Changing the Origin Story

There have been persistent conspiracy theories around the origin of Covid-19. One that has been a darling of some sites is the “it came from a lab in Wuhan” and is a human-engineered bioweapon. Conspiracy theories seem to gain a lot of traction for a variety of reasons – mistrust of science, lack of understanding of science, a desire to have a juicy story to share with others, and wanting to believe that a human actually controlled events rather than “nature happens” – and humans have no control.

The danger in conspiracy theories is that they obscure the facts and evidence, and are used as rationalization for bad behaviors like racism and xenophobia. But science can come to the rescue. Live Science reports on a recent genomic study in Nature that provides very strong evidence that the virus is in fact a product of natural selection in nature. Now getting people who are convinced that the Chinese are behind this is another matter, but at least science keeps fighting the good fight.

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