The British nursing academic, Dr Roger Watson, recently cited a Canadian study by Banerjee et al as an example of adequate controls being used in “viral isolation”. Watson’s article appeared in Toby Young’s The Daily Sceptic which purports to exist for airing views others refuse to publish.
The cited study actually failed to prove any viral phenomenon because it did not use purified particles as independent variables. Only impure (crude) clinical samples from a patient were added to monkey kidney (Vero E6) cells without any suitable control. Subsequent phenomena were observed which were then claimed to be the actions of a ‘virus’ hence presumptively termed ‘cytopathic effect’. Similarly, the RNA used for sequencing the so-called ‘viral genome’ was extracted – not from any purified particles proven to be of viral origin – but from the contaminated supernatant of the Vero E6 cells used in Banerjee et al. The resulting ‘sequenced genome’ was no such thing. It was an in silico modelled confection created from the same contaminated supernatant. These unscientific claims inform the current ‘consensus’ on how to do ‘viral isolation and sequencing’, despite having been rebutted by The Perth Group of scientists decades ago.
All of these deviations from scientific method were pointed out to Dr Watson in e-mail messages by one of us (CM). Dr Watson was also asked to explain his stance in relation to this evidence which is anomalous viz a viz the scientific method and the paradigm of virology. Watson’s initial response sidestepped the question. On further probing, Watson politely indicated that he had not considered these particular anomalies and thus would need to give further thought to the lack of valid controls used by Banerjee et al. Watson further stated that this whole debate “was cue to an article on why those who believe in viruses will not be convinced by the evidence”. We fully agree.
These particular e-mail messages are one example of a messenger exposing the multiple anomalies of modern virology to those who are conceptually invested in that paradigm. Instead of being able to look at what has been presented with a fully detached eye, the usual recourse is to bolster that failing anomaly-stricken paradigm by trying to dismiss the message, either by side stepping the questions posed, or by attacking the messenger ad hominem.
Dr Watson attempted the former but (on this occasion) resisted doing the latter.
We respectfully argue that this response is still a strategy of deflection to cover up ignorance of the caveats in modern day ‘viral isolation’ which are axiomatic within virology. This sort of defensive manoeuvre was previously identified by both Thomas Kuhn (1962) and Stephen Cole (1983). Kuhn argued that scientists reject anomalous data which potentially break down the existing consensus as a means of trying to maintain certainty. These rejections, which (after Kuhn) were proved by Stephen Cole to occur within modern science, are essentially defensive actions similar to knee-jerk responses.
In this case, highly convincing observational data was presented (by CM) casting grave doubt over the veracity of this accepted ‘consensus’ on viral isolation. Some scientists have even argued that these sorts of observations fatally damage the whole concept of ‘viral disease’. This so-called ‘consensus’ on ‘viral’ isolation is a necessary condition for both maintaining and advancing the current paradigm of virology and its claims of ‘viral isolation’. Following Kuhn and Cole, those like Watson who seem very heavily invested in this paradigm will inevitably provide a knee-jerk response to reject any anomalous observations. We argue that this e-mail exchange is a modest example of premature closure of debate on the observed anomalies about modern virology’s claims of ‘viral isolation’.