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Kansas City IMC

Re: Kim Bannon Interview on HIV test court case

Dear Brad: I consider it highly unlikely that anyone would come along and claim to be me. Being an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan is not a grand distinction, since there are hundreds of us, employed in various capacities. I persist in addressing this line of argumentation about a single agent AIDS hypotheses because the matter has grave medical, social, and economic ramifications.
My line of work entails the use of analytical problem solving skills, and such inquiries are imperative in examining the use of scientfic method in exploring AIDS. Brad makes the statement:

My whole point is that if AIDS is caused by something other than HIV it should be easy to prove, but so far the only "evidence" I have seen has come in the form of attacks on other people's research. I encourage the questioning of established theories, as should any good scientist, but simply questioning is not enough if a change is to take place.

Your first postulate is that "If something other than HIV causes AIDS it should be easy to prove...."

You have it exactly backward, Brad. Logic dictates that if several interdependent agents, in combination, cause AIDS, the process of hypothesis testing becomes geometrically harder. AS well, when additional agents that appear to contribute to the etiology of the disease are related to lifystyle, drug use, psychological pathologies and worst of all, affirmatively sanctioned "treatments" bearing the imprimater of powerful medical companies, the ability to conduct effective multivariate analysis of data is compromised. THe political resistance against testing non single agent AIDS hypotheses has been severe and violent.

Brad also laments that scientific views are being attacked and that such an approach is an ill-advised way to develop a workable hypothesis for the cause or causes of AIDS. If science is to work at all, it must exercise a destructive component that tests hypotheses to determine if they yield replicable and useful predictive results about the phenomena being studied.

When certain aspects of human nature intervene in the process, and are not accounted for, things like the "expectation principle" and "affirming the consequent" pervert the scientific process and contort test results to support hypotheses for reasons other than their objective predictive ability. One can begin with an ultra-simple hypothesis, create a test design easily manipulated and interpreted, and in a self-fulfilling prophecy clothed in the pseudo-religious trappings of modern science, reach a conclusion that was suggested in the first instance. IT is a case of nothing ventured, nothing lost. HIV causes AIDS because Heckler and Gallo said so. Anyone who disagrees must be a heretic. Unfortunately, the scientific medical community is very good at putting on "proofs" and formulating study conditions under which theories can be tested and reformulated to develop better hypotheses. However, as a social group of arbiters, they are not so effective at explaining to lay persons and the legal community the particulars of scientific studies examining what is good about good studies and bad about the bad. There are social scientists who believe that logical and scientific inference must be replicated in a forum such as a judicial proceeding, in order for the complex findings to be communicated and understood in a way that is helpful to society. AS Wittgenstein and others noted, philosophy is very much a process of translating representations about sense experience to others for the purpose of finding the common ability to make sense from commonly experienced phenomena. More later...

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