There is an enormously better chance than any other time in history for me to see my children and grandchildren to live into adulthood.
Think about that for a minute.
Because during the 19th century, life expectancy was 28.5 to 32 years old. Then the 1900 world expectancy was 31 to 32. In the 1950s, it was 45 to 48. And now, it is 72 to 73.
We have science to thank for this. Science helped us domesticate plants and animals to feed us. Science is the reason why many here in the United States don’t worry about Polio, Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox.
Worldwide it is estimated that 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths occur each year around the world because of Cholera. The last outbreak of Cholera in the United States was in 1910. It’s very likely you will never know or meet anyone who will have dealt with such a horrible illness. After all, we are so used to clean drinking water coming right out of the tap–we don’t know any different.
We all benefit from science. I am 35 and would likely be dead by now if I was simply born 200 years ago. Yet, so many of us turn our noses to science today. As of 2007, 216 million Americans are “scientifically illiterate.” Clearly, there is a gap in our knowledge from seeing something work and knowing how things work. We can take Ibprofin and know it makes us feel better, but almost no one understands the chemistry (including myself). That intellectual debt adds up over time. At some point, we throw our hands in the air because we simply don’t understand how things work. So, we turn to others to make sense of things. Rather than change our worldview, we Google to confirm it.
8 out of 10 Americans are dissatisfied with where things are. How much is attributed to not understanding how we got here? How much then are we contributing to making things better for the challenges that lay ahead?