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Is there a SARS-CoV-2 virus? Yes, that’s what all the evidence says.
I had a friendly discussion with Patrick Gunnels about whether viruses exist. He thinks they don't. I think they do. After 90 minutes, I heard nothing that changed my mind.
On Jul 22, 2022, I had a friendly discussion with Patrick Gunnels about whether viruses exist. He thinks they don't. I think they do.
I chose to further engage with him to clarify his views because of the 3 people who registered that they would debate the topic at the time I made the challenge, he was the only one to reply to my subsequent email offer “OK, let’s have a discussion now.”
But 32% disagree and think the virus is a hoax. And 15% aren’t sure who to believe.
So the polling data shows that this is an important issue to resolve, if possible. Someone is wrong: you can’t have it both ways.
This is why I had a 90 minute discussion with Patrick: because he was the only person to accept my offer when extended in direct email.
The discussion was not a debate on the issues so there was no winner. This was just an opportunity for each side to clarify their position on the issue and articulate what would be needed to persuade them to shift their thinking.
Patrick isn’t convinced the virus exists because his criteria of scientific proof, including satisfying at a minimum all of Koch’s postulates based on his interpretation of what the terminology Koch used means, has not been met (as far as he knows). His argument boils down to: because you have not proved it exists, that you must accept the null hypothesis that it does not exist. Essentially, he’s saying it doesn’t exist until you can prove it. Patrick’s claim is that if it did exist, someone would be able to perform a technically difficult task of isolation using the proper controls and scientific methods. He says since nobody has done this, then we have to assume the null hypothesis is true that the virus doesn’t exist.
Conversely, I wasn’t convinced by his argument.
For example, Stefan Lanka made a challenge for someone to prove that measles exists and required it be done in a SINGLE paper. Is that how science works? I still haven’t heard anyone explain why SCIENCE requires proof in a SINGLE paper for the measles virus. I’ve asked many scientists about this and none of them recall this being a scientific requirement that hypothesis proofs must be based on a single paper. The wikipedia article commented on this: “however they failed to meet the contest requirements as set by Lanka who had stipulated that both details be covered in a single publication, something that would be unlikely to occur given the narrow focus of individual publications.” Would someone provide a scientific reference for this requirement? You will have to respond with a single paper that establishes this. I can’t recall of a “single paper restriction” being used previously. It was clearly very deceptive because Lanka apparently never brought this to the judge’s attention in the lower court trial and David Bardens clearly never thought it was a single paper requirement otherwise he wouldn’t have submitted 6 papers and spent money to sue Lanka and defend Lanka’s appeal. Lanka lost on the scientific merits in the lower German court, but the higher court pointed out the one paper restriction and for that reason alone, over turned the judgement, not because the higher court examined the evidence. Higher courts only rule on interpretation of the law, they are not finders of fact. Fact finding is for the lower courts. And the German lower court was convinced by the expert testimony. So Lanka had his day in court and there was expert testimony on both sides. He lost on the merits of his argument.
Here are the six biggest issues I have with what was presented:
At 59:00, Patrick admitted that bacteriophages exist and have been isolated. Bacteriophages are viruses. Whoops. He just shot himself in the foot.
Just because you are currently unable to find a needle in the haystack using current technology does not constitute scientific proof that there isn’t a needle in that haystack or that needles do not exist. It just proves you couldn’t find it with the current technology.
Patrick couldn’t prove a more viable alternative hypothesis to explain the observations (such as my wife’s friend, my wife, and me getting infected with something that triggered a positive lateral flow assay). He couldn’t provide any alternative hypothesis at all, yet using his beach analogy, he was easily able to provide an alternative hypothesis of sunburn.
There is no existing anomaly in the observed data (a “smoking gun”) that would cause me to question the “viruses exist” hypothesis and look for an alternative hypothesis. For example, if the data showed that our bodies didn’t produce any antibodies after being infected, that might open my mind to the possibility that the pathogen causing COVID isn’t a virus or a bacteria.
I do not understand why it must be proven in a certain way to specific standards (Patrick listed 6 steps). There are two options: the null hypothesis (viruses don’t exist) and the hypothesis that the virus exists. If we look at all the evidence we have available and 98% of the pieces of evidence are aligned with the virus hypothesis, then a reasonable man would choose to go with the virus hypothesis since it is more likely to be correct. Does it 100% prove that the virus exists? No, it just says it’s the hypothesis that is simply more likely to be true. For example, any set of experiments we can do I believe would be better explained by the virus hypothesis than the null hypothesis. For example, a simple one is to sequence the mRNA inside the capsid. A second person gets infected from the first person. If the mRNA extracted from the virus is a very close match, the null hypothesis would not be able to explain that simple experiment at all, ruling it out as a likely explanation of what is going on. If the genomic sequence is different, that does not prove a virus doesn’t exist; it could have mutated. Perhaps Patrick can explain a series of experiments that would be a better match to the null hypothesis? He didn’t give me any in our meeting. This makes it really hard for me to believe that the null hypothesis is the better match to the data. Science is all about assessing which hypothesis is more likely to match the observed data.
I’m told that optical super resolution techniques today can resolve in real time 10-20 nm objects, much smaller than a 120 nm virus. It can even follow the trajectory of 8 nm spike protein. Moreover, Pacific Bioscience developed a single DNA sequence method that is straight forward, not relying on any cuts, by grabbing a DNA polymerase and seeing it copying the whole sequence. These are game changers technology. Are any of these methods acceptable? Why not? Patrick didn’t suggest any of these options. He just criticized the assembly process as inaccurate. Really? How accurate must it be? If it is 99.99% accurate is that sufficient? If not, why not?
We did the video on Patrick’s video platform at his specific request. I agreed to it since I didn’t want to be accused of any bias. He mentioned nothing to me in advance of promoting his political views before the video, or promoting his products and political views after the video. This was a huge surprise that I found out only after the livestream was published. I thought we were having a scientific debate. When I invited him to a discussion, I also insisted we delay the discussion by two days because he said he needed “time to build an audience.” I said I wouldn’t publish the livestream URL because I didn’t need an audience; this shouldn’t be a spectacle. I discovered that he used his livestream to promote his political views (including MAGA and QANON) to his followers in the first 30 minutes of the livestream. Then he used the time after I left the call towards the very end to promote the products he sells, to pray, and to promote Trump. I noted that the QAnon clip in his video promoted the “Question everything” philosophy which Patrick appears to support. INone of this was agreed to by me and I don’t condone or support any of it. This was supposed to be a strictly scientific discussion. Click this image to view the full video on Patrick’s Rumble channel if you want to verify what I just said. I removed the unrelated parts at the start and end of the video except for the promotion of Patrick’s isagenix products which I think was important to leave in so you can evaluate items for yourself that Patrick believes are based on solid science unlike virology which he believes is a fraud. Patrick believes in isagenix and he uses an admitted fake account he named (trulynotpgunnels) to promote it. You can learn more here about isagenix here. Here is the QAnon quote from Patrick’s livestream of the event at 1:54.
Will we be able to prove to Patrick’s expectations that a virus exists? We’ll see.
Will Patrick be able to prove to us that viruses cannot possibly exist? No, I don’t think so. I certainly was not convinced as noted above.
Can Patrick provide an alternative hypothesis that better explains all the observed data? I seriously doubt it, but I’m all ears if he can.
So we may end up agreeing to disagree.
In the meantime, until this is resolved, my personal decision is that I will accept the hypothesis that best fits the observed data. If a new hypothesis emerges that appears to fit the observed data better, I am more than happy to revisit the issue at that time. I’m skeptical of that happening because right now the evidence fits the viral theory extremely well. There is no “smoking gun” anomaly that has been observed that would cause me to question the current hypothesis.
I’m just writing this article to explain why I (and my colleagues) believe the virus exists and the virus deniers are wrong. I am not forcing you to agree with me. You can believe anything you want. You can believe the virus is a fraud and you can believe I’m wrong. It’s a free country.
This is a continuation of my recent article Settling the virus debate challenge from Dr. Sam Bailey. One of the readers offered a live recorded debate, so to move the ball forward I offered to do it at any time. The earliest he could do it was Friday, Jul 22, 2022.
There was no moderator and it was a friendly 90 minute conversation where both sides clarified the points of contention. It was live streamed and there are no edits. Patrick Gunnels managed the live stream. I tried to be as accommodating as possible. I told him up front I had a 3pm PT hard stop.
Was anything decided today? No, it was clarifying the points of contention.
Did anyone change their opinion? No, but nobody expected that to happen in this round.
However, after hearing Patrick’s arguments and thinking about them afterwards, I’m not willing to spend my time chasing down this alternative not because I’m afraid of “losing” but because there is simply nothing there to debate.
If Patrick is able to show me how hundreds of pieces of evidence (that are actually observed) are a better fit to the “virus doesn’t exist” hypothesis, I’d be delighted to re-engage and discuss. But I didn’t hear a single data point that was a better fit to his arguments, so this is a waste of my time. He’s welcome to try to convince others. People who don’t believe in science would probably be receptive to his arguments.
Key takeaway points
Here are my takeaways. Please let me know if I’m misrepresenting anything. I’m trying to recap the key points accurately.
I admitted that there are a lot of people who know more than I do about this topic, I was just kicking this off just to see if we could each define our respective positions. I was not there to debate him or change his mind or argue, but just to clarify what he believes and explain what I believe.
We agreed on the definition of a virus. We disagreed on what is required to PROVE a virus exists.
As far as we both know, no virologist from the other side (who believes viruses exist) were involved in creating Sam Bailey’s challenge. This makes it easy to dismiss the challenge. It would have been better for a committee of people on both sides to define the challenge and agree on the ground rules. Sam Bailey could claim that “we tried to reach out, but were stonewalled.” If so, where is the evidence of this? Nobody I know was solicited to the best of my knowledge.
Patrick belief include:
There is no virus. Patrick believes viruses do not exist because either you can’t do the needed tests to do that or that virologists won’t do the experiments because it would destroy their livelihood (and nobody would publish it).
Lanka is right. Patrick’s views are consistent with Lanka’s views: viruses have never been isolated, are not contagious, and do not cause disease (since they don’t exist).
There is not an accepted alternate hypothesis for how the virus can infect a chain of people who test positive on an antigen test which is what happened to me. I asked Patrick if he had an alternate hypothesis that can explain the transmission of COVID and expression of disease if SARS-CoV-2 isn’t a virus. He said he has no alternate hypothesis that can explain that. He pointed out that he didn’t need an alternate hypothesis to discredit the virus theory. I agreed with him, but I said if I liked his alternate hypothesis, it would go a long way to helping convince me and I might be convinced if he had an alternative hypothesis (other than the virus exists hypothesis) that can explain the direct evidence in plain sight. The fact that there is no alternate explanation is troubling to me. He wouldn’t even attempt a hypothesis. It’s a complete mystery that nobody has figured out as to how the same disease class appears first in my wife’s golfing partner, then in my wife, and then in me, all within days of each other. All three tested positive on a home antigen test kit designed for SARS-CoV-2 antigens (a lateral flow assay). My point is that the virus theory explains precisely what happened and there is no evidence that anything is inconsistent in viral theory. So the virus theory seems quite plausible to me since everything fits. Nobody has postulated an alternative hypothesis that is an equal or better fit to the observations. When they do, I’d be thrilled to assess which hypothesis is a better fit to the observations. But throwing out a perfectly good hypothesis because you may CURRENTLY lack the technology to prove it without a doubt seems like the wrong thing to do here. However, if there were a more viable alternative, then it would be fantastic to weigh the evidence for both hypotheses and see which one is more likely to match all the data.
Little to no support from mainstream virologists. I asked him if he could name a virologist besides Lanka who thinks that virology is a scam. He admitted there are few (he didn’t know the number but thought there was more than one but couldn’t name any) because admitting the truth would cost them their livelihood. I pointed out in the last 58 years, many virologists have retired and thus have no pressure to lie. I pointed out that for the vaccines we had many prominent people oppose the narrative to various degrees. All in the first 6 months of the creation of the vaccine. Yet in the 100+ history of virology, Lanka is the only virologist we both know of who says that virology is a scam and there are no viruses. Even more troubling is Lanka announced this in 2011 that viruses don’t exist. In more than 10 years, I haven’t seen any other virologists join him. Lots of retired virologists with nothing to lose by telling the truth, but no takers. Of course just because you have no takers doesn’t mean you are wrong, but it doesn’t help your case. I’m still willing to be convinced, but the argument needs to be very compelling.
Gene sequencing isn’t scientifically valid for proving a virus exists. Patrick said that because gene sequencing relies on computer assembly of the base pairs, it is not scientifically valid, i.e., the RNA sequence inside the capsid is “computed” rather than “measured” so therefore it’s not valid. So he’s saying not only that viruses don’t exist, but gene sequencing is a fraud as well. Again, I’m willing to hear more on this, but it’s now getting a bit harder. See the Gene Sequencing section below for more on this.
Proving all Koch’s postulates is necessary and sufficient to prove a virus exists. All the virologists I’ve talked to say Koch’s postulates are outdated and gene sequencing has changed the rules for how viruses are proven to exist. So this is a huge bone of contention. The virologists I’ve talked to all say that today gene sequencing is the gold standard and it is no longer necessary to go for the technically more challenging proof of Koch’s postulates.
Gain of function research is a fraud and he has no idea what they are working on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). I asked whether gain of function virus research exists and whether the Wuhan Institute of Virology exists. He said viruses don’t exist, so the US government funding on this was not funding virus research. He said that the Wuhan Institute of Virology can’t be studying viruses because viruses don’t exist. It’s a cover for something else, but he didn’t know what.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Li Meng Yan. If anyone knows what is going on inside the WIV and who would tell the truth about it, it is Li Meng Yan. She said SARS-CoV-2 exists and has been sequenced. So this is direct testimony from someone on the inside that WIV is not a fraud. The researchers there all believe viruses exist. So Patrick’s belief is that they are all simply drinking the Kool-Aid at WIV and have never figured out that viruses don’t exist and that gene sequencing isn’t scientifically valid.
Patrick never said that viruses cannot exist. Indeed, he never offers any proof or makes any claim that viruses cannot exist. He just says nobody has “proven scientifically” that they do exist. Therefore, his position is that they don’t exist until they are proven to exist.
I think that’s a very sketchy position. That’s like saying “The Higgs Boson does not exist because you cannot do a scientific experiment that proves they exist.” The Higgs Boson took 40 years to “prove” that it exists. The mere lack of scientific proof of something is not proof that it doesn’t exist.
Let me know if I missed anything big or misrepresented anything, but I think those were the main points.
What my followers think
Prior to the discussion, I did a poll on social media.
For those with an opinion on Gab, 63% think I’m correct. This is why there are so many comments about this and it is what makes this issue worthy of seeing it to a final conclusion.
In the end, the evidence will be on the table and people will be free to decide for themselves. I’m pretty sure, I’m not going to convince Patrick and I don’t think Patrick will convince my colleagues.
My goal is to put the relevant arguments and facts in front of you to enable you to make your own decisions.
On TruthSocial (10X fewer followers there):
Note that the numbers can change over time and that after publication of this article, expect there to be gaming of the poll numbers.
I tried hard to find a viable path forward that could convince me I’m wrong and the virus doesn’t exist. I didn’t find anything in this discussion to explore that could lead to my shifting my position. Not even close.
There won't be a round 2 without a showing of evidence that the “no virus” hypothesis is a better match to all the evidence on the table than the “is a virus” hypothesis.
Hopefully, I made myself clear. I’ve had to repeat this in the comments.
Here is a summary of the Lanka argument (this will download a PDF). It’s very long. Do you really need 59 pages to make your point? A simple list of 20 observations that are completely explained by the “viruses don’t exist” hypothesis and that cannot be explained at all if viruses do exist, is all that it would take. That list can fit on one page. It was nowhere to be found.
From someone who believes the virus exists: Thoughts on the Existence of Viruses and Evaluating Controversial Scientific Discussions. It’s long, so here are the key points:
The idea that viruses do not exist is frequently repeated within the anti-mandate movement and significantly weakens our ability to get the mandates overturned.
Many of the individuals who are promoting this message have a direct financial conflict of interest in continuing to promote it, and in the past have promoted the existence of viruses (such as the viral microbiome).
Many of the arguments that have been raised against the existence of viruses are structured in such a way that nothing can ever disprove them (which in effect makes them fall under the definition of pseudoscience). This makes the topic very difficult to productively debate.
Many of the arguments I have raised against the existence of viruses are premised on not understanding additional pieces of information that are relevant to that point. For example:
It is true that some forms of genetic sequencing splice genetic sequences together, but there is also technology to read entire genomes without requiring splicing. This approach is typically not used because it is more expensive and has issues with accuracy.
There is a massive database of genetic sequences from the viruses that have been independently collected by researchers around the world and all show the same viral genome (excluding the variation between variants).
Some viruses look very similar to exosomes because spheres in nature are common. However, other viruses look very very different from exosomes and how very unique effects following infection nothing besides the virus can cause. I chose the example of bacteriophages and Ebola because they clearly and unambiguously make the point that those viruses have to exist and therefore at least some viruses must exist.
The major issue with the virus debunkers is that they cannot describe what is causing COVID-19. Long before this debate started, I had already spent a lot of time trying to identify what else could be causing COVID-19 and I have gone very far down the rabbit hole. There is no other viable cause at this point in time, and the argument SARS-CoV-2 does not exist cannot be sustained if there is nothing else that explains the very unusual disease you see in many who develop COVID-19 (granted many others also just develop a minor flu).
To move the subject forward, the discussion must be conducted in good faith. From my perspective, the major issue has been that the virus debunkers have refused to clearly elucidate what their arguments are and what would need to be done to disprove their theory.
Note on gene sequencing
From this article:
The assembly problem has been around as long as DNA sequencing, says Michael Schatz, professor of quantitative biology at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Sequencing machines don’t produce one long, complete read of each of our chromosomes. Rather scientists use enzymes to cut up the DNA from many cells into pieces short enough for the sequencer to handle. Imagine cutting up many copies of a long poem into strips only a few words long, mixing them up and trying to put the poem back together based on the strips’ overlapping ends. Final assemblies can leave regions out, put in too many copies of a repeating sequence, assemble the pieces in the wrong order or put them in backwards.
But that article is 10 years old!
It also says this:
While traditional Sanger sequencing produced readings 500 to 1,000 base pairs long, the Illumina next-generation sequencers, currently the most widely used, can only read 35 to 150 base pairs in a row.
This is why Sanger sequencing has been the “gold standard” for sequencing SARS-CoV-2 which is 29,800 base pairs long. So less assembly is required because there are way fewer jigsaw pieces to assemble.
So with Sanger sequencing we can get an assembly that we are very confident is correct.
But there is also this article which appeared just two months later (and this is 10 years ago):
The team, led by CSHL Assistant Professor Michael Schatz and Adam Phillippy and Sergey Koren of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center and the University of Maryland, has developed a software package that corrects a serious problem inherent in the newest sequencing technology: the fact that every fifth or sixth DNA “letter” it generates is incorrect. The high error rate is the flip side of the new method’s chief virtue: it generates much longer genome “reads” than other technologies currently used, up to 100 times longer, and thus can provide a much more complete picture of genome structure than can be obtained with current, “2nd-gen” sequencing technology.
Using mathematical algorithms, Schatz and the team have preserved the great advantage of the “3rd-gen” method while all but eliminating its chief flaw. They have reduced the error rate from about 15% or greater to less than one-tenth of one percent. This mathematical “fix” – which has been published in open-source code to the World Wide Web – greatly increases the practical utility of 3rd-gen sequencing for the entire biomedical research community.
It does seem sequencing technology is generally accepted as “accurate enough” for legitimate scientific purposes.
But the fact that gene sequencing today may still not be perfect should not be proof that viruses cannot exist.
Like I said above:
That’s like saying “The Higgs Boson does not exist because you cannot do a scientific experiment that proves they exist.” The Higgs Boson took 40 years to “prove” that it exists. The mere lack of a current ability to scientifically prove something exists is not proof that it doesn’t exist.
Finally, consider this article from Pete Lincoln’s substack which basically says using the latest nanopore sequencing technology, we can get 100% consistent sequencing.
Dr. Jun Li; Hangzhou Centre for Disease and Control, said: “Hangzhou CDC took the lead in completing the nation's first 2019-nCov genome assembly using only nanopore data. No other technology is required to correct the data. The final assembly result is 100% consistent with the reference genome.
I highly recommend Pete’s article as it addresses a wide range of issues including Koch’s postulates.
Pete admits that he did consider the “virus doesn’t exist” hypothesis and found it lacking:
I shamefully confess I briefly went down that rabbit hole early in the COVID plandemic following Jon Rappaport. Fortunately I pulled myself out when I realized it’s not that the virus does not exist, but that virologists, public health officials and vaccinologists tend to overstate the severity of the diseases they cause.
What I wrote on my Rumble video description
I asked on my Substack if anyone would debate me on whether the virus exists. Only 3 people registered. I emailed all three asking who is ready to do it now. Only Gunnels replied. So we talked for 90 minutes so I could hear his arguments and so I could ask questions.
Patrick's argument is that if you cannot prove it to his specifications (based on outdated Koch's postulates), then the virus doesn't exist.
Sorry, but that's NOT how science works.
If I cannot use today's technology to find a needle you hid in a haystack, that is not scientific proof there is no needle in the haystack.
To prove his argument, Patrick needs to show me that all the observed data is a better fit to his hypothesis than mine. That's science.
He completely failed to do that.
We are so far apart, this discussion isn't worth going forward.
If anything, Patrick made me more confident that virology is legit and SARS-CoV-2 is a real virus.
When I show people that the vaccine is dangerous, I assemble hundreds of pieces of data that simply cannot be explained if the vaccine is safe.
Patrick assembled 0 pieces of observed data consistent with his hypothesis. He just said that because you don't have certain data he wants to see, it proves his point.
The bottom line is that after thinking through all that was said, I'm done with this. You are welcome to disagree and I will not suppress your views. We are all entitled to our opinions and how we choose to spend our time. As for me, I'm out.
Opinion from an expert on virology who is unintimidated
I said before that credentials don’t matter. It’s the argument that matters.
However, just because someone has impeccable credentials, that doesn’t mean we should ignore their views. Their credentials are simply a shorthand way to say, “this person has relevant domain-specific knowledge and deals first hand with experiments that could prove/disprove the hypothesis. Also, part of the credentials in this case is that this person does not just “go along” with the narrative.
So it’s not inconsistent with what I’ve said. I listen to people with credentials or without if they have subject matter expertise.
I know Judy Mikovits personally. I loved her book on Amazon on how masks don’t work. I devoured it cover to cover. A fast read full of great information.
Judy is a biochemist and molecular biologist. She is an expert in virology.
She’s smart, she’s outspoken, and she knows her stuff. She’s not intimidated by anyone. She worked at Fort Detrick on viruses for 22 years which has one of only four BSL-4 labs in the US.
I don’t know many people who are more knowledgeable than Judy. She’s like a walking encyclopedia. Whenever I call her, it’s like drinking from a firehose.
She also worked at big and small pharma. One of her jobs was teaching people how Ebola can cause disease in humans. Later, she received funding to research an association between a newly discovered retrovirus, Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus, related Virus(XMRV). She isolated five variants of XMRV and was infected because she worked in a BSL 2* lab (there wasn’t a BSL 3 lab available and the government lied to her and told her it was BSL 2 safe). She credits her survival to a couple of products she developed for HIV.
There is no doubt whatsoever in her mind that viruses exist.
So Patrick cannot argue that virologists aren’t supporting him because they are captured. That’s ridiculous. Judy isn’t captured. She’s “off-the-charts uncaptured.” I don’t know anyone more uncaptured than Judy.
So if there wasn’t a virus, she’d be the first person yelling about this at the top of her lungs.
Instead, she’d tell you the opposite: viruses exist, and in fact, both SARS-CoV-2 and HIV (which is gain of function of lymphadenopathy associated virus (LAV)) were both man-made. She points the finger at Tony Fauci and Robert Gallo as the two people primarily responsible for this magnificent “accomplishment.”
Opinion from second expert on virology who is unintimidated
Li-Meng Yan, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and a prominent virologist who has worked in a BSL 3 lab herself on viruses told me that her husband was the first person to isolate the virus. I’ll post the links shortly.
Opinion from German court of law
The lower court held that Lanka lost his bet about the measles virus not being isolated.
A higher court overturned the ruling because the offer is technically requiring a SINGLE publication.
This was a completely deceptive challenge.
If Lanka really wanted the truth about whether a virus exists, why the SINGLE paper limitation?
Is that the way science works? Lanka believes you must prove the virus exists in a single publication, otherwise a virus doesn’t exist?
I’ve written earlier about this challenge which includes links to the German high court decision so you can read it directly for yourself. The higher court deferred to the lower court on the merits of the scientific argument. There was no expert testimony in the higher court case. Higher courts always rule on matters of law, not establishing facts. Fact finding is always done in lower courts.
Debates with other people
Some people suggested I debate Tom Cowan, etc.
Why? What would that change?
The fundamental problem is that nobody can show the preponderance of the evidence favors the virus denier theory.
This is not about debates or arguments or rhetoric. It’s about the data. Show me the data.
None of the people who claim the virus exists will show me how the preponderance of the evidence fits their hypothesis. Patrick couldn’t come up with a single example. That’s anemic.
If any of the other people who signed on to Sam Bailey’s virus challenge can show me the data, I’m open to looking at it. Just give me the list of observations that better fit the alternative hypothesis. That’s all I need.
To get my attention, all they have to do is explain to me how the “no virus” hypothesis is a better fit to data I personally have observed and I’m happy to reconsider my position:
Wife’s golfing partner feels sick. She has a positive antigen test and calls my wife.
Wife feels no symptoms when called. Two days later, my wife then feels sick. Positive antigen test. Loses sense of taste for a few days. Negative antigen test when gets well.
Five days after wife gets sick, Steve, who lives in the same house as his wife, feels sick with symptoms that are unfamiliar to him. A novel virus perhaps? Positive antigen test while sick. I check continually and discover that when I’m feeling normal, the viral load is lowered to almost disappearing (faint line). Also, the time frame I’ve got dark lines is several days, but the lines get progressively lighter after that. 10 days later, no T line was visible, even faintly.
Brother in-law goes on a golf trip and is not sick but 10 people on the trip get COVID. On his way back to the US, he feels sick with COVID-like symptoms, but they quickly pass two days later. Antigen test is positive with a very heavy T line.
These assays were developed specifically for the COVID virus.
So just explain to me two things:
Explain how these 4 observations could be more consistent with the alternate hypothesis. They are clearly totally consistent with the virus hypothesis.
And tell us how Mikovits can’t figure this out after decades in the field (and still can’t after hearing the arguments of Lanka et al.), yet Patrick Gunnels can figure it out instantly.
That’s all I need. Just a few simple explanations.
The “null hypothesis” argument
One of the commenters claimed that I have misunderstood and misrepresented Patrick’s argument. Essentially, his argument is that you must accept the null hypothesis (there isn’t a virus) unless you can prove with scientific certainty that there is a virus. So Patrick isn’t saying he’s proving the virus doesn’t exist. He’s saying that the default position is nothing exists and the proof burden is on me to prove USING SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND METHODS AND ADEQUATE CONTROLS that it does exist.
I don’t agree. It’s like the needle in the haystack. Is the needle in the haystack? The argument the commenter would make is that unless you PROVE it is thereby actually locating it and using the definition of a needle ensuring that it meets all the criteria for a needle using scientific methods and proper controls, you have to assume it isn’t.
This is simply faulty logic.
In the haystack case, before making a hypothesis as to whether there is a needle or not, I’d gather data. Perhaps I measure use distortion of a magnetic field and make the hypothesis that it’s more likely than not there is a needle, even though it doesn’t pass the needle test (e.g., can prick someone). Then I do another x-ray test and it appears that a small sharp object is there. This reinforces that there is a needle. But I’ve never “scientifically proven” a needle is there since I haven’t picked it up and pricked my finger (which we might define as our existential test). As a scientist, I’d claim that the hypothesis of a needle in the haystack is more likely than the null hypothesis of no needle.
Science is about collecting data and generating hypotheses to explain the data.
There is close to 100 years of data that is CONSISTENT with the “exists” hypothesis and there is virtually no data that has been collected that aligns more closely with the “doesn’t exist” hypothesis.
Therefore, since scientists try to be right, they pick the hypothesis that is the best fit to all the observed data.
I’m just writing this article to explain my thought process.
You are welcome to believe I’m wrong in my approach and science works in a different way than I was taught.
Have more questions?
They are probably answered in the comments.
I want to thank Patrick for being willing to have a recorded discussion on this issue.
It is in everyone’s best interest to do what we can to resolve scientific differences.
I’m perfectly happy to lose if I’m on the wrong side of this issue. Everyone makes mistakes. The simplest way to convince me is to provide a superior hypothesis that is a better fit to the observations. Patrick didn’t do that. It wasn’t even close.
This video was not a debate. It was just articulating the position of each party. I wanted to know if there was an alternate hypothesis (there wasn’t). I wanted to know why a failure to meet a certain scientific bar set by someone (e.g., the sequencing cannot have errors) constitutes PROOF that a virus CANNOT exist.
The way we find truth is to engage with people with differing views in a civil discussion to find points of commonality and differences and then looking for ideas to resolve the differences and come to greater agreement. At worst, we could form two viable hypotheses and then match up the data to the hypotheses and see which hypotheses are the most consistent with the data.
I wish people would do this for the vaccine and pandemic mitigation policies. The refusal to discuss scientific differences for the vaccine is not scientifically proven to be the best way to optimize outcomes. Yet this is what the HHS agencies and medical community engage in. At least show me the peer-reviewed study showing me that silencing people you disagree with leads to better outcomes.
So that’s why I engage people who disagree with me if they appear to have a reasonable understanding of the issue at hand.
I tried to get an understanding of where the key misunderstandings are. We did agree on the definition of a virus. But we did not agree on whether viruses exist.
We also did not agree on the methods necessary to establish that a virus exists.
In particular, if you cannot currently satisfy a test due to technology limitations, does that mean viruses don’t exist? Absolutely not.
Even assuming I agreed with Patrick that the current technology for sequencing and isolation is insufficient to be dispositive, this does not mean that the virus hypothesis is wrong; it simply means you may not be able to PROVE it yet to the satisfaction of some people such as Stefan Lanka. Like our Higgs Boson problem, it would have been a mistake to have discarded the Higgs Boson because for 40 years we couldn’t scientifically PROVE it exists. People gravitated to the Higgs Boson because it fit the data. They could have been wrong, but it turned out they were right. But the lack of a viable alternative hypothesis and the consistency of how the Higgs Boson fit the data made that the right choice at the time. If something better had come along, scientists would have evaluated that option. It would have been a huge mistake to have said at the time “we can’t prove it right now so therefore it cannot exist.”
Having an alternate hypothesis to evaluate that better explains the data (such as my wife and myself getting COVID within days of each other when both of us had gone for 2 years without getting COVID) is the single most powerful way to convince people that the virus theory may be wrong. That is what a real scientist would do.
Patrick failed to provide any alternative hypothesis that is a better fit to the data. Not a single one. And once again:
Just because you are currently unable to find a needle in a haystack using current technology does not constitute scientific proof that there isn’t a needle in that haystack.
If Stefan Lanka thinks he’s right, there are hundreds of retired virologists who have no vested interest that he can try to convince of his hypothesis. But as for my time, I’m done on this issue. We aren’t even close. I don’t see a there there.
It was important for me to spend 90 minutes to consider the possibility I might be wrong. I spent the time. I came away very unimpressed.
Similarly, Judy Mikovitz spent time on it and she rejected the “no virus” hypothesis as well.
It’s time to get back to the important issues on vaccine safety and government corruption. The “does the virus exist?” question is a side-show/distraction with no data to support it in my opinion, so I’m done with it.