A proper calculation using Bayes' theorem is missing in the article. The
conclusion is false.
E.g. let's assume that (2) and (3) are false. So, we know with almost 100%
certainty that we are not living in a simulation, and we know with almost
100% certainty that a posthuman civilization is going to run significant
number of simulations of their evolutionary history.
Concluding that (1) must be true is thus precisely the Doomsday argument
which is false because of improper Bayesian reasoning:
No, this is different from the Doomsday argument. DA relies on the premiss that subjectively distinguishable observer-moments are in the same reference class. The Simulation argument presupposes only the much weaker assumption: that subjectively indistinguishable observer-moments are in the same reference class. (For an explanation of this terminology and the ideas behind it, I refer you to my forthcoming book Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy, Routledge, New York, April 2002. I have made five sample chapters (as many as the publisher would permit) available at http://www.anthropic-principle.com/book/.
Department of Philosophy, Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520 | Phone: (203) 432-1663 | Fax: (203) 432-7950Homepage: http://www.nickbostrom.com