Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A few short notes

Few of my readers are probably unaware of this, but PZ Myers has been sued over some unfavorable book reviews of Stuart Pivar's LifeCode: The Theory of Biological Self Organization. Blake Stacey has more, with plenty of links. The Panda's Thumb also has a good post on it. PZ is keeping quiet about the case for now.

My take on this is that Pivar has absolutely no case, since he cant demonstrate neither financial loss, nor even that it's libel. As people probably know, truth is the best defense against libel lawsuits. One of Pivar's points is related to a prominent scientist (Neil deGrasse Tyson) withdrawing his endorsement of the book, but it's clear from the scientist's own statements that he has never endorsed the book, even though Pivar claims this.
For other good arguments against the lawsuit, see the comments at The Panda's Thumb

Tara Smith, of Aetiology has written an article about HIV Denial in the Internet Era together with Steven Novella. It has been published by PLoS Medicine.

I some times participate in the HIV-AIDS debates over at Aetiology, but I have burned out on hearing the same denialist arguments again and again, so it's very little I venture into those threads these days.

Last of all, an article that some might find interesting - I know that some will agree with it's basic message.

Science and mysticism: a tainted embrace

Scientists who indulge mystical and religious fantasies in the interest of popularisation are betraying their professional calling, says Yves Gingras

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