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:

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Here are three overlooked methods of treating respiratory and disseminated infections that resemble the one caused by the COVID-19 virus. 

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Studies by Japanese researchers show that gargling is protective against respiratory infections.  Here is a letter that lays out the case for gargling against COVID-19.

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Even though much inhaled COVID-19 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).  According to a Reinforcement Model of COVID-19 infections, many of these replicates descend into the lungs, where they furnish a stream of reinforcements that cumulatively outweigh the replication of the initial penetrating dose.  Hence treating the throat with gargling seems highly desirable.

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Originating in Eastern Europe, Halotherapy uses aerosol microparticles of salt to treat respiratory conditions.  While it has shown effectiveness against asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic respiratory conditions, there is evidence that HT is also effective as prophylaxis against respiratory infections.  In this video, Viktoria Nagudi discusses with Kenneth Dillon of Scientia Press the history, modalities, applications, and potential benefits of HT in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including for reopening the economy and schools.  See also https://www.scientiapress.com/halotherapy.

Halotherapy versus COVID-19


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A new theory of the origin of the terrestrial planets—that Jupiter’s gravity pulled them inward from the outer solar system—solves longstanding scientific riddles and offers a rich agenda for further investigation.

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Concerned over shortages of face masks, U.S. medical authorities initially discouraged the use of face masks by the public.  But a good deal of evidence (Jefferson T 2007) shows that face masks reduced the risk of infection by 68% in SARS, an analogue of COVID-19.  This suggests that wearing face masks can go far toward slowing the spread of the pandemic.  Therefore, we need to find a way to provide enough of them not just to protect medical personnel but also to protect the public.  Reusing them seems a very attractive strategy.

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