HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Zombie science’


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/03/21

A correspondent just alerted me to a particularly insightful editorial by Bruce G. Charlton, MD, in Medical Hypotheses.  That journal was founded by David Horrobin to allow publication of heterodox views and data that tend to be rejected by mainstream medical-science journals.

This link brings a PDF of the whole piece. “Zombie science” is “walking dead”, sustained by external infusions and not by inherent scientific value. Points that are particularly pertinent to HIV/AIDS:
— Early adoption of the theory brought generous research funding, publication in prestigious journals, and founding of “a raft of new second-string  specialist  journals”
— “even  the  most  conclusive ‘hatchet  jobs’  done  on  phoney  theories [think Duesberg] will  fail to  kill,  or  even  weaken,  them  when  the  phoney theories  are  backed-up  with  sufficient  economic muscle in the form of funding”
— Anomalies are explained away by increasingly complicated ad hoc add-ons, and the very complexity makes clear disproof ever more difficult to achieve
— “technical disasters [think AZT and HAART] can sometimes themselves be explained-away — and thereby covered-up — by  yet  further  phoney  theoretical elaborations, especially when there is monopolistic control of information”
— Zombie science marks, and is made possible by, the break-down of disinterested peer review as the reviewers are motivated by self-interest, which outweighs allegiance to the abstraction of “scientific truth”

On a couple of points, Charlton seems to me too optimistic:
— The existence of multiple competing sources of research funds could break zombie monopolies.
Maybe sometimes, but with HIV/AIDS every funding source seems to compete with others to support the monopoly.
— “proper medical science is underpinned by the effectiveness of medical treatments based upon its theories and results”
Not with HIV/AIDS, where the complexity (among other things) allows the mainstream to claim that HAART is beneficial (which also confirms the validity of the theory) whereas HAART kills, just more slowly than high-dose AZT alone did.

(I made some of the same points as Charlton in my essay, “Science in the 21st Century:
Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels”

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »