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Old 10-06-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: vagabond
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i throw my vote in for complex language capability.

language alone allowed for the advances in math and complex ideas. before language, there was no way to even imagine those things in a prototypical kind of way, and no means of writing the/drawing them comprehensively into a format that could be understood and expounded upon.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica
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All the human beings in the world have language. Even the primitive societies in Borneo, Australia, Africa, etc. But those folks don't have mathematics. The development of mathematics is a prerequisite to more advanced use of materials, whatever kind of materials you have at your disposal (Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, etc.). So I voted for a mathematical invention that has allowed higher mathematical concepts to be developed.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southdown View Post
I agree with the printing press - that changed the world.

Not sure how the Declaration did tho....? It changed America, not the whole world!!!
Pardon my history for a moment. The French believed that Kings were ordained by God and invincible. When the Americans defeated King George III, copies of the Declaration of Independence found their way to Europe. Then, the French realized that they, too, could do it. Hence, the French Revolution. Even Ho Chi Minh plagerized it in his Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Now, back to the thread. Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:44 AM
 
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In 1975, it was the CB radio available for the general public ; today its the Cell Phone which even kids 9 years old own. I think one of the greatest inventions is transferring information over the airwaves.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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"Transferring information over the airwaves" Excellent point that "instant communication" has transformed the world almsot as much as the printing press did.

Which leads to my important discovery-the transistor and by inference the microchip.

Do you remember in the older science fiction stories about "space stations" the crew working up in orbit. Well the ONLY function of the crew was to CHANGE THE VACUUM TUBES. I don't recall how those tubes were powered, maybe by some yet to be discovered "solar" power system.

Once the transistor came about, and then the microchip there was no need to have a crew, a transistor could do the work of multiple tubes and a microchip could do the work of thousands of transistors.

TVs today have reached, and exceeded the size they were in the '50s, not because they need to house the power supply, but because we want a bigger, and much better picture. Radios used to be pieces of furniture, not because the Martha Stewart of the '30s and '40s was telling us to decorate our den with one, but because that big box was needed to house the electrical/amplification products.

Without any of these we would NOT have, the luxuries we enjoy of;
Sony Walkmans
Cell phones,
Garage door openers,
Gameboys and X-boxes,

But we would also not have;
24 hour a day weather warnings, almost down to the city block
The ability to talk instantly with loved ones around the block or around the world,
The computers we're sitting at, we might have them but they'd be the size of your CAR
Cars that get as good a mileage and last as long as they do today,
Advanced medical imaging devices, MRIs etc,
The ability, and soon the economically feasible method of converting sunlight to electricity, without having to wait millions of years for it go through the decomposition process from plants/animals to coal or oil,

Still, the printed word was great for disseminating useful information on a mass level.

golfgod
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:38 AM
 
Location: vagabond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkTwain View Post
All the human beings in the world have language. Even the primitive societies in Borneo, Australia, Africa, etc. But those folks don't have mathematics. The development of mathematics is a prerequisite to more advanced use of materials, whatever kind of materials you have at your disposal (Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, etc.). So I voted for a mathematical invention that has allowed higher mathematical concepts to be developed.
are we trying to turn this into an argument about which pet invention is the coolest?

math is certainly cool, and without it, we'd be in the stone age. my point was merely that without language, we wouldn't have math.

question was: what is the most important discovery. obviously that is going to differ dependent upon who we are talking to. i was not trying to trump your precious math. i was just getting as far back as i think was the beginning of our radical discoveries. simple tools: debatable. language: without a doubt.

again, that is my opinion, though i feel it is pretty much justified by anthropology and history.

aaron out.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Lynbrook
517 posts, read 2,240,715 times
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I agree with most of what has already been said and I'll add refrigeration. That has had a huge impact on society in terms of health and industry.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:18 AM
 
148 posts, read 559,425 times
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Electricity? Light Bulb?
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:18 AM
 
372 posts, read 760,665 times
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I vote for sex. Without it, none of us would be here.

Eve, "You want to put what, where?"
Adam, "It's in the name of science!..."
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:23 PM
 
3,367 posts, read 9,863,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESFP View Post
The French believed that Kings were ordained by God and invincible. When the Americans defeated King George III, copies of the Declaration of Independence found their way to Europe. Then, the French realized that they, too, could do it. Hence, the French Revolution.
No....possibly one could say "hence the writing of parts of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man with some influences" from the American D of I.

Among Jefferson's influences in writing the D of I were British revolutionary thinkers such as Locke, Newton and Bacon, who also influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, all of whom who influenced the French Revolutionaries.

So, no, not "hence the French Revolution". Different things entirely.

"Changing the world" would imply the French would not have had a Revolution without a printed copy of the American Declaration. Not the case.

However, thinkers and philosophers have changed the world with their ideas - however the OP's question asks for discoveries - not ideas....





Last edited by southdown; 10-09-2008 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: sp
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