May 31, 2011                              

me+ME: More on XMRV - Science paper to be retracted?

"Nothing is more difficult and requires more care than philosophical deduction, nor is there any thing more adverse to its accuracy than fixity of opinion. The man who is certain he is right is almost sure to be wrong; and he has the additional misfortune of inevitably remaining so. All our theories are fixed upon uncertain data, and all of them want alteration and support. Ever since the world began opinion has changed with the progress of things, and it is something more than absurd to suppose that we have a certain claim to perfection; or that we are in the possession of the acme of intellectuality which has, or can result from human thought. Why our successors should not displace us in our opinions, as well as in persons, it is difficult to say; it ever has been so, and from an analogy would be supposed to continue so. And yet with all the practical evidence of the fallibility of our opinions, all and none more than philosophers, are ready to assert the real truth of their opinions."

   (Michael Faraday, quoted in L. Pearce Williams)
     "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence."
    (David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human

There is an article today in the Wall Street Journal by Ms Amy Dockser Marcus with the title:
It starts as follows:

Editors of the journal Science have asked the co-authors of a 2009 paper that linked chronic fatigue syndrome to a retrovirus called XMRV to voluntarily retract the paper.

But in written response Friday, study co-author Judy A. Mikovits of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease said "it is premature to retract our paper." The letter was reviewed by the The Wall Street Journal.

and it ends thus

The 2009 study in question, led by investigators at Whittemore Peterson in Reno, Nev., and including researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic, generated enormous attention among scientists and patients. The researchers reported they found the retrovirus XMRV in a majority of 101 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating condition that involves cognitive dysfunction and severe pain. The authors also found the virus in nearly 4% of 218 healthy people used as controls in the study.

Dr. Mikovits said it was still too early to know the reasons for the differing results in different labs, and that the Institute was looking forward to participating in a major study under way by the NIH and led by Columbia University scientist Ian Lipkin to help clarify the matter.

and inbetween seems fair and objective, as I think Dr. Mikovits' comment also is: One does need rational evidence to change one's opinions in a rational way, and only Dr. Lipkin's study, to my knowledge, has the right sort of design to find out what is the probable truth.

Speaking for myself, and  having read  both Faraday and Hume quoted at the top - the link " An Enquiry Concerning Human  Understanding" is to the full text of what Hume considered his best work, on my site, with my extensive comments - I am and have been open to rational evidence, and gave a fairly extensive reasoned argument on my own view of XMRV in general and ME/CFS in particular here:
In any case, I see no good reason to retract the study now, and find it a bit odd that the Science Editors presently asked dr. Mikovits to do so, while Dr. Lipkin's study is still in progress.

Then again, also as a psychological explanation, one may tend to assume that the Science editors have egg on their face in this context, that they also published a paper on:
This turned out to be quite false, so I can understand why the editors of Science are concerned about their own reputation.

And there also are articles on the subject - of ME/CFS and XMRV on Phoenix Rising and on the ME Association's site:

Incidentally, when I write "ME Association" I do mean the real and English one, not the unreal and scamming "International" one, all ablaze for "bio-medical research into HGRV", and that in fact is a personal vehicle for the rise of Patricia Carter, who is as fond of me as I am of her.

Then I do know science, and can think, and also tend to be honest and ethical, but yes... there are all manner of different folks in the world, clamoring for respect, and none the more than the very worst and the least deserving.

Ah well... we shall see. And as I said, there is no good scientific reason I can see for dr. Mikovits to retract, but I can see some egg on the editors of Science 's face and understand why they are concerned about their reputation.

But let me add something, some references included, for the editors of Science, the world's most prestigious scientific journal, because I think this is a very important subject, also for editors of Science without ME/CFS, and their families, friends, loved ones (as the phrase goes), and indeed for anyone who will get ill in the US after the DSM-5 gets in force there:

There is excellent evidence that what the American Psychiatric Association puts forward in its DSM-5 plans, is in fact an extremely dangerous pseudo-science:
There is excellent rational evidence that there is an excellent case to be made - in logic, philosophy of science, ethics, law, and scientific psychology: See On natural philosophy, philosophy of science, and psychiatry - for the existence of the so called Psychiatric Sadism Disorder, which is both a serious and a  dangerous mental illness that especially psychiatrists and psycho-therapists are occupationally prone to (since "All power corrupts" and besides anybody should be able to understand that precisely psychiatry is a career that sadists may naturally desire and flock to.)

So if the editors of Science want to do something really important for every US citizen they should try to stop the pseudoscientific frauds of the American Psychiatric Organization, who are trying to take over medicine and medical diagnosing with what only can be fairly described as massive pseudoscientific fraud in the DSM-5 to be.

Act on your civic, personal and scientific responsibility, editors of Science! There is a major scam taking place in and around medical science and psychiatry, as also the editors of the DSM-IV and the DSM-III both testified:
And it seems to be your duty to try to stop it, if only because any editor of Science who is worth his or her salt must know the DSM-5 is pseudo-science, and is very dangerous, because it is widely believed and acted on: In courts, by bureaucrats, in medical insurance, in deciding who has right on medical support...

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
    (Edmund Burke - attr)

(*) By "philosophical deduction" Faraday - who wrote in the early 19th century, beautifully clearly on his experiments with electricity, in which he discovered many things - meant: scientific reasoning. (Like Newton had
called "empirical science" "natural philosophy".)

(**) A species that Salman Rushdie calls "the respect rats".

Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.
-- Jun 1, 2011: Put in the link I forgot:

Later on in the day of May 31, 2011: Here is the spirited reply of dr. Mikovits to the Science call, in a pdf from the Whittemore Peterson Institute:
I think she is right: XMRV is too important a danger to leave unresearched, regardless of its relation to ME/CFS. It's not rational to say "O, it must be lab-contamination in the case of those who found it, while those who did not find it did impeccable science, one and all" - and indeed Dr. Lipkin designed a study to find what has really happened, rather than make do with aspersions, insinuations, and guesses that can be met by counter-guesses.

                              As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komarof Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.   Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)
        home - index - top - mail