2020-03Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
The Doomsday Argument Reconsidered


In our current unstable world, nuclear warfare, climate crises, and techno nihilism are three perilous clouds hovering over an anxious humanity. In this article I examine our current state of affairs with regard to the imminent risk of nuclear holocaust, rapid climate emergencies destroying the planet, and the cultural and political consequences of emerging technologies on the fate of civilization.  In the wake of innumerable existential threats to the future of our world, I revisit the plausibility of the Doomsday Argument, which predicts the end of human existence.


Doomsday Argument, Doomsday Clock, climate change, nuclear warfare, techno warfare, terrorism, existential risk studies

How to cite:

Mills, Jon. “The Doomsday Argument Reconsidered.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 3 (2020):  113-127. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0035.


Jon Mills
Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University
P.O. Box 701, Garden City, NY 11530-0701, USA


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “Doomsday Clock Hands Remain Unchanged, Despite Iran Deal and Paris Talks.” January 26, 2016. http://thebulletin.org/press-release/doomsday-clock-hands-remain-unchanged-despite-iran-deal-and-paris-talks9122.

Bostrom, Nick. Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy. New York & London: Routledge, 2002.

Bostrom. “The Doomsday Argument: A Literature Review.” http://www.anthropic-principle.com/preprints/lit/index.html  Downloaded October 2, 2016.

Bronson, Rachel. “Statement from the Executive Director.” In “It is Still 3 Minutes to Midnight” edited by John Mecklin, i-5. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2016.

Carter, Brandon. “The Anthropic Principle and its Implication for Biological Evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 310, no. 1512 (December 1983): 346-63. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.1983.0096.

Carter, Brandon. “Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology.” In Confrontations of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data, edited by Malcom Longair, 291-98. I.A.U. Symposium Vol. 63. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1973. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-2220-0_25.

Davenport, Coral. “E.P.A. Chief Doubts Consensus View of Climate Change.” The New York Times, March 9, 2017.

Leslie, John. “Is the End of the World Nigh?” Philosophical Quarterly 40, no. 158 (January 1990): 65-72. https://doi.org/10.2307/2219967.

Leslie, John. The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction. London: Routledge, 1996.

Mecklin, John, ed. “It is Still 3 Minutes to Midnight.” 2016 Doomsday Clock Statement, Science and Security Board. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2016.

Mecklin, John, ed. “It Is Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight.” 2017 Doomsday Clock Statement, Science and Security Board. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2017.

Mecklin, John, ed. “A New Abnormal: It is still 2 Minutes to Midnight.” 2019 Doomsday Clock Statement, Science and Security Board. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2019.

Mecklin, John, ed. “It Is 100 Seconds to Midnight.” 2020 Doomsday Clock Statement, Science and Security Board. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2020.

Mecklin, John, ed. “Closer than Ever: It is 100 Seconds to Midnight.” 2020 Doomsday Clock Statement, January 23, 2020.  https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/.

Rees, Martin. Our Final Hour. New York: Basic Books, 2003.

Open Access Statement:

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.