“Cell phones do not cause cancer” and other Science-Money fairy tales. (as in “Smoking does not cause cancer”)

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According to studies, cell phones do not cause cancer. (1)

So reassuring.

In the same way the old days science was not sure whether smoking caused cancer, or was even convinced that in some cases it was even beneficial! (2)

On one side, there is the ridiculously slow pace at which science crawled towards the obvious (yes, if you put smoke in you something bad will happen). Even though smoking was around for years, official science starting to realize the connection between smoking and cancer only in the 1950’s. (3) (6) Surely science tries to reach a certain degree of certainty to say something, but this should never conflict with common sense.

“Putting tar inside your organism causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

“Putting radiation inside your brain causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

Scientists should be clear when making statements and they should clarify what the lack of evidence for correlation does not necessarily mean that there is no correlation. Not clarifying this is certainly not a result of stupidity. After all, scientists should know better right?

And now we come to the other interesting point: How science and scientists can be manipulated by money. It had happened before with smoking. (4) Scientists of respectable positions we also part of a specific “council” for research on the subject of smoking with clean instructions not to actually find any connections with cancer. (5) (7)

You may say that these scientists did not represent science.

But what is science except the scientists who practice it?

Would you say that Pope does not represent Catholicism?

Many claim that science is all about methodologically and systematically analyzing something. Any errors related to its practice do not relate to science per se. It is a beautiful childish opinion. And as all childish opinions, it is very appealing. But it is wrong.

Not because a bad scientist represents science.

This is indeed false.

But exactly because science is all about the systematic analysis of things. This makes it void of any ethical obligation to follow any common sense outside its own methodological constraints, thus leaving room for research which claims that “we do not know” even in the face of the obvious. And there is where money comes in.

You see, no scientist will even admit that he is doing wrong or insufficient research. But what he will never admit is that given the proper statistics, almost anything can be supported. Give some funds on top of those inherent limitations of science and statistics and you will get this research paper stating “No evidence for cell phones related to cancer”.

At the end, a slight connection will be found.

Then some more serious evidence will ‘arise’.

And at the end, scientists will be certain that cell phones are dangerous.

Not sure it will be like that?

Well, you may be right.

Like the scientists who claimed that things heavier than air will never fly. (8) Now we laugh at those scientists. But their analysis and conclusions were not to be laughed at.

At the end, you are allowed to believe what you wish.

Put a cell phone next to your head and speak for hours.

Are you willing to testify for what you believe?

Do you believe that science puts anything in the line for you? And yet, you believe in science and not in those who did actually put everything in line for you. (who are they? find out yourself)

Science today is cut from ethics and the obvious ever since it claimed was against religion. Because religion is the art of the obvious and the ethical. You can read Harmonia Philosophica for more on that, but in any case it is easy to see that in the case of smoking science feel in the trap of its own convictions. Seeking certainty is not always the way to go when lives are at stake. And taking money while doing it does not make it look prettier. It happened with smoking. It had happen before (yes, science has been about money and corruption for many years now). And the same story seems to be repeated now with cell phones. Radiation had been constantly seen as a source of problems when it comes to mutations, but now for a magical reason there seem to be “no evidence” for problems.

Yes, science continually questions itself. And that is a good thing. For science.

But life and common sense cannot question themselves.

Yes science needs and seeks certainty.

But life does not offer certainty. (let alone the fact that science has anyway proved that it will never find it)

Yes science is not the experiments done by Mengele.

But he did make those experiments in the context of science. (and papers were published and research – from which you may even benefit today – was conducted based on them)

And humanity cannot accept that.

Yes scientists are just humans.

So why not admit that instead of playing God?

Yes science is cold and systemic.

But life should not be anything like that.

Yes, you can “prove” with proper assumptions and statistics that infinite parallel universe exist.

But smoking killed people down here, in this universe.

Hang up the phone.

Wait for science to decide.

Take a walk.

Do you need science to tell you that?

PS. And yes, there is research which shows that cell phones are linked to cancer. See here for one recent example.

Science: This beautiful whore! [From the Reproducibility crisis to Epstein connections]

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In Greece (and many other countries) there is a saying: After going to the doctor, always go to a second one to get a second opinion! This public wisdom has been so much embedded in our everyday life that we do not even consider it as something special. And yet, this simple but highly intuitive advice hides something much more sinister than we would like to admit…

But let’s take things from the beginning.

In the times of ancient Greeks, science and religion were not even separated. Both fields of thinking existed harmoniously together and helped wise people to their common goal: reach the truth. This common path continued up to the era of Galileo (whose case was largely overstated and wrongly attributed by all – read the relevant articles in Harmonia Philosophica), when for reasons altogether irrelevant to the essence of science or religion philosophy science was separated from religion.

And then the downfall started…

Science started being an independent realm of human endeavor and this resulted in the infamous “war” with religion. A war based on false premises and fed by the hate of the new intellectual order against the old one (read the “Enlightenment was not light” article in Harmonia Philosophica). It was about that time that another factor came in to fuel the fire even more: MONEY.

The result of the corrupting effect of money in science can easily be seen today by anyone even remotely connected to science. If you are not, let me draw you a picture: You are a scientist. You are funded to conduct research but only as long as you produce results. And results mean publications. So you need to publish, but this is not enough on its own. You need to publish more and more quickly before the other publish first! In that way you will get more money from funds and then you will publish more and then… Well, you get the meaning.

All this has resulted in a gruesome comedy of tragic proportions: We are everyday bombarded with new “scientific news” (the most important of which are debunked or analyzed philosophically here in Harmonia Philosophica every four days) which often contradict each other or which are so immature which should never see the light of publication. Newton used to keep volumes unpublished for decades before he was sure that the quality was good enough and today we see minions of science to publish new papers every a month or so.

This ridiculous situation would be funny if it wasn’t serious as well. In this parade of publications we also see medical publications about what we should eat (coffee, wine, etc), what we should not eat (coffee, wine, etc), what we should do in order not to die, what we should not do, what medicine will save us from death (even though not even clinical trials have started and they usually never do – you see, only the initial publication is usually enough to ‘prove’ that you do research) et cetera. Doctors are also of course taking part in the party (why wouldn’t they anyway? they are Scientists!). So medical companies pay their bills and give them bonus trips, they suggest to you the medicine they are paid to suggest, they may even promote some surgeries to write a paper! (remember, always get a second opinion)

Meet the Reproducibility Crisis!

At some point the problem mentioned above started to become so huge that even scientists took notice (remember, true science has a serious lag to notice obvious things). This is what is now known as the Reproducibility Crisis in science. And when we say science we mean Science! As a whole. As it turns out, the eagerness to publish resulted in scientists faking results. According to a 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported that 70% of them had failed to reproduce at least one other scientist’s experiment (50% had failed to reproduce one of their own experiments). In 2009, 2% of scientists admitted to falsifying studies at least once and 14% admitted to personally knowing someone who did. Misconducts were reported more frequently by medical researchers than others. (source)

That article you read about not having to drink coffee because you will get cancer? Forget it! Or perhaps not! Actually that is the problem now: We cannot know what is false and what is right! As long as there was money to fund the research, then the research would yield a result! How can you trust anything today when it is known that about 70% of scientists cannot replicate the experiments of others?

And yet the money is still flowing in…

The problem is so big that you can easily find articles pinpointing the problem – focusing also mainly in the medicine related research. (source) (source) (source) Karl Popper, the 20th century’s pre-eminent philospher of science, said that science without a testable hypothesis really isn’t science at all, but rather a “pseudoscience.” Much of today’s so-called science, which relies on scary projections without tests to back them up, fits this description. (source)

And yet the money is still flowing in…

Meet Epstein!

The billionaire who served time for a sexual offense involving a minor and then, afterwards, jailed for being accused of running a worldwide ring of pedophiles. Yes, so? What about him? Well, it turns out that Epstein was in love with… science! As it turns out he was a patron of many well known scientists! Scientists who took Epstein’s money or associated with the financier even after he was jailed for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. Some of them issued apologies, some failed to comment. (source) Would this sound as a surprise? Not to those who have been looking at the path science has taken for the last centuries or so…

One of the science institutes which took money from Epstein includes the famous MIT Media Lab. There has been a huge uproar for this, which resulted in the Media Lab issuing statements and promising to give the equal amount of money it had received to the victims of Epstein. Are they really sorry? Hard to distinguish the truth behind the statements made under public outrage. One of the founders of MIT Media Lab – Nicholas Negroponte – provided an answer though: In an event he said quite simply and honestly that he suggested that the Lab took the money from Epstein and that he would do it again! “Take the money!” he added emphatically. “Take it!” he repeated. (source)

Many people might object here. It is some scientists who are not moral. It is some scientists who are not good and ethical. Not science. But they would be wrong! It is exactly science which is inherently immoral today!

Science is supposed to be morally neutral [1] [2]. Today we believe that knowledge is intrinsically good [1]. But it is exactly this ethical neutrality which leads to unethical paths! It is exactly this certainty of goodness which leads to everything bad modern civilization has experienced. This is what Rousseau tried to point out in the first place – knowing what is good has nothing to do with being good.

“Take it!” said Negroponte.

And so he did. And so other will keep on doing…

And that beauty which was once science, will turn into an beautiful old whore… Looking at us with a promising look and a tear in her eyes. And as the Polar Star of Lovecraft, she has forgotten what message she has to give us. Except that she has a message to convey…

Bibliography 

  1. Paul RootWolpe, Reasons Scientists Avoid Thinking about Ethics, Cell journal, Volume 125, Issue 6, 13 June 2006, Pages 1023-1025, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2006.06.001
  2. Ma-Kellams C, Blascovich J, “Does ‘Science’ Make You Moral? The Effects of Priming Science on Moral Judgments and Behavior”, 2013, PLoS ONE 8(3): e57989, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0057989.

Militant Science (or else: Paid science)

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Science today has nothing to do with science in the “good old days” of Newton, when people curious about how the cosmos worked tried to reach the “truth” by endless analysis and thinking on various topics.

Today science is more of a tool for politicians and people in power to promote specific agendas. Anyone having in mind the “crazy” scientist who just sits down in his dark lab doing weird experiments even at the expense of his own life just in order to discover something without any personal gain, is… out of his mind.

Today scientists follow orders. Orders issues by the people who pay. As simple as that. In order to perform high-end science today one must be enlisted as member to a high-end research facility, which in turn needs billions to run and – thus – is tied closely to someone who has… what else? Billions.

Of course politics could not be missing from the party. Politics which is again linked to what else than money. And guess what. People with money do not care about the “truth”. People with money do not care about what is “right” or what is “moral”. These things do not even compute for these people.

Below there is a list with examples of militant (paid) science.

The purpose of this article is not to offer an in depth analysis of these examples, since not such an analysis is needed. These examples are so obviously irrational, immoral or simply wrong, that even a 10-year old child can see through them. The purpose of this article is to make people think by just showing the obvious and exposing the ways militant (paid) science today is massively promoting irrational or immoral ideas. The idea is that by just seeing the list one can suddenly have an enlightenment and understand what was all the time in front of his very eyes…

LIST OF EXAMPLES OF MILITANT SCIENCE

1. Abortion is found to have little effect on women’s mental health

There is actual a research which shows that having an abortion does not have an effect on one’s mental health! (source) So in other words, in a world where we seem to accept that even…bacteria affect us, we are certain and we have “proved” (what an irrational word) that killing a baby by our free will does not have any… effect on us. Irrational immoral science. Meet science of the 21st century.

2. Having two homosexual parents has no effect on kids’ mental health

Liberal politics has been making that statement for so long, that is was actually a matter of time before this was “proved” by science as well. Because do not forget: Even Hitler had scientific “evidence” and “proof” that Jews were inferior and, thus, deserved to die. Now we have many “independent” research showing that growing up with two mothers or with two fathers is perfectly OK for the child. And this despite the fact that not so long ago psychology raised the alarm of mental problems for kids with “just” parents who divorced! Believe in science! It is the new religion. (and religion linked with politics is the best way for the latter to stay in place) No, the kids are NOT alright

3. Agrochemical field paid research

The field of agriculture is a multi-billion dollar business with a lot of room for data tampering and conclusions management. One recent example was the case of James Cresswell, an expert in flowers and bees at the University of Exeter in England, who worked for Syngenta. He was paid and instructed to draw the… ‘proper’ conclusions regarding the cause of bees’ deaths. (source) [read on 2017-01-04] Companies pay millions of dollars to draw whatever conclusions they like regarding the safety of their new genetically engineered products and we just have to accept them because it is… “science”.

4. Paid Medical practitioners

Two-thirds of Americans see doctors who got paid by drug companies. (source) [read on 2017-03-06] Now, this is civilization. I wouldn’t like going to a doctor to some “primitive” place or during some “primitive” era where doctors just practiced medicine in order to… save people based on what their god dictated. That was religious hocus pocus and I will not have it! I like progress! I mean money.

5. Antidepressants and pregnancy [2017-04-23]

A study shows that autism and ADHD risk are not linked to prenatal exposure to antidepressants. (source) There you go. All medicine is bad for the pregnant woman, except the ones which are advertised by our drug companies as “necessary” to keep our “modern” way of living. One antidepressant the day , makes life go away…

6. Mobile phones and cancer? [2017-04-23]

Do you think that having a thing which emits and consumes radiation on your head for many hours per day harms you? Do not sweat. Science has “proved” that this not the case. (source) And until science “proves” something it is not true. No need to discuss about the obvious here: The fact that nothing can be proved 100%, the fact that modern science cherry picks facts to support what big corporations feed the people as “necessary” and so on. A simple “LOL” will suffice.

7. Climate change [2017-06-24]

Do you think there is a scientific “consensus” on global warming? Think again. And before you do, follow the money. The founder of the Weather Channel says it eloquently enough: Only research which deal with climate change are funded. (see video here) So how can we have research speaking against climate change?

~ To be continued (stay tuned)

Homeopathy works: Arguments in favor of the effectiveness of homeopathy and against scientific dogmatism.

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~ Notes for easy reading ~

  • Go directly to Chapter IV. Arguments in favor of homeopathy… in order to find resources & bibliography related to the effectiveness of homeopathy
  • Go to Chapter III to read about the philosophy behind the debate on homeopathy
  • Go to Chapter V. Arguments against the effectiveness of conventional medicine to read about issues in proving that current conventional medicine is effective

DISCLAIMER: This is not a medical advice article. It is not supposed to replace your doctor. It is just supposed to offer an opinion – mostly related to the philosophy of medicine.

I. Introduction

A lot of discussion has been going on lately for the effectiveness of homeopathy, especially in the light of the US FTC which wants all homeopathic drugs to clearly state that (1) there is no scientific evidence that the product works and (2) the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700’s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts. [source]

II. The battle ground…

In simple words: The all mighty scientific community backed up by multi-billion turnover pharmaceutical industries and by politicians which have been lobbying for it for hundreds of years is afraid of some ultra diluted non-medicines which do nothing and yet have miraculously convinced billions of people that they work.

We are talking of a very weird battle here…

A battle which has the same goal that almost every battle that recent (from the enlightenment) western “civilization” fought had: MONEY. And there is a lot of money in the medicine business to just give it all up to some weird people who claim they can cure people without using methods approved by the system.

Analyzing the scenes behind this battle is really interesting and helps pinpoint deeper issues with the way we think nowadays.

III. The philosophy behind the debate…

In order for to fully understand the reasons behind all this, one needs to dig deep. But not too deep. Just 500 years or so. Ever since the case of Galileo science has differentiated from religion in a highly aggressive way. And the revolution of “enlightenment” (yes, it was not actually enlightenment – read Against Enlightenment: The Enlightenment was not light. The Enlightenment is darkness. for more on that) made that differentiation even more solid by promoting specific atheistic ways of thinking in order to fight the so called religious establishment of the day. It is not the purpose of the article to analyze whether Christian religion is good or bad. It is good. (search articles related to here for that) Neither to analyze if the Middle Ages were dark. They were not. (check Middle Ages – An era of light! for that)

No you do not have to analyze all that in order to understand the prejudice against homeopathy and other alternative ways of medicine. All you need to keep out of this is that since the “enlightenment” the materialistic dogma spread like fire. And found fertile ground in the minds of people filled with hate for anything Christian. People who were usually philosophically illiterate and ignorant and who could not tell the difference between a good advice (Love your enemies) and a dogma (Everything is matter) even if it was in front of their face.

Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: ,

Dogmas, dogmas, dogmas…

Modern science is based on specific philosophical dogmas with the most prominent of these being MATERIALISM. Materialism (a.k.a. everything is matter and nothing else exists) supports the (dogmatic) idea that the universe is more like a machine with material parts working like gears in a machine. This notion is then applied to humans as well, leading to various misconceptions regarding our very nature. And ALL THESE are based on the best dogma of them all: The dogma which says that we are nothing but dust specks. The dogma which wants the universe to exist for no reason at all. The dogma which calls for miraculous random processes resulting in extremely well designed processes that would put the best clock-maker at shame.

Related Harmonia Philosophica tags: ,

These philosophical dogmas are highly compatible with pharmaceutical industries and highly incompatible with any belief that humans can heal with any other way than the traditional “fix the machine” recipe. All the multi-billion pharmaceutical industries rely their business upon the mechanistic view of life: Take a pill and everything will be alright. Understanding this will make it easier for you to understand the hatred of people in this industry for anything different. Admitting that alternative (non materialistic, spiritual, non mechanistic) ways of healing could work would LITERALLY undermine the whole structure of medicine as we know it.

IV. Arguments in favor of homeopathy…

General considerations

Homeopathy is a different way of healing. Thus, special considerations must be kept in mind when discussing about it. Even though classic research has shown (see below) that homeopathy works, one must always bear in mind that homeopathy refers to treatment which is always tailored to the specific patient. It is not a “One pill to cure them all” method of healing. And despite that, as mentioned above, clinical trials have showed that homeopathy is effective, it is crucial to remember that sometimes a research might not show extensive positive results to ALL patients in a sample simply because you cannot take a homeopathic treatment recipe and use it everywhere as-is. And it is also important to understand that this is not a disadvantage of homeopathy. To the contrary: Treating every patient as an exceptional case is the right way to go. Conventional medicine is now trying to become more personalized, thus following the path of homeopathy.

Relative resources about the effectiveness of homeopathy

Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of homeopathy have shown that homeopathy works after all. Four of five major comprehensive reviews of RCTs in homeopathy have reached broadly positive conclusions. In general, there is evidence that homeopathy works, as long as someone is ready to search for it.

Some relative resources or related articles:

  • Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43.
  • Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy. Br Med J 1991; 302: 316–23.
  • Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999; 52: 631–6. (refers to positive outcomes of homeopathy – but the article is mainly related to the effect of the quality of the research to the effects reported)
  • Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy – A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000; 56: 27–33. (results in low positive effect conclusion)
  • List of research showing the effectiveness of homeopathy
  • Article explaining that homeopathy works
  • The people next to you: Go ahead and ask. Someone really close to you has been cured with homeopathy.
  • Homeopathy. “Meta”-studies. Dogmatism. (how the studies on homeopathy are biased)

The Swiss report

In late 2011, the Swiss government’s report on homeopathic medicine represents the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathic medicine ever written by a government and was just published in book form in English (Bornhoft and Matthiessen, 2011). This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective and that homeopathic treatment should be reimbursed by Switzerland’s national health insurance program.

And still further, this report evaluated systematic reviews and meta-analyses, outcome studies, and epidemiological research. This wide review carefully evaluated the studies conducted, both in terms of quality of design and execution (called “internal validity”) and how appropriate each was for the way that homeopathy is commonly practiced (called “external validity”). The subject of external validity is of special importance because some scientists and physicians conduct research on homeopathy with little or no understanding of this type of medicine (some studies tested a homeopathic medicine that is rarely used for the condition tested, while others utilized medicines not commonly indicated for specific patients). When such studies inevitably showed that the homeopathic medicine did not “work,” the real and accurate assessment must be that the studies were set up to disprove homeopathy… or simply, the study was an exploratory trial that sought to evaluate the results of a new treatment (exploratory trials of this nature are not meant to prove or disprove the system of homeopathy but only to evaluate that specific treatment for a person with a specific condition).

The Swiss report also notes that David Sackett, M.D., the Canadian physician who is widely considered to be one of the leading pioneers in “evidence based medicine”, has expressed serious concern about those researchers and physicians who consider randomized and double-blind trials as the only means to determine whether a treatment is effective or not. To make this assertion, one would have to acknowledge that virtually all surgical procedures were “unscientific” or “unproven” because so few have undergone randomized double-blind trials.

Source: Homeopathy in Healthcare – Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs, Gudrun Bornhöft MD, Prof. Peter F. Matthiessen MD, PhD, 2011

V. Arguments against the effectiveness of conventional medicine

An analysis of 3,000 common treatments several years ago and found that only 11% were proven to be beneficial. It found that 51% were of unknown efficacy and the other 38% were either harmful or a toss up between harm and help. [Source]

A report by a watchdog group published on 31 May in QuarterWatch  calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing “serious, disabling, or fatal injuries,” including 128,000 deaths. [source]

A related article in Harmonia Philosophica titled “Does medicine actually help? [Cure rates and Philosophy analysis of mainstream and alternative medicine]” also shows the same thing. The effectiveness of classical medicine is not as sound as people think it is. Apply the same rigid standards which you apply to homeopathy in classical medicine and you will end up with no treatment that is “proved” beneficial. Not to mention that other research show equally disturbing facts: For example did you know that when doctors are on strike, the mortality rate stays the same or, many times, falls?!? (source) Or that doctors who are diagnosed with terminal cancer usually choose NOT to have any therapy at all despite they advise their patients otherwise? (source)

Did you know how and why the traditional way of healing in ancient Greece (at the temples of Aeschylus) was banned? Well, it just did when the Romans occupied Greece. No research conducted. No questions asked. They just DECIDED that it did not work, even though IT DID for thousands of years.

Did you know how and why the traditional way of healing in America (practiced by the indigenous Indians) was banned? Well, it just did when the Europeans occupied the whole continent of America. No research conducted. No questions asked. They just DECIDED that it did not work, even though IT DID for thousands of years.

So a good question is “Will the FDA/FTC enforce the same requirements on the thousands of conventional treatments which have been proven to be of no benefit?”…

All in all…

Ask your doctor. But also make your own research. Do not trust what you read or hear from others blindly. But trust what you already know. You do not want to wait for someone else to tell you what you already feel…

(applies especially for philosophy, for medicine having a good doctor and knowing how to read scientific papers also helps)

 

Stem cells therapies. Stem cells marketing stunts.

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An injured knee can cost a pro football player millions of dollars, or even an entire career. MIT Technology Review reports that, in an effort to regrow cartilage and heal injured tissue quickly, hundreds of players are injecting bone marrow cells into their knees and hips. Evidence is weak that the procedure actually works and, as with all unproven stem cell therapies, there could be risks involved. Just ask the lady who grew a bone in her eyelid after getting (illegal) cosmetic stem cell injections.

“We don’t really know exactly what it does, biologically”, orthopedic surgeon Freddie Fu told Tech Review. (1)

Science uses stem cells therapies as a promo for more research funding.
But on the other hand warns against stem cell therapies.
Marketing is good. As long as people do not die.
But how can you advocate for something if you do not believe in it? What kind of religion warns against practicing its own practices for fear of death?
Practices that are funded by the very same people (a.k.a. “taxes”) who are willing to take a chance and try these new therapies?
There was a time when science and religion was one thing.
There was a time when people believed in themselves.
Now we only believe in money.
And we just do not care about people.
As long as they are alive.
As long as they give us their money…

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