Henry Niman: prophet of doom for the Internet

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  • #3783
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Is Recombinomics just a website, the name of a consulting firm of which Niman is self-employed, a limited partnership that collects royalties on the patents, or something else? I couldn't find it as a listed corporate business name in Pennsylvania

    Whether or not Niman is correct about the spread of avian flu, avian flu is a huge concern and at the least, he is a gadfly that helps keep the internet blog community informed. For one who does not work in the field, it is difficult to dissect out what is merely hypothesis and what is fact, in his internet missives. I tend to believe that he is incorrect re migratory birds, but to me the basic concern is that the disease is spreading and we don't know how. In regards to his other information, he posts so much that I can't determine which are facts and which are not. The things that are facts seem relatively easy to validate from other websites that I trust, but the interpretation and meaning of the facts is a different story. It is easy for me to see how less informed folks assume everything he writes is true. And, I give him some credit for linking to this website (Henry Niman wild goose chase in russia)

    Hence, I was curious about what I assumed was a company (Recombinomics), but is not registered in Pennsylvania. The Recombinomics website doesn't really say what recombinomics does. As a physician, I'm not looking forward to the demands of patients this winter to be seen for a disease that virtually none, I hope, will have (avian flu). So, to some degree I kind of need to know where information comes from so that I can respond to worried patients with colds.

    #3784
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Hope you’ve read at least the first post here, re Niman; if you want to trust him after this, well….
    [Yes, he’s prolific with posts and boasts. Empty vessels make the most noise?]

    For facts and interpretations, you’re best using sources such as WHO and CDC websites, also ProMed mailings etc, and papers/communications in real publications.

    Wendy Orent’s recent article in New Republic (needs subscription) maybe worth a read; stems partly from work by Ewald, the subject of another thread here on disease evolution. (Says the 1918 flu was product of First World War conditions; don’t have right conditions for such a dangerous flu today.) Others may argue, but food for thought, and maybe reason to be less fearful.

    #3785
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have read the posts here, and they are very helpful. I actually don’t mind gadfly’s, as they keep the rest of us honest and force us to answer sometimes hard questions. Poking holes, no matter how irritating, is a useful exercise. The Moderators “letter to Niman” as a counterpoint makes a lot of sense to me. What is annoying is that Niman proceeds in a fashion that is going to lead to the same unnecessary health concerns that we initially saw with the outbreak of SARS. Niman’s postulates are gradually getting into the newspaper and mass media market, and that is a problem as they are presented as fact. If Recombinomics isn’t really a company, but rather an unscientific website with no quality control, created to push the theories of 1 person, then I will weigh that evidence appropriately. What I’m trying to figure out is whether the Emperor has absouletly no clothes on, or just a few rags.

    There was no possibility of SARS without the appropriate exposure, but the fear it caused in patients and unnecessary physician visits were incredible. The similar situation holds for those who fear smallpox–without an index case, there is no smallpox on the planet. If everyone with a fear of avian influenza rushes to the doctor this fall, each examination room becomes an incumbator for the spread of the common cold and influenza A and B. That, actually, is the real concern in the US.

    #3786
    Anonymous
    Guest

    "The recombination brouhaha" Revere, from Effect Measure

    comments on Niman, at CurEvents Flu Clinic: [shut down]

    #3787
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Maybe also relevant from article on Intelligent Design "debate":

    Quote:
    But Miller said his key concern is that "non-scientific ideas are finding a voice from political and cultural leaders who are unable to support them on scientific terms." The problem goes beyond the evolution versus intelligent design debate, he said. "Many public policy decisions rely on sound science. The more we allow pseudo-scientific ideas a hearing, the more we place ourselves in peril when it comes to decisions about global warming and a host of other environmental and biomedical matters," Miller said. "There is the increasing danger of 'faith-based politics' that fails to heed scientific evidence in the public square."

    #3788
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dr. Martin,

    Thnak you for quoting me on the “knee deep in bodies by mid october” remark.

    I appreciate your viewpoint and find it valuable in working through the issues associated with avian influenza vector research.

    However, I feel that you have spent a lot of emotion and time attacking Dr. Niman. GET A LIFE. Niman is Niman. I realize that. He simply is who he is. Attacking him is a waste of your time. The truth of this research is the goal – not personal issues and egos – yours or his.

    #3789
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Hi Andy:

    If wild birds could speak for themselves, I’d be happy to leave Niman as Niman, whatever that means. As they can’t, there’s a gross lack of balance here – and no scientist/purported scientist other than Niman is pushing the wild birds as vectors notion. (Robert Webster to tiny extent; I’ve emailed Stu Jude’s querying a silly quote by him, but no reply re this quote [was it wrong, or just silliness direct from him?])

    I’ve spent but a tiny fraction of the energy Niman has expended attacking wild birds – for no apparent reason other than it makes a good story that helps raise his profile.

    If just a few people think twice or more before looking at Niman’s notions, maybe some broader help too (cf anon physician above – might tell less scary info to patients).

    Trust you’re glad you’re not about to be among knee deep piles of bodies within a couple of weeks, tho it’s kind of you to be not aggrieved at being had by one of Niman’s other fanciful tales of doom.

    Martin

    Post edited by: martin, at: 2005/10/01 02:50

    #3790
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Unfortunately Niman is correct.

    #3791
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Not sure what he’s correct about. Wild birds spread notion still looks highly tenuous (Philippines dot on his map proven premature – now said to be bad antibiotics for a non-viral disease; leaves rest of map looking v bare re recent outbreaks. Maybe Danube Delta from migr birds; maybe. But migr birds have been through many more places than this. For Indonese, Thailand, local origin most likely).

    As to rest of the stuff that formed basis of start of this thread. If Niman correct in one of his main items of baloney, we’d now be well into major human to human h5n1 pandemic, that started by beginning of April – and no longer looking at wild birds spread, but instead worrying re human to human spread, and maybe doing our best to save ourselves (with streets around us knee-deep in bodies).
    Instead, still wondering how to save us from Nimanism. :silly:

    #3792
    Anonymous
    Guest

    New Thread about Niman: [forum shut]

    #3793
    Anonymous
    Guest

    :sick:

    So much for Henry Niman being a prophet of doom. Check out Dr. William Osterholm from CIDREP giving a lecture at the Wilson Center. I think his creditials are a bit more impressive yet he seems to be a prophet of doom also!! Check out the video!

    http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.item&news_id=145329

    #3794
    Anonymous
    Guest
    #3795
    imported_Martin
    Participant

    Wonder re Osterholm, too, for all his credentials; here he is quoted in December 2001:

    Quote:
    Saddam Hussein has vast quantities of anthrax and it’s known Iraq also has smallpox virus warehoused, said Osterholm.

    Bioterrorism expert Osterholm warns against national complacency

    #3796
    Anonymous
    Guest

    New thread at CE: [shut down]

    #3797
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Watcher wrote:

    Quote:
    Niman and his gang have basically now taken over the CurEvents board flu cllinic: [since closed[

    Not quite a complete takeover yet. There is a small band of guerillas engaged in hit and run tactics in an attempt to restore some sanity to the board.

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