Is this a Misleading Comparison?

Melissa McDowell thinks it is, because the meme implies that there’s nothing you can do about life expectancy.

I think there isn’t, that the meme just means a unpolluted water and air aren’t as good at creating longevity as a modern economy with modern technology, even though that means modern pollution levels.

What do you think?


1. I misrepresented Melissa McDowell’s position in the first version of this post, I apologize.

2. Dawn Geisler brought up the point that the life expectancy was 35, but a lot of it was due to infant mortality.


3 thoughts on “Is this a Misleading Comparison?

  1. Infant mortality, poor hygiene, perilous diseases with no adequate treatment or prevention, inconsistent diet, dangerous “occupations”–all these contributed to the generally-accepted low lifespan of early humans. Of course, many of these same conditions exist today in some parts of the world. . . and some are arriving on our shores today (see today’s headlines).

    Of course, none of that constitutes data for an argument for or against a “free range organic [whatever that means] diet,” although clean air and water are legitimate things to consider. . . to a point. (What was “clean water” to early humans? A stream infested with giardia lamblia cysts and other naturally-occurring diseases and chemical pollutants? ;-))

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The actual “Why?” vs. what the meme says is the why is always interesting. And of course we don’t always know all those whys, which is why we create the meme.

    Something that isn’t thrown into the meme is the question of the other denizens of the free range organic diet and the danger they presented, vs. the safety of all the tech. There are a lot of factors, “social” ones besides physical/diet that create these differences.


    • True. Of course, it is a lot of those social factors require a society with the kind of wealth you only get with resource extraction.

      Human communication always carried with it some kind of subtext. This is where the abuse typically happens, but it can also be inadvertent.


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