Nautilus

Why Garbage Science Gets Published

In December 2014, the publisher Scientific Research issued a retraction notice for a paper that had appeared in its journal Health with the anodyne title “Basic Principles Underlying Human Physiology.” According to the notice, the action resulted from “the fact that the contents of this paper need further research and study.”1

Except that they don’t. A quick look at the now-retracted article reveals that it is an effort to promote the false and wholly discredited notion that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) does not cause AIDS: “HIV is not etiologically involved in AIDS. It is just a common retrovirus found in AIDS conjuncturally. There is only AIDS that may not be strictly associated neither to a primary immune deficiency nor to an acquired immune deficiency. Actually, heart failure represents the causal factor of AIDS and many other ‘primary’ immune deficiencies ...”2

Opinion pieces that “represent the viewpoint of an individual” and offer hypotheses without testing them are the opposite of science.

The retraction notice ends with a laughable, and head-scratching, assurance: “ strives to promote

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