By Joe White
A Year Without War Highly Probable Given Stunningly Improbable Human Successes.
And the question came up yet again, “Why do I think a year without war is even possible?” I get asked that a lot. I have also shared on our website/social media some blogs and videos of the evidence from the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics and philosophy supporting the possibility, even the probability, of a year without war. However, this most recent discussion regarding evidence fascinatingly came from the discipline of physics. I, and my acquaintance were both surprised by the power of this case to seemingly increase not only the possibility but the probability of having an entire year without war. Once you consider this case, let us know, if your sense of possibility and probability have increased as well.
First, pull up your understanding of the history of Homo sapiens. Most of us know, given present research, that in rough outline human beings have been around for perhaps as long as 200,000 years. We also know that about 30,000 years ago, some of our ancestors were significantly conceptualizing the world by painting images on walls in caves. However, for most of the first 190,000 years, we were nomadic hunters and gathers. About 10,000 years ago we started to live a more settled life. As some anthropologists and historians have argued (see blogs at our website) war came to be a part of human existence once we began developing civilization. War may not be a part of human nature but a by-product of civilized living. Rather ironic but let us not digress.
About 500 years ago, not a very long time in this historical context, human beings came upon what we now refer to as the methods of science. We began to discover new things about the location of our planet and its sun, the circulation of blood, chemistry, biology etc. until finally in the 20th century we discovered that the Milky Way wasn’t the entire universe and then we discovered stuff like black holes, pulsars, Higgs Boson etc. So here’s your first question concerning things that are possible or probable. At what point in human history would you think it was possible, let alone probable, for such human beings to successfully send an extremely complex 220-pound (100-Kilogram) probe, the size of your average washing machine, on a 4 billion mile, ten year trip at 41,000 mph to land on a piece of ice 2 ½ miles wide that was also traveling at 41,000 mph around the sun? Oh yes, this complex probe sends pictures of the comet it landed on back to earth taking 28 minutes for the photos to traverse the 311 million miles of space. No joke.
Or, here’s your second question, at what point in human history would you think it was possible, or probable, for a human being to look at another human being and not pull the trigger to kill that other human being? At that, there was a moment’s silence as the two of us looked at each other like befuddled chimpanzees. What is so utterly amiss with Homo sapiens? Another improbable detail regarding the Rosetta Space Mission, there were two spacecraft that actually made it successfully to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with Philae on the comet surface and Rosetta orbiting the comet to send data from Philae back to earth. To see the team at the European Space Agency watching this improbable accomplishment unfold was to see some very relieved, surprised human beings. So if you, like me, simply marvel at this improbable spacecraft fete, then the possibility of a human not pulling a trigger to kill another human should be so easy, so highly probable, especially since WE KNOW that war so horribly contradicts our deep, pervasively shared biological desire to live as well as war’s utter waste of precious capital at a time in our history when there is so much urgent, dire human need for the basics of survival on our planet now globally, ecologically challenged.
As John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for science at NASA, called the landing, “a breakthrough moment in the exploration of our solar system and a milestone for international cooperation.” Yes, OUR solar system. Yes, international cooperation. Please JOIN, RECRUIT, LIKE and SHARE 2020 A Year Without War with your entire social network. Help build 2020 AYWW satellite communities. It is not impossible to stop pulling the trigger. It is just up to US!