Respectful Insolence

Pity poor Peter Duesberg.

Back in the 1980s, he was on the top of the world, scientifically speaking. A brilliant virologist with an impressive record of accomplishment, publication, and funding, he seemed to be on a short track to an eventual Nobel Prize. Then something happened. The AIDS epidemic happened. Something about the AIDS epidemic led this excellent scientist in the late 1980s to fall directly into pseudoscience and crankery by latching onto and promoting the idea that HIV does not cause AIDS. Of course, at the time scientists didn’t yet know a lot about the virus and how it slowly destroyed the immune system. There was a lot of room for new knowledge. It might have been possible that something other than HIV was contributing to the development of AIDS. However, science and evidence accumulated. More importantly, in the 1990s, new antiretroviral drugs were developed. The success at prolonging the lives of HIV patients of drug cocktails designed to target HIV by different mechanisms and thus forestall the development of resistance represented the final evidence that HIV definitely caused AIDS. Scientists’ understanding of the virus had led for the first time to effective therapies–and in record time, a mere decade A deadly disease became a chronically manageable one.

None of this mattered to HIV/AIDS denialists. They continued to believe that it couldn’t possibly by HIV that cause the slow destruction of the immune system suffered by AIDS patients. They continued to insist that it must be some combination of pills, diseases spread by promiscuous sex, or other vague, unnamed factors. And Peter Duesberg was right there among them, destroying his own scientific career in the process. Oh, sure, he’s recently tried to resurrect it by pushing an interesting “everything old is new again” hypothesis for cancer causation, but even doing that he’s behaved like a crank by branding his hypothesis The One True Cause of Cancer and castigating other scientists for not immediately appreciating his brilliance.

About a week ago, for some reason that still escapes me, a whim took me and I decided to see what Duesberg was up to, scientifically speaking. So I did a quick PubMed on Peter Duesberg’s name, and I came across this abstract for a Medical Hypothesis article by Duesberg. My first reaction was to think was that Duesberg has really come down in the world if he’s actually publishing in Medical Hypotheses these days. My second reaction was laughter, and lots of it. Read the abstract and you will see why:

WITHDRAWN: HIV-AIDS hypothesis out of touch with South African AIDS – A new perspective.

Duesberg PH, Nicholson JM, Rasnick D, Fiala C, Bauer HH.
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Donner Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

This Article-in-Press has been withdrawn pending the results of an investigation. The editorial policy of Medical Hypotheses makes it clear that the journal considers “radical, speculative, and non-mainstream scientific ideas”, and articles will only be acceptable if they are “coherent and clearly expressed.” However, we have received serious expressions of concern about the quality of this article, which contains highly controversial opinions about the causes of AIDS, opinions that could potentially be damaging to global public health. Concern has also been expressed that the article contains potentially libelous material. Given these important signals of concern, we judge it correct to investigate the circumstances in which this article came to be published online. When the investigation and review have been completed we will issue a further statement. Until that time, the article has been removed from all Elsevier databases. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy.

Oh. My. God. Does it get any lower than having your article withdrawn by Medical Hypotheses?

Medical Hypotheses? The same crank journal that’s published utter pseudoscientific speculation by Mark Blaxill claiming that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism and similarly pseudoscientific idiocy by Mark and David Geier? The same journal that will publish virtually anything. It isn’t even a properly peer-reviewed journal

And Duesberg’s stuff was too crappy even for Medical Hypotheses.

He.

Hehehehehehe.

Hehehehehehahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Excuse me. I couldn’t help myself.

So what was the article that was so bad that even Medical Hypotheses decided to withdraw it? Leave it to an a website like this to explain it:

HIV-AIDS hypothesis out of touch with South African AIDS – A new perspective.

Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jul 18;

Authors: Duesberg PH, Nicholson JM, Rasnick D, Fiala C, Bauer HH

A recent study by Chigwedere et al., “Estimating the lost benefits of antiretroviral drug use in South Africa”, claims that during the period from 2000 to 2005 about 330,000 South African AIDS-deaths were caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) per year that could have been prevented by available anti-HIV drugs. The study blamed those who question the hypothesis that HIV is the cause of AIDS, particularly former South African President Thabo Mbeki and one of us, for not preventing these deaths by anti-HIV treatments such as the DNA chain-terminator AZT and the HIV DNA inhibitor Nevirapine. Here we ask, (1) What evidence exists for the huge losses of South African lives from HIV claimed by the Chigwedere study? (2) What evidence exists that South Africans would have benefited from anti-HIV drugs? We found that vital statistics from South Africa reported only 1 “HIV-death” per 1000 HIV antibody-positives per year (or 12,000 per 12 million HIV antibody-positives) between 2000 and 2005, whereas Chigwedere et al. estimated losses of around 330,000 lives from HIV per year. Moreover, the US Census Bureau and South Africa reported that the South African population had increased by 3 million during the period from 2000 to 2005 instead of suffering losses, growing from 44.5 to 47.5 million, even though 25% to 30% were positive for antibodies against HIV. A similar discrepancy was found between claims for a reportedly devastating HIV epidemic in Uganda and a simultaneous massive growth of the Ugandan population. Likewise, the total Sub-Saharan population doubled from 400 millions in 1980 to 800 millions in 2007 during the African HIV epidemics. We conclude that the claims that HIV has caused huge losses of African lives are unconfirmed and that HIV is not sufficient or even necessary to cause the previously known diseases, now called AIDS in the presence of antibody against HIV. Further we call into question the claim that HIV antibody-positives would benefit from anti-HIV drugs, because these drugs are inevitably toxic and because there is as yet no proof that HIV causes AIDS.
PMID: 19619953 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

I was curious why this particular manuscript would have been withdrawn from Medical Hypotheses, given that it expresses the usual nonsensical “scientific opinions” that HIV isn’t enough to cause AIDS, that HIV doesn’t kill as many in Africa as estimated, and that anti-HIV drugs don’t work. Yada yada, same ol’, same ol’. What changed between the time that Medical Hypotheses (MH) accepted this article and decided to withdraw it? After all, MH has accepted and published all sorts of crap, from anti-vaccine pseudoscience to HIV/AIDS denialism, to all manner of crankery, including articles advocating masturbation as a treatment for nasal congestion and a horrible paper on “mongoloids.” It’s even published papers speculating that high heeled shoes are associated with schizophrenia. (Where was the Goddess when this happened?) Why would this one article be worse? Quite frankly, I was puzzled. at the time. Perhaps that’s why, after I first noticed this withdrawn MH paper a week ago and had meant to blog about it then, I let other things distract me and then totally forgot about it.

Until I saw Ben Goldacre’s column over the weekend entitled Medical Hypotheses fails the Aids test, which in turn led me to this detailed explanation on AIDSTruth.org entitled Elsevier retracts Duesberg’s AIDS Denialist article. After that, it all became clear. Basically, the slapdown administered to Duesberg and other HIV/AIDS denialists had its genesis in a study by Pride Chigwedere and coinvestigators at Harvard University, who estimated that delays in providing antiretroviral drugs in South Africa because of state-supported AIDS denialism (in which Duesberg played a prominent role in promoting) had caused over 300,000 deaths. In fact, the article mentioned Duesberg’s role in promoting HIV/AIDS denialism in South Africa. This is what happened:

AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg, whose influence on the disastrous South African government policies was mentioned in Chigwedere’s article, submitted a response to JAIDS that was co-authored by four others including Rasnick. After this article was rejected because of its poor academic quality, Duesberg et al. submitted it to a different journal, Medical Hypotheses. Two days later, the editor accepted the paper. Medical Hypotheses does not practice peer review, a process in which several scientists check a submitted academic paper for quality and suggest needed improvements over a period of weeks or months. The Duesberg et al. paper was accepted without such a review process, after inspection only by the editor of Medical Hypotheses.

Where have we seen this before? Articles rejected by real journals somehow have a way of finding their way into Medical Hypotheses? I’ve even witnessed it happen once, when a very cranky article was sent to me to be reviewed. I trashed it because it was so very, very bad that I had no choice. In essence it was nothing more than one long ad hominem attack with virtually no science or evidence. Guess what? About a year later, I saw a shorter version of the article, ironically cleaned up a bit of its worse offenses (maybe I did have an effect, after all), in–where else?–Medical Hypotheses. Duesberg was particularly crass, too, writing in the article:

A precursor of this paper was rejected by the Journal of AIDS, which published the Chigwedere et al. article, with political and ad hominem arguments but without offering even one reference for an incorrect number or statement of our paper (available on request).

Apparently I missed it, but HIV/AIDS denialists were crowing about this, just as anti-vaccinationists crowed about papers by Blaxill and Mark Geier making it into Medical Hypotheses and held them up as “evidence” that their ideas were making it into mainstream scientific journals, laboring under the delusion that this is a peer-reviewed journal or outright misrepresenting it as such.

Be that as it may, what this incident led me to was a long overdue effort by scientists to do something that should have been done a long time ago. For some reason that has always eluded me, ever since I first discovered the land of woo that is Medical Hypotheses, this journal is indexed with MEDLINE and shows up on PubMed searches. It goes against a lot of what MEDLINE claims to be its standards for indexing a journal or even the very functions of MEDLINE. Based on the co-optation of Medical Hypotheses by HIV/AIDS denialists to their cause, a number of academics, authors, and researchers have written a letter to Donald A. B. Lindberg, M.D. Director, National Library of Medicine Betsy L. Humphreys Deputy Director, National Library of Medicine Sheldon Kotzin Associate Director, Library Operations Library Selection Technical Review Committee calling for Medical Hypotheses to be delisted from MEDLINE, concluding:

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the journal Medical Hypotheses be reviewed for MEDLINE deselection at the earliest convenience of the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee. Medical Hypotheses does not appear to meet the standards for MEDLINE listing as established by the National Library of Medicine, and recent publications in the journal are inconsistent with the stated missions of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

According to the AIDSTruth.org website, he NLM responded that it would review the journal in October of 2009.

My thought upon reading this is: What took them so long? My other thought was this; If one of the reasons Elsevier removed Duesberg’s article and another article by an HIV/AIDS denialist was because they potentially “endangered public health,” why the hell hasn’t Medical Hypotheses been called out in the same way for publishing anti-vaccine articles. The Blaxill article, whose coauthors included founders of the anti-vaccine group SAFEMINDS, and the Geier article both became tools of the anti-vaccine movement in their propaganda war to convince the world that vaccines cause autism. The were arguably just as much “threats to public health” as either of these articles by HIV/AIDS denialists.

The problem with Medical Hypotheses, of course, is that it is a crank journal masquerading as a real, peer-reviewed journal. Indeed, cranks of all stripes take advantage of the confusion and lack of understanding most non-scientists have over what does and does not constitute a peer-reviewed journal to represent articles in Medical Hypotheses as though they come from a reputable scientific source. “Look!” they proclaim, “science really is taking us seriously!” Even some scientists get taken in, because many scientists and physicians are unaware that this isn’t a peer-reviewed journal, mainly because it’s indexed in MEDLINE. Indeed, its editor, Bruce G. Charlton, showed up in the comments of Bad Science to proclaim:

As the editor I am ‘agnostic’ about the truth or correctness of the papers chosen for publication in Medical Hypotheses, so I make no comment on that aspect of the AIDS papers.

Instead I aim to decide what ought to be published according to the criteria applied by Medical Hypotheses – which can be seen here – http://www.elsevier.com/locate/mehy .
Clearly these two AIDS papers ought to have been published by the journal’s evaluation criteria, and the reaction since they were accepted shows exactly why it was right that they were accepted to be published.

Instead of working within the scientific process, for example by submitting a reasoned rebuttal to Medical Hypotheses of the kind which we always publish, the authors who are trying to destroy Medical Hypotheses wrote to the _publisher_ of the journal and succeeded in getting these papers suppressed and deleted from the records.

These authors then wrote to try and de-list Medical Hypotheses from Medline, an act that would exclude the journal from the mainstream scientific communication network in which – at present – it plays a significant role (significant, that is, according to objective data on impact factor, citations and downloads).

Cry me a river. You made your bed. Now lie in it.

Mr. Charlton’s statement, gentle reader, is better evidence than I could ever give to explain why Medical Hypotheses has no part being listed on MEDLINE. I have no problem with a magazine or journal that publishes speculative science, however irresponsible. There should be a role for such a journal, where scientists and physicians can let their minds wander and see what comes of it. What I do have a problem with is that journal’s editor thinking it has some sort of right to be listed in MEDLINE, abusing that listing to publish irresponsible articles by HIV/AIDS denialists, and then crying persecution when his irresponsible publication policies lead to calls to delist his journal from MEDLINE. Indeed, Charlton’s response tells me that he relies on the patina of respectability that his MEDLINE listing provides as part of the marketing of his journal. Worse, the only time he appears to try to disabuse anyone of the notion that Medical Hypotheses is a peer-reviewed journal is by occasionally showing up in the comments of a critical blog post like this to opine that, really, you shouldn’t take this stuff so seriously because it’s all highly speculative, and, oh, it’s “editorially reviewed” rather than peer-reviewed–which, he promises, is really, truly just as good.

I wonder if they need any more signatories to the letter. Or maybe those of us who regularly combat the anti-vaccine movement should draft a letter of my own before the NLM reconsiders the status of Medical Hypotheses in October. I’d say we should go after JPANDS next, but it’s never been listed by MEDLINE. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the spectacle of the arch-HIV/AIDS denialist being thoroughly slapped down by, of all things, Elsevier, which hasn’t exactly been a paragon of responsibility before. Truly, when your work in Medical Hypotheses is so bad that even Elsevier feels obligated to slap you down, all that’s left is Whale.to.

Comments

  1. #1 Greg
    September 15, 2009

    I was stopped by this story because Dr. Duesberg’s daughter was my old housemate around 10 years ago. It had come up in conversation that her father was a well known scientist with a controversial take on HIV/AIDS, which I gathered was not an opinion she shared. I didn’t know until now how “controversial” he was…

    In any case she is a family doctor now, apparently pretty good one too, and nice person. So if you meet her don’t hold her father against her.

  2. #2 Seth Kalichman
    September 15, 2009

    Great post!
    To show how any competent, or even incompetent, peer review would have revealed that Duesberg’s paper was crap, I conducted a simulated blind review of the paper. Three reviews from experts in AIDS who were not aware of the Medical Hypotheses blunder and who are not attentive to AIDS Denialism immediately saw it for what it is. The publisher Elsevier should either can the current anti-peer review Editor, Bruce Charlton, or just dump the journal.
    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com

  3. #3 gimpy
    September 15, 2009

    As a postscript, you may be interested in the editor of Medical Hypotheses comments on the newspaper version of Ben Goldacre’s article. He posts as BruceGCharlton.

  4. #4 daedalus2u
    September 15, 2009

    Not a surprise that Mr. Charlton wants a scientific dispute to be played out on the pages of his magazine where they charge a fee to get something published.

  5. #6 Catherina
    September 15, 2009

    I met Peter Duesberg 20 years ago (with daughter Sibylle) at a FEBS Summer School. He was all beaming about the fact that he had just been paid a fair amount of money to appear on Italian TV to say that HIV does not cause AIDS, but drugs and homosexual “life style” does. It is very dissappointing that someone who clearly had the capacity to do outstanding science has gone off the rocker (and developed so little over the course of two decades).

    Speaking of Duesberg – have you all gotten promotion emails for Eppendorf’s new Multipette XStream Kary Mullis Limited Edition – only 1,000 available worldwide (including testimonial)? I have already alerted one rep that this may have not been the best of marketing ideas…

  6. #7 Pieter B
    September 15, 2009

    I always wanted someone to ask Duesberg how his “lifestyle” hypothesis explained infantile and pediatric AIDS.

  7. #8 Bruce G Charlton
    September 15, 2009

    Medical Hypotheses is just about the only journal which really does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ – i.e. the journal’s title, its mission statement, the Aims and Scope, my editorials –

    http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/623059/description#description

    are all (and have been for more than 30 years) absolutely open and explicit that the journal is editorially reviewed and not peer reviewed, and explain why this is so, and how this serves a useful role in science.

    Judging by _objective_ results, Medical Hypotheses plays a modest but significant role in medical science – decent Impact Factor of 1.4; unusually high internet downloads of half a million per year (about the same as Journal of Theoretical Biology).

    However, there is here a refusal to judge by results, and instead judge by procedure.

    I have been attacked for given a quick decision on papers – as if this was a bad thing! But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the recipe…

    And if pseudonymous bloggers of the stature of “Orac” don’t like Medical Hypotheses’ policies, then others of much greater substantive achievement do like the journal, and actually consent to be publicly linked with it:

    for example current editorial advisory board members include: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arvid_Carlsson ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Calne ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Damasio ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilayanur_S._Ramachandran

    Past members of the board have included: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_W._Black

    The MeHy Horrobin Prize for 2008 was awarded by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Weatherall

    Live and let live.

  8. #9 Catherina
    September 15, 2009

    Pieter,

    we did that and he said that this would only appear in Africa and that this wasn’t really HIV related, but “poverty” related, because so many symptoms would be “automatically” called AIDS if the HIV test came out positive, where really with clean water and food blablabla…

  9. #10 Todd W.
    September 15, 2009

    @Catherina

    Sounds like the germ theory denialists. All that’s needed is a clean environment, then diseases don’t happen at all!

  10. #11 Scott
    September 15, 2009

    My thought upon reading this is: What took them so long? My other thought was this; If one of the reasons Elsevier removed Duesberg’s article and another article by an HIV/AIDS denialist was because they potentially “endangered public health,” why the hell hasn’t Medical Hypotheses been called out in the same way for publishing anti-vaccine articles. The Blaxill article, whose coauthors included founders of the anti-vaccine group SAFEMINDS, and the Geier article both became tools of the anti-vaccine movement in their propaganda war to convince the world that vaccines cause autism. The were arguably just as much “threats to public health” as either of these articles by HIV/AIDS denialists.

    I suspect that the reason is that it really didn’t have much of anything to do with the threat to public health. Most likely this was the real reason, and the public health angle was just pious window dressing to make them look less crass:

    Concern has also been expressed that the article contains potentially libelous material.

    IOW, they concluded that they’d be sued if they published it.

  11. #12 cooler
    September 15, 2009

    Duesberg’s main claim is that the HIV hypothesis was invented at a press conference in 1984 and that there was no evidence to approve the dangerous drug AZT in 1987.

    Can someone please describe the experiments that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987? Please don’t spam a URL, it would get you laughed out of a classroom or courtroom.

  12. #13 Keidi
    September 15, 2009

    This was quite the impassioned hit piece. As someone who has explored this subject from the late 1980′s, switched sides and joined with the dissenting camp by 1993, and has subsequently conducted one of the largest collections of media interviews on the various theories related to HIV/AIDS, I think you should engage in direct debate with those dissenters whom you mentioned; this to include the Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, Dr. Duesberg, Dr. Roberto Giraldi or a number of others whose scientific credentials far exceed your own.

    Just like the Great Lie that caused the Obama administration to pull out of the Geneva convention to review the outcome of the 2001 Durban Conference Against Racism, you are exercising the philosophy that the bigger the force to oppose, the bigger the lie that is your foundation of ideological expression.

    When it comes down to straight medical and biological logic, there is tremendous reason to dissent from Western medicine when it comes to HIV, infectious epidemics, STD’s, Africans and the AIDS Establishment.

    I read your blog carefully. You said nothing to convince me out of my commitment to expose The Great AIDS Hoax!

    Be honest. Engage in one-on-one public-witnessed debate with those whom you slander. Either debate them or continue to cower in your closet with your sponsors and sycophants. Not all of us are impressed.

  13. #14 cooler
    September 15, 2009

    Orac Misrepresents Duesberg’s claims. He fails to mention that Duesberg feels that the chemotherapy AZT killed most of the AIDS patients, 90% of the AIDS deaths came after AZT was approved. Duesberg claims before AZT it was the enormous amount of poppers/drug use in the gay fastrack lifestyle.

    Duesberg became skeptical when they extended the window period from 10 months to 10 years, the lack of animal model etc. Anyways you can prove Duesberg wrong by describing the papers that prove HIV was fatal that justified AZT’s release in March of 1987. No spamming websites, would get you laughed out of a classroom.

  14. #15 felixmab
    September 15, 2009

    atheists caused 911 – treat them accordingly

    you have forfeit your life

    http://www.sotoman.info/freethinking/index.php?topic=1198.0

  15. #16 Bruce G Charlton
    September 15, 2009

    [I am the editor of Medical Hypotheses - Apparently this comment did not get-through the first time I submitted it]

    Medical Hypotheses is just about the only journal which really does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ – i.e. the journal’s title, its mission statement, the Aims and Scope, my editorials –

    http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/623059/description#description

    are all (and have been for more than 30 years) absolutely open and explicit that the journal is editorially reviewed and not peer reviewed, and explain why this is so, and how this serves a useful role in science.

    Judging by _objective_ results, Medical Hypotheses plays a modest but significant role in medical science – decent Impact Factor of 1.4; unusually high internet downloads of half a million per year (about the same as Journal of Theoretical Biology).

    However, there is here a refusal to judge by results, and instead judge by procedure.

    I have been attacked for given a quick decision on papers – as if this was a bad thing! But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the recipe…

    And if pseudonymous bloggers of the stature of Orac don’t like the journal’s policies, then others of much greater substantive achievement do like the journal, and actually consent to be publicly linked with it: for example current editorial advisory board members include:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arvid_Carlsson ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Calne ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Damasio ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilayanur_S._Ramachandran

    Past members of the board have included: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_W._Black .

    The MeHy Horrobin Prize for 2008 was awarded by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Weatherall

    Live and let live.

  16. #17 Todd W.
    September 15, 2009

    @cooler

    You are forgetting to mention some things, too. AZT was demanded by the HIV/AIDS community. Lots of pressure was put on not only the drug companies, but also on FDA to approve a drug double-time. Once the drug was approved, risks that were not able to be detected in the clinical trials, due to the fast pace, became apparent. Subsequently, everyone decided to pull back a little and take a more rational, even-headed approach to identifying pharmaceutical treatments for HIV/AIDS.

  17. #18 Joseph C.
    September 15, 2009

    Todd,

    The icy troll isn’t worth it. He just wants that attention his parents never gave him and will crawl back under his rock if ignored.

  18. #19 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Todd, cooler is a long time troll (I’ve seen threads where the information you provided has been repeated dozens of times, and ignored). I would caution against replying to those who just want to stir the pot, especially to the guy who is spamming many blogs with his odd idea of what caused 9-11.

    Fortunately, they tend to go away if you ignore them.

  19. #20 Sid Offit
    September 15, 2009

    @Orac

    Data supporting Chigwedere’s 330,000 deaths, rather than a screed directed at MH, would be appreciated. Establishment sources such as the WHO and CDC are notorious for supporting wild and unsubstantiated claims surrounding HIV, global warmin’, obesity and influenza. Scrutiny should be therefore welcomed and evaluated based on merits rather than a desire to protect the staus quo ie. “public health”

    Maybe that’s why no one wants to study autism and vaccines. Wouldn’t want to scare the people. Wouldn’t want to hurt the program

  20. #21 Todd W.
    September 15, 2009

    @Joseph C. and Chris

    I figured as much, and seemed to remember similarly style posts from cooler in other threads, but decided to post anyway. Not so much for cooler, but for others who might be reading and not know about the history.

  21. #22 cooler
    September 15, 2009

    @chris
    Thank you for not explaining the crucial studies on HIV that Justified AZT’s release in 1987. I love it how my questions put so much fear that people conjure up every excuse not to answer them! No wonder everybody that defends HIV are terrified to debate Peter Duesberg! All they can do is spam a website, something that would flunk you out of a high school class!

    @joseph C newton most probably seth kalichman
    Lol you are such a troll, you told me on a blog once that I couldn’t get any sex and I should bareback micheal (pretty hostile coming from a psychologist, somebody has a temper problem)

    Well big fat baldy isn’t that ironic coming from you! Keep in Mind that where ever Seth Posts, soon after a post comes from a fake ex denialist that got sick believeing Duesberg. I think this is Seth creating fake posts whether its Robert c or Sergio…………..what a barell of laughs!

  22. #23 Sid Offit
    September 15, 2009

    @cooler
    ————————-
    Can someone please describe the experiments that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987? Please don’t spam a URL, it would get you laughed out of a classroom or courtroom.
    ————————-
    It’s telling that, rather than supporting their assertions, Joe C, Chris and Todd have turned into quiet little mice hoping you’ll just go away so they can return to their comfortable little fantasy worlds

  23. #24 qetzal
    September 15, 2009

    @Sid Offit,

    If no one wants to study autism and vaccines, why are there 512 publications in PubMed that contain the words “autism” and “vaccine” (or their variants)? 142 of those publications include both words in the title. (Search query: autis* AND (vaccine* OR vaccinat*).)

    Were all those people forced to study autism and vaccines against their will?

    P.S. Why would you expect Orac to provide data to support Chigwedere’s figures? Isn’t that what Chigwedere’s paper is for?

  24. #25 Sid Offit
    September 15, 2009

    @qetzal

    I didn’t say I expected Orac to support Chigwedere’s figures. I said I would have appreciated it. There’s a difference. I would appreciate it if you’d reveal a few of the autism studies about which you refer, I mean the ones not focusing on thimerisol and MMR

  25. #26 Todd W.
    September 15, 2009

    @Sid Offit

    I’d appreciate it if you’d reveal a few autism studies that show there is any kind of causal connection to vaccines. I mean the ones not focusing on thimerosal and MMR (since those have already been done).

  26. #27 Sid Offit
    September 15, 2009

    @Tood W

    We discussed circular logic during my last lesson. No “scientific evidence” because no studies have been done because there is no scientific evidence to support doing a study.

    —————-

    @quetzal
    ——————-
    Why would you expect Orac to provide data to support Chigwedere’s figures? Isn’t that what Chigwedere’s paper is for?
    ——————-
    Just looked at summary of the paper. Looks like he used the same witchcraft with which the CDC conjures flu death stats

  27. #28 Scott
    September 15, 2009

    I would appreciate it if you’d reveal a few of the autism studies about which you refer, I mean the ones not focusing on thimerisol and MMR

    You mean like telling you the precise search query to run to get the results he referenced? This is possibly the stupidest statement you’ve ever made, and that takes a lot of doing.

  28. #29 bob
    September 15, 2009

    Hmmm … where on earth do you think a link to this entry got posted? The crazy is stronger than usual in these comments. I can’t imagine what sort of blogs someone like “felixmab” frequents. You’d probably find a more receptive audience there, cooler and Sid Offit.

  29. #30 Todd W.
    September 15, 2009

    @Sid Offit

    @Tood W

    We discussed circular logic during my last lesson. No “scientific evidence” because no studies have been done because there is no scientific evidence plausible scientific reason remaining to support doing a study.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

  30. #31 Dave Ruddell
    September 15, 2009

    Orac, I was going to ask you if you read Seth Kalichman’s blog (where I had read about this last week), but he was good enough to come by and comment. It’s gonna be a fun time if we get the AIDS denialists in here again!

  31. #32 Trin Tragula
    September 15, 2009

    cooler: No spamming websites, would get you laughed out of a classroom.

    If you were in a courtroom, you would be able to cite existing legal precedent. Similarly, in a classroom, you would be able to cite material that had been previously published. So what you are really saying is “I am too lazy/stupid/pompous to follow a link, so I insist that an old argument be repeated exclusively for me.”

  32. #33 Pablo
    September 15, 2009

    So I wonder, if you give a link to an on-line version of an article, will that make cooler’s head explode?

  33. #34 cooler
    September 15, 2009

    Lol @ trin.
    You should become a lawyer, and when the judge asks you for the specific evidence that your client is not guilty, just tell the judge and jury to go to myclientisnotguilty.com instead of describing specific evidence!

    Or better yet when your English teacher asks you to write a report on Why Shakespeare was so influential, just give her a url and not a report! You’d get an F in high school English!

    Real academics summarize what they beleive and the evidence they read to back it up, they don’t spam websites. Damn undergrads spend hours writing referenced reports, but I suppose in college you gave your professor a URL instead! What a barrel of laughs. Again describe the papers you people read that convinced you HIV was fatal that justified AZT’s release in 1987.

  34. #35 Damien
    September 15, 2009

    @cooler:
    I actually am a lawyer, and I can tell you that many, many times I have seen “as outlined in _____” or “referencing section _______” in documents. Do I piss and moan and tell them to show me the evidence? No, I go and look at those sections if I need to. Links are essentially the same sort of thing, where we expect a person to be willing to go and view the evidence if they find it so necessary.

    And I believe that several people have already outlined the series of events which led to AZT being approved. If a new, deadly and unknown pandemic breaks out, and it seems like it might be linked to Swine Flu, are you going to wait until the definitive studies come in? Or would you, like me, put pressure on our governments and drug companies to put out the drug for Swine Flu and see what happens?

    I suspect you know the answer.

  35. #36 Prometheus
    September 15, 2009

    Mr. Charlton has a valid point – Medical Hypotheses delivers exactly what its title says. I have no problem with his journal or editorial policy – it serves a purpose of giving a platform for ideas that are too “way out” or too poorly supported to get published anywhere else.

    The only problem I have with Medical Hypotheses is that too many people – especially people without significant scientific or medical education – think that the articles published there have gone though the same scrutiny and review that articles in other scientific journals have.

    I also have to wonder how much of Medical Hypotheses’ “impact factor” is due to people refuting the articles published therein. This is one of the little-known (among the lay public) “tricks” to boost citations – publish “controversial” articles that will be refuted by other authors.

    Medical Hypotheses may have contributed to the advancement of science on occasion, although I am at a loss to think of a single discovery of significance that was first published there. Maybe Mr. Charlton could enlighten us.

    Still, the fact that Dr. Duesberg’s article was withdrawn by Medical Hypotheses is newsworthy. It may even be a singular event (Mr. Charlton?). At any rate, it is a significant blow to Dr. Duesberg’s diminishing stature that a vanity journal like Medical Hypotheses would withdraw his article after accepting it for publication.

    I can only wonder what it was in the article that the editor found so objectionable after accepting it for publication (Mr. Charlton?). Prior to this, I would have guessed that only a “bounced” cheque would have been grounds for such withdrawal.

    As for the AID-denialist trolls – well, there are still people who believe the biblical story of creation and think the earth is only 6,000 years old. “Cooler” believes that fire can’t melt steel. There appears to be no limit to some people’s ability to believe errant nonsense. The fact that there are famous scientists among this group means little – Linus Pauling and Nikolaas Tinbergen come to mind.

    Prometheus

  36. #37 Orac
    September 15, 2009

    Mr. Charlton has a valid point – Medical Hypotheses delivers exactly what its title says. I have no problem with his journal or editorial policy – it serves a purpose of giving a platform for ideas that are too “way out” or too poorly supported to get published anywhere else.

    The only problem I have with Medical Hypotheses is that too many people – especially people without significant scientific or medical education – think that the articles published there have gone though the same scrutiny and review that articles in other scientific journals have.

    Indeed, as harsh as I’ve been, as a concept, I don’t have a problem with a journal that exists to publish way out there ideas, as long as it’s very clear that that’s what it’s there for. The real problem is that Medical Hypotheses does almost nothing to disabuse people of the false notion that it is somehow the equivalent of a peer-reviewed journal and to emphasize to people that it’s a highly speculative journal (other than Mr. Charlton occasionally showing up in the comments of a critical blog post like this to opine that, really, you shouldn’t take this stuff seriously because it’s all speculative and, oh, it’s “editorially reviewed” rather than peer-reviewed–which, he promises, is really, truly just as good). Of course, Mr. Charlton is speaking out of two sides of his mouth in that, on the one hand, he tells us that Medical Hypotheses is highly speculative, but on the other hand he tells us that editorial review is great because it’s the way it was done back in the 1800s and early 1900s (as he did in another post on this blog). He also complains vociferously about an attempt to delist the journal from MEDLINE primarily because it isn’t peer-reviewed and it isn’t reliable. Given that Mr. Charlton admits both of those things, I have to wonder why he would care if Medical Hypotheses is delisted from MEDLINE. The answer is obvious. For all the speculative nature of the journal, Mr. Charlton knows that the imprimatur of being listed on MEDLINE gives his little vanity journal a cachet that it wouldn’t otherwise have, and he likes that cachet.

    It’s hard to blame Mr. Charlton for craving that respectability, but it’s that very cachet that allows cranks to misrepresent articles in Medical Hypotheses as actual, reliable, peer-reviewed science, rather than the fantastical speculations of the authors. It also contributes to the confusion of the public, who think that MEDLINE listed journals are peer-reviewed and reliable. Even some physicians and scientists have told me that Medical Hypotheses can’t be that bad if it’s listed on MEDLINE. The anti-vaccine movement did this with the Blaxill and Geier papers a few years back, and now the HIV/AIDS denialists did the same thing–before Elsevier, of all companies, was so embarrassed when informed of the two papers by HIV/AIDS denialists that it said, “Enough!” and pulled the articles.

    Of course, MEDLINE listings are not a guarantee of anything, and indeed the NLM is prone to excluding legitimate journals that criticize alt-med, for instance, and listing pseudoscientific journals dedicated to alt-med. Still, any little victory is worthwhile, particularly if it diminishes Peter Duesberg’s status still further. After all, if he can’t even stay published in Medical Hypotheses, he’s fallen incredibly far.

  37. #38 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Prometheus:

    I also have to wonder how much of Medical Hypotheses’ “impact factor” is due to people refuting the articles published therein. This is one of the little-known (among the lay public) “tricks” to boost citations – publish “controversial” articles that will be refuted by other authors.

    According to the letter referenced above, the impact factor was boosted through sheer numbers of papers:

    Since 2003 (when the current editor, Bruce G. Charlton, was appointed), the number of Medical Hypotheses publications per year and per issue has doubled.ix Concomitantly, the median time between article submission and acceptance has declined from about three months to three days.x A dramatic increase in quantity, combined with a precipitous decline in time allotted for reading submissions, cannot be conducive to maintenance of journal quality, particularly in the absence of a peer review process. Since some articles are accepted on the day of submission or the following day, it is unlikely that all submissions are read thoroughly prior to acceptance. More than doubling the number of articles that could be cited in other publications has had a predictably inflationary effect on the journal‘s Impact Factor, which rose from 0.6 to 1.3 during the current editor‘s first three years with the journal.xi Under Charlton, the number of Medical Hypotheses articles citing other Medical Hypotheses publications has more than doubled.xii These major changes appear to have been pursued to raise the journal‘s impact factor without regard for scientific quality.

    I went and read Ben Goldacre’s post that Orac linked to. It, along with the comments, are very enlightening. Especially in regards to the biography of its founder, and to the other odd scientific ideas that it has published.

  38. #39 Shawn Smith
    September 15, 2009

    cooler,

    You should become a lawyer, and when the judge asks you for the specific evidence that your client is not guilty, just tell the judge and jury to go to myclientisnotguilty.com instead of describing specific evidence!

    What kind of fucked up country do you live where defendants are presumed guilty and have to prove their innocence? In the United States, no judge would ask a defendant’s attorney for evidence that a defendant is innocent because that is the presumption. A hallmark of American jurisprudence is that people are presumed innocent, and it is the job of the prosecution to provide evidence or proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. Also, it’s generally a jury, not a judge, that determines guilt in a criminal case. Your sentence has so much fail I’m going to presume you are either a moron or a liar.

    Secondly, we aren’t in a courtroom. We aren’t in an English classroom. We aren’t in a college classroom. We are writing to each other through a blog on the Internet. Are you unable to see the differences among those fora or did you think we were too stupid to see the differences among them? You really should start growing some clues before you come back and embarrass yourself further. A place to start would be to understand that on an Internet blog, providing a few relevant links are the preferred means of backing up your point, whereas those other fora would generally call for something more substantial.

    If you next complain that I’m calling you names or insulting you, well, respect is not a right–it must be earned. No one, including me or you, has a right to not be offended, however much your mommy and kindergarten teacher may have tried to convince you otherwise. I’ve attacked your stupid statements, and provided a few callous insults for rhetorical flourish. Deal with it, ignore it, insult me yourself, or come up with some other option. But in the end, these words don’t have to be anything more than ephemeral pixels on a computer screen.

  39. #40 Sullivan
    September 15, 2009

    I find Medical Hypotheses to be such an amazing idea–publish basically anything and make it look like real research to lay people.

    There has been a lot of discussion of the way companies like Elsevier have created faux journals to promote industry created “research”.

    That is just horrible. Don’t get me wrong.

    But, Medical Hypotheses is not that far removed For people who can’t afford to create an entire faux journal, they can buy a faux article. The difference is that Medical Hypotheses is public about being a fake journal. Not that many who have pushed Medical Hypotheses papers on the ‘net make any effort to point that out.

  40. #41 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Shawn, and anyone else who feels compelled to try and educate cooler, please review his history: Another blog

  41. #42 Angel
    September 15, 2009

    Increasing the total number of articles you print does not necessarily increase the Impact Factor (IF) of a journal. More papers increase the denominator and could in theory actually decrease your IF. To increase your IF you need the citations. However, it is possible to increase your IF with self-cites. It would be interesting to see what their the IF for Med Hypotheses would be without self-citations.

    A = the number of times articles published in 2008-9 were cited in indexed journals during 2010

    B = the number of articles, reviews, proceedings or notes published in 2008-9

    Impact Factor 2010 = A/B

  42. #43 Chris Noble
    September 15, 2009

    Judging by _objective_ results, Medical Hypotheses plays a modest but significant role in medical science – decent Impact Factor of 1.4; unusually high internet downloads of half a million per year (about the same as Journal of Theoretical Biology).

    I would be more interested in learning about any articles published in Medical Hypotheses that have actually panned out, ie the hypotheses have been tested, found to be true and have lead to significant results published in peer-reviewed journals. Anything?

    The number of downloads is hardly a meaningful indicator of a real role in science.

    Journal Description

    Cuurently the two most downloaded articles are Milk – The promoter of chronic Western diseases Medical Hypotheses, Volume 72, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 631-639 and Ejaculation as a potential treatment of nasal congestion in mature males Medical Hypotheses, Volume 71, Issue 2, August 2008, Pages 308

  43. #44 cooler
    September 15, 2009

    @shawn smith
    It is normal to believe facts based on reading about experiments and then expressing to others why you find those experiments compelling. Spamming an aids truth site doesn’t do much for most real academics. That why in college professors make you write your own referenced papers explaining your beliefs, they don’t ask for URL’s.

    There is no problem in giving people links on the internet but you must explain what those links mean to prove to everyone you’ve actually examined the evidence. It would be the equivalant of giving a professor a bibliography without an explanation or report of why the references prove what you say.

    And if you are accusing others of something or are accused of doing something in court, you must provide specific evidence to the judge and jury if you are a prosecutor or defense attorney. You could not tell the jury that there is a website proving your case, therefore the court should rule in your favor.

  44. #45 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Angel:

    To increase your IF you need the citations. However, it is possible to increase your IF with self-cites. It would be interesting to see what their the IF for Med Hypotheses would be without self-citations.

    That would be interesting, especially since the papers have many self-cites.

    From the quote in my comment:

    Under Charlton, the number of Medical Hypotheses articles citing other Medical Hypotheses publications has more than doubled.

    One pair of authors that are notorious for citing their own work are the Geiers.

  45. #46 J Todd DeShong
    September 15, 2009

    Duesberg wrote that the Chigwedere et al paper blamed “…Mbeki and one of us…” Of course, as ORAC points out, “one of us” is Duesberg himself who went to S. Africa and talked Mbeki into believing Duesberg’s woo which resluted in Mbeki withholding ARV’s from his own people. Therefore, these 330,000 deaths are laid at Duesberg’s own doorstep.
    This paper is a desperate attempt to alleviate his own guilt (if this egomaniacal Douchebag can feel a human emotion). Just like Christine Maggiore’s desperate attempt to alleviate her own guilt regarding ignoring her own irresponsibility in her daughter EJ’s death.
    It’s all about ego and not being adult enough, man enough or human enough to admit your own mistakes and try to make amends.
    JTD

  46. #47 daedalus2u
    September 15, 2009

    I completely disagree. A “hypothesis” is an idea that is compatible with what is known. The idea that HIV does not cause AIDS is not compatible with what is known. Therefore the idea that HIV does not cause AIDS is not a hypothesis. It is an ex-hypothesis, also known as a wrong idea.

    The only reason a magazine calling itself “Medical Hypotheses” would print crap that has been shown to be wrong is because the editor either doesn’t know shit about what is correct and what is not, or doesn’t care.

    When a magazine is used to promote scams that kill people, as HIV denialism has, then the editor who allows himself and his magazine to be so used is a merchant of death.

  47. #48 llewelly
    September 15, 2009

    cooler:

    Can someone please describe the experiments that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987?

    This has been explained to you in previous threads on this blog, on Tara’s blog, on ERV’s blog, and other places. Many people have generously expended a great deal of time and effort trying to teach you about this topic. You have chosen to remain ignorant.

  48. #49 Jen
    September 15, 2009

    Medical Hypotheses lacks credibility? Darn, I guess I shouldn’t get too excited about this, then:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748189?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

  49. #50 Scientizzle
    September 15, 2009

    @ Angel: It would be interesting to see what their the IF for Med Hypotheses would be without self-citations.

    According to the info sheet for the 2008 Journal Citation Reports: MH has an IF of 1.416 in 2008 and a 5-year IF of 1.216.

    Journal Self Cites-2008
    Cites to Years Used in Impact Factor Calculation: 1229
    Impact Factor: 1.416
    Self Cites to Years Used in Impact Factor Calculation: 164 (13% of 1229)
    Impact Factor without Self Cites: 1.227

    So…the IF drops a fair amount if the self-citations are fully discounted. Out of curiosity, though, I looked at a handful of other journals in the MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL category with somewhat comparable IFs to see if the self-cite rate was much different:

    PERSPECT BIOL MED
    IF: 1.071
    5-year IF: 1.258
    self-cites: 8%

    NEUROMODULATION
    IF: 0.987
    5-year IF: 1.273
    self-cites: 20%

    SCAND J CLIN LAB INV
    IF: 1.363
    5-year IF: 1.390
    self-cites: 7%

    GENET TEST
    IF: 1.120
    5-year IF: 1.293
    self-cites: 11%

    J INVEST MED
    IF: 1.723
    5-year IF: 1.736
    self-cites: 3%

    INT J MOL MED
    IF: 1.880
    5-year IF: 1.707
    self-cites: 11%

    To get the self-cite-less IF score, simply decrease the IF by the self-cite rate (e.g., 1.880*(1-0.11)=1.67, the adjusted IF for INT J MOL MED). I think it’s probably reasonable to argue that the rate of self-citation is a bit high for MH, but that self-citation isn’t way out of alignment with other journals of the same category and IF ballpark.

  50. #51 Kismet
    September 15, 2009

    Somewhat offtopic, but bear with me.
    Is it better not to publish at all than to publish in low tier journals? Or is it just publising in crappy venues like Med Hypotheses or JPANDS?

    I’ve seen some solid (or interestnig) hypotheses published in Med Hypotheses.
    I assumed that the whole policy of MEDLINE is that they do not endorse the articles they index? Maybe I’m wrong, but at first glance delisting really *seems* like censorship (I’m not saying it necessarily is, I don’t have any expertise to judge whatsoever).

    Maybe they should have an option for hiding/showing not-peer reviewed/low tier journals?

  51. #52 Chris Noble
    September 15, 2009

    …for example current editorial advisory board members include:…

    The Duesberg manuscripts has Received 9 June 2009 Accepted 11 June 2009.

    Another AIDS Denialist manuscript has Received 3 June 2009 Accepted 3 June 2009

    What point is an editorial advisory board if they apparently play no role in deciding which papers are accepted?

  52. #53 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Jen:

    Medical Hypotheses lacks credibility? Darn, I guess I shouldn’t get too excited about this, then:

    Jen, no you should not be excited by that. I suspect that Dr. Schultz had his paper rejected by “Autism”, and only accepted at “Medical Hypotheses”. This seems to further discredit your pet theory.

    Especially since the only hits on PubMed for “tylenol autism” in the last five years are papers by Schultz, and this response.

  53. #54 Cath the Canberra Cook
    September 15, 2009

    I am every excited about this new cure for my nasal congestion!

  54. #55 Chris Noble
    September 15, 2009

    I completely disagree. A “hypothesis” is an idea that is compatible with what is known.

    If you think that is bad you should check out the other Denialist article that was retracted.

    Aids denialism at the ministry of health M. Ruggiero a, M. Prayer Galletti a, S. Pacini b,*, T. Punzi b, G. Morucci b, M. Gulisano b

    We investigated epidemiological evidences regarding HIV infection and AIDS spread in Italy resorting only to official data published by the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) and by the Italian Ministry of Health (Ministero del Lavoro, della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali). Based on the data and documents provided for by the Italian Health Authorities, we came to the conclusion (hypothesis) that the Italian Ministry of Health appears to be convinced that HIV is not the (sole) cause of AIDS. …

    This clearly has nothing to do with a serious hypothesis or a serious scientific contribution. The authors don’t really believe that the Italian Ministry of Health really doubts that HIV causes AIDS. If they were actually interested they would have simply asked the ministry rather than searching for parts in official publications that they can misrepresent and twist to support their own ideas.

    The authors were not even man enough to openly state what their own views were. Ruggiero et al clearly believe that HIV does not cause AIDS but they didn’t present this as their hypothesis. Instead they hid behind a silly rhetorical trick of trying to pretend that the Italian Ministry of Health are AIDS Denialists.

    I would like to see Bruce Charlton defend this article and explain what possible contribution it was supposed to make to science. How is it even a legitiamte hypothesis?

    The manuscript was marked Received 3 June 2009 Accepted 3 June 2009 so it is quite obvious that Charlton bears the entire responsibility for its initial acceptance.

  55. #56 Cath the Canberra Cook
    September 15, 2009

    Oops. That’s “very” excited. *sniff* *schnorrrk* Excuse me, I need a ten minute work break.

  56. #57 FreeSpeaker
    September 15, 2009

    Now let’s hope that JPANDS follows along.

  57. #58 MikeMa
    September 15, 2009

    Cath,
    Make sure you wash with soap when that break is over…. :)

  58. #59 Chris
    September 15, 2009

    Cath, I didn’t know you were a guy!

  59. #60 Joseph
    September 15, 2009

    @Jen: Even if that was published in another journal, you shouldn’t get excited about it. It’s very clear from the abstract that we’re dealing with pure speculation there.

  60. #61 Chris Noble
    September 15, 2009

    Please, anyone who is contemplating using ejaculation to treat nasal congestion should be aware that a follow-up hypothesis was also published in Medical Hypotheses.

    Ejaculation as a treatment for nasal congestion in men is inconvenient, unreliable and potentially hazardous.

    Some people might question whether this made a significant contribution to medical science but it did improve the journal’s impact factor!

  61. #62 Seth Kalichman
    September 15, 2009

    Medical Hypotheses
    Editor-in-Chief: Bruce G. Charlton

    Most Downloaded
    Extract from ScienceDirect TOP25 Hottest Articles April – June 2009

    1. Milk – The promoter of chronic Western diseases

    2. Ejaculation as a potential treatment of nasal congestion in mature males

    And let us not forget

    The nature of navel fluff

    Georg Steinhauser
    Received 31 December 2008; accepted 13 January 2009.

    “Hard facts on a soft matter! In their popular scientific book, Leyner and Goldberg raised the question why “some belly buttons collect so much lint”.

    Who is watching the shop at Elsevier?

    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com

  62. #63 another greg
    September 15, 2009

    I used to work in Donner lab, which is basically UCB’s Siberia, when Duesberg’s lab was next door in Stanley. It looks like he is now exiled to that building.

    I had coffee with him a few times at Strada. We never talked about you-know-what, but once during an MCB 110 class, he noticed that the students were kind of drifting off and he suddenly said, “and that’s why HIV doesn’t cause AIDS”. He was only kidding, but he had the attention of the class for the rest of the hour.

  63. #64 Cath the Canberra Cook
    September 15, 2009

    @Chris: What, you expected me to actually *read* the article? Hell, isn’t a title on an internet page enough for me to understand the whole thing and make money fast and/or cure cancer?

  64. #65 VoteMichelleObama16
    September 15, 2009

    daedalus2u said Editor Charlton either doesn’t know shit about what is correct and what is not, or doesn’t care.
    Both, probably. Charlton himself says he’s “agnostic”, and his publication record says he doesn’t know a damn thing about HIV/AIDS. Or infectious diseases. Or pharmacology. Or epidemiology. I looked him up on pubmed. Looks like Charlton turned in a respectable post-doc’s worth of IHC and neurotransmitter research back in the late 80s and early 90s, then he started writing letters to the editor and hypotheses on, well, really touchy-feely and non-neurotransmittery things with like “Medicine and post-modernity,” “Holistic medicine or the humane doctor?” “Is immortality a possibility?” and “Nomenclature of optimal BMI: slim’s the word.” I think the last time Charlton was on a real scientific paper (you know, those annoying things with the data and graphs, where you actually have to do work and convince people who know their stuff that it’s important?), Bill Clinton was still in his pre-Monica days.
    One of Charlton’s recent editorials is “Are you an honest scientist? Truthfulness in science should be an iron law, not a vague aspiration.” If truthfulness is something Charlton wants in science, he should spend less time defending himself on blogs and more time checking article submissions for barndoor-sized signs of lies and BS. Less time speculating about what IQ means and more time dreaming up some policies to make Med Hyp a reputable journal not a joke. For example, ensuring future submissions are read by someone who unlike Charlton has a familiarity with the literature and vocabulary in the appropriate field. It would be more work. Charlton would not get to publish as many papers in the journal. He would not have as many Med Hyp articles to cite in his many letters to the editor appearing in other journals. Med Hyp’s precious IF would fall. But Charlton and his journal might be taken a tad more seriously, especially when examining “truthfulness in science.”

  65. #66 Chris Noble
    September 16, 2009

    “Are you an honest scientist? Truthfulness in science should be an iron law, not a vague aspiration.”

    Ha! Perhaps Charlton would care to comment on whether Duesberg is an honest scientist. In the Medical Hypotheses manuscript Duesberg et al gratuitously misrepresent a 2006 Lancet article from the ART Cohort Collaboration.

    Surely Charlton must have been just a little curious as to why Duesberg was citing a paper from the ART Cohort Collaboration and claiming that it demonstrated that ART was ineffective. Obviously not curious enough to read the article.

    One of the key imperatives in scientific writing is to accurately report the results and views of other scientists. When you distort and misrepresent an article and substitute your idiosyncratic interpretation for those of the authors you betray the trust of your readers.

    As HIV Denialists do no real research of their own their main tactic has been to cherry pick, misquote, misinterpret and misrepresent “orthodox” literature.

    An editor could actually read the cited references to check if the reference actually says what they say it says. The spin Duesberg put on the article was so outlandish that even somebody with no knowledge of the field would have been suspicious

  66. #67 NM
    September 16, 2009

    Duesberg has been getting away with misrepresenting (and in at least one case, misquoting) his citations for years. He still has membership of the NAS. He still has tenure at UC Berkeley. He has a cult following. What incentive does he have to stop? NAS and UC Berkeley ought to be able to police themselves, and instead it seems to me they’ve just abdicated any responsibility and let Duesberg continue. The late Martin Delaney from Project Inform wrote a letter to NAS complaining about Duesberg more than ten years ago. As far as I know, they did nothing.

  67. #68 dav mab
    September 16, 2009

    actually the punishment for blasphemy is DEATH…

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=14976&uid=21080812784

    see you deluded, fuc*….

    I am sending this via email to the entire university – faculty and stuff. Your blaspheming head will serve as example and warning to the whole place…

  68. #69 dav mab
    September 16, 2009

    orac and you are going to be executed as well…

    ignorant arrogant fucker that you are

  69. #70 Chris
    September 16, 2009

    The person posting the odd threats is Dennis Markuze. See PZ Myers’ Dungeon for David Mabus. He is presently spamming several blogs and a few forums. He is a prime example of the deficits in how we deal with mental illness.

  70. #71 Chris
    September 16, 2009

    I just remembered that Markuze is Canadian. There are even limits on how Health Canada can deal with mental health issues (it usually has to do with forcing treatment on an unwilling patient).

  71. #72 Snout
    September 16, 2009

    HIV/AIDS denialists have long ago given up any pretense of professional credibility, and are directly targeting a scientifically lay audience – mostly via the internet, but also through books and films. As Henry Bauer, one of the co-authors of this paper, writes:

    “At any rate, AIDStruthers (ie the scientific mainstream) are not the audience to be courted. Their arguments must be countered with answers directed to the media and the general public in terms that are understandable by and clearly convincing for unengaged observers. That means the points cannot be too technical.”

    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/cognitive-dissonance-a-human-condition/

    Publishing in Medical Hypotheses or JPandS has nothing to do with presenting an argument to a scientific readership. It is about trying to build up a pseudo-credibility in the eyes of Joe Public, who has no idea that these journals are not peer reviewed.

  72. #73 karim
    September 16, 2009

    Very thoughtfull post on achievements. It should be very much helpfull

    Thanks,
    Karim – Positive thinking

  73. #74 Seth Kalichman
    September 17, 2009

    Peter Duesberg routinely cherry picks science and distorts research findings for self-promotion and personal gain. This is precisely why he is a pseudoscientists and no one should take anything he says seriously, including his proclaiming Aneuploidy as the cause (rather than consequence) of cancer. Peter Duesberg is a sad case, tragic really. A man with obviously brilliant potential who went off the deep end. All of this is known. AIDS denialism is a mental health as well as public health problem. The discussion we should be having is what accountability we have, as a science, academy and society, for allowing someone like Peter Duesberg to go unchecked and untreated for so long.
    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com

  74. #75 Orac
    September 17, 2009

    This is precisely why he is a pseudoscientists and no one should take anything he says seriously, including his proclaiming Aneuploidy as the cause (rather than consequence) of cancer.

    Actually, you’re wrong about the aneuploidy hypothesis. There’s lots of research implicating aneuploidy as the cause of some cancers. Last year, the AACR meeting was full of talks about aneuploidy and cancer.

    As I discussed here, it’s actually a rather interesting and promising hypothesis. The problem with Duesberg’s promotion of it is that (1) he acts as if he’s the only one who has thought of it before; (2) he acts as if it is The One True Cause of Cancer; and (3) he disparages scientists who bring up legitimate criticisms. In other words, Duesberg is taking a reasonable, science-based hypothesis regarding the cause of some cancers and promoting it like a crank.

  75. #76 Dale
    September 17, 2009

    Chromosome instability as a consequence of genetic mutation plays a role in cancer. Aneuploidy arising from some physical process that doesn’t involve mutation and that doesn’t result in instability (which is the concept that Duesberg is promoting in using trisomy 21 as an example) not so much as far as I can tell.

  76. #77 Karl Withakay
    September 17, 2009

    “A “hypothesis” is an idea that is compatible with what is known”

    Medical Hypothesis? Try Medical Conjecture, Medical Speculation, Medical Guess, Medical Make it Up As You Go Along, or Medical Pull it out of your @$$.

  77. #78 Guest
    September 17, 2009

    “However, there is here a refusal to judge by results, and instead judge by procedure.”

    Actually, I thought this was exactly the opposite– instead of judging by the procedure (in which light this is acceptable, because Medical Hypotheses makes no claim to be peer-reveiwed and does not have to be, and is supposed to be speculative and not particularly scientifically rigourous), the paper is being judged on the results of Duesberg’s work (the deaths of millions and the denial of access to lifesaving drugs for the African people thanks to the policies he promoted, and the drastic differences in quality of life between Africans infected with HIV and Americans infected with HIV).

    I mean, it’s not like this isn’t obvious. Most people who have HIV get AIDS symptoms very severely; people who take the retroviral drugs do not, and will instead have milder, delayed symptoms in a chronic fashion. Wearing condoms prevents new people from getting AIDS; no one gets AIDS without exposure to blood or semen from an infected person. Even if it were not for the virology research into the subject, simple common sense and reason shows that AIDS is a sexually transmitted virus. Unless there’s another sexually transmitted virus that might cause it.

  78. #79 Frederic
    February 17, 2010

    Hello, I am Frenc, sorry for my mistakes
    I have read all of the Peter Duesberg book on AIDS. I found it very interesting and I am sure most of it is still true.

    One thing is a big concern for me : on one hand, there is no clear definition on AIDS : Everything can be AIDS, on the other hand, doctors are given deadly medicine for years to patients that don’t suffer from anything at start.

    Modern Economy and modern life is killed by Medicin terrorism I think. Moliere, our French author of Theatre masterpiece “Le Malade imaginaire” has discribed perfectly that. Fear of death has taken to much room in our life (but it is clear that we have not experienced world war since long and so death is today a medical factor instead of being a “life routine”.

    For me nothing has changed and I trust more Peter Duesberg than all the other medicine.

    PS : I am HIV negative and I use condom no matter this dispute, BUT I swear never to start a try therapy if once I stated to be HIV positive (and naturely be careful with others)

    PS2 ; what do you think of Luc Montagnier interview in “House of numbers” ? Can you consider that the guy who has discovered the HIV virus is wrong saying that AIDS problem in Africa has more to see with water and other disease !

    How do you explain the fact that there is one third of HIV positive people who ignore all and are still well being 10 or 20 years after !!!!

  79. #80 David
    June 3, 2010

    I didn’t go through the whole thread of comments but I’m very much in line with Frederic. I read Duesberg’s book and saw several documentaries on the subject (Yes, I know that watching a compelling docu does not make me an expert on the subject), and most of them feature scientists and experts with credentials, and, apart from that, good logic and convincing stats. Ever since I’m nosing around this subject, and have read some of the literature on the dissenting side, I’ve been browsing blogs and fora just to realize that so far NO ONE has managed to convince me that Peter Duesberg and the others are wrong about what they claim. What I see is slandering.
    There are so many good things to debate about the HIV/Aids dogma but everybody seems to be quoting the CDC, FDA or WHO or other experts and nobody seems to care about simple things like everyone’s innate capacity to draw logical conclusions and decide for themselves. I myself, after having looked for years on the subject, have no reason to be afraid of the HIV virus. And with this, I guess, I have become a threat to public health, right? – after reading some of the above posts I guess I hereby have also contributed to Peter Duesberg’s possible incarceration for …I don’t know, info-terrrorism?

  80. #81 Danister Perera
    August 11, 2010

    HIV=AIDS hypothesis is based on very irrelevant, irrational and illogical evidences traced by various isolated researches. When the science is ruled by politics of industry it will create many (un)scientific hypothesis which can gain money for further research activities.This is the latest movement of “cultural iatrogenesis” described by Ivan Illich. Even though the world is full of research findings of HIV and ARV treatment still many people die all over the world. In West immune system is devastated due o chemical xenobiotics. In Africa immune dysfunction is due to malnutrition. But ultimately HIV is not the cause of death. That is politics. Peter is fighting against this “social blindness of science.

  81. #82 Chris
    August 11, 2010

    Lots of blatant statements, but short of evidence. Try again, only next time use actual evidence.

  82. #83 Chris
    August 11, 2010

    Because he screwed up the web address in the URL text box, I did a quick Google on Mr. Perera’s name. It revealed that he is big into Ayurvedic medicine. The stuff that seems to contain lots of those heavy metals.

    What a maroon.

  83. #84 silkthink
    September 28, 2010

    Heavy metals are everywhere….intoxicating human beings… but science is silent. Because it is helpless. Real killers are not the heavy metals in Ayurvedic medicine but deadly chemotherapeutic agents of biomedicine. They only want to make medicine “microbial-oriented”. They are not interested in hunger and poverty in south world. It is not value-based humanistic medicine.

  84. #85 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 28, 2010

    Ah, sentence fragments and random omission of articles, two of the classic ingredients for schizophrenic word salad. I don’t suppose you can throw in some random capitalization and some neologisms created by slamming words together, Silkthink? “Science-fools make population pay for EDUCATED-STUPID arrogance! Only one true Ayurvedic light is healing!”

  85. #86 Craig
    December 18, 2010

    I’m a Ph.d in virology & microbiology (BSL-3 & 4).
    Does anyone even have enough sense to understand that Duesbergs 87 cancer paper on HIV / AIDS is still sitting there waiting for an answer ? Gallo, Montagnier, Fauci, Ho, and none of the other true frauds will ever answer it !—> BECAUSE THEY CAN’T ! Likewise for anyone else who calls him a crank ! Answer that paper if your so damn smart !
    Does anyone have a clue as to how much money that stupid virus has actually generated via the testing patents alone ?
    Anything that Gallo and his army of retro-hacks ever touched is nothing but a complete fraud, HTLV-1 causes cancer after a 55 year long latent period ? Anyone who believes that is also a F*#K@$G IDIOT ! There is no such thing as a slow fatal virus, only SLOW VIROLOGISTS looking for a pay check !
    The person here who works next to where Duesberg does, try looking into the background of the other professors in Dr.Duesbergs Department, ever heard of a biotech corp. called = Chiron ?

    *H.I.V. Assumed To Kill T-Cells*
    Based on early observation by Gallo et al., HIV is assumed to cause immunodeficiency by spcifically killing T-cells (Gallo et al., 1984; Weiss and Jaffe, 1990). Gallo observation was restricted to primary T-cells (Gallo et al., 1984) but not established T-cell lines (Rubinstien, 1990) However, according to Montagnier, the discoverer of HIV, “In a search for a direct cytopathic effect of the virus on (primary) T-lymphocytes, no gross changes could be seen in virus producing cultures, with regard to cell lysis or impairment of cell growth” (Montagnier et al., 1984). Others have confirmed that HIV does not kill infected, primary T-cells in vitro (Hoxie et al., 1985 Anand et al., 1987 Langhoff et al., 1989 Duesberg, 1989c). Moreover, HIV-infected primary T-cells are concidered the natural “reservior” of HIV in vivo (Schnittman et al., 1989)
    Thus, Gallo’s controversial observation probably reflects the notorious difficulties experienced by his labratory in maintaining primary blood cells alive in culture insted of a genuine cytociadal function of HIV (Crewdson, 1989; Culliton, 1990 Rubinstien, 1990, Hamilton, 1991).
    Gallo showed in a later study from his labratory that about 50% of the uninfected T-cells died within twelve days in culture (Gallo, 1990). Indeed the assumption that HIV is cytocidal is incompatable with generic properties of retroviruses and with specific properties of HIV:
    1.) The hallmark of retrovirus replication is to convert the viral RNA into DNA and to deliberately intergrate thisDNA as a parasitic gene into the cellular DNA (Weiss et al., 1985). This process of integration depends on mitosis to succeed, rather than on cell death (Rubin and Temin, 1958; Duesberg, 1989c). The resulting genetic parasite can then be either active or passive just like other cellular genes (Duesberg, 1987). Transcription of viral RNA from chromosomally integrated proviral DNA also works only if the T-cell survives infection, because dying cells are not transcriptionally active. Thus, this strategy of replication depends entirely on the survivival of the infected cell (Duesberg, 1987)
    Noncytocidal replication is the reason that retroviruses were all concidered potential carcinogens before AIDS (Weiss et al.,1985; Duesberg, 1987)
    Alternatively, it has been proposed that HIV protiens are directly toxic because of stuctural similarites with scorpion and snake poisons (Gallo, 1991; Garry et al., 1991, Garry and Koch, 1992). However, no such toxicity is observed in millions of asymptomatic HIV carriers, and there is no reason why it should occur, if it did, only after latent periods of ten years.
    2.) The propagation of HIV in indefinitely growing T-cells for the “AIDS test” was patented by Gallo et al. in 1984 (Rubinstien, 1990) and was confirmed by Montagnier (Lemaitre et al., 1990). It is totally incompatable with Gallo’s claim HIV kills T-cells. Such HIV producing T-cells have been growing in many labratories and companies since 1984 producing viruses at titers of up to 10-6 virus particals per. mL, which is many orders of magnitude more than is observed in humans with or without AIDS (Duesberg, 1989c, 1991a).
    In view of this, Gallo postulates that T-cell lines in culture have all aquired resistance to HIV killing (Gallo, 1991).
    However there is no precedent for this ad hoc hypothesis, as no other cytocidal virus has ever been observed that is cytocidal in vivo and in primary cells in vitro, but is noncytocidal in cell lines in culture. It is also implausable that a potentally life saving cellular mutation, such as resistance to the hypothetical “AIDS virus,” would be restricted just to cell lines in culture, particularly if these mutations occur so readily that they are found in all T-cell lines. (Duesberg, 1991) HIV, like all other retroviruses, does not specifically infect T-cells. It also infects monocytes, epithelial cells, glial cells, and macrophages, ect., and none of these are killed by HIV (Levy, 1988; Duesberg, 1991a)
    Most other retroviruses also infect T-cells, which is why so many of them are suspected “T-cell leukemia” viruses (Weiss et al., 1985; Duesberg, 1987; Blattener, 1990).
    Thus the assumption that HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells is not tenable (Duesberg 1991)

    ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING JUST THE TIP IF THE ICEBURG HERE ?

  86. #87 JohnV
    December 18, 2010

    Yes, what bsl-4 work did you do?

  87. #88 novalox
    December 18, 2010

    @88

    Yes can you speak coherent English without resorting to conspiracy theories and ad hominem atacks?

    Also, tl;dr, and don’t necro articles over 4 months old. Makes you look more like an idiot. (not that you need more help in that area)

    @JOhnV

    Probably none, judging by the incoherence of the response, the 4 month necro, and the cherry-picking of statements from earlier papers to support his/her/its view.

  88. #89 Travis
    December 19, 2010

    I know this was dealt with already, but I wanted to reply as well. I saw this post yesterday but had to run out before getting a chance to do so. I seriously doubt this person has the background they indicate. If they do, I am sad to see that they have lost all ability to think clearly. Also, why not get some of your own thoughts. Much of that post was simply copied verbatim from Duesberg’s Inventing the AIDS Virus. How convincing.

  89. #90 Steve C
    February 21, 2011

    What a waste of education posted by most of you bloggers especially this arrogant, chicken sh$t snob Orac. I am not a scientist or student, just a pissed off small business man who is disgusted by the pissing contest going on here between a bunch of babies. So since I cannot admittedly intelligently respond to Duesberg’s research I piss on all of you and challenge you to reasonably respond in a scientific manner to his research. It is obvious to me that cures for anything are not going to come out of the main stream scientific community and the guy/gal who is gutsy enough to go against the status quo, put up with idiots like most of you and risk it all is going to bring home a cure.

  90. #91 Chris
    February 21, 2011

    Just brilliant, Steve, just brilliant. Did it take you over a year to come up with that statement? I loved the imagery you conjure with the pointed use of the word “piss.” Plus, how you conveyed your anger, without saying anything of substance. Truly, you are a man below all others. Bravo!

  91. #92 Erica
    July 17, 2011

    Have any of you ever read his book Inventing the AIDS Virus? Don’t speak on things until you actually know the entire side of his argument. This article is disgusting, really, laughing at someone for their views? His arguments are based in epidemiology and are well thought out and well presented. I don’t know whether or not he is right, but censorship for having radical ideas is not something that should be laughed at or mocked, it is something that everyone should be ashamed about. Read the book, and you won’t be laughing quite so loudly.

  92. #93 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 17, 2011

    Don’t speak on things until you actually know the entire side of his argument.

    “One does not have to eat an entire egg to know that it’s bad.”

  93. #94 AnthonyL
    August 3, 2011

    Orac is an intelligent man, but he has made the mistake of assuming that an almost universally accepted paradigm is inevitably true, and its chief critic in peer reviewed journals is wrong. Unfortunately, this has led to a very noxious result. This article and most of its following comments are an example of the worst of the Web, where prejudice runs rampant and very few feel any sense of responsibility for checking their facts, even in science.

    As a poster has pointed out, Orac shows no sign of familiarity with the basic papers in the issue of whether or not HIV is a valid candidate for causing AIDS, those in Cancer Research, Proceedings of the National Academy, Science, Indian Academy of Sciences, etc. Since none of these have been refuted, despite promises to do so in the same journals, or even answered in same, except for an exchange in Science where Duesberg’s science was left undisproved, this does not make them out of date, but the opposite: the latest valid work.

    Unfortunately, a piece like this, if it is not withdrawn or ameliorated, just leaves Duesberg’s name covered with even more mud, without adding a single scientific reason for it. This has the very bad effect of disouraging those who have read these papers and kept up with the issue on an objective basis think it not worthwhile to illuminate it with corrective information.

    So the swamp of misapprehension expands further, and the number of people who think that Duesberg is right and can tell you why and are willing to post here or anywhere else diminishes even further. Meanwhile people like Seth Kalichman who exploit the misapprehension and the prejudice against Duesberg post in comments and worsen the problem.

    This is not what Orac imagines himself to be doing, and it is a pity that he does it. An intelligent peddler of peer reviewed information such as himself should actually enjoy reading the papers I refer to, since they are impeccably argued, written and evidenced to a level that is rarely seen nowadays.

    Of course, he might if he paid close attention find them persuasive, but then he would be stuck in the unpleasant position of having to say so, and agree that they are not and never have been refuted, and that Duesberg is not a fool but a very fine scientist who is more thoughtful and cogent than those who attack him outside the peer reviewed journals where he has published these very excellent works.

    Then he would be attacked in the same foolish and prejudiced manner that he has vilified a great scientist here in his blog.

  94. #95 Beamup
    August 3, 2011

    Evidence? Any? Even a shred?

    *crickets chirping*

    Thought not.

  95. #96 daryl
    September 15, 2011

    This is all one giant fallacy after another. In defending science and rationalism it seems that emotions have led to one giant appeal to authority and skepticism is considered crankery. I am shocked that a conversation cannot be had, this is not climate denialism. equating it and using the same vernacular is pure double-speak in order to paint rational inquiry as fraudulent. THAT is the hallmark of something strange going on. medical science is in it infancy and if we do not keep searching, really searching, but instead get bogged down by emotionalism, then nothing will ever get done. AIDS has been the most funded endevour in history and we may be a quarter step from where we started. What the hell is so wrong then with looking at it differently as long as it is scientific? and frankly I have not seen one non-fallacious argument for anyone against the CDC brouchure yet.

  96. #97 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 15, 2011

    Daryl, there was once a time when questioning the Copernican view that the Earth moved around the sun instead of vice-versa would be healthy skepticism and rational inquiry.  Today, it’s just crankery.  When the evidence supporting a position is overwhelming, attempting to deny it is denialism and crankery, and should be treated as such.  And contrary to your assertions that we are merely a “quarter step from where we started” in our understanding of AIDS, we have an enormous body of evidence pointing squarely to HIV as the cause of AIDS.

    Am I saying that certain scientific convictions, once established, can never be overturned?  No, that would be contrary to the nature of science.  Even long-held scientific positions can be overturned, if they are shown to be false or inescapably incomplete – but it’s necessary to show that, not just allege that it might be so!  The HIV/AIDS connection is so solidly backed by evidence that overturning it would require (at the very least!) a solid, cogent hypothesis explaining how all that evidence is false or has been misinterpreted – and not just with the facile, paranoid “everyone who doesn’t see things as I do is part of a conspiracy.”

    How close are Duesberg and his ilk to having such a hypothesis?  Not very close at all, judging by their alternate “hypothesis” for the actual cause of AIDS, which amounts to “mumble mumble gay lifestyle mumble HIV shows up afterwards.”  This hypothesis, lacking any indication of actual mechanism in key respects (How does the body spontaneously generate a complicated viral organism, and why does it perform this remarkable, never-once-observed feat only after being in contact with an individual whose body is already performing such spontaneous generation?  A contact, to drive the point home, of the kind that could have transmitted a transmissible organism but according to denialist dogma must not have?) is also deficient in explaining all those cases of AIDS in people who were provably not living a promiscuous or decadent lifestyle, but did encountered HIV in the form of tainted blood.  Asserting that 13-year-old Ryan White must have been living a decadent lifestyle that induced his disease is a filthy act of victim-blaming and shows the depths to which denialists sink.

  97. #98 david
    February 19, 2012

    @Craig post 86: You posted on December 18th, the day of my birthday, and I couldn’t have asked for a better present. I would like to give you a hug. What is the matter with all these people who keep parroting the same “dissidents/denialists are cranks” stuff without ever bothering to actually pick up a book and read it. And I don’t mean a book or article which tries to discredit the skeptics a priori. What a sad world we live in…

    love
    david

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