Conspiracy theories have long fascinated people, particularly when there are a large set of unknowns involved. Sadly, many Christians tend to get taken in by such conspiracy theories, and even some popular preachers use their pulpits to promote interest in such talk.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic, caused by a tiny virus, COVID-19, provides fertile ground for growing conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theory I hear the most these days is the idea that the virus was bioengineered in a Chinese lab, located at Wuhan, where the outbreak started, in late 2019.
As with all conspiracy theories, there is always a grain of truth. Yes, there is a biomedical lab in Wuhan. Yes, the Chinese authorities did not immediately address the crisis, when it first started, thus allowing COVID-19 infections to spread rapidly. But was the virus somehow leaked out of a biomedical lab, either accidentally, or even worse, intentionally?
Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, and an outspoken follower of Jesus Christ, wrote a blog recently, outlining research that demonstrates that COVID-19 was not an intentional product of bioengineering. Rather, COVID-19 arose naturally. Here is a snippet from Collins’ blog, describing some of the results from the research:
- “Existing computer models predicted that the new coronavirus would not bind to ACE2 as well as the SARS virus. However, to their surprise, the researchers found that the spike protein of the new coronavirus actually bound far better than computer predictions, likely because of natural selection on ACE2 that enabled the virus to take advantage of a previously unidentified alternate binding site. Researchers said this provides strong evidence that that new virus was not the product of purposeful manipulation in a lab. In fact, any bioengineer trying to design a coronavirus that threatened human health probably would never have chosen this particular conformation for a spike protein……
- …..this study leaves little room to refute a natural origin for COVID-19. And that’s a good thing because it helps us keep focused on what really matters: observing good hygiene, practicing social distancing, and supporting the efforts of all the dedicated health-care professionals and researchers who are working so hard to address this major public health challenge.”
… and while you are at it, encourage your fellow Christians to show a little more skepticism when it comes to propagating conspiracy theories. In the meantime, wash your hands, continue your “social distancing,” and pray that a safe, reliable vaccine becomes available soon.