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Everything posted by Arete

  1. You haven't cited any recombination rates, so any likelihood of in natura recombination remains speculative (at least in the context of this thread). So let's cite some rates: The empirically measured recombination rates of various human associated Coronaviridae are around 1 x 10-6. Which is actually pretty high in the grad scheme of recombination rates. So recombination is actually pretty frequent, disputing the claim that emergence of a recombinant, host switching strain is "ASTRONOMICALLY unlikely". Next, lets look at some calibrated phylogenetics: "Divergence dates between SARS-CoV-2 and the bat sarbecovirus reservoir were estimated as 1948 (95% highest posterior density (HPD): 1879–1999), 1969 (95% HPD: 1930–2000) and 1982 (95% HPD: 1948–2009), indicating that the lineage giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating unnoticed in bats for decades." So, not only do we have high recombination rates in the virus, making the emergence of novel recombinant variants a regular occurrence in nature, we have empirical data which demonstrates that the emergence of SARS-COV-2 predates its subsequent spillover and discovery by decades. Pending extraordinary evidence to the contrary, this resoundingly debunks the so-called Lab Leak "theory".
  2. Hold stuff close to your face gang unite!
  3. LOL I've been -6.00 and -6.50 since I was 16, or at least until lasik.
  4. If you haven't actually done an experiment, unfortunately the idea isn't worth much on its own. I'm glad for you that you're thinking about cool ideas but there's a lot of heavy lifting to do before it's publishable. Unfortunately cancer/immunology is outside my wheelhouse as a microbiologist and my plate is already rather full. Good luck. Edit: As an aside, I have dozens of sketched ideas and half done experiments that never see the light of day for every publication I've completed. Having the idea and generating the concept are just the first step. I think a lot of non-scientists seriously underestimate the work that goes into turning an idea into a published study. Most of my undergraduates and even some PhD students aren't capable of doing it.
  5. So for context, I'm on the editorial board of the American Society of Microbiology. How is your method novel and what experimental data have you generated to verify it? Especially in molecular/cell biology, one can't typically just publish a peer reviewed paper describing a new method without some sort of empirical data/hypothesis testing/in silico model/simulation to verify it. On the other hand one can publish a review/synthesis of the current state of the field on a given topic. As it stands I don't see anything publishable in your synopsis, unfortunately.
  6. Well, 1. I've lived in the US for the last 13 years. 2. The "Well regulated milita" at the time was effectively the US military. I'm a filthy immigrant to the US but my understanding is that the purpose of the amendment was to provision the states with the ability to raise a standing army. There's no statement about self defense, or having to keep said arms in your home - and when the National Guard has a predator drone program and the citizenry can't have an automatic rifle makes it something of a moot point. 3. The court's interpretation to include self defense is fear based. Not saying it wouldn't be different in any other country if they had the history of the US. It has religious conservatism, libertarianism and a right to bear arms baked in - but that doesn't make the mindset evidence based.
  7. Combine it with stand your ground/castle doctrine and it's completely whackadoo. In most places, including the US a legitimate defense against a murder charge is justifiable homicide. If you genuinely acted in self defense, it's unlikely a prosecutor would develop the case and in cases where it's not clear cut, you have your day in front of a jury. But SYG/CD means the state can't even prosecute. Just say you feared for your life and you have a UNO reverse card for murdering someone ala Joe Horn/Byron Thomas/Cordell Jude. Totally crazy, fear driven legislation.
  8. Edit: And there you go with abuse of the voting system. I'm always amused at how the "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" Crowd turn into raging, belligerent, vindictive sphincters once their fee fees get hurt.
  9. 1. It makes utterly no assumption about the existence of God. It is an argument completely and utterly ambivalent to the existence of a deity. 2. It relies entirely on observed data, not "made up premises". Things about humans you can measure. 3. It makes no assertion at to what so called "perfection" is. Simply makes the empirical observation that trait state is almost always a compromise between two extremes. Therefore by definition, not perfect. Compromised. Do you need a picture? Clearly you need a picture: See, long necky giraffes are better at fighting, therefore worser at drinking. Short necky giraffes are worser at fighting and better at drinking. Middle necky giraffes are ok but not best at both. ALL TRAIT STATES ARE COMPROMISED. THERE IS NO PERFECT TRAIT STATE. YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE "PERFECT" GIRAFFE LOOKS LIKE TO DETERMINE THAT NO ONE NECKY GIRAFFE IS PERFECT. Sheesh.
  10. Citation. A CCW is twice as likely to injure the carrier than be used in self defense. Your emergency shelter etc is not twice as likely to hurt you as to be used in the event of an unexpected night in the woods. Ergo it is rational to carry a spare tire, emergency shelter etc, but not rational to carry a firearm for self defense.
  11. You can't really hurt yourself, a bystander or your family with a spare tire, and a flat is a few orders of magnitude more likely than being attacked by a "bad guy". The relative risk analysis of concealed carry is unequivocal - carrying concealed every day is not a rational decision - it's an emotive one, and I'm unsure what emotion other than fear of attack that would motivate one to carry - it's not like you can cut tape or open bottles with a handgun. I didn't mean for this to turn into a gun debate. I outlined many ways some Americans are susceptible to suggestions of violence due to the prevailing culture.
  12. If you don't live in a war zone, that's an exceptionally fearful mindset. Especially when the research show you are substantially more likely to accidentally shoot yourself than an attacker. I say this as a gun owner. I just keep mine in a safe when not in use, which is ironically next to where I store my chainsaws.
  13. I think this is the crux - in most developed countries, if someone felt they needed to carry a concealed firearm to the grocery store to protect themselves, they'd probably be diagnosed as clinically paranoid and be given therapy and meds. Let alone passing legislation so you can't even be prosecuted if you shot someone you were afraid of - indicating you're afraid of both people attacking you and getting in trouble for shooting them... or building a 30ft tall, 200 mile long fence to keep people you're afraid of out of your country, etc and so on. St Louis is a liberal city and my guess is that violent crime is heavily stratified by socio-economics. I'd also hazard a guess that most of the people you associate with are well educated (given you're on a science forum). Edit: I live in rural California and everyone owns guns, liberals, conservatives, the lot. I told my neighbor I wasn't allowed to buy a gun on an H1B visa and he gifted me a shotgun. The people with CCWs and the weird 2A stickers/shirts/hats tend to also have Trump paraphernalia along with it though.
  14. I will preface the following with the fact that the US is very socio-politically diverse and generalizations are just those. The US has some of the best education, healthcare, most socially progressive programs, etc in the world - for some people. Being an immigrant that has lived in the US for 13 years, it's not just talk. The US is a violent country. The US violent death rate is 7 times higher than the average for high-income countries. While a lot is explained by the firearm homicide rate being 25 times higher, the non-firearm homicide rate is also three times higher than average. Violence is glorified/normalized throughout US culture. I was watching a PG 13 movie with my son, with smoking and coarse language being the two causes listed for the rating. Someone got shot in the head in the first two minutes. Boobs will make a movie age restricted faster than beheading, and half the population has boobs. Then you have the weird juxtaposition between between conservative morality laws - over a quarter of Kentucky counties are dry (i.e. possession of alcohol is a crime), and yet it has stand your ground legislation - if you fear for your life and you shoot someone in your home or anywhere else, you are immune from criminal or civil prosecution. Then you have a poor education level. 54% of US adults read below the 6th grade level. 1 in 5 US adults are completely illiterate. 30% of US adults can't do basic math in whole numbers. Research shows that a lack of basic education leads to a narrow and fear based world view. This means that a phenomenally large proportion of the US population is morally conservative, narrow minded, fearful, and has normalized violence. Appeals to violence by politicians are attractive to a huge population base in the US.
  15. Virtually all human traits are evolutionary trade-offs between two deleterious states, which are usually environmentally dependent e.g.; Higher birth weight increases infant survivability in environments with unpredictable resource allocation, but increases likelihood of mother/baby death during childbirth. Increased immune function decreases the likelihood of infectious disease, but also increases inflammation susceptibility and reduces growth rates. Twin births increase fecundity in high resource environments, but decrease fecundity in low resource environments. Adaptations for enhanced cognition in humans increases susceptibility to both autism and schizophrenia. Temporal trade-offs in resource allocation to reproduction and growth predispose humans to aging related disease and cancer later in life. etc and so on. Virtually every environment a population is adapting to is changing. This creates a lag between the present trait state and the present environment known as evolutionary mismatch e.g., The thrifty gene hypothesis and increased rates of obesity/diabetes in Western society. Sedentary lifestyles and osteoporosis. The hygiene hypothesis and increasing rates of autoimmune disease as microbial diversity in human environments is decreased. The smoke alarm hypothesis and the prevalence of phobias and anxiety. Ergo, in many intrinsic ways human bodies are a inherently compromised. Unless one is using a very unconventional definition of perfection, the human organism cannot be described as perfect.
  16. From a textbook on the Philosophy of Religion written by a Professor of Philosophy.
  17. You played your hand and I'm no longer engaging with you. Google Bertrand Russell if you find yourself ignorant of his philosophy. For those following along - this is a particularly tricky game of shifting the burden of proof - e.g. 1: "Some people believe in bigfoot, I personally don't" 2:"Please provide evidence that bigfoot doesn't exist" 1: "You're asking for me to prove a negative, that's a logical fallacy" 2: "You made the positive claim bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on you to prove bigfoot doesn't exist." That's not how the burden of proof works. 1 is claiming a null state. 2 is then demanding proof of the null. If this were a hypothesis test, 1 demonstrates a result not supporting the test hypothesis. 2 is then demanding statistical proof of the null. That's not how a hypothesis test works - one tests the test state and either supports it or does not (refracting to the null). Nothing about this preposition provides support for the test state, nor that retaining the null state demands a burden of proof. E.g. Say I dropped a pencil and it fell to the ground. Demanding proof it didn't fly into the Sun is not a logically valid premise. If someone demands that it is, they are intellectually dishonest, and not worth engaging. As demonstrated.
  18. I said good day to you, sealion.
  19. The burden of proof is on the party making the POSITIVE claim (i.e. you). Bertrand Russell dealt with your position 70 years ago. This is old and tired. Have a good day.
  20. That's probably the most elegant shifting the burden of proof I've ever seen. Well done. I can't prove that every belief system is developed by humans any more than I can prove that none of the pigeons in New York City are robots, or that none of the "humans" in West Virginia are bigfoot. We've done a big circular dance to the logical fallacy where you demand that atheists prove God isn't real. To illustrate; Could you prove that there isn't a single mushroom in the world that a fairy doesn't sleep under? Does that mean the only logical premise is to accept the existence of fairies? Why or why not?
  21. Are you saying there is a human belief system that was made by something other than humans?
  22. You repeated the same statement three times now without elaborating. It remains nonsensical to me. You'll have to elaborate as to how the two points are logically connected. Good thing I never made the statement then. If one was to claim that a belief system has a supernatural origin, then the burden of proof would lie on the one making that claim. Otherwise what's the suggestion, some religions were created by lizards?
  23. I don't see how that follows at all. What logic? I didn't dismiss anything. I simply stated that any system of belief is flawed. If I had to apply a "model" I'd point to two specific points: 1) All human belief systems are implemented by human minds, which are flawed, in the sense that cognition evolved for survival, not precision and there are well defined ways in which recollection and sensory processing by the human brain differ from reality. Any belief system held by a human is one derived from a sensory perception and recollection of reality that that deviates from objective measurement of reality. 2) Stochastic probability and chance. No belief system can accurately account for all possibilities in past, future and present reality. Therefore any belief system necessitates a degree of filling in the blanks. Projection and extrapolation of existing principles generally generates higher rates of error than interpolative deduction. Again, I didn't dismiss anything. Flawed belief systems (like models themselves) are still valuable, especially if one is aware of their limitations.
  24. By that reasoning, belief in Christianity/Islam/etc without thoroughly vetting all other possible religions would be logically flawed, right? Do you think the average Christian/Muslim/etc has a working understanding of Candomblé and Jainism? That said all belief systems contain flaws, including atheistic ones. As I alluded to the problem arises when one claims perfection and moral authority over everyone, despite its flaws.
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