Over at Slate, journalist Laura Helmuth takes on an intriguing question: Why are we living so long? Sure, we know that life expectancies are longer than ever today — twice as long as 150 years ago, to be exact — but how often do you actually stop and think about why that is?
As it turns out, there are multiple reasons for our current good fortune — from advancements as complicated as modern medicine to others as basic as clean drinking water. Nutritional science, public health services, understanding that germs cause disease — all of these things have combined to help humans become the death-defying species we now are.
But the important takeaway is that “we used to live 35 or 40 years on average in the United States, but now we live almost 80. We used to get one life. Now we get two.” How’s that for a reason to be grateful? Click on through for the detailed breakdown. (Slate)
Image: Via Slate.