Germany court orders measles sceptic to pay 100,000 euros

Mar 20, 2015

By BBC News

A German biologist who offered €100,000 (£71,350; $106,300) to anyone who could prove that measles is a virus has been ordered by a court to pay up.

Stefan Lanka, who believes the illness is psychosomatic, made the pledge four years ago on his website.

The reward was later claimed by German doctor David Barden, who gathered evidence from various medical studies. Mr Lanka dismissed the findings.

But the court in the town of Ravensburg ruled that the proof was sufficient.

Reacting to the verdict by the court in the southern town, Mr Lanka said he would appeal.

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17 comments on “Germany court orders measles sceptic to pay 100,000 euros

  • “It is a psychosomatic illness,” he told regional paper Suedkurier. “People become ill after traumatic separations.”

    Obvious nut job. One wonders how he became a biologist.

    I did that Google search and was shocked to see a great number of supportive links also on the first page up. That is the troubling thing, how an obvious quack can get so much ” true belief ” from the credulous.

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  • One wonders how he became a biologist.

    People become mentally ill at some point in their lives. It may take years and might not be noticed for a while.

    John Ronson looking at this in “The Psychopath Test” (not just about psychopathy) believed that people making these transitions into mental illness during their careers cost us very heavily in the disruption caused to society. The pathetic moral and intellectual standards of a self serving media substantially aggravate the problem.

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  • Evidence measles is a virus:

    rapidly contagious (does not fit separation hypothesis)
    presumably viral load can be measured, high in people exhibiting
    vaccines work well (should have no effect on separation hypothesis)
    You can look at it with an electron microscope

    I suppose his refusal to look at evidence is no worse than your average Christian’s.

    I wonder if the shock of losing all that money will make him reconsider, or just exaggerate his martyr complex.

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  • Now, what we need is a legal action to claim this money!!

    Dr. Hovind, an Evangelical minister is offering $250,000 for anyone who can disprove his claim that the earth is 6,000 years old. I don’t have the offer site but if you google something like “Hovnid offer 6000 years old earth” you should get a lot of results. His offer also goes for proving the theory of evolution, but anyways, I am not an expert on earth sciences but I know that the age of the earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years (correct me if I am wrong).

    What do you guys think about Dr. Hovnid’s claim?

    Kent Hovind (or, to use his correct academic title, Mr. Kent Hovind) is a young Earth creationist and convicted felon from Pensacola, Florida. –
    I am not sure if this is Kent Hovind or his son Eric who is currently running his evangelist business, but it would be good if a court decided his wiggle-out terms were invalid!

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  • When I read things like this, I find it a comment on the defects in homo sapiens. First, that Lanka could make the claim, and second, that people could believe him. To me, it’s text book example of what the world is up against. Homo Sapiens have a propensity to be irrational. Cites God here. And because it is innate, we can’t escape this defect. These people vote, and there vote is worth the same as a rational person.

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  • So, Mr. Lanka – an unvaccinated 3-month-old infant who comes down with measles after having been exposed to another child who has them is just having emotional problems? That nasty rash is just caused by hysteria? The encephalitis, deafness, and death – all just psychosomatic. Riiiiiiight. Maybe Ebola is psychosomatic too. Why don’t you prove it by cozying up to some Ebola victims and showing us all how you never get these “psychosomatic” illnesses.

    Should have fined him a million euros and added some jail time as well.

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  • bayhuntr Mar 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    We can track tree rings back 12,000 years. What we lack is a court that’s willing to make people responsible for their claims.

    They do hold them responsible for SOME of their claims, – which is why Hovind is in jail for fraud!! (It appears that his religious “get-out-of-jail-free-card” did not work with the tax authorities.)

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  • Pretty sure I can prove that Hovind’s challenge is at least 9 years old.

    Says a lot about his grasp of science that he challenges someone to disprove a theory.

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  • Frontallobe Mar 22, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Says a lot about his grasp of science that he challenges someone to disprove a theory.

    I would agree about his lack of grasp of any understanding of science, but his claims are not even a scientific theory.
    They are simply a nonsensical assertion. (In any case, scientific theories can be proved wrong, by positive refutation. eg. the Flat Earth Theory)

    Ken Ham makes similar silly assertions, but his claims are based on an average of all the calculations he can find which are based on wrong assumptions, together with a negative proof fallacy, based on a silly claim that the science of radiometric dating is flawed, and that the physicists of the world don’t understand (Ham’s “superior Biblical knowledge” of) nuclear physics!!!!

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