Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Caspar's Confusion

Over on the New Humanist blog the editor of that magazine, Caspar Melville, has been desperately trying to row back from an endorsement he gave, on a Guardian Science podcast, to a film "House of Numbers" which claims that AIDs is nothing to do with HIV. In Was I Conned by AIDs-Denialists? and A Week of Humble Pie he tries at length to understand where he went wrong. The same posts have very extensive comments, many of them from one or two AIDs-denialist.

Personally I find it difficult to understand how anyone in the sceptical world of rationalism could possibly fall into this cess-pit of conspiracy theory, which is so thoroughly signposted. Perhaps I should add that the New Humanist is not published by the BHA but by the Rationalist Association (the new name since 2002 for the Rationalist Press Association). From his biographical note it seems that Caspar obtained a PhD in "Media" from Goldsmith College, but evidently this course didn't teach common sense. probably it emphasised cultural relativity and postmodernism.

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit mean, but this sort of woolly thought gets to me.

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