JULY 1999 

Editor's desk

by Paul Philpott

Reappraising cellular biology

Yale pre-med reappraiser Kathy Mitchell provided a description of an interesting new book, The case for new paradigms in cell biology and in neurobiology , by Harold Hillman. "Based on observations in living cells and the laws of solid geometry and thermodynamics, the structure of the living cell has been reexamined. The cytoskeleton, the endoplasmic reticulum, the nuclear pores, and the apparent trilaminar appearance of the cell membranes, have been shown to be artifacts of electron microscopy. The synapses and neuroglial cells have been reexamined, and the case has been made out for entirely new paradigms, with consideration of the reactions to this fundamental reappraisal."

A review from an undated issue of the journal Ultramicroscopy followed: "The difficulty encountered by the author in getting his 'heretical' views published is recapitulated and the refusal of various eminent colleagues to take them seriously or indeed even to discuss them other than dismissibly is recounted... There really does seem to be a case to answer... The onus seems to fall on the traditionalists to prove that their traditions are well founded."

AIDS debated at Florida State

Celia Farber's article mentioned my travel to Florida to debate the capital's main AIDS physician and two state AIDS officials. The debate occurred on April 22 on the campus of Florida State University. Graduating student Jason Nusbaum organized the event and participated as my debate partner.

North Florida's leading gay publication, Community News , the only medium to cover the event, in its May edition called our presentation "thoughtful and organized" and recognized that we backed our assertions with referenced scientific studies.

Editor Ian Granick wrote that our opponents "exhibited a surprising lack of preparation, seemed generally ill equipped to tackle head-on the issues being raised, and relied on anecdotes, personal beliefs, and ominous warnings to promote their case."

Granick concluded that "too many questions went unanswered by the [HIV-AIDS] proponents and too few challenges were posed to the dissenters to adequately illuminate the reality of the science. It remains clear that further discussion on the topics which Nusbaum and Philpott raised is needed."

A later issue of RA will feature more about my Florida trip which also included lectures at the University of Miami medical school and nearby Ft. Lauderdale's Nova University. Contact 510-649-1110 or<FSUAIDSguy@aol.com> for videos of the FSU debate, and Kai Thorup (954-262-8181 <thurupk@ polaris.acast.nova.edu>) of Nova's Students Reappraising AIDS group for videos of my Nova lecture.