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Mon Apr 6, 2020, 09:35 PM

Scientist Debate Origin of Coronavirus.. CNN:


Robert Kuznia and Drew Griffin, CNN
Updated 5:34 PM ET, Mon April 6, 2020

(CNN) A vacuum of knowledge about the origins of the new coronavirus ravaging the world has provided fertile ground for all manner of theories -- from the fantastic, to the dubious to the believable.

It was a bioweapon manufactured by the Chinese. The US Army brought the virus to Wuhan. It leaked -- like a genie out of a bottle -- from a lab in an accident. It took root at a wildlife market in Wuhan.

Scientists have banded together across international borders to condemn the nationalist-tinged conspiracy theories. And yet, they are divided on what was once widely thought the most likely culprit: a so-called wet market in Wuhan, where wild animals are kept in cages and sold as pets or food. It is believed that a bat-infected animal -- perhaps a pangolin -- infected the first human.

The truth of how this began remains elusive. But CNN spoke to more than half a dozen virus experts about the origins of the outbreak, and all of them say anyone who claims to know the source of Covid-19 is guessing. The scientists say there is zero evidence the Chinese or American government purposefully introduced the new coronavirus -- SARS-CoV-2 -- to the public.

To date, one thing seems likely: It came from bats

It's "the most simple, obvious and likely explanation," said Dr. Simon Anthony, a professor at the public health grad school of Columbia University and a key member of PREDICT, a federally funded global program investigating viruses in animal hosts with pandemic potential. PREDICT has discovered 180 coronaviruses over a decade.

Though the scientists discount conspiracy theories about bioweapons, on other questions they are divided.

The experts are at odds over the once widely accepted theory that the virus originated at a wet market.

(rest of article is at link above) (and yes, it is a fairly long article)

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Reply Scientist Debate Origin of Coronavirus.. CNN: (Original post)
Stuart G Apr 6 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 6 #1
Igel Apr 6 #2

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 09:48 PM

1. This is actually excellent proof of evolution.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 11:04 PM

2. Most of the "debate" is Ebright.

The rest of it is a series of strawmen.

When people say "most likely" they do not mean "without a doubt."

As for the escape from the Wuhan biolab, it's not a stretch, but it would just a be a sample that escaped, not something that the lab created. The difference between collecting a sample from a bat and becoming infected and collecting the bat and becoming infected is trivial. It's a question of where it came from, not who's morally responsible.

But trying to say it couldn't have come from a place because that would be an insult--and then citing the organization headed by China's candidate, somebody whose political career was buttressed by China and whose professional career was bolstered by China--seems rather, um, nationalist.

Still, if get past the CT Ebright (whose a "bioweapons expert" if he does say so himself) and the strawmen, it raises the right issues.

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