by majority/political consensus, rather than by scientific evidence. The national HIV-AIDS and HPV-cervical cancer programs and the resulting Nobels are perfect examples.

We are treating with DNA chain-terminators a virus that has yet to be proven to cause AIDS, and we are vaccinating against another virus that has yet to be shown to cause cervical cancer 30-50 years after infection.

There is, however, an olive twig for the rest of scientists after a Nobel prize: Since the pressure to win the prize and justify the treatments is gone, there are new opportunities for post-Nobelists to speak up and make “unexpected” discoveries on why the vaccines and drugs didn’t work.

By the last remark we take him to mean that with the Nobel finally in hand, Montagnier, who has always been inclined to pursue co-factors as the explanation for the mysterious absence of any proof that HIV actually does anything at all to man or beast or cell, may open the lid to that Pandora’s box of alternative explanations for AIDS in its various manifestations, which so remarkably match the symptoms of familiar causes of illness and ailments of all kinds.

Gallo, after all, may be in the same boat in a sense, since now having to give up any hope of a Nobel, he too is freer to cook up an alternative mental framework in which to view the familiar symptoms of AIDS, each of which can then be caused by something else other than HIV.

After all, Duesberg reminded us today, Gallo is the one who kept saying early on in this grand paradigm dispute, “Peter doesn’t understand co-factors!”.

That of course was before Gallo and Fauci and the rest of the HIV-at-any-cost/AIDS gang ran Montagnier out of town in the San Francisco AIDS Conference for daring to come up with a cofactor in the form of a mycoplasma and present it to the media.

Montagnier flew in from Paris and wound up having to address the press in a hotel room far outside the annual “it’s The Virus Stupid AIDS Conference and then, finding no one who would have dinner with him among this disreputable lot, had to fly back to Paris.

Viewing the current developments from this long perspective, one can see that this Nobel might in a paradoxical way amount to a crack in the massive monetary-governmental pyramid that is HIV/AIDS, a crack just wide enough for a little light to creep into the tomb of good science that it marks.

We wish Duesberg had time to write a new and slimmer book now, lest his contextual wisdom be lost, but he is too busy fighting a new Stalingrad, he says, taking a moment from our conversation to inspect his latest lab result.

The forces protecting the oncogene paradigm are busy counter attacking him for his incontrovertibly promising aneuploidy theory, which if it had money attached to it in the same proportion as the oncogene paradigm defense fort would prevail in an instant, since as far as we can tell every good honest scientist at the top of the field is interested in pursuing it if only they can find a way.

Meanwhile, his email says it all about the day’s headline.

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