SARS-CoV2 – Evolution or Intelligent Design?

There’s a rather significant article on summarising the evidence on SARS-CoV2 origins here, by Nicholas Wade. It’s around 11,000 words, but you guys don’t come here for sound-bites, after all!

The salient point is that the “lab leak hypothesis,” rapidly trashed by virologists including Dr Anthony Fauci last year, and not even counted worthy of investigation by the WHO investigators earlier this year, has been comprehensively obscured by deliberate disinformation to cover widespread vested interests (“disinformation” is specifically the use of propaganda by the powerful to hide the truth from the people).

The article points out the very clear lack of any positive evidence for the “natural origins” theory, contrasting that with the very rapid tracking of the animal origins and evolution of previous novel viruses including SARS1 and MERS. Conversely, the circumstantial evidence pointing to a leak from one of the virology labs in Wuhan has increased over time. It was very plausible last year, but the evidence is greater now.

This includes evidence from the virus itself, including (as just one example) that a crucial sequence, predicted as necessary by virologists researching pandemics but not even present in other Coronaviruses, is not only present in SARS-CoV2 but uses an RNA triplet that is the usual sequence in humans, but rare in Coronaviruses.

Another intriguing fact, previously unknown to me, is that the “wild” version of SARS-CoV-2 infects the bats in which is supposedly originated only with difficulty. This suggests either one or more intermediate animal vectors, which have never been found, or an artificial change of function in the spike protein. It beggars belief that a virus would mutate to “jump” species by becoming ineffective in the original host.

Then again, accounts of mysterious SARS-like illnesses amongst Wuhan lab workers towards the end of 2019, and the existence of early outbreaks in Wuhan clearly not linked to the wet market, weaken the “natural” case further. So too does the knowledge that virus samples from caves 1000Km from Wuhan were, indeed, taken to Wuhan for study: there were at one stage last year even celebratory Chinese Government documentary videos available on YouTube about it. I think they got removed.

But the really concerning smoking gun is the knowledge that both the NIAID (Director Anthony Fauci) and the NIH (Director Francis Collins) provided extensive funding for the viral gain-of-function studies on Coronaviruses conducted at Wuhan. This was despite the imposition of a US ban on such research as being potentially catastrophic to world health. Various legal loopholes enabled the work to be done abroad rather than the US, and for the ban to be circumvented on the vague grounds of emergency or national security.

But clearly Dr Fauci, and (the article suggests) probably Dr Collins as well, for he must have been aware of the projects the NIH was funding, simply wanted to do the research, despite the concerns of a significant body of relevant scientists and the government, and China was the place where it could be done with few questions asked.

One might argue that they were simply naive to assume that the Chinese Communist Party would have no military or ideological interest in weaponising viruses, although recent leaks suggest that they were discussing such matters all along. But there is a point at which such political naivety amongst leading government scientists becomes culpable.

Before 2020, only conspiracy theorists (and those like me researching the odd direction world events were taking) would have had any suspicion of anything more than naivety in such a decision. But the Great Reset was announced by the WEF in plain sight last June as an immediate response to COVID, a conference of the Great and Good modelling a Coronavirus pandemic and mass-vaccination was held just before the real thing (sponsors: WEF and the Gates Foundation), and oppressive and censorious activity by governments, big science and industry since the pandemic have increased the impression of a corrupt elite after wealth and power. Many sober minds have become open to the possibility that there are shared interests in the existence of COVID beyond controversial research for the benefit of mankind.

Given the now undoubted reality of the deep state, maybe Fauci and Collins were seduced by some Machiavellian “national interest.” I suppose I can imagine being told by some high CIA official that the ban on gain-of-function studies by foolish politicians favoured our enemies in biological warfare. When they suggested that Communist China was our natural ally in remedying that, though, I would have shown even the US President the door. But maybe you only get to be powerful in Big Science because you don’t say “No” to the powerful.

Be that as it may, the Wade article points out that leaks from virological research establishments are actually always a real hazard, and that the publications of the team at Wuhan show that much of their research was done under insecure conditions. The genuine risk of creating a pandemic was known. Even without this knowledge being in the scientific domain, and far more so knowing it, to try to improve the response to possible future natural pathogens by deliberately creating deadly ones artificially is the stuff of the mad scientist in fiction. It is much like trying to work out defences against the possible future development of a doomsday bomb that could destroy the world by spending millions on developing a doomsday bomb that could destroy the world. Only Fauci and Collins didn’t quite do that – they delegated the development to the world power most ideologically likely to use such a bomb.

Nicholas Wade details the high-level cover-up of these matters after the event. For example, he points out the rather curious way in which Dr Peter Daszak, president of the oh-so-green sounding EcoHealth Alliance, was a major funder and abettor of the Wuhan Corona virus research; then was the organiser of the open letter from virologists calling the lab escape hypothesis a conspiracy theory before there was any evidence on the table at all; then was a leading figure in the WHO investigation team this year that decided the Wuhan lab was not worth even investigating; and lastly is third on the list of names heading a new NIAID/NIH megaproject, Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Whether, as Wade suspects, this project will involve further gain-of-function studies, or not, both Daszak and Fauci have increased their empires from their dubious roles in the damage done to the world by their work if the lab leak story is true, rather than facing deserved censure. Such is the state of science today.

This is despite an inteview by Daszak cited in Wade’s article:

On 9 December 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic became generally known, Dr. Daszak gave an interview in which he talked in glowing terms of how researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been reprogramming the spike protein and generating chimeric coronaviruses capable of infecting humanized mice.

“And we have now found, you know, after 6 or 7 years of doing this, over 100 new sars-related coronaviruses, very close to SARS,” Dr. Daszak says around minute 28 of the interview. “Some of them get into human cells in the lab, some of them can cause SARS disease in humanized mice models and are untreatable with therapeutic monoclonals and you can’t vaccinate against them with a vaccine. So, these are a clear and present danger [sic]….

It matters, apart from the old-fashioned concept of justice and accountability, partly because ignoring it means exactly the same thing can happen again, or worse if the scientific lessons learned enable evil people to release more carefully targeted viral pathogens deliberately. It also matters because it is the response to the virus that has caused most of the damage to the world, and those like Drs Fauci and Collins have been at the forefront of promoting these draconian policies and debunking the “conspiracy theorists” who oppose them. Maybe that’s why Collins’s brainchild BioLogos has become such a champion of “consensus science” (for which read “government propaganda”) on the matter.

As an aside, to defend Collins for a moment, perhaps his Theistic Evolution principles predispose him to favour a natural origin for SARS-Cov2 over an artificial gain-of-function origin, even though he funded the research at Wuhan. Nicholas Wade cites some virologists who argue that because evolution is so unpredictable, the structures seen in SARS2 that accord so well with human modification could have occurred naturally.

That takes me back to my BioLogos days, when the theoretical impossibility of distinguishing deliberate design from blind chance was a big issue. What COVID proves is that if one’s interest in not seeing design is great enough – from merely venial considerations like solidarity with a scientific community threatened with scandal – then a majority of scientists, at least in public, will stand on their heads to deny its possibility, even when means, motive and opportunity – and the bodies – are available.

A final thought on the strange confusion of risk-assessment that clever scientists seem to exhibit. Anthony Fauci, in his role managing the COVID response for two presidents, has been one of the all-too-prevalent supporters of the precautionary principle on steroids over the last year. He immediately accepted the wild exaggerations of Imperial College’s modelling, and still appears to stand by them by maintaining that the unprecedented policy of lockdown prevented all Ferguson’s predicted deaths, rather than surmising that the modelling was rubbish. He’s the guy who, at least when it suited him, promoted not only mask-mandates but double masking. He’s the guy who keeps warning Americans that it ain’t over, and that the clear success of the states that have called him out and abandoned restrictions will even now end in tears. I haven’t seen him quoted as saying (like some politicians here) that one death is too many, but he has sold the precautionary principle relentlessly to a world now paying an untold economic and societal price for it.

So, he is clearly deeply committed to the principle that any risk is too much risk when it comes to public health – laudable if it weren’t so destructive because blind to all other risks. His risk-aversion makes you wonder how he was so willing to fund gain-of-function research in a Communist Chinese lab despite the warnings of colleagues and a ban by his own government.

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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2 Responses to SARS-CoV2 – Evolution or Intelligent Design?

  1. Levi Fetter says:

    Great report, Jon. And if the lab-leak (and supposed massive cover-up) is proved true, what are we, the powerless, to do about it? The chain of accountability, not only in international matters but now also in domestic, seem utterly broken.

    • Jon Garvey says:

      How the ordinary people regain not only freedoms, but truth, is the vexed question, Levi. I learned today that the vaccines NGO GAVI, which is largely controlled by Bill Gates, has wangled itself total diplomatic immunity. I gather their director could forbid the police entry to their offices with impunity – not only in the case of a vaccine damage issue, but also for fraud or corruption.

      The WHO, having redefined basic medical concepts like “pandemic” and “herd immunity” to enable them to pass health edicts, has agreements with the nations (except USA and Iran, I believe) that make those edicts binding in law.

      I suspect that, short of a violent revolution, the greatest act of resistance is simply not to be what they are: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

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