Talk:Henry H. Bauer

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Direct quoting[edit]

The last two sentences in this article were copied directly from [[1]]. Direct quotes should always be set off with quotation marks or otherwise designated as such. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:34, 3 June 2008 (UTC) I removed them. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:34, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

removing prod notice and notability tag[edit]

I'm removing a prod that stated:

Bauer's notability not established per WP:NOTE and WP:PROF. If he was indeed trained as a chemist, he does not seem to have contributed to the field for at least thirty years. He seems to be an obscure hobby writer on Loch Ness, AIDS denialism and other pseudoscience topics, not a recognized expert in his field. The sources for this article are inadequate, Bauer's own website and a college newsletter.[2]

I think that I have addressed the issues on the prod: he has made over the time regular contributions with books, papers and articles, on Isis (journal) his Loch Ness monster got reviewed, he seems a recognized expert on the field of the study of the scientific method, with his book "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method" being used on university courses and cited on studies about what texts are used for education, and I have added a few more sources. With all above, and with having been a Emeritus Dean and still being a Emeritus Professor for Virginia Tech, it should fulfill WP:PROF criteria --Enric Naval (talk) 01:20, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

another henry bauer[edit]

looks like there is another famous Henry Bauer [3], so maybe the redirect Henry Bauer will become a stub some day. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:51, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

wiki with some info[edit]

Doh, I am now going through the article history, and turns out that there was already a quite complete wiki article on him [4]. I also found a transcript of one of his seminars hosted on that same site, which I have added as a source. I'll keep reviewing the history and adding stuff that I find there --Enric Naval (talk) 02:53, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Please be aware that that particular wiki is not a reliable source; it is devoted to advancing AIDS denialism and has few or perhaps just one contributor. It has been the subject of spamming by its creator here on Wikipedia in the past. If these are notable links, they'll be hosted on a more reliable source somewhere. MastCell Talk 16:02, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I have noticed it :D I only used their transcription, so readers can check the content of his ideas about AIDS. If there are doubts that the transcription might be incorrect, there I'll remove the link inmediately --Enric Naval (talk) 04:14, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Moved from article: courses at schools using book in bibliography[edit]

Based on original research of primary document (course syllabi and the like):

"like the Scientific Inquiry common core course of Mercer University, [1], the Victorian Physics course of La Trobe University [2] and the Philosophy of Science course at Cap Poly Pomona [3] is cited on articles on scholar texts about the scientific method [4] and has a version for blind people at the Library of Congress. [5]"

I would suggest omitting this unless there's a second-party source reporting how Bauer's book is used in courses. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:05, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

If you notice, the paragraph does not make any assertion on how it's used, only that it's used. I don't think that I incur into OR because, I quote from the policy page, "(the sources) directly support the information as it is presented". The only part that could be "open to interpretation" would be the part about being cited on articles, but that's solved with rewording it. Notice that these all are assertions of notability as showing that his works are used on universities and cited on studies.
See, here you remove the proof that it was used at three different university courses, and then 5 minutes later you labelled it with "fact" here. Well, doh, do I really need a source that says "his books are used on the bibliography for university courses", is it enough to link to three university courses on three different universities that give it that exact same use? :P this comment of mine was inappropiate
If you want to report how the books are used exactly, then find a source for it and add it yourself. What I am sourcing here is a different thing. --Enric Naval (talk) 05:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll try to find a source that explicitally talks about the book being used on university courses (but I still think that these sources establish that the book is actually used on the bibliographies of university courses). I'll also try to find sources on the relevance of this book for the field of philosophy of science. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:55, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I won't object to using the sources you found as support for the book's use as a textbook...I would just suggest that we use them as sources only and not describe them in detail in the text. Thanks. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
You mean that we could use the source like this:

has been listed on the bibliography for several university courses[1][2][3]

without mentioning the name of the courses or the universities? --Enric Naval (talk) 05:48, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I would suggest. The book has been used, so I suppose we should mention it given the implications for WP:PROF, but spelling out the handful of courses and unis in the text seems over the top (IMO), especially if we compare Bauer with other textbook authors. For example, Eric Kandel does not even mention Kandel's widely-used textbook on neuroscience, much less give individual courses and schools that use it. Benjamin Lewin, author of perhaps the most widely-used text on genes, does not even have an article. Harvey Lodish, an editor of a famous textbook on molecular biology and a well-known scientist in his own right, doesn't have one either. The article for Bruce Alberts refers to the text he edits as "the standard cell biology textbook in most universities" without giving courses and schools. Perhaps it's unfair to compare Bauer with these scientists, since they put Bauer's "notability" in such stark perspective, but I suggest that their examples and WP:UNDUE should guide us here. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 14:17, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it belong here, but that it was over the top mentioning all the courses. I see that Eric_Kandel, on the references [3] and [4] makes the same sort of thing. States something, and then make a list of references without detailing (in the specific case of the courses, we can even try to stack the three courses on a single reference using bullet points).
(I'll look at a good article or a featured article on a researcher to see how it's done correctly)
For the other articles, of course, the solution is clicking on the red link and writing their articles :) --Enric Naval (talk) 16:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

students who don't study[edit]

This article [5] does not belong on the affirmative actions section. I haven't finished reading it, but I already saw that Bauer mentions several foreign students and women as examples of good students.

It doesn't belong either on the controversy section. Ask any US teacher and they will tell you that academic standards are falling, and he's not the only one complaining about it (this is also happening in Spain, mind you). Looking at google, I can't find sources complaining about the article or saying that it's controversial, I only see articles and forum posts agreeing with him and listing his paper as one more resource, and no mentions of controversy.

Finally, he doesn't blame students, he blames the culture in which they were raised and other stuff as "low standards, low expectations, grade inflation", and he says that he keeps finding students that still perform well. Near the end, he says "As I noted at the outset, the students cannot be blamed because what they are is the result of how we have trained them, at home and in primary and secondary schools. By the time they are in college, the room for alternative training is narrow."

I moved the paper out of that section and expanded the sentence to explain that. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:53, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Professor X writes an article noting that Nathuram Godse was responsible for killing Mahatma Gandhi. I include that in the article on Professor X. One could then perform some WP:OR and find sentences in the article maintaining that the assassin had a difficult childhood, suffered under peer pressure, was unduly influenced by religion, etc. Professor X still wrote an article called "Godse the Assassin", just as Henry Bauer wrote an article entitled "Students who don't study".
But let's not engage in original research. Deconstructing Bauer's article, asking "any US teacher", or inserting one's own opinions of students these days is precisely that. In addition, it doesn't seem to me that this article is particularly notable. I'm removing the OR and the section devoted to the article (placing a single article on equal footing with Bauer's career seems excessive), although it would certainly be acceptable to mention the article if appropriate reliable sources establish its notability. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:12, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Bauer's retraction of his views of homosexuality[edit]

The question has arisen whether the main source for Bauer's retraction of his views of homosexuality should be his own web site or a "secondary source" such as aids-truth.

I do think that giving aids-truth pride of place would be applying Wikipedia's secondary sources principle incorrectly. As a lawyer, I can tell you that the best evidence of what somebody said is what he said, not what some third party said he said. (That's called hearsay.) Moreover, one could take this interpretation of the secondary sources principle to an infinite, absurd, regress: Why quote aids-truth talking about Bauer when we could quote some other source quoting aids-truth quoting about Bauer? And why quote that source when we could quote yet another source quoting the third source quoting the second source quoting Bauer? Etc.

Note also that I kept in my edit (and attributed to aids-truth) what I think is the important claim that aids-truth makes regarding the timing of Bauer's retraction.

Finally, I should say, for what it's worth, that I have no brief here regarding Bauer himself. I never even heard his name until I came across the wiki article while I was looking for something else. I have no particular wish to defend the man or to "tilt" the article one way or the other. I was struck, though, by the indirect way that the article reported what should have just been quoted directly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by P.D. (talkcontribs) 13:52, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted your edit for two reasons. First, I'm afraid you're confusing your personal experience with Wikipedia policy. WP:RS sets forth the reasons for Wikipedia's reliable sources guidelines. Linked are other policies regarding primary and other sources. These are Wikipedia policies whether we agree with them or not, and they should be followed at this article unless and until they are changed.
Second, referring to Bauer's "retraction" of the memoir statements is editorial commentary. Editors of Wikipedia should not debate whether Bauer's retraction is genuine or complete; they should simply report what secondary sources have said about it. In this case, aids-truth is the only source I have found that has covered Bauer's comments at all. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 14:26, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you really are missing the point. Bauer's web site IS a secondary source in the sense that Wikipedia uses the term. That is to say, I'm not relying on my own knowledge or mere "common knowledge." Rather, I'm citing a secondary source -- Bauer's website. The question is whether his website is a better source for his views than somebody else's website. Surely, it has to be. (It would not be a better source, of course, for the truth of his views, or the timing of his views, or the sincerity of his expressed views, anything like that. But it is, by definition, the best source for quoting his expressed views. Let me give you another example: Say that a wikipedia article was discussing a speech by the President. What would be a better source for the words (not the truth of the speech, or its sincerity, or anything else, just the words of the speech), the official transcript or somebody's blog? Surely, the official transcript would be the better "secondary source." Or say that an article on a novelist wants to quote a short passage from the novel. What's the better source: the novel itself, or the Cliff Notes website? Surely, the novel itself is the better "secondary source." To repeat: the "secondary source" policy insists that I not write or edit an entry based merely on my own personal knowledge, or on unsourced "common knowledge." But it does not require that I avoid citing a person's own words as the best source for the content of that person's own words. (You do have a legitimate point, though, about whether Bauer actually "retracted" his views. He did, though, certainly claim to have retracted his views, and I will edit to reflect that.)P.D. (talk) 14:48, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I should add this: If the word "retracted" reflects editorial commentary, which I am willing to concede it might, so should words such as "denunciation" as in "his denunciation of the gay lifestyle." Why "denunciation" as opposed to "criticism" or some other milder word? This is clearly the editorial characterization of a wikipedia editor. Some characterization is inevitable; otherwise, the number of weasel words and phrases in Wikipedia would grow beyond bounds. P.D. (talk) 14:55, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

ber 2008 (UTC)

Here's the relevant policy regarding citing self-published sources for information about themselves, as found at Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_and_questionable_sources_about_themselves:
Questionable sources, and most self-published sources, may only be used as sources about themselves, and then only if
1. the material used is relevant to the notability of the subject being discussed;
2. it is not contentious;
3. it is not unduly self-serving;
4. it does not involve claims about third parties;
5. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
6. there is no reasonable doubt as to who authored it;
7. the article is not based primarily on such sources.
My changes clearly qualify as citing a self-published source for information about itself. Moreover, it is not subject to any of the 7 listed cautions. (To the extent that the citation is arguably self-serving, that has been cured by citing the aids-truth claim that Bauer only published his retraction after his views were publicized.)P.D. (talk) 18:30, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Undent: Let's try this again: a speech transcript, a novel, and a personal blog by Henry Bauer are all primary sources. WP:PRIMARY states that "All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors."

You correctly point out that primary sources can in some cases be used as sources about a party in question. I'm not sure if a personal blog of a marginally notable person qualifies, but never mind. When using such a primary source, though, you can't simply inject your own opinion of the primary source. From your example, "denunciation" summarises the material from the secondary source. If you disagree with the wording, you are welcome to propose alternative language. On the other hand, talk of "retractions," let alone "formally retracted," is "original analysis of the primary-source material" and is discouraged on Wikipedia.

I am not going to edit-war with you on this minor point, based as it is on an apparent confusion about primary and secondary sources on WP. Please take any further complaints about Wikipedia policies to the policy talk pages, not my talk. Thank you. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:53, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Last word, I hope: Wikipedia:Use_common_senseP.D. (talk) 01:42, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Slurs or accurate descriptions?[edit]

Thank you for your interest in Henry Bauer, but please note that the term "AIDS denialist" is notably and verifiably used in reliable sources to describe those, like Henry Bauer, who deny that HIV exists, causes AIDS, etc. The term has been the subject of several discussions, including RfCs, in which a consensus on its use on Wikipedia has emerged. Similarly, Henry Bauer, as reported in multiple sources, has been a vocal opponent of affirmative action. You may personally consider "AIDS denialist" or "opponent of affirmative action" to be slurs, but Wikipedia is based on reliable sources, not personal opinions. Thank you, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Then these phrases should be easily sourced (with in-line refs and quotations). Where are the refs and quotes? --Firefly322 (talk) 20:32, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Denying that AIDS is caused by HIV confirms that they should be considered AIDS denialists. That's sourced. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Worse yet both statements are sourced. What a waste of time. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:41, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
That's right, there is no requirement for "in-line refs and quotations" when summarising (in the lead) the information contained and sourced in following sections. Firefly322, please stop trying to make a point against consensus. Thank you, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Searching on the internets, Bauer is called "AIDS denialist" or "HIV denialist" on only a handful of sources[6] a pair of hundred of sources[7] (searching without the "H." on the name). One is wikipedia, another one is a mirror of wikipedia, another one is a smear[8] another one is a complaint of how this term is used as a smear[9], and the other two are comments at blogs.
Also, "is an AIDS denialist" sounds like a smear. "has notably questioned the current scientific thinking on AIDS" is also correct and it doesn't sound like a smear. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:54, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't based on how things "sound" to individuals. It is based on reliable sources. Those who deny that HIV exists or causes AIDS are known as AIDS denialists in reliable sources. Henry Bauer denies that HIV exists. He is therefore accurately described as an AIDS denialist. Objections to the term "AIDS denialist" would be more appropriately directed to other talk pages. Thank you, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
WP:BLP says that "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons — whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable — should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion" (emphasis not added). So, no, it's you who has to add the sources for the term. So find a good source or two and place them on the article when restoring the material. --Enric Naval (talk) 21:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It is amply sourced that Bauer questions/denies the role and perhaps the existence of HIV. Whether that position is termed "AIDS denialism" or is weasel-worded into "questioned the prevailing blah blah blah" is not so much a BLP issue as a naming issue, and one which has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. However, in the interest of moving forward, I think an accurate description of Bauer's views is more important to the encyclopedia than a specific label. I've therefore proposed compromise wording; it does not use the words "AIDS denialist" to refer to Bauer, but it does link to our article on the subject, which I think is appropriate. MastCell Talk 21:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
One quick note: all proposed versions link to AIDS denialist, they just change the text on the link --Enric Naval (talk) 21:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
He is an AIDS denialist. Unless you can show a source that says he's suddenly recanted and thinks HIV causes AIDS, can we move on? OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
No, he is a professor of chemistry and science studies who has written books and articles supporting AIDS denialism. He doesn't have denialism as a full time job, he's not an activist that goes to manifestations, he's not active on pressure groups, etc. When looking at book reviews, articles on journals, etc, he is not pressented as "Bauer is a professor and an AIDS denialist", he is pressented as "Bauer is a professor" or similar wordings [10][11]. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I kind of get what you're saying, but honestly, whether he's part time, once a year, or just said it once, AIDS denialist, that still makes him an AIDS denialist. He doesn't think AIDS is caused by HIV, so how else are we supposed to deal with this issue? OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:28, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)How about "supporter of AIDS denialism" or "[[AIDS denialism|denies that HIV causes AIDS]]"? Just don't call people denialist. Use more neutral wordings. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

You're destroying my one-man attempt to call creationism "evolution denialism." Something more neutral, but also a bit less wordy? Nothing much comes to my mind. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 01:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Heh, if you are making a comparison with creationist, perish the thought. Creationist is at least a positive term, and it's used by notable sources in contexts that are not about disdainfully disproofing someone [12][13][14]. For "AIDS denialist", for example, Nature only mentions it twice, both on the news section[[15]], and feels compelled to put quotes around "denialist" in the title of one of them [16]. Same for The Independent, which also uses quotes for the term [17]. So stop weaseling with comparisons and find sources for this term instead of forcing me to justify other unrelated terms :P
P.D.: find sources for this term find sources for using this term for this person instead of using a more neutral wording that links to the same article anyways. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Bauer is specifically called an "AIDS denialist" in one of the sources in the article; please read the sources before making assumptions. In the same way, Bauer specifically claims that HIV does not exist, yet Naval insisted on revising MastCell's accurate edit.
On quotes: the term "AIDS denialism", like the small movement it represents, is relatively new and unfamiliar to the general public, although it is common in the scientific and medical community. Hence the use of quotes: in English writing, when one uses a neologism, it is common to place quotes around it. Quotes can also mean the term is used only by a particular group of people. For example, they are usually placed around "dissident", the term AIDS denialists prefer for themselves. Many uses of the term "AIDS denialist" can be found with or without quotes in reliable sources. Here are a few examples without quotes:
Melbourne Herald-Sun Mbeki “dismayed the medical world by siding with AIDS denialist scientists, who questioned the viral nature of the disease.”
Harare Tribune
National Post “Mbeki laid down an AIDS-denialist line”
Cape Argus “Mbeki was/is an Aids denialist”; “Mbeki's denialism of Aids”
The Sunday Times “Mbeki’s Aids denialist policies have already been scrapped.”
Daily Dispatch Mbeki “an AIDS denialist”
All Africa “AIDS denialist Anthony Brink”
Cape Argus Title: “Mbeki is an AIDS denialist, says Achmat”
AIDSmap News “Vitamin profiteer and AIDS-denialist misleading South Africans, says WHO/UN “; “Rath, an AIDS-denialist, has falsely claimed to be one of the experts participating in the WHO meeting”.
Mail and Guardian “Roberts claims that Mbeki was never an Aids denialist”
International Herald Tribune Mbeki “rejects accusations he is an AIDS denialist”
Independent Online, 26 September 2003: “demonstrated to the world that he is an AIDS denialist” (quote)
International Herald Tribune “has been branded an AIDS denialist”
InterPress Service News Agency Mbeki “deemed an AIDS denialist for questioning the link between HIV and AIDS”
AIDS Treatment News “AIDS denialist(s) have disputed”
Independent Online “AIDS denialist Tina van der Maas”
South African Press Association “inviting AIDS denialist Dr Robert Giraldo”
Austin Chronicle “an AIDS-denialist reader”
NPR “the health minister is effectively an AIDS denialist”
Journalism “The Citizen ran an op-ed piece by AIDS denialists Sam Mhlongo and David Rasnick”
PR Newswire “the AIDS denialist group ACT/UP San Francisco”
Guardian (UK) “because of Aids denialist groups”
AP Worldstream “a fiery anti-apartheid leader who became a prominent politician and most recently a leading AIDS denialist”
African Eye News Service “Prominent American HIV/Aids denialist”
AIDSmap “many in the crowd were angered when he made allusions to AIDS denialist theories and refused to acknowledge that HIV is the cause of AIDS”
Gay City News “Null’s cohorts in the AIDS denialist movement”
Antiviral Agents Bulletin “Key ANC leaders have expressed support of AIDS denialist views”
Press Gazette “Rath claims the articles suggest that he is a ‘vitamin-peddling Aids denialist’”
Health Law Review “public espousal of AIDS denialist theories”
News24.com “although Mbeki was an Aids denialist”
Sunday Times, 2007: “We accept that she is not an Aids denialist”
SABC News “He was described in some quarters as an Aids denialist”
Technology Review “Harper’s has published the work of an AIDS denialist”
Sceptical Inquirer “AIDS denialism vs. science: AIDS denialists believe, with a faith unshakable by fact, that HIV does not cause AIDS”
abc11 TV “He's an AIDS denialist” (quote)
Dispatch “President Thabo Mbeki’s apparent denialism”
Times (UK) “while the president is an Aids denialist”
New York Times “American AIDS denialists are partly to blame for South Africa's backsliding AIDS policy”
Unless someone establishes consensus for a better term, "AIDS denialist" is the appropriate term, verifiably used in reliable sources, to describe the beliefs of self-styled HIV/AIDS "dissidents". Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:31, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
"has been branded an AIDS denialist by angry scientists and grassroots AIDS activists"[18] And almost all those sources are about africa, where an african president made an outrageous claim about curing AIDS with garlic and lemon. One of the sources that talks about an american uses "AIDS dissident" in the title [19]. Yep, "AIDS denialist" is a "bad" label, and none of the sources is a scholar source talking about non-african scientists (except one, that uses also "AIDS dissidents"). Indeed, Bauer complains that supporters of lack of a HIV-AIDS "have been called the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers"[20], which I will be damned if it's a reference to the term "AIDS denialist" :P
Also, the Skeptical Inquirer and skepdic.com are a good source for whether a topic is pseudoscientific or not, but not a good source for neutral adjectives directed to proponents of pseudoscience. One would expect to find non-neutral terms at those sources. In the Skeptical Inquirer you would find both, depending on who writes the article, as proponents of pseudoscience sometimes write there. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:30, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Tossing out all 36 sources (not the only ones, by the way) because some of them are from Africa, one of them is Skeptical Inquirer, and only 11 or more discuss non-African denialists? And offsetting them with JPANDS? As discussed previously, JPANDS is not a reliable source; it is the publication of a right-wing anti-abortion group. Since we're no longer discussing the article, let's resume this discussion somewhere else less disruptive if you really feel you have a valid point to make. Thanks, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:35, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I was just quoting the complaints of the subject himself about the term, it's not important where he made the complaint. (note: I don't disdain sources because they are from Africa, but because they refer to Africa)
So, where can we continue? How about WP:BLP/N? Some step of dispute resolution, like RFC or mediation? --Enric Naval (talk) 19:25, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
NOooooooooo. Let's not dramatize this situation. There's maybe 4 editors in total who have any interest in the term. Going to a drama-filled dispute resolution process will get us nowhere. "AIDS dissident" is a POV term used by the denialists themselves to describe themselves, because it sounds like they're using passive protests to get their way. Well, it's not like that. They are denying the scientific fact that HIV causes AIDS. Anyways, as a compromise, what if we don't call him that explicitly or use both terms, as long as we keep him in the category of AIDS denialism? I think we can come to a compromise better than any other system out there.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 19:36, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)The term has already been the subject of RfC, and I agree with MastCell that this isn't a BLP issue. In addition to Orangemarlin's arguments, the term "dissident" implies some sort of "separate but equal" stature in the relevant community (science or medicine), which very few denialists have. At the same time, some reliable sources do use the term. The solution is to use the term accepted by the relevant communities ("AIDS denialist") and to mention that the named fringe group prefers the term "dissident". This is exactly what AIDS denialism does. Any compromise beyond this ignores WP:UNDUE. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

The RfC is the one here Talk:AIDS_denialism/Archive_8#RfC_on_AIDS_denialism, I suppose. Notice I have never argued for removal of the AIDS denialist category or for using "AIDS dissident" anywhere, you don't need to worry about that :) OK, I agree that AIDS denialist is a correct term after all (it still sounds like a "gotcha" wording, mind you). I would have changed my opinion way sooner if I had seen the RfC sooner. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:04, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
This discussion should clearly give one pause. Maybe it could be put in terms that are easier to follow. Given the fact that Magic Johnson and other HIV positive celebrities are almost certainly alive because of antiretroviral cocktails, what does bauer say about such easy-to-verify, nearly-impossible-to-deny medical cases? --Firefly322 (talk) 09:00, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm in favour of easier to follow; let's work on that together. Re: Magic Johnson, if HIV does not exist, he doesn't have it. For Bauer and others with these beliefs, the HIV test detects ethnicity/race, not a virus (see Bauer, Origins, Persistence, and Failings and the JSE articles). Antiretroviral cocktails are fatally toxic, according to HIV/AIDS "dissidents", so those who take them die and those who don't take them survive. According to this reasoning, Magic would not have a real infection and would be lying about taking the drugs, hence his health. Of course you must ignore large swaths of the medical literature and accuse everyone of lying to accept these assumptions. This is why I consider the term "AIDS denialist" to be accurate, secondary to its use in many reliable sources. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 14:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

denial of HIV itself[edit]

My bad, he does deny that authentic HIV virions have been isolated --Enric Naval (talk) 19:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

One thing. Looking at his latest article from Fall of 2008[21] he doesn't deny that the HIV retrovirus exists. What he denies that a) the HIV test accurately detects the retrovirus b)the HIV retrovirus be the cause of AIDS illness. I don't know if he previously held that HIV itself didn't exist, but, unless I read that paper incorrectly, he currently accepts the existance of the HIV retrovirus. He also makes a statement on 2007 "doctors, scientists, and others who question whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)"[22]. The sentence "questioned that HIV caused AIDS" appears to be accurate to me... It could maybe be expanded to "questioned the accuracy of HIV tests, and that HIV causes AIDS" --Enric Naval (talk) 17:30, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

AIDS denialism is a blanket term encompassing both those who deny the very existence of HIV (an extreme view even by the standards of AIDS denialists) as well as those who accept the existence of the virus but consider it harmless. That said, I would actually favor wording, such as you are proposing, which goes into more detail about what, exactly, Bauer is denying rather than simply labeling him a "denialist". MastCell Talk 18:14, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
See the section "AIDS denialism". In his book on the subject, and in the articles he published in the pseudoscientific journal he edited, Bauer claims that HIV tests do not detect a virus, HIV has never been isolated, the genetic sequence/proteins/particles called HIV by the scientific community is/are really something else, and AIDS is not caused by an infectious virus. There's no point in putting all this in the lead since it is covered later. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:27, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, doh, you are right, I'm sorry about that. I just re-checked the article, and I can see "a successful isolation of whole virions of HIV directly from an AIDS patient or an HIV-positive person has never been accomplished or published. (...) assumptions that have not been verified by the only certain means, namely, examination of authentic virions". My bad. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Quote from Review of The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory[edit]

He devotes much more space to another inevitable question: "How could so many scientists be wrong about HIV/AIDS?" Here he is on his own territory, having been active in the field of history and philosophy of science for a number of years. Part of his answer is both pertinent and indisputable: science and medicine often progress precisely by disproving well-established and universally accepted theories, and he cites important examples, from the bacterial cause of ulcer formation to the phlogiston theory of combustion, from modern physics to causes of kuru.

Kuhn, Popper and others get an airing, but more interestingly and originally, Bauer observes a deeper underlying cause which, not to mince words, amounts to a recent corruption of scientific research by the pressures of funding, media, conflict of interest and political interference, which lead to the formation of scientific monopolies and the erosion of the trust which is essential to the scientific enterprise. To which I would add the insidious temptation of worthy causes, of which climate change is a recent, obvious and important one: once a scientist engages with a good cause he or she very often selects or even falsifies results. However, that is another book. If you want to understand the HIV/AIDS story, read this one.

I'm looking through reviews on his books. There are reviews in Nature (journal) and Science (journal) on his Velikovsky book; these reviews are very positive and recommend at least this work of Bauer's. There's an Isis (journal) review of his lock ness book; also very positive. The only review (a quote from it is above) of his HIV/Aids book that I could find treats Bauer as a sort ofKarl Popper (who for a good period of his career could, if I remember correctly, have been and was called a creationist). --Firefly322 (talk) 23:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm failing to see your point. Reviews of his books are supposed to mean what, other than journals review all books. It's certainly not an endorsement of his AIDS denialism. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Reviews of his Velikovsky book from Science and Nature would certainly be relevant here. Isis, maybe. Not aware of any notable reviews of his AIDS-"dissident" tract, though I'm interested that so many chemists feel comfortable instructing us on epidemiology, virology, and clinical infectious disease. I would probably feel a bit less certainty lecturing them about double bonds. But I digress. MastCell Talk 05:14, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Numerous references to Bauer's Velikovsky book are in the article already, but additional sources could certainly be added. On the AIDS denialist material, it's interesting to note that the author of the above "review", Severin Sternhell, is a friend of Bauer from his former university, and that "Quadrant Magazine" is an Australian right-wing, anti-PC publication, consistent with the observation that AIDS denialism often arises from political and personal views. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 14:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Another reliable source discussing Bauer[edit]

The Washington Post, November 16, 1994, Wednesday, "When Sorting Fact From Fiction, Ask To See the Evidence", John Schwartz, Washington Post Staff Writer

Is global warming natural or man-made? Did an asteroid impact wipe out the dinosaurs?On these and dozens of other questions on the frontier of science, says Henry H. Bauer, a professor of chemistry and science studies at Virginia Tech, people place too much trust in the opinions of scientists arguing on one side or the other. By doing that, they give up the skepticism that is the hallmark of science and foolishly accept scientific authorities over scientific evidence. Scientific squabbles are natural, though, since science rarely proves anything outright. Instead, it disproves things very well, as new observations and theories invalidate old ideas. So instead of striding purposefully toward the truth, science generally proceeds by backing away from what's been demonstrated to be false.

Many of the things we're trying to figure out might be beyond our ability to prove, and the answers we do get might take longer than we'd like. "We've become so enraptured with all the goodies science has brought us, we fall into the thinking that science can get us the goodies we want immediately -- and that is sometimes not the case," Bauer says.And some topics simply don't lend themselves to scientific analysis: like trying to use pliers to drive nails, the tools don't fit the job. No telescope will ever find God, and no experiment could prove one religion better than another. The idea that it's so hard to prove something doesn't sit well with people who want a lot of certainty in their lives. "We want certainty when what science offers us is different degrees of possibility or plausibility," Bauer said. Of course, unsatisfying results aren't limited to the world of science. A jury doesn't find a defendant "innocent," after all -- merely "not guilty."

Still, Bauer said, "Around the late 19th century, science sort of took the place of religion as the authority in society. And then to have to realize that what we've accepted as the authority doesn't have any certain answers is hard to swallow."

Not a reliable source.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:34, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Genetics and HIV tests[edit]

One of Bauer's theses on HIV is that Africans (and people of African descent) test positive for HIV not because they are infected, but because of some inherent difference between their race and others. Inherent differences are the result of genetic mutations. Bauer does not propose what these mutations might be. He hypothesises that they might exist. The phrase "supposed genetic mutations" is thus an accurate description of Bauer's beliefs, which are supported by no evidence. Adding more to this wording, as editor A5 has recently done, is at odds with WP:WEIGHT, a guideline meant to ensure that pseudoscientific beliefs are not presented disproportionately, i.e. as if they were credible. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 14:35, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Read his book, that is a misrepresentation of his view. Or, cite your sources. And if you have trouble understanding when it is OK to use WP:WEIGHT to suppress minority viewpoints, have a look at Galileo affair or 1860 Oxford evolution debate. This is not an article about science like HIV or AIDS; it is an article about Henry Bauer. A5 (talk) 15:09, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
You may call it "suppressing minority viewpoints", but this is precisely what WP:WEIGHT is about: preventing Wikipedia becoming a repository for unsupported fringe theories like those Bauer promotes. When we present pseudoscientific views, we should do so accurately and in the context of scientific consensus. I have read Bauer's book, and I maintain that the description of his views is accurate: "supposed genetic mutations". Bauer believes that people of African descent are predisposed to testing positive for HIV because of genetic factors. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:23, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I responded to the libel question on my talk page. As for accurate portrayal, it is your portrayal that is inaccurate, as seems apparent from the fact that you have been unable to quote anything supporting it. As for WP:WEIGHT, can you refer to a particular section of that document which says explicitly what you have in mind? My impression is, for example, that you would propose dumbing down the portrayal of pre-Copernican views in Galileo affair, or removing the Conant quotation from Phlogiston theory, based on your interpretation of WP:WEIGHT as requiring us to suppress what you call "pseudoscientific views". Is this true? Or is it that you find modern "pseudoscientific views" more "dangerous" than centuries-old ones? A5 (talk) 18:11, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I've responded to the libel charge on your talk page. It appears this is a simple misunderstanding of a commonly-used term, "mutation". No harm done, but please take more care in the future before accusing others of libel, vandalism, etc.
As for interpretations of WP:WEIGHT, your concerns are perhaps best approached at the guideline's discussion page. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:16, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
User:A5 brought up the emphasis Bauer places on race and supposed sexual promiscuity, and after re-reading some passages from Bauer's book, I agree that it might be worth mentioning since race seems to inform so much of Bauer's theory on HIV. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:49, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
If all of those other things are relevant, why not mention the central hypothesis of his theory, viz, that AIDS patients are more likely to have HIV+ because it is an indicator of immune system stress and/or activity? A5 (talk) 15:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Also, how about some excerpts to support your assertions about Bauer's views, especially the racial stuff from p. 64? You could even put them on this page. Or would it be too embarrassing to let people see how much you've twisted the meaning of his words? A5 (talk) 10:02, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Please remain civil, thanks. Verbal chat 11:52, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Bauer does not claim that "African Americans are more sexually promiscuous and use more illegal drugs than other groups". What he claims is that if HIV were sexually transmissible or passed on through needle sharing, then the relatively higher seroprevalence among US blacks compared to whites could only be explicable by a proportionately higher rate of "promiscuity" and drug use among US blacks. For example, he claims that if an HIV diagnosis represented the presence of a sexually transmitted or blood borne virus the five- or sixfold higher seroprevalence would mean that "in every sector of society, black people are supposed to behave like that on average 5 or 6 times as often as white people." He then argues that there is little or no difference in risk behaviour between blacks and whites, and therefore what is detected by HIV testing cannot be a sexually transmissible infection. His hypothesis of a racially based genetic predisposition to test false positive follows on from there.
The flaw in this argument, of course, is that the relative prevalence of an epidemic infection in a community does not depend only on supposed levels of "risk" behaviour, and even to the extent that risk behaviour (which in the case of HIV is highly stigmatised) does ultimately influence prevalence, to generalise this to "every sector" is nonsense. Bauer also ignores the fact that epidemics spread exponentially over time, and that relatively minor differences in how well the epidemic is controlled early can result in major differences in prevalence after many generations of transmission. And of course "promiscuity" and "personal irresponsibility" are not the only variables that influence how well such an epidemic can be controlled.
The simplest refutation of of Bauer's argument is to point out that HIV positive US blacks progress to, and die from AIDS in the same proportions that HIV positive people of other ethnicities. And if the relative higher HIV seroprevalence among blacks "proves" that HIV is not sexually transmissible, then you would have to say the same about syphilis and gonorrhea, which also disproportionately afflict African Americans.
Bauer's "race argument" is a straw man that dog whistles anxieties about racial stereotyping (if you'll forgive my mixed metaphors). It is nonsense, but as it stands the article misrepresents his claims as a different kind of nonsense. It is important to represent the claim accurately, because denialists have telegraphed their intention to target their lethal disinformation toward the black community in future. The aim is to dissolve the science into a simplistic and unproductive exchange of claims and counter claims of "racism".On A Leash (talk) 00:53, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

University courses[edit]

It is claimed that a book by Bauer is widely used in university courses. A secondary source is needed to support this statement. Google searches and original research are insufficient. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:11, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Pseudoscientist's Pseudoscientist?[edit]

Bauer is by no means the "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist", as the deleted Seth Kalichman quote asserts. The quote is factually wrong and unnecessarily defamatory. As Lenny Bruce's character Father Flotsky once famously remarked in "Father Flotsky's Triumph": "Killing six children, Dutch, doesn't make anybody bad." And, in the present case, disageeing with a medico-scientific consensus does not make anyone a "pseudoscientist". Bauer himself discusses several medical controversies in which the long-standing medical consensus was overthrown after many years of contention, such as the case of the cause of ulcers, in which the H. pylori model eventually triumphed. Obviously, a medico-scientific consensus can be wrong. The cholesterol model of heart disease is another area whose primacy has been challenged with mixed success since 1969 by Dr. Kilmer McCully and others with the "homocysteine model". In Beyond Velikovsky, Bauer actually justified his "belief" in the possibility of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster against the possibility of accusations by such as Kalichman. Phaedrus7 (talk) 17:19, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

To paraphrase Renée Zellweger's character Dorothy Boyd, "you lost me at 'medico-scientific'". This article is not about conspiracy theories on the alleged suppression of dissent by a medical orthodoxy, nor is it about our personal opinions of Seth Kalichmann or Henry Bauer. The article is about Henry Bauer, specifically what has been written about Bauer in reliable sources. A recently published reliable source, a book on AIDS denialism by sociologist Seth Kalichmann, covers Henry Bauer in considerable detail. Unless I'm mistaken, this book has more to say about Bauer than any other independent source. Kalichmann verifiably characterises Bauer as the "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist". Perhaps this characterisation is grossly unfair and downright mean on Kalichmann's part. But as Wikipedia editors, we concern ourselves with verifiability, not truth.
Also, please take care when using language like "defamatory": our no legal threats policy is very specific in this regard. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:11, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
There would be a potential WP:BLP case for removal if our article called Bauer a "pseudoscientist" directly and without a reference, although even here, some might find that Bauer's UFO and Loch Ness ties would argue for inclusion. In fact, the article states, with the appropriate reference, that a Bauer critic called Bauer by this term. That is completely verifiable and accurate and should be included, especially because the source is one of the most comprehensive treatments of Bauer and his notions on HIV/AIDS. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:19, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
And, because the books.google link to Kalichman's book DOES NOT include the quote about Bauer, the link should be deleted from this reference to Kalichman's book. Furthermore, it is most certainly "defamatory" to refer to a real scientist, as Bauer most certainly is, as a "pseudoscientist". Bauer cannot validly be classed with the likes of Velikovsky, Von Daniken, and Sitchin. Since Kalichman is a sociologist, and NOT a scientist, his opinion of Bauer in this regard cannot be considered "reliable". Phaedrus7 (talk) 15:52, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid you misunderstand WP:V and WP:RS. Kalichman is an academician and one of the world's leading authorities on the phenomenon of AIDS denialism. In his academic capacity, he has researched and written about the activities of individuals such as Bauer, Duesberg and Rasnick. His book is most certainly a reliable source on this topic, especially because AIDS denialism and pseudoscience in general are not part of scientific inquiry. They are sociological phenomena.
And again, quoting Kalichman's opinion of Bauer is not equivalent to writing that Bauer is a pseudoscientist, although that would also appear to be accurate, in my opinion. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:52, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I saw those words ("a pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist") and I couldn't make any sense of them, what the hell is a pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist?. Couldn't you just use Kalichman to source that Bauer has not made himself any AIDS research (which seems to be correct), and work from there? --Enric Naval (talk) 20:42, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

It's a construct, a way of saying "the ultimate x". The "quack's quack" would be an especially quacky quack. A "lobbyist's lobbyist" would be a paragon of lobbying. An "editor's editor" would be an especially effective editor. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:08, 28 April 2010 (UTC
Kalichman's phrase occurs in the following passage on p. 71: "Bauer has never done AIDS research. In fact, he has never done any scientific research. [Therefore,] Henry Bauer is a pseudoscientist's pseudosceintist!" Since Bauer's C.V. lists over 80 publications dealing with his scientific research, mostly in electrochemistry, Kalichman is wrong about his premise and his implied conclusion is also therefore wrong. It is extremely unethical, in my opinion, for an editor to use a patently false quote in a biographical BLP entry whose only purpose is to unjustifiably denigrate the career of the subject. Phaedrus7 (talk) 20:57, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Phaedrus7 appears to take this quite personally and seems to have a close personal connection with the subject. I would accordingly advise him, as I have done on his talk page, to respect our policies on conflict of interest.
The issue is not whether Bauer is or is not a pseudoscientist, but, rather, whether an important academic writer, in his coverage of Bauer, has called Bauer a pseudoscientist. Kalichman verifiably called Bauer a pseudoscientist. Whether this is "true" or "false" is not for us to decide. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 22:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
(BLP violations removed for at least the second time.)
Again, it doesn't matter if Bauer is or is not a pseudoscientist. It doesn't matter if denying HIV and AIDS and believing in the Loch Ness Monster makes someone a pseudoscientist. What matters is that an academic writer who has researched and written some of the most extensive and recent commentary on Bauer considers him to be a pseudoscientist. We don't have to agree with that position, but it is relevant and notable.
Responding to Kalichman's comment by attacking Kalichman's professionalism and ethics on this talk page is a violation of WP:BLP and WP:TALK. If Phaedrus7 has a defamation case to make against the author, he should pursue it off Wikipedia, as it is irrelevant to our discussion here. Further violations of our policies in this regard will be referred to administrators. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:09, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It looks like not notable critisism from the opposition, comment adds nothing but a valueless slur. Off2riorob (talk) 16:20, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Since Kalichman's calling Bauer "a pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist" is a non sequitur in its context, as explained previously, and Bauer is demonstrably not a pseudoscientist, there is no good purpose served by quoting Kalichman, except to unjustifiably denigrate Bauer's reputation, which is a violation of WP:BLP. Disagreeing with a consensus, such as "HIV causes AIDS", does not automatically make anyone a pseudoscientist. It is unethical to quote Kalichman in this regard, regardless how "verifiable" the quote. My persistence on this issue has nothing to do with COI. It is simple matter of fairness and equity. Please note furthermore, that Kalichman is not notable enough so far to merit a biographical entry in Wikipedia and he cannot be considered a "reliable" source in the light of his illogical accusation against Bauer as a "pseudoscientist", whose books on Velikovsky, Loch Ness Monster, and Scientific Literacy were published by University of Illinois Press which as a matter of policy does not publish pseudoscientific tracts, as opposed to reasoned analyses of interest in such topics, including "the more general question of the acceptance and rejection of extraordinary claims by the scientific community", as Marcello Truzzi observed with respect to Bauer's The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery (1986). Phaedrus7 (talk) 19:21, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I think there is some value to the reader in showing how Bauer's stance on HIV/AIDS has been received by other academics. It seems to me to be part and parcel of a complete, neutral, encyclopedic biography. Kalichman's book is a reasonable source to describe, in part, the reception of Bauer's claims. I would prefer we move toward summary style and away from highlighting the more inflammatory quotes from the book, as a general matter. I don't think it's particularly informative to quote Kalichman's description of Bauer as a "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist"; I sort of agree with Off2riorob that this quote is more or less a valueless slur. I think it would be more useful to the reader to detail the reasoning and content of Kalichman's criticisms. MastCell Talk 19:43, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with MastCell that the "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist" quote is merely a valueless slur. We are reporting that Kalichman characterised Bauer as " ", not that Bauer is indeed a pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist (which, I agree, is a subjective and unencyclopaedic term). To Kalichman, Bauer's pseudoscientific positions on HIV/AIDS are an extension of his fringe positions on other subjects. I selected this quote as a pithy representation of Kalichman's overwhelmingly negative criticism of Bauer and his methods, but an expansion of Kalichman's arguments would be appropriate. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:49, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone truly familiar with Henry Bauer's beliefs on various heterodox subjects and the various problems of separating science from pseudoscience, as Bauer discusses at length in Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies (Univ. Illinois Press, 2001) would understand that disagreeing with a scientific consensus does not automatically equate to being a "pseudoscientist", as Keepcalmandcarryon would like to believe. Kalichman's illogical and fallacious labelling is intellectually repugnant. There is a difference between the scientific careers of such as Immanuel Velikovsky and Wilhelm Reich and that of Henry Bauer. Phaedrus7 (talk) 19:37, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
You're still missing the point: it's not whether Bauer thinks he's a pseudoscientist next to Velikovsky (he obviously doesn't). It's not even whether or not the majority of people would consider a Loch Ness Monster believer (who denies the evidence on HIV/AIDs to boot) a pseudoscientist (they would). It's whether a significant critic of Bauer called him a pseudoscientist (he did).
Let's try another example. "The Loch Ness Monster exists" is a completely different statement from "Henry Bauer believes the Loch Ness Monster exists". Do you see the difference? "Henry Bauer is a pseudoscientist" and "Seth Kalichman calls Henry Bauer a pseudoscientist" are similarly different. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:47, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
But what Keepcalm... fails to understand is the FACT that Kalichman's accusation is based in part on a false premise: that Henry Bauer "has never done any scientific research". This makes his conclusion invalid. Because Kalichman's logic is faulty here and one of his premises a blatant falsehood, Kalichman CANNOT be considered a "reliable source" for criticizing Bauer and, therefore, it would be prudent that before any criticism of Bauer by Kalichman be included in Wikipedia that it be corroborated by a second, independent source. Editors have a responsibility to evaluate the validity of the sources we use. It is not good enough merely to cite sources that agree with one's prejudices. Phaedrus7 (talk) 20:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Kalichman's book is a reliable source. Kalichman is a respected social scientist and his work was published by Springer. Our purview as Wikipedia editors is to report from reliable sources, not to perform original research in an attempt to discredit them. In any case, the "pseudoscientist" quote is no longer included in the article; it has been replaced per the helpful suggestion of MastCell. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:43, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no way on earth that Kalichman is a "reliable source", as I explained Wednesday before keepcalm... deleted it: How "reliable" can a source be when a person with a PhD in chemistry is described by the author as never having done any scientific research, as Kalichman writes regarding Henry Bauer? This does not entail any original research, just common knowledge of the FACT that one of the requirements for earning a PhD in chemistry is to perform original research which is the subject of the dissertation. It is reprehensible for Kalichman to write so irresponsibly about Bauer and he, therefore, CANNOT be considered any "reliable source". How much more clear need one be? I would hope there are editors who know how to read for meaning and edit accordingly. Phaedrus7 (talk) 22:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I have reviewed the discussion above and have concluded that while it's important to present the context, this should not be done at the expense of presenting Kalichman's admittedly rather negative view of his subject. Kalichman is the academic source for Bauer's recent AIDS denialist activities. You and I may despise Kalichman or his writing all we like, but our feelings and interpretations don't change the apparent fact that, at least in the last decade, Kalichman is the only academician outside Bauer's own circle who has treated Bauer's work in a reliable source. If Kalichman is not a qualified professor who studies the sociology of AIDS denialism, or if his book was self-published, then we should not use it as a source. But if he is and it was not, it is certainly of note that Bauer's leading recent reviewer would give such a dismal view of Bauer's approach, however strident or unfair we may consider that view. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:52, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
How can any text be considered a "reliable source" when the author states that someone with a Ph.D. in chemistry has done no scientific research as a prelude to making the ad hominem charge that the person is a "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist"? The identification of a "reliable source" ought to be based on more than the status of the book's publisher, which in any event should not be an indemnification against objective evaluation of content. Phaedrus7 (talk) 19:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
If a reliable source were to review Kalichman and conclude that his entire oeuvre is invalid because he made this or that mistake in his book, this information should be included as counterbalance. Even then, it would probably not render completely invalid what is likely the most reliable source on Bauer's recent activities. What we have here, instead, is the personal interpretation of original research by a Wikipedia user who seems to conclude that "no scientific research" applies to electrochemistry, not (as the context of the book's subject would suggest) HIV/AIDS research. I could then ask, "Did Bauer in fact perform peer-reviewed, published research on HIV/AIDS?" but the question would be as irrelevant as Phaedrus7's objection. Why? We don't get to pick what is reliable and what is not reliable. An academic publication from Springer is reliable; whether everything in it is "true" is not our business to decide. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:01, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Editors make it their "business to decide" all sorts of things in considering content for an entry, including what constitutes a "reliable source", which status is often a function of the prejudices of an editor or cabal of editors intent on enforcing a "party line" for an entry, such as protecting Carl Sagan from corrections to the well-documented errors he made in criticizing Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. I agree that the identity of a publisher may presumptively qualify a text as a "reliable source", but not concerning text that is ipso facto erroneous or nonsensical, as is the case in labelling a person with a Ph.D. in chemisty a "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist", which among other things is gratuitiously demeaning. It should also be noted that one need not have performed research in a particular area to be qualified to perform a survey of the literature in that field, such as HIV/AIDS, and draw conclusions therefrom, as Bauer has done. Phaedrus7 (talk) 20:18, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia editors do not decide what is right or wrong. They use reliable sources. Anything more is original research. Our WP:MEDRS guidelines also make very clear that reliable sources are written by experts in the field. Do you disagree with Kalichman? By all means, write your own review of Henry Bauer and get it published by a reputable press. Until then, your opinions are irrelevant to the encyclopaedia and Kalichman's source stands. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 00:28, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
If Keepcalmandcarryon's opinion here is corect, then Wikipedia has NO EDITORS, merely compilers. By definition, "compilers" do not "edit", they simply regurgitate. Phaedrus7 (talk) 23:27, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
As Off2riorob says, this is a valueless slur. As I already commented, it's better if you explain Kalichman's reasons for giving him that name. --Enric Naval (talk) 14:12, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
It's hardly a "valueless slur" when the leading recent academic biographer of a scientist calls him a pseudoscientist. Using profanity or commenting on someone's physical appearance would be valueless. But the term "pseudoscientist" clearly has value: it shows that an academic writer of a reliable source finds Bauer's science not only lacking, but nonsensical. Yes, we should use the source to explain why this is, but not at the expense of including the rather striking language. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:40, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Soooo, could someone get Kalichman's source and add the relevant details? You know, to settle this dispute by improving the article, instead of arguing fruitlessly in the talk page. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
It's already there: Social scientist Seth Kalichman, editor of AIDS and Behavior, wrote that Bauer's arguments rest on flawed analytical methods and misuse of data sources. Kalichman writes that Bauer is unfamiliar with the scientific literature on HIV/AIDS and has performed no AIDS research, presenting his ideas only at conferences on fringe science and without supporting evidence.
Of course, we could also note Kalichman's references to Bauer's other activities re: Loch Ness, etc. But as the last two years of debate have shown, no amount of detail will settle the dispute with Phaedrus7, whose position is that nothing Kalichman writes is admissible because of Phaedrus7's interpretation of a single, admittedly poorly-worded sentence in Kalichman's book.
The disputed two words establish Kalichman's position succinctly while capturing the apparent gap between academic science and Bauer's ideas; the additional sentences provide Kalichman's reasoning. I don't see any need to remove any of this reliably sourced information. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:08, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
In that case I'm OK with including "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist".
(I fixed the page numbers in the ref). --Enric Naval (talk) 17:26, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that, Enric. Good to run into you again. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:30, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Definition of "libel"[edit]

The dictionary definition for "libel" makes no distinction between "opinion" or adjudicated fact, as follows: "a statement or representation published without just cause or excuse . . . tending to expose another to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule." Therefore, the fallacious labelling of Henry Bauer a "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist" is libelous. The labelling is fallacious because it is based on the false premise that Bauer has done no scientific research. That Bauer has not done laboratory research on HIV/AIDS is beside the point because any experienced scientific researcher is qualified to evaluate the published research results of others, as Bauer has done on the subject of HIV/AIDS. Phaedrus7 (talk) 00:11, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Some (but not all) jurisdictions recognize a distinction between a statement of opinion and a statement of fact, when it comes to defamation. That's probably why it's been mentioned above. In any case, I don't think you're clear on what pseudoscience is. Calling someone a pseudoscientist does not mean that they've done no research. That's an erroneous inference on your part. A pseudoscientist is someone who makes claims using the language of science, but without adhering to its methodology. They may or may not have done any research of their own. MastCell Talk 00:24, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

MastCell, you seem to have missed the point. Kalichman uses the false accusation that Bauer has done no scientific research as part of his justification for labelling Bauer a "pseudoscientist's pseudoscientist". Were you to read for meaning what Bauer has actually written, you would see that he adhers to the methodology of science in making the case that the promoters of HIV/AIDS have NOT done so. Furthermore, using this derogatory charge in the biography of a living person violates WP:BLP. Phaedrus7 (talk) 23:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

No one here is calling Bauer a pseudoscientist. This has been explained repeatedly. The most recent academic treatment of Bauer and his ideas includes the "pseudoscientist" charge. This is highly relevant to the article and, as MastCell stated, does not rely on Kalichman's assertion that Bauer has done no scientific research related to HIV/AIDS. Kalichman takes issue with Bauer's methodology as well as his views on topics such as UFOs and the Loch Ness "monster". Phaedrus7 disagrees with the reliable source; this is insufficient reason to exclude it. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


Personal Attack on Bauer[edit]

This entire article seems to be designed as a personal attack on Bauer, used to discredit his views (which are given hardly attention at all). He's dismissed as a crackpot. Yet he has written a very interesting and well-researched book on scientific literacy.

I wonder if it is because he is critical of the scientific mainstream that our WP contributors have ganged up on him like this. They seem to be arguing that if he holds unpopular views on homosexuality or AIDS, his book must be wrong (see ad hominem).

Perhaps the best antidote to this bias would be for us to the views put forth in his book, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:28, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia, like any encyclopaedia, must rely on reliable sources. The article must reflect the weight of coverage. If secondary source coverage is critical of Bauer, his ideas and his opinions, the article must note this. The opinions of individual editors are irrelevant.
In any case, I don't see anything in the article stating or implying that Bauer's "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method" is "wrong". If secondary sources have made this argument, we should include them. Similarly, if secondary sources have praised his book, we should include them. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 15:29, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
The question, then, obviously, is whether secondary source coverage is critical of Bauer, his ideas and his opinions. Or have contributors merely engaged in cherry-picking: pointing at cases that confirm a particular position, while ignoring cases that contradict that position?
A quick Google search indicates to my (possible uninformed) mind that far from being a pseudoscientist, Bauer is an exposer and debunker of pseudoscience. Care to help me expand the search, and see if there are positive views of Bauer as well as critical ones? --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:21, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Again, we shouldn't care about what Bauer is or is not. But I welcome your suggestion: we should be sure that the article satisfies WP:WEIGHT.
Google searches aren't always the best path to reliable sources, but they can occasionally be useful, in my opinion. Here are the number of hits for "Henry Bauer" and:
  • "Velikovsky" 3810
  • "HIV" 19,000 or "AIDS" 24,000 (although Bauer became a prominent AIDS denialist only 4 years ago)
  • "Loch Ness" 5500
  • "scientific method" 9390
  • "Virginia Tech" 2370
  • "Science, Technology, and Society" 428
  • "UFO" 4330
  • "ESP" 2340
  • "Parapsychology" 3240
In terms of news sources, there are only 20 I could find, give or take, from 1970 to 2011, mostly on controversies related to HB's deanship (views on affirmative action, sex crimes, and football); Loch Ness; and HIV.
Based upon this evidence, I for one am mostly satisfied with how the article is weighted. There's a section on Bauer and science studies, his scientific method book (including links to Science and Nature reviews and mention of positive comments by another reviewer), and his views on science/pseudoscience in his own words. There's a section on Velikovsy (with links to numerous reviews and praise) and a section on Loch Ness (linking a favorable review). The Life and Work section contains an entire paragraph of biographical information that is found only on HB's website and not in any reliable source I've seen. The section on Bauer controversy covers the controversies of his deanship, which made up much of the secondary source coverage of HB at the time. At least one of these controversies persisted to the present. If there is secondary source coverage of other aspects of HB's deanship, I would welcome the addition, but I haven't seen them myself. The section on AIDS denialism is needed because the search results show that this position is what Bauer is best known for today.
Could the article be improved? Of course. We don't say much about Bauer's views on UFO's or ESP/parapsychology. I'm not sure we should, but this part of Bauer's thinking would seem to be as prominent, at least on the internet, as his Velikovsky scholarship. Then there's HB's scientific method book, which has been cited by other works and is still in print today. This would probably justify a stand-alone paragraph alongside Loch Ness and Velikovsky, and perhaps a mention in the lede. Thanks for the suggestion. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 23:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for that calm response. It's interesting that Bauer's recent AIDS denialism has attracted attention, but I suppose the best to move forward is to describe his scientific method book. --Uncle Ed (talk) 19:09, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 00:06, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

For all the calumny heaped upon Henry Bauer for his AIDS denialism, as though only an out-and-out crackpot could ever endorse such a belief, it came as a surprise to me this afternoon browsing the current Discover Presents GENIUS issue at Border's magazine rack that Kary Mullis, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on the polymerase chain reaction, and evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, who is known for her theory of symbiotic evolution, both believe there is no evidence that HIV causes AIDS; see pp. 94-95. These facts should be kept in mind while contemplating a revisioning of the entry for Henry Bauer. Phaedrus7 (talk) 23:27, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

That is argument from authority in its purest, and most specious, form. Does Kary Mullis' Nobel Prize mean that everything that comes out of his mouth is sensible? He espouses a wide range of ideas that are, to put it mildly, non-mainstream. Including AIDS denialism, apparently. MastCell Talk 04:44, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but MastCell missed my point completely. The Argument from Authority is beside the point, which was not that Bauer is right because he agrees with other authorities who hold the same belief. My point is that the derision and vitriol directed at Bauer for being an AIDS denialist, as though only crackpots of the flat and/or hollow earth variety would hold such a belief, is unjustified when people of the scientific caliber such as Kary Mullis and Lynn Margulis are also AIDS denialists. Phaedrus7 (talk) 23:22, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
You just rephrased your argument from authority. You believe that because prominent persons A and B subscribe to these views, the views are therefore reasonable and not "crackpot". MastCell Talk 04:49, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
@Phaedrus. Consider your argument in other contexts: proponents of using Megavitamin therapy in all patients are not quacks because Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling had the same view. Cold fusion supporters are not delusional because Nobel Prize winner Julian_Schwinger says that he has a working process. Phlogiston exists because the discoverer of oxygen Joseph Priestley believed in it all his life even after Lavoisier disproved it. Etc. Argument from Authority doesn't work. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:40, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Excuse me, but the definition of the argument from authority explicitly engages the correctness of the position, not the credentials of the particular individuals holding a belief. Bauer, Mullis and Margulis may well not be correct in their belief concerning HIV/AIDS, but the point here is that Bauer's challenge to the HIV/AIDS model should not be dismissed, disparaged and disrespected as though he were some off-the-wall crackpot when other distinguished scientists hold the same opinion concerning HIV/AIDS. The fact that the HIV/AIDS establishment opposes the deniers does not necessarily mean the deniers are wrong. The history of medicine is replete with examples of treatments whose efficacy was successfully challenged and replaced, often after a long and acrimonious opposition. As Martin Bernal noted in Black Athena, it is often outsiders to a field that are most qualified to challenge the status quo because insiders have a vested interest and tend to lack perspective and a proper critical bearing. Just as there are criteria for determining what constitutes a "reliable source", so, too, there are criteria, perhaps not as codified, for determining who is qualified or competent to propose a responsible challenge to a scientific status quo. Phaedrus7 (talk) 21:56, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

This is all tangential to the purposes of the talk page. No one here, at least not in the Wikipedia editor capacity, is saying that Bauer is or is not wrong. Nor that Bauer is or is not a crackpot. A leading reliable source on Bauer states that he is a pseudoscientist. This is verifiable, and it's notable. Therefore, it's noted. Similarly, much of the secondary source coverage of Bauer deals with his stated positions re: Loch Ness Monster, affirmative action, homosexuality, etc. This is also verifiable and notable.
Philosophical objections to article content are of no bearing on Wikipedia. If Phaedrus7 had evidence that no secondary sources refer to Bauer's positions on these issues: now that would influence how we arrange the article. But there's no question that these sources exist and satisfy the RS criteria and satisfy the weight criteria. As I've said before, the article would benefit from additional information about Bauer's scientific method critique, and I'll get around to that one of these days if no one else does. It would not benefit from removal of reliably sourced, properly weighted information. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 04:19, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Dead Links[edit]

The two references for the statement "based upon the substantial body of research confirming that HIV exists, is infectious, causes AIDS, and that HIV tests are accurate.[25][26]" are currently dead links.

I'd suggest replacing them with "The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS" http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/HIVAIDS/Understanding/howHIVCausesAIDS/pages/hivcausesaids.aspx

and "HIV is the cause of AIDS" http://www.avert.org/hiv-causes-aids.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by On A Leash (talkcontribs) 05:19, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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