A ‘mathematical historian’ has predicted that social unrest and political instability will cause the world to end in the 2020s.
An academic from University of Connecticut’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology; Professor Peter Turchin’s prediction is based on cliodynamics; a research method combining mathematics and complexity science to predict historical events, such as the growth and collapse of empires or religion.
“We should expect many years of political turmoil, peaking in the 2020s,” professor Turchin wrote on Phys.org. The academic explained, “Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarisation and fragmentation of the political class.”
“This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side. A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes,” he added.
Turchin also claimed that stagnation in living standards and declining economic health would lead to a fatal collapse in societal structures. But he said that his theory was not a prophecy and should not be regarded as inevitable. “This a science-based forecast, not a ‘prophecy’. It’s based on solid social science,” he wrote.
“Ours is the first society that can perceive how those forces operate, even if dimly. The descent is not inevitable.” He concluded, “This means that we can avoid the worst — perhaps by switching to a less harrowing track, perhaps by redesigning the rollercoaster altogether.”
This article originally appeared on Independent.