HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Archive for June, 2010

What everyone should know: like about gut bacteria

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/29

The 3Rs, “Reading, (w)riting, and ‘rithmetic”, may be what every child should learn, but learning shouldn’t of course stop there. And as “we” — humankind — keep learning, so the things everyone should know (but doesn’t) keep changing.
A continuing revelation for me is the importance of the bacteria in our gut, which I first learned about from Tony Lance [What really caused AIDS: Slicing through the Gordian Knot, 20 February 2008]. Apparently I’m not the only one for whom this was a revelation, because the media keep mentioning pertinent new aspects, all of which have so far confirmed and extended Lance’s insights about the connections between the gut microflora and “AIDS” (in particular the original 1980s “AIDS”) and testing “HIV-positive”.

Not all news items seem as convincing, though, like the recent speculation — drawn to my attention by a Facebook friend — that obesity might stem sometimes or in part from some characteristics of bacteria in the gut:

Gut bacteria may affect your weight
Don’t go searching for a bacteria shake just yet — scientists are still investigating which bacteria do what in humans” (Amber Dance, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2010).
Significant points in this piece:
→    The microflora influence “how many calories we extract from our food and whether we make or burn fat”.
→    The typical bacteria in humans have changed “through antibiotic use, improved hygiene and cleanliness in the food supply”; which might be one environmental cause for obesity and diabetes.
→    “[O]ur gut bacteria are beneficial . . . . ‘You might just generally be sicklier without them’”.
→    “Babies are born bacteria-free but start to pick up bacteria during and after birth. Infants mostly collect bacteria from their mothers and others around them; in a sense, the gut community is inherited from family members” [emphasis added]
— which could also explain instances of apparently hereditary obesity, but it also has obvious implications for “mother-to-child transmission” of “HIV”.
→    Some Japanese carry microflora that digests the seaweed covering of sushi.

Naturally, the first tentative academic reports have already been exploited commercially:

“This month, . . . the Japanese company Snow Brand Milk Products reported that people who drank a probiotic milk drink for 12 weeks lost weight. . . . Over the course of the study, people drinking the probiotic lost an average of 1.5% of their BMI and, on average, 1.4% of their body weight.  That’s about 2 pounds for a 150-pound person”.

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Other things — beside the importance of gut microflora — that everyone should know, and that I wish had been drummed into me in school or college:

→   Real science isn’t news: the latest “breakthroughs” are not to be trusted.
→   A contemporary mainstream consensus in science is just as prone to be wrong as a contemporary mainstream consensus in economics.
→    There’s no formula for identifying “pseudo-science”: every assertion that something is “not scientific” needs to be based on an examination of the specific evidence in detailed depth; and “not scientific” doesn’t necessarily mean wrong, just as “scientific” doesn’t necessarily mean right — the history of science is a story of continuing trials and many errors that were acknowledged or recognized only after a long period of regarding them as sound.
→  “Statistically significant” does not mean true.
→    Statistical correlations do not necessarily signify causation.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

Left hand, right hand — Elsevier remains ignorant about science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/25

Peer reviewers base their judgment on what they (believe they) know. People are asked to serve as peer reviewers because they have achieved solidly within the framework of the contemporary consensus. Peer review always favors the status quo and rejects the most promising novelties (examples galore in Bernard Barber, Resistance by scientists to scientific discovery, Science, 134 [1961] 596–602).

David Horrobin founded Medical Hypotheses to publish interesting novelties that could not pass peer review.

Elsevier fired Editor Bruce Charlton for publishing what could not pass “peer” review because those “peers” are dogmatists of HIV/AIDS theory.

Now Elsevier has issued the non-sequitur, oxymoronic announcement that it is going to maintain Horrobin’s vision by instituting peer review at Medical Hypotheses under a new editor.

It would be laughable, were it not so tragic, with tragic consequences for untold numbers of human beings, that so much of what passes for science, medical science, scientific publication, and science punditry is similarly lacking the most fundamental understanding of the character of everything to do with research, publication, and scientific activity in general.

New editor for Medical Hypotheses
. . .
First, we will retain the ethos, heritage and unique characteristics of the journal as they were proposed at inception, . . . . Second, we will engage a medically qualified editorial board to get members more involved in the review system to help ensure radical new ideas and speculations in medicine are given open-minded consideration while ensuring scientific merit.”

However, “most of the board planned to resign in response to Elsevier’s changes to the journal”: because they understand that “open-minded consideration” and “ensuring scientific merit” constitute an oxymoron when the judgment of scientific merit is to be made by people whose views are based on the prevailing mainstream consensus. And when the judgment is not based on that, then articles will be published like those withdrawn by Elsevier in response to protests from upholders of the mainstream consensus.

The new editor simply cannot do what he pledges to do, no matter how much he may imagine that he can. It’s just another case of imagining that “Saying so, makes it so”.

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Not only Elsevier or its new editor don’t understand science, of course. Neither do the editors of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences nor the authors of an article just published in that august periodical. It reports “research” finding that “Those who  believe  in  anthropogenic  climate  change  rank, on average, much higher in the scientific pecking order than do those who take issue with the idea” (“Critics are far less prominent than supporters”, Eli Kintisch, Science 328: 1622).
Aha! How extraordinary! Another of those rare cases of dog bites man; or of the finding that friends are friendlier toward each other than they are toward their opponents.

Posted in experts, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Duesberg vindicated

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/22

In April, it had become known that UC Berkeley had received anonymous charges against Peter Duesberg:

“The specific allegations are that an article you submitted to Medical Hypotheses was investigated and then withdrawn by the publisher based on issues of credibility and false claims. The allegations also state that you failed to declare a relevant conflict of interest with regard to the commercial interests of your co-authors” (Greg Miller, “Exclusive: AIDS scientist investigated for misconduct after complaint”, ScienceInsider, 16 April).
[It must have galled the complainants to see Duesberg described as an AIDS scientist on the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the flagship periodical Science.]

Two months later, the university admits that it finds no reason to take action on the charges (Martin Enserink, “Berkeley drops probe of Duesberg after finding ‘insufficient evidence’”, June 21).

In other words, Duesberg did not fail to declare a relevant conflict of interest, and there was no evidence of false claims. The university thereby confirms what Rethinkers knew all along, that this was just part of the continuing ad hominem attempts to discredit Duesberg by people who cannot discredit by means of data his substantive assertions about HIV/AIDS.

In this connection, it’s worth noting too that Duesberg’s criticism of inflated AIDS-death numbers for South Africa, suppressed from Medical Hypotheses, has been vindicated by publication in a peer-reviewed, PubMed-abstracted journal [Medical students in Africa need not fear HIV, 2010/05/31 ; REPRINT of Galletti & Bauer, 2010/06/03].

Altogether, on those rare occasions when critiques of Duesberg, or of AIDS Rethinking in general, are considered openly and by even half-way unbiased people, Duesberg et al. come out ahead. The UC Berkeley investigation found that the charges could not be sustained, even though the task had been delegated to an individual who has himself done mainstream HIV/AIDS research. [UC Berkeley evidently lacks understanding of conflicts of interest.] When scientific periodicals like the Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, that are not dominated by HIV/AIDS vigilantes, obtain peer review of Rethinking articles, those article are judged on the basis of the evidence they present and they get published. My book was reviewed favorably in half-a-dozen independent, disinterested publications (as well as in a couple of friendly ones); it was ignored by all but one mainstream HIV/AIDS periodical,  and that review was unable to cite any specific instance where the evidence I present is faulty in some way; it acknowledged the book to be “richly documented”, “asking good questions”, and for pointing to the “weak quality of evidence supporting the views  of  HIV  propagation” promulgated by the mainstream”.

Defenders of the flawed HIV = AIDS belief have resorted to ad hominem attacks for upwards of two decades simply because they have never been able to answer substantively the points raised by Peter Duesberg, by John Lauritsen, by the Perth Group, by Robert Root-Bernstein, by Gordon Stewart, and by so many other doctors, historians, journalists, scientists, and people who have experienced the trauma of being declared “HIV-positive” and being subjected to antiretroviral “treatment”.

Nowhere was it ever proved that HIV exists as infectious pathogenic virions inside AIDS patients, let alone in “HIV-positive” individuals. The Rethinking challenge has never been met: Show us the publication(s) in which that proof supposedly resides.

Of course, the mainstream is being dragged only very slowly, metaphorically kicking and screaming, to its eventual nasty but rather well-deserved fate of having to face the fact and consequences of its incompetent and iatrogenic actions. UC Berkeley’s lawyerly language in notifying Duesberg that he was off the hook was anything but gracious, and stands as yet another blemish on that university’s earlier more honorable reputation. HIV/AIDS vigilantes are already attempting to capitalize on this gracelessness by portraying Duesberg’s vindication as a Scottish-type “not proven” verdict rather than as a plain exoneration. But the fact remains, established by more than two decades of determined initiatives to discredit Duesberg, that when an even halfway independent judgment is made, all attempts to discredit him fail, and the attackers can do no more than nitpick, misquote, and continue to shout Big Lies.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , | 21 Comments »

Blood libel — Don’t ask, don’t tell??

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/18

I’ve been slowly reading Anthony Julius’s interesting, difficult book, Trials of the Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2010), described in a review as about the history of anti-Semitism in England but really much more comprehensive than that. Among much else, I was reminded that one of the standard calumnies of anti-Semitism is that Jews ritually murder Christian children to obtain blood for the making of Matzoth.

I’ve also been reading, very rapidly, the generally uninteresting daily newspaper. Just now it drew to my attention another kind of blood libel: “U.S. panel upholds ban on gay men as blood donors”. With all my reading about HIV/AIDS in recent years, I had somehow missed knowing that this ban was still in effect. Three decades ago, of course, when “AIDS” was “GRID” — gay-related immune deficiency — such a ban might have been rationalized as an immediate precaution taken in a crisis and before sufficient was known to exclude the possibility that GRID was infectious and could be transmitted through blood. That rationalization hasn’t been sustainable for a long time. What’s worse, the present rules incorporate a clearly irrational and prejudicial discrimination:

“The current policy — put into effect in 1985 during the early days of the AIDS crisis — prevents any man who since 1977 has had sex with another man from donating blood. . . . [and] the high-ranking panel voted 9 to 6 to uphold the blood donation ban for gay men, citing a very small but still unacceptable risk to the blood supply . . . . The panel deemed the current policy ‘suboptimal,’ however, and recommended steps toward a policy that looks at individual behaviors rather than barring a broad group such as gay and bisexual men.”
By contrast, however, “heterosexual men and women . . . are required to defer giving blood for only one year if they have sex with someone with HIV” (Roanoke Times, cr. wire reports).
Gay men are permanently unfit to donate even if they are not “HIV-positive”!

Were Anthony Julius writing about homophobia rather than anti-Semitism, here would be another clear example of how prejudice — even possibly subliminal prejudice — exerts a visible influence. Heterosexual blood is apparently able to regain its purity after a year, whereas gay blood can never do so.

The point I’ve appreciated most, so far, from Julius’s book is the insight that the very term “anti-Semitism” is iniquitous, no matter whether it’s used in criticism of “anti-Semitism” or in its justification, because it is a reification — making into a thing something that is not a thing — and it incorporates the belief that every Jew is somehow in essence the same sort of person.

Like “blood libel”, this too bears extension, to the nouns “homosexual” or “gay” or “lesbian”, which all promote an inference that the most significant thing about any given person is their particular preference as to sexual relationships and that all who are same-sex attracted somehow share all-encompassing characteristics that distinguish them permanently and significantly from everyone else. It was pointed out to me some time ago that one should not speak about “homosexuals”, “gays”, “lesbians”, because that incorporates the presumption that they’re all essentially the same; whereas “homosexual people”, “gay men”, “lesbian women” acknowledges that there are people who just happen, as only one aspect of their identity, to enjoy certain types of personal relationships.

Human beings cannot be simply classified into a few distinct behavioral groups. For a lengthier discussion of the foolishness of trying to do so, please see “Diversity and Identity”, an invited speech I gave at the 49th annual meeting of the American Conference of Academic Deans  (and which I’ve mentioned before, in “HIV skepticism, Nessies, homophobia, and racism”).

Blood libel — Don’t ask, don’t tell??

I’ve been slowly reading Anthony Julius’s interesting, difficult book, Trials of the Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2010), described in a review as about the history of anti-Semitism in England but really much more comprehensive than that. Among much else, I was reminded that one of the standard calumnies of anti-Semitism is that Jews ritually murder Christian children to obtain blood for the making of Matzoth.

I’ve also been reading, very rapidly, the generally uninteresting daily newspaper. Just now it drew to my attention another kind of blood libel: “U.S. panel upholds ban on gay men as blood donors”. With all my reading about HIV/AIDS in recent years, I had somehow missed knowing that this ban was still in effect. Three decades ago, of course, when “AIDS” was “GRID” — gay-related immune deficiency — such a ban might have been rationalized as an immediate precaution taken in a crisis and before sufficient was known to exclude the possibility that GRID was infectious and could be transmitted through blood. That rationalization hasn’t been sustainable for a long time. What’s worse, the present rules incorporate a clearly irrational and prejudicial discrimination: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/news.aspx?ID=640056

“The current policy — put into effect in 1985 during the early days of the AIDS crisis — prevents any man who since 1977 has had sex with another man from donating blood. . . . [and] the high-ranking panel voted 9 to 6 to uphold the blood donation ban for gay men, citing a very small but still unacceptable risk to the blood supply . . . . The panel deemed the current policy ‘suboptimal,’ however, and recommended steps toward a policy that looks at individual behaviors rather than barring a broad group such as gay and bisexual men.”

By contrast, however, “heterosexual men and women . . . are required to defer giving blood for only one year if they have sex with someone with HIV” (Roanoke Times, cr. wire reports).

Gay men are permanently unfit to donate even if they are not “HIV-positive”!

Were Anthony Julius writing about homophobia rather than anti-Semitism, here would be another clear example of how prejudice — even possibly subliminal prejudice — exerts a visible influence. Heterosexual blood is apparently able to regain its purity after a year, whereas gay blood can never do so.

The point I’ve appreciated most, so far, from Julius’s book is the insight that the very term “anti-Semitism” is iniquitous, no matter whether it’s used in criticism of “anti-Semitism” or in its justification, because it is a reification — making into a thing something that is not a thing — and it incorporates the belief that every Jew is somehow in essence the same sort of person.

Like “blood libel”, this too bears extension, to the nouns “homosexual” or “gay” or “lesbian”, which all promote an inference that the most significant thing about any given person is their particular preference as to sexual relationships and that all who are same-sex attracted somehow share all-encompassing characteristics that distinguish them permanently and significantly from everyone else. It was pointed out to me some time ago that one should not speak about “homosexuals”, “gays”, “lesbians”, because that incorporates the presumption that they’re all essentially the same; whereas “homosexual people”, “gay men”, “lesbian women” acknowledges that there are people who just happen, as only one aspect of their identity, to enjoy certain types of personal relationships.

Human beings cannot be simply classified into a few distinct behavioral groups. For a lengthier discussion of the foolishness of trying to do so, please see “Diversity and Identity”, an invited speech I gave at the 49th annual meeting of the American Conference of Academic Deans http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/files/DIVERSITY_AND_IDENTITY.pdf (and which I’ve mentioned before, in “HIV skepticism, Nessies, homophobia, and racism”).
http://wp.me/p8Qhq-gl

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Categories:  HIV risk groups,  HIV transmission,  prejudice,  uncritical media

Tags blood donating

Posted in HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

New book by an MD who questions HIV = AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/15

Dr. Nancy Banks is a Harvard- trained specialist in obstetrics-gynaecology, now retired from practice, who was struck by the prevalence of “HIV/AIDS” among African-American women in the MD region, contrasting with what she had experienced in her own practice. She started to look into the HIV/AIDS literature and came to recognize that the mainstream is wrong. She has now published a book about that and other missteps of medical practice, and will be in New York at a couple of book signings as shown below. I urge all Rethinkers close to the NY area to consider attending these book signings.

Book   Signings:

Posted in experts, HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, prejudice | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

 
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