Causality and the Doomsday Argument

Phillips, Ivan (2005) Causality and the Doomsday Argument. [Preprint]

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Using the Autodialer thought experiment, we show that the Self-Sampling Assumption (SSA) is too general, and propose a revision to the assumption that limits its applicability to causally-independent observers. Under the revised assumption, the Doomsday Argument fails, and the paradoxes associated with the standard SSA are dispelled. We also consider the effects of the revised sampling assumption on tests of cosmological theories. There we find that, while we must restrict our attention to universes containing at least one observer, the total number of observers predicted in each universe is irrelevant to the confirmation of a theory.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:doomsday argument, self-sampling assumption, causality, bayes' theorem, cosmology, anthropic principle
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:4045
Deposited By: Phillips, Ivan
Deposited On:01 Feb 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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