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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U.S. Launches AIDS-Awareness Campaign In Botswana: ‘You All Have AIDS,’ Says U.S.

Sometimes humor is worth a thousand words

At a certain point the behavior and exaggerated claims of the political movers and shakers in AIDS become so scientifically baseless, a fantasy so transparently absurd, that any critique other than satire becomes witless in itself. There is no point in taking seriously something which is ludicrous on the face of it.

Luckily we have the inimitable Onion to come to the rescue with a front page treatment of the AIDS ideology in Africa which could easily pass for straight reporting. In fact, it is more or less straight reporting, since it is hardly more absurd than the reality. This is the reality. There is no difference we can discern between the fantasy of the Onion and the fantasy of HIV/AIDS. The Onion is just a little ahead of the game.

The latest news on the AIDS front:

U.S. Launches AIDS-Awareness Campaign In Botswana: ‘You All Have AIDS,’ Says U.S.

(show)

U.S. Launches AIDS-Awareness Campaign In Botswana: ‘You All Have AIDS,’ Says U.S.

September 28, 2005 | Issue 41•39

FRANCISTOWN, BOTSWANA—Officials and volunteers from the U.S.-based AIDS Awareness Organization began an aggressive campaign Monday to inform the citizens of Botswana that they are afflicted with AIDS, and explain how the sexually transmitted disease will eventually kill them.

Enlarge ImageU.S. Launches AIDS-Awareness Campaign In Botswana

Dr. Julia Horton explains to a group of villagers that they will all soon be dead.

“You have AIDS,” said Pittsburgh physician and keynote speaker Dr. Julia Horton to approximately 6,500 villagers who traveled from the nearby townships of Lobatse and Palapye. “Every last one of you.”

“And if you don’t have AIDS, you almost certainly have HIV,” she continued. “This will soon become AIDS.”

AAO director Miles Garrity said the people of this sub-Saharan African nation have suffered too long without the proper knowledge of how widespread and devastating this disease really is.

“The situation in Africa is tragic,” Garrity said. “Millions of people are infected with the AIDS virus—a disease they know little to nothing about. Our mission is to let these people know the facts about their AIDS in the few months they have remaining before their deaths.”

The month-long, nationwide tour comes on the heels of the AAO’s August visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it successfully informed the vast Central African nation’s 58 million citizens that they each have the AIDS virus.

“We realize that AIDS is a huge problem in Botswana,” Garrity said. “And with our help, they will soon realize that, too.”

Garrity said the AAO will not rest until the thousands upon thousands of orphaned children in Botswana understand the disease that killed their parents.

“If we get the word out that people here have AIDS, they will no longer live in fear of not understanding what is slowly killing them all,” Garrity said. “On our watch, every last Botswanan will receive the help they need to come to the conclusion that they have this affliction. If it’s the last thing we do, we will explain this illness and describe medicines that theoretically could help treat it.”

Enlarge ImageU.S. Launches AIDS-Awareness Campaign In Botswana

Botswanans near the village of Palapye are targeted with vital information about AIDS.

At an AIDS-awareness rally Monday, Horton sent a clear message to the Botswanans about the disease that will soon claim their lives.

“Everyone raise your hands,” Horton said. “Everyone with their hand up will soon die from AIDS.”

Horton added: “Sixty-five percent of all deaths in Botswana are AIDS-related, and that percentage will soon rise to include your own.”

Despite the daunting task before it, the AAO is intensifying its efforts. They have scheduled a door-to-door canvassing trip in the village of Mochudi, to personally tell bedridden sufferers that AIDS is responsible for their ravaged immune systems. Additionally, they have set up informational booths in Jwaneng and Serowe to help spread the word that everyone in the village will soon die from AIDS, and they are giving out T-shirts printed with the slogan “I Have AIDS…” on the front and “So Do You!” on the back.

The AAO has also organized an emergency airdrop to the nation’s remote interior, in which small chartered planes will release flyers printed with the words, “Do You Have AIDS? Yes.”

By the end of October, Garrity said he hopes that not only the people of Botswana, but the entire world, will come to understand the reality of this crisis.

“All Botswanans are dying of AIDS,” Garrity said. “We cannot repeat that enough.”

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