Science: 1, Skeptics: -€100,000

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When German biologist Dr. Stefan Lanka put up a challenge on his website offering €100,000 euros to anyone with proof that measles was indeed a virus, he probably felt that he was standing up to the establishment and showing the world what hypocrites practitioners of modern medicine are. But four years later, it seems as though another doctor, Dr. David Barden, will in fact be the one with the last laugh.

On Thursday, a regional court in Germany ruled on a case between Drs. Lanka and Barden, with Dr. Barden claiming that he had assembled evidence from various studies and presented them to Dr. Lanka. When Dr. Lanka dismissed the findings, the matter was sent to the courts. Ruling in favor of Dr. Barden, the Ravensburg regional court deemed the evidence sufficient, and ordered Dr. Lanka to pay the reward.

While a healthy skepticism is important when studying science, so too is a willingness to accept the facts. Lanka has long been an HIV denier, and it’s not much of a surprise that he’s extended his wacky ideas to other types of viruses.

The court ruling comes amid news that there were 22,000 cases of measles reported across Europe since 2014, and Germany itself has faced a recent outbreak of the disease, and an 18-month-old infant passed away from measles just this February.

For his part, Lanka plans on appealing the decision.

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