Culture Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

The COVID-19 saga is getting people talking about bogus scientific consensus

Spread the love

For some months there has been a bogus consensus that the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan was a crackpot conspiracy theory:

About two weeks ago, 18 highly respected scientists wrote to Science Magazine that “we must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers seriously.”

And no less an authority than Dr. Anthony Fauci, the very talisman of science for roughly half the country, has now reversed himself and no longer rules out the lab theory.

The science writer Nicholas Wade wrote a long article on Medium earlier this month that was a breakthrough in the debate. He noted that a letter in The Lancet in February 2020 and another letter in Nature Medicine a month later had huge roles in ruling the lab theory out-of-bounds, even though the missives were premature or otherwise flawed…

It’s not as though a lab leak is a scenario out of science fiction. Wade notes it is dismayingly common: “The smallpox virus escaped three times from labs in England in the 1960s and 1970s, causing 80 cases and three deaths. Dangerous viruses have leaked out of labs almost every year since.

Rich Lowry, “Beware of bogus scientific consensus” at Jewish World Review (May 26, 2021)

Most people, understandably, don’t care that much about bogus consenses that don’t affect them. So it’s hard to talk about the problem. A bogus consensus around a life-threatening disease may be, unfortunately, what is needed to get their attention for the problem in general.

See also: Getting to the bottom of what happened in China China knowingly violated the terms of a World Health Organization (WHO) disclosure agreement.

14 Replies to “The COVID-19 saga is getting people talking about bogus scientific consensus

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    I doubt that there’s more understanding. For unknown political reasons, Lord Fauci suddenly switched his field. The Faucibots switched in unison because they’re bots, not because they can think about dissonance or dishonesty.

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    Well, phony narratives and lying about stuff has been the norm for the widely visible segment of the Scientific Community for awhile now, and these things are happily regurgitated.

    I think the problem that is more widespread and worse than not caring about stuff… individuals in the wider culture want these narratives and lies perpetuated, truth be damned and banned, and too bad for you if you don’t go along.

    Andrew

  3. 3
    RavenT says:

    I find this whole COVID-19 saga has way too many debacles. This is just another one to that list.

    Though to me the most memorable is the fact HCQ and “talisman”(better known as facemask) have the same evidence quality. Both don’t have RCT achieving “statistical significant”, both has observational(though HCQ has more) study showing advantage. Yet we demonize HCQ and worship the other.

    It almost as if we are doing this just to take the opposite side of a certain carrot top.

  4. 4
    Belfast says:

    I would say Fauci switched because Biden told him to.
    Now they can sing from the same song-sheet.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Can there be a “bogus” consensus? Surely, there is either a consensus or there isn’t. The consensus could be wrong but it would still be a genuine consensus, not bogus. Unless this is just another conspiracy theory.

    In what I’ve read, the lab-leak theory was never ruled out. Accidents and leaks are always possible, even at the best-managed facilities, but there was no evidence to show that was what happened. And the animal transmission model is still a perfectly feasible explanation.

    Add to that Trump’s wisecracks about “kung-flu” which play well to his base who also think foreign policy can be built on xenophobia and racial slurs so that anything “furrin'” is bound to be badly-run and you have another smokescreen for the Trump’s ignorance and incompetence.

    The fact that an animal host for the SARS-CoV-2 virus hasn’t been found yet means very little. The Ebola virus was first identified back in 1976 but the animal reservoir species for that has not been identified yet either. Maybe that leaked from a mismanaged African lab. Or maybe it was created as a bio-weapon in a lab in China or Russia or North Korea or even the US and field-tested in Africa. The conspiracy theory possibilities are endless.

  6. 6
    News says:

    ” We’ve seen similar processes play out again and again in this pandemic. Deviating from the authorities was seen as “misinformation” and subject to fact-check and ridicule.
    For example, I’ve long seen claims that delaying boosters and mixing-and-matching vaccine types being portrayed as unscientific when, in fact, they were both mundane practices before the pandemic, and dose-sparing is a crucial strategy to consider given the vaccine supply.” “- https://www.theinsight.org/p/checking-facts-even-if-one-cant

    I don’t think what we’ve all learned from this is just going away…

  7. 7
    johnnyb says:

    Seversky –

    Actually there was just an article out recently on what constitutes a bogus consensus. Basically, a consensus is only “real” if the members of the consensus were able to form their opinions independently and without coercion. If there is any form of coercion or if they base their decisions on other people’s views (and not their own judgement), it really doesn’t have force as a consensus.

    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/05/consensus-is-information-only-when-we-are-free-to-doubt/

  8. 8
    Karen McMannus says:

    Seversky: Add to that Trump’s wisecracks about “kung-flu” which play well to his base

    Kind of funny, actually.

    who also think foreign policy can be built on xenophobia

    Please back this up with hard evidence.

    and racial slurs

    “Kung flu” (or Kung Fu, from which this is derived) is not a race.

    so that anything “furrin’”

    I supported Trump and I pronounce the word properly. I don’t know any Trump supporter who doesn’t.

    is bound to be badly-run

    Again, please provide hard evidence for this.

    and you have another smokescreen for the Trump’s ignorance and incompetence.

    Um, if you say so. Actual evidence may actually persuade someone who isn’t already a Trump hater.

    Trump is gone. Maybe we should talk about the current Nincompoop in Chief who can’t even take impromptu questions at a press conference.

  9. 9
    Karen McMannus says:

    johnnyb: Basically, a consensus is only “real” if the members of the consensus were able to form their opinions independently and without coercion.

    Kinda makes me think of the “consensus” elections in Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and China.

    “Sitting down” kinda loses its meaning if you can’t stand up.

  10. 10
    vividbleau says:

    KM
    “Trump is gone. Maybe we should talk about the current Nincompoop in Chief who can’t even take impromptu questions at a press conference.”

    You mean the guy who is sticking a shiv into you while smiling? But hey no more mean tweets.

    Vivid

  11. 11
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    “In what I’ve read, the lab-leak theory was never ruled out.”

    Well we haven’t ruled out that there is green cheese on the moon either. But hey it was never ruled out but any discussion about a possible lab leak was banned by Facebook and Twitter.. Was labeled absurd by the former head of the NIH,a conspiracy theory proposed by right wing crazies by CNN, NBC, MSNBC, Vox, Huffpo, and virtually every mainstream media outlet. But yes your right it was never ruled out LOL

    Vivid

  12. 12
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    “The fact that an animal host for the SARS-CoV-2 virus hasn’t been found yet means very little. The Ebola virus was first identified back in 1976 but the animal reservoir species for that has not been identified yet either. Maybe that leaked from a mismanaged African lab. Or maybe it was created as a bio-weapon in a lab in China or Russia or North Korea or even the US and field-tested in Africa. The conspiracy theory possibilities are endless.”

    Yeh we know who patient one was as it relates to HIV. Within months we knew how SARS and Mers was transmitted. As for Ebola

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/where-did-ebola-come-likely-one-person-gene-study-finds-n191161

    Covid 19 ? After 15 months from announcing it was just going to be “15 days to flatten the curve” we don’t know and until just recently we’re not allowed to ask without being a conspiracy theorist.

    Vivid

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    From the Babylon Bee

    Dr. Fauci Gets In Heated Debate With Seventeen Previous Versions Of Himself

    After a brief temporal anomaly occurred in Washington, D.C., causing a version of Dr. Fauci from just two weeks ago to materialize in the city, the current Dr. Fauci got in a heated debate with the manifestation of himself from the past.

    https://babylonbee.com/news/dr-fauci-gets-in-intense-debate-with-dr-fauci-from-a-few-months-ago

  14. 14
    johnnyb says:

    Vividbleau and Seversky –

    Actually, the lab leak was supposedly definitively ruled out by this paper:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

    This heralded the start of claiming that lab leaks were “misinformation” because this paper supposedly ruled it out. However, the problem with this paper is that the authors (and, apparently, the reviewers) were not sufficiently familiar with design inferences and how their logic works. That probably has something to do with the fact that ID (which is the branch of science that focuses on the logic of design inferences) has been systematically suppressed over the last few decades.

    I wrote an article on this below:

    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/03/was-the-covid-10-virus-designed-the-computer-doesnt-know/

Leave a Reply