The Doomsday Argument

lomolife1174
lomolife1174
Unicorn Overlord
Joined Sep 2014 Posts: 9,114
The following argument is perhaps one of, if not the most controversial theories based off of probability theory.

Randall Munroe, a former NASA physicist, once noted,"Almost everyone who hears this argument immediately sees something wrong with it. The problem is, everyone thinks it's wrong for a different reason. And the more they study it, the more they tend to change their minds about what that reason is. Since it was proposed in 1983, it's been the subject of tons of papers refuting it, and tons of papers refuting those papers. There's no consensus about the answer; it's like the airplane on a treadmill problem, but worse." 

Now, what is this Doomsday Argument? It revolves around a few key ideas:

- humans will become extinct one day
- there have been around 100 billion humans who have ever lived
- it is very likely that everyone who is alive on Earth today is in the middle 90% of all humans who will ever live, as opposed to the first 5% or last 5% of all humans

Therefore, if our population levels out at about 9 billion, the Doomsday Argument suggests that humans will likely become extinct within about 800 years, and not more than 16,000. 

Here is the original XKCD article if you are interested: https://what-if.xkcd.com/65/

What do all of you think about the Doomsday Argument? Personally, I believe in it and I think that some of the controversy surrounding this idea comes from the fact that humans don't like admitting defeat. 
  • Axel L
    Axel L
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 11,107
    The humans will go instinct when the biologist don't find medication to a pandemic that will happen some time or another or when the astronomists has calculated the time of an event that will cause the environment on the earth to change drastically with minimal notice so we don't have time to adept for the changes.

    However, when one of these events will occur is very unclear which is very obvious.
     <|=  0330 1323 1103 1211 0312 1201 1302 1203 0230 1220 0200  =|> 
     <|=  0302 0320 1310 1220 1211 0200 1313 1233 1302 1210 0230  =|> 
     <|=  0200 1211 0310 1303 0321 1301 1311 1221 1312 0312 1201  =|> 
     <|=  1230 1221 1211 0230 0320 0301 1232 1203 1211 0200 1221  =|> 
     <|=  1232 0200 1201 0302 0200 1210 0320 1221 1203 0232 1310  =|> 
     <|=  0232 1221 1233 1232 1201 1302 1321 0232 0232 0332 1331  =|> 
  • Master of Warring
    Master of Warring
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2014 Posts: 3,843
    Superman
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