Mathematicians claim the end of the world is coming sooner than expected

The outcome of humanity is not only predicted by epidemiologists and climate activists, but also by mathematicians. Here are their predictions about Armageddon.

mathematicians end world apocalypse Armageddon
© Armageddon / Touchstone Pictures
mathematicians end world apocalypse Armageddon

The Doomsday Argument by Brandon Carter from 1983, which provides such predictions, is based on a fundamental assumption, Focus reports. This assumption is that we humans as observers do not occupy a prominent position, but are here purely by chance. This idea is also known as the 'Copernican principle' and is often used in cosmology. It is used to argue that our environment is nothing special and is more common in space.

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The controversial Doomsday Argument

According to Focus, scientists are now 95 percent certain that we humans will inhabit this planet for another 17,100 years at most before we disappear from its surface.

As we all know, there were far fewer people living on Earth in the past than there are today - currently there are around 8.03 billion. At some point, humanity will perish, that much seems certain. We will either destroy ourselves or die at the hands of the sun, which will have used up its fuel and subsequently swallowed up the earth.

As Focus points out, the Doomsday Argument is a highly controversial theory in science. For example, not only humans could be included in the overall view, but living beings in general. This would mean that more organisms have ever lived. This would move the assumed end of the world into the distant future.

Interesting thought experiment

Let us return to the mathematicians' calculations. Our world population is obviously rapidly approaching an end if we consider the following:

A generous estimate is that the maximum number of people who have ever lived will be 2,340 billion. Based on birth rates over the last 40 years, it is possible to estimate how long it will take to reach this figure. Over the last 40 years, approximately 130 million children have been born each year. Although the birth rate is gradually decreasing, the total population is still increasing, according to Focus.

If we now assume in a thought experiment that the number of births will not change, it would take another 17,100 years until a total of 2,340 billion people had lived.

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This article has been translated from Gentside DE.

Source used:

Focus: Mathematiker berechnen: In spätestens 17 000 Jahren geht die Welt unter

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