Scott Alexander is planning a COVID origins bet. Will there be a debate, and if so what will the judges conclude?
Basic
31
2.2k
2026
72%
No COVID debate organized by Scott Alexander with at least $10k concludes before 2026
3%
Debate happens, judges find in favor of lab leak
23%
Debate happens, judges find in favor of zoonosis
1.4%
Debate happens, the result is a tie or equally split decision (Such as one judge for lab leak, one judge for Zoonosis)
1%
Other

In his latest post based on the Rootclaim COVID Origins debate, Scott concludes by saying:

If it helps, I’m currently working out terms for a 6-digit lab leak bet of my own (no guarantee this will come to fruition, most of these fall apart in the resolution criteria stage). I feel bad for not being willing to answer every possible lab leak argument going forward, but hopefully offering lab leakers a few hundred thousand dollars if I’m wrong will be a suitable consolation prize.

For now, I’m still at 90-10 zoonosis.

In the Rootclaim debate, both sides put up $100,000 and then two neutral judges decided whether whether Covid-19 most likely originated from zoonosis or a lab leak from gain of function research. In the Rootclaim debate, both judges found in favor of Zoonosis.

It seems likely that a debate organized by Scott will follow a similar format, although perhaps he will have someone other than himself arguing for Zoonosis or the debate might be held in text form. A debate in any format organized by Alexander with at least $10,000 of his own money will resolve this market.

This is a full multichoice market on all possible outcomes, you can also find a binary contingent market here:


I will not trade on this question.

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bought Ṁ10 Debate happens, judg... NO

@Joshua Can Other happen and/or new answers be created?

@Bayesian I thought it was good to include Other since we don't know any details yet. I probably won't add more options if I can help it, though.

I think that win/lose/tie cover most possible outcomes in most possible forms of debate, or else the market can resolve to "no debate".

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