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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Walking for the AIDS Vaccine

Is the World AIDS Vaccine Day inevitably absurd?

Science indicates that a vaccine is already here, but ignored

Is this farce, or tragedy?

aidswalk.jpgIn the aftermath of the rejection of science in Washington this week, detailed in the previous three posts, we can all look forward to the grotesquerie of the New York AIDS Walk tomorrow, which will occur on World AIDS Vaccine Day, May 18.

The AIDS Walk, saluted at the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, whose $50,000 Grand Sponsor is Duane Reade, a company which pays its counter employees little more than the minimum wage, and for which the Empire State building is lit up in red, has raised $97 million in the last twelve years, all of it predicated on the supposition that HIV causes AIDS, a proposition rejected in 1986 and 1987 in comprehensive reviews in elite peer reviewed journals by the top scientist in the field, who has not changed his opinion since.

A well funded wild goose chase

Mr Jefferys of Treatment Action Group in New York was lately pleased to call the Semmelweis prize for Duesberg and Farber a “farce”, but we have to say, to anyone who knows anything about the Duesberg critique of HIV as the cause of AIDS, if anything is a farce, the search for an AIDS vaccine is one.

The chief reason for this view is that, as we have pointed out before, all good science indicates that HIV vaccinates against itself, which is one of the many obstacles in the path of HIV believers as they try to ignore or contradict the plain facts of retroviral science, most recently brought home to them by the signal failure of the second candidate for realizing the vaccine dream.

As Medical News Today tells us, however, this failure may have encouraged some skeptics (not named) to wonder if we will ever achieve this Holy Grail of AIDS, but the pioneering optimism of those who would spend large amounts of public money in this unending quest is undaunted:

Eleven years ago, during a commencement speech made at Morgan State University, U.S. President Bill Clinton called for an AIDS vaccine within a decade. A year later, AIDS vaccine advocates around the world marked the first World AIDS Vaccine Day. While Clinton’s ten-year goal was unfortunately not met, a great deal has been learned in the quest to develop a vaccine.

This has been an eventful year in AIDS vaccine development; the second vaccine candidate to complete efficacy testing failed. In the wake of this news, some skeptics have questioned whether an AIDS vaccine will ever be developed. It is true that scientists have a difficult task ahead, and much remains unknown. But on May 18, as we honor all the individuals who work tirelessly to help make an AIDS vaccine a reality, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on what we do know. It’s much more than many realize.

Science suggests an AIDS vaccine is possible. Nearly every individual who becomes infected with HIV is able to hold the virus in check for several years before progressing to AIDS. What’s more, some individuals, known as elite controllers, are able to hold the virus in check indefinitely. Scientists are now actively studying the immune responses of these unique individuals to identify clues that could help in the design of an effective AIDS vaccine.

Second, some HIV-infected individuals develop antibodies that are capable of neutralizing a broad range of HIV strains. To date, scientists have identified and mapped the structure of several of these antibodies and are actively trying to design immunogens that can stimulate the production of these antibodies in humans.

We attach this misinformation partly to provoke those who already know very well, thanks to Peter Duesberg’s seminal papers, why “some people” (in fact, all) develop antibodies to HIV which successfully reduce its presence in their bodies to virtually nil, that is to say, so far beyond detection that the HIV test is for antibodies to the virus, not the virus itself.

The likelihood of any artificial vaccine doing better is nil.

Which is the true farce?

aidswalkcentralpark.jpgAs noted, Richard Jefferys writing on AIDSTruth.org in a panic over Duesberg’s award recently called the Semmelweis proceedings a “farce”, though they apparently were worth rushing to sabotage as strenously as possible.

But to all careful observers of the HIV/AIDS scene, who know that there has never been any successful refutation of Dr Duesberg’s condemnation of AIDS science, there is no bigger farce that the AIDS Walk and the search for the AIDS Vaccine, the latest acts in the absurd global theater provoked by Robert C. Gallo 23 years ago with a “probable” cause of AIDS he himself could only produce evidence against (only one third of his samples from patients with AIDS were positive).

Of course, we hurry to add that this is no farce here apart from the absurdity of the science, and having thousands of people of goodwill walk ten kilometers in favor of a misinterpreted threat and a misdirected cure.

There are real deaths caused by the faith of the gay community in a scientifically perverse ideology. As we see it, their irrational faith in its truth, and hostility to the willingness of Peter Duesberg and Celia Farber to inform them otherwise, despite all the obvious contradictions and inconsistencies in their religion, are attitudes caused by fear, the one emotion that most readily prevents us from thinking clearly.

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