For the "dominant species" human beings sure do a lot of dumb stuff.
Reddit user HastyTallGuy asked:
We're not talking about your small-scale-stupid here, folks. The responses people came up with were typically some seriously massive faux pas on our part. It's almost like we have absolutely no self awareness as a species.
We joke about lemmings following each other off cliffs (which isn't actually a natural behavior for lemmings, but we will let you Google the horrific backstory behind that belief. Spoiler alert: Humans caused it because we're terrible.) but if you really study it, we've got a track record for some serious self-destruction.
Don't believe me? Take a look. The whole cliff lemming thing is honestly one of the least awful things we have come up with.
Burning the Library of Alexandria was pretty dumb.
The burning of the Library of Alexandria is nothing compared to the Siege of Baghdad by the Mongol empire, when the vast contents of the House of Wisdom were dumped into the river. One scholar managed to save approximately 400,000 books from destruction and that was apparently a drop in the bucket of what was kept there. The Mongols also killed the majority of scholars, academics, and philosophers that had congregated in Baghdad as it was a major center of learning.
It abruptly ended an age of scientific advancement and destabilized the region in ways that are still being felt 600 years later.
We're anti-nuclear during a climate crisis. We're anti-GMO while producing 8 billion hungry mouths. We make things we use for ten minutes out of stuff that lasts for thousands of years. We even screwed up something as straightforwardly life-bettering as vaccination. There's fierce competition for dumbest.
That One Relative...
Naming one of the members of our evolutionary tree "Homo Erectus"
Deliberate Self Extinction
Well, at a certain point about 40-50 years ago we studied what the impacts of our industry were on the planet, and the results were horrifying. We realized that at the rate we were moving, we would drive ourselves to extinction along with the majority of other species. Luckily, we knew what would need to be done to stop it. We still had time.
We buried those reports and doubled down on the behaviors that are going to kill us all. To this day, even after all the reports are public, the scientific consensus is that we're f*cked, and we're already seeing early impacts of climate change, there are people who make a living simultaneously arguing that it isn't real, and if it is it's not a big deal. And they're preventing us from taking action against it.
So yeah, I pick that one. Deliberate self extinction seems pretty dumb.
Putting so many consumer goods in one-time use plastic containers. There's plastic everywhere, and no great way to get rid of it.
I'm always amazed that as a planet we have the knowledge/resources/funding to invent literally anything yet we cant figure out a way to dispose of a plastic bag.
We can literally make biodegradable plastic, but we don't because of lobbying. I think lobbying can be great if done properly, but corporations with too much power keep sustainable economies illegal.
Producing electric, hybrid and/or solar cars should have been a priority a very long time ago.
How to limit, process and/or eliminate garbage from the planet/ocean should have been a priority a very long time ago.
Allowing and voting in a bunch of Boomer politicians to decide what our world should look like when most of them are at the end of their lifespans. They really don't care what the environment, national debts, AIDS or cancer looks like, because they won't be alive long enough for it to affect them. If you can ask someone "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" and they can honestly answer "The Grave", why do we vote them into office?
The constant effort to prolong lives of people that are dying or should be dead. For the most part we do this for the well being of friends and family not the individual that is dying.
I also don't think we should use paramedicals to prolong the life of people who can simply change their lifestyle and/or diet to be healthier. If they cant make the effort to take care of themselves, why should they continue to be here other than to support pharmaceutical companies?
Harsh, I know, but logical to me.
Falling for snake oil salesmen in the 1800s, apparently forgetting about it, then once again believing oils have magical powers in 2000 with the advent of the essential oil fad.
It's like every 100 years or so we are doomed to forget that various oils are not magical.
Listen you all are going way to high for dumb how about when WE WERE EATING TIDE PODS?
Honestly, this is a good answer. A lot of the other answers on this topic are explainable, or even justifiable.
For example - why do we pollute? Because we created a lot of ridiculously convenient inventions that produce waste, and it wasn't clear until later just how bad that waste was for the planet. By the time it became clear, most of the population was dead-set in using those conveniences so now it's really hard to go back.
But eating Tide Pods? People should've known better.
The USA insisting that all other countries ban hemp because of the racist fear of jazz musicians.
Almost 100 years of scientific research delayed by a few old white men trying to make a dollar. The medical, industrial and chemical uses could have greatly advanced humanity. Not to mention a biodegradable alternative to all the plastics currently choking our oceans.