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Riding on a ScooterEdit

Not that it matters much but there is much hearsay about Mullis it seems. According to his book "Dancing Naked in the Mind field" he was driving a vehicle with a female companion when he first envisioned PCR not riding on a scooter as this article says. (talk) 19:57, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it just me, or does there seem to be very little balance between the man's actual accomplishments and his freakier beliefs in this article? Ya know, even Edison believed in ghosts...

a) What actual accomplishments? He won the Nobel prize for inventing a technique -- that's it. b) Edison believed that, if the personality survives death, it should detectable consequences, and he said he was inclined to believe that the personality persists. Given how widespread that belief is, it's hardly "freaky".

A quote of Mullis from the Farber article that I'd love to see worked in (don't see how): ‘Peter [Duesberg] has been abused seriously by the scientific establishment, to the point where he can't even do any research…and it is only because he has refused to compromise his scientific moral standards. There ought to be some goddamn private foundation in the country, that would say, “Well, we'll move in where the NIH dropped off. We'll take care of it. You just keep right on saying what you're saying, Peter. We think you're an asshole, and we think you are wrong, but you're the only dissenter, and we need one, because it's science, it's not religion.”’ That's so what seems to be missing in all this: its science, not religion. I see too much of the Pope's House on the Corner about the orthodox side. Ya, Mullis has an ego and seems nutty. So did Pauling. That's the kind of mind needed to take us beyond where we've been. -- Kwantus

And you call Edison's beliefs freaky? This view of science is seriously mistaken. -- (talk)
 : Actually, no, it's not mistaken. Do you actually practice scientific methods? History is full of examples of great scientists having controversial beliefs. Isaac Newton wasted years on alchemy. Nikola Tesla and many prominent scientists of Albert Einstein's era denied the theory of relativity. Albert Einstein himself argued against quantum mechanics. That's how science *really* works, it's an ongoing discussion and debate, with arguments and counter-arguments, experiments and counter-experiments. It is not about declaring "consensus truths" and censoring and ridiculing those who disagree. That's what priests and politicians do. Unfortunately, sometimes scientists stop being scientific and become religious and political. But that tendency is a human flaw that science tries to counteract, not always successfully. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:57, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Einstein didn't argue against quantum mechanics. He knew that it worked as-advertized. He used quantum mechanics to make some important discoveries. What he argued is that he expected QM to be an intermediate knowledge of mechanics, that in time something more comprehensive would supplant it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:27, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


The section Idiosyncratic views needs improvement. The current style is to describe an odd view and explain it in a parenthetical comment; I assume this is because the parenthetical comments were added by someone else afterwards. They should be integrated into the text better. --Saforrest 19:27, Jan 3, 2005 (UTC) (A perusal of the 'history' would show you're exactly correct... 15:57, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC))

Parenthetical textEdit

Removed the parenthetical text. Marginal notes don't belong in an encyclopedia artice, User:

  • (Actually, he says it is similar in form to such experiences; he doesn't claim it's aliens. He was walking alone at night, he encountered a talking racoon, and then lost all memory of what happened the next 5 hours.)
  • For those who do appreciate it, let us quote his book: "I was born at 17:38 Greenwich Mean Time on December 28, 1944 in Lenoir, North Carolina. You can find out more about me from that than you can from reading this book." He had a weird experience that he gives a parapsychological explanation.
  • (This is inaccurate; the essay really is about thinking outside convention, where conventionally different types of chemicals had different concentration scales, like "activity" for enzymes.)
  • If it seems the above emphasises the idiosyncratic, it is only because his book does likewise. The main theme is the quest to escape mental ruts.

--Calton | Talk 00:12, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK, I added the parentheticals, I guessed someone else would massage the text for me. Maybe no one else read the book so didn't feel confident in rewriting. So now I fixed it all. By the way, even if you don't AGREE with his book, you can get a lot from reading it, if only to contact a different mentalily. I think he is wrong , but I wouldn't what that fact to discourage anyone from reading the book. 02:51, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

NPOV disputeEdit

This page spends very little time referring to the accomplishments of Kary Mullis, and it is his accomplishments which make him encyclopedically notable, whereas it spends a great deal of time trying to make him look like a raving lunatic. I feel the present article is highly unbalanced against the man, and if there are controversies that deserve treatment, they ought to be included, but if the primary purpose of the article is to discuss those controversies, this is not encyclopedic at all. Whig 10:54, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Fine, add something. However, his views are directly from his own book. THere is no dispute that these are indeed his views. To me there is no controversy, it is factually accurate to say these are his views, and if the reader decides he's a lunatic, that's the reader's judgement. But like I said, if you have more to add about him, please add it.GangofOne 03:11, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, most of the content of this article is from his own book, but that doesn't make it a balanced nor encyclopedic. I'm not saying that it doesn't belong, because that is indeed part of the story / character / truth... but there is much more to the story than that. I totally agree with GangofOne - we should add content to round out the article, but perhaps with more focus on accomplishments. --Zeroasterisk 20:38, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Opinion on my edit so far? I'd also like to know if there is a quote from his book or other source that can be cited in support of the claim that he believes we may be "entering an ice age". Whig 04:39, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

The advantage of the previous version, by gathering all the ideas together and making it clear they come from his own book, one may read between the lines to see that maybe he is a bit of a willfull controversialist, or contrarian, or hyperskepic. Diffusing the weird stuff with factual information about his wives etc, loses the distinction. Then the article needs a lot of text to contextualize each of his issues to keep from reading abruptly; then you may as well just read his book by the time you have clarified his ideas for the article. GangofOne 05:59, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC) To amplify, his beliefs on AIDS and global warming are not what are important about him (as an encyclopedia entry); these beliefs are just part of what make him a unique mind and belong with the rest of his beliefs from his book, which rightly come after the autobiographical facts we have. "He is said to believe in astrology," well, no need to be coy, HE SAYS HIMSELF he believes in asstrology, it is misleading to say "He is said to believe.." (If you read the book, you too may testify to this.) His bald statement with his birthday exemplifies this nicely, I thought.
Well, not having the book or a quotation placed in context where he actually does say, "I believe in astrology" then I think it is more appropriate not to attribute this actual belief. Perhaps he was being irreverent like the "ice age" remark that was previously attributed to him and which I've shown to be falsely ascribed as his actual belief. In other words, if you want to say that he says something, you really have to cite it more precisely than just saying, "It's in his book."
Moreover, I feel that you are asking us to be uncharitable in trying to portray him as a "willful controversialist, or contrarian, or hyperskeptic" and this is a sort of ad hominem that does not fit in with the Wikipedia policy of NPOV. Whig 13:50, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"his beliefs on AIDS and global warming are not what are important about him" -- POV drivel. It's an objective fact that he is far better known for his crackpot views than his "accomplishments", which as far as I know consist solely of improving PCR while out for a drive. That he won a Nobel Prize for that is itself rather odd. -- (talk) 19:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Found the quote:
The concept that human beings are capable of causing the planet to overheat or lose its ozone seems about as ridiculous as blaming the Magdalenian paintings for the last ice age. There is a notion that our emissions are causing the temperature of the planet to go up, even though the temperature is not going up. Even if the temperature were going up, we would be foolish to think we caused it. We could just as reasonably blame it on cows. In the nineteenth century the temperature went down. In this century it's gone up only about half a degree. The trend over the last two centuries is down. Down is not warmer. So if you like to worry, worry that we might be moving into a new ice age. We could be.
I don't think this can be construed to say he actually believes we are entering an ice age. He was ridiculing global warming, to be sure, but that was a throwaway line at best and should not be attributed to him as his actual view. Whig 04:56, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd also like to see the actual quote on the talking racoon incident. Given the lack of context given to other beliefs attributed to him, I think it is important to evaluate the basis of this statement here. Whig 05:13, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd oblige, but I lent the book to an astrologer friend. My interpretation is he is stating he had the experience, like others, without claiming that it might not just be an hallucination.GangofOne 05:42, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your interpretations of a book you read once but lent to a friend and therefore cannot cite, do not belong in an encyclopedia entry. Whig 13:50, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Okay, one more issue here, folks, and I think we might be getting close to a fair article. The "drug" references seem to be out of place, without any particular context except perhaps that it's maybe in his book (and please, sure, read his book if you want to, but not everything in his book is encyclopedic). About maybe half the world's population has used cannabis at least once, and as for the other (then-legal) substances he may have consumed, so what? Whig 14:57, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I didn't see the "drug" references in question and haven't yet plowed through the article history to find them, but the article is incomplete without some reference to Mullis's claim that his past use of LSD and other hallucinogens gave him the insight to develop the PCR process. In fact, he has suggested that without the insights gained through the use of those drugs, he probably wouldn't have ever succeeded with PCR (note that he wasn't using LSD concurrently with his research; he had done in the past and felt that in doing so he had gained an ability for insight into molecular behavior). Leaving this out is like leaving snakey dreams out of the article on Kekulé - whether or not it's actually true, it's an important aspect of the subject matter. - toh 07:04, 2005 August 18 (UTC)
Do you have a reference for where he made that claim? I do want to put back some of the stuff in the article that was removed, but I'm only waiting till I get my copy of his book back so there will be no chance of misquoting him. GangofOne 07:45, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't have a print reference handy; as I wrote the above paragraph I had just finished watching an old episode of BBC Horizon ("Psychedelic Science", February 1997) which features an interview with Mullis where he quite clearly makes that claim. Other mentions pop up with a quick Google search, so a print reference ought to be available as well. Sorry I don't have time at the moment to help you find them. :) - toh 20:49, 2005 August 18 (UTC)

"it is his accomplishments which make him encyclopedically notable"

No, it's the fact that he's a crackpot who won a Nobel Prize that makes him notable. -- (talk) 19:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Kjell Kleppe, etcEdit

Whoever added these 2 paragraphs needs to provide a more complete references. What did Stuart Linn say about the whole controversy? GangofOne 08:26, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Wasn't he also famous to have cheated "Nature" with a mock-up article about some math problem?

Inappropriate reference linkEdit

Not sure where the real one might be, but currently the References link to Omni magazine (Anthony Liversidge, "Kary Mullis, the great gene machine", Omni magazine (April 1992).) goes to somewhere inappropriate.

  • Okay. I fixed it. --Fastfission 01:08, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Series of changes evidently made by Dr. MullisEdit

I have reverted this page after a highly interesting set of changes made by a user claiming to be Kary Mullis himself; as a group, they violated policies and guidelines on NPOV verifiability and Autobiography; although they made the article maybe 100 times more interesting to read, they were not in line with Wikipedia's purpose or style.

If that's you, Dr. Mullis, welcome to Wikipedia! The problems of responding to one's own autobiography have been hotly debated at this site, and editing for fact is certainly permissible; however, before reverting any of these changes back or coming up with new versions of them I would recommend you read Autobiography for a discussion of this issue. If it's not Dr. Mullis, then I think the case is even stronger for deletion. Joewright 22:24, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is a case where the Wikipedia policy is too conservative. However, I believe a suitable solution would be for Dr Mullis to post his version on his website (which is permissible under GPDL) then it will be verifiable, and Wikipedia won't be the original source, we can reference that. Please add some more stuff; entheogens, etc. GangofOne 22:47, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I have also tried to respond to some of the implicit criticisms of the previous page reflected by these edits, and have tried to make changes that were verifiable, etc. to make the article better reflect NPOV--the previous article was, by my reading, biased strongly towards trying to make him look bad. I happen to personally disagree strongly with his approach to AIDS and therefore am not his biggest fan, but my sides of those arguments can be made on their merits–-not by denigrating him personally. Joewright 23:32, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Category: PseudoscientistsEdit

Please do not delete this category. A consensus was reached at the talk page of the category that AIDS dissidents are by definition pseudoscientists, and we MUST abide by the consensus of the community. So, I implore you, please do not remove the category. Revolver 23:45, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

LSD and PCREdit

It said: "He also details his use of LSD which he may have been using when he came up with the idea for PCR." SOrry, NO. He was DRIVING through the forests late at night with his girlfriend beside him when he came up with idea, according to his account. More about his actual LSD use could be added to the article tho. GangofOne 00:13, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

My father knew him at Berkeley when he came up with the idea. He did describe driving through the Sonoma area forests, but also said that he was using LSD at the time. He said it helped him visualize the polymerase going both ways on the chain. Still, you're right, it's hearsay and if his offical personal account does not include it, then neither should his encyclopedic biography. Kslays 17:52, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I read an interview with him (a transcript of a documentary possibly) where he said he thought of PCR while driving his car WHILE high on LSD (it is possible to both drive and use LSD at the same time you know) If someone can dig up the reference I think it is worth noting in the article Cyclopsface 19:01, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

In BBC Horizon document Psychedelic science there is a short interview of Kary Mullins. This clip gets pretty fast to that point of the documentary. --Ahabvihrea (talk) 14:35, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


I have added subsections to the controversies section. In addition, I tried to make the Drug Use and Abduction section more readable. Please let me know if you do not agree with the edits. A few minor grammatical corrections were also made. Currently I am looking for a reference for the following statement under Accreditation of the PCR technique:

In addition, the suggestion that Mullis was solely responsible for the idea of using Taq polymerase in the PCR process has been refuted by his co-workers at the time.

This statement is in need of supporting documentation, without which it only conjecture. Thanks. --Coldbourne 21:40, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Has it occurred to anyone that this sentence is his confession that his whole book is a prank? "You can find out more about me from that than you can from reading this book." Yes, that's true, because he made up all the stuff in this book, glowing raccoons etc., because he's messing with us. It's a joke. He's trying to teach us not to believe in authority figures just because they've won Nobel Prizes.--Singularitarian 07:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Has it occurred to you that you're taking his comment too literally and that your interpretation is inconsistent with a much larger body of evidence? -- (talk) 19:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Controversy SectionEdit

Two items I would like to bring up here for discussion. The "Drug Use and Abduction Account" listed in the Controversy section does not belong there, but should be moved under the Authorship section. The information is neither:

→ A prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion
→ Contention, strife, or argument (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)

as the information is freely admitted by Dr. Mullis and the source for this information is in fact his autobiography. Secondly, the reference to the O.J. Simpson trial could be considered libelous under the Wikipedia guidelines. As Dr. Mullis was never deposed by the defense or cross examined by the prosecution, he did not testify in the case. Any subsequent allegations against Dr. Mullis' character due to an event that did not take place and serves no purpose other than to slander the subject of this article. If a reference to the trial is necessary, it should be listed under his Career without speculative negative assertation from a poorly sourced reference (WP:BLP). Please let me know if you have a thoughts on this matter. Cheers. Coldbourne 22:14, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree that a court case in which Mullis did not testify is probably not notable enough for inclusion here. Agree with your first suggestion also. MastCell Talk 00:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that the criticism of him in the intro is not really following wikipedia's general bio style, that should go into a criticisms section. -anon so i wont be the one to move it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

If criticism is notable, as it is in the case of Mullis, it is appropriate to include it in the lede. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


There's false info under the controversy section, and like 5 claims made, only 1 referenced. Reference or Remove. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:21, 16 June 2007

I agree. It is clear that he does or did dispute HIV as the cause of AIDS. But all sources he disputes the other stuff seem to have copy and pasted from Wikipedia. I cannot find one quote from him on CFCs or global warming. (talk) 03:45, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
You could read his book and find quotes where he disagrees with CFCs and global warming, look at page 115. Is that good enough?Doug Weller (talk) 16:12, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

10,000 Cetus Bonus: Innovation as Numbers RacketEdit

What a deal! Based on a standard professional work year that comes out to $3/hour! And, Cetus made 300M? Hmm... No wonder American kids don't want to pursue math and science - because it doesn't pay. And if you hit the mother lode, the company cashes in and shoves you out the door. The problems is all the flunkies from China and India now filling the academic research slots just aren't producing the breakthroughs like native born scientists like Mullis. The dangerous fallacy that corporate seems to be banking on is that "smart people work cheap". Their motto is: "Let in as many cheap scientists into America as possible!!" Doesn't comfort me when I consider the prospects of a cure for my grandmother's Alzheimer or my friend's AIDS. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


This was linked fron the front page of digg; might want to check for vandalism and put notice of high-traffic thingie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Category change from Category:AIDS dissidents to Category:AIDS denialismEdit

Kary Mullis has never, at any time, denied the existence of AIDS. He is a dissident, not a denialist. His criticisms are aimed at the methodology of research (mostly in how results on AIDS are published) and not at the diagnosis of the disease itself. He may not even hold the same position anymore, which makes this all moot. Also, Category:AIDS dissidents is (currently) a sub-category of Category:AIDS denialism so it's more appropriate to have this article listed in the more specific category. --Sapphic (talk) 15:59, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Please read the AIDS denialism article. it is not denying that AIDS does not exist, only that HIV does not cause AIDS. I've reverted your POV edits. Moreover, you cannot dissent from science. You may show an alternative scientific theory (none of which exists in the HIV/AIDS universe that indicate anything but HIV causing AIDS). OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 17:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Mullis has never suggested that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. He has argued that the published research doesn't support such a claim. That's very different. Mullis' beef is with the state of publications on AIDS research, not with the conclusions. What's more, he has since distanced himself from this whole issue, presumably because of the way that the actual denialists have co-opted his position to suit their own. Calling him a denialist is insulting and possibly libelous. It certainly misrepresents his position. As for my own POV, I agree with Mullis' criticism of the sloppy state of science publishing and the corruption of science by politics (of all varieties) and I also happen to think that HIV does, in fact, cause AIDS (as I believe Mullis himself does, once you get beyond his other criticisms.) As for how that POV influenced my edit — it didn't, so please don't make that implication again. I'll leave the article as-is until this can be discussed more extensively and a consensus reached. --Sapphic (talk) 17:23, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

This is now being discussed at Category_talk:AIDS_reappraisal --Sapphic (talk) 18:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

For a scientist to say that the evidence doesn't support a claim is most certainly a suggestion that the claim is false, per Occam's Razor. You say you believe that Mullis does think that HIV causes AIDS -- why should he, if research doesn't support it? Faith? A hunch? Falling in with the crowd? Your comment makes no sense and belies a failure to grasp the philosophy of science -- as well as its practice; perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the extensive published research that supports the HIV-AIDS link before concurring with Mullis's crackpot claims about it. -- (talk) 20:01, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
What is most annoying about Mullis' role in the horrible history of African Aids and the support that people like MBeki get from his misunderstood quotes, is that Mullis has never explained his view or disavowed the quotes. That, in my view, is unforgivable. Whether it's laziness, lack of concern, or bad information on his part, I don't know but he, of all people, should know better.Maryyugo (talk) 19:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Who cares what you think? This is not a discussion forum or a place for you to express your disapproval of Mullis. (talk) 16:29, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Personal LifeEdit

Pray tell what business a statement like "...and (he) was very popular with women after winning the Nobel Prize" has to be in the encyclopedia entry of a scientist? That said, of anybody save a pimp or a male prostitute who serves the female sex.

Chogolisa (talk) 19:15, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

The statement is properly sourced, so I don't see any problem with it. Scientists have love lives too. Remember to assume good faith, rather than resorting to "pimp" and "male prostitute" talk. Stonemason89 (talk) 19:24, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Global warmingEdit

A link to global warming is sufficient. Whether it is a theory / scientific consensus whatever can be hashed out on that page. Gerardw (talk) 14:08, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

That is not the issue. The issue is that the text that Keepcalmandcarryon and Verbal keep re-inserting includes the information that Mullis disagrees "with the scientific consensus that human activity is a factor". In the source provided Mullis does not mention human activity at all, nor does he allude to it, in any way. Watch the video yourself, read the text that is on the right of the video and see for yourself. If I am wrong and have missed it somehow, you should be able to copy/paste the relevant text (if you click on the text it should move the video to the relevant section) and/or be able to provide a timestamp for the alleged information. (talk) 14:53, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Are you saying that Mullis doesn't disagree with the IPCC etc, (references show his views are contrary to theirs) or that the IPCC etc views don't establish scientific consensus (wikipedia consensus is that the view of such groups does establish scientific consensus), or is it something else? Verbal chat 16:02, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
None of the above. I'm saying that he never said anything about the human factor, check the darn video already. He did not mention human activity, how many times do I have to repeat it? Yes, he is sceptical (however you want to spell it) of the global warming theory as is clearly evidenced by the video, but he does not say one word about the A in AGW in that video. (talk) 16:12, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Forget the video, we can find other sources. Do you deny that he has done those things at all? Also, if he is sceptical of Global Warming theory, doesn't that mean he is sceptical of the scientific consensus? Lastly, please could you get an account, and remember to assume good faith in both your edits and edit summaries. Verbal chat 17:25, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
No, let's not forget the video, it's the source for the fact he is sceptical, but yours and Keepcalmandcarryon's edits make him say something he didn't. Please fing another source for what you would like him to have said, the current one doesn't and making it do so is wrong. I don't need to deny anything, you, as the person wanting to keep the info in, need to prove your case, not me. Sure he's sceptical of the scientific community, that doesn't give you licence to conduct OR and/or SYNTH, which is what is happening. You could have assumed good faith in my edits and not gone after them and reverted them on more than one article - pot, kettle. (talk) 17:56, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Wiki Alf and IP socks, have you read Mullis's book? Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:40, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll ignore the sockage thing, have your bait back. Am I obliged to read Mullis' book? Do I have to read it if all I want is for you two to stop entering information that is not backed up by the sources provided? I think not. If his book specifically mentions that he disagrees about the human activity thing, please by all means, cite that, but you can't cite the video for it, as you keep doing, as it doesn't back up such a notion. (talk) 17:56, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
It seems from what you've said that it does in fact support the text that you keep removing. You n fact above state that very thing. We're getting close to running out of good faith with your objections. Verbal chat 18:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
If is supports the text cite me the words from the interview or give me a time stamp. It doesn't support it. (talk) 18:33, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

My copy of Mullis's book is currently missing from my bookshelf. When I find it, I will provide citations. Several additional RS reporting on Mullis's global warming views:

  • "Musings on a Nobel maverick", Toronto Star, 25 October 1998, page 1, Section BOD
  • "Nobel Chemist Kary Mullis, Making Waves as A MIND SURFER", Washington Post, 03 November 1998, Peter Carlson, Page D-01
  • "Weird Science. And now for someone completely different: Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner", The New York Times, Dick Teresi, 11 October 1998
  • "A Surfer of Wave Of Weird Genius", Newsday, 18 October 1993, Jim Dwyer, Page 02
  • "Natural Selection. One Hell of a Trip",, David Ewing Duncan, 20 February 2008 (Quote: "He has said that HIV does not cause AIDS, and is a skeptic that human activity causes global warming") Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:31, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I just watched the video, and the IP's assertion appears to be correct. Mullis disputes that there has been any change in the average temperature -- he does not touch on whether human activity is responsible for the changes. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:56, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
FWIW: The overall impression I got is that he has a problem generally with any science/scientist that cannot demonstrably prove its/their theories, global warming included, or being the first of many, rather than soley.-, at home on talk 23:47, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't recall who placed the video as a source, but I believe the book cited in the next sentence was originally intended as the source, as I stated yesterday. From that book, Dancing in the Mind Field:

  • On page 115 Mullis writes, "Some of the big truths voters have accepted have little or no scientific basis. And these include the belief that AIDS is caused by human immunodeficiency virus, the belief that fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming..."
  • On page 116: "Scientists who speak out strongly about future ecological disaster and promote the notion that humans are responsible for any changes going on are highly suspect"
  • Page 118: "The concept that human beings are capable of causing the planet to overheat or lose its ozone seems about as ridiculous as blaming the Magdalenian paintings for the last ice age"
  • Page 119: "We have accepted as true the the belief that we are responsible for global warming...without scientific evidence"
  • Page 203: Mullis writes that the IPCC is "embarrassing" and, of human activities causing global warming, that " smacks of what the Greeks used to call hubris when one of their number decided he, and not the gods, could control his own life, the weather, or something equally impossible to control"

The news sources given above are but a few of many secondary sources confirming Mullis's views on global warming, including its anthropogenic component. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 22:16, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Good, then the video cite should be moved to after the comma of "global warming," and for pages 115, 116, 118, 119, and 203 of the book to be cited for use after the full stop of "human activity is a factor." The David Duncan source I'm not so keen on: if allowable (is it a blog, an op-ed, I don't know, I'm also put off by the filing sequence at the top of the page), it's a viewpoint that would need portraying as such, rather than as fact, as can be done with the book citation. The "... it is suggested that" and "Journalists commented that" constructions are invariably clumsier than straight fact reporting. I haven't looked at the others though if they pick up on the A aspect, then that only adds extra weight to the argument for the inclusion.-, at home on talk 23:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

ref 3Edit

Reference 3, which the article relies very heavily upon, is not a proper reference. It has no date, volume or page number. I tried to find these things, but failed. Perhaps some other editor can fix it. I am actually uncomfortable using esquire as a primary source. What next, National Inquirer? I think better references for all of this can be found, and would improve the reliability of the article. DonSiano (talk) 01:53, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

It's always had a date. As an article, it doesn't need page numbers. I've added the volume (not necessary either), and the correct author. Both authors had something in that issue. Esquire has serious articles, I wouldn't compare it with the National Inquirer. The correct author has an article here -- Emily Yoffe. Dougweller (talk) 20:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


Can Keepcalmandcarryon explain this edit [1]? Why is he removing descriptions of this man's career from the opening paragraph along with grammatical improvements? Freakshownerd (talk) 14:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Views on AIDSEdit

WLU has removed the entire section on Mullis's views on AIDS because he doesn't agree with those views. [2]. Freakshownerd (talk) 19:16, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

He's also now removed links to Mullis's work [3]. Freakshownerd (talk) 19:18, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

No, if you view my diff in detail rather than immediately reverting, you'll note that I integrated acutal information into a single paragraph, added ref tags around Kalichman's book, and merely shortened the specifics of what he believes. It doesn't matter what specific flavour of pseudoscience he adopts here, he's incorrect and we should give minimal weight to these views. The page should not become a coatrack for pseudoscience and nonsense about HIV-AIDS. Also, please note my edit summaries, which I try to make detailed. I didn't "remove links to his works". These are old interviews, two of which focussed on his AIDS denialism. That's not necessary, as he is far more signficant for his work on PCR. They're not his work, they're interviews. Also, "Additional sources" is not a standard appendix. Further reading is, which is why I retained works that were more broad-ranging and relevant to his main claim to fame. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:32, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
The idea that we wouldn't include an article subject's notable views because they are "incorrect" is preposterous. The pattern of your editing to insert your preferred POV into article and to denigrate article subjects you disagree with is vandalistic and highly damaging to the integrity of the encyclopedia, as well as being in violation of the BLP policy. Freakshownerd (talk) 19:24, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, that's the core of UNDUE and COAT. It's not POV to call AIDS denialist activities AIDS denialism, it's accurate. AIDS denialism isn't a minor argument over quibbling details, it's fundamentally wrong. People who claim HIV doesn't cause AIDS are flat-out incorrect, just like people who claim the earth is flat are wrong. Unlike flat earthers, where the wrongness is obvious, AIDS denialism needs more contextualization. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:32, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
The argument that we only include "right" opinions and views is so disgustingly preposterous it does not warrant a response. Please cease using Wikipedia to propagandize your preferred beliefs. Your approach is both wrongheaded and dishonest. Freakshownerd (talk) 20:15, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, the fact that your approach would leave articles filled with incorrect information makes me disagree - even if the policies and guidelines didn't support my edits (which I believe they do) then common sense still supports giving minimal text to information that is clearly, unambiguously wrong (and opposed by essentially the whole of the scientific community).
Also note - your edit summary for your latest revert states "please discuss your proposed changes which exclude note of impact on biochemistry and molecular biology as well as repeating the AIDS denialist label already noted". My edit included in the second sentence the phrase "...which essentially altered the foundations of biological research," sourced to the NYT. Meanwhile, your edit phrases his views on AIDS, astrology (seriously, astrology) and climate change to be "contrarian" and "dissenting". Dissent means disagreement based on interpretation of data. AIDS denialism and astrology are pseudoscience, climate change denial is essentially pseudoscience as well. "Contrarian and dissenting" is inaccurate and does not properly contextualize his beliefs as wrong. Neutral doesn't mean "treat all opinions as equal". In science, all opinions are not equal. Some are wrong. Like the ones held by Kary Mullis on AIDS, astrology and climate change. HIV causes AIDS, and denying this is AIDS denialism. This is accurate, neutral per NPOV, and appropriate to note. And are you seriously advocating for the astrology page to remove mention of the word "pseudoscience"? Like AIDS denialism, pseudoscience is an accurate, not POV description. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 20:34, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Now that I've indicated why I've made my edits and addressed your concerns, could you please revert the change or provide a reason why not? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 23:44, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Our policies are clear. We don't include content based on whether the content is "right" or "wrong". Material is included based on substantial coverage in reliable independent sources. Freakshownerd (talk) 14:08, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
What sources refer to AIDS denailism as anything but AIDS denialism? Not to mention Seth Kalichman refers to Mullis as a denialist, making an independent, reliable, secondary source. And since Mullis believes in it, should we term astrology protoscience rather than pseudoscience? Or how about his climate change denial? Should we give Hitler's wording on the "Jewish menace"? Perhaps Henry Ford's antisemitism could be rephrased as "protecting American". And we'll rename 9/11 as the great Martyrdom of Al Quaeda. Because all points of view are equal. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 15:18, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, the primary source for this information is his autobiography - that's not reliable, or independent. It's a source for his own views, and that's about it. The actual reliable independent sources, like Kalichman, clearly refer to him as an "AIDS pseudoscientist". WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 15:21, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Hostile SynthesisEdit

Wow, what a non-neutral article this is. Over and over again, statements are worded as hostilely as possible. For example, the bolded part of this sentence:

"Mullis also wrote the foreword to the book What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? by Christine Maggiore, an HIV-positive AIDS denialist who, along with her daughter, died of AIDS."

does not come from the source. It amounts to editorial synthesis leading the reader to a negative judgment not present in the source. Perhaps Mullis is a monster, and I think some of his ideas are obviously wrong. But I have never seen an article as hostile to its subject as this one. Can we not stick to the sources? μηδείς (talk) 01:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

That's context, Maggiore was an HIV-positive AIDS denialist who, along with her daughter died of AIDS. Maggiore may not have put that in her book, but it's hardly a controversial fact that she had AIDS, didn't treat it, then died of it. As did her daughter. I could put in a source for that bit of info, but it does seem relevant seeing as Mullis did write the foreword to the book. Mullis developed PCR, that's noted. He won a Nobel Prize. That's there as well. Then he went on to champion a ton of pseudoscience. Rather important in my opinion. As well as sourced. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 03:13, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Again, we cannot rely on synthesis. It's not truth but verifiabilty. This is a bio and is held to strict standards. The editorial synthesis amounts to WP taking the position that Mullis was wrong even though the source didn't say it. I personally happen to be sure that he was wrong, but my opinion as an editor doesn't count.

Also, criticisms have to be attributed. One cannot simply say that he was criticized without specifying by who or attributing the claim to a source. The question by whom has to be answered.

These are minor edits in perfect keeping with policy. Any challenged claim must be referenced and bio articles are to be strictly neutral, not a POV soapbox even if the guy's a scientologist. The desired ends of criticizing the subject do not justify the means of ignoring fundamental wikipedia policy and editorial integrity.

μηδείς (talk) 04:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

It's not a synthesis - it states Mullis' beliefs accurately. He was also wrong in pretty much everything except PCR. We could list every single source - the NYT, his autobiography, Denying AIDS - but that adds verbiage to the lead without really helping much. Most of the information is found in the body, the lead is meant to summarize the body. As a summary, it should contain less text (and citations are optional). The claims you "challenged" were referenced - to eight different sources (now six, erroneously I attributed his beliefs to two sources on climate change rather than his autobiography, now corrected). It's factually correct to say he denies HIV causes AIDS, climate change is man-made, and that he believes in astrology - particularly since he published these beliefs in his autobiography.
If someone is a scientologist, and this is verifiable, then we include it. If as part of his belief in scientology he commits a crime or denies AIDS, we note that. Neutral doesn't mean we never say include anything that could be embarrassing or unflattering. No-one is criticizing Mullis, we are documenting his beliefs - beliefs that happen to be absurd nonsense, but apparently his beliefs none the less.
Its possible in adding sources to the lead some of them were brought inappropriately from the body (we must give due weight to the scholarly majority opinion that HIV causes AIDS and that climate change is at least partially due to human actions) but the ones that are in the lead now should clearly link Mullis to his beliefs. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Use of the word "Denialism"Edit

I think that this article is moving towards a more neutral, balanced presentation, but the repeated use of "denialism" in the first paragraph is definitely NPOV. This is politically charged word used to stigmatize people. Children in schools are being taught that "denialists" are bad people. To be objective and neutral I don't think we should be using ideological code words like calling Mullis a "denialist". John Chamberlain (talk) 16:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

The encyclopaedia uses the language of reliable sources. Reliable sources on these topics use the term "denialism". If the reliable sources used the terms "rethinking" or "thought pioneering" or "intellectual dissidence", we would use those words. It is of course possible that reliable sources are written by people with an ideology. However, that doesn't mean that encyclopaedia writers should censor those reliable sources to fit their own, different ideology. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:19, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, he definitely doesn't deny that the world climate changes. He simply reckons that the method climate "scientists" have and continue to use to make predictions is useless. Suppose you're able to measure where a point particle is at some time. One can easily deduce and describe the (local) velocity of the particle as it travels but one is clueless to how that velocity is generated. Mullis reckons climate scientists should be trying to model climate change by looking at actual climate system that have changed -- i.e How the planet moved from the Eocene to the Miocene -- rather than pushing a sophist agenda. Tomgg (talk) 02:23, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, being that his science is pathetic with respect to AIDS, where his biochemistry background is somewhat useful, and his scientific knowledge about climate change would be rather suspect. He is a denialist. As for your other comments, I think if you want to rant on about climate change, there's an article about it. I'm almost sure they'll let you use it as a forum. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 02:33, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The issue is with the use of the loaded term "denialist" (which incidentally isn't recognised by Google Chrome). He doesn't deny that climate changes or the HIV exists but thinks climatologists and AIDS research scientists are -- in essence -- just there for show. Are you aware that he's discussing the scientific method in general? The HIV/AGW issues aren't being debated; the scientific methodology is.Tomgg (talk) 02:50, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


The article states that the august New York Times has found fault with Dr. Mullis for expounding upon subjects beyond his field of expertise.

Apparently the Times is criticing Dr. Mullis for insufficient background in astrology, a science which has not been taught in universities for hundreds of years.

Or wait? Did someone just put that in there to discredit Dr. Mullis?? Nah....couldn't be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

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