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Author Topic:   COVID vaccine works - we're saved!
Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 54 of 460 (884930)
03-15-2021 9:32 AM


United States Covid Efforts Among Worst in World
Here is a chart from Mortality Analyses - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center showing how poor the US efforts against the covid-19 virus compared to the rest of the world using deaths per hundred thousand as the measure. Only four countries did worse than us: Czechia, United Kingdom, Hungary and Italy:

Here's some countries that did better: Bulgaria, Mexico, Brazil, Poland and India. Russia did better, too, but their numbers are widely viewed skeptically.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 61 of 460 (885012)
03-19-2021 7:21 AM


Can vaccinated people be spreaders?
Can vaccinated people be spreaders? While jousting with Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) during a congressional hearing yesterday Dr. Anthony Fauci gave the impression that vaccinated people are unlikely spreaders of the wild virus (that's the original version). The CDC has issued guidelines that give a similar impression, saying that vaccinated people can associate closely together without benefit of masks.

But Fauci's justification for wearing masks is the variants that are increasingly circulating in the US. The CDC guidance doesn't appear to take variants into account.

But even concerning just the wild virus I can find nothing online that suggests there is any scientific basis for believing vaccinated people can gather safely together. Studies have not yet been completed that would tell us whether vaccinated people can catch the virus (but would be unlikely to experience significant symptoms) and become spreaders. We do know that it is a characteristic of SARS type viruses that previously infected and vaccinated people can still become infected and become spreaders, i.e., shed virus into the surrounding environment.

So unless Dr. Fauci and the CDC are privy to studies that aren't yet public then their advice is wrong. Concerning fully vaccinated people Dr. Fauci is giving the right advice for the wrong reason, and the CDC is giving the wrong advice. Fully vaccinated people should continue to mask up, wash their hands, avoid large gatherings, etc., otherwise they could easily catch the vaccine (the wild version or the variants) from other vaccinated people and then become spreaders when out and about in public even though masked up and washing their hands. Masks and hand washing are a great help but aren't perfect prophylactics.

The best case scenario is that the completed studies find that fully vaccinated people are unlikely spreaders of the wild virus, but even if that's the eventual finding it won't necessarily hold true for variants, so fully vaccinated people will have to continue practicing safe behavior until the incidence rate in the population drops far below it's current level. We're currently at 17 cases per 100,000 per day. I don't know what a safe level is, but it's certainly below 5, and we're nowhere close to 5 yet.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 62 of 460 (885013)
03-19-2021 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Percy
03-19-2021 7:21 AM


Re: Can vaccinated people be spreaders?
Here's a little information about the potential for fully vaccinated people to become spreaders from What you need to know about getting vaccinated for Covid, from side effects to how long immunity lasts:

quote:
There’s emerging evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus to others, according to the CDC. Some early data from Israel that suggests that the Pfizer vaccine reduces transmission. And in J&J’s trials, they found a 74% reduction in developing asymptomatic infection, which indicates that the vaccine reduces transmission, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on March 1.

While this is promising it's important to carefully understand what it is saying. Early indications are that fully vaccinated people can still be spreaders, but at a lower rate, and in the case of the J&J vaccine at a significantly lower rate. How low is low enough to cease precautionary measures will be a function of case rates which are in turn a function of how closely we approach herd immunity.

We are still lacking a great many hard numbers that will be important in guiding behavior (How do we tell when we've reached herd immunity? How well does each vaccine perform against each of the variants? Which variants are prevalent where?), but data is beginning to become available.

--Percy


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 Message 61 by Percy, posted 03-19-2021 7:21 AM Percy has seen this message

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 64 of 460 (885022)
03-19-2021 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Phat
03-19-2021 8:21 AM


Re: Can vaccinated people be spreaders?
Phat writes:

I remember back a year ago when this whole thing started and how you uniquely adopted a routine of grocery quarantine, rigorous washing of every item of clothing that you wore outside of the house, and self isolation from society in general. If all Americans had done what you did, we would be farther along today in herd immunity and not anywhere near as many would have died.

I wasn't unique in these things. I discovered that many people had hit upon very similar routines. We eventually decided that quarantining groceries and mail was unnecessary.

More widely followed and stringent precautionary measures would have slowed our progress toward herd immunity, not hastened it. Without vaccines only high infection rates can create herd immunity.

I didn't self isolate. Over the summer we dined outside with friends, and I play tennis almost every day (it's self distancing) all during the year and so get to socialize frequently. We haven't dined out since October because no outdoor eating is open yet.

It surprises me that we're still doing so bad a job with masks, especially the many people wearing masks that keep falling off their noses. The government should have done whatever it took to flood the country with N95 masks a year ago.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 66 of 460 (885035)
03-19-2021 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by AZPaul3
03-19-2021 1:55 PM


Re: Can vaccinated people be spreaders?
One thing I keep forgetting to mention concerning masks: masks cannot seal against the face of anyone with a beard that crosses the mask seal. A very old study, Effect of facial hair on the face seal of negative-pressure respirators - PubMed, says, "An average two hundred and forty-six (246) fold drop in protection was experienced by bearded employees." The study was actually of respirators. Most cloth masks create a poor seal even under ideal circumstances and would perform much worse.

I wasn't able to find any studies, but my guess about why states that mask up like New York perform worse than southern states that don't mask up like Florida is that the cloth and surgical masks most people wear during the inside months of winter offer far worse protection than spending more of your time outside with no mask in the south. Give every mask wearer in New York an N95 and I bet the case rate would drop quickly.

Just found a study of a variety of mask types: Masks Save Lives: Duke Study Confirms Which Ones Work Best | Hartford HealthCare. It only tested the masks protection against droplets and rated the masks from best to worst like this:

  1. Fitted N95, no valve
  2. 3-layer surgical mask
  3. Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask
  4. 2-layer polypropylene apron mask
  5. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  6. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  7. Valved N95 mask
  8. 2-layer cotton, Olson style mask
  9. 1-layer Maxima AT mask
  10. 1-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  11. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  12. Knitted mask
  13. Double-layer bandana
  14. Gaiter-style neck fleece

Better would be an epidemiological study that surveyed people with covid-19 as to their mask wearing habits.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by AZPaul3, posted 03-19-2021 1:55 PM AZPaul3 has replied

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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 70 of 460 (885048)
03-20-2021 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by AZPaul3
03-19-2021 6:15 PM


Re: Can vaccinated people be spreaders?
AZPaul3 writes:

The N95s are most effective in environments where there is a higher viral load, is it not?

The most effective mask, the N95 in the study, would top the list in any environment. It wouldn't provide much benefit in a low or virus-free environment, but it would still be the best mask, and it would only increase in benefit as the virus levels increased.

Other than the best, what would be adequate given most circumstances?

Define adequate. For example, is reducing the chances of infection by 30% adequate? Those happy with those odds need only wear a single-layer cloth mask.

I think those wearing the common types of cloth masks are unaware how spectacularly poor performers they are, and the public health arms of the various levels of government, especially the highest levels, should be providing accurate information to the public.

It is believed that 30% of the spread in the US now is the UK variant. If it's 50% more transmissible (the range of increased transmissibility was estimated at 43-90% by a recent study: Estimated transmissibility and impact of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England) then people wearing a 30% effective cloth mask are more vulnerable to this variant while wearing a mask than they were to the original wild variety when not wearing a mask.

or ol' Joe Schmuk who wouldn't know a virus from an cephalopod the physics of the situation with particle size and mask seal is useless. Joe's a good guy. He'll do what we tell him. He's going to the grocery store and maybe a stop at Jack's Burger, Pizza, and Sushi stand for a take out. He is not partial to wearing a hazmat suit.

What do we tell him?

Ideally public health officials would tell him the truth, that a cloth mask provides only a small amount of protection. This is in essence what the public *was* told recently with all the suggestions reported by the news media that unless you're wearing an N95 mask that you should double mask.

I'll walk out on a limb and predict that the US is going to experience another surge in case rates before there's enough vaccination to start tamping things down. That surge may have already begun, but it will certainly happen within a month. It should be a smaller surge somewhat less than around half as bad as this past winter.

Using recent but not current figures, the US over-18 population is around 255 million. If the single-dose J&J vaccine plays only a minor role then we need 510 million doses. We've administered 120 million doses so far with 390 million to go. At the current rate of 2.5 million doses/day (where we may have recently leveled off, but it's hard to tell yet) it will take 156 days, which takes us to August 23rd.

But probably just vaccinating the over-18 population is not enough. We should also vaccinate those less in age, let's say down to age 10, which adds 40 million people requiring two doses each for a total of 590 million doses. At 2.5 million doses/day it will take another 188 days, which takes us to September 24th.

If we're able to pick up the vaccination rate to, say, 3.5 million per day on average from here on out then it will take until July 9th for all adults and until August 1st for everyone over 10.

The positive effects of vaccination will be lessened by pockets of the country that largely refuse them.

I'm a little disappointed in my own state. We seem to have leveled off at about 10,000 doses per day. Vaccinating everyone over 10 would be about 2.3 million doses. We've administered 440,000 doses so far with 1.9 million to go. 10,000 doses per day is 186 days, which puts us at September 22nd. If we could somehow double our rate we'd be done by mid-June. Accelerating the dosage rate like this could save in the neighborhood of 300 lives.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Fix math error.

Edited by Percy, : Use more accurate number for US population.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 73 of 460 (885987)
05-01-2021 9:19 AM


Where We Stand Now
It's way past time for a covid update. Viral caseloads have dropped in almost all states over the past couple weeks (Oregon and Washington state are the exceptions). Hospitalizations and deaths, which lag by a few weeks, should follow soon.

A couple weeks ago I predicted that premature loosening of virus protection guidances would cause a surge in two to four weeks by around mid-May. This is beginning to look unlikely with the onset of warmer weather. Even here in New England we've begun tentatively moving outdoors, which is far safer than indoors. Ironically while we in the north move outdoors in the summer, those in the south move indoors, forced in to air conditioned environments by the heat.

Although many restaurants here now have indoor eating, we don't feel it's safe enough yet. Our cases/day one-week moving average is now at 18 in our county (17 overall across the state of New Hampshire). How low is low enough? Who can say? I think at 5 I'd feel pretty comfortable, but how much above that I don't know.

Key to eliminating significant covid risk is herd immunity, but it's going to take forever at current vaccination rates in the state. From 20,000 doses/day a few weeks ago we're down to maybe 3500/day. No reason is given locally, but nationally I'm hearing that demand for shots has dropped dramatically. Nationally we're at 30.5% fully vaccinated and 43.6% half vaccinated. This is nowhere near good enough, and at the current rate of 2.5 million doses/day (and dropping rapidly) it will take 73 days to reach 80%, the threshold of herd immunity, which is July 13th.

But as I said, doses/day is dropping rapidly, so we're very unlikely to reach herd immunity in July. It won't happen until August or September or even ever due to a variety of reasons. There's the anti-vaxers, the disbelievers that there's a pandemic (it's a liberal ruse where Democrats have successfully enlisted the entire world in participating in creating the illusion of a pandemic - India's been particularly helpful, even getting people to apparently volunteer en masse for funeral pyres), those with obstacles to getting shots such as work schedule and transportation availability, people who just aren't that concerned about it, etc.

By the way, as bad as things are in India right now, with a population of 1366 million they have only around 200,000 deaths or .014% of the population, while the US with a population of 331 million has 575,000 deaths or .17% of the population. Percentage-wise our death rate due to covid is 12 times worse than India. We're more than an order of magnitude worse than the most hard-hit nation in the world right now. More US citizens have died of covid in just a year and a half than in combat in all of WWI, WWII and Vietnam. Yay, us! Do we know how to hold a pandemic or what!

If everyone in the US would just go get vaccinated now (well, not right now, but over the next month) this thing would be over in a month or two, but I don't think covid's ever going to be over entirely because of the many who won't be vaccinated, because of our government's unwillingness to get tough and mandate vaccination as a national health emergency, and because the rest of the world will continue to churn out variants analogous to the flu variants that come out every year.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 82 of 460 (886136)
05-06-2021 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by AnswersInGenitals
05-06-2021 3:43 PM


Re: The COVID Genocide Deserves a Name
Keeping it as two words might work, too, because then it could be combined with other things to his credit like the Trump Insurrection and so forth.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 83 of 460 (886821)
06-11-2021 10:22 AM


A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
Was SARS-CoV-2 engineered in a Wuhan lab and then escaped? I believed the experts who last year said that the virus lacked the characteristics of engineered viruses. I was having trouble understanding why this possibility is suddenly receiving serious attention.

The article The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explains all this. Those who claimed lab engineering unlikely or lab escape unlikely had conflicts of interests. There is so much information in that article that I won't attempt to summarize it here except to make two damning points:

  • SARS-CoV-2 is excellent at infecting humans but not bats, making it extremely unlikely that it evolved in bats and then jumped to humans, even in a lab.
  • No SARS-CoV-2 antecedents have been found in the wild.

The article describes the possibility that gain-of-function experiments along with well established knowledge of what mutations increase infectivity created SARS-CoV-2 in a Wuhan lab, and then it escaped. If this proves true then another question is how well the Wuhan researchers understood the lethality of the pathogen they'd created.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 86 of 460 (886840)
06-12-2021 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by PaulK
06-11-2021 12:08 PM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
PaulK writes:

The choice of journal should be a bit of a red flag.

How is it a red flag to appear in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has branched out in recent years from its doomsday clock focus to all things of concern to humanity's future. By your criteria, isn't the appearance of the article you cite in Respectful Insolence, a widely respected doctor's blog but still just a blog, much more a red flag?

Nicholas Wade is a respected science writer with stints at Nature, Science and The New York Times. He did write a controversial book a few years ago.

From my own reading around it seems that the lab leak hypothesis is still unlikely even if it can’t be definitively ruled out.

It wasn't the lab leak hypothesis that received the lion's share of public attention. It was the engineered and leaked hypothesis. The possibility of its being engineered received the strongest rebuttals, the core objection being that SARS-CoV-2 possessed none of the characteristic signposts of having been engineered.

While it was also argued last year that a lab leak was extremely unlikely, perfectly following detailed protocols day after day for months and years on end without error or accident or equipment failure or unlikely sequence of events while constantly bringing newbies on board never seemed likely to me. Managers of such labs will of course argue strongly against the possibility of leaks, but I think the reality is that leaks are not an uncommon occurrence. Most viruses under study are not virulent human pathogens, so most leaks have few if any consequences.

Wade’s article is not the first mentioned, but it’s there:
quote:
Basically, Wade’s argument seems to be that because a furin cleavage site of this sort hasn’t been seen in SARS-related beta coronaviruses before it must have been engineered. The problem is that such furin cleavage sites are common in a wide variety of viruses, including coronaviruses, and that scientists already had identified plausible mechanisms by which it could have ended up where it did in SARS-CoV2 last year…

Furin cleavage sites might be common in a wide variety of viruses, but while they do appear in coronaviruses, their frequency cannot accurately be characterized as common. The possibility that the 12-nucleotide insertion appeared naturally cannot be excluded (and Wade says this) but neither can it be considered more likely than engineering, particularly since all attempts to track down natural origins for SARS-CoV-2 have hit dead ends.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


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 Message 84 by PaulK, posted 06-11-2021 12:08 PM PaulK has replied

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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 89 of 460 (886846)
06-12-2021 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by PaulK
06-12-2021 11:56 AM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
PaulK writes:

quote:
How is it a red flag to appear in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has branched out in recent years from its doomsday clock focus to all things of concern to humanity's future. By your criteria, isn't the appearance of the article you cite in Respectful Insolence, a widely respected doctor's blog but still just a blog, much more a red flag?

Because it’s not a journal with a great deal of expertise in this area.

quote:
By your criteria, isn't the appearance of the article you cite in Respectful Insolence, a widely respected doctor's blog but still just a blog, much more a red flag?

No. Why on earth would it be?

I was just puzzled by your "judge a book by its cover" criteria, which you still haven't justified or explained.

quote:
Nicholas Wade is a respected science writer with stints at Nature, Science and The New York Times. He did write a controversial book a few years ago.

And that makes him an expert on the genetics ? And I note that the controversial book you refer to was noted for getting the science wrong.

It's far more nuanced than that, plus you're engaging in the poisoning the well fallacy: "He was wrong about this, so therefore we can conclude he's also wrong about that without considering it on the merits."

The reality is that he was criticized for speculating beyond what the science would support. Wade acknowledges this himself, saying "evidence for his thesis is 'nearly nonexistent.'" (A Troublesome Inheritance - Wikipedia) Attempts to connect I.Q. to race are a lightning rod for criticism, as Charles Murray discovered years ago with The Bell Curve. I think most critics within the scientific community experienced moral repugnance first and tried to find things to criticize second.

It is also speculating beyond what the science supports to claim there is no connection between I.Q. and race. Most attempts to settle the issue either way founder upon cultural, social, educational, geographic and environmental differences. The idea feels racist to me and so I reject it, but I have to concede the issue is not a settled one scientifically.

quote:
It wasn't the lab leak hypothesis that received the lion's share of public attention. It was the engineered and leaked hypothesis. The possibility of its being engineered received the strongest rebuttals, the core objection being that SARS-CoV-2 possessed none of the characteristic signposts of having been engineered.

Wade does claim that it was engineered.

His claim is more nuanced than that. He feels it more likely it was engineered and escaped than that it evolved in the wild and either migrated to humans from there or was gathered from bat caves by researchers and then escaped by infecting one or more researchers.

Furin cleavage sites might be common in a wide variety of viruses, but while they do appear in coronaviruses, their frequency cannot accurately be characterized as common. The possibility that the 12-nucleotide insertion appeared naturally cannot be excluded (and Wade says this) but neither can it be considered more likely than engineering, particularly since all attempts to track down natural origins for SARS-CoV-2 have hit dead ends.

Even if it’s unusual in coronaviruses that makes it less than good evidence for engineering.

How do you reach that conclusion?

I’d also like to know why you feel that engineering is at least as likely as a natural origin, given the weakness of the evidence.

I haven't reached any conclusions myself, but why do you think the evidence weak?

Orac points out that tracking down natural sources is not easy, so the failure to do so is not especially strong as an argument either.

The longer we go without finding the natural origin the more likely some other origin becomes. And this is just one of many arguments. I only mentioned two in my post.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2021 11:56 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2021 1:42 PM Percy has replied
 Message 91 by nwr, posted 06-12-2021 5:45 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 92 of 460 (886855)
06-12-2021 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by PaulK
06-12-2021 1:42 PM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
PaulK writes:

quote:
I was just puzzled by your "judge a book by its cover" criteria, which you still haven't justified or explained.

It’s not about judging a book by it’s cover it’s simply a concern that the choice of venue indicates that the article might not have had sufficient review.

Judging an article based on where it appears is judging the book by its cover.

quote:
It's far more nuanced than that, plus you're engaging in the poisoning the well fallacy: "He was wrong about this, so therefore we can conclude he's also wrong about that without considering it on the merits."

Wrong again. It’s that we can’t consider him a reliable authority.

What should he be considered then?

Really? This is what the scientists said:

As discussed by Dobbs and many others, Wade juxtaposes an incomplete and inaccurate account of our research on human genetic differences with speculation that recent natural selection has led to worldwide differences in I.Q. test results, political institutions and economic development. We reject Wade’s implication that our findings substantiate his guesswork. They do not.

Presenting an “incomplete and inaccurate account” is more than simply speculating beyond the evidence. 139 scientists signed that letter and another 4 added their names after publication.

This was quoted in the Wikipedia article I referenced. It's what I was responding to when I said they reacted with moral repugnance first and found things to criticize later. It's perfectly understandable that scientists would want to distance themselves as far as possible from any potential racist implications of their work.

quote:
How do you reach that conclusion?

The only thing that makes the furin cleavage special is that it increases infectivity in humans - but we’re only looking at this virus because it is highly infectious in humans. So an unusual but known feature - with a plausible natural origin - isn’t exactly strong evidence. Surely we’d expect something of the sort.

So you're balancing a "plausible natural origin" with not "exactly strong evidence." That's fine, but I don't see how there's enough there to decide between them.

quote:
I haven't reached any conclusions myself, but why do you think the evidence weak?

I’ve explained about the furin cleavage above, and I’ve pointed out that we don’t have a strong expectation of finding the natural source. But apparently you won’t explain why you think that the evidence makes a lab release as likely as a natural origin.

I never said anything like that. If you reread my Message 83, I only said that Wade's article helped me understand why the engineering possibility is suddenly receiving increased attention.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2021 1:42 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by PaulK, posted 06-13-2021 1:11 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 93 of 460 (886856)
06-12-2021 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by nwr
06-12-2021 5:45 PM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
nwr writes:

The longer we go without finding credible evidence for the lab leak hypothesis, the more likely that the natural origin is the correct one.

I wasn't talking about the lab leak hypothesis but the engineered hypothesis. Both the engineered and natural options have only circumstantial evidence right now.

Realize the engineered hypothesis was starting from "almost completely dismissed" status. I wasn't saying that it was becoming more likely than the natural hypothesis, only more likely than it was.

Tracking down the natural origin is notoriously difficult, in comparison with finding evidence of malfeasance.

I think what can more accurately be characterized as "notoriously difficult" is getting to the bottom of something that happened in China that they don't want to get blamed for.

I'm not sure what you mean by "tracking down the natural origin," but finding at least some evidence of a natural origin is not "notoriously difficult." It's been nothing but dead ends so far.

But I'm not advocating the engineered hypothesis. I offered the Wade article as explaining why the engineered hypothesis is suddenly receiving increased attention.

--Ted


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 95 of 460 (886861)
06-13-2021 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by PaulK
06-13-2021 1:11 AM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
PaulK writes:

quote:
Judging an article based on where it appears is judging the book by its cover.

It isn’t and I’m not judging it on that, simply noting that it likely hasn’t had the checks that it would receive before publication in a more appropriate peer-reviewed journal.

It's not research and does not belong in a peer-reviewed journal. It's a magazine article in a magazine. Read Write for the Bulletin - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to get a better idea of what it is and of their editorial policies.

quote:
What should he be considered then?

A journalist - which he is - with a record of misreporting science.

Well of course he's a journalist. I said as much when I mentioned he'd worked at Nature, Science and The New York Times. Did you misinterpret mentioning his employment at Nature and Science as a claim that he was a scientist? If you've read those journals then you know they have many layperson level magazine articles in the beginning about the technical papers that appear later. I assume he worked on the magazine articles.

And you're poisoning the well again. Make your objections to what he says not to the supposed wrongs you're convinced he committed.

quote:
This was quoted in the Wikipedia article I referenced. It's what I was responding to when I said they reacted with moral repugnance first and found things to criticize later. It's perfectly understandable that scientists would want to distance themselves as far as possible from any potential racist implications of their work

You’re asserting that he did not misrepresent their work? That the letter is untrue in that respect? That’s a pretty serious accusation to throw at the signatories to the letter.

I'm asserting that there's no way to know whether he misrepresented their work because the scientists statement is very open to suspicion that it was motivated by a desire to distance their research from association with racism as far as possible.

But you're still playing "poisoning the well."

quote:
So you're balancing a "plausible natural origin" with not "exactly strong evidence." That's fine, but I don't see how there's enough there to decide between them

There are plenty of unknown viruses out there, all mutating all the time. There are much fewer engineered viruses, and those are handled in controlled conditions. If there isn’t good evidence to support the lab release hypothesis we must prefer the natural origin. It’s inherently more probable.

I didn't believe the claim when first made last year that lab release was nearly impossible. Claims that people and their devices and processes are nearly perfect are invariably wrong. Wade lists a number of lab escape episodes, and who knows how many times viruses have escaped from labs undetected because no known harm resulted.

But I'm not arguing for the "lab release hypothesis." I'm pointing to an article that explains why the the engineered hypothesis is currently receiving increased attention.

quote:
I never said anything like that. If you reread my Message 83, I only said that Wade's article helped me understand why the engineering possibility is suddenly receiving increased attention

In fact you did say “something like that” in Message 86

You do say.

The possibility that the 12-nucleotide insertion appeared naturally cannot be excluded (and Wade says this) but neither can it be considered more likely than engineering,

Now will you explain what evidence is strong enough to raise the inherently improbable lab release hypothesis to the same level as natural origin ?

Again, I'm not interested in the lab release hypothesis. I already believe it more likely than managers of such labs want us to believe.

I'm interested in the engineered hypothesis, and Wade's article explains why it is not "inherently improbable."

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by PaulK, posted 06-13-2021 1:11 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by PaulK, posted 06-13-2021 10:50 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 97 of 460 (886873)
06-13-2021 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by PaulK
06-13-2021 10:50 AM


Re: A Lab Origin for SARS-CoV-2
PaulK writes:

quote:
It's not research and does not belong in a peer-reviewed journal.

Which means that it isn’t something to place great reliance on.

You're arguing that science writers are unreliable communicators.

quote:
Well of course he's a journalist. I said as much when I mentioned he'd worked at Nature, Science and The New York Times. Did you misinterpret mentioning his employment at Nature and Science as a claim that he was a scientist?

So you think that being a journalist makes him an expert. That explains part of the problem.

I think Wade is a top-notch science writer.

quote:
And you're poisoning the well again. Make your objections to what he says not to the supposed wrongs you're convinced he committed.

Pointing out reasons why we shouldn’t take Wade’s word for it is not poisoning the well.

Except that your reasons are unrelated to what Wade says in the article.

Can we just agree that Wade’s opinions should not be considered persuasive in themselves? That his arguments require evaluation.

Of course. I think you misunderstand why I posted a message about Wade's article. I consider it an explanation for why the engineered hypothesis is now receiving increased attention. I don't consider it a conclusive argument for the engineered hypothesis, nor, as you'll find if you actually read the article, does Wade.

quote:
I'm asserting that there's no way to know whether he misrepresented their work because the scientists statement is very open to suspicion that it was motivated by a desire to distance their research from association with racism as far as possible

Just as that statement is open to the suspicion that you are defending Wade here because you support his racist views.

If you're the kind of person who goes there, go for it. My actual position is that no one on either side of the race/intelligence argument has scientific data to back them up. There are too many confounding factors.

quote:
But you're still playing "poisoning the well."

Until your argument gets beyond “Wade says so” pointing out that Wade is not an especially reliable source is a valid reply.

You're again making the mistake of thinking I'm advocating for the engineered hypothesis. I'm not. I've reached no conclusions. And I've never said anything that could be interpreted as "Wade says so."

But if you're going to make obviously untrue statements such as that Wade is an unreliable source then I'll of course argue the point.

Yet I’m the one addressing Wade’s arguments, not you.

If you do say so yourself.

quote:
But I'm not arguing for the "lab release hypothesis." I'm pointing to an article that explains why the the engineered hypothesis is currently receiving increased attention

So you have a high profile article, but not much solid argument.

The only arguments I'm making are against your baseless opinions, such as that lab escape is inherently improbable. That doesn't mean I'm advocating for lab escape, just that I think you're wrong to characterize it that way.

quote:
I'm interested in the engineered hypothesis, and Wade's article explains why it is not "inherently improbable."

In fact he doesn’t give any valid reasons to consider the “engineered” hypothesis as likely as a natural origin.

You're welcome to that opinion.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by PaulK, posted 06-13-2021 10:50 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by PaulK, posted 06-13-2021 2:45 PM Percy has replied

  
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