Did you know that back in the day the average person only lived to be 40?
Did you also know that this statistic is extremely misleading?
Although the average age of a human was 40 years, most people lived far longer than 40 once you remove infant mortality from the picture.
Modern medicine and nutrition has surprisingly not done much to increase the human lifespan, although it has done wonders in preventing early deaths.
For example, in 1850, the average* 80 year old lived to be about 86 years old. Today, with modern medicine, the average* 80 year old lives to be about 89 years old. A definite improvement, to be sure, but not a drastic one.
This is sometimes called the rectangularization of the mortality curve, a phrase which I didn’t like at first but one for which I cannot think of a better replacement. The “we haven’t cured heart disease or cancer” phenomenon?