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I'm absolutely sure that no antibody test in medicine has any absolute meaning.
July 24, 2006 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Dr. Stephen Lanka claims that H5N1 doesn't exist. Or AIDS. Or disease-causing viruses in general. "In humans, in the blood or in other bodily fluids, in an animal or in a plant there never have been seen or demonstrated structures which you could characterize as bird flu viruses or flu viruses or any other supposedly disease-causing virus. The causes of those diseases which are being maintained to be caused by a virus, also those in animals, which can arise quickly and in individuals either one after the other or several at the same time, are known since a long time back. However much you stretch things in biology, there is simply no place for viruses as the causative agents of diseases. Only if I ignore the findings of Dr Hamer’s New Medicine, according to which shock events are the cause of many diseases, and the findings of chemistry on the effects of poisonings and deficiencies, and then if I ignore the findings of physics about the effects of radiation, then there is a place for imaginings such as disease-causing viruses."
posted by Sticherbeast (118 comments total)

 
I don't agree with Lanka, of course, and I'm having problems even finding where he received his training in virology, but I'm also not just posting this as a "look at the crazy man babble" sort of thing. Not that I even think he has anything to offer from a science standpoint, but just...it's odd. It's all very odd. He's very certain and cantankerous and wrong. For me, it's like reading about modern day phlogiston theory advocate.

I just find it interesting, is all. He tilts at windmills.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:40 PM on July 24, 2006


For me, it's like reading about modern day phlogiston theory advocate.

Teach the controversy.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:47 PM on July 24, 2006


A crackpot should not be able to buy himself media attention just by claiming to suggest "that we all think critically and thoughtfully for a change." I guess that we're reading about this dude tells us something about the ebb of the public's trust in medicine and the news media.
posted by grobstein at 5:47 PM on July 24, 2006


So the fact that we can look at viruses and deliberately induce infections doesn't register with him?

A nice aerosol spray with cold viruses in saline would probably teach him.... if he's a doctor, he could even supervise the whole process of making the aerosol.

I wonder if he'd be willing to submit to testing his theory on himself? (with nonlethal viruses, of course.)
posted by Malor at 5:51 PM on July 24, 2006


If I'm incapable of understanding something, it cannot be true. Because I'm so important, the universe must conform itself to my point of view. I think (poorly), therefore I am (sorely mistaken).
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:54 PM on July 24, 2006 [4 favorites]


I wonder if he'd be willing to submit to testing his theory on himself? (with nonlethal viruses, of course.)

I suggest that he tries this experiment with genital herpes.

Plenty non-lethal, but with just enough discomfort to make him
pay dearly for his folly.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:56 PM on July 24, 2006


Well this is intresting. im giong to be sending this to my co-worker and friend who is in fact a genetic virologist studying flu, long before h5n1 came on the scene. I donno if he'll be amused or outraged.
posted by MrLint at 5:58 PM on July 24, 2006


A crackpot should not be able to buy himself media attention just by claiming to suggest "that we all think critically and thoughtfully for a change."
That is pretty much how intelligent design and the absence of global warming have come to be taken seriously by educators, politicians, and bureaucrats.

This guy is foolish and should demonstrate his theory with Ebola, while appropriately isolated from the rest of humanity.
posted by TedW at 6:02 PM on July 24, 2006


Well, something he's saying makes sense:

If one hen lies fewer eggs or gets a blue crest and that hen is tested H5N1-positive too, then all the other hens are gassed. That is how there got to be those 100 million apparently H5N1-killed hens.

If you look at this more closely, then you see behind it a several-decades-long strategy: In the West, the big enterprises are cleaning up on this, because those animals that died “from the contagious disease” are being compensated for at the expense of the general public, at the highest market price, while in Asia and everywhere where poultry are being farmed successfully, the poultry market there is being destroyed maliciously and on purpose under the leadership of the UN organization FAO [United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization]

To bring it to the common denominator: It’s modern subvention scamming combined with paralyzing scaremongering, which as a secondary effect guarantees that nobody asks for proof.


Somebody's probably making a mint off this bird-flu shit.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 6:06 PM on July 24, 2006


fuck, and I just spent 1600 on a lentiviral system for miRNA.

my boss is gonna be pissed
posted by slapshot57 at 6:06 PM on July 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


The longer the sentences, the crazier the loon. I'm sure he's selling something.

You know what else? These guys always seem to have the worst photos of themselves on their websites. Digital cameras are basicalyl free at this point, and this guy's photo looks like a scanned page from a magazine that was folded and unfolded a dozen times.

Well, I've thought critically and thoughtfully, and I colculde that we should hook this guy up to some electricity.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:08 PM on July 24, 2006


what a coincidence. I don't believe in Dr. Stephen Lanka.
posted by Busithoth at 6:26 PM on July 24, 2006


the academic medicine practitioners need the paralyzing and stupifying fear of diabolical viruses, in order to conceal their historical origin as an oppression and killing instrument of the Vatican’s when it was struggling to rise in the world, having developed out of the usurping West Roman army.
Academic medicine has been and is the most important pillar of support of all dictatorships and governments which do not want to submit to written law, to constitutions, to human rights, that is, to the democratically legitimized social contract.
This explains too why academic medicine really can and is allowed to do anything that pleases it, and in this is subjected to no control whatsoever. If we do not overcome this, we will all perish by this academic medicine.


Yes, critical thinking indeed.

Furthermore, this article shows a picture of a flu survivor. Am I to take it that, unless you die, you don't have flu?
posted by c13 at 6:27 PM on July 24, 2006


He's about 1 step short of explaining his whole theory using the Time Cube(tm).
posted by clevershark at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2006


My favorite bit of insanity here is the quiet madness of:

Many of the photos are colored. This is proof enough, that they are the (art)work of designers, because electron microscopic photos always appear in black and white.

I keep trying to parse the meaning of that, of what that statement is supposed to prove and the means by which it could possibly do such a thing, and then I cry vomit.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:38 PM on July 24, 2006


I really support a healthy dose of experimentation for these guys, like a shot full of HIV, or Ebola maybe. It isn't a bad thing to wish if you don't believe those things exist.
posted by OmieWise at 6:38 PM on July 24, 2006


Why is this an FPP??????
posted by batou_ at 6:57 PM on July 24, 2006


I was wondering what viruses are for in evolution, because they didn't seem to have any function other than to be very dangerous and killing other cells.

A PhD "virologist" who doesn't seem to be clear on how evolution works. Interesting.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:59 PM on July 24, 2006


DR LANKA, are we in Germany threatened by the bird flu?

Only indirectly. Next year there will many fewer babies in Germany. According to the media, the storks will all be snatched away by the bird flu. We’ll have to get used to this.


Oh, COME ON.
posted by mkultra at 7:07 PM on July 24, 2006


I'd support a healthy dose of research for the HIV/AIDS cheerleaders out there. Even Dr. Gallo's seminal 1984 paper that supposedly "proves" HIV causes AIDS only found 26 out of the study's 72 AIDS patients were actually infected with HIV.

I wouldn't exactly call that proof.

There are other mind-boggling discrepancies in the theories advanced by the AIDS establishment. Unfortunately, too many well meaning folks allow themselves to get hijacked by their emotions on this issue, rather than do any real research.

In my opinion, the whole AIDS paradigm needs to be challenged. If the establishment argument actually held water, then they'd be willing to engage in an honest, open debate. More often, however, they merely refuse to speak to anyone who disagrees with them.

VirusMyth is a good place to start looking; that is if you are actually interested in doing research, rather than foaming at the mouth and name-calling.
posted by snakey at 7:08 PM on July 24, 2006


Why is this an FPP??????

Why are you abusing so many punctuation marks? What did they ever do to you?
posted by loquacious at 7:12 PM on July 24, 2006


VirusMyth is a good place to start looking; that is if you are actually interested in doing research, rather than foaming at the mouth and name-calling.

I make it a policy never to do research on websites that replace the letter s with a dollar sign.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:17 PM on July 24, 2006


OK, too many question martks, but is it worth an FPP when some idot starts spouting that viruses are not the causitive agents of disaese?
posted by batou_ at 7:18 PM on July 24, 2006


Oh... and bacteria are not the causitive agents of botulism. If you manage to contract a case, please do not take the antibiotics prescibed.
posted by batou_ at 7:25 PM on July 24, 2006


So, snakey, would you be prepared to inoculate yourself with live HIV-1 virus?
posted by docgonzo at 7:34 PM on July 24, 2006


Um. . . "Doc" Gonzo --- would you be willing to show me a credible research paper that shows that "live HIV-1 virus" has actually been isolated to the standards of clinical virology?
posted by snakey at 8:14 PM on July 24, 2006


That isn't answering the question snakey.
posted by aramaic at 8:40 PM on July 24, 2006


It's kinda hard to innoculate yourself with a virus that hasn't actually been isolated. . .
posted by snakey at 8:43 PM on July 24, 2006


No, it isn't.
posted by aramaic at 8:43 PM on July 24, 2006


I appear to be in the distinct minority here, as I think that Dr. Lanka is not a total loon. Not to say that his theories are perfectly on the mark, but he certainly doesn't appear to be batshitinsane, and also doesn't appear to be selling anything. But then again, I also tend to run with the Big Pharma is Evil crowd.

And while I hold no formal education in medicine, biology, chemistry, or any science beyond high school bunsen burner abuse, I have alway had a hard time believing that the horrible and frightening wrath-of-God AIDS pandemic was everything that we are being told it is. Some other folks agree.

(Incidentally, this is my first ever post on Metafilter, though I have been trolling for 2 or 3 years now. This kind of story, and the discussion that it creates, is what lured me here in the first place. I just didn't really have anything to say until just right now, mostly likely due to all the ice cream I just ate.)
posted by AbnerDoon at 8:55 PM on July 24, 2006


Well then, aramaic, perhaps, in your infinite wisdom, you'd like to explain your position, and perhaps provide some references of your sources, so that I can be the beneficiary of this great knowledge?

For my part, I would begin by quoting the Nobel prize winning chemist Dr. Kary Mullis:

"If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document."

Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
posted by snakey at 9:01 PM on July 24, 2006


I have alway had a hard time believing that the horrible and frightening wrath-of-God AIDS pandemic was everything that we are being told it is.

Uh...have you ever met anyone with AIDS? Have you seen the numbers coming out of Africa? I mean, I realize your gut knows a lot and stuff, but...um.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:03 PM on July 24, 2006


Well, there is a reason why people say public education sucks.
posted by c13 at 9:03 PM on July 24, 2006


Hey Slapshot
you work at the Rock, NYU, Columbia, or Skirball?

And Snakey
Even citing the 26/73 doesn't mean much. Subsequent studes have shown much incident rates and it is not surprising given the length of time it takes for AIDS to manifest itself.

Go ahead and do the research yourself, but, along with cancer, HIV/AIDS the most studied of maladies. In other words, tens of thousands of the most intelligent, competitive, and hardworking people in the last 20 years all magically would not pick up on this.

In the hard science community there are virtually no HIV/AIDS deniers. I have been at MIT. Harvard and UCSD and never heard of one let alone met one.
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 9:05 PM on July 24, 2006


Oh, and by the way: "nobody has ever used such rules to isolate any type of virus, and that other techniques are much more effective. According to the Perth Group's rules, nobody has isolated or proven the existence of the viruses said to cause small pox, influenza, measles, mumps and yellow fever." (source)

...care to spend a while in the company of a yellow fever victim?

Just about any university can isolate HIV to suitable clinical levels, and any half-way decent one can produce cloned HIV particles. If you ask really nicely, maybe they'll let you inject yourself with some, so you can suffer the amusing consequences encountered by the unfortunate lab staff that accidentally exposed themselves to pure cloned samples (source).

Heck, I'll just quote it entirely:
"All four postulates have been fulfilled in three laboratory workers with no other risk factors who have developed AIDS or severe immunosuppression after accidental exposure to concentrated HIVIIIB in the laboratory (Blattner et al., 1993; Reitz et al., 1994; Cohen, 1994c). Two patients were infected in 1985 and one in 1991. All three have shown marked CD4+ T cell depletion, and two have CD4+ T cell counts that have dropped below 200/mm3 of blood. One of these latter individuals developed PCP, an AIDS indicator disease, 68 months after showing evidence of infection and did not receive antiretroviral drugs until 83 months after the infection. In all three cases, HIVIIIB was isolated from the infected individual, sequenced, and shown to be the original infecting strain of virus."

...so maybe The Perth Group claims HIV hasn't been isolated -- everyone else seems to think it has. If it hasn't been isolated, then those pure HIVIIIB cloned samples (remember, cloned, so no purification issues) shouldn't be able to give you AIDS (since they consist of nothing but HIVIIIB particles and water) and you should be perfectly willing to inject some.

Are you? I live in Chicago, I can probably find a suitably aggro AIDS charity that might underwrite this little project.
posted by aramaic at 9:05 PM on July 24, 2006


Snakey
The fact that you reference Mullis just destroys any merit of any argument to follow.

Mullis is a wellknown, but is truly batty. Claims to have discovered PCR (polymerase chain reaction, arguably the most important tool in biology) while on LSD.

I don't doubt it, but the point is that his personality is not one that lends itself to rigorous critical review of data. Very creative. But not that thorough.

What's your axe to grind? This gets posted on this site once or twice a year and it seems that there is always one lone dissenter...
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 9:12 PM on July 24, 2006


That isn't answering the question, aramaic. . .

and in abscence of that, with your AIDS connections, perhaps then you'd be willing to provide yourself or another AIDS expert who'd be willing to participate in a live public debate with an AIDS dissenter?

A colleague of mine in Los Angeles has repeatedly thrown down the gauntlet, and has yet to have anyone pick it up. He's even offered to stream it LIVE on the internet for all to hear.

As for me, I'd be absolutely thrilled to hear this debate.
posted by snakey at 9:20 PM on July 24, 2006


Don't dodge the question, snakey -- either you have the courage of your convictions, or you don't. I'm betting the latter.
posted by docgonzo at 9:27 PM on July 24, 2006


Snakey, I gave you two URLs, both of which reference other scientific papers (one references no less than 137 other papers).

You gave me the uncredited rant of a guy who sees glowing raccoons. One of us is dodging the question, and it ain't me.

Tell you what: I accept the challenge of your amusing pal in LA. Fly me out there, put me up in a hotel, and I'll debate him live even though I'm not a biochemist.

I'm completely serious -- although based on my experience with nutball conspiracy theorists, I'm going to ask that you pony up for the flight in advance. Any commonly-accepted form of escrow will suffice, but I might even accept Paypal.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Hell, If I can wrangle it, I'll even bring you a syringe loaded with HIVIIIB for your colleague to try. Research grade, no less, fresh from a lab at Northwestern University. It'll probably be illegal for me to do so, but I figure it'd be worth the hilarity.
posted by aramaic at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2006 [2 favorites]


No one has accepted the debate because it's not a real offer. Why would a serious scientist/doctor waste their time with a lunatic.

HIV/AIDS deniers are some of the shrillest people and the most fascist of interactors.

They are right because of a handful of a slanted, misinterpreted "facts". No ifs, ands, or buts.

Yeah. The bogeyman of "mainstream science" are as just as strident in their opinions.

One difference: They have thousands of experiments to back up what they claim.

And by the way, once one realizes that AIDS medicines are not the cash cow that some would have you believe, the vast majority of the argument of HIV/AIDS deniers vanishes into thin air.
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 9:39 PM on July 24, 2006


First of all, your reference relies on the PCR test. This is extremely interesting, as the inventor of the PCR test, Dr. Kary Mullis, (cited above) is one of the most outspoken AIDS dissenters.

In addition, when running PCR tests, only 3% of the purported HIV genome is actually used. This non-specificity is why there is no PCR test that has been FDA approved to diagnose HIV infection.

Furthermore, I would be happy to help facilitate this debate. I'm sure we can arrange a debate via telephone if you can't afford the ticket out to LA.
posted by snakey at 9:39 PM on July 24, 2006


would you be willing to show me a credible research paper that shows that "live HIV-1 virus" has actually been isolated to the standards of clinical virology?

Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol 167, 1428-1441
Efficient isolation and propagation of human immunodeficiency virus on recombinant colony-stimulating factor 1-treated monocytes

HE Gendelman, JM Orenstein, MA Martin, C Ferrua, R Mitra, T Phipps, LA Wahl, HC Lane, AS Fauci and DS Burke
Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

That's just the first paper that comes up on Google Scholar. You can also play with PubMed. However, I'm not sure how much good it will do for you, since, in order to be "credible", a paper not only has to contain quality data and conclusions, but it has to be read by a person who has enough knowledge to evaluate them.

A colleague of mine in Los Angeles has repeatedly thrown down the gauntlet, and has yet to have anyone pick it up.
People are busy, snakey. They have grants to write, research to do, teach, go to conferences. They really don't have time to entertain every idiot that comes along. That's also why creationists are dismissed. Real life is not like classroom. There are stupid questions. There's a whole bunch of them, usually asked by people who are really not interested in learning the answer. So why bother?
posted by c13 at 9:43 PM on July 24, 2006


Don't dodge the question, snakey.
posted by docgonzo at 9:45 PM on July 24, 2006


What does Mullis' status as the inventor of PCR, a dubious assertion in the first place, hav eto do with his expertise on how to appraise PCR's capacity to detect HIV? PCR has advanced well beyond what Mullis ever knew about it. He is a biochemist by training and, I suspect, nature, but not a biologist or doctor.

And you are flat out wrong about the FDA and PCR. Not misunderstood, etc. Just plain incorrect.

About halfway down the page under the category of "Nucleic Acid Testing"... HIV Tests and FDA Approval.

Are you just googling and looking for convienent answers?
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 9:55 PM on July 24, 2006


Given the links to the studies that I've looked at on this thread so far, I've yet to see anything that wasn't based on PCR research by Dr. Kary Mullis. Again, he is one of the biggest dissenters against the HIV/AIDS paradigm. Check your sources.

This debate on MeFi has been going on for several hours now. Yes, people are busy, myself included. I myself grow weary of waiting for any credible citation in response to my original question.

Perhaps if someone could procure an expert who would volunteer just *one* hour of their time, we could debate this issue in a LIVE give and take, and save everyone a lot of time.

If we can't even hold a scientific debate, it begs the question: Why is the AIDS establishment so afraid of open debate?
posted by snakey at 10:06 PM on July 24, 2006


The Earth is flat. Why is NASA afraid to debate me?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:14 PM on July 24, 2006 [2 favorites]


Well to a certain approximation the world is flat...
posted by ozomatli at 10:20 PM on July 24, 2006


Screw this. You are fishing for someone to be a stage prop.

For what exactly am I checking my sources? You said "...there is no PCR test that has been FDA approved to diagnose HIV infection." You were proven to be wrong.

The Mullis reference does nothing for your argument and this time not because of his personality , etc.

It's simple. Mullis worked for a company at the time that PCR was demonstrated to be feasible and he took the credit for it in the community. Due to its being by a company, PCR was patented and is now licensed out to god knows how many other companies.

All PCR research will be based upon Mullis' work due to his presence at its nascent stages of development. Just because someone was important in founding something doesn't mean they currently an expert in that field. This especially true in science and even more so in the specific subfield of PCR.

You are hurting people with your ignorance. Stop. You are doing bad things. Is that clear enough?
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 10:26 PM on July 24, 2006


Did you know that Gravity is actually a push? Do not attempt to debate me!
posted by slatternus at 10:57 PM on July 24, 2006


Redgrendel: I appreciate your interest, but you may want to recheck your sources. Here's one of interest from the package insert of Roche Laboratories' PCR viral load test, considered to be the most specific:

"The amplicor HIV monitor test is not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV infection."

Perhaps you'd like to investigate the package inserts of the various HIV tests and show me one which purports to definitively confirm HIV infection.

Indeed, I await anyone who would debate this issue to contact me and set up a live debate. We can post a link to the debate here on MeFi if necessary. If the evidence is so strongly in your favor, then you have nothing to fear and nothing to lose.

The hour is getting late, and I must retire for the evening, but I would hope that in pursuit of the truth, someone would agree to this debate. I, for one, would be interested learning more, and would welcome the debate between your 'experts' and mine.
posted by snakey at 11:01 PM on July 24, 2006


Uh, knowing nothing specific about HIV tests, it's pretty obvious to me that the Roche test is a quantitative test of a test type known to amplify trace contamination. A weak signal is inconclusive.

Now it's my turn. Find me a product that purports to definitively quench my thirst. Now compare and contrast the size of settlement I'm going to get for the mental anguish of an unquenched thirst vs. a misdiagnosis of AIDS.

Suppose someone agreed to your debate, what would happen? My suspicion is you would use the same seems reasonable until you actually think about what's going on logic that I described above. So, to respond, the other side would first have to educate the audience and explain what your saying and what it really means. They'll get about half-way through that and their 5 minutes (or whatever) will be up.

And what B-movie gives you the idea that scientific debates are done in a lecture hall in front of an audience? Scientific debates take place in scientific journals and are going on all the time. I've got a copy of Nature on the back of the toilet and can get you a submission address if you'd like.

And maybe you should look up what "begs the question" means.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:59 PM on July 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Look, snakey, instead of trying to stage "debates" on the internet, your friend should just publish his results. If he's right, it's pretty much a guaranteed Nobel Prize.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:01 AM on July 25, 2006


Here you go!

The New England Journal of Medicine Author Center's Instructions for Submitting Your New Manuscript.
posted by blacklite at 12:39 AM on July 25, 2006


As I'm too scared to click on a site called hemp coalition, would you please do us the honour snakey of tabling your credentials including but not limited to, your education, employment and publishing history.

I have had a long search around on the protagonists for a 'mythical view' of virology and the HIV-AIDS nexus and I find myself unable to conclude anything beyond the fact that Lanka and Papadopulous-
Eleopulos et al have done little else but ring the same bell for 15 years. They donot appear to have made any other contributions to science beyond naysaying. That is of course not proof that they should be regarded as crackpot opportunists but I am far from satisfied that they have any crediblility in the scientific world.

I reject their conspiracy theory.
posted by peacay at 12:49 AM on July 25, 2006


and then I cry vomit
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:38 AM GMT on July 25


Dude, that ain't normal. I'd see a doctor if I were you, you might have some kind of virus :)
posted by kaemaril at 1:38 AM on July 25, 2006


Often, people who are easily seduced by 'experts' spouting conspiracy theories (a) don't have enough education to really understand the refutation of their 'experts', even if they have a murky understanding and can spout out buzzwords of the field; (b) have problems with logic (their mental bullshit filters are defective); and (c) are predisposed to believe in new conspiracies that fit in with their X-Files view of reality.

For individuals with this combination of problems, trying to fix issue A can be futile because they need years of real study to gain understanding, but B and C will inhibit learning or make it impossible.

'Normal' people (a) are smart enough to recognize that they do not have the education required to understand complex fields in which they didn't get a PhD. But, (b) they are able to spot blatant logic errors which don't require in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand. (c) They don't have any psychological investment in defending teh SeKrIt KnOwLeDgE da authorities don't want you to know about.

I know I'm belaboring the obvious here, but some people need to have it spelled out for them.
posted by D.C. at 1:52 AM on July 25, 2006


snakey, PCR isn't a test. It's a technique to amplify fragments of DNA (that is, make a bunch of copies of the original fragments.) There are tests for HIV that utilize that technique, yes, but there's a difference between the tests and the technique. Furthermore, the fact that Mullis was involved in the development of PCR has nothing to do with whether or not he's competent and informed enough to judge HIV research [and the fact that other researchers use PCR doesn't mean that they automatically agree with Every Single Thing Mullis Says.] HIV and PCR're both more or less biochemistry, yes, but biochemistry is a broad field. The fact that I've worked on [completely different] topics in biochemistry labs doesn't make me an HIV expert either. [I mean, you might as well be saying that Edison would be a great judge of software design, since software runs on computers, which originally used vacuum tubes, which were based off of some of the observations Edison made in his light-bulb experimentation. You see that that is somewhat ridiculous, right? I hope? Because that's more or less the kind of chain of logic you're building up here.]

And seriously - a Nobel prize doesn't mean that the prize-winner is right about every hypothesis they have. It means that they had one right idea in precisely the right place and time - they were lucky, in other words. Even Nobel prize winners can be wrong. Einstein was rather dubious about quantum mechanics. Watson [one of the people who discovered what DNA was] was pro-eugenics. Etc. So really, let me say that all again: the fact that Mullis got a Nobel prize for a biochemical technique (PCR) unrelated to HIV doesn't mean that everything he says is right. The fact that researchers use PCR doesn't mean that they agree with everything he says, and doesn't make Mullis magically right about everything.

Most reasonable scientists prefer not to argue too much about things they're not experts in. There may be no HIV researchers on MeFi right now. Even if there are, they may feel that doing their labwork and trying to find a cure or vaccine for HIV is more valuable than flying to LA to debate a crank scientist. They may, like scientists who won't debate creationists, feel that enaging in such debate just makes it seem like there's a controversy, when in fact there's very widespread agreement about the nature of AIDS in the scientificy community. Please do yourself the favor of doing some basic PubMed searches on HIV - if you don't have enough of a science background to read scientific papers, go to a nearby college and ask a bio or biochem prof. for help [note - someone other than your friend, who you already know is biased.] Read the responses that people have written about Mullis' and Duseberg's claims, instead of just reading the claims [or credulous stories about those claims] and feeling like you know the whole story.
posted by ubersturm at 2:29 AM on July 25, 2006


Given the links to the studies that I've looked at on this thread so far, I've yet to see anything that wasn't based on PCR research by Dr. Kary Mullis. Again, he is one of the biggest dissenters against the HIV/AIDS paradigm.

Oh for god's sake. The fact that someone invents a lab technique does not mean that their say-so invalidates every result garnered by that technique in perpetuity.

That said, it's ridiculous to debate about this. There have been over 500 peer-reviewed, published articles showing a causal relationship between HIV and AIDS since 1984. People who continue to insist that there's some kind of conspiracy or that the link has never been proven are saying so in the face of the results of 20 years of intense, open, published, peer-reviewed research. There is simply nothing to say to change their minds.

And aramaic, I wouldn't fly out to LA if I were you. Here is how that debate will go:

HIV Denier: You cannot show me a single credited source showing that HIV causes AIDS.

Aramaic: Actually, I have brought with me several hundred published studies by reputable scientists demonstrating just that.

HD: All of those studies are completely invalid due to the fact that I lack the scientific training to understand them.

Aramaic: ...

HD: Victory is mine!
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:26 AM on July 25, 2006


snakey-I'll debate you. My one stipulation is that you first inject yourself with live HIV, and we'll hold the debate in 15 years. It should be completely harmless from your end, and will certianly make me look like a fool.

If you're unwilling to put your life where your mouth is, shut up. Seriously. If it's no big deal, if HIV doesn't cause Aids, then inject yourself and let's put this to rest right away. Well, over the natural course of what should be the disease. If you aren't willing to do that then I assume that you're prevaricating here.
posted by OmieWise at 4:39 AM on July 25, 2006


Not to mention that scientific "debate" is not like political debate where for a few hours both sides spit rhetoric at each other and bystanders make a decision. The core of the debate happens in peer-reviewed articles, informal letters, and at conferences.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:39 AM on July 25, 2006


Not surprising from a place called Guerilla News Network.
posted by skallas at 7:34 AM on July 25, 2006


This is the fringe of the fringe.
posted by skallas at 7:35 AM on July 25, 2006


someone would agree to this debate. I, for one, would be interested learning more, and would welcome the debate between your 'experts' and mine.

Oh Jesus Christ! If you want to learn something, read a book or take a class. Molecular Biology of the Cell is very well written and has a lot of pictures and diagrams. PubMed (here's that word again) has a ton of primary literature as well as reviews on the subject. If you really want, I can provide you with my access account. You want to learn -- learn.
But you really don't, do you? You're much rather being entertained by someone else on stage. Stick to watching the X-files and listening to Art Bell.

If the evidence is so strongly in your favor, then you have nothing to fear and nothing to lose.
Yes, they do. They lose time wasting their breath arguing with incompetent idiots -- an endeavor that does not score respect points among the more normal people. As far as fear, do you really think anyones gives a damn about what your expert guy thinks of them? Really.
posted by c13 at 8:12 AM on July 25, 2006


Snakey, you still haven't answered docgonzo or myself.

I recognize that you may not still be in this thread, but if you are, and post again, then answer docgonzo's original question.

To restate: HIV in a syringe, will you inject it?

...before you answer, let me cover some of the more common questions:
1) I will pay for a trained phlebotomist to handle the actual injection.
2) injection will be intravenous, not intramuscular
3) the HIV will be research-grade cloned, with the original labels
4) the injection procedure will be videotaped, and at least one witness will be present aside from yourself and the phlebotomist.

Let me also confess that there's realistically only a 20% chance I can acquire the necessary sample, although if you're willing to accept a few mL of blood from a compatible donor I can nearly guarantee a sample.
posted by aramaic at 8:19 AM on July 25, 2006


"Given the links to the studies that I've looked at on this thread so far, I've yet to see anything that wasn't based on PCR research by Dr. Kary Mullis. Again, he is one of the biggest dissenters against the HIV/AIDS paradigm. Check your sources."

IF I KEEP APPEALING TO AUTHORITY SOMEONE WILL BELIEVE ME!
posted by klangklangston at 8:52 AM on July 25, 2006


"Given the links to the studies that I've looked at on this thread so far, I've yet to see anything that wasn't based on PCR research by Dr. Kary Mullis. Again, he is one of the biggest dissenters against the HIV/AIDS paradigm. Check your sources."

van Leeuwenhoek was a Reformed Calvinist. I guess no one who uses microscopes for research can subscribe to the theory of evolution.
A PCR reaction is just a tool. Like a micropipette or a hot plate. The views of Mullins as an invetor of PCR on HIV research are no more relevant than those of the guy who invented the pipette, on which the research is "based" just as much.
If you appeal to authority, at the very least you have to appeal to the right one for the job. But that would require knowing something.
posted by c13 at 9:25 AM on July 25, 2006


But then again, I also tend to run with the Big Pharma is Evil crowd

Not to be too insensitive here, but I find that members of the "Big Pharma is Evil" crowd tend to be avid consumers of Big Pharma's products.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:31 AM on July 25, 2006


Snakey, don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. If people call your questions insincere or stupid, just remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

There are few lessons people should learn as they grow up. One of those is that there is no grand conspiracy controlling everything from the shadows. Some crackpot with barely adequate HTML skills has not pulled back the veil from your eyes; he is just a ridiculous wannabe demagogue of the worst kind, one that believes his own dissembling.

Anyone who truly wants to understand the world has to abandon the comfort of false certainty and simplicty. The only way to learn about the real world is to seriously consider truths that might be difficult to grasp, troubling in their consequences, or contradictory to preconceptions. The alternative is to be a colossal narcissist, someone who would rather think that everyone else is a fool than accept that perhaps they don't understand everything.

Snakey, the reason you are being angrily dismissed is because you have arrogantly presumed to know vastly more than people who have made the immense effort required to truly understand the science involved. You, on the other hand, have read some stupid webpage, or listened to the rantings of some friend, and uncritically accepted it because their ideas conformed to your biases and preconceptions.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:39 AM on July 25, 2006


Somebody's probably making a mint off this bird-flu shit.

Dick Cheney is.

I'm not quite ready to don the tinfoil on this one....but I'm just sayin. It is an interesting factoid.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2006


Another interesting factoid: globalresearch.ca, the site that published that article on bird flu, is owned and operated by Michel Chussodovsky, a part-time economics lecturer, full-time crank who believes planes remotely-controlled by the Pentagon crashed into the WTC.
posted by docgonzo at 12:10 PM on July 25, 2006


Hey! Has anybody seen snakey?
He's been gone for a while.
Musta seen somethin shiny.....
posted by Floydd at 1:56 PM on July 25, 2006


Didn't you hear him?
"The hour grows late"

He's probably returned to his underground lair to continue work on his undead monster.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:29 AM on July 26, 2006


Hello again,

Just checking back in. Going over the comments so far, it's nice to see such a respectful, high-level discussion here at MeFi.

In any case, I see that many here think that Dr. Mullis is not a trustworthy source. Rather than responding to Dr. Mullis' challenge directly, everyone here has merely engaged in character assassination, which is regretful.

However, setting that aside for the moment, can someone here tell me how I'm supposed to respect the work of Dr. Gallo (the discoverer of the so-called virus?)

When the "discovery" and subsequent "isolation" of HIV (LAV, HTLV-III, etc.) was tainted by scientific fraud as was confirmed by the Dingle Subcommittee Hearings; how can anyone take the AIDS establishment position seriously?

Asking me to take the word of a scientific fraud like Gallo over a Nobel prize winner like Mullis is puzzling. Perhaps you folks can help me sort that one out.

I'd really like to hear a response to this question, as it has been troubling me for some time.
posted by snakey at 8:30 PM on July 26, 2006


Are you still considering taking an HIV injection? Can you answer that question seriously?

Your non sequitor about Gallo is instructive. Gallo may be tainted by issues of fraud, but the fraud in question is claiming that he isolated something first that was really first isolated in France. In other words, and I know you must already know this, your confusion over what to believe boils down to a problem accepting that the HIV virus was isolated TWICE in quick succession on different continents. If you are intent on being flumoxed by Gallo, simply believe the French. If you think the French are full of it, believe Gallo.

But, really, I appreciate how brave you are about this HIV injection thing. Not everyone would have the courage to follow the convictions of their which threaten to harm so many other people. But you, you snakey, are ready to stand up and be counted. You're ready to not only stand in the position of contrarian to accepted science, you're willing to offer yourself forward as a model of scientific research writ large. You're willing, and I'm almost choked up to consider this, to do something that most people would consider quite dangerous, foolhardy, even, but, which, due to your deep powers of perception and intuition, unchecked and unfettered by the bonds and shackles of academic and peer-reviewed "science", you are sure is safe. In short, you are prepared to put your money where your mouth is and get intravenously injected with HIV. I realize that it will take a long time, that years will pass, the notorious and obfuscatory time during which the human immune system is supposedly controlling HIV prior to the point at which it gets overwhelmed in the war of attrition against the virus, before we know for sure that HIV is not going to make you sick with AIDS, but the commitment of time is just one of the things that I admire about your stand. If I had to pick one thing, one thing about your choice that most impresses me, that makes me yearn for the day when you're compared favorably to other heroes of science and of the people--heroes like: Galileo, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, firefighters and police officers of every description--that thing would be your willingness to discard the treatments that have so radically lowered the mortality rate for so-called "HIV disease", that have lowered the transmission of HIV from mother to child in many parts of the world where treatment is available to less than 1%. It takes a brave scientist, a person committed above all to truth, to offer their own body as a living testament (and I mean that word to carry all the quasi-religious imagery with which one can load it) to the nefarious conspiracy of silence that seems like it's making real progress in the treatment of a disease that you know doesn't even exist.

Snakey, I salute you. I salute your curiosity. I salute your willingness to defend, with no evidence, an "unpopular" position. Like the English in France at King Harry's request, you're willing to wall up the holes in scientific theory with your body, theirs dead, your's, gloriously alive even after an HIV injection. I salute your insistence that responding to this very reasonable request, completely consistent with safety according to your theories, and therefore in NO WAY A DANGER to you, is your top priority. I salute your willingness to educate rather than obfuscate, and your glorious enthusiasm for truth and applicable expertise. In short: You're a hell of a person, snakey, and I'm glad to know you even as just pixels on a screen. You're making the world a better place, your family is, no doubt, blessed by your reasonable approach to life, your community enriched by your unwillingness to actually, you know, belong to any community, including the one which values human life. I can honestly say that I was convinced you would never respond to suggestions that you take an injection which you are convinced is PERFECTLY SAFE, but it is to my own detriment that I thought you cowardly in this way. To the contrary, you've proved a brave brave exponent of rigor, and a believer that the gauntlet, once thrown, must in turn be picked up. Again, I'm reminded by the inestimable Bard that I'll regret the day I was "abed" as you were stoically preparing for your Agincourt, swabbing your arm, taking a harmless shot much to the consternation of all those ranged around you in expectant and cowardly disbelief. But, if you'll pardon a move to the less august Howard Pyle, a hardy yoeman with a staff of yew such as yourself could never be intimidated or decieved by the treacherous hirelings of that corrupt Sheriff, the scientific establishment with it's peer-reviewed journals and "scientific" consensus.

snakey, snakey, oh snakey. I wrote brave words above, words of admiration, words of awe. The truth is, though, that I fear for you and I beg you to reconsider. I know that you believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, and that consequently, getting an injection of HIV is completely SAFE. I know that you cannot have the slightest objection to doing something that others might deem foolhardy, that there is no reason at all, rationally, for you not to get such an injection. I know that you would never consider not responding to those who requested that you submit to such a paltry display of your convictions. Of course you wouldn't ignore those requests, for what could be your reason for ignoring them. Certainly they were probably written in malice, probably as a trap to demonstrate that your rhetorical position is inconsistent with how you live your life, almost as if (as if!) you might have the ethical turpitude of a Jim or a Tammy Baker. But what are those motives to you? Indeed, HAH!, what could be easier than to prove those nabobs wrong, prove those doubters to be nothing but errand boys, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill? Because what those requesting that you put up or shut up fail to realize is that, due to your convictions, taking a shot of HIV is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY SAFE. I know you believe this, I know you know this, and that's why I know that you're determined to face those petty upholders of the conspiracy of HIV/AIDS and tell them to their faces that you'd be happy to take such an injection, that it's as nothing to you, and that those who harp on it are as Buck Mulligan pimping Stephen's theories, stealing Stephen's key, Gorgharting across Dublin until there's nothing left of truth or beauty, not even the smell of wet ashes on a dying mother's breath. But snakey, please listen to my plea and refuse to respond, refuse to give in to the exhortations and taunts of those who've actually looked into the science on this question. It is of us, the few who can see your radiance and your purity, who want to be considered the forerunners to those masses who will inevitably venerate your courage in the future, it is of us and our frailty that you should think. I know that to you an injection of HIV is COMPLETELY SAFE and there's no reason not to take one, but I do not think I'm strong enough to even watch your act of courage. I fear that I won't be able to face up to your bravery. So, please, if you care about me, and I know that you must as you're motivations are as transparently about caring for your fellow human beings as any person's could be, do not give in to the jibes, the taunts, the demands for scientific evidence. Spare me the glory of your bravery and simply retire from the field of this internet discussion secure in your convictions, your hold on truth and intuition unassailed by the many and various attempts to shake them.
posted by OmieWise at 6:34 AM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]



posted by peacay at 8:19 AM on July 27, 2006


So Omie, you and I can agree at least, that Dr. Gallo, the so-called father of HIV research is a fraud. I think that we can safely say that this has been established, true?
posted by snakey at 9:31 AM on July 27, 2006


Oh and by the way, my earlier link to the "isolation" of HIV had a typo.

here's a better link
posted by snakey at 9:42 AM on July 27, 2006


snakey writes "So Omie, you and I can agree at least, that Dr. Gallo, the so-called father of HIV research is a fraud. I think that we can safely say that this has been established, true?"

At what level is your reading comprehension, anyway? Were you absolutely incapable of reading what OmieWise wrote? Or did you simply choose to ignore it?

snakey writes "here's a better link"

That is, indeed, a better link. I don't think you've managed to do a single one of those right yet.

Moron.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:06 AM on July 27, 2006


Omie's post was long and rambling, but buried deep within, it appeared that he conceded that Gallo's original research was an example of scientific misconduct and was rife with fraud.

I realize that many of you are unable to get past your emotional reactions on this subject. I would prefer to maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand.

And it would appear that one fact which we have established is that Gallo is certainly not trustworthy. As for the french team, Luc Montagnier himself admits that he did not purify his samples, and so if we take him at his word, it is clear that HIV has not in fact been isolated. I find this troubling, as it calls into question the whole premise of HIV.
posted by snakey at 12:09 PM on July 27, 2006


I don't have anymore time for this shit.

You win snakey, HIV doesn't cause AIDS. It's a consipiracy, or something.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2006


And here's the Dingell Subcommitte Hearings
posted by snakey at 12:22 PM on July 27, 2006


(The ones that found fraud in Gallo's research)
posted by snakey at 12:22 PM on July 27, 2006


I've not done this for a while so forgive me

Omie's post was long and rambling, but buried deep within, it appeared that he conceded that Gallo's original research was an example of scientific misconduct and was rife with fraud.

"I didn't really follow what he was saying so I will provide a synopsis that fits in with what I'd like the answer to be"

I realize that many of you are unable to get past your emotional reactions on this subject.

"I believe that if I utilise a non-argumentative style of discussion whilst other people take the piss out of me for my chronicly poor education on the subject I will seem to be the bigger man and therefore more people will agree with what I have written"

I would prefer to maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand.

"I don't really mean this. What I really mean is that as long as I continue to ignore any of the actual complex papers and studies people throw at me and concentrate on the people being mean I can generate good will towards my argument, thus influencing undecided people to my point of view.

And it would appear that one fact which we have established is that Gallo is certainly not trustworthy.

"I have pointed out one failure on the part of an individual and now I shall use that one failure to automatically disregard every other thing he has ever done."

As for the french team, Luc Montagnier himself admits that he did not purify his samples, and so if we take him at his word, it is clear that HIV has not in fact been isolated. I find this troubling, as it calls into question the whole premise of HIV.

"It doesn't matter what evidence you give me, I shall deny, deny, deny until I am blue in the face. I am basically like bevets and should therefore be disregarded until I can honestly discuss something with adults."

Sorry I had to do that. I can't stand that particular false style of argument, it grates on my soul.

snakey - try answering the big boy questions and ignoring the snark (mine too! I don't care) and you might find yourself educated instead of educated stupid.
posted by longbaugh at 12:30 PM on July 27, 2006


snakey - Your current line of reasoning amounts to:

1) I do not believe that x exists
2) Because the so-called experts who "found" x, actually stole x from someone else

How the hell can you steal something that doesn't exist?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:34 PM on July 27, 2006


Actually, florence, my line of reasoning is

1) Montagnier never isolated HIV - he admits that did not purify his samples.
2) Gallo never isolated HIV either. He is, however a recognized fraud, stealing the french research, essentially taking credit for it and mischaracterizing it as 'proof'.

Again, I think Kary Mullis raises some good questions, which no one here has bothered to address. They'd prefer to discredit him by calling him a surfer from La Joya.

"Big Boy questions" indeed.

Assuming we could even *find* an AIDS expert with the cajones to debate, we would all (myself included) benefit from these two opposing experts who really could address the "big boy" questions in a live give-and-take.

Any discussion here on MetaFilter, on the other hand, will inevitably degenerate into a pointless flamewar, due to the emotionalism surrounding the issue.
posted by snakey at 1:23 PM on July 27, 2006


I'll see your one Nobel Prize winner, and raise you five thousand scientists from all over the world, including eleven Nobel Prize winners.

The Durban Declaration.

Text here: http://aids.about.com/od/expertadvice/a/declaration.htm
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2006


snakey writes "Any discussion here on MetaFilter, on the other hand, will inevitably degenerate into a pointless flamewar, due to the emotionalism surrounding the issue."

Actually snakey old chap, the 'emotionalism' is actually frustration and it's not generated by the 'issue' but rather, as a response to the hollow, passive-aggressive style of trolling argument in which you engage, as so well-described by longbaugh.

You think you have found an ant hole through a brick wall you are seeing therefore justifying your denying that the wall exists....or something.
posted by peacay at 3:03 PM on July 27, 2006


Omie's post was long and rambling, but buried deep within, it appeared that he conceded that Gallo's original research was an example of scientific misconduct and was rife with fraud.
I saw no such concession.

Now, could you answer the questions Omiewise put you: 'Are you still considering taking an HIV injection? Can you answer that question seriously?'
posted by kaemaril at 3:17 PM on July 27, 2006


From Omie:
"Gallo may be tainted by issues of fraud, but the fraud in question is claiming that he isolated something first that was really first isolated in France."

Ah yes. Fraud, as Omie puts it. Gallo was convicted of science fraud for his HIV research in 1992. Let's just chalk that one up as fact, shall we?

Simply ignoring the ethical lapses in the 'discovery' of HIV doesn't make them go away.

It's a troubling issue, especially once you start looking at the implications. I'm surprised that so many in this discussion are simply unaware of the Dingell Inquiry's findings.
posted by snakey at 4:29 PM on July 27, 2006


Well, I'm not really surprised.
posted by snakey at 4:31 PM on July 27, 2006


"may be tainted with fraud" <> "an example of scientific misconduct and rife with fraud"

Hey, how about you answer the damn questions Omie put you instead of trying to put the smackdown on one scientist out of literally thousands who have committed the heinous crime ... oh, the horror! ... of not agreeing with your bizarro ideas.

When are you going to shove a needle-full of HIV into a vein, thus demonstrating the courage of your convictions?
posted by kaemaril at 4:56 PM on July 27, 2006


Convictions?

I confront you with the evidence that Gallo was convicted, not of disagreeing with me, but of the crime of scientific fraud. This is not 'just one researcher' but the man who claims to have discovered HIV. The guy who developed the initial HIV antibody tests. The guy who is central to the whole field of HIV research.

Why don't you show the courage of your convictions? If you so firmly believe in the HIV/AIDS paradigm, then read up on Gallo, check out the Dingell findings. Perhaps in your research you'll check out Gallo's earlier breakthrough 'cancer discoveries' that were sadly destroyed by convenient 'lab accidents.' In the process you may actually see Gallo for the Fraud he is.

Unfortunately, it seems that no one around here has the courage to do this fundamental research into the issue. But then, what should I expect, when so many of you also dismiss the fundamental research behind HIV/AIDS as irrelevant.
posted by snakey at 5:50 PM on July 27, 2006


I don't have any convictions, sunbeam. I'm not the one spouting off against literally thousands of scientists. As for your claim that this not 'just one researcher' but the man who 'claims' to have discovered HIV, so what? Unless you're trying to claim he's hoodwinked the entire community, none of whom have reproduced any of his work, and have just sat mindlessly back, photocopying his stuff and then publishing reports agreeing with his work just for the hell of it, then you're on a hiding to nothing.

It'd be like you claiming that gravity is hocus-pocus because a recent article reveals that Newton made up the apple story. Forget all the subsequent science, the original idea was a fraud so it must be false. Newton was a big fibber, so it stands to reason that gravity's a myth. QED.

For your next trick perhaps you'd like to point out the "genuine controversy" in the scientific community over Intelligent Design?

Oh, and when you come up with stuff like 'foaming at the mouth and name-calling' and 'people 'having the courage' then you're really not helping your already rather tenuous case.

And again ... when are you going to make with the needle? Ah, forget it. Back to under the bridge with you, sir, and go pester some billy goats with your ideas.
posted by kaemaril at 6:19 PM on July 27, 2006


"Simply ignoring the ethical lapses in the 'discovery' of HIV doesn't make them go away. "

To be fair, Snakey, I will wager that I have about the same level of formal science education that you do: The minumum required for a liberal arts degree. And, again, to be fair, I have looked into the allegations put forth about HIV and AIDS (though I investigated them when it was claimed by South African officials that there was no link).

What I have found is that while the direct mechanism of how HIV causes AIDS is unknown (or at least was when I did my research), and though there are people with HIV who do not have AIDS (though they are an incredible minority), the correlation of HIV to AIDS is 100%. Everyone who has AIDS also has HIV, though not everyone who has HIV has AIDS.
But from there, you've got a bizarre mix of appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks (being convicted of fraud does not mean that research is invented), without considering the very simple central points of the controversy. To be blunt, you're arguing from a position of fallacy and apparently willful fallacy.

I don't have the hard science background to point out to you where, exactly, we stand with our understanding of HIV/AIDS. But at every turn, we've had suppositions about HIV confirmed, and none are inconsistent with the HIV=AIDS hypothosis.

On a very real level, you're arguing with both the vehemence and limited comprehension of a Creationist trying to debunk carbon dating or the fossil record. While our understanding of AIDS and HIV is not perfect, they are simple and consistent answers that have been backed by a huge amount of testing.
And yes, nothing can ever be 100% proven in science. But taking that to mean that your pet belief (whether it be creationism or AIDS hypothoses) must be true is a drastic misunderstanding of both certainty and science.

And while creationists are fools who would wreck public schools, HIV deniers are fools who would condemn innocents to die. With your insistence based on fallacy, your are advocating a position that leads to more deaths. Can't you see how arrogant that is? Can't you see why the rest of the people reading your comments are troubled? Especially when you make it clear that you both have no interest in a rational debate and that you have no understanding of the underlying science and must rely on third-hand fringe science results?
posted by klangklangston at 1:58 PM on July 28, 2006


Klangston,

I'm not stating any kind of 'belief' -- just facts that raise some very serious questions about the fundamental AIDS research.

I see where most folks are led astray. For years, I took the same position. But after looking at the Dingell findings, the whole HIV/AIDS thing started to unravel.

The problem is that once Gallo (fraudulently) claimed isolation of HIV, all the funding for alternative causes of AIDS immediately dried up. Instantly, all the research money went straight into "HIV" research. Gallo wasn't convicted of the fraud until years later.

You don't need a clinical science background to realize what the implications would be for the AIDS establishment to admit they were wrong about Gallo in 1992 -- 8 years after Gallo's 'discovery.' By then there was too much on the line. The liability that would stem from thousands of lawsuits would be enormous.

The big problem here is that HIV/AIDS has turned into this quasi-religion, and anyone who questions Gallo's original premise is branded a heretic. As Kary Mullis points out:

"I can't find a single virologist who will give me references which show HIV is the probable cause of AIDS. If you ask...you don't get an answer, you get fury."

And it's no different here on MeFi -- no one is willing to actually look at the documents or the history of this research. Rather, they just operate on their emotions, and their misplaced anger.
posted by snakey at 2:47 PM on July 28, 2006


You don't need a clinical science background to realize what the implications would be for the AIDS establishment to admit they were wrong about Gallo in 1992 -- 8 years after Gallo's 'discovery.' By then there was too much on the line. The liability that would stem from thousands of lawsuits would be enormous.

I knew a conspiracy theory would pop up somewhere. The scientists know the truth, but they daren't speak it!

"Rather, they just operate on their emotions, and their misplaced anger.", I see you're still keeping up with the whole 'I'm intellectually holier than thou, for I speak with the divine and pure light of reason while all you base animals react only emotionally' schtick.

Go back to your bridge, and extort more Capra aegagrus hircus. They at least are used to the bleating.
posted by kaemaril at 4:00 PM on July 28, 2006


I believe the actual language was "Fraud." And yes, Gallo is a fraud. A convicted fraud at that.

Yet, in light of Gallo's scientific misconduct, some, of course, point to the French research. But what does Montagnier have to say?

"(Luc) Montagnier said clearly what he meant. HIV (alone) is... not... a sufficient cause of AIDS."


-- Sir John Maddox, editor, Nature Magazine

But then again, these facts just don't jibe with an "I don't need to consider any other evidence, so shut up" mentality.

Taking the arrogant Bill O'Reilly position, eh, kaemaril?

But that doesn't explain away the fact that the HIV/AIDS establishment still hasn't managed to determine how exactly HIV actually kills T-Cells. You'd think that after millions of dollars and over 20 years of research, someone would have at least done that.

If you can keep an open mind, you may want to check out Why I Quit HIV by a former HIV/AIDS insider, Dr. Rebecca Culshaw, who reversed her position after 10 years of taking the establishment view.

It's a quick read, more modern (March 2006) than the Dingell hearings that you ignore, and it speaks in a language that I think most folks here can easily understand, if they choose to actually read it.

Oh well. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. Have a great day!
posted by snakey at 5:04 PM on July 28, 2006


"that is if you are actually interested in doing research, rather than foaming at the mouth and name-calling."

"I realize that many of you are unable to get past your emotional reactions on this subject."

"Unfortunately, it seems that no one around here has the courage to do this fundamental research into the issue."

"I don't need to consider any other evidence, so shut up" mentality.

"If you can keep an open mind"

"think most folks here can easily understand, if they choose to actually read it."

"Oh well. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose."


I guess that whole 'I'm intellectually holier than thou, for I speak with the divine and pure light of reason while all you base animals react only emotionally' thing I was talking about earlier must be really working for you, 'cos you just keep going back to it even when alerted to it.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of the scientific community disagrees with you ... but hey, you just keep on bleating, buddy.

My "arrogant Bill O'Reilly" position can be summed up nicely in just two sentences: You, sir, are a troll. And a poor one at that.

Your high-handed style is not going to win anyone over, especially with such a dodgy argument.

If you're going to keep trolling can't you at least argue a slightly more defensible position? How about 'they faked the moon landings'? Oooh, how about intelligent design? I'm sure a person of your staggering intellect and insight can whip up something to prove those wacky "Crazy Darwinists" wrong in two shakes of a billygoat's tail. How about a rousing battlecry of "Darwin was a fraud, I've got just the watch to prove it!"?

(I wonder how many will get the reference?)
posted by kaemaril at 5:50 PM on July 28, 2006


You'd have to be blind not to. ;-p
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:54 PM on July 28, 2006


Nonsense. A Screen-reader would sort that problem out :)

I'm sure snakey gets it. Well ... 95% sure. OK, maybe 90%. I'd produce a study saying I was 95% sure, and cite five other studies showing I was 95% sure ... but snakey would just produce another study showing my study was a fraud and in fact I was only 75% confident, and that all the other studies must therefore be similarly flawed.
posted by kaemaril at 6:08 PM on July 28, 2006


...still no answer on the needle question, over a week since it was first asked. Hmm, I wonder why.
posted by aramaic at 8:48 AM on August 2, 2006


And here I thought the conversation was over.

Aramaic! So glad to hear from you again.

Indeed, your question is provocative, but it has already been addressed elsewhere.

I really do hope that you'll consider the dissident view in light of this challenge.

It's always good to see both sides of an issue, don't you think?
posted by snakey at 10:57 PM on August 2, 2006


So... Because someone else has agreed to the experiment, you don't need to?
First off, the whole point is that it's easy to be cavalier when it's not your life on the line. Second off, do you note the lack of follow-up on that "duel"? While your offhanded citation of it as an authority addressing the question is convenient, it actually shows that while the HIV!=AIDS crowd has plenty of bravado, they have damn little bravery. Tossing it off may quell an argument on Fark, but not here where people will read the link critically.
posted by klangklangston at 7:06 AM on August 3, 2006


I hope that aramaic will read the link critically. A critical mind could easily discern two critical points:

1) Rasnick has accepted the challenge
2) Apparently, the AIDS establishment is afraid to hold up their end of the bargain

Let's see, it's been 4 years since the needle question was first asked, and still the AIDS establishment is afraid to take up the challenge. Hm. . . I wonder why?

To be fair, I wouldn't take the anti retrovirals either. It's hard to believe, but although its trials were later revealed to be fraudulent, AZT remains on the market to this day. Amazing.
posted by snakey at 10:07 PM on August 3, 2006


Except that your #2 point isn't anywhere in the article. Perhaps for you "reading critically" means "inventing bullshit to suit my rhetoric," but it doesn't for the rest of us. There's no word on the resolution, and only bias explains that conclusion of yours.
posted by klangklangston at 6:38 AM on August 4, 2006


Further, you've still dodged whether you would take the virus. Answer that first.
posted by klangklangston at 6:39 AM on August 4, 2006


KlangKlangston -

I can understand you coming in late to the discussion, but I've already answered aramaic's question. The first problem for you would be to isolate infectious HIV from a human being -- not some PCR amplified particles you cooked up in a lab somewhere.

This happens whenever the AIDS establishment is confronted with the hard questions about Gallo's fraudulent research that supposedly establishes the link between HIV & AIDS. Invariably, they fall back on the same tired 'well, why not infect yourself with HIV' argument. Believe me, you and aramaic aren't the first to ask this question. Far more prominent 'AIDS experts' than yourself have brought it up on other occasions, but whenever Duesberg or Rasnick or another notable dissenter takes them up on the challenge, they mysteriously disappear. The same way these so-called 'experts' disappear when challenged to serious public debate.
posted by snakey at 10:37 PM on August 4, 2006


"I can understand you coming in late to the discussion, but I've already answered aramaic's question. The first problem for you would be to isolate infectious HIV from a human being -- not some PCR amplified particles you cooked up in a lab somewhere."

So the answer is no, because you don't believe (unlike nearly everyone in the medical and biological sciences) that HIV has been isolated. What, exactly, do you believe those particles to be? And if they're not HIV, why won't you take them?

"Believe me, you and aramaic aren't the first to ask this question. Far more prominent 'AIDS experts' than yourself have brought it up on other occasions, but whenever Duesberg or Rasnick or another notable dissenter takes them up on the challenge, they mysteriously disappear. The same way these so-called 'experts' disappear when challenged to serious public debate."

That's bullshit of the first weight, mate. There's nothing to support your supposition that it wasn't Rasnick who dropped out, and your prior attempts to redefine the question by denying that HIV has been isolated are at least comically bad faith, if not willful manipulation to avoid being confronted with the cold consequences of your flat-earth view.
posted by klangklangston at 6:50 AM on August 5, 2006


Klangston, it's difficult to take you seriously, especially if you can't even bother yourself of reading this short article.

Perhaps you overlooked it, and I hate to belabor the point, but I hope you'll pay particular attention to this quote:

"...while many have scoffed at the two duelists -- saying they can afford a display of bravado knowing they will never have to actually carry it out -- Rasnick insists the challenge is real."


and this one:

"At one point, Rasnick challenged Gazi to a similar duel. But Gazi . . . declined."

You seem unable to grasp the simple fact that yes, Rasnick has accepted this challenge. It is the AIDS establishment who dismisses the whole thing, not the dissenters.

Blinding yourself to the facts displays that it is you who is taking the "flat-earth" viewpoint. I would hope that you could engage in a rational and honest discussion, but you seem unable to even read and discern the facts from a simple newspaper article.
posted by snakey at 9:49 AM on August 8, 2006


"Klangston, it's difficult to take you seriously, especially if you can't even bother yourself of reading this short article. "

Again, those points do not prove that the outcome was due to a reluctance on the part of the traditional medical establishment. Rather, they're just as likely to be from Rasnick failing to follow through. More likely, even.
posted by klangklangston at 1:16 PM on August 8, 2006


I'll make it very simple for you. Let's go over it one last time, shall we?

1) Rasnick challenged Gazi.

2) Gazi declined.

case closed.

It's also quite ironic to note that Gazi is all too eager to pay out of his own pocket to inject pregnant women in Africa with these toxic drugs, yet is afraid to take them himself.

Sadly, this kind of hipocrisy runs rampant within the AIDS establishment, who still haven't the courage of their convictions, and whose argument rests solely on emotionalism and outright fraud.

Even more sad is the way that well-meaning people like yourself, Klangston, are deluded into thinking that these AIDS drugs are helping people, when in fact they are incredibly toxic and kill the very people you ostensibly want to help.
posted by snakey at 8:37 PM on August 8, 2006


"1) Rasnick challenged Gazi.

2) Gazi declined.

case closed."

Well, except that he also challenged Machanick. Case open.

And you've been challenged. Case open.

And in both cases, it appears that you flat-earthers have wussed out.
posted by klangklangston at 6:18 AM on August 9, 2006


Having shown that Gazi chickened out, the debate over 'the needle question' is over. Rasnick wins by default.

If you'd like to claim otherwise, the burden of proof is on you to back up your claim that Rasnick has somehow dropped out of the duel. The truth is, he hasn't, and you haven't been able to provide any evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore, when the establishment's so-called 'AIDS experts' are so dismissive of the challenge, I certainly won't take it seriously coming from a couple of posts on this forum.

To a religious HIV/AIDS zealot, it might seem inconvenient to actually verify your assertions with hard evidence, but it is necessary.
posted by snakey at 9:04 AM on August 9, 2006


"Having shown that Gazi chickened out, the debate over 'the needle question' is over. Rasnick wins by default."

Except that not deigning to deal with a moron is not "chickening out," and Gazi pursued the question further to Machanick.

"If you'd like to claim otherwise, the burden of proof is on you to back up your claim that Rasnick has somehow dropped out of the duel. The truth is, he hasn't, and you haven't been able to provide any evidence to the contrary."

There is no further information.

But if Gazi is like you, my money is on him.

YOU won't put the needle in YOUR arm, so all of this is irrelevant.
posted by klangklangston at 1:08 PM on August 9, 2006


Terribly sorry I had to be the one to burst your bubble, old bean. Too bad you can't find any evidence to support your claim. I've provided the research -- with nothing from you to contradict it. Better luck next time.

Perhaps if you do a bit of cursory research of your own, you'll be better informed on the toxicity of AZT -- you should note that the side effects of AZT are remarkably similar to AIDS.

In fact, you will find plenty of AIDS cases, where no HIV antibodies are to be found. Of course, when no evidence of HIV is found, the CDC calls it Idiopathic CD4 Lymphocytopenia.

Too bad that's not as catchy a name as AIDS. I doubt you could even fit "idiopathic CD4 Lymphocytopenia" on one of your cute little red ribbons. I suppose that's why we have the $100 billion HIV/AIDS establishment.

I have tremendous respect for your attempt to debate this issue, but if you can't open your eyes to the facts I've laid out, or even provide any research of your own, then there's simply nothing I can do.
posted by snakey at 9:25 PM on August 10, 2006


then there's simply nothing I can do

My god.

You're actually evil.
posted by aramaic at 2:20 AM on August 13, 2006


"Terribly sorry I had to be the one to burst your bubble, old bean. Too bad you can't find any evidence to support your claim. I've provided the research -- with nothing from you to contradict it."

You're either a liar or delusional. I'm sorry, and I respect the attempt at politeness that you've put forth (and dismissed the bizarre condescention), but there simply is no other explanation for your suppostion of proof in the issue of the bet over the injection. The issue of toxicity of AZT is irrelevant, as are the vast majority of other arguments you've attempted to marshal.
My only solace is that every moment you spend attempting to refute me is one less moment you get to spread your deranged view in the rest of the world. Old bean.
posted by klangklangston at 4:23 PM on August 13, 2006


The proper response to a fool is silence.-Rumi
posted by OmieWise at 7:57 AM on August 16, 2006


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