Imagine that Noe missed the boat. No more humans on earth! No pollution, no global warming, no plastic, no depletion of natural resources. Would that be an improvement or do you think that something would be missing on earth? We would rather ignore questions for which we don’t have an answer. They are detrimental to the ego. The media never mentions them. They are taboo.
Our main taboo is: “What is the purpose of our life?” Why do we get up – go to work – go to sleep – Repeat? Is there something more to life than getting old? This is what we decided to investigate. No mathematics. No ideologies. Just plain common sense.
We made a list of other taboos but they don’t seem to be as important. Let us know in the comments which one you would have chosen.
Our soil is getting depleted:
For 300 000 years the population of Homo sapiens on earth remained very limited. In the past two centuries the world population was multiplied by 10. If the stock market would demonstrate such enthusiasm, you would expect a correction. Planet earth has 1.4 billion hectares of arable land. That could feed 10 billion people if they all are vegetarians. We have reached 8 billion and many of us are not vegetarian.
Our skeleton is renewed four times a year. That requires a lot of calcium. This calcium must come from our food and our food comes from the soil. Can we extract calcium from the soil indefinitely? We use fertilizers. That may not be enough. Calcium is only one of 90 nutrients that we need to stay in good health. Can our soil get depleted of nutrients like it is getting depleted of oil? You may think that you have the right to know but this is taboo.
Every death before 120 years is a premature death:
The human body is made to live between 120 and 140 years. Medicine and better hygiene have prolonged our life expectancy from 30 years to 80 years. This is great but the battle is not over. We are only halfway.
In the first half of the development of medicine, we could use our linear thinking: One group of symptoms, one illness, one virus, one vaccine. The second half may be different. Viruses try to survive by making variants to defeat the vaccines. Everything becomes more complicated. One assortment of causes could produce one assortment of consequences and the link between them could vary with each patient. This is more than what a linear thinking can handle. The second half of the development of medicine may require a different way of thinking.
We survived 16 close calls to nuclear annihilation. Is this more than good luck?
A good example of a ‘nuclear close call’ is what happened in Goldsboro, North Carolina on 24th January 1961 where a B-52 stratofortress carrying 3 nuclear bombs broke up in mid-air. Many of the safety devices did not work. Only a single switch prevented the bomb from detonating. An atomic bomb exploding could trigger retaliation and start WWIII. We were lucky. At least we thought that it was ‘luck’. What is puzzling is that ‘luck’ saved us from complete annihilation 16 times. It happened in 1956 - 1960 - 1961 (twice) - 1962 (twice) - 1965 - 1967 - 1969 - 1973 - 1979 - 1980 - 1983 – 1983 - 1991 - 1995.
Can we still rely on this luck today? Does luck come with an expiration date? Do we have a monopoly or can luck move from one country to another? Should we rely on benevolent Aliens to place guardrails along our path? Would it be possible that some superior beings, up there, much more developed than us, are taking care of us like we take care of our cows and our chickens? Could they use planet earth as their farm?
Our problems of pollution, plastic, global warming… have a common cause. We used machine to help the farmers increase our food production. That was good but we abused it. In the past 200 years the world’s population was multiplied by 10. We let the world’s population get out of control. We were thinking as separate individuals instead of thinking as member of the human species. We should decide what the maximum occupancy of planet earth is. Mother Nature has her own solution to this kind of problems. When there are too many preys, she increases the number of predators until the predators die of starvation. Our predators are microbes, viruses, bacteria… We don’t talk about it because there is no easy solution.
We cannot tell which food is good for us to eat:
Animals know what they should eat and what they should not. How come we don't have this possibility? We cannot even differentiate between good and bad mushrooms. Some snakes hunt at night because they can sense the heat in their prey. Do they have night vision? Could the animals be ahead of us - sometimes? Imagine that we could “sense” the influence that trash food will have on our body just by looking at it! Some commercials would get very disgusting.
Our concept of "Life" could use some improvements:
So far we assumed that life is limited to the humans and anything smaller than us, such as cats, dogs and microbes. To attach life to something bigger than a human body goes against our nature. Do you think that the sun could be alive? The Gaia hypothesis is an attempt to get us out of our limitations. It assumes that planet earth is a living organism. There is no reason to assume that life in the vast universe is limited to our earth. The solar system, the Milky Way and millions of other galaxies could also be "alive". A black hole could be, to the earth, what death is to humans. There could be life in the light that we receive from the sun.
Sadomasochism is part of human nature.
As far as historians can remember we had wars that killed millions of people. Wars are an opportunity to suffer and make others suffer. It is an opportunity to satisfy a need for sadomasochism and we created many more. A casino is another place to satisfy that need. Have you ever risked your life to save a few seconds on the freeway? How can you explain all the many ways we invented to torture people along the centuries? Even today? Some people use sadomasochism in their sex life.
Let’s try some empathy. Our ancestors did not master fire without getting some blisters. We learn walking by falling. We associate progress with pain.
We can find good excuses for our sadomasochism but we have to accept the idea that it is part of human nature.
There are many more taboos. Do you know a better one? Let us know in the comments