Evolutionary biologists sometimes think we microbiology people have it easy. “No one doubts the germ theory!,” they claim.

Au contraire, mes amis:

Do some research Tara. Then you will be ready to start from scratch again, forget the germ theory nonsense and become a real scientist.

And I bet this insult will sound familiar to many used to dealing with the anti-science brigades:

Evidence is all around and you have as much evidence as I do. The sole difference between you and me is that you are still blindfolded by a century of dogmatic thinking and are not able to see the evidence.

You can do what you want with your special laboratory mice, but whan it comes to it nobody has ever proven that germs cause disease and a century of war on microbes has had no results and, to cite a professor of the Villejuif hospital “up to today medicine doesn’t know the cause of any disease”.

***

You are blind and cannot see they still are widespread [regarding cholera, TB, etc.–TS]. They are still all around in places where people suffer. Which is natural because the suffering is the cause, not the germs. TBC is as widespread in places of poverty and famine as it was a century ago. You must fight poverty and famine and suffering, you dummy. Not the germs.

They even have their own deathbed conversion story!

As for the denial of HIV: nobody ever really proved it exists so why do you want to call people who doubt its existence Denialists? Until research comes up with something more consistant than hypothetical viruses hiding away, HIV is junk science, as were the findings of Louis Pasteur. The amusing thing about it all is that Louis Pasteur admitted that himself just before he died.

I was familiar with the nutty arguments against the germ theory, and HIV-deniers who also deny that any virus causes disease or that H5N1 doesn’t exist, but I’ve never heard that Pasteur admitted that his findings were “junk.”

But of course, why have Pasteur’s ideas prevailed, and Béchamp’s been dismissed? Conspiracy!

Béchamp has been censored. Censoring is done to keep people from knowing the truth.

Comments

  1. #1 Kristjan Wager
    July 24, 2006

    Until our friend showed up, I wasn’t aware that Béchamp was an altie hero. Ye Gods.

  2. #2 Dave S.
    July 24, 2006

    The Pasteur deathbed conversion is right up there reliability-wise with the Darwin deathbed conversion. Which is to say, not at all.

    Of course, we could also note that even had Pasteur denounced germs (or Darwin evolution) that would not mean anything as far as the science goes, since those are discoveries, not inventions. They would stand or fall on the evidence.

    According to Pasteur’s biography, written by his son-in-law René Vallery-Radot:

    Pasteur’s strength diminished day by day, he now could hardly walk. When he was seated in the Park, his grandchildren around him suggested young rose trees climbing around the trunk of a dying oak. The paralysis was increasing, and speech was becoming more and more difficult. The eyes alone remained bright and clear; Pasteur was witnessing the ruin of what in him was perishable.

    How willingly they would have given a moment of their lives to prolong his, those thousands of human beings whose existence had been saved by his methods; sick children, women in lying-in hospitals, patients operated on in surgical wards, victims of rabid dogs saved from hydrophobia, and so many others protected against the infinitesimally small! But, whilst visions of those living beings passed through the minds of his family, it seemed as if Pasteur already saw those dead ones who, like him, had preserved absolute faith in the Future Life.

    The last week in September he was no longer strong enough to leave his bed, his weakness was extreme. On September 27, as he was offered a cup of milk: “I cannot,” he murmured; his eyes looked around him with an unspeakable expression of resignation, love and farewell. His head fell back on the pillows and he slept; but, after this delusive rest, suddenly came the gaspings of agony. For twenty-four hours he remained motionless, his eyes closed, his body almost entirely paralyzed; one of his hands rested in that of Mme. Pasteur, the other held a crucifix.

    This, surrounded by his family and disciples, in this room of almost monastic simplicity, on Saturday, September 28, 1895, at 4:40 in the afternoon, very peacefully, he passed away.

  3. #3 Agnostic
    July 24, 2006

    That’s the downside of good science work — it’s inevitably against the orthodoxy, bitterly opposed, and so on — just like the germ theory was when it originated. But the converse of a true statement isn’t necessarily true — it’s not the case that just b/c some idea is against the grain or opposed, then folks 100 years from now will take it for granted, after the opposition dies off.

  4. #4 Kristjan Wager
    July 24, 2006

    Actually Béchamp’s ideas were not disregarded straight away in favour of Pasteur’s. Both sets of ideas were evaluated, and Pasteur’s was found to be supported by the evidence, while Béchamp’s didn’t.

    Here is a link to a Danish science publication from 1873, where in passing it’s explained why Pasteur’s ideas were more likely.

    Since then, every bit of research done, have supported the principles behind Pasteur’s ideas.

  5. #5 Dave S.
    July 24, 2006

    Actually Béchamp’s ideas were not disregarded straight away in favour of Pasteur’s. Both sets of ideas were evaluated, and Pasteur’s was found to be supported by the evidence, while Béchamp’s didn’t.

    This is generally true of many ideas. Phlogiston theory for instance, or continental drift/plate tectonics. Both eventually prevailed on the strength of the evidence and the accuracy of prediction. In short, their explanatory power.

  6. #6 Orac
    July 24, 2006

    Why are you surprised that there are alties out there who don’t accept the germ theory of disease? For one thing, antivaxers love Bechamps because if there isn’t a germ (be it bacteria or virus) causing infectious disease, then there’s no reason to vaccinate. HIV/AIDS “dissidents” are also fond of Bechamps for similar reasons: The “soil not the seed” idea thta Bechamps supported is very appealing to those who deny that HIV causes AIDS.

    I’ve written about this before, and Peter Bowditch has posted a succinct and to-the-point refutation of the ridiculous “Pasteur deathbed recantation” myth.

  7. #7 DouglasG
    July 24, 2006

    You forgot to mention that the world is flat…

  8. #8 Flea
    July 24, 2006

    You win: The crazies who visit your blog are crazier than my crazies.

    best,

    Flea

  9. #9 coturnix
    July 24, 2006

    Once upon a time I was thinking about starting a blogspot blog vehemently arguing that the Earth is round, just to see what kinds of arguments flat-earthers would bring to the comments. Probably something very similar to what you got – all denialist “theories” look the same and use the same kinds of arguments.

  10. #10 DragonScholar
    July 24, 2006

    Coturnix,

    Hmmm, I could probably make a random generator for new nutty conspiracy theories at my site. It sounds easier than I’d thought . . .

  11. #11 jspreen
    July 24, 2006

    Ha, ha, ha! The gathering of the brave who answer from behind.

    Why don’t you all read this very interesting document “The Third Element of The Blood” so we can join together in a discussion that will make some sense?

    Direct download:
    http://perso.orange.fr/jan.spreen/english/tteotb.pdf

  12. #12 jre
    July 24, 2006

    The first time I came across this particular flavor of zaniness, it was through a stunningly wacky site linked to by PZ Myers, courtesy Pooflinger.
    There is a strain of crackpottery that is characterized by a ferocious energy defying all opposition. Words gush forth, describing bizarre alternate universes in baroque detail. It’s a wonderful thing it its way, but I find it exhausting to follow — kind of like trying to read the Urantia book in one sitting.

  13. #13 jre
    July 24, 2006

    I was impressed with the French knight at your site, jspreen, making me wonder if you didn’t actually mean to say

    I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

    Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

  14. #14 Sean Foley
    July 24, 2006

    For a while, I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up a parodic “Dissent from Mendel” website that would provide make false claims about Mendelian genetics (“Mendel’s famous pea-plant experiments are wholly fictitious; peas DO NOT GROW in Eastern Europe”) and allege that Lysenkoism has been suppressed for political reasons.

    But it’s obvious now that there’s the possibility that a sizable portion of the Internet might think it was a legitimate site.

  15. #15 Tara C. Smith
    July 24, 2006

    Why are you surprised that there are alties out there who don’t accept the germ theory of disease?

    Oh, I’m not surprised. As I mentioned, I’ve run across them before, though I don’t think any have visited me here. What I wasn’t familiar with was the deathbed confession story, and I thought it amusing that jspreen’s arguments were practically verbatim out of the creationist handbook.

  16. #16 Coin
    July 24, 2006

    Do you realize that Pasteurization of water is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Darwinist plot we have ever had to face?

  17. #17 Norman Costa
    July 24, 2006

    To Dave S.:

    Do you realize that Phlogiston Theory lost out to Combustion Theory? It ranks up there with Lamarkian Theory?

  18. #18 David Harmon
    July 24, 2006

    Flea: LOL!

    Coturnix, Sean Foley: You are wise to fear the dreaded Swift Effect. But of course, the eponymous incident occurred well before the invention of the typewriter, let alone the ‘Net!

  19. #19 quitter
    July 25, 2006

    Here is what I can tell you that will help set you free.

    The only person crazier than the guy yelling on the streetcorner about the microchip the FBI put in his brain, is the person who stops to argue with him about the validity of his FBI-microchip-brain theory.

    They’re crazy, it’s ok to ignore them. The only thing crazier is to engage them.

  20. #20 Kristjan Wager
    July 25, 2006

    Since I think I was the one most active in engaging this specific speciment, let me make clear that I don’t engage him to convince him he is wrong. I engage him. to show everyone else he is wrong. People who don’t know anything about the subject might be lead into believing that there is something valid in his stance (though his more and more rambling comments should make that less and less likely).

  21. #21 quitter
    July 25, 2006

    I buy that argument when there are people to be swayed, like with the creationists, or global warming deniers. But in this case, there aren’t any more people to be swayed. The only people denying this are crazy. A tiny crazy minority of craziness. No one is being swayed by their crazy arguments. Just like the flat-earthers. So arguing with them is just a waste of energy, you’re not changing anyone’s mind. The only minds that will be changed are those dosed with Lithium or Thorazine.

  22. #22 Kristjan Wager
    July 25, 2006

    Actually, there are a lot of people who argue for alternative treatments based upon Béchamp (something I found out when I did a google search after he was brought up here), so there is obviously a need to make clear why Béchamp was disregarded even within his own lifetime.

  23. #23 Peter Barber
    July 25, 2006

    quitter, I think the problem is this. When you notice how many people believe the guy on the street corner rather than the scientist who has spent his whole career tackling the subject, you start to wonder if there is a conspiracy after all – masterminded by a shadowy global network of alties!

  24. #24 Corbs
    July 25, 2006

    I’m curious. How do the germ theory doubters explain small pox (and lack thereof)?

    Conspiracy?

  25. #25 Lamark
    July 25, 2006

    What is wrong with Lamark? He is more plausible than Neo-Darwin.

    What’s wrong with Bechamp? It’s not the germ, it’s the terrain?

    Isn’t that reasonable, more so than the germ-hunting moronic microscopic majority ruining the world with your crack-potted conspiracy theories of wild-mutating RNA virus and sexual-inhibition programs?

    Of course germs are real. And they are also limited, not magical, as you seem to think they are, evading capture and typification, and only trouvable through over-senstive hardly reproducible-technologies like PCR amplification? Or consensus sequence?

    What happened to the germ in germ theory? What happend to the patients? They are gone, and so are the originating environments for the ailments, and all you are left with are your primers and whatever drugs you have to sell.

    But you are immune to criticism. Must be a vaccine you’ve pioneered?

  26. #26 bernarda
    July 25, 2006

    I am curious as to how these germ-theory deniers explain Fleming, Florey, and Chain. If you follow their reasoning, penicillin has never had any effect on human health.

  27. #27 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    Norman Costa writes:

    To Dave S.:

    Do you realize that Phlogiston Theory lost out to Combustion Theory? It ranks up there with Lamarkian Theory?

    Whoops, gaff on my part! Meant to write that combustion theory was evaluated vis phlogiston theory and the former accepted (although not right away).

    Thanks for picking that up Norman.

  28. #28 Keith Douglas
    July 25, 2006

    From what I remember orthodox chiropractors deny the germ hypothesis. As for the other examples, can anyone find any sincere phlogistians? :)

  29. #29 pat
    July 25, 2006

    If really It was so nutty and clear-cut, why are you not satisfied whith demolishing it on the thread on which it originally appeared? Why isolate the argument on a seperate thread? I think I know the impulse; it is not the argument you wish to demolish but rather the messenger. Result:

    Entertainment-1 Science-0

    -“global network of alties”
    -“germ-theory deniers”
    -“germ theory doubters”
    -“A tiny crazy minority of craziness”
    -“flat-earthers”
    -“the creationist handbook”
    -“French knight”
    -“The crazies who visit your blog are crazier than my crazies”
    -“nutty conspiracy theories”
    -“…engaging this specific speciment” (sic)
    -“denialist “theories”
    -“altie hero”
    If you care to be taken “more” seriously than “alties” please realize that your highschool prom is BEHIND YOU!
    Most bloggerheads on this thread can easily and most unscientifically be lumped into THIS category:
    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/cybersisters.htm

  30. #30 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    Keith Douglas jibes:

    From what I remember orthodox chiropractors deny the germ hypothesis. As for the other examples, can anyone find any sincere phlogistians? :)

    Har. Har. I think phlogistonians sounds better. :)

    Actually, if you wanted to, you probably could formulate a modern plogiston theory. It would likely involve the assumption of negative mass, and although counter-intuitive, I’m betting someone trolling through the literature could find as much support for that concept as he could for germ-denial. I remember a grad-student friend of mine for a few fleeting moments thought bubbles in water must have negative mass because they rose up. A seconds thought put things right, but the inclination was there, even if only briefly.

  31. #31 fnxtr
    July 25, 2006

    Phlogisticians. They study phlogistics. OR possibly just phlogic.

  32. #32 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    fnxtr, that’s just not phlogical. :)

  33. #33 Dr. Steve
    July 25, 2006

    Actually I think Bill Maher subscribes to a watery version of Bechamp’s theories. He mentions it whenever anyone brings up the poor state of American health. He, and others, seem to think that if you live a “clean” life then you will never get sick and particularly never get sick with infectious illness.
    My counterexample would be Native Americans. You can hardly argue that Native Americans were paragons of “natural living” – only whole foods they killed or gathered themselves and tons of daily exercise. What killed off 95% of Native Americans? Infectious illness (see Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond)

  34. #34 jspreen
    July 25, 2006

    What killed off 95% of Native Americans? Infectious illness

    How wrong you are. Native Americans died because they have been treated worse than lice. They have been chased off of their fathers land by bandits with shotguns. Their mothers, wives and daughters have been raped, their kids murdered.

    You stupid little kids of the rich, you have shit for brains and cannot understand anymore that people who are living in poverty and filth die young simply because their terrible diseases are caused by their misery. You have no eyes to see that, you can only look in a microscope and say: “Hey, another virus! I found out why they’re sick! Let’s heal’em with chemo”.

    But the microbes, they are not the cause of disease. They are the result.

    Sorry, what did you say? I’m a fool and a Denialist? Yeah I know. And very proud to be one.

  35. #35 jspreen
    July 25, 2006

    What killed off 95% of Native Americans? Infectious illness

    How wrong you are. Native Americans died because they have been treated worse than lice. They have been chased off of their fathers land by bandits with shotguns. Their mothers, wives and daughters have been raped, their kids murdered.

    The stupid little kids of the rich, they have shit for brains and cannot understand anymore that people who are living in poverty and filth die young simply because their terrible diseases are caused by their misery. You have no eyes to see that, you can only look in a microscope and say: “Hey, another virus! I found out why they’re sick! Let’s heal’em with chemo”.

    But the microbes, they are not the cause of disease. They are the result.

    Sorry, what did you say? I’m a fool and a Denialist? Yeah I know. And very proud to be one.

  36. #36 mgr
    July 25, 2006

    jspreen: I will assume ignorance rather than blindness.

    I would suggest you consult Sherburne F Cook, Alfred Crosby, and William H McNeil (Sorry Dr. Steve, I personally think Diamond is a johnny come lately, and does not offer much that is new)first before you spout off your ignorance of smallpox and malaria etiology in the New World.

    Why is it that the population of the Aztecs and Incas were decimated prior to their ill treatment at the hands of the conquistadores?

    What happended to the mound builders along the Mississippi Valley prior to LaSalle?

    Why do we not see the etiology consistent with malaria among the Mission abused and unabused California Indians until 1829 when introduced by a Hudson Bay trapper with those same symptoms? (Prior to that time we have descriptions of outbreaks consistent with measles among the missionized Indians, such as 1806, in written accounts.) How is it that villages sequentially are depopulated, rather than all at once?

  37. #37 Pinko Punko
    July 25, 2006

    You get the good ones, Dr. T. I mean I still consider Wilhelm the piece de resistance, but this cat is certainly in the running.

  38. #38 Dr. Steve
    July 25, 2006

    Right.

    Find the healthiest person you can. Give them a dose of ebola. You can contemplate the error of you ways while his organs liquify and you await sentencing.

    (Prediction: even if such an experiment were done you would blame the result on some made up BS like a lack of wheat germ in his diet or something)

  39. #39 Corn-Catt
    July 25, 2006

    Tara,
    who are “they”, these HIV-deniers who deny that any virus causes disease as well?

    I know plenty of AIDS reappraisers (HIV-deniers to you), and have found less than a handful of people that question whether viruses cause disease. You’re dealing in hyperbole here, but carry on, it “works” for you.

    Did you start this thread so you and your friends can beat up on Jan? Very respectable.

  40. #40 wright
    July 25, 2006

    Absolutely incredible. I guess it shows how new I am to the anti-science crowd that I find jspreen and his ilk astounding. I mean, these people are alive and healthy today because of public-health measures predicated on the germ theory of disease, measures that their families have benefitted from for generations.

    And still they babble about censorship and tell doctors and researchers to do “real science”.

  41. #41 Steve
    July 25, 2006

    Major props, this site is absloutely hilarious. But I think you need to break character at least one somewhere on the site so no one actually starts to think that you believe this stuff.

  42. #42 George Cauldron
    July 26, 2006

    Do you realize that Pasteurization of water is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Darwinist plot we have ever had to face?

    I thought that’s what fluoridation was!

  43. #43 Peter Barber
    July 26, 2006

    I’ve been wondering something over the last couple of days: if bacteria and viruses don’t cause disease, why do we have an immune system? Perhaps Jan could enlighten me. I would seriously be interested to know.

  44. #44 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Glancing over the manic claims, wild assertions, loopie conspiracies and hilarious allegations made by many folks in this menagerie of faux scientists, it’s easy to see why Bush and his pals have absolutely nothing whatsoever to worry about.

  45. #45 bernarda
    July 26, 2006

    I suppose that the reduction and near disappearance of polio after the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines was just a coincidence.

    Well, one positive aspect of the jspreens is that if they refuse such treatments and antibiotic treatments for a variety of illnesses, we soon won’t by encumbered by them.

  46. #46 Ginger Yellow
    July 26, 2006

    We don’t have immune systems, silly. We have poverty amelioration systems.

  47. #47 Caledonian
    July 26, 2006

    ‘Assume ignorance’? What nonsense — no person with even a subnormal intelligence can escape certain points of general knowledge in our societies. Denial of those points does not constitute evidence of ignorance, but active rejection of those facts.

    A person who thinks that we must reject the germ theory of disease wholesale is as reasonable as one who thinks we must reject the idea that different masses fall at the same rate. Isn’t it more reasonable to think that heavy objects fall faster than light ones?

  48. #48 commissarjs
    July 26, 2006

    This is a joke right? Tell me one of your friends is a sociology professor who is studying herd behavior. Tell me the crazies that came out of the woodwork are just grad students helping with the experiment. That letter has to be a parody of creationist criticism of the theory of evolution. It just has to be, it matches almost verbatim but replacing Darwin with Pasteur and germ with evolution.

    Please tell me this is just an experiment. Noone could be as obtuse as this and still be able to use a computer.

  49. #49 zouhair
    July 26, 2006

    What terrorize me is that those people are those that vote in the USA, I didn’t know that education in the USA is so F**** up.

    This is realy dangerous, because mixing Bombs and Nut People is explosive.

  50. #50 Skeptico
    July 26, 2006

    Nuts like this are encouraged by the likes of Bill Maher who spouts the same nonsense on TV.

  51. #51 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 26, 2006

    The stupid little kids of the rich, they have shit for brains and cannot understand anymore that people who are living in poverty and filth die young simply because their terrible diseases are caused by their misery.

    Yep Rich people never get sick because all money, Mercedes Benz, foie gras and stock certificates are coated with a anti-poverty-sickness gel. It only works when you come into contact with it at a frequency that no poor person would ever be able to. HA HA. I love being rich.

    You have no eyes to see that, you can only look in a microscope and say: “Hey, another virus! I found out why they’re sick! Let’s heal’em with chemo”.

    I plan on heading down to the (cover your eyes, the following word may too vulgar for you) Pharmacy to pick up a Chemo pack next time I get a cold.

    But the microbes, they are not the cause of disease. They are the result.

    And the universe was designed by an Intelligent Designer and evolution is junk science because I want it to be, even in light of all the evidence to the contracy. All that evidence and science talk is for rich shit for brains.

  52. #52 craig
    July 26, 2006

    From what I remember orthodox chiropractors deny the germ hypothesis. As for the other examples, can anyone find any sincere phlogistians? :)

    I dunno, I went to a chiropractor once who believed in the germ hypothesis. (Back problems, I gave it a shot.)
    In fact, he had a little gizmo that was intended to combat germs.

    It was a little metal rod with a box and a 9-volt battery attached. He came into the room to see me examining it, and he explained that he has a guy make them for him… and that it prevents colds.

    All you have to do, he explained, is hold on the metal rod, push the button, and it kills the cold viruses “and their eggs, too!”

    Yes, he said that. “and their eggs, too!” all full of excitement. He actually believed that crap.

  53. #53 Scenedesmeriffic
    July 26, 2006

    Phlogistines!!!

    ::sigh:: Yeah, I’m late with that joke. Oh, well…

  54. #54 TTT
    July 26, 2006

    Michael Crichton’s current flavor of kookery is global warming denialism–but before he got into that, his autobiography “Travels” makes clear that he explored the dark side of the moon on a wide range of topics, from psychic spoonbending to demonic possession and exorcism. And also denial of the germ theory of disease.

    Yes, former DOCTOR Crichton made clear in his autobiography that he had doubts about the theory and thought it had been too quickly embraced by the medical community–that there might even be an element of greed-driven coverup going on, with doctors standing to gain monetarily from one treatment after another that, of course, did not cure you because, of course, there were no “germs” there to be treated.

    I’m just glad no one I know was ever under his scalpel.

  55. #55 mgr
    July 26, 2006

    Caledonian:

    I agree with you, but I think you are building a strawman from my position, as you only quote a clause from a sentence–“I will assume ignorance, rather than blindness.”

    If you note the credulity of other posters that no one can be that stupid, you can see my point–that it is likely jspreen is taking the position to be contrary just to be contrary out of callowness. My responses to jspreen are directed not only to him, but anyone sympathetic to his argument. It works well at the hand waving level to argue that one theory has as much merit as another, but it is where the rubber hits the road, when the implications of the theory that fail to address empirical evidence, that one should address. Jeering does not help.

    As to ignorance, I asked my son who is fourteen and starting high school who Pasteaur is, and he could not give me an answer. I do not recall addressing germ theory with him during his earlier science education, though to his credit, his interest is in physical science rather than biological, and he does have a handle on Darwin and evolution. But there is also a children’s book on Pasteaur on the bookshelf. Looks like time for some home schooling by Dad.

    Mike

  56. #56 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    I’d like to ask a few questions here of our friend jspreen. I apologize to the others if this constitutes “feeding the troll,” I’ll certainly be quiet if requested. It’s just that I’ve never met one of his kind before. Specifically:

    1. As Peter Barber said: Why do we have immune systems?

    2. What causes anthrax, and what killed the victims of the “anthrax letters” attack shortly after 9/11?

    3. What is your response when the persistence of a usually-treatable disease is observed in direct association with antibiotic resistant bacteria? Note, too, that in some cases we know the precise biochemical modes of action of these antibiotics on these bacteria and the biochemical changes these bacteria have evolved to evade the drugs.

    4. I am not ghoulish, nor do I wish harm to you (indeed I would beg you not to try this), but in an academic sense I AM curious about your response to the classic question, already asked above: Why NOT inject yourself with ebola/HIV/anthrax/whatever?

    If “Lamark” is at all representative, I sense a hint at a possible response to many of these questions…specifically, that some of these germs CAN cause disease but are exceptions to the rule. Though that would seem to me to move the debate to the arena of public health and prevention vs. “magic pill,” cure-based medicine. Regardless, I’d like to hear your responses.

  57. #57 Corn-Catt
    July 26, 2006

    Interesting thread.

    Even though I would be classified as an HIV-denier in Tara lingo, I don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater in denying the germ theory.

    If all you folks are so confident in your assertions, why are you expending so much energy on Jan?

  58. #58 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    Tara,
    who are “they”, these HIV-deniers who deny that any virus causes disease as well?

    I know plenty of AIDS reappraisers (HIV-deniers to you), and have found less than a handful of people that question whether viruses cause disease. You’re dealing in hyperbole here, but carry on, it “works” for you.

    Did you follow the links in the post?

    Did you start this thread so you and your friends can beat up on Jan? Very respectable.

    I started this thread because jspreen’s claims were rather outrageous, even to someone like myself who’s been watching anti-science groups for quite some time. And again, the parallel with creationists is quite striking. Do y’all have some kind of shared playbook that you consult?

  59. #59 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    Mike:

    How old is that book?! I think I had it as a kid, too!

    Regarding Caledonian’s comment, I’m inclined to be a lot more cautious about ruling out ignorance these days. It wasn’t too long ago that I learned my sister, in her mid-late twenties, well-educated (graduate school), very intelligent, with broad interests…had no idea who Anne Frank was, and knew almost nothing about the holocaust, as in, no knowledge of concentration camps, etc…nothing more than “the Nazis didn’t like Jews and killed some.” This was not a case of holocaust denial or living in an environment that in ANY way would have tried to shelter her from it…she simply did not know. My sister is NOT an idiot, nor a “flighty” personality, which made it all the more stunning.

    I have had much more minor gaps in my common-sense knowledge…for instance, I didn’t know until my early twenties how garbage disposals worked (in my defense, some odd circumstances contributed to that…) I just hadn’t realized the holes could be that large.

  60. #60 Corn-Catt
    July 26, 2006

    “And again, the parallel with creationists is quite striking. Do y’all have some kind of shared playbook that you consult?”

    Yes, Dr. T, your attempt at framing “HIV-deniers” as synonymous with creationists is obvious. We get it.

    You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    It’s a pretty weak tactic, but it serves the purpose as a distraction from discussing more vital issues in the “HIV/AIDS” realm

  61. #61 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    You’ve never heard of Phillip Johnson? Jon Wells? Tom Bethell?

  62. #62 Corn-Catt
    July 26, 2006

    Are they? That’s super, but I don’t know them.

    I suppose when dealing with Tara math…three equals much more than three, or is simply called “they”, implying ALL. Go for it, Tara.

  63. #63 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    I should note, though, that even most creationists aren’t so self-defeating as to deny the germ theory of disease.

  64. #64 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    Are they? That’s super, but I don’t know them.

    Then I’ll assume you’re not familiar with the creationist movement. I can point you to many resources if you’d like to learn more.

    I suppose when dealing with Tara math…three equals much more than three, or is simply called “they”, implying ALL. Go for it, Tara.

    I’m not sure what you’re suggesting here. I never said all HIV-deniers, nor even many, are creationists (though the membership does, indeed, overlap). I simply said they use the same tactics. Surely you can see the difference?

  65. #65 Duane Keys
    July 26, 2006

    The same people believe we never landed on the moon…

  66. #66 Corn-Catt
    July 26, 2006

    It’s painfully obvious what you’re doing, Tara. You’re attempting to equate AIDS reappraisal with creationism. You state that there are three people who overlap into both categories, which most prove, um, something.

    Now you start a thread to beat up on Jan, who questions the germ theory.

    Instead of discussing the science behind AIDS, you’re taking the tabloid journalism approach.

  67. #67 Sid Schwab
    July 26, 2006

    Somehow, somewhere, I’d love to see a study (by whom, or what field of inquiry) that could reassure me about the following: how many idiots does it take to doom a society; or, conversely, in a society of idiots, how many geniuses are required to keep it from foundering? Clearly, the idiots are on the rise. At what point do we have to worry? Or do Tara, PZ, Orac, and their like exist in great enough numbers that we’ll still be ok. I lie awake at night…

  68. #68 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 26, 2006

    It’s painfully obvious what you’re doing,

    Yes it is painfully obvious but you seem to miss the point. She is saying that it follows the mold that science deniers and junk-science advocates as well as creationists all seem to be cast in. They all have the same inability to see facts, proof and evidence and instead rely on faith, mined tidbits of anecdotal evidence and just plain personal fancy when explaining phenomenon. You said you had not yet to meet one. She gave you three prominent members of the groups. She answered your question. You are the one projecting.

  69. #69 wamba
    July 26, 2006

    or, conversely, in a society of idiots, how many geniuses are required to keep it from foundering?

    That will depend on specifics. Are those few geniuses allowed to actually lead, or are they accused of being agents of Satan?

  70. #70 wamba
    July 26, 2006

    If all you folks are so confident in your assertions, why are you expending so much energy on Jan?

    Amusement.

  71. #71 Paul
    July 26, 2006

    I have a question:

    If infectious diseases are caused by poverty and famine – why is it that rich and non-famished people catch them too?

  72. #72 Sean
    July 26, 2006

    Wow, I knew there were people who didn’t ‘believe’ in the AIDS virus, but I had no idea that there were people who dismissed germ theory in whole.

    And disease is caused solely by the poverty itself? WTF is wrong with this person? The level of magical thinking is astounding.

  73. #73 j
    July 26, 2006

    This is fantastic.

    Suffering causes disease.

    Disease causes suffering.

    You get sick, and then you can never get better.

  74. #74 raptor_red
    July 26, 2006

    I have a reasonable suggestion for those who deny “germ theory” (since it’s just a theory, after all): Put your your money where your mouth is! It’s simple enough to do, after all.

    Go have unprotected sex with an HIV-infected partner. Spend time on a flu ward without protection for you nose and mouth. Eat undercooked, unprepared meat. Refuse the required vaccinations for smallpox, rubella and the like. After all, “germ theory” is just a crock, right? Why, there’s no such thing as viruses and bacteria!

    Just don’t chastise the rest of us when we laugh at you for proving natural selection in action. When you come back sick and dying of various STIs, exotic diseases, and several forms of disentary and stomach viruses, we reserve the right to say: “I told you so.”

  75. #75 DB
    July 26, 2006

    I think we used to call this a hog-pile when I was in grade school…a whole bunch of kids all piling on top of one.

    There’s just ONE person here doubting Pasteur and the germ theory. How many of you are there chiming in, as if this was somehow threatening? Geez. Have some respect for yourselves. You’re acting as if Jan could somehow single-handedly bring down the germ theory. Don’t worry, it isn’t happening.

  76. #76 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 26, 2006

    There’s just ONE person here doubting Pasteur and the germ theory.

    And science isn’t under attack by this administration and other wingnut groups either. If we just ignore them I’m sure the creationist, anti-vaccine, anti-germ theory, anti-modern medicine, pro-woo treatment and Intelligent Design groups will just disappear.

    Take a few mins and stroll around the web and see how many offshoots the “altie” medicine crowd there are.

  77. #77 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    What a stellar assortment of scientists, anti-creationists, logicians, and true believers we have here.

    Here’s a little question that perhaps this august body can answer for me.

    We all know that AIDS is an infectious disease (or a syndrome or a collection of signs and symptoms) for which we are all at risk.

    In the city of San Francisco (population 700,000), over the past 25 years, there has been a cumulative total of only 254 heterosexual contact female cases of AIDS (about 10 per year).

    Despite the prominence of the city’s gay and lesbian community, anyone who lives in or near San Francisco knows that the overwhelming majority of the city’s population is heterosexual.

    So, dear friends and esteemed colleagues, what is your best, most economical and logical explanation for why there have only been 254 heterosexual female AIDS cases in San Francisco since 1981?

    Brief, complete sentences with a subject, verb and nouns would be great. No lazy references to this or that website.

    Just some straightforward, to-the-point, evidence-based, logical and believable explanations.

    Okay – go! This’ll be good………….

  78. #78 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    We called it a dogpile in my school, DB. I’m of the school of thought that the truth needs to be told rapidly and directly to these folks. I think it is worse to leave a falsehood unanswered, however much indifference and ridicule we may exhibit toward it, than to grant the falsehood attention and a sense of power by giving the appearance that it commands a response from me and/or instills fear and uncertainty in my position. We also get very tired of pseudoscience and the mindset associated with it, and thus enjoy venting. Although my questions above are much less venting than curiosity laced with challenge.

    Raptor Red, keep in mind some of these folks (including both of our friends here) do not deny the existence of viruses and bacteria. They seem to be claiming they’re secondary, or most often secondary, and not the primary cause of illness. Or, to put it another way, they seem to think that these diseases would still exist in identical or nearly identical forms in humans living in completely sterile environments. Your suggestion of eating undercooked, unprepared meat might even be part of their model of behavior leading to disease.

  79. #79 DB
    July 26, 2006

    grant the falsehood attention and a sense of power by giving the appearance that it commands a response from me and/or instills fear and uncertainty in my position

    Yet that’s exactly what you and others here have done. You’ve spelled it all out right there. I think you’re being more honest than you realize.

  80. #80 Damien
    July 26, 2006

    Deathbed conversions: Did you hear that Pope JPII apologized on his deathbed for opposing birth control?

    …no, I haven’t heard this either, but two sides could play this game.

    Charles: because while most of SF is heterosexual, most of the infected population of SF is gay men. And there are these things called “condoms” which women might be insisting on use of.
    http://www.dph.sf.ca.us/PHP/RptsHIVAIDS/HIVAIDAnnlRpt2004-20050609-fnlWeb.pdf
    has a table showing cumulative numbers, and the number of men who’ve acquired AIDS through hetero contact is even lower than for women, which makes sense. I am surprised that the numbers of men with AIDS from drug use haven’t led to higher numbers of women with AIDS from sex. But the vast majority of cases are linked to male-male sex, sans drugs.

    Actually, the drug/sex thing may make sense. If I were a woman I wouldn’t have unprotected sex with a needle-sharer. I probably wouldn’t have sex at all with him. I’d guess that the women most likely to have unprotected sex with a needle-sharer might well be sharing the needle themselves, so they’d get infected through direct blood contact before they got infected through the vaginal lining.

  81. #81 pat
    July 26, 2006

    I think the jury is in:
    This is NOT a science blog.
    If it were we’d get answers to even the silliest and most outrageous questions and that’s what professors and scientists do, they inform (remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers as is vividly shown on this thread) . But not here. The inhouse people are WAY above that lowly occupation. No, here we pontificate and when that doesn’t work we engage in swarming character assassinations. I would have loved to hear more mature talk about Bechamp and why it is believed that he was right or why he was wrong. No, again.
    Here we have the same collection of “flamers” that can be found on any mediocre internet blog, without exception (with less outright profanity than GNN I concede) but, alas, with the same poor hyperbole and lazy dogmatic logic. Tara, your attempts and those of your fellow cyber-sisters at digging trenches in this imagined “US vs THEM” theory of scientific warfare are truely reaching into the ludicrous. If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements. Your and your Cyber Sisters inability to comprehend basic scientific ettiquette is simply mind boggling. You seem incapable of seperating the message from the messanger, unless of course they agree with you. Example: You speak of Duesberg as having being “discredited”; that is a bold statement coming from a scientist like you who, compared to him, is still wet behind the ears. You willfully dismiss all his other work based on his lone scientific disagreement about the causes of AIDS (“you threw the baby out with the bath water” I think the adage goes). Any joe/jane with a brain cell of his/her own can see through your dogmatic statement about Duesberg.
    It all started for me with your thread about the “Boredom of debating denialists” when it became apparent to me that in fact you LOVE debating “denialists” and you love putting labels like that on any one who disagrees with you. It’s your hobby, it gives you that little ego boost you need because you are not comfortable with the fact that NOTHING in science is clear cut and unambiguous. If history teaches us anything it is precisely that science IS murky and ambiguous to us mere mortals of which you are one but apparently are in “denial” of.

  82. #82 Kristjan Wagner
    July 26, 2006

    We all know that AIDS is an infectious disease (or a syndrome or a
    collection of signs and symptoms) for which we are all at risk.

    In the city of San Francisco (population 700,000), over the past 25 years, there has
    been a cumulative total of only 254 heterosexual contact female cases of AIDS (about
    10 per year).

    Despite the prominence of the city’s gay and lesbian community, anyone who lives in
    or near San Francisco knows that the overwhelming majority of the city’s population
    is heterosexual.

    Ok. First of all, there need to be a vector of transmission, so if people don’t have
    unprotected sex with someone who is infected with HIV, they don’t get the disease.
    That’s fairly simple.

    Now, there is an overlap between people who have heterosexual sex and people who
    have homosexual sex, but since the disease first came to the US in the later group
    it has been slow in transmitting to heterosexual people. Especially after people in
    risk groups (bi- and homosexuals, and people having sex with bisexuals) started
    protecting themselves.
    Also, bi-sexuals might have had a tendency to have safe sex with women, even before
    HIV became widespread, to avoid pregnacies. This would help limit the spreading of
    the disease.

    In others words, while the disease quickly became widespread among homosexuals in
    SF, it didn’t spread as fast to the heterosexual population.

    The latest statistics I’ve found (.pdf),
    shows that while in 1987 80% and 2% of all Adult AIDS cases in California were
    exposed to HIV through respectively homosexual sex and heterosexual sex, the numbers
    from 2002 was 53% and 11%.
    Also, according to those statistics, the number of female AIDS cases in SF is 1048.
    Somewhat higher than your number (since female-female sex gnerally can’t transmit
    HIV, it’s irrelevant if they are purely heterosexual).

    Having somewhat patentiently explained this, which you should know, I would also
    point out that California as a whole, and especially San Francisco are anormalities,
    in the sense that AIDS is disproportional spread there compared to elsewhere, which
    is why I guess people who deny a HIV-AIDS connection keep refering to numbers from
    there.

    Also, AIDS is not the same as HIV, and there might be quite a lot more women
    infected with HIV, than we know off. They have just not yet progressed to AIDS.

  83. #83 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    DB: I was precisely as honest as I intended to be. I think I would be more the fool if I refused to recognize and acknowledge the point I believed you were trying to make, no? I’m just saying I disagree, ‘sall. I pointed it out as an offering of mutual respect and understanding, and as a suggestion that I don’t deny the possibility that you may be right.

  84. #84 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    Pat,

    This is NOT a science blog.
    If it were we’d get answers to even the silliest and most outrageous questions and that’s what professors and scientists do, they inform (remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers as is vividly shown on this thread) . But not here. The inhouse people are WAY above that lowly occupation.

    I’ve answered even “silly and outrageous” questions many, many times. I’ve even devoted whole threads to them. Yet you say later that:

    It all started for me with your thread about the “Boredom of debating denialists” when it became apparent to me that in fact you LOVE debating “denialists” and you love putting labels like that on any one who disagrees with you. It’s your hobby, it gives you that little ego boost you need because you are not comfortable with the fact that NOTHING in science is clear cut and unambiguous.

    Besides the obvious mischaracterization that I’m “not comfortable with the fact that nothing in science is clear cut and ambiguous” (indeed, I’ve made this argument to deniers time and time again when they expect black ‘n’ white results), on one hand you say this blog is bad because nothing gets answered, and on the other it’s bad because I spend too much time answering critics. Which is it?

    No, here we pontificate and when that doesn’t work we engage in swarming character assassinations.

    That’s highly ironic, considering the ratio of insults I’ve received to those I’ve dished out. Indeed, what “swarming character assasination” have I dealt? Just the use of “denier?” Show me a single “rethinker” who doesn’t misuse the science, cherry-pick, and yes, deny the results of thousands of published papers, and I’ll happily change my tune.

    I would have loved to hear more mature talk about Bechamp and why it is believed that he was right or why he was wrong. No, again.

    That was discussed, but perhaps it would have been better received if jspeers–or you–had simply asked for such a discussion, rather than coming in slinging insults of your own, and claiming that the germ theory is “nonsense” and that anyone who accepts it isn’t a “real scientist.”

    Example: You speak of Duesberg as having being “discredited”; that is a bold statement coming from a scientist like you who, compared to him, is still wet behind the ears. You willfully dismiss all his other work based on his lone scientific disagreement about the causes of AIDS (“you threw the baby out with the bath water” I think the adage goes).

    Quote me on this. Duesberg’s early work on retroviruses has not been discredited, and I never claimed it had. Same for his work on cancer. His views on AIDS (and other infectious diseases that he denies, such as kuru, Legionella, and HPV), of course, are another matter, and those views have been shown to be incorrect.

  85. #85 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    If it were we’d get answers to even the silliest and most outrageous questions and that’s what professors and scientists do, they inform (remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers as is vividly shown on this thread).

    As far as I can see, most questions that are asked here, are answered. However, when people keeping the same question, the questions are ignored.

    There are stupid questions – those questions asked without the questioner being willing to listen to the answer. They waste everybodys’ time, and should be avoided at all costs.

    You speak of Duesberg as having being “discredited”; that is a bold statement coming from a scientist like you who, compared to him, is still wet behind the ears.

    When we are speaking in the specific context of HIV-AIDS, Duesberg is credited – Tara’s experience have noting to do with this.

    You willfully dismiss all his other work based on his lone scientific disagreement about the causes of AIDS

    Tara have always been quite specific when she speaks about Duesberg. She has been refering specificly to his HIV/AIDS research, not his other research. So, in other words, neiterh she, nor anyone else here, have dismissed his other work. Not only that, Tara have often made this quite clear, which anyone reading through the posts and comments should be able to understand.

    And to be clear about this – Pat, I know you are a troll, trolling th scienceblogs, but I am answering the points you raise, not to convince you, but to explain it to anyone who might come across your comments without reading anything else here on this site.

  86. #86 AutonomousChimp
    July 26, 2006

    This thread makes me sad, because I know that sooner or later my good friend Bob, who is well educated (Master’s in Psych) and a very decent guy, will mention to me that he has doubts about germ theory because he’ll stumble across it online.

    He’s told me all about how flouridation is a government mind control tactic, gave money to a charlatan selling shares in a free energy device, and has given countless dollars to David Icke for books on how lizard-aliens run the planet. He also practises Urine Therapy, in which you drink small amounts of your own pee for some reason.

    That being said, he’s neither nuts nor stupid, just… gullible. And prone to distrusting institutions and institutional values. He doesn’t have a particular agenda (unlike, say, creationists). Why does bad science happen to good people?

  87. #87 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Kristjan and Damien:

    That’s a fine start…..

    But San Francisco’s heterosexual women generally are middle class to upper middle class (not all of course) and that cohort relies on its own birth control devices, definitely NOT condoms.

    The proof of widespread heterosexual activity without condoms lies in the steadily increasing numbers of sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, genital warts, and herpes simplex……

    Yet the AIDS cases continue to plummet down to nearly zero for BOTH heterosexual men and women combined!

    And as anyone who has spent any time at all in SF can tell you, that city remains renown for its wild and open sexual lifestyles.

    In 1996, there was a grand total of 25 – 25! – heterosexual AIDS cases in all of San Francisco.

    In 2005 that number was down to 15!!

    And once again Kristjan, my source for the vanishingly teeny-tiny number of heterosexual contact female AIDS cases is the SF Dept. of Public Health’s March 2006 report.

    And, the numbers of heterosexual AIDS cases continues to plummet down to nearly zero in the surrounding countries with their also comparably sexually active populations, like Marin and Alameda counties…….

    If you applied this same analysis to the very sexually active student bodies in the SF Bay area universities you find similar results – lots of heterosexual sex, and almost no cases of AIDS.

    I sure hope others will applaud and acknowledge this great news, try to understand why it is occurring.

    But I suspect that the doomsdayers still cling tenaciously to some sky-is-falling, fear-mongering script……….

    Time will tell. Let’s have a look………

  88. #88 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    When we are speaking in the specific context of HIV-AIDS, Duesberg is credited – Tara’s experience have noting to do with this.

    “credited” should of course be “discredited”

  89. #89 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    But San Francisco’s heterosexual women generally are middle class to upper middle class (not all of course) and that cohort relies on its own birth control devices, definitely NOT condoms.

    Are you serious? It seems highly unlikely that all heterosexual women in SF would be in those social groups. I am quite sure that there are also heterosexual women living below the proverty line in SF.
    If you mean the women that are infected with AIDS, then you are not particularly supporting your case, since that would suggest that you’re are more likely to get AIDS if you have unprotected sex – something which we are quite aware of, and which fits the HIV-AIDS connection quite nicely.

    In 1996, there was a grand total of 25 – 25! – heterosexual AIDS cases in all of San Francisco.

    In 2005 that number was down to 15!!

    That’s not particularly surprising, since new medicine have been effective in keeping AIDS at bay. Again, as I said before, HIV and AIDS is not the same – HIV envolve into AIDS if it is not kept in check.

    If you applied this same analysis to the very sexually active student bodies in the SF Bay area universities you find similar results – lots of heterosexual sex, and almost no cases of AIDS.

    This is quite consistent with a HIV-AIDS link, and less so with a non-HIV cause of AIDS. You see, there need to be a vector for the spreading of HIV. So if there are no initial cases, no one get the disease.

    Again, I think it’s important to make clear that SF is atypical, even in the US. In the US overall, drug users make up 26% of all AIDS cases, yet in SF they make up only 8%. In the US, homosexual transmission is the cause of 47% of all AIDS cases, in SF it’s the cause of 75%. In the US, of all AIDS cases, 19% are Hispanic, 40% are African American and 40% are White. In SF the numbers are 11%, 13% and 73%.

    In other words, the choice of SF seems to be a case of cherry-picking. You have choosen the data that might be able to support your argument the best. If done on purpose, this is considered scientific dishonest.

  90. #90 Lamark
    July 26, 2006

    Pat says

    I think the jury is in:
    This is NOT a science blog.

    What gave you the clue?

    If it were we’d get answers to even the silliest and most outrageous questions and that’s what professors and scientists do, they inform (remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers as is vividly shown on this thread).

    Ah, a reasonable answer. I will have to consider.

    But not here. The inhouse people are WAY above that lowly occupation. No, here we pontificate and when that doesn’t work we engage in swarming character assassinations. I would have loved to hear more mature talk about Bechamp and why it is believed that he was right or why he was wrong. No, again.

    But Pat, why should the intelligensia have to discuss with the commoners, I mean DISCUSS, without pre-arranged dogma held high above our heads? They would have a lot to answer for if the populace removed its blinders, that’s for sure. But that won’t happen, until the 2nd Enlightenment, where the public realizes that just because you are AGAINST the Church, which is often wrong, doesn’t make you automatically ALWAYS RIGHT!

    Here we have the same collection of “flamers” that can be found on any mediocre internet blog, without exception (with less outright profanity than GNN I concede) but, alas, with the same poor hyperbole and lazy dogmatic logic.

    Lazy dogs!

    If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements. Your and your Cyber Sisters inability to comprehend basic scientific ettiquette is simply mind boggling.

    Hear Hear! Well done, Pat.

    JSpreen makes some points with too much hyperbole, that is for sure, but he is essentially correct that germ theory has taken a radical position that it can not sustain or support in evidence. The germ-hunters seek to imagine that every ailment is the product of something they have to tweak out of the PCR cetrifuge, but then leaving the toxic enviroments of the patients behind out of the analysis. All of the miniscule technology has replaced obersvation and epidemiology. Bechamp and Pasteur were rivals, and the more paranoid philosophy won in our high-paranoia age. What is the surprise there?

    And the creationist versus neo-darwinians argument suffers the same fatigue. Neo darwinism proves nothing for the questions of evolution, except that it does not work! But there is no retreat from the trenches! Instead, all those who point out the failure are called unscientific and ludicrous! Although all they are doing is pointing the holes under your feet, and asking if you wouldn’t prefer to stand on solid ground.

  91. #91 Lamark
    July 26, 2006

    I am sorry that comment did not format. I placed cite html code around Pat’s comments, but it did not format! I have posted from Pat’s comment, and added further comment. I hope you will see the difference. What HTML should be used to make a citation?

  92. #92 Orac
    July 26, 2006

    You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    Phillip Johnson is the champion of the “intelligent design” movement and a card-carrying HIV/AIDS “dissident.”

    See:

    The NEJM Blows an Opportunity
    Phillip Johnson’s listing on the Virus Myth website
    An Open Letter to Science from Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis (Johnson is one of the signatories.)

  93. #93 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    In 1996, there was a grand total of 25 – 25! – heterosexual AIDS cases in all of San Francisco.

    In 2005 that number was down to 15!!

    My, my – we are cherry-picking.

    According to your datasource, there were 1080 AIDS cases diagnosed in SF in 1996, while there only were 331 diagnosed in 2005. So in 1996 2.3% of all diagnosed cases were through heterosexual contact, while the similar number was 5.3% in 2005.
    Incidently, the number of new diagnosed in that category have been more or less constant since 1997 (between 14 and 17 per year), while the overall number of diagnosed case have dropped from 806 to 331.

    For those interested in the numbers, the reports can be found here.

  94. #94 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    Lamark, use the

    tags

  95. #95 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    The germ-hunters seek to imagine that every ailment is the product of something they have to tweak out of the PCR cetrifuge, but then leaving the toxic enviroments of the patients behind out of the analysis.

    Not so. I elaborated on this over at Pharyngula. A giant swath of research focuses on host-pathogen interactions, taking into account not only the microbe in question but also a huge array of host factors.

  96. #96 DB
    July 26, 2006

    If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements.

    Well said!

    But I doubt that Tara and her ilk will have the temerity to not call scientists who disagree with the HIV=AIDS hypothesis deniers

  97. #97 mgr
    July 26, 2006

    Charles–you are hijacking this discussion. I believe I addressed in part the problem with your question previously. It is badly formulated.

    First, source for your numbers? It does not jibe by almost 100 cases with the numbers I obtained on line and posted when you previously made this assertion.

    Second, the inequity between infected females and males in SF as a ratio is two orders of magnitude greater than the ratio for California. This may reflect the unique demography of the city that it was point zero for the infection, and that it always was a greyer city than the rest of California.

    Therefore, if you are considering the demographics behind sexual transmission of AIDS, the population of 700,000 overestimates the likely number of sexually active females. Given that women generally are 1/2 of the population, that gives 350,000. SF being a greyer city, with a falling population of children, suggests that many are probably in the age range of 45+. That likely suggests stable monogamous sexual relationships the persist over a period of time. The co-hort one would seek to look at would be the 16-35 co-hort which I would estimate as 100,000. Asumming a non-replacable population, that is a transmission and infection rate 2 per 1,000. Pretty damn high given the poor numbers we have to start with.

    Of course some of these women are recruited into an older co-hort. But this still pretty high if the rate is halved.

    Getting to more honest estimates. You ask about numbers from 1981 to present, and state that it is 10 per year. Since you offer no table, there is no reason to accept this extrapolation of constant equal recruitment each year, since you can only characterize a trend with two or more data points extended over time. This is an assertion with no factual basis.

    Since the AIDS epidemic was first identified in 1981, there is no means to evaluate a trend, except one can infer a large initial infection of the gay male co-hort that swamps evaluating concurrent or later tranmission events between heterosexuals especially once safe sex practices are encouraged as prevention. This number makes it appear that heterosexual transmission and infection is less likely, that it may be within the population of country as a whole.

    Now taking your 10 a year and extrapolate over changes in sexual practice, one can with good faith infer that sexual contact that transmits AIDS in unprotected heterosexual contact has risen, because more couples likely engage in safe sex.

    However, I would not be surprised that number of cases has increase in a logarhytmic fashion, but there is insufficient data here; and what I have given is the best I can do given this is all GIGO.

    Mike

  98. #98 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    Lamark, use the

    tags

    Interesting, it showed up well in preview – oh, ok.
    Use the blockquote tags.

  99. #99 Harlan
    July 26, 2006

    In response to those who would deny germ theory, I’d like you to try something out: Make a batch of home-brewed beer and don’t sanitize anything; don’t bring the wort (do your homework for a change and look up the definition!) to a boil; make certain that your yeast is contaminated (i.e., not derived from a single cell). Now, when it is done, see what it tastes like. After you’ve tasted it, bring a bottle over to your local brewpub and ask the brewer what it’s infected with–he/she will be able to tell you from smell alone.

    For extra credit, why am I using beer as an example in a discussion invoving Pasteur?

    For additional extra credit, why do I know that no pathogens will be present in the finished product (assuming the finished product meets the definition of “beer”)?

    Harlan.

  100. #100 Lamark
    July 26, 2006

    Mr. DB,

    it is not only the HIV thinkers (this is what I call them, becauase there is no need to call them “rethinkers”, as no thought was present in Gallo’s monkey business) who are called Denialists, it is any who challenge any of the dogmas of the age.

    What the new crop of laboratory technicians does not know is that they have inherited the science at its breaking point. It is not enough to be anti-religion, one must be pro-truth, and truth must be permitted to have its own way! Even against your preconceptions.

    I saw that Tara responds, it is not so, regarding the drowning of epidemiology in PCR tubes! She is to be commended for her bravery in telling this tale, as all of the cases involvedin the HIV scandal that she and the cyber-sisters (as pat calls them) always rely on the miniscule measurements, and never on patient environment and epidemiology that can be observed to great knowledge, but is ignored!

    I will now try to post a citation:

    Here I go!

    If it works, thank you Kristjan!

  101. #101 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Kristjan and Mike:

    The numbers/data on AIDS cases in San Francisco are real simple and very straightforward.

    They show that despite the obviously large numbers of active heterosexual men and women in that city, the actual numbers (not percentage of this, that, or the other) – the actual numbers of AIDS cases continues to plummet, drop, decline, almost to zero.

    Poooooof!

    And Kristjan – for San Francisco from 1980 to March 2006, injection drug users accounted for 21% of all AIDS cases in that city – NOT the 8% figure you obviously did not get from the official SF Dept. of Public Health AIDS Surveillance Report.

    As for ethnicity or race, those numbers also wonderfully continue to plummet, plummet, plummet in San Francisco.

    In 1996, there were 194 cases of AIDS among blacks. In 2005 that number had dropped 66%, down to 60.

    In 1996, there were 160 cases pf AIDS among Latinos. In 2005, that number had dropped to 64, again a huge decrease of well over 60%.

    Those are the numbers. I am getting them from an official document. If for some bizarre, fear-mongering reason you don’t like those numbers, take that up with the SF Dept. of Public Health, not me

    I am citing them from an official report. Kick and scream and yell cherry picking all you like. I am laughing at your predictable response.

    That does nothing whatsoever to undermine or challenge the wonderful news that can be derived from those statistics, unless one is deeply committed to fear-mongering and doomsday thinking, no matter what the numbers indicate.

    Bottom line – heterosexuals in SF continue to freely and happily engage in all manner of sexual activities and the incidence of AIDS cases continues in free fall, relentlessly heading towards zero, dropping down, down, down……

    Heterosexual males and females, whites, blacks and Latinos all show the same rainbow, multicultural, diversity trend.

    I consider this great, wonderful and fabulous news.

    And I am very impressed by the predictably edgy sarcasm and non-scientific speculations from those who so desperately – almost religiously – want (or need) us to believe otherwise.

    Thank you for emphatically confirming my hypothesis.

    I now have the quotations I need and will leave you to your musings, teeth-gnashing, question-begging and facts-denying.

    Thanks for the help. It’s been real. Ta ta.

  102. #102 DB
    July 26, 2006

    Phillip Johnson is the champion of the “intelligent design” movement and a card-carrying HIV/AIDS “dissident.”

    Thanks for being redundant, as Tara’s already mentioned this.

    Well, Elton John is on my other team, so to speak. I’m not too thrilled with that, either. Can’t choose these things.

    Phillip Johnson’s “membership” doesn’t affect whether HIV causes AIDS or not. Do you understand that?

  103. #103 DB
    July 26, 2006

    Those are the numbers. I am getting them from an official document. If for some bizarre, fear-mongering reason you don’t like those numbers, take that up with the SF Dept. of Public Health, not me

    Funny, or not so funny, that anybody would seek to find greater numbers of “HIV-infected” in San Francisco. Do they care more about people or their hypothesis?

  104. #104 DB
    July 26, 2006

    If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements

    By the way, Tara, would you agree or disagree with this statement?

    If you agree, then I’m sure we won’t see you calling scientists who disagree with the HIV=AIDS hypothesis deniers, HIV-deniers, or denialists

  105. #105 Tara C. Smith
    July 26, 2006

    I disagree. I think many of these things indeed begin as scientific disagreements–evolution, germ theory, or more recent controversies such as prions, symbiosis and the origin of mitochondria, Helicobacter and ulcers, HIV, etc., but as the evidence begins to mount for or against certain hypotheses, it becomes denial when one refuses to accept this accumulation of evidence, preferring to hang on to their pet hypothesis in spite of–rather than because of–the accumulated data. These are who I refer to as deniers.

  106. #106 Whatever
    July 26, 2006

    DB writes: “Phillip Johnson’s “membership” doesn’t affect whether HIV causes AIDS or not. Do you understand that?

    I’m not under the impression that Orac misunderstands that. I agree with Tara that there are interesting parallels with types of arguments used by Philip Johnson w.r.t. his denial of causal role for HIV in AIDS and his work with creationism that also appear in arguments against the germ theory of disease. But you’d also see this with those promoting things like Orgone energy and the like.

  107. #107 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2006

    In 1996, there were 194 cases of AIDS among blacks. In 2005 that number had dropped 66%, down to 60.

    In 1996, there were 160 cases pf AIDS among Latinos. In 2005, that number had dropped to 64, again a huge decrease of well over 60%.

    Since the total number of AIDS cases dropped from 1080 diagnosed in 1996 to 331 diagnosed in 2005, it would seem that the drop in the numbers you mention are proportional to the drop in number of AIDS cases.

    Bottom line – heterosexuals in SF continue to freely and happily engage in all manner of sexual activities and the incidence of AIDS cases continues in free fall, relentlessly heading towards zero, dropping down, down, down……

    I think I have already explained that the number of heterosexual females have been more or less constant since 1997. That is not a fall towards zero. Unfortunately.
    Also, as I’ve explained, better medicine prevents HIV to turn into full-blown AIDS.

    It’s getting late here, but I can’t honestly understand what you think you are proving.
    Every stat you cite, is entirely consistent with a HIV-AIDS connection, and is quite as we would expect. There is nothing in your numbers that supports a lack of connection.

    HIV/AIDS is a global problem, and no understanding of it can really be gained by debating the statistics of number of AIDS cases over time in one specific US city. You can keep picking numbers and tell us that they prove that there is no connection, but then I can point out that the numbers you pick are consistent with a connection, especially if you look at it from a larger persepctive.
    Unless you can explain how AIDS is caused, if not by HIV, there is really nothing to be gotten from such a debate. A HIV-AIDS connection is well documented, both statisticly and biologically, and unless your explanaition takes these things into consideration, it’s nothing but pseudo-science.

  108. #108 DB
    July 26, 2006

    but as the evidence begins to mount for or against certain hypotheses, it becomes denial when one refuses to accept this accumulation of evidence, preferring to hang on to their pet hypothesis in spite of–rather than because of–the accumulated data. These are who I refer to as deniers.

    I thought science advanced because scientists explored different avenues of research.

    I also thought that scientists were very deliberate and polite in the language they use as a matter of course. It looks like I’m wrong.

  109. #109 DB
    July 26, 2006

    Unless you can explain how AIDS is caused, if not by HIV, there is really nothing to be gotten from such a debate.

    Kristjan,
    first, nobody needs to have an alternate explanation for a fatally-flawed paradigm. If HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, the next question isn’t what does?

    The question is the paradigm itself.

  110. #110 Damien
    July 26, 2006

    > I now have the quotations I need

    I think we see why some questioners aren’t worth answering: they’re not asking questions in good faith.

  111. #111 Damien
    July 26, 2006

    Isn’t there solid evidence for HIV->AIDS from blood transfusions before and after screening?

  112. #112 Calladus
    July 26, 2006

    This thread reminds me of another altie.

    You may know Wayne Green if you’re into Amateur Radio or music. He founded the 73, Byte, and CD Review magazines. He also founded Cold Fusion magazine.

    His editorials in 73 magazine started getting weirder and weirder way back in the 90’s, and even though 73 was a decent mag for us Hams I decided to let my subscription lapse. (73 died a couple of years later.)

    One of the weirdest things he explained in a 73 mag editorial was his “Blood Purifier” invention. He described this as a way to run an electrical voltage across a major vein or artery. As the blood passed through this point, it would be ‘purified’ in some way, wiping out all virus, fungus, microbe and yeast contaminants.

    I never understood how such a thing could discriminate between good cells and bad cells. Bacteria die, but flesh and blood don’t? How odd!

    In any case, the FDA shut him down from trying to sell these beasties. But he still sells a book that describes how to make your own, if you are technically qualified. Apparently if you can use a soldering iron, you qualify. (Scroll down to see “The Blood Purifier Handbook.”)

    Warning to visitors at Mr. Green’s site. Wayne Green is smart and crazy. Well written, logical, reasonable. But he believes in conspiracies and a lot of other off the wall crazy stuff. If you follow his writings you’ll go down the rabbit hole PDQ.

  113. #113 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Damien:

    It’s not a matter of “good faith” or “faithlessness.”

    It’s all about citing statistics, asking who collecetd them, for what reason and then pondering what the resultant numbers seem to suggest.

    I suggested at the very outset – quite openly and specifically – what I reckoned some people would say. They didn’t let me down. I hoped they would do better but they reacted like Pavlov’s dogs.

    What a shame, who non-science.

    But in answer to your next question, I do not know ahead of time the numbers for the next Super Lotto Jackpot.

    Sorry.

  114. #114 Harlan
    July 26, 2006

    Hi Charles!

    You ARE, in fact, arguing in bad faith. You’ve used a classic sleight of hand here, intentionally confusing the distinction between HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and AIDS which is the untreated result of being infected with the HIV virus.

    As you’ve admitted, you were looking to provoke quotations.

    Why don’t you address my experiment which I proposed above and which is more relevant to the topic at hand: germ theory. Go back and reproduce some of Pasteur’s initial work and see if you can replicate it–that is, after all what science is. More importantly, see if you can answer the two very simple questions I asked.

    You’ll note that I am, in fact, writting clearly and using respectful language, as have been most of the commentators on this thread. Count them up and give us some numbers to back up your position that way more than fifty-percent plus one have been disrespectful. Do some actual homework and then tell me what the exact connection between Pasteur and beer is. Be specific and tell me what the ramifications have been. I dare you.

    Harlan.

  115. #115 Sanjait
    July 26, 2006

    Here’s some polite question for both DB and Charles:

    Is the declining incidence of AIDS in SF over the last 10 years inconsistent with the theory that HIV does cause AIDS? Keep in mind that over the last 15 years we’ve seen the advent of a testing paradigm for the presence of the virus itself (an ELISA test, which is fairly accurate), the advent of much more effective highly active anti-retroviral therapies (HAART), and a strong push towards educating people about the specific risk factors and transmission routes of the disease.

    It seems to me that the very fact that incidence has been reduced over the time that we’ve used specific tests to identify infected individuals early, implemented education programs and used antimicrobials specifically designed to target HIV proteins, in fact is strong evidence IN FAVOR of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis. I’m curious if either of you, or anyone else, can either dispute this logic or has an alternate explanation for why we would see this pattern.

  116. #116 DB
    July 26, 2006

    Sanjait,
    what you’re attempting to do is what’s known as a “set-up”. I’m not falling for it, and I doubt that Charles will.

    Charles’ point about the low numbers, which you and others have gone to great lengths to “justify”, was probably intended for more of a lay-audience. I’m quite sure though that everybody here understood what he was trying to say with that, but they didn’t like the message.

    Unfortunately, it’s not much of a point in either direction. When I’ve mentioned heterosexual AIDS statistics to people relatively (if not almost entirely) uninterested in “AIDS”, I’ve received an equal amount of polarized responses. So, it doesn’t really “prove” anything. Some people think the numbers should be much higher, some people think that with all the “AIDS education” there that these numbers aren’t surprising. So, Sanjait, this doesn’t seem to be a very debateable point as it relies on MUCH conjecture from either side.

  117. #117 Sanjait
    July 26, 2006

    I tend to agree somewhat with the implication that the focus of scientists when dealing with laymen, even arrogant and ignorant ones, should be on teaching. Of course, when people argue in bad faith (very common on internet boards), it’s difficult to maintain patience, but it is an ideal we should strive for nonetheless.

    One of jspreen’s comments from the previous board about the “poisonous” nature of chemotherapy struck me as significant. I was just reading previously about a young man in the news recently named Abraham Cherrix, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He received chemotherapy, but he has suffered a recurrence of lymphoma, and now he wants to go to a clinic in Mexico that promises him a better likelihood of survival using the Hoxsey method, which involves the use of herbs and an organic diet.

    He’s in the news because the DSS in his area sued for custody to force him to forgo the snake oil treatments in favor of chemo. While the legal issues in the case are complex, I took a few clear lessons from the case:

    1. Ignorance is widespread.
    2. Ignorance can have very important deleterious consequences.
    3. Because of this, scientists should make earnest attempts to help people understand the scientific process, how to evaluate evidence and how to spot flawed arguments and pseudoscience.

    Of course, I think the critics are incorrect when they say that blogs like this don’t at least attempt to accomplish #3 on that list. I think that’s one of the main reasons that people write blogs like this, even if the comment sections do tend to sometimes degrade into unproductive bickering.

    With that ideal in mind, we should seek the most effective means of communicating with those who doubt established scientific findings. I’d like to refer those who doubt the germ theory to Koch’s postulates. As a bacteriologist, that’s the simplest way I can think of to explain how we know that germs cause disease.

    Way back in the day, Robert Koch devised a means to demonstrate that a particular bacteria caused a particular disease, by meeting these criteria.

    1. The organism must be found in all animals suffering from the disease, but not in healthy animals.
    2. The organism must be isolated from a diseased animal and grown in pure culture.
    3. The cultured organism should cause disease when introduced into a healthy animal.
    4. The organism must be reisolated from the experimentally infected animal.

    If we do all these things in controlled experiments, what else can we possibly conclude other than that the cultured organism is the primary cause of the disease? This is how Koch was able to demonstrate conclusively that M. tuberculosis causes tuberculosis, and that B. anthracis causes anthrax.

    Of course, this has nothing to do with chemotherapy, and it is difficult to apply the postulates when studying viruses (since they can’t be grown in pure culture), but it is nevertheless powerful evidence of the germ theory. It isn’t the only evidence, mind you, we have mountains of other research that backs up the germ theory, but this is one of the easier concepts for laymen to understand in my estimation.

  118. #118 Sanjait
    July 26, 2006

    DB- I’m not trying to set you up, I just asked you some questions. I assume the decreasing incidence in SF numbers were meant to demonstrate that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, but honestly I don’t see how it in fact accomplishes that. You, DB, didn’t introduce those numbers, so I don’t necessarily expect you to explain the reasoning behind the implication, but neither did you dispute the implication. If you’d rather not speak for Charles or support his reasoning, I completely understand. In that case, I have different questions for you, specifically regarding your own position:

    If HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, then why have we seen such dramatically improved patient outcomes for AIDS patients who take HAART? And I’m not just talking about AZT here (yes I know that one has non-specific activity), I’m referring to the newer generation HAART therapies that utilize reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors specifically designed to be active against HIV. If HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, how and why do those drugs work so well? I assume you must have given this question some thought previously, so I’m very curious to hear your explanation.

  119. #119 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Harlan:

    Sorry, but your anger and angst are getting the best of you.

    My question was and is very basic. I merely sought some explanation for a certain epidemiological pattern that’s becomes clearly identifiable with AIDS cases in San Francisco over the past 25 years.

    You go do your own experiments and the world will beat a path to your door. I remain interested in a plausible explanation for AIDS epidemiology in San Francisco. Got that?

    Or as Hannah Arendt once put it, “When I say A, I don’t mean B.”

    Earth to Harlan – science is not a vote counting popularity contest!! LOL.

    Go back and read DB’s sensible, thoughtful, down to earth comment, Read it again and see if it sinks in.

    In some ways I am simply updating an observation made 12 years ago in the text, *Sex in America: A Definitive Survey* (Little Brown, 1994).

    Robert Michael, John Gagnon, et. al. showed that “AIDS is, and is likely to remain, confined to exactly the risk groups where it began: gay men and intravenous drug users and their sexual partners.” Convinced that “there is not and very unlikely ever will be a heterosexual AIDS epidemic in this country,” they acknowledged that it could be “more difficult to raise research funds for a disease that is not a threat to most Americans,” but insisted it was “better to tell the truth than to behave like scaremongers, telling the country that a disaster will soon strike us all, no matter what the data say.” (pp. 216-18).

    Go challenge them if you like but that is precisely what has happened and this site contains oodles of evidence about just how hard it is to accept that reality.

    Oh Kristjan dear – can you enlighten us on the distinction between surrogate markers versus clinical endpoints when making an AIDS diagnosis?

    It would be illuminating to discover what percentage of actual “AIDS cases” are based on surrogate markers vs. those that rely on clinical endpoints and also how that ratio has changed over the past 15 years.

    Have fun kids…..

  120. #120 DB
    July 26, 2006

    then why have we seen such dramatically improved patient outcomes for AIDS patients who take HAART

    First off, you’re going to have to define “dramatically improved patient outcomes”. What does that mean? How exactly is that measured?

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, is that a dramatically improved patient outcome?

  121. #121 Sanjait
    July 26, 2006

    DB- You seem to have ducked my question. “Dramatically improved patient outcomes” simply means reduced morbidity and mortality. Even factoring in the incidence of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, it’s pretty clear that we see huge reductions in overall morbitity and mortality in HIV+ patients who take their medications compared to those who don’t. Why is that? Why didn’t you answer the question the first time?

  122. #122 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    How is Immune Reconstitution Syndrome as a result of HAART evidence that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS? For that matter, how can you possibly use this as part of your argument when IRS is the reconstitution of an AIDS patient’s immune system as a consequence of drugs that have successfully attacked his or her HIV infection?

  123. #123 DB
    July 26, 2006

    It would be illuminating to discover what percentage of actual “AIDS cases” are based on surrogate markers vs. those that rely on clinical endpoints

    That sort of information is getting lost down the memory hole. “AIDS” used to be defined by a positive “HIV test” plus an OI (as they used to be called). As we all know, the definition changed (Orwell is alive and kicking) in ’93 and effectively became low CD4-count disease (and “AIDS” cases for that year nearly doubled under the new definition in comparison to the previous year). OI’s are optional, and they’re now called “AIDS-defining illnesses”. Nothing like changing the rules and the terminology to keep everybody guessing.

  124. #124 Chuck Darwin
    July 26, 2006

    Charles is a hardy member of the denialist crew who has plastered a number of sites with his “irrefutable” San Francisco data. However, when challenged, Charles never addresses the facts/data that are presented to counter his claims. Instead, he blithely ignores all of the evidence proffered and arrogantly blabbers about how he can never get someone to address his idiocy and that the “AIDS dogma” has blinded so many self-described scientists. In addition to the other evidence presented above that counters his “HIV is harmless, orgies are the order of the day!” proclamations, it is simply the case that numerous studies have shown that heterosexual transmission of HIV is pretty inefficient in comparison to homosexual transmission (i.e. vaginal versus anal intercourse). When you consider that the average HIV-infected man in San Francisco (who, as Charles politely reminds us, tends to be of middle or upper-middle classes socio-economic status) has been treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy over the past decade – a therapy which drastically lowers viral levels in bodily fluids, including semen – it becomes even less surprising that heterosexual sex leads to very few new HIV infections.

    If Charles simply wanted to state that the dangers of heterosexual transmission of HIV were exaggerated during the initial phases of the anti-AIDS educational campaigns in the last 80s-early 90s, he’d be on pretty firm ground (although the fact that, at that time, HIV infection was truly a death sentence makes some exaggerations of the threat seem rather reasonable, even if transmission only occurs in 1% of instances of vaginal sex with an HIV-infected individual). However, he takes his weak brew and runs with it, shouting about how the whole HIV industry is a hoax perpetrated by prudes who hate the idea of men enjoying the sensual pleasures their natures rightly demand. And scientists have obviously been complicit with these fiends, as everyone knows that all those virologists and immunologists and epidemiologists spending their lives working on this tragic public health crisis are really just corrupt pawns desperate for any federal handout to bolster their prestige and elite hold over society. It’s a funny act at first, but it sure gets tired after a while.

  125. #125 DB
    July 26, 2006

    rrt,

    you’re playing dumb.

    I’m using the given terminology.

  126. #126 DB
    July 26, 2006

    You seem to have ducked my question. “Dramatically improved patient outcomes” simply means reduced morbidity and mortality.

    Not dead? That’s what you call “dramatically improved patient outcomes”? And for those who die of “IRS” while on HAART, that just doesn’t “count”?

    If “not dead” is called “dramatically-improved” and dying while on HAART “doesn’t count” (for those diagnosed with “IRS”), then you’ve set up a win-win situation for yourselves.

  127. #127 mgr
    July 26, 2006

    Since Charles could not provide the data in good faith, I had to get my own (Apologize to others, demography is one of my hobbies, but not my sinecure):

    AIDS in California
    http://www.dhs.ca.gov/aids/Statistics/default.htm

    San Francisco Demographyhttp://sanfrancisco.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm

    Comparison of % 60 and over throughout California:http://www.aging.ca.gov/html/stats/CensusTables/T80.pdf

    Los Angeles, not SF is the focal point of AIDS in California (DHS does not seem to distinquish between AIDS and HIV in these tables). It does appear that greatest number of annual cases occurred in the early 1990’s. I include data sufficient to support my contention that SF is grayer than the rest of California (median age mid thirties, % over 60 compared to rest of state (18 to 12%)

    The data does allow for some comparison but this can only be done after 2000:

    Heterosexual sex as ratio of total cases 2002=0.051762 n=130618
    Heterosexual sex as ratio of total cases 2004= 0.053698 n=135237
    Heterosexual sex as ratio of total cases 2006= 0.057676
    n=140735

    What this shows is for California, miniscule as it is, heterosexual transmission is on the rise, although the number of annual cases falls.

    AIDS/HIV incidence by age class

    2002 2004 increase 2006 increase
    Under 5 431 442 11 446 4
    5-12 200 205 5 205 0
    13-19 447 491 44 557 66
    20-29 19968 20592 624 21402 810
    30-39 58435 60366 1931 61707 1341
    40-49 35952 37546 1594 39466 1920
    0ver 49 15886 16703 817 17725 1022

    Draw your own conclusions, but there is a disturbing pattern–although overall incidence is down, the age group with highest rate of incidence is the 20-29 group currently. Combine this with increasing incidence of heterosexual transmission, and it looks like California had better recommit to safe sex education.

    Mike

  128. #128 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    Chuck Darwin – getting a bit testy and edgy, are we? Air going out of your balloon? Poor thing.

    You make so many errors and allege so many nonsensical things that me wonders what possibly can be your agenda? Never mind. I think I know.

    Never once have I asked for anything other than an explanation for the microscopically teeny-tiny number of heterosexual female AIDS cases in San Francisco over the past 25 years.

    The fact that those numbers were, are, and will remain vanishingly small just fries some people no end. Now why should that be?

    The numbers are a source of great joy, comfort and celebration to heterosexual men and women who had, have and will continue to have all manner of heterosexual fun together. And why shouldn’t it be?

    So go right ahead Chuckie Darwin and stamp your foot, hurl absurd charges, call me whatever simpleminded and irrelevant names you want, furrow your brow, clench your fist, purse your lips, squint your eyes, sputter and throw a temper tantrum.

    What else can you do?

    I am sitting here looking at those numbers, sharing them with one and all, near and far, lifting a glass of Merlot and offering a toast to heterosexual men and women of all races, classes and ethnicities and saying hallelujah.

    Pity that in your pained, angst-ridden and fear-besotted world you can’t/won’t join us.

    But as the Beatles sang, “oh-blah-dee, oh-blah-dah, life goes on…….”

  129. #129 Chris Noble
    July 26, 2006

    Just to make it clear,
    Neither Tara nor anyone else is claiming that all HIV “rethinkers” are creationists or that all HIV “rethinkers” deny the germ theory of disease.

    The real connection is that all of these groups use the same anti-science arguments.

    However, if you spend any time reading “rethinker” webboards (this may be deleterious to your sanity) you will find that there is considerable overlap. Most people that deny that HIV exists or causes AIDS also subscribe to some other wacky idea.

    If you already a) think that you understand an area of science better than scientists trained in that field and b) think that all of these scientists are wrong then you are much more likely to be able to “rethink” the connection between HIV and AIDS.

    A look at the list of “scientists” who doubt the HIV-AIDS theory confirms this.

    http://www.rethinkingaids.com/quotes/rethinkers.htm

    There are several prominent creationists. Numerous homeopaths, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists etc. There are also anti-vaccination loons, several quacks offering “alternative” cures for both cancer and AIDS etc.

    Once you have swallowed the basic idea that you know more than those stupid scientists and that the “orthodoxy” is censoring your cure for AIDS etc then HIV “rethinking” presents no major problems.

    I should also point out that the ability to pursue your own ideas against fierce criticism can be an advantage in science. One example is Fred Hoyle. Hoyle’s ideas about stellar nucleosynthesis were initially contested but eventually won out in the end. Perhaps it was this experience of being correct but rejected that paved the way for Hoyle’s rejection of evolution and crazy ideas like HIV coming out of space.

    Not all HIV “rethinkers” are complete crackpots. Some like Duesberg are very good scientists but appear to relish the role of iconoclast.

    Somebody mentioned the Urantia Book earlier in the thread. It is interesting to read Kary Mullis’ website. See this page for books that Mullis reads.

    http://www.karymullis.com/book.html

    Striking Coincidences Between The Urantia Book (Copyright 1955)ÃÃ,Â,ÃÂ,Ã, three articles in Science: 309 (2005), and one in Nature, (2005)

  130. #130 wheatdogg
    July 26, 2006

    jspreen and his fellow travelers are confusing correlation with causation, and ignoring US history.

    Correlation: In poverty ridden parts of the world, diseases appear to be prevalent. Or to put it another way, if you are poor, you are more likely to contract malaria, cholera, polio, etc.
    Causation: Poverty causes disease (or disease cause poverty).

    It is a subtle difference, but correlation is not causation. Given sufficient data, scientists can tentatively conclude that factor A causes factor B if the correlation between A and B is close to 1 (for a linear correlation). Even then, there might be other factors affecting the data besides income level, such as poor infrastructure, political unrest, superstition, suspicion of western medicine, the list goes on.

    A somewhat familiar correlation is the measure of one’s IQ vs. one’s ability to do well in school. Many people conclude that having a high IQ accurately predicts scholastic achievement, that is, that IQ causes achievement. While it is true that many high-IQ students in fact do well in school, there are many who do not. There are many other factors that influence one’s scholastic achievement: motivation, learning differences, emotional problems, drug use, alcoholism. Besides I am sure we all know of high-IQ types who in other ways are as dumb as posts.

    As for the history remark, during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States, hardly a poverty ridden nation, infectious diseases like scarlet fever, cholera, diptheria and polio swept through large cities like wildfire. Ever hear of the 1918 flu pandemic, or the high child mortality rate in the US? Poverty exarcebates infectious disease rates, but to suggest that poverty causes these diseases is overly simplistic.

    Of course, you’re entitled to believe whatever like, even if it’s just plain wrong.

    By the way, I heard that Newton confessed on his deathbed that gravity did not exist. He was dreadfully sorry he ever came up with the idea.

  131. #131 Sanjait
    July 26, 2006

    DB- You’ve not only ducked my question again, but I think also now you are deliberately obfuscating it. I’ll restate it as clearly as I can for you:

    Even factoring in the incidence of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, we see that both HIV+ and AIDS patients are more likely to end up *not dead* when they take HAART compared to when they do not, over any long time period you want to use. While dangerous side effects of HAART do exist, the “side-effects” of not taking HAART result in a much higher probability of morbidity and death. I think you know this to be true, and deep down you know you can’t reconcile that knowledge with your assertion that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, which is why you keep changing the subject…

    Care to confirm or deny this?

  132. #132 Chris Noble
    July 26, 2006

    Polio “rethinking” is also common and overlaps with AIDS “rethinking”.

    http://www.vaccines.plus.com/

    Even Duesberg appears to be a 1918 influenza “rethinker”.

    The reason why the Flu was so successful in 1918 was primarily the “terrain”, namely the millions of immuno-deficient hosts and hostesses starved and stressed by 4 years of war.

  133. #133 jre
    July 26, 2006

    Holy crap!
    When I last visited this thread, it was just some innocent poking-of-fun at what I figured 99.9% of sentient beings would recognize as an obviously preposterous idea.
    Now, two days later, I see a truly scary number of people holding some truly scary beliefs have appeared in this tiny sector of the blogosphere. If this sample is even remotely representative of the public at large, I tremble for our Republic.
    Look, gang — the propositions that germs cause disease, or more specifically that HIV causes AIDS, are not exercises in philosophy or political opinion — they are assertions about the real world. And as such, they must be judged by the evidence.
    There is a mountain of evidence supporting the latter. I got over 104,000 hits searching PubMed for “hiv” and “aids”, for crying out loud. Is it fair and reasonable to refer to someone who chooses to ignore that evidence as a “denier”? The term seems too mild for such willful ignorance, but yes. Yes, it is.
    And as to the former — Jesus, Mary and Joseph[1], how can you possibly let on that you reject the germ theory of disease, and expect to be taken seriously? I was having fun before, but now I am genuinely concerned that a significant number of people seem to think that scientific truth is whatever you want it to be, and frankly, that scares the hell out of me.
    [1] Or Newton, Darwin and Einstein, if you prefer.

  134. #134 Whatever
    July 26, 2006

    Chris Nobel: “Not all HIV “rethinkers” are complete crackpots. Some like Duesberg are very good scientists but appear to relish the role of iconoclast.

    No, not a *complete* crackpot, just someone with a fair number of crackpot ideas. And I agree that he really does like his role. His statistical analysis of the relationship between HIV and AIDS was truely nutty. I was at UC Berkeley at the time. I remember his presentations at the MCB departmental retreats. When all of the first-year grad students can punch holes through your argument, you’ve got serious credibility problems.

    But even Duesberg knows that HIV exists: The ‘true believers’ in the Perth Group won’t even go that far.

  135. #135 Charles
    July 26, 2006

    JRE –

    I had absolutely no idea that there such easily frightened little boys like you still around – scared from posted comments on a blogsphere!!!

    No wonder anti-science retards like Bush and Company have nothing to worry about.

    You’re just the sort of “tough guy” we need on the front lines of scientific debates – NOT!

    If you go to bed ill one night, put a knife under the bed and it will cut your pain in half by morning. Shhhhhh…..don’t tell a soul. Honest injun.

    The important thing about cyberspace for little fraidy-cats like you is that you can huff and puff, pontificate that the country is in danger, warn that the sky is falling (Ebola, SARS, Avian Flu, is everywhere!!), blast people for not being as scientifically au courant as you, and you leave unscathed.

    This is your home. You belong here. Stay here. You can’t hurt anyone, you cannot advance knowledge, you cannot even pose important questions. This is your nirvana.

  136. #136 rrt
    July 26, 2006

    DB: I have approached you with a great deal of honesty and openness, and am rewarded with accusations of “playing dumb?” I do not understand this comment, and your reference to using given terminology leaves me similarly blank.

    Please re-read my comment. I clearly and simply stated my question, and repeat it here: How can you use IRS to argue your position that HIV does not cause AIDS, given the nature of IRS itself? I can see nothing in IRS that supports your position, and clear details that undermine it.

    How is that “playing dumb?” Have I misunderstood your position? You don’t deny that HIV causes AIDS? Do you have a definition of IRS that differs from the commonly accepted one? Have I missed that definition stated here? I understand your suggestion that the cure can be worse than the disease, but that takes us back to the original point that the nature of IRS supports the causal link between HIV and AIDS.

    If I’m misunderstanding any of these facts or have failed to notice clarifying statements from you, I’m happy to admit ignorance or error and be corrected by others here. If you simply have not given these details and expect me to deduce them, then I request you elaborate.

    This topic has included comments on civility. I think it’s accurate to say I have been quite civil, open, honest and direct. I do not appreciate being treated, twice, as though I have not.

  137. #137 Chris Noble
    July 27, 2006

    Whatever writes:

    When all of the first-year grad students can punch holes through your argument, you’ve got serious credibility problems.

    It was the paucity of “rethinker” arguments that actually convinced me that the evidence that HIV causes AIDS is overwhelming.

    Duesberg is relatively speaking the most “scientific” but as you said most people can see the flaws in his arguments straight away.

    If apply his exact arguments to other diseases like syphilis, viral hepatitis, malaria, gonnorhea then we would have to “rethink” them too. Some like Jan Spreen are at least more honest in “rethinking” the whole “germ theory of disease”.

    This doesn’t stop “rethinkers” constantly referring you to his papers with the assumption that a) you haven’t read them b) if you did read them you would be convinced that HIV cannot cause AIDS.

    I speculate that “rethinkers” overcome the hurdle of thinking that they know more (despite often being scientifically illiterate) than scientists working in the field by imagining that they are somehow privy to some special knowledge that most scientists don’t know about. “Rethinkers” seem to think that if only they could just get all the scientists to read Duesberg then they too would be convinced that HIV cannot cause AIDS. Belonging to a small group of “dissidents” that have access to the “truth” no doubt gives them a sense of importance just like a number of other cults.

  138. #138 DB
    July 27, 2006

    Even factoring in the incidence of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, we see that both HIV+ and AIDS patients are more likely to end up *not dead* when they take HAART compared to when they do not

    Sanjait,

    show us the information that supports your assertions. Then we can talk.

    After you show us the information that supports your assertions concerning HAART, then answer this question, does this prove HIV causes AIDS?

  139. #139 DB
    July 27, 2006

    rrt,
    let’s take this slowly…

    Sanjait: then why have we seen such dramatically improved patient outcomes for AIDS patients who take HAART

    DB: First off, you’re going to have to define “dramatically improved patient outcomes”. What does that mean? How exactly is that measured?

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, is that a dramatically improved patient outcome?

    rrt, Do you see that I was simply asking if IRS was a dramatically improved outcome? It doesn’t matter whether I think HIV causes AIDS or not when I ask that question. I think you can understand that.

  140. #140 Robster
    July 27, 2006

    Tara et al., you have my respect for dealing with the deniers/neo-Luddites so fairly. I have probably played the same circular arguement games with at least one of these guys years ago on a newsgroup. I even have one in my family. Bless my genes, he’s not a blood relative of me or my wife.

    Has the African strain of HIV been discussed? Is this still an accepted concept? I’m in cancer research, and don’t get to read as much infectious disease material as I would like. If I recall correctly, this strain appears to be better adapted to invading the body via vaginal intercourse. There are some other issues involved, ie dry sex fetish/increased infection rates… But as this strain is primarily spread through heterosexual intercourse, while the strain found in the US (and elsewhere) is primarily spread through MM anal intercourse, this strengthens the arguement for HIV and the germ theory.

    Furthermore, without proof that SF lies outside the second standard deviation and is an outlier, you cannot declare that SF is different from any other place. Simply put, prove SF is statistically different from other cities, or drop it.

    Questioning previous research is fine and dandy, but if we have to start over examining the wee animicules every time, then we get nowhere.

    How does it go? If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.

    The corrolary: Would that giant move his shoe? I can’t see anything!

    Charles, DB, you have been given extreme courtesy, and have given little back. You accuse scientists of being arrogant, then claim that nobody can approach your genious. Even when they do refute your claims, you say that they are wrong and haven’t answered your questions. Want to make an outrageous claim that contradicts the overwhelming evidence? Then the burden of proof is on you. This requires more than appeals to the God of the Gaps.

  141. #141 Charles
    July 27, 2006

    Robbie:

    You obviously failed to read my initial inquiry or my follow up elaborations and clarifications.

    When you say, “Want to make an outrageous claim that contradicts the overwhelming evidence? Then the burden of proof is on you. This requires more than appeals to the God of the Gaps,” it shows me that you are the one not paying attention.

    1) The vast majority of adult women in San Francisco are heterosexuals who have sex with – drum roll please – men!

    2) There have been slight increases in cases of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, herpes simplex and genital warts over the past 15 years.

    3) But the number of cases of heterosexual women ever having, getting, acquiring “AIDS” has been less than 10 (ten) per year.

    4) How would you explain this apparent anomaly which BTW lends strong support to several studies over 10 years ago that calmly predicted there never would be a heterosexual AIDS epidemic in the USA and they were right!

    Those numbers are all from the SF Dept. of Public Health.

    Do have a go at answering the question, eh?

  142. #142 Chris Noble
    July 27, 2006

    Robster asks:

    Has the African strain of HIV been discussed?

    Ronald Gray has attempted to determine factors that determine transmission risk of HIV in Africa.

    Probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act in monogamous, heterosexual, HIV-1-discordant couples in Rakai, Uganda.

    Viral load (generally higher in this population) and genital ulceration (also more prevalent) were both found to relate to transmission risk while HIV subtype did not appear to play a role.

    Later papers published from the Rakai cohort confirm the relationship between viral load and transmission risk. Of particular relevance to people endlessly talking about the “Padian study” is the results concerning viral load, initial acute infection and transmission risk.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JID/journal/issues/v191n9/33445/33445.html

  143. #143 pat
    July 27, 2006

    Tara:
    “I’ve answered even “silly and outrageous” questions many, many times. I’ve even devoted whole threads to them”
    -I hope you find the courage and composure needed to answer them for a life-time; you’re a professor after all…

    “Besides the obvious mischaracterization that I’m “not comfortable with the fact that nothing in science is clear cut and ambiguous”
    -I might be mischaracterizing you but with all that babble about “overwhelming evidence” equaling facts I get confused

    “(indeed, I’ve made this argument to deniers time and time again when they expect black ‘n’ white results)”
    -try to write that without the “deniers” part, trust me it’s liberating.

    “on one hand you say this blog is bad because nothing gets answered, and on the other it’s bad because I spend too much time answering critics. Which is it?”
    -of course you can’t tell, you misread me. I said your blog is like any mediocre internet blog and I didn’t say you spend too much time answering critics; I said you love debating “denialists” and that you love labels like that. So do “they” it seems. In all fairness, there are many many more mediocre blogs out there than yours, it is simply that yours could be that much better if you could refrained from the pointless and highly confusing habit of profiling. The LAPD does that you don’t have to.

    “That’s highly ironic, considering the ratio of insults I’ve received to those I’ve dished out. Indeed, what “swarming character assasination” have I dealt? Just the use of “denier?”
    – You intentionally use the word ” denier” as an insult to isolate and discredit. You do it compulsively. The swarming attempt is evidenced by the existence of this thread: you isolated an “outrageous remark”, lampooned it as its own thread thus alerting the cyber sisters to the presence of a “germ theory denialist”. It makes you and your site look so low (and science as a bystander too).

    “Show me a single “rethinker” who doesn’t misuse the science, cherry-pick, and yes, deny the results of thousands of published papers, and I’ll happily change my tune.”
    -I can’t show you anyone who hasn’t been accused of cherry picking and denying “mounds” of evidence. What’s a rethinker?

    “That was discussed, but perhaps it would have been better received if jspeers–or you–had simply asked for such a discussion, rather than coming in slinging insults of your own, and claiming that the germ theory is “nonsense” and that anyone who accepts it isn’t a “real scientist.”
    -I’ll accept your definition of “That was discussed”.

    “…rather than coming in slinging insults of your own,…”
    -Isolating a remark posted on a separate thread and then lampooning it as another…. Great style!
    “…and claiming that the germ theory is “nonsense” and that anyone who accepts it isn’t a “real scientist.”
    -You’re confusing “pat” and “jspreen”. Do you understand now why you must abandon the “US vs THEM” theory of science? Check this race of people out that Orac has discovered and catalogued: “Phillip Johnson is the champion of the “intelligent design” movement and a card-carrying HIV/AIDS “dissident”.
    -Duane Keys makes the following “overlapping” discovery:
    “The same people believe we never landed on the moon… ”
    -and then you discover this gem : “And again, the parallel with creationists is quite striking. Do y’all have some kind of shared playbook that you consult?

    “Quote me on this. Duesberg’s early work on retroviruses has not been discredited, and I never claimed it had. Same for his work on cancer. His views on AIDS (and other infectious diseases that he denies, such as kuru, Legionella, and HPV), of course, are another matter, and those views have been shown to be incorrect”

    That the “likes” of Duesberg can’t prove their theories isn’t for lack of trying but for lack of funding. Wouldn’t you agree? Has Duesberg EVER received funding for his HIV research? Retroviruses are his field I understand. I’m led to believe that he hasn’t received government funding. How can a theory of Duisberg’s get discredited before he is even given the opportunity to test it himself. Where’s his shot at it?

    To this:
    “If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements”

    You say:
    “I disagree. I think many of these things indeed begin as scientific disagreements–evolution, germ theory, or more recent controversies such as prions, symbiosis and the origin of mitochondria, Helicobacter and ulcers, HIV, etc., but as the evidence begins to mount for or against certain hypotheses, it becomes denial when one refuses to accept this accumulation of evidence, preferring to hang on to their pet hypothesis in spite of–rather than because of–the accumulated data. These are who I refer to as deniers.

    -What’s your cut-off? How much is overwhelming? Last time I checked it ranked under absolute. Where is that healthy skepticism? Was really nothing overlooked? A little lurking, yet undiscovered, germ somewhere, perhaps? There are whispers of co-factors I heard. Surely you haven’t checked all stones. You MUST concede that! “Trolling” be damned; The evidence that HIV causes AIDS might look like an “overwhelming” pile of evidence to you but to me (troll?) it looks a lot like a pile of rapidly mutating factsheets and health campaigns. If $120 billion (whatnot) can’t explain much about HIV=AIDS, I really don’t see why, say one billion (one peanut), can’t be diverted into alternative approaches (like funding that Duesberg). I retract the word “alternative”; some people might throw a semantic hissyfit. I insert the term “unexplored terrain”. Ah! Some exclaim, but we are! Well yes but it is too timid and it is fraught with dreaded career ending idiomatic land mines such as the “denialist” anti-personnel mines, the “altie” I.E.D’s or the “creationist” dirty bombs.

  144. #144 Sanjait
    July 27, 2006

    Wow DB, you are going to great lengths to avoid answering my questions. I’m fairly certain your incredulity is an act to avoid facing the obvious, but I’ll humor you.

    Here’s one recent paper on the matter, following a cohort of 12,000 people in clinics in different countries:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=retrieve&db=pubmed&list_uids=15738371&dopt=abstract

    For more papers, just type “HAART” into the pubmed search query, and you will find over 9000 articles and 1805 reviews on the topic, if you still have doubts about the effectiveness of HAART. There is a mountain of documentation on this, and I think we both know it’s pretty well established.

    To answer your question; yes, the effectiveness of HAART is pretty conclusive evidence of the HIV-AIDS link. The newer drugs given to AIDS patients were specifically designed for activity against HIV proteins, such as the protease the virus uses for processing it’s coat and the reverse transcriptase the virus uses to copy its RNA genome into DNA. The human host, and even bacteria and most viruses don’t possess highly similar genes to these, as they are unique to retroviruses. The compounds that form modern HAART are found to reduce viral loads, increase T-cell counts and improve patient outcomes compared to control groups. That’s pretty strong evidence, don’t you think? That’s not a rhetorical question by the way. You should try to answer it, if you done playing coy.

  145. #145 pat
    July 27, 2006

    “Then the burden of proof is on you. This requires more than appeals to the God of the Gaps”
    Here’s a God of the Gaps apparition:

    “dry sex fetish”

  146. #146 viji
    July 27, 2006

    TO Charles as of “Posted by: Charles | July 27, 2006 01:42 AM”

    Reading from the sideline, I find that you are just regurgitating the same old “inquiries” “elaborations” and “clarifications”, over and over again like clockwork, when these points brought up by you have already been discussed reasonably and adequately explained to you over here in this blog entry, and elsewhere.

    Everyone has been addressing your “queries” yet you seem to me to be ignoring all of them and rehashing the same old ‘statistics’ of yours.

    the following to find the response to your queries, I hope I did not miss any of the responses, there were many.

    Posted by: mgr | July 26, 2006 03:53 PM
    Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 26, 2006 03:33 PM
    Posted by: Kristjan Wagner | July 26, 2006 02:50 PM
    Posted by: Damien | July 26, 2006 02:27 PM
    Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 26, 2006 03:50 PM
    Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 26, 2006 05:40 PM

    Or else, read the same regurgitated ‘statistics’ and associated discussions here

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/06/wrong_again.php

    What is your point repeating the same lines over and over again?

    Clearly, from my point of view, the statistics you state does not implicitly show that HIV transmission is not linked to unprotected sexual activity, much less proving HIV is not the causal agent of AIDS.

    In fact, the statistics seem to imply that the HIV awareness campaigns/education, safe sex behaviour, and the recent availibility of improved therapy to halt the progression to AIDS are helping with the public health situation in Sans Francisco and averting any AIDS epidemic.

    In fact a quick comparison with the AIDS epidemiology statistics from elsewhere where such factors are not entirely present, where the AIDS epidemic is rampant, South America, India, China, Africa, Southeast Asia, Russia, you could easily see the significance of the advancement in our understanding in HIV aetiology and treatment in the improvement of the situation in San Francisco.

    And that said, I’ll like to highlight that other STDs such as chlamydia, herpes simplex and genital warts, are given much less publicity than the prevention of HIV transmission, and the symptoms/risk factors associated with these STDs are much less profound to the typical joe/jane compared to the awareness people have on HIV-AIDS.

    As mentioned in some of the responses before, since the risk factors for HIV-transmission is well known, i.e. intravenous drug use, sharing needles, unprotected sex with certain subsets of the populations, it is also plausible that people have been catering their sexual behaviour towards limiting the risk of acquiring HIV, and the statistics from San Francisco seem to indicate so, whereas, for example in China, both in the developed cities and rural areas – where sanitation, diet, and the prevalence of infectious diseases is not as bad as in other places like Africa or India, HIV-transmission remains a dire problem due to the lack of awareness and HIV-AIDS and discussing sexual behaviour in public being taboo subjects.

    This is another valid interpretation of the statistics and I re-iterate, by no means does the statistics you’ve refered to, proove that HIV is not linked to AIDS.

  147. #147 viji
    July 27, 2006

    AIDS in China
    if you’re interested, this is at the top of a Google search
    http://avert.org/aidschina.htm

  148. #148 Carsten S
    July 27, 2006

    Hi,

    more fun is to be had here.

    Oh, and before Sean starts his Dissent from Mendel project, he might want to check out this (german) text by Lanka, who also appears in one of Tara’s links.

  149. #149 Charles
    July 27, 2006

    Yo’ Viji:

    I have simply asked a very basic question about the epidemiology of AIDS cases among heterosexuals in San Francisco that you and others seem fundamentally unable to answer in a straightforward manner.

    I think the statistics should evince joy and celebration. You wander all over the blog, the world and into other people’s minds with twisted evasions, convoluted dodges, and barely concealed rage.

    Why oh why is that Viji? Are you afraid of the significance of those statistics? Why is that?

    Well I must be running along now, so you continue to fuss and fume and I’ll catch you another time………..

    No sense you staying home with gnashed teeth Viji – it’s time to go out and celebrate and dance – like me!!

    Bye bye

  150. #150 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    Are you afraid of the significance of those statistics?

    Charles, what you seem to fail to understand is that we are telling you that there is no significance of those numbers. They are meaningless in the larger context.

    We are happy that there are fewer AIDS cases, but until we see a cure for HIV, or a drastic drop in the number of new HIV infections, we won’t be happy.

    The drop in AIDS cases have been made through hard work by researchers, who have ensured that HIV doesn’t develop into AIDS as fast as it used to. That’s only a temporary solution, and doesn’t do anything about the fundamental problem. For all your dancing, you (and your fellow AIDS deniers) have done nothing to lessen the number of AIDS cases and you are certainly not doing anything to cure HIV.

  151. #151 DB
    July 27, 2006

    To answer your question; yes, the effectiveness of HAART is pretty conclusive evidence of the HIV-AIDS link

    No, now you’re not answering my question. Does this prove HIV causes AIDS? Let’s see where you land on the credibility scale when you answer that question.

  152. #152 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    No, now you’re not answering my question. Does this prove HIV causes AIDS? Let’s see where you land on the credibility scale when you answer that question.

    DB, I know this have been explained to you before, but I’ll repeat it again.

    There is no one thing that proves anything in science – there are lots of evidence for something, but it doesn’t prove it.
    However, when we have an explanaition that fits the evidence, and when things happens as expected according to the explanaition, then it’s considered solid, and to all purposes it can be considered proven.
    This is very much the case of a HIV-AIDS connection, where the effectiveness of HAART (as predicted) is one of the pieces of evidence that supports the explanaition.

    For someone to make people stop believing the explanaition, they would have to falsify it to such a degree that it cannot be fitted to the new evidence.

    This have not been done in the case of a HIV-AIDS connection, no matter what you and others seems to believe.

    To get people to consider a different explanaition on equal level with an accepted explanaition, they have to present it in a way that is consistent with the evidence, and which can predict behaviour. If that can be done, it can be reach an equal level with the first explanaition, until some piece of evidence shows up that disproves one or the other of the explanaitions.

    Several explanaitions of AIDS that didn’t involve a HIV-AIDS connection were looked into in the early days of the disease. However, they have all been discarded as evidence proved them wrong.
    Now, only the explanaition based upon a HIV-AIDS connection stands. It’s not perfect, but it fits the evidence, and provides a basis for predicting the behaviour of the virus, both in the individual and in the populations.

  153. #153 mgr
    July 27, 2006

    Charles–the data for California does not support your contention that heterosexual transmission is not a concern. For the state as a whole, the number of heterosexual incidences are slowly rising, despite the overall decrease in AIDS cases. Since the Cal DHS Aid stats can only address this from 2000, evaluation is limited.

    http://www.dhs.ca.gov/aids/Statistics/default.htm

    But if you compare the heterosexual to the total, the percentage is rising at about 0.001% of total cases/2yrs. You may view this a miniscule, but there is slight increase between 2004 to 2006 compared to 2002 to 2004 (I compared the June data for these years FWIW)

    Unless arrested, there may still be a serious public health issue, since the population experiencing the greatest increase is that between the ages 20-29, whereas most cases were reported in the older age groups.

    SF City/County should be seen as a questionable data point when discussing AIDS presently, when one should consider the aggregate of the metropolitan area of which it is a part. The median age for SF is around 35 in a state with one that is around 24, the population is split between males and females, with the females in the slight minority.

    One should note that Los Angeles surpassed SF in the early 1990’s for total cases, and is likely the better model for the current dynamics of the disease, if one wishes to examine a urban area.

    Mike

  154. #154 jre
    July 27, 2006

    Charles –
    Actually, your example was the least frightening, since even a casual reader can see very quickly that you inhabit a different reality.
    It is those whose fasteners appear, at first glance, to be properly torqued, but who turn out to have some seriously deranged beliefs just under the surface who concern me most.

  155. #155 Robster
    July 27, 2006

    Charles,

    I will not take a swing at the SF data. You have not demonstrated that it is significantly different from the rest of the data. Show statistical significance, or you have nothing to talk about. Present evidence, not gaps.

  156. #156 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    more fun is to be had here.

    Oi! That’s bad! I especially like the verifications – here is one example:

    “1989: At a medical conference in Munich (Germany), 17 doctors tested the “Five Biological Laws” on 27 patients. The results: 100% accuracy.”

    Very trustworthy, don’t you think? Also, very detailed, don’t you think? I mean, they mention both the number of doctors and the number of patients.

    Ye gods.

  157. #157 pat
    July 27, 2006

    I have posted a reply to Tara, but it might take a while before it pops out of the software filter. So forgive me if my posts aren’t in chronologicall order or ar incomplete.

  158. #158 rrt
    July 27, 2006

    DB, you’ve completely missed or ignored my point, much as with Sanjait, apparently. You can’t isolate IRS from its context. Part of my point was to show that, if you are arguing against an HIV-AIDS link, it is pointless to decry the nastiness caused by IRS, because IRS supports the link. Unless you are disputing the nature of IRS, but even after asked, you’ve neglected to make that argument.

    Analogies are always cumbersome, but to make one: It’s as though you deny that the sun’s UV radiation causes sunburn, and when it’s been pointed out that sunscreen protects people from sunburn by absorbing UV light, you say “and that’s a good thing? People spend more time in the sun when they use sunscreen, and then get burned when the sunscreen sweats off.”

    In both cases, the point you argue does nothing to support your main thesis, and indeed the very nature of your point supports the opposite. I think you can understand that.

    If an HIV-AIDS link is the core of what we’re arguing here, then there is no reason to even make your point about HAART and IRS in the first place. It completely diverts the focus of the conversation to a debate over whether a cure is worse than the disease, such as is sometimes felt in cancer chemotherapy. I was under the impression we weren’t having that conversation.

  159. #159 DB
    July 27, 2006

    Good try, Kristjan,

    I’m sure you understand what I’m saying, but you’d like to play a semantics game instead.

    Let’s break it down for the laypeople out there.

    Sanjait is attempting to go in through the back door.

    If HAART supposedly keeps the “HIV-infected” from dying, then HIV causes AIDS, correct? Once again, let’s see where folks land on the credibility scale when answering this question.

  160. #160 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    If HAART supposedly keeps the “HIV-infected” from dying, then HIV causes AIDS, correct? Once again, let’s see where folks land on the credibility scale when answering this question.

    HAART preventing people from getting AIDS is entirely consistent with HIV causing AIDS.

    It doesn’t prove it (neither in the strong nor the weak meaning of the word), but together with all the other evidence, it supports the explanaition.

  161. #161 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    Again – it’s not a case of:
    Premise a->b
    If a->b then c prevents b
    fact c prevents b
    then a->b

    It’s more like:
    Premise a->b
    If a->b then c prevents b
    fact c prevents b
    then a->b is not disproven.

    You want us to say it’s the first type of evidence, while we are saying it’sthe second type of evidence.

  162. #162 DB
    July 27, 2006

    Kristjan, Sanjait and friends,

    hold those thoughts…

    as much as I’d like to spend the day in front of the computer, I’m going to do some hiking in the Olympics instead. So, you’ll have to do without me today.

    Looks like it may get a little boring here in the meantime.

  163. #163 Wilhelm
    July 27, 2006

    Whew! When I started to read this thread, I couldn’t believe how dumb it was. Only near the end, some “scientists” showed up, to tell us the same crap the pure company teamplayers have tried to push down our throats for the past 25 years. Of those, Sanjait seems to be the cockiest, so I made a mental note to teach him some microbiology. But when I saw Chris Noble get into the fray, I just knew I had to be in on this.

    Sanjait wrote: “Because of this, scientists should make earnest attempts to help people understand the scientific process, how to evaluate evidence and how to spot flawed arguments and pseudoscience.”

    True, true, very true. But I think it cuts both ways. Plenty of lay people have already understood the scientific process (DB is a good example), and they are asking questions about the methods followed to arrive at such earth-shaking paradigms such as a silly ol’ retrovirus causing a 29-headed monster named AIDS. About a bird virus that will be causing a devastating flu epidemic among humans. About bacteria that cause Tuberculosis in Africa, but hardly in the U.S. And those same lay persons see lots of flawed arguments and pseudoscience.
    Warren Burger, former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has once said that half the lawyers pleading before the High Court were incompetent. And now I am saying that half the scientists doing biomedical research are incompetent. How come? Educational system gone to hell, I guess.
    Doesn’t the scientific method require that, in order to be accepted, a theory must be supported by evidence? Well, lots of people are clamoring for that evidence; nevertheless, recent publications, written by umpteen authors a piece, pretend that that evidence has been delivered many years ago. And it hasn’t. So may we pleaaaase lay the burden of proof where it belongs, and could we be saved fom your nagging about proof for “our theories”? We (dissidents or denialists, whatever) have no theories. We just find that yours suck, and it’s up to you to defend your views. With sientific arguments, please.
    The HIV/AIDS dogma has loose ends on all sides. The “epidemic” doesn’t fit anything we know from epidemiology. Virologically speaking, it is resounding nonsense. And the drug therapies that are used are murderous.

    “…and it is difficult to apply the postulates when studying viruses (since they can’t be grown in pure culture)

    Oh, but some can. But they are viruses that really exist. They form particles that are stable enough to be isolated and photographed, and subjected to physical measurenments. Nothing like “HIV”, which seems to be so unstable that it goes to pieces when it even “thinks” of infecting a host.

    Antibiotics work fine in a Petrie dish. Fleming showed us that. The interactions in vivo are more complicated, of course.
    It is not my intention to discard the whole germ theory, but there are some major questions to answer, and you guys (I mean the scientists among you) are certainly not much help.
    Why does the same bacterial strain cause disease among poor folks in Africa, and seldom in Martha’s Vineyard, or Long Island? Why didn’t Max Pettenkofer get sick when he drank a whole cholera culture? (I really put more trust in Pettenkofer than in Robert Koch).
    And when germs cause disease, how do they do it? Are they gnawing at our entrails, like rats? Do they pound on our organs with their little hammers? Or what?

    In walked Chris Noble:
    “The real connection is that all of these groups use the same anti-science arguments.”

    Anti-science? Kary Mullis? Peter Duesberg? And I shouldn’t forget myself. This fight between Reason and corrupted science has been going on for a long time, and I intend to participate in it until Hatchet Day. Even though it takes up my time, and brings in no money or acclaim whatsoever. Just for the love of science.

    Well, I’d better top for today. I still have to check whether this post will go through, or if Tara will pull more shenanigans to block it.

    And… oh yes: There are two issues that I want to react to:
    1. The (proud) question how come that HAART is so beneficial. (#*%$$%@#@*!!!) Well, whoever suggested that: There’s nothing to be proud of. What you see are only short-term effects. In the long term, the patient is a dead duck. Whoever claims that HAART prolongs lives is lying.
    But, as a way-out, the patient does not die from AIDS! He dies of a newly invented disease named IRIS. But, even more frequently, from liver/kidney failure. But to explain that, the HIV/AIDS genii have invented another virus: Hep-C.

    2. Who wants to deny gravity? I do. There IS no gravity force, and Newton had it wrong. Just take a bag holding 10 pounds of whatever, and hold it with your arm stretched out in front of you. After a while, your arm muscles get tired. Not surprising, because you expended energy, resisting gravitation. But… what is the energy source that is responsible for this “gravitational force”? Shouldn’t that get depleted also? (Think of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics)
    The earth has been around for a long time. If there was any energy depletion, we should have measured that somehow.
    So what’s a force for which there is no energy source? Answer: A non-existing force.

  164. #164 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    Wow. We have found our first gravity-denier. Impressive.

  165. #165 Whatever
    July 27, 2006

    Regarding Max Pettenkofer: Whether one develops all the symptoms of cholera also depends on one’s physiological constitution and the strain. The level of susceptibility varies from strain to strain and from person to person. That information is unremarkable. Pettenkofer suffered a bout of severe diarrhea from the experiment. One of his assistants repeated the experiment, suffering not just from diarrhea but also a fever. What Koch did was isolate bacteria from animals killed or infected with Vibrio cholerae and demonstrate that when introduced to other animals, it could produce the same disease. These days you can extract cholera toxin from the bacteria and induce many of the same gastrointestinal effects observed with the live bacterium: The mechanisms of action have been described at the molecular level. We can also knock out virulence-specific genes in pathogenic organisms and produce strains that do not cause cholera. The causal relation is quite well established.

  166. #166 jre
    July 27, 2006

    Who wants to deny gravity? I do.

    Step aside, Charles.

  167. #167 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 27, 2006

    Who wants to deny gravity? I do. There IS no gravity force, and Newton had it wrong. Just take a bag holding 10 pounds of whatever, and hold it with your arm stretched out in front of you. After a while, your arm muscles get tired. Not surprising, because you expended energy, resisting gravitation. But… what is the energy source that is responsible for this “gravitational force”? Shouldn’t that get depleted also? (Think of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics)
    The earth has been around for a long time. If there was any energy depletion, we should have measured that somehow.
    So what’s a force for which there is no energy source? Answer: A non-existing force.

    wow.

    Hello open system.

  168. #168 mgr
    July 27, 2006

    I am through commenting here. This has exceeded my capacity to tolerate absurdity. It sounds to me like Wilhelm needs some remedial work on his newtonian physics–

    http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kobatake/fma.html

    Mike

  169. #169 Tara C. Smith
    July 27, 2006

    Wilhelm,

    I’ll link this again, because I addressed many of the issues you bring up (well, except the gravity denial) here.

    Regarding commenting “shenanigans,” I already explained that to you via email, and pointed out to you that Kristjan encountered the same problem noted here. Some words are still being caught by the filters, but I’m happy to publish what you send via email (as you already realize).

  170. #170 Robster
    July 27, 2006

    wow

    So may we pleaaaase lay the burden of proof where it belongs, and could we be saved fom your nagging about proof for “our theories”? We (dissidents or denialists, whatever) have no theories. We just find that yours suck, and it’s up to you to defend your views. With sientific arguments, please.

    This arguement could be found in creationists, flat earthers, hollow earthers, chemo-deniers, global warming deniers, hollocaust deniers… This isn’t science, but religion. It relies on belief and faith and flourishes in a realm without reason or evidence.

    With the tens of thousands of articles published every year, if such incredible hoaxes existed, they should be easily refuted, and with great fanfare.

    If you want our data, see medline, or visit a nearby university library. Now. Where is your data? Produce a hypothesis, test it in a reproducable manner, publish your findings in a peer reviewed manner. Without this, you lack a theory to defend. Until you reach this point, you can only ask questions, not dismiss years of study because you think they “suck.”

  171. #171 Lamark
    July 27, 2006

    To good friends here,

    We see already that there can be no discussion among the ‘scientists’ such as Chuck Darwin, and DB or Charles, who bring questions, experience and meaningful statistics that trouble the assumptions of the “scientists” hard at work on ignoring the evidence, which if they were to examine it, would lead them to truth and knowledge, if they weren’t terrified of losing their jobs.

    I quote from somebody in the thread (Harlan I think):

    You ARE, in fact, arguing in bad faith. You’ve used a classic sleight of hand here, intentionally confusing the distinction between HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and AIDS which is the untreated result of being infected with the HIV virus.

    Of course this is the lie in question, and it is very easy to see through. And it is Harlan who is practicing sleight of hand, putting the assumption in question as the conclusion!

    I will clarify for you, though it is quite simple: AIDS is the result of being in a country where the european and american doctors from the World Health Organization come to stick you with the AIDS ribbon, or prick you with the tests that confirm the biases of the testers. AIDS therefore is everything occuring in some people, but in others, it is most likely described as parasites, diarrhea or chronic fatigue, etc.

    HIV is the manufactured consensus of many inexperienced children who work in laboratories of the polyclonal response to synthesized proteins and consensus probes put into mixtures of serum, or then it is only assumed, as in most of th eworld, because of pregnancy or poverty and race.

    I hope that answers all the questions, and everyone can now get along and work to a solution!

  172. #172 Kristjan Wager
    July 27, 2006

    Lamark, I say this in all frankness – you are demented if you for a second that the people you mention bring “questions, experience and meaningful statistics” to the table. However, I don’t think you think that – I think that you (and several of the others) are just trolling, and I think we have wasted enough time on you.

  173. #173 Dot
    July 27, 2006

    denying gravity – Is there anywhere to debate this? It looks fun.

    For example: could, rather than being a ‘force’, gravity be the effect a mass has on spacetime (like the general relativity theory or gravity). If this is the case, rather than an object ‘falling’ (as in moving toward the ground due to gravity), the distance between the ground and the object could be getting smaller due to mass ‘bending the universe': Objects we perceive as being held still are actually moving away from the ground at the same rate as the distance between the object and the ground is shrinking.

    Of course this would also mean that unless another force is acting upon everything (i.e the force of big bang), the universe would be shrinking, not expanding.

    Thats my theory anyway – its probably already been disproven.

  174. #174 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 27, 2006

    I’m just waiting for someone to spout off that AIDS was introduced to this country by the World Health Organization.

    or the CIA or the Military or insert similar conspiracy theory here

  175. #175 Laura
    July 27, 2006

    Lamark,
    You state they bring meaningful statistics? I do not think San Francisco can be considered a representative sample of the world. San Francisco is hardly your typical city considering it has one of the highest costs of living in the US. Why don’t you consider other cities as well like Chicago it to has significant homosexual population?

  176. #176 wheatdogg
    July 27, 2006

    Sheesh. My remark about Newton recanting on his deathbed was a joke, guys. How the Foo can you deny gravity?

    To review basic physics:
    Newton’s Law of Gravity — two objects attract each other with force that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers of mass. Newton offered no explanation how the force was carried through space, but modern theories posit a carrier particle, the graviton, as yet undetected.
    Einstein’s TGR: Objects warp the spacetime around them in proportion to their masses. Other objects in that spacetime move inertially through that spacetime in response to that curvature.
    Energy: The capacity of a system to do work.
    Work: force x displacement (cos theta)

    Gravity does work on an object when the object falls. The energy required to raise the object comes from the person lifting it. If the object is stationary, no work is done, since there is no displacement. No work done means no energy expense.

    Note that the definition of energy is not “the capacity to exert a force.”

  177. #177 Robster
    July 27, 2006

    Intelligent Falling, anybody?

    To further wheatdog’s explanation…

    To hold the suggested 10 pound bag up, the bagman must expend energy to keep the bag from falling toward the Earth, at least, if that happens to be the planet that the bagman is curently on. Hence, the tired arms. The planet itself is expending no energy.

  178. #178 viji
    July 27, 2006

    Care looking at these two post,

    Posted by: Charles | July 27, 2006 07:28 AM
    Posted by: DB | July 27, 2006 11:43 AM

    Hilarious. It does seem that they’ve ran out of those run-of-the-mill ‘ideas to ‘dissent’, or rather, misinforming lay-persons. The posts sounds like cutting and running, whats that about hiking for the olympics??!! and No sense you staying home with gnashed teeth Viji??!! Just hilarious. A parting jab at the many persons who have patiently tried to explain to them the very questions they’ve brought to this forum.

    The premier appearance of Wilhiem is even funnier

    Posted by: Wilhelm | July 27, 2006 12:47 PM

    Lots of statements, albeit misleading ones, its not surprising there are none whatsoever references to any of those statements. And you’ve acquired a penchant to use wicked analogies on scientists aren;t you? It does seems to be a blatant attempt of perverting the thoughts of fresh readers of the blog, and attempting to defame the work of scientist just to peddle your misconceptions, eh? Talk about bad faith. As I’ve pointed out in my earlier posts, Wilheim’s assertions are just the same old regurgitated ‘dissenting’ ideas, or ‘peddled misinformation’, if you like, that have been thorougly discussed and shown to be unfounded in an earlier thread

    Find those discussions here
    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/06/wrong_again.php

    Indeed Kristjan Wager, as you mentioned in your response to Lamark’s outburst (I should point out its typical of the ‘dissenters’ to spout the party line, and shower their comrades with priase, devotion, despite the reality laid before them, looks like blind faith to me), Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 27, 2006 04:22 PM , these characters are trolling.

    Anyway, what’s depressing is that these characters fail to see the dire consequences of their irresponsible ‘dissenting’. ‘

    We respect the right to dissent, we are aghast with the way they choose to dissent, by peddling half-baked, cherry-picked ideas, to the unsuspecting lay-person. AND worse, its alarming to see that when these ‘dissenting’ views have been presented and discussed in good faith by scientific peers at decent forums such at Tara’s, and have been shown to be unfounded views, not only they fail to understand the analysis presented to them, which warrants them to re-think their dissenting ideas, or at least try to address the flaws of these ideas; rather they continually re-hash the same ‘ideas’ over and over again, when they know its been documented before (now, that’s trolling). It really does look as if you have little interest in forwarding a scientific analysis of your dissenting views, but rather are attempting to forment misinformation through repetitive propaganda, for whatever reasons I am fearful to speculate.

    The correct way, and I should say the most effective way to present dissenting views in science, is to formulate a working hypothesis, test the hypothesis, and present the work to show others that the dissenting views warrants attention by your scientific peers.

    Cherry-picking certain experimental and forcing your perspectives on these data (I should point out almost always the authors do not prescribe to their interpretations, and the dissenters typically hone in on a miniscule bit of old published work, and disregard any published data that does not agree with these ‘dissenting’ views, and thats actually a lot of data if you foolow the posts around here). Moreover, the dissenters choose to be overtly picky of the old primary publications (especially when we can;t always expect such early studies to be entirely perfect). This aren’t going to convince your scientist peers to give your views any more attention. IN fact, you’re not doing justice to your dissenting views by keeping it that way.

    Most worrisome is when the ‘dissenters’ start ranting on forums that does not have anyone around that has previous scientific instruction, or current knowledge of scientific developments to critically anaylse these ‘dissenting’ views. And worse, I’ve noticed that many of the trolls that lurk around cyberspace love to masquerade as scientists, doctors, professors and the sort. Its not surprising, and in fact dangerous, to see gullible lay-persons misled by these irresponsible trolls.

    And I am even more critical of persons who had scientific instruction, had not kept to date with scientific developments, ‘lending’ their ‘credibility’ at weighing in on these ‘dissenting’ views. And sadly, most of the time, the tactics used by them are defaming fellow scientist, arguing in bad faith, and deliberate lies, worse, when it comes to udnerstanding new developments that you cannot comprehend, to initiate a round of ranting and ridicule, hoping to divert attention away from the issues at hand, and hoping that the fallout (especially with the support of gullible ranting trolls) will keep your ‘scientific credentials’ intact. One fine example that comes to mind can be found here

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/07/ode_to_brevity.php

    look for the response of Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 10, 2006 04:23 PM

    and you’ll understand why I said these ‘scientist’ are ridiculous, callous, and irresponsible.

    As DB and Charles have aptly put it, you can happily run along with your partying and dancing, and hking for the olympics after your damage is done,

    Instead I choose to focus at my tasks at hand and fulfill my aspiration to reduce the suffering of my fellow humans afflicted with disease, and I reckoned from an early age, this can only be achieved if with tears and toil working to advanced our understading of infectious diseases.

    I applaud the time, effort, patience afforded by Tara, Chris, Kristjan, and Dale at trying to explain to the masses our current understanding of disease and ameliorate the damage done by some of these insincere ‘dissenters’

  179. #179 viji
    July 27, 2006

    And I am even more critical of persons who had scientific instruction, had not kept to date with scientific developments, ‘lending’ their ‘credibility’ at weighing in on these ‘dissenting’ views.

    And sadly, most of the time, the tactics used by them are defaming fellow scientist, arguing in bad faith, and deliberate lies, worse, when it comes to udnerstanding new developments that you cannot comprehend,

    you initiate a round of ranting and ridicule, hoping to divert attention away from the issues at hand, and hoping that the fallout (especially with the support of gullible ranting trolls) will keep your ‘scientific credentials’ intact. One fine example that comes to mind can be found here

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/07/ode_to_brevity.php

    look for the response of Posted by: Kristjan Wager | July 10, 2006 04:23 PM

    and you’ll understand why I said these so-called ‘scientist’ are ridiculous, callous, and irresponsible.

  180. #180 viji
    July 27, 2006

    Hmmmmm…I seem to be losing my tenses and grammar towards the end

    For the sake of keeping my response comprehensible :-)

    Instead I choose to focus at the tasks at hand in order to fulfill my aspiration of reducing the suffering of fellow humans afflicted with disease.

    I reckoned from an early age that this can only be achieved with tears and toil, working hard to advance our understanding of infectious diseases.

  181. #181 DB
    July 27, 2006

    Viji,

    first off, you may want to discern that Charles and I are not the same person.

    Secondly, if there are “dire consequences” to our dissenting, shouldn’t Tara take down all of our comments? Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do? Is Tara showing irresponsibility by not taking down our comments? If we’re doing the harm you fear we may be doing, then Tara should take command of the situation, rather than letting it persist.

    You’ll notice she and others engage in discussion/debate with “dissenters”. So, if we’re such a threat, it’s not evidenced by Tara taking our posts down. Quite the opposite, as we’re engaged in discourse.

    You’re being hyperbolic, Viji…also known as a “drama queen” in the vernacular.

  182. #182 viji
    July 28, 2006

    DB, DB… how mistaken you are.

    First of all, what good does it bring shutting you out? What does censorship bring other than allowing misconceptions to be perpetuated, and allowing misdirected dissent to fester. Aren;t it the lot of dissenters that often falsely accuse Tara of shutting out dissenting views? apparently Tara doesn’t indulge in such a manner when she has the power to do so.

    And understand this. I do recognise the dire consequences of allowing the misconceptions to be perpetuated, and I am sure Tara, Kristjan and probably Sanjit have similar thoughts, a tragic experience would be the situation in South Africa, an example here

    http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/332/7550/1112-b

    But we also recognise the importance of allowing dialogue between persons with differing views. This is especially important in the field of science. That is to highlight differences and discuss opinions. And it is equally important and a resposibility on our part for misconceptions to be clarified and explained so that the error will not be colluded with facts.

    By the end of the day, it is empirical evidence from tried and tested hypothesis and have been shown to best explain a phenomenon that is accepted as fact. And by no means is this explanation exempted from being reappraised, if you wish, if new experimental evidence come to light.

    HIV dissenters have neither a testable working hypothesis, nor any preliminary experimental data that support their views. Dissent based on a few anecdotal accounts, misrepresented statistics, and consumer paperbacks spouting conspiracy theories aren’t going convince the scientific community. And harking on minor flaws in older first-take scientific publications and capitalising gaps in the understanding of disease to pervert the science are neither going to be constructive towards scientific development nor substantiate your dissenting views. In my opinion, there is just no substance in the dissenter’s assertions to evaluate presently. Much less so for persons who reject the germ theory of disease.

    I bet this is the reason Tara is marginally tolerating a lot of rude and ill-mannered responses from the ‘dissenters’ that are clearly done in bad faith. A lot of time and effort has gone into explaining your misconceptions, and its a loss to me how you may re-hash the same assertions over and over again when it has been made clear to you that your position based on your assertions are not tenable and scientifically not feasible.

    the same goes for Wilheim.

  183. #183 Dot
    July 28, 2006

    So then, wheatdogg & robster, where does the energy expended to keep the object from falling go? What form does the energy used take? After all, energy doesn’t just disappear.

    Gravitational Potential Energy doesn’t account for objects that remain a static distance from the ground: the potential energy does not increase.

    The graviton particle model may or may not explain it: that particles move between the object and the ground MAY indicate that the energy the arm expends increases the mass of the object, which in turn is transferred to the ground in the form of graviton particles. This could indicate that the mass of the planet is increased by gravity.

    This is, of course, all conjecture as the theory of gravity provides good predictions but we do not currently know why it works.

    I’m not getting into discussing ‘intelligent falling’ as, even if we can prove how gravity works, the religious people will just say thats god’s method for doing it just like with evolution: the single, universal and indisputable cause for everything approach.

  184. #184 pat
    July 28, 2006

    Tara
    “I disagree. I think many of these things indeed begin as scientific disagreements–evolution, germ theory, or more recent controversies such as prions, symbiosis and the origin of mitochondria, Helicobacter and ulcers, HIV, etc., but as the evidence begins to mount for or against certain hypotheses, it becomes denial when one refuses to accept this accumulation of evidence, preferring to hang on to their pet hypothesis in spite of–rather than because of–the accumulated data. These are who I refer to as deniers.”

    Look up DOGMA and see how nicely your stand fits the description. I have yet to disagree with you on most other issues but it is your dogmatic stand, and that of many other that prevent me from taking this site seriously. Drop the dogma, drop the “us” and “them” crap. It might be fun and entertaining but the abuse of that can become a cronic condition for which there is no known treatment; it will become you in the end. That is just a word of friendly advice and the only one I have been trying to put forth. I now abandon this site and discussion specifically as a lot of my posts don’t make it past the software filter and generally as I am bored of the labels.

  185. #185 Robster
    July 28, 2006

    Dot, the energy is stored in sugars, proteins and fats, then converted into the easily used ATP. ATP is “split” by muscles to release the stored energy, keeping the weight suspended. Some of the energy goes towards work, some is “lost” as heat, as the system isn’t 100% efficient.

    For objects in orbit, which is what I think you mean by objects remaining a static distance from the ground, the apparently suspended item is actualy falling. Take a satelite. It is constantly falling to Earth, but is moving so rapidly that the surface of the earth isn’t reached (if the orbit is perfectly stable). When it comes to the quantum physics of it, I must give way to someone with far more knowledge in physics.

  186. #186 Orac
    July 28, 2006

    Thanks for being redundant, as Tara’s already mentioned this.

    I didn’t happen to catch that comment. So sue me.

    Phillip Johnson’s “membership” doesn’t affect whether HIV causes AIDS or not. Do you understand that?

    Straw man. I never said it did. (In actuality, the massive evidence in favor of the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS is quite enough.) I was merely rebutting a commenter who claimed that there weren’t any creationists who are HIV “dissidents.” That commenter clearly knew not of what he spoke. Do try reading comprehension sometime.

    What the observation that Phillip Johnson is both a creationist and an HIV/AIDS “dissident” does suggest, however, is that credulity towards one form of pseudoscientific rubbish often goes hand-in-hand with credulity towards other forms of pseudoscientific rubbish.

  187. #187 bernarda
    July 28, 2006

    Here is an interesting disease theory that I got from a bible thumper in response to one of my posts on NoGodBlog.

    Me – “For the IDiots, just where and when did god make the AIDS virus?

    If it made it at the time of the original “creation”, why did it wait so long to attack our organism?

    Or did god just create it recently–as certainly it couldn’t’ve evolved, could it?”

    barryman – “According to the Christian (which I am assuming you are referring to as IDiots) account: the Bible, until the fall of man everything was in a state of perfection; man, creation, all of nature…death did not exist. Therefore disease did not exist, and consequently over the course of time nature has been moving from perfection to disorder. Hence the Old Testament accounts of people living for hundreds of years. As nature moves further from perfection and towards disorder, death and everything associated with it become stronger and more prevalent.”

    What he probably doesn’t realize is that he is arguing for a form of evolution, only it is de-evolution.

    Bring back DEVO! great music.

  188. #188 DB
    July 28, 2006

    I was merely rebutting a commenter who claimed that there weren’t any creationists who are HIV “dissidents.” That commenter clearly knew not of what he spoke. Do try reading comprehension sometime.

    You might want to delve into reading comprehension as well.

    Here’s what was said: You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    “Knowing of/about creationist-HIVdeniers is not the same as meeting them.

    Do you see and understand the difference? A little reading comprehension would help you out, also your misrepresentation takes away from any credibility you might be striving for.

  189. #189 Unsympathetic reader
    July 28, 2006

    Orac writes: “What the observation that Phillip Johnson is both a creationist and an HIV/AIDS “dissident” does suggest, however, is that credulity towards one form of pseudoscientific rubbish often goes hand-in-hand with credulity towards other forms of pseudoscientific rubbish.

    Possible, but I’m not sure for all cases. I think everyone harbors at least one ‘wild-assed’ idea which they defend beyond reason. One’s only hope is that it doesn’t present itself in one’s professional life.

    In Phil’s case, he has staked his claim to legitimately criticize evolutionary theory on his ‘superior’ training in logic and analysis as a lawyer. Those arguments will take a long time to resolve, however. In an area of the ‘HIV/AIDS controversy’, which has a much shorter resolution time, Phil has staked out a similar, bold, contrarian position. The problem for Johson is that if it can be demonstrated that his superior background in logical thought produces faulty conclusions, this calls into question his ability to evaluate evolutionary theory. On the flip side, if he had been correct about HIV/AIDS then he Could claim it as validation of his critical thinking ability. Therefore, I don’t think Phil is likely to ever change his ideas on AIDS, given the strategic importance of his stance. Interestingly, you’ll find a fair number of AIDS denials among Phil’s supporters and I suspect some of that is due to the “can’t have our leader being seen to make blunders” Borg-like, siege mentality of the anti-evolutionists.

    Aside: If you read Johnson carefully, you’ll note that he never says HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, only that it’s never been demonstrated to produce more than flu-like symptoms. Now, that doesn’t stop him from recycling every other lame idea to deny any further causal links and pooh-pooh the data, but it gives him an ‘out’ in the future by claiming that he didn’t find the data convincing at the time. You’ll see similar parallels in Phil’s behavior with regard to biological evolution. What I see is a guy who can’t stand to admit major errors publically and has buffered himself from actual commitment.

  190. #190 DB
    July 28, 2006

    If HAART supposedly keeps the “HIV-infected” from dying, then HIV causes AIDS, correct?

    It doesn’t prove it (neither in the strong nor the weak meaning of the word)

    Thank you for that moment of honesty.

    but together with all the other evidence, it supports the explanaition.

    Please explain how if HAART supposedly reduces the mortality of the “HIV-infected”, when added to all the other evidence, it supports the explanation.

  191. #191 Davis
    July 28, 2006

    So then, wheatdogg & robster, where does the energy expended to keep the object from falling go? What form does the energy used take? After all, energy doesn’t just disappear.

    The level of misunderstanding evident in this comment is high. If you’re interested in actually understanding what you’re talking about, I would highly recommend taking an introductory physics course at your local community college. At the very least, some prudent Google searching could help you out here.

    Gravitational Potential Energy doesn’t account for objects that remain a static distance from the ground: the potential energy does not increase.

    The short answer is that objects which remain a static distance from the ground don’t experience a change in energy (assuming no change in the velocity of the object), so there’s nothing to account for. This is covered in any introductory physics course.

  192. #192 Unsympathetic reader
    July 28, 2006

    DB writes: “Here’s what was said: You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    “Knowing of/about creationist-HIVdeniers is not the same as meeting them.

    Do you see and understand the difference? A little reading comprehension would help you out, also your misrepresentation takes away from any credibility you might be striving for.

    I consider that a lame response, and on multiple levels.
    1) DB, this doesn’t justify or eliminate *your* earlier insinuation that Orac didn’t understand that Johnson’s position on evolution (or HIV) has no bearing on whether HIV is a causal factor in AIDS.

    2) Corn-catt’s comment was clearly intented to convey skepticism about an overlap between creationists and those that deny a role of HIV in AIDS. In what way does discovering the existence of creationist, HIV-dissenters by physical encounters, as opposed to become aware of their existence through other means alter the thrust of Corn-catt’s argument? Does that distinction really ‘save face’ in the discussion? I think not. Note that Corn-catt made the same lame, “head in the sand” rebuttal when s/he replied earlier: “Are they [creationists and HIV-dissenters]? That’s super, but I don’t know them.” Well, s/he does now.

  193. #193 DB
    July 28, 2006

    DB, this doesn’t justify or eliminate *your* earlier insinuation that Orac didn’t understand that Johnson’s position on evolution (or HIV) has no bearing on whether HIV is a causal factor in AIDS.

    Correct, what’s your point?

    Corn-catt’s comment was clearly intented…

    I see…
    let’s not read Corn-catt’s actual words, rather let’s delve into assumptions about what we think Corn-catt intended. So you’re taking a page from Orac’s book of misrepresentation.

    That’s super, but I don’t know them. Well, s/he does now.

    More misrepresentation. Knowing someone is not the same as knowing of someone.

    I consider your responses lame as well, U.R.

  194. #194 Unsympathetic reader
    July 28, 2006

    Thanks for the reply, DB.

    DB writes: “Correct, what’s your point?

    The pot calling the kettle, black. One might have acknowledged Orac’s point before charging foreward on a similar tack.

    More misrepresentation. Knowing someone is not the same as knowing of someone.

    And now the semantic quibble to save face, much like Corn-catt’s reply…
    I recognize the polarizing nature of internet discussions tends to raise hackles and causes some people to avoid owning up to mistakes and errors in judgement because it causes some psychic anguish, but sometimes saving face at the cost of losing credibility is a poor bargain in the long run, DB.

    Now, I know you’ll want to come up with some interesting retort to my comments, but with experience over the years and having seen the typical ways these ‘debates’ progress, I don’t feel the need to continue this discussion further and will trust the intelligence of other readers to formulate their own opinions. Thanks for the exchange.

  195. #195 anon
    July 28, 2006

    Just re-reading one of my most unfavorite books again- it drives me nuts reading it, which is half the fun- and it is called WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO by gabor mate. It is about three years old. I was struck by how much this book, written by a physician, was so anti medicine. His thesis, if you will- the idea central to the book- was that it is bad life experiences, bad attitudes, and bad emotional environments that set us up for disease. It is only when one is able to accept and forgive that healing (including the kind that ends in death) occurs.

    I tend to perseverate on things that make me angry, and this is one of them. He talks about uterine cancer as being an emotional response to lifes challenges.

    The problem with this kind of nonsense as I see it, is it does set medicine back, because there is no actual looking for a cure involved, and it lays ALL the responsibility for illness at the feet of the patient. Even if it is nicely worded, the message still is- you had an unacceptable response to a series of life events, you somehow chose ilness, and now you are responsible to control illness with your attitude.

    Wow!! This is what one effect of repudiating the germ theory of disease can be. You screwed up, so you are sick.

    There is some discussion about the psychoneuroimmunology of disease—— but this again is speculation set up as fact.

    I find this no different than the story of Jesus saying your faith has made you well.

    I wish that there was some way to NOT be angry every time I read this stuff.

    Maybe I will just go and get sick now…………..

  196. #196 Orac
    July 28, 2006

    Here’s what was said: You’d think that there would be a creationist within the “HIV-deniers” ranks, but I have yet to meet one.

    “Knowing of/about creationist-HIVdeniers is not the same as meeting them.

    So tell me, if you didn’t mean to imply that there weren’t any creationists within the HIV denialists’ ranks (or that they are so incredibly rare that you’ve never “met” one), then why bother to point out that you’ve never met one?

  197. #197 Orac
    July 28, 2006

    Aside: If you read Johnson carefully, you’ll note that he never says HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, only that it’s never been demonstrated to produce more than flu-like symptoms. Now, that doesn’t stop him from recycling every other lame idea to deny any further causal links and pooh-pooh the data, but it gives him an ‘out’ in the future by claiming that he didn’t find the data convincing at the time.

    Oh, I’ve seen other HIV “dissidents” use the same sort of weasel-word technique by claiming that it has never been “proven” that HIV causes AIDS, rather than simply saying that they don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS. It’s a standard tactic among cranks.

  198. #198 Orac
    July 28, 2006
    Note that Corn-catt made the same lame, “head in the sand” rebuttal when s/he replied earlier: “Are they [creationists and HIV-dissenters]? That’s super, but I don’t know them.” Well, s/he does now.

    Yes, but s/he still hasn’t met them, now has s/he? ;-)

  199. #200 Laura
    July 28, 2006

    Oops sorry my link didn’t post. It is in an earlier post by Carsten. It is about the 5 biological laws.

  200. #201 DB
    July 28, 2006

    Laura: I also find it disturbing that in the process of debunking AIDS they advocate unsafe sex.

    Oh..my..god…

    I hope people can see that statement for the propaganda that it is.

    I suppose one could do a little mental gymnastics and extrapolate that if the AIDS debunkers are saying that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS then is unsafe sex something to obsess over? That’s not the same as advocating unsafe sex. I’d like to see Laura’s examples of AIDS debunkers actually advocating unsafe sex. And when she says “they”…does that mean ALL of them?

    Of course, people need to have unsafe sex to procreate, and I highly doubt all couples attempting to procreate are taking “HIV” tests beforehand. Are they being irresponsible?

  201. #202 DB
    July 28, 2006

    don’t feel the need to continue this discussion further and will trust the intelligence of other readers to formulate their own opinions. Thanks for the exchange.

    I’m in complete agreement on that statement U.R.

  202. #203 Dot
    July 28, 2006

    Robster, what I meant by objects remaining a static distance from the earth was when you hold them at a static distance. If the energy is used for work and some is lost as heat, what work is that energy being used for if the object is being held at stationary distance from the ground, as the energy in the object is not changing (as Davis pointed out) but energy is being lost by the arm. Is it all heat?

    Davis, that doesn’t answer Wilhelm’s point which I was referring to: why does your arm get tired after holding up a 10 pound object for a while? Where does that energy go if there is no change in that of the object?

  203. #204 Robster
    July 28, 2006

    DB, Back in the dark ages of newsgroups, I had a very similar discussion with an HIV denier. I constantly tried to get him to come to some level of concensus that people should practice safe sex. Never happened. The guy just kept on coming back to various assorted, often contradictory, ideas of what caused AIDS, none of which could be supported by any evidence. To your credit, you don’t count yourself among these socially irresponsible members of your movement, but they exist.

    You may not be anti-safe sex, but since HIV is sexually transmissible, claiming that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, removes a very good reason to use condoms.

    Germ Theory denialists completely remove any reason to have safe sex outside of preventing pregnancy.

  204. #205 Laura
    July 28, 2006

    DB

    I am sorry I should not have used the word they because I cannot speak for all rethinkers. However I have read previous threads which suggest condems are not necessary and that concerns me because there are other dangers out there.

    Second you never answered my question do you believe there are other sti’s or do you dispute that?

  205. #206 Robster
    July 28, 2006

    Dot, The work is in the form of sustained muscle contraction (potential -> kinetic), and heat is waste energy (some is recycled to keep the body at a toasty 98.6F). Here is another page with some good animations (even if they are a bit repetitive). Maintaining the muscle contraction is work, even though the bag isn’t moving. This continuous work uses energy and tires the arm. If the bag was hanging from a hook, no work would be done, but maintaining a muscle contaction is work.

  206. #207 pat
    July 28, 2006

    “I’ve answered even “silly and outrageous” questions many, many times. I’ve even devoted whole threads to them”
    -I hope you find the courage and composure needed to answer them for a life-time; you’re a professor after all…

    “Besides the obvious mischaracterization that I’m “not comfortable with the fact that nothing in science is clear cut and ambiguous”
    -I might be mischaracterizing you but with all that babble about “overwhelming evidence” equaling facts I get confused

    “(indeed, I’ve made this argument to deniers time and time again when they expect black ‘n’ white results)”
    -try to write that without the “deniers” part, trust me it’s liberating.

    “on one hand you say this blog is bad because nothing gets answered, and on the other it’s bad because I spend too much time answering critics. Which is it?”
    -of course you can’t tell, you misread me. I said your blog is like any mediocre internet blog and I didn’t say you spend too much time answering critics; I said you love debating “denialists” and you that love labels like that. So do “they” it seems. In all fairness, there are many many more mediocre blogs out there than yours, it is simply that yours could be that much better if you could refrained from the pointless and highly confusing habit of profiling. The LAPD does that you don’t have to.

    “That’s highly ironic, considering the ratio of insults I’ve received to those I’ve dished out. Indeed, what “swarming character assasination” have I dealt? Just the use of “denier?”
    – You intentionally use the word ” denier” as an insult to isolate and discredit. You do it compulsively. The swarming attempt is evidenced by the existence of this thread: you isolated an “outrageous remark”, lampooned it as its own thread thus alerting the cyber sisters to the presence of a “germ theory denialist”. It makes you and your site look so low (and science as a bystander too).

    “Show me a single “rethinker” who doesn’t misuse the science, cherry-pick, and yes, deny the results of thousands of published papers, and I’ll happily change my tune.”
    -I can’t show you anyone who hasn’t been accused of cherry picking and denying “mounds” of evidence. What’s a rethinker?

    “That was discussed, but perhaps it would have been better received if jspeers–or you–had simply asked for such a discussion, rather than coming in slinging insults of your own, and claiming that the germ theory is “nonsense” and that anyone who accepts it isn’t a “real scientist.”
    -I’ll accept your definition of “That was discussed”.

    “…rather than coming in slinging insults of your own,…”
    -Isolating a remark posted on a separate thread and then lampooning it as another…. Great style!
    “…and claiming that the germ theory is “nonsense” and that anyone who accepts it isn’t a “real scientist.”
    -You’re confusing “pat” and “jspreen”. Do you understand now why you must abandon the “US vs THEM” theory of science? Check this race of people out that Orac has discovered and catalogued: “Phillip Johnson is the champion of the “intelligent design” movement and a card-carrying HIV/AIDS “dissident”.
    -Duane Keys makes the following “overlapping” discovery:
    “The same people believe we never landed on the moon… ”
    and then you discover this gem : “And again, the parallel with creationists is quite striking. Do y’all have some kind of shared playbook that you consult?

    “Quote me on this. Duesberg’s early work on retroviruses has not been discredited, and I never claimed it had. Same for his work on cancer. His views on AIDS (and other infectious diseases that he denies, such as kuru, Legionella, and HPV), of course, are another matter, and those views have been shown to be incorrect”

    That the “likes” of Duesberg can’t prove their theories isn’t for lack of trying but for lack of funding. Wouldn’t you agree? Has Duesberg EVER received funding for his HIV research? Retroviruses are his field I understand. I’m led to believe that he hasn’t received government funding. How can a theory of Duisberg’s get discredited before he is even given the opportunity to test it himself. Where’s his shot at it?

    To this:
    “If jspreen is correct about anything it is that there are indeed no denialists in science but merely scientific disagreements”

    You say:
    “I disagree. I think many of these things indeed begin as scientific disagreements–evolution, germ theory, or more recent controversies such as prions, symbiosis and the origin of mitochondria, Helicobacter and ulcers, HIV, etc., but as the evidence begins to mount for or against certain hypotheses, it becomes denial when one refuses to accept this accumulation of evidence, preferring to hang on to their pet hypothesis in spite of–rather than because of–the accumulated data. These are who I refer to as deniers.

    -What’s your cut-off? How much is overwhelming? Last time I checked it ranked under absolute. Where is that healthy skepticism? Was really nothing overlooked? A little lurking, yet undiscovered, germ somewhere, perhaps? There are whispers of co-factors I heard. Surely you haven’t checked all stones. You MUST concede that! Accusations of “trolling” be damned. The evidence that HIV causes AIDS might look like an “overwhelming” pile of evidence to you but to me (troll?) it looks a lot like a pile of rapidly mutating data and health campaigns. If $120 billion (whatnot) can’t explain much about HIV=AIDS, I really don’t see why, say one billion (one peanut), can’t be diverted into alternative approaches. I retract the word “alternative”; some people might throw a semantic hissyfit. I insert the term “unexplored terrain”. Ah! Some exclaim, but we are! Well yes but it is too timid and it is fraught with career threatening idiomatic land mines such as the “denialist” anti-personnel mine, the “altie” I.E.D or the “creationist” dirty bomb.

  207. #208 Dot
    July 28, 2006

    Robster,
    The arm works to hold the object, I’m not disputing that. What I am questioning is where does that kinetic energy go/what does it do if the object is not moving (i.e being held still). Yes muscle fibres move, but the kinetic energy doesn’t stop there.
    Working from the assumption that gravity is a ‘force’ that pulls things toward it, the kinetic energy would go to counterbalancing that ‘force’.
    My theory is that gravity, rather than pulling things toward it, it bends space so that the distance between the source of gravity and the bag is constanty getting smaller. The kinetic energy would be used to move the bag away from the ground rather than hold it in the same place, but would have the overall effect of keeping it in the apparent same place.

    Either way you get tired and the bag does not fall.

    (note: the “is it all heat?” comment was sarcasm (when in Rome, do as the Romans do))

    As for the hook, I’ll work out an explanation, elasticity might be a good place to start.

  208. #209 wheatdogg
    July 28, 2006

    Looks like we have two threads in one here — the physics types are invading this land of microbiology. But here goes, anyway.

    Dot — Before we continue this discussion, we have to clear up some terminology. If I sound like a high school physics teacher, forgive me, because I am.

    In physics, we specify the object of the work being done, as in, gravity does work on the falling object, Arnold does work on the barbell when he moves it up and down. So, when you say the arm works to hold the object, you are strictly speaking not expressing the concept correctly. If the object is stationary (hard to do if it’s really heavy, really), then no work is being done on the object. The person holding the object does have to do work on him- or herself, however, as robster pointed out.

    Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, and work = change in KE. So a stationary object, having no motion, has no KE. The effort of holding up the object does require some expenditure of energy, ultimately chemical in origin.

    When the object falls, its potential energy decreases as its kinetic energy increases. With no air resistance, PE at top = KE at bottom. When the object hits the ground, the KE of the object is transformed into noise, distortion of the materials and heat.

    KE is not a force, and cannot counterbalance gravity. Apples and oranges. The person’s upward force on the object counterbalances the gravitation pull on the object. TThe hook does the same thing.

    As for bending space, read up on Einstein’s general relativity. He did a bang-up job on the subject.

  209. #210 Robster
    July 28, 2006

    Dot, Sorry I didn’t catch the sarcasm. :) Once the muscle contraction is performed, it has to be maintained, counterbalancing (to use your word) the force of gravity. If, should your concept be correct, gravity causes distances to shrink over time, there are some issues to confront.

    1. Atomic size. If the distances between objects shrank, but atoms did not, the changes would be detectable, with a final effect being atoms becoming compressed much more than possible, considering the opposing forces of the electrons surrounding each atom.

    2. Bring this to the macro. You have a bag. You are holding it. Gravity, Dot style, is shrinking the distance between the Earth and the bag. You don’t notice because the force is acting on you as well, and everything else.

    3. Measuring devices would detect the change. If you were to suspend, say a bunch of bananas, from a grocer’s scale, you should be able to observe an increase in measured weight. We don’t observe this, so either nothing changes because everything is changing at the same rate, or because gravity doesn’t work this way.

    While an interesting thought exercise, I don’t think that it would lead to any perceptable change, or even account for what is observed about gravity.

  210. #211 Peter Barber
    July 29, 2006

    Warren Burger, former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has once said that half the lawyers pleading before the High Court were incompetent. And now I am saying that half the scientists doing biomedical research are incompetent. How come? Educational system gone to hell, I guess.

    As a former Chief Justice of SCOTUS, Warren Burger probably understands US legal processes better than anyone else alive, and even then he is not infallible. Is Wilhelm Godschalk speaking from an analogous position of strength regarding biology?

  211. #212 DB
    July 29, 2006

    Second you never answered my question do you believe there are other sti’s or do you dispute that?

    Laura, I must have missed where you asked me to answer your question before. Of course there are STI’s. I may question the AIDS paradigm, that doesn’t mean the germ theory gets thrown out, or that STI’s suddenly don’t exist.

  212. #213 Robster
    July 29, 2006

    Wheatdogg, thanks for the terminology lesson. I haven’t had a pure physics class in about 10 years.

  213. #214 Lamark
    July 29, 2006

    Oh, it has been good to take days off to see my visiting family. And now to look at this long think tank’s paper roll is to remind myself that I have already enough fiber in my diet, and do not need more to make me regular!

    Kristjan, you ask remarkable questions about San Francisco, and why it is not important to AIDS! I think your mother is honking her horn, and the sleepover is finished, time to get back to school!

    Viji, you are so wonderful at feeling sorry for yourself, it is hard to know what to say.

    Again, i will explain it to you. YOu impose the AIDS ribbon on people in the world who do not require it. I hope that is simple enough. DB, is that clear?

    I was early for Wilhelms witful response, but it’s good enough to cut this one short.

    I have a life to lead, so I will leave the stragglers to the death cult. See if you can try to leave a few of the gays and blacks alone (or feed them as though they were as good as you!) and then pleae seek some funding to check your results.

    I think you will be disappointed, as the Nih willhave no job remaining for you.

    I would wish you all luck, but what you need is a miracle!

  214. #215 wheatdogg
    July 29, 2006

    Thanks, robster. I’m revving up for the start of classes in two weeks, I guess.

    With Tara’s forbearance, I’d like to invite the gravity debaters over to my blog, where I have posted a summary and critique of Wilhelm’s and dot’s objections. That way, we physics type can leave the microbiologists to duke it out among themselves.

    wheatdogg

  215. #216 Peter Barber
    July 29, 2006

    Lamark wrote:

    HIV is the manufactured consensus of many inexperienced children who work in laboratories of the polyclonal response to synthesized proteins and consensus probes put into mixtures of serum, or then it is only assumed, as in most of th eworld, because of pregnancy or poverty and race.

    Tara, consider yourself corrected, you ‘death cult’ ‘straggler’, you!

    [shakes head in bemusement]

  216. #217 viji
    July 29, 2006

    Tragic!

    For Posted by: Lamark | July 29, 2006 12:59 AM

    well, by the looks of your response, you really have nothing constructive to add don’t=t you? Really, the hollowness of your misplaced misconceptions are astounding… like I’ve commented before, after reading the responses here and elsewhere, there is really no substance whatsover in the misleading assertions made by the HIV ‘dissenters’

    And there they go again, after their assertions have been thoroughly analysed and found to be misplaced, they give you the same old recycled parting smack-in-the-face. Dissenting they say, more like denial to me.

    Well, run along with your life, live in your own shell, you’ve shut yourself out from common sense and scientific reason anyway. at least its comforting to know you’re not involved in healthcare, else it would have been disastrous.

    do public health a favour will you? and stop rehashing the same old nonsensical ‘rhetoric’ everywhere you go, thats you being irresponsible, or at least present us some concrete data that can show us otherwise.

    Its easy for you to create problems and run away but if you failed to see the fallacy of your actions, then you’ve failed both reason and conscience. Spouting twisted facts and lies is easy, mending the damage done is never easy.

  217. #218 viji
    July 29, 2006

    Tio new readers of this thread and to (Lamark | July 29, 2006 12:59 AM)

    Oh ya, before I forget,

    Wilhelms’ witful response you say?? I take it you mean this response (Wilhelm | July 27, 2006 12:47 PM)??

    Well, I encourage you to find out just how misguided Wilhelms assertions and claims are:

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/06/wrong_again.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/07/ode_to_brevity.php

    Happy analysing,

  218. #219 Kristjan Wager
    July 29, 2006

    Kristjan, you ask remarkable questions about San Francisco, and why it is not important to AIDS! I think your mother is honking her horn, and the sleepover is finished, time to get back to school!

    Well, since my mother is a (micro)biologist, and a science teacher, I guess she could tell me quite a few things of relevance to the subject at hand (HIV-AIDS). Likewise, my brother, who studies physics could probably explain me quite a lot about gravity.

    That is unnecessary though, as I have a good enough understanding of the subjects, to debate deniers. I also have a firm enough understanding of the use, and misuse, of statistics. Note, I am not claiming that I am a statistician at any level, but several years of studying economics gives you a nice understanding of how to apply statistics correctly. I have left the field of economics, but some knowledge still remains.

    I note that you didn’t actually say anything substancial about what I said, and that you misrepresented what I said, but that’s par the course with you.

    The statistics from San Francisco is very relevant when studying AIDS in San Francisco, but they can’t be applied to the overall studying of AIDS. Also, as many of us have tried to explain in many different ways, the SF statistics are quite consistent with everything we know about HIV/AIDS, even if they are atypical.

  219. #220 DB
    July 29, 2006

    Kristjan,
    I’ll assume that you haven’t responded to this post because I forgot to address it to you. So, here it goes.

    If HAART supposedly keeps the “HIV-infected” from dying, then HIV causes AIDS, correct?

    It doesn’t prove it (neither in the strong nor the weak meaning of the word)

    Thank you for that moment of honesty.

    but together with all the other evidence, it supports the explanaition.

    Please explain how if HAART supposedly reduces the mortality of the “HIV-infected”, when added to all the other evidence, it supports the explanation.

  220. #221 dcb
    July 29, 2006

    DB, it seems we share a set of initials.

    My understanding of the disease model of HIV:

    HIV infects T cells, which are necessary for immune function. As T cells are killed by HIV, the immune system is weakened and the individual is susceptible to secondary infections. This results in AIDS.

    HAART inhibits retroviral replication. In the HIV model this helps prevent T cells from becoming infected. The patient therefore doesn’t lose their immune functioning and HIV infection doesn’t progress to AIDS.

    I welcome comments or corrections from either side of the debate.

    If the HIV model of AIDS is not correct, what is the explanation for the success of HAART?

  221. #222 Robster
    July 29, 2006

    I’m pulling some articles from pubmed. Some articles can be reached publicly, but at the least, there will be links to the pubmed abstract page. This will give you enough info to get copies of the articles via interlibrary loan.

    Highly active antiretroviral therapy is associated with improved survival among patients with AIDS-related primary central nervous system non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS — United States, 1981–2005

    Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndromes: what’s new?

    Universal decline in mortality in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease in various demographic subpopulations after the introduction of HAART in Hong Kong, from 1993 to 2002.

    Effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy on multiple AIDS-defining illnesses among male HIV seroconverters.

    Causes of the decline in AIDS deaths, United States, 1995-2002: prevention, treatment or both?

    This should give us all the findings needed to understand that HAART delays death, decreases incidence of AIDS related illnesses, and that IRIS is an expected and possibly positive indicator of HAART activity.

    The claim that HAART does not improve quality of life or survival is simply false.

  222. #223 pat
    July 29, 2006

    dcb
    My understanding is what is causing the aids-like symptoms (fever, weight-loss, and whatnot) is HIV (poor odds) or another undiagnosed virus/bacteria infection which HAART helps destroy because that is what those drugs do; they inhibit viral replication and are effective anti-microbials. That is why people are often set right back on their feet after a short therapy of it. I the long run, however, they wreck havoc on the body because these same drugs ALSO interfere with the bodies own cellular replication (duh!) and eventually lead to AIDS-like death. Don’t take it from me though, believe what is stated on the med packaging. The makers of AZT at least (Azidothymidine, Zidovudine, Retrovir, still in use today) explicitly say that the long term use of these drugs can cause symptoms indistiguishable from AIDS! (humongous red flag!) Are these ever newer meds any better? We are told they are but this article (http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/07/the_fda_is_a_cauldron_of_disco.php) in SEED magazine might suggest that they SHOULD NOT be believed out of hand. Anyone still gullible enough to believe anything and everything from factoid government and “activist” websites is simply a fool. Why these poor folks are told to continue taking them for a life-time, and then do, is a big mystery to me. If you think you are coming down with AIDS, perhaps take the meds but be sure to get the heck OFF of them as soon as your health feels restored. It is now unofficial standard policy among MD’s here in Switzerland NOT to give any meds until symptoms appear. They also impose med-holidays where the patient is taken off the drugs to help their systems recover, especially the liver (another worrying red flag!). That should say it all no? My friend (the only person I have ever met caught-up in that nightmare, he tested + in 1990) is a shadow of himself today. in 1995 he came down with a fever, weight loss and diohrrea. His doc told him it was the onset of AIDS and put him on meds. 3 weeks later he was up’n’aboot as if nothing were, but he didn’t stop the meds, although they are continuously reducing his prescriptions. His neck now is twice as thick as his head, sunken cheeks and eyes, fatty lumps on his back and shoulders, a “beer belly” worthy of my dad’s and head spins and vomitting that keep him from working until way into the day. They say that the newer drugs are better but I get the gut feeling that it is not the “newer” drugs that help but rather the “lesser” dosages. Can I back-up my claims with peer-reviewed government sponsored studies? Would you trust them? Your call, you’re the only person on this planet with a stake in your own personal well-being.

    PS Now I shall brace for the scientific “shit-storm” …oh, and also (before I get accused of it) I urge everyone to continue practicing safe sex, after all, syphillis is roaring back with its other STD buddies.

  223. #224 Chris Noble
    July 29, 2006

    Wilhelm writes:

    Who wants to deny gravity? I do

    Who would have guessed it? Overlapping physics kook and HIV “rethinker”.

    Once you have convinced yourself that thousands of scientists with more relevant training than yourself are all stupid then anything goes.

    Hayek is an interesting HIV “rethinker” that also claims Einstein was a fraud and that relativity is all wrong.

    http://groups.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=hayek+hiv+gravity&qt_s=Search

    Just to make it absolutely clear for everyone. I am not saying that just because a number of individuals “rethink” both gravity and AIDS that this somehow “proves” that HIV causes AIDS. The point is that HIV “rethinkers” use rhetorical and false arguments analogous to those used by physics kooks, soil theorists, creationists, Hulda Clark, Orgone theorists etc. All of them while claiming to defend science are in reality anti-science.

  224. #225 Stephen Wells
    July 31, 2006

    Oh, for Pete’s sake.

    1) re the gravity/work question. Hang a weight from a wire and the wire will not get tired :) the reason your arm gets tired holding things up is that our muscle tissue does not take up a contraction and then “lock”; instead, individual muscle cells are constantly relaxing and re-tensing, so that even holding a static weight (no work is done on the weight) still requires that work be done internally to the muscle. Some creatures do have catch-connective tissue that can lock and hold; I think sea cucumbers do.
    It’s usually best to check these things out before trying to reform all of physics.

    2) to the germ-theory deniers: explain lysozyme, an anti-microbial enzyme found in body fluids. And explain HIV transmission through blood transfusion and through transplants. My guess is that you won’t: instead, we’ll get more lengthy rhetoric about conspiracies, blindness etc. with no actual science content.

    I think we’ve seen illustrated in this blog a key problem in arguing with cranks: making an outrageous statement is easy and quick (the Pope was assasinated by shape-changing lizards! Prove me wrong!), while summarising the mountains of actual evidence is lengthy and requires an audience who’ll hear it out in good faith.

  225. #226 Wilhelm Godschalk
    July 31, 2006

    Sorry, I have ben busy elsewhere for the past few days. But I’m sure you’re glad I’m back.

    First of all, I want to put one thing straight. In a previous post I mentioned “shenanigans” on the part of Tara, to block certain posts. As she explained, this is not the case. It’s the software of this forum that follows some misguided webdesigner’s idea of fighting spam words (my way of putting it, not hers). Consequently, I apologized to Tara by e-mail for accusing her unjustly of censorship. Just for the record.

    I see that I baited lots of you with my remark about gravity. And you jumped on it like fleas on a smelly dog.
    I even saw a post from someone who was leaving the discussion, because he couldn’t stand it any longer. Don’t recall who he was, but I’m sure we won’t miss him.

    Well, the fact that you were so shocked by a “gravity denier” just shows how gullible you are. You would believe anything an authority figure tells you, even if it violates the laws of physics. The only one among all of you who commented, and who seems to understand something about it, is Dot.
    Gravitational force, indeed! A force without an energy source! Just because things are falling dow, not up? Is that the only hypothesis you can think of?
    Say you are hanging from the ceiling of an elevator by a hook. The elevator is moving upwards. Now you let loose from the hook. Do you fall down? …or is the elevator catching up with you? In both cases, you land on the floor of the elevator. But would you be able to tell the difference?
    The distance between two floating bodies diminishes. Are they moving closer together because of some mysterious gravity force that no one can explain? Or is the distance getting smaller because both bodies increas in size? How can we tell the difference if we and our measuring devices are also increasing in size at the same rate? In fact, if all atoms are expanding. Strange idea, perhaps, but it doesn’t break any laws of physics, as Newton’s gravity force does. Besides, the other forces, such as the strong- and the weak nuclear force make no sense anyway. And who really understands magnetism?
    So don’t come at me with you pitiful Physics 101 college courses. Most of you would believe anything. And don’t try to impress me with a loose cry of “open system”, BigDumbChimp. Even open systems follow the laws of Thermodynamics.
    Another example of your collective genius:
    “The short answer is that objects which remain a static distance from the ground don’t experience a change in energy (assuming no change in the velocity of the object), so there’s nothing to account for. This is covered in any introductory physics course.”
    That’s the dumbest short answer I ever saw, Davis. Did you progress beyond that introductory physics course? According to the classical newtonian theory, that object can only be held at a distance from the ground if you balance the gravitational force by a counter-force. But this counter force uses up energy. If you remove it, the object falls, creating kinetic energy. Where does this kinetic energy come from? The gravitational force? What’s the energy source for that? Energy cannot be created out of nothing.

    I was also tickled to death by Wheatdogg’s observation:
    “Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, and work = change in KE. So a stationary object, having no motion, has no KE. The effort of holding up the object does require some expenditure of energy, ultimately chemical in origin.”
    Ah, I see (chuckle). A man has to move a heavy crate that is standing on the workfloor. He’s all alone, and he has no forklift to make his job easier. So he starts pushing against the crate… and pushing… and pushing… But the object is too heavy, and does not move one millimeter. According to Wheatdogg’s reasoning, the object has not moved, so the Work Function is zero, and the man has not done any work. I’m sure that man, after an hour of fruitless pushing, would disagree…

    Wheatdogg also states:
    “Looks like we have two threads in one here — the physics types are invading this land of microbiology. But here goes, anyway.”
    Nooooo, nix physics types. I was not the first to mention gravity. Someone said something like “nobody will deny gravity”. I thought this would be a good chance to get people into thinking logically. So I responded “I do”, followed by the reasons why. And judging by the responses, I succeeded very well in getting everybody to put on his or her thinking cap. That’s great! keep it on when we’re discussing germ theory. Logical thinking beats believing in old wives’ tales any time.
    And by the way, I’m not a ‘physics type'; I’m a biochemist by training.

    But let’s get fancy now:
    Gravitons schmavitons! These mythical particles, that nobody has ever detected, act at a distance? You mean instant travel? At a speed greater than the speed of light? Ugh! You can take your gravitons and… well, you know what I mean.
    But that’s what sloppy scientists always do: If they are clueless, they invent a new particle… or a new virus…
    And that brings us back to our original subject.

    To kick things off: Peter Barber wrote:
    “Is Wilhelm Godschalk speaking from an analogous position of strength regarding biology?”

    Yes.

    Let’s continue with dcb, who tells us this tale:
    “HIV infects T cells, which are necessary for immune function. As T cells are killed by HIV, the immune system is weakened and the individual is susceptible to secondary infections. This results in AIDS.”

    Cute. I have a similar one: You shoot someone with a .357 Magnum. The bullet acts s a co-factor for the fatal and fast-working .357Magnum Virus, and the victim dies on the spot.

    “HAART inhibits retroviral replication. In the HIV model this helps prevent T cells from becoming infected. The patient therefore doesn’t lose their immune functioning and HIV infection doesn’t progress to AIDS.”

    HAART inhibits lot of things, and as viruses depend on the host’s metabolism for their reproduction, all the damage is actually done to the host cells. HAART also kills any germs that may be present, the good ones as well as the bad ones. So the patient shows a short-term improvement in health. But in the long run, the toxic medicines cause an ever-increasing damage. Finally, the patient dies from liver- and/or kidney failure.

    And, of course, here’s Chris Noble, earning his keep:
    “Who would have guessed it? Overlapping physics kook and HIV “rethinker”.
    You see, I’m always a few steps ahead of you. I smell invalid concepts a mile away, whether it’s in physics or virology.
    “The point is that HIV “rethinkers” use rhetorical and false arguments analogous to those used by physics kooks, soil theorists, creationists, Hulda Clark, Orgone theorists etc.”

    Settin up an elaborate array of strawmen again, eh? You know very well I’m not a creationist (what is it you guys have with them anyway?), and that I’ve been very critical of Hulda Clark. I don’t like hocus-pocus. And your HIV/AIDS theory certainly qualifies as such. The expedition into physics served an important purpose: To show that most people will believe anything they are told, while it’s relatively easy to point out the flaws. It’s the same with your beloved AIDS Virobabble. I try to get people to start thinking, even if I have to needle them a little. But getting people to think is not your job, of course.

    “Viji, you are so wonderful at feeling sorry for yourself, it is hard to know what to say.”

    Thank you Lamark, for expressing so perfectly what I was thinking, but couldn’t find the right words for.

    And then… (drumroll)… the “safe sex” question! (eh… hahahahahaha!)
    It seems nobody (not even the well-informed DB) is willing to advocate unsafe sex. Well, I think a man who is bold enough to take on Newton and Wheatdogg owes it to himself to tackle this controversy also: I believe in ‘unsafe’ sex; I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I think all of you who advocate ‘safe’ sex are scaredy cats who don’t know real life if it bit you in the ass.
    Sure, there are some risks if you have unprotected sex with total strangers (but man, is it fun!) Getting “infected” with HIV is not one of those risks.
    But I must warn you: Abstain from driving a car, because that carries risks too. And they are a lot bigger.

  226. #227 Chris Noble
    July 31, 2006

    I found one accurate word in Godschalk’s post.

    “Is Wilhelm Godschalk speaking from an analogous position of strength regarding biology?”

    Yes.

    Unskilled and Unaware of It

    But I wore the juice!

  227. #228 wheatdogg
    July 31, 2006

    Wilhelm,
    You must have missed my invitation to take the physics discussion over to my place, since we have essentially hijacked the thread here.

    If you have developed a self-consistent model of physics that explains the universe as well as or better than our current models, I would love to see it. The whole work-energy model took scientists more than a century to hammer out and accept as a valid model and a useful tool to analyze physical processes. No one has seriously questioned it since the early 20th century; it is an integral part of quantum theory in fact.

    You are a biochemist. Perhaps you had no physics in college? If you are going to play in physics land, you need to understand the subject and its terminology. For example, we would more properly state that the worker did no work ON the crate, since it did not move. Work by definition requires motion. The worker did do work on himself, however, by moving the muscles in his body, pumping the blood, etc. So he expends some chemical energy to fruitlessly push the crate nowhere. This concept is basic high school physics, which you apparently reject in favor — of what?

    Gravitons are not mythical, just hypothetical and unconfirmed by experiment. Atoms and molecules were once considered mythical, until Einstein confirmed in 1905 that Brownian motion resulted from molecular collisions. Do you consider atoms and molecules mythical?

  228. #229 viji
    July 31, 2006

    Interesting…it seems like my response to Lamark seems appropriate for you too Wilheim (Posted by: Wilhelm Godschalk | July 31, 2006 09:34 PM).

    Its no wonder that you agree with Lamark.

    I’ll repost this for you too: –

    Tragic!

    For Posted by: Lamark | July 29, 2006 12:59 AM

    well, by the looks of your response, you really have nothing constructive to add don’t you? Really, the hollowness of your misplaced misconceptions are astounding… like I’ve commented before, after reading the responses here and elsewhere, there is really no substance whatsover in the misleading assertions made by the HIV ‘dissenters’

    And there they go again, after their assertions have been thoroughly analysed and found to be misplaced, they give you the same old recycled parting smack-in-the-face ridicule. Dissenting they say, more like denial to me.

    Well, run along with your life, live in your own shell, you’ve shut yourself out from common sense and scientific reason anyway. at least its comforting to know you’re not involved in healthcare, else it would have been disastrous.

    do public health a favour will you? and stop rehashing the same old nonsensical ‘rhetoric’ everywhere you go, thats you being irresponsible.

    Its easy for you to create problems and run away but if you failed to see the fallacy of your actions, then you’ve failed both reason and conscience.

  229. #230 Peter Barber
    August 1, 2006

    Wilhelm wrote:

    To kick things off:
    Peter Barber wrote:

    “Is Wilhelm Godschalk speaking from an analogous position of strength regarding biology?”

    Yes.

    I asked a rhetorical question aimed at the other commenters here, not even thinking of setting a trap. All I can say, Prof Sir Wilhelm Godschalk PhD MD FRS, Nobel laureate, is: Wow. We are not worthy!

  230. #231 Robster
    August 1, 2006

    The link between you and the creationist is very clear and neat. You don’t understand something, so you refuse to examine it. While the creationist worships an ageless invisible man in the sky, you worship an ageless invisible conspiracy. Both scoff at any evidence that contradicts their narrow worldview.

    If anything is to be denied, it is this Wilhelm Godschalk. I personally doubt that this Wilhelm is the scientist he says he is. More likely, a faker.

    Sadly, I know a curmudgeon of an old prof who doesn’t believe in enzymes, so these proudly anti-scientific quasi-academics do exist. But only as someone who gets groans when he asks the same question every seminar… “Can you prove that these (air quotes) enzymes (air quotes) are present and doing what you claim they do? I suppose he thought that the stunned response was vindication of his personal crusade.

  231. #232 Chris Noble
    August 1, 2006

    Robster writes:

    Sadly, I know a curmudgeon of an old prof who doesn’t believe in enzymes, so these proudly anti-scientific quasi-academics do exist. But only as someone who gets groans when he asks the same question every seminar… “Can you prove that these (air quotes) enzymes (air quotes) are present and doing what you claim they do? I suppose he thought that the stunned response was vindication of his personal crusade.

    Wow, an enzyme “rethinker”!

    Did he spray the audience with amylase when he gave this seminar?

    Some saliva, a piece of bread and an iodine solution is really all that is needed to refute his nonsense.

    This is categorically different to “proving” something to him. In all probability nobody can “prove” to him personally that enzymes exist and catalyse chemical reactions.

  232. #233 Robster
    August 1, 2006

    Chris, I can’t think of him ever giving a seminar, just asking questions during other people’s seminars. There would be an almost imperceptable groan as the students and some of the profs saw him recognized with a question. At some point, ano=y one of us could have stood and asked his question. The speaker would look at him and say “Because of research done by Sombody et al.” The response: So you don’t know? This doctor was at the end of his career, and had been left behind by the advancement of science. He couldn’t offer an explanation, but boy, could he ask a useless question.

  233. #234 Unsympathetic reader
    August 1, 2006

    Wilhelm Godschalk writes: “HAART also kills any germs that may be present, the good ones as well as the bad ones.

    Really? HAART is antibacterial? I know HAART is antiviral, but it doesn’t eliminate all viruses, either.

  234. #235 Chris Noble
    August 1, 2006

    Robster writes:

    This doctor was at the end of his career, and had been left behind by the advancement of science. He couldn’t offer an explanation, but boy, could he ask a useless question.

    There are several HIV “rethinkers” that fit this pattern. It is also worth pointing out that HIV “rethinkers” are very good at asking questions but incapable of answering any.

    “Ein Narr fragt viel, worauf kein Weiser antwortet.”

    Damn, I think I’ve just proven that I am an idiot for answering Godschalk’s questions.

  235. #236 Wilhelm Godschalk
    August 1, 2006

    Shook you up, didn’t I? Well, you needed it. My pleasure to react to some of your responses.

    Chris Noble:
    “But I wore the juice!”

    I’m not sure what this cryptic remark is supposed to mean, but I read the article. It doesn’t apply to me, though. I have no reason to step aside for someone like Warren Burger. He may have known his stuff in his field, but I know mine, in my field (and then some outside it). What I see very clearly,though, is your shortcomings.

    Wheatdogg:
    “You must have missed my invitation to take the physics discussion over to my place, since we have essentially hijacked the thread here.”

    No I didn’t miss it, and I’ll gladly accept. But I’m posting on various boards, plus moderating one. So I didn’t find the time today.

    “If you have developed a self-consistent model of physics that explains the universe as well as or better than our current models, I would love to see it.”

    I’ll explain it (on your site). But I’m not the one who developed it. The reason it appeals to me is that the concept of a gravitational force (but also the two nuclear forces) has always offended my sensitive nose, because they smell of bullshit. Nobody can really explain them.

    “No one has seriously questioned it since the early 20th century; it is an integral part of quantum theory in fact.”

    That’s exactly the same problem we’re facing with HIV/AIDS. Someone (in this case Gallo, in the gravitation case Newton) comes up with an invalid theory that violates all the laws of virology (or physics), and everybody swallows it and doesn’t complain that it doesn’t make sense. Einstein did at least something about it. His theory describes the phenomenon in mathematical terms, but does not contribute anything to the physical understanding. It’s about time somebody starts to challenge the existing model.
    The fact that nobody has done so for a whole century illustrates again the herd instinct of too many scientists.

    “You are a biochemist. Perhaps you had no physics in college? If you are going to play in physics land, you need to understand the subject and its terminology.”

    You’re being funny without intending to be. My physics education started in highschool, and continued at the university. I worked in the Physics Dept. at the University of Virginia, before moving to the UVa Medical School. If you have access to a decent library, you could check out one of the papers I wrote (without the help of a dozen co-authors):
    Wilhelm Godschalk: “Mathematical Formulation of Rotor Deceleration Experiments in Ultracentrifugation”, J. Phys Chem. 72, 498 (1968).

    I don’t reject the Work Function concept, but it’s being misused in gravitational theory.

    “Gravitons are not mythical, just hypothetical and unconfirmed by experiment.”

    If you invent a new particle (or virus), one should at least expect that its existence, although unproven, should be plausible. And it should not violate existing laws of science. Gravitons will never be confirmed, because they make no sense at all.
    Atoms and molecules are not mythical. They made sense, even before their existence was demonstrated. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, about subatomic structure.

    Viji:
    “And there they go again, after their assertions have been thoroughly analysed and found to be misplaced”

    Viji, you’re whining again. I and several others have asked you some hard questions, because you claim to have been working (i.e., wasting your time) with this HIV mess. You and your crowd have never been able to answer even one of them. That’s been going on for many years now. And then you have the nerve to complain that we are repeating the same questions over and over again. Well, how about some answers? And please, not in the spirit of “Overwhelming evidence has shown that HIV…”

    “do public health a favour will you? and stop rehashing the same old nonsensical ‘rhetoric’ everywhere you go, thats you being irresponsible.”

    In your dreams, viji. You would like to get away with your nonsense, and we should stop asking awkward questions?
    Killing off people with toxic ARV’s, you call that responsible? You might claim that HAART saves lives, but we’ll keep on asking: Where is the long-term, controlled study that proves that? Before your retirement, be prepared to be asked that same question over and over again.

    Peter Barber:
    “I asked a rhetorical question aimed at the other commenters here, not even thinking of setting a trap.”

    Maybe so, but you fell right into it yourself, hahahaha!

    Robster:
    “The link between you and the creationist is very clear and neat. You don’t understand something, so you refuse to examine it.”

    Oh great! Here comes the creationist again. The old strawman when everything else fails.
    “Refuse to examine it”?? That’s chutzpah! We are the only ones examining lame theories that are mindlessly accepted by a majoity, acting as a herd of sheep. When Montagnier and Gallo came with their bullshit about a retrovirus that was first supposed to cause cancer, but was switched over to AIDS because that would be more lucrative, did you make any effort at all to examine it? No, you just accepted it, along with the herd.

    “I personally doubt that this Wilhelm is the scientist he says he is. More likely, a faker.”

    In answer to that, I can only smile. But ask your friend Chris Noble. He went specially to the trouble of writing to a professor at the University of Leiden, to find out. Maybe you can also cry on his shoulder, to get over your disappointment. But wait; I’m not through with you yet.

    Your story about the old professor is cute, but I don’t see what it has to do with me. It wouldn’t be hard to prove that enzymes exist. But you can’t prove HIV exists!
    Tell me, Robster, are you by any chance trying to change the subject?

    Chris Noble:
    “Some saliva, a piece of bread and an iodine solution is really all that is needed to refute his nonsense.”

    That’s correct. But it illustrates again your way of thinking: As evidence you point at the enzyme action, not the enzyme itself. Enzymes can be isolated and purified. They can be crystallized. And then it can be shown that those pure enzyme preparations show a specific action on certain substrates.
    The experiment you propose is valid, of course, but it only shows that there is “something” in saliva that causes this reaction. But, vague as that may be, that’s good enough for you. After all, finding reverse transcriptase activity in some soup means there is HIV eh… right?

    Unsympathetic reader:
    Really? HAART is antibacterial? I know HAART is antiviral, but it doesn’t eliminate all viruses, either.

    Yes, HAART is (very) antibacterial. Most HAART combinations contain AZT or other DNA chain terminators. They kill all cells they find on their path, be they bacterial or human host cells. I would not even call them antiviral, because none of these drugs interact in any way with viruses themselves. Logical, because viruses are not cells or organisms. They are dependent on the metabolism of the host. If you want to block the replication of a virus, you are also attacking the natural body mechanisms.
    That’s why the short-term application of HAART looks promising; bacteria are killed off and the patient feels better. But the long-term use is deadly.

  236. #237 viji
    August 2, 2006

    Wilhelm,

    Posted by: Wilhelm Godschalk | August 1, 2006 10:41 PM
    QUOTE
    Viji:
    (A) “And there they go again, after their assertions have been thoroughly analysed and found to be misplaced”

    Viji, you’re whining again. I and several others have asked you some hard questions, because you claim to have been working (i.e., wasting your time) with this HIV mess. You and your crowd have never been able to answer even one of them. That’s been going on for many years now. And then you have the nerve to complain that we are repeating the same questions over and over again. Well, how about some answers? And please, not in the spirit of “Overwhelming evidence has shown that HIV…”

    (B) “do public health a favour will you? and stop rehashing the same old nonsensical ‘rhetoric’ everywhere you go, thats you being irresponsible.”

    In your dreams, viji. You would like to get away with your nonsense, and we should stop asking awkward questions?
    Killing off people with toxic ARV’s, you call that responsible? You might claim that HAART saves lives, but we’ll keep on asking: Where is the long-term, controlled study that proves that? Before your retirement, be prepared to be asked that same question over and over again.
    END QUOTE
    ======================================================

    Hey! at least “the crowd” is tying to do something to forward the science and seek to ameliorate the suffering of persons afflicted by HIVAIDS

    You are doing absolutely nothing, AND if you were really sincere trying to improve the science of HIV or AIDS by dissenting, you would have followed the post and found that your “questions” have been thoroughly discussed before and your queries answered in many posts throughout this blog. And everytime your “assertions” are found wanting. Repeating the same regurgitated “questions” time and again bring doubts to your true intentions, insidious intentions mayhaps?

    Did you really read the responses and posts at all? or are you just trolling to create trouble?

    the post by Posted by: Robster | July 29, 2006 05:07 PM have given references to the effectiveness of HAART

    And as for your insidious accusations that ARV kills, where then is your long-term, controlled study that proves that?

    If I were to contrast between physicians and researchers trying to help by improving treatment and you “trying to help” by peddling falsehoods and spouting baseless conspiracy theories…. any reader can easily spot whois being irresponsible

    For persons wanting to find out about the facts of HIVAIDS, I recommend you follow http://www.aidstruth.org/ and reach your own conclusions

  237. #238 Peter Barber
    August 2, 2006

    Wilhelm Godschalk wrote:

    Peter Barber:

    “I asked a rhetorical question aimed at the other commenters here, not even thinking of setting a trap.”

    Maybe so, but you fell right into it yourself, hahahaha!

    So you’re joking when you say that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS? If so, I don’t find that very funny.

  238. #239 pat
    August 2, 2006

    “And as for your insidious accusations that ARV kills, where then is your long-term, controlled study that proves that?”

    I wrote earlier on that at least the makers of AZT admit on the label of the drug that AZT can cause symptoms INDISTINGUISHABLE from AIDS. Thats quite the statement. Why would you say the opposite? As for the long term studies, did you mean these?
    http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/07/the_fda_is_a_cauldron_of_disco.php

  239. #240 Robert
    August 2, 2006

    These little tibits of insanity masquerading as science ‘controversy’ should be collected. I think they are clear evidence for why “teach the controversy” is infinately regressive. (Ignoring that the point is to not to teach any controversy, but rather fundamentalist Orthodoxy). Where do we draw the line-when 40%, 20%, 1% of the population believes something?

  240. #241 Unsympathetic reader
    August 2, 2006

    Wihelm Godschalk:
    > Yes, HAART is (very) antibacterial. Most HAART combinations
    > contain AZT or other DNA chain terminators. They kill all
    > cells they find on their path, be they bacterial or human
    > host cells.

    Umm, no, HAART treatment combinations don’t “kill all cells they find in their path”. If they did, people would drop dead on the spot: Dosage matters. HAART therapy helps the body fight infections by reducing viral load and giving the immune system a reprieve but there are many additional infections that often require specific antibacterial and antifungal treatments because HAART is not so antibacterial. The DNA chain terminators are targeted for reverse transcriptase enzymes, meaning that the compounds tend to be much less potent inhibitors of other DNA polymerases. Specificity is never 100% but it’s hard to consider the drugs “very antibacterial” or suggest that they “kill all cells” that encounter the compounds. If HAARTs was mainly effective through antibacterial action then general antibiotics would suffice; but they don’t.

    > I would not even call them antiviral, because none of
    > these drugs interact in any way with viruses themselves.

    The term, “Viral replication blockers” is fine with me.

    […]
    > If you want to block the replication of a virus, you
    > are also attacking the natural body mechanisms.

    A body’s “natural mechanism” like HIV encoded reverse-transcriptase?

  241. #242 Kristjan Wager
    August 2, 2006

    I’m not sure what this cryptic remark is supposed to mean, but I read the article. It doesn’t apply to me, though.

    So let me get this straight – you read the article, but didn’t understand a reference to the very first example in it? Why am I not surprised?

  242. #243 Seth Manapio
    August 2, 2006

    Godschalk: I don’t believe that it is true that the existence of HIV cannot be proven. Even Peter Duesberg agrees that the virus exists, he just doesn’t think it causes AIDS. Since the same basic methods can be used to isolate HIV as any other virus, if you agree that viruses (virii?) exist at all, you have two choices.

    1) HIV exists.
    2) Duesberg is a mindless follower of Gallo.

  243. #244 viji
    August 2, 2006

    TO Pat,

    Huh?

    I asked, “as for your insidious accusations that ARV kills, where then is your long-term, controlled study that proves that?”

    I linked to clinical studies (independant of ther FDA, I should add) that confirmed the efficacy of HAART (ARVs), which you be critically appraise for your own understanding

    Pat, you linked us to an opinion piece highlighting predicaments of the FDA. Huh?

    Even if you think FDA is all quackery which somehow prooves FOR YOU that any drug approved by the FDA cannot be trusted, what does that really tell us? you think the FDA is the only drug safety and accreditation institution in the world. Certainly I know the British and Australian institutions do their own assesements.

    Sounds more like you intending to peddle your conspiracy theories by attempting to pervert public opinion one way or another.

  244. #245 pat
    August 3, 2006

    TO viji:
    Huh?
    “Even if you think FDA is all quackery which somehow prooves FOR YOU that any drug approved by the FDA cannot be trusted, what does that really tell us? you think the FDA is the only drug safety and accreditation institution in the world. Certainly I know the British and Australian institutions do their own assesements.”
    I pointed to ONE piece, of otherwise many over the years, highlighting the dangers of blindling taking anything at face value and here you come and say: “I linked to clinical studies “. Yes you did…to Aidstruth.org. You must have missed where I said that that site was for sheep and idiots. Link to it and the first thing you see is Moore’s reeeeeaaaaaaly stupid juvenile rant.

    Then you derail and say: “Sounds more like you intending to peddle your conspiracy theories by attempting to pervert public opinion one way or another.” May I point out to you that I have NO conspiracy theories that I try to peddle, so stick your knee-jerk slander attack were the sun don’t shine. I have simply been confused about HIV/AIDS for the past ten years and have only recently come across alternative explanations for it and now I am simply trying to figure it out for myself. My confusion arises squarely because of the mainstream portrayal of it. The world compulsively cries wolf and scares us with an epidemic of certain death. I have yet to see any epidemic of death (aside from my one very unfortunate friend) but we are scared and hounded to give EVEN MORE. 150 billion dollars for a desease that kills less americans than driving, 1/15th less than cancer, 1/13th less than heart failure etc etc etc. More people die in Switzerland falling off ladders than do of this “scourge”. So if you want to “peddle” your “scary movie”, I simply expect more than wolf stories like Aidstruth.org have to offer. I don’t know who you are but perhaps you can consider me your “target audience” and offer info instead of the usual bullshit personal attack because such talk only serves to harden views. Take my view for example; this is how much you have now hardened it: go screw yourself!

  245. #246 viji
    August 3, 2006

    Hey Pat,

    you silly I linked you to Posted by: Robster | July 29, 2006 05:07 PM for the clinical studies that showed the efficacy of HAART to draw people’s attention to the nonsense your fellow ‘dissidents’ spout, the nonsense that ARVs in HAART kill. Give the responses more attention will you. and I must add, these studies that Robster are done at different institutions around the world, and most of the time by physicians/doctors who have little or no links to pharmaceutical companies, and are based on observations that HAART improved the conditions of afflicted persons.

    As for Aidstruth.org., does it really pain you so much to see me directing people to a site where they can seek out information and make up their own minds for themselves. Your lot seems to do that a lot, i.e. virusmyth. etc.

    How else do you think are we going to check your and you lots’ intent on peddling the misinformation or misconceptions. AND unlike you and your lot of ‘dissenters’ I do not indulge in baseless slander, bad-mouthing,and defamation. I only accuse some persons of being irresponsible by repeating their “questions to HIV-AIDS paradigm” when these have already been addressed in the blog and have been found to be misconceptions on your part. Yet you and your lot regurgitate the same questions in a circular fashion, sometimes even in the same thread.

    To me it makes little sense, since these actions either show that (1) you do not care about debating different views (as you do not even cae to analyse the responses to your queries), or worse, (2) it seems to me that this is an elaborate attempt to peddle your misconceptions, regardless of the facts presented in front of you

  246. #247 viji
    August 3, 2006

    Point to me any of your “questions” or “confusion because of mainstream protrayal” that have not been thoroughly discussed in this blog?

    It does seem to me that you are suggesting there is a conspiracy, as you’ve asserted that “The world compulsively cries wolf and scares us with an epidemic of certain death, I have yet to see any epidemic of death).” For that, I can see plenty suffering and dying from HIVAIDS outside America or the developed nations (you are lucky you have easy access to HAART and the best facilities in the world, even most of the pharmaceutical earnings are lining American pockets, and the irony is you are decrying anything to do with HIV and HAART).

    You further accuse HIV-AIDS of “siphoning” research funds away from “heart disease” “cancer” and “people falling of ladders” because everyone else is crying wolf apart from your “enlightened” lot.

    Worse, you said, “More people die in Switzerland falling off ladders than do of this “scourge”” Either you never bothered to look around the world, or else your world view consists of just your town, SF, America proper, and Switzerland. To me it sounds like the pervertion of facts. Does compulse me to think of you as the conspiracy theorist.

  247. #248 viji
    August 3, 2006

    If you seriosuly want to look at the discussions and not just playing me by saying

    “you can consider me your target audience and offer info instead of the usual bullshit personal attack because such talk only serves to harden views.”

    These two threads have already a hearthy lot of discussions from the two differing views for you to spend a whole day reading. Basically, I reach my current conclusions about the HIV “dissenters” after closely following these posts.

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/06/wrong_again.php#c185490

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/03/on_expertise_and_arguments_fro.php

  248. #249 pat
    August 3, 2006

    “As for Aidstruth.org., does it really pain you so much to see me directing people to a site where they can seek out information and make up their own minds for themselves”- no, does it pain you that I remind people to be a bit skeptical?

    Thank you for the usual platitudes:
    -“Your lot seems to do that a lot, i.e. virusmyth. etc.”-my, lot?
    -“How else do you think are we going to check your and you lots’ intent on peddling the misinformation or misconceptions. AND unlike you and your lot of ‘dissenters…”-more of “MY” lot.
    -“… I do not indulge in baseless slander, bad-mouthing,and defamation”- “peddler of conspiracy theories” must be a form of greating in your town.
    -“Yet you and your lot regurgitate the same questions in a circular fashion, sometimes even in the same thread.”-another “lot”

    -“You further accuse HIV-AIDS of “siphoning” research funds away from “heart disease” “cancer” and “people falling of ladders” because everyone else is crying wolf apart from your “enlightened” lot.”- stop the “your lot thing” it is getting pathetic and in light of my evaluation these posts and the news outside of the blog world, I believe it is grossly overfunded. . Yes, I accuse HIV-AIDS of “siphoning”, not “research funds” but funds in general, lots of FUNDS which would be better spent on more practical solutions for the developing world for example and the treatment of much deadlier deseases which kill a lot more of them than AIDS. Thank you for telling me to pay attention. It is true folks, pay attention.

  249. #250 Wilhelm Godschalk
    August 4, 2006

    viji:
    “Yet you and your lot regurgitate the same questions in a circular fashion, sometimes even in the same thread.

    So ANSWER THEM! Don’t try to tell us they have been answered long ago. And don’t bother to refer us to a propaganda site such as Aidstruth, which does the same.
    We’ll keep on repeating the same questions. Are you tryng to postpone the moment where you have to admit you don’t have any answers?

  250. #251 pat
    August 4, 2006

    While I wait for my other post to appear:
    “Does compulse me to think of you as the conspiracy theorist”
    That such things come compulsively to you doesn’t surprise me.

  251. #252 pat
    August 5, 2006

    “Does compulse me to think of you as the conspiracy theorist.”

    compulive moron.

  252. #253 Millimeter Wave
    May 20, 2007

    William Godschalk wrote:

    You would believe anything an authority figure tells you, even if it violates the laws of physics.

    Just thought I should call that one out without further comment. Oy.

  253. #254 menekşe ile halil
    September 14, 2007

    You would believe anything an authority figure tells you, even if it violates the laws of physics.

    Just thought I should call that one out without further comment. Oy.

  254. #255 博學堂風水學會
    April 30, 2008

    “Yet you and your lot regurgitate the same questions in a circular fashion, sometimes even in the same thread.

  255. #256 motor kuryem
    January 5, 2009

    kurye, kuryeler, hızlı kurye, yaya kurye, acıl kurye, kadikoy kurye, istanbul kurye, motor kurye, arac kurye

  256. #257 kredi
    April 29, 2009

    Maybe so, but you fell right into it yourself, hahahaha!

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