A chemist has brilliantly ripped to shreds a conspiracy theory about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
The poisoning of the former Russian spy in Salisbury in the UK has recently stirred up a lot of conspiracy theories online. The official position, accepted by the governments of the UK, US, Germany, and France, points the finger at Russia for the attack, after an investigation by UK intelligence agencies.
However, this message doesn't seem to be reaching all sectors of the British public, with rumors and conspiracy theories abundant online.
Prominent annoyance Godfrey Bloom (who isn't a real general) also got in on the action.
Despite Russia having the means and the motive to carry out the attack, it seems people are desperately looking for a less terrifying explanation. Unfortunately, there really isn't one. The alternative explanations all fall at the first hurdle.
A chemist got annoyed with one conspiracy theory that claims that the case is a "WMD scam" used for some unknown purposes to instigate tensions with Russia, a state with vastly superior military capabilities to the UK.
In the piece, titled "The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam", former British Ambassador Craig Murray argues that Novichok – the nerve agent that killed Skripal – doesn't exist.
"The British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence," Craig writes.
"Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true."
The piece doesn't attempt to propose an alternative explanation, but the title suggests that the author thinks that evidence is being fabricated or exaggerated (as was the case before the Iraq War when claims of WMDs were "sexed up", which he eludes to in his title).
Enter scientist Clyde Davies. He saw the piece, and, being a chemist, noticed some major chemistry-related flaws and responded accordingly.
Craig then replied by questioning his knowledge.
But at this point, Clyde, in his own words, could "only read so much conspiracy theory shit before snapping" and proceeded to break down the science, in a brilliant viral Twitter thread.
At this point, he talked about the motives of Russia in using a chemical that could so easily be traced back to them, before swiftly returning to the chemistry claims made by Craig.
The thread has gone viral on Twitter, but rumors and misinformation are still spreading like wildfire. If you value facts and reason, we recommend sharing Clyde's thread below.