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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2001 Jun 29;356(1410):939-43.

The burden of proof and the origin of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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  • 1Science, Technology and Society, University of Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia. brian_martin@uow.edu.au

Abstract

There is a distinct difference in the way that different theories about the origin of acquired immune deficiency syndrome have been treated, with the widely supported cut-hunter theory given relatively little scrutiny, while the oral polio vaccine theory has been subject to intense criticism. This difference in treatment cannot be explained as application of the scientific method. A better explanation is that the burden of proof is put on all contenders to the cut-hunter theory, giving it an unfair advantage, especially given that this assignment of the burden of proof appears to reflect non-scientific factors.

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