2011-04-20 22:25:36Kary Mullis


I was very disappointed to come across this video from TED-2002 (posted 2009):



Mullis is a Chemistry Nobelist (for the invention of the PCR method for generating lots of copies of DNA froma just a bit).

The talk is generally about the scientific method, but at the very end he:

- Criticizes the members of the IPCC as not being "real scientists, motivated by finding things out", but as people interested in taking advantage of government funding to become rich and powerful;

- Claims that all the global warming is due to night-time warming that OBVIOUSLY has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect;

- Cites Arrhenius (but nobody else since then).

It's clear that his understanding of the situation is very limited (for him to miss the fact that the night-time emphasis is in fact a key expectation of GHE theory is very telling).

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. The Wiki article on him says:

 "In his 1998 autobiography, Mullis expressed disagreement with the scientific evidence supporting climate change and ozone depletion, that HIV causes AIDS, and asserted his belief in astrology. Mullis claims climate change and the HIV/AIDS connection are due to a conspiracy of environmentalists, government agencies and scientists attempting to preserve their careers and earn money, rather than scientific evidence.[4] Mullis has drawn controversy for his association with prominent AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg,[5] claiming that AIDS is an arbitrary diagnosis only used when HIV antibodies are found in a patient's blood.[6] The medical and scientific consensus is that Duesberg's hypothesis is pseudoscience, HIV having been conclusively proven to be the cause of AIDS[20][21] and that global warming is occurring because of human activities.[22][23][24] Seth Kalichman, AIDS researcher and author of Denying AIDS, "[admits] that it seems odd to include a Nobel Laureate among the who's who of AIDS pseudoscientists".[7] Mullis also wrote the foreword to the book What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? by Christine Maggiore,[8] an HIV-positive AIDS denialist who, along with her daughter died of AIDS-related illnesses.[25] A New York Times article listed Mullis as one of several scientists who, after success in their area of research, go on to make unfounded, sometimes bizarre statements in other areas.[3] An article in the Skeptical Inquirer described Mullis as an "...AIDS denialist with scientific credentials [who] has never done any scientific research on HIV or AIDS".[9]"

This is all old material; just for fair warning.

I guess it just shows that even someone who does not display good scientific judgment and who is NOT really a good scientist (IMHO) can invent something clever.

2011-04-21 09:40:59


Another grim thought: well-placed scientific "rebels" like Duesberg and Mullis can definitely have real-world impact. The 2nd President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, was so enamoured of their alternative explanations for AIDS that he did nothing but promote dietary change to prevent AIDS in S.A.: no drugs, no condoms, nothing.

I think millions of people have AIDS because of Mbeki's inaction.

Which in turn was due to Duesberg and Mullis' denialism and delusion.