Covid is over

BradStevens

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There are two different conversations going on. Whether the virus naturally jumped from another species to humans or whether the origin was a containment failure at a lab is absolutely worth investigating. I don't know that we'll ever definitively know, but we should look nonetheless. That's getting conflated with the virus itself being engineered in a lab as some kind of bioweapon, that's what OS was talking about as a baseless conspiracy theory.
Ah, OK. I didn't pick that distinction up. Thanks.
 

outside shooter

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...this recent article from The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists might make you question your certainty:

"The virus that caused the pandemic is known officially as SARS-CoV-2, but can be called SARS2 for short. As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped.
Neither of those scenarios involves the virus being, in any way, "created" in a lab. It came from a natural virus that infected people, either people who came in contact with bats or a secondary carrier, or people exposed to the natural virus in a lab accident.

My point was that it was, with 100% certainty, not genetically engineered in a lab.
 
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BradStevens

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Neither of those scenarios involves the virus being, in any way, "created" in a lab. It came from a natural virus that infected people, either people who came in contact with bats or a secondary carrier, or people exposed to the natural virus in a lab accident.

My point was that it was, with 100% certainty, not genetically engineered in a lab.
So you should probably read the article. I am not an expert in this area but the entire point of the article is that you cannot say with 100% certainty that the virus was NOT a human creation. The author doesn't say the motivation would be a bioweapon but instead would be to "stay ahead of" the next natural virus.
 
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UncleMark

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So you should probably read the article. I am not an expert in this area but the entire point of the article is that you cannot say with 100% certainty that the virus was NOT a human creation. The author doesn't say the motivation would be a bioweapon but instead would be to "stay ahead of" the next natural virus.
Shooter actually is an expert in this area. And anyone claiming that you can't prove a negative with 100% certainty has shown himself to be a moron.
 

BradStevens

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Shooter actually is an expert in this area. And anyone claiming that you can't prove a negative with 100% certainty has shown himself to be a moron.
I don't think the author is making the mistake you highlight (I know I'm not).

I am not an expert on this subject. If Shooter is, I hope he reads the article and comments. I guess I'm not being direct enough--I'd like to know WHY he thinks "it was, with 100% certainty, not genetically engineered in a lab" when a recent article from a pretty well-respected scientific publication says it is still very much a live question and quotes a former Nobel Laureate as saying:

“When I first saw the furin cleavage site in the viral sequence, with its arginine codons, I said to my wife it was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus,” said David Baltimore, an eminent virologist and former president of CalTech. “These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for SARS2,” he said.

Here's another article I just found detailing the controversy around the BotAS article, with the author noting that

"Other experts that The Wire Science has corresponded with in the course of its reportage have said that there is no conclusive evidence for any argument about the novel coronavirus’s origins."


I don't know anything about The Wire Science. Maybe it's a conspiracy-theory front but that article sure doesn't read that way. Nor have a I seen anything impugning the motives of David Baltimore. Baltimore could be wrong (Kristian G. Andersen sure thinks so) but for us lay people, it's not very easy to determine that.
 
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mcmurtry66

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I don't think the author is making the mistake you highlight (I know I'm not).

I am not an expert on this subject. If Shooter is, I hope he reads the article and comments. I guess I'm not being direct enough--I'd like to know WHY he thinks "it was, with 100% certainty, not genetically engineered in a lab" when a recent article from a pretty well-respected scientific publication says it is still very much a live question and quotes a former Nobel Laureate as saying:

“When I first saw the furin cleavage site in the viral sequence, with its arginine codons, I said to my wife it was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus,” said David Baltimore, an eminent virologist and former president of CalTech. “These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for SARS2,” he said.

Here's another article I just found detailing the controversy around the BotAS article, with the author noting that

"Other experts that The Wire Science has corresponded with in the course of its reportage have said that there is no conclusive evidence for any argument about the novel coronavirus’s origins."


I don't know anything about The Wire Science. Maybe it's a conspiracy-theory front but that article sure doesn't read that way. Nor have a I seen anything impugning the motives of David Baltimore. Baltimore could be wrong (Kristian G. Andersen sure thinks so) but for us lay people, it's not very easy to determine that.
LOL president of cal tech. that bum!!
 

jet812

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Shooter actually is an expert in this area. And anyone claiming that you can't prove a negative with 100% certainty has shown himself to be a moron.
Ha, Outside Shitter ran his mouth in another thread & disappeared when he was shown to be wrong. He’s a self proclaimed expert who has been shown to be incompetent, or maybe you know for a fact he’s an expert?
 

outside shooter

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So you should probably read the article. I am not an expert in this area but the entire point of the article is that you cannot say with 100% certainty that the virus was NOT a human creation.
Quoting the article, verbatim, on the two possible scenarios discussed:

"One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped."

Neither would be in any way, shape, or form, an incidence where the virus was of human creation.
 

outside shooter

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... ran his mouth in another thread & disappeared when he was shown to be wrong. He’s a self proclaimed expert who has been shown to be incompetent, or maybe you know for a fact he’s an expert?

I sometimes get too busy to check in at all, but I have never "disappeared" or ducked any questions. My credentials are not provable on a message board, but I have been consistent in describing my chemistry training (IU PhD), my work in pharma, and my teaching / research responsibilities. You can believe it or not and you can whine about it or not.
 

outside shooter

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Baltimore could be wrong (Kristian G. Andersen sure thinks so) but for us lay people, it's not very easy to determine that.

I am a chemist, not a geneticist. But in near layman's terms, genetic sequences can be inserted into a genome, but the insertion is accompanied by a tell-tale "tag" sequence at each end. The tag is in essence the fingerprint of Crispr gene insertion. It is not present in SARS-COV2, as definitively determined by Kristian.

Kristian provides clear evidence that Baltimore was wrong in claiming that no coronavirus has a furin cleavage site.
"Is This a COVID-19 ‘Smoking Gun,’ or Is it a Damp Squib? – Reason.com" https://reason.com/2021/05/13/is-this-a-covid-19-smoking-gun-or-is-it-a-damp-squib/?amp

Baltimore is famous for his HIV work 30-40 years ago, but HIV and SARSCOV2 are very different beasties. Kristian Anderson is the expert, IMO.
 
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JamieDimonsBalls

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Certain types of people don't care about FACTS.

We know the virus's precise RNA sequence and it was not an engineered sequence. It arose from random mutation of a native bat virus. Where, precisely, did that mutation happen? We don't know. But it was not "created" in any lab experiment.
I’d be careful with your conclusions



 
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mashnut

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check out the links above. Something is awry

It's been explained multiple times in this thread that escape from a lab is a credible hypothesis that should be investigated, artificial creation of the virus is pretty well debunked. Are you having trouble understanding that or are you just trying to stir things up?
 
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JamieDimonsBalls

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It's been explained multiple times in this thread that escape from a lab is a credible hypothesis that should be investigated, artificial creation of the virus is pretty well debunked. Are you having trouble understanding that or are you just trying to stir things up?

Did you read OS post?
 

BradStevens

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I am a chemist, not a geneticist. But in near layman's terms, genetic sequences can be inserted into a genome, but the insertion is accompanied by a tell-tale "tag" sequence at each end. The tag is in essence the fingerprint of Crispr gene insertion. It is not present in SARS-COV2, as definitively determined by Kristian.

Kristian provides clear evidence that Baltimore was wrong in claiming that no coronavirus has a furin cleavage site.
"Is This a COVID-19 ‘Smoking Gun,’ or Is it a Damp Squib? – Reason.com" https://reason.com/2021/05/13/is-this-a-covid-19-smoking-gun-or-is-it-a-damp-squib/?amp

Baltimore is famous for his HIV work 30-40 years ago, but HIV and SARSCOV2 are very different beasties. Kristian Anderson is the expert, IMO.
Regarding the tag sequence, the BotAS author covered that:

"A second statement that had enormous influence in shaping public attitudes was a letter (in other words an opinion piece, not a scientific article) published on 17 March 2020 in the journal Nature Medicine. Its authors were a group of virologists led by Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute. “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” the five virologists declared in the second paragraph of their letter.

Unfortunately, this was another case of poor science, in the sense defined above. True, some older methods of cutting and pasting viral genomes retain tell-tale signs of manipulation. But newer methods, called “no-see-um” or “seamless” approaches, leave no defining marks. Nor do other methods for manipulating viruses such as serial passage, the repeated transfer of viruses from one culture of cells to another. If a virus has been manipulated, whether with a seamless method or by serial passage, there is no way of knowing that this is the case. Andersen and his colleagues were assuring their readers of something they could not know."

Do you think the author got that part wrong?
 

BradStevens

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It's been explained multiple times in this thread that escape from a lab is a credible hypothesis that should be investigated, artificial creation of the virus is pretty well debunked. Are you having trouble understanding that or are you just trying to stir things up?
The article I linked does not agree with you that it has been well debunked. Two articles I have posted come to the conclusion that there are two viable stories, and that the evidence is not conclusive on either. As does Derek Lowe's piece, that Outside Shooter just posted:

"Where did the current coronavirus come from?

If you ask that question, you get all sorts of answers from all sorts of people. Let me downgrade some of those right up front. To start at the far end of the fever scale, I do not think that this virus is some sort of deliberately engineered (and/or deliberately released) bioweapon, and I am simply not going to give that theory more time here today. But that still leaves a lot of possibilities open, and I don’t think we have enough evidence yet to sort those others out.

The other end of the scale is that this is a virus that evolved into its present form in an animal host and then made the jump into infecting humans through sheer coincidence and bad luck. That does happen, and it has happened many times throughout history, so that absolutely cannot be ruled out. But there are a lot of possibilities in between those two. As the world knows, there is a research facility in Wuhan that has been studying viruses (including coronaviruses), so we also cannot rule out the possibility of an accidental escape from such a site. And there’s also the possibility that such a virus might then be different from wild-type, depending on what sorts of work was done on it. Viruses most certainly have escaped from research facilities before, and this is not a crazy idea."

If by "artificial creation" you mean something made from scratch, as it were, then I guess everyone would agree with you. But I don't think anyone else in this thread thinks of that term that narrowly.
 
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outside shooter

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Do you think the author got that part wrong?
Yes. People are doing traceless gene insertion at Harvard, Oxford, and a few other places with the know-how, equipment, and expertise. That capability doesn't extend so readily to the Wuhan Insitute for virology.

The folks down at Jiffy Lube probably aren't doing do many oil changes on Bugatti supercars, either.

There are some major logical problems with the "created in a lab" theory also. Coronaviruses have never been particularly virulent. Why would you pick that one for your superbug? SARS1 also had an ACE2-targeting spike protein. It was not much of a virus. Why start with it or with that mechanism? Bat coronaviruses had never been shown to adapt to other mammals. Why not start with a bird virus, or pig virus? Or how about Ebola or Dengue?

Mother Nature overcame that lack of history through a prolonged sequence of random mutations. We can even estimate, by gene mutation rate, how many replications it took to get from the native bat coronavirus to the original Wuhan human variant.

No human on Earth would have known a priori what mutations to make in order to "accomplish" something with no track record /no expectation of "success". If Harvard and every other top school in the World were full of conspiring evil people, even then it would have been a tall task.

Mother Nature does some amazing things and it is silly arrogance to assume that only some evil mastermind could have done it, in 1918 or in 2019. But some people LOVE to have a boogeyman.
 
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JamieDimonsBalls

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Yes. People are doing traceless gene insertion at Harvard, Oxford, and a few other places with the know-how, equipment, and expertise. That capability doesn't extend so readily to the Wuhan Insitute for virology.

The folks down at Jiffy Lube probably aren't doing do many oil changes on Bugatti supercars, either.

There are some major logical problems with the "created in a lab" theory also. Coronaviruses have never been particularly virulent. Why would you pick that one for your superbug? SARS1 also had an ACE2-targeting spike protein. It was not much of a virus. Why start with it or with that mechanism? Bat coronaviruses had never been shown to adapt to other mammals. Why not start with a bird virus, or pig virus? Or how about Ebola or Dengue?

Mother Nature overcame that lack of history through a prolonged sequence of random mutations. We can even estimate, by gene mutation rate, how many replications it took to get from the native bat coronavirus to the original Wuhan human variant.

No human on Earth would have known a priori what mutations to make in order to "accomplish" something with no track record /no expectation of "success". If Harvard and every other top school in the World were full of conspiring evil people, even then it would have been a tall task.

Mother Nature does some amazing things and it is silly arrogance to assume that only some evil mastermind could have done it, in 1918 or in 2019. But some people LOVE to have a boogeyman.

Why does it matter if it was lab leaked or natural? It clearly stemmed from Chinese recklessness and lack of modern civility. The boogeyman shouldn't change and one could argue, the degree of vitriol towards the CCP for their enablement of this global pandemic shouldn't either.

Wet markets have been a known issue for a long time.
 

BradStevens

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Yes. People are doing traceless gene insertion at Harvard, Oxford, and a few other places with the know-how, equipment, and expertise. That capability doesn't extend so readily to the Wuhan Insitute for virology.

The folks down at Jiffy Lube probably aren't doing do many oil changes on Bugatti supercars, either.

There are some major logical problems with the "created in a lab" theory also. Coronaviruses have never been particularly virulent. Why would you pick that one for your superbug? SARS1 also had an ACE2-targeting spike protein. It was not much of a virus. Why start with it or with that mechanism? Bat coronaviruses had never been shown to adapt to other mammals. Why not start with a bird virus, or pig virus? Or how about Ebola or Dengue?

Mother Nature overcame that lack of history through a prolonged sequence of random mutations. We can even estimate, by gene mutation rate, how many replications it took to get from the native bat coronavirus to the original Wuhan human variant.

No human on Earth would have known a priori what mutations to make in order to "accomplish" something with no track record /no expectation of "success". If Harvard and every other top school in the World were full of conspiring evil people, even then it would have been a tall task.

Mother Nature does some amazing things and it is silly arrogance to assume that only some evil mastermind could have done it, in 1918 or in 2019. But some people LOVE to have a boogeyman.
Thanks for showing your reasoning on this. I find that helpful.

I'd like to just note, though, that I think your last thought pollutes this debate and might be (I really don't know, just guessing) coloring your thinking. I agree there are people--some idiots and morons beyond belief--that are trying to use this to defend their own favorite politician or to blame China. But that doesn't mean everyone asking questions about this "assume that only some evil mastermind could have done it" or fail to recognize the power of evolution.

At the end of the day, if I were a betting man at this point (and I most certainly am!), from my lay reading of all this material, I'd bet on the natural hypothesis (80% chance). But I don't think you can rule out the lab-altered hypothesis without more (some of these people would say "any") evidence. That's why my questioning has been directed at your apparent certainty in your conclusion, but not the conclusion itself. I guess I'm much more of a fallabilist on knowledge claims like this.
 

BradStevens

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Why does it matter if it was lab leaked or natural? It clearly stemmed from Chinese recklessness and lack of modern civility. The boogeyman shouldn't change and one could argue, the degree of vitriol towards the CCP for their enablement of this global pandemic shouldn't either.

Wet markets have been a known issue for a long time.
It probably matters in how nations will regulate virology labs in the future if it was lab leaked. And if it was a product of engineering in any manner (splicing or running through various cultures), it will undoubtedly lead to debate and possibly more regs about gene editing/experimentation, etc.

I really don't have a dog in this fight, but just think people need to be more open to curiosity on this subject.
 

JamieDimonsBalls

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Were the outbreaks originating in the USA due to American recklessness?


no, do you even look at updates?

 

UncleMark

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no, do you even look at updates?

Strong evidence that the Spanish Flu originated in pigs in Kansas.
 

jet812

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I watched the video, which does not even show the question that was asked, and those words are never used.
Let’s just play along & say the quotes attributed to Fauci are accurate but not in the video. What would you take them to mean?
 

UncleMark

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why does that matter? Either way, it’s a link of direct responsibility, even though the wet markets should also be an indicator of such.
So what's your point? Are you claiming malevolence? Incompetence? Or do you just want to blame the Chinks?
 

jet812

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So what's your point? Are you claiming malevolence? Incompetence? Or do you just want to blame the Chinks?
There it is...someone can’t even suggest that the Chinese are culpable on some level, whether it be incompetence or malevolence, without you suggesting it’s racially motivated. Pathetic.
 

outside shooter

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Let’s just play along & say the quotes attributed to Fauci are accurate but not in the video. What would you take them to mean?
Let's say that I heard you talking about tongueing Trump's arsehole. What should we take that to mean?