Those animal right activists behind the attacks on my research and that of my colleagues assured me that Dr. Greek would be able to explain to me the invalidity of our scientific investigations.
I came here to accept that offer.
I explained to the readers that the ultimate goal of my field is to explain the workings of the brain and how it fails in disease. Everything we know about the brain indicates that the way neurons communicate, their basic cell types, the neurotransmitters and receptors they use, how circuits store and retrieve memories, how cells process visual, auditory and somatosensory information, are all highly conserved across mammalian species.
I challenged Dr. Greek to describe how one could elucidate the many functions of the brain without the use of animals. He had no answer.
I explained how the achievements of basic research in visual neuroscience is leading to the restoration of sight in human patients with the development of neural prosthesis, and how gene therapy work in mice and dogs has resulted in a cure for childhood blindness.
I challenged Dr. Greek to describe how one could have developed such these therapies without the use of animals. He had no answer.
I explained how thanks to basic research with dogs we discovered lung surfactants which are now used to save the lives of thousands of babies every single day.
I challenged Dr. Greek, once again, to describe how this could have been done without the help of animals. He had no answer, but complained that I was appealing to misery. No, I was appealing to logic and reason.
I noted that Dr. Greek injects anesthetics into his patients without really understanding of how they work (and he admitted as much). I then described how recent research with knock-in mice has revealed the molecular target of one of the most commonly used anesthetics (propofol) and argued that only with the help of such basic research with animals we will be able to fully understand the molecular targets and neural pathways involved in anesthesia and analgesia.
I challenged Dr. Greek to describe how else we can advance his own field of anesthesiology without the use of animals. He had no answer.
To all my challenges Dr. Greek has responded with endless essays and even longer citation lists, but no answers.
Dr. Greek now accuses me of having presented claims without backing them up. I think the readers are smart enough to note this is not true. I backed up my claims with facts. Dr. Greek just chooses to ignore the facts.
Dr. Greek now accuses me of calling him names, such as “mindless” and “silly”. He is confused. Those are not my words but those of Professor Weinberg at MIT who was understandably upset about the way he was cited out of context in the opening chapter of Dr. Greek’s new book. Prof. Weinberg also added: “please mention that I deeply resent the willful misrepresentation of what I was saying”. Done!
Dr. Greek complaints that we have been going in circles. Not true. I have offered different challenges one after another in the hope that he will be able to step up to the plate. He had no answer.
Dr. Greek whines that I have reneged on a promise to personally debate him on “prediction” at UCLA. There has never been such a promise. On April 6th I emailed Dr. Greek saying that “If you ever want to debate the notion that one can figure out how brains work without the use of animals I will be happy to debate you.” To which he replied, “Thanks Dario!”
And that has been exactly the debate we have been doing in the last couple of weeks in Opposing Views.
...and Dr. Greek had no answers.
This was expected, as the research is far from invalid. It is pretty damn good.
The public should be proud of the scientific talent at our universities and our leadership in the world.