Consensus is not equal to truth
Since the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease, tremendous amount of research has been done on the virus. However, few researchers are working on the fundamental problem of the origin of the viruses. Instead, there is already a consensus in the research community: The virus is not lab related.
Why are there so few researchers working on the origin of the virus? The origin of the virus is an extremely important problem, both scientifically and for the public health. Scientifically, the origin of a new species or a new type of type is poorly understood. To pinpoint the origin will help understand the mechanism of the emergence of a new type of life and study the process of evolution. It is of great scientific value. For the public health, to understand the origin and process of evolution of viruses will help us prevent or detect early future outbreaks of pandemics. Why are there so few researchers to undertake such an important task?
Why is there such a strong consensus about the origin of the virus, when so little is known? Researchers have a strong consensus because they have a strong common interest. If the novel coronaviruses are found out to be lab related, the reputation of not only one research lab, but also the whole research community will be tarnished. As a result, there will be tighter regulation and less funding in the future. Many careers in the research community of the microbes will be destroyed. Because of the strong common interest of the research community, there is a strong consensus from the research community.
There are many consensuses in religions. The founders of various religions often claim they have encountered angels. These stories are not the truth. But they are religious truth. Anyone questioning the truthfulness of their stories constitutes blasphemy. Increasingly, scientific work is conducted by the coercion of consensus, not by the search and research for the truth. Many theories are not the truth. But they are scientific truth. Anyone questioning the truthfulness of their stories are anti scientific. Increasingly, facts are not important in public discussion. You don’t need to be factually correct. But you have to be politically correct.