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Wednesday, 26 November 2008
A Simon-Ehrlich Wager

As of the time of this posting, the perpetrators of today's Mumbai attacks that killed at least 80 people have not been identified.  We know that firearms, and possibly explosives, were used in at least 8 locations to simultaneously and intentionally attack unarmed civilians, and that U.S. and British citizens were specifically targeted.

I use this case to again repeat my wager, that the unknown perpetrators of this attack (like so many others) will, upon investigation, turn out to be Muslims.  This, in a country in which the majority religion is Hindu, and where Muslims make up approximately just 13% of the population.

Of course, when the perpetrators are known, Muslims and their apologists will repeat their claims that their religious affilation is incidental, that it was just as likely that they could have been Christians, or Jews, or Hindus.

In 1980, Paul Ehrlich claimed that the world was on the brink of collapse in his book "The Population Bomb".  Julian Simon disagreed.  They agreed to wager on the future price of five metals on the commodity market.  Ehrlich wagered that the price would skyrocket due to human overconsumption.  The wager was subsequently named, unimaginatively enough, The Simon-Ehrlich Wager.  (In the event, the price of metals did not increase dramatically, and Simon won the bet in 1990).

The point of the Simon-Ehrlich Wager is to reward predictive models that are accurate, and punish predictive models that are inaccurate.  This is a mechanism to stem a relentless barrage of anti-factual rhetoric, of which there is no short supply when it comes to Islam.

If the defenders of Islamic terrorism believe their own lies, there is a tremendous opportunity for them here.  If terrorists appear randomly within the population, irrespective of religious affiliation, there is an 87% chance that the terrorists will turn out to be Hindu, Christian, or Jewish.  If the defenders of Islamic terrorism believe their own lies, they can point out the unwarranted "prejudice" of those who "erroneously" claim that there is a link between terrorism and Islam.  And they can make a few bucks in the process.

If the defenders of Islamic terrorism believe their own lies, they will put their money where their well-funded mouths are.

Hello?  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)?  Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)?  Anyone?  And if they are too slow to respond, and the terrorists are (as they inevitably will be) identified as Muslims, not to worry.  There will be more incidents in the future where the wager can be repeated. 

Ad nauseum.

Posted on 11/26/2008 3:48 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
26 Nov 2008

Oh snap!  In the time it takes to write the posting, the terrorists have tentatively been identified.

As Muslims.

As predicted.

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