Opinion | As covid evolves, China’s obstinance only grows

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Folks who don’t believe in evolution have never met the virus that causes covid-19. Because viruses replicate by the billions daily, they reveal the processes of random genetic variation and natural selection with all the immediacy of a time-lapse film. The virus we met more than two years ago is not the same devil driving infections in the wrong direction today.

Humans evolve far more slowly than viruses do. But we, too, have a gift for survival. It’s called learning. And it bears some important similarities to physical evolution. New ideas are like genetic mutations, and the open exchange — the testing and probing — of new ideas is analogous to natural selection.

Both operations thrive on volume. More strains of virus inevitably produce more mutations, increasing the chance that a variant will prove superior in some way to the existing strain. Likewise, an open system of inquiry inevitably produces a wider…

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