HIV/AIDS refuted, according to Kalichman! — Kalichman’s very-Komical Kaper #8
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/05/07
Among the many surprising — not to say startling — features of Kalichman’s book, “Denying AIDS”, is his acknowledgment in so many places that “denialists” have refuted HIV/AIDS theory:
“Merely raising these questions refutes AIDS science” (p. 22).
“In 2007, more than 20 years since she first refuted AIDS science, Papadopulos-Eleopulos . . . .” (180).
What’s going on here? I thought Kalichman believed HIV to be the cause of AIDS and that he says we’re wrong in denying it. Now here he is, saying it was refuted more than two decades ago!
“John Lauritsen is among the earliest critics of how CDC reported HIV/AIDS statistics. He refutes sexual transmission of HIV . . . .” (184).
And rightly so, of course; as also set out in my book, HIV/AIDS statistics from the CDC do refute the notion that HIV is sexually transmitted.
“most current denialists refute HIV as the cause of AIDS” (12).
Well, of course we continue to do it, since Papadopulos did it so long ago.
“Denialists refute new facts” (8).
Well, I have to agree; we often refute “facts” claimed by defenders of HIV/AIDS theory. But why is Kalichman giving us credit for it, when he seems to be claiming that we’re wrong?
“Crowe is a signing author on numerous letters and documents refuting HIV/AIDS science” (185).
Yes indeed, there are numerous documents that refute HIV/AIDS “science”.
And so it goes, time after time:
P. 21 — “There are support groups for people who have tested HIV positive and refute their medical diagnosis”. They know they’re not infected, in other words.
P. 38 — “denialism refutes science conducted by thousands of researchers”. Well, not quite, we refute much of the BAD science conducted in HIV/AIDS research.
P. 50 — “this same research finding refutes the effectiveness of HIV treatments”. Yes, undoubtedly, I have to agree.
P. 100 — “The following example refutes the known disease causing pathways of HIV”. Well, I wouldn’t put it quite like that, I’d rather point out that HIV/AIDS researchers have never agreed on exactly how HIV is able to destroy the immune system. But Kalichman’s statement will be understood well enough by most readers: the supposed disease-causing pathways by HIV have been shown not to be disease-causing. No disagreement from us.
P. 128 — “Mbeki refutes the idea that HIV/AIDS is the major killer in Africa”. Absolutely, and he’s not the only one.
P. 140 — “a fringe group emerged that refuted the established views of AIDS, including rejecting that HIV causes AIDS”. Isn’t it inappropriate to call it a fringe group since it was able to refute HIV/AIDS orthodoxy?
But what about “Denialism actively propagates myths, misconceptions, and misinformation to distort and refute reality” (8). Refute reality?! What a nice trick. “Denialism” is powerful indeed.
Or could it be that I’ve been mistaken about the meaning of “refute”?
No, the dictionaries on my shelves (1991 Random House Dictionary; 1992 [3rd ed.] American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) give the same meaning as I’m familiar with: to prove that something is false, or to prove someone is in error. What’s more, in quite a few other places, Kalichman properly uses “refute” in that sense:
P. 28 — “He [Duesberg] refuted his own work on retroviruses and rejected the concept of oncogenes being sufficient to cause cancer”.
Yes, Duesberg showed that his previous notion had been wrong and modified his view to accommodate the evidence, just as scientists are supposed to do.
P. 32 — “he refutes the idea that oncogenes cause cancer”.
Exactly, the evidence points elsewhere.
P. 48 — “Duesberg would refute the evidence”.
Yes indeed, not only would but did.
P. 49 — “researchers refute this misinterpretation”
P. 76 — “The AIDS pseudosciences reviewed thus far are easily refuted by the medical facts of the disease”.
Huh? What about the refutations by AIDS “denialists” cited above from pp. 8, 12, 21, 22, 38, 50, 100, 128, 140?
P. 85 — “The results flat out refuted Gisselquist”;
and also pp. 136 (“a brief statement designed to refute the claims of Duesberg and the other denialists”), 146, 150.
The Oxford English Dictionary [2nd ed., 1989-97] offers a possible resolution of this conundrum of very different meanings of “refute”:
“ 5. trans. Sometimes used erroneously to mean ‘deny, repudiate’.” [Note erroneously]
Something like that erroneous usage was apparently not uncommon 500 years ago:
“ †1. trans. To refuse, reject (a thing or person). Obs[olete]. rare
1513 BRADSHAW St. Werburge I. 1535 Her royall dyademe and shynynge coronall Was fyrst refuted for loue of our sauyoure.”
But it’s really confusing to see the same word used correctly and incorrectly, in about equal proportions, throughout this book.
I suppose Kalichman, and his editors at Copernicus/Springer, might seek support once more from that Urban Dictionary:
To disagree, or assert the opposite.
(The original meaning was to DISPROVE something: ‘He refuted their claims by referring to widely accepted experimental results’. But these days journalists who are unwilling or unable to assess the strength of an argument, or to check facts, just write ‘refute’.)
‘The Prime Minister refuted the suggestion that he was a fool, by saying that he wasn’t.’”
Aha! The Urban “Dictionary” collects and seeks to enshrine usages that stem from lazy journalists. Just as reliable and trustworthy as Wikipedia, as I’ve said before.
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