Caveat lector! — Kalichman’s less-than-Komical Kaper #7
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/05/03
Let the reader beware! What’s inside Kalichman’s quotation marks may not be there in the original source.
A book from a leading publisher like Springer, with laudatory blurbs from prominent scientists, and that claims to demonstrate how mistaken are people and works under discussion, by implication asserts that the material in it can be relied upon to be at least factually accurate. But “Denying AIDS”, by a tenured full professor at the University of Connecticut and published by Copernicus/Springer, cannot be relied upon to be factually accurate.
Perhaps the first glitch that left me openmouthed was an alleged quote (p. 70) from the website for my book, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory :
“In his [Bauer’s] own words:
HIV is neither sexually transmitted nor increasingly prevalent. HIV and AIDS are not correlated geographically. HIV and AIDS are not correlated chronologically. HIV and AIDS are not correlated in their relative impact on women and men. Nor are HIV and AIDS correlated in their relative impact on white and black people. HIV is necessary but insufficient to cause AIDS. 17” [emphasis added]
Obviously I never spoke or wrote that last, high-lighted, sentence. The preceding sentences make plain that I am denying any connection between HIV and AIDS. Where am I supposed to have added that last part which contradicts what goes before it?
Note 17 in Kalichman’s book is “H. Bauer referring to his 2007 book The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, published by MacFarland [sic] on [sic] his website http://hivnotaids.homestead.com/.”
As a matter of syntax, “MacFarland” didn’t publish this book on that website. As a matter of fact, “MacFarland” didn’t publish my book at all, nor to my knowledge any other books. My publisher is McFarland. As another matter of fact, that website was set up before my book was ever written, and contains material about 3 articles that I had published. Nowhere on that website is there to be found, or was there ever to be found, what is attributed to me in the “quotation” above.
However, the first 5 sentences do appear on the website established for my book. The last sentence, though, as I’ve already pointed out, is not anything I’ve ever asserted, and it isn’t on that website and never was nor could have been — I never said that HIV is necessary to cause AIDS, I’ve been saying the very opposite; which is, after all, why Kalichman is so angry with me, why he is so — in Kalichman’s own words (p. xiii) — “seemingly [sic] irrational”.
Put yourself in the place of an innocent reader who feels able to rely on the factual accuracy of this Kalichman/Springer production. Throughout the book, Bauer is castigated for denying that HIV causes AIDS. Yet here, Bauer is quoted as saying that HIV is necessary to cause AIDS! What is this Kalichman doing, attacking a person for denying something that he isn’t denying?
The puzzled reader rushes to his computer and goes to the cited website to check the quotation. Nothing even approaching it is to be found there!
Fortunately for the poor reader, that website does have the heading,
“These web pages and the mentioned articles have now been superseded by this book:
The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory
McFarland, April 2007, ISBN 978-0-7864-3048-2”
and by following the link in the book’s title, one is directed to the book’s website, where, sure enough, the first 5 sentences of the above “quotation” can be found. But there’s no help for the reader who seeks resolution of the conundrum of that concluding sentence. Was it once there? But how could it have been since it contradicts directly the other 5 statements?
Oh my gosh! Could Kalichman have inserted so ridiculous a mis-statement? How could such a thing happen? Was not this manuscript copy-edited? Was it not read by the prominent AIDS scientists who wrote gushing blurbs for it?
As I said in my first installment comment on Kalichman’s opus, it is the veritable answer to Job’s prayer. If any single book could discredit the AIDStruthers and their hangers-on, this is demonstrably it.
Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer. But the book is like a whole swarm of such swallows [Kalichman and Copernicus/Springer would say “swam”, not “swarm”, see p. 149].
Here’s another such instance, with places highlighted where Kalichman altered or omitted without ellipses what I actually wrote:
In Kalichman’s book:
“In his own words Bauer states:
Humans evolved in Africa with dark skin for the optimum degree of sunshine filtering. As humans migrated out of Africa into northern and temperate regions, more of the incident sunshine was needed in order to manufacture sufficient vitamin D, and so skin tones became lighter. As well as much sunshine, tropical regions also harbor a great variety of bacterial, microbial, parasitic, and viral diseases. It would therefore be curious if humans, evolving in Africa, had not acquired strong immune responses against a wide range of those challenges to health. As humans migrated to other, non tropical parts of the world where challenges to the immune system were less frequent, it seems reasonable that the responses generated by the immune system might have become somewhat weakened. 9”
The original source, note 9, is an article of mine that actually states
“Humans evolved in Africa with (presumably) the optimum degree of sunshine-filtering by the skin. As humans migrated out of Africa into northern and temperate regions, it became necessary to absorb more of the incident sunshine in order to manufacture sufficient vitamin D, and the average skin color lightened. As a corollary, dark-skinned people who now live in temperate regions may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency: ‘‘black race had a strong association with vitamin D deficiency . . . black women are at higher risk than are white women’’ . An analogous albeit speculative chain of reasoning can be constructed relating to immune function. Tropical regions harbor a great variety of endemic bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral diseases—great enough to warrant special Departments of Tropical Medicine in many places, as well as a Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. It would therefore be curious if humans, evolving in Africa, had not acquired very strong immune responses against that wide range of challenges to health. As humans migrated to other, nontropical parts of the world where the immune system is less fiercely challenged, it seems reasonable that the responses generated by the immune system would have become modified, less wide-ranging or somewhat weaker.”
Kalichman’s version is not a bad paraphrase, but it’s certainly not “in his [Bauer’s] own words”. His omission of “(presumably)” makes me seem more dogmatic, as even more seriously does his omission of “An analogous albeit speculative chain of reasoning”. His insertion of “also” after “as well as” does not do justice to my writing style as aided by an excellent editor at McFarland. His omissions, not indicated by ellipsis marks, drop out an important piece of evidence pertaining to the evolutionary function of dark skin. His changing of “fungal” to “microbial” is substantively important, both because fungal diseases are pertinent in “AIDS” as well as in Africa and because readers might think that I regard “bacterial” and “microbial” as worth mentioning separately.
I really don’t know what to make of Kalichman’s “quotations”. They are sufficiently like the original as not to be outright paraphrases, yet they’ve been copied with the most cavalier disregard for accuracy. Did someone read the originals out to him too carelessly, or vice versa?
No matter how it happened, what’s blatantly obvious is that the quality of fact-checking in this book is abysmally low, stunningly low from so prominent a publisher as Springer. I don’t claim to have found every mis-stated fact or mis-quoted statement (let alone misinterpretation) in Kalichman’s book, but here are a few more that hit me in the eye:
Reference 18 on p. 71 should cite p. 56 of Culshaw’s book, not p. 25.
On the same p. 71, the article of mine from which he quoted is in the wildlife magazine Snowy Egret, not the Journal of Scientific Exploration. This time his quote is accurate, and I’m delighted that he saw fit to include it, since it speaks to the fact that my opinion that Nessies exist grew out of an examination of the evidence.
On p. 74, what is presented as my words is once again distorted to a remarkable degree — highlighting indicates the differences. Kalichman cites me as writing (on p. 238 of my book):
“Poor Ryan White had indeed been born in very ill health for a long time on account of his severe hemophilia. Testing for HIV just introduced in 1984 perhaps he might have been HIV positive at birth? It is possible that his death was hastened by HIV medications?”
but what actually appears in my book is:
“Poor Ryan White had indeed been in very poor health for a long time on account of his severe hemophilia. Testing for HIV had just been introduced in 1984; perhaps he might have tested HIV-positive from birth? Recognizing from Part I that HIV-positive is often a marker for ill health, it is no surprise that Ryan White tested positive. It is also possible that his death was hastened rather than delayed by antiretroviral medications.”
I do hope I would never have written — or have allowed to remain written in proof — “born in very ill health for a long time”; “born . . . for a long time” is truly baffling.
Enough already, this post is getting too long as well as wearisome. As electrochemist David Grahame remarked long ago, looking for mistakes in someone else’s work is not a rewarding way to spend one’s time.
This entry was posted on 2009/05/03 at 10:45 am and is filed under experts, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects, uncritical media. Tagged: Copernicus/Springer, Kalichman "Denying AIDS", Kalichman factually wrong, Kalichman misquotes sources, Kalichman’s Komical Kapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.