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Avo comments on Doomsday Argument Map - Less Wrong

6 Post author: turchin 14 September 2015 03:04PM

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Comment author: Avo 14 September 2015 09:04:27PM -2 points [-]

I think it is an excellent idea to try DA logic in other domains.

Example: A a biologist prepares a petri dish with some nutrients, and implants a small colony of bacteria. The question is: will this colony grow exponentially under these conditions? According to DA logic (with a reference class of all bacteria that will ever live in that petri dish), the biologist does not need to bother doing the experiment, since it is very unlikely that the colony will grow exponentially, because then the current bacteria would be atypical.

To the best of my knowledge, this sort of DA logic is never used by scientists to analyze experiments of this sort (or to decide which experiments to perform). I believe this casts severe doubt on the validity of DA.

Comment author: turchin 14 September 2015 09:11:44PM 3 points [-]

Your example is not DA-style, because observer is not self-sampled here. Observer is not bacteria in this experiment. (By the way, most from all existing bacteria is not starters of exponential colonies)

I may suggest another experiment: you tell me your age and I will tell your life expectancy based on DA-logic.