Astronomy Astrophysics

Apocalypse When? Calculating How Long the Human Race Will by Willard Wells

By Willard Wells

This publication can be a key trailblazer in a brand new and upcoming box. The author’s predictive technique is dependent upon uncomplicated and intuitive chance formulations that may entice readers with a modest wisdom of astronomy, arithmetic, and data. Wells’ conscientiously erected idea stands on a certain footing and therefore may still function the root of many rational predictions of survival within the face of ordinary mess ups similar to hits through asteroids or comets within the coming years. Any formulation for predicting human survival will invite controversy. Dr Wells counters expected feedback with an intensive technique during which 4 strains of reasoning are used to reach on the similar survival formulation. One makes use of empirical survival records for company organizations and degree exhibits. one other relies on uncertainty of threat charges. The 3rd, extra summary, invokes Laplace’s precept of inadequate cause and comprises an observer’s random arrival within the life of the entity (the human race) in query. The fourth makes use of Bayesian concept.

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Extra resources for Apocalypse When? Calculating How Long the Human Race Will Survive

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When F ˆ P, we quickly see from Equation 2 that G ˆ 12, which makes P ˆ J ‡ A its median future. Accordingly, in an ensemble of entities of age A, half will survive for a future F ˆ P. We shall use the following pair of benchmarks in later examples: ) F…90%† ˆ P=9 …3† F…50%† ˆ P The median is one quantity that summarizes the overall size of a set of random quantities. Another summary quantity is the average, usually called the mean in probability theory. We tend to think of median and mean as being very similar, sort of middling.

Let the symbol (4, 2) denote the probability of getting 4 on J AND 2 on K. Applying the product rule gives …4; 2† ˆ 1=6  1=6 ˆ 1=36: Likewise, any other combination has the probability 1/36. So the probability of rolling 6 with the pair of dice is …1; 5† OR …2; 4† OR …3; 3† . . …5; 1†: Finally, invoke the sum rule and replace each OR with a plus sign to get the probability of rolling a 6 with a pair of dice: Prob…6† ˆ …1; 5† ‡ …2; 4† ‡ …3; 3† ‡ …4; 2† ‡ …5; 1† ˆ 5=36: # # # We can apply these same rules to a survivability problem.

This was Stacy's only clue to survivability, not much, but age is a track record for survival. If Murphy's were thirty years old, Stacy would be surprised to ®nd it expired next week. On the other hand, new businesses have high mortality. If Murphy's were only a week old, Stacy would be surprised to ®nd it open for business thirty years hence. While sipping her pint and pondering survival, Stacy took a napkin and drew a timeline with Murphy's opening night at the left end and its eventual demise at the right as shown in Figure 4a.

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