Good news, everyone! It appears that the looming antibiotic crisis may not destroy humanity after all. An accidental breakthrough in antibiotics has paved the way for completely new antibiotics to augment our existing treatments. This is unequivocally good news for everyone except for the misanthropes. There’s just no pleasing those people.
I hesitate to overstate the value of this scientific breakthrough, but this development forestalls the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from infecting people who check into hospitals for routine issues. This isn’t the first time humanity has averted a looming crisis. Global food supplies exist in enough quantities to feed the world thanks to engineers (never mind the politics precluding the food from actually reaching the people). The AIDS epidemic has been beaten back to a manageable level. It appears that the doom and gloom surrounding oil may have been overstated.
What can we learn from these victories? Do humans have a knack for handling slow moving crises, as suggested by Dilbert’s Scott Adams? Perhaps, but maybe there’s another explanation. Probability is a strong force in the universe. On a long enough timeline, enough minds devoted to a narrow field of study is more likely than not to discover a solution to a problem. It seems likely to me that throwing human capital at problems en masse is the surest solution to engineering any solution facing our species.