In 1986 a criminal was shot, rupturing his the largest vein in his body. Typically you would expect him to drop from a catastrophic loss of blood-pressure in 25-40 seconds. Instead he didn’t stop until he was shot in the head two minutes later- after he had shot six FBI agents.

1993 a police officer was shot in the heart with a .357 magnum. She responded by shooting her attacker five times.  A year later she was back on unrestricted duty.

A young soldier fractured a large bone in his leg during basic training then completed the remaining three weeks of the course and graduated after doing a two-mile run in under ten minutes. Another lost his leg in combat, had a prosthesis fitted and continued to serve as a combat infantryman.

People have consumed objects ranging from broken glass to an entire airplane and survived. We poison ourselves recreationally.  We engage in sports where the objective is to beat another person into unconsciousness. Any number of extremely perilous endeavors are done in the name of ‘fun.’ Of all the creatures we could choose to share our lives, our homes, even our beds with we almost invariably choose predatory carnivores.  We can literally chase most other creatures until they drop dead from exhaustion. There is virtually no terrestrial environment we cannot survive in- without the aid of high technology. People engage in foot races over distances of 26-100 miles- for fun.

Check the news on any given day and you’ll find stories of people surviving and even prospering against ridiculous odds.

Then there’s our history- constant warfare. Jerry Pournelle once said, “Peace is a theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce from the fact that there have been intervals between wars.” That’s not an overstatement. We kill each other in droves over not just resources but belief systems, spiritual beliefs and even skin-color.

We occasionally wonder why, if there is intelligent life in the depths of space, they haven’t contacted us. I ask you, in all seriousness- would you? Humans are fucking terrifying. This could be the answer to the Fermi Paradox. Maybe we’re not picking up their transmissions because they are hoping we won’t notice them…