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Will it turn out that Covid-19 originated inside a research lab in Hubei?
Cross-posted on Metaculus: Pandemics.
The origins of the Covid-19 disease-causing coronavirus are rather obscure, and Chinese authorities have held information about the disease in tight control. This has led to some speculation of various types of coverups. One of the most provocative is the idea that it did not have a natural origin. There's a lengthy writeup of the idea here.
The proposition in question will be taken as:
The the origin of the Covid-19 coronavirus infection involved the release of a pathogen from a research laboratory in Hubei province.
That's not terribly precise, by design. But this question is a bit experimental, one of a series of "self-resolving" ones. Resolution to this question will be determined as follows:
If at any time after the date of May 1, 2020 the community prediction is > 97% or < 3%, the question closes. Then, with 90% probability (as called by a quantum RNG), resolves positively or negatively, respectively. (With 10% probability the question is referred to the below committee.)
Otherwise, on or about the close/resolve date of May 1, 2021, the question will be decided by unanimous vote of a council of three people as to whether the proposition listed above is true, at 50+% credence (i.e. more true than its negation), resolving ambiguous in the case of disagreement. The council of three will be chosen by quantum mechanical random numbers from a list of 12 people that will be composed by the author around the time of 2020-05-01, and held secretly until the time of question resolution.
(Edited 2020-04-15 to include 10% probability to being kicked to committee.)
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