Respectful Insolence

Luc Montagnier: The Nobel disease strikes again

They call it the Nobel disease.

Linus Pauling is the prototypical example. A brilliant chemist who won two Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry and the Nobel Peace Prize, in his later years Pauling became convinced that high dose vitamin C was a highly effective treatment for cancer and the common cold and, expanding upon that, came to believe in the quackery that is orthomolecular medicine. As a result, Pauling’s reputation was tainted for all time, and he became known more for his crankery than his successes. Since his death, Pauling’s successors have continued to chase his dream with minimal success because even massive doses of vitamin C have little or no effect on cancer and may even interfere with some chemotherapy regimens.

Unfortunately, Pauling is not alone in becoming a crank. For example, there’s Louis Ignarro, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering nitric oxide signaling pathways. Unfortunately, Ignarro didn’t even wait until his later years to descend into the swamp of dubious science. Four years ago I saw Ignarro give an ostensibly scientific talk at a surgical meeting, a talk whose second half was dominated by a discussion of arginine supplementation as a heart disease cure-all and the selling of his book entitled NO More Heart Disease: How Nitric Oxide Can Prevent–Even Reverse–Heart Disease and Strokes. I later found out that Ignarro was a paid shill for HerbaLife. I still remember how betrayed I felt as his talk progressed and wondered if the meeting organizers felt a similar sense of betrayal or whether they were too in awe of the Nobel aura to notice. Then there was Nikolaas Tinbergen, whose adoption of the “refrigerator mother” hypothesis as the cause of autism in his Nobel lecture led Prometheus to quip that Tinbergen’s Nobel acceptance speech represented a “nearly unbeatable record for shortest time between receiving the Nobel Prize and saying something really stupid about a field in which the recipient had little experience.”

So true.

Now it looks as though there’s another Nobel crank out there, and he’s an autism crank now. This time around, the Nobel Laureate who’s descending into pseudoscience is French virologist Luc Montagnier, who shared the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency with Harald zur Hausen, who discovered the link between the human papilloma virus and cervical cancer. First, earlier this summer, Montagnier appeared to endorse homeopathy:

French virologist Luc Montagnier stunned his colleagues at a prestigious international conference when he presented a new method for detecting viral infections that bore close parallels to the basic tenets of homeopathy.

Although fellow Nobel prize winners — who view homeopathy as quackery — were left openly shaking their heads, Montagnier’s comments were rapidly embraced by homeopaths eager for greater credibility.

Montagnier told the conference last week that solutions containing the DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, “could emit low frequency radio waves” that induced surrounding water molecules to become arranged into “nanostructures”. These water molecules, he said, could also emit radio waves

He suggested water could retain such properties even after the original solutions were massively diluted, to the point where the original DNA had effectively vanished. In this way, he suggested, water could retain the “memory” of substances with which it had been in contact — and doctors could use the emissions to detect disease.

Montagnier may not beat Tinbergen’s record for shortest time to descend into pseudoscience after winning the Nobel Prize, but he’s definitely in contention. He only won the Nobel Prize in 2008, and it only took him two years to endorse homepathy-like concepts. He’s also made a name for himself, such as it is, by appearing in the HIV/AIDS denialist film House of Numbers stating that HIV can be cleared naturally through nutrition and supplements:

Meanwhile, patented a device to detect these fantastical radiowaves allegedly emitted by bacterial and viral DNA in water. This he did after publishing a paper in a journal that for which himelf is the editor after a mere three days between submission and acceptance, which prompted Le Canard Noir to nominate him for an Ignobel Prize last year. From there it only took Montagnier a few months more to turn his eye to applying that “knowledge” to autism, as I discovered from Gimpy, Anthony Cox. Unfortunately, the pseudoscience that Montagnier appears to have embraced with respect to autism is combined with a highly unethical study in a manner that would put Andrew Wakefield to shame.

The trial is sponsored by the Autism Treatment Trust (ATT) and the Autism Research Institute (ARI), both institutions that are–shall we say?–not exactly known for their scientific rigor. Apparently Montagnier has teamed up with a Dr. Corinne Skorupka, who is a DAN! practitioner from France, and a Dr. Lorene Amet, who is described as a neuroscientist but is a PhD and not an MD (i.e., not a clinician). The study that, together, the Nobel Prize winner and the woo-meisters propose is described thusly:

We are finally in a position to run some very exciting investigations/interventions with the support of Professor Montagnier, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine (for the discovery of HIV) and Dr. C. Skorupka a DAN! practitioner from Paris and long time friend. The project proposes to look at potential bacterial and viral chronic infections in autism. Prof Montagnier is of the view that some abnormalities in autism as well as in a whole range of neurological conditions, such as chronic fatigue and multiple sclerosis may be caused by potential infective agents. These would be difficult to the immune system to track down and would affect cell function thereby contributing to the development of the pathologies. He has developed a new technique that detects, by resonance, the genetic material of these potential infective agents. Additionally, using a very sensitive PCR assay, he can screen for a range of gram positive and gram negative bacteria as well as mycoplasma and borrelia (Lyme disease). He can also look at viruses (PCR assays under development). We are not alone in believing that this approach can help develop our understanding of the causes of autism and enable it to be treated more effectively. The proposed treatment combines a succession of antibiotics with basic biomedical supplements and probiotics. These antibiotics block cell division rather than kill bacteria, thereby avoiding potential side effects. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no funding available to cover the costs of this project, but we are hoping to use the data collected to help us obtain funding for future research.

Before I discuss the “study” itself, let me just say one thing here. Whenever you see an “investigator” charge patients to undergo an experimental protocol, be very very wary. Be very, very afraid. In general, with very few exceptions, reputable medical researchers do not charge patients to undergo experimental protocols; their studies are funded with grants from the government, private foundations, or pharmaceutical companies. Yet here we have Montagnier and colleagues charging the parents of autistic children:

We offer your child the opportunity to be part of this project and to access to the Montagnier Infection Screen protocol. There will be medical follow up from Dr. Skorupka. The details of the project are outlined below. The total cost per child is likely to be around £1800, spread over a six-month period (details below). The antibiotic treatment is not included and may cost some £30- £60 a month, depending of the particular antibiotic selected. Every two months each child’s progress will be reviewed by Dr. Skorupka and Dr. Amet at ATT with interim progress reviews carried out by phone.

Perhaps even worse than that, check out how badly designed this experimental protocol is. Its specific aims are described thusly:

  • Investigate the possibility that some cases of autism are associated with a range of bacterial infections, based on laboratory testing and clinical examination conducted by Dr. C. Skorupka in Edinburgh.
  • Assess the ASD children for the presence of nanobacteria following Prof Luc Montagnier’s protocol of investigations. The protocol would require a blood draw conducted at the clinic with the help of our nurse. The blood normally has to be centrifugated immediately and the supernatant extracted, then frozen to -80C and shipped on carboice to France.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic intervention as well as behavioural evaluations (ATEC and ADOS). This would involve meeting with Dr Skopurpka and Dr. Amet every 2 months and reviewing progress over the phone in the interim month.
  • Report outcomes.

Montagnier intends to enroll 12 children into this study.

How is this study unethical? Let me count the ways. First, as I mentioned, it charges the patient for an experimental protocol. More importantly, it tests a hypothesis that is implausible from a biological standpoint. Still, it’s not so implausible that bacterial or viral infection might cause or contribute to autism that it reaches homeopathy-level implausible. However, the hypothesis that infections cause autism doesn’t reach the level of plausibility where it can be considered ethical to subject human subjects to a regimen based on it. One reason is that there are no convincing preclinical data that support the idea that bacterial or viral infections either cause or contribute to autism. Quite the opposite, in fact. Of course, where scientists note that there is no relationship between specific infections and autism, no doubt Montagnier would claim that any old bacterial infection will do. After all, his magic device, at least according to him, detects any bacterial or viral DNA, even after it’s been diluted to nonexistence and the water filtered so that no DNA could be left behind.

But it gets even worse than that.

Based on an unsupported hypothesis that bacterial infections cause autism, Montagnier will be subjecting autistic children to blood draws and treatment with antibiotics. The former will cause unnecessary pain and suffering, and the latter has the potential to cause the complications that can occur due to long term antibiotic use over several months. These include antibiotic-induced diarrhea and even C. difficile colitis, as well as a variety of other problems that can be caused when normal bacterial flora are killed off with antibiotics. Since there is no reason to suspect that these children have any sort of clinical infection that needs treatment, giving them antibiotics for several months is all risk, no potential benefit.

But it gets even worse than that.

The study proposed is poorly designed even for a pilot study. There is no control group, for one thing; so any results observed will be nigh meaningless. After all, there will only be 12 children; any improvements observed will not be even the least bit generalizable because we won’t know whether they were due to random variation or any treatment intervention. Moreover, because the selection criteria for the study are not specified, there is no way of knowing how much selection bias might be operative there. I realize that this is only a pilot study, but come on! Even pilot studies are designed to provide some meaningful data that can be used to justify further clinical trials.

What I want to know is how quacks like this can get away with doing such unethical clinical trials. In the U.S., we have Mark and David Geier, who created an Institutional Review Board at their own “research institute” with cronies. The likely reason they could get away with it was because their research wasn’t federally funded and thus they could skirt the Common Rule, which applies only to federally-funded research or research being used to support an application for FDA approval, although many states require any human subjects research carried within their borders to adhere to the Common Rule regardless of funding source. I’m not sufficiently familiar with the U.K. to know exactly how its ethical oversight of human subjects research works, but fortunately Gimpy is there to explain. Given that this trial proposes to use medicinal compounts (antibiotics), it clearly requires oversight from an ethics board. Clinical trials are regulated by the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which enforces regulations that dictate that clinical trials of medicinal products in human subjects requires authorization by the MHRA and authorization by an ethics committee much like IRBs in the United States. Not only is there no indication that this trial has obtained the necessary approvals from the MHRA and an applicable ethics committee. In other words, it’s bad science and bad ethics, all rolled into one.

It rather reminds me of Andrew Wakefield, actually.

I’ve wondered how some Nobel Laureates, after having achieved so much at science, proving themselves at the highest levels by making fundamental contributions to our understanding of science that rate the highest honors, somehow end up embracing dubious science (Ignarro) or even outright pseudoscience (Pauling or Montagnier). Does the fame go to their head? Do they come to think themselves so much more creative than other scientists that their fantastical ideas become plausible to them? Does winning the Nobel Prize lead some scientists to think that the genius they showed in their own area of expertise that allowed them to win such an exalted prize also applies to other areas of science outside their area of expertise? Who knows? What I do know is that Montagnier has become the latest Nobel Laureate to go woo.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Calder
    November 23, 2010

    It might be useful to contact several prize winners and ask them to recount when and by who they were approached by people waving money over their heads.

    We have all seen postdocs stampede toward one, screaming like little girls waving notebooks for an autograph. It’s probably not unusual on the part of the public.

  2. #2 Amenhotepstein
    November 23, 2010

    Be afraid, be very afraid….

    when someone proposes using a “very sensitive PCR assay” to detect bacterial or viral DNA in patients.

    Odds are, they will find whatever they are looking for.

  3. #3 Militant Agnostic
    November 23, 2010

    when someone proposes using a “very sensitive PCR assay” to detect bacterial or viral DNA in patients.

    – they also have a built in defense when no one can replicate their results.

  4. #4 Todd W.
    November 23, 2010

    One reason is that there are no convincing preclinical data that support the idea that bacterial or viral infections either cause or contribute to autism.

    It was my understanding that congenital rubella syndrome was one known cause of autism. Not that that validates his study.

    Yeah, I would have a hard time approving this study if it passed by my desk. The blood draws I could see for a pilot investigational study trying to ascertain presence of bacteria or viruses in children with autism as compared to those without autism, so long as provisions were in place to optionally use blood draws from normal checkups, thereby minimizing the pain and risk involved. However, the administration of antibiotics, without any previous justification based in science, is right out, as is the lack of a control group.

    So, the risk from the antibiotics and lack of clear benefit sinks this from an ethical point of view. The lack of a control group sinks it from a scientific point of view, as well as an ethical point of view (useless study means that the kids would be put at risk not only for no personal benefit, but without any advancement of scientific knowledge, either).

    Proof that winning a Nobel does not necessarily mean that one is smart.

  5. #5 DPSisler
    November 23, 2010

    RE: “The Nobel Disease” I remembemr reading in one of my fantasy adventure books (“The Icewind Dale” series) that a dwarf will be able to create a masterpiece once in his lifetime. This masterpiece will take all the strenght, endurance and skill that he has and if it works, will outshine any of his other creations. Dwarves look at this day with anticipation and dread, knowing, that if succesful they will never achieve that level of perfection again. Maybe these Nobel laureates have cleared this hurdle and are wondering around aimlessly, looking for another area to succeed and be reconginzed once again for their genuis?

    Or, they just want the money?

  6. #6 qetzal
    November 23, 2010

    What Amenhotepstein said. Plus we can multiply that by roughly infinity for this study, since they’ll be looking for “a range of gram positive and gram negative bacteria as well as mycoplasma and borrelia”, and they won’t be troubling themselves with any control subjects.

    It’s profoundly sad to see this sort of thing from once-great scientists. I heard Pauling talk about orthomolecular medicine when I was in grad school. What a shame!

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    November 23, 2010

    When I originally heard about his statement in ” House of Numbers” , I had hoped that it was merely problematic translation or “creative editing” by the film maker however, his forays into Homeopathy and autism woo seal the deal for me (* Quel dommage!*) HIV/AIDS denialists get a great deal of milage from scientists’ statements ( e.g. Duesberg, Mullis, et al): this makes it worse- precisely because of his background and its historical significance. Try to imagine how many people have been misguided and therafter eschewed SBM treatment for serious illness because of Pauling’s vitamin C woo- and how many vitamin salsman have profiteered by using the Nobel Laureate seal of approval.

  8. #8 Science Mom
    November 23, 2010

    Dr. Amet has commented on LB/RB: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/11/montagnier-and-the-autism-treatment-trust/

    And is taking great pains to defensively describe this as a ‘screen’ and not a study. I wonder if that and charging patients is allowing them to dodge ethics approval.

  9. #9 jm
    November 23, 2010

    Francoise Barre-Sinoussi also shared in Montagnier’s Nobel Prize, for what it’s worth.

  10. #10 Mu
    November 23, 2010

    Orac, why are you surprised that there is a charge for participating? It’s run by a DAN practitioner, his whole modus operandi is based on experimental treatments and charging parents an arm and a leg for it. It’s probably against the DAN ethics code to provide free treatment as it would risk the whole business model.

  11. #11 g724
    November 23, 2010

    So. DNA molecules emit *radio waves.*

    From where do they get a source of energy with which to emit these radio waves?

    And from where does the diluted solution get a source of energy to emit these radio waves?

    Finally, one last question. Are they AM or FM, classical, jazz, or news & sports?

  12. #12 Elly
    November 23, 2010

    I’m reminded of an incident that Richard Feynman recalled from his days at Los Alamos.

    As the story went, the legendary Niels Bohr once visited with his son to consult on the project. Feynman was a just a junior staffer there – generally a nobody at the time. Yet one day he received a call from Bohr’s son, requesting a private meeting with Bohr. They met for over two hours. When it was over:

    “Well,” he said, finally, lighting his pipe. “I guess we can call in the big shots now.” So then they called all the other guys and had a discussion with them.

    Then the son told me what happened. The last time he was there, Bohr told his son, “Remember the name of that little fellow in the back over there? He’s the only guy who’s not afraid of me, and will say when I’ve got a crazy idea. So next time, when we want to discuss ideas, we’re not going to be able to do it with these guys who say everything is yes, yes, Dr. Bohr. Get that guy, and we’ll talk with him first.”

    I imagine that Nobel laureates hear “yes, yes, Dr…” quite a lot. It can only facilitate the progression of “Nobel Disease.”

  13. #13 g724
    November 23, 2010

    What I also find really curious is all this freaking out about ASDs and the comparative silence about personality disorders such as sociopathy (Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich are examples, and murderous street thugs who “show no emotion” in court are also examples).

    One of the things typically said about people with Asperger’s Syndrome is that they seem to be incapable of lying. Wonderful! Excellent! Let’s have more people around who can’t lie!

    Contrast to sociopaths and narcissists who lie and lie and lie and lie some more, and then lie again to be sure.

    Tells you something about our culture’s values.

  14. #14 Dangerous Bacon
    November 23, 2010

    The only bright spot here is how much this project will piss off the “vaccines cause autism” crowd.

    Though one wonders how long it will take for Dr. Montagnier to give up on “nanobacteria” and focus on “vaccine nanotoxins”.

  15. #15 MikeMa
    November 23, 2010

    @g724

    From where do they get a source of energy

    From ATP silly. Every undergrad biology course teaches that.

    Hey, it really is easy to make shit up. The problem is attaining some level of competence to allow that made up shit to be treated as gospel. I clearly haven’t reached the “my shit is gospel” stage but I’m working on it. Maybe a degree or 2 from Liberty U will help.

  16. #16 Ian
    November 23, 2010

    Don’t forget about James Watson (co-discoverer of the double helix) who decided that his expertise in biochemistry made him expert enough to opine about how black people just aren’t as smart as the white ones. After all, he said, ask anyone who’s ever had a black employee. They’ll tell ya!

    Stay classy, Nobel dudes.

  17. #17 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 23, 2010

    It’ not limited to medicine.
    Does anyone remember William Shockley? He won his Nobel for the discovery of the transistor and then went and squandered every last bit of respect he’d earned for that by becoming a proponent of a rather noxious and racist brand of eugenic theory.

  18. #18 David N. Brown
    November 23, 2010

    @13:
    The bit about autistics not being able to lie is a myth. Still, it’s telling when stereotypes are used irrationally even within their own premises.

  19. #19 Denice Walter
    November 23, 2010

    (Shockley! Sure.) Musing over Orac’s last paragraph above, if I may be so presumptuous to add : a failure of self-criticism ( executive function includes both person-related abilities like understanding others *and* yourself as well as the basis of scientific thought- abstract thought, formal operations, etc.) which in Pauling’s case may have had something to do with advanced age; Mullis experimented with drugs. Also on the interpersonal level – science is a hard business- people criticize you, contest your results, challenge you- whereas in Woo-topia, being a convert from the “Dark Side”, you are accepted with open arms, lauded and applauded, neither criticized nor reviewed( e.g. Wakefield) by stringent constraints.

  20. Perhaps there is a subset of Nobel prize winners that are not necessarily any more brilliant than their equally brilliant peers but are just luckier risk takers.

    I’ve read in several places that most successful people are risk takers, but that doesn’t mean risk takers are inherently successful, just that risk taking is often a requirement of success. Most risk takers are not successful, that’s the nature of risk. One success does not guarantee future success, especially if that success was partially the result of a risk or gamble, but past success can cloud your self-objectivity in future endeavors.

    Your failures are often worth remembering as much as your successes are. (ie: As brilliant as I think I am, I’ve been grossly wrong before.) It’s also worth knowing the limits of your knowledge and expertise. (As brilliant as I think I am, there are things I’m not and won’t be an expert in.)

    Also, Pauling was a brilliant chemist, but his second Nobel, the Peace Prize, really adds no more to his scientific credibility than if he had won an Oscar for best screenplay.

    To state it simply, a Nobel Prize may say that someone knows a lot about what they know, but that’s about it. The prize is a recognition of you past work; it is not a qualification for anything.

    -Karl Withakay

  21. #21 Jojo
    November 23, 2010

    I’m always surprised that DAN! isn’t also underlined. It would seem appropriate for the crowd that follows it. I’d settle for DAN!!11!!1

  22. #22 Seb30
    November 23, 2010

    Dr Montagnier was such a hero in the 90′s in France. His struggle with Dr Gallo to establish which one of them made first the actual discovery of the HIV only increased his status.
    Eh, a French egghead is getting a Nobel prize, and some big American lab boss wanted to steal his victory! That discovery must be something really important.
    (sorry, basic French anti-Americanism here, in reality it was more of a close finish in a scientific race – but it is how many of us French perceived it at the time).
    In a way, it was David vs. Goliath. We may be small, but we were still able to shine.

    I feel betrayed.

    Now I’m thinking about it, Montagnier’s story (or legend?), as being recounted, is very close to the “brave maverick doctor” meme. The small guy who battled the big players (here the American scientists) and revealed the True.
    I remember he made a lot of fuss when he was (politely) asked to take his retirement. He clearly believed he could still produce important breakthroughs in science. He could have been right, but this doesn’t look like it. A virologist, believing your can clear a virus by nutrition?
    If you have been elevated to the position of a heroic genius, it would be a difficult role to abandon, and that could explain why Dr Montaignier is running after his next breakthrough in such pseudo-scientific fields.

    I like Elli’s anecdote (@ 12). It may be exactly this. Once a scientist achieves this level of acknowledgment, there is no-one left to tell him (or her) when he starts saying stupid things. Quite the contrary, apparently.

  23. #23 gimpy
    November 23, 2010

    Fantastic as ever from Orac.
    If people want some historical context – as far as I can tell Montagnier is interested in this because he has a theory that pathogens are the cause of various diseases currently unlinked with bacterial or viral infection. This seems to have root in a hypothesis he came up with in the early 90s, that HIV needed a bacterial cofactor to becomes full blown AIDS.

  24. #24 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 23, 2010

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_David_Josephson

    Brian Josephson must be mentioned as a Nobel Laureate in Physics who has gone off the deep end supporting ESP and Homeopathy. There’s also that guy (can’t remember his name) who won the Nobel for his contributions to MRI imaging in medical diagnosis. He’s a young-earth creationist (although this may have predated his winning the prize).

    Has anyone compiled a complete list of Nobel winners who have gone nuts like this?

  25. #25 James Sweet
    November 23, 2010

    I dunno, how long did it take Obama to go from Nobel-prize winner to a supporter of death panels?

    (j/k) (of course)

  26. #26 Calli Arcale
    November 23, 2010

    Okay, 12 kids, and he’s saying the kids will receive different antibiotic regimens depending on what seems appropriate — 12 kids, who quite likely will have different treatment from one another. Forget the lack of a control group; the study group is completely uncontrolled! How many variables is he *introducing*, let alone testing? Wow.

    These antibiotics block cell division rather than kill bacteria, thereby avoiding potential side effects.

    I’m not a doctor or pharmacist or pharamcologist — but how exactly would this avoid side effects? I mean, cell division is rather important in the human body. Seems to me this would be a fairly brutal chemo regime, if it really does block all cell division, since that would make it impossible for the body to make more blood cells or continually replenish the skin or repair other tissues. Please tell me I’ve misunderstood something here.

    As for the detection of DNA in samples diluted to absurdity by means of emitted radio waves . . . is it just me, or has Montagnier the latest person to discover N-rays?

  27. #27 madder
    November 23, 2010

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to first demonstrate the existence and life of these nanobacteria?

    And Calli Arcale, I also wondered why the anti-cell-division antibiotics wouldn’t have side effects (let’s say it again: chemo!) or tinker with intestinal flora. How would this agent be able to reduce pathological bacteria, either in gross numbers or as a proportion of total flora, without killing bacteria? Oh wait, I know– the antibiotics are tuned to the correct vibrational frequency, right?

  28. #28 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 23, 2010

    Re comment 24:

    Whoops, blew it!

    Raymond Damadian was the YEC MRI guy, but he did not win the Nobel. He was passed over in favour of 2 physicists, and raised a huge stink about it. There’s a claim that he was ignored because he was a YEC. There’s also a claim that he was ignored because he was obnoxious.

    So, just ignore that part of my comment. Sorry.

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    November 23, 2010

    first demonstrate the existence and life of these nanobacteria?

    My first thought too. If the very existence of an entity is doubted by most researchers, how does the team have any idea how to treat it? It is almost as if the putative nanobacteria were added to the list through a general policy of “Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”.

  30. #30 Sannica
    November 23, 2010

    Re: Calli Arcale
    So my guess is he’s using antibiotics like Penicillin, which are “bacteriostatic” (as opposed to “bateriocidal”) – as long as the bacteria doesn’t divide, it will live, but when it starts to divide, the antibiotic interferes with some of the critical processes and the bacterium dies.
    Whether an antibiotic is -cidal or -static has relatively little to do with the side-effects it has on a person, though… I kind of flinched reading that, definitely meant to cater to those who think they might know stuff about medicine/biology etc. but don’t really…

    This is pretty painful to read; we recently had Francoise Barre-Sansoucci (I spelled that wrong) give a lecture at our university. She worked with him (and won the prize with him), but her lecture was very rational and extremely interesting – rather than sketchy and filled with illogical plans…

  31. #31 synapse
    November 23, 2010

    “One reason is that there are no convincing preclinical data that support the idea that bacterial or viral infections either cause or contribute to autism.”
    I thought some people hypothesize that maternal infection during pregnancy could predispose the child to autism and schizophrenia via the maternal immune response.

    I went to a talk by Stan Prusiner where he said that the causative misfolded proteins behind Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s were all prions. Is this notion one that people take seriously? I couldn’t tell from the talk.

  32. #32 Sullivan
    November 23, 2010

    The measure shouldn’t be from time of award of the Nobel to strange claims, but the time from the Nobel winning achievement to strange claims.

  33. #33 SLC
    November 23, 2010

    Re T. Bruce McNeely @ #24

    In addition, Prof. Josephson also believes in PK and cold fusion.

  34. #34 Joseph
    November 23, 2010

    The bit about autistics not being able to lie is a myth.

    It’s a myth in the sense that autistics can and do lie, but it’s well documented that autistics have a “deception impairment” as well as a “false-memory impairment.”

  35. #35 JamesBrown
    November 23, 2010

    “Meanwhile, patented a device to detect these fantastical radiowaves allegedly emitted by bacterial and viral DNA in water”
    Does anyone have a reference to this patent? I can’t find anything on the net because of all the Woo cross posting to this guys name.

  36. #36 Seb30
    November 23, 2010

    @ Calli Arcale/Sannica

    Re: antibiotics blocking cell division.

    I would guess, too, that Dr Montagnier was talking about using bacteriostatics, and about blocking the cell division of bacteria, not of the human cells.
    But it’s my guess as a microbiologist. I’m not positive it’s the meaning of Dr Montagnier.

    To my knowledge (a bit old, now), the only side-effect avoided by bacteriostatics is the mass release of endotoxins from all the bacteria killed at the same time by exposure to a bacteriocidal agent.

    @ madder
    I believe bacteriostatics act by slowing down bacteria growth, giving time to the immune system to catch up and destroy pathogens at its own speed. So this part may not be that far off.
    Of course, you are still right to wonder that will happens to the normal gut flora. Especially with prolonged treatment.

    Now, I wonder: if these nanobacteria have never been isolated and characterized, how does he know that existing bacteriostatics are going to be working?

  37. #37 Calli Arcale
    November 23, 2010

    Re: bacteriostatics — cool, I have learned something today! Thanks, guys! It’s a really good point, too, about the gut floral — and about how the heck he can know these putative “nanobacteria” are even affected by bacteriostatic drugs. The whole thing is nonsense, from start to finish.

  38. #38 madder
    November 23, 2010

    @Sannica and Seb30:

    Thanks for the quick lesson. I learned something today: yay!

  39. #39 Traeler
    November 23, 2010

    @26

    Okay, 12 kids, and he’s saying the kids will receive different antibiotic regimens depending on what seems appropriate — 12 kids, who quite likely will have different treatment from one another. Forget the lack of a control group; the study group is completely uncontrolled! How many variables is he *introducing*, let alone testing?

    Remember that this is alt-med. One of their common arguments is that every patient is different, and requires an individualized treatment regimen. That’s why the randomized controlled studies of stupid scientists can’t find any effect for homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, …

    Adding more kids wouldn’t make it a study with more participants. It would make it a large number of anecdotes each with N = 1.

  40. #40 Matthew Cline
    November 23, 2010

    So. DNA molecules emit *radio waves.*

    From where do they get a source of energy with which to emit these radio waves?

    Welllllll, emitting radio waves could be a side effect of folding/unfolding the DNA, or of transcription.

    And from where does the diluted solution get a source of energy to emit these radio waves?

    But the “water nano-structures emitting radio waves” makes it likely he thinks the DNA is emitting radio waves.

    Wait, or it could a type of fluorescence: absorbing photons of one wavelength and re-emitting them at a lower wavelength. I’m not a physicist/chemist, though, so I have no idea if DNA could absorb infra-red and emit low-frequency radio waves.

  41. #41 Rosie Redfield
    November 23, 2010

    As a reassuring alternative we should consider Ham Smith (now almost 80), who continues to do productive research more than 30 years after receiving a Nobel Prize for the discovery of restriction enzymes.

  42. #42 iamnothouse.com
    November 23, 2010

    One also has to question the institutions which allow bunk like this to get run under their roof. It’s the same sort of thing though; allowing these guys to run their stuff, regardless of how wrong it is, gives the university/institution prestige. I’m sure everyone can think of a professer they knew who was a right asshole who was kept on because his/her research single-handedly buoyed up their lacklustre department.

  43. #43 Sullivan
    November 23, 2010

    The frequencies that they are detecting are very low. Very.

    Consider the wavelength.
    c=3×10^8 m/s
    f=44 hz (for the lowest peak)
    lamda=3×10^8/44 which is roughly 7×106 meters.

    I have a lot of trouble believing that his antenna is able to pick that up with any efficiency at all.

  44. #44 Sullivan
    November 23, 2010

    Sorry, should read:

    “lamda=3×10^8/44 which is roughly 7×10^6 meters.”

    I think the navy has antennae for ELF transmissions to and from subs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_with_submarines#ELF_Transmission

    I also find it very hard to believe that small molecules are transmitting anything at this wavelength.

  45. #45 Colin Day
    November 23, 2010

    An earlier example of such a Nobel Laureate could be Phillipp Lenard, who won the 1905 prize in physics but advocated “German Physics” in his later life.

    Also, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteria the smallest known bacteria are about a tenth of a micrometer. Indeed, there are atoms that are a tenth of a nanometer. So how small can a bacterium be?

  46. #46 Calli Arcale
    November 23, 2010

    Traeler:

    Adding more kids wouldn’t make it a study with more participants. It would make it a large number of anecdotes each with N = 1.

    I agree; I was just amazed that not only do they have a pathetically small “study” size but they’re additionally confounding matters with extra variables for no reason whatsoever. (Well, actually there is a reason, I expect — whichever child does best may be presumed to have had the best treatment, and they can parlay that into additional sales, while children who do poorly will be evidence that it doesn’t work for everyone, so they have a ready-made excuse when it fails down the road.)

    Over at Left Brain/Right Brain, Dr Amet openly admitted that this is not a study, and that they don’t really intend to get any real information out of it. What she said was that if you care about autism, you should propose a mechanism and then act on it. Skip all of the “finding out if it’s right” stuff; I guess evidence must be for weenies.

  47. #47 Science Mom
    November 23, 2010

    Over at Left Brain/Right Brain, Dr Amet openly admitted that this is not a study, and that they don’t really intend to get any real information out of it. What she said was that if you care about autism, you should propose a mechanism and then act on it. Skip all of the “finding out if it’s right” stuff; I guess evidence must be for weenies.

    Oh Callie, cut her some slack, she is looking to upgrade her lifestyle after all. ;)

  48. #48 daedalus2u
    November 23, 2010

    I think that Luc Montagnier is trying to channel Dr McCoy and find a cure for polywater intoxication.

    http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Polywater_intoxication

  49. #49 Big Blue
    November 23, 2010

    “I went to a talk by Stan Prusiner where he said that the causative misfolded proteins behind Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s were all prions. Is this notion one that people take seriously? I couldn’t tell from the talk.”

    Not exactly. They are all misfolded proteins, many of which are thought to cause the string-like amyloid formations, but certainly no one thinks they are all infectious. There’s a good bit of argument about the actual structure of the proteins in question, as crystal structures of actual amyloid are not really to be found–most structures are derived from small fragments stabilized with antibodies, or NMR, rather than the clearer high-resolution X-ray structures of an entire protein.

    Some of the proteins may simply be fairly unstructured to begin with, and through oxidation or regular degradation in serum, tend to unfold with the greasy bits exposed and clump together. That’s sorta-kinda what structural biologists imagine for heritable genetic variants, that a particular variant of a protein is simply not structurally stable and tends to denature. Others, like Prusiner’s PrPc, are thought to be in an actual metastable state with multiple possible structures for the same sequence; this is not uncommon in infectious diseases and is fairly well-documented in viral capsid proteins.

    Protein denaturation is like a turkey cooking–globular proteins turning into stringy bits from heat forcing them to unfold. Amyloid formation is more like the plastic timer thingies that come in the turkey, they get to a certain point and go POP, then turn into something longer that can’t be re-set.

  50. #50 Jen
    November 23, 2010

    “But it gets even worse than that…Montagnier will be subjecting autistic children to blood draws!!!… ” OMG. In Britain soon they may stab one year olds with 3 different vaccines in one day. I think that is pretty extreme.
    I think what you all need to urgently do is to protest to the People in charge of awarding Nobel prizes.
    I think I can solve your pondering over why Nobel Laureates end up embracing ” dubious” science. My theory is that they find the science (bias, poor study designs, politics etc. etc.) dubious in the first place.

  51. #51 Sullivan
    November 23, 2010

    Forget my comments above. What he made would pick up a lot of stuff..like line noise which is in this frequency range.

  52. #52 John S. Wilkins
    November 23, 2010

    Do a search for the “Brain Eater” hypothesis in SF; a similar phenomenon.

  53. #53 idlemind
    November 23, 2010

    Wasn’t there a bit of a scandal a while back over unreplicable research involving “nanobacteria?” That would suggest a certain microbiological analog to polywater…

  54. #54 nejishiki
    November 23, 2010

    Linus Pauling is the one who confuses me the most. He made major advances in at least 3 areas:
    - chemical bonding
    - 3D structure of macromolecules (alpha helix, induced fit of enzymes, molecular basis of sickle-cell disease, etc.)
    - the molecular clock
    This was also over the course of 30 years or so, during which he was extremely productive. He wasn’t some one-hit-wonder like Kary Mullis.

  55. #55 Dangerous Bacon
    November 23, 2010

    jen: “”But it gets even worse than that…Montagnier will be subjecting autistic children to blood draws!!!… ” OMG. In Britain soon they may stab one year olds with 3 different vaccines in one day. I think that is pretty extreme.”

    Poor analogy, jen – unless 1) you think trying to access a vein and drawing blood (in a child, no less) is at the same level of trauma as giving a shot, and 2) you believe inflicting pain for an unjustifiable study is the same as inflicting pain for a medically proven, life-saving intervention.

    Poor jen, missing the point as usual.

  56. #56 Calli Arcale
    November 23, 2010

    My eldest had to have a blood draw to try to find the cause of a persistent fever. It was traumatic for her, holding still while that large-bore needle was inserted into her vein. She didn’t struggle much; she was quite sick at the time with a bona fide infection. (Pneumonia. She seems prone to it, which makes me wonder if she’ll develop asthma like so many in my family.) It was hard enough putting her through that, quite honestly. Vaccines are a cinch by comparison.

    That’s not the point, though. Any test or intervention should only be done if it is clinically useful. In this case, they’re not even looking for normal bacteria; they’re looking for “nanobacteria”, pathogens which so far no one else has ever observed. It does seem like an awfully big jump to go from speculating about the existance of super-tiny bacteria to treating autism by attempting to rid the body of these creatures.

  57. #57 Militant Agnostic
    November 23, 2010

    What is the best way to detect nanobacteria? Applied kinesiology, pendulum dowsing, a box with LEDs on the outside and random unconnected electronic components inside…?

    I think Sullivan is on to something with line noise. This sort of mistake would be typical for a Crank operating well outside their area of expertise.

  58. #58 DLC
    November 23, 2010

    Damn you and your Logic, Spock/Orack!

  59. #59 Jonesy
    November 24, 2010

    I’m surprised that only one mention of Nobel Laureate for PCR invention Kary Mullis has happened thus far. The man has regressed into a furious dogmatic approach to everything scientific, and has lent a terrifying credence to former South African PM Thabo M’beki’s HIV/AIDS denialism.

    http://vimeo.com/9167379

    I’d suspect the LSD, but apparently both Crick and Feynman were users. Three case studies is hardly a basis for LSD-related Nobel Desease.

  60. #60 TITMOUSE!!!11!111!!!!
    November 24, 2010

    DAN!!11!!1

    OMG I am so stealing that.

  61. #61 David N. Brown
    November 24, 2010

    @34:
    I have had some fun with the “autistics don’t lie” myth myself, through a character of mine named Zaratustra (aka Zed). By about his third appearance, I settled on the idea that he can’t or won’t lie, for ambiguous reasons. A major source of humor is that he is STILL devious, deceptive and in the habit of trying to kill off his employers.

  62. #62 Curious Wavefunction
    November 24, 2010

    -Pauling’s reputation was tainted for all time, and he became known more for his crankery than his successes.

    Probably among laymen. Among chemists he is still known and highly respected primarily for his achievement in protein structure and chemical bonding. His second Nobel Prize awarded for efforts against nuclear testing was also well-deserved.

  63. #63 Sean Case
    November 24, 2010

    Kary Mullis was nuts before he won the Nobel.

  64. #64 Snout
    November 24, 2010

    In fairness to Montagnier, the film clip you have linked is a notorious piece of quote mining distributed over the net about a year ago in a co-ordinated disinformation campaign by HIV/AIDS denialists including Mike Adams, Lew Rockwell, Celia Farber, Liam Scheff, and others associated with the Duesberg support cult “Rethinking AIDS”.

    “Rethinking AIDS” also substantially funded the film project.

    The vast majority of exposures to HIV do not result in chronic infection (“HIV positive” status). In the clip, Montagnier is discussing the factors which influence the probability of chronic infection following exposure to HIV, and voices the opinion that many of the simpler public health measures such as promoting genital hygiene, treating concomitant infections, and providing clean water for babies are crucial to reducing the epidemic in communities with high HIV incidence.

    He also thinks that good nutrition is important in maintaining the ability to fight off an exposure to HIV and prevent it progressing to chronic infection, and that widespread malnutrition in hyperendemic communities might be a major reason why HIV has spread the way it has in South Eastern Africa.

    He’s probably overstating the role of nutrition compared to the many other factors at play here, but it’s not quite as nutty as the denialists are painting him.

    Click the link for a more detailed discussion, and background to the film and the resulting internet disinformation campaign.

  65. #65 Snout
    November 24, 2010

    He’s also made a name for himself, such as it is, by appearing in the HIV/AIDS denialist film House of Numbers

    The film maker, Brent Leung, misrepresented the intent of the film, and deceived numerous major scientists in the HIV/AIDS field into appearing in the film, including Barre-Sinnousi, Gallo, Baltimore and fourteen others who have strongly objected to the intent of the film and the deception used by the film maker to secure their participation.

    http://www.houseofnumbers.org/Scientists_Denounce_HON.html

    Montagnier was not a signatory to the letter, for the simple reason that he could not be contacted during the week in which it was drafted.

  66. #66 Just Sayin'
    November 24, 2010

    So. DNA molecules emit *radio waves.*

    Yes. Just last night, in fact, my DNA was transmitting Metallica. Tonight I plan to telepathically communicate with it and request some Zeppelin or Deep Purple.

  67. #67 Jen
    November 24, 2010

    You must write, phone in and do whatever it takes to revoke his award as a Nobel Laureate. Go. You gave until Friday.

    Jen for Orac ( I thought he might be away)

  68. #68 Kemist
    November 24, 2010

    @61

    Well, if you are a medicinal chemist, he is both : an example of how you can be a genius in one field and a complete doofus in another.

    I think not everyone can withstand success on the Nobel scale. I have seen many autoritative figures in science conferences being quite impressed with themselves – and also scared. Success is frightening, because you know others are expecting a lot out of you.

  69. #69 Todd W.
    November 24, 2010

    @Jen

    You must write, phone in and do whatever it takes to revoke his award as a Nobel Laureate. Go. You gave until Friday.

    Jen for Orac ( I thought he might be away)

    Why? Whatever work he did to win the Nobel still stands. His current straying into nutsville does not invalidate his previous work.

    You should really consider educating yourself and learning when not to speak. That would be just the first step in speaking for Orac, but even that wouldn’t get you close. Such presumption.

  70. #70 Jen
    November 24, 2010

    Todd, surely all you science bloggers have the power to revoke it? Kind of like revoking Andy Wakefield’s license. Go. You have until Friday.

  71. #71 Todd W.
    November 24, 2010

    @Jen

    Clearly, you did not heed my advice. Might I recommend taking some classes in logic?

  72. #72 Kemist
    November 24, 2010

    Montagnier told the conference last week that solutions containing the DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, “could emit low frequency radio waves” that induced surrounding water molecules to become arranged into “nanostructures”. These water molecules, he said, could also emit radio waves

    Nobel disease indeed.

    I don’t think a physicist or chemist could have repressed laughter or at least jaw-dropping upon hearing this.

    1) He doesn’t seem to understand how radiowaves are created. I’m betting he doesn’t know a lot about how to measure them either. That’s easy to verify : just ask him to describe and write the equation for the Fourier transform and you’ll be fixed.

    2) He doesn’t seem to understand the interactions between radiowave, or any electromagnetic wave, and matter. That’s also easy to check – ask questions on spectrometry.

    I don’t understand how somebody with a high level of training in one math-and-physics deprived field can honestly delude himself into thinking his opinion is worth more than a donkey fart.

    Biology can easily give that (false) impression to more fundamental-level scientists – it is easily understable without special training, there are simply huge amounts of facts – but I can’t believe that somebody might think they understand physics when they could make just as much sense of differentials equations as I could make sense of Chinese characters.

  73. #73 Birger Johansson
    November 24, 2010

    For another case of bogus medicine that went unchallenged (at least in Germany) se the belief in “abwehrfermente” or “defense enzymes” ca, WWI-WWII .

  74. #74 Calli Arcale
    November 24, 2010

    Militant Agnostic @ 57:

    I think Sullivan is on to something with line noise. This sort of mistake would be typical for a Crank operating well outside their area of expertise.

    Not necessarily. It could be another case of n-rays. Even experts can overlook things and then get carried away with the excitement of what they’ve seen.

    Prosper-René Blondlot was a physicist at the University of Nancy, France. He was working with several other physicists in an attempt to polarize x-rays for better study. In the process, he observed and even photographed an unexplained brightening of an electric spark placed in the path of an x-ray beam. He believed that he’d found a new form of radiation, which he dubbed “n-rays” in honor of his academic institution. He was measuring this brightness entirely by eyeballing it, which was not unusual in the period, and he and other researchers (over a hundred) commenced work on this strange new radiation. They found that phosphorescent surfaces would reveal the presence of n-rays, by glowing ever so faintly, and started experimenting to see what was producing them. Nearly everything was found to produce n-rays, with a few puzzling exceptions, such as green wood. More puzzling was the inability of many noted physicists to reproduce the observations. Over 300 papers were written on the subject before one of those physicists, the debunker Robert Wood, traveled to the University of Nancy to see for himself how it was done. Blondlot claimed to see the glow; Wood could not. Then, Wood secretly removed part of the experimental apparatus; Blondlot still detected n-rays. He replaced the metal which was supposedly furnishing the n-rays with a piece of green wood; the rays still appeared to Blondlot. Clearly, the rays were not real, but merely a perceptual trick. Eyes are notoriously bad at estimating brightness in dim conditions; ask an astronomer.

    Blondlot wasn’t your typical crank. He just let his enthusiasm get the better of him, and stopped questioning his own discoveries. That was his downfall. It’s sad that Blondlot is now remembered almost entirely for the n-ray fiasco, because he did quite a lot of very good work before that. And the n-rays were very much in his field; he was not operating outside of his area of expertise, and he managed to deceive himself quite thoroughly. Part of the trouble was the mechanism used to detect n-rays; it depends on the human eye doing something where it’s not very reliable. And that was known at the time; Blondlot ignored that, probably not out of hubris or malice but simply because he was excited at having found something new. To borrow an ancient metaphor, he didn’t want to look back and find that his discovery had been turned into a pillar of salt.

  75. #75 Jen
    November 24, 2010

    Dr. Evil here kids. We’ve frickin’ got this. Everyone write a letter to the Nobel committee to request the power to strip the dubious science Laureates of their frickin’ titles. And remember it could never ever, ever be (and I mean somewhere in the range of about a million evers), because the defectors see the science as biased bull crap. Forget I even said that. I don’t know why I said that. Go now. Go.
    Bwahahahahaha
    Insert Dr. evil theme song

  76. #76 Todd W.
    November 24, 2010

    @Jen

    Wow, nuttier than usual. You also seem to have missed the part that, whatever Montagnier’s current woo-woo tendencies, they do not invalidate his past work for which he earned the Nobel.

    Let’s use a simple analogy. Suppose I hire you to paint a fence. You paint the fence and do a great job at it. I pay you the agreed sum, and, because you do such a stellar job of it, a bonus. Later on, you start spouting nonsense about, I dunno, fences causing unicorns. I’m not going to take the bonus away from you that I gave you earlier. Your “fences cause unicorns” beliefs do not change the fact that you did a good job painting the fence in the first place.

    Hopefully that was simple enough that you could understand it.

  77. #77 Calli Arcale
    November 24, 2010

    Jen, is that really you, or this a new Jen? This doesn’t sound like the Jen we all know. You’re generally easier to understand. I’m not clear what your point is; it seems kind of random.

  78. #78 Mu
    November 24, 2010

    Montagnier clearly doesn’t understand the enormous implications of his radio wave discovery. If the DNA emits spontaneously, that’s free energy, to be harvested to solve all of mankind’s energy needs. So going with the conspiracy thread, that also means big oil will suppress his work.
    But it also means we finally know how those magnet bracelets work, they interfere with the pathogenic DNA.
    I think he’ll get a second Nobel price for all this. Or a rubber room if big oil has his way.

  79. #79 MikeMa
    November 24, 2010

    Calli,
    I agree the current jen is wackier than usual. When I read her first post, I got the vague feeling she was trying backhandedly equate Wakers lumbar punctures with, well something good. It made nowhere near enough sense to comment then.

    Or it could be to suggest Wakers deserves a Nobel for something. I vote it be awarded for fraud but that’s just my opinion.

  80. #80 Kristen
    November 24, 2010

    Callie says,

    Over at Left Brain/Right Brain, Dr Amet openly admitted that this is not a study, and that they don’t really intend to get any real information out of it. What she said was that if you care about autism, you should propose a mechanism and then act on it. Skip all of the “finding out if it’s right” stuff; I guess evidence must be for weenies.

    I find the ‘if you care about autism‘ part very telling. It’s not ‘if you care about helping autistic individuals’. To me there is a very big difference. If she cared about autistic individuals (especially children) she would care more about the ‘finding out if it’s right’ part.

    Blood draws are very traumatic for my children, but especially for my son. I will hold him (with the help of two or more nurses) and allow his blood to be drawn if there is a reason to do so. For those who have never seen an autistic child have their blood drawn-it is not pretty-it is close to impossible to hold Gabriel still enough. The fall-out afterword is worse: he doesn’t act “himself” for at least the rest of the day, nor will he sleep well that night.

    Now, I will admit getting shots is almost as bad. But at least vaccines serve a purpose and are over in mere seconds (and don’t leave large bruises).

    Not to mention unnecessary antibiotics. Isn’t antibiotic overuse causing bacteria to develop resistance to even the strongest antibiotics?

  81. #81 Knotfreak
    November 24, 2010

    I have two PhD friends, one in biology and the other in the communications field.

    The biologist (who did field work in Costa Rica for thirty years and has received many honors) is into every kind of diet/supplement woo you can imagine. The other, has never taken a science course (it seems and might even be totally true), is into not only supplement woo, but every kind of New Age woo as well.

    It must come down to some kind of brain fart, regardless of even science-based education.

  82. #82 Minnesota
    November 24, 2010

    Orac, Linus Pauling is one of the most brilliant chemists in history.

    I can’t begin to fathom how supreme of a being you must be to discredit someone who accomplished so much.

  83. #83 Mu
    November 24, 2010

    Being brilliant doesn’t protect you from losing it at the end. Most of Einstein’s late work is today considered “misguided” to use a friendly term.

  84. #84 kemist
    November 24, 2010

    because the defectors see the science as biased bull crap.

    If by biased, you mean biased towards reality, indeed it is.

    I’d rather have biased bull crap that produces effective treatments, computers, and interplanatary probes than useless bull crap that produces homeopathy, astrology and other kinds of deluded wishful thinking.

    Remember that you are typing and posting your nonsense on a product of what you call biased bull crap. Understanding of reality-based physics was essential before anybody could design modern computers.

  85. #85 Kemist
    November 24, 2010

    @82

    You are particularly dense to say such a thing. Argument from autority is not how science is done. You must do your homework, whoever you are, or you’ll be rightly laughed out of the room.

    Pauling was a genius in his chemistry work, but didn’t understand squat about drug testing, and his head had become too swollen for him to listen to critics from experts in the field. Therefore, his work on vitamin C was unadulterated bullshit.

  86. #86 Jen
    November 24, 2010

    I mean God forbid that anyone should think outside the box on child health, especially given the sorry state of child health in America (think chronic illness and the CDC’s utter inability to know what causes autism, even though it affects as many as one in 58 boys, and approximately 1 in 110 overall). Honestly, as they say over at AoA, it seems odd that they can track down a few people suffering from e-coli very easily and the exact source but this autism thing stumps them. Except, oh ya, they know what doesn’t cause it (vaccines). And this, even though vaccine court awards damages for “autism-like symptoms.” Hilarious…

  87. #87 Just Sayin'
    November 24, 2010

    Todd, surely all you science bloggers have the power to revoke it? Kind of like revoking Andy Wakefield’s license. Go. You have until Friday.

    Not only that, Jen, but they also have the power to revoke your brain, one cell at a time. I overheard Orac and PZ plotting to do it last night. Better get to the tin foil hat store right away!

  88. #88 Science Mom
    November 24, 2010

    @ Just Sayin’

    Not only that, Jen, but they also have the power to revoke your brain, one cell at a time. I overheard Orac and PZ plotting to do it last night. Better get to the tin foil hat store right away!

    Been done already, except AoA actually seems much more efficient at doing it.

  89. #89 Kemist
    November 24, 2010

    sorry state of child health in America

    general tendencies to obesity + sedentarity will do that, there’s no need for conspiracy theories about vaccines.

    (think chronic illness and the CDC’s utter inability to know what causes autism,

    think ‘genetics’ + DSM IV + the current fashion of prefering a diagnosis of ‘autistic’ to the former one of ‘mentally retarded’, ‘autistic’ formerly being more or less exclusively reserved for people with Asperger’s.

  90. #90 Science Mom
    November 24, 2010

    Honestly, as they say over at AoA, it seems odd that they can track down a few people suffering from e-coli very easily and the exact source but this autism thing stumps them. Except, oh ya, they know what doesn’t cause it (vaccines).

    And this Jen, is exactly why you shouldn’t opine on anything more complicated than what you are going to wear today.

  91. #91 Todd W.
    November 24, 2010

    @jen

    You appear to be referring to the article by Katie Wright. I discussed her ideas here.

    Seriously, Jen. If you actually cared about children with autism, then you would be up in arms about Montagnier’s study just as much as the rest of us, since it is bad science, bad ethics and serves no purpose. Whatever results he obtains will be meaningless because not only is there no control group, but even the individuals in the experimental group are not equivalent!

  92. #92 Lawrence
    November 24, 2010

    I’ve always wondered what people like Jen will say if the CDC publishes a study with a definitive cause of autism (perhaps a unique genetic marker) and suggested treatments – including pharmaceutical products?

    What happens to the woo-meisters then? Since all of their arguments (including the conspiracy theories) are rendered null and void.

  93. #93 John Ellis
    November 24, 2010

    FYI, in Paul Dirac’s physics Nobel prize speech he started talking utter crap about economics.

    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/10/paul-dirac-on-economics.html

  94. #94 Calli Arcale
    November 24, 2010

    Jen @ 86:

    Now you’re sounding like yourself again. That’s a relief. ;-) We can have a conversation now.

    I mean God forbid that anyone should think outside the box on child health, especially given the sorry state of child health in America (think chronic illness and the CDC’s utter inability to know what causes autism, even though it affects as many as one in 58 boys, and approximately 1 in 110 overall).

    First of all: there are a lot of very brilliant people trying to understand various chronic illnesses; it insults their dilligence and effort to suggest that because the CDC doesn’t know what causes autism, these things are being ignored. They’re not.

    Second: why are you supporting Montagnier? His theory has nothing to do with vaccines; it would contradict your preferred explanation for autism. And more to the point, his evidence is virtually nonexistant. Some anomalous readings suggesting to him that there might be pathogenic organisms too small to be seen, but which can be detected using radiofrequency radiation. He has yet to prove that they even exist, much less that they cause any particular disease. Vaccines are vastly more plausible as a cause for autism.

    You want people to think outside of the box — that’s wonderful! But this isn’t thinking. This is shooting in the dark. To be open-minded doesn’t mean endorsing every damn fool idea that comes along. Millions of people will come up with exciting, novel new ideas. Most of them will be wrong. When our children’s health is at stake, we have a responsibility to be cautious.

    I respect your commitment to that, and I can respect our difference of opinion on vaccines. But it baffles me that you seem to accept this particular study-that’s-not-a-study, run by people who openly admit they are not interested in finding out if the hypothesis is correct, and indeed, cannot even be bothered to formulate a testable hypothesis.

    There are people who promote corporal punishment to treat autism. In modern terms, that’s thinking outside the box. (A century ago, it wasn’t — it was standard practice.) Would you endorse that? I seriously doubt it.

    Do you know what it is that Montagnier is suggesting?

    Honestly, as they say over at AoA, it seems odd that they can track down a few people suffering from e-coli very easily and the exact source but this autism thing stumps them. Except, oh ya, they know what doesn’t cause it (vaccines). And this, even though vaccine court awards damages for “autism-like symptoms.” Hilarious…

    We’ve been over the vaccine court before. First, it’s a court, not science. Courts rule on law, and it’s important not to confuse a legal decision with a scientific finding. For instance, it’s a matter of science whether or not a particular DNA sample matches that of the accused. It’s a matter of law whether or not to then convict the accused. (Witness, for instance, the cases of people convicted in the absence of DNA evidence and later exonerated.) Secondly, not everything that has “autism-like symptoms” is autism — just as flu-like symptoms aren’t always flu, and shortness of breath isn’t always asthma.

    Tracking e-coli is a much simpler problem than identifying the causes of a complex neurodevelopmental disorder like autism. After all, when you get right down to it, it’s really not that much different from identifying a rapist from a semen sample. (A little more complex, since E. coli’s DNA does drift — which is the key, actually, in identifying it.) Once you know when and where particular strains were located, it’s basic deduction to trace the spread.

    Autism is more complex. I’m not entirely sure that’s a bad thing; while it makes it harder to understand and come to terms with it, it’s testimony to the breathtaking beauty of the human brain. The system is, in my opinion, awesome in its simplicity, which produces such a fantastically complex system that it’ll be thousands of years before we fully understand it — assuming we ever do. We’re still learning how histamine works; is it any surprise we have trouble understanding how the brain builds itself?

    That’s not to say there’s no point trying to understand it. On the contrary, I think researchers should see it as a challenge waiting to be attacked. And fortunately, many do. More than you seem willing to acknowledge, given that you seem to think it’s exclusively the CDC’s domain. It’s not. It’s everybody’s.

  95. #95 Joseph
    November 24, 2010

    it seems odd that they can track down a few people suffering from e-coli

    Why is it odd? E-Coli is caused by (wait for it) E-Coli, a type of bacteria. How it’s transmitted is pretty well understood, so it’s not surprising they are pretty good at tracking it back to its source.

    How this is at all comparable to autism is beyond me.

  96. #96 Just Sayin'
    November 24, 2010

    What happens to the woo-meisters then? Since all of their arguments (including the conspiracy theories) are rendered null and void.

    NO, NO, NO!!!11one!!! You’ve got it all wrong!!! That would just prove the conspiracy!!!!111one!!!one!! Because teh EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL BIG PHARMA and teh EVEN EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVILLER BIG CDC knew about the treatment all along, and were just holding out for MORE PROFIT!!! All at the direction of Kenyan Indonesian Non-American Anti-colonialist Socialist Mulsin President Hussein Osama Obama!!!!

    Am I right, Jen?

  97. #97 Dave Ruddell
    November 24, 2010

    I’ve always wondered what people like Jen will say if the CDC publishes a study with a definitive cause of autism (perhaps a unique genetic marker) and suggested treatments – including pharmaceutical products?

    They’ll say that the CDC is bought and paid for by Big Pharma. Like they always do.

  98. #98 Prometheus
    November 24, 2010

    Linus Pauling, Nikolaas Tinbergen and Luc Mantagnier all deserve respect for the work that earned them their Nobel Prizes. Their descent into absurdity later in life (remember – in most cases, the Nobel Prize is awarded well after the work for which it is given) does not erase their earlier achievements.

    However, their earlier achievements – including the Nobel Prize – do not make their later absurdities any less absurd.

    I call this phenomenon “Post-Nobel Syndrome” (PNS) and I postulate that it is the result of the sufferer taking to heart all of the praise and hyperbole that is piled on them when the are awarded the Nobel Prize. Not everyone can resist the pull of fame – the temptation to actually believe that they are the smartest person alive (or, at least, one of a select few).

    A contributing factor has to be the tendency on the part of the media and general public (and the scientific community, if truth be told) to enshrine any and all pronouncements by Nobel laureates as though their most trivial statements were pearls of wisdom. This not only creates positive feedback for the sufferer’s visions of grandeur, but also makes it likely that a random poorly-thought-out utterance will be amplified out of all reason.

    I’ve had the occasion to meet two Nobel laureates and I’ve found them both to be remarkably human. That is, they have all the foibles and weaknesses of ordinary humans, including the occasional belief in utter nonsense.

    I tell my students that they should evaluate any scientific (or other) argument on the merits of the argument rather than the reputation of its bearer. I can’t help thinking that if someone had told Pauling, Tinbergen and Mantagnier that their later hypotheses were “weak”, they might have been spared a lot of humiliation.

    Prometheus

  99. #99 jose
    November 25, 2010

    What about Ilya Prigogine? Are his popular science books considered a little bit kooky among scientists?

  100. #100 Murfomurf
    November 25, 2010

    Perhaps Luc Montagnier could volunteer to be infected with AIDS/HIV and then demonstrate the efficacy of his nutritional “cure”?
    It really gives scientists a bad reputation when Nobel Laureates go gaga- people start to believe we’re all loonies with woolly hair in white coats and they’re difficult to convince otherwise. I think this is why highschool kids mainly think science and maths are useless and boring and why universities (esp. in Australia) have had to lower their entrance requirements for science so low that lecturers find it very hard to teach them the basics. What is it that inspires people who have been interested in science since childhood?- it MUST be different to whatever turns those Nobel Laureates into fruit loops! Can we bottle it?

  101. #101 Roger Kulp
    November 25, 2010

    Putting aside the Nobel stuff for a minute,there is clearly a subgroup of those with an autism diagnosis,who have unaddressed medical issues,and most of these usually have a strong immune element,as either a primary or,more likely secondary,part of the diagnosis.It takes a lot of work,and round after round of test,to find out just what is considered the primary cause of the syndrome,that is causing the autism. The problem is this is both costly,and time consuming,and few,if any,insurance providers,are going to foot the bill,for what might seem like a wild goose chase at first.

    I use myself as an example here,but it could easily apply to anybody of any age,with both autism,and a lot of mysterious medical issues,like AoA,and ARI like to woo over.

    I have both an autism diagnosis,a bunch of other psychiatric ones,and history of a lot of developmental problems.Last year,I finally found a doctor willing to give me a large group of genetic,immune,and metabolic tests,over thirty in all.There were two areas,where there were abnormal results,one in chromosome 22,and the other in genes for folate metabolism,and cobalamin transport.It took months for me to get in to see a genetics specialist,after which I began round after round of tests,to finally get to the bottom of this whole mess.I had my first FISH test,and everyone was talking about a chromosome 22 diagnosis.I was retested,and it turned out I didn’t have the deletion after all,but they kept finding more and more metabolic stuff. I’ve had at least a hundred different tests,in the last fourteen months,some being dead ends,but an honest diagnosis is forming.I am losing my autism diagnosis,and gaining one of a complex,inborn metabolic disorder.If you know anything about inborn errors of metabolism,and related conditions,like mitochondrial disease,you know these diseases often also have secondary immune deficiencies,as well as psychiatric,and developmental problems.All of which can be controlled once you find the underlying problem.

    Where does Dr.Montagnier stand on vaccines,does anybody know?

    What the antivaxers,and studies like this do,is try to take a one size fits all approach to finding a cause for autism, when really what we call autism,is just a feature of any number of genetic syndromes,the way seizures or developmental delay is.It’s a long,hard,and costly slog,to find the cause for each person,but in the end,it’s the only real way we are going to do it.

  102. #102 Wehaf
    November 25, 2010

    @98 Prometheus – A contributing factor has to be the tendency on the part of the media and general public (and the scientific community, if truth be told) to enshrine any and all pronouncements by Nobel laureates as though their most trivial statements were pearls of wisdom. That reminds me of this comic: http://xkcd.com/799/

  103. #103 Scott
    November 30, 2010

    A couple quick notes on the radio waves thing. His claim was that they were absorbing and reemitting at different frequencies, so no free energy concerns here.

    The bigger problem is that his evidence for this proposition was that the signal vanished when the apparatus was put in a Faraday cage. Which, of course, is about the strongest possible evidence that it was just picking up external noise.

  104. #104 George
    December 1, 2010

    Or maybe the Nobel Prize doesn’t actually signify the person is intelligent.

  105. #105 H
    December 10, 2010

    Actually, the disease onset was before summer 2009, see
    http://www.pseudo-sciences.org/spip.php?article1208#nb9
    (in french).

  106. #106 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C .P. S. E.
    January 3, 2011

    “Not only that, Jen, but they also have the power to revoke your brain, one cell at a time.”

    What brain?

  107. #107 MrrKAT
    January 8, 2011

    Stalin is good man, wrote Nobel Physicist in his letter to Max Born in 1937. The writer is known as Albert Einstein.
    (According to biografer Albrecht Fölsing).

  108. #108 Susan
    January 29, 2011

    Wow. An article written by Orac attempting to discredit a Nobel Laureate because he seems to support looking in to the cause of the insurgence of Autism. I’m so shocked. HA! Kinda makes me want to fund that study. Almost a guarantee that he’s on to something. Why else would Orac care? Orac, once and for all, why not just come out from behind your pseudonym and man up. Let’s have an open debate on the SCIENCE. Stop challenging Jen in virtual reality and sit in person with your colleagues. I’d put the brains of the Andy’s and Luc’s of this world against yours every day of the week and twice on Sundays. A challenge. You really are becoming quite the joke. (and yes, I could make that open debate a reality if you’d just own your position publically.)

  109. #109 JohnV
    January 29, 2011

    “Orac, once and for all, why not just come out from behind your pseudonym and man up.”

    Idiot.

  110. #110 Orac
    January 29, 2011

    Heh.

  111. #111 Militant Agnostic
    January 29, 2011

    looking in to the cause of the insurgence of Autism.

    Is he tying to find the leaders of the autism insurgency?

  112. #112 novalox
    January 29, 2011

    @108

    Yawn, another idiot troll.

  113. #113 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 29, 2011

    Orac, once and for all, why not just come out from behind your pseudonym and man up. Let’s have an open debate on the SCIENCE.

    Pretty ironic, Susan.

    First of all, no one except our esteemed host is using the pseudonym “Orac”. That means that if anyone sees a statement attributed to “Orac” that they want to challenge, they know exactly where to find him and present their challenge. This is in stark contrast to you, who chooses to disappear into the crowd of people known as “Susan.” Big whoop-te-do if that’s your real name; it doesn’t hide the fact that you are taking cowardly advantage of anonymity, while Orac is standing behind what he believes.

    Second irony is that you challenge Orac to a debate on, quote, “the SCIENCE,” immediately after attacking him on the personal. You understand “the SCIENCE” in a way that an 11-year-old girl squeeing over the pictures of Justin Bieber in Tiger Beat magazine understands “the MUSIC.” You may think you do but in fact you’re merely obsessing over the personalities. If you understood “the SCIENCE,” you would understand that a flaw in an experimental study is a flaw in an experimental study; it doesn’t matter whether a Nobel Laureate is pointing it out in a study designed by a pseudonymous blogger, or a pseudonymous blogger pointing it out in a study designed by a Laureate.

  114. #114 Militant Agnostic
    January 29, 2011

    @113 – Thirdly Orac’s “Secret Identity” is widely known even by his enemies.

  115. #115 Melissa G
    January 29, 2011

    Yay, count me in as a member of The Autism Insurgency!!!

  116. #116 JoeVet
    February 2, 2011

    I must say that one of the draws to this site is waiting for the train wrecks and the anti-science faithful are right there to provide them. (Thanks Jen, Susan) One point that I have not seen comment concerning Dr Montagnier fantastical paper is that, according to his journal article his present interest in aqueous water structures came about when he was investigating the spontaneous regeneration of mycoplasma organisms from filter sterilized culture media. I would think anyone discussing the paper would start and stop with this absurdity.

  117. #117 kja
    February 3, 2011

    Nobel Laureates decay with age like all of us. They fall apart physically and mentally, most of them, like the rest of us. The “Nobel disease” is the responsibility of those younger sports who publish their late-day overtures – and ridicule them.

  118. #118 TRT
    February 14, 2011

    Holy shit!! I am SO sick of the scientific community and their ignorance and ego!
    Luc Montagnier is a brilliant man, who has achieved more than anyone posting on this page, within the realms of science.
    Perhaps when you are not only intelligent enough, but also posses enough of an open mind to study these areas without bias you pathetic excuse for science fanboys may be able to win a Nobel as well.
    I have been out of school for 5 years now, opting out of the science route for this very reason before deciding my University path, however I am so close to returning after watching the plain fucking ignorance that comes from twats world over in the science field! AAARRGHHH guess what?? You know some equations! You’re no closer to figuring out the deepest of all questions than the next guy, and in fact your sheer ego and dominant psyche is bringing you further from it and the general public think your a cunt! Science and common sense are never going to rid the world of religion or quackery if the majority of the science field act like douche bags!
    FUCKING WAKE UP and realise there are some exciting revelations happening within medical and quantum fields and if you’re too thick to notice the signs don’t call yourself a scientist or science fan. I feel as if Luc and other scientists who push the idea of what is possible must feel like Copernicus 400 years ago!
    Peace and love to you retards. Fuck you irk me.
    And yeah I realised as I began typing that this comment most likely won’t make it to the board because it’s not ‘proper’ and got a couple swear words, but even if it’s a moderator who sees this.. I hope if you are in the science field for the sake of bettering the world (if not, why the fuck are you?), and as an individual to one or however many others, for the sake of bettering this world, STOP ACTING LIKE TOOLS!
    THE GENERAL PUBLIC DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK HOW SMART YOU ARE, THEY CARE FOR WHAT YOU CARE FOR.
    Guess what? HOMEOPATHY WORKS. If there’s no scientific explanation past what Luc has been getting towards (which to me, an old time homeopathy hater, is actually making sense), THEN PEOPLE ARE HEALING THEMSELVES. Isn’t that fucking INCREDIBLE on it’s own???????
    FUCK!

    I understand that extremely funny irony in me being a tool writing this, but seriously this sort of attitude irks me. I feel as if I go back to school for science I will be needing to punch the smug out of every twerps face.

  119. #119 Beamup
    February 14, 2011

    @ TRT:

    Too bad you didn’t continue on with science. Then you would know enough to recognize that Montagnier’s recent work is, to put it mildly, utter garbage. He can’t get it published in any real journal (just ones he created himself with no peer review) because, if you’d turned them in as an undergrad lab report, you would have gotten an F. They are that grossly incompetent.

    Past contributions are completely irrelevant to that evaluation. Crap is crap, even when spewed by a Nobel laureate.

  120. #120 Prometheus
    February 14, 2011

    TRT vents his/her spleen:

    “…realise there are some exciting revelations happening within medical and quantum fields and if you’re too thick to notice the signs don’t call yourself a scientist or science fan.”

    Anytime someone uses “medical” and “quantum” in the same sentence – unless they’re talking about PET or SPECT scanning – there is an almost 100% certainty of nonsense. Perhaps someone would check my recollection of quantum mechanics, but tunneling (the only quantum phenomenon that could explain the findings of Luc) of electrons is generally restricted to a few nanometers; it would be even more restricted with a larger ensemble like a 100 nt oligonucleotide, such as the ones used in Luc’s experiment.

    But TRT’s not finished…

    “I feel as if Luc and other scientists who push the idea of what is possible must feel like Copernicus 400 years ago!”

    I would have chosen Pons and Fleischmann – two scientists who grossly misinterpreted their data. Of course, there are other choices that are equally good.

    Then we get some mixed messages…

    “Peace and love to you retards. Fuck you irk me.”

    He/she offers up with some pithy advice:

    “I hope if you are in the science field for the sake of bettering the world (if not, why the fuck are you?), and as an individual to one or however many others, for the sake of bettering this world, STOP ACTING LIKE TOOLS! THE GENERAL PUBLIC DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK HOW SMART YOU ARE, THEY CARE FOR WHAT YOU CARE FOR.”

    And here I thought that the general public respected scientists (to the extent it does respect scientists) for their ability to find out the reality of the Universe (and, of course, to give them cool toys and new drugs).

    TRT then goes off in a different (if illuminating) tangent:

    “Guess what? HOMEOPATHY WORKS. If there’s no scientific explanation past what Luc has been getting towards (which to me, an old time homeopathy hater, is actually making sense), THEN PEOPLE ARE HEALING THEMSELVES. Isn’t that fucking INCREDIBLE on it’s own???????”

    Let me see if I got this right. Homeopathy “works”, except, of course, that it “works” no better than placebo which, in the Universe I live in, means that it doesn’t really work at all. The fact that doing something (even something ineffective like homeopathy or prayer) instead of doing nothing makes people feel better doesn’t seem like a ringing endorsement of homeopathy, especially since there are a lot of people (and corporations) charging for homeopathic remedies which – as mentioned above – don’t really “work” any better than an inert placebo.

    Here’s TRT’s “money quote”. Any university admissions people please pay close attention:

    “I feel as if I go back to school for science I will be needing to punch the smug out of every twerps face.”

    In that case, I’d suggest declaring a major in post-modern literature criticism.

    Prometheus

  121. #121 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Prometheus – Hahahahaha, why thank you, loved the post!

    “Anytime someone uses “medical” and “quantum” in the same sentence – unless they’re talking about PET or SPECT scanning – there is an almost 100% certainty of nonsense.”

    And you’re the pope of the quantum world? Almost 100% certainty of nonsense? Come on, where did you learn to build an argument?

    “But TRT’s not finished…”

    Not at all!

    “Then we get some mixed messages…

    He/she offers up with some pithy advice:”

    Pithy??? Hahahaha ‘Prometheus’ we’re not in 13th century anymore..

    “And here I thought that the general public respected scientists (to the extent it does respect scientists) for their ability to find out the reality of the Universe (and, of course, to give them cool toys and new drugs).”

    No, they actually don’t. The vast majority of people I have met traveling the world in the last 3-going-on-four years hold a general view of the scientific community as self absorbed, egotistical twats, ie. Richard Dawkins. That’s why South Park made an episode about him, because the general population who can laugh at things, laugh at people like that.
    The most simplest of minds for example, can see that in the search for a unifying theory, our attempts at grasping such a fate are ridiculous. We are unable to discover a unifying theory amoungst the quantum world, let alone a set of natural rules or laws that will co-exist from quantum to universal scale. Such an idea is the most illogical fallacy. Almost as much a credulity test as believing that the big bang sprang from nothingness.
    And besides, we magically discover a unifying theory for everything. Then what? Hope that it cures everything we fucked up in the mean time whilst we chased the holy grail of science ignoring the pleas of the common people?

    “TRT then goes off in a different (if illuminating) tangent:” Why thank you :) PS. I find it funny you consider illuminating a a degrading word.

    “Let me see if I got this right. Homeopathy “works”, except, of course, that it “works” no better than placebo which, in the Universe I live in, means that it doesn’t really work at all. The fact that doing something (even something ineffective like homeopathy or prayer) instead of doing nothing makes people feel better doesn’t seem like a ringing endorsement of homeopathy, especially since there are a lot of people (and corporations) charging for homeopathic remedies which – as mentioned above – don’t really “work” any better than an inert placebo.”

    No you see, it works better than a placebo. And we can’t explain it. Isn’t that ridiculous? However, let’s just SAY it only works as a placebo. Your argument of prayer or homeopathy being ineffective is fallible. Simple, sorry. I’d love it to be true, but it’s not. Homeopathy cures people, it’s the largest growing alternative medicine which is growing rapidly, it sucks doesn’t it? Prayer is very effective in my view, those who I have met and befriended and say prayers are very calm, collected and compassionate. The more connection they have with themselves and ‘God’, the more so this is. It’s not the effectiveness of something magically coming true, it’s the effectiveness of changing your mindset to a point where you are giving yourself more power in the probability game to make something happen. Beliefs effect outcome, proven time and time again. So that has effected a persons mood, mind frame, body and in term reality. Effected. It’s not ineffective then. Get it? Got it? Good.

    “Here’s TRT’s “money quote”. Any university admissions people please pay close attention:”

    Thanks, I think it was pretty spot on.

    “In that case, I’d suggest declaring a major in post-modern literature criticism.”

    And for you I suggest a major in ‘Dad Jokes’ :)

    At the end of the day I know you and others are arrogant cocks, how do I know this? Because I am too! At least I’m self aware enough to admit it and be excited by all avenues of science and possibility. I’d much rather be a crazy scientist on the lines of Einstein who pushes ideas than an uptight twat!

  122. #122 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    What would be the length of a quarter-wave antenna tuned to the frequency purportedly detected by Montagnier’s apparatus, BTW?

  123. #123 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    On quantum mechanics and medicine PS. Quantum mechanics is reminding us that observation and perception have an effect on outcome. The most profound minds understand that healing comes from within (look out jesus!). The more joyous and happy you are inside, the more it reflects in your mind, body and life. Love is the unifying theory, as shown by controlled studies of monks meditating and overcoming the binding problem.
    Not rocket science.
    The answer’s there.
    The problem with our scientific community is that it focuses on patterns, hence the title of this article, not on change.
    But hey, this is the ramblings of a schizophrenic. Booo yah.

  124. #124 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    Answer the question, Leo Buscaglia.

  125. #125 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Me? Oh you made a witty joke? Congrats!

    No idea. Clearly as I mentioned I haven’t gone to school for something so in depth. Do I give a shit right now? No. I was merely commenting on the exciting possibilities with a change of thought process that most in the science community are lacking, an inability to think for themselves I find. But enlighten me, what’s the answer there Linda Smith? I can guarantee I won’t compute the answer.

  126. #126 Chemmomo
    February 15, 2011

    Hey, TRT, if, as you say,

    THEN PEOPLE ARE HEALING THEMSELVES

    What exactly is the homeopathy doing?

  127. #127 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Chemmomo – Beats me, like I said, I used to simply hate it, now I’m a little intrigued. I think it’s along the lines of Emoto’s water crystal freezing (energy effects) and a mix of placebo and possibly some science. Does it just annoy people that it’s popular and seems to work? Thanks for quote mining though, you missed the first part :)

    Also Beamup – True true. But why do we need such a negative mindset? Why denounce anyone who thinks differently or tries a different route straight away? Even if they make 10 bad studies, what if the 11th is genius once again? It’s a part of the scientific community to believe you (as in we) are above someone else because we hold very little knowledge of the Universe.

  128. #128 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    But why do we need such a negative mindset?

    Your mind is a stinking pail of garbage. Say something of importance.

  129. #129 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    “Your mind is a stinking pail of garbage. Say something of importance.”

    But why do we need such a negative mindset?

  130. #130 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    We? Mindset?

  131. #131 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Yes….? Hahahaha

  132. #132 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    Yah, haha. So you posit plural minds, which can also be somehow herded?

  133. #133 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    No offense, honestly.. but, is that a serious question? Propaganda and dictatorship are top of the list. The large view of the general population is herded and brainwashed into the mindset of one false reality through media manipulation. Dumbed down civilisations are easy to mould.
    Mind control is a staple of Governments world over, MKUltra experiments spring to mind, as do the shock therapies carried out by CIA including those at McGill University in the 1950′s and current day Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
    “Their minds seem like clean slates upon which we can write.” – Dr. Cyril J.C. Kennedy and Dr. David Anchel, 1948. Regards to electroshock therapy.
    Is that where you were going? We’re all simply different levels of conscious awareness and emotion, depending on the state we either attract or repel those on similar levels or different levels.
    Scientists attract scientists, religious attract religious, emo’s attract emo’s and so on and so forth.. Self herding because we like to stay in our comfort zones on our views of reality surrounding us.

  134. #134 Forbidden Snowflake
    February 15, 2011

    But why do we need such a negative mindset? Why denounce anyone who thinks differently or tries a different route straight away? Even if they make 10 bad studies, what if the 11th is genius once again

    There will never be a brilliant 11th study if all the crappy studies that came before get praised. Someone who gets praises for turning out crappy studies will just happily go on turning out crappy studies.

    Oh, and by the way, “crappy studies” are not studies that have negative results, but studies that have such shoddy design that we can’t tell anything from their results at all.

    I get it, you don’t know shit about how science works (since you consider critical reviews of research to be merely symptoms of a “negative mindset”), you don’t care how it works, you’re happy just using its fruits and getting bent out of shape about how scientists are mean old poopyheads because they say some ideas are better than others and that some people know certain subjects better than others. It’s not very novel or impressive.

    P.S. Emoto? Seriously? The guy who claims that water is magical and just so happens to be selling magical water?

  135. #135 Narad
    February 15, 2011

    Of course it’s a serious question. Where do these minds reside? How does one ascertain who has whose?

  136. #136 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Narad – Mind resides in the ‘spirit’ of who we are, we are all individuals. We all have our own minds, yet we all have the same, simply on different levels of connection or disconnection.
    I believe they ‘reside’ in the pineal.

    Snowflake – No, that’s not my point, but thank you. I agree with “someone who gets praises for turning out crappy studies will just happily go on turning out crappy studies.” I never said we had to praise crappy studies, however what does this article, for example, achieve to forwarding scientific study other than giving individuals an avenue to to take out their own bullshit on someone else. What’s the point of wasting your energy on being negative towards others? I’ve wasted mine writing all of this, so have you. Imagine if instead of spewing all this shit on these comments I had read a book. A true genius, great mind, in my view, doesn’t waste their time with trivial rubbish.

    Emoto? Yes, seriously. Monks too have changed PH levels of water on concentrated intention. Is it really that shocking or hard to believe?

  137. #137 Forbidden Snowflake
    February 15, 2011

    Homeopathy cures people, it’s the largest growing alternative medicine which is growing rapidly, it sucks doesn’t it?

    The large view of the general population is herded and brainwashed into the mindset of one false reality through media manipulation.

    You see, homeopathy really-really does work, as evidenced by the fact that people are flocking to it, making it the fastest growing alt-med. You just don’t realize it, because most of the people are brainwashed sheeples who couldn’t think critically to save their lives and…
    Oh, wait.

  138. #138 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    Snowflake – I agree with you, not sure what you’re point is? I’ve never bought, used or supported the use of homeopathy.

    All I’m saying is it’s possible there is something more to it as per Luc’s research, or the human mind is an incredibly powerful healing tool. Either way, we need to accept it, it’s pretty amazing. The context in which I say that homeopathy works is that the people using it are getting results, try keep up!
    Imagine that, plus marijuana use, pretty much solves a lot of non critical medical cases, and also some critical.

  139. #139 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    You know that feeling you get that a debate or argumentay is going to go in circles, yeah I’m getting it.
    Thanks for the chat though people, was somewhat entertaining and in depth!
    Wouldn’t waste energy replying anymore though.
    PS. Snowflake you have a cute name xox

  140. #140 Forbidden Snowflake
    February 15, 2011

    What’s the point of wasting your energy on being negative towards others?

    It’s impossible to differentiate good ideas from bad if you’re not willing to criticize ideas. Research doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and a bad idea that draws lots of attention can waste a lot of time and money that could be invested elsewhere. And history shows that a sound idea can survive criticism.
    Also, I reviewed the OP, and in it I see very little negativity towards people, and a lot of criticism towards bad ideas. The difference is important.

    What’s the point of wasting your energy on being negative towards others? I’ve wasted mine writing all of this, so have you.

    I’m sorry if you feel this way, but I disagree. I don’t think that exchanging ideas is a waste of time. It can be very intellectually fruitful, ESPECIALLY when people are disagreeing and not just patting each other on the back.

    Imagine if instead of spewing all this shit on these comments I had read a book.

    So? You would have been exposed to some other ideas instead. Maybe better ones, maybe worse ones, maybe less or more challenging to your worldview. Maybe something in the book would make you as angry, maybe not.

    Emoto? Yes, seriously.

    Emoto himself doesn’t even claim to be anywhere near scientific in his experiments. They are not blinded and not controlled. He openly admits he selects the photos for publication based on their prettiness (here, on page 4). His pictures are very nice, but what he does it art, not science. Taking it as science is somewhat of a category error, in my view.

    Monks too have changed PH levels of water on concentrated intention. Is it really that shocking or hard to believe?

    Yes, that is hard to believe, because it is a very extraordinary claim about people being able to change things in the outside world telepathically. It is every bit as hard to believe as a claim about telekinesis. I would like to see your evidence of that claim.

    P.S. There is nothing wrong with finding something hard to believe. It means your mind has a filter in place, rather than being open to any idea that drops in.

  141. #141 Forbidden Snowflake
    February 15, 2011

    The context in which I say that homeopathy works is that the people using it are getting results, try keep up!

    So, it’s just not that important to you whether the homeopathy itself plays any kind of role in the alleged results? You’re just not that curious?

    Wouldn’t waste energy replying anymore though.

    Brave, brave Sir Robin…

  142. #142 TRT
    February 15, 2011

    What the hell, my page just loaded and I saw yours!

    Criticism does not have to imply negativity. There is a large difference between positive and negative criticism.

    I feel like I wasted my time, as a large part of arguments were relatively empty. I did enjoy some of the discussion however, that is true. No one was able to teach me anything new however. The difference with a book however is I have the power of choice to the material and context I wish to absorb before starting reading, this is random.

    I know of Emoto’s claims, however I still find it fascinating that any results are shown like that. I would love to see his experiments repeated in blinded and controlled environments instead of treated as simply ‘art’.

    Meditative experiments have been carried out by William Tiller, as well with others in the past. Not to mention the fact that I have experienced this phenomena first hand.

    As for telepathy, there is also evidence which shows eyes emitting a stream of energy. If I remember correctly it was part of Randi’s $1m challenge in which someone influenced computer signals with thought and eye contact. This however wasn’t enough for Randi to prove Telekinesis, and I assume a large part of the scientific community as well. I will go and research that again however to catch any of my own mistakes.
    Whether small or large scale, that’s the beginning of exciting science in my view.

    And I am definitely aware that there is nothing wrong with finding something hard to believe, can’t leave it too open or it falls out!

    That’s all though, thanks for the connection!

  143. #143 Forbidden Snowflake
    February 15, 2011

    I would love to see his experiments repeated in blinded and controlled environments instead of treated as simply ‘art’.

    They were. Triple blinded, in fact. The water that was radiated with gratitude for 3 days by 1900 of Emoto’s followers was rated as slightly prettier than one of the controls and slightly less pretty than one of the others. None of the samples received very high prettiness scores.

    Meditative experiments have been carried out by William Tiller, as well with others in the past.

    Tiller claims his experiments yielded positive results and were repeated multiple times, but he doesn’t really demonstrate anything of the sort, not to mention anything peer-reviewed.
    If I’m not looking hard enough and you have something else, please, don’t hesitate to share.

  144. #144 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 15, 2011

    Guys? Isn’t it fairly obvious that TRT is a troll? That he’s not posting to try and convince us of what he really believes, but to try and get us worked up?

    Someone who was actually trying to convince us would present his strongest evidence and arguments. Instead of doing that, TRT simply barraged us with evidence-less assertions and foul language* from the beginning.

    Someone who was trying to troll us would strategically add new revelations of the depths of his willful aggressive ignorance, at calculated intervals, to keep drawing people back for more glimpses the train-wreck. I think he failed at 136 with his ass-pulled declaration of “they reside in the pineal”; that fell rather flat, so he tried the same technique again at 138 declaring his belief that marijuana use can solve a lot of non-critical and some critical medical cases.

    I don’t think there’s any point to encouraging this further. There’s no real person to be convinced; there’s only a poser pretending he’s a performance artist.

    * Foul language is rather the trolling equivalent of AutoTune; it’s the means by which those who have absolutely minimal talent can pretend to themselves and others that they do have ability after all.

  145. #145 JohnV
    February 15, 2011

    You know, when a 3 month old post shows up in the most active list, there’s a good chance that the batshit insanity has been cranked up.

    Add another data point in support of that hypothesis I guess.

  146. #146 Vicki
    February 15, 2011

    We may not need a negative mindset, whatever that means, but we need realism, which will be called negative by the proponents of “positive thinking.” Positive thinking is a big chunk of what got us into the current economic mess.

    See Barbara Ehrenreich, Brightsided: she’s a better writer than I am, and a large piece of where I got this. Also, you can be part of the reality-based community, or you can invade a foreign country based on the belief that it’s a good idea, rather than the “negative mindset” that points out that people tend to dislike conquering armies, and that not all the enemy soldiers will melt like ghosts even if you capture and kill their leader.

  147. #147 dissertation purchase
    February 15, 2011

    what a shame, he’s gone off the deep end. totally crackers. I wouldn’t touch ‘House of Numbers’ with a barge pole, but it’s no coincidence that the people who were in the film either died before the dvd came out or a few years after.

  148. #148 Tony Marmo
    February 28, 2011

    HOMEOPATHY DENIAL IS PSEUDO-SCIENCE AND GREAT IGNORANCE

    Furthermore, it is more likely that these angry voices for ignorance who presently attack homeopathy be financially supported by the big multi-billion dollar alopathic industry.

    All these attacks against homeopathy are based on anti-scientific arguments and pure theoretic fanaticism.

  149. #149 Chris
    February 28, 2011

    Mr. Marmo, why do you think all caps and insults are a viable substitute for evidence? You claim that we are anti-science, but you fail to provide any.

  150. #150 lilady
    September 13, 2011

    Spammer we aren’t interested in what you are selling.

  151. #151 william wooten
    December 5, 2011

    in his later years Pauling became convinced that high dose vitamin C was a highly effective treatment for cancer and the common cold and, expanding upon that, came to believe in the quackery that is orthomolecular medicine.i

    I have an engineering degree from Northwestern University.
    I also got PHd in neurophysiology, and I studied under Dr.Steven Fox, who was the chief editor for the Rockefeller Foundation
    in the neurosciences. The Fox laboratory was the first in
    the world to condition a single brain cell. Dr. Fox was also
    the head of the N.I.H. committee for funding for the neuro
    sciences.

    Therefore I am very well trained in the scientific
    method and I would like you to understand that Linus Pauling
    was never a quack. First as to Vitamin C. No one says that
    Alexander Fleming was a quack. But over fifty or sixty years
    ago it was noticed that penicillin was becoming less and
    less effective as a treatment for pneumonia. Why –
    the following is a quote from the Journal Of The American
    Association.

    It would seem, therefore, that, irrespective of the mechanisms involved, conditions favorable to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of alpha streptococci have been continuously operative for the past decade.
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/157/4/331

    So whoever wrote the above article is too probably too
    young to have seriously considered taking Vitamin C
    when Linus Pauling first prescribed it. But soon after
    the whole world began taking Vitamin C. Not every person
    of course, but not every person took penicillin. Yet because
    bacteria and viruses are known to rapidly mutate, we
    understand why penicillin and Alexander Fleming are excused,
    but why not Linus Pauling. Of course you will say there
    was never any proof in the first place that Vitamin C prevented colds. This is the second problem, that Linus
    Pauling said one should take 1000 mgs of Vitamin C every
    hour until the cold symptoms were gone. There was never
    any study done like this. All studies done used much
    smaller doses of Vitamin C and they were not administered
    every hour. I do not know if Linus Pauling did such
    a study as it is almost impossible to get people to
    take something every hour. Most people do not have the
    discipline. I do have the discipline and for thirty
    years I never got a cold then I suddenly I had to take
    larger doses and for a longer time so that while I had
    held the cold at bay for three days, I had a very acid
    stomach.
    I remember in the beginning, some people said Vitamin
    C worked for them and others said it did not. Whenever
    I asked those who said that it did not work, I asked if they
    took 1000 mgs every hour, they always responded with
    something equivalent to “Of course not, that is ridiculous”.

    As to Orthomoleculer Medicine being quackery, this is
    a totally misinformed statement. Orthomolecular Medicine
    is an extension of the Principle Of Homeostasis. The concept
    is that if the body is properly balanced it will heal itself. This concept is taught in the first year of
    every medical school in the country. But by the time
    one leaves medical school there is a new paradigm
    “here are the symptoms, here are the drugs”.

    What has changed scientifically in the last three years is the accumulating inability of a new whole-genome scanning technique (called Genome-Wide Association studies; GWAs) to find important genes for disease in human populations1. In study after study, applying GWAs to every common (non-infectious) physical disease and mental disorder, the results have been remarkably consistent: only genes with very minor effects have been uncovered (summarised in Manolio et al 2009; Dermitzakis and Clark 2009). In other words, the genetic variation confidently expected by medical geneticists to explain common diseases, cannot be found.
    There are, nevertheless, certain exceptions to this blanket statement. One group are the single gene, mostly rare, genetic disorders whose discovery predated GWA studies2. These include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and Huntington’s disease

    With these exceptions duly noted, however, we can reiterate that according to the best available data, genetic predispositions (i.e. causes) have a negligible role in heart disease, cancer3, stroke, autoimmune diseases, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and many other common mental and physical illnesses that are the major killers in Western countries4.

    http://independentsciencenews.org/health/the-great-dna-data-deficit/

    So now we see Linus Pauling for the incredible genius
    that he was. He will now become more and more prominent
    as we realize that it is the environment and how it alters
    our biochemistry that is the cause of most disease.
    Perhaps the author of the above article did not know
    that Linus Pauling got the Nobel Peace Prize after he
    warned of the dangers of nuclear radiation. So orthomolecular medicine tries to find the imbalances
    in one biochemistry and then to rebalance them.

    Of course just taking massive doses of Vitamins can
    be dangerous as contrary to the doctors statement that vitamins
    are expensive water, vitamins can do harm. Vitamin E
    can help to prevent a clogged artery, but because it
    can thin the blood taking too much can cause the blood
    to be too thin and therefore a stroke may occur. One
    must find the proper balance. One must find if one has
    too much or too little of a Vitamin, one must find if
    one has too much or too little of each mineral used
    by the body, one must find the proper balance of hormones
    and proteins and enzymes, one must find the balance of
    fatty acids. Also one must avoid harmful radiation in whatever form although it is now known that Vitamin D
    made by the body from the interaction with sunlight is
    a very positive radiation. Finally, one must be extensively
    tested for heavy metal poisoning and hydrocarbon pollution.
    One was the last time your doctor tested for anything
    like this. As an example of doctors testing next to
    nothing,they always administer a CBC. This only looks in
    the blood serum and if your low in calcium your body
    will leach out of your bones and put it in your blood.
    So a CBC will not show a calcium deficiency.

    In fact, the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene
    (ATBC) Cancer Prevention Study (38) showed a statistically
    significant increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke
    among participants assigned to vitamin E.

    hemorrhage (leakage of blood). The opposite of a clogged
    artery, the blood is too thin.

    http://www.annals.org/content/142/1/37.full.pdf+html

    There are thirty thousand Orthomolecular Medicine
    Doctors in Japan but less than two hundred to three
    hundred in the United States.
    Why is that.

    “Here are the symptoms, here are the drugs”.
    This is the paradigm at its extreme. 100,000
    people die every year even though the drugs
    are taken exactly as prescribed.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05162008/watch2.html

    Please try to become more informed, rather than
    parroting the party line that Orthomoleculer medicine
    is quackery.
    Personally, I was sick for twelve years, and drugs
    could not cure me. Finally, when I learned I had
    heavy metal poisoning and Lyme Disease, I cleaned
    the metals out of my body, found as many metabolic
    imbalances as I could, and so I rebalanced myself
    and I healed. The center of disease control statistics
    says anyone over fifty who was as sick as I was never
    gets better. I have helped drug addicts and
    alcoholics and schizophrenics to get off drugs
    and to heal. I am not a doctor. But I have taken
    the time to become informed.

  152. #152 william wooten
    December 5, 2011

    in his later years Pauling became convinced that high dose vitamin C was a highly effective treatment for cancer and the common cold and, expanding upon that, came to believe in the quackery that is orthomolecular medicine.i

    I have an engineering degree from Northwestern University.
    I also got PHd in neurophysiology, and I studied under Dr.Steven Fox, who was the chief editor for the Rockefeller Foundation
    in the neurosciences. The Fox laboratory was the first in
    the world to condition a single brain cell. Dr. Fox was also
    the head of the N.I.H. committee for funding for the neuro
    sciences.

    Therefore I am very well trained in the scientific
    method and I would like you to understand that Linus Pauling
    was never a quack. First as to Vitamin C. No one says that
    Alexander Fleming was a quack. But over fifty or sixty years
    ago it was noticed that penicillin was becoming less and
    less effective as a treatment for pneumonia. Why –
    the following is a quote from the Journal Of The American
    Association.

    It would seem, therefore, that, irrespective of the mechanisms involved, conditions favorable to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of alpha streptococci have been continuously operative for the past decade.
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/157/4/331

    So whoever wrote the above article is too probably too
    young to have seriously considered taking Vitamin C
    when Linus Pauling first prescribed it. But soon after
    the whole world began taking Vitamin C. Not every person
    of course, but not every person took penicillin. Yet because
    bacteria and viruses are known to rapidly mutate, we
    understand why penicillin and Alexander Fleming are excused,
    but why not Linus Pauling. Of course you will say there
    was never any proof in the first place that Vitamin C prevented colds. This is the second problem, that Linus
    Pauling said one should take 1000 mgs of Vitamin C every
    hour until the cold symptoms were gone. There was never
    any study done like this. All studies done used much
    smaller doses of Vitamin C and they were not administered
    every hour. I do not know if Linus Pauling did such
    a study as it is almost impossible to get people to
    take something every hour. Most people do not have the
    discipline. I do have the discipline and for thirty
    years I never got a cold then I suddenly I had to take
    larger doses and for a longer time so that while I had
    held the cold at bay for three days, I had a very acid
    stomach.
    I remember in the beginning, some people said Vitamin
    C worked for them and others said it did not. Whenever
    I asked those who said that it did not work, I asked if they
    took 1000 mgs every hour, they always responded with
    something equivalent to “Of course not, that is ridiculous”.

    As to Orthomoleculer Medicine being quackery, this is
    a totally misinformed statement. Orthomolecular Medicine
    is an extension of the Principle Of Homeostasis. The concept
    is that if the body is properly balanced it will heal itself. This concept is taught in the first year of
    every medical school in the country. But by the time
    one leaves medical school there is a new paradigm
    “here are the symptoms, here are the drugs”.

    What has changed scientifically in the last three years is the accumulating inability of a new whole-genome scanning technique (called Genome-Wide Association studies; GWAs) to find important genes for disease in human populations1. In study after study, applying GWAs to every common (non-infectious) physical disease and mental disorder, the results have been remarkably consistent: only genes with very minor effects have been uncovered (summarised in Manolio et al 2009; Dermitzakis and Clark 2009). In other words, the genetic variation confidently expected by medical geneticists to explain common diseases, cannot be found.
    There are, nevertheless, certain exceptions to this blanket statement. One group are the single gene, mostly rare, genetic disorders whose discovery predated GWA studies2. These include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and Huntington’s disease

    With these exceptions duly noted, however, we can reiterate that according to the best available data, genetic predispositions (i.e. causes) have a negligible role in heart disease, cancer3, stroke, autoimmune diseases, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and many other common mental and physical illnesses that are the major killers in Western countries4.

    http://independentsciencenews.org/health/the-great-dna-data-deficit/

    So now we see Linus Pauling for the incredible genius
    that he was. He will now become more and more prominent
    as we realize that it is the environment and how it alters
    our biochemistry that is the cause of most disease.
    Perhaps the author of the above article did not know
    that Linus Pauling got the Nobel Peace Prize after he
    warned of the dangers of nuclear radiation. So orthomolecular medicine tries to find the imbalances
    in one biochemistry and then to rebalance them.

    Of course just taking massive doses of Vitamins can
    be dangerous as contrary to the doctors statement that vitamins
    are expensive water, vitamins can do harm. Vitamin E
    can help to prevent a clogged artery, but because it
    can thin the blood taking too much can cause the blood
    to be too thin and therefore a stroke may occur. One
    must find the proper balance. One must find if one has
    too much or too little of a Vitamin, one must find if
    one has too much or too little of each mineral used
    by the body, one must find the proper balance of hormones
    and proteins and enzymes, one must find the balance of
    fatty acids. Also one must avoid harmful radiation in whatever form although it is now known that Vitamin D
    made by the body from the interaction with sunlight is
    a very positive radiation. Finally, one must be extensively
    tested for heavy metal poisoning and hydrocarbon pollution.
    One was the last time your doctor tested for anything
    like this. As an example of doctors testing next to
    nothing,they always administer a CBC. This only looks in
    the blood serum and if your low in calcium your body
    will leach out of your bones and put it in your blood.
    So a CBC will not show a calcium deficiency.

    In fact, the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene
    (ATBC) Cancer Prevention Study (38) showed a statistically
    significant increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke
    among participants assigned to vitamin E.

    hemorrhage (leakage of blood). The opposite of a clogged
    artery, the blood is too thin.

    http://www.annals.org/content/142/1/37.full.pdf+html

    There are thirty thousand Orthomolecular Medicine
    Doctors in Japan but less than two hundred to three
    hundred in the United States.
    Why is that.

    “Here are the symptoms, here are the drugs”.
    This is the paradigm at its extreme. 100,000
    people die every year even though the drugs
    are taken exactly as prescribed.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05162008/watch2.html

    Please try to become more informed, rather than
    parroting the party line that Orthomoleculer medicine
    is quackery.
    Personally, I was sick for twelve years, and drugs
    could not cure me. Finally, when I learned I had
    heavy metal poisoning and Lyme Disease, I cleaned
    the metals out of my body, found as many metabolic
    imbalances as I could, and so I rebalanced myself
    and I healed. The center of disease control statistics
    says anyone over fifty who was as sick as I was never
    gets better. I have helped drug addicts and
    alcoholics and schizophrenics to get off drugs
    and to heal. I am not a doctor. But I have taken
    the time to become informed.

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