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 aim of this blog is open review

The purpose of this blog is straightforward. The goal is to keep the science and medicine of “HIV/AIDS” – and any other mainstream paradigm which is questioned on the basis of the published literature – open to review and public discussion by experts and non-experts alike.

The real story of AIDS

The scientific theory and the political ideology of AIDS have been going strong for some two decades now, ever since the central idea was launched in 1984. The driving notion was that the new phenomenon of AIDS, which had appeared among gay men in North America in the early eighties, was due to a virus, soon named HIV (Human Immodeficiency Virus). From a claim launched in a press conference in 1984, the idea of AIDS-caused-by-HIV has spread around the world to take over virtually every government and society (the sole exception so far appears to be South Africa, and perhaps India).

What is not widely appreciated is that this notion is so far unproven, and it is questioned by many knowledgeable people inside science and out. In fact, the initial, and still the only major, complete review of the new theory in the most respected scientific literature completely rejected the idea that HIV was the cause of AIDS.

The peer reviewed articles in Cancer Research of March 1st 1987 and in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in February 1989, and 1991, were by a Berkeley professor, Peter Duesberg, whose credentials included leadership of two scientific fields, retroviruses (HIV is a retrovirus) and oncogenes (cancer genes), membership of the National Academy, a California Scientist of the Year award, and exceptionally generous funding by the NIH (National Institutes of health) In other words, a leading establishment figure in the field.

The silence which met his apparently overwhelming critique, and the subsequent unusual resistance raised against his further publications on the topic, together with the extraordinary decline in his career that followed, and the fierce political opposition to media coverage of his views, has been a remarkable and disturbing phenomenon to those who believe that open debate is a linchpin of good science and medicine.

To some extent, the discouraging of closer examination of the HIV- AIDS theory – typically asserted on the grounds that it is dangerously misleading to question orthodoxy, because then the public might believe that “safe sex” is not necessary – has been successful. Outside observers have been led to suppose that the theory is now somehow proven. The truth is that it isn’t, yet, and many dispute it. Nonetheless, the New York Times leads the rest of the media in repeating the mantra, “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS”, in any article it prints on the topic.

The muffling of alternative views is by no means complete, however. There have been more than fourteen books on the topic by indignant writers and reporters, including one by Duesberg (Inventing the AIDS Virus), and two collections of his and other papers. Some major newspapers and magazines, such as the London Sunday Times, have published exposes, though without much influence.

One of the most recent books is one of the most authoritative, a biography, Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg, by Harvey Bialy, the founding scientific editor of Nature Biotechnology, a journal in Nature’s stable. Along with Bialy, scores of people in science and in medicine have joined Duesberg in his doubts about HIV-AIDS, including two Nobel prize winning scientists.

On the other hand, their objections have made little political headway. One important reason is that the latest round of medications developed for AIDS are well publicized as effective, and thus seem to confirm that the theory underlying their development is correct. No less a figure than James Watson, of DNA fame, said as much to us when asked his opinion of the Duesberg and his fellow skeptics. “But the new drugs work, don’t they?” he asked.

When the skeptics reply in their own peer reviewed papers that contrary to widespread belief and media coverage, the scientific literature shows that the drug cocktails given AIDs patients are not only ineffective but damaging and ultimately fatal, it becomes very difficult for outsiders to know where the truth lies.

But is it really possible that an almost universally accepted idea, based on what its proponents say is “overwhelming evidence”, if not actually proven, one endorsed by every establishment science and political institution, repeated by almost all the media without questioning from the New York Times to science journals such as Science and Nature, and faithfully expounded in all medical and training texts, could be wrong?

The answer to this question is that yes, there are many, many factors in politics, in science and in human nature which do allow this to be a possibility. The flaws in the system, the visible defects in what professional science has become as a practice these days, are compounding what has always been a weakness of the field. This flaw is the tendency, to which Kuhn referred, of scientific beliefs to slowly but surely acquire the characteristics of religious faith. After a certain time, established premises resist revision and replacement by blocking the very process of science itself, the constant testing and review of all beliefs on the basis of evidence and reason. AIDS, in particular, seems to have become a prime example of this religious phenomenon in science.

What is at stake

That is why this blog will be devoted to covering and commenting on the stream of news whether it supports the current idea of AIDS, or challenges it, to see if together we can discern on which side the truth lies. There will be invited blog contributions from knowledgeable people on both sides of the debate, and all serious reader comments will be welcome. The only requirement will be that nothing will be taken on faith, or authority. All statements will be open to examination.

For in the end, this is not merely a theoretical debate in science, but a serious practical issue where the amount of money involved, and the number of lives at stake, is perhaps greater than in any other dispute in science in history.

And on the personal level, of course, there is no greater concern than whether an AIDS test means what it is said to mean, and whether the medications prescribed are the right ones, for they are among the most dangerous drugs yet applied in health care.

So let the blog begin.

2 Responses to “The aim of this blog is open review”

  1. Dean Esmay Says:

    I have a more salient question: is it strictly necessary to presume that those who question this theory are conspiracy theorists, or that they believe the medical community has acted in “bad faith,” if they believe that the medical community has made a profound mistake?

  2. truthseeker Says:

    Interesting question, Dean, because those with a normal level of trust in their fellow humans tend to resist the idea that HIV?AIDS is fundamentally without scientific validity – in other words, a crock – if it goes along with a theory of conspiracy and knowing collaboration in a giant fabrication. To accuse the top scientists in AIDS of collusion makes it much harder to get people to listen to the idea that the field is based on the wrong assumption,

    We believe that there is no need to imagine that the horde of researchers and activists who act in unison in wholeheartedly supporting the HIV=AIDS concept are driven to this by self interest while conscious that it is unjustified. Crowd behavior has its own logic which is far from scientific even among scientists, who are carried along by conformity, credulity, and many other psychological and social forces. so even if there is plenty of financial reason to fall in line they don’t need to conspire to do it. It will easily happen anyway.

    Only independent thinkers need to make special arrangement to fly in formation. The rest of humanity does it naturally.

    In our experience those who question this theory do it not because they are conspiracy theorists but because they feel that science and medicine has to get things right before treating people with drugs which are lethal if you take them long enough.

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