Covid-19 laboratory leak theory is a story of weaponized uncertainty

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Does this mean that as Washington post Fact checker with Wall Street Journal Editorial department It has been written that the laboratory leak hypothesis has gained “credibility”?

Or, let me ask again: If the virus that causes Covid-19 is not transmitted from animals to humans, where does it come from?

Is it an animal virus that scientists collect and study and accidentally release? To make matters worse, have scientists conducted so-called gain-of-function studies on a natural virus to make it more likely to have a pandemic, and then accidentally release it? Or worse than that, are they trying to make accidentally leaked biological weapons? The worst is: did they do it on purpose? freed biochemical weapon?

The most true answer is: Maybe not but maybe. This is the real problem. The evidence has not changed since the spring of 2020. The evidence is always incomplete, and may never be complete. History and science show that animal jumps are more likely to occur than laboratory leaks/cover-ups. So now we are talking about how people build their opinions around the bad evidence we have.

Except that not all frameworks are the same. You are seeing in real time the sometimes ugly and confusing process of finding better answers-to gain international accountability and scientific clarity. But you are also witnessing the creation of uncertainty. Some people who talk about laboratory leaks don’t want answers. They want to enlarge, and in some cases even create suspicion for corruption reasons. Because then they can use this suspicion of leaders, scientists, and processes to maintain or build power.It works very well, even the president and the heads of state institutions Have Reply.

The scientists who wrote that letter science Do not think Since last spring, the possibility of laboratory leaks of hypotheses has increased (or decreased). The evidence has not changed.As some of them said This New York TimesWhen Trumpists incite anti-China sentiment, they hesitate, but they still want to make the virology laboratory (and the world) safer.

But more writers have joined.People with relevant expertise speak up; so do people without it-people Just ask questions On social media, in magazine articles, in the media.These small impressions, accidental coincidences, weird strong early denials… they add up to something, Isn’t it? Isn’t it?

When the scientist said “We are not entirely sure”, they mean that their analysis of certain events or results includes their statistical probability of error. They will never be 100%. Sometimes they think they may be more wrong than others. This is the world of confidence intervals, mathematical models and curves, and uncertainty principles. But non-scientists hear that “we are not entirely sure” is “so you mean there is a chance?” This is a crazy gap between the meaning of scientific (for example, statistical) uncertainty and the meaning of normal human uncertainty.This is “just asking questions [wink]”life.

This is a subtle difference. For example, when Tony Fauci said he wanted more certainty, he probably meant, yes, when everything is equal, knowing is better than not knowing—especially if the political wind is blowing like this .

But when politicians such as senators and right-wing TV commentators talk about this uncertainty, this suspicion, they are trying to put a crowbar into this understanding gap and open it up. They are still suggesting that the Chinese government is doing some sneaky things here, some belligerent things-even scientists think this is possible. Because if they seem to be supported by science, they can use this power elsewhere. They can knock their shoes on the table about the inaction of the Biden administration and China’s intrigues to divert them about elections, about trying to restrict voting rights, about the January 6 rebellion, about trying to get the world to inoculate what they claim to prevent The lies of disease vaccines are better understood.

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