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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Frank Visser, graduated as a psychologist of culture and religion, founded IntegralWorld in 1997. He worked as production manager for various publishing houses and as service manager for various internet companies and lives in Amsterdam. Books: Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion (SUNY, 2003), and The Corona Conspiracy: Combatting Disinformation about the Coronavirus (Kindle, 2020).
TABLE OF CONTENTS | REVIEWS
Where's the Control Experiment Protocol, Stefan?
The Corona Conspiracy, Part 32
In current science, you can't just make up your claims like Stefan Lanka does, but you need to support them with empirical evidence.
Checking up up on Stefan Lanka's silly project to "disprove all of virology", I found brief videos on a YouTube channel by "independent scientist" Igson Negrin, a Lanka fan who has approached the CDC and Ulrike Kämmerer by email with a rather peculiar request. Kämmerer was the main author of the Corman-Drosten Review Report, which was published in December 2020 with the aim to demand a retraction of the first RT-PCR protocol designed for SARS-CoV-2 by the team around German virologist Christian Drosten (see Part 20 and Part 24).
‘A Refutation of Virology’
As you may recall, Lanka has claimed that all viruses are non-existent (including SARS-CoV-2), and that he can "prove" this by a simple "control experiment." Any genome can be assembled, he claims, from any set of genetic material (see Part 28)
There is, however, one issue. Stefan Lanka has not yet done that simple experiment.
Obviously, he lacks both the expertise and the laboratory access to perform it. And he argues, it wouldn't help if he would do that experiment, because he is an "outsider", who would not be believed from the start (true). So Igson Negrin has now taken up the task to approach professional virologists and request them to do this "simple control experiment."
Here's the email Negri has sent to Ulrike Kämmerer on August 17, 2021:
Unfortunately, in the mail, the nature of this decisive control experiment is not specified. It is unclear what information Negrin has provided to Kämmerer.
Now, one can say much about this infamous team that tried to take down the Corman-Drosten PCR test protocol, but at least they believe in the existence of viruses and viral genomes. Well, most of their team members, some are true virus denialists (see Part 25). But Kämmerer is not that far into the rabbit hole, as is Stefan Lanka. She would not buy into: "From one set of data collected for the assembly of one genome in virology it is possible to assemble all the genomes of all 'viruses' at the same time." She knows better than that (I sincerely hope).
Negrin optimistically continues that it is very easy to perform this "quick and elegant control experiment" and that it will cost 0 Euro. He states that he expects a reply from her in one day, and will also let the world know if she did not or did not respond to him in time. This is, of course, beyond any bounds of professionalism and sanity. Even if taken seriously, it would take some time and money for a lab employee to assemble any virus from any data, if that would be feasible at all. Of course it isn't. The burden of proof is fully on Lanka.
At the end of his mail, Negrin loses all sense of proportion when he implies that, when Kämmerer doesn't reply on time, he will inform "the whole of Germany and the whole public in the world." He does seem to have reached out to a few US states (Texas and Arizona), and is planning to contact all US senators about this "control experiment".
Explaining the Methodology
If Stefan Lanka would perform this "experiment" himself, and publish a decent paper about it, explaining his methodology, it would be ground-breaking. Soon, other scientists would flock together and try to replicate (or disprove) his results. That's the way science works. But Stefan Lanka is just not up to this task, apparently. As I have explained before, on purely theoretical grounds his claim is baseless. It is like saying: you can write any book with the same alphabet! That is true, indeed, but trivial in the extreme. Books still exist (see Part 26).
It would also be interesting to learn Ulrike Kämmerer's response to this strange and rather rude request/threat from "independent scientist" Negrin (see Appendix 4). This meme (left) was posted on Twitter by another Lanka-fan, who goes by the name "wartime", next to Negrin's email. In quasi-official style, the Ulrike Kämmerer meme is date stamped (and it seems her deadline has passed by now, one month later).
The same message has been sent by Negrin to world-class Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, on the right (who was a member of the Corman-Drosten team that designed the first PCR test for SARS-CoV-2). Will she do this simple control experiment which refutes all of virology and costs 0 Euro?
You know the answer. :-) It is pointless.
As we have seen, Stefan Lanka himself is unable to do his own "control experiment", but at least he can share his protocol, so real scientists can execute them. Of course, this protocol will not work in practice, because genomics simply doesn't work in a piece-by-piece way. So the real question is for Stefan Lanka to specify how he wants to run his "control experiment". Take all the As, Cs, Us and Gs from a RNA extraction data set and build the genome of his liking? Or follow the protocols of science and let the data generate the true genomes?
It is fairly obvious from the above that Lanka, Negrin and company have no clue about how genome assembly actually works—and the same goes for their audience. It is not a matter of piecing nucleotides together until you have the genome, like the type-setting of a book. Rather, the genome emerges from the data itself. It is like opening a book and reading a few sentences. Pretty soon you recognize what book you are reading. The fact that all books use the same alphabet is totally irrelevant.
Claiming otherwise exposes one's ignorance. Stefan Lanka excels in spreading this utter nonsense.
But let's face it. Most virus denialists (Kaufman, Cowan, Icke) point to Stefan Lanka as their one and only "real" virologist—even if he no longer believes in the existence of viruses. So when he is not able to substantiate his claims with empirical research, or when he seems to do some experiments, he is not able to report on it in any serious and scientific manner, thing look bleak indeed for the virus denialist cause.
To his credit, Igson Negrin understands that in current science, you can't just make up your claims like Stefan Lanka does, but you need to support them with empirical evidence. In one Telegram post, he openly questions if Lanka is up to date with modern genomic science and pressures him to provide the evidence, or at least the protocol other scientists can use.
That is, in fact, exactly the impression I get from reading and listening to Stefan Lanka. Let's listen to Lanka himself, explaining his control experiment:
Funny how someone with zero knowledge of modern genome sequencing technology—which is a very specialized and highly paid field of bio-informatics—is lecturing on scientists how to do their job... Negrin himself is playing around with some online sequencing tools, but it is unclear if he understands their functionality at all.
In the meantime, Negrin has blocked me on his Telegram channel... so much for being open to debate.
Meta-conspiracy or conspiracy 2.0
On Telegram Igson Negrin claims that even Reiner Fuellmich is now seeing the "truth" that there is no virus at all, apparently after having interviewed a virus denialist (most probably nutrition activist Mike Adams). In an interview with Adams, he claimed that there is no viral isolate of SARS-CoV-2 at all (while admitting he's not a virologist).
Negrin urges Stefan Lanka to finally publish the results of his control experiment.
I am not sure if Reiner Fuellmich (not "dr. Reiner", and not a doctor) has converted to full-fledged virus denialism, but I do agree that his bombastic announcements about massive anti-lockdown class suit actions has lead us nowhere (see Part 27).
At the same time, he questions the work of the German Corona Ausschuss team (headed by Reiner Fuellmich), for not delivering the goods and endlessly talking about major law suits and class actions (against Christian Drosten among others). He sees them as merely controlled opposition. So he is deep into the rabbit hole himself.
‘In Scientific Journals!’
Imagine you have made a world shaking scientific discovery - viruses don't exist and viral genomes are just digital fabrications - and you announce it like this on Telegram.
My prediciton [sic] is: in winter it's over!
Let the Show Begin...
Bits and pieces of Lanka's methodology can be reaped from a recent Freedom Talk video posted on conspiracy channel Odysee:
Interviewer: So the first question in this Freedom Talk is about the Control Experiment, and my question is: what will be revealed, and what will be the logical and compelling consequence of the findings?
So apparently Lanka has access now to lab technology. However, it is unclear:
Again, we would need to see a carefully written paper about these Control Experiments. Just bluffing on social media about your own excellence brings us nowhere.
What is Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing?
Shotgun metagenomic sequencing allows researchers to comprehensively sample all genes in all organisms present in a given complex sample. The method enables microbiologists to evaluate bacterial diversity and detect the abundance of microbes in various environments. Shotgun metagenomics also provides a means to study unculturable microorganisms that are otherwise difficult or impossible to analyze. (Illumina)
Appendix 1: The Don Quixote of Modern Virology
Not hindered by the fact that he has yet to publish his results in an academic journal, Stefan Lanka cries victory and feels confident to accuse scientists and government officials of crimes against humanity. He truly is the Don Quixote of modern virology. In an open letter published on his own website titled "Offener Brief an den deutschen Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn", he addresses the German federal minister of health Jens Spahn. It covers not only the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic but also his favorite subject of the Measles (reminding him that he had notified Spahn of this already in early 2020).
As to the non-existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Lanka claims, referring to one of the first scientific papers to publish the full genome:
He ends his letter with the appropriate grandiosity:
I expect you to admit your shortcomings to the population and to cooperate in repairing the damage done in your responsibility to the body and soul of the population and the economy by the unjustifiable Corona/Covid measures and by the measles vaccination obligation.
Stefan Lanka seems totally clueless about how whole genome sequencing actually works.
Appendix 2: More Allegations of "Scientific Fraud"
If Stefan Lanka is the Don Quixote of modern virology, Igson Negrin is his faithful (but critical) servant Sancho Panza. He frequently posts on Telegram brief memes or arguments supposedly proving scientific fraud related to the genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. Here are a few examples:
Appendix 3: "Virus deniers: the Flat Earthers of biology"
Conspiracy debunker Dan Wilson published a great video on Stefan Lanka, as he was interviewed by Tom Cowan, on his Debunk the Funk YouTube channel. In this new video, Wilson refutes all seven points Lanka mentions "to disprove virology".
This 20-minute entertaining video covers everything from bacterial spores and bacteriophages (not the same thing), the control experiment argument, how viral structures are predicted by their genomes, how viruses in photos are not merely soap bubbles (seriously!), how EM photos show internal structures in different viruses, how Next Generation Sequencing really works (not the way Lanka "explains" it), that genomes cannot be assembled arbitrarily from any sample, nor from a mock-infected culture—and much more, including stellar photos of different viruses.
Tom Cowan somewhat cryptically summarizes Lanka's lecture as follows:
Cowan: I think the bottom line here Stefan, if you agree, is that it's that the chemistry and the structure follows consciousness, not the other way around.
To which Wilson drily adds:
Whatever that means. Well there you have it, that is Stefan Lanka the virus denier and flat earther of biology—completely debunked.
For more on Tom Cowan's far out speculations on how consciousness determines the structure of proteins, see Part 34.
Appendix 4: Ulrike Kämmerer's review of Lanka
During session #94 of the Corona Investigative Committee Ulrike Kämmerer reviewed Stefan Lanka's control experiments (or whatever has been made public so far). In session #90 Andrew Kaufman and Stefan Lanka were invited to make their case that viruses don't exist, but they were in for a cold shower. Reiner Fuellmich and Wolfgang Wodarg were not at all impressed, or even interested. This resulted in several strongly negatieve ("a missed opportunity") responses from both Kaufman and Lanka and Lanka's Project Immanuel (see Part 27)
This time the CIC reserved a full hour to demonstrate the undoubtable existence of viruses. Recall that Kämmerer was the main author of the Corman-Drosten Review Report (see Part 20), and its group of lockdown and pandemic skeptic authors at least accept the existence of viruses, viral genomes and PCR tests (with a few notable exceptions, see Part 25). So she presents the standard scientific theory of viruses, what they look like, how they are categorized, how they can be isolated, and so on. Viruses are not "alive" because they lack metabolism, but they are not "dead" either. She continues with a discussion of animal viruses, SARS-CoV-2 being a prime example. This paper describes safe ways to culture and quantify the SARS-CoV-2 virus, at biosafety level 3 labs, according to the latest scientific standards of working.
So where does that leave the extravagant claims of Stefan Lanka, Andrew Kaufman, Tom Cowan and others that there are no viruses, that these are just exosomes produced by dying cells, and that virologists don't do proper control experiments, Ulrike Kammerer asks the audience. Pointing to the only visual from his control experiment Lanka has shown so far, she raises a host of pertinent questions - as would any editor of a scientific journal do. Adding high doses of antibiotics would lead to cell damage (CPE), but would tell nothing about viruses.
Regarding Sefan Lanka's even wilder claim (experiment 4) that he can build any viral sequence - HIV, ebola, influenza - from the RNA of any healthy cell, she correctly asks: show us the RNA, show us the sequence. Indeed, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Kämmerer concludes by stating that these Lanka "control" experiments are indecisive. Just showing unspecified cell "damage" is not enough. A precise documentation of the protocol is needed - for which she even offers her help to Lanka. I fully agree.
Summing up: while I liked the way Ulrike Kammerer addressed the vague ideas of virus denialists, she did not really engage their core claims that (1) cell culture is not isolation, (2) virus photos are ambiguous, (3) viral genomes are arbitrarily constructed on a computer.
Appendix 5: The Control Experiment Articles
Since this chapter was published (October 2021) several anonymous articles in the German language related to Stefan Lanka's control experiments have been posted on the Telegra.ph platform. So... not "in science journals!", nor even as a preprint, nor with proper contact details. But with Lanka, this is most probably as good as it gets.
To get a grip on this material, Lanka proposed to do three phases of control experiments:
These four articles were posted by the anonymous "Corona_Fakten auf Telegram" author on Telegra.ph:
In the first article, the authors point to virological studies from the '60 of the last century, to make their point that virology fatally changed course after the genetic revolution around that time, with the discovery of the structure of DNA. From that moment on, genomes were all the craze and lab work was out of the window.
Let's take these four articles on point by point:
This paragraph from Article 4 is particularly striking, given that the reference genome is 29,903 nucleotides long:
With 28,459 (200 nt - 29,802 nt) contigs, we obtained significantly fewer than described in . Deviating from the representations in , our longest composite contig comprised only 29,802 nt and thus 672 nt less than the longest contig with 30,474 nt, which according to  comprised almost the entire viral genome. Our longest contig showed a perfect match with the sequence MN908947.3 [the reference genome] at a length of 29,801 nt
So the authors were able to reconstruct almost the full genome of SARS-CoV-2 after all, in one contig, with a difference of only one hundred nucleotides? "A perfect match" even? So what is their problem?
Besides attempting to replicate the assembly published in  with the published sequence readings, we considered a simple protocol for analyzing the internal structure of large data sets of short sequence readings. With the available sequence data, we were able to calculate consensus sequences for the reference genomes LC312715.1 (HIV) and NC_001653.2 (hepatitis delta) with a higher quality than the reference sequences we considered associated with coronaviruses. This also applies in particular to bat-SL-CoVZC45 (GenBank: MG772933.1), which led to the original hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2.
This paragraph claims that they succeeded in generating both HIV and Hepatitis delta genomes on the basis of the SARS-CoV-2 data set. They were less successful with the genomes of Measles, Ebola or Marburg. But I haven't been able to conclude that from their Article 4.
The authors conclude:
We were thus able to substantiate our hypothesis that the claimed viral genome sequences are misinterpretations in the sense that they were or are being constructed unnoticed from non-viral nucleic acid fragments.
So did they find "structural similarities" between the various genomes of completely different viruses, or did they demonstrate these were just the result of non-viral fragments? This is not clear to me from reading these articles (but I might be lacking the expertise in bioinformatics).
This very much looks like alternative science, presenting alternative facts in an alternative reality. All virologists of the world are wrong since over half a century, but Stefan Lanka can't even make his life's work into a proper preprint, to be peer reviewed by professional colleagues?
The author(s) have a hugely inflated sense of the importance of these publications (from the first article):
"The impact that results from this knowledge is of enormous importance. The refutation of all virus existence claims has at least the following consequences:
Appendix 6: The Kämmerer-Eckert Tango
New developments on the matter of the existence of viruses in Gemany. Two years ago, Samuel Eckert, Lankian virus denialist and Christian preacher, had offered a huge sum of money (at the moment $1.5 million!) for everyone who could prove that viruses exist. Nothing really happened, but recently Ulrike Kämmerer took up the challenge. Some background and history can be found on a German skeptic blog. As described in Part 7, in 2011 a similar (but less profitable: 100.000 euro only) was offered by Stefan Lanka for everyone who could provide a scientific publication that proved the existence of the measles virus. A medical student David Bardens claimed the reward, but after much legal hassle Lanka did not have to pay. Bardens had not offered one but six papers, so failed to comply with the terms of the contest. To avoid such a situation, Kämmerer has involved legal assistence.
In fact, Eckert and Kämmerer have engaged eachother on this topic for two years now. Kämmerer appeared on the Corona Ausschuss committee several times to refute the claims of virus deniers (most notably Lanka and Kaufman). It is high time that this matter is resolved. But I doubt it makes sense to do this costly experiment (SARS-CoV-2 can only be experimented with in highly-secured labs) at all, for it will yield results that will not be any different from what can already be found in the literature. However, she could at least disprove Lanka on the matter of his control experiments, in which he claimed that he could assemble the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome from any data set (a healthy person's sample or any other virus).
 Corona Ausschuss, "Ad-hoc 15 - Where to find the isolate?", odyssee.com, August 17th, 2021. Mike Adams is the founder of Natural News, "a far-right, anti-vaccination conspiracy theory and fake news website known for promoting alternative medicine, pseudoscience, and far-right extremism." (Wikipedia)
 Dean's Danes, "Freedom Talk 4: Interview with Dr. Stefan Lanka, Dr. Tom Cowan & Dr. Andrew Kaufman", odysee.com, September 23rd, 2021
 Stefan Lanka, "Offener Brief an den deutschen Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn", wissenschafftplus.de, October 5, 2021. English translation.
 Fan Wu et al., "A new coronavirus associated with human respiratory disease in China", Nature, 03 February 2020.
 Samuel Eckert, "Die 1.500.000 € Wette: Der #IsolateTruthFund wurde angenommen!", odysee.com, November 10th, 2022
 Bernd Harder, "Kämmerer vs. Eckert: Gibt es einen neuen "Masern-Pozess" um das SARS-CoV-2-Virus?", blog.gwup.net, 13. November 2022.
83 Vaccine Myths from docbastard.net
To all those who claim SARS-CoV-2—or any virus—does not exist: the virosphere consists of 4 realms, 9 kingdoms, 16 phyla, 2 subphyla, 36 classes, 55 orders, 8 suborders, 168 families, 103 subfamilies, 1421 genera, 68 subgenera, 6590 species. Take that. https://talk.ictvonline.org/taxonomy/
A summary of early parts of this series has appeared in the Dutch magazine Skepter 33(3), September 2020, as "Viruses don't exist" (covering Parts 1-5). German: Skeptiker (December 2020); English: Skeptic.org.uk (January 2021)
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