For those of you interested in how my Copernican Principle experiment is going, the first two entries have survived the experiment. Thora Birch and Natalie Portman did not die within the predicted time, but that’s ok because we have 48 more celebrities who could fulfill the prediction.

To make it simple, the Copernican principle says that we are not special. If we are not special then this point in time must not be special either. If we define non-special time as the great majority of your life span (98%), then the special time in Copernicus’s thinking could be defined as the last 2% of your life, the first 2%, or a random chunk of 2% in the middle. To make it interesting for us, we choose it to be the last 2%. If someone has lived for 50 years and this is a non-special time in their life, then you can assume with 98% accuracy that they won’t die within one year (the last 2% of their lifespan). If you pick 50 people, odds are that one of those people are in the last %2 of their lifespan, and that’s the experiment. Pick 50 people, find out how much 2% of their lifespan so far is, and see who dies during that time.

For more information, see my earlier post on the subject, Copernicus Picks the Dead Celebrity.