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  • The NIH Keeps Up With The Times: 1, 2, 3. David Baltimore Has A Flashback: ***. The NY Times Keeps Up With Times: ***. The Faith of Anthony Fauci: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains How HIV Causes AIDS: ***. Robert Gallo on The Force of Ejaculation: ***, on HIV Theory: ***, Lectures in Marseilles: ***. David Ho Does The Math: ***. John Mellors Sets the Record Straight: ***. Bono, el Magnifico, Holds (Another) Press Conference: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains Journalism in the Age of AIDS: ***. Anthony Fauci and David Ho Disprove an Old Adage: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains ICL and AIDS: *** The CDC Can't Keep Up With The Times:*** The Method of the "Small Inquisitor" Moore:*** The Co-Discovery of a Nobel-Worthy Enzymatic Activity:*** The Revenge of the "Very" Minor Moriarty:*** Julie Gerberding and Anthony Fauci Learn Arithmetic:*** Osama Obama Has a Message for Africa:***

Bad Manners and Good Gossip

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January 31, 2007


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Marcel Girodian

Wonderful compilation by Dr. Richards. I've been frowning for two days since I read it.

If anyone's interested, I was thinking about writing an essay about how theories and hypotheses mutate into facts in the pages of the media, tracking down those moments when the theory was promoted to a fact, where and when it happened, who was the journalist responsible, stuff like that.

It's applicable to all sorts of stuff: HIV causes Aids, H5N1 causes Bird Flu, HPV causes cervical cancer, and many more instances of total bullshit promoted to unquestionable facts by our sacred watchdogs in the media.

It's sort of like what Dr. Richards did in his article. It's detective work that reveals the utter ethical poverty and corruption of the media, as Richards revealed the same about the CDC.

I'm mentioning it here because I can't spare the time to write something like that that stands no chance of earning me some money, so I hope somebody else will. The unjustified mutation of theories into facts is the real story about medical science, and it's provable, unlike their endless rogue's gallery of mutating "deadly viruses."

Darin Brown

While I share Marcel's assessment of the culpability of the media in promoting HIV antibody tests and other questionable ideas, I also wonder if the problem is not even more fundamental, and lies with scientists who give credence to ideas based on authority and stature. It's not a new problem, but it's a much more significant problem today, especially in fields such as medicine, where the lines between scientist, activist, media celebrity, government soldier, and shareholder are often blurred.

One of Richard Feynman's favorite stories to tell was how physicists fooled themselves for years over the charge of the electron. Why? Robert Millikan determined the charge of the electron, but he made a slight mistake. When physicists repeatedly obtained higher values later, rather than casting doubt on Millikan's value, they trusted his authority and assumed they had made a mistake.

Such errors of scientific judgment probably failed to cause major damage in the first half of the last century. Today however, when scientists and government agencies carry as much authority as political and religious leaders, the dangers are all too real.

It's one thing when the public makes decisions involving science based on their trust of the media. Scientists, on the other hand...we're supposed to know better.

P.S. Another example of the kind of analysis Dr. Richards presents, and that Marcel would like to see more of, is located at the AIDS Wiki in an article titled: Fast Food Etiology: The Invention of the AIDS Virus by Science and Nature.

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