15 July 2004

The Vatican's War on Error

A special faith-based edition

The Vatican initially claimed, 5 years ago, that there was 'overwhelming support in the scientific community' that condoms cause AIDS. No scientist stepped forward to back that claim, obviously. So, the Vatican conducted its own scientific study and got the result they wanted.

And STILL the scientific community at large refuses to recognise the Vatican's science! How dare they!

Let's get this straight once and for all. Condoms do not cause AIDS. They prevent AIDS and other STDs.

Latex condoms have holes in them (YES they do! That's how guys get them on, you know), but contrary to the Vatican's scaremongering, most viruses are too big to pass through holes in condoms... [Aki: I'm told that the average size of a AIDS virus is 150nm, while the holes in latex material are 100nm. Aki to Mr. Pope: Do you take Math? How many people are you trying to kill?] At a molecular level, condoms have holes in them. At a molecular level, EVERYTHING has a hole in it, even a sheet of solid metal.

But y'know, that's why the US is insisting that 1/3 of the money it donates to the WHO has to go to faith-based abstinence programmes, instead of developing AIDS vaccines, or even to help children suffering from AIDS.

Recently, the Vatican released another scientific study which claimed (from a survey of historical records) that the Spanish Inquisition wasn't really as bad as everyone thinks. No kidding. Pre-modern murderous regimes weren't really in the habit of keeping records of how many people they slaughtered (or "processed"), and which regime has been completely frank about its murders (by reporting the full numbers, or even refraining from referring to them in euphemisms)?

The New Scientist had a recent run-in with faith-based science this year, when it first published a scientific report which claimed prayers do work in increasing conceptions in childless couples.

It later published an entire article explaining its retraction of the report, on the grounds that actually the study was poorly conceptualised, poorly conducted (no proper controls or placebos), and questionable (not peer reviewed; 2 of the authors apparently DENIED writing the report; the key writer was a conman who had no medical background).

Faith-based Science: everyone's alternative to Science.
[note: minor correction and addtional info posted 17 July on actual sizes]

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