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Old September 1st, 2016, 08:02 PM   #1

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What led to technological revolutions of the Homo sapiens sapiens?

In comparison with many species, especially the sponge (the 700 million old group of animals or perhaps the first of animalia), we are an incredibly young species.
Even so, we are the most powerful species on Planet Earth due to our technologies.
Martial arts as powerful as those in Dragonball Z, Dragonabll GT or Dragonball Super don't exist on Planet Earth, and perhaps we should be thankful for that?
Until recently, the technological development is uneven; some isolated groups apparently still stay in the paleolithic time.
Arguably, the first Homo sapiens sapiens perhaps emeraged 200,000 years ago, but why it took so long for us to reach the early Holocene level of technology?
It has taken much less time for us to reach the Internet Age from the First Industrial Revolution.
The fear is that we might have reached the bottleneck, but we still have many areas for breakthroughs!
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Old September 1st, 2016, 09:23 PM   #2
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The first big step that made homo sapiens what we became was the genetic evolution of our ability to knowingly symbolize reality thru metaphor.

We were the only species wont only USED language, but that understood that language was just arbitrary symbols that represented something else.

This unlocked our capacity for metaphor, which enabled communications that were several orders of magnitude more sophisticated and nuanced. The ability to consciously symbolize thru metaphor is what gave us the ability to RECOGNIZE a stick figure as being representation of a human being.

So all art is an manifestation of metaphorical thought. Likewise other forms of creative expression followed.

More sophisticated communication created a collective mind we call 'CULTURE"- which is passed on from generation to generation.
This enabled an explosion of much more refined technology... but that technology was till constrained by the fact that the people who gained knowledge often died without passing all of it along. Which put man in a condition of having to keep re-inventing the same things, over and over, everytime some cool trick was lost because it was not passed on or the person it was passed on to died too early.

But the really big leap came when we invented writing.
Once we had writing, it was possible to STORE human experiences and knowledge in a form that could not readily 'die' or be lost. This created a kind of 'Meta-Mind' in that Culture was no linger limited to how much a given person could learn or discover... but that the individual discoveries of thousands of people could be archived, and new generations access the collective knowledge of generations long dead, and then carry on the work from there.

This resulted in all the amazing accomplishments of the ancient civilizations, from UR to Rome. All of which collapsed because they were limited mathematically.

The next big step forward was the development of modern mathematics using the concept of zero and arabic/indus numeric notation.

This, coupled with written language, resulted the explosion of scientific inquiry and discovery that brought us into the industrial age, and then into the atomic and electronic age.

And the most recent huge leap has been in the internet. This has taken the meta-mind and extended it literally into every person's pocket. We are rapidly developing the tools to leverage ALL human generated information in a massive, artificial intelligence that will collate information and conclusions that we can not even begin to imagine.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 10:40 PM   #3
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I think a key step was homo sapiens ancestors becoming bipeds, which freed up theor arms and handxs for mzking tools. Other animals, including our cousins the apes and chimpanzes, have to compromise their hands or paws for transportation, hanging off branches or walking on the ground. With their hands free to make and use tools, their was evolutionary pressue to increase intelligence to make better use of their hands to make tools. It is our ability to make tools that our intelligence thinks up which really makes humans masters of the world, not just just intelligence by itself. A bunch of super intelligent trees would still be helpless against a beaver with sharp teeth.

Another is language - language allowed humans to organize in very large groups, and to share complicated ideas, By sharing complicated ideas, humans could join together those ideas and work toegether to accomplish complex common projects in a way difficult to accomplish without language.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 04:57 AM   #4
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Using hands also stimulated creativitly which led to art which led to metaphor which led to language.

Freeing up the hands may have developed out of the transfer from living in trees to living on the ground. In the trees, hands were necessary for holding onto tree branches so that we didn't fall out of the tree. On the ground, our hands became available for other things. The movement to come down out of the trees was probably driven by climate change - trees were dying off and competition for the few remaining trees drove the proto-humans out of the trees and onto the ground.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 05:32 AM   #5

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The more intelligent genetic variations gradually began to survive in the ecological context (scarce resources) and so on. Groups were more successful in hunting (and gathering) thereby, which allowed the brain to increase in size/capacity, and so on.

The latest research from Oxford has mankind being thrown out of the middle east by the Neanderthal around 110,000 years. The last genetic mutation in our evolutionary journey occurred approx 70,000 years ago.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 05:43 AM   #6

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which yes i agree does beg the question, why it took 65,000 or so, to get to major collective civilisation.

How about two ice ages?? One between 24,000 through 12,000 years.....
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 07:02 AM   #7

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They probably got started by observing the chimps -

Tool Use | Chimp Behaviour | About Chimpanzees | Chimpanzees | the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada

A chimp's ant stick is a proto-lever.

Maybe an early, early human saw a spiderweb and construed a fishnet made of vines.

Then they used their big frontal lobes to improve on those techniques.

And now we have the interwebs.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 09:33 AM   #8
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^ Or we inherited much of that from a common ancestor.

I think each development built on previous ones, so it was kind of exponential.

Last edited by Haakbus; September 2nd, 2016 at 09:37 AM.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 09:43 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
They probably got started by observing the chimps -

Tool Use | Chimp Behaviour | About Chimpanzees | Chimpanzees | the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada

A chimp's ant stick is a proto-lever.

Maybe an early, early human saw a spiderweb and construed a fishnet made of vines.

Then they used their big frontal lobes to improve on those techniques.

And now we have the interwebs.
Our opposite thumbs i.e thumbs opposed to the other fingers of our hand is what gave us the grip which other animals lack. This hand grip enabled us to hold weapons , hold our tools and immensely developed our technology. Do the Chimps have opposite thumbs ?
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 10:46 AM   #10

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The sheer number of people. Humans were not numerous at all before the invention of agriculture. The biggest settlements in pre-historic times were small villages by modern standards. When they reached a critical mass, civilizations started to emerge. In sparsely populated areas there are still only primitive tribes.
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