The Instigator
hauki20
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

A biological attack on USA would likely become a pandemic

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Tatarize
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,123 times Debate No: 7180
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (7)

 

hauki20

Pro

My case: A biological attack on a single city in USA would likely become a pandemic.

First of all, in this case the word "likely" is not based on mathematics. The word "likely" is based on evidence. Period. Case closed.

Rule number one: No argument may be based on the definition of the term "likely".
Rule number two: No off-topic. We don't want to hear about how magnificent your web page is.

On to the definitions from (www.dictionary.com):

Biological attack: The use of bacteria or viruses or toxins to destroy men and animals or food.

Pandemic: (of a disease) Prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.

Epidemic: Extremely prevalent; widespread.

I, as Pro, must prove that a biological attack on USA would likely become a pandemic. My opponent, Con, must prove that a biological attack would not likely become a pandemic. We're not debating about the possibility of a biological attack, but about the possibility of a biological attack becoming a pandemic.

Okay. Let's say that a terrorist organization was to manufacture bubonic plaque (that killed 1/3 of Europe's population in the Middle Ages) so that it would be resistant to antibiotics it is treated with. Then they would inject themselves with it and walk around the city and infect as many people as they can. Now, bubonic plaque is extremely easy to catch. You only need to touch someone infected and you're a walking dead. It is transmittable via bodily fluids, air, and touch. So, let's say they infect a hundred people, to stay low. Now, those who have a family infect their wife/husband and children if they have any. So, that makes about 20-40 more infected. The next day the children go to school and the adults either go to work, hang out with their friends or go to have a drink etc. The infected children infect most of their classmates and their teachers. The adults who go to work infect at least some of their co-workers. Those who hang out with their friend infect their friends and then those who were infected infect their classmates, co-workers, friends, etc. After about 2 days from the initial infection the first symptoms settle in. After 2-3 days from the first infection the first death occurs. After a week or so the Center for Disease Control will notice that something unusual is happening. Then they will try to cure the diseased, but with little success. When quarantines are starting to take place and borders are being closed, the infection has spread to many countries, Europe, Asia and everywhere else (just think about how many international flights go from US in one day!)

So, we have a pandemic. The survivors, should there be any, will isolate themselves from anyone else. History repeats itself.
Tatarize

Con

You don't understand basic epidemiology, it depends entirely on the disease. For example, bubonic plague does exist within the United States in the ground hog population. It rarely causes any trouble and needs to be transmitted by fleas or body lice. Few people today have either fleas or body lice. You could move plague London from the 1400s into the center of the United States and we wouldn't have a pandemic. Y. Pestis does not transmit the way you suggest.

The United States has been subjected to biological terrorists attacks. Just after 9/11 several letters filled with anthrax were mailed to various people around the country and killed several people. It didn't lead to a pandemic because you need direct exposure to become infected and from there it isn't contagious. A number of biological weapons are exactly like that. There are very few which are transmitted through the air, deadly without being too deadly too soon, and have a long enough incubation period to be effective in a pandemic fashion, and can't simply be quarantined. Much of modern society is categorically setup specifically to prevent disease transmission. Figuring out how to prevent disease was pretty much the source of the modern city.

It would take a very specialized disease to actually become pandemic. Most of the general stuff you're talking about simply doesn't work. HIV and the flu are more deadly. You could wire a few genes into the flu make it more deadly (perhaps like pandemic flu), but it would still have to compete with the rest of the flu also vying for market share in the disease scape. Deadly doesn't always mean the best transmitter. In fact the most prolific diseases are absolutely harmless. It's a general rule in parasitism that you should be as harmless to your host as you can. Over the short term this means that often the nicer diseases to better.

It's really hard to make a successful pandemic disease, the most likely biological agent would be anthrax and that'll only kill anybody you could powder with it (which by definition isn't pandemic).
Debate Round No. 1
hauki20

Pro

Thank you ;)

[quote]Y. Pestis does not transmit the way you suggest.[/quote]

Many survivors of the bubonic plaque (Middle Ages) have written that if you would touch something that a diseased had touched, you would become an infected yourself. Bubunoic plaque is transmissable via breath, touch, and bodily fluids.

[quote]Just after 9/11 several letters filled with anthrax were mailed to various people around the country and killed several people. It didn't lead to a pandemic because you need direct exposure to become infected and from there it isn't contagious.[/quote]

Exactly. It wasn't contagius. That was the point that saved US from a potential epidemic. However, diseases like bubonic plaque and smallpox are.

[quote]It would take a very specialized disease to actually become pandemic. Most of the general stuff you're talking about simply doesn't work. HIV and the flu are more deadly. You could wire a few genes into the flu make it more deadly (perhaps like pandemic flu), but it would still have to compete with the rest of the flu also vying for market share in the disease scape. Deadly doesn't always mean the best transmitter. In fact the most prolific diseases are absolutely harmless. It's a general rule in parasitism that you should be as harmless to your host as you can. Over the short term this means that often the nicer diseases to better.[/quote]

If a bioligical attack would occur using smallpox, the results would be horrific. Shocking. Catastrohic. Epidemic. There are no cures for smallpox, only vaccines. Vaccines, however, only work before the infection.

Ebola would be even worse (there's not even a vaccine for that, even less a cure).

[quote]It's really hard to make a successful pandemic disease, the most likely biological agent would be anthrax and that'll only kill anybody you could powder with it (which by definition isn't pandemic).[/quote]

Smallpox and ebolavirus are the dream of every terrorist. Let's take a scenario.

A terrorist group somehow gets smallpox into their hands and injects themselves with it. Then they walk around New York, trying to infect as many people as they possible can. So, let's say they infect a hundred people, to stay low. Now, those who have a family infect their wife/husband and children if they have any. So, that makes about 20-40 more infected. The next day the children go to school and the adults either go to work, hang out with their friends or go to have a drink etc. The infected children infect most of their classmates and their teachers. The adults who go to work infect at least some of their co-workers. Those who hang out with their friend infect their friends and then those who were infected infect their classmates, co-workers, friends, etc. After about 2 days from the initial infection the first symptoms settle in. After 2-3 days from the first infection the first death occurs. After a week or so the Center for Disease Control will notice that something unusual is happening. Then they will try to cure the diseased, but with little success. When quarantines are starting to take place and borders are being closed, the infection has spread to many countries, Europe, Asia and everywhere else (just think about how many international flights go from US in one day!)

And then we have a pandemic. However, those lucky enough to be clean after the disease is spotted get a vaccine which makes them immune to the horrible disease. Those infected can only be left for dead.

So, it won't wipe out human race, but still a very large percent.
Tatarize

Con

"Bubunoic plaque is transmissable via breath, touch, and bodily fluids."

No it isn't. And people with the plague were largely know nothing primitives who feared a lot of silly stuff. Please check anything about the actual disease. It doesn't transmit that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Also,
http://www.sciencemag.org...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://dx.doi.org...

I'm citing medical research you're citing people who were just as likely to attribute it to the devil, kill cats as witches' familiars, and thereby worsen the effect by killing the cats who could kill the rats that carried the fleas that spread the plague that lived in the house that jack built.

The disease is blood born, it isn't present in the mouth or on the skin. It survives on the blood within fleas, lice, and humans.

--

The fact is the most likely biological attack weapons are not going to be highly contagious. It's pretty easy to have a disease vector that can kill a person but it takes a bit to have them stay alive long enough to spread it and cause a pandemic. This debate isn't about pandemic biological attacks which are certainly feasible, but rather whether a biological attack on the US would be pandemic. The answer is going to be no. The most likely attack would be anthrax because it's really easy and really deadly. It doesn't cause pandemics.

Saying that IF they used smallpox, or IF they used Ebola (which there is a vaccine for, we just don't know if it'll work because it was developed towards the end of the last outbreak), then it would be pandemic is a moot point. The question is what kind of biological attack on the US would be the most likely? The answer is anthrax and no, that wouldn't be a pandemic. In fact, of all the biological attacks ever done on the US 100% have been anthrax based.

Repeatedly suggesting over and over that a pandemic attack be launched has no bearing on the topic. The question is whether a biological attack would become pandemic. Suggesting that Ebola would become pandemic and the vector of a hypothetical attack is a little self-serving to the idea that the attack would become pandemic, don't you think?

--

However, moving along, Ebola transmits through contact with infected fluids and contact with mucus membranes. Although theoretically possible it transmit airborne it is quite difficult in practice. As such the several outbreaks of Ebola within the United States in Virgina and Texas were minor and larger outbreaks could easily be contained. "Avoid fluid contact and you'll live" would suffice to save and prevent Ebola from becoming pandemic along with government set quarantines of infected areas. You would be amazed how many diseases can be stopped by guys with guns saying "Get the hell back in that city or we shoot you!"

Smallpox on the otherhand is airborne. It's deadly and despite claims that it's completely eradicated somebody might be able to dig some of it up. However, it only becomes contagious after a rash appears and after a long gestation period. As a consequence is spreads more slowly. While it could certainly kill a lot of people, it could be combated by shooting anybody developing a rash, or a quick quarantine program if one is justifiably worried about human life. The fact that it is unattainable makes it an unlikely vector.

Further, a terrorist group infected with smallpox would look like death be covered with sores and need to stand within six feet of a lot of people for prolonged periods of time. As soon as anybody from any medical organization figured it out, you'd be over. When you tell people that people presenting with a rash should be reported to be quarantine there's a quick and obvious response. The death rate is only about 30% most people above the age of 40 are immune having been vaccinated already.

With the speed of communication you need to have everybody in the world infected before the disease starts killing people. You need it to be highly contagious, airborne, and deadly only after set period of time. One might be able to genetically engineer a flu virus or one of the many easily transmitted asymptomatic viruses to synthesize immuno-suppressants which increases the death toll considerably, and release the modified virus in a series of high population density areas. That would never be likely, but possible and pandemic and deadly. You'd quickly run into people dying as their immune systems collapsed of various different ailments which could be misdiagnosed a number of different ways. However this is probably well beyond the realm of any potential attacker. -- The most likely biological attacks are simply anthrax and other quick kill infections.

You can't make the argument,
If pandemic then pandemic. You need to show that the likely biological attack vectors would be pandemic.

It would be much easier to dust a football stadium with anthrax than any other potential attack. And that wouldn't be a pandemic. -- You're simply wrong.

I'm not saying that a pandemic attack would be impossible, I'm simply pointing out that it isn't the most likely form of biological attack at this time.
Debate Round No. 2
hauki20

Pro

[quote]I'm citing medical research you're citing people who were just as likely to attribute it to the devil, kill cats as witches' familiars, and thereby worsen the effect by killing the cats who could kill the rats that carried the fleas that spread the plague that lived in the house that jack built.[/quote]

Who is most likely to know how bubonic plaque spread in the Middle Ages, persons who saw it or persons who think they know what happened 800 years ago? If you have the fleas that in some cases cause bubonic plaque, another person who touches you will also be attacked by the fleas. You touch someone, the fleas come and start eating you (you won't feel it, but that's what happens. When they eat you, you will get the disease. There are, of course, another means of getting bubonic plaque.)

[quote]The fact is the most likely biological attack weapons are not going to be highly contagious.[/quote]

Yes, there are such non-contagius diseases as anthrax. *However*, there are also dangerous contagius diseases like bubonic plaque, plaque, and smallpox. To name a few.

In this debate, I'm talking about a contagius disease. I acknowledge the fact that anthrax is not contagius and has no chance of becoming a pandemic (unless major food and water supplies are powdered with the disease).

[quote]Saying that IF they used smallpox, or IF they used Ebola (which there is a vaccine for, we just don't know if it'll work because it was developed towards the end of the last outbreak), then it would be pandemic is a moot point. The question is what kind of biological attack on the US would be the most likely? The answer is anthrax and no, that wouldn't be a pandemic. In fact, of all the biological attacks ever done on the US 100% have been anthrax based.[/quote]

1. So, let's suppose that all biological attacks on the USA have, indeed, been anthrax. What does it really prove? A: Only that we have not yet been struck by contagius diseases. It doesn't mean we never will. It's kind of the same as saying: "I've lived for a hundred years and I haven't died yet. That must mean I will never die."
2. [http://en.wikipedia.org...] [quote]The biggest problem with the vaccine is that, unless the patient is given it near the onset of the virus (1-4 days after the symptoms begin), there will be too much damage to the human body to repair...[/quote]

It may work. Or it may not. The biggest problem is that after someone is infected, there will be little to do. So, it has the problem of any vaccine. It doesn't work after the exposure. That would mean that even IF mass vaccinations would be succesful, there would be mass casualties.

3. [quote]What kind of outbreak would be the most probable? Anthrax.[/quote]

CIA has caught terrorists making sophisticated biological weapons that could have resulted in an epidemic. There may happen 100 anthrax attacks and 1 ebola attack. The one would be enough for a pandemic. It doesn't matter how many times you dodge a bullet, it only matters whether or not you don't dodge a bullet.

[quote]However, moving along, Ebola transmits through contact with infected fluids and contact with mucus membranes. Although theoretically possible it transmit airborne it is quite difficult in practice. As such the several outbreaks of Ebola within the United States in Virgina and Texas were minor and larger outbreaks could easily be contained. "Avoid fluid contact and you'll live" would suffice to save and prevent Ebola from becoming pandemic along with government set quarantines of infected areas. You would be amazed how many diseases can be stopped by guys with guns saying "Get the hell back in that city or we shoot you!"[/quote]

When a disease is finally spotted half of the world's countries have at least one infected. The country of origin has most likely got over 90% infected, depending on the duration of the incubation period. After quarantines start, there are already so many infected there is no chance in succeeding.

[quote]Smallpox on the otherhand is airborne. It's deadly and despite claims that it's completely eradicated somebody might be able to dig some of it up. However, it only becomes contagious after a rash appears and after a long gestation period.[/quote]

So, a long incubation period. The longer it is, the longer the disease has to spread. After the first symptoms occur, half the world is infected (yeah, maybe a little exaggerated, but still...)

"The fatality rate for flat-type is 90% or greater and nearly 100% is observed in cases of hemorrhagic smallpox," according to Wikipedia. Sure, there are other types of smallpox, but...

Okay. Let's say someone with a medical degree were to get his hands on bubonic plaque. Now, by doing something with the genes he could easily manufacture the disease to be airborne, resistant to antibiotics, etc. He could also lenghten the incubation period. Now he would have the perfect weapon that is not likely curable, easily transmissable and has a long incubation period. So, he injects the bacteria into himself and walks around New York, infecting 100 people who infect their families, co-workers, anyone who they come in contact with and the second wave of infected infect anyone they come in contact with and they infect anyone who they come in contact with and the circle goes on and on. When the first symptoms appear, the infection is already in Europe, Asia, Africa, S. America, N. America etc. Once we reach this phase, the civilization is thrown back a thousand years. Survivors isolate themselves from anyone else for years. Pandemic.
Tatarize

Con

>>"Who is most likely to know how bubonic plaque spread in the Middle Ages, persons who saw it or persons who think they know what happened 800 years ago? If you have the fleas that in some cases cause bubonic plaque, another person who touches you will also be attacked by the fleas."

If you're serious, you just lost the debate right there. Fleas don't pass from person to person, they usually hang out on more hairy mammals. The body louse however may allow for some person to person disease transfer. However you may have noticed the lack of lice in modern society. Further, fleas are actually pretty rare too.

>> "In this debate, I'm talking about a contagius disease. I acknowledge the fact that anthrax is not contagius and has no chance of becoming a pandemic (unless major food and water supplies are powdered with the disease)."

No. In this debate we're talking about biological attacks. Trying to restrict that down to simply contagious diseases is completely unacceptable.

How about we talk about whether when I take an M&M at random if would be likely to be a green M&M, would it be acceptable to only talk about those packs of pure green M&Ms within the debate body? No.

>>CIA has caught terrorists making sophisticated biological weapons that could have resulted in an epidemic.

Name one. Name one serious plot involving a biological attack thwarted by the CIA. I detect a fibber!

>>"So, a long incubation period. The longer it is, the longer the disease has to spread. After the first symptoms occur, half the world is infected (yeah, maybe a little exaggerated, but still...)"

No. The disease doesn't become contagious until after the first symptoms occur. You get a rash and then you can transmit the virus.

>>Okay. Let's say someone with a medical degree were to get his hands on bubonic plaque. Now, by doing something with the genes he could easily manufacture the disease to be airborne, resistant to antibiotics, etc. He could also lenghten the incubation period. Now he would have the perfect weapon that is not likely curable, easily transmissable and has a long incubation period.

Lets suppose that magical fairies fly around the city spreading nerve toxin and stabbing people in the eye. The likelihood of that kind of magical perfect disease is roughly nil. Anthrax is easy, you can grow it in a bathtub, with limited expertise. It would be the most likely vector for a biological attack.

You seem overly obsessed with pipedreams that overstate and oversimplify the very precarious nature of epidemiology and bioterrorism. You'd cause more damage going to a Russian prison getting infected with multiple resistant TB and then spending a few months taking public transportation around the US. But even that would only infect a few thousand people and would still be treatable with vancomycin.

Pandemics are more likely to simply naturally evolve like the 1918 flu than to be engineered and weaponized.

Your most likely biological attack is still going to be a quick kill pathogen.
Debate Round No. 3
hauki20

Pro

[quote]Me: CIA has caught terrorists with biological weapons.
Tatarize: Name one![/quote]

Here you go. http://www.cfr.org...

"Have terrorists experimented with biological weapons before?

Yes. CIA Director George Tenet has testified that documents found in Afghanistan showed that the *al-Qaeda terrorist network was pursuing sophisticated biological weapons research in Afghanistan*. Aum Shinrikyo, a doomsday cult in Japan, had an ambitious biological weapons program and released anthrax spores and botulinum toxin in Tokyo on several occasions, but none of the attacks inflicted any known casualties. Iraq, the Soviet Union, and other countries experimented extensively with anthrax bacteria and other germs as recently as the 1990s. (The United States abandoned its offensive biowarfare program in 1969 and destroyed its biological arsenal in the early 1970s.)"

[quote]You seem overly obsessed with pipedreams that overstate and oversimplify the very precarious nature of epidemiology and bioterrorism. You'd cause more damage going to a Russian prison getting infected with multiple resistant TB and then spending a few months taking public transportation around the US. But even that would only infect a few thousand people and would still be treatable with vancomycin.[/quote]

Okay. Since you don't seem to understand what I'm saying, let me copy a part of my last post.

"Okay. Let's say someone with a medical degree were to get his hands on bubonic plaque. Now, by doing something with the genes he could easily manufacture the disease to be airborne, resistant to antibiotics, etc. He could also lenghten the incubation period. Now he would have the perfect weapon that is not likely curable, easily transmissable and has a long incubation period. So, he injects the bacteria into himself and walks around New York, infecting 100 people who infect their families, co-workers, anyone who they come in contact with and the second wave of infected infect anyone they come in contact with and they infect anyone who they come in contact with and the circle goes on and on. When the first symptoms appear, the infection is already in Europe, Asia, Africa, S. America, N. America etc. Once we reach this phase, the civilization is thrown back a thousand years. Survivors isolate themselves from anyone else for years. Pandemic."

Questions? No? Moving on. In case you want to critizice my argument, I except you to tell me where EXACTLY I'm wrong, not just "You're wrong. Lol."

[quote]No. The disease doesn't become contagious until after the first symptoms occur. You get a rash and then you can transmit the virus.[/quote]

I'm talking about diseases overall. Not just smallpox.

[quote]Lets suppose that magical fairies fly around the city spreading nerve toxin and stabbing people in the eye. The likelihood of that kind of magical perfect disease is roughly nil. Anthrax is easy, you can grow it in a bathtub, with limited expertise. It would be the most likely vector for a biological attack.[/quote]

If you must condemn and ridicule me to the lowest level of hell, I suggest that you do it more stylishly. If I would go and get a high medical degree, I have no doubt whatsoever that I could engineer diseases to the way I want to.

[quote]Well, umm, Anthrax is still the most probable form of a biological attack! =O[/quote]

Voters READ THIS, please. Here I will make my last and best case.

We cannot calculate the probability of what kind of an attack the next biological attack will be. It may be the avian flu, smallpox or ebola. It could be anthrax. It could be anything. Sure, anthrax may be easy to make, but the problem is that there are other as easy-to-manufacture diseases out there.

Phytophthora infestans. Phytophthora infestans infects for example potatoes or tomatoes. Any human who eats the infected plants will develop the disease and can trasmit it to other people. Easy to make, easy to infect with, and easy to starve people with.

Phytophthora infestans. The reason why you should vote for me.
Tatarize

Con

ZOUNDS!

A far fetched attack plan to release anthrax! Wait, I asked for a CIA plot that caught terrorists with "weapons". Neither of those examples fit that description. You have documents and a Japanese cult. "CIA has caught terrorists with biological weapons." -- No. They haven't.

"Yes. CIA Director George Tenet has testified that documents found in Afghanistan showed that the al-Qaeda terrorist network was pursuing sophisticated biological weapons research in Afghanistan. Aum Shinrikyo, a doomsday cult in Japan, had an ambitious biological weapons program and released anthrax spores and botulinum toxin in Tokyo on several occasions, but none of the attacks inflicted any known casualties. Iraq, the Soviet Union, and other countries experimented extensively with anthrax bacteria and other germs as recently as the 1990s. (The United States abandoned its offensive biowarfare program in 1969 and destroyed its biological arsenal in the early 1970s.)"

I'm taking from this that I'm right and your statement wasn't true. And that again anthrax is the vector of choice.

----

All in all, my opponents supposed attacks are nonsensical pipedreams. A real biological attack is weaponized anthrax. In the future, such custom super pandemic agents might be possible... but at present they aren't. All the biological attacks thus far have been anthrax, and anthrax is likely still. My opponent has suggested other vectors, but he hasn't given anybody a reason to suppose that they are likely.

That suffices to fail. He has not provided any good evidence for the accuracy of the topic. At most we are told that a pandemic attack is possible, we have no reason to suppose that its remotely likely, and every reason to suppose that it won't be.

Vote Con. Pro failed to demonstrate the topic.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
Oddly, I didn't mean it as a personal comment. I don't regard ignorance as a vice or a fault. There are too many things to have complete understanding of and that requires us all to be ignorant on many topics. One of the things he was ignorant of was basic epidemiology. I don't mean it to blight him or anybody's opinion of him, but when he makes claims like the Bubonic plague is communicable by touch it renders itself a simply a statement of fact. He does not understand basic epidemiology.

Sorry if it seems a low blow, it's completely true and was never meant to malign.
Posted by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
You're right; "you don't understand basic epidemiology" wasn't an Ad Hom because you didn't reject Pro's arguments based on that. Nevertheless, I still classify it as an unnecessary attack on the debater, but my dislike for such attacks is purely personal. Many people encourage the use of sarcasm and derision in debate, and it also makes a good rhetorical tool.
Posted by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
I never said don't listen to his arguments. I said that he didn't understand basic epidemiology. My fairly clear explanations show this is accurate. I addressed his arguments.
Posted by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
Con swept away the round, IMO. The only area where I voted Pro was conduct, since Con inserted some mild Ad Homs ("You don't understand basic epidemiology").
Posted by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
Zach you're right. I overstated that. I assumed the environment was simply populated society in a modern context. It certainly doesn't depend "entirely" on the disease. That's categorically wrong.

If you infected the right people with TB (like frequent fliers who are too stupid to listen to the government when they say don't fly anywhere you dumbass!), you could cause some major damage whereas a few housewives from the bible belt would do nearly nothing with their infections except get treated.
Posted by zach12 7 years ago
zach12
tatarize, you overall would win my vote but i have some issues with what you said about epidemology.

>>> ou don't understand basic epidemiology, it depends entirely on the disease. <<<

It does not. It depends on three things
1.) the disease itself
2.) the context or environment it finds itself in
3.) the people it infects
Posted by SaiyashaMisamurai 8 years ago
SaiyashaMisamurai
I'm considering taking up this challenge... I'm not sure I have the attention span for it, though; I might just get bored and never respond.
Posted by hauki20 8 years ago
hauki20
Yeah, that's me ;)
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Ya know, saying "The word likely is based on evidence..."

Doesn't actually tell us anything, unless you tell us how much evidence...

If it simply means "There is some evidence for and none against," a good word for the future is possible...

If it means "There is evidence which makes the belief reasonable," "Would reasonably become," instead of likely become.

Word choice is important.

Incidentally, you're pretty obsessed with anthropogenic disasters aren't yeh? :)
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
Sure but by the time its carrier is having lung failure spewing it everywhere, the visual symptoms are quite apparent. Cases occur in the US every year, Asia too - doctors are aware of the symptoms. :)
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