Talk:HIV/AIDS denialism/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Foaming rant

[Discussion on this thread through 9 January 2007 archived to /Archive 6]

The neutrality of this article and also that of Wikipedia on AIDS is highly disputed. It relegates it to political movement which it is not. All articles on AIDS by Wiki needs to carry this headline 'The neutrality of this article is disputed' —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Major edit

OK, in accordance with the discussion above, I've gone through and substantially trimmed the section on "Points of Contention". Here is a permalink to the version immediately before my major revision, for reference [1]. The reasoning is that there are already a ton of sites and information debating the fine points of Koch's postulates, etc etc - Wikipedia is not really supposed to be a front in this battle, but rather to report on it. This article already contains dozens of links to both dissident and mainstream sites which address the claims, and playing them out in point-counterpoint here was just not seeming encyclopedic anymore. Also, it's remarkable how much shorter the article is without going into the evidence for Hepatitis B/C and how they're similar or different, and also remarkable how many unreliably sourced or unsourced assertions this removes. MastCell 23:49, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I realise now that I shouldn't have put that paragraph back into the "Impact in North America and Europe" section without discussing it first, as I'm sure you had a good reason for removing it. The paragraph in question is the one that begins, "In the following few years". It seems to me that this part of the article needs to mention the promotion of dissident views in the mainstream media. However, perhaps you think the paragraph should be rewritten? Trezatium 10:28, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
No, that's my fault for removing a sourced paragraph without giving any indication of my thought process. I was thinking it was a bit vague and didn't flow with the rest of the paragraph. However, after re-reading it with the paragraph reinserted, I think it actually looks fine. Sorry about that. MastCell 19:52, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the link to the dissident AIDSwiki. WP:EL clearly lists, under "Links to Avoid" #12, links to wikis without a substantial number of contributors and a substantial history of stability. Alexa rankings don't enter into it; it's a matter of reliability as encyclopedic content. The fact that the link appears to be added by the founder of said wiki is probably a WP:SPAM issue as well, but regardless of who adds it, it violates WP:EL. If there's a question about this, I'd suggest getting independent input from other editors. MastCell 06:12, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with MastCell; it is not a substantial/stable/reliable wiki, and thus should not be linked in accordance with WP:EL. In addition, EL acceptable additions are not based on relative merits (edit summary when added was "the wiki has more traffic than any other dissident site listed here"). JoeSmack Talk 06:37, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if anything I was thinking that was reason to remove some of the other links as well (and some of the mainstream links). In general I'd prefer fewer external links - this site isn't intended to replace Google. MastCell 05:26, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, why don't you just get rid of *ALL* the links?? If you can't have a link to the most trafficked dissident site, just throw them all away. God forbid we should mention the existence of websites directly relevant to the subject of the article. 12:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not the most trafficked dissident site, it is the most trafficked dissident wiki site; every wiki that has an article to one of its subjects on wikipedia does not get a cart blanche to linking it here. JoeSmack Talk 13:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
So, tell me "JoeSmack", which dissident sites are more heavily trafficked? I only know of 2 possible ones -- YBYL ("You Bet Your Life") and Virusmyth. The latter has more traffic than the wiki, but has slid and is not up to date. All the others you list here have much less traffic than the wiki (some by a factor of 3-5). But, don't let the facts get in the way of anything. Facts never got in the way re: HIV, no point starting now. 10:36, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:EL is pretty clear on this point. I understand that (talk · contribs) is apparently directly involved in the creation and operation of the AIDSwiki, but it's not an appropriate external link for Wikipedia per the guideline. Many highly trafficked pages (blogs, MySpace, YouTube) are nonetheless generally inappropriate as external links. MastCell 16:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

You're missing my point. My point was -- IF SOMEONE HAD UPLOADED ALL THE INFORMATION THAT IS AT THE WIKI ONTO A GENERIC "WEBSITE" (LIKE WWW.VIRUSMYTH.NET), YOU WOULD HAVE NO RATIONALE FOR DELETING IT. This is what I mean when I say you are "penalizing it just for being a wiki". This is a clear-cut example of "gaming the system". 10:36, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Copyright issues?

The following reference ([2]) was removed by Ghostoflearnedhand (talk · contribs), with an edit summary claiming that the article was "subject of a copyright dispute". Can you provide more details? I've removed the ref for now, but would like to know the details, as the POZ magazine site says nothing about any copyright issues. MastCell 18:20, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Alleged harm section

I'm considering excising the subsection entitled "Alleged harm caused by dissident views". It consists mostly of quotes from the two sides, and doesn't add much that hasn't already been made clear earlier in the article. Thoughts? MastCell 19:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that the article must at some point mention the allegations that dissident views have contributed to avoidable illness and deaths. For example see this article (PDF) recently posted on the site. I agree that the existing section is not very good, but I think it should remain until we have something better to take its place. Without this section, the article would give the impression that the causation debate is merely academic. Trezatium 20:07, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
No question that should be mentioned... I was just thinking that we already mention it in the lead ("endanger public health"), and in the Impact in South Africa section ("responsible for 600 deaths a day"). Maybe an added mention under "Impact in North America", and the section would be superfluous? MastCell 21:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
What do you think of the addition to the "Impact in North America and Europe" section? I'm a little leery of directly linking to AIDStruth's reprint of the Newsweek article - it seems a little sketchy from a copyright standpoint, but maybe I'm just being paranoid. MastCell 21:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that the quotes from Montagnier and Sandra Thurman are superior because they explicitly allege that the promotion of dissident theories endangers life. However I agree that the copyright status of that article is unclear. Could we just reference Newsweek without providing any link? I agree that the quotes from Geffen and Moore could be removed, but perhaps the reference to the "HIV Science and Responsible Journalism" transcript could be retained and moved elsewhere. In any case I think we should keep the counterarguments from Duesberg and the Perth Group, for the sake of neutrality. Trezatium 21:43, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Please ignore my suggestion about referencing the Newsweek article - I didn't realise you had already cited it. Trezatium 21:45, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd suggest replacing your addition to the "Impact in North America and Europe" section with the following, or something similar: "AIDS experts including Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of HIV) and Sandra Thurman (White House AIDS policy director) have alleged that the AIDS reappraisal movement endangers lives by persuading people to abandon safer sex or medications." This could then be followed by the dissident rebuttal. Any thoughts? Trezatium 21:56, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

That sounds fine. I'm all for keeping it brief (i.e. short summaries of allegations from Montaignier, and short rebuttal, without the quotes). Recently I've been feeling like many of these articles are too wordy (maybe I'm just in more of a hurry). I think we should keep the HIV Science & Journalism transcript - it's under external links, but perhaps could be sourcing for statements in the article body as well. MastCell 22:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Here's another thought - the Durban Declaration states, "HIV causes AIDS. It is unfortunate that a few vocal people continue to deny the evidence. This position will cost countless lives." (in terms of sourcing the claim that AIDS denialism is dangerous). MastCell 04:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
That's an excellent suggestion - well found. Essentially my point is that the article should at some point mention the alleged harm caused by dissident views, which after all is why this topic is significant and controversial. Perhaps the existing section ("Alleged harm caused by dissident views") could be replaced with a short paragraph to that effect - referencing the Newsweek article, the Durban Declaration and perhaps the "Responsible Journalism" seminar as well - plus another short paragraph explaining that the Perth Group and Duesberg reject such accusations. Trezatium 20:34, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good - I'll work on it as time permits, or feel free to go for it. MastCell 20:55, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Broken reference

The reference I just added (INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS MEET IN MEXICO CITY TO PLAN AIDS 2008 PROGRAMME, WITH FOCUS ON LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN RESEARCH, PREVENTION AND CARE) isn't displaying properly, but I don't know how to fix it. Trezatium 09:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I've fixed it. Trezatium 19:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


Should intelligent design and global warming skepticism be considered pseudoscience? I can understand intelligent design, but the wiki page on global warming skepticism makes no reference to it being pseudoscientific. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Mere skepticism is never pseudoscience unless it uses faulty claims in order to back itself up. Debate is the lifeblood of science and it serves no useful purpose to slander the opponents here. --RadioElectric (talk) 18:20, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Andre Chad Parenzee

The decision in the Andre Chad Parenzee case is in. (See [3].) As expected, Parenzee lost his appeal. Justice John Sulan's decision stated that Ms. Papadopulos-Eleopulos and Dr Valendar Turner of the Perth Group "lacked credibility and were advocates for a cause rather than independent experts," and made other interesting findings (HIV exists, it causes AIDS, it is sexually transmissible). No surprises. Mr Parenzee awaits sentencing. - Nunh-huh 15:56, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps Parenzee is notable enough for a brief Wikipedia biography (seeing that red link)? There are a number of solid secondary sources on him, in contrast to many other Wikipedia biography subjects. MastCell Talk 20:50, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Or possibly an article about the trial? I think Parenzee is probably not so interesting as the forces that unethically led him to believe that his appeal stood a snowball's chance in Hell of succeeding. His family, apparently, has been impoverished by supporting the appeal. But either a biography or a trial article sounds like a good idea. - Nunh-huh 18:10, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

The former dissendents - both of them - certainly appear to give a very weak thumbs up to the "consensus" opinion. Tey mention cofactors a lot - cofactors being what somone might ask. 16:43, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

In the article the Brief History section 1983: The Pasteur group found a virus in a patient who had symptoms that usually precede AIDS. Is the "a" before patient correct. They didn't start this with one patient did they? There must have been a study - 100s,1000s and found the virus in at least everyone with AIDS first, n'est pa? 16:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

In the article there is a section on Harm Caused... a section on Benfit Derived.... would be helpful. Things like AZT limits probably have saved many lives ( a small dose of poison is better than a big dose - stupid to take any but some progress ), dissenters deny ( love the word deny ) that circumcision prevents AIDS - this has saved many people from thinking that it does besides any other benefits we will not list. The use of vitamins and mineral supplements is a covert admission that maybe lifestyle might be a tinsy-winsy problem - and the "consensus" doctors et al think that maybe vitamins, 3 meals a day, sleep,less drug use etc can't hurt. 17:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm not following. MastCell Talk 23:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Durban Declaration as irrelavant and prejudicial.

I think the article would a lot better balanced without the Durban Declaration. It seems very similar to blaming gay men for spreading HIV AND AIDS. Scientists should not be vilified for having dissenting opinions . Consensus can be misleading. Until someone can explain the science to me in laymen terms I will continue to believe that HIV causes AIDS. But that reference ought to be deleted. Moses Weintraub 12:02, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Whether or not you (or anyone else for that matter) agree with the Durban Declaration is irrelevant. The fact remains that it has an important place in the history of AIDS reappraisal, and therefore must be mentioned in the article. Trezatium 14:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)


"There is widespread anxiety that denying or doubting the cause of AIDS will cost countless lives if blood screening, use of condoms, and methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus are not implemented or, worse, even abandoned." That quote from the Durban declaration seems much more appropriate. It places the blame where it belongs . The one I want to replace says . It is unfortunate that a few vocal people continue to deny the evidence. This position will cost countless lives. Moses Weintraub 12:28, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Why replace it? The existing quote is pithier, more concise, makes the point more directly, and summarizes one of the major objections to the continued propagation of AIDS denialism. MastCell Talk 18:30, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

IT IS MISQUOTE. It was taken out of context by chopping off the end of what The declaration actually said. Read the Declaration again please. Show me that the existing one is actually a quote and I will not tag it and or the article as lacking neutrality. Moses Weintraub 07:02, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

It is not a misquote. The quote you prefer is actually not part of the Durban Declaration: rather it is part of the material printed in Nature magazine before the text of the Declaration proper. If you read the Declaration itself, you will find the quotation as it appears in our article: "HIV causes AIDS. It is unfortunate that a few vocal people continue to deny the evidence. This position will cost countless lives." Nothing has been added, and nothing has been "chopped off the end". - Nunh-huh 07:17, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

THANK YOU. I will check it out. The more I read about the aids deniers the less sympathy I have for them. I do think that it is wrong for the scientific community to vilify them but I am NOT going to be the one to tag that article unless I find deliberate dis-information on the part of its writers. I believe that although aids is comparatively over funded,that that only means that our governments should be spending more money to bring the others up to par. Thanks again for the clarification. Moses Weintraub 09:27, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Science brief

Interesting, though not sure if/how it should be incorporated: PMID 17569834. MastCell Talk 18:27, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Dissenters are felt ... by whom?

The lead paragraph implies that the scientific community "feels" that dissenters are cherry-picking data, etc. I DO NOT DOUBT THAT DISSENTERS ARE CHERRY-PICKING DATA. Sorry for shouting, but I want to make my POV clear. The question is: what scientists are saying this. Yes, I'd look up the reference, if someone can tell me how to get to it. The reference is to an online database of journal abstracts. That's nice, but does anyone have the article they can share for me, or at least point out a relevant quote, or point to a secondary source? Ah, the article from the Guardian extensively quotes Mark Heywood, AIDS activist and receiver of a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford. So if activists feel that way, then we should all listen! So I respectfully ask for better references here. Several articles are depending on this. --Otheus 00:49, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I've referenced a few more indicators of the consensus view, including a series of articles from Science and a fact sheet from the NIAID (a division of the NIH) in which dissident arguments are described as cherry-picking or inaccurate. MastCell Talk 03:13, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Lead image

I thought this article was a bit drab. I added an image of HIV at the top, since this virus is the main topic of the article. Tim Vickers 05:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Removed (diff). I have to disagree with this move. It subtly fosters a non-neutral point of view, because the article talks about, essentially, HIV's allegedly non-causal relationship to AIDS; however, placing images of HIV in an article that talks about people who deny its existence and/or claim that AIDS and HIV are unrelated is kind of like placing a melting iceberg on Climate change denial. Don't get me wrong-- as a medical nerd myself, I don't necessarily agree with the point either; however, I don't feel that the image is appropriate on this article. --slakrtalk / 10:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, since almost nobody denies that HIV exists, the only real debate within this rather extreme community is the role of the virus in causing AIDS. HIV is thus the sole focus of this article. I've replaced the image for now, with a different caption, but am open to other opinions on this matter. Tim Vickers 22:33, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Well it's not prima facie "scientific proof" of the existence of a virus, but it's the virus, and it belongs. I would agree that an melting iceberg would not belong in the Global warming article, because frankly that iceberg could be melting for any number of reasons, including global warming. But I would show a picture of the how much glaciers have retreated. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 22:55, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
The article's title is AIDS reappraisal. So, the choice is that we either change the name to reflect that the article is an examination debate over the causal relationship between HIV and AIDS, or we understand that an image of HIV in the introduction of an article that says that HIV doesn't cause AIDS is a paradox. --slakrtalk / 07:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

That's a good point. However, the global warming/iceberg comparison is a bit misleading. The equivalent in this case would be a picture of a car exhaust pipe as the lead image in the Global Warming article, since most climate sceptics now agree that warming is happening, but disagree on whether human activities are the cause. Tim Vickers 01:53, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I like pictures. I should add that some AIDS denialists do, indeed, argue that HIV doesn't exist or "has never been properly isolated". Insofar as there is a "mainstream" to the movement, it's probably Duesberg, who agrees that HIV doubtlessly exists but argues that it's harmless. Anyhoo, I like the picture and don't see a major problem with it. MastCell Talk 02:55, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
You keep bringing up Duesberg. Stop that!!!!!! OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 03:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
My concerns don't stem from whether or not the topic is credible, factual, right, or wrong. I, personally, don't believe in the topic-- as I stated earlier. However, I honestly believe that images should only be used to further the understanding of the topic-- not to prove points. As an off-the-wall example of this, I imagine that back in the day, when Galileo was trying to tell everyone that geocentrism was quite literally soul butter, he wouldn't have taken too kindly to a picture of the bible juxtaposed with the first paragraph of his findings with a caption of "Genesis says that the earth is the center of the universe, and Galileo thinks the opposite--" even though the majority of the "scientific community" (read: religion) at the time disagreed with him. We look back now and go, "oh, that's silly," but again, it simply wouldn't have been neutral then to put a picture of "de jure proof" that his findings were wrong (from their point of view). Granted, this analogy doesn't mean that I'm in any way trying to say that this article's point of view is in any way as inherently factual as Galileo's research, but I don't feel we should be cutting the chicken's neck off before it's hatched (pardon the metaphor).
I agree that pictures make a page prettier, but they should be as neutral as possible. The main question we should ask ourselves is "... but does it make the article better?" On HIV or AIDS it most certainly would, as it's extremely pertinent; but, it would be, ironically, giving undue weight to the scientific point of view from the perspective of this article to include a picture of the virus it's claiming either doesn't exist or is non-causal to AIDS. Again, whether this is correct or not is irrelevant, but I feel that inclusion of a picture just for the sake of including a picture--especially if it apparently contradicts the article-- might be doing more harm to the article than good. Again, this is just my opinion. --slakrtalk / 03:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Withholding a picture because it contradicts someone's erroneous assertion would be the non-neutral move. We're here to convey informtion, not hide it. - Nunh-huh 04:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Or does placing one do the same thing? Consider the same argument I had on Talk:Abortion about not including pictures of fetuses and aborted tissue; because, even though it might be true/factual, it doesn't inherently deserve a place in the article when it comes to issues of neutrality. --slakrtalk / 06:39, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Not at all analogous. No one has denied the existence of fetuses. The argument there should have been about the emotional impact of photographs, and no one's going to have an emotional reaction to the one in this article. - Nunh-huh 08:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that point. Our role must be to present reliable sources in a neutral manner. This picture of HIV is reliable and its caption does not make any statement on the truth or otherwise of the claims made in the article. This is an entirely neutral presentation of data. However, removing any images of HIV because they might contradict some of the wilder claims of the fringes of HIV denialists would not be neutral. I suspect you are confusing a neutral point of view with a sympathetic point of view. Tim Vickers 04:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
True-- removing images could be seen as POV-pushing, but since the article has been around since 2003 without images of HIV in its header, an argument could be made that inserting images is an equally POV move, considering that this specific image was only added a couple weeks ago. And I agree, entertaining "denialists" isn't appropriate; however, all I'm asking for is that we look at how we handle other denialist pages. Not to Godwin the discussion, but we don't have pictures of German concentration camps (for better argument, present-day ones) on Holocaust denial-- even though their inclusion would be inherently relevant and factual. Would you be willing to add them? Yes? No? The main thing I'm asking is for us to ask ourselves the question, "why?" and you'll understand where I'm coming from. --slakrtalk / 06:39, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
... and it should also be mentioned that your link to sympathetic point of view is not a wikimedia/wikipedia guideline or policy (it's from ""). I'd rather like to focus on the actual wikipedia policy-- not a third party wikipedia competition site's interpretation of it. This article is, arguably, the balance to HIV and AIDS; so, rebalancing it more to the proof of a causal link of HIV to AIDS is upsetting the NPOV of both articles (in my opinion). --slakrtalk / 06:46, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that was the point: in contrast to others, at Wikipedia we don't adopt the viewpoint we are describing. Presenting all viewpoints as equal (as your comments on balance implies) is not a neutral treatment as defined here. Weight must be given to views in proportion to the number of experts who hold them, while describing even marginal views fairly. Clearly if we're writing about someone who claims "there are no pink elephants", it is pertinent to include a photograph of a pink elephant in the article. - Nunh-huh 08:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree, the image should stay. JoeSmack Talk 10:24, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Well allllrighty then :P. it seems that most people believe it should stay, and I'm totally cool with that. Anyway, sorry if it caused any sort of ruckus, but I feel as though some discussion is better than none. :) Thankfully there's some sort of consensus for now. Cheers =) --slakrtalk / 11:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
No problem, best to discuss these things carefully. Consensus does seem to have been reached at the moment. Tim Vickers 15:50, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree at removing it, else I would add on the foot image a note saying "Extreme disidents like Lanka explains that this picture realy is...." What realy would be a neutral point of view, do you preffer this or removin it? EkcedeR 03:42, 8 November 2007 (UTC)ekcedeR

Like MastCell, I like pictures in articles, but Vickers' argument above that denialists only exist on the fringe cannot be used as the basis of any decision as to the article's content, precisely because their conflict with the mainstream is what the article is about, just as there is an article on Holocaust denial, even though there's no empirical validity to it. The caption currently says, "AIDS reappraisal disputes the role of this virus in causing AIDS." I agree that this is the right approach to a compromise, and since MastCell is correct when he points out that some denialists dispute even the virus' existence, I would suggest a slight alteration to this: "Some AIDS reappraisal advocates dispute the role of this virus in causing AIDS, whereas some deny its existence." If that's not good enough another alternative would be to use the cover of the September/October issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. (Or is there some image policy about only using a mag cover if the article is about that mag?) Nightscream 04:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion of dissident websites in the list of external links

I've reverted the edit that removed dissident websites from the list of external links. The guidelines state that, "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research" should normally not be linked to. However, an exception is "a page that is the subject of the article or an official page of the article subject". The articles on Creationism and Holocaust denial both include links to websites promoting discredited viewpoints. Trezatium (talk) 14:38, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

OK... I restored the links. I'm of two minds about it, for the very two reasons you mention above. On the one hand, those sites are representative of the AIDS reappraisal movement, which is the subject of the page. On the other hand, the sites clearly mislead (or attempt to mislead) the reader. I'll leave the links in for now - I think it's a gray area, but they've been there for awhile and there clearly isn't consensus to remove them. MastCell Talk 21:15, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
In response to Orangemarlin: three of the four dissident websites qualify as official sites of the subjects of the article (Duesberg, the Perth Group and the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis). The other site, Virusmyth, is perhaps the most significant dissident site on the web, due to its longevity, size and prominence in search engine results. Checking my user contributions will confirm that I'm far from sympathetic to the views promoted by these websites. Trezatium (talk) 22:25, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

"Harm" section-- Death of Eliza Jane Scovill

Why did someone revert my edit? Eliza Jane's death can be attributed to her mother's denialist views and refusal to take AZT and get her children testing for HIV. Dukie010 (talk) 16:38, 25 November 2007

Dunno. But she seems to have died of an allergic reaction by at least one account ( You should at least include her mother's opinion (and that of the toxicologist who both reviewed the LA County coroner's report and reanalysed Eliza's lung tissue).


Eliza Jane Scovill had regular checkups with two local pediatricians during her life. After EJ’s death the California Medical Board investigated boh of the pediatricians and charged one of the two doctors, Paul Fleiss, with negligence. The charges issued by the board are based on malicious interpretations of fact or made up allegations. In response to the false allegations, Eliza Jane’s parents gathered testimony from a number of people who knew EJ very well and Christine wrote to the board directly as well. The names of the people giving testimony are not included in the letters as they appear here to protect their privacy.

Put that in your biased pipe and smoke it. is neither a reliable nor an accurate source of information. However, this whole thing is covered in much more detail at Christine Maggiore and too much detail is out of place here. MastCell Talk 16:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

This entire article needs rewriting

I came to this article to find out what AIDS reappraisal is.. after seeing it brought up in another article somewhere... instead all I see is a polemic against AIDS reappraisal. As of reading it, all I know about this is a few names of people associated with this. This is not the place for scientific debate, it is the place for information. If a particular group disagrees with something that is fine and can be limited to a small portion of the article labeled appropriately. This entire article is an attempt to "debunk" something which is nowhere defined. There are plenty of places for debunking, Wikipedia is not one of them.

Will an experienced editor that is NOT interested in voicing their own opinion please delete all the drivel on this page and produce an informative article about AIDS REAPPRAISAL for those of us that do not know anything of the topic and would like to learn something.

It's troubling that people put so much effort into silencing views that are discordant with their own; that, if anything, is unscientific. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:52, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Can you cite the passages in question that you feel are drivel? Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 07:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Sure, lets begin at the top.. The first thing one finds is a timeline, this is somewhat useful in that it directs one to some secondary reading, but otherwise not incredibly informative on its own. The next section.. The AIDS Dissident is drivel. The first paragraph lists names of "dissidents" and the following paragraph, which is lengthier, attempts to disqualify these individuals. I don't even know what their views are... how about we summarize their views? no.. another list of former dissidents.. useless. Is this an attempted blacklist or something? next section "death of dissidents" purely POV given that it relies entirely on a website that seems to be the antithesis of this topic. What next? Points of contention.. here is a single sentence summarizing all that the reader should know of AIDS Reappraisal views. 1 sentence. really?? ok.. and guess what.. another insertion of criticism. Next... Impact beyond the scientific community.. this section is just another list of names mixed with more anti-topic POV. Durban section.. some political events, wonderful.. more POV.. "scientists were dismayed" yada yada.. we already know scientists don't agree.. thanks for making that so clear.. drivel. "Harm..." another topic that should actually be labeled criticism of AIDS reappraisal. So what is AIDS Reappraisal? From this article I know that it is something associated with several named people that questions the HIV cause of AIDS (there is only a single sentence in his entire page that discusses their views) and most importantly, I know that scientists can't stand to even allow this information to be accessed in a free information source.
Which passage is drivel? Again, the whole article is drivel. There is a single sentence of informative content and the rest is either criticism or lists of names. All the criticism regarding a particular topic should be placed in a single section that says "Criticism of AIDS Reappraisal" .. of course as it is now, all it constitutes is criticism. The article should begin by defining AIDS Reappraisal, then perhaps with each individual as a topic summarizing his/her views. These sections SHOULD NOT present counterarguments, this is not a medium for debate, it is an informative resource. The counterarguments go at the bottom in an appropriately titled section as they are in every other article. Just pick your favorite contentious Wiki to see a clear example of this, I randomly chose Telepathy - and what do you know. I can look up telepathy and learn about the topic, then I can see the criticism. Where is the appropriate discussion of the topic here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy requires than any article about a controversial person must be written from a neutral point of view, representing all significant views published by reliable sources. It is not the article or passage that seeks to "disqualify" proponents of a given idea, it is merely that it refers to others who disagree with the dissidents. Since the passage you mentioned is properly attributed to reliable source, it is appropriate. It's also an overstatement to argue that this prevents one from knowing what dissidents' views are. It says the Intro what their views are, the timeline mentions their views, some dissidents have their own WP articles, etc. It is thus on all such articles on controversial topics, such as Holocaust denial, creationism, JFK conspiracies, etc. If you look at these articles, you'll see the same back-and-forth between advocates and opponents, which are a better analogy with AIDS reappraisal than telepathy, since telepathy isn't such a polarizing conflict that touches upon issues of race, politics, history, religion, etc. Because of this, there's not as much material on that topic to reference in that article. I notice, for example, that the second section in that article, which is large as any of the others, is about telepathy in fiction, which is hardly helpful to someone wanting to learn what telepathy is about. But if you think you can bring this article more in line with WP policies, then be bold and edit it. Just two things: Please sign your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~) at the end of them, and please do not refer to the work of others as "drivel". It's not really in keeping with the Assume Good Faith and Civility policies. I'll be away from Dec 12-23, but if there's anything I can help you with when I get back, let me know. Happy Holidays! Nightscream (talk) 05:46, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Let's save ourselves some time. I'm now very interested in this topic - seeing that some find it so morally offensive - I will research it elsewhere. I'm a scientist, I can evaluate evidence. I leave you with this: What will happen when science becomes so blind to its own fallibility that it becomes akin to heresy to suggest alternative views? At that moment science ceases to exist as such, and mirrors the tyranny of a religion. good night and good luck. (talk) 08:30, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
It has never been heretical, in science, to suggest alternative views. However, continuing to advocate a particular view single-mindedly, using selective citation and misrepresentation while conducting no actual research, long after it has been soundly disproven, tends to result in a loss of scientific credibility. Those who have lost credibility in such a manner inevitably compare themselves to Galileo/Socrates and imagine themselves victims of a massive conspiracy. It has ever been thus. MastCell Talk 19:09, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
And in any event, this has nothing to do with the article, since Anonymous128 seems more interested in promoting one side in the issue, instead of focusing on the article's description of it, which is what Talk Pages are for. His hypothetical question has nothing to do with this article. Nightscream (talk) 15:59, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi, excuse the absent or unused nick that comes up ( (talk) 18:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)) - I seldom contribute to wikipedia talk. But I have a key suggestion for improving this article.
I recommend, in accordance with neutrality, including the scientific details of the AIDs denialists' ideas. Then I think it will be a well rounded article.
Honestly, the tone of this piece is quite shrill with bias towards conventional HIV theory. How about just neutrally including the science that HIV denialists expound? (talk) 18:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia tends to give greater coverage to views held by the scientific community, and less coverage to views held by an unscientific fringe. As do most respected encyclopedias and reference works. If that's "bias", then yes, Wikipedia is "biased" toward "conventional" concepts that are accepted as fact by the scientific community (like gravity and HIV/AIDS). If you're asking why AIDS-denialist views are not expounded at greater length and uncritically, then the answers can be found here and here, in Wikipedia's policies. MastCell Talk 19:15, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I recommend, in accordance with neutrality, including the scientific details of the AIDs denialists' ideas...How about just neutrally including the science that HIV denialists expound? Agreed. That is perfectly reasonable, and in keeping with WP policy. Feel free to add that material in, so long as it is properly sourced/attributed. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 02:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)q

Before doing that, please take a look at archived discussion and some older revisions. At one point, the article was set up as a point/counterpoint "debate" artificially constructed by listing an AIDS-denialist "point", then a mainstream "rebuttal", then (depending on how many denialist editors were active) a re-rebuttal of the mainstream point... it was at once difficult to read, messy, full of original research, and misleading - in that it created the impression of a more robust scientific debate than actually exists. AIDS denialist arguments are summarized here. More detail, both on the arguments themselves and on the rebuttals, is easily available on the Internet via the sources linked in the article. MastCell Talk 06:28, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I had previously added my comment up there where MastCell informs of his/her deleting most of the "Points of Contention" section. I haven't read this whole section but I totally agree with opening argument on how this article needs rewriting, hence I post my comment down here instead: I think the section "Points of Contention" should be reinserted in its original version. I wanted information on the points of view of the AIDS dissident movement from a third party point of view (that's one of the great assets of Wikipedia) and all I was able to read in the main article was a historical account on what has the movement done so far, with lots of hints pointing to them being wrong. By the way I think the article is quite unbalanced right now since it suggests time and time again that the position of the AIDS dissidents is wrong and keeps count of how many dissidents have died of AIDS themselves. This last argument I consider to be beyond the point, since not all dissidents deny the existence of aids but rather the HIV being its cause. Anyway, I am now reading the excised "Points of Contention" section to pick up the information I came for. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Er... AIDS dissidents are wrong, in the opinion of the entire scientific and medical communities; if the article didn't reflect that accurately, then it really would need rewriting. If you want a detailed "third-party" discussion of the points of contention, we've helpfully linked any number of excellent and authoritative sources which argue them. The "points of contention" section was essentially an arena in which this debate was being refought, and that is not Wikipedia's purpose. In any case, dissident claims are currently universally rejected by the scientific and medical communities, and so deserve little or no weight; to present them and "rebut" them individually gives a false impression that there is an actual scientific debate still going on over these long-since-settled topics. The article focuses on the history and the political impact of the dissident movement, since those are the areas where it remains notable. MastCell Talk 20:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

That the dissidents' claims are universally rejected does not mean that it follows that a points of contention section should necessarily be threadbare. The Moon Landing Hoax article has a fairly extensive and detailed point-by-point claim-and-rebuttal section, despite the fact that the Hoax proponents' ideas are just as invalid as those of the AIDS dissidents'. Nightscream (talk) 21:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You know, the moon landing article is often cited as an example of how to cover fringe topics, but when I look at it, I see endless bickering about the presentation of point-counterpoint arguments on its talk page, as well as a failed good-article nomination. The AIDS-dissident arguments are actually summarized, with citations to various low-quality but relevant online sources substantiating them in more detail. The rebuttals are also summarized and linked for more detail. I'm not clear on what's to gain by expanding this into a point-counterpoint on Wikipedia, while I see several obvious downsides. MastCell Talk 06:17, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

A higher level of detail, which I'd imagine is one thing that draws people to an encyclopedia. Nightscream (talk) 06:31, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

This is —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC) , from a few paragraphs above. I received some sort of automated message that I couldn't interpret correctly but seemed to threaten my whole university's editing Wikipedia. So I am signing in this time to avoid any troubles although I hate to waste my time clicking on the sign in link. Anyway, what I came here to say was that at the extremely very least a link to the old version of the points of contention should be included, otherwise noboddy gets to know what are the dissidents saying and why is it wrong. Without that the article is not at all informative. I would have edited it myself, but apparently people get nervous easily around this topic and I don't want to have to explain to the IT guys why we lost access to editing wikipedia from my university. (Asinthior (talk) 13:48, 23 January 2008 (UTC))

There's no way, in keeping with WP policies and manual of style, to link to an old version of an article, nor does it make sense to, since the editing of a particular version is an implicit statement that it was not the best one. But again, it is an exaggeration to argue that "nobody gets to know what the dissidents are saying", when the article flat-out tells you what they're saying.Nightscream (talk) 15:54, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if it was there before and I missed or someone just put it there, but the "see also Duesberg hypothesis" does help a bit. Still, I don't think the previous edit in which the points of contention were cut off made the article any better (so long for WP policies, etc). And sorry but I have to insist, the article doesn't tell you what the dissidents believe. I came here with genuine curiosity because I couldn't think what they might argue and I could not get to know it. I mean, the article repeats time and time again that the dissidents oppose the general accepted facts known about HIV/AIDS, but that's not the same thing. I wanted to know their arguments, etc. And it is not the same to give a bunch of links to other sources than writing it up in WP. I hate following external links. I still think this article is unbalanced and uninformative and that it's a shame for Wikipedia. (Asinthior (talk) 09:13, 24 January 2008 (UTC))
Their arguments are there, but they're incorrect and stated as such. If you're comparing the Wikipedia article to external links, of course they are not going to be the same thing. Wikipedia values an NPOV, and these external links most certainly do not. JoeSmack Talk 11:12, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Dear Joe, take a look at the unrevised version of the section of "Points of Contention" here [4]. Here all the arguments are presented as well as the scientific consensus about them, with a NPOV. (Asinthior (talk) 12:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC))
  • From the Intro: "Dissidents argue that the consensus that HIV causes AIDS has resulted in inaccurate diagnoses, psychological terror, toxic treatments, and a squandering of public funds, as well as an unprecedented deviation from scientific method and standards."
  • From the Timeline section:
    • "Casper Schmidt responds to Gallo's papers by writing "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS", which is published by the Journal of Psychohistory.[10] He posits that AIDS is an example of "epidemic hysteria" in which groups of people are subconsciously acting out social conflicts, and compares it to documented cases of epidemic hysteria in the past which were mistakenly thought to be infectious."
    • "[The Perth Group] conclude that there is "no compelling reason for preferring the viral hypothesis of AIDS to one based on the activity of oxidising agents."
  • From the current Points of Contention section: "Dissident arguments have centered around claims that HIV does not exist or has not been adequately isolated,[37] that the virus does not fulfill Koch's postulates,[38] that HIV testing is inaccurate,[39] or that antibodies to HIV neutralize the virus and render it harmless.[40] Suggested alternative causes of AIDS include recreational drugs, malnutrition and the very antiretroviral drugs used to treat the syndrome.[41]"

Thus, the statement that dissident arguments are not presented in the article is untrue. I have no problem including the arguments in the previous edit of that section you mentioned, but I notice that in that edit, none of them are sourced. The ones that made it to the current section, on the other hand, are. I would encourage you to edit them back into that section, but only if you can provide credible sources for them. Nightscream (talk) 15:38, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, I give up. However you have to accept that the arguments are not as well presented as they were in the old "Points of Contention" section. They are spread all over instead of nicely elaborated. Anyway I got what I wanted, which was the info, I rather not edit the article myself. I am not really a contributor just one of the millions that parasite Wikipedia. Still, just for the record: I still think the article leaves essential information on the the arguments of the dissidents out of the picture. (Asinthior (talk) 17:48, 24 January 2008 (UTC))

I don't know why you feel the need to "give up", but do you feel it's unreasonable to require that such information be sourced? You said essential information is left out. My response was to encourage you to put it back in with sources. But if you don't care enough to do so, what do you expect us to do? Better to light a candle than curse the dark. Nightscream (talk) 17:58, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Obvious and extreme bias

I recently re-wrote the introduction of this article slightly, changing the claim that 'the scientific community' considers the dissidents wrong to the claim that most members of the scientific community consider them wrong. Someone then changed it back again. This is exactly what I was expecting would happen. In response to the person who changed it back, let me observe that the comment that all members of the scientific community other than Duesberg reject the dissidents is factually false, that it is easy to show that it is false, and that anyone who has spent any significant amount of time studying this issue should know this.

Furthermore, the comment that MastCell made when changing the article back - that all members of the scientific community except for Duesberg reject the dissidents - is not only false, but does not even correspond to what he wrote in the article, which implies that the scientific community without exception reject the dissidents. For someone to alter an article to make it say something that he actually admits is wrong is totally unjustified, and a clear expression of bias.

I am going to change the article once again, and I strongly suggest that before changing it back yet again MastCell discuss the issue here and offer some justification for his actions.

Skoojal (talk) 03:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

It is completely correct and verifiable to say that the scientific community finds that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Thousands of scientific papers every year are published based on this premise. I am not aware of any peer-reviewed research in the last few years to the contrary, and there is literally no scientific debate on the subject. The fact that a handful of vocal advocates argue otherwise on the Internet does not change that. Is there actual scientific controversy here? If so, where are the peer-reviewed papers in the scientific literature claiming that HIV doesn't cause AIDS? There are a handful from Duesberg from 5-10 years ago; nothing recent, and nothing reporting actual research as opposed to novel interpretations of the existing literature. Hence, the scientific community's view is clear and easily verifiable. What is the justification for claiming that "most" of the community thinks HIV causes AIDS? "Most" implies a significant minority believe otherwise, which is not the case. MastCell Talk 04:07, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Going by the definition in its wikipedia article, the scientific community is 'the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions.' Please note the 'total' part. This definition implies that all scientists form part of the scientific community, and it is a fact that some scientists, certainly a very small number of them, reject the HIV theory.
Offered without qualification, the statement that 'the scientific community' accepts the HIV theory is therefore incorrect; it would be true only if all scientists without exception accepted that theory. That thousands of papers that accept the HIV theory are published every year does not alter the fact that disagreement exists. The claim that 'there is literally no debate' appears to suggest that so long as debate about the cause of AIDS is not constantly happening at all times, it somehow becomes true that there is scientific unanimity, which is not the case (the Perth Group debated proponents of the HIV theory relatively recently. You probably know this, but here's the link anyway The Perth Group have also published in scientific journals
My statement that most of the scientific community thinks that HIV causes AIDS was factually correct. It does not necessarily imply that the majority that disagrees [sic - I meant the minority] is a significant one (I certainly wasn't trying to suggest that), although I grant that some people might interpret it that way. If you like, change the article so that it says that the overwhelming majority of the scientific community accepts that HIV causes AIDS. That is perfectly true and not in any way misleading, and I don't have a problem with it saying that. Just don't leave the article the way it currently is, because it's wrong and without justification. I am not going to change the article back again, at least not immediately, but you have failed to make the case that it deals with this controversy properly. Skoojal (talk) 05:02, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Check the dates on those "papers published" by the Perth Group. Also note that they are not actual research, for the most part. Also note that in a recent court proceeding in Australia, the Perth Group was explicitly rejected as having any sort of scientific authority or weight on the question of HIV (they are led by a nuclear physicist and an ER doc). Again, there are sources on the Internet claiming there is a debate. However, there is no actual debate in the medical or scientific literature; the scientific community is quite unanimous on this. By comparison, a larger number of "scientists" dispute relativity, evolution, or even gravity, yet those are considered settled science. It would be misleading and inaccurate to suggest that "most" scientists think HIV causes AIDS. We give more than enough weight to the views of the tiny minority of people (largely non-scientists) who hold otherwise in this article. MastCell Talk 05:09, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
MastCell, you are the one who wrote that it would be more accurate to say that the scientific community except for Duesberg accepts HIV. That shows that you know that it is not literally accurate to say without qualification that the scientific community accepts HIV. I don't know how you can admit that and then make these irrelevant arguments. If the scientific community is 'the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions', then any debate between scientists (such as the one that is mentioned on one of the websites I provided a link to - it's a fact and not just a claim that there was a debate) shows that there is disagreement within the scientific community. Judgments in a court of law have nothing to do with anything. Judges and lawyers are not scientists and thus not part of the 'scientifc community.' I have suggested how the article oould be made both literally accurate and not misleading. Could you please indicate why you disagree? Skoojal (talk) 05:28, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Duesberg doesn't conduct research on HIV. He never has. Neither does Kary Mullis. Neither does the Perth Group. I am part of the "scientific community" in the all-encompassing sense, but if I published a website claiming that relativity is a crock, then there would be no need to go to all of the relativity articles and revise them to say that "most of the scientific community" believes in relativity. Still, if the issue in question is amending the lead from "the scientific community" to "the vast majority of the scientific community", then I think that is a clear step backwards in terms of actual accuracy, but acceptable enough to not warrant arguing over any further. MastCell Talk 05:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
The points you make above would be relevant if this were a debate about whether HIV causes AIDS or not, but it isn't. What we have been disussing is a distinct issue. But in any case, I am glad that you apparently agree with my proposal. Skoojal (talk) 05:42, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

You cannot use POV such as "The Vast Majority". You must keep this article encyclopedic and not lend to a popular sect. You can say "The Scientic Community" and even that needs to be sourced. So the revert I did is appropriate. Canyouhearmenow 06:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

'The vast majority' or the 'overwhelming majority' is not point of view, and it's not useful to go on insisting that it is. It is part of a factual statement. Anyone who has studied this issue is aware that the vast majority support the HIV theory. I have no idea what you mean when you write that I must not 'lend to a popular sect.' Please try to write more clearly.
Skoojal (talk) 06:16, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

"The vast majority" is not a point of view. It is simply factually true. That the vast majority of the scientific community accepts the current consensus that HIV causes AIDS is true. And it would be true even if we went by a loose interpretation of "its relationships and interactions" in defining the "scientific community" to include the denialists. There's a reason that the word "scientific" comes first in that phrase. It indicates that it is referring exclusively to those who follow the Scientific Method, and not any ol' Tom, Dick and Harry with a contrary opinion and a webpage. Nightscream (talk) 08:31, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I can respect this point, however, it still seems very POV to me as the comment does not represent the "entire" scientific community and no interviews were completed to encompass that community to make it a "Vast Majority". I just feel that maybe a better use of wording would make it more accurate and not so bias. That is the reason I think others are having a problem with skoojal's edit. I based my argument from this statement about WP:NPOV
  • It is not sufficient to discuss an opinion as fact merely by stating "some people believe..." as is common in political debates.[1] A reliable source supporting that a group holds an opinion must accurately describe how large this group is. In addition, this source should be written by named authors who are considered reliable.
  • Moreover, there are usually disagreements about how opinions should be properly stated. To fairly represent all the leading views in a dispute it is sometimes necessary to qualify the description of an opinion, or to present several formulations of this opinion and attribute them to specific groups.

I mean unless my understanding of this is distorted. After all, I am still learning myself! Canyouhearmenow 12:49, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Skoojal's argument seems to boil down to: "The phrase 'scientific community' is equivalent to the phrase 'every single scientist.'" I would argue they are not. Yilloslime (t) 17:48, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Skoojal seemed pretty explicit in his/her definition of that phrase to include people who are not scientists, when he/she argued Going by the definition in its wikipedia article, the scientific community is 'the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions., in order to include denialists, who are mostly not scientists. My feeling is that that phrase should mean neither everyone that scientists "interact" with (way too loose and inclusive) nor scientists exclusively (way too exclusive, as it eliminates people like the journalists working for skeptical journals like Skeptic magainze and Skeptical Inquirer). For this reason, I think it's reasonable to define it as not only scientists, but people whose approach to this issue (and all science-centered issues) follows the Scientific Method. Doing this covers both scientists and doctors, and skeptics who understand that valid scientific methodologies are the best method on which to basis their position on the issue, whether it's someone like Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine (who is neither a scientist nor someone working on the disease), or someone like me, who is merely an interested layman not working in any science or journalism-related field, who understands the criteria for drawing conclusions on these issues. This way, it's not only a reasonable balance between exclusivity and inclusivity, but makes the use of the word "scientific" in the phrase non-arbitrary. Nightscream (talk) 18:18, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I guess my point is that regardless of how "Scientific community" is defined, we don't need its members to be in absolute 100% unanimity to be able to state that the "Scientific community considers such and such to be true/untrue." Yilloslime (t) 18:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
That's my feeling as well. This may be a mountain out of a molehill - after all, both "the vast majority" and "the scientific community" are accurate statements, just as "more than half the scientific community" would be technically accurate. I think a simple statement that the scientific community considers HIV/AIDS settled is the most accurate reflection of reality. Whatever debate still exists is being held outside the scientific community, largely via the Internet and discussion forums, as this recent article from PLoS Medicine makes clear. But since we're arguing extensively over shades of accuracy, I could live with "the vast majority" though it would certainly not be my preference. MastCell Talk 18:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC) (talk) 19:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Definition: A scientist is someone who follows the scientific method. The scientific community is composed of all scientists.
Claim: The evidence for HIV is so overwhelming, anyone who claims HIV does not cause AIDS must not be following the scientific method.
Lemma: Therefore, someone who claims HIV does not cause AIDS is not a scientist.
Theorem: Therefore, all members of the scientific community agree HIV causes AIDS.
Corollary: Therefore, all "debate" over the HIV hypothesis occurs in "non-scientific" forums, "outside the scientific community".
Mast Cell and Nightscream are using this pathetic "argument" as a justification for pushing their POV. So, yes, this comment IS very definitely in reference to "improving the article". THANK YOU. (talk) 21:18, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. I'll put you down for "vast majority" then. Have a nice day. MastCell Talk 04:41, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I think you may have to count him twice, since he used SUCH VERY BIG WORDS. - Nunh-huh 04:44, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
FUCK YOU, NUNH-HUH. (talk) 10:08, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I made none of the "arguments" you attributed to me, nor do I recall MastCell doing so either. Those are your words, not ours, and your impolite use of all caps, boldface and bigger fonts do not change this. Nightscream (talk) 05:31, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I MUST object to this. When I originally put forth my version of MastCell and Nightscream's "argument", I was told I was not addressing the article, but just babbling on the issue. So, I defended myself that this is directly related to the article and its POV. Then, I was told, that somehow paraphrasing the argument used to push POV is somehow an "attack" on the editors!! And that I "misattributed" them. Fine, I'll deal with that later. Okay, so let me get this straight. People push a POV on an article. They use specific arguments to justify pushing their POV (the endless bickering over "scientific consensus", "scientific community", "facts", "who is a scientist", just read the last 3 years' discussion pages). I come onto this discussion page, and I point out how pathetic their arguments used to push their POV are. When I do this, I am told I am "not addressing the article to improve it", and that I'm "attacking the editors" (!!) and that if I continue to do this, I will be banned. Whatever. Nightscream said: "I made none of the "arguments" you attributed to me, nor do I recall MastCell doing so either." But you said: "It indicates that it is referring exclusively to those who follow the Scientific Method, and not any ol' Tom, Dick and Harry with a contrary opinion and a webpage." It does not take a ph.d. to figure out that by "any ol' Tom, Dick, and Harry with a contrary opinion and a webpage" you mean Duesberg, Perth, David Crowe, AIDS Wiki, and Virusmyth, and all the people associated with them. Hence, by your own words, you are saying that all these people, the "Tom, Dick, and Harry"'s, are not following the "scientific method" and are thus not part of your "scientific community". And this is my point. You DEFINE anyone who rejects the hypothesis as necessarily not following scientific method, hence not a member of the scientific community, then claim there's 100% or near 100% agreement in the scientific community that HIV causes AIDS. It's a completely circular argument. (talk) 10:07, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

You did not "paraphrase" anything. You attribute statements to me that I never said. Please do not distort others' words, and then call it a "paraphrase". You claim: "you mean Duesberg, Perth, David Crowe, AIDS Wiki, and Virusmyth, and all the people associated with them." Please do not presume to tell me what "I mean", as I never mentioned any names, nor had any particular people or groups in mind. The statement of mine you refer to was a response to Skoojal's argument that "scientific community" should refer to "the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions.", as I believed that this was way too loose a definition, since someone that a scientist "interacts" with is not necessarily doing scientific work or adhering to the Scientific Method in their arguments, and merely suggested a definition that was balanced between exclusivity and inclusiveness. At no time did I mention or imply any particular person or group with respect to falling under my proposed definition, nor mention anything about those who reject the current scientific consensus of AIDS, and I certainly never said anything about "100%". Those are statements of your own fabrication. Lastly, if you are serious about contributing to this page, then you will please do not refer to others' positions or statements as "pathetic". This violates both Wikipedia: Civility and Wikipedia: Assume Good Faith. Please follow Wikipedia policy. Thank you. Nightscream (talk) 17:10, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

""It indicates that it is referring exclusively to those who follow the Scientific Method, and not any ol' Tom, Dick and Harry with a contrary opinion and a webpage." Tell me, Nightscream, WHO EXACTLY ARE YOU REFERRING TO, THEN??? You are saying that "any ol' Tom, Dick and Harry with a webpage" stand in contradistinction to "those who follow the Scientific Method". Certainly, you must have specific "Tom, Dick, and Harry's" in mind. Or do you mean ANYONE WITH A WEBPAGE? Doesn't Wikipedia itself qualify as just "Tom, Dick, and Harry's with a webpage"?? How do you, Nightscream, determine who WHICH "Tom, Dick, and Harry's" agree with your "Scientific Method" and which "Tom Dick, and Harry's" do not? This was my point. YOU ARE VERY NAIVE TO THIS ISSUE. (talk) 07:10, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I do not have any specific person or group in mind, nor do I have to. I made the context of my prior remarks quite clear in my last post to anyone who reads them. The motives or meaning you attribute to them are those of your own creation. There is no such thing as "your Scientific Method", since the Scientific Method was not invented by me, and does not change according to personal whim, aesthetics, determination or agreement. Your continued refusal to conduct yourself here with civility or politeness make it clear that you are either not capable or interested in improving this article. Given your previous block for violating Wikipedia: Civility, I have placed another warning on your Talk Page. Violate that policy again, and I will block you for far longer than 24 hours. Beyond that, I'm done speaking with you. Nightscream (talk) 09:04, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. Everything is here for people to read. You say "It indicates that it is referring exclusively to those who follow the Scientific Method, and not any ol' Tom, Dick and Harry with a contrary opinion and a webpage." and then say you "don't have any specific person or group in mind". In mathematics, we call this talk -- saying things without any grounding in examples -- vacuous. (talk) 18:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
i have to stay behind here. some of htis discussion is way out of lin enad blattant POV pushing. regardless of your views on hiv mythology you have to agree that this article is totally in the grip of POV pushers and talk page discussion editors. Smith Jones (talk) 20:29, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
It looks pretty much in line with the sources I checked, as well as with my understanding of the "controversy" as a whole. Any language from which a reasonable reader would infer serious and widespread ongoing scientific discussion over HIV → AIDS would be giving undue weight to a demonstrably fringe view well outside of the scientific mainstream. Perhaps specific suggestions for improvements to this article could be made in new sections below? - Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 21:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I have to agree on the issue that not all the scientific community agrees on this issue. Should we make a hand count on how many of the people that have written here to ask for some editing are actually scientists?Asinthior (talk) 15:13, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

That would be irrelevant, since the existence of a scientific consensus is based on verifiable, reliable third-party sources, not on the personal credentials of editors of this Wikipedia article. MastCell Talk 17:15, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
If scientific consensus is only reached through original research published in peer-reviewed journals, then it would be independent of the scientific community (since only a fraction of scientists and researchers publish on the topic of any given article, such as AIDS).Asinthior (talk) 16:56, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
There's already been way too much "meta-discussion" on this talk page, so forgive me for not taking the bait. Consider some other forum. MastCell Talk 18:42, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Gallo HTLV-III virus was not "genetically indistinguishable" from Montagnier's LAV virus, as written here.

In the timeline, it says: "1986: The viruses discovered by Montagnier and Gallo, having been found to be genetically indistinguishable, are renamed HIV.[12]" The citation is from 1986. But it is inaccurate. Later, it was found that Gallo's HTlV-III virus was not the same as the LAV virus discovered by the Montagnier group. LAV is the virus that was later renamed HIV. Gallo had asked the French group to send their samples instead of publish and then he published data to try to make his discovery appear to be the virus that causes AIDS. He was greatly discredited when people found out. I need a better source than the ones I have in order to change the text, please. I learned about this event in my Global Health class in college. It's also shown in a factual movie called "And the Band Played On." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zoysite (talkcontribs) 22:01, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Rationale based on Wikipedia policies for changing the caption of the picture

I am talking about my rationale for this edit [5], which was reverted based (IMHO) on shaky grounds.

  • The existence of "pictures of the HIV" is under dispute [6], therefore at Wikipedia we must be neutral WP:NEUTRALITY, and aknowleding the existence of those pictures would be taking sides.
  • WP:ATTRIBUTION: Editors should provide attribution for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged. I challenge the veracity of the caption, backed on the virusmyth link, therefore it is required to attribute the claim to the CDC.
  • "AIDS reappraisal disputes the existence of HIV or its role in causing AIDS" is misleading. For instance: Peter Duesberg is an AIDS reappraiser, and he doses NOT dispute the existence of HIV.

Therefore, I change back the caption to the previous version, unless reasons for an improvement supported by Wikipedia policies are provided. I am open to hear about such reasons. Randroide (talk) 08:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Moreover: The picture is a 1985 picture! (see description at the CDC website, sorry but it is not linkable). In 1984 and 1985 no claims of HIV isolation were still made. How then they know at the CDC that that´s HIV?.

"This is a picture of the HIV" is not a proper Wikipedia statement. "The CDC claims this is a picture of HIV" it is.Randroide (talk) 11:13, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it is a picture of HIV. A tiny fringe disputes the existence of HIV and therefore will claim that any picture of it is false, but that doesn't mean that every time we discuss HIV in this encyclopedia that we need to say: "...which the CDC claims is the cause of AIDS." We don't say "here's what NASA claims is a picture of the Earth taken from the moon", for good reason. This encyclopedia attempts to provide an overview of scientific topics which is in line with respected scientific thought. Your edit undermines that purpose. I would suggest seeking outside input from the fringe theories noticeboard or via request for comment, but these arguments are unconvincing to me at least.

Also, your third claim is nonsensical. The caption is completely correct. It says that dissidents deny the existence of HIV or its role in causing AIDS.Duesberg disputes the role of HIV in causing AIDS. MastCell Talk 22:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Having seen a comment regarding this page I would like to give my opinion.

  1. Whether "The existence of "pictures of the HIV" is under dispute" is easily settled if you provide a verifiable statement from scientific literature, and more specific medical literature, otherwise known as WP:RS. Lacking that we can safely assume there is no dispute.
  2. "I challenge the veracity of the caption," please supply WP:RS to support that.
  3. Also, "aknowleding the existence of those pictures would be taking sides," and "The CDC claims this is a picture of HIV" makes me wonder if you think a caveat "according to astronomers" should be added to the Flat Earth article.
  4. "Peter Duesberg is an AIDS reappraiser, and he doses NOT dispute the existence of HIV." Does he not deny HIV causes AIDS? Please see logical fallacy.

Hope this helps. Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 18:37, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your time and for your thinking. You asked and argued impeccabily for a very reasonable standard of proof.

Here is the article you requested, sir: [7]

In this communication, we critically analyse the evidence which in 1983 was claimed to prove the existence of HIV....since Montagnier's "purified virus" did not contain particles with the "morphology typical of retroviruses", the proteins cannot be retroviral. We conclude that, these phenomena are non-specific to retroviruses and thus cannot be considered proof for the existence of a unique retrovirus HIV. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.Randroide (talk) 15:32, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Medical Hypotheses is not peer reviewed, not WP:RS, and not to be taken seriously. The overwhelming majority of the relevant scientific community has accepted the evidence that the HIV virus both exists and is the causal agent for AIDS. - Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 16:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I did not know about the not peer reviewed status of Medical Hypotheses. Thank you very much for the info. I shall study WP:RS down to the commas. OTOH, what majorities think is epistemologically irrelevant. Randroide (talk) 16:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it's epistemologically irrelevant (though that's debatable), but we're not having an epistemological debate here. We're just trying to figure out how to properly and proportionately represent this particular fringe view without giving it undue weight. For that task, the opinion of "majorities" is of great relevance. MastCell Talk 16:42, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It is relevant because the verb "is" without an appended "claimed to be" is reserved for our current best approximation to reality, logical positivism and the problem of induction notwithstanding. - Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 16:51, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Gentlemen, My code of values compels me to formally disagree with both of you: It is not relevant. Both of you are embracing a lethal "primacy of consciousness" epistemology. I invite you to embrace a rational, life-affirming Primacy of Existence Epistemology. Now, I have to go to work. Thank you for the things I learned from both of you, and have nice day. Randroide (talk) 17:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Some observations:

  1. We are not having a socio-political debate.
  2. We are not debating philosophy.
  3. When establishing what the accepted view on a certain topic within a specific scientific field is we adhere to the scientific method. This precludes any metaphysical approach as that is not open to peer review.
  4. If the scientific community, using the scientific method, determined that AIDS is caused by HIV, we need the same scientific method, and not epistemology, to establish this assesment is incorrect.

Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 18:12, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

By whom?

Dissident arguments are considered to be the result of cherry-picking and misrepresentation of predominantly outdated scientific data

Considered by whom?. We need a referenced "whom" for this sentence. Randroide (talk) 11:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The sentence contains seven references. Many more could easily be added, but I get the sense that this is an objection for the sake of objecting, since its premise is easily falsified by a simple reading of the sentence in question. MastCell Talk 22:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You are failing WP:FAITH with me, sir.
Current text fails WP:ATTRIBUTION. I suggest something like "many scientists and journalists consider the dissident arguments..." Randroide (talk) 23:08, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

scientific community

From source number 8:

That HIV is the primary cause of AIDS is the strongly held consensus opinion of the scientific community,

This article does support the idea of the "scientific community" accepting HIV/AIDS mainstream ideas. I suggest to use this source (intead of sources 1 and 2) if it is believed that this edit [8] should be reverted.

On the other hand, the "scientific community" expression should be counterweighted. I have just a question: Are Peter Duesberg, Kary Mullis and Serge Lang parte of the "scientific community"? Randroide (talk) 13:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

They are not part of the scientific community which does research on HIV/AIDS. More to the point, scientific consensus is generally aligned with the scientific community's view on something. It isn't feasible to have 100% agreement from everyone in every field of science on every question, but I think this article makes it entirely clear that the scientific community thinks one thing and a handful of scientists (Duesberg, Mullis perhaps) disagree. MastCell Talk 22:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you, sir. My point: The article should say "the scientific community that does research on HIV/AIDS". Current wording is ilogical, because aforementioned authors ARE part of the "scientific community". AFAIK (plase correct me if I am wrong) there is no poll about what the "scientific community" at large thinks about this issue. Randroide (talk) 22:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
This statement "the scientific community that does research on HIV/AIDS" implies that the reader might think these scientists are physicists, geologists, historians, et cetera. Personally this would not be my first interpretation when reading about "the scientific community" regarding AIDS. Second, we do have a "poll" on this. It is called the scientific method and peer review. Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 18:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, a common argument when one disagrees with a scientific consensus is that nobody went and polled every single scientist. This ignores the definitions of scientific consensus and scientific community. The sentence as written is logical, accurate, and easily comprehensible, and making the wording more torturous will not improve its meaning, clarity, or accuracy. MastCell Talk 06:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
For reasons unknown, you cited an argument I did not use, sir (please provide diff if you think I am not telling the truth).Randroide (talk) 14:45, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Formal statement by User:Randroide

This source [9] uses the correct expression "majority of the scientific community". That´s the expression that should be in the article.

User:MastCell wrote [10]"The sentence [''scientific community''] as written is logical, accurate..."

It is not. The syllogism is simple and clear:

  • Those individuals express (or expressed) dissident views on AIDS (ditto).
  • Therefore, to say that "The scientific community considers the causative role of HIV to be scientifically proven" is ilogical, and false, because aforelinked AIDS reappraisers are part of that very same "scientific community".

The solution: To use the sourced [[11]] expression "majority of the scientific community" Randroide (talk) 13:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

"Majority" is misleading, because it suggests that there is a significant minority of the scientific community which believes otherwise. This is not the case. There is one semi-active scientist (Duesberg) who disputes HIV/AIDS, and he has never conducted any research on the virus. The sentence as written is correct, and amending it to "majority" creates the appearance of an active scientific debate where none exists. MastCell Talk 17:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Current wording is also (also from the point of view of your previous post) misleading, for the reasons presented. Which alternative wording do you suggest? Randroide (talk) 17:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Supreme Court of South Australia

Former version:

::*2007: Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, having testified at an appeals hearing for Andre Chad Parenzee that HIV is harmless, is found by the court "not qualified to express opinions about the existence of HIV, or whether it has been established that it causes AIDS." <ref>[ Court Document: Verdict of the Supreme Court of South Australia]</ref>

This is a very, very interesting piece of information.

Unfortunately, the link does not work, and the site is rather user unfriendly.

I changed the link to other with similar effect [12].

If someone more competent than me brownsing at wants to look for the original sentence, it would be great to have again that sentence linked. That´s the reason I am creating this section. Randroide (talk) 14:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

1984 Gallo original paper

User:MastCell removed [13] a sourced line on the 1984 Gallo paper, and he/she failed to add the line again despite he/she added tha source back again later [14]:

The contentious sourced line:

The papers announced that more than 90% of patients with ARC showed HTLV-III antigens

Could User:MastCell please explain us the reasons for this deletion of sourced data?. Randroide (talk) 23:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Possibly because it has been superceded by more up to date data? Shot info (talk) 08:43, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Please look at the title of the section where the line was located: "Timeline". The section is about what happened. Randroide (talk) 08:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
First of all, they detected antibodies to HTLV-III antigens, not the antigens themselves. At the very least, it should read that they detected HTLV-III antibodies in >90% of patients. I don't see the relevance to the timeline of citing specific details of this paper, as opposed to the several others which came out nearly simultaneously, but I guess I don't feel that strongly one way or the other. MastCell Talk 18:15, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

"AIDS denialists": Lead must be changed

An "AIDS denialist" is not the same as an "AIDS dissident

Nevertheless, the beliefs of those who have been labeled “AIDS denialists” are far more extreme than the challenging skepticism of AIDS dissidents" [15] Randroide (talk) 13:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The article generally uses "AIDS dissident" as the preferred term for those who dispute either the existence of HIV or its causative role in AIDS. This is consistent with self-naming (per WP:MOSNAME). We should not be using the term "AIDS denialist" in the article, unless as part of a quote. The distinctions between those who deny the existence of HIV and those who deny its pathogenicity is made later in the article. MastCell Talk 17:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I could not agree more. This article is a smear not a unbiased artcle on the topic. Aimulti (talk) 04:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

MastCell is correct. AIDS Denialist is a highly POV term here. IronDuke 01:09, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Ultimate source for reference 38... a blog. Line and reference should go out Randroide (talk) 14:01, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The source is, a website run by a group of prominent HIV/AIDS researchers which was favorably profiled in Science. Furthermore, the source for Gilbert's disavowal - - is significantly more reliable than the sources which claim he supports the denialist position (see WP:PARITY). MastCell Talk 17:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC) cites a blog as a source, and a blog is not a proper source under Wikipedia:V#Sources, favorably profiling from Science or not. OTOH, I made no claim of Gilbert´s positions, so I can not understand why you cite the alleged unrealibility of the sources claiming Gilbert being a "denialist" Randroide (talk) 17:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

This may help you in determining whether a source satisfies WP:RS:

Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 18:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ This is often referred to as "mass attribution". (See e.g., Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms, Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words)