Instigator / Pro
7
1497
rating
2
debates
25.0%
won
Topic

CoVID-19 's origins are manmade. It is not of pure natural origins.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
15
Sources points
2
10
Spelling and grammar points
3
5
Conduct points
2
5

With 5 votes and 28 points ahead, the winner is ...

oromagi
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Health
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
6,000
Contender / Con
35
1946
rating
91
debates
100.0%
won
Description
~ 169 / 5,000

Here we shall see if, at this point in the argument, one can argue that CoVID=19 is of natural origins or synthetic.

Civility, and source, please. Let's have some fun.

Round 1
Pro
hank you for accepting this debate challenge, and I sure have given myself a tough starting position. Unfortunately, none of your sources came through because of this silly forums formatting restrictions. I have all the sources, But this system won't let me post them.
Now that you accepted, I have to do some mad panic research. LOL.

For clarity and confirmation, I did say that the CoVID-19 in its current form was assembled by man. I am going to break my argument down into facts, Strong indicators, And circumstantial Let's establish some facts first.

Presumed Undisputed Facts:

      • CoVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan China, Where epidemiologists traced it back to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan China.
      • CoVID-19 is a variant of the coronavirus, The same pathogen family that causes the SARS outbreak in 2002, And the MERS outbreak in 2012, And 2018.
      • There is a BSL-4 lab in Wuhan China, At the Wuhan Institute of Virology, About 34km away from the market of the first report.
      • A BSL-4 lab is the highest, And strictest lab setting. According to Scientific America magazine, There are only a few dozen of these labs around the world.
      • The aforementioned lab had been working on a SARS vaccine
Strong Indicators

      • The CoVID-19 has been genotyped over 150 times from 19 different countries, In part to continue to understand any changes that may occur in it. When Viruses are genotyped, Signature chunks or sequences are identified. According to a paper on biorxiv journal, The CoVID-19 contains pShuttle-N sequences which point to no natural occurrences. The paper says they found 4 different insertions that are not found in other coronaviruses. These 4 inserts have an identity similar to HIV-1 viruses, Which the paper says "is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature. " (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.30.927871v1)

      • James Lyons-Weiler, PhD, (author of 57 peer-reviewed journals), he claims the pShuttle-N provides irrefutable “open source” proof that the coronavirus now circulating in the wild was engineered in a laboratory. Every lab that has the gene sequence can see this for themselves. It’s right out in the open, Which is why we describe this revelation as “open source. ”. (http://ipaknowledge.org/2019-ncov-coronavirus-origins.php)
Both of these are very interesting pieces of evidence about the structure of the virus. In short, It appears as if there is a man-made signature on the RNA of the virus

Circumstantial Evidence

      • The first known human case occurs in a market, In a city with one of the world's few BSL-4 labs.
      • That lab was modifying and interacting with the coronavirus for SARS/MERS vaccines.
      • The phylogenetic map of the virus, Supported by two groups, Shows strong connections to man-made components.
      • The phylogenetic map of the virus shows a significant level of variance that makes traditional coronavirus categorization difficult.
      • There has been no established mechanism for this virus to have occurred naturally, and while coronaviruses as a whole are categorized as zoonotic, all indications are that some of the unique genetic signatures could not have occurred naturally.

Therefore, Whilst we can speculate that CoVID-19 is naturally occurring, and still study its origins, The data clearly, Scientifically (thought two different studies that highlight genetic components that are manmade) and when combined with the circumstantial evidence, persuasively suggests otherwise.

Con
thx, PolymathPete

THBT: CoVID-19's ORIGINS are MAN-MADE.  CoVID-19 is NOT of PURE NATURAL ORIGINS.

DEFs:

COVID-19 is "an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)"

SARS-CoV-2 is "a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus.  It is contagious in humans and is the cause of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019"

MAN-MADE is "created by people, as opposed to occurring in nature; artificial or synthetic"

NATURE is "that which consists of all things unaffected by or predating human technology, production, and design"

ORIGIN is "the source of a river, information, goods, etc."

BoP:

Wikipedia advises:

"When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo."

CON interprets the resolution to mean that PRO must prove that SARS-CoV-2 was synthesized in a lab and NOT ZOONOTIC in origin.

Presumed Undisputed Facts:

      • Epidemiologists traced it back to... Market in Wuhan

      • The aforementioned lab had been working on a SARS vaccine
        • This is probably true but CON cannot confirm.  PRO, please document "SARS vaccine" specifically. 
        • Nevertheless, CON notes the likelihood that the Wuhan Institute of Virology houses some infectious specimens of SARS
Strong Indicators:

    • The CoVID-19 contains pShuttle-N sequences which point to no natural occurrences. The paper says they found 4 different insertions that are not found in other coronaviruses.
      • This paper now reads:
        • This paper has been withdrawn by its authors. They intend to revise it in response to comments received from the research community on their technical approach and their interpretation of the results.
          • "the reaction from the scientific community to the bioRxiv paper was swift. In a nutshell.... the author’s methods seemed rushed, and the findings were at most a coincidence. By Saturday morning, bioRxiv had placed a special warning on all papers about coronavirus. Later Saturday, the authors commented on their paper, saying they were withdrawing it. And on Sunday, a more formal retraction appeared....scientist Michael Shiloh, said ..." had this manuscript undergone legitimate peer review, these flaws would have led to a swift rejection and it wouldn’t be contributing to the conspiracy theories and fear surrounding this outbreak "
        • This source has been discredited for more than six weeks
        • This source should be disregarded by VOTERS
      • James Lyons-Weiler... claims the pShuttle-N provides irrefutable “open source” proof that the coronavirus now circulating in the wild was engineered in a laboratory.
        • James Lyons-Weiler is a prominent anti-vaxxer, which might explain why he's publishing his findings on his homemade website rather than in a peer-reviewed publication
          • Both of Lyons-Weiler's premises, that
            • SARS-CoV-2 had a unique inserted sequence not found in other coronviruses, and
            • that this unique sequence was similar to some sequence in pShuttle-SN, a common expression vector used in research laboratory.
          • Both claims are well refuted in this month's  Journal of Emerging Microbes & Infections , which call Lyons-Weiler's statements "appalling"
            • "By aligning several coronaviruses discovered from natural sources, our result showed that this “unique” sequence (1378 bp) from SARS-CoV-2 was also found in other coronavirus with a high sequence identity. This indicated that this particular fragment in SARS-CoV-2 spike gene was widely spread in naturally existing coronaviruses and was not from laboratory."
            • "The pShuttle-SN should not be called as a vector but a plasmid generated from Adeno-XTM to study SARS-CoV. The real empty vector was Adeno-XTM expression system (Clontech Laboratories, Inc.), which had no significant homology to any part of the genome of SARS-CoV-2. Since pShuttle-SN had a fragment of the spike gene from SARS-CoV, which was similar to that from SARS-CoV-2, it was no wonder the SARS-CoV-2 spike gene fragment was found to match with some sequence in pShuttle-SN. On an added note, our results indicated its sequence similarity to the pShuttle-SN fragment (upplementary Figure 2) was lower than to the natural coronaviral sequences"
          • The magazine Science-Based Medicine devoted a long article to debunking Lyons-Weiler
            • "Lyons-Weiler started out looking for a reason to blame the 2019-nCoV outbreak on vaccines or a bioweapon, and he used his knowledge of molecular biology to find a reason to do it that appears plausible to those who don’t know anything about molecular biology and virology. Of course there was some homology between the SARS-like spike protein sequence in the 2019-nCoV strain and the SARS-like spike protein sequence in an vector made to generate protein to to use to develop an experimental SARS vaccine! As Marc Wathelet pointed out, it would have been surprising if there weren’t a SARS-like sequence in 2019-nCoV, because such sequences are what make virulent coronavirus strains as virulent as they are"
Circumstantial Evidence

      • The first... case occurs near....one of the world's few BSL-4 labs.
      • BSL-4 labs are not fool proof
      • Coincidence until some link is made between the lab and the original patient population 34 km away
      • That lab was modifying and interacting with the coronavirus for SARS/MERS vaccines.
      • source, please
  • The phylogenetic map of the virus, Supported by two groups, Shows strong connections to man-made components.
  • There has been no established mechanism for this virus to have occurred naturally...
    • Both sources debunked above.
      • Experts in molecular biology (which Lyons-Weiler ain't) report that
        • the relevant sequence was "widely spread in naturally existing coronaviruses"
        • the matches between sequences reflect the similarity between COVID-19 and SARS more than pShuttle-SN
I look forward to PRO's R2 reply

links to sources in comments



Round 2
Pro
Forfeited
Con
Thanks, PolymathPete for instigating this timely and controversial subject.

THBT: CoVID-19's ORIGINS are MAN-MADE.  CoVID-19 is NOT of PURE NATURAL ORIGINS.

  • ARGUMENTS: 
    • PRO's case depends on two recent papers both widely discredited by peers expert in molecular biology
      • One paper has been withdrawn for six weeks
      • One paper is self-published but the author's anti-science reputation has nevertheless drawn widespread criticism.
        • Contrary to Lyons-Weiler inexpert assertions:
          • the sequence he examined was "widely spread in naturally existing coronaviruses"
            • NOT unique to SARS-CoV-2
          • the sequence he examined did overlap with a published SARS sequences but Lyons-Weiler inexpertly mistook naturally occurring SARS protein for a manufactured plasmid.  That plasmid,  pShuttle-SN, "had no significant homology [overlap] to any part of the genome of SARS-CoV-2"
    • PRO's case further relies on two tantalizing circumstances
      • The Wuhan Institute of Virology, China's premiere institution for research in virology and immunology is sited 34km away
        • If the disease was released by that lab, we would expect to see the original population of infected people associated with that lab and not 34km distant.
        • Mere proximity is hardly determinative.  Some trail of viral "bloody footprints" must connect the two sites or else be disregarded.
      • The Wuhan Institute of Virology was modifying/interacting with earlier coronaviruses like SARS
        • Although this would seem like a natural assumption given China's particular interest in coronavirus prevention neither PRO nor CON has been able to document that the WIV was actually storing or working on SARS at the time of outbreak
    • Absent even one solid piece of corroborating evidence, PRO's case must fail.
  • SOURCES:
    • As PRO noted in R1,
      • one scientific paper cited by PRO has been withdrawn by the authors for more than six weeks
      • one scientific paper was self-published by a prominent anti-vaxxer with just enough knowledge of molecular biology to sound expert to non-biologists.
  • CONDUCT:
  • THANKS
    • To PolymathPete for debating and
    • To all VOTERS for their kind consideration