IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Coronavirus

Reply
Old 21st February 2021, 04:30 PM   #1
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 30,632
Origins of Covid

This thread is to discuss the origins of the disease, as there's quite a bit of discussion on it in the main thread and still quite a bit of discussion to go.

The main claim at this stage is that it came from the Wuhan laboratory.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 04:46 PM   #2
Cavemonster
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,701
Since it's not exactly rare for viruses to jump to humans, and the whole reason the lab in question was studying coronaviruses seemed to be that people around the world saw a new coronavirus jumping to humans as a likely event and one we should prepare for...

I'm not closed off to the idea that something with a lab might be involved, but it's the more extraordinary claim than believing that exactly what a lot of scientists feared happened more or less as they feared.

It strikes me as a 'Hear hoofbeats, think horse not zebra" situation.
__________________
The weakness of all Utopias is this, ... They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motorcar or balloon.
-G.K. CHESTERTON
Cavemonster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 05:04 PM   #3
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post

It strikes me as a 'Hear hoofbeats, think horse not zebra" situation.
Yes, at the very least, this type of disease emerging from an animal host (presumably or probably through an amplifier animal), and creating a pandemic is essentially an expected event. There will be more, and maybe very soon.

In that sense, we have no need of the "escaped from a lab" hypothesis.

That said, it obviously cannot be completely ruled out, the Virology Institute being located in Wuhan itself obviously raises eyebrows.

It seems if such a virus did escape it would have been most likely to have been a "wild virus" recently captured. My understanding is that nobody who has studied it has found any reason to believe that it was created or manipulated there.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 05:57 PM   #4
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
By the way, an important thing to bear in mind, is that wherever a virus is first detected does not mean that that is where the virus originated.

I don't know what the Wuhan Institute of Virology's role was in detecting the virus, but the relative proximity could have more to say about the detection and understanding of it rather than the origins.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 06:01 PM   #5
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Posts: 32,878
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
This thread is to discuss the origins of the disease, as there's quite a bit of discussion on it in the main thread and still quite a bit of discussion to go.

The main claim at this stage is that it came from the Wuhan laboratory.
Conspiracy theories is thataway!
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 06:39 PM   #6
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
Yeah, the origins are far more likely to be prosaic, so I am listening to the TWiV people talk about this paper on the types of Covid-similar viruses that have been found in bats across South-East Asia as well as China, and even Japan.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-21240-1

Quote:
Among the many questions unanswered for the COVID-19 pandemic are the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the potential role of intermediate animal host(s) in the early animal-to-human transmission. The discovery of RaTG13 bat coronavirus in China suggested a high probability of a bat origin. Here we report molecular and serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs) actively circulating in bats in Southeast Asia. Whole genome sequences were obtained from five independent bats (Rhinolophus acuminatus) in a Thai cave yielding a single isolate (named RacCS203) which is most related to the RmYN02 isolate found in Rhinolophus malayanus in Yunnan, China. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies were also detected in bats of the same colony and in a pangolin at a wildlife checkpoint in Southern Thailand. Antisera raised against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of RmYN02 was able to cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2 despite the fact that the RBD of RacCS203 or RmYN02 failed to bind ACE2. Although the origin of the virus remains unresolved, our study extended the geographic distribution of genetically diverse SC2r-CoVs from Japan and China to Thailand over a 4800-km range. Cross-border surveillance is urgently needed to find the immediate progenitor virus of SARS-CoV-2.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 07:03 PM   #7
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Conspiracy theories is thataway!
Perhaps it is the naysayers who should back off until they know the facts?

This is an example of multiple people here clinging to their initial beliefs and failing to consider additional evidence.

For the record, I initially thought the lab had been either ruled out or at least was very unlikely. The more recent WHO report supported that POV.

But unlike some people in this discussion, I'm willing to entertain new evidence.

While this State Dept report is just before Trump left, by that time Biden had been certified the winner and Trump was completely disengaged. But some of it was collected while Trump was in office. I expect Biden will do better.

Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (2017-2021 ARCHIVED CONTENT)
Quote:
For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation. Nearly two million people have died. Their families deserve to know the truth. Only through transparency can we learn what caused this pandemic and how to prevent the next one.

The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans. We have not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The virus could have emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, spreading in a pattern consistent with a natural epidemic. Alternatively, a laboratory accident could resemble a natural outbreak if the initial exposure included only a few individuals and was compounded by asymptomatic infection. Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure....

1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.
Investigators cannot interview lab personnel.

Lab leaks have occurred before.

They were studying SARS and other coronaviruses there.
Quote:
Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 07:28 PM   #8
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
This episode of This Week in Virology begins with talk about the paper I posted above.

They talk about how there are a lot of bats around carrying very similar viruses to SARS Cov-2 and how the range of bats can be far and wide, that bats can sometimes be traded etc... that the origins should not be assumed to be the same as where the virus was first located etc...

And yes, they caution against making the rather simplistic assumption that the institute being there means it was the source of the virus itself.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 07:33 PM   #9
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Perhaps it is the naysayers who should back off until they know the facts?

This is an example of multiple people here clinging to their initial beliefs and failing to consider additional evidence.

For the record, I initially thought the lab had been either ruled out or at least was very unlikely. The more recent WHO report supported that POV.

But unlike some people in this discussion, I'm willing to entertain new evidence.

While this State Dept report is just before Trump left, by that time Biden had been certified the winner and Trump was completely disengaged. But some of it was collected while Trump was in office. I expect Biden will do better.

Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (2017-2021 ARCHIVED CONTENT)
Investigators cannot interview lab personnel.

Lab leaks have occurred before.

They were studying SARS and other coronaviruses there.

I do have to wonder who wrote that factsheet. It is a little on the dramatic in tone. The kind of thing that I could imagine between written by Trumpers and it is dated in the last week of the Trump administration:

Quote:
The CCP’s deadly obsession with secrecy and control comes at the expense of public health in China and around the world. The previously undisclosed information in this fact sheet, combined with open-source reporting, highlights three elements about COVID-19’s origin that deserve greater scrutiny:

1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
Has this evidence been released about the researchers who had Covid-19? Or is this speculation?

Then all this other stuff....

Quote:
2. Research at the WIV:

Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.
The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness.
WHO investigators must have access to the records of the WIV’s work on bat and other coronaviruses before the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of a thorough inquiry, they must have a full accounting of why the WIV altered and then removed online records of its work with RaTG13 and other viruses.
This is beyond "escaped from a lab". This is the idea it was deliberately manipulated.

Quote:
3. Secret military activity at the WIV:

Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practice for Beijing. For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.
Where is this going...?
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)

Last edited by angrysoba; 21st February 2021 at 07:36 PM.
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 08:15 PM   #10
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 30,632
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Conspiracy theories is thataway!
Hey, that's what I said when the subject first came up!

I just wanted to get rid of it from the main Covid thread.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 08:20 PM   #11
Dr.Sid
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Posts: 3,481
Well even if it came from the lab, the question remains .. where did the lab get it ? Problem is, China won't admit it came from the lab, even if it did .. thus will also cover all information leading to where the lab got it.
I think the discussion is kinda pointless. We simply have no facts.
Dr.Sid is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 08:24 PM   #12
Chris_Halkides
Penultimate Amazing
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 10,304
ACE2 receptor

"Surprisingly, the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 does not contain this optimal set of amino acids[4], yet is nonetheless able to bind ACE2 with a greater affinity than SARS-CoV-1[7]. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that SARS-CoV-2 evolved independently of human intervention and undermine the claim that it was manmade[1]. This is because if scientists had attempted to engineer improved ACE2 binding in a coronavirus, the best strategy would have been to harness the already-known and efficient amino acid sequences described in SARS-CoV-1 in order to produce a more optimal molecular design for SARS-CoV-2. The authors of the Nature Medicine study[4] concluded that “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”"

"Did the COVID-19 virus originate from a lab or nature? Examining the evidence for different hypotheses of the novel coronavirus’ origins" link This article treats several hypotheses.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 09:51 PM   #13
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 26,327
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Conspiracy theories is thataway!
It could have been an accident rather than a conspiracy.

I don't believe it was created artificially or released intentionally. (Not "man made")

However, it is conceivable that a virus that was being studied there was mishandled for some reason. Someone became infected, did not report what happened out of fear of getting into trouble or losing their job, and then passed it on to others.

One issue is that they still have not conclusively nailed down which species it came from or how it was originally transmitted to humans. We don't know who was "patient zero". The WHO even said that they were considering the possibility that it came from imported frozen food, while dismissing the possibility that it somehow escaped from the lab as "highly unlikely". I don't put a lot of faith in the WHO effort to be immune to political pressure.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 09:56 PM   #14
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 26,327
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is beyond "escaped from a lab". This is the idea it was deliberately manipulated.
Yeah, but that's basically what "gain of function" research involves.

https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology...tion-research/

Quote:
Gain of Function Research

Certain gain-of-function studies with the potential to enhance the pathogenicity or transmissibility of potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs) have raised biosafety and biosecurity concerns, including the potential dual use risks associated with the misuse of the information or products resulting from such research.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:06 PM   #15
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 26,327
Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
"Surprisingly, the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 does not contain this optimal set of amino acids[4], yet is nonetheless able to bind ACE2 with a greater affinity than SARS-CoV-1[7]. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that SARS-CoV-2 evolved independently of human intervention and undermine the claim that it was manmade[1]. This is because if scientists had attempted to engineer improved ACE2 binding in a coronavirus, the best strategy would have been to harness the already-known and efficient amino acid sequences described in SARS-CoV-1 in order to produce a more optimal molecular design for SARS-CoV-2. The authors of the Nature Medicine study[4] concluded that “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”"

"Did the COVID-19 virus originate from a lab or nature? Examining the evidence for different hypotheses of the novel coronavirus’ origins" link This article treats several hypotheses.
It need not be "manmade". They could have been studying a naturally occurring virus sampled in the wild, and somehow mishandled it.

As far as the "purposefully manipulated" part goes, isn't that what they do in gain-of-function studies?

It's very hard to know what kind of research was actually happening at that laboratory, because China would likely cover up any evidence that might lead people to suspect that it escaped from that lab somehow. I'm not saying that's what happened, I just don't think it can be conclusively ruled out since they haven't really nailed down what the true origin is. They are still entertaining multiple hypotheses.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:08 PM   #16
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16,512
Assuming for a second that Covid came via the Wuhan Institute, it is extremely unlikely that it was release intentionally in the same city and that city only.
Someone out for doing bio-terrorism would not do that, because the chance of it being quickly identified and contained, and those responsible identified and apprehended, as way too high.
__________________
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
-Anne Lamott
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:20 PM   #17
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I do have to wonder who wrote that factsheet. It is a little on the dramatic in tone. The kind of thing that I could imagine between written by Trumpers and it is dated in the last week of the Trump administration:

Has this evidence been released about the researchers who had Covid-19? Or is this speculation?
Well it's not speculation. Could be rumors, could be a whistleblower. I'll keep looking.

Quote:
This is beyond "escaped from a lab". This is the idea it was deliberately manipulated.

Where is this going...?
Evidence this was from bioweapon research make little sense to me. Typical things you'd want in a bioweapon aren't in evidence. And as TGZ says, you don't release it in your own population.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 21st February 2021 at 10:46 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:23 PM   #18
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
"Surprisingly, the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 does not contain this optimal set of amino acids[4], yet is nonetheless able to bind ACE2 with a greater affinity than SARS-CoV-1[7]. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that SARS-CoV-2 evolved independently of human intervention and undermine the claim that it was manmade[1]. This is because if scientists had attempted to engineer improved ACE2 binding in a coronavirus, the best strategy would have been to harness the already-known and efficient amino acid sequences described in SARS-CoV-1 in order to produce a more optimal molecular design for SARS-CoV-2. The authors of the Nature Medicine study[4] concluded that “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”"

"Did the COVID-19 virus originate from a lab or nature? Examining the evidence for different hypotheses of the novel coronavirus’ origins" link This article treats several hypotheses.
I think we need to separate the claim it was bioengineered from it was a natural virus being studied.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:25 PM   #19
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Well it's not speculation. Could be rumors, could be a whistleblower. I'll keep looking.

Evidence this was from bioweapon research make little sense to me. Typical things you'd want in a bioweapon aren't in evidence. And you don't release it in your own population.
Indeed. This is why I am extremely skeptical of the source and don't trust anything on that webpage given that it is building its case using all kinds of red herrings about the gain of function stuff and bioweapons etc...
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:41 PM   #20
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
It could have been an accident rather than a conspiracy.

I don't believe it was created artificially or released intentionally. (Not "man made")

However, it is conceivable that a virus that was being studied there was mishandled for some reason. Someone became infected, did not report what happened out of fear of getting into trouble or losing their job, and then passed it on to others.
More likely the initial cases were mild or asymptomatic and went unrecognized until it became more widespread.

I'm not sure what to make of the WHO dismissing the lab accident hypothesis before they actually found the intermediary species between bats and humans. I'm not sure how strong the consensus is that it wasn't a direct transfer.

Looking at the SARS research they found it in palm civet cats and that was thought to have been the source. One thing about SARS in palm civet cats is that there wasn't much genetic diversity suggesting it hadn't been in that species for very long.

NIH 2008: A review of studies on animal reservoirs of the SARS coronavirus
Quote:
Abstract
In this review, we summarize the researches on animal reservoirs of the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Masked palm civets were suspected as the origin of the SARS outbreak in 2003 and was confirmed as the direct origin of SARS cases with mild symptom in 2004. Sequence analysis of the SARS-CoV-like virus in masked palm civets indicated that they were highly homologous to human SARS-CoV with nt identity over 99.6%, indicating the virus has not been circulating in the population of masked palm civets for a very long time. Alignment of 10 complete viral genome sequences from masked palm civets with those of human SARS-CoVs revealed 26 conserved single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) in the viruses from masked palm civets. These conserved SNVs were gradually lost from the genomes of viruses isolated from the early phase to late phase human patients of the 2003 SARS epidemic. In 2005, horseshoe bats were identified as the natural reservoir of a group of coronaviruses that are distantly related to SARS-CoV. The genome sequences of bat SARS-like coronavirus had about 88–92% nt identity with that of the SARS-CoV. The prevalence of antibodies and viral RNA in different bat species and the characteristics of the bat SARS-like coronavirus were elucidated. Apart from masked palm civets and bats, 29 other animal species had been tested for the SARS-CoV, and the results are summarized in this paper.
It should also be noted, this is the kind of research one would find in the Wuhan Virology Institute. No one need bioengineer these viruses to find them in a research lab.


On a separate note re secrecy in China, I have mentioned this before but there is a cultural pressure to 'save face' which means hide things and cover things up. There were some high level authorities during the SARS epidemic that chastised this secrecy when they found it. But on the local level, and certainly the lab managers would not want an accident to be found.

Don't forget the ophthalmologist who tried to raise the alarm and was told to keep quiet. SARS festered in Guangdong for a couple months before anyone heard about it. Reports were coming in about a pneumonia that was killing heath care workers. It wasn't recognized as a new lethal pathogen for a couple months.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 21st February 2021 at 10:43 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 10:50 PM   #21
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Indeed. This is why I am extremely skeptical of the source and don't trust anything on that webpage given that it is building its case using all kinds of red herrings about the gain of function stuff and bioweapons etc...
If you mean the State Department page, monitoring for bioterrorism is clearly one of their functions. So you would expect that to be the focus. Doesn't mean the information on the page should be dismissed out of hand. I cited it because it was clearcut and easy to read, unlike my link in the last post and Chris H's link. Some of this stuff is more clear when it's in lay terms and not the genetic science terminology.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 11:07 PM   #22
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ngunnawal Country
Posts: 74,478
This might be of interest...

I was the Australian doctor on the WHO's COVID-19 mission to China. Here's what we found about the origins of the coronavirus

Relevant quotes:

Quote:
It was in Wuhan, in central China, that the virus, now called SARS-CoV-2, emerged in December 2019, unleashing the greatest infectious disease outbreak since the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.

Our investigations concluded the virus was most likely of animal origin. It probably crossed over to humans from bats, via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal, at an unknown location.
Quote:
The most politically sensitive option we looked at was the virus escaping from a laboratory. We concluded this was extremely unlikely.

We visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is an impressive research facility, and looks to be run well, with due regard to staff health.

We spoke to the scientists there. We heard that scientists' blood samples, which are routinely taken and stored, were tested for signs they had been infected. No evidence of antibodies to the coronavirus was found. We looked at their biosecurity audits. No evidence.
__________________
We are all #KenBehrens
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 11:15 PM   #23
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 31,726
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
If you mean the State Department page, monitoring for bioterrorism is clearly one of their functions. So you would expect that to be the focus. Doesn't mean the information on the page should be dismissed out of hand. I cited it because it was clearcut and easy to read, unlike my link in the last post and Chris H's link. Some of this stuff is more clear when it's in lay terms and not the genetic science terminology.
The only stuff that may be of interest is the claim that scientists at the Wuhan lab got sick. If that is true, then there could be an issue. But most of what is written there is irrelevant and looks almost like a Trumped up accusation.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 11:20 PM   #24
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Someone posted this link to the Scientific American in one of these threads but I thought I would point out some excerpts here.

How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus
Quote:
The mysterious patient samples arrived at the Wuhan Institute of Virology at 7 P.M. on December 30, 2019. Moments later Shi Zhengli’s cell phone rang. It was her boss, the institute’s director. The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention had detected a novel coronavirus in two hospital patients with atypical pneumonia, and it wanted Shi’s renowned laboratory to investigate. If the finding was confirmed, the new pathogen could pose a serious public health threat—because it belonged to the same family of viruses as the one that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a disease that plagued 8,100 people and killed nearly 800 of them between 2002 and 2003. “Drop whatever you are doing and deal with it now,” she recalls the director saying.

Shi, a virologist who is often called China’s “bat woman” by her colleagues because of her virus-hunting expeditions in bat caves over the past 16 years, walked out of the conference she was attending in Shanghai and hopped on the next train back to Wuhan. “I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong,” she says. “I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China.” Her studies had shown that the southern, subtropical provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan have the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals—particularly bats, a known reservoir. If coronaviruses were the culprit, she remembers thinking, “Could they have come from our lab?
1) SARS 2 is the kind of viruses they were studying at the Wuhan Institute.

2) Most (all?) of the coronaviruses they were studying did not naturally occur in the Wuhan area.

Quote:
By April 20 more than 84,000 people in China had been infected. About 80 percent of them lived in the province of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital
Very likely ground zero at that point.

The initial cases seem to have been from ~August 2019. And some of those cases were found in Italy IIRC.

It would be a sad irony if the lab meant to study these viruses to prevent the next pandemic inadvertently caused one.

Quote:
In Shitou Cave—where painstaking scrutiny has yielded a natural genetic library of bat-borne viruses—the team discovered a coronavirus strain that came from horseshoe bats with a genomic sequence nearly 97 percent identical to the one found in civets in Guangdong. The finding concluded a decade-long search for the natural reservoir of the SARS coronavirus.
Look at the picture with this caption: "ON THE SAME 2004 trip, a group of researchers prepare bat blood samples that they will screen for viruses and other pathogens. Credit: Shuyi Zhang" and tell me that looks like level 4 biosafety.

This is the strongest evidence it didn't come from the lab:
Quote:
Meanwhile she frantically went through her own lab’s records from the past few years to check for any mishandling of experimental materials, especially during disposal. Shi breathed a sigh of relief when the results came back: none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves. “That really took a load off my mind,” she says. “I had not slept a wink for days.” ...

... The genomic sequence of the virus, eventually named SARS-CoV-2, was 96 percent identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan
The article goes on to suggest the wet market was the initial source but we now know cases occurred earlier. But whether it came from the lab or not, we still have the problem of species jumping in multiple scenarios around the world. I'm not suggesting we forget that.
Quote:
Daszak and his colleagues have analyzed approximately 500 human infectious diseases from the past century. They found that the emergence of new pathogens tends to happen in places where a dense population has been changing the landscape—by building roads and mines, cutting down forests and intensifying agriculture. “China is not the only hotspot,” he says, noting that other major emerging economies, such as India, Nigeria and Brazil, are also at great risk.
But one still has to wonder why was the initial explosion of cases into the population around Wuhan? It was not an area that was home to all the culprit bat species.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 21st February 2021 at 11:24 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st February 2021, 11:22 PM   #25
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The only stuff that may be of interest is the claim that scientists at the Wuhan lab got sick. If that is true, then there could be an issue. But most of what is written there is irrelevant and looks almost like a Trumped up accusation.
No, it doesn't. If this was BS manufactured by Trump it would not look this sophisticated. All that moron knows how to do is demonize China in a crude way. He certainly has not appointed scientists with actual expertise to investigate.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 21st February 2021 at 11:23 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:08 AM   #26
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 47,512
There's no doubt it can happen. Bear in mind that the limited outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the south of England in 2007 was traced to a broken drain leading out of the world's top scientific institute for the study of the virus, at Pirbright. (I can't quite believe that when that outbreak was first announced on TV, and I realised where it was, I turned to my mother and said, well that's handy, they're so close to the top institute for the study of the disease they could send a boy on a bike over with the samples, and didn't take the train of thought further.)

Cover-ups happen too, we know that. We shouldn't be dismissing this as a wild conspiracy theory, it deserves serious attention. It may not be what happened, but shouting "conspiracy theory!" in the face of a decent prima facie case and the known likelihood of a cover-up if it were indeed to be what happened, is just silly.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:18 AM   #27
Lplus
Muse
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 814
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Someone posted this link to the Scientific American in one of these threads but I thought I would point out some excerpts here.

How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus

1) SARS 2 is the kind of viruses they were studying at the Wuhan Institute.

2) Most (all?) of the coronaviruses they were studying did not naturally occur in the Wuhan area.

Very likely ground zero at that point.

The initial cases seem to have been from ~August 2019. And some of those cases were found in Italy IIRC.

It would be a sad irony if the lab meant to study these viruses to prevent the next pandemic inadvertently caused one.



Look at the picture with this caption: "ON THE SAME 2004 trip, a group of researchers prepare bat blood samples that they will screen for viruses and other pathogens. Credit: Shuyi Zhang" and tell me that looks like level 4 biosafety.

This is the strongest evidence it didn't come from the lab:

The article goes on to suggest the wet market was the initial source but we now know cases occurred earlier. But whether it came from the lab or not, we still have the problem of species jumping in multiple scenarios around the world. I'm not suggesting we forget that.

But one still has to wonder why was the initial explosion of cases into the population around Wuhan? It was not an area that was home to all the culprit bat species.
One might postulate that an earlier variant with much less transmissability occurred first - maybe starting closer to the bats - which only became more infectious after mutation in one of the human population of Wuhan? It's mutated to be more infectious since the pandemic started, so why not before?
__________________
Those who are most fanatical in their condemnation of others are often mortally afraid that, in their deepest subconcious, they agree with those who they are condemning.
Life isn't fair, Princess; anyone who says it could be is selling a political ideology.
Communism actively works against the fundamental urge of the human animal to survive and prosper, even at the expense of others, whilst Nazism relies on that urge.

Last edited by Lplus; 22nd February 2021 at 07:19 AM.
Lplus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:23 AM   #28
RolandRat
Graduate Poster
 
RolandRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Essex UK
Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There's no doubt it can happen. Bear in mind that the limited outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the south of England in 2007 was traced to a broken drain leading out of the world's top scientific institute for the study of the virus, at Pirbright. (I can't quite believe that when that outbreak was first announced on TV, and I realised where it was, I turned to my mother and said, well that's handy, they're so close to the top institute for the study of the disease they could send a boy on a bike over with the samples, and didn't take the train of thought further.)

Cover-ups happen too, we know that. We shouldn't be dismissing this as a wild conspiracy theory, it deserves serious attention. It may not be what happened, but shouting "conspiracy theory!" in the face of a decent prima facie case and the known likelihood of a cover-up if it were indeed to be what happened, is just silly.

If there is evidence to support it then great. Everything I've seen seems to clear the lab. If there is no further evidence then it is just a conspiracy theory.
RolandRat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:49 AM   #29
SuburbanTurkey
Penultimate Amazing
 
SuburbanTurkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 12,234
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
This thread is to discuss the origins of the disease, as there's quite a bit of discussion on it in the main thread and still quite a bit of discussion to go.

The main claim at this stage is that it came from the Wuhan laboratory.
That's incredibly reductionist. We must also give credit to the tremendous work down by the coordinating laboratories here in the US under the direction of Bill Gates.
__________________
Gobble gobble
SuburbanTurkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 08:28 AM   #30
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 26,327
Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
If there is evidence to support it then great. Everything I've seen seems to clear the lab. If there is no further evidence then it is just a conspiracy theory.
And what have you seen?

(Snippet from arthwollipot's link above)
Quote:
Our investigations concluded the virus was most likely of animal origin. It probably crossed over to humans from bats, via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal, at an unknown location.
Both the location and the intermediary animal are unknown. That it "probably crossed over to humans from bats" doesn't seem the exclude the Institute of Virology, since they were studying bat-derived coronaviruses there.

You can argue that there is no evidence, but where is the evidence to support any alternative hypothesis? They haven't identified an intermediary animal and evidence as to the location would seem to point to somewhere in Wuhan.

ETA: I would also object to the term "conspiracy theory" to describe this hypothesis, since I am proposing some sort of accident, not an intentional act. (A subsequent cover-up of the accident notwithstanding.)
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

Last edited by Puppycow; 22nd February 2021 at 08:31 AM.
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 09:58 AM   #31
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 30,632
Quote:
Our investigations concluded the virus was most likely of animal origin. It probably crossed over to humans from bats, via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal, at an unknown location.
As always, the answer is there online - even kids know the origin of Covid: http://charman.co.nz/covid.html
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 10:06 AM   #32
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 26,070
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
The main claim at this stage is that it came from the Wuhan laboratory.
So it's not, that's the conspiratorial ramblings of fringe idiots.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 10:51 AM   #33
Lithrael
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,201
I do remember hearing it, but never saw the ‘sick/missing Wuhan lab staff’ scuttlebutt substantiated. Did anyone figure out whether those claims were based on reality or if they were just armchair Internet sleuthing and/or rumor mill type stuff?

The researcher’s claim that the strains they were working with have been checked against COVID-19 and weren’t a match, is reassuring. If I was them I’d be sigh-of-relief-ing too. It’s hard not to be suspicious of face-saving activity.... but on the other hand I’ve read enough anecdotes about Chinese folks so wracked with guilt over doing harm that they just totally break down, ‘getting away with it’ aside, that I’d really expect to see a few people drop out of society if they really did know or strongly suspect they’d set off a chain of events that killed millions of innocent people.
Lithrael is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:12 AM   #34
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12,129
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
And what have you seen?

(Snippet from arthwollipot's link above)


Both the location and the intermediary animal are unknown.
This isn't true. The intermediary is almost certainly a Pangolin. The spike protean for Covid-19 has characteristic who's only known natural counterpart is found in several Coronaviruses that infect Pangolins. It's not out of the question it exists elsewhere and we just haven't found it yet, but Pangolins as the intermediary fits everything else as well.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:17 AM   #35
RolandRat
Graduate Poster
 
RolandRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Essex UK
Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
And what have you seen?

(Snippet from arthwollipot's link above)


Both the location and the intermediary animal are unknown. That it "probably crossed over to humans from bats" doesn't seem the exclude the Institute of Virology, since they were studying bat-derived coronaviruses there.

You can argue that there is no evidence, but where is the evidence to support any alternative hypothesis? They haven't identified an intermediary animal and evidence as to the location would seem to point to somewhere in Wuhan.

ETA: I would also object to the term "conspiracy theory" to describe this hypothesis, since I am proposing some sort of accident, not an intentional act. (A subsequent cover-up of the accident notwithstanding.)
The WHO have stated it's "extremely unlikely"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-likely-source

"A World Health Organization-led investigation in China found that the coronavirus most likely jumped to humans through an animal host or frozen wildlife products, finding that it’s “extremely unlikely” it came from a laboratory leak.

No further research is needed to look into the theory about a leak, Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO food-safety scientist, told reporters Tuesday at a joint briefing with China in Wuhan, the city where Covid-19 first mushroomed at the end of 2019"
RolandRat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:36 AM   #36
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
One might postulate that an earlier variant with much less transmissability occurred first - maybe starting closer to the bats - which only became more infectious after mutation in one of the human population of Wuhan? It's mutated to be more infectious since the pandemic started, so why not before?
There are a lot of possibilities. I just don't think it's CTish to not rule the lab out until the origin is definitively identified.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:37 AM   #37
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
If there is evidence to support it then great. Everything I've seen seems to clear the lab. If there is no further evidence then it is just a conspiracy theory.
So let's look at this: The WHO said so.
The one researcher in the SA article said so.

Have you seen anything else?
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:39 AM   #38
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
...

ETA: I would also object to the term "conspiracy theory" to describe this hypothesis, since I am proposing some sort of accident, not an intentional act. (A subsequent cover-up of the accident notwithstanding.)
Important point.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:43 AM   #39
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
This thread is to discuss the origins of the disease, as there's quite a bit of discussion on it in the main thread and still quite a bit of discussion to go.

The main claim at this stage is that it came from the Wuhan laboratory.
If I may, I assume you mean that was the main reason for the thread, not that the lab hypothesis is the main claim.

If it's not what you meant then you'd be wrong that the main ie the top possibility is the lab. There may be one or more persons leaning that way but there are people like me simply sitting on the fence until the source is identified.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:47 AM   #40
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90,671
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This isn't true. The intermediary is almost certainly a Pangolin. The spike protean for Covid-19 has characteristic who's only known natural counterpart is found in several Coronaviruses that infect Pangolins. It's not out of the question it exists elsewhere and we just haven't found it yet, but Pangolins as the intermediary fits everything else as well.
Has that been narrowed down? I thought there were one or more possible animals besides the pangolin.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:55 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.