Streetwise Professor

May 30, 2021

Intelligent Design vs. The Missing Link (or the Virus Gnomes)

Filed under: CoronaCrisis,Politics — cpirrong @ 5:50 pm

The raging debate over the covid lab leak theory reminds me of the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution debate, with the lab leak theory playing the role of ID and the natural origins theory playing that of Evolution.

There is a huge difference, however. Here we have a strong candidate for the Intelligent Designer: “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli, and her team at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Madam Shi has both capability and opportunity. She has a long history of engaging in the genetic engineering of viruses, with the specific goal of increasing and evaluating their virulence in humans (“gain of function research”). As her monicker demonstrates, this includes a specialization in modifying viruses found in bats, which even the evolutionists acknowledge is the original source of covid. There is recent evidence that she had (almost certainly uniquely) access to the raw material (bat viruses from a cave 1000+ miles from her lab) that a modern day Dr. Frankenstein could combine with other genetic material to produce covid.

There are reputable scientists who have recently released a paper claiming that covid-19 was created in a lab. I do not have the expertise to evaluate their claims, but I think it is beyond cavil that Shi had the ability to do what they claim.

Against this we have the evolutionists, who at this stage remind me of the South Park Underpants Gnomes:

  1. Bats.
  2. ????
  3. Covid-19!

Or to use an evolutionary metaphor, they have a huge missing link problem. Despite intense efforts, they have yet to identify the intermediate species between bats deep in a cave and humans in Wuhan. They have hypothesized such a link (or links) and asserted that their hypothesis is truth. This is unscientific. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but unless and until the chain of transmission can be demonstrated, the hypothesis remains only that, and the longer we go without identifying the chain the less likely it is that it ever existed.

In stark contrast, the entire possible causal chain in the lab leak hypothesis is known, and extremely plausible, and there is circumstantial evidence that it indeed operated.

Right now, in my opinion the burden of proof is on the Evolutionists. They have far less evidence on their side than the Intelligent Designers.

I of course use the term “Intelligent Design” sarcastically, but not in the way that you might think (to cast aspersions on the lab leak hypothesis, given the low scientific standing of Intelligent Design Theory). No, the sarcasm relates to what Shi (and other scientists around the world) are designing: these are smart people, but how intelligent is it to create deadly pathogens that can escape into the human population–as even defenders of that research acknowledge is a possibility?

And of course, one of those defenders is none other than Dr. Anthony “The Dervish” Fauci. In 2012 he said thus:

In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic? Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?

Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks. It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might appear to be risky

What are these supposed benefits? Well, the Underpants Gnomes again come to mind: ???

Supposedly the idea is that we can get ahead of nature by creating deadly things that nature might produce through evolution and create cures in advance.

OK. I’ll bite. Name one cure produced by this type of research. Just one.

I have never seen a defender or advocate of this research point to a single example.

And indeed, it seems wildly implausible that this is very likely at all. What are the odds that nature would produce something so similar to what is produced in the lab by Dr. Shi or anybody else that a hypothetical vaccine for the Frankenstein creation would work on the evolved virus? Look at flu vaccines. They are frequently useless because the specific strains of virus they target happen NOT to be the one that crops up in a given year. Vaccines are not like hand grenades or horseshoes. Close is not good enough. A miss is as good as a mile.

Covid vaccines are very specifically targeted. The hysteria over covid variants is due in large part to concern that a vax that works on one variant won’t work well on other, very closely related ones.

But we are to believe that a vaccine (which again, has never been developed in reality) to treat a lab-created virus will be efficacious against another one that evolved independently?

So maybe GOF research creates the most deadly strain of pathogen, could–in theory–give us a defense against that specific or very closely related strains. But what good is that if other really deadly (if not quite so deadly) pathogens evolve, against which the unicorn vax is useless? And what are the odds that the most deadly pathogen would evolve naturally?

That is, how can (in Fauci’s words) you really “get ahead of the threat”? This is an especially valid question for evolutionists (whose ruling model is one of random variation plus natural selection): what are the odds that a threat that is created in the lab will help deal with a threat that evolves by a random process? Gain of Function seems to presume some sort of viral teleology. Which is to say, that nature acts by intelligent design that mirrors what is done in the lab. Human Intelligent Designers can “get ahead of” nature’s Intelligent Designer.

Ironic, eh?

So, GOF basically means create something really deadly that is unlikely to evolve naturally and which is also unlikely to permit developments of vaccines against what evolves naturally. This means that the odds of GOF research producing something that will protect against naturally occurring pathogens is vanishingly small.

But the risk of a lab leak is real, and non-trivial–as historical experience demonstrates and even Fauci acknowledges.

So how is this risk-reward trade-off intelligent?

This whole line of research seems to represent exactly the kind of scientific hubris that Mary Shelly wrote about two centuries ago. The “get ahead of the threat” rhetoric seems like propaganda intended to gull people into accepting Dr. Frankensteins pursuing their hubristic ambitions.

I am open to persuasion, which would have to take the following form. A rigorous calculation of the probability that a given GOF research effort will make it possible to accelerate meaningfully the development of a vaccine or therapy against a naturally evolved pathogen vs. a calculation of the probability that the pathogen created by this given effort will escape the lab.

Until I see such a demonstration, I will conclude that GOF should be banned, and its Dr. Frankenstein practitioners relegated to other, more benign tasks.

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53 Comments »

  1. Given your analysis, which seems very plausible, that GOF research will do nothing to improve readiness for some naturally-occurring virus, then the other compelling rationale for GOF research becomes the remaining candidate.

    That GOF work is to produce a viral weapon.

    Were SARS-Cov-2 a first prototype for a weaponized virus, it would necessarily be very crude. It infected everyone. No one wants to release a non-discriminant viral weapon. So SARS-Cov-2 was a work-in-progress. It escaped because the Wuhan lab is porous (incompetent). They were careless.

    Given that, and given the propensity of the CCP to behave without moral or ethical constraint, and given that they are unrestrainedly imperialistic and colonialistic, it’s almost certain that they would engage in GOF research to make the virus that will kill only, e.g., non-Chinese. It seems possible, given the increasingly detailed knowledge of the human genome.

    If others are doing GOF to malign purpose, it makes sense to do the same research in defense. At least, then, one is likely to recognize a synthetic virus. It will contain DNA or RNA that is identifiably from other organisms. Or that is from no known organism.

    Viral weapons are a force-multiplier. They can be used by the militarily weak against the strong. One doubts that the CCP or the Fidelistas, or even a wealthy progressive humanity-hater would honor a world-wide ban on GOF research. Anyone else remember 12 Monkeys?

    P4 labs are not cheap. But you could set one up for the cost of one current-version M1 Abrams battle tank (~$8.5 million). That price wouldn’t exhaust Bill Gates’ pocket change. Or George Soros’.

    The only sane reason to do military grade GOF research is if you know someone else is doing it.

    The other reason, of course, is that benign GOF research could produce viruses that target and kill types of cancer. Or that modify a somatic genome to cure genetic deficiency illnesses. Or even, eventually, that demethylate DNA and restore youth.

    But a strict focus on all that benign stuff requires a pacific outlook. Not much of that in today’s world.

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 30, 2021 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Perhaps GOF is an idea we should shelve for now and perhaps dust off in a century or so if lab safety dramatically improves (perhaps by keeping humans out of them) and we identify specific, plausible uses for the research.
    At the moment, the idea seems nuts and should be restricted with the same vigor as nuclear anti-proliferation.
    Covid, while extremely infectious, turned out to have a low IFR for most people. It was a shot across our bows. If we don’t find a way to stop GOF research, the next leak might be as deadly as SARS or MERS.

    Comment by Nikolai Vladivostok — May 30, 2021 @ 9:16 pm

  3. FWIW this is the counter argument from a group of virologists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxwrDSYrhjU

    Comment by Andrew Stanton — May 31, 2021 @ 7:04 am

  4. GOF research will continue unabated in China, N Korea, Iran et alia. And likely here in the West as well. This cannot be contained.

    Comment by T C Phillips — May 31, 2021 @ 7:40 am

  5. The genie is out of the bottle Prof. This is a handy dandy form of assymetric warfare, especially for a very centrally-controlled, despotic government on the rise. Set aside the loss of life, which, clearly they care nothing about, and focus on the societal and economic upset. Jumbo win win for the despots. The Chinese, of course, really don’t care if they are blamed and rely on the Alfred E. Neuman defense “What? Me worry?
    Looking back generally over history, ancient and very ancient, declines in dominant societies (including other Chinese dynasties) were generally helped along by disease, disorder and a lack of will.

    Comment by Donald Wolfe — May 31, 2021 @ 8:00 am

  6. Gain-of-function research?!? The name is enough to give one the creeps.
    And who’s the presiding genius? Peter Daszak. President of EcoHealth Alliance, whatever the hell that’s supposed to be. And also, by an amusing coincidence, on the WTO ‘Investigation’ team in Wuhan. If you look into the background, this guy is the eminence grise behind Wuhan and its boss.
    Lesson of the organ grinder and the monkey: don’t waste your time on the monkey.

    As I said before, get exercised over Fauci, if you will. Jump up and down yelling about the Wuhan Institute though I doubt it’ll get you anywhere. CPC Dictatorship means they won’t pay any attention. And if anyone tries to sue China for damages, well, where’s the definitive proof? Plausibility doesn’t really get you anywhere.
    Personally, I’d be wanting to interrogate Daszak. The sooner gain-of-function research is prohibited, the safer we all will be. And that’s the entire species of homo sapiens.

    Comment by Simple Simon — May 31, 2021 @ 9:25 am

  7. “I do not have the expertise to evaluate their claims”: nor me. I used to serve on the Safety Committee of a university department that included some Class 3 bio labs. Many of their hazards weren’t much different from the hazards of any old research lab – the hazards that you could classify as physics, chemistry, or engineering. But some were specific to high tech biology, and there I was out of my depth. ( Of course you can class all hazards as being people, bloody people.)

    The trouble with forming a separate safety committee for the bio work – which is what we eventually did – is that it leaves the problems in the hands of people who have an incentive to press ahead with the work irrespective of the hazards, secure in the knowledge that their ignorant colleagues couldn’t assess the risks.

    Hey ho. Anyway, my experience meant that I was certain from the beginning that a lab leak was a plausible cause. Plausible only, of course. Then again, I hadn’t myself been infected by the Antitrump virus. How many people will that virus have killed, I wonder.

    Comment by dearieme — May 31, 2021 @ 11:47 am

  8. Consider that the strained logic of GOF used ultimately to create a vaccine for a not yet evolved natural virus may be the lure that enabled the Chinese lab to get gobs of money from the US government.
    The development of a new lab created virus, and its accompanying vaccine seem only logical when thinking of biological warfare. Develop the virus; develop the antidote, now you have a weapon that affects all that have no access to the vaccine. Who has the vaccine? The Chinese communists.
    In theory.
    Too bad for the communists that they are incompetent and the experiments were not contained. Too bad for everyone that this was ever conceived to begin with.
    Is it just me, or do our elites seem to be vastly more incompetent than they were 15+ years ago?

    Comment by Gordon — May 31, 2021 @ 3:17 pm

  9. Underpant Gnomes – love it. I use that analogy weekly – it covers a whole host of stupidity.

    You have to think the lab leak is a strong contender given how quickly and how certain the Chinese authorities were to point to the local wet market. If there’s anything we know about China and official statistics / government announcements it is that they are always made up to suit the narrative.

    Comment by GreenwichMeanTiger — May 31, 2021 @ 6:09 pm

  10. Read “Unrestricted Warfare” by the Chinese general Qiao Liang. It is a blueprint for the warfare tactics of the CCP in their attack on the United States.
    Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDqFwsIiqI4&t=6

    Comment by Richard Whitney — May 31, 2021 @ 6:26 pm

  11. I’m entirely in agreement that the statistical likelihood of the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV2 arriving by mutation/evolution vs genetic splicing is vanishingly unlikely. That it originated in a lab is almost a certainty. Two further points however:

    1. Re ID; do yourself a favour and seek out Michael Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box”. It’s an excellent and accessible primer on the underpinning principles and mechanisms of action of molecular-scale biology. Despite having been the author/book that coined the term “intelligent design”, Behe is no creationist himself, though he spectacularly demolishes the Darwinian arguments at a molecular scale. The widespread ridicule that is hurled at ID as a principle is generally remarkably illiterate of the molecular-scale science, eg ego-cretins like Dawkins.

    2. The ongoing characterisation of the CCP as some sort of ghastly, malign body is also crude and stupid. The way the MSM narrative has pivoted seamlessly from “Covid origin MUST be natural” to Covid origin if engineered MUST be Wuhan” should give any rational person pause for thought. The US has many bio-warfare research facilities in many countries. It’s a matter of historical record that the US deployed bio-warfare against North Korea. Covid could have originated in any of a number of bio-research labs, and anyone who pretends certainty as to where or how it originated is either an insider or an idiot. Ron Unz is on the ball as usual: https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-george-orwells-virus-lab-leak/

    Comment by Huskynut — May 31, 2021 @ 6:28 pm

  12. I would agree with the statement >> The ongoing characterization of the CCP as some sort of ghastly, malign body is also crude and stupid<< if I didn't know anything about the CCP abhorent actions in Mongolia, Tibet, the incarceration of the Uighurs, policies leading to more than one million Muslims (the majority of them Uyghurs) being held in secretive internment camps without any legal process, or the aggressive tactics being waged against practically every neighboring country, the ongoing aggression against India (where they had their heads handed to them in the Galwan Pass), the threats to Taiwan and Australia, and more…
    …but I do know about them, so I cannot agree with this statement nor with any other TikTok propaganda.

    Comment by Richard Whitney — June 1, 2021 @ 10:03 am

  13. @Huskynut: If you have to go back to the Korean War to find evidence that the USA is as malign as today’s CCP leadership, then your argument is on shaky ground indeed…

    Comment by HibernoFrog — June 1, 2021 @ 10:28 am

  14. @11 Huskynut, “remarkably illiterate of the molecular-scale science

    I am a physical methods experimental chemist. I know something of “molecular scale science” and have zero doubt that Behe’s ID thesis about irreducible complexity is nonsense.

    Natural selection works at the molecular scale just as it does at the organismal scale. Adaptation of pre-existing biomolecules to new functions is no mystery.

    In other news, the CCP is totalitarian. It murders on a mass scale and without conscience. It mass murdered in the past, and it is mass murdering now. It enslaves its people and destroys their culture.

    Comparing the CCP to the US is like comparing smallpox to a bee sting. The bee may hurt you, but it’s benign in outlook and is not out to pave the earth with your life.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 1, 2021 @ 10:43 am

  15. I guess it’s back to the ole’ conspiracy or cock-up explanations. This time last year I did idly speculate it could be some sophisticated – and highly deniable – attack, instigated by the Chinese i.e. let it rip amongst your population for a month or two, then wheel out a vaccine you miraculously developed while the rest of the world buckles under the pandemic you initiated. The only problem with this is, to what aim? Sure, it’s helped them in some ways (e.g. maybe contributing a little to Trump being unseated), but it has very much turned the world’s focus on them and their many, many failings.

    Which then leads to the second explanation. Siting a biological research lab (especially one engaging in such dangerous work) in a bustling city wouldn’t exactly be best practice here in the West. And knowing a little about the working practices within government funded labs, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone cocked up (e.g. punctured a glove in a glove box) and, given their culture, decided to keep quiet and cover it up.

    I’m not exactly sure why this debate is being held, as it is sort of academic given the truth will probably never be told. I assume it’s more for domestic consumption, highlighting Biden’s alleged weakness over China (in the absence of any other compelling evidence)? Personally I reckon there’s more mileage in the wet market theory – it plays well with the kids…

    Comment by David Mercer — June 2, 2021 @ 5:02 am

  16. Two comments:

    1. Occam’s Razor should apply to any “origin” story and, given all the circumstantial evidence, this mostly points to the lab leak theory since it is the most supported by “circumstantial” evidence.

    2. GOF. This is science fiction become alive. I read many years ago a short story that had as its basis the use of biowarfare. A weak country was invaded only for the invaders to fall ill. But not the inhabitants. They’d all be vaccinated against the desease. Sound familiar? (Can’t remember the author–but such writers can be mighty prescient, not about details, but the consequences of technological development).

    One of the key questions–and like the professor–I’m unable to ascertain its validity is the paper that goes into the RNA structure of the virus and talks about oddities in its structure that can only have come from GOF. If this is true, this is the smoking gun. After much delay, it is due to be published shortly and will, I presume, lead to much debate amongst knowlegeable scientists–or not!

    Comment by Peter Moles — June 2, 2021 @ 9:23 am

  17. “Siting a biological research lab (especially one engaging in such dangerous work) in a bustling city wouldn’t exactly be best practice here in the West.”

    It’s been done, ‘best practice’ or not. You might put one, for example, close to a relevant university lab: in Boston, say, rather than South Dakota.

    Comment by dearieme — June 2, 2021 @ 9:25 am

  18. I note that there are two BSL4 labs in Atlanta and one in San Antonio, which are quite bustling spots.

    There’s one in Bethesda which, handled skilfully, might debustle Washington DC to a useful extent.

    Comment by dearieme — June 2, 2021 @ 9:34 am

  19. Not exactly remote, I give you Plum Island.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plum_Island_Animal_Disease_Center

    Comment by The Pilot — June 2, 2021 @ 10:13 am

  20. The CCP is th world’s public enemy #1. Here is yet another example: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17403/china-belt-road-forced-labor

    Comment by Richard Whitney — June 2, 2021 @ 1:31 pm

  21. @11 suggest you seek clinical help, as your screed belies your so-called credentials.
    “I am a physical methods experimental chemist. I know something of “molecular scale science” and have zero doubt that Behe’s ID thesis about irreducible complexity is nonsense.”
    I propose you are a simple “scientific valorian stealer”. Despite your credentialism you offer zero evidence. Why should anyone believe your assertion for an instant? I don;t pretend to be credentialed in the area, but my bullshit detector is finely calibrated.

    Comment by Huskynut — June 3, 2021 @ 4:23 am

  22. @Hibernofrog
    I don’t need to go back to the Korean War for evidence of malfeasance.
    I choose to go bakc to the Korean War for concrete evidence of deployment on the field of battle of battle of biological warfare.
    Much like the US has been *the only country* to deploy nuclear weapons in the field of battle, they have also, provably, done the same with biological weapons.
    I have no problem with the US nation per se. The US military (and associated political class) – deserve a special and unique layer in hell for the sh*t they have unleashed on the world. MKULTRA anyone?

    Comment by Huskynut — June 3, 2021 @ 4:29 am

  23. @Richard Whitney
    I searched long and hard for a gentle rejoinder, but you, sir, are certainly (perhaps clinically?) retarded.
    “The CCP is th world’s public enemy #1”

    Yep, no question. The US maintains over 700 international military bases encircling the globe, yet China (with bases in .. well, China) plus one base in Africa and an expanding presence in the China Sea (which is.. um.. right off their coast) is an international warrior, destructor of the void, and transnational threat to world peace.

    You transparently ideologically-motivated droid.

    Peace be with you..

    Comment by Andrew H — June 3, 2021 @ 4:38 am

  24. I guess Porton is just over a hill or two from the metropolis that is Salisbury, which proved convenient to those two Russian ‘tourists’.

    This type of research is nothing new. I recall the Soviets tinkered with all kinds of stuff – some bedtime reading for those who are interested:

    Next Generation Bioweapons – The Technology of Genetic Engineering Applied to Biowarfare and Bioterrorism

    Quote: ..by 1992 the Russians possessed a total of fifty-two different biological agents or combination of agents, including deadly Marburg, Ebola and smallpox viruses…The favourite “battle strains” were anthrax (Strain 836), Pasechnik’s super-plague, and a special Russian strain of tularemia

    Sleep tight…

    Comment by David Mercer — June 3, 2021 @ 4:41 am

  25. @ Peter Moles
    I agree completely.
    We can rationally establish that the genotype of the virus is ludicrously unlikely to have arisen via “natural” methods of random mutation.
    The genetic sequences related to the HIV-like replication, and the spike protein cleavage functions specifically are essentially impossible to have derived via natural mutations.
    These facts have been ruthlessly suppressed (literally *disappeared* by social media) and across the fanatical citizen control measures that have been enacted. A natural and reasonable question is – um, why? and how?

    Comment by Andrew H — June 3, 2021 @ 4:47 am

  26. @ David Mercer
    “I guess Porton is just over a hill or two from the metropolis that is Salisbury, which proved convenient to those two Russian ‘tourists’.
    This type of research is nothing new. I recall the Soviets tinkered with all kinds of stuff – some bedtime reading for those who are interested”

    Do they pay you by the troll? Or a one-off up-front rate for your (unused) soul?

    The Anthrax attacks on US senators in 2001 came from US biolabs.. I guess we’ll have to dispense with the idea that US biolabs are tinkering with variants of sillyputty, with the intention of reducing the world to hysterics.

    Comment by Huskynut — June 3, 2021 @ 4:58 am

  27. @Husky The only hysterics are hereabouts. As I noted above, what exactly is the purpose of this discussion? Are you planning some mass class action against China?

    Whatever the cause it is clear to everyone that it originated from their shores, and they didn’t exactly help in arresting its spread. That’s one big ‘effing smoking gun – no need to stress about the source of ignition, be it a biolab, pangolin burger or whatever.

    Comment by David Mercer — June 3, 2021 @ 7:29 am

  28. @21 Huskynut, you picked the wrong guy to blather.

    I have published on so-called Intelligent Design Theory. It’s a crock.

    Behe’s irreducible complexity idea is not based on any predictive theory. It’s just a tendentious inference; a re-packaging of the failed ‘self-assembly of an airplane in a junkyard’ idea touted forever by creationists.

    I’ve also co-authored a book chapter on chemical biogenesis.

    My credentials are available on LinkedIn. Search Patrick Frank, Stanford. I understand “molecular-scale science.” There isn’t any in Behe’s narrative.

    @24, you’re perhaps the only commenter who can’t escape politics, David. Whatever frenzy you see here is generally a self-reflection imposed by your biased lens.

    “Hysteric” is considered a sexist term by your political team, by the way. You’ve sinned. Evidently you’ve not been attending your criticism/self-criticism sessions. Time for some group-love confession and abasement.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 3, 2021 @ 10:10 am

  29. @Pat Frank…I am sure that you already know, but the CCP uses a variety of methods to counter the truth about themselves. TikTok, our own MSM, our traitorous politicians and athletes, and celebrities with lots of followers paid handsomely to tweet sweet nothings about the CCP. I think some suspect’s fingerprints are on this very page.

    Comment by Richard Whitney — June 3, 2021 @ 2:35 pm

  30. Here’s a short list of some recent accidents in a BSL3 lab in the US.
    https://www.propublica.org/article/here-are-six-accidents-unc-researchers-had-with-lab-created-coronaviruses

    Comment by dearieme — June 3, 2021 @ 3:16 pm

  31. @26 Richard, there’s no space between the CCP government and any China-founded company, organization, or project. Nothing CCP is to be trusted. Contact should be minimized.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 3, 2021 @ 5:15 pm

  32. @Pat: Its all politics here, even when it isn’t. Craig blogs about the price of wood, someone (Ex?) replies that they thought it was because of impending civil disorder in the US.

    Re your hysterics, I was merely referencing Husky’s comment, so direct your advice at him. Perhaps you could have a stab at answering my question?

    Anyhow, you can all rest easy now as I read that Dr Fauci (grr!) is finally on the case, having requesting said lab workers’ medical records. Say what you like about him, but you can’t fault his ambition (his actions remind me of that Churchill’s quote about the Americans doing the right thing).

    Comment by David Mercer — June 4, 2021 @ 3:53 am

  33. @29, David, way back when I was arguing religion and science on the web, I came to the realization that for the Catholic Church, everything fell under religion and morals. Everything, Nothing was safe from their judicial oversight. See the Syllabus of Condemned Opinions

    So it is with progressivism. Nothing escapes politics. Hence your view that everything here is political talk.

    Craig discusses things here because he wants to do so. No other reason is necessary. Your political disapproval is standard issue of the ideological left.

    As to Huskynut’s use of hysterics, you took it up without hesitancy; clear evidence of weakened consciousness. Your firm rededication is necessary.

    Dr. Fauci has participated in a crime against humanity, in the Nuremberg sense. He belongs in jail.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 4, 2021 @ 8:06 am

  34. The department of too good to check: “An anagram for Dr Anthony Fauci is China Fraud Tony.”

    Comment by dearieme — June 4, 2021 @ 8:15 am

  35. “Craig discusses things here because he wants to do so”Oh of course he does. It’s just pure coincidence this post comes hot on the heels of a take-down of the good doctor (double grr!), and the right-wing press and social media is awash with such talk. Funny that.

    Of course it’s patently obvious why this is a hot topic in the QAnon bullsh*t-o-sphere. I just wondered if any would have the balls to come out and say why. I mean, it’s not like you’re hoping Joe will declare war on China over this, is it? Or maybe it is – who really knows?

    ”clear evidence of weakened consciousness”. So much more your much vaunted scientific credentials (at least in your lunchbreak), arriving at such a momentous conclusion from one data point. FWIW I was unaware this word is now verboten; it’s so hard to keep up nowadays.

    Dr. Fauci has participated in a crime against humanity, in the Nuremberg sense. He belongs in jail. Riiiight. Either you’re playing to the audience or are psychiatrically unhinged.

    Comment by David Mercer — June 4, 2021 @ 10:45 am

  36. @32, David, “It’s just pure coincidence…

    Correlation is not causation, David. A critical rule of rational thought.

    Dr. Fauci has apparently been very misleading in his testimony concerning a disease that has been used to sow fear and confusion. Why shouldn’t Craig blog about that outrage without the choice of topic being political?

    See, the thing about politics — your invariable outlook — is that it is inherently prejudiced. Political outlook doesn’t care about correctness or truth content. It cares only about opposing sides; supporting the one and defeating the other, no matter what.

    And evidently that’s you, David. Everything you write here is suffused with political advocacy.

    When Craig blogs about a topic, the content doesn’t matter for you. All that matters is which political side is injured and which supported. So you go on about boogaloos this and Qanon that, using political smear to distort and divert a debate that should concern fact and folly.

    Data points: limning you we have many David. Not just one.

    Crimes against humanity: Let’s see, we have an incompletely tested mRNA treatment being imposed on millions, who have been deliberately frightened into compliance.

    The disease, Covid-19, is of only moderate mortality, and has effective empirical treatments that have been deliberately suppressed in favor of the imposed mRNA treatment, greatly enriching many who are already wealthy and greatly increasing the death count.

    Hundreds of thousands to millions of unnecessary deaths resulted. The mRNA treatment may be more dangerous than Covid-19 to some. Adverse reactions have caused about 12,000 deaths and made ill more than a million.

    Humans as test animals used in a gigantic medical experiment, of often lethal or debilitating consequence, meets the classic standard of a crime against humanity.

    So where is the audience-playing or the unhingedness in noting the crime?

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 6, 2021 @ 7:44 am

  37. Let’s say for argument’s sake the virus was devised in a lab. Maybe in THE lab.
    Some psycho scientist is out there and determined to save the planet’s ecosphere from what he considers the greatest threat to its purity, integrity and wellbeing: US, that’s all Humanity (not just American specimens) with all our polluting and climate-changing nasty habits.
    Well, his first efforts were pretty successful (as measured by his yardstick, not ours) and his latest effort – the Nepalese variant – is designed to outfox Pfizer/Moderna/etc.
    How far will this go? The thing about G-O-F is that it permits pretty much endless tweaking. Eeek!

    Comment by Simple Simon — June 6, 2021 @ 9:24 am

  38. fuck it, I’ll bite…
    Pat what is your source for “Adverse reactions have caused about 12,000 deaths”?

    Comment by [email protected] — June 8, 2021 @ 6:10 am

  39. @35, no need for four-letter emphatics, libte. It’s straightforward

    Death rates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

    The CDC says, “Over 285 million *doses* of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through May 24, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 4,863 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

    https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/covid-19-vaccination-tracker/
    Number of vaccine *doses* administered globally: 2,220,425,093

    We scale the US adverse death rate globally: it’s (4863)*(2.2205bn)/(285mn) = 37,889 deaths associated with anti-Covid spike mRNA injections.

    The CDC is careful to not assign causality. So, if we assume only 1/3 of those deaths were caused by the injected mRNA and sequelae, and 2/3 were coincidental, the estimate is 12,500 deaths globally due to the mRNA treatment.

    According to EuduraVigilance up to 29 May 2021
    https://www.adrreports.eu/en/index.html

    Vaccine___________# Adverse Events____________Majority Age Group________F/M (%)
    Moderna___________34,269______________________18-64 (62.2%)_____________71.3/28.1
    Tozinameran______198,678______________________18-64 (72.5%)_____________75.1/23.2
    AstraZenica______249,236______________________18-64 (79.3%)_____________72.9/24.6
    Jansen_____________6,136______________________18-64 (77.3%)_____________70.1/27.9

    I didn’t find numbers for the Pfitzer or J&J versions.

    For standard vaccines, the 85+ age group suffers the greatest incidence of adverse effects. For the Covid mRNA, adverse events seen concentrated in lower age groups.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 9, 2021 @ 8:08 pm

  40. @Pat. An anti-vaxxer to boot – who’d have thunk it? Tell me, did you wait for the “evidence” on this, or were you one of the nut jobs who decided from the outset that any vaccine wasn’t to be trusted? On which note, do you subscribe to the 5G theory too?

    Also, why single out Fauci (treble grr!) over this? As Craig helpfully pointed out, he’s just an apparatchik, a bagman. Surely the whole Trump regime should be strung up too, given they instigated and cofunded the research? How do they escape any blame?

    Oh, and I see the Trumpster has come out from under his rock and launched an attack on Fauci (quadruple grr!) and China. What are the odds?! I guess he too is discussing this simply because he wants to, and isn’t working to a script…

    PS Have to say I’m impressed that the powers that be at Stanford tolerate your public eccentricities. Must be a diversity thing or something (alt-right lunatic – tick!).

    Comment by David Mercer — June 10, 2021 @ 3:48 am

  41. Okay, on what basis do you assume that 1/3 of total deaths of vaccinated people were due to the injected mRNA. How did you come up with that 1/3?

    Comment by [email protected] — June 10, 2021 @ 9:07 am

  42. @40 David, what makes you think an mRNA treatment is a vaccine?

    Your ‘anti-vaxxer’ accusation is banal and mindless. Such slander is the argument of one who has no argument.

    Covidism is a cult, and you’re a charter member. There’s no point expecting a rational word from you about it.

    Fauci was in charge of the response to the SARS-Cov-2 outbreak. Everything he did was precisely opposed to competent practice. Why should he not be criticized?

    If you have further finger-pointing to do, make your case.

    “Eccentricities” — in what have I been wrong, David? Climate models have no predictive value. Demonstrated.

    The entire 20th century temperature trend can be the result of a 60 year thermal oscillation (PDO/AMO) plus the rising phase of a 240-year climate cycle. No CO2 effect necessary.
    https://tinyurl.com/5363cydv

    Anti-cov-2 mRNA is an experimental treatment. Check. It has an adverse reaction rate likely 100 times the standard rate for a true vaccine. Check. People have been deliberately panicked into getting the injection. Check.

    Did you know that SARS-Cov-2 spike protein itself causes very adverse effects, David?

    If any views are eccentric, they’re yours in denial of all the above David. You’re merely in vogue, with confidence stemming entirely from being embedded in community fashion.

    Free-thought is so confusing to a citizen of partisanland, isn’t it.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 9:16 am

  43. And by the way, David, can you truly believe that scientifically defensible positions are more eccentric than notions of rape culture, intersectionality, or critical race theory?

    Stanford and other major universities have embraced radically eccentric intellectuals in fact for decades now.

    Your plaint about me inverts reality.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 9:43 am

  44. @42 – Pat, ICYMI, am wondering how you came up with this assumption that 1/3 of total deaths of vaccinated people were due to the injected mRNA. How did you come up with that 1/3?

    Comment by [email protected] — June 10, 2021 @ 10:33 am

  45. Take a look at Jordan Peterson’s interview with Yeonmi Park, David

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yqa-SdJtT4&t=20s

    Yeonmi is a young woman and a refugee from North Korea. Her story is courage in the face of an extraordinarily harrowingly horrid life. Her thoughtful sanity in the face of the cruelty she endured is more than extraordinary.

    After reaching the US as a teen, Yeonmi was accepted into Columbia University. She said the coursework was heavily politicized. In the course of the interview, Peterson asked her whether any of her classes at Columbia were worthwhile. Yeonmi actually paused to think about it, looking off to the side.

    Eventually she said evolutionary biology was worthwhile, though even that had been politicized. She said Sociology was especially bad. The professors taught what to think, not how to think. It reminded her of the North Korea she escaped.

    There’s your eccentricity, David. It prevails as a normative and irretrievably prejudiced pedagogical culture in our universities, and in yours. Scholarly integrity is betrayed by those charged to keep it.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 11:11 am

  46. @44 libte, “How did you come up with that 1/3?

    Is 1/3 an unreasonable estimate?

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 11:32 am

  47. @46, that’s what I am asking you.
    You are making a v strong statement here, that mRNA vaccines led to numerous deaths. I try to keep an open mind here, but I would like you to provide the background for the assumptions you are making here. As a scientist you should see why this is important.

    Comment by [email protected] — June 10, 2021 @ 12:17 pm

  48. @47, take a look at this, libte: Full interview with Professor Bhakdi, Professor emeritus of Medical Microbiology and Immunology; professor emeritus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IBv3A8-ShI

    I can provide a closer numerical estimate from published literature. But it will transmit the same message.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 1:05 pm

  49. Ok thanks. Basically right now, your assumptions are based on a youtube video, let’s leave it at that.

    Until you can pinpoint me to somewhere where there is peer-reviewed scientifically published information about mRNA vaccines causing deaths. Where is this published literature about mRNA deaths you talk about? Which literature, which journal?

    Comment by [email protected] — June 10, 2021 @ 1:43 pm

  50. @49 libte, “your assumptions are based on a youtube video, let’s leave it at that.

    No, let’s not.

    I saw that video after my post (#39). I advanced the video because I thought it might show you that serious concerns are warranted about the safety of the mRNA treatment.

    You’ll note that I linked the CDC for the 4,863 reports of mRNA-associated deaths in the US. That should suit your need for an authoritative source.

    The dosed US population (285 million) is probably a good statistical sample of the global human genome, representative of the global population vulnerability to adverse reactions.

    That validates the proportional scaling that indicated a likely 37,889 deaths globally associated with anti-Covid spike mRNA injections.

    Your only problem is with the 1/3 causal estimate.

    More on that later.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 10, 2021 @ 3:48 pm

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