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Pierre Jacques Antoine Béchamp lived from 1816 to 1908. Béchamp, a physician, unlike Pasteur, had plenty of biological and medical training. He was also a doctor of science, a pharmacist, and a college chemistry, physics, pharmacology, and toxicology professor. He is a known figure in industrial science, as he developed an economical process to produce aniline and the many dyes and drugs based on it. Regarding his life’s work, however, he is virtually unknown today. He was a leading figure in his time, but today his name is all but unknown in the orthodox histories of biology and medicine. I first heard of Béchamp in 1990 as I began my education in alternative , , medicine, and related areas. His story is worth telling, and the rest of this medical essay will deal at length with the idea that Béchamp was only the first in a long line of researchers whose work pointed toward a different paradigm in biology and medicine, which may still be adopted one day.

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With the works of Copernicus and Vesalius, Western science began its fitful rise and religion gradually lost its grip over the masses. In the 1600s, William Harvey further proved Galen’s work wrong, as he showed that the human heart was a pump that circulated blood throughout the body. Just as Copernicus did not immediately overturn Ptolemaic dogma regarding an Earth-centered universe, Vesalius did not immediately overturn all Galenic dogma. In 1628, Harvey published his research into the heart and its function. Similar to Galen and Vesalius, Harvey was a court physician, in his case to England’s King James I. In addition (and this is a central concern of this medical essay), Galen, Vesalius, and Harvey were all viciously attacked by their colleagues, who . Vesalius became so disgusted by the attacks that he lit a bonfire, destroyed his notes and works, and got out of anatomy altogether. Harvey endured years of attacks, to finally see his theories vindicated before he died. Not coincidentally, that warfare over those theories and dogma was entirely waged by men, and Harvey was another vivisectionist.

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As with most of Western medicine, attacking a tumor has nothing to do with curing the disease, but suppressing its symptoms. When oncologists talk about how successful their treatment is, it is nearly always in terms of how responsive the tumor is. Cancer patients hear the hopeful news that their type of tumor usually has a high response rate to the treatment proposed. Sure, the tumor responds. It is being attacked, but the attack is similar to America’s attacks on : most of the bombs miss the target and cause "collateral damage." When people undergoing chemotherapy lose their hair and have other maladies, that is "collateral damage." Their hair falls out because the chemotherapy kills all dividing cells, so it not only kills off tumor cells, it kills off hair follicles and tissue much more vital than hair.

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The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays

Waltar’s (2004) gives an idea of the vast scope of the technology, which is used in increasing crop production, controlling insect pests, sterilizing medical equipment, developing new drugs, medical diagnosis, cancer treatment, nuclear power, purifying cosmetics, testing soil at construction sites with radiation gauges, measuring automotive engine wear, inspecting aircraft welds through radiography, determining rail stresses, radioisotope thermoelectric generators for spacecraft, luminescent exit signs in public buildings, DNA forensics, carbon dating, enhancing the beauty of precious gems, authenticating rare paintings, and on and on.And then of course there is The Bomb: nuclear reactions as the threat of planetary incineration derived from Marie Curie’s seminal work.

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Algis Valiunas on the passions and struggles of radiation’s pioneer

This essay is overflowing with names, dates, and events, and takes an iconoclastic look at today’s medical establishment and how it came to be, and also argues that legitimate alternative paradigms exist, which can be far preferable to today’s. Early readers informed me that it could be an overwhelming amount of information to digest as well as emotionally trying. This timeline is intended to make the reading experience easier, so readers can refer to names, dates, and events within this essay's larger framework. Early human data is controversial in many quarters, and this timeline hews more toward today’s orthodox theories. The early population estimates, until the modern age, are probably within 25% of the actual population. The timeline is broken into two pieces, to 1491, directly below, and . There are far more links to this medical essay from the . This timeline is an abbreviated version of the .

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Disclaimer: I am a layman and do not give medical advice. Please do not take my word, or anybody else's, regarding your health. Take responsibility for your health and do not give it to "experts" or anybody else. Your life is life, and giving the responsibility for your health to others is a dangerous path. Talk to your doctor, read this essay, research the areas presented here if you feel inclined, but in the end, please make your own decisions. Doctors only know what they are taught, and if they are taught incorrectly, their advice can be less than helpful and their treatments can kill you. Please do nothing simply because an "expert" or other authority figure tells you to.