Denier Fight IS STILL GOING!!

I cant take this, guys. I cant take this anymore. Im physically ill from laughing so hard over the past couple of days, and THEYRE STILL GOING AT IT!

Duesberg was back on that radio show again this morning, fighting by himself.

I have a years worth of blog fodder in the 30 minutes Duesberg gets to talk (host jabbers the first 20-25 minutes, but still funny, LOTS more commercials). If you have time to listen and have specific Qs, leave a comment and Ill get you an answer! But I will be trudging this new river of sludge, panning for educational HIV-1 posts, so THANKS Duesberg! **THUMBS UP**

UPDATE– Its not fair to have Duesberg PR and not Horowitz, so here is a fine series he has on DNA. After seeing it, I kinda feel bad about calling him a kook. Horowitz obviously knows his stuff:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Saveau
    May 23, 2008

    Sweet Starbuck.

    Just for grins, I googled “Special Virus Cancer Program”, from the piece of Lenny-drool that Abbie quoted a couple of posts back, to see what would come up. I thought it sounded kind of silly, like a Doctor Evil plan to steal Austin Powers’ mojo.

    Ho. Lee. Frak. Don’t do it yourself unless you’re really sure you can take the flaming poop-filled bag of stupid and crazy. These guys make some Creationists I’ve encountered sound sane!

  2. #2 Max
    May 23, 2008

    I always enjoy reading your blog because LOL Speak seems so much more appropriate than English for reacting to these guys, but I have to admit I thought you were overreacting to this denier debate… until I started listening! It’s kind of like a Thanksgiving debate when you’re too full of Turkey and beer to think straight but you don’t care because it’s fun, except these guys are the figureheads for whole international networks of conpsiracy theorists!

  3. #3 Sili
    May 23, 2008

    Wait. HWUT?

    He’s quoting “Holy Blood Holy Grail”?!

    I loved that. What I was bloody fifTEEN.

    Ye Gods*!

    In other news: Measels! Fun fun fun!! h/t Sir Eccles

    *Gods may or may not exist. Void where prohibited.

  4. #4 Rosie Redfield
    May 23, 2008

    I went from the “Part 1″ link to a video called “Spontaneous DNA, The Rapture, and The Rise to Fourth Density”. OMG!

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    May 23, 2008

    same question as in the other thread:

    Does anybody know if Deusberg was Jonathan Wells’ primary advisor, or on his advisory committee, when Wells was a grad student in MCB at Berkeley?

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    May 23, 2008

    UPDATE– Its not fair to have Duesberg PR and not Horowitz, so here is a fine series he has on DNA. After seeing it, I kinda feel bad about calling him a kook. Horowitz obviously knows his stuff:

    no, you were right to call both kooks.

    Both men “know their stuff”. However, that hardly prevents them from being a kooks.

    they’re just not ignorant kooks.

    Wells managed to gain a PhD in MCB from Berkeley, and he’s a friggin’ Moonie.

    How much more “kook” can one get than that?

  7. #7 Crake
    May 23, 2008

    It’s quite evident that Horowitz needs psychiatric care, poor guy seems utterly delusional.

  8. #8 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 23, 2008

    No, Horowitz is an ignorant kook. Many of the claims he is making are factually false. For example, he claims that Saladin fighting with the Knights Templar is the root of todays “Judeo-Christian” conflict with Islam. This ignores hundreds of prior years of history and the serious issue that there’s no Judeo-Christian conflict with Islam. There has been a historic long-running conflict between Christianity and Islam but until fairly recently Jews got along pretty well with Muslims. Generally treated as inferior citizens, but allowed to live. (Yes I know the truth is more complicated than this but the point is that his oversimplification is so bad as to be just wrong).

    Frankly, these videos aren’t nearly as much fun as the earlier debate. They are just standard conspiracy theory junk. I’ve read better on the back of Dan Brown novels.

  9. #9 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 23, 2008

    Ok, wow. Claims that Lincoln was assassinated because he tried to undermine the banking conspiracy? The crazy is powerful here.

    And in the second video he claims that he can cleverly modify the British flag to get a Nazi swastika. Ignoring the fact that his modification works on a variety of different flags, his swastika is going counterclockwise, the Nazi swastika goes clockwise.

    Dammit Abbie, stop wasting our time with funny things! We’ve got real work to do!

  10. #10 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 23, 2008

    Ok, very last comment I promise. At 5:30 or so in the second video Horowitz seems to think that sound uses electromagnetic frequencies. I’ve only encountered one other person who had that idiotic notion and that was Kent Hovind. How did Horowitz ever get an MD?

    I also like how he claims in the third video that Peter Jennings is a “counterintelligence propagandist who infiltrated from Canada”. I’m really going to stop commenting now because it just isn’t possible for me to say anything that would top that.

  11. #11 Snout
    May 23, 2008

    Err, Duesberg does NOT know his stuff when it comes to AIDS. He is profoundly ignorant of basic infectious diseases medicine, and (given that he persists in spreading misinformation even after being repeatedly corrected) probably unteachable.

    Here are some of his common assertions, endlessly repeated by his fans in the AIDS denialist camp:

    1. HIV can ONLY RARELY be extracted from HIV antibody positive persons. (make that ALMOST ALWAYS).

    2. All Viral/microbial epidemics strike randomly within populations, without regard to any identifiable demographic category. (complete bilge, as anyone familiar with the epidemiology of infectious diseases will tell you.)

    3. Development of antibody indicates clearance of the pathogen and protective immunity. The serious pathology from an infectious disease always occurs early, prior to the development of antibody not decades after infection. (err, ever heard of tertiary syphilis, or end stage liver disease from chronic hep B or hep C?)

    4. Pediatric AIDS is due to prenatal consumption of recreational and anti-HIV drugs by unborn babies together with their pregnant mothers (Pediatric AIDS is always associated with maternal HIV infection, and never occurs in the children of drug users unless the mother has HIV. The use of anti-HIV drugs by mothers with HIV dramatically REDUCES the incidence of pediatric AIDS).

    5. AIDS in Africa is due to malnutrition. (The presence of malnutrition is actually an EXCLUSION criterion for the WHO case finding definition of AIDS. If anything, AIDS disproportionately affects the more economically active members of African communities, and those least likely to be affected by malnutrition or other diseases of poverty.)

    6. No fatal viral disease is known to cause death in nearly all infected people – except the paradoxical AIDS virus (this will be very reassuring to those with ebola or untreated rabies).

    7. The prevalence of HIV antibody in the US population has been steady at about 1 million, because HIV has always been present as a harmless passenger virus passed on perinatally. (The prevalence of HIV antibody is virtually zero in stored blood samples pre the late 1970s. Mothers of adults with HIV don’t have HIV antibodies themselves. The prevalence in recent years has been steady because new infections are roughly equivalent to deaths.)

    Reading his website or other published output is a profoundly painful experience – all the more so when you realise the enormous damage his misinformation has done to a rational response to AIDS in South Africa.

  12. #12 Torbj�rn Larsson, OM
    May 23, 2008

    think that sound uses electromagnetic frequencies

    Small nit: electromagnetic waves can certainly reach 20 kHz and below, why shouldn’t they? I think you mean that sound isn’t an EM wave.

  13. #13 Steven
    May 24, 2008

    DNA Pirates of the Ancient Spiral

    WTF!

    KOOK CONCENTRATED

  14. #14 Jason Dick
    May 24, 2008

    Snout,

    I’m at a loss as to who you’re responding to, because Abbie is quite plainly making fun of these kooks.

  15. #15 Snout
    May 24, 2008

    Jason, Sorry, I was responding to Icthyic (#6)who said,

    Both men know their stuff. However, that hardly prevents them from being a kooks. They’re just not ignorant kooks.

    Unfortunately, Duesberg’s early scientific work and his ability to make superficially plausible arguments has led some people to see him as knowledgeable in the area of AIDS (notably Mbeki in South Africa)

    Whether Duesberg is a kook or not, when it comes to AIDS he most definitely doesn’t know his stuff, has never worked in the relevant fields of clinical medicine or epidemiology, and appears to be unfamiliar with any of the science after about 1984, except for that which he cherry picks or frankly misrepresents to back his own pet hypothesis.

    I thought it was important to acknowledge this.

  16. #16 Snout
    May 24, 2008

    Look, I realise it’s bad form to hang round a site, de-lurk and then submit two posts in a row and then TYPE IN CAPITALS. It makes you look like a troll. But hmmm… lemmee see….

    Is it possible that a debate between a notorious AIDS denialist and a certifiably insane conspiracy theorist on a radio program whose main audience can be accurately discerned by the ads chosen by programmers of said station as… errrm… Not In Contact With The Same Reality The Rest Of Us Wake Up To Each Day….

    Could it be….. FRAME SHIFTING ??? OMG!!!1!11!

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/04/framing_still_baffled.php

    The point of the “debate” is to reframe Duesberg as credible and knowledgeable (in comparison to a complete fruitloop).

    Duesberg and his supporters know exactly what they are doing here.

  17. #17 Chris Noble
    May 24, 2008

    The point of the “debate” is to reframe Duesberg as credible and knowledgeable (in comparison to a complete fruitloop)

    The point is that both Duesberg and Horowitz have the same anti-authoritarian conpiracy-inclined target audience.

    Horowitz and Graves have been getting more media attention via Reverend Jeremiah Wright lately than Duesberg.

    Duesberg is just doing a “keep your hands off my woobots”.

  18. #18 Snout
    May 24, 2008

    Nicely put, Chris – thanks.

    I’ll go and re-lurk now.

  19. #19 Badger3k
    May 24, 2008

    Maybe she meant that Horowitz is beyond Kook. Maybe Uber-Kook? Is Crackpot higher or lower than Kook? Do we have a taxonomy for them?

  20. #20 karl
    May 24, 2008

    http://www.switchpod.com/users/hakrim/feed.xml

    I stripped the audio out of Lenny’s three vids and made one mp3 file. This way instead of watching his insanity online, you can enjoy his insane rambling in the comfort of your car or subway commute. Click on the link above and DL duesbergreply.mp3.

  21. #21 Ichthyic
    May 24, 2008

    Err, Duesberg does NOT know his stuff when it comes to AIDS. He is profoundly ignorant of basic infectious diseases medicine, and (given that he persists in spreading misinformation even after being repeatedly corrected) probably unteachable.

    don’t confuse what he says with what he knows. he worked with viruses while a professor and researcher at UCB’s MCB dept. for decades.

    He has tenure.

    He’s not stupid, and he’s not ignorant. He CHOOSES which information supports his particular methods of compartmentalization and rationalization, and which don’t.

    What’s really going on with him isn’t exactly clear.

    Frankly, if he really is suffering from some sort of severe cognitive dissonance, I feel sorry for him, like I felt sorry for John Davison, who also had some decent publications in his field before he completely lost it in the mid-80′s.

    you can see the other side of Deusberg here:

    http://mcb.berkeley.edu/faculty/BMB/duesbergp.html

  22. #22 Chris Noble
    May 25, 2008

    He’s not stupid, and he’s not ignorant. He CHOOSES which information supports his particular methods of compartmentalization and rationalization, and which don’t.

    What’s really going on with him isn’t exactly clear.

    In his latest appearance on kook radio he claims that he was Robert Gallo’s friend in the early 1980s. This doesn’t seem to fit in with this quote from Harvey Bialy’s biography of Duesberg.

    When I asked Peter why he was not content with restricting the 1987 critique to the relevance of retroviruses to human cancer, and leaving AIDS alone, his answer was immediate. It was largely a personal matter. I could not refrain from looking hard at any hypothesis Bob [Gallo] was behind. It s exactly as Gunther [Stent] said to me when we talked about this very point years ago: If Crick publishes it, you read it thinking it right. With Gallo, it s the opposite. In addition, there was the complete improbability of the virus- AIDS hypothesis on first principle, and I just couldn t ignore it.

    It sounds more like Duesberg had a personal grudge and hasn’t let it go in 20 years.

    Duesberg’s published papers have tended towards misrepresentation and lying by omission. Perhaps this was due to the peer-review process. His radio interviews on the other hand are full of outright lies.

    HIV has only three genes?
    HIV is totally gone from the body a few weeks after infection?
    Retroviruses (such as SIV in macaques) don’t do nothing? Or perhaps the double negative was intentional?

    It looks like Duesberg is determined to go out in a blaze of kook-glory.

  23. #23 Ichthyic
    May 25, 2008

    It sounds more like Duesberg had a personal grudge and hasn’t let it go in 20 years.

    perhaps, but to stretch it so far? seems like there’s some psychological malady at work.

    Duesberg’s published papers have tended towards misrepresentation and lying by omission.

    wrt to his “work” on viruses since 1991, yes, but wrt to his work on cancer?

    If you look at the journal articles published on his “aids work”, they’re pretty laughable, but would you say the same of the oncology articles he has published?

    However, it might be that his post-docs are doing most of the work, and he is just taking lead author on the papers (not terribly uncommon in my experience).

    I haven’t been involved with departmental politics at Berkeley for over 15 years now, so I haven’t a clue what the hell is going on there.

    Which, btw, is the reason I was wondering if anybody knew or recalled if Wells was one of Deusberg’s students. I was in Zoology at Berkeley at the time when Wells was a student, and never could figure out how the hell he managed to ever get in the MCB dept. to begin with.

    I’ve grown pretty curious as to where exactly Deusberg is coming from.

    Is it some kind of ruse?

    is he really just bugfuck nuts?

    Is there somebody in MCB at UCB that actually knows the man personally and could fill us in?

    seriously, Abbie should be able to contact someone in MCB and get the scoop on Deusberg easy enough.

    Scientists gossip too, after all, and that’s especially true from what I remember from my time at Berzerkeley.

  24. #24 Chris Noble
    May 25, 2008

    Which, btw, is the reason I was wondering if anybody knew or recalled if Wells was one of Deusberg’s students. I was in Zoology at Berkeley at the time when Wells was a student, and never could figure out how the hell he managed to ever get in the MCB dept. to begin with.

    I don’t know. There is the Phillip E. Johnson connection. Johnson was instrumental in establishing both HIV denial and ID. Wells signed the HIV denial petition in 1993 while he was doing his PhD. I think Bryan Ellison was Duesberg’s last doctoral student before he descended into paranoid madness and joined a a bizarre conpsiracy-theory cult. Phillip Johnson on Trial: The Attempt to Censor the Ellison/Duesberg Book. It’s no wonder that Duesberg couldn’t attract post-grad students after that debacle.

    Robert Weinberg seems to have encapsulated Duesberg He is like a man who is shipwrecked on an island, struggles onto the beach, looks around, and says: “Is there a government here? If so, I’m against it.”

    Duesberg seems to like being contrary for the sake of being contrary. That’s probably why he appeals so much to his anti-authoritarian scientifically-challenged target audience.

    The more he personally invests in HIV denial the less likely he is to ever admit to being wrong. It’s a oneway road to becoming a crank. What person is ever going to admit to being wrong after sacrificing their career and life to a delusion?

  25. #25 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2008

    What person is ever going to admit to being wrong after sacrificing their career and life to a delusion?

    I’m thinking hard, and not coming up with a single example.

    I’m still very curious what the hell is going on in the MCB dept.

    In cases where there is demonstrable delusional activities on the part of researchers, they are typically given the “golden parachute”, or the dept. makes public statements distancing themselves, or the particular nutjob in question is removed from all duties pertaining to being employed within the dept., just the title remains.

    I just am having trouble wrapping my head around Deusberg in this case.

    similarly, I have yet to see Stonybrook make a public statement about Michael Egnor’s incompetence and alliance with the Disinformation Institute.

    I wonder, is this about money?

    Is MCB gaining a significant income from a “hands off” approach to Deusberg?

    I do recall a lot of money provided for Wells’ graduate studies by Rev. Moon himself. Could that really do so much to compromise an entire depts. decision to avoid commentary and action on complete kooks?

    as to Johnson, he’s over in the law school (IIRC, he’s emeritus status now), and I can’t see he would have had much influence on the issue, unless he somehow threatened another dept. with a lawsuit of some kind, which would be shameless, at best.

    again, I figure there has to be a blogger out there with connections to the MCB folks, and an in to the gossip regarding Deusberg that would serve well to clarify.

  26. #26 Chris Noble
    May 26, 2008

    In cases where there is demonstrable delusional activities on the part of researchers, they are typically given the “golden parachute”, or the dept. makes public statements distancing themselves, or the particular nutjob in question is removed from all duties pertaining to being employed within the dept., just the title remains.

    Duesberg has little apart from a small lab. He gets little access to students. Certainly no post-grads after the Bryan Ellison affair.

    Probably they don’t want to do anything more to avoid Duesberg achieving the Expelled style of martyrdom. Much of Duesberg’s support came from people who didn’t necessarily think he was right but thought he had the right to be wrong. It’s more like the Academic Freedom strategy.

    It would probably create more trouble for Berkeley to get rid of Duesberg than it is to keep him.

  27. #27 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2008

    It would probably create more trouble for Berkeley to get rid of Duesberg than it is to keep him.

    true, but compare the situation with Behe. Even his dept. made a public statement distancing themselves.

    It puzzles me that both Berkeley and Stonybrook (Egnor) wouldn’t publicly attempt to distance themselves from some of the wacky things their nutters have said.

    Is it some strategy that ignoring them will make them seem less important?

    funny, but all that does is imply tacit approval. It just seems an odd strategy to me.

    Certainly no post-grads after the Bryan Ellison affair.

    Then you are saying that all the cancer papers he has published in the last 10 years have been on his own?

    that doesn’t jive. most of those papers have multiple authors.

    He’s got access to money, lab space, and cohorts to continue at least with his cancer work.

  28. #28 Chris Noble
    May 26, 2008

    He’s got access to money, lab space, and cohorts to continue at least with his cancer work.

    Only one of his co-authors, post-doc Ruhong Li, is actually based at MCB. The majority are from the University of Heidelberg at Mannheim. I’m fairly sure Duesberg has not had any post-grad students for a long time.

    Duesberg’s cancer work is largely funded by Robert Leppo. Leppo also funded the HIV Denialist pseudodocumentary “The Other Side of AIDS” and the ACTUP/SF marijuana dispensary. Duesberg also accepted tobacco company money to fund some of his research.

  29. #29 Jason
    May 27, 2008

    unholy. crap.

    It is hard for me to conceive of what’s happening here. What on earth is Lenny yammering on about?

  30. #30 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2008

    Only one of his co-authors, post-doc Ruhong Li, is actually based at MCB. The majority are from the University of Heidelberg at Mannheim. I’m fairly sure Duesberg has not had any post-grad students for a long time.

    Duesberg’s cancer work is largely funded by Robert Leppo. Leppo also funded the HIV Denialist pseudodocumentary “The Other Side of AIDS” and the ACTUP/SF marijuana dispensary. Duesberg also accepted tobacco company money to fund some of his research.

    ah, that was very helpful, thanks.

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