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« Walport bashes the Guardian | Main | Environmental risks of fracking »
Friday
Dec192014

Deja vu

It was interested to read this article by Ed Hooper, the author of a book entitled The River. Published in 1999, this weighty tome presented an alternative hypothesis for the development of AIDS, suggesting that use of simian organs during the early trials of the polio vaccine provided a pathway for the SIV virus to make the leap to humans, where it became HIV.

The hypothesis generated quite a lot of interest at the time, but faded into relative obscurity as many mainstream scientists decided that the pathway was more likely have been something to do with bushmeat. However, Hooper continued to promote his ideas and was he was recently given a boost, albeit an inadvertent one, when a paper by some proponents of the bushmeat hypothesis accepted that the HIV epidemic took off in 1960 in Kinshasa, or Leopoldville as it was then known. While the paper suggested that this change of pace was due to poor procedures in local STD clinics, Hooper has pointed out that the fact that there is no empirical evidence of HIV anywhere in the world before 1959 and the fact that Kinshasa was the centre of the polio vaccine trials is actually strong evidence to support his hypothesis.

I have no particular horse to back in this race, but Hooper's tale of a scientific establishment standing in the way of scientific progress and of computer simulations trumping empirical evidence is all rather familiar, as is the story of the Guardian censoring Hooper in its comment threads.

You could do much worse than to take a look.

 

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Reader Comments (70)

What AIDS is (I did not mention HIV) is immaterial to my point, johanna. The controversy over it (and by extension , the connection to HIV, but that is also immaterial) persists, and is largely the result of the same sorts of things that cloud climate science today. Egos and crappy application of the scientific method do that to science.

Mark

Dec 20, 2014 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

What AIDS is (I did not mention HIV) is immaterial to my point, johanna. The controversy over it (and by extension , the connection to HIV, but that is also immaterial) persists, and is largely the result of the same sorts of things that cloud climate science today. Egos and crappy application of the scientific method do that to science.

Mark

Dec 20, 2014 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

RUD-The book is interesting, but flat wrong. DNA fingerprinting of HIV1 shows the species jump from SIV in Ptt to HIV in man almost certainly occurred in Kinshasa in 1920's.

“Fingerprinting” is as robust as using tree`s as thermometers..sorry..
Anyway..to quote from Hooper site..
Hooper “Their analysis is built around a very imprecise model, a "molecular clock" which is based on the principle that HIV-1 mutates at a constant rate. (It doesn't. Because HIV-1, a lentivirus and retrovirus, is inherently and massively prone to recombination, it mainly evolves through recombination rather than mutation.) Therefore the bushmeat scientists base their work on a misleading model.”


RUD”The comments here are interesting because both the 1955 onset of mass polio vaccination and the HIV genetic history are researchable via Google back to reputable sources like NIH and CDC in minutes.”

Yet you couldn’t find Hooper`s excellent site in minutes, which answer`s your appeals to authority/consensus dogma and sloppy assertions.?


RUD”Commenting without knowledge seems to be a blogosphere tendancy.”

Indeed. :)


RUD”Two separate simple Hooper falsifications given above. Falsified theories should rightly not get a lot of subsequent attention, even if their advocates then feel properly slighted and ignored.”

Falsification.?????
Your not even wrong..sorry..
Your confusing your limited understanding of a complex subject, with the mere repetition of “consensus” claims, as hard facts.
While you are on a roll, perhaps you can enlighten us why the scientists involved tried so poorly to deny using Pan troglodytes troglodytes in the original vaccination trials. :)

Hooper”The bushmeat scientists have repeatedly and falsely claimed that their work has refuted the OPV hypothesis, and this process has been championed by two of the major pillars of scientific publishing, Nature and Science. Since year 2000, these two journals have avidly published numerous articles and promoted numerous news items from the bushmeat school, while refusing to print any article or letter from any supporter of the OPV hypothesis, including myself. I know this, because I have submitted several, and I've heard from others of similar experiences.”

http://www.aidsorigins.com/more-supportive-opvaids-bushmeat-hypothesis-revised-response-recent-faria-paper-science

Dec 20, 2014 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterR.Gallo

Is that the R.Gallo? Or just a pseudonym?
Apologies for sounding suspicious, you know how it is on the internet.
Regardless, it's an interesting discussion.

Dec 20, 2014 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Does this mean that one with no polio treatment would be less likely to contract HIV?
Or that HIV having found its pathway would now be able to infect any human.

Dec 21, 2014 at 2:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I'm sorry johanna but your comments suggest that you have not read the arguments against the HIV causes AIDS hypothesis as expressed by the people who made them.

That is something we rightly decry in warmists when they attack us based only on biased descriptions of what we think - not what we actually think.

May I suggest as a start:

http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/index.htm
http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/hiv/kmdancing.htm
http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/controversy.htm

http://www.theperthgroup.com/whatargued.html

http://www.duesberg.com/
http://www.duesberg.com/about/index.html

http://thecaseagainsthiv.net/

Dec 21, 2014 at 3:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Giving "truth" a helping hand by Media & some scientists spinning against anything that might "let the side" down.. yes that does Bish sound like the same as the Climate catastrophe narrative.

Dec 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"Hooper “Their analysis is built around a very imprecise model, a "molecular clock" which is based on the principle that HIV-1 mutates at a constant rate. (It doesn't. Because HIV-1, a lentivirus and retrovirus, is inherently and massively prone to recombination, it mainly evolves through recombination rather than mutation.) Therefore the bushmeat scientists base their work on a misleading model.”

This is pure nonsense and shows that Hooper doesn't know the first thing about genetics or "molecular clocks". Whether a mutation sensu lato is a point mutation or a recombination (or a transposition or whatever) doesn't affect the analysis. The technique is well established and universally used in biological systematics. It is true that mutation rates can vary between lineages (and occasionally even within lineages). This is best checked by using fossils as tiepoints. In the case of HIV where mutation rates are about a million times faster than for e. g. mammal genomes there is an even better check, i e preserved HIV DNA from people who died back in the ´50s and 60's. This DNA is "old-fashioned" by approximately the degree predicted by the "molelular clock". Note that this evidence would be extremely difficult to fake since it would require artificially assembling a "fossil" variety of HIV that doesn't exist in vivo today.

Of course the technique is not completely exact, which means that the date for the last common ancestor of all HIV-1 virus cant be dated more closely than AD 1920+-10.

Dec 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered Commentertty

Two informative articles at Wikipedia, although their complete veracity might be considered to be on a par with the *Bikini Proposition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio_vaccine#Oral_vaccine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilary_Koprowski#False_AIDS_accusation

*The Bikini Proposition:

What the garment reveals can be all very lovely, but that which the Bikini hides may be considered germane or moot.

Dec 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM | Registered Commenterperry

perry: Wikipedia editing on AIDS subjects make editing on CAGW subjects look dispassionate.

Dec 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

art west,

All information, even false information, is informative & will reveal much about the states of mind of both author & reader. The informed reader will extract, with accuracy & fidelity, the intent of the author. Nullius in verba; observed more in the breach than in the observance.

I used the words "although their complete veracity" to underline that point; although the phrase " being on a par with the the *Bikini Proposition" did warrant the explanation I gave. What the garment reveals can be all very lovely, but that which the Bikini hides may be considered germane or moot.

However, Wiki articles often supply links. Koprowski won a symbolic award of $1 in monetary damages, in a defamation suit against Rolling Stone magazine. Read "The Politics of a Scientific Meeting: the Origin-of-AIDS Debate at the Royal Society" below.

http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/05pls.html

Dec 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Registered Commenterperry

All very interesting. I wonder what ever became of the great HIV/AIDS pandemic that was supposed to be ravaging Africa. No one seems to be talking about it anymore. Surely they're not giving everyone these fantastically expensive antiviral regimens that are avilable here. What happened?

Dec 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

Good question, BiCI. I blame Bush and the effort he made.

I once thought it might take an evolutionary epithelial thickening at a certain germane or moot point to save the human race from extinction via AIDS. Well, thought so in a particularly panic stricken moment, anyway.
====================

Dec 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

It's not us destroying the environment that is that main concern rather it is the environment trying to destroy us. But worse, we are often undone by bad scientific advice based on bald initial assumptions that very few seem to ever check. We dodged the bullet with BSE after first it was assumed that scrapie couldn't transfer to cattle from diseased sheep brains but even after it became obvious that it could do so, they still assumed BSE couldn't transfer to humans. Nature then made fools of the scientists the way it often does. Were they contrite though? - Not even mildly, they just cooked up a new batch of hubris and declared a coming epidemic!

Dec 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I wonder what ever became of the great HIV/AIDS pandemic that was supposed to be ravaging Africa. No one seems to be talking about it anymore. Surely they're not giving everyone these fantastically expensive antiviral regimens that are avilable here. What happened?
Dec 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

--------------------------------------------------------

In Africa the diagnosis of AIDS is different to anywhere else. While most of the rest of the world requites a "positive" HIV test (leaving to one side what an HIV test means anyway) in Africa a much looser definition was applied.

"Under this definition, Africans are declared to be suffering from AIDS if they have had, for example, diarrhoea for more than one month, 10% weight loss, and cough for one month. An HIV test is expressly not necessary here."
http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/hiv/chrftricks.htm

(Google "Bengui definition of AIDS" if you doubt this source)

The countries where AIDS was supposed to be decimating the population actually didn't have a higher death rate than usual for those countries so the likely conclusion is that many deaths were attributed to "HIV/AIDS" when what they were were the usual diseases of poverty and environment which have always plagued Africa.

Of course if the figures don't match the projections then, if possible, the alarmists go quiet. Sound familiar?

Dec 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

perry:
Sorry my reply to you was poorly worded. I didn't mean to imply that you weren't appropriately sceptical about Wikipedia, it was more to point out that AIDS articles there are exceptionally one-sided.

Dec 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Usual piss-poor performance from Graun. "Comment is Free" my arse!

Dec 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichieRich

Re: "You could do much worse than to take a look"

You could, however do better:

Sharp PM, Hahn BH, Origins of HIV and the AIDS Pandemic, Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. Sep 2011; 1(1): a006841.

"Phylogenetic and statistical analyses have dated the last common ancestor of HIV-1 group M to around 1910 to 1930, with narrow confidence intervals ......This indicates that after pandemic HIV-1 first emerged in colonial west central Africa, it spread for some 50 to 70 years before it was recognized..."

Full text via: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234451/

Dec 25, 2014 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Our small town in America was one of the places selected for testing of the polio vaccine before it was released to the general public. This was in 1954. I had a terrible reaction to it and was ill for years. One doctor told my parents it was because the vaccine was grown on duck eggs, and I was allergic to eggs though that was unknown at the time when I had the first injection (not sugar cubes). He also said that ground up monkey livers were used to culture some of the vaccine. My immune system went into hyperdrive and all these years later is still attacking my body now through rheumatoid arthritis. No truer words have ever been spoken than "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".

Dec 27, 2014 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJT

JT, while I am very sorry to hear about your health problems, and even more so if they are provably due to polio vaccine, citing the laws of physics does not apply to human biology.

Polio vaccine has saved millions of lives and spared millions more people terrible, lifelong disabilities. I am old enough to know polio survivors, and the pain and mobility troubles that they experience (which get worse as they get older) are dreadful.

Are you suggesting that polio vaccine has blighted the lives of millions, and killed millions more?

Dec 27, 2014 at 9:43 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

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