Mankind’s Greatest Achievement

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warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,965
5,118
The moon landing. It was a great team of brilliant engineers and scientists, led by that modern genius, Kubrick
So taxes then. Endless amounts of tax moneys were thrown at that project. We did reap all sorts of benefits, Tang? Teflon and such so, I'll concede it was probably a worthwhile project. It certainly forced the Soviets to redirect moneys so as to be competitive, keeping their economy at third world levels. If there is one thing we Americans have proved over our short life time, through enough money at something and we can accomplish most anything. That is the American way, we can fire up our manufacturing and science professions with money when it's needed. The Covid virus vaccine is the latest example.
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,603
35,185
The realization that human life is a continuum through many generations, and that human life embodies fundamental changes over time.
 

Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
4,664
23,666
Louisiana
Fire.

It enabled greater encephalization because it made huge chewing muscles seen in other ancestral hominin obsolete, by means of softer cooked food. Head size of an infant is limited by the opening of the pelvis that the head has to pass through during childbirth, so we now have more brain and less jaw muscle and bone. It set up the path for the evolution of a bigger brain.

Also, fire gave light in the darkness, and protection from predators. It enabled humans to stay warm when they migrated out of the African savanna and into colder climates. It later provided a means to manipulate metal. The Bronze Age and Iron Age wouldn’t have been possible without a means to smelt, cast, and forge.

In my mind, our current state of being, for better or worse, can all be traced back to the harnessing of fire.
 

Toast

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2021
385
702
UK
I think language & fire are excellent calls. I'm going to throw glass into the ring - a transparent solid liquid which inspired one of my favourite quotes ever:

"...it might contribute to dispose us to a kinder regard for the labours of one another, if we were to consider from what unpromising beginnings the most useful productions of art have probably arisen. Who, when he saw the first sand or ashes, by a casual intenseness of heat, melted into a metalline form, rugged with excrescences, and clouded with impurities, would have imagined, that in this shapeless lump lay concealed so many conveniences of life, as would in time constitute a great part of the happiness of the world? Yet by some such fortuitous liquefaction was mankind taught to procure a body at once in a high degree solid and transparent, which might admit the light of the sun, and exclude the violence of the wind; which might extend the sight of the philosopher to new ranges of existence, and charm him at one time with the unbounded extent of the material creation, and at another with the endless subordination of animal life; and, what is yet of more importance, might supply the decays of nature, and succour old age with subsidiary sight. Thus was the first artificer in glass employed, though without his own knowledge or expectation. He was facilitating and prolonging the enjoyment of light, enlarging the avenues of science, and conferring the highest and most lasting pleasures; he was enabling the student to contemplate nature, and the beauty to behold herself."
Samuel Johnson: Rambler #9 (April 17, 1750)
 

renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
2,198
11,686
The scientific method.

Logic, measurable facts and testable hypotheses result in progress in all fields. The realization that we live in a universe governed by physical rules and that eventually everything can be understood moves things forward. (if we have the maturity as a species to properly take advantage of it)
 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
6,445
7,186
East Indiana
Seasonal crop agriculture
Animal husbandry/domestication
Ore smelting ~ metal working
Aquaducts/Potable water
Spinning Wheel & Looms
Moveable type printing press (Guttenberg).
Steam Power
Sanitation/Sewers
Electricity ~ Electric Grid
Telegraph
Trains/Railroads
Penicillin/Modern Medicine
Radio and Television
Transistors
- The transistor enabled modern computing, which let us get to the Moon, cell phones, internet etc.,etc.,etc.