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Monday, 15 August 2011

Bad Science – Cancer I

Ever since World War II governments have become increasingly involved in scientific research. Indeed, governments now have almost a monopoly on scientific funding. Why? During the greatest periods of scientific discovery, from the seventeenth century onwards, government was almost nowhere. Newton, perhaps the greatest modern scientist, never received a government grant – at least not to conduct his research.

Occasionally governments offered prizes, as in the case of that won by Harrison for his invention of the marine chronometer.

Now, almost no scientific research is carried out without the support of government grants.

Hurrah for governments, you might say. Why am I such a kill-joy?

A thought experiment is in order.

A problem or an objective is identified, perhaps by the media.

The government wants to be associated with the solution or the achievement. Government is never disinterested – they always want to curry favour with the electorate or to distract attention from their failures.

They invite "experts" to advise them. These experts are immediately compromised. They know that if their approach is adopted, they will be in clover. They have every incentive to exclude those whose opinions are different.

I defy you to deny what I have said so far.

In the negotiations which follow, the government will indicate subtly but clearly what sort of solutions are acceptable, namely those which accord with their constituents' prejudices. Objective Truth – what are you talking about? The bureaucrat we remember in the Creed famously asked, "What is Truth?"

Imagine that you are the expert in this situation. Do you go for the millions on the table or do you say, "I'm a scientist! I must go where the evidence leads me." I know nothing about you but I do know (from painful personal experience) about Original Sin.

QED: What chance has Truth when faced with constituents' prejudices or millions on the table?

When "Science" is revered as the only way we have of understanding the world and when "scientists" can be bought so readily, we are in deep doo-doo!

I yield to no-one in my reverence for the great scientists of the past: Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton. They were not in thrall to the state. Lysenko was perhaps (?) the greatest "scientific" whore of all time. He flourished when scientific truth was subservient to Soviet orthodoxy. Google him!

I've got "Cancer" in the title to this post. Am I claiming that I know more about the disease that will afflict more than 30% of us than all the cancer institutes in the world? I'm not that crazy. But I am claiming that the currently accepted theory of cancer being caused by "gene mutation" has elbowed out of the picture a theory which starts from the observation that nearly all (if not all) malignant tumours are "aneuploid", that is, their cells don't have the "euploid" 46 chromosomes but between 60 and 90 chromosomes.

David Raznik and Peter Duesberg suggest that this might be significant. If they are right, then research should be directed to investigating the possibility.

I will finish this post by telling you about Helicobacter Pylori. This is the cause of stomach ulcers – everybody now agrees. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren of Perth, Australia, first came up with this theory – they were vilified. The reigning theory was that excessive stomach acid was the cause. Pharmaceutical companies made billions from drugs that suppressed acid production. These guys proved their theory by ingesting HP, developing ulcers and then curing themselves with antibiotics. I think they got a Nobel Prize.

Perhaps Perth should be declared the Scientific Capital of the World. Google The Perth Group – very subversive, these guys are worth a Google.

I will post again on the aneuploidy theory of cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure I agree about all scientific research being government funded. In my view the three greatest scientists of the 20th Century were Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain who worked as a team to make it possible for us to read this blog, use a mobile phone and SatNav, watch the telly and generally enjoy the technological life we have today (Wiki it folks!). I assure you that they were not Government funded.