Sunday, November 18, 2007

Does Mankind Forget The Painful Stuff Quickly?

Research on the human brain says they do. In fact, mental illness can result most frequently when people fail to display the casual amnesia that characterizes the average human's recall of the past. People tend to rapidly repress or forget that which was horrific. It usually only takes two generations for them to become completely oblivious of it.

On the one hand, the history of the planet seems to be catastrophism. Yet the historical record preserves only the thinnest gist of what actually happened. How much has been forgotten because somebody simply avoided writing it down?

A new theory says our generation is a direct result of a catastrophic event about 5000 years ago. There was some terrible apocalyptic war in India about 13,000 years ago. Before that, six Ice Ages spaced at 11,000 years apart. The original supervolcano bellybuster at 80,000 years reduced human numbers to a mere fractional bottleneck. The whole history of the planet is a series of these events, one after the other, without end.

... and yet, one of the signature defects of the average human brain is how quickly it forgets the horrors and reverts to idle nostalgia about the past.

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