Friday, December 30, 2022

Major Causes of Death in Different Historical Eras

We spend too much time being scared of dying in a plane crash or being eaten by a shark, when those things are exceedingly rare. It's prudent to be cautious of traffic accidents, which are a too-common way to die prematurely, but that's a relatively modern problem. Over the course of human history, most deaths come from the natural world. We've been pretty good at battling some of those causes of death, while others are maddeningly constant. Minute Earth details the most common causes of death in human history, one era at a time. Along the way, they tease us about "three other big killers," which are eventually revealed and may or may not surprise you. But they are the things we haven't been able to conquer yet.  


Anonymous said...

You are right on people panicking about low-risk dangers. One really big one we have panicked about is COVID-19; it has a 1% fatality rate--and look at the overreactions we have had.

Malaria would have been a slightly less killer if we kept DDT around; but it, too, was removed due to improper reporting--the dangers of it were overemphasized.

This is why we need open and divergent ideas in science--and to always question.

xoxoxoBruce said...

Tell the low-risk of Covid-19 to the families of the over a million dead Americans.

So you only measure the impact of DDT (and the other chemicals removed as a result) by it's effect on malaria, and doubt the danger of a Silent Spring.

Open and divergent ideas in science that come from SCIENTISTS, not some guy on the internet. Also, when a legitimate scientist say X, and 50 legitimate scientists say Y, my money is on Y.
Remember among PhDs and MDs as with the general public there will exist a small percentage of attention whores.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Bruce, a 1% fatality rate disease will still kill, unfortunately. The flu and colds kill people, too, but we do not hear about them.

Here is someone else that points out the problems with "Silent Spring":

If those 50 scientists are just parroting when they say Y, I am doubtful. And hearing one scientist say X makes me doubtful as well.