I watch the division that runs rampant across every continent and can’t help wondering what’s wrong with us humans. It seems we wiped out all the other similar human species and then turned on each other. Must we be so ganglike and divisive? Aren’t we capable of better?
Let’s Stop Pretending this is the Worst of Times
Here are a few facts that some people don’t understand:
- As sorry as things seem, the truth is the human race has never had it better. Let’s start with how long we live. As Our World in Data illustrates:
“Life expectancy has increased rapidly since the Enlightenment. Estimates suggest that in a pre-modern, poor world, life expectancy was around 30 years in all regions of the world. In the early 19th century, life expectancy started to increase in the early industrialized countries while it stayed low in the rest of the world. This lead to a very high inequality in how health was distributed across the world. Good health in the rich countries and persistently bad health in those countries that remained poor. Over the last decades this global inequality decreased. Countries that not long ago were suffering from bad health are catching up rapidly. Since 1900 the global average life expectancy has more than doubled and is now approaching 70 years. No country in the world has a lower life expectancy than the countries with the highest life expectancy in 1800.”
- There’s much less war and deaths from war today than any period since our human ancestors divided into gangs of villages, territories, nations, cultures, races and whatever some wannabe gang leader can rally enough two-legged sheep to qualify. Death from wars fell from 22 per 100,000 in 1945 to 0.3 in 2011. Even with the UN Security Council’s bumbling of ISIS, and the resulting rise in violence, the death per 100,000 stands at 1.4, still much better than any period during the Cold War. We must better address both violence and the issues that give rise to violence, but let’s stop pretending there’s more war overall than at any point the past thousand years. While we’re still too quick to war and fight, our ancestors were much more violent by comparison.
- More people have access to food today than ever before. Don’t get me started on global hunger, but let’s face it—the problem for most modern humans is we eat too much and too much of the wrong things. Indeed, our problem is we’re eating ourselves silly with the wrong foods. As Health Data reports:
The number of overweight and obese individuals in the world has increased from 857 million (20%) in 1980 to 2.1 billion (30%) in 2013. From 1980 to 2013, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children increased by nearly 50%.
- Take away the sixty percent of deaths we can avoid, and we live much longer than our ancestors of the past ten thousand years.
- Females are far better off in today’s world, although we still have a long way to go.
- Minorities of all kind have come far, although again there’s much work to be done.
Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve complained as often and loud as anybody about what’s wrong with the status quo. I’m still outraged at the injustices, equality, and brutality our species is capable. And, you can bet I’ll get back to that in due time.
For now, however, I think the world needs some positive. From all the reports and doomsayers, you’d believe this is the worst time ever to live. You’d think there’s more war, inequality, and brutality than ever. Bullshit! Enough already.
I’ve heard so much political, religious, cultural, class, regional and other divisive nonsense that I’ve decided to focus for at least a while on writing books that potentially benefit every last person on the planet.
An honest disagreement about issues is reasonable, even expected. But when you dislike another race, religion, nation, culture or group, you reduce yours to a predatory gang that hates or preys on other peoples.
I love real people and hate bad behavior, and I don’t much care about all the stereotypes and labels that divide people. It disturbs me how much the different labels of people dislike each other. Instead of seeing the progress, each label of people focuses on what they view as the negative, and blame other labels of humans for the offensive nature of the world.
That kind of thinking is wrong on so many levels, and it never solves anything. Hate is not an agenda. Blind partisanship is not a virtue. Blaming others for everything wrong in your life is delusional. Perceiving everything that doesn’t go your way as a slight is a recipe for constant stress.
I believe in right, justice, freedom, independence, facts, science, common sense, decency, work ethic, creativity, innovation, improvision, humanism, teamwork and mutual respect. While this code forces me into arguments with every label of people, it also helps me appreciate every group of humans.
I refuse to join any party, race, culture, religion or any other gang that divides humans into US and THEM.
I’ll leave you with two videos that do a great job of destroying some of the myths attached to race. While some groups might earn some sterotypes with their behavior or cultural habits, there’s little genetically or scientifically that separates any of us.The Science of Human Races, Part 1 The Science of Human Race, Part 2
After you read this blog, please watch this video. It does a great job of dispelling notions you can pigeonhole us humans so easily.
 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Christopher J.L. Murray, Marie Ng, Ali Mokdad. (2016). The Vast Majority of Americans are Overweight or Obese, and Weight is a Growing Problem among US Children
 Indie Health. Jerry Beller. (April 29, 2016). Prevent Cancer: A Healthy Natural Solution (Live Healthier, Longer & Happier)
The following information is copied from YouTube to give credit and provide information for the two videos.
THE SCIENCE OF RACES, Part 1
Perhaps I was too harsh on the “race realists” in my previous video. Human races exist in about the same way that eras in history exist. They are arbitrary and useful as broad generalizations. What I think I can easily show is that the Victorian idea of race essentialism: that the categories themselves are somehow more meaningful than any other, or that they are homotypic, is unscientific.
Part 2 will cover more on this topic, particularly the abuse of the sociological definition of race to justify a kind of genetic determinism.
A great number of primary sources went into the research for this video. I’ve annotated when I used figures, but you may also find the following articles useful in learning more:
1. “Evidence for Gradients of Human Genetic Diversity Within and Among Continents”
Genome Res. 2004. 14: 1679-1685.
2. “Against Racial Medicine”
Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 40, 4:5, 2006
NOTE: Graves is not without controversy, but this article covers many important topic at a level that many can understand.
3. “Fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays”
Genome Res. 2009. 19: 815-825.
THE SCIENCE OF RACES, Part 2
There are a few errors in the content of the video… I had to rush the post-production editing a bit. I will annotate as I can. Some of the more embarrassing errors are misspelling governor and mispronouncing Tanzanian.
I’ve attempted to cite work on the slide in question wherever possible.
I think the question of why Jamaican sprinters do so well is a valid scientific question. Through it, I think we can also explore the idea of significant differences arising from population substructure.
I’ll explore in more depth the question of IQ differences at some point in the distant future. For now, I’m a bit eager to move on to other topics.