This is an important question, and I certainly agree about the dangers of gain of function research. However, I think its critical to evaluate whether we really have sufficient evidence for the claim that SARS-CoV-2 was not of natural origin. Given that, I’m disappointed that only one side of the picture was presented here. Yes, there are good points made, but the evidence you’re presenting was collected by someone telling one side, and actively looking for counterarguments—like this one about why the article is wrong about furin cleavage sites, seems like a bare minimum for trying to honestly update your opinion.
Thanks for this response. I guess the motivation for me writing this yesterday was a comment from a member of NZ’s public sector, who said basically ‘the Atomic Scientists article falls afoul of the principle of parsimony’. So I wanted to give the other side, ie there actually are some reasons to think lab-leak rather than parsimonious natural explanation. So I completely take your point about balance, but the idea is part of a dialogue rather than a comprehensive analysis, that could have been clearer. Cheers.