About 2.3 million years ago our very earliest ancestors invented their first primitive tool, the split stone, which they used for cutting and scraping.
Modern humans first appeared about 200,000 years ago. About 50,000 years ago they (or should that be we?) began to use language, symbols and more complex tools.
As inventions and discoveries added to one another, human civilization, technology, and science advanced and evolved.
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Most Famous Scientists and Inventors in History
The beginnings of science and the scientific method largely came from the ancient Greek world, which encompassed the eastern part of the Mediterranean.
The names of the great scientists and philosophers of that time, such as Pythagoras, Archimedes, Aristotle, Eratosthenes and Thales, are still known today, over 2,000 years later.
The Era of Modern Science Begins
Science entered a new era with the Renaissance, which began in 14th century Italy. By the 17th century it had extended and blossomed throughout most of Europe.
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 resulted in a large number of refugees fleeing to Europe, bringing with them Greek and Roman books that had been archived in Constantinople, unused for centuries. This, and the invention of the printing press in about 1450 accelerated the pace of learning in Renaissance Europe.
Unfortunately for science, only a few people thirsted for scientific knowledge and progress, while most intellectuals focused on artistic or liberal arts disciplines.
It was only in the 17th century that a rapid scientific revolution finally took place.
Timeline of a Scientific Revolution
• c1600 – Galileo Galilei discovers the principle of inertia, building the stage for a rational view of motion.
• 1600 – William Gilbert finds that Earth has magnetic poles and acts like a huge magnet.
• 1600 – Galileo Galilei discovers that projectiles move with a parabolic trajectory.
• 1608 – Hans Lippershey invents the refracting telescope, which Galileo Galilei soon puts to use.
• 1609 – Galileo Galilei observes Jupiter’s four largest moons, disproving church dogma that all movement in the universe is centered on Earth.
• 1609 – Johannes Kepler publishes his first two laws of planetary motion showing that planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun.
• 1610 – John Napier publishes tables of logarithms, showing how they can be used to accelerate calculations.