Creationists and HIV Deniers, gawd bless em.

So like, remember a while back when Andy Schlafly, Creationist of Conservapedia wrote PNAS demanding raw data, reagents, etc from Richard Lenski? And if Lenski refused to deliver that stuff to Schlafly (and his crack team of home schooled children) for ‘peer review’, then PNAS should retract the paper and Evilution is a Lie?

Well, HIV Deniers thought that was a friggen brilliant idea. Forty well respected HIV-1 researchers have gone and done the same thing, demanding Science retract a 24 year old paper of Robert Gallos because it doesnt suit their fancy. And of course, by ‘forty well respected HIV-1 researchers’ I mean ‘forty random people I have never heard of in my entire life, despite the fact Im sitting here immersed in HIV-1 literature preparing for my qualifying exam.’ No, thats not entirely true– I know who Gary Null and crank Harvey Bialy are. heh. Very important peoples.

But hey, nothing saying a nobody cant be right! So lets pretend these 40 nobodies very important researchers are right. Lets say Gallo is a terrible person and purposely lied about everything in that paper.


That doesnt discredit the past 25 years of HIV-1 research.

Sorry, HIV Deniers.

Anyway, to pull this back to Creationism again, those poor, persecuted HIV Deniers have gained a powerful ally: Access Research Network, an alternate hive for the Intelligent Design community. Thus speaketh Kevin ‘Ben Stein is Rosa Parks‘ Wirth:

In a stunning announcement earlier this month it was revealed that the seminal papers outlining the probable cause of AIDS as published in the journal SCIENCE in 1984 were almost certainly falsified. SCIENCE, which is often cited as one of the most important peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world, will most likely be forced to retract the falsified papers it published (so much for the claim that peer-reviewed papers in leading science journals are the invincible bulwark of scientific investigation).

Sorry, Kev. Unless we find a long-lost Gallo email where he says ‘OMG Im leik TOTALLY drawing figure 1 by hand and calling it an electron micrograph LULZ!!!’, Science isnt retracting shit. But I thank you, Kevin, for the bountiful bawwing in the rest of this article. This one blag post includes:

  • peer review sucks
  • senior scientists agree HIV is a lie
  • scientists dont listen to alternate view points
  • publishing paradigm shifting science in pop media instead of journals is A-OKAY!
  • the ID community always knew HIV didnt cause AIDS
  • scientists call dissenters mean names!
  • dissenters are just asking questions, gosh golly
  • more and more people are supporting dissenters every day
  • scientists are bigots
  • scientists are liars
  • scientists treat science like its religion
  • scientists ruin the lives of dissidents
  • it doesnt matter if dissenters dont have education/degrees/experience in the field they are dissenting from
  • its up to the general public, especially children, to be The Voice for dissent
  • And of course:

  • BUY MY BOOK

And, while I laughed really, really hard at the end of ‘Definitely Dead’, this one sentence from Kev is in the running for ‘Funniest Thing I have Read This Week’:

The best thing we can do, according to the scientific dogmatists, is marginalize dissenters as pseudoscientific idiots with improper motives, and dismiss them as crackpots for being so stupid as to dare challenge what every other qualified expert already knows and takes for granted.

OMG!! WHAT A REVELATION! LOOOOOOL!!!

Just so we are totally clear here–

HIV Deniers, Creationists, you are pseudoscientific idiots with improper motives. You are crackpots and fantastically stupid, completely unqualified to challenge experts in the fields you are dissenting from.
–ERV

Comments

  1. #1 Mike
    December 29, 2008

    Gotta love loons who define lunacy as exactly what they are. Almost takes the fun out of calling them loons.

    I guess I’ve been too focused on the DI IDiots to have paid much attention to the HIV denial stuff. Exactly what are they denying? Is this an evilution based denial or just that they think something else is going on in the face of overwhelming data pointing otherwise?

  2. #2 ERV
    December 29, 2008

    A non-exhaustive list of HIV Deniers (individual Deniers can be all 8, depending on their current audience):
    1. HIV does not exist. End of story.
    2. HIV does exist. It is harmless. (many ‘explanations’ of its harmlessness– PCR artifact, endogenous, etc)
    3. HIV does exist. It was created by humans. (many ‘explanations’– Created by Republicans, accidentally escaped research lab, created to kill black people, etc)
    4. AIDS does not exist. End of story.
    5. AIDS does exist. Not caused by HIV. (many ’causes’– poppers, malnutrition, anal sex, variety of diseases, etc).
    6. AIDS does exist. Caused by anti-retrovirals.
    7. Cure for AIDS is available. Being withheld from community. Cure is not anti-retrovirals.
    8. Cure for AIDS is available. Invented by homeopathists/Professional Deniers/etc

  3. #3 John Phillips, FCD
    December 29, 2008

    Abbie, to paraphrase your list:

    Just about anything that gets them attention and/or makes them money from those sad and/or desperate enough and/or stupid enough and/or ignorant enough to believe them.

  4. #4 James F
    December 29, 2008

    And no doubt, the ID community’s support for HIV denialism will have the same massive impact upon the scientific community as their views on evolution.

    Waterloo!!!!

  5. #5 The Chimp's Raging Id
    December 29, 2008

    God, I really don’t know how you put up with all teh stupid. I’m so glad I live somewhere IDiots have no real influence.

    *waits for WW to turn up spouting his usual BS*

  6. #6 LanceR, JSG
    December 29, 2008

    *waits for WW to turn up spouting his usual BS*

    Either WW has been completely shamed into withdrawing from this arena, or his mommy won’t let him use the computer on Christmas break. Maybe they’re at Gramma’s house, and can’t get online.

    Either way, SHHHH!

  7. #7 Paul Lundgren
    December 29, 2008

    Now that my ears have stopped ringing from that final sentence and my split sides have mended from the laughing fit…

    Good luck on those qualifying exams, kiddo! I hereby instruct you to ace ‘em!

  8. #8 Mike
    December 29, 2008

    ERV,
    Thanks for the list. I did a little googling to get smarter about this and found that a woman named Christine Maggiore basically killed her own child by denying her OWN HIV ststus and not protecting her daughter during pregnancy, birth or during breast feeding. That’s a whole new level of delusional. Yikes.

  9. #9 ERV
    December 29, 2008

    Mike– Search ScienceBlogs! Tara, Orac, and the Hoofnagel boys have written about these guys a lot, much longer than I have. Ive got a few things at my old blag too :)

  10. #10 Eric Saveau
    December 29, 2008

    Either WW has been completely shamed into withdrawing from this arena, or his mommy won’t let him use the computer on Christmas break.

    Judging by his most recent dribbling, I’d say he’s daydreaming about launching a fiendish plot against me that consists largely of cackling about his ability to type words into a search engine. Yawn.

  11. #11 Dr Benway
    December 30, 2008

    Leftovers in the fridge. You’re sick of the taste, but you don’t like to waste. Solution: casserole!

    Creationists + deniers, yes I’ve got those. I’ve also got chelationists in tupperware at the back. Seems like three taste sensations that should go well together.

  12. #12 Richard Wolford
    December 30, 2008

    You know, if they’re so certain that HIV is harmless, why not have themselves injected with HIV and prove their case? Rather simple, don’t you think?

  13. #13 AaronF
    December 30, 2008

    Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I didn’t realize that there were people who actually denied that HIV/AIDS exists and/or is harmless. I assume they are probably hanging out with all those anti-vaccinationists.

  14. #15 Josh
    December 30, 2008

    …which is often cited as one of the most important peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world, will most likely be forced to retract the falsified papers it published (so much for the claim that peer-reviewed papers in leading science journals are the invincible bulwark of scientific investigation).

    And of course Kevin spectacularly misses the f-ing point of how stupid it was to use the word falsify in that rant. If he actually understood anything about science, he would understand what falsify means with respect to science, and might (maybe…) similarly understand that Science should actually be hoping that a majority of the hypotheses they have published on in 19bloody84 would have been falisified by now–because falisifying hypotheses is how science progresses.

    Idiot.

    Worth of anything Kevin has to say about any science subject = ZERO

  15. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Next time I’m at the local dive bar (why go to a nice bar, really?) I’m going to get together a group of 40 of the regulars and demand that all research on the negative effects of alcohol on the human liver and brain be retracted because, well god damn it, it cramps our style.

  16. #17 C R S
    December 30, 2008

    I’m so glad the HIV deniers have spoken up at last and demanded the truth be told. I can now discontinue my protease inhibitors and live without the side effects.

    I’ll just ignore the fact my poz friends died before inhibitors were introduced while i live a (somewhat) normal life.

    What @$$holes.

  17. #18 minimalist
    December 30, 2008

    It’s like an old-school superhero teamup, except that the heroes in question are Spastic Flailing Man and the Single-Digit IQ Avenger.

  18. #19 Rrr
    December 30, 2008

    minimalist #18: “…the Single-Digit IQ Avenger.”

    HEY!! I relatively resemble that remark.

    My cousin, when he was admitted to college for studies in journalism, had to pass an IQ test and admitted that he got 130. His mother, who had undergone the same test, remarked as a funny thing that she had only performed at 129. Whereupon my uncle promptly cut in: I guess that means that I must have provided the difference.

    I have no idea what he meant, but it seemed funny at the time…

  19. #20 The Chimp's Raging Id
    December 30, 2008

    Maggiore has just died herself

    The eternally optimistic part of me hopes this is will be a wake up call the the rest of her denialist ilk but the realist in me suspects otherwise. They’ll probably think her death is part of some sort of huge conspiracy and carry on as before.

    I understand where evolution and AGW denialism come from and I understand how the anti-vaxxers came about, but HIV denialism I really don’t get. I’ve yet to meet an HIV denialist, probably because as a group, they really have a voice where I live (the UK).

  20. #21 BAllanJ
    December 30, 2008

    OMG, ERV !!!11!1!!11

    Great post… Love your style.

  21. #22 Stacy S.
    December 30, 2008

    It’s all very frustrating. I wish I could do something to help.:-(

  22. #23 Rich
    December 30, 2008

    Hola – Abby. I picked the closest creotard to where I live who signed the letter and had a google:

    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:QqIDcWsM4ZoJ:www.aidstruth.org/documents/AndrewManiotis.pdf+Andrew+Maniotis,+PhD,+University+of+Illinois&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    I wonder if others will find a similar history of TARD if they try?

  23. #24 Chris Noble
    December 30, 2008

    You know, if they’re so certain that HIV is harmless, why not have themselves injected with HIV and prove their case? Rather simple, don’t you think?

    Duesberg was asked to do this more than a decade ago. For some strange reason he was unwilling.

    That doesn’t matter there is a steady stream of people infected with HIV who are susceptible to the type of Denial that he preaches.

    Many of his followers have died from AIDS in the past but that hasn’t lead to Duesberg rethinking his dogma. If anything it has just strengthened his cognitive dissonance and made him less likely to ever admit to being wrong.

  24. #25 Brian
    December 30, 2008

    Schlafly (and his crack-smoking team of home schooled children)

    Fixed that for you.

  25. #26 Chris Noble
    December 30, 2008

    The HIV deniers also found another powerful ally in the 911 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

    Cranks of a feather flock together.

    The editorial staff at Science must be quaking in their shoes from such scientific luminaries as Robert Scott Bell, homeopathist and Baron von Wintzingerode.

  26. #27 Richard Wolford
    December 31, 2008

    Duesberg was asked to do this more than a decade ago. For some strange reason he was unwilling.

    That doesn’t matter there is a steady stream of people infected with HIV who are susceptible to the type of Denial that he preaches.

    Many of his followers have died from AIDS in the past but that hasn’t lead to Duesberg rethinking his dogma. If anything it has just strengthened his cognitive dissonance and made him less likely to ever admit to being wrong.

    You know, with the current power of the Intertubes, I think that such a challenge, if reoffered, with perhaps a cash prize for survival, could reach a much larger audience and really put the spotlight on the tard.

  27. #28 James F
    December 31, 2008

    I often wonder about the hierarchy of denialism, from the perspective of acceptance. It varies so much with region and community that it’s hard to pin down. I think it’s safe to say that by most metrics, however, HIV denialism is way down near the bottom of the ladder. If you move your region from the U.S. to South Africa, however, it jumps up several rungs above the anti-vax movement. Similarly, I think it’s safe to put AGW denialism near the top of the ladder, since mainstream media doesn’t seem to know what to do with it and it’s routinely dismissed as a hoax by Al Gore in many media outlets. Antievolution is closer to the center. From the perspective of the scientific community, of course, it is a miniscule fringe movement that has failed to produce a single piece of data in peer-reviewed scientific research papers, but generally speaking it has also failed to win over the media. As far as I know, you don’t see CNN or Fox polls asking “Is evolution a hoax?” Despite the split in American public opinion over evolution, acceptance is proportional to education. Editorial boards of newspapers in Florida rallied against the “academic freedom” bills in the legislature. Expelled was cut to ribbons by every major movie reviewer from Roger Ebert on down. Nevertheless, we still have things like Ken Ham’s museum, the Discovery Institute, and the Louisiana bill signed by Bobby Jindal, so the fight isn’t over.

  28. #29 SoaringSaurus
    December 31, 2008

    While we’re on the denialist hierarchies, how about a hierarchy of death and destruction?

    On that one, AIDS denialism is definitely for now on top of the sad heap. A few hundred thousand people in South Africa would be alive today if Peter Duesberg’s website hadn’t caught the eye of South Africa’s Mbeki. Not to mention Christine Maggiore, who Duesberg advised to stay away from meds, and Christine Maggiore’s toddler EJ, and only god knows how many other people.

    “Intelligent Design” as far as I know doesn’t kill anyone directly. You can do a Rube Goldberg thing where a local science teacher teaches the class ID and skips evolution and then a kid in the class doesn’t become a scientist and doesn’t make a wonder drug, but it’s a stretch. And anyway, how many scientists are there in the world, and how many wonder drugs?

    You can make a case for climate change denial I guess but it involves predicting the future, assuming that policies are being driven by denialists (I would say they’re being driven more by greed than denial), and hoping that anyone could reverse climate change at this point even if Al Gore became supreme dictator of the planet tomorrow.

    AIDS denialism kills people in a way that’s only a little less direct than a biological weapon.

  29. #30 Richard Wolford
    December 31, 2008

    AIDS denialism kills people in a way that’s only a little less direct than a biological weapon.

    I’m going to respectfully disagree; I understand your point completely (I think). You’re saying that right now, HIV denial is directly causing death. And, you’re right. However, ID and GW denial are really the same side of the coin, which also has HIV denial as well. It’s all pseudoscience, lack of critical thinking, and general quackery; people believe that their opinion somehow trumps evidence.

    While you are correct in that denying HIV is causing more direct deaths, what you’re really seeing is how pseudo scientific beliefs cause damage. Sure, ID doesn’t directly kill people right now, but the type of thinking which surrounds ID can, and has, caused death. That’s why we have to fight this on all fronts, not just on the ones that are causing death now. Teaching ID poisons our future generations, HIV denial kills the current generation. Make any sense?

  30. #31 BaldApe
    December 31, 2008

    Aw, c’mon. You know these things are controversial.

    “Controversial” means that for every one person who knows what the frak they’re talking about, there are a million baboons who don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground who disagree, but get equal time in the press.

    As for “intelligent” design not killing anyone, there was a heart surgeon some years back who transplanted baboon hearts into human patients. Of course they died. When asked how he justified this course of action, given the fact that the last common ancestor of humans and baboons lived some 50 million years ago, he responded that he really couldn’t answer that question because he didn’t “believe in” evolution.

    If you are inclined to assert that there is a difference between “intelligent” design and creationism, I can only refer you here.

  31. #32 SoaringSaurus
    January 1, 2009

    I don’t disagree. I just think the difference between Peter Duesberg and Dembski is the difference between a really bad doctor and a really bad schoolteacher: the doctor’s mistake can kill someone directly, but the schoolteacher’s mistake by itselflikely won’t kill anyone today or tomorrow or even fifty years from now.

    Richard Wolford is right: “the type of thinking which surrounds ID can, and has, caused death.” ID is not a cause, it is a consequence. ID itself does not kill. Only an idiot would transplant a baboon organ into a human without regard for immunology, then use some vague “disbelief” in evolution as an excuse. Instead, it’s stupidity and intransigent thinking (fundamentalism, an unwillingness to question dogma) that cause belief in ID and so many stupid moves by baboon doctors and AIDS denialists alike.

    Look at (just one of many recent examples) religious strife in India: Muslims kill Hindus; Hindus kill Muslims; both kill Christians. All of these communities believe in some form of creationism. But they don’t kill each other because of their creationist beliefs. They kill each other because they are humans who like human communities have always done are trying to advance their own interests and destroy their competition. The creationist beliefs don’t cause a damn thing; they just arise from the same tragic flaws or whatever you wish to call them that predispose us to genocide.

    It’s impossible to eradicate human stupidity. You can watch for it and try to stop its most lethal manifestations, though, like Obama’s transition team is hoping to do with a new anti-genocide team and like Abbie and others do by actively opposing AIDS denialism.

  32. #33 montag
    January 2, 2009

    There is a definite difference between Creationism and Intelligent Design.

    ID actually allows for the existence of more than one divine being. Its proponents are so isolated in their own dream world, they are not aware – so it seems – of their idolatry.

    It is not just anti-science, it is a return to paganism entirely consistent with the political neo-conservative outlook of the past 25 years.

  33. #34 Matt Heath
    January 2, 2009

    It is not just anti-science, it is a return to paganism entirely consistent with the political neo-conservative outlook of the past 25 years.

    Ahh.. yes, because the aggressive, nationalistic politics that mark out the neocons are, of course, much more consistent with paganism than with the Abrahamaic monotheism. That’s why the majority of the world is dominated by polytheistic religions that were forced upon it by conquering empires.

    Oh wait. It’s actually the opposite. Most of the peoples of the world were converted either to Christianity or Islam by violent invaders. My mistake.

  34. #35 Tony
    January 2, 2009

    Yes, because whenever i post a blog and i want someone to agree with me, i compare what i’m talking about to something else everyone already has an opinion on.

    Sorry, author… whether or not evolution is true, has NOTHING to do with whether or not hiv brings on aids.

    Anyone who read the above blog and was convinced of something based on correlation, is the buffoon.

  35. #36 alufelgi szczecin
    January 2, 2009

    In my opinion the largest threat for California are cataclysms and ecological catastrophes. Not important is how many money we have because one tragedy can us take all.

  36. #37 Amadan
    January 2, 2009

    As nobody else said it (or because I’m, like, a day late), Happy New Year Abbie!

    (And to keep this OT: creationists are poopieheads)

  37. #38 Tyler DiPietro
    January 2, 2009

    “Sorry, author… whether or not evolution is true, has NOTHING to do with whether or not hiv brings on aids. “

    Lurk moar newfag.

  38. #39 Hume's Ghost
    January 2, 2009

    “Creationist of Conservapedia wrote PNAS demanding raw data, reagents, etc from Richard Lenski? And if Lenski refused to deliver that stuff to Schlafly (and his crack team of home schooled children) for ‘peer review’, then PNAS should retract the paper and Evilution is a Lie?”

    It might also be worth emphasizing that this -demanding raw data in order to perform a doctored analysis to reach a pre-determined conclusion – is a widespread and common ant-science tactic of industry and pioneered to great effect (highly detrimental to public health) by Big Tobacco.

    David Michaels demonstrated this extensively in Doubt Is their Product.

  39. #40 montag
    January 3, 2009

    Re: #34

    Mr. Heath,
    We use the term “paganism” perjoratively. Neoconservative ideology has, by it own words and actions, shown its intention to impose its domination on the world. It was interrupted in this by the ironic reversal of circumstances of shooting itself in its financial foot.
    Furthermore, comment #34 indicates a belief in the “cable-tv-jihad-rant” school of religious diffusion. The notion that Christianity, for example, was violently imposed the majority of its converts is patent nonsense.

  40. #41 Matt Heath
    January 3, 2009

    We use the term “paganism” perjoratively.

    Then you are needlessly insulting pagans (a term traditionally including all non-Abrahamaists). It’s the equivalent like using “fag” as a general-purpose insult.

    Furthermore, comment #34 indicates a belief in the “cable-tv-jihad-rant” school of religious diffusion. The notion that Christianity, for example, was violently imposed the majority of its converts is patent nonsense.

    Note that I didn’t actually say Christianity (or Islam) had been violently imposed on the majority of its converts. I said “Most of the peoples of the world were converted either to Christianity or Islam by violent invaders.” Note “peoples” rather than “people”.

    I don’t doubt most of the individual people simply fell in line with these new ruling ideologies. A large number may even have been honestly convinced of the truth of them. It is still the case that the various tribes and nations of the world converted to these religions soon after they made contact with proselytisers who happened to be backed by imperial armies – in Europe after Constantine, in Latin America under the Conquistadores, throughout the the original Islamic Empire and it’s various offshoots and successors. More importantly spreading these theist ideologies was a large part of the stated aim of many of the various empires that did so.

    These two related ideologies have been behind most of the “intention to impose … domination on the world,” in the last few centuries. If you insist on wrenching terms out of their common usage to use as general abuse, “Abrahamaist” or “Christian” or “Muslim” would be much more fitting insults to use on the neocons than “pagan”.

  41. #42 William Wallace
    January 4, 2009

    If you use fighting words, you should expect a fight, idiot. What did you expect, that I’d take care of your slander through the courts?

    Freaking wuss.

  42. #43 William Wallace
    January 5, 2009

    You know, if they’re so certain that HIV is harmless, why not have themselves injected with HIV and prove their case? Rather simple, don’t you think?

    “You know, if you think thimerosal is so harmless, why don’t you get a body weight proportional injection of thimerosal?”

    Of course, such challenges are always declined.

    NOTE: Based on what I know, HIV causes AIDS, so don’t lump me in with the HIV denier crowd.

  43. #44 Eric Saveau
    January 5, 2009

    Oh, look; Wally’s back, and still completely ignorant.

    *smack smack smack*

  44. #45 windy
    January 5, 2009

    Of course, such challenges are always declined.

    What’s the point of your moronic “challenge” when most people here have had thimerosal-containing vaccines already? Doesn’t a flu or tetanus shot count?

  45. #46 Eric Saveau
    January 5, 2009

    Doesn’t a flu or tetanus shot count?

    Or the MMR vaccine back in the day, or the polio vaccine… Yeah, I started getting regular vaccinations back in the sixties. My son started getting them when he was born in ’87. If Wally was something other than a brainless dickless blowhard he would have thought of the vast body of people who’ve been doing precisely what he posited for generations now, and therefore realized that even as throwaway snark his comment was a pitiful failure. Then again, that’s our Wally…

  46. #47 Jim
    January 6, 2009

    “You know, if they’re so certain that HIV is harmless, why not have themselves injected with HIV and prove their case? Rather simple, don’t you think?”

    As mentioned the challenge was given and rejected. I believe the reasoning had something to do with HIV hasn’t been reliably purified and concentrated and therefore we can’t be sure if it’s HIV or some “contaminant” in the culture that causes AIDS.

    Some of them use the same excuse to deny that HIV causes AIDS.

  47. #48 eddie
    January 6, 2009

    (I tried to comment on Aetiology’s Maggiore thread but it or my browser is not playing)

    Wow!

    A many headed hydra of arsemuppets all disagreeing with itself.
    Then flu denialism!?

    You almost made me want to go and apologise to heddle.
    *boak*

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