Re: Leslie's "The End of the World" (was Re: Does anybody know t

Nick Bostrom (
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 00:09:52 +0000

Doug Bailey wrote:

> If you really want some scary rationalize eschatological
> thinking, try "The End of the World: The Science and Ethics
> of Human Extinction". The book describes the Doomsday Argument
> which basically states "we're a young species and odds are we're
> going to off ourselves." Surprisingly, the argument grounds
> itself in Bayesian reasoning and has been stubbornly immune to
> attempts to invalidate its methodology, premise, or conclusion.

Yes, it is probably the most important thing that has happened in philosophy for a long time, and it's immensly relevant to transhumanism. Every self-respecting transhumanist ought to have an opinion on the doomsday argument.

My current research is on this topic and on related applications of the anthropic principle to cosmology, the interpretation of quantum mechanics and the evolution of life.

Some papers are available on my home page: Right now I'm working over a survey that will summarize the relevant literature.

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method London School of Economics