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August 03, 2006

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Howard

Interesting site. I really did like the article about how were are all just a big blob of bacteria. Heres to hoping some overly self-important people read it. :)

scott

the "overly self-important" people (who *totally* are "overly self important") do actually follow the scientific method as well as subject themselves to a rigorous process of peer-review.

the people who spout this "aids doesn't kill" bullshit (ike their counterparts in the "creation science" movement), don't do either of those things. plus... condom-makers got together with big-pharma and *social workers* to spin a global conspiracy of silence on the truth about HIV?

Occam's razor, guys.

Howard

I was actually referring to the bacteria story only as a joke. I wasn't about to touch the AIDS & HIV theories nor was the comment meant to be used as a springboard to single out how scientists or people who believe the scientific method are better than everyeone who doesn't - much like the extreme right does.

Here's the simple scientific fact: Everyone dies. Everyone. Scientists. Your peers. My peers. In the scientific journal, National Geograhpic, there is a an outstanding piece in the August issue about the chances of how you'll go, but encompassing the entire article is a single line that is labeled: Total odds of dying, any cause: 1 in 1 (100%).

I've been living with HIV for 10 years and, frankly, I can think of a few choice words for some of my "peers". At least, Scott, you seem to be educated about it which is more than I can say about a frighteningly large amount of our peers.

scott
nor was the comment meant to be used as a springboard to single out how scientists or people who believe the scientific method are better than everyeone who doesn't - much like the extreme right does.
False analogy. The arrogance of the extreme right is faith-based--They believe that wishing makes it so... much like the hucksters who attempt to foist their pseudo-science on an increasingly ignorant public.

It's simply a fact that the work product of those who employ the scientific method and subject it to peer-review is "better" than the work product of those who do not. (Which is to say: the work product of those who do not is fucking worthless, and does a great deal of harm.)

In the scientific journal, National Geograhpic, there is a an outstanding piece in the August issue about the chances of how you'll go, but encompassing the entire article is a single line that is labeled: Total odds of dying, any cause: 1 in 1 (100%).
I saw that. It was a cool graphic. Nitpick: National Geographic is not a journal, it's a magazine. (Examples of journals: The American Journal of Cardiology, Lancet.)
Howard

"False analogy"? LOL! I love perception. Are you not currently being arrogant about how you feel? I'm not attacking, just asking you to think about it.

And how many times in our history have we 'believed' something to be a fact only to find out later that the "fact" was wrong. Belief. We believe the facts to be true. That's why the Scientic Method came about to help qualify our beliefs. And I'm not dissing the method. I believe that with human nature it is a great way to discover the world around us (hell, I'm going back to school to study meteorology), but just like any discovery system the results will often, if not always, give "false positives". How much of what we believe to be true will be proven wrong in the next 10 years? History teaches us that it will probably be plenty.

And, yes, I know NG is a magazine. It's so hard to get sarcasm across in the written word. :)

Besides, you know what is fun about discussing religion and belief is that there are no hard facts and you can make up anything including, say... the Spaghetti Monster, so you really can create your own reality and your own religion.

I have a co-worker who is a member of the Church Of Christ, Scientist, who strongly believes that there are no such things as germs. I don't agree with him. Period. However, I don't begrudge him his belief either.

This is fun! I'm going to have to subscribe to your blog, Scott, and see if we have common ground, too. ...unless you would rather have me self-impose a restraining order. :)

scott
"False analogy"? LOL! I love perception. Are you not currently being arrogant about how you feel? I'm not attacking, just asking you to think about it.
If you look back, I'm not knocking arrogance as such--I'm knocking arrogance based on faith. The thought leaders I work with may be arrogant, but that's because they're some of the smartest, most educated people on the face of the earth--and because their work has stood the test of peer review. Not because "God said so."

Or because they're Poz and can't deal with it, which is where a lot of this "HIV doesn't hurt you" bullshit comes from, on both the micro and macro levels (e.g., overwhelmed gov't's like South Africa--They don't have the resources to treat their Poz population, so they pretend there's no *need* to do so).

And how many times in our history have we 'believed' something to be a fact only to find out later that the "fact" was wrong.
Many, many times--But, invariably, it's science that has led the way to such revelations.

This website alleges the average lifespan of an HIV+ person who does not seek treatment is actually higher than the lifespan of an HIV- person. That's not divergent perception, man: that's denial.

Belief. We believe the facts to be true. That's why the Scientic Method came about to help qualify our beliefs. And I'm not dissing the method. I believe that with human nature it is a great way to discover the world around us (hell, I'm going back to school to study meteorology), but just like any discovery system the results will often, if not always, give "false positives". How much of what we believe to be true will be proven wrong in the next 10 years? History teaches us that it will probably be plenty.
No doubt, but up will still be up and down will still be down. HIV will still be the cause of AIDS, the outbreak of which will still have been entirely natural, and not the result of a government conspiracy to keep the black man down.
Besides, you know what is fun about discussing religion and belief is that there are no hard facts and you can make up anything including, say... the Spaghetti Monster, so you really can create your own reality and your own religion.
We're not talking about belief. We're talking about FACTS. Fact 1: HIV causes AIDS. Fact 2: though the treatment is nearly as bad as the disease, it is currently a Poz person's best hope to avoid premature, horrible death, and is not the result of some X-Files-esque conspiracy to increase condom sales.
I have a co-worker who is a member of the Church Of Christ, Scientist, who strongly believes that there are no such things as germs. I don't agree with him. Period. However, I don't begrudge him his belief either.
You coworker is free to believe whatever s/he wants, but s/he is wrong -- demonstrably so, and deserved to be told as much.

This reminds me of an old journalism anecdote. If you're writing a story about a debate between an astronaut and a member of the Flat Earth Society, the appropriate headline is not, "Is The Earth Flat? Views Differ."

Some things are opinion, yes, based on belief. But some things are fact.

This is fun! I'm going to have to subscribe to your blog, Scott, and see if we have common ground, too. ...unless you would rather have me self-impose a restraining order. :)
Please do. I think you're wrong to defend pseudo-science (which is a plague afflicting this country), but I'd be happy to debate it with you til the cows come home.
Howard

Well, I'm not defending pseudo-science, just people's choice to believe what they want.

It's hard to believe this all started because I was making a joke about the bacteria story, which I found fascinating and was simply trying to joke that if more people realized that they were a big pile of bacteria, they wouldn't take as many things as seriously.

Of course, there are those who would become so completely disgusted they might harm themselves by drinking bleach or something...

sonicfrog

But don't forget. Peer review is only one innitial step in the scientific process. It's not as if Einstein published the theory of relativity, and all the other physicists just threw up their hand and said "OK, we quit!". Theories must be challenged and tested and retested against new knowledge and competing theories, soometimes in drag-down, knock-out fashion. Many scientific theories change or adjust with time. The theory of evolution has changed since its proposal by Darwin.

Ooops gotta go to store before the Sonic-Mate gets hom-o.

scott
Well, I'm not defending pseudo-science, just people's choice to believe what they want.
Well, of course people can believe whatever they want to believe, it's a free country. But I don't see why faith/belief in something, in and of itself, deserves our respect. There are millions of people in this country who believe Judeo-Christian mythology really happened and should be taught as historical and scientific fact alongside (or even instead of) evolution. Why? Because they believe in it. (And because they think it's their duty to make the REST OF US believe in it, too.)

Put simply, they're in denial about the fact that reality does not conform to their supernatural belief system -- and the HIV conspiracy theorists are in a similar boat. They don't want to believe that HIV will kill them, and they don' want to take treatment that causes heart disease and diarrhea, etc, so they're holding on for dear life to the idea that it's all one big, bad dream.

Well, sorry: it's not. And belief systems that lead us into states of denial are not worthy of respect, only contempt.

If your faith moves you to dedicate your life to feeding the hungry, then I'll respect you --immensely. But not for your belief itself (which is basically irrelevant): for the good works it engendered.

It's hard to believe this all started because I was making a joke about the bacteria story, which I found fascinating and was simply trying to joke that if more people realized that they were a big pile of bacteria, they wouldn't take as many things as seriously.

Well, call me a big wet blanket, but I don't think taking this shit LESS seriously is the answer. Scientific literacy is devolving, which hurts our society in innumerable ways. The conspiracy theorists and religious nutjobs only help that process along. (One of Carl Sagan's last books is dedicated to the rise of pseudo-science. Well worth checking out.)
Of course, there are those who would become so completely disgusted they might harm themselves by drinking bleach or something..

Anyone who is that retarded should probably be encouraged to do so--Cull the herd.
Hey, this was fun -- Thanks, Corey, for providing the forum, and Howard for being so game.

hollywood

How can something based on junk science, academic dishonesty, intellectual property extortion, and tainted blood samples be considered fact?

Consider this little-known fact: Only 37% of Gallo's "AIDS" patients' blood samples tested positive for HIV.

hollywood

And another thing...did someone say peer review, and scientific method? There was nothing scientific about the events leading up to Margaret Heckler's announcement, that gave rise to the AIDS cultural construct.

Mr. Bob Gallo did NOT provide his peers with a chance to review his "research" on HTLV, with the blood samples he hijacked from Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute.

There's an affidiavit one can find online; it's sworn and signed by Mr. Montagnier himself, on the unethical and unscientific drama Mr. Gallo starred in over 20 years ago.

On another note, I wonder aloud, why do so many AIDS believers exhibit such extreme bitterness, anger, and vitriol? Maybe it's all those years believing in AIDS rather than life and purusit of truth.

scott

Yep--It ain't just a river in Egypt, folks. . .

hollywood

Why am I not surprised? When AIDS belivers are presented with facts and history that shake the foundations of 20 years and billions of dollars of research, their response is lame insult?

Whether or not you choose to hear it, these events did happen over 20 years ago. All one needs to do is read the historical documents.


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FACT: P24 reactivity is caused by numerous molecules.
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scott

Reality is that which does not change based on our opinion of it. We don't have to "believe in" AIDS for it to kill us. (Just as we don't have to "believe in" evolution to be products of it.)

Do you remember the plauge years? Maybe you think all those people died agonizing deaths because they used poppers? Or toxic laundry detergent?

And I wonder what conspiracy theory you subscribe to for why people, by and large, stopped dying after the introduction of protease inhibitors...

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