Search This Blog

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hermann J. Muller - UnBEARable MUDslinging

Manufactured Uncertainty & Doubt or MUD is being slung against Hermann J. Muller, the great geneticist.

I know from whom it originated, but I won't do the person the honor of even mentioning his name.

Basically, the MUD goes like this:

1.  Muller formed the first BEAR (Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation) committees.  This was after he was recognized for discovering that ionizing radiation caused genetic mutations.

2.  Muller's fame allowed him to push through an agenda of LNT theory, which he formulated as a result of his work.

3. As a result of his influence, LNT was cemented within all of the following BEIR (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) committees.

4. Inherent in the points above, is that Muller was wrong about LNT, so the BEAR/BEIR committees have all been wrong, and therefore all of the regulations associated with radiation are faulty and too conservative.

Let's dig in!

Muller was a Nobel Prize winning geneticist and he was on the first BEAR committee.

But that committee was organized by the then President of the U.S. NAS, Detlev Bronk, not Muller.

As the last link states, the BEAR committees wrote many documents from 1954 to 1964.

Their first summary report (which is most similar to the contemporary BEIR summary reports) was published in 1956.  That is the report which has been promoted as the genesis of the conspiracy.

There were actually six BEAR subcommittees and Muller was only on one dealing with genetic effects.

So, based on 2. above, you'd expect he would be chairman of that committee.  Yet he wasn't, Warren Weaver was.  See page 33.  Weaver was with the Rockefeller Foundation which provided the FUNDING for BEAR (see the Introduction).

Okay, with Muller's fame you'd expect he'd be the committee Rapporteur (the guy who delivers the conclusions of the committee to the public), but as you can see he wasn't.  It was H.B. Glass.

And the committee brought in two consultants...why would they need them if Muller's influence was so overwhelming?  They wouldn't.

There's no reason to think that Muller was unusually influential, and that the summary report appears to be what it appears to be...a scientific consensus summary report based on the work of everyone involved.

"LNT" or "linear-no-threshold" are not mentioned, though what amounts to the same (there is no minimum amount of ionizing radiation which must be exceeded before any harmful mutations can occur, the number of mutations can accumulate) does.

The context in BEAR was in regards to hereditary effects, not cancer.  Contemporary LNT deals primarily with cancer, though it also applies to hereditary effects (though we use the concept of doubling much radiation is required to double the number of mutations normally expected).

From 1956 until today, there has been no evidence presented which refutes LNT.  Since then, we've learned what DNA actually consists of, we've observed DNA damage, and we've observed imperfect DNA repair. For some cancers, we've tracked mutation by mutation as the cancer grows.

Update: It was the Atomic Energy Commission that asked the U.S. NAS to convene BEAR according to J. Samuel Walker's Permissible Dose book.

DeNiArs should stop slinging MUD.

No comments:

Post a Comment