A scientist has calculated the statistical probability of another war starting – and it’s a bit of a blow for those who believed we were in a ‘unique’ period of peace. In fact, people who believe that the 70-year peace since World War 2 might be somehow special may be dangerously naive. Computer scientist Aaron Clauset of the University of Colorado has used statistics to analyse 95 wars in the period 1823 to 2003 – to see if we really are in a unique, new period of peace. Futurism reports that what Clauset found is that we’re not in a unique period of peace – in fact, for the current period to be remarkable, it would need to continue for 100-140 years.
Clauset says, ‘These results imply that the current peace may be substantially more fragile than proponents believe. ‘In a purely statistical accounting sense, the long peace has simply balanced the books relative to the great violence.’
Clauset says that the danger of a very large war remains ‘constant’. Clauset also analysed the probability of a war, big enough to end civilisation.
While he suggests that this may be ‘unknowable’, he estimates that such a war might happen anywhere between 383 to 11,489 years from now: the median estimate is 1,339 years. Clauset says, ‘The prospect of a civilization-ending conflict in the next 13 centuries is sobering.’