Humankind has a one in 500 chance of being wiped out this year, warns mathematician

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3942846/Apocalypse-Humankind-one-500-chance-wiped-year-warns-mathematician.htmlAccording to some probabilistic approach there is a 0,2% chance that the doom day will come in 2017. This holds also true for every other year of the 21th century.

The

Doomsday argument (DA) is a probabilistic argument that claims to predict the number of future members of the human species given only an estimate of the total number of humans born so far. Simply put, it says that supposing that all humans are born in a random order, chances are that any one human is born roughly in the middle.

It was first proposed in an explicit way by the astrophysicist Brandon Carter in 1983, from which it is sometimes called the Carter catastrophe; the argument was subsequently championed by the philosopher John A. Leslie and has since been independently discovered by J. Richard Gott[2] and Holger Bech Nielsen. Similar principles of eschatology were proposed earlier by Heinz von Foerster, among others. A more general form was given earlier in the Lindy effect, in which for certain phenomena the future life expectancy is proportional to (though not necessarily equal to) the current age, and is based on decreasing mortality rate over time: old things endure.

Denoting by N the total number of humans who were ever or will ever be born, the Copernican principle suggests that humans are equally likely (along with the other N ? 1 humans) to find themselves at any position n of the total population N, so humans assume that our fractional position f = n/N is uniformly distributed on the interval [0, 1] prior to learning our absolute position.

f is uniformly distributed on (0, 1) even after learning of the absolute position n. That is, for example, there is a 95% chance that f is in the interval (0.05, 1), that is f > 0.05. In other words, we could assume that we could be 95% certain that we would be within the last 95% of all the humans ever to be born. If we know our absolute position n, this implies[dubious – discuss] an upper bound for N obtained by rearranging n/N > 0.05 to give N < 20n.

If Leslie's figure is used, then 60 billion humans have been born so far, so it can be estimated that there is a 95% chance that the total number of humans N will be less than 20 × 60 billion = 1.2 trillion. Assuming that the world population stabilizes at 10 billion and a life expectancy of 80 years, it can be estimated that the remaining 1,140 billion humans will be born in 9,120 years. Depending on the projection of world population in the forthcoming centuries, estimates may vary, but the main point of the argument is that it is unlikely that more than 1.2 trillion humans will ever live on Earth. This problem is similar to the famous

German tank problem.