Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HIV doesn't cause AIDS... ??

I was doing biology homework... and researching information on AIDS... when this article came up. It's quite long, but I thought it had an interesting relevance to ToK. You can skim the article to get the general idea.

How does the doubt behind whether or not the HIV/AIDS correlation = causation imply knowledge issues and why do we, as a general population, ignore protests like these even if there is support behind them?

Just curious also, what do you guys think might happen if these scientists/authors are correct and eventually it is found that AIDS has a different cause, or HIV is only a factor in enabling AIDS to be contracted? How will that weaken our trust in modern science and how will it affect our society?

Do they provide enough evidence to be taken seriously?

1 comment:

Clementine said...

Well, for one, we're just assuming that that's the truth, when really, how can we know? People are too different to be able to link them together through something so minute as HIV. We ignore these protests of "Well, what if this weren't the case?" because we don't want to believe it. It's like the confirmation bias thing: we only see what we want to see/what helps us, and nothing else. We don't want to think that maybe, just maybe, everything we thought about one of the most devastating diseases we've ever seen could not be true and that we've been doing the wrong thing this entire time.

If they really are right, and AIDS does have a different cause, then I shudder to think about how that's going to shake the general population. By saying that that isn't the cause, they'd be implying (or at least, to the general public) that they didn't actually have any leads on what really causes AIDS, and that would freak people out. Just imagine all of the cancer patients out there, sitting collectively up in their hospital beds shouting "WHAT?!" I know that my skepticism in modern science/medical technology would go up quite a few notches, but as for everyone else, they'd probably doubt whether going to the doctor for the real problems that we really do know how to treat was such a good idea or not. I mean, think about it. If you were told that HIV was not really the cause of AIDS and that we were just blissfully accepting of that fact all this time, how many people would ask whether their HPV boosters or tetanus shots were worth it, or if we really knew anything about medicine at all? I can tell you one thing, widespread panic would ensue, and I do not want to witness that.