REPOST: Horowitz vs ERV

This is a repost from the old ERV. A retrotransposed ERV :P I dont trust them staying up at Blogger, and the SEED overlords are letting me have 4 reposts a week, so Im gonna take advantage of that!

I am going to try to add more comments to these posts for the old readers– Think of these as ‘directors cut’ posts ;)

The beast… he has reemerged…

Heres the link to the debate (Thank you Reggie!!)

Yay! I finally feel better! Turns out I had a freak combination of a cold and allergies. So a few puffs of Flonase and a Claritin perked me right back up! Finally! So heres my pov from the ‘debate’, and some elaborations where I was interrupted/ignored/galloped.
I might add some more to this later, because Im sure Ive forgotten something.

1. A couple of my favorite HIV basics sites:
Avert and Molecules of HIV

2. Aw I just wanna heeeelp people:
Horowitz was desperately trying to convince us that he was just trying to ‘help people’, and as I stated right off the bat– supporting anti-science movements and conspiracy mongering does not ‘help people.’
Lets look at his actions. Look at that garbage he sells. Its garbage. Crap. Trinkets and water. Lets pretend he really, REALLY thinks that it can ‘help people’. Why doesnt he do what is necessary to get this information main-stream (and I dont mean publishing straight to consumer books). Why doesnt he get in a lab and do research? If I screwed up in the lab and accidentally *cured* HIV with a mixture of Flonase, coffee, and calcium, I would beg my boss for a few supplies to run some preliminary experiments! If they turned out well, Id call the people who make Flonase and beg them to give it a try. If they ignored me, Id take it to their competition. If they ignored me, Id write a grant and try to do it myself. I would not stock up on Flonase, coffee, and calcium and make little bottles of it in my bathtub and sell it to AIDS patients for $189.99. Nothing about his behavior makes me think he thinks the crap hes selling actually works, especially considering the gravity of the diseases he proclaims he can cure.
Lets look at what he says. As someone pointed out to be on another forum, its like he was more interested in talking about his conspiracy. Science was just a frustrating side issue. Like I said in the interview– HIV Denial is a political statement for Horowitz, not a scientific one. He wanted to talk about how much money George W makes and secret monkey import rings and all sorts of shit that leads to: public distrust of scientists, public distrust of the medical field, public distrust of medicine/vaccines/etc, public distrust of ‘foreign’ aid— where does this lead us? Polio outbreaks, because vaccines are refused. Further spread of HIV, because pregnant mothers wont take their ARVs during birth. Foreign medical workers waiting to be shot in the head in prisons for purposely infecting children with HIV, a crime they couldnt have committed, and scientific validation of their innocence is ignored. Even further spread of HIV, because infected persons are ‘cured’ with garlic/bananas/tuning forks/potions/etc, ergo dont need to take meds or the appropriate precautions with their sexual partners.
Look, we all know who Horowitz is interested in ‘helping.’

3. These are not Horowitz’s own ideas:
Like his magic water and magic tuning forks, Horowitz doesnt ‘think’ (can I say ‘think’ when Im talking about magic tuning forks?) of these things on his own. He steals them. To his credit, he does mention Edward Hooper in his ‘peer reviewed article’ (see #7).
However, Hooper dismissed the HepB vaccine–>HIV ‘hypothesis.’ Because ‘viruses’ are so alien to most people, its easy to revert to metamagical thinking. Viruses recombining and mutating into super viruses that can be controlled and released by The Government… Viruses dont work that way. An HIV subtype can recombine with another subtype, but it cant recombine with Hepatitis B. Its a completely different creature. Never mind HepB vaccines are ‘subunit’ vaccines… theres no genome there for HIV to ‘recombine with’…

4. Humans zoonotically getting infections is not magic:
Zoonosis is not a vast right wing conspiracy enabled by mad scientists. What do you think happens every time a human gets rabies? Rabies doesnt *want* to be in a human– we’re a dead-end host.
Nipah virus is a great example for what I was talking about in the ‘debate’– a virus humans ‘discovered’ when they encroached on previously unexplored territory. As we understand it now, Nipah virus isnt exactly easy for a human to get… yet outbreaks still happen. Crossovers happen. As long as the outbreaks remain isolated, its all okay. If an infected person gets on an airplane, we might have problems.
This isnt magic.

5. Scientists change their minds:
Horowitz feigned indignance when I suggested Dr. Gerald Myers most likely has changed his mind about the origin of HIV since the long… long… quote Horowitz cited. Why would an esteemed scientist reject his hypothesis?
Because someone proves him/her wrong. Certainly you could attempt to disprove your critics research, but that doesnt appear to be an option Meyers utilized. I can only imagine that means that he accepts the finding of others.
What is offensive is Horowitzs insistence that an esteemed scientist is too stupid and too hard-headed to accept evidence presented to him/her, refusing to change positions in the face of overwhelming evidence. That is what Creationists do, not scientists.

6. Vast right wing conspiracy:
While I realize its humorous that Horowitz equates Japanese people with Chinese people, he completely missed my point. Okay, lets pretend Horowitz is right. Lets pretend that the US purposlely unleashed HIV on this planet to kill BLACKS and FAGS.
Every country on this planet would love to uncover this. My point with China is that they are a relatively well off country very much involved in HIV research and very much effected by the HIV pandemic. And, because of their governmental system, theyre continuously reprimanded by other countries for human rights violations. If HIV is a US conspiracy, why hasnt China uncovered this for the whole world to know? They have the same data we do. They have the same resources as we do.
How are we getting China, China of all countries, to go along with this evil plan?

7. Peer review my ass:
Its called a conflict of interest.

8. Horowitz is a Creationist:
Dr. Dentist is buddies with Dr. Dino. Yes, lets listen to what you have to say about science, Dr. Dentist.

9. I did not enjoy speaking with Horowitz:
I love love love educating the public about science, and sometimes that means addressing people like Horowitz to help people who dont know how to address their anti-science claims. However, I take no pleasure in speaking with someone this fucking nuts.

10. Im a RABID antidentite:


  1. #1 mgarelick
    May 7, 2008

    How’s this for idea for a comedy sketch — going to Len Horowitz for a dentist appointment? I think it has potential.

  2. #2 Sili
    May 7, 2008

    >suppresses urge to more than gesture at typos and spellos in a reprint<

    My commisserations. You’re more patient (and way wayyyyyyy cleverer) than I.

  3. #3 Richard Wolford
    May 7, 2008

    If he’s so convinced that his magic water works, why not inject himself with HIV and then cure himself using his own methods? Sometimes the gauntlet needs to be thrown down.

  4. #4 Felstatsu
    May 7, 2008

    Mmm… I like that idea Richard. If he has a cure that he’s sure of enough to sell, he should be sure enough of it to infect and then cure himself.

    I unfortunately didn’t get around to listening to this the first time it was posted, but I’m listening to it now. Listening in though I have to say Horowitz is way beyond nuts. On behalf of all edible nuts I’m afraid I have to ask for an apology to all nuts because I don’t think they deserve to have any implied association with him. I’m one of the strange people who doesn’t like nuts, but even I feel bad for nuts after statement #9.

  5. #5 Brian X
    May 7, 2008

    He’s, um, a douchebag. Beyond any (well-deserved) accusations of quackery, he’s a douchebag above all — I can’t believe he tried to bully you with his credentials and then pulled the credential game on someone else. He’s a doctor like Dr. Laura (physiologist, not psychologist) — he doesn’t deserve to use it in this context.

    And how could anyone in the medical professions be that ignorant about how to read research? New research > old research, because we’re always getting new data. He must have history and science mixed up.

  6. #6 Richard Wolford
    May 7, 2008

    Brian X: You’d be surprised, every MD I’ve ever met has been unable to read data/research. I know a few doctors, mostly passingly, but a few are friends of the extended family; several of them did not even know that the efficiency of drugs is determined statistically…no joking. And I’m not sure what the deal is with getting new data. Afterall, new data is great as it either refines old theories or creates new ones based upon an improved understanding of our world. I just don’t understand how people can argue that changing our views based upon evidence is a bad thing; I like to be proven wrong, because then I LEARN SOMETHING (note the need to switch to all caps mode).

    Feynman said it best, science is a way of not fooling ourselves.

  7. #7 Zeno
    June 10, 2008

    The words docile, docent, and doctrine refer to teachability, instructor, and body of belief, reminding us that they are rooted in the Latin word docere (to teach). That being the case, people with doctorates have pride of place and first call on the title doctor. Medical doctors are johnny-come-latelies who want it all to themselves. Nope.

    (But a pox on both PhDs and MDs [and DDSs] who insist on being called “doctor” in social rather than professional situations.)

  8. #8 DavidONE
    June 16, 2008

    Now there’s a brain that isn’t wired up quite right. Hilarious and scary in equal measure.

    I just wish the host stopped the Horowitz steam roller of stupidity every now and again to let you speak uninterrupted – it was frustrating to listen to and prevented the evisceration that could have been handed out.