What is “health” ?

I know many of the HIV threads here get very tedious and repetitive, but occasionally interesting things come out of them. Believe it or not, I’ve learned a lot about HIV denial over the past year and a half or so. I’ve long been familiar with Duesberg’s objections, but it wasn’t until more recently that I realized there still were active denial groups around, and even wholesale germ theory deniers. So to me, the threads aren’t all wasted.

Anyway, in one of the ongoing threads, there was discussion of one commenter’s “natural” remedies, and her claim that “Germs cannot get a strong-hold in a healthy environment.”

I noted that wasn’t true, and that healthy people came down with illness every day, giving the example of the role a robust immune system played in the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Pope then asked if it had ever occurred to me “that people might be more than what you call the ‘immune system’?”

Of course, regular readers know that certainly, I realize this. I’ve talked about disease resulting from the intersection of not only host and microbial factors, but as a result of the interaction of these with the environment (both within the host and externally) as well. However, while I’ve spent a lot of time discussing disease, I don’t remember a post specifically defining “health.” More on that after the jump.
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Tuesday reads

A few other topics readers here may appreciate:

First and foremost, this week’s Grand Rounds can be found over at Over my med body!. Next week, however, it will be hosted right here at Aetiology for the second time, so send your posts along to me (aetiology AT gmail DOT com), preferably by Sunday evening.

Pediatric Grand Rounds also had a new edition over the weekend, which can be found over at Shinga’s Breath Spa for Kids.

National Geographic’s July cover story is on malaria–a really good read. (via Panda’s Thumb).

Matt Nisbet was late to the scientists and journalists conversation. He offers quite a few references that he’s used on the topic previously.

Orac has much more information on the Uncommon Descent silliness I mentioned yesterday.

ASM’s MicrobeWorld features science bloggers

I mentioned back in May that myself and a group of science bloggers went and got ourselves interviewed by Chris Condayan of The American Society for Microbiology’s MicrobeWorld. Well, the video (“Microblogology”) is up, featuring fellow U of Iowan John Logsdon, Jonathan Badger, Yersinia, Elio Schaechter, and Larry Moran.

From the blurb: “Six science bloggers talk about why they blog, the role of blogging in science, feedback they’ve received and the greatest microbiological discovery in the past decade.” I’m including the video after the jump; just be warned that I talk *really* fast and tend to be a bit animated when I’m not consciously slowing myself down. (As I mentioned before, this is why I tend to stick to print media!).

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Why deny only one part of science? IDists branch out into AIDS denial

Over at Uncommon Descent, the blog of William Dembski and friends, a contributor has a post up discussing Peter Duesberg’s aneuploidy hypothesis for cancer (which Orac discussed here for more background). The post itself is a bit confusing–it’s titled “When Darwinism Hurts,” and according to the author’s clarification, it’s about “Darwinism” leading us down the wrong path as far as cancer research goes. (Though whether cancer would be due to mutations in specific genes or in chromosomes, it’s still an evolutionary process, but I digress…) To me, anyway, the more interesting portion was in the comments section, where both DaveScot and Sal Cordova imply also that HIV might not cause AIDS; more after the jump.
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Answers in Genesis doth protest too much

AiG volunteers confront gay man, love sodomites:

We asked the lone gentleman behind the booth about the origins of the rainbow colors as a symbol for the homosexual movement. He gave us some history, apparently in San Francisco is where it originated. It was meant to reflect the diversity of lifestyles. This was an easy springboard to a discussion of the origins of the actual rainbow. We talked about Noah’s flood and God’s promise to Noah (and by implication all people down through the times, including sodomites, whom we love) that He would never destroy the world again through a global flood.

Read all about their adventures at the National Education Association meeting on their “Evolution Exposed” blog.