I think it is not a debate that we, as humans, have achieved a lot during our time on this planet. If you compare the advancements with even fifty years ago, things were very difficult than now. Of course, we did destroy a lot of things while we were on the road to new inventions and stuff, but let’s not consider that for now. One thing that is sad is that while the middle to high class people in our societies have benefited a lot from these breakthroughs, the lower classes remain unaffected. This list however, discusses the ten major breakthroughs that literally changed the life of every single person (so to speak) on this planet that we know of.
10. LOGICAL THOUGHT
We, as humans, are blessed with extreme intelligence. We soon realized that the power to reason and provide logics (which is why we have excelled so) existed somewhere in our minds. We started used the logical though or the scientific thought millions of years ago. Every basic principle comes because of this process. Everything that happens, or has happened was for a reason. Everything discovered or created had sound mind and principle behind it. It is because of logical thought that our brain is able to perform such complex functions without a problem.
9. STONE TOOLS
There have been many accounts of animals in the wild using certain tools made from stones to their advantage for example, chimpanzees. Many years ago, tools were made of wood, but they would wear out soon. But then, man discovered that a stone could be carved and that’s when all the tools turned to stone. They were used as weapons to hunt, kill and defend. Humans applied their intelligence and put the tools to good use (Ah, the stone-age). They were first used 2.6 million years ago.
There are accounts of chimpanzees (our apparent relatives) to have had rituals around fires and dances. Not only does this particular invention became the eyes in the dark, but it also provided warmth in the cold, and a delicious new to taste to the food. It became a weapon too and a tool to intimidate. It became the defense against the animals. It was a powerful discovery. Imagine your life without fire and you will understand. Of course in the process, I would like you to ignore electricity. Fire was discovered 1 million years ago.
The process of domestication allowed people to settle more permanently at places. Without the need of following herds and herds of animals here and there, all the time, the process of domestication actually made those animals to adapt with the human psychology. The same process was applied to plants and domestic breeding began. People had more free time and they used it to develop more refined arts. The concept comes from ancient civilizations some 10,000 years ago.
6. THE WHEEL
The wheel is perhaps the most important discovery and yet so simple. Without the wheel, humanity would come at a stand-still. No cars, no cycles, no bikes, no transport and therefore no movement. Just imagine, for one second, what this world would have been like without any wheel. It is scary and absolutely boring. With the discovery of wheel, came chariots, pulleys and a lot of other stuff that was very helpful to the ancient empires. It was discovered some 6,000 years ago.
Most of you would probably hate me for listing this particular subject here because I knew that for most people, this subject is very difficult to grasp. But what we need to understand here is that almost everything that we have right now has to do something or the other with mathematics and that is in fact, a very important breakthrough that our ancestors were able to achieve. If it weren’t for math, you would not have your cars, or phones or laptops. Think about it. Mathematics blessed us with itself some 20,000 years ago,
If you consider the first metal that was widely used, that would be gold. Well, that’s true for this era as well. If you consider other metals, unlike gold, they don’t exist in their pure form, or close to pure form. So gold became quite common. Later on however, our ancestors figured out that fire could help extract other metals as well. I am very curious about those times. It is very intriguing to me that exactly how these things came into being. Metal-work began some 10,000 years ago.
This is one of the most important discoveries when you talk of academia and knowledge. Everything that we see printed, is on the paper. True enough we have to sacrifice trees for this particular invention, but just imagine your life without it. The literacy started to improve after this discovery, more knowledge was available to people and many different forms of writing and art started developing as well. We were blessed with the paper in 100BC. That is a long, long time ago.
2. PRINTING PRESS
I am sure all of you will agree with this one. Literally everything we see has something or the other to do with the printing press; books, newspapers, magazine, billboards, covers etc. you name it. It came into being in the year 1440. The press allows books to be printed in minutes hence saving time and making knowledge available to far more people. With that came different books that covered different subjects and that’s truly when the academic horizons of humans reached new highs.
Vaccination was made possible in the year 1724. It was in use before that as well, but it was understood in the early eighteenth century and thereon it spread like wildfire. Many diseases now, do not exist, thanks to this particular discovery for example, small pox. At one time it affected half the adults and 80% percent children and the disease killed millions of people every year for the better part of millennia. Vaccination was initially developed to kill cowpox. The disease eventually died out. There were many other disease that infected our ancestors but because of this discovery, we get rid of the trigger at birth.