Reevaluation Of Values: Science Has Become A Moral Obligation

Well, it was bound to happen. A massive pandemic progressing so fast it affects all of humanity. Humanity has modified considerably the natural ecology: by increasing wealth of its population, China has four times more travellers than ten years ago. In its booming human population, contacts are much more frequent, enabling the evolution and explosion of much more virulent viruses, and other microbes. Besides the gathering global warming provides microbes with new ecological niches in which defenses against them have not been evolved… and will take more time to evolve than microbes take themselves to evolve: it’s a question of size. Microbes are more microscopic, thus simpler to change while staying viable. 

The solution is of course to fabricate a vaccine within weeks, not months (except it can’t be done: candidate vaccines already exist, but it will take a long time to improve them so that they are safe and efficient). Thus, we need much more investments in fundamental biological research. Having preliminary results on the nature of the virus, already, is encouraging.

SARS, MERS were among the now seven types of Corona Viruses known. They are named thus, because they form a crown.

This situation with corona viruses is a particular case of a much more general problem: humanity is messing up its nest,  while, at the same time, booming in population and travelling. This brings increasing opportunities but also increasing dangers. The solution is to push research to solve these problems ever faster, fast enough to avoid catastrophe. Thus, we have to invest ever more in fundamental research, because it is intimately tied to basic the pursuit of civilization, and hedonism itself: only thinking harder and deeper will enable us to keep on pursuing basic rights like life and happiness. 

Earth, we have a problem. We are now beyond 10,000 official cases, in China alone. And the virus has spread to more than 20 countries, thanks to air travel.

At this point the lethality and contagion capability of the virus is not known enough to estimate how bad the pandemic will get. But, if not this one, it’s clear a future one will get much worse… for ecological reasons…

Fundamental research in science and technology is not just what it used to be, a possibility, a calling, or contributing to civilization and honoring the human spirit. The very success of this enormous human population and the Anthropocene it has created has turned fundamental scientific research into a moral obligation.  

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: Researchers have already studied the genome of the new coronavirus and found the proteins that are crucial for infection.

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P/S 2: If this Coronavirus does not develop in a humongous pandemic this time, then next. As I tried to say, it’s a matter of ecology: we made the ecological advantage of microbes considerable, all of a sudden. Giving antibiotics to meat animals doesn’t help. Yes, antibiotics. In the viral context. I don’t know about the Coronavirus, but 75% of cases of flu are accompanied by a bacterial infection. Moreover, the flu acts like AIDS, killing 90% of macrophages in lungs… So ANTIBIOTICS works against the (consequences, and co-infection of) flu… (Official CDC conclusions, 2017, under Trump…)
Coronavirus, like the flu, kills by pneumonia…

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6 Responses to “Reevaluation Of Values: Science Has Become A Moral Obligation”

  1. Rose Seattle Says:

    This! “China has four times more travelers than ten years ago. In its booming human population, contacts are much more frequent, enabling the evolution and explosion of much more virulent viruses, and other microbes.”

    The only solution is to limit travel until the Wuhan virus is under control.

    Like

  2. ronaldscheckelhoff Says:

    ” …humanity is messing up its nest … ”

    That’s about it, right there.

    On another note, it wouldn’t hurt to throw a few extra provisions into the pantry, IMO. I’m not trying to be alarmist or sound like a survivalist, but If the corona virus were to get too far out of hand, it might be difficult for people to procure food (due to store closures, travel restrictions, etc). It’s probably not something that would happen to people here in the U.S, but in other countries with poorer infrastructure, it possibly could.

    I think in Wuhan that’s starting to become an issue …

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed. If not this time, then next. As I tried to say, it’s a matter of ecology: we made the ecological advantage of microbes considerable, all of a sudden. Giving antibiotics to meat animals doesn’t help. I don’t know about the Coronavirus, but 75% of cases of flu are accompanied by a bacterial infection. Moreover, the flu acts like AIDS, killing 90% of macrophages in lungs… So ANTIBIOTICS works against the (consequences, and co-infection of) flu…
      Coronavirus, like the flu, kills by pneumonia…

      Like

  3. Gmax Says:

    Nice work, bull’s eye. Probably the virus will not spread much out of China, for the reason you gave. An open society is best in all ways

    Like

  4. Kevin Berger Says:

    @Patrice Ayme Celui-là ? https://www.pseudo-sciences.org/Le-Nuage-une-fiction… Je ne sais même plus où exactement je l’ai glané, peut-être/sans doute dans le sillon général de https://twitter.com/TristanKamin ???

    « Le Nuage » : une fiction audio qui enfume et met en scène un nucléaire fantasmé / Afis Science – Association française pour l’information scientifique
    AFIS.ORG
    « Le Nuage » : une fiction audio qui enfume et met en scène un…

    Like

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