Will my resolution of the COVID-19 lab leak market be controversial?

Here is the market in question:

I've tried to make it clear that I'm only going to resolve it once there's overwhelming evidence in one direction or another, no more serious concerns about relevant evidence being hidden, I'll talk to experts, etc. That said, it still ultimately comes down to my personal opinion, and, very reasonably, some people don't feel fully comfortable trusting that on such a controversial and politically charged topic.

So, after that market resolves, I'll post a poll about whether Manifold users agree with the decision. (Alt accounts are ignored, and moderators count for 5x the votes of others. I don't get a vote myself.) If at least 10% of the vote disagrees, this market resolves YES. I will be trying to make sure that votes are an accurate representation of that user's beliefs, so as to avoid trolls who vote dishonestly.

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bought Ṁ312 of NO


Here's a disproof of the claim that culture war questions can't get to below 10% disagreement. Manifold users are significantly more rational than the average American.

@IsaacKing So, you point out in the original market description you expect that it might take many decades before a consensus like that forms.

I think it is possible that some combination of the market, you, Manifold, or the human species stop existing before enough decades have passed for an uncontroversial resolution.

And so in most worlds where the market resolves, it is being resolved in the next few years and therefore controversially.

predicts YES

Just never resolve it, safest option.

predicts YES

I don't get this probability. Getting over 90% agreement on a poll is almost impossible, and here there's also incentive to disagree

Edit: sorry for the double comment, I thought my first one disappeared

bought Ṁ240 of YES

<double comment>

predicts YES
predicts NO

Can someone explain to me why this is so high?

predicts YES

@IsaacKing I’m betting YES not because I think you won’t resolve correctly but because it’s inevitable it will generate controversy.

bought Ṁ50 of YES

@IsaacKing Covid's origin is a sufficiently tribal question that i think it's pretty likely >10% will quibble the answer regardless of evidence. The 'No Lab' narrative has been the mainstream default for a long time, and even if evidence is fairly clearly to the contrary 10+% will still call it a conspiracy theory. The 'Lab' narrative, conversely, has 10+% of contrarians who will always believe it and say evidence to the contrary is cherrypicked/a cover up. We like to think of ourselves as rational arouns here, and I think we beat the baseline, but we're not that rational and dispassionate.

predicts NO

@Mira Why the confidence towards YES?

predicts YES

@IsaacKing 10% of voters disagreeing seems likely, even for someone trying to be fair. Probably the Chinese government isn't going to outright say "my bad", they'll block inquiries into details that would make them look bad, etc. so any judgment you make won't be ironclad and someone applying a stringent epistemic comb over the large amounts of weak evidence you'll build up will end up rejecting everything they don't like and complaining.

If you rule NO, some conspiracy theorist will say the scientists at Wuhan died under mysterious circumstances, after talking about what little they knew; that evidence was attempted to cover up, and even if it's now open maybe it was forged or selectively released.

If you rule YES, someone who's Chinese might see it as blaming their country. And don't you know the US funded that laboratory and was planning the research. And it was circulating in bats that they were merely studying, and this market makes us look bad.

I don't know exactly what the drama will be like, but I can already see some mishmash of the above, no matter how hard you try. Or at least 25% probability of drama, rising to 50% as more heated arguments get posted even without resolution(and then I can dump my 25% shares).

predicts YES

@Mira yeah, the odds that we definitively know either way on the lab leak seems extremely low