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Anthropic shadow: observation selection effects and human extinction risks.

Abstract:

We describe a significant practical consequence of taking anthropic biases into account in deriving predictions for rare stochastic catastrophic events. The risks associated with catastrophes such as asteroidal/cometary impacts, supervolcanic episodes, and explosions of supernovae/gamma-ray bursts are based on their observed frequencies. As a result, the frequencies of catastrophes that destroy or are otherwise incompatible with the existence of observers are systematically underestimated. We...

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Publication status:
Published

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Department:
Oxford, HUM, Philosophy, Philosophy NonPostholders
Role:
Author
Journal:
Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
Volume:
30
Issue:
10
Pages:
1495-1506
Publication date:
2010-10-05
DOI:
EISSN:
1539-6924
ISSN:
0272-4332
URN:
uuid:9f57dab7-1f65-4abe-91fe-523e77edb4f6
Source identifiers:
90894
Local pid:
pubs:90894

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