If we take a survey of the attitudes, behavior, and beliefs of a representative sample of people on a particular subject or issue, do a statistical distribution with our data and plot the results on a graph, we come up with something that we refer to as a bell curve. The area in the center of the curve is known as the normal range of behavior. Off to the right and left are standard deviations from the normal range. Beyond these standard deviations are more extreme deviations from the normal range. What does all this mean?It means that whatever the issue, the people on one side of the curve will have very different views than those on the opposite side. This is a common phenomenon. Nature (evolution) has split humanity into opposing camps. It’s global. Everywhere, there are those on the ‘left’ and those on the ‘right’ and every variation in between. Everywhere there are ‘progressives’ and ‘conservatives’ and they war with each other literally and figuratively.
This results in opposition, conflict, and strife, up to and including wars. This bell curve, a snapshot of humanity, is a remarkable phenomenon. It represents one of the greatest challenges in life: how to bridge our differences. This very predictable pattern contributes to, and, in fact, practically guarantees, life’s multiple interpersonal problems, instability, and uncertainty. Humanity has got to understand and liberate itself from this trap.
Further contributing to life’s instability and uncertainty is the fickleness of nature (natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, and droughts). Also contributing are a vast number of illnesses that we contract and from which we suffer, and an extraordinary array of accidents that occur regularly. In addition, because we have so many people and are a young species that has been largely ignorant of the physical reality and the behavioral demands of the reality in which we exist (and which enables us to exist) we have created an interrelated web of life-threatening environmental problems.
All species expand as much as resources allow and predators, parasites, and physical conditions permit. When a species is introduced into a new habitat with abundant resources that accumulated before its arrival, the population expands rapidly until all the resources are used up. – David Price, Energy and Human Evolution