December 29, 2004

Challenge scientific orthodoxy

And be labeled a heretic

Sounds like fun to me. Anyway, Dean has a good post discussing some of the questions that aren't being asked by many about the HIV-AIDS connection. Of course, no one actually wants to have this discussion, do they? Be sure to read the comment thread. Quite interesting.

Update: Dean continues leading people to certain death. At least, that's what you would think after reading some of the commenters to his posts on this subject.

As a scientist myself, I have to admit that the ad hominem attacks against HIV dissenters have been quite troubling these last 10-15 years. I can remember only one other scientific theory that was as discredited before it was tested: cold fusion. For what it's worth, research on that topic continues today. Excerpt:

Other researchers are finally beginning to explain why the Pons-Fleischmann effect has been difficult to reproduce. Mike McKubre from SRI International, in Menlo Park, Calif., a respected researcher who is influential among those pursuing cold fusion, says that the effect can be reliably seen only once the palladium electrodes are packed with deuterium at ratios of 100 percent—one deuterium atom for every palladium atom. His work shows that if the ratio drops by as little as 10 points, to 90 percent, only 2 experimental runs in 12 produce excess heat, while all runs at a ratio of 100 percent produce excess heat.

And scientists are beginning to get a better handle on exactly how the effect occurs. Stanislaw Szpak and colleagues from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command have taken infrared video images of palladium electrodes as they produce excess energy. It turns out that the heat is not produced continuously over the entire electrode but only in hot spots that erupt and then die on the electrode surface. This team also has evidence of curious mini-explosions on the surface.

Sure, these guys are just huckters and snake oil salesmen. Right?

Posted by: Physics Geek at 05:10 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Those hot spots, like the ultrasonic bubble thing a while back, could be just a redistribution, and not a creation, of energy. But if the bottom line area under the curve is up then continued research is indeed in order. Remember, they laughed at Edison. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. They laughed at Gyro Gearloose.

Posted by: triticale at January 01, 2005 02:35 AM (XXhEw)

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