Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2007 - 13:41:41 MDT

--- Samantha Atkins <> wrote:
> Would extermination of all life much more complex than bacteria be
> sufficient? It is hideous to think much about but I believe that a few
> genius level folks dedicated to this goal could accomplish it.

No. Humans evolved from bacteria once and they could do it again. Evolution
wins unless all life is destroyed.

In fact, mass extinctions (at the boundaries of geologic eras) seem to be an
essential part of the algorithm. The introduction of oxygen into the
atmosphere was a great disaster because it was poisonous to most organisms at
the time. Likewise, the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs gave rise to a
world dominated by mammals.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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