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Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” The change that he must be referring to is occurring in the environment in which the species is immersed. At a species level that means not getting killed by new emerging threats. At a personal human-level in our present society, it means avoiding becoming involved in dangerous situations. That means to cultivate the ability to foresee problems and to have the wisdom and ability to make the needed adjustments to avoid the potential dangers.

Darwin was writing about prehuman life, the millions, perhaps billions, of species that predate human speech-driven, socially enhanced precognition based on collective experience. With easy access via the internet and the resources of actual experience derived from such organizations as the Pew Research Center and government statistics, we can predict with reasonable accuracy our mortal dangers. The dangerous occupations for US men are …

  • Logging workers – 132 deaths per 100,000 per year
  • Fishers and fishing workers 55
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers 40
  • Roofers 40
  • Refuse and recyclable material collectors 39
  • Structural iron and steel workers 30
  • Truck drivers 24
  • Farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers 22

A separate list for the least dangerous occupations based on life expectancy.

  • College teachers – 84 years life expectancy
  • Teachers 84
  • Civil servants 83
  • Accountants 83
  • Shop assistants 82
  • Post Office employees  82
  • Shopkeepers 82
  • Business executives 82

I guess that my moving from a USAF pilot to a college teacher in my twenties made sense.

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