Download Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will by Willard Wells PDF

By Willard Wells

ISBN-10: 0387098364

ISBN-13: 9780387098364

Any formulation for predicting human survival will invite controversy. This publication offers a different research of the possibilities of human survivability within the brief and long-term. It develops a formulation for survival in keeping with 4 separate measures.

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Extra info for Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will Survive (Springer Praxis Books Popular Science)

Sample text

All four converge on approximately the same formula. Four approaches may seem excessive, but the math is vague Introduction 7 in some places (fuzzy, as mathematicians often say), and the strengths of one argument compensate weaknesses in another. One of these approaches has an abstract quality that seems almost unreal because it mentions nothing about hazards, risk rates, or causality. Instead, it is all about the moment we observe the entity in question and when that moment occurs during its life span.

Suppose you draw samples from an ensemble in which the entities are all the same type, but you do not know which type. Then the decay you observe will be Q for the type you actually draw, not the average in the equation above. Nonetheless, this average is your best estimate prior to the drawing. In other words, actual statistics may deviate markedly from theoretical prior probability even when both are correct. One of the examples we have just discussed is like that. You ®rst drew a pure isotope of ®cticium, not knowing which isotope it is, and found that its decay matched one of the dotted curves in Figure 3, rather than the solid curve that represented the average.

Let us say that he decided prior to the show by flipping a coin, which removes any chance of bias. You do not know the outcome, so from your viewpoint there are three random variables: the result of the coin flip; which box the host opens; and the important one, which box holds the prize. These have 18 combinations represented by cells in the three-dimensional array below, one table for each outcome of the coin flip. At the outset we eliminate 6 combinations, the ones labeled X0, in which the host would open the box with the prize.

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Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will Survive (Springer Praxis Books Popular Science) by Willard Wells


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