Conservative “historian” David Barton’s attempt to argue that an HIV vaccine would never be discovered was sunk on Monday by Patheos’ Warren Throckmorton.
As Throckmorton wrote on Monday, Barton conflated two different HIV vaccine studies during a speech for Charis Bible College.
“The Bible says if you engage in homosexuality, your body will do things that will penalize you,” Barton said in remarks posted by Right Wing Watch. “So if you can have a vaccine for AIDS, then you’re keeping your body from penalizing you. I don’t think they’ll ever find a vaccine for AIDS.”
During that same speech, Throckmorton wrote, Barton — who has also called climate change a penalty for abortion — also suggested that he nearly “misinterpreted” the Bible after seeing a 2009 Popular Science story about successful tests in Thailand for one vaccine, identified as RV 144.
“Then six weeks later, they came out with this that says, ‘NIH halts trial of HIV vaccine after it fails to work,'” Barton said. “The newspaper said it worked but none of the medical evidence said that it worked. So they still don’t have a cure.”
But according to Throckmorton, the second story Barton mentioned was actually published in 2013, and concerned tests for a different vaccine, HVTN 505.
“The HVTN 505 trial results had nothing to do with the earlier success of RV 144. The RV 144 trial was reported in 2009, the same year that the HVTN 505 started,” Throckmorton stated, adding, “Barton got the time frame wrong and made it appear that the two headlines were related to each other.”
Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College, a Christian college in Pennsylvania, recently collaborated on a book aimed at debunking Barton’s statements regarding former President Thomas Jefferson.
Watch footage of Barton’s remarks, as posted by Right Wing Watch on Monday, below.