The full story behind the alleged bet with Avi Bitterman
The trolls keep telling me that I lost a bet with Avi Bitterman. I have the full record of the conversation. The truth is that they are as honest with you about this bet as they are with the science.
See this tweet? Since Avi isn’t providing the full record of what happened, I will post it.
First, let’s get this out of the way…
You may be wondering why I am even bothering with agreeing to debate Avi. Avi is actually reasonably smart, but his debating style is extremely abusive.
To make the point that I am willing to be challenged.
The reason I do this is that if I am not open to challenge, then the people I'm trying to debate (like Peter Hotez) can say, "I am perfectly justified in refusing to debate Kirsch because Kirsch himself refuses to engage with people who challenge him."
So I have to be open to accepting a challenge to all comers. Otherwise, I give the authorities an legitimate excuse to avoid being open to challenge.
In short, I am modelling the correct behavior: Any legitimate scientist must be open to challenge by his peers.
This is why my open debate offer has specifications that I meet myself, so I am open to challenge by my peers.
Summary of the bet
I offered to debate anyone about my Trialsite News article. Avi said he was accepting that offer. That offer didn’t have a monetary reward nor a judging panel or even a specification on how winning was determined.
I did TRY to negotiate a SECOND agreement with Avi where I would put up $10K vs. he’d stop tweeting for 1 year depending on who won.
There was supposed to be a panel of judges mutually agreed upon. We never reached agreement on that. So if there is no judging panel that was agreed on, how could he declare victory?
More importantly, there wasn’t an agreement on what specifically the bet was about and what the objective criteria would be that would be used by the judges to determine who won.
So that SECOND offer was never something either party agreed to.
Avi can win in his mind, and the minds of his followers, but that’s the only place Avi Bitterman won.
These people are as honest about the science as they are on the terms of this bet. And this is a perfect example of how they play the game. Very dishonestly.
For the record, here are the highlights
You can see the full discussion on this Rumble video.
If he wins, I pay him $10K. If I win, he’s off Twitter for 1 year.
He has never heard of JAMS, so he responds:
Avi wants to debate absolute risk reduction, but I want to debate whether the vaccines have killed people. I think it’s ridiculous that if 25,000 people are dying from the vaccine, we are debating infection risk reduction:
Here’s the tweet from the Wayback Machine.
Note that there is no monetary value or the judging criteria specified in that offer which Avi said he was accepting.
The bet (with money attached) is something that we were negotiating as a separate offer.
As you can see from the earlier discussion, there was clearly on agreement on $10K vs. no tweets for a year.
And there was discussion, but never a meeting of the minds on how it would be judged or what question would be the basis for the determination.
OK, now I know what you are thinking. Your thinking, “How is Steve Kirsch saying that he knows the COVID vaccine benefits outweigh the risk?”
Here’s the explanation.
Look at the date. I wasn't completely red pilled at that time. I knew the vaccine was killing people in massive numbers and should be stopped due to safety. But I still thought the FDA was telling the truth about how many people were saved because if the vax was indeed 90% effective in preventing infections, then killing 25,000 people, though VERY problematic, could still be justifiable.
It was only much later that I figured out that nobody had their lives saved by the vaccine!
Yes, my challenge in that tweet above was to debate me. That challenge did NOT have a monetary reward or a set of judges or a criteria for “winning.” If you debate me, you won’t win anything.
I was trying to negotiate with him a second offer: a specific topic that can be objectively judged by a panel of mutually agreeable judges to determine who the “winner” was.
He wouldn’t have any of it:
He basically said his room, he has control. It went downhill from there.
There was never any agreement on the question to be decided upon or judging panel regarding the 10K vs. stop tweeting for 1 year.
The only thing he accepted was my offer for a discussion. That offer had no monetary reward and no judging panel.
He’s disingenuous in his characterization of the bet since there was no meeting of the minds on the judging panel or even the topic that would be discussed.
What do you think?
If you think we both agreed on the question to be decided, how the judges would decide who won, and who the judges would be, you should vote “Yes.”
If you voted yes, do me a favor and place in the comments (under the PINNED comment) these three things:
What was the question we BOTH agreed to?
What were the names of the judges we BOTH agreed to?
What was the criteria we both agreed to on who the judges would determine who won?
Otherwise you should vote “No.”
Other people who claim victory
Avi Bitterman is hardly the only person who claims victory where there is no victory.
There is a small group of people who refused to accept my fair debate terms, proposed instead their own terms that were specifically designed to attack the other party. It was after I refused their ridiculous terms, they started posting that I “ran” when they tried to accept my terms. Hardly the case.
My open debate offer, with minimal rules, still stands without a single taker!
You don’t have to take my word for it. You can see how they operate by reading this excellent article.
I did make an offer to debate about my article. Avi accepted that debate offer and we had a discussion.
However, with respect to the $10K vs. 1 year abstention, there was no agreement on the judging panel or even the question under consideration for that offer.
Therefore, to claim that I lost badly is completely disingenuous.
To claim that I moved the goalposts when the goalposts were clearly never agreed to in the first place is even worse.
Now you know the whole story.