In its coverage of the creation of a synthetic life form by a US scientist, The Daily Mail has helpfully provided an example of how a headline that contains a question should almost always be answered with ‘no’ (a rule set out by Andrew Marr in his book on journalism).
“Scientist accused of playing God after creating artificial life by making designer microbe from scratch – but could it wipe out humanity?” asks the Mail.
“No,” answers the sensible reader.
If Fiona MacRae thought she had grounds for saying that this abonimable creation will wipe out humanity, or even that it will probably wipe out humanity, she would have. But she doesn’t, so she didn’t. She just wanted to sow the seed of doubt, which is what the Daily Mail is all about, really.