We’re Supposed To Be Dead

From Vsauce2.

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The most pressing threat to civilization is us — and paradoxically, we’re also the solution. When Paul Ehrlich published “The Population Bomb” in 1968, he ushered in an era of doomsday predictions that we’re still in. There are more than twice as many people in the world now than when his book came out, and Ehrlich insists that the population bomb just hasn’t gone off yet.

But optimists like Julian Simon see something else happening. They acknowledge that man-made threats of destruction are not only challenges we can solve — and that we’re in a better position every day to eliminate our problems — but that we’re also better off for it.

The philosophical differences between Ehrlich and Simon led to the most famous bet in the world, a bet over natural resources that was really a bet about the future of the human race. And as wrong as Paul Ehrlich has proven to be, we’re so hard-wired to think like him that it’s actually perfectly reasonable to conclude we’re perpetually facing disaster.

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Hosted and Produced by Kevin Lieber
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Research and Writing by Matthew Tabor

Editing by John Swan

Huge Thanks To Paula Lieber

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