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The Objectivity of Scientific Observations, or Lack Thereof

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posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 07:08 AM
reply to post by Astyanax


The ORI went further and insisted that:

"Gallo 'repeatedly misrepresents distorts and suppresses data in such a way as to enhance his own claim to priority and primacy in AIDS research"

As to falsifications, the ORI had this to say:

"The [lead] Science paper contains numerous falsifications... the paper was replete with at least 22 incorrect statements concerning LTCB research, at least 11 of which were falsifications amounting to serious deviations from accepted standards for conducting and reporting evidence."

They further stated that:

"The absence of virtually any assay data for the parent cell line is simply unbelievable. [Especially since this was] used to develop and patent the HIV antibody blood test."

And then made this accusation:

"Gallo, in violation of all research protocols, impeded scientists wanting to follow up on his research ... imposed on others the condition that they did not try to repeat his work"

Even though this report was supported by the testimony of over one hundred scientists, the committee was not itself made up of scientists but instead lawyers who concluded that Gallo was ultimately innocent of these charges since mens rea or the intent to deceive could not be proved. After this there was a report that came from the Secret Service who had been asked by the Congressional Sub Committee to examine the laboratory records that were "tabled" before the inquiries on Gallo began and the Secret Service concluded that many of those papers were indeed tampered with before they had been presented as evidence. They asserted that through traced indentations it was revealed that several of the papers were altered on the exact same day even though the dates on those papers indicated differing dates.

The Secret Service took their findings to the State Attorney General and accused Gallo of criminal fraud but it was concluded that too much time had passed since the allegations and Gallo was protected by statutes of limitation. Thus, Gallo escaped criminal negligence charges based upon a technicality. Following this, the Inspector General issued a report that was extremely critical of Gallo's work insisting that there was very little evidence of the existence of HIV and that it was doubtful that Gallo had actually done any of the experiments he claimed to have done. It was based on this finding that solidified the settlement between the French and American's, Gallo and Montignier in regards to the HIV anti-body tests.

In 1994 the Congressional Inquiry finally issued its Staff Report which was a summary of the varied investigations on the matter and concluded that:

"The cover-up ... advanced to a more active phase in mid-March 1984, when Dr. Gallo systematically rewrote the manuscript for what would become a renowned LTCB paper"

The report flat out accused Gallo of lying:

"The evidence is compelling that the oft-repeated [HIV] isolate claim - ... dating from 1982/early 1983, are not true and were known to be untrue at the time the claims were made."

The report spoke to the sloppy nature of Gallo's work:

"Many of the samples allegedly used for the pool [culture] were noted in the LTCB records to be contaminated with mould"

The Congressional Inquiry implicated a colleague of Gallo's stating:

"The notion that Dr. Popovic used such samples in an effort to obtain a high-titre virus-producing cell line defies credulity."

They made a damning statement of the efficacy of the HIV hypothesis:

"The [early] February 1984 experiment [said to prove HIV caused AIDS] was so faulty and so many aspects of it so questionable, that little or no confidence can be placed in any of its claimed findings"

And went on to state:

"Contrary to the claims of Gallo and Popovic, including claims in their patent applications [for the HIV Blood Test], several of the putative pool samples contained no HIV, while others did not even come from AIDS or pre-AIDS patients"

And finally concluded that:

"The result was a costly, prolonged defence of the indefensible in which the LTCB 'science' became an integral element of the US government's public relations/advocacy efforts. The consequences for HIV research were severely damaging, leading, in part, to a corpus of scientific papers polluted with systematic exaggerations and outright falsehoods of unprecedented proportions"

Even before this very damning report was issued by the Congressional Inquiry there were scientist who had attempted to challenge the efficacy of the HIV=AIDS "theory" at the expense of their own reputation. In 1987 a leading retro virologist Professor Peter Duesberg had published a paper he was asked to do that argued that retroviruses were essentially harmless. Before he published this paper he was considered, in fact called so by the Robert Gallo, the "golden boy" of retro virology, was a recipient of the coveted $350,000 grant awarded by the NIH and Gallo had once called him the "greatest living retro-virologist". After the paper was published, the NIH revoked Duesberg's outstanding investigator award, and Gallo went from praise of Duesberg to calling him names such as foolish and ignorant.

Today Duesberg is mostly known for being the most high profile "AIDS dissident" and "denialist" along with other scientists who dared to challenge a hypothesis spun as fact, and begrudgingly with a nod and wink called a theory, such as the winner of the 1993 Nobel Laureate winner in chemistry, Kerry Mullis. When Mullis, working on a project in regards to the HIV virus realized he couldn't site a single reference the "well known fact that HIV causes AIDS", Mullis asked a colleague for a reference and was informed that he didn't need one. One night, after hearing an interview with Duesberg on the radio, Mullis came to understand why he couldn't find one single reference that HIV causes AIDS:

"...he explained exactly why I was having so much trouble finding the references linking HIV to AIDS. There weren’t any. No one had ever proved that HIV causes AIDS."

Today, Mullis like Duesberg and researchers from the Perth Group in Australia are constantly called "quacks" and "charlatans" and the ever so popular phrases; "dissidents" and "denialists" while Gallo is lauded as a true visionary. Does HIV cause AIDS? It very well may, but the willful and blatant...


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 07:10 AM
reply to post by Astyanax


...the willful and blatant use of language that belongs in the political arena and not at all in the scientific community has done great damage to the credibility of not just medicine but science as a whole. There are thousands of AIDS organizations all competing for the same money when it comes to donations and given the vast proliferation of organizations it only makes sense that a fair amount of them dedicate their time debunking the "AIDS denialists", which is an insidious phrase given that these so called "AIDS denialists" are people who challenge the HIV=AIDS paradigm.

The willingness of these organizations to engage in double speak that ironically attacks the "junk science" of the "dissenters" is only too telling of how shameful science has become in its unabashed rush for funding. It is an astounding propaganda movement that is all too willing to use deceptions in order to crush who they perceive to be the "enemy" and "dangerous", justifying such tactics because the "denialists" are a unnecessary distraction in the supposed goal to cure AIDS. This is just one example of modern day science and its political agenda.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Interesting. You seem very well versed on this topic. I would assume that you have a wealth of resources, both digital and hard copy, which support this explanation. Perhaps you could link to some of these digital sources to help educate people like me who are interested and to establish the veracity of your argument. Cheers mate.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:22 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Well, it seems as if, in this case, the scientific community backed the right horse. It is abundantly clear that HIV causes Aids, and Gallo was able to demonstrate that.

The controversy over who discovered the virus first is certainly not one of most edifying stories in science, but it throws no doubt on the actual science that was done, merely on who should get credit for it.

The idea that HIV does not cause Aids is a pernicious one--thanks to the fact that Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's former leader, embraced it, many South Africans who should have been alive today are dead.

Sorry, your example is no more proves the OP's case than the one he submitted. Avast with this quackery! Let's have some science here!

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

Not only have I effectively proved the original posters case I did so using your own criteria. You asked first to present a case where theory x was widely accepted by the scientific community but later proved to be wrong. While the hypothesis of HIV=AIDS has not been proven wrong it has not been done so because it is not a theory and I effectively showed this to you and instead of being objective and honest and acknowledging this you reply with language such as this:

"Well, it seems as if, in this case, the scientific community backed the right horse. It is abundantly clear that HIV causes Aids, and Gallo was able to demonstrate that."

First of all, science is not a horse race and gambling on a hunch is not science. How richly ironic that you would begin your post with "Well, it seems..." then follow that ambiguous statement with; "It is abundantly clear that HIV causes Aids, and Gallo was able to demonstrate that."

It has been proven that Gallo did no such thing and his own predictions regarding this hypothesis have failed time and time again. It is exactly because of this sloppiness and odd religiosity demanding that the priest class of science never be questioned, not only on Gallo's part but on yours as well, that Mbeki began to challenge the current HIV=AIDS orthodoxy.

Indeed, look at your own language in regards to South Africa where you assert:

"...any South Africans who should have been alive today are dead."

This deceptive statement is demonstrably false, as no cure has been offered to those who suffer from AIDS, only a toxic concoction of AZT and other drugs that claim to extend the life of a patient. However, there are some who have refused to take these drugs and outlived those who took the drug and conversely there are some who took the drugs and have outlived those who refused to take the drug. No objective scientific claim can be made from this. Christine Maggiore was a person diagnosed with HIV and lived for more than a decade without taking the prescribed drugs and outlived many of those taking the drug. That she herself eventually died of pneumonia does not in any way prove anything about HIV.

As the original poster stated correlation does not prove causation! Just as sure as the correlation between people who test reactive for HIV and eventually die of a disease with an immune compromised body is abundant in observation, so too is the fact that those who test positive for HIV are immediately told they are going to die and there is no cure for their disease. Indeed, every single person who has been told they would die because of testing positive of HIV will eventually die, this is an undeniable, inarguable fact! It could be argued that this is killing them, the diagnosis of death, not the HIV, but it would be as objective and scientific as the claims that HIV is the cause.

Here is the major difference between people like you and people who respect the scientific method. While at no time did I even attempt to claim that HIV does not cause AIDS, you have attempted to present my argument as being such an argument. However, I did not make any such argument and instead used your own criteria:

"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."

I do exactly this and instead of acknowledging this you use language like "backed the right horse" and amusingly "quackery" while you reveal to any objective person the obvious bias you embrace. Declaring other people wrong without offering any evidence to prove they are wrong does not make you right, and it certainly does not show any intelligence on your part. Either you are willing to be objective in this debate or you believe that if you yell a lie loud enough and long enough people will come to believe it, but you are mistaken if you believe people of intelligence will buy into your nonsense. What are you so afraid of, I wonder?

[edit on 16-12-2009 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:00 AM

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by Astyanax

Not only have I effectively proved the original posters case I did so using your own criteria. You asked first to present a case where theory x was widely accepted by the scientific community but later proved to be wrong. While the hypothesis of HIV=AIDS has not been proven wrong it has not been done so because it is not a theory and I effectively showed this to you and instead of being objective and honest and acknowledging this you reply with language such as this:

Regardless of what type of language you use or how strong your argument appears to be, with out offering even a shred of evidence to support your claims they are only that. Your claims. Despite what you have argued you have yet to prove.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:56 AM
reply to post by Animal

When a wise man agrees to take up an argument with a fool it becomes difficult to know who is who.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by Astyanax
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.

Ooops, I don't know what I was thinking. I meant geocentrism was falsified. Sorry.

As for the lipid hypothesis, the link you posted explains clearly that the hypothesis is accepted on the basis of very good scientific evidence.

Of course it says that. But the only evidence that exists is purely observational. And it contradicts biochemistry. If you'd like to learn the differences between types of studies, see here.

The fact that some people still disagree with it proves my point, not yours.

People have always disagreed with it, but they've always been dismissed and ignored. Remember, willful ignorance leads to blind acceptance (and vice versa).

The general consensus, among doctors, nutritionists and epidemiologists, is in support of the lipid hypothesis, and wrongfully so. Consensually speaking, biochemists and physiologists are, and always have been, opposed to this ridiculous idea. The clinical researchers and data contradict the hypothesis, yet it stands.

It's so blindly accepted by the scientific community that they believe it can't possibly be wrong.

Here's my quote:

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

Up until this decade there has been almost no effort by researchers to try and disprove or "solidify" the incumbant theory. Even still, the research in the last decade is dismissed/ignored by most health authorities because they KNOW the lipid hypothesis is true.

Here's your quote:

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.

I'm sorry, embracing something without investigation, discussion or peer review is nearly the very definition of faith. As I pointed out, all I need to provide is an instance of IMPROPER investigation, discussion or peer review.

Embracing a theory without proper investigation, discussion or peer review and ignoring/dismissing any data to the contrary leads to blind acceptance.


[edit on 16-12-2009 by DevolutionEvolvd]

posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 01:20 PM
I stumbled across an interview with Gary Taubes, reknowned science journalist, and felt like some of his points fit well with the discussion here.

Daily Bell: You think the inventors of so-called cold fusion are bad scientists. Can you tell us what makes a bad scientist and a good one?

Taubes: In a commencement address that Richard Feynman gave at Caltech in the 1960s, he said that "the first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool." So the simplest way to think about it is that good scientists are the ones who are most aware of this fact: how easy it is to be fooled by their data and to fool themselves. They're the ones who are most skeptical about their own work, not just the work of others. They're also aware that the only way not to be fooled is to work relentlessly to try to disprove your own pet theories, not try to confirm them. Bad scientists do one experiment, get some interesting result, decide they've discovered something new, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to somehow prove that they did. Again, science doesn't work that way. You have to put more faith in negative evidence than in positive; you have to put more effort into trying to refute your own beliefs and hypotheses, rather than trying to prove them. If you fail to refute them, then you can begin to take them seriously. And, yes, the inventors of cold fusion were bad scientists.

The interview as a whole is great. Taubes is one of the most distinguished science writers or our time. He focuses solely on the persuit of scientific truth by debunking and exposing bogus research.

Daily Bell: Is the Atkins diet misunderstood? Is criticism unwarranted?

Taubes: Yes, I believe it is misunderstood. Fundamentally it's a diet that restricts only carbohydrates, which is a good thing to do because it's the carbohydrates that make us fat. It allows us to eat as much as we want of protein and fat, which is a good thing, because these nutrients don't make us fat and so we can eat until our bodies are satisfied, but not get fat because of it. And, yes, I think the criticism is misconceived and always has been. In effect, the nutritionists and the physicians and the researchers and public health authorities who got us into this situation decided they were going to bet our lives (not necessarily theirs) on the belief that saturated fat caused heart disease and ignore all the hard science on the regulation of adipose tissue metabolism telling us that carbohydrates are the problem. They also had to ignore, and they did, a century of anecdotal evidence that carbohydrates are fattening so that they could tell us to eat less fat and more carbs. I find this unreasonable on the face of it, but it was made worse by the fact that the data implicating saturated fat in heart disease was always bad, as well. Much of the evidence actually exonerated saturated fats, so the researchers did what bad scientists always do, which is rationalize away this negative evidence and only pay attention to the positive. When I was reporting a lengthy story on salt and hypertension for Science back in the late 1990s, one Scottish physician memorably referred to this way of working as "Bing Crosby epidemiology": you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. It's got a nice rhythm to it, but it's the essence of bad science.


[edit on 28-12-2009 by DevolutionEvolvd]

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 11:54 PM

Socrates once said, "All I know is that I know nothing." Centuries later, St. Paul, the great expounder of Christian theology, ethics, and mysticism, said that "any man who says he knows something does not yet know as he ought."

A very wise faculty member and department head of a science program I once spoke with told me that the more we learn as scientists the more we learn how little we know, and that he tells all his PhD students when they graduate to never brag about what they know but to go out into the world bragging about how little they know.

This type of humility is essential to science. Not simply to avoid the arrogance that often comes with knowledge, but because our understanding of the world around us often is, in fact, much more limited than we realize or want to believe.

In quantum mechanics, Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) offered the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Heisenberg showed that we cannot simultaneously determine an electron's position and momentum. The more we study the position, the less able we are to determine the momentum; the more we study the momentum, the less able we are to determine the position.

The author goes on to compare nutritional science with quantum observations. We can determine cause and effect by conducting controlled and blind clinical studies or experiment biochemically with cells in the lab, but do these studies apply to the real world?

On the other hand, in terms of observational studies, we can observe individuals in their natural environment and can collect data with confidence that the data holds true to the real world, but the data doesn't provide us with causation.

Though it can be hard at times, scientists must maintain humility and strive to discover the uknown.

The job of the scientist is, of course, to develop models of studying phenomena that produce the least distortion of the real phenomenon. But the scientist also must exercise a healthy dose of humility, and admit that her or his knowledge is but a drop in the ocean of truth.


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