Subject: Rapture of the microbiologists

From: <sweitzer@bee.net>
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 11:32:07 EDT

11 suspicious deaths of Microbiologists over a 6 month period?

The probability of such event by blind chance could be calculated from the
number of microbiologists in the world and the frequency of such deaths in
the population at large.

My guess (and data-free opinion) is that the probability of 11 such deaths
in an unspecified sub-population occuring in unspecified sliding 6 month
window is much, much higher (perhaps even much^3) than the chance that
anyone would even notice such an event.

This is probably an excellent example of the 'sharpshooter's fallacy', where
one draws the target around densest cluster of holes. While the chance
probablity of 11 suspicious deaths of microbiologists in, say, Jan through
June of 2005 is low, it is very small, so is the probability of the same
sort of thing occuring among, say, pneumatic engineers during August through
Feb of 1999, or among any other specific sub-population during any other
specific time span. However, the small probability is offset by the
multitude of ways one can define the sub-population and pick a time frame.

I'm a biostatistician testing drugs; so there is always pressure to find
statistically significant effects in subpopulations. Of course, any post
hoc subpopulations have to be treated skeptically, and sometimes to make the
point, we subdivide the population by astrological sign without telling the
clinician: generally, at least one sign shows statistical significance, it
makes 2 beautiful power point slides: one without labels, one with.

So it probably says more about the prevalence of microbiologists than about
a conspiracy against them. (The planet is crawling with microbiologists.
And microbiologists are in turn crawling with microbes.)

What amazes me is that someone figured out the common thread between these
11 deaths.... (But humans do excel at seeing patterns....)

Grace & peace,

Dennis
------------------------------

Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 22:18:09 -0400
From: "Al Koop" <koopa@gvsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Hovind and Shermer

>>> "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com> 05/27/04 7:43 PM >>>wrote:

What a great idea for movie title - "The Rapture of the
Microbiologists"!

George,

My understanding of the Rapture is indeed quite limited, but these guys
died. I did not think that was a part of it. Our denominational
publication just had a news item that said that the Regent College
bookstore in Vancouver refused to have the last book in the "Left
Behind" series be on the shelf because of its poor theology and writing.

....

Actually these are the 11 microbiologists who died. I would imagine it
is a very improbable coincidence:

Suspicious deaths

The sudden and suspicious deaths of 11 of the world's leading
microbiologists.

Who they were:

1. Nov. 12, 2001:

Benito Que was said to have been beaten in a Miami parking lot and died
later.

2. Nov. 16, 2001:

Don C. Wiley went missing. Was found Dec. 20. Investigators said he got
dizzy on a Memphis bridge and fell to his death in a river.

3. Nov. 21, 2001:

Vladimir Pasechnik, former high-level Russian microbiologist who
defected in 1989 to the U.K. apparently died from a stroke.

4. Dec. 10, 2001:

Robert M. Schwartz was stabbed to death in Leesberg, Va. Three Satanists
have been arrested.

5. Dec. 14, 2001:

Nguyen Van Set died in an airlock filled with nitrogen in his lab in
Geelong, Australia.

6. Feb. 9, 2002:

Victor Korshunov had his head bashed in near his home in Moscow.

7. Feb. 14, 2002:

Ian Langford was found partially naked and wedged under a chair in
Norwich, England.

8. 9. Feb. 28, 2002:

San Francisco resident Tanya Holzmayer was killed by a microbiologist
colleague, Guyang Huang, who shot her as she took delivery of a pizza
and then apparently shot himself.

10. March 24, 2002:

David Wynn-Williams died in a road accident near his home in Cambridge,
England.

11. March 25, 2002:

Steven Mostow of the Colorado Health Sciences Centre, killed in a plane
he
was flying near Denver.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 20:48:33 -0600
From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Subject: Re: Hovind and Shermer

Al,

George Noory and Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM (the weirdo AM radio
talk show) talk alot about this. There may be some info on their web
site http://www.coasttocoastam.com. See this link with search results
from their site
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/search_results.html?query=microbiologists&x=8&
y=9

You might also check at http://www.stevequayle.com/. This guy is the
main "guest" who talks about this stuff.

This is our fall asleep radio station. It's amazing what you can learn.

TG

>I happened to be looking for an article about 11 world
>class-microbiologists who died under strange circumstances outside the
>lab from Nov 2001 to March 2002, and they directed me to the skeptic
>website. (Anyone know about this or have any thoughts about it? Any
>conspiracy theorists out there?)
- --
Received on Fri May 28 13:36:45 2004

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