Talk:Scientific controversy over the cause of AIDS

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Although two prominent members of my church have question the HIV/AIDS link, I simply don't know enough to have an opinion. That, combined with half a dozen years experience writing neutral articles at Wikipedia, may enable me to present both sides here. --Ed Poor Talk 14:03, 7 January 2009 (EST)

I can add plenty to the link, the NIH AIDS Research & Reference Reagent program, is two doors down from my office.--Able806 14:07, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Excellent. It's always good to have an inside track to a real scientist. I learned a lot from my Wikipedia collaboration with climatologist William Connolley. --Ed Poor Talk 14:23, 7 January 2009 (EST)


One Reference

If I may quote the first reference, "Feeding an adequate diet reverses these changes. It cures AIDS!." It was right under our noses! I applaud your attempt, Ed, but this one's going to be a hard one to find evidence for, methinks. Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 14:20, 7 January 2009 (EST)

You're referring to the African starvation hypothesis, which clearly is not relevant to the industrialized West. --Ed Poor Talk 14:24, 7 January 2009 (EST)
AIDS is AIDS, though, regardless of the setting. Otherwise you're dealing with a different condition, in this case malnutrition versus AIDS. I sincerely doubt that the source reflects someone practicing sound medicine. The nutrition-cures-AIDS one statement undermines the credibility of anything else in that source. I could also add that he's trying to explain cases where AIDS is transmitted via corticosteriods instead of HIV, but there's no provable correlation for this. A better source is needed for credible alternative theories to HIV, and this one should be removed. --DinsdaleP 14:28, 7 January 2009 (EST)
He's attempting to prove that high-dose prednisone and other glucocorticoids cause AIDS, which means that it could not be transmitted between sexual partners, blood transfusions, drug use, etc; these are just behaviors that led to the administration of the aforementioned medications. I think this is an interesting avenue to at least examine, though as I said before, a difficult position to find credible evidence for. Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 14:32, 7 January 2009 (EST)

--RickD 14:58, 7 January 2009 (EST)

How about findings published in a peer reviewed scientific journal? --Ed Poor Talk 15:28, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Jumping off point

  • The former Virgina Tech professor Henry H. Bauer recently wrote the book The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory (2007). I read through it and it's definitely a sourced, pro-intellectual book. Anyway, I recommend it as a respectable place to start. --RickD 14:36, 7 January 2009 (EST)
The only problem is that Bauer is trained as an electrochemist and was never formally trained in the biological sciences to understand immunobiology, biochemistry nor basic virology and pathology. It would be much better to find a person with a biological sciences background due to the credibility.--Able806 14:44, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Not sure what such Academic busy work like "immunobiology, biochemistry, basic virology, pathology" has to do with the matter. --RickD 14:49, 7 January 2009 (EST)
...huh? To understand the progression of the AIDS virus (?), should one not be educated in the fields of biochemistry, microbiology, and other workings of microorganisms and their connection with the human body? Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 14:52, 7 January 2009 (EST)
At some point, too strong a belief in a need for these specialities becomes a source of deception. Certainly, in research and development specialists and specialization have their place and are useful, but such skills, which is all they really are, are no big deal in the evaluation of their results. --RickD 14:58, 7 January 2009 (EST)
So if I were to field a study dealing with astrophysics and the origins of the universe (please keep in mind I'm a registered nurse and have no formal education in either field), you wouldn't step back and question it? Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 15:01, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Well, Einstein had very little education in his topic of interest. Only an undergraduate degree. Einstein is a good case for how too much respect for hierarcies and bureacratic/instituational norms can cloud our judgements. Like many trained Ph.D., Bauer is compotent enough to evaluate this sort of work. It's a logical fallacy (ad hominem) to say that is not.--RickD 15:06, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Einstein studied physics, regardless of what degree he attained. He won a nobel prize for the photoelectric effect, and achieved a doctor's degree in 1905 (according to the Conservapedia Einstein article). It's not ad hominem to state that the man's speciality has nothing to do with AIDS, nor is it a logical fallacy. Oh, and you didn't answer my question.Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 15:13, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Einstein took a few physics courses. Einstein published some papers, which was well reviewed by some with Ph.D.'s (it was also controversial and has had many Ph.D's who have written negative things about it). Bauer took a few chemistry courses. Bauer published a book, which has been well reviewed by other Ph.D's. Don't see the difference in qualifications or process. --RickD 15:17, 7 January 2009 (EST)

(unindent)Still haven't answered my question. Einstein "took a few physics courses" and published a paper dealing with physics theory. Bauer "took a few chemistry courses" and published a book dealing with microbiology, virology, and pathology. There's the difference in processes. If more research is performed into Bauer's (and others') theory, he could very well be comparable to Einstein. At the moment, though, the available evidence overwhelmingly supports an HIV->AIDS model. Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 16:04, 7 January 2009 (EST)

I believe I've answered your question in the course of our interactions. Maybe it's my worldview? I believe that we have different worldviews and I think that this fact is going to cause us to not always understand where the other is coming from. My Worldview: I think there are lots and lots of good things to be found in the "religious/academic ghetto" (lots and lots of bad things too). Einstein when he published his papers in 1905 was definitely in an academic ghetto (religious ghetto is debatable). I mean this in a metaphorical sense. Einstein didn't physically live in a ghetto (he had a good job and good friends...though like Einstein, his friends were often on the fringe of the Academy). Bauer isn't really even in an academic ghetto, since he has held respectable positions within Academia, which Einstein in 1905 had not. --RickD 17:32, 7 January 2009 (EST)
At any rate, on the other hand, Bauer's book holds that there is plenty of available evidence that overwhelmingly debunks an HIV->AIDS model. --RickD 17:32, 7 January 2009 (EST)

RickD, Bauer did not just take a few chemistry courses, he is a chemist (BTW, books (non-textbooks) are not often peer-reviewed). What the issue is that sometimes you have to have a level of knowledge that is not simply deducible by common sense. For example, if you have never had a course on how the immune system works, how would you explain the difference between a viral infection and a bacterial infection? The topics I listed above have everything to do with understanding pathology, the mechanisms of infection, the understanding of modes of pathogenesis in the body, ect. Without an understanding you can only provide generalizations, which are not useful in treatment and preventive medicine, gasoline will destroy HIV so we should inject ourselves with gas to rid ourselves of HIV... see what I mean about generalizing? A more credible source would come from a medical doctor who works in the field, not a psychiatrist for example. None the less, this is not really a problem since debunking the cause of AIDS is quiet easy.--Able806 16:12, 7 January 2009 (EST)


I really liked the “What really causes AIDS” link due to some claims that science can actually test. I would like to address each item listed on the website however I am unsure how to proceed on the article page as far as addressing it point by point. Also, the science presented would be a bit involved for the layman. However, I believe it would be a great chance to explain the misunderstanding of Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati.--Able806 16:43, 7 January 2009 (EST)

  • Maybe address the AIDS-like disease Idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia that has no trace of HIV (rare or not, it is a real counterexample to AIDS, which is merely a set of symptoms, caused by an HIV virus). Also maybe this is tangential to the page, but is there a classification for those people who have been found to be immune to AIDS because of their genetics? --RickD 17:13, 7 January 2009 (EST)
To answer RickD's question, ICL is a real syndrome without any known causes at this time. It does have the same symptoms of AIDS, however it is also know to reverse itself (prognosis is good), which HIV/AIDS does not. To answer the HIV immunity, it really is not an immunity as much as it is a higher resistance to infection. The mutation in these people actualy retards the HIV from attaching to the receptors on the cell. It is not 100%, but it does offer a great amount of resistance.--Able806 15:46, 8 January 2009 (EST)
It's probably more important to debunk (or at least summarize) the work of Peter Duesberg, the scientist who isolated the first cancer gene and mapped the genetic structure of retroviruses. [1] --Ed Poor Talk 17:17, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I agree with Ed. Just listing the scientists does not explain why they have issue with the HIV/AIDS relationship. A person can make the claim that he or she does believe that chlorophyll is what makes the leaves of plants green, however without providing a reason for their belief it is all but impossible to show why it may be false.--Able806 14:42, 8 January 2009 (EST)
What we're drifting towards is a recap of what science is, how it works, and the 'gold standard' of ensuring that a scientific theory or hypothesis has been confirmed or disproved. All I know about science is that frequently the solution to problem B is ofter discovered by someone who was trying to solve problem A; it's not always a matter of carefully trying every possibility (who has Edison's patience? And that all too often an early pioneer had an answer but other scientists would refuse to examine his work; the Semmelweiss affair is the classic example, but plate tectonics had a two decade delay. Then there's the bandwagon problem, where the mainstream all jump on one idea and tell the whole world it's proved ... when it's really not.
I don't know if any of us know enough, or are good enough writers, to be able to point out the difference between good science and junk science in all cases. But I'd like us to try to write an article that describes the difference in general. We could list the criteria, perhaps, which distinguish a scientific theory from pseudoscience. If the theory proponent refuses to concede that there's any way to prove him wrong, that should be a red flag. --Ed Poor Talk 16:12, 8 January 2009 (EST)

Koch's postulates not met?

Perhaps such a test is beyond medical science today. Still, the only way anyone could be convinced is if human tissue (e.g., a few live adult human cells donated from an adult) were infected in a laboratory environment and the effects of the HIV virus could be demonstrated to cause immuno-deficiency. The problem appears to be that there is no evidence of the HIV virus infection in the absence of any other possible AIDS causing mechanism. There are always other agents present in the disease vector. And it would be ethically impossible to inject a medically purified HIV virus sample into a human to test for such things. That sort of nightmare only happens in disease-of-the-week movies I hope. --RickD 00:23, 8 January 2009 (EST)

RickD, Koch's Postulates have been met, look at the main article.--Able806 10:40, 8 January 2009 (EST)

HIV/AIDS Timeline

I have found several timelines that would be usefull for tracking the progression of the research and claims. Does conservapedia have a timeline template that might make this task a little easier?--Able806 14:56, 9 January 2009 (EST)

If not, copy one over from Wikipedia. --Ed Poor Talk 15:05, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I shall look for one.--Able806 19:56, 9 January 2009 (EST)
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