HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘dogmatism in science and medicine’

Penalties for Scientists’ Sins of Omission

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/10/23

Jail terms of 6 years have been imposed on Italian seismologists for misleading the public about the possible danger of a possibly impending major earthquake following a host of smaller tremors (Jailing of Italian seismologists leaves scientific community in shock):
“the seismologists got the science right, but left the job of public communication to a civil protection official with no specialist knowledge of seismology. His statement to the press was, to put it mildly, a grossly inaccurate reflection of the situation: “The scientific community tells us there is no danger, because there is an ongoing discharge of energy. The situation looks favourable.” At this point, the seismologists should have stepped in. But they did not” (Italian earthquake case is no anti-science witch-hunt).
Under this precedent, scientists are required to correct any public statement that they know to be inaccurate. So, for example, whenever it is publicly stated that positive HIV tests bespeak infection by a human immunodeficiency virus, every HIV/AIDS researcher should publicly correct that, given that no test is 100% certain: Stanley H. Weiss and Elliott P. Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection”, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. Gary P. Wormser, 4th ed. 2004.
There are innumerable other aspects of HIV/AIDS dogma that persistently misrepresent reality as represented in data in the published mainstream literature. Thus every statement that a single act of unprotected intercourse can cause infection should be immediately accompanied by a correction that the probability is on the order of a few per thousand (and for most people hunderdds of teimes leess than that, since the probability that ones’s partner is infected is on average only a few per thousand). Every statement that AIDS has become a manageable chronic disease should be accompanied by detailed specification of the common “side” effects of antiretroviral drugs — including perhaps the information that the notorious AZT, acknowledged in practice if not in words to have been too toxic at the original high doses, is present in smaller but far from negligible amounts (typically 300 mg twice a day) in many treatment “cocktails” under pseudonym (zidovudine ZDV; Retrovir), for example in a recent “Preferred Regimen for Pregnant Women” [LPV/r (twice daily) + ZDV/3TC1 (AI) — Treatment Guidelines  updated to October 2011; the “AI” marks the strongest possible recommendation used in these Guidelines: “A: Strong recommendation for the statement; I: One or more randomized trials with clinical outcomes and/or validated laboratory endpoints”]. The first dosage of AZT was often 1500 mg/day, though at first as high as 2400 mg (400 mg every 4 hours). A clinical trial comparing this with 750 mg revealed no significant difference in mortality, less than 10% of AIDS patients on these regimens surviving for more than 33 months (Joseph Sonnabend, “Remembering the Original AZT Trial”, 29 January 2011).  One might wonder whether current regimens of 300 mg twice a day are appreciably less toxic than 750 mg/day had been in that long-ago trial.

But of course it is not only with respect to HIV/AIDS that experts fail to correct public statements. Whenever someone claims that there is no doubt that human-generated carbon dioxide is adding appreciably to the rate of global warming, for instance, the computer modelers should rush to point out that all they claim is some sort of statistical probability. When it is mentioned that the universe began about 13 billion years ago in a Big Bang, astrophysicists should hasten to remind us that this is an inference based on various other inferences and assumptions as well as evidence. Indeed, whenever any scientific conclusion is broadcast as tantamount to truth, scientists should leap to correct that and point out that science is perpetually self-correcting — in other words, changing all the time — and that it never claims or can claim or should be allowed to claim final certainty.

Current circumstances are quite different, though. In an increasing range of fields of science, one finds dogmatic adherence to and promulgation of a contemporary mainstream consensus as beyond doubt, together with excommunication of dissenters as heretics, under the more modern term of “denialist”, which the unwary may not recognize as synonymous with heretic — see my latest book, Dogmatism  in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV tests, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Another review of “Dogmatism in Science and Medicine”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/10/16

I was gratified at this review in Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective  [1 (10, 2012): 10-11]   by Ron Westrum, a well known expert in social psychology  and sociology of science. A couple of quotes:

“This is a most worthwhile book. . . well-researched . . . Bauer shows the dangers that powerful groups in mainstream science pose to open inquiry and an open society. . .
That science might have knowledge monopolies may come as a surprise. . . One of the great virtues of the book is good case-studies, telling examples of scientific misbehavior by elite practitioners. . . One of the best case-studies in the book is Chapter 3, “A case of public censorship: Elsevier and Medical Hypotheses.” . . .  Overall, I find Bauer’s arguments convincing and his examples disturbing.”

I was especially pleased that he singled out Chapter 3, about the extraordinary capitulation of Elsevier to the HIV/AIDS vigilantes.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

Book review of DOGMATISM IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/09/02

The first full review of my book, DOGMATISM IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE, has appeared, in the Australian periodical QUADRANT:

[The] claim is . . . that examples of dogmatism in science . . . are increasingly significant, stifle research, perpetuate errors and cause an enormous waste of resources. . . .  [M]akes a convincing case . . . most obvious in two paradigmal cases, . . . the HIV/AIDS theory and the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis . . . [R]aises important issues, possibly really central issues. The book is also full of insights peripheral to the central theme and contains . . . a useful beginner’s guide to statistics.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, uncritical media | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Dogmatism in science and medicine

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/05/23

It never rains but it pours, as they say. On the same day as I learned of the exciting court decision exonerating an “HIV-positive” person because “HIV” tests do not  diagnose infection — see previous post (Federal court finds “HIV” tests flawed) — I also received the first copies of my new book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth (McFarland 2012), which is now featured at the top of the left-hand sidebar of this blog.

The arrogant unscientific dogmatism of the HIV/AIDS true-believers is far from unique, there’s something quite similar in many other fields: Big-Bang cosmology, dinosaur extinction, theory of smell, string theory, Alzheimer’s amyloid theory, specificity and efficacy of psychotropic drugs, cold fusion, second-hand smoke, continental drift . . .
The consequences with HIV/AIDS are incomparably more damaging to innumerable people than in those other fields; but there are comparably damaging economic consequences of actions based on true belief in human-caused global warming. When a dogmatic opinion about a matter of science gets mixed up with politics and with corporate interests and with social activism, that view can become as set in stone and harmful in free societies as was Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union.

That’s what this book is about. It also argues that this is a distinctly new development in science, and suggests possible ways to limit the damage. There needs to be some way of separating and insulating truth-seeking science from State and Church and other institutions of that ilk.

AIDS Rethinkers will find that much of the supporting documentation in the book is drawn from inside knowledge of the HIV/AIDS mess; in particular, a whole chapter describes and analyzes the destruction of Medical Hypotheses by Elsevier. But there are ample data from other fields as well.

I would be very grateful if friends of this blog would recommend the book for purchase by their local libraries.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, uncritical media | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »