Hace un par de posts, Frank reflexionaba sobre el calentamiento global: "el otro día me decían que las inundaciones eran consecuencia de dicho fenómeno. Luego leí en el diario que que hacía 140 años que no llovía tanto en febrero, la buena noticia es que 140 años es poco." Y concluía: "tenemos que cambiar las magnitudes de tiempo que usamos para pensar". Y la verdad, cuando consideramos que las pocas decenas de años que usamos como referencia no son nada al medirlas en escala geológica, resulta difícil no estar de acuerdo. Pensando un poco sobre este tema me acordé del siguiente fragmento:
"[...] our brains are built to cope with narrow bands of size and time. Presumably there was no need for our ancestors to cope with sizes and times outside the narrow range of everyday practicality, so our brains never evolved the capacity to imagine them. It is probably significant that our body size of a few feet is roughly in the middle of the range of sizes we can imagine. And our lifetime of a few decades is roughly in the middle of the range of times we can imagine.
We can say the same kind of thing about improbabilities and miracles.
[...] Our brains have been built by natural selection to assess probability and risk, just as our eyes have been built to assess electromagnetic wavelength. We are equipped to make mental calculations of risk and odds, within the range of improbabilities that would be useful in human life. This means risks of the order of, say, being gored by a buffalo if we shoot an arrow at it, being struck by a lighting if we shelter under a lone tree in a thunderstorm, or drowning if we try to swim across a river. These acceptable risks are commensurate with our lifetime of a few decades. If we were biologically capable of living for a million years, and wanted to do so, we should assess risks quite differently. We should make a habit of not crossing roads, for instance, for if you crossed a road every day for half a million years you would undoubtedly be run over."
Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker.
Nota: una traducción improvisada del fragmento en los comments.