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The Objectivity of Scientific Observations, or Lack Thereof

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posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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Claude Bernard, one of the greatest men of science, established the scientific method into medicine. In his major discourse, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, Bernard intimately describes "what makes a scientific theory good and what makes a scientist important" and his words define what science truly is....

Authority vs. Observation

It is through the experimental method that science is carried forward--not through uncritically accepting the authority of academic or scholastic sources. In the experimental method, observable reality is our only authority. Bernard writes with scientific fervor:

”When we meet a fact which contradicts a prevailing theory, we must accept the fact and abandon the theory, even when the theory is supported by great names and generally accepted”[5]


A great example of this academic and scholastic acceptance is the case of Copernican Heliocentrism, a situation in which the incumbant theory was given precedence over the challenger. The result was 100 years of scientific dogma.

In fact, this scientific stagnation, or dogma, is the direct consequence of ignoring the simple idea of Authority vs. Observation; of ignoring scientific method:

Induction and Deduction

Experimental science is a constant interchange between theory and fact, induction and deduction. Induction, reasoning from the particular to the general, and deduction, or reasoning from the general to the particular, are never truly separate. A general theory and our theoretical deductions from it must be tested with specific experiments designed to confirm or deny their truth; while these particular experiments may lead us to formulate new theories.


If the data are true then the confirmation or denial of truth relies heavily on the interpretation of the data. Unfortunately, preconceptions tend to skew the process; it's human nature. This is most often demonstrated when determining the relationship of cause and effect:

Cause and Effect

The scientist tries to determine the relation of cause and effect. This is true for all sciences: the goal is to connect a “natural phenomenon” with its “immediate cause.” We formulate hypotheses elucidating, as we see it, the relation of cause and effect for particular phenomena. We test the hypotheses. And when an hypothesis is proved, it is a scientific theory. “Before that we have only groping and empiricism”


To have an idea about these natural phenomenon, scientists must first observe them, as all human knowledge is limited from working back from observed effects to their causes.

Epidemiology, the study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations, is a science in which cause and effect are often confused and data are easily misinterpreted when preconceptions are present. Because epdiemiology is largely based on observational study it can only be used to determine associations. Correlation does not imply causation.

It should, therefore, be understood correlations are simply used to form hypotheses; however, hypotheses must be tested and proved true before accepted as scientific theory. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as observational studies have been used to establish cause in the past paving the road for baseless theories. Ex: Lipid Hypothesis

Verification and Disproof

Bernard explains what makes a theory good or bad scientifically:

“Theories are only hypotheses, verified by more or less numerous facts. Those verified by the most facts are the best, but even then they are never final, never to be absolutely believed.”[7]

When have we verified that we have found a cause? Bernard states:

Indeed, proof that a given condition always precedes or accompanies a phenomenon does not warrant concluding with certainty that a given condition is the immediate cause of that phenomenon. It must still be established that when this condition is removed, the phenomen will no longer appear….

We must always try to disprove our own theories. “We can solidly settle our ideas only by trying to destroy our own conclusions by counter-experiments” (p. 56). What is observably true is the only authority. If through experiment, you contradict your own conclusions—you must accept the contradiction--but only on one condition: that the contradiction is PROVED.


It seems that in today's scientific community ideas are blindly accepted and there is little effort to try and disprove the incumbant theory. Why? That brings us to Truth vs. Falsification:


The “philosophic spirit,” writes Bernard, is always active in its desire for truth. It stimulates a “kind of thirst for the unknown” which ennobles and enlivens science—where, as experimenters, we need “only to stand face to face with nature” [10] The minds that are great “are never self-satisfied, but still continue to strive”

Meanwhile, there are those whose “minds are bound and cramped” [12] They oppose discovering the unknown (which “is generally an unforeseen relation not included in theory”) because they do not want to discover anything that might disprove their own theories.


This willful ignorance trickles into their work. They fix experiments and data to fit their theories; instead of fixing the theories to fit the data.


They make poor observations, because they choose among the results of their experiments only what suits their object, neglecting whatever is unrelated to it and carefully setting aside everything which might tend toward the idea they wish to combat.


Those of us actively researching/studying the many fields involving scientific inquiry are very well aware of this destructive attitude. It's this lack of objectivity, this willful ignorance, that leads us to scientific stagnation.

Deny ingorance, right? We can start here by exposing those theories in every respective field of study that contribute to the scientific dogma.....

-Dev




posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Good OP!

I have two immediate thoughts that come to mind on this topic.

It seems to me that some branches of science have seemingly abandoned the thought of confirming theories with observations or experiments, such as string theory or M-Theory, Multiverse theory, etc. It's necessary to form hypotheses before testing them, but don't they have to be tested at some point versus real world experiments or observations for us to consider their scientific validity? I feel the fact that some of these have run so far in the absence of experiments and observations that it seems like a dangerous thing to still call them science.


The other thought that comes to mind is the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. Here we have observations contrary to our beliefs about the universe. And we can't explain them so we make up a placeholder for a future explanation and call it "dark energy". But it's possible that this is just the first step in some well accepted theories possibly biting the dust in the future. We really won't know what all the fallout will be until we can explain what this "dark energy" effect is. But this is the way science should work, and it's exciting even if a little frustrating that we don't understand it. But thank goodness some sciences like cosmology are still making observations and experiments, maybe the m-theory researchers should have some of those too.



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:06 PM
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I worry about this when reading science related articles.

It's become almost a religious type of attitude, and science is supposed to be an option to religious theory.
Religion says it's there because god created it.
Science says, lets find some evidence, build a theory, and test it.
Ignoring the steps and protocol, and influencing the data, takes the "scientific" aspects out of science. Throwing in beliefs and agendas is fundamentally wrong.

Has everything become an institution?
I say everything has. You cant study without funding, and you dont get funding without producing results.
Maybe thats a bit jaded...



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by InertiaZero


Has everything become an institution?
I say everything has. You cant study without funding, and you dont get funding without producing results.
Maybe thats a bit jaded...



The sad thing is, often times, even producing results won't get funding if the results negatively affect the institutions funding the studies......



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by DevolutionEvolvd

Originally posted by InertiaZero


Has everything become an institution?
I say everything has. You cant study without funding, and you dont get funding without producing results.
Maybe thats a bit jaded...



The sad thing is, often times, even producing results won't get funding if the results negatively affect the institutions funding the studies......


My pop is a medical researcher working in a private institution. His research is not inline with prevailing thoughts yet he is allowed and even respected for his work. The majority of his funding is through private parties interested in what he is studying and the NIH.

When his research changes direction so too does his funding.

I think the notion that he is not free to pursue topics at will would be amusing to him, especially as he already works outside of the 'norm' in his particular field.

Solid scientific research into any meaningful field will get you funding, it really is that simple. you do not have to 'lie' to make it, quite the contrary.

Further more, in regards to your OP I personally see both sides of this coin in effect today. I think there is a sense of stagnation in science not because people CANT do the research if they wanted to but more so because some theories and understandings are simply taken as pure fact - the trap you pointed out in the OP. However on the other hand wouldn't you say that there still is cutting edge research taking place and that our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it continues to develop?

Regardless, a S+F for an excellent post.

[edit on 12-12-2009 by Animal]



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Good OP!

I have two immediate thoughts that come to mind on this topic.

It seems to me that some branches of science have seemingly abandoned the thought of confirming theories with observations or experiments, such as string theory or M-Theory, Multiverse theory, etc. It's necessary to form hypotheses before testing them, but don't they have to be tested at some point versus real world experiments or observations for us to consider their scientific validity? I feel the fact that some of these have run so far in the absence of experiments and observations that it seems like a dangerous thing to still call them science.


Thanks.

I completely understand this point. Unfortunately, theoretical physics is supported almost exclusively by mathematics. These theories are simply untestable.


The other thought that comes to mind is the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. Here we have observations contrary to our beliefs about the universe. And we can't explain them so we make up a placeholder for a future explanation and call it "dark energy". But it's possible that this is just the first step in some well accepted theories possibly biting the dust in the future. We really won't know what all the fallout will be until we can explain what this "dark energy" effect is. But this is the way science should work, and it's exciting even if a little frustrating that we don't understand it. But thank goodness some sciences like cosmology are still making observations and experiments, maybe the m-theory researchers should have some of those too.


....But if another hypothesis can explain the observations and make predictions, isn't that hypothesis worth exploring instead of dismissing it? Remember: Authority vs Observation

-Dev



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by Animal

My pop is a medical researcher working in a private institution. His research is not inline with prevailing thoughts yet he is allowed and even respected for his work. The majority of his funding is through private parties interested in what he is studying and the NIH.

When his research changes direction so too does his funding.

I think the notion that he is not free to pursue topics at will would be amusing to him, especially as he already works outside of the 'norm' in his particular field.


Do you know what type of medical research your pop is conducting? Clinical trials and lab experiments relatively cheap compared to the long term studies required for nutritional studies. Private sources would be financially pressed to provide funding for such large studies.


However on the other hand wouldn't you say that there still is cutting edge research taking place and that our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it continues to develop?


No doubt. Thanks to the way information is processed and shared these days. Research in every field is being approached from mutliple different angles.


Regardless, a S+F for an excellent post.



Thanks.


-Dev



posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by DevolutionEvolvd
Do you know what type of medical research your pop is conducting? Clinical trials and lab experiments relatively cheap compared to the long term studies required for nutritional studies. Private sources would be financially pressed to provide funding for such large studies.

Out of discretion I will say this, he is studying the creation of peptide drug(s) to cure or ameliorate some common medical conditions. I say he is studying outside of the 'norm' in his field because the majority of people conducting similar research do so based on 'stem cell' and 'gene therapy'.

However you are quite right, the cost of his research is minute compared to other fields. I believe he runs three labs for somewhere in the ball-park of 10-20 million a year.

[edit on 12-12-2009 by Animal]



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by Animal

Out of discretion I will say this, he is studying the creation of peptide drug(s) to cure or ameliorate some common medical conditions. I say he is studying outside of the 'norm' in his field because the majority of people conducting similar research do so based on 'stem cell' and 'gene therapy'.


Typically these studies are conducted with mice as they have a short and predictable lifespan and share a very similar anatomy and physiology.


However you are quite right, the cost of his research is minute compared to other fields. I believe he runs three labs for somewhere in the ball-park of 10-20 million a year.


Very cool! Eventually, I'll be conducting medical (nutritional) research.

-Dev



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 04:49 PM
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I'm studying this fascinating subject myself, the scientific method, what it should be and what it is. Your well written summary is correct, but scientists are only human after all, and you are expecting them to behave as Vulcans in Star Trek. Objectivity is a myth. Human nature is what it is.

In the words of Dr Peter Watts, a biologist :

Science doesn't work despite scientists being asses. Science works, to at least some extent, because scientists are asses. Bickering and backstabbing are essential elements of the process. Haven't any of these guys ever heard of "peer review"?

There's this myth in wide circulation: rational, emotionless Vulcans in white coats, plumbing the secrets of the universe, their Scientific Methods unsullied by bias or emotionalism. Most people know it's a myth, of course; they subscribe to a more nuanced view in which scientists are as petty and vain and human as anyone (and as egotistical as any therapist or financier), people who use scientific methodology to tamp down their human imperfections and manage some approximation of objectivity.

But that's a myth too. The fact is, we are all humans; and humans come with dogma as standard equipment. We can no more shake off our biases than Liz Cheney could pay a compliment to Barack Obama. The best we can do-- the best science can do-- is make sure that at least, we get to choose among competing biases.

That's how science works. It's not a hippie love-in; it's rugby. Every time you put out a paper, the guy you pissed off at last year's Houston conference is gonna be laying in wait. Every time you think you've made a breakthrough, that asshole supervisor who told you you needed more data will be standing ready to shoot it down. You want to know how the Human Genome Project finished so far ahead of schedule? Because it was the Human Genome projects, two competing teams locked in bitter rivalry, one led by J. Craig Venter, one by Francis Collins -- and from what I hear, those guys did not like each other at all.


Source :
www.rifters.com...
www.boingboing.net...



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by InertiaZero
I worry about this when reading science related articles.

It's become almost a religious type of attitude, and science is supposed to be an option to religious theory.

Food for thought :

Halton Harp - What Has Science Come to?
www.scientificexploration.org...



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Carl Sagan asked for the similar premise when researching and presenting a theory. We lack reposnsibilty to others and often just are reposnsible to our own belief systems.

Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts.

Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").

Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.

Quantify, wherever possible.

If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.

Occam's razor - if there are two hypotheses that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?


His baloney detection kit is useful

www.carlsagan.com...



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


It seems that in today's scientific community ideas are blindly accepted and there is little effort to try and disprove the incumbant theory.

Could you provide some examples of this? Please understand what is being asked of you. 'Theory X was widely accepted in the scientific community but was later proved to be wrong' is not an example; science proceeds by falsification. What you have to show is an instance of a scientific theory or widely-accepted datum that was embraced by the community without investigation, discussion or peer review. A recent one and widely-accepted one, please, not some Victorian outlier.

The things Arbitrageur mentioned, by the way, are not examples of blind acceptance. I share his scepticism about string theories and multiverses and so do a great many scientists; these are not scientific sacred cows but are, in fact, hotly contested. Dark matter is not something I have a problem with but a great many scientists do, and they have offered numerous alternative explanations for the observed acceleration of the rate of expansion of the universe. Indeed, I cannot think of a single 'idea' in science which is 'blindly accepted'. I look forward to being shown one.



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
It seems to me that some branches of science have seemingly abandoned the thought of confirming theories with observations or experiments, such as string theory or M-Theory, Multiverse theory, etc. It's necessary to form hypotheses before testing them, but don't they have to be tested at some point versus real world experiments or observations for us to consider their scientific validity? I feel the fact that some of these have run so far in the absence of experiments and observations that it seems like a dangerous thing to still call them science.

Every scientific theory should in principle be testable, falsifiable, refutable (Karl Popper). But I think, personally, and theoretical physicists feel the same, that creating the "best" mathematical model or framework for physics (simplest or most "aesthetically" pleasing) is a worthy goal too and should not be labeled pseudoscience.


The other thought that comes to mind is the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. Here we have observations contrary to our beliefs about the universe. And we can't explain them so we make up a placeholder for a future explanation and call it "dark energy". But it's possible that this is just the first step in some well accepted theories possibly biting the dust in the future. We really won't know what all the fallout will be until we can explain what this "dark energy" effect is. But this is the way science should work, and it's exciting even if a little frustrating that we don't understand it. But thank goodness some sciences like cosmology are still making observations and experiments, maybe the m-theory researchers should have some of those too.

This is a real danger, making up objects that are supposed to exist only because we don't understand what is really going on. The singularity in black holes (or at time 0 of the Big Bang) don't exist, for instance. Religious minded people like to interpret the Big Bang as confirmation for Creation, exploiting science to "prove" their preconceptions.



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 

Could you provide some examples of this? Please understand what is being asked of you. 'Theory X was widely accepted in the scientific community but was later proved to be wrong' is not an example; science proceeds by falsification.


Perhaps I'm confused, but wasn't Copernican Heliocentrism falsified and yet faithfully denied? Willful ignorance? Blind acceptance? I could be wrong....


What you have to show is an instance of a scientific theory or widely-accepted datum that was embraced by the community without investigation, discussion or peer review. A recent one and widely-accepted one, please, not some Victorian outlier.


No. What I have to do is provide an example of a scientific theory or widely-accepted datum that was embraced by the community without PROPER investigation, discussion or peer review. Willful ignorance (by researchers) leads to bogus science (in literature) leads to blind acceptance (by the community).

I provided an example of this in the OP. The Lipid Hypothesis is the widely accepted hypothesis that saturated fat, through it's effects on cholesterol, cause heart disease. Although data have existed, and continually produced, denying/disproving this hypothesis, it has been blindly accepted and challenging data have been vehemently dismissed/ignored.

The hypothesis was fine-tuned and made popular by Ancel Keys in the 1950's and 1960's. It was his bogus studies that built the foundation for a half-century of scientific blasphemy.


Indeed, I cannot think of a single 'idea' in science which is 'blindly accepted'. I look forward to being shown one.


Blind acceptance stems from bogus science. When nutritionists and doctors cite the lipid hypothesis as being supported by thousands of studies, which happens regularly, it is the definition of blind acceptance, because there is no such data.

-Dev



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by nablator
 


I love the quote and it serves the scientific method very well by supporting Verification vs. Disproof.


We must always try to disprove our own theories. “We can solidly settle our ideas only by trying to destroy our own conclusions by counter-experiments”


-Dev



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by zazzafrazz
 


As well as Rene Descartes


1.We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

2.Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

3.The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

4.In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phænomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phænomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.


-Dev



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 03:36 AM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 

I don't know when heliocentricism was falsified; in the context of the solar system it remains true, and continues to be accepted as such. It is also generally accepted that the sun is not the centre of the universe. No conflict is entailed. And by the way, the Reformation occurred even earlier than the Victorian era.

As for the lipid hypothesis, the link you posted explains clearly that the hypothesis is accepted on the basis of very good scientific evidence. The fact that some people still disagree with it proves my point, not yours.

Sorry, O Tannenbaum: proposition not proven. You'll have to do a lot better than that.



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by nablator

Originally posted by Arbitrageur
It seems to me that some branches of science have seemingly abandoned the thought of confirming theories with observations or experiments, such as string theory or M-Theory, Multiverse theory, etc. It's necessary to form hypotheses before testing them, but don't they have to be tested at some point versus real world experiments or observations for us to consider their scientific validity? I feel the fact that some of these have run so far in the absence of experiments and observations that it seems like a dangerous thing to still call them science.

Every scientific theory should in principle be testable, falsifiable, refutable (Karl Popper). But I think, personally, and theoretical physicists feel the same, that creating the "best" mathematical model or framework for physics (simplest or most "aesthetically" pleasing) is a worthy goal too and should not be labeled pseudoscience.

I didn't use the word pseudoscience, I reserve that for "What the bleep do we know" when they somehow jump from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to channeling the spirit of a 35000 year old god via the "laws of physics" or some such nonsense.

Rather, I question the value of the work they are doing. Models can be very useful when established to explain the way the world works and to help in designing experiments to test those models. But if the models may or may not have any relation to the observable universe and can't be tested or validated in any way, what is their usefulness? Rather than call them pseudoscience let me call them "unproven hypotheses". I think you are being generous in referring to them as theories. To me the value of science is being able to make the hypotheses as stated in your quote as being "testable, falsifiable, refutable".



Originally posted by Astyanax
Dark matter is not something I have a problem with but a great many scientists do, and they have offered numerous alternative explanations for the observed acceleration of the rate of expansion of the universe. Indeed, I cannot think of a single 'idea' in science which is 'blindly accepted'. I look forward to being shown one.


Actually I think "Dark Matter" is probably MACHOs, or MAssive Compact Halo Objects, but that's contested and people have been looking for dark matter exotic particles in deep underground mines for decades with no success. I think the Dark Matter issue will be proven through observations though right now it's really hard to observe MACHOs so it may take a while.

Its actually "Dark Energy" that we are totally clueless about other than to say maybe it's what Einstein called his "biggest mistake" namely the cosmological constant. But the reason I mentioned that example and perhaps I didn't explain it clearly enough, is that while there was a bias to expect the data collected to fit our models, the thing that impresses me is that the data was released as is even though it DOESN'T fit any of our models!

So while there certainly is bias in scientific work, and those "dark energy" scientists were biased to the point they kept reviewing and re-reviewing the data before publishing it because they didn't want to believe it, it's an example where objectivity prevailed over bias. It ain't pretty, now we have some messed up data nobody can explain, but in my opinion it's a triumph of science to publish findings completely contrary to EVERYONE's beliefs and models. The fact that NOBODY expected the accelerating expansion finding demonstrates the importance of experiments and observations to gain an objective view of reality.



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


An example of a scientific theory or widely accepted datum that was accepted without investigation, discussion or peer review was in 1984 when Dr. Robert Gallo in a press conference announced that he discovered the virus that caused AIDS, and called it HIV. Prior to this announcement, there was no peer review, no discussion and in fact his "investigation" of the retrovirus now known as HIV was contested as being a breach of ethics by the man now considered to be the co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montignier.

In the 1980's Gallo was a researcher employed by the National Institute for Health, (NIH), and had been a cancer researcher advocating the cause of cancer to be a retro-virus, but soon changed that focus with the advent of AIDS. Prior to Gallo's announcement and based on his work studying retro-viruses, Luc Montignier of the Pasteur Institute had sent Gallo samples of a virus he called lymphadenopathy associated virus, (LAV), that had been prevalent in many AIDS patients. Without ever discussing the matter with Montignier, Gallo appeared with Margaret Heckler, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, in an international press conference and informed the world that he had discovered the cause of AIDS, and called the virus HIV.

Although he presented no evidence to support his assumption, without the benefit of any peer review, that very same day Gallo filed a patent for the anti-body test now known as the "AIDS test". The next day the New York Times featured a front page article that declared:

"The virus that causes AIDS."

With that all the funding that had been going into other possible causes of AIDS abruptly ended and from that point on HIV was accepted without question as the likely cause of AIDS. Without question except from the man who had sent samples of LAV, Luc Montignier who accused Gallo of stealing the virus from him and challenged his assertion and the ethics of his announcement. At that point, Gallo had not published any article advocating HIV as the likely source of AIDS, he had not given peers the opportunity to form experiments to either duplicate or dispute his findings, and there was no verification through successful experiments at that point to justify calling the advocacy of HIV a theory and it was, in fact, just a hypothesis.

However, at the international press conference held by Gallo and Heckler, the Secretary of Health and Human Services had this to say:

"We hope to have a vaccine ready for testing in about two years..."

And followed that boldly optimistic remark with:

"yet another terrible disease is about to yield to patience, persistence and outright genius".

Who needed actual peer review based on the scientific method when such gushing hyperbole worked just as well, indeed even better, much more expedient for such a terrifying disease? Meanwhile the battle between Gallo and Montignier heated up and continued until 1987 when both Ronald Regan and French Prime Minister Chirac stepped in to negotiate a settlement between the two who were feuding furiously. Montignier and his cohort's received the lions share of the profits from the so called "AIDS test" and Montignier suddenly shut up about Gallo's dubious skills as a scientist.

The lack of fundamental science expected from Gallo was not challenged by the mainstream scientific community but readily accepted as governments gladly funded HIV research creating a nice little cottage industry for our respected scientists who busily went to work attempting to find a cure for a retro-virus that supposedly killed T-cells in the blood stream in spite of the fact that during the 1960's and '70's retroviruses were studied as a possible source of cancer because they were known to not have any cell killing mechanisms. Indeed, humans live with an incalculable amount of retroviruses that seem to be relatively harmless. While some are infectious, others are endogenous and produced by the human DNA.

While Gallo had not published a paper prior to his 1984 announcement, he did, at least, publish a paper a few days later and by the late 1990's more than 100,000 papers had been published regarding HIV. However, none of these papers, not singly and astonishingly not collectively, had managed to establish any reasonable proof that HIV actually causes AIDS. More importantly was the obvious and flat out willingness to ignore the fact that in 1990 a Congressional Investigative Sub Committee had launched an investigation into Gallo's claims and the assertion that he had stolen the HIV virus from Montignier.

After this sub committee launched their investigation, Gallo's own employers at the NIH began a separate investigation on Gallo under the Office of Scientific Integrity. Then in 1991 yet another investigation was launched by the Inspector General of the Department of Health under the guise of the Office of Research Integrity to replace the OSI after allegations that the OSI had been shredding key evidence. Finally in 1993 the ORI published their report finding that Gallo had been guilty of many deceptions. In this report they stated that:

"Research process can proceed with confidence only if scientists can assume that the previously reported facts on which their work is based are correct. If the bricks are in fact false...then the scientific wall of truth may crumble...Such actions threaten the very integrity of the scientific process."

They asserted that:

"In light of the groundbreaking nature of this research and its profound public health implications, ORI believes that the careless and unacceptable keeping of research records...reflects irresponsible laboratory management that has permanently impaired the ability to retrace the important steps taken."

The ORI addressed their concerns that:

"[This] 'put the public health at risk and, at the minimum, severely undermined the ability of the scientific community to reproduce and/or verify the efforts of the LTCB [Gallo's 'Laboratory for Tumor Cell Biology'] in isolating and growing the AIDS virus."

Of Gallo they chided:

"Gallo's failings as a Lab Chief are evidenced in the Popovic Science paper, a paper conspicuously lacking in significant primary data and fraught with false and erroneous statements."

The ORI was speaking of a paper Gallo had published in Science Magazine in 1984

Continued...



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