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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The ability to say “Hogwash!” – not entirely gone in AIDS propaganda recipients overseas

Extended study of the situation in HIV?AIDS across the globe can result in the conviction that humanity has lost the capacity to question any statement from an AIDS authority, however lacking it may be in sense or reason.

But a sign of hope comes from South Africa, where undertakers who were told that they were at grave risk of “contracting HIV” at their work responded with a resounding “Hogwash!”


Funeral undertakers are not concerned about contracting HIV from corpses, they said on Tuesday.

“It’s a load of hogwash. If they take the right precautions, the chance [of contracting HIV] is a big, round nought,” said Geoffrey Gilfillan, an operations manager for Doves.

The funeral undertakers were reacting to the United Funeral Association of SA (Ufasa) saying it would call for the HIV status of the dead to be recorded on death certificates.

Ufasa’s founder member Johan Rousseau said on Monday not only were the 30 000 industry workers placed at risk when they handled bodies infected with HIV, but workers in related industries were also at risk.

“Every dead person is touched by at least two mortuary workers, two family members, policemen and hospital workers,” he said, explaining that these people were exposed to fluid seepage from the bodies.

(show)

From news24.com

Undertakers ‘safe’ from HIV

25/10/2005 18:52 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Funeral undertakers are not concerned about contracting HIV from corpses, they said on Tuesday.

“It’s a load of hogwash. If they take the right precautions, the chance [of contracting HIV] is a big, round nought,” said Geoffrey Gilfillan, an operations manager for Doves.

The funeral undertakers were reacting to the United Funeral Association of SA (Ufasa) saying it would call for the HIV status of the dead to be recorded on death certificates.

Ufasa’s founder member Johan Rousseau said on Monday not only were the 30 000 industry workers placed at risk when they handled bodies infected with HIV, but workers in related industries were also at risk.

“Every dead person is touched by at least two mortuary workers, two family members, policemen and hospital workers,” he said, explaining that these people were exposed to fluid seepage from the bodies.

The matter would be discussed at a conference in Johannesburg next month.

Funeral undertakers in the Johannesburg area contacted by Sapa on Tuesday disagreed with Ufasa, saying if the right precautions were taken, there was no risk.

“If undertakers put their gloves on when handling bodies and wash their hands afterwards, there is no way they will contract HIV,” said Naomi Booysen of Avbob in Alberton.

“You must not drink or eat while handling the bodies, and you get coats you can wear if blood splatters.”

Caps Poonee, owner of Poonee A Funeral Parlour in Lenasia said he had never heard of an individual contracting HIV in this manner.

“We use gloves… and strong chemicals. According to experience I don’t agree there is a risk.”

The owner of Enigma Funeral Directors, Helen Janse van Rensburg, which is based in Newlands, agreed with her peers.

“They are quite right,” she said.

“There are many other sicknesses they should be more worried about. Some of them don’t say be aware of a fly landing on a body and then on somebody’s bread. Then that person eats the bread and gets sick.”

Dr Ian Sanne, the clinical director of the Wits Health Consortium, said undertakers who did not take universal precautions were negligent.

These included wearing gloves, goggles and gowns.

He said it was theoretically possible to contract HIV from a body, such as through a forensic or academic post mortem, but medical staff took the necessary precautions, which included selecting the type of blades used.

A spokesperson for the Aids lobby group Treatment Action Campaign, Nathan Geffen, said he had never heard of a person contracting HIV in this manner.

He also agreed that if undertakers took the correct precautions, there would be no risk.

We are glad to see that political claptrap in connection with AIDS is also recognized by a New Zealand spokesman for Maori affairs.


National’s Maori Affairs spokesman, Gerry Brownlee, says this is politically correct clap-trap as the Maori language version of the Treaty has nothing to do with helping Aids patients, who should be treated equally regardless of their race.

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Thu 27 Oct 08:04:08 2005

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Wed Oct 26 15:45

Christchurch

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tvnz.co.nz

Aids advert “clap-trap” says Brownlee

Oct 24, 2005

The National Party says a politically correct advertisement by the Aids Foundation will do nothing to help Aids and HIV sufferers.

The advert seeks a trustee who acknowledges the Maori text of the Treat of Waitangi is the basis upon which relationships between Maori and non-Maori must rest.

National’s Maori Affairs spokesman, Gerry Brownlee, says this is politically correct clap-trap as the Maori language version of the Treaty has nothing to do with helping Aids patients, who should be treated equally regardless of their race.

However, the chairman of the Aids Foundation Simon Robb says its constitution also requires knowledge in other areas such as public policy, the law, health and medicine, and this mix has helped fight the problem.

Source: RNZ

Is this the start of a trend? It would certainly be a refreshing change if the claptrap detection antennae of more people were switched on when HIV?AIDS spokesepeople made announcements of the scientific or any other kind.

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