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← AIDS denialism and scientific freedom of speech

SteveN's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by SteveN

Linda TX

I said, "HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, but you are contagious when you are not symptomatic through bodily fluids." That means you can infect other people when you are not symptomatic. My actual point was that HIV is a virus that can be passed only through body fluids (I should have also said blood) and without symptoms. I’m adding this (the virus does its damage by directly infecting and killing cells) and the virus causes AIDS.

Sorry about that. I read your previous statement "...but you can’t infect others when you are not symptomatic" and didn't notice that you said basically the opposite right after.

The question is if a scientist thinks that the HIV virus could not cause all of this - do they think that there could be an undiscovered unknown factor. I said I don’t know I can’t ask them.

Well, I am one of those scientists and you can ask me. If you are genuinely interested in the subject I am more than happy to help out.

I said what is wrong with scientists asking questions even if they are wrong? The question really is should scientists make questions that are subject to controversy public?

I personally believe that a scientist should be free to question even the most established of dogma if she or he has data or an idea that contradicts that dogma. If Duesberg had presented his ideas, listened to the counter arguments (which were very persuasive even then, and are overwhelming now) and had then conceded that he was probably wrong, then he would still be a repected member of the community today. Instead, he has for the last two decades ignored any evidence that contradicts his views and he has cherry-picked and misrepresented data that in some way can be twisted and manipulated to undermine the HIV/AIDS connection in the minds of the public. He has, in other words, acted like a creationist.

We have no choice but to accept what is available for any illness concerning medical treatment. Scientists do question theories. Einstein developed the theory that replaced Newton’s principles of gravity. I do not think we know as much about AIDS as we do about evolution. We have been studying evolution for 200 years.

I agree entirely that we do not know much about the actual mechanism of AIDS (it's actually one of the things I work on). However, the role of HIV in inducing AIDS is supported by so many pieces of evidence from so many different fields that it can be considered to be a scientific fact. It's a bit like the role of mass in producing gravity: we know without doubt that mass exerts a gravitational field, but we don't know how (yet).

Mon, 10 May 2010 06:51:46 UTC | #468297