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A Refutation of the Doomsday Argument

Kevin B. Korb and Jonathan J. Oliver
Mind
Vol. 107, No. 426 (Apr., 1998), pp. 403-410
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2659883
Page Count: 8
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A Refutation of the Doomsday Argument
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Abstract

Carter and Leslie's Doomsday Argument maintains that reflection upon the number of humans born thus far, when that number is viewed as having been uniformly randomly selected from amongst all humans, past, present and future, leads to a dramatic rise in the probability of an early end to the human experiment. We examine the Bayesian structure of the Argument and find that the drama is largely due to its oversimplification.

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