Can you imagine what it was like back in the day, like way back — when there were no news reports about anything, no Google, no online social media platforms and only word of mouth? There were no statistics, no scientific explanations and scarce resources to back anything up.
What would have it been like to see the very first solar eclipse? When it was the middle of the day and the sky grew dark, very dark. And early humans would have looked directly at the sun, which of course is now known to be a big no-no, and they most likely would have wondered — is the apocalypse nigh? Should we be worried? Or, would they have even cared?
Today’s humans are more fortunate, for the most part. Knowledge and know-how are big wins for the species. We sometimes take things for granted. Science has taught us about what a solar eclipse is, to use protective tools when looking at the sun and that the world wasn’t coming to an abrupt end.
With the invention of astronomy and its many incarnations and evolution — common folk could rest easier knowing science had their backs, hopefully. Of course, many thought early scientists were kooks or crooks — preying on humans’ lack of useful information at the time. Life was a lot simpler, but a lot more frightening, confusing and intimidating — it would be assumed.
Throughout history, so-called “witches” were hung or burnt at the stake. Town folk would shout “heretic” at neighbours — who in the minds of others, were committing heresy against the religion of the day. Vagabonds would travel the land hocking tonics and elixirs or would conjure up magic, psychic readings and pseudo-science to the naive.
Charismatic leaders would hypnotize the masses with their charm and wily ways, while preaching salvation for a buck to the easily manipulated. It was literally a Wild West of sorts — anything went, lawlessness prevailed, while many suffered and paid the price. The “good old days” wasn’t.
As time somewhat progressed, humans learned things — they received education, advancements, rights, freedoms and the like. Life became more worth living, as the days went by and the world turned ‘round and ‘round — of course, throughout history, some humans thought the world was flat at one point and some still do (along with other theories of a conspiracy nature). Science, which like religion is fallible, has brought people out of some pretty dark times — except for when there’s a solar eclipse during the day.
Philosophers, science-based thinkers, revolutionaries and forward-doers were to thank for their desire to think outside of the box and be innovative, original, creative and question the powers that be and the reasoning behind things, rather than just taking things at face-value.
Without these unique perspectives, life would be a lot different today. Chaos would have continued to rule the land.