Four years ago, biologist Stefan Lanka made a bet on his website. He’s a believer that illnesses are psychosomatic, and offered anyone who could prove the existence of measles a wager. He said if someone could present him with evidence that the disease existed, he would pay them 100,000 euro.
The BBC reports that German doctor David Barden gathered evidence from various medical studies and presented it to Lanka. Lanka said, “Nope. Even though you’ve presented me with evidence, I’m still not paying you. I can’t even see that paper. It’s invisible. Nothing really has form in this world, it’s all an illusion. I can’t hear you, LALALALALA.” Just kidding. I made that up, but it’s probably what Lanka was thinking.
Enter the German judicial system, who reviewed the evidence and decided that the proof was sufficient for Lanka to make good on his bet. He was ordered to pay Barden the 100,000 euros he promised him. The BBC reports Lanka said he wold appeal. He told his local paper, “People become ill after traumatic separations.” Whatever that means.
There have been 22,000 cases of measles reported across Europe since 2014, which is probably why a case like this, with an assertion made by a biologist, would be taken so seriously.
Measles-deniers beware: if you are going to spew your nonsense, you better not put your money where your mouth is.
(photo: Getty Images)