In the COVID-19 pandemic, even though some inhaled virus immediately penetrates into the lungs, some remains in the throat where it replicates to very high numbers–for instance, a peak at 711,000,000 RNA copies per throat swab day 4 (Wölfel R et al.  Nature 2020;Apr 1).  Many of these replicates presumably descend into the lungs, where they furnish a stream of reinforcements that may cumulatively outweigh the replication of the initial penetrating dose.  Hence treating the throat with gargling seems highly desirable. Continue reading »

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PDF:  What Makes a Theory Good_ A Reconnaissance of Explanatory Virtue

What makes a theory good? In his canonical 1991 book Inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton attempts to answer this fraught question. The philosopher identifies eleven explanatory virtues that are often placed within four groupings: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Two others, James Beebe1 and Kenneth Dillon2, draw upon the same categorical schema to present four other virtues for consideration. All fifteen are listed and defined in the following table: Continue reading »

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