Mycoplasma

An acquaintance forwarded this:

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/mycoplasmalinkingpathogenNexussep01.shtml

First claim:

"The pathogenic Mycoplasma used to be very innocuous, but biological warfare research conducted between 1942 and the present time has resulted in the creation of more deadly and infectious forms of Mycoplasma."

I couldn't find anything previously on "mycoplasma conspiracy" here. Happy to be wrong though :D


First pass:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoplasma_fermentans

"Mycoplasma fermentans is a very small bacterium in the class Mollicutes."

Also says it was "first described by Ruiter and Wentholt in 1952". Nothing about biological warfare.

The part about the illness:

"the belief that M. fermentans is pathogenic in such conditions has largely been disregarded after the failure of several large scale studies to find a link."



Is this enough for a good debunking?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Not really. It's debunking a claim, not a claim of evidence.

We don't try to prove conspiracy theories are wrong. We look for claims of evidence that seem wrong, check them, then expose them if they are wrong.

You can't debunk something if they present no evidence.
 

KAT

Active Member
If you look at that website, you will find enough claims there to keep you going for 2 years. It is a very comprehensive collection of full explanations of a hundred or more alternative diseases and cures. Considering that the placebo effect is very strong medicine, and that many people even in "first world" nations cannot afford anything else, in some cases debunking may do more harm than good. Just my 2c.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Considering that the placebo effect is very strong medicine, and that many people even in "first world" nations cannot afford anything else, in some cases debunking may do more harm than good.
?
So, even though a claimed action of prevention or cure would be untrue, as long as the person believes it it can still help them, but tell them the truth and they'll not get better?
I don't think that's ethical. The placebo effect isn't *that* strong.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
there's no tags so I might be wrong but I think the claim of evidence to
is (from endnotes)
?
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
M. fermentans was looked at a cause of Gulf War Syndrome. A Garth Nicolson found it in the blood of veterans and theorised that either vaccinations were contaminated or Iraq had weaponised it and it was used on Coalition forces or it was a release from a bombed complex. IIRC he was listened to by a few http://articles.latimes.com/1996-12-27/local/me-13018_1_gulf-war-syndrome

His theory was widely discounted and there is plenty of clinical evidence to show it was a load of balls anyway
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11218212/
 

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Is there a specific piece of evidence you'd like to discuss? Many new diseases have surfaced in the past century for many reasons. Why should we believe it is the result of weaponization?

Statements like these just make me scratch my head. Comes from the nucleus of Brucella? That makes no sense at all, bacteria don't even have nuclei. The bacterium also does not cause all of those diseases. AIDS weakens the immune system so bacteria that normally wouldn't be a problem start causing infections. Parkinson's is a genetic disease and the rest have multiple influencing factors. It has, however, been shown to play a role in the progression of certain cancers. Anyway, I would not take this web site seriously.
 
Not really. It's debunking a claim, not a claim of evidence.

We don't try to prove conspiracy theories are wrong. We look for claims of evidence that seem wrong, check them, then expose them if they are wrong.

You can't debunk something if they present no evidence.
Ah, so a good response to the biological warfare claim and in fact the whole first section is to say "please present the evidence". Correct?

I see in section II "This pathogen was patented by the United States military and Dr Shyh-Ching Lo. I have a copy of the documented patent from the US Patent Office." This is a claim of evidence yes?

I looked up that patent:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...5,242,820.PN.&OS=PN/5,242,820&RS=PN/5,242,820

The patent does not say anything about the US military, nor about developing a disease agent. So is this then a better debunking than my first attempt?
 

KAT

Active Member
M. fermentans was looked at a cause of Gulf War Syndrome. A Garth Nicolson found it in the blood of veterans and theorised that either vaccinations were contaminated or Iraq had weaponised it and it was used on Coalition forces or it was a release from a bombed complex. IIRC he was listened to by a few http://articles.latimes.com/1996-12-27/local/me-13018_1_gulf-war-syndrome

His theory was widely discounted and there is plenty of clinical evidence to show it was a load of balls anyway
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11218212/
I always thought it was caused by depleted uranium.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
i think (sorry, AN OPINION and a question)...can there be a situation where a term or word that is specific to a scientific discipline is misinterpreted by the layperson (and, I include myself in that category, on this topic)?

Perhaps this was already posted, but a brief Google search found this:
Mycoplasma

Also:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/223609-overview

(I do NOT know if these two references are related...as I am not trained in epidemiology or medicine).
 

MikeC

Closed Account
The patent does not say anything about the US military,....
Actually yes it does - in the section "Government Interests":


...nor about developing a disease agent. So is this then a better debunking than my first attempt?
but yes, it is :)
 

KAT

Active Member
Ah, so a good response to the biological warfare claim and in fact the whole first section is to say "please present the evidence". Correct?

I see in section II "This pathogen was patented by the United States military and Dr Shyh-Ching Lo. I have a copy of the documented patent from the US Patent Office." This is a claim of evidence yes?

I looked up that patent:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...5,242,820.PN.&OS=PN/5,242,820&RS=PN/5,242,820

The patent does not say anything about the US military, nor about developing a disease agent. So is this then a better debunking than my first attempt?

Ssshh... they'd not say about the Military would they?
It reads like a normal standard description of how to isolate and grown something in petri dishes. After which 3 test monkeys it was injected into wasted away and died. I'd say probably they got sick from the junk it was being washed and stained with. It mentions "invention" in every second paragraph, but I never got to where it says what the invention actually is, unless it's the idea that testing for this might help diagnose certain diseases.

This was good debunking work, to find the very patent they were claiming proved it.

But it you are going to debunk everything on that website, you'd better decide to make it your life's work, because it will take that long.

Meanwhile you could reassure the friend/acquaintance who brought you this, that there are international and United Nations agreements among all countires,to not use biological weapons anymore. And nothing's been done about this since 1991, so that proves they're keeping to that. All those nasty diseases existed long before this plasma thing was discovered, so the can't be from this. It is more likely Red 6 food colour or the aspartame in the diet cola causing the problems, especially the ADD. (That's a reference to two common beliefs about this, in case you're not up on these).
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
can there be a situation where a term or word that is specific to a scientific discipline is misinterpreted by the layperson
You mean like when people hear the word aerosols and automatically think man-sprayed? But in atmospheric terminology, it just means any particulate suspended in the air. (sorry if that's not even a totally correct definition)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The patent does not say anything about the US military, nor about developing a disease agent. So is this then a better debunking than my first attempt?
wow. this is some topic to try as your first debunk. I think unless you know a lot about medical science, this is a tough one.

For instance you posted the patent (which does have connections to the US military as THE American Registry of Pathology has ties to the US GOV here's one example from 1990, right now they have like a 43 mill. contract) and say it doesn't say anything about developing a disease agent, but as a novice I don't know what a "disease agent" is specifically nor do you quote text in the patent that shows it isn't about developing a disease agent. <if that makes sense. ie. I don't understand the patent so I don't know if you're correct.

Kudos on your attempt though, this article does look like a lot of misinformation. just putting that patent (1991) before the line talking about experimenting in 1942 is a wonky way to present facts.

I tried looking up the blood volume thing and it doesn't sound like he got that info right either (obesity changes the results) but I don't understand the topic well enough to prove it. Maybe youll have better luck.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The key to good debunking is focus. Tend towards debunking the smallest claim of evidence you can find , in the most detail you can manage, in one thread.

In the long term, small high quality debunks are an invaluable resource - they can be found a reused, but weak general debunks are just noise - any useful info just gets lost.
 

KAT

Active Member
i think (sorry, AN OPINION and a question)...can there be a situation where a term or word that is specific to a scientific discipline is misinterpreted by the layperson (and, I include myself in that category, on this topic)?

Perhaps this was already posted, but a brief Google search found this:
Mycoplasma

Also:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/223609-overview

(I do NOT know if these two references are related...as I am not trained in epidemiology or medicine).
You found some of the known types. As the article you links says, one of the common ones is responsible for some mild pneumonia, apparently in cycles (as it is a bit contagious). The species under discussion supposedly causes ADD, Aids, Parkinson's, various cancers etc. and was developed as a biological weapon. My quick reading of the patent says it looks more likely a diagnostic tool for these diseases, but for some reason was injected into some test animals and they died.

I do think being totally unable to understand most of the patent is big factor here -- the logical process is "it's about diseases, the Army funded the research, it is horribly complex (at least 30 diagrams and many looong words not all in English) and the government is always up to no good, therefore it must be a biological weapon". Makes sense on many levels. This logic underpins many CTs, and they often need reassurance more than scientific debunking.
 
OK....but, many claims are (as you well know) a "Gish-Gallop"....these are more difficult to properly address.
A Gish Gallop is composed of individual claims. Pick one. Make a thread. Repeat.

Later you can create a thread for the whole gallop, like a table of contents, linking to the other threads.
Thanks both for the definition and the method of response.

*starts to better understand what this site is about*
 
Not really. It's debunking a claim, not a claim of evidence.

We don't try to prove conspiracy theories are wrong. We look for claims of evidence that seem wrong, check them, then expose them if they are wrong.

You can't debunk something if they present no evidence.

I get that Mick, I'm still getting my feet wet!
 
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