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Vaniver comments on The map of global catastrophic risks connected with biological weapons and genetic engineering - Less Wrong

7 Post author: turchin 22 February 2016 11:18AM

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Comment author: Vaniver 24 February 2016 03:03:01PM 1 point [-]

In result there will be multipandemic with mortality 1- (0.5 power 100) = 0,99999... Such multipandemic would wipe out most of humanity and survivors will die of starvation.

Surely the survival chance against multiple diseases won't be independent? It's suspected Europeans are more likely to be HIV-resistant than non-Europeans because of repeated epidemic-caused culls. (One description.)

Comment author: turchin 24 February 2016 03:29:56PM 0 points [-]

While it will not be independent, such dependency could be estimated statistically or using complex math model. If it will done statistically I guess it will result in that total mortality will be 0.25 from each specie, but given large enough number of different pathogens the result of multiplication will be the same - total extinction. Some humans could be resistant to some species of microbes, but no one will be resistant to all species.

If attacker will be sophisticated enough, he may calculate how different stains will combine. Quick ones will result in panic and people movement and help to disseminate the slower ones. Some of them may be asymptomatic but carry HIV genes. Some may live in environment for decades. Some may infect food with poisonous fungi.

Multipandemic may also result accidentally if many "bad" biohackers will get "bioprinters" in their hands almost simultaneously, as a result of tech progress. In this case it will be milder, but almost unstoppable. Millions of computer viruses are written each year and the same could happen with bio viruses.

We should also add that genetic diversity of humanity is very small because it passed through bottle neck 70 000 ago. Chimps are much more diverse