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The very disingenuous "Settling the virus debate" challenge from Tom Cowan, Mark Bailey, Sam Bailey, Andrew Kaufman, Christine Massey, and others
It was designed to be impossible to meet. I'll expose the tricks they use. The people behind these challenges are very untrustworthy. This is how propaganda is done, not science.
Please read If viruses don't exist, then how can we see them? which is my final post on the subject of whether the virus exists. It has links to all my articles on this topic as well.
Dr. Sam Bailey posted a “Settling the Virus Debate” document on her website. Similar postings can be found on Andrew Kaufman’s website and Tom Cowan’s website. It is being promoted as the penultimate experiment to prove whether virology is a hoax or not.
This is a disingenuous challenge. It is designed to be impossible to complete so that the proposers can claim victory.
We have 100 years of scientific evidence that is all consistent with what virology teaches. It is ridiculous to say we need one more experiment and the results of that one experiment can prove that virology is a hoax.
In order to prove that virology is a hoax, they must propose an alternative hypothesis that explains the data that is ALREADY on the table better than virology.
They completely fail to do that.
They claim soda can cause COVID, smallpox, influenza, and other diseases. This is ridiculous. SARS-CoV-2 has a furin cleavage site (FCS) that is human engineered. You can’t explain how it suddenly appears in millions of people by saying it is caused by 5G. That is why none of them will let me interview them and ask them a few tough questions.
In my view, anyone promoting this “challenge” is spreading misinformation.
The challenge has been ignored by the scientific community because it is considered to be a waste of time that proves nothing. That’s why nobody on our side has written a critique of how silly it is.
But since some of my followers think it is legit, I’m going to explain how ridiculous the challenge is by pointing out some of the major problems with it.
I have two goals:
Show people how untrustworthy the people behind the challenge are and
Also to show how people have been duped about how science works.
Some of the flaws in their “Settling the virus debate” proposal
There are so many flaws, I’m just going to list the biggest ones:
Why do we need another experiment? We have 100 years of data on the table. They just need to show that a majority of the papers published about viruses are likely to be explained by something else. They haven’t even done this with a single paper.
The entire premise is fraudulent. One experiment doesn’t negate 100 years of evidence. They wrote, “If the virologists fail to obtain a satisfactory result from the above study, then their claims about detecting “viruses” will be shown to be unfounded.” That is not how science works. If Paul Marik treats 1,000 patients using vitamin-C for sepsis and nobody dies, does that prove that it works? No, it simply proves it is more effective than a placebo. So then when someone tries to replicate his work on fewer patients in a more controlled setting and they all die at the same rate as placebo, does that mean that Paul’s work is “unfounded”? No, of course not. It simply means we have conflicting data. It turns out that Paul was right. The reason for the conflicting data is that when they replicated his protocol, they didn’t control for the time before treatment initiation. To this day, Paul Marik has suffered from this “scientific proof” (which was done with all the proper scientific controls) that was published in medical journals. So the experiment to disprove Marik was done by the book and it obtained a completely false result that has cost the lives of countless millions of patients. The bottom line is that scientific beliefs are based on multiple pieces of evidence. When there is disagreement in outcomes, we look for the cause. If we have the correct hypothesis, all the evidence should be explainable with that hypothesis. For example, we believe gravity exists, but gravity has never been isolated. Suppose I release an object and it does not fall to the ground. Can I declare: “Hah! This PROVES that gravity is a hoax!”? No, of course not. We’d look for the cause of the discrepancy rather than declaring “gravity doesn’t exist.” If the virus doesn’t exist, then how can one person in a family pass the virus on to a second person who then suddenly can express genomic sequences that are only found in SARS-CoV-2? They can’t explain that with the null hypothesis or any other of their alternate hypotheses. So their claims about the virus not existing is less likely to fit the observations than the claims about the virus does exist. There are billions of examples where their hypothesis is an inferior fit to the the data.
Lack of isolation doesn’t prove the object doesn’t exist. If we cannot isolate a Higgs Boson, does that mean it doesn’t exist? Of course not. We still cannot “isolate” a bunch of Higgs Bosons. And it took 40 years to do the definitive experiments. And even now, I cannot give you a container with just Higgs Boson particles. Science told us decades ago that the Higgs Boson had to exist. Over time we get more and more evidence this is right. Have we isolated a group of them? No.
The people who claim the virus “does not exist” mistakenly rely on Koch’s postulates as the only accepted scientific standard that is necessary and sufficient to identify a virus. Virologists I’ve talked to all tell me that Koch’s postulates are outdated. Today, gene sequencing is the generally accepted technique for virus identification, not Koch’s postulates because it’s faster, easier, cheaper, and very accurate. Why not use a gene sequencing test and skip the isolation? They never explain why “isolation” is REQUIRED as the ONLY WAY prove that a virus exists. There is more than one way to prove existence. They are stuck on a single method that is very hard, expensive, and time consuming to do right. That is why virologists don’t do it it, not because it would expose them.
If this were a real “settle the debate” challenge, it would have been designed by a committee composed of people from both sides using a neutral facilitator. But these people never invited anyone from “our side” to collaboratively, using a neutral facilitator, and in full public view, to design the challenge. So promoting this challenge as “settling” the science is disingenuous. It would only settle things if parties on both sides agreed that it would. They don’t. So the challenge will settle nothing. And one flawed experiment doesn’t prove anything. It’s just another piece of data.
They refused my offer to design the challenge collaboratively. I pointed out #1 to them and suggested they could do that now to fix the rookie mistake they made by not designing this collaboratively from the start. They were not interested in this approach. They said if I had any suggestions, I could make them and THEY would decide whether to accept them or not. This is ridiculous. They will spend a lot of money to do their “challenge” and because no respected group of virologists participated in the definition of the challenge, they will have proved nothing. It will be just another publicity stunt.
I predict they will falsely argue that no mainstream virologists will participate in the definition of the challenge because they know it would lead to exposing the “fraud.” I know how they operate. They will claim that every mainstream virologists are either blue pilled or compromised except for Lanka. Therefore, none of them will participate. This is simply not true. None of them will participate because there is 100 years of virology evidence and the world does not need yet another experiment to prove or disprove virology. It can easily be done with all the scientific literature that exists to date. Lanka simply has to convince a panel that the existing evidence shows that there is a superior explanation for events we think are caused by viruses. He cannot do that and he knows it. If he believes the scientific journals are corrupt, he should focus all efforts on how to create a process to fairly evaluate the science. Then you could pick 100 papers at random from the last 100 years and if Lanka convinces a panel of scientists that HIS theory better explains the observations than the current theory, then he’ll have worldwide accolades. But they cannot do that. I’m not aware of a single thing that his theory is a better fit to observed data than the current explanations.
The challenge fails to give a single concrete example of where virology cannot explain something that happened. Why are we having this discussion in the first place? For example, did someone run an experiment where using the same primers on a sample that different sequences were confirmed each time the sequencing was run? And were the possible causes investigated, e.g., defective hardware. Nope. The document is devoid of “mysteries” that cannot be explained with current science. They didn’t list a single “problem” with the current theory. This is why nobody in the virology community takes them seriously. They sole “problem” that they list is that nobody has isolated a virus to THEIR specifications. The reason for this is two-fold: (a) doing so is time consuming, technically difficult, and expensive and (b) with gene sequencing, this completely unnecessary. You’d likely need a BSL 4 lab to do it and there are a limited number of these labs and lab time is hard to book. That’s why it isn’t normally done for a virus: it’s a waste of time and money and precious BSL 4 resources. But if someone wants to pay for that being done, then why don’t they just request the isolation to be done and pay for it?
They never mention costs in their challenge and who pays them. The work they require isn’t cheap. Nobody is going to spend their own money on their challenge.
The challenge isn’t funded and they don’t admit that up front. When we asked about funding, we were told they have “some funding” but didn’t specify the amount. $100 ? We found out that hey want others to pay the costs of THEIR challenge. Christine told me I should fund it. Wow. I’m a bad person when I want to debate her, but she’s fine telling me to use my money to pay for her challenge. She claimed they had a PLEDGE for $500K, but a pledge is different from cash on hand. So they are expecting others to fund it. Why isn’t that mentioned in the challenge? Nobody is going to take their challenge if the money isn’t there. Everyone I know views their challenge as nonsense, but if they want to pay standard commercial rates for the work they want, my experts have no problem performing whatever they want to do. Nobody is hiding. But nobody I know will do this for free; it’s expensive. Check this out. They want us to pay for the work to do their silly experiments. Nope. We’ll do it, but all at fair commercial rates
Kevin McCairn accepted but they ignored him. He told them he would do the work. He would record everything on video and would charge them standard commercial rates for the work THEY requested. They used ad hominem attacks instead of accepting his offer to accept their challenge. So you simply cannot accept the challenge. They can then argue, “See? Nobody accepted our challenge.” This is silly. If they pay for the work in installments up front, Kevin will do their work. Let’s have a recorded video discussion to work this out. Will they do that? They know how to contact us. They have not reached out at all.
There is no way to publicly accept the challenge so that the public can see the challenge was accepted. It must be accepted via private email. We tried that. It didn’t work. We have the emails. We’ll make them public if they challenge us on that.
The challenge is very fragile and does NOT replicate nature; it is contrived. The challenge says that “the purified viral particles alone, through a natural exposure route, are shown to cause identical sickness in test subjects, by using valid controls.” Seriously?!? This is not not how viruses are transmitted in nature. You never start with a purified sample. That can totally fail. That’s NOT a natural exposure route. Natural exposure is infected human (with a high viral load) to uninfected human. So sequence an infected human with both Sanger sequencing and NGS. Do the same for all family members. Then if a family member gets sick shortly thereafter and exhibits telltale COVID symptoms (like loss of taste/smell), sequence them using both techniques. Then you have proof of lack of sequence before and similar sequence after. That’s what the challenge SHOULD be. But it isn’t. I wish we could ask why, but they don’t want to talk to us about things like this.
They do not mention who is impartially judging whether the challenge conditions have been met. This is the most important part. They are silent on this.
Bacteriophages have already met their challenge. See the section below. Basically, they claimed viruses haven’t been isolated, but one of their advocates (Patrick Gunnels) said that bacteriophages have been isolated. When I pointed out bacteriophages are viruses, he said they aren’t because they don’t replicate because nobody has seen them replicate. When I asked, “ok so WHO is making the replicas?” I was told to stop asking questions. Is that really how science works? When the questions get tough, there is radio silence?
They know full well that NGS sequencing isn’t guaranteed to return identical sequences on the same sample, but the challenge requires it. They state that “It would be expected that if 5 labs receive material from the same sample of a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, each lab should report IDENTICAL sequences of the alleged SARS-CoV-2 genome.” That would ONLY be true if Sanger sequencing was specified. If it wasn’t, there would be small variations in the genome returned. They know that. So that’s why they specified the word IDENTICAL and deliberately omitted requiring Sanger sequencing. It’s set up for failure. For more on Sanger sequencing, see my article.
My $1M bet is faster, simpler, well specified, it doesn’t require lab work, and it rewards the prevailing party. They have no interest in taking my money. The Isolate the Truth Fund has 1.5M euros available, so they can’t use the excuse that they can’t post the collateral. There are over 20 signatories on their challenge and there are more to come. For 100 signatories, that’s just $10K per person on average. They can also do a GoFundMe to raise money and then return the proceeds when they win. Furthermore, just to make it obvious to everyone that they cannot use funds as an excuse, I’ve changed the terms to allow them to accept at the $200K level. They’ve already admitted they have $500K in pledges so they can repurpose their pledge money and double it. If they have at least 200 supporters, that is just $1K per supporter, a very modest amount. It should be easy to raise. If they were truly interested in resolving the question, this would provide objective proof QUICKLY and it would do so without costing them a dime; they would make $1M. My bet is scientists presenting to a neutral scientific panel who decides who wins and they agree on the judging panel. The bet offers 6 hours of testimony of scientific experts on both sides. Why would they be afraid of this? There is no excuse for not doing that if they are truly interested in fact finding the truth.
They want the public to decide who is right based on the scientific evidence not bets. Alec Zeck wrote me saying bets won’t settle this and it should be done by scientific papers and evaluated by the public. But this is nonsense. The public is in absolutely no position to evaluate this: most people have no clue about what a virus is, how gene sequencing works, etc. My bet is better because scientists present to scientists. It resolves the issue quickly.
The people behind the challenge spread misinformation. For example, in Alec Zack’s video at 1:30, they make the claim that you can use gene sequencing to extract any sequence you want. I guarantee you if I got to Sin Lee with samples, he will get the same results every time with his SARS-CoV-2 primers. The sample will either have it or it won’t. And it will be a perfect match each time. Does Alec want to bet $1M he’s right?
The people behind the challenge won’t defend their challenge on camera. I’ve asked to interview them on camera about the challenge. They either don’t reply or go into a tirade of ad hominem attacks. So I haven’t found any of them willing to defend their challenge “on camera.” I would be DELIGHTED to be proven wrong. People who issue such challenges should not be “camera shy.” They should welcome opportunities to get wider exposure. Instead, they quickly go into hiding like cockroaches do when you turn on the lights
I did everything I could to accommodate any objection they might have for not resolving this now including lowering the minimum bet amount:
Asymmetrical burden of proof. Among other things, the bar for "proof" that they set for themselves is unreasonably low, while the bar that they set for everyone else is unreasonably high. And it appears that the only judges whom they will be willing to accept are themselves.
Tom Cowan admitted that he and Mark Bailey were the “masterminds” behind the challenge. See 1:00 at this video. So he admits it was one-sided rather that a collaborative effort among scientists of different views. If you watch the video, Tom talks until 12:48 and frames “the problem.” But this is totally misleading. This is not how science works. In science you collect data and you figure out which hypothesis best fits the data. Tom goes straight to how you isolate something. Wow. When Mark Bailey talks, Mark admits that Tom was “the brains” behind the virus challenge! So you have someone who doesn’t understand how science works as “the brains” behind the proposal.
Cowan is the admitted “brains” behind the challenge but he’s not a scientist. Cowan had his medical license revoked by California. He said that 5G causes COVID. Wow. This is the brains behind the challenge!!?! A guy who says 5G causes COVID. Wow. Tom, would you like to bet $1M on that one? I’ve added it to my open bets just for you. This has got to be the most ridiculous hypothesis I’ve ever heard. The first country to adopt 5G on a large scale was South Korea, in April 2019. Why wasn’t South Korea suffering from COVID back then? You would also have to believe that 5G can cause everyone in contact to develop virtually identical genome sequences as the genome sequences first observed in Wuhan. Right. Sure. And that amazingly has 80% similarity with SARS-CoV-1. And has a novel furin cleavage site (FCS) that can only be engineered in a lab. I don’t like to do ad hominem attacks, but Tom Cowan is not a scientist. In my opinion, he’s a total nut job and anyone who supports his work should immediately reconsider their association with him. Bottom line is that this is the BEST guy in the world that THEY found to create THEIR challenge.
Here’s the South Korea COVID cases. How is that explained by 5G Tom?
I could go on, but I hope you get the idea. In short, Mark Bailey admitted that Cowan, who in my opinion is a complete nut job, is “the brains” behind the challenge.
Do we need another experiment?
Someone asked, “Aren't there experiments that can be designed to provide proof/evidence?”
I’m sorry, but that is a ridiculous question. We have PLENTY of evidence on the table: over 100 years of scientific observations. They are all consistent with the virology theory. We also have isolation of bacteriophages which are viruses. We don’t need any more evidence.
Are there mysteries that virology cannot explain? For example, my wife comes home and I’m not infected. She shakes my hand and my COVID antigen test goes positive with a strong T line within 5 minutes after the handshake. This is impossible based on virology. And guess what? Yup, it has NEVER happened in real life (or when it does it likely happened because I had gotten the same virus from someone else days earlier)
So we don’t have viral mysteries we cannot explain. Not a single one!
Furthermore, it is preposterous to assert that if you cannot perform ONE proposed experiment to THEIR satisfaction (which they totally control), that it will overturn all other observations.
If someone wants to challenge the status quo, they better damn well come in with an alternate hypothesis that can fit all the observations better than virology. Saying that a 29K nt sequence can be caused by “fast food” or “pollution” is ludicrous. But that’s what they assert! Watch this video at 1:32:00 to see how ridiculous the alternate hypothesis they propose here.
Folks, the SARS-CoV-2 genome was never seen until just recently. They have never shown a BLAST search showing the gene sequence existed until recently.
And there are hundreds of variants. All of them only seen after 2020. Soda has been around for a long time. Why is SARS-CoV-2 only observed in the NLM database now? They cannot explain it. So their alternative hypothesis doesn’t fit. None of their alternative hypotheses can explain this one simple example. NOT A SINGLE ONE.
Here’s their list of what is causing COVID which is a NOVEL disease:
Can you find a single item on this list that explains why we started seeing this genome take off in early 2020? All of these things listed have been around for decades. But that is their best counter hypothesis to explain the 29K long unique gene sequence of SARS-CoV-2.
And how do they explain the presence of the furin cleavage site (FCS) in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein? We’ve never seen that before. It can’t happen in nature as far as we know (nobody has explained a pathway)! It has to be genetically engineered by humans engaged in Gain of Function research. Which is what they did in Wuhan which is where it broke out.
Alec Zeck’s 50 slide deck doesn’t even mention the FCS. Can you believe that? What an oversight! How does he explain why we never saw that before and it isn’t something out of nature? Or does he believe the wet market theory in which case he believes in virology.
Zeck’s deck cherry picks failed experiments and then doesn’t acknowledge super-spreader events where one infected person at a party suddenly results in those at the party getting sick with COVID at a rate that is significantly higher than background rates (hence the term “super spreader event”). If there is no virus, how does Zeck explain those real-life observations? He can’t. So he just pretends they don’t exist.
This is why they won’t debate us. Because on that one point alone, they lose instantly.
In short, we have plenty of evidence on the table… 100 years worth. If Lanka wants to explain that the observations are better explained by an alternate hypothesis, I’m all ears. Let’s start with the furin cleavage site.
But this challenge is dumb and anyone who signed on to support it should be ashamed of themselves.
They have already lost. Patrick Gunnels admitted that bacteriophages have been isolated. They are viruses.
Someone from “their side” already admitted that viruses exist.
Patrick Gunnels, admitted on video (watch at 59:00) that bacteriophages have been isolated. Shortly after I pointed out in an email to him that bacteriophages are viruses. I asked him to respond, but he said only in a live stream. Wow. I said to send me a written document first explaining his argument. He refused. Then, all of a sudden, without warning, I became a bad person and he requested I stop communicating with him. So ad hominem attacks are used to provide an excuse for avoiding scientific debate. Isn’t it strange how I became a bad person at the moment I asked for written scientific proof of his ridiculous claim that bacteriophages don’t replicate because nobody has seen them do it. He just needed to explain how they replicate. Patrick’s argument is that if you can’t directly see it, it doesn’t exist (even when there is no other explanation).
When the question get tough, they stop answering
Christin Massey employs the same technique, e.g., when the going gets tough, she resorts to using personal attacks and that I’m a bad person.
Her reasons for not accepting my $1M bet are disingenuous. The $1M bet term sheet clearly says the parties are not required to talk to each other and all the negotiations will be between the lawyers and all discussions are in front of the judges. She doesn’t have to talk to me at all.
At this point, if you want to change my mind and show the world I’m wrong and become $1M richer, this is your chance. There are currently EIGHT different bets that are active.
My $1M bet offers (description of the why I’m offering the bets)
Bet term sheet (the specific rules of the bet and a summary of the open bets; you can request lowering the amount to only $200K which should be easy to raise)
Form to legally accept one of the offers and legally commit into good faith negotiations between our attorneys to finalize the offer.
I guarantee you there are no tricks. If I wanted to bet that gravity doesn’t exist, I’d be drowning in acceptances. People don’t accept because they don’t believe they can convince a neutral panel of experts they select that they are right.
People who are discredited through association with this nonsense
These people signed on to support the challenge in the document or confirmed their support in direct communication with me.
Even though some of what they say is true about the pandemic response policies, because they mix utter scientific nonsense with their other views, I recommend avoid listening to these people in the future because they are unreliable :
Thomas Cowan, MD
Mark Bailey, MD
Samantha Bailey, MD
Jitendra Banjara, MSc
Kelly Brogan, MD
Kevin Corbett, PhD
Mufassil Dingankar, BHMS
Michael Donio, MS
Jordan Grant, MD
Andrew Kaufman, MD
Valentina Kiseleva, MD
Christine Massey, MSc
Paul McSheehy, PhD
Prof. Timothy Noakes, MD
Sachin Pethkar, BAMS
Saeed Qureshi, PhD
Stefano Scoglio, PhD
Mike Stone, BEXSc
Amandha Vollmer, NDoc
If these people do not immediately request their names to be removed from this “challenge,” in my opinion, it is a tacit admission that they support “junk science.”
And did you notice whose name is missing? Yup. Stefan Lanka is not listed as a supporter of the challenge. Isn’t that interesting? I wonder why?
Kevin McCairn’s email to Christine Massey (Jul 27)
Here is the essence of what Kevin emailed to Christine Massey (I’ve toned down the more colorful language used in the original email):
In your wordpress site, you neglect to say you threatened me with legal action that elicited me to tell you how I really felt about you.
It appears you lie by omission and engage in sophistry, as you are desperately trying to save face with your followers.
You have been offered a chance for access to a lab with the appropriate facilities with which to test any of the claims you think are suspect, and even have the chance to win money in a debate offered by Steve.
Simply put you’re time wasters, grifters and con merchants just looking to protect a business model of exploiting the uniformed.
I’ve spent many hours on this to give the virus deniers the benefit of the doubt.
It took a long time for me to finally discover their alternate hypotheses (thank you Alec Zeck for exposing this) because they would never tell me their alternative hypothesis. As soon as I saw that slide, it was over for me.
There is over 100 years of evidence that is all consistent with the hypothesis that viruses exist. There is not a single piece of evidence that I am aware of that is inconsistent with the virus theory. Saying that viruses don’t exist because you can’t perform a certain difficult experiment designed to fail is just plain silly.
I won’t be spending any more time on this nonsense including responding to any comments (I may make a few exceptions). I’ve already responded to hundreds of comments on this topic (when you combine this article with my other articles listed in the “Other documents” section above). See all the responses there. So I’m not running away from questions, it’s just silly to debate this any more. It’s beating a very dead horse. It’s a rat hole with no bottom.
All my $1M bet offers still stand. If anyone wants to accept any bet, I promise we will get to a definitive agreement very quickly on my side and settle the issue ASAP by expert scientific judges that the parties mutually agree to and expert scientific testimony.