Six paradigms in the biomedical and climate sciences have become established orthodoxies. Some of them, like HIV/AIDS and the lipid hypothesis of coronary artery disease have achieved the status of dogma. Nevertheless, skeptics have raised valid questions about them. With the real cause, truth, or more probable hypothesis for the disease or phenomenon in question added, along with selected references, they are:
Coronary atherosclerosis is an inflammatory response to arterial injury. Things that can injure the inner lining (endothelium) of coronary arteries include chronic stress, smoking, and a lack of physical exercise.
Injurious nutritional causes include excessive consumption of sugar (and white flour), Omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils (which promote inflammation), and any amount of trans fatty acids. Cholesterol and saturated fats are innocent.
Nutrient deficiencies that predispose to vessel injury include insufficient intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (particularly B6, B12, C and E), amino acids (particularly arginine and L-carnitine), minerals (selenium, magnesium, iodine, copper), and other free radical-quenching antioxidants (alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10) and flavonoids (plant phenols).
Increased iron and homocysteine blood levels and microbial infection (Chlamydia pneumoniae) play a causative role in atherosclerosis. Impaired nitric oxide release, and depletion, also plays a role (nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and blocks the release of inflammatory cytokines).
Uffe Ravnskov. The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the fallacy that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease (2000), 304 pages, 350 references.
Anthony Colpo. The Great Cholesterol Con: Why everything you’ve been told about cholesterol, diet and heart disease is wrong! (2006), 348 pages, 1,400 references.
Genetic mutations cause cancer
The real cause is aneuploidy, an abnormal number and/or structure of chromosomes, in concert with replicative telomere (the caps on the ends of chromosomes) erosion and epigenetic maturation arrest of tissue stem cells (due to methylation of DNA).
Peter Duesberg. Chromosomal Chaos and Cancer. Scientific American, May 2007, pg 53—59.
Reinhard Stindl. Defining the steps that lead to cancer: Replicative telomere erosion, aneuploidy and an epigenetic maturation arrest of tissue stem cells. Medical Hypotheses (2008), doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.01.010 (in press, corrected proof available online February 27, 2008).
Harvey Bialy. Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS: A Scientific Life & Times of Peter H. Duesberg (2004).
See my article, "A Modern-Day Copernicus: Peter H. Duesberg" (2006).
Variations in solar intensity and the sun’s magnetic effect on celestial cosmic rays cause global warming (and cooling), not CO2 emissions, natural or human-generated.
Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change (2007), 256 pages. You can be sure Al Gore won’t read this book.
Fred Singer and Dennis Avery. Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (2007), 276 pages. He won’t read this one either.
Willie Soon and Sally Baliunas. Lessons and limits of climate history: Was the 20th century climate unusual? George C. Marshall Institute, April 17, 2003.
See my articles,
"Toro! Toro! Michael Crichton" (2005).
"Finding Truth in Phoenix" (2003).
HIV causes AIDS
The real cause: Lifestyle (receptive anal intercourse), heavy duty recreational drugs (cocaine, heroin, nitrite inhalants, and amphetamines), anti-viral chemotherapy, and nutrition. In the West, 98 percent of AIDS cases occur in gay men and IV drug users.
Henry Bauer. The Origin, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory (2007). Dr. Bauer is a professor emeritus of chemistry and science studies and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech. This is perhaps the best single reference to date questioning the HIV/AIDS theory.
Duesberg P, Koehnlein C, Rasnick D. The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: Recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition. Journal of Bioscience 2003;28:383—412.
See my articles,
"Finding Truth in Phoenix" (2003)
The linear no-threshold hypothesis
This hypothesis says that the damaging effects of toxins are dose-dependent in a linear fashion down to zero. Even a tiny amount of a toxin, such as radiation or cigarette smoke, will harm some people. The real truth is: Low doses of a toxin can be beneficial, based on the phenomenon of hormesis — "a dose response phenomenon whereby a substance that in a high dose inhibits, or is toxic to, a biological process will, in a much smaller dose, stimulate (or protect) that same process." Radiation in small doses stimulates immune system defenses, prevents oxidative DNA damage, and prevents and suppresses cancer.
Scott BR, Sanders CL, Mitchel RE, Boreham DR. CT scans may reduce rather than increase the risk of cancer. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. 2008;13(1,Spring):9—11.
Ed Hiserodt. Underexposed: What if radiation is actually good for you? (2005).
Calabrese DJ. Historical blunders: How toxicology got the dose-response relationship half right. Cellular and Molecular Biology 2005;51:643—654.
See my article, "Afraid of Radiation? Low Doses are good for you" (2004).
The membrane-pump theory of cell physiology
A competing, revolutionary, and perhaps more accurate hypothesis for the structure of cells is the Association-Induction hypothesis. Gerald Pollack and Gilbert Ling posit in this hypothesis that the three main components of a living cell — proteins, water, and potassium ions — are structured together in a gel-like matrix, where the cell’s water is organized into layers alongside proteins. Cell function does not depend on the integrity of the cell membrane, and membrane "pumps" and "channels" are not what they seem.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a product of this view of cell physiology.
Gerald Pollack. Cells, gels and the engines of life. (2001).
Scientists who question these paradigms are denied grants by peer review study panels. The reviewers enforce these state-sanctioned orthodoxies by rejecting applications for funding research that challenges them. I review this subject in The Government Grant System: Inhibitor of Truth and Innovation?, published in the Journal of Information Ethics 2007;16(1, Spring 2007):59—69 (and posted on LewRockwell.com).