How Unlikely is a Doomsday Catastrophe?

Abstract
One might think that since life here on Earth has survived for nearly 4 Gyr (Gigayears), such catastrophic events must be extremely rare. Unfortunately, such an argument is flawed, giving us a false sense of security. It fails to take into account the observation selection effect [6, 7] that precludes any observer from observing anything other than that their own species has survived up to the point where they make the observation. Even if the frequency of cosmic catastrophes were very high, we should still expect to find ourselves on a planet that had not yet been destroyed. The fact that we are still alive does not even seem to rule out the hypothesis that the average cosmic neighborhood is typically sterilized by vacuum decay, say, every 10000 years, and that our own planet has just been extremely lucky up until now
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,095
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-03-16

Total downloads

29 ( #64,402 of 1,102,037 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #128,871 of 1,102,037 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.