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The Doomsday Argument

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Since the dawn of humanity around 100 billion people have lived. How many will live in the future of our species? We might hope for a trillion times that if we colonize the galaxy. But a simple statistical argument tells us that the doom of our species is much, much closer.

Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Matt O'Dowd
Graphics by Leonardo Scholzer & Adriano Leal
Directed by: Andrew Kornhaber
Executive Producers: Eric Brown & Andrew Kornhaber

In some recent episodes we’ve explored the anthropic principle and seen how it can be used to explain the fact that both our planet and our universe seem very finely tuned to allow the development of life. Our planet and/or universe can be rare and unlikely as long as there are enough other planets and/or universes to stack the odds in favour of our existence. We touched on both the potential power and potential misuse of this principle. Today we’re going to push our luck, and see how this controversial idea can be used to predict the physics of our universe, and also to predict the imminent demise of the human race.

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