My very best subjects in school were math and science. I tended to drift off in philosophy and history classes. However, as the pandemic has continued, my memories brought back some theories generated hundreds of years ago by two guys, Thomas Malthus and Charles Darwin.
First, Thomas Malthus: Born in the 1700’s Malthus came out with the idea that things like wars, famine, diseases, natural disasters and other catastrophic events are sort of “necessary”. The reason? If these events that kill many people did not take place, the food supply would eventually run our because the growth in the food supply could not meet the growth of the population unless periodically, a bunch of people were killed.
Second, to Charles Darwin: In his 1869 publication, he expressed the “survival of the fittest” concept, theorizing that the organisms that are most likely to survive are those that are best able to adapt to changing environments.
A few thoughts from Posner the Philosopher:
- In the modern world, food is still sort of “scarce” and when we think “famine” third world countries pop into our heads. How about these facts? Over 15 million children in America go hungry and 1 out of 7 children in the U.S. worry about their next meal.
- Horrific events like the Covid pandemic much more often kill the frail, weak, elderly, sick and poor.
We, as a society, need to do a MUCH better job of getting food to the children and adults in our country that do not have the ability to procure this sustenance on their own. Sorry for the sort of non-medical personal opinion here, but our country seems to spend lots of money on stuff that does not seem nearly as important as helping to feed our hungry.
Concerning “survival of the fittest”, natural selection and the “need” for events like the pandemic to “weed out” those in our population that are weaker and more at risk, we also have to do a much better job of helping those at risk to become less of a risk.
Now, swinging back to the weight control arena: There are over 350,000 deaths in America EVERY YEAR due to obesity-related co-morbidities and just passed 500,000 deaths in America from the pandemic. Many of the Covid deaths occurred in people with the highest risk factors and aside from age, the obesity-related co-morbidities created the highest risks for severe Covid illness/death.
So let’s all, on the personal basis, keep steadfast on our health and remain focused on our own weight control and perhaps the loved ones around us. We will not allow Malthus or Darwin to dictate our futures.