Hu­man extinction

TagLast edit: 13 Jun 2021 16:06 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

Human extinction is the destruction of all members of the species Homo sapiens.

In Toby Ord’s typology, human extinction constitutes one of the three main types of existential catastrophe (Ord 2020).


Bostrom, Nick (2002) Existential risks: Analyzing human extinction scenarios and related hazards, Journal of evolution and technology, vol. 9.
The section “Assessing the Probability of Existential Risks” discusses methods of estimating the probability of human extinction.

Bostrom, Nick (2003) Human extinction, in Paul Demeny & Geoffrey McNicoll (eds.) Encyclopedia of Population, New York: Macmillan Reference, pp. 340–342.

Bostrom, Nick (2013) Existential risk prevention as global priority, Global Policy, vol. 4, pp. 15–31.

Brauner, Jan & Friederike Grosse-Holz (2018) The expected value of extinction risk reduction is positive, Effective Altruism Forum, December 9, sect. 1.3.

Cotton-Barratt, Owen, Max Daniel & Anders Sandberg (2020) Defence in depth against human extinction: prevention, response, resilience, and why they all matter, Global Policy, vol. 11, pp. 271–282.
Identifies three defence layers against extinction, corresponding to successive stages in the progression of risk.

Matheny, Jason Gaverick (2007) Reducing the risk of human extinction, Risk Analysis, vol. 27, pp. 1335–1344.
A paper exploring the cost-effectiveness of extinction risk reduction.

Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, Bloomsbury/​Hachette.

Rees, Martin J. (2003) Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future in This Century—on Earth and Beyond, New York: Basic Books.

Related entries

existential catastrophe | existential risk | long-term future

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