Forget about nuclear weapons, biological warfare, and the many other sophisticated ways that humanity could destroy itself in a short period of time.
If we take into account only natural phenomena – the eruption of a supervolcano, the fall of an asteroid and the like, then, according to a study by Oxford University, the probability of human extinction in the coming year is 1 in 14,000.
Now think about it: in October, the study was published in the journal Scientific Reports, and people reacted to this indifferently.
Then the scientists decided to take to the streets of the USA and Great Britain in order to invite people to take part in a small experiment. They suggested that passers-by distribute 3 possible scenarios for the development of future humanity from better to worse: there are no cataclysms, 80% of the world’s population disappears as a result of a catastrophe, and a cataclysm destroys all of humanity.
A survey of 2,500 people showed that people do not consider the extinction of humanity as the worst case scenario.
The vast majority of respondents said that the disappearance of 80% of the world’s population is the worst case scenario.
“Thus, by asking the question directly without any hidden meanings, we found that people are not concerned about the probable extinction of humanity in the near future,” the authors of the study wrote.
Then the researchers decided to change the question and asked passers-by what they considered worse: the extinction of 80% of zebras or all zebras on Earth.
What do you think came of this? This time, people believed that total extinction is worse than the extinction of the vast majority.
A strange and even frightening regularity which is based on human egoism. The results of the polls have caused concern among scientists and this is no coincidence.
If we can’t stop the fall of an asteroid or the eruption of a volcano, then what about, say, a nuclear war? You need to be objective and understand that people are more worried about the possibility of not being included in the number of those who have left than the total extinction of humanity. In other words, when the conversation is not about zebras, but about humanity, then people prefer a “friendly disappearance” of all at once.
Such unhealthy optimism may be the reason for mankind’s deliberate choice of the self-destructive path for humanity itself.
“Destructive natural disasters or self-destruction of mankind? My colleagues will support me and confirm that the second scenario is more likely. People don’t care about the fate of all mankind and they’re only afraid that they themselves can become part of the disappeared majority, ”said Stefan Schubert, co-author of this study.