Science, Mathematics, & Technology


| Education timeline | Historical & political timeline |

Modern Present - 1950

Summary of change


The B-52 bomber is still flying. By Gordon F. Sander January 20, 2018


First artificial species created

Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0 has 473 genes and was created by J. C. Venter. He started with the living organism Mycoplasma genitalium, the smallest organism (has 525 genes) and the first organism to be sequenced, by removing and adding genes until it sustained life and reproduced.


The Cold War-era B-52 is a still a key part of the U.S. bomber fleet. But is that a good thing? By GORDON F. SANDER January 20, 2018

First time police used a robot to kill a suspect

After a sniper killed 12 police officers in Dallas, police armed a small robot with a bomb and detonated it next to the shooter.

2016 March

The Great Math Mystery

According to Mario Livio, all numbers (one, two, ...) are invented concepts, and humans have discovered that numbers have all kinds of intricate relationships. Humans invented the concept and then discovered the relations among the different concepts. Therefore, math is both invented and discovered. It may feel like it's already there, but it comes from the creativity of human beings. Source

Cruise ship Crystal Serenity along with 1 00 tourists steamed from Alaska to New York through the Northwest Passage for the first time in recorded history.

2012, 2013

Higgs boson experiments

Peter Ware Higgs, is a theoretical physicist who proposed the electro weak theory and broken symmetry could explain the origin of elementary particle mass in general and W and Z bosons in particular through a Higgs mechanism. This same mechanism was proposed by other physicists about the same time and it predicted the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson.

The Higgs was experimentally discovered at CERN on July 4, 2012.

On March 14, 2013, the Higgs boson was tentatively confirmed to be + parity and zero spin. Making it the first known fundamental scalar particle to be verified in nature.

Both discoveries add support for the Standard Model of particle physics.

Voyger I entered intersteller space on August 25, 2012. In another 40,000 years it will leave the solar system and the Sun's gravitational influence. Source Ed Stone

Google brain project created an algorithm that was capable of learning to identify a cat.


The number of people living in urban areas was greater than the number of people living in rural areas.


Self flying plane (autonomous vehicle)

A Boeing 737 with a Global positioning system (GPS) landed itself 110 times in a row. Source


Congress killed the Superconducting Super Collider


Confirmed microwave background radiation of the big bang

The COBE ( NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite) team announced they detected the three-degree Kelvin electromagnetic background radiation in all directions of the sky that was emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang.


Hubble telescope launched April 24, 1990.

The Hubble telescope will collect millions of observations of space objects expanding the size and the universe and the number of objects in it. See NASA for great photos and more about Hubble.

1989, 1990, & 1991


1989 - Tim Berners-Lee designed the Distributed Information System for particle physicists to communcate more effectively and efficiently.

1990 Tim Berners-Lees and Robert Cailliau utilized ideas of a server, TCP, DNS, HTTP, HTML, URL, and a browser to make the WWW and the first web page at: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

1991 Al Gore introduced legislation to create ARAPANET, a public network that became the internet.


Organ Transplant

Organ transplants were largely unsuccessful because the body rejected the new organ. Thomas Starzl worked for many years to improve on transplant success. First with the drug cyclosporine, approved by the FDA in 1983. Later with tacrolimus, approved by the FDA in 1994. Over his career he investigated: preservation, immunosuppression, infectious diseases, oncology, growth factor physiology, and immunology. The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. University of Pittsburgh Press.


Micro Computers


Diamond v. Chakbrabarty - Can life be patented

Asked to rule if a patent for a human-made, genetically engineered bacterium capable of breaking down crude oil, a property which is possessed by no naturally occurring bacteria could be patented.

  1. At questions is: are living things patentable?
  2. Does a micro-organism constitutes a manufactured or composition of matter?

Ruled, it was a nonnaturally occurring organism that was manufactured or a composition of matter of human ingenuity with a distinctive name and character of use.

Referenced: 1930 Plant Patent Act, allowed protection of certain asexually reproduced plants and the 1970 Plant Variety Protection Act, protected certain sexually reproduced plants.



Global positioning system (GPS)

Brad Parkinson and his team had proof of the concept for a global positioning system (GPS) . Source


Gossamer Condor, became the first nonstop human-powered flight in 1977. The Condor designed and built by Paul MacCready stayed aloft for seven minutes and flew a figure eight course. The flight won a prize of $100,000, which was offered by British industrialist Henry Kremer 18 years earlier. The Condor now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. More about Paul and ...

Have Blue, the first stealth aircraft designed and built at Lockheed's Skunk Works took flight over Nevada. More

Voyger 1 is launched and continues its voyage.

  • Voyger 1 was launched Septeber 5, 1977.
  • In 1990 the blue dot photo 2,was taken.
  • On February 17, 1998 it became the most distant human made object
  • In 1998 it crosses the termination shock
  • On February 13, 2010 it passes the reach of the solar wind
  • On August 25, 2012 in reaches interstellar space

Pale Blue Dot image

Photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1 between Uranus and Neptune. Original: NASA JP


First use of precision guided bombs

On July 23rd, laser-guided bombs were used to target and destroy the Than Hoa Bridge and Longbien Bridge. The Than Hoa Bridge was destroyed by a 3,000-pound laser-guided bomb dropped by an F-4 Phantom jet, and Longbien Bridge was destroyed by a 2,000-pound TV-guided bomb. Source


Decoded how DNA is transribed into RNA to build proteins.

Har Gobind Khorana, found that DNA’s four letter codes: A, T, C and G are transcribed into RNA and then translated, three at a time, to build proteins with amino acids. He studied nucleic acids, molecules that make genes, and confirmed the 64 unique three-letter words that determine the order of amino acids needed to make specific proteins.

In 1972, Khorana made a second breakthrough, constructing the world’s first synthetic gene. In 1976 he injected the gene into a living bacterium. Source The Gene


Discover microwave background radiation of the big bang

Detected electromagnetic background radiation that seemed to be coming from all directions of the sky. Thought to be emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang. See 1992

China tests nuclear weapon and announces policy of no first use in a conflict.


Silent Spring cover Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson publish Silent Spring where she claims that everything is connected, that we all share the same molecules, and humans have the capacity to destroy nature.
PBS Rachel Carson video 2017 (1:53:11) and Life & Legacy of Rachel Carson

  • Created the environmental movement
  • At 10 she wins a prize for her story published in St. Nicholas Magazine 1918.
  • Graduated Parnassus, Pa. High School 1925
  • Graduated Pennsylvania College for Women (Chatham University) 1929
  • Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
  • Johns Hopkins University MA in zoology in 1932.
  • Wrote 52 short radio programs on marine life called Romance Under the Waters in 1935.
  • Undersea Atlantic Monthly article published in 1937
  • Works at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a fish & aquatic marine biologist 1939-1951
  • Reader's Digest turned down her article on DDT effects on the environment because it was thought to be too controversial. Chemical companies claimed it was only harmful to bugs.
  • The Sea Around Us prize winning book, published in 1952, a study of the oceans. Followed by The Edge of the Sea in 1955.
  • Japanese seamen on board the Lucky Dragon die of radiation exposure 1954. She asked. How does it take to harm life? How much to kill? Strontium 90. leukemia, birth defects...
  • Help Your Child to Wonder. 1956
  • Our Ever-Changing Shore. 1957
  • Silent Spring published 1962 Relates pesticide effects to radioactive build up. What is a wise use of pesticides?
  • CBS Reports with Eric Sevareid airs The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson on national television 1963. Aired in spite of the fact all sponsers with drew commercial support.
  • Who does the land, air, forest, water belong to? What is the commons?
  • She set out to save a species ... Us.

Two Telstar communication satellites were launched. The first in July 1962 and the second in May 1963. They enabled the first TV signals, telephone calls, fax images and live transatlantic feed to be relayed from space.


December 1961. President Kennedy authorized the use of defoliants in Vietnam.


The Green Revolution, and Norman Borlaug developed new strains of wheat and rice to use in developing countries for higher yields. He first developed a short strain of wheat and other varieties for Mexico, which increased wheat production three times.

Later, India and Pakistan ask him to help their countries with their agricultural revolution.

He develope techniques to create mutations for finding new hybrids, which he used to develop different strains of wheat, rice, triticale,and maize. It is estimated these varieties were able to save billions of people from starvation. The down side is the large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides required to maintain the high yields. Source


America enters space age

ARPA launched America's first communication satellite (SCORE) into orbit aboard an American Atlas rocket. A previously recorded meassage was loaded onto the satellite before being launched. On December 19, 1958 with a second attempt a radio signal from Earth was able to turn it on and President Eisenhower's pre recorded speech was broadcasted on a short-wave radio frequency from outer space. Message below: Source

This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circlin g in outer space. My message is a simple one. Though this unique means, I convey to you and all mankind, America’s wish for peace on earth and good will to men everywhere.

NASA launced its first satellite, Explorer 1, into space on January 31, 1958 aboard a Jupiter C rocket developed by the team headed by Dr. Wernher von Braun. The primary scientific purpose was to measure cosmic ray radiation in Earth orbit.The experiment, conducted by Dr. James Van Allen, measured a lower cosmic ray count than expected. This lead to the discovery of the Van Allen Belts of charged particles concentrated in space by Earth's magnetic field. Source

Nuclear research

ARPA funded research to investigate the possibility of creating an electron shield, to destroy enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles (icbm), by exploding atomic bombs in the atmosphere. The funding included an actual icbm launch with an atomic bomb that was exploded in the atmosphere to test feasibility (ARGUS test). Source

Investigate the creation of a space vehicle powered by hundreds of nuclear bombs (Orion).

Anthropocene Epoch (present - .01 mya) can be labeled by the measurement of radioactive traces, in organic materials that was alive during the atomic bomb tests of the 1950s and 60s. Might be considered as a sign post, along with the introduction of plastic into the environment, for the extinction of many species. Will humans be among them?


The start of the Space Age
Sputnik launched by the Soviet Union
on October 4, 1957

Sputnik 1, the earth’s first artificial satellite, was launched. Shortly after, two more Soviet satellites were launched, one with a dog, into space. The satellites orbited Earth approximately once every 90 minutes.

Strategic Air Command (SAC) south of Omaha, NE 1957

Under General LeMay SAC employed nearly a quarter of a million men and its hangars contained over 2,000 strategic aircraft, including over 700 B-52s.


Shipping container

was invented and patented in 1956 by Malcolm Mc Lean. He was a trucker who owned and operated a large fleet of trucks.


Solar cell

On April 25, 1954, Bell Labs announces the invention of the first practical silicon solar cell. Originated from Aleksandr Stoletov the first solar cell based on the photoelectric effect in 1894. Source Timeline solar cells

See article on how variation of Sun angle, duration effects the amount of Solar radiation energy (insolation).


Maria Tharp discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from mapping data.

When Maria transferred data from a 5000 foot scroll onto onto sheets of white linen mapping the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean a length rift valley appeared. Such a ridge was suggested by Wegner's theory of continental drift. However, most people believed continents were to massive to drift so she was told by her superior to redo her work. Later when she did and the results were compared to another map by Bruce Heezen both described rift valleys in the mid-ocean ridge. The results were published and read in 1957, by the ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. He doubted Tharp’s conclusions and tacked her map to the dining room wall of his ship, determined to prove her wrong. However, after viewing film he took of the Atlantic Ocean floor, he saw a deep valley ridge where Tharp had mapped it. Source "Connect the Dots: Mapping the Seafloor and Discovering the Mid-ocean Ridge" by Marie Tharp, Chapter 2 in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia

Great London Fog or Big Smog

A five day air-pollution event in the United Kingdom caused by cold weather and a lack of wind to move massive amounts of smoke created by the buring of coal and other fossil fuels for home use, transportation, and industry was believed to have killed 12,000 and sickened 25,000. It led to the Clean Air Act 1956. Source


Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer on October 4, 1951, at age 31. Cells were taken from her body and used to create the HeLa cell line. These cells were found to grow quickly, were very hardy and survived longer than usual human cells. They became widely used in thousands of medical research experiments (cancer, polio vaccine, HIV, effects of toxins and radiation on cells, gene mapping, testing sensativity of cosmetics and other substance on cells, invitro fertilization, ... ). Since the cells were taken without her or her families permission their use and ownership eventually began discussion on ethical and legal use of peoples cells and genetic material. Source


July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project's Trinity test successfully detonated the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


Frozen food Clarence Birdseye learned from the Inuit that trout caught through holes in the ice could be frozen instantly in the air (which was 30 degrees below zero) tasted like it was fresh trout when it was cooked later. Unlike when food was frozen in the more usual way. Later in 1944 he developed a flash freezing method to create frozen meals and vegetables and changed the way the world would eat. Provided peole with quality food that wasn't in season. Source and more.


First digital speech encryption system, SIGSALY or The Green Hornet, was developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and built by Western Electric. The first system Washington to London and was used during WWII. Confidential talks between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt. The system used the highly-secure One-Time Pad (OTP) encryption. Source


DDT was found to kill insects and began to be used extensively as an insecticide. Sprays attached to mowers to spray yards before picnics, shelf paper with DDT embedded, paint, varnish, there were no limits on its use. Thought it would raise the standard of living, rid the world of malaria, fire ants and other pests that caused disease and harmed crops.

DDT poster

1936 Hoover dam completed


Edwin P. Hubble supported the expansion of the universe with his measurements of shifting spectral lines of light emitted from distant galaxies.

1936 - 1938

City planning for green space and community ...

Greenbelt, Maryland, was constructed from 1936 to 1938 by thousands of laborers, through the New Deal programs. Clarence S. Stein was a consultant and created design guidelines. Later Stein worked to preserve the town as an example of socially and environmentally responsible community design that could be a prototype for future desgins. Designs that combined superblocks of houses and apartments that had pedestrian walkways through communal green space which joined to a central area with commercial and recreational structures separate from roads for automobile travel. In addition, the federal government promoted cooperative enterprises and associations in Greenbelt as a way to foster affordability and an enduring sense of community. While the cooperative nature of the towns were deemed a failure, the physical layout of the town was replicated by private developers. Source information related to the political aspects of this social experiment.


Sulfa drug and antibiotics

Sulfa, also called sulfonamide, a synthetic antibiotic with a sulfanilamide molecular structure was the first chemical substances systematically used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in humans. Their effects were first observed in 1932, by Gerhard Domagk who noticed that red dye Prontosil killed Streptococcus infections in mice. Later researchers found the active agent was sulfanilamide, or para-aminobenzenesulfonamide, a metabolic product of Prontosil.


Dirac and the electron wave equation and the positron

In 1928 Dirac presented to the Royal Society of London a relativistic wave equation for the electron. His equation required four wave functions and introduced spins. It included an extra set of solutions with negative values of energy. In 1931 Dirac suggested this implied the existence of the antielectron, or positron. Laer discovered in cosmic rays by Carl Anderson.

The Dirac equation as a path to the concept of quanta, and its role in quantum electrodynamics. by Mario Bacelar Valente

Atomic 1920 - 1860


Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919

An influenza (Spanish flu H1N1) pandemic from 1918-1919. It was the deadliest in modern history. It infected around 500 million people worldwide (one-third of Earth's present population) killing between 20-50 million. First case identified in Kansas at a U.S. Army infirmary. The story of how this epidemic changed the world is in Pale Rider. More people died from this epedemic than died in World War It was the most devastating epidemic in recorded history. See vaccination fact sheet


Chemistry: fertilizer, chlorine gas, and zyklon B gas.

Fritz Haber and his team weaponized chlorine gas, which was first large scale use in, Ypres France, in 1915.

He also created the, Haber process, which makes ammonia fertilizer (NH3) from atmospheric nitrogen and hydrogen gas. The first agricultural fertilizer that was not natural (come from animal sources). This creation saved millions of people from starvation and earned Haber the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918.

Haber left Germany for Switzerland and died in exile in 1933. Nazi scientists found his notes that described a gas called Zyklon B, which Haber’s team had developed as a pesticide. The Nazis used this gas to kill millions in the Holocaust. Source

A commercial video on the social and ethical consequences of scientific work related to Haber's decisions. (35:00 minutes)


Ford assembly line

Henry Ford used standardized parts and an efficient assembly line to create an affordable car for the common man. A car every 22 seconds rolled off the line.

Critical discovery to measure the size of the universe with variable stars

Henrietta Swan Leavitt observed Cepheid variable stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud and discovered their brightness was greater the longer it took them to complete one cycle. This period-luminosity function of Cepheid variable stars provided a way to move beyond the use of parallax to measure distances to stars.


Nettie Stevens Discovers male chromosome determines sex

Stevens observed a difference between female and male mealworm sex cells. She noticed the sperm had two versions of their 20th chromosome: a smaller version and a largeer one. She then concluded the spermatozoa, which contains the smaller chromosome determines a male mealworn, while spermatozoa that contains 10 equal sized chromosomes determines a female mealworm. She did not call them X and Y chromosomes. That terminology was coined later. Source

1902 +

Chemical fertilizer (Nitrogen)

Haber developed a process that used nitrogen (N2) and methane (CH4) gas to make ammonia (NH3) economically. Ostwald used the ammonia (NH3) from Haber's process and develandoped an additional process to produce nitric acid (HNO3).

Nitric acid ammonia can be mixed to make a more neutral compound ammonium nitrate. It is a good fertilizer because it has a high concentration of nitrogen and can then be stored and blended with the other fertilizer components. Source


The era of big oil began ( January 10, 1901, ) when a well at Spindletop (Beaumont, Texas) struck oil at a depth of 1,139 ft. The Lucas Gusher went 150 feet in the air and blew 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 gallons) per day for nine days before it was capped. Beaumont became a boomtown as its population grew from 10,000 to 50,000 in three months.


One in 38 railroad employees was injured on the job - and 1:399 died. Source Doctors Derailed: How Railway Surgeons Advanced Medicine. Discover Magazine. July/ August 2016


Radio waves

Guglielmo Marconi, an electrical engineer explored long-distance radio transmission, and developed Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Often credited as the inventor of radio, An entrepreneur, businessman, and founder in Britain in 1897 of The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. Later the Marconi Company, built on the work of previous experimenters and physicists, and became a commercial success in radio.


First fiber glass. Charles V. Boys used a cross bow, a hot glass rod as an arrow that he heated to the point of melting, and then fired it. The result was a few microns diameter thread 30 m long. He found it to be very strong and used it to build devices to measure radiation and gravity. Unknown to him it was the first fiber glass. Source


First book on soap bubbles: Soap -Bubbles and the Force which mould them


First use of the term scientist. The British philosopher, William Whewell, at the British Association for the Advancement of Science. suggested that since the practitioners of art are called artists, then the practitioners of science ought to be called scientists. Suggesting they should no longer be called philosophers.


Pullman Company town

Pullman's philosophy was, happy workers make more productive workers and the quality of his company owned and maintained houses were good for worker housing. As a result the majority of Pullman employees lived in his houses, which contained two to seven rooms with each having direct access to a private yard, woodshed and paved alley. A variety of housing types were available within each block and from block to block designed to meet different income, status, and family makeup. Source

1880 + -

Light bulb and electrical systems. Joseph Swan installed light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England in the early 1880's. His house was the first in the world to be lit by a lightbulb and the first house in the world to use hydroelectric power.

The home of Lord Armstrong at Cragside was also among the first houses to be lit by electricity. He started his company and lit the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminster, London making it the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.

Around the same time Edison found how to make longer burning light bulbs using: 1. a more effective incandescent material, 2. creating a higher vacuum in the bulb, and 3. using a high resistance. Higher resistance also allowed power to be distributed from a central source, making an economical sytem. This lead to a completly integrated system of electric lighting with a centrally located massive generator and a parallel-distribution system. All built by the Edison Illuminating Company of New York that could supply electricity to 59 customers in a square-mile area of lower Manhattan. Thus Edison's genius was not only the light bulb, but the system to make it work in a community.



Andrew Carnegie returned from England in 1872 having learned about the Bessemer process for making steel. He increased the scale of the furnace and built his first steel mill, Edgar Thomson Steel Works, in 1875 in Braddock, Pennsylvania, (near Pittsburgh).

For the first time steel could be mass produced inexpensively. This first mill was so successful Carnegie was able to use the profits to buy other Pittsburgh steel mills and create the Carnegie Steel Company in 1892.


Barbed wire. Joseph Glidden was granted a patent for barbed wire on November 24, 1874. He went into partnership with a merchant, Isaac Ellwood, and they formed The Barb Fence Company. Source of invention.

DDT was synthesized in 1874. However, it was not until 1939 that it was discovered it could be used as an insecticde.


National Weather Service established


Transcontinental railroad was opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869 with a ceremonial driving of the last spike. The spike, referred to as the golden spike, was driven with a silver hammer, at Promontory Summit, Utah.

Riverside, Illinois was the first planned suburb, and the Chicago suburbs of the mid-19th century weren’t exactly suburbs yet but towns near the downtown.

Periodic Table of Elements was created by Demitri Mendeleev. Source

Mendeleev’s , Demitri Mendeleev, presented to the Russian Chemical Society in March, 1869 his Periodic Law. He stated, “... elements arranged according to the value of their atomic weights [today atomic mass or number is more accurate] present a clear periodicity of properties.”

His version had 70 elements with gaps where he believed unknown elements belonged. Using the properties of periodicity he successfully predicted properties for three or the gap elements. Source

Periodic table today


First Planned suburb

Riverside, Illinois was the first planned commuter suburb. It was a suburb of Chicago Illinois accesible by train. Although at the time it wasn't known as a suburb, but as a town near the downtown. While towns were designed in a familiar checker board fashion, Riverside was the first where roads were curvalinear and didn't meet wiht 90 degree angles. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Source

First Canned meat

Deviled ham meat spread was first canned in 1868 by the Underwood Deviled Ham company. The company was found in 1822 by William Underwood who then packed food in glass containers. In 1836 he changed to steel cans coated with tin.

Underwood® Devil logo is thought to be the oldest food trademark. Source

Underwood Deviled Ham Spread Ad


Speed of light, was measured as 298 000 km/s by Léon Foucault who used an improved method to measure the speed of light.

1861 +

Maxwell's electric and magnetic equations:
James Clark Maxwell's
published equations to describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated, interact, and are changed by each other and their charges and currents.

Explanation of Maxwell equations

Industrial 1860 - 1500


Oil well
he first successful oil wells was drilled in northwestern Pennsylvania. Known as the Drake Well, after "Colonel" Edwin Drake. It began an international search for oil and energy use for the next hundred... years... Source


Can opener invented
Ezra J. Warner invented and received a patent for the first can openerin 1858. It used by the US military in the civil war.

In 1866 William Lyman improved it with a wheel that rotated along the top rim of the can and received a patent for it in 1870. Source

1855 + -

Elevator, lifting devices with ropes and pulleys were described and used by Archimedes, in the Roman Colosseums, Louis XV, and others. However, they were slow and unreliable with the use of ropes, which could wear out and fail. In 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety break in 1852 that changed that. If there was a cable break, a spring would push pawls on the car into position racks on the sides of the shaft and hold the car in place. Such a devise was installed at a five-story department store in New York City in 1857.

Commercial passenger elevators allowed the building of the world’s first skyscrapers opening cities to an explosion of population and real estate value as building rose literally hundreds of floors. The Otis Elevator Company, is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of vertical transport systems. Source


Dr John Gorrie, found that when yellow fever patients were cooled with ice, they had a better chance of recovering. Being in the south ice was only available when it was imported from New England. To make ice available all year he explored how make ice with refrigeration and cool rooms with air conditioning. His invention was granted a patent for a machine that made ice by compressing and cooling air. Source


A Drop of London Water, from Punch, 1850

Drop of water



Guano as fertilizer
Europe and other countries with depleated soils sought ways to keep their soils fertile. One was to add manure to the soil. A recent discovery of on Peru's Chincha Islands was mountains of bird excrement several hundred feet deep in places. The guano deposits were high quality and with a high demand, the idea that a fortune could be made sent investors to the region to mine and sell guano as fertilizer. Soon countries were exploring the world for other areas rich in Guano and claiming mining rights. Wars and territorial disputes developed.


Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel used parallax to calculate the distance to the star, 61 Cygni, and concluded it was 10.3 light years.


Preservation of food was perfected by Nicolas Appert who preserved fruits, vegetables, meat, soup, and milk by boiling and storing them in airtight glass containers. It was developed so Napoleon could feed his troops in the field. Source


Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin and its effect on slavery

Whitney had a genius ability to reconize an develop innovations. In South Carolina he observed how hard it was to remove seeds from cotton so he invented the cotton gin, a machine that could clean ten times as much cotton as a slave by hand. Source


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Philosopher

Kant claimed that everything we know is a construction by our perceptions, which are shaped by our minds abilities and lack of abilities, of what we percieve as our observations of the world. It is our empirical intuition and subjective reasoning about these perceptions we synthesize and recognize as our consciousness and existence and understanding in the world with our observation and reasoning. That pure reasoning (rationalism) without observable data would lead to illusion about the world. Understanding is a function of imagination that bridges thought and perception of observable data to allow us to believe our consciousness exists and there are objects and events in our world which we can discover and understand with our reasoning.

Critique of Pure Reason (1781).



Steam engine

James Watt improved a version of the steam engine making it available for work and the industrial age.


Washington Crop rotation

George Washington experimented with crop rotation on a three year cycle and five year cycle. He drew elaborate charts that divided his fields so the amount of each crop was equalized as flax, hay, clover, buckwheat, turnips, and potatoes were rotated through the different fields. Later he expanded to a seven year cycle as shown in the pictured chart. See 1700 Townshend crop rotation.


Emile cover Jean-Jacques Rousseau - (1712 -1778)

French author who wrote:
Emile or a Treatise on Education.

The book is considered the first educational philosophy book as well as the first child psychology book.

Rousseau claims children have a natural goodness and can become critical life long learners and educated citizens if they can survive a corrupted society.

Rousseau is sometimes referred to as the father of modern child psychology.


Townshend Crop rotation

Charles Townshend, investigated a crop rotation based on what he heard the Dutch and Flemish farmers used. He found crops grew better with fewer weeds, fewer pests, and returned nutrients to the soil. He rotated through four years: wheat in the first year, clover (or ryegrass) in the second, oats or barley in the third, and turnips or rutabagas in the fourth. See 1760 Washington crop rotation.


Principia Mathemaatica coverIsaac Newton

  1. Published Principia Mathematica
  2. First claimed ... Forceg = G * ((M1 * M2) / d2)
  3. 1660's demonstrated white light is all colors.





Adapted from Isaac Newton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Boyle's Gas law and a vacuum

Robert Boyle and Charles Hooke used a vacuum pump, invented by Otto von Guericke (1649), to investigate the properties of air and properties of a vacuum: sound does not travel through a vacuum, but magnetism does, liquids vaporized quicker in a vacuum, animals died in a vacuum (see famous public bird demonstrations), and animals could be frozen. The importance of the relationship of temperature and pressure wasn't realized until much later with refrigeration and heat pumps.

Their first discovery of air properties is Boyle’s Law. They used a glass tube and filed it with different amounts of mercury to vary the pressure on a fixed weight of air. They discovered that pressure times volume equals a constant (p*v=c) if temperature was constant. In other words, when you increase the pressure on a gas, the gas’s volume shrinks proportionally. It would be a few years before Charles discovered the next gas law in 1787.

Boyle's air pressure experiment


First printing press in the American Colonies is assembled at Harvard College.


Bacon image

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) published his Novum Organum, where he describes a system of logic he believes is superior to Aristotle's syllogism (360 BCE ) or deductive reasoning. It becomes known as the Baconian method, inductive reasoning and the scientific method. Bacon may have been inspired by Ibn al-Haytham’s Optics (Kitāb al-manāẓir).

He believed it was the best way to draw conclusions about the natural world. An inductive approach of skeptical observation and experimentation with facts and explanation leading to conclusion. Because of this he has been called the father of empiricism and the father of the scientific method.

"British - Francis Bacon - Google Art Project" by British (School, Details of artist on Google Art Project) - UwEFEzZpMHs4JA at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.


Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Published Starry Messenger (1610).

  • Turned his telescope upward and observed the mountains of the moon, additional stars, planets orbiting the Sun, and four moons orbiting Jupiter; then wrote about it in Starry Messenger.
  • His stance that facts should govern life not belief and support of the Copernican theory (Earth orbits the Sun) got him put under house arrest, forbade him to write any more, and wasn't allowed visits by mathematicians. 1633. Source
  • Dropped different sized canon balls of the Tower of Pisa and demonstrated that heavy and light objects fall at the same rate.
  • Explored inertia and friction. Source


The Gregorian calendar / Western calendar / Christian calendar, is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.


Nicolas Copernicus used his calculations to support the idea the Sun was the center of the solar system with planets orbiting around it.


In the late 1400's on the Murano island, (Venice) glassmakers developed cristallo, a transparent colorless glass, that could be made into plate glass, polished, and backed with lead and antimony to make a rough surface with a dim reflection.

In 1507 Andrea & Domenico d'Angelo del Gallo brother glassmakers on Murano improved the method by applying a mercury-tin amalgamon the backside of the high quality transparent glass. This revolutionary technique was so valuable the Republic of Venice forbade any glassmaker from leaving the island. Eventually the technique made its way to France and beyond.

The production of high quality mirrors lead to study and experiement with light in new ways as wel as to artist who culd study their own images and create for the first time self-portraits.


Printing with movable type

Johannes Gutenberg, invented printing with movable type. Small metal prisms (lead) that were cast precisely and in large quantities so they could be set into a grid, used, reset, and used again. He also used a new press, similar to those used in wine making, new papermaking and bookbinding techniques, and an oil-based printing ink. All improvements to Chinese or Korean printing, or current European printing by stamping letters on a surfaces or woodblock printing. Source


Glassmaking becomes industrialized when the Venetian Republic, thought the 1 000 degree furnaces for the city’s mostly wooden buildings might be a problem. The solution was to order glassmakers to move their foundries to the small island of Murano nearby. The move brought many glassmakers together and Murano became a hot spot for glassmakers to develop and maintain their craft and art of quality glass making to today. Source


Magnetic compass

Chinese scholars discovered a needle could be heated till red, held in a north south orientation, and cooled. Then when it was floated in liquid or suspended on a silk thread it would point north and south. Therefore, it was valuable for navigation and used by the Song Dynasty, China, for military navigation around 1040 and later for maritime navigation around 1111.

Earlier, around 206 BC, magnetic devices were used to divine wisdom in the Han Dynasty around. Source Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions


Book cover Optics

Optics was written between 1028 & 1038

Ibn al-Haytham’s most important work: Optics (Kitāb al-manāẓir).

  • Described scientific discovery as observation reasoned with induction in a cautious manner to make conclusions without being swayed by opinion. Influenced Roger Bacon
  • Combined experiments with mathematical reasoning.
  • Includes an accurate model of vision, laws of reflection, refraction with the relationship between angles of incidence and refraction, and describes motion in mediums with different densities.


See: 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham and A Journey of Science from Darkness into Light.


Mouth harp discovered in the Altai Mountains in Russia measured about 4.3 inches long and 3.3 inches wide and can still make music. Source

300 - 400

Hun's range


Nomadic tribes of Northern Asia invaded China, eastern Asia, and Europe. With superior horse skills and the stirrup destroyed villages, the current political structures, and changed peoples lives.

City state and Agriculture: 1 000 - 10 000 BCE

37 BCE

Cement - Romans made cement and used it to make concret for water pipes, docks in harbors ... Source

240 BCE

Calculated size of the Earth

Eratosthenes, heard of a well in Syene that on summer solstice (June 21) the Sun light up the well right down to the water and cast no shadow on the side (meaning the sun was directly overhead [zenith]). On the same day the Sun, in Alexandria, was 7 degrees off the zenith (point directly overhead). Using geometry he calculate the Earth's diameter as 12,800 km or about 8ooo miles around the poles and equator. Source explanation of measurement

310 BCE

Sun centered solar system

Aristarchus of Samos, built on Herakleides Sun centered theory and described accurate orbits of Earth and the Sun's other planets encircling it and the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. This symbolically marks the end of Greek scientific philosophy as those who came after stuck to myths that put the Earth at the center.

350 BCE

Babylonians use a trapazoid to predict Jupiter's motion across the sky.

Numbers inscribed in a clay tablet calculate the distance Jupiter travels by charting the plantet's motion (velocity) over 60 days. The results forms a right-angled trapezoid with a downward slanting top. With the area equal to the distance Jupiter traveled. See Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math. By Megan Gannon, February 1, 2016: Scientific American.

360 BCE

Aristotle - 380 - 322 BCE

Explanation with rhetoric and logic. While Socrates and Plato used reasoning Aristotle developed a system of rules and strategies, syllogism, that was the begining of logical deductive reasoning (as opposed to inductive reasoning). Reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (validly or not) from propositions (premises) that share an idea not present in the conclusion, for example. Categorical syllogism, uses two premises and a conclusion:

  • All humans are vertebrates; no insect is a vertebrates; therefore no humans are insects.
  • All dogs are mammals, all mammals are animals, therefore, all dogs are animals.

Believed there was a natural order to the world that could be determined with logic without observation. Objects would naturally come to rest (without a force acting on them). Solid objects would fall to Earth, because that was their natural place to be. Believed forces were requird to keep things moving. He had no concept of inertia. See Galileo and Newton.

380 BCE

Petra is an acient city carved in rocks by the Nabataeans in the desert of southern Jordan. See - Nova video (53:05)
Nabataeans created an irrigation system for their city's water needs. To do so they needed to solve several problems so water could be moved a long distance. They needed to find what shape and size of pipes, how to manage sediment and clogging, how smoothness of pipes and flow rate delivered appropriata amounts of water. For example, rapid flow creates ripples and reduces water volume compared to a smooth flow; and shape, size, smoothness, and slope of pipes affect flow. Nabataeans learned how to manage these problems and found a 2.5 degree slope worked for an efficient water flow. Excavations show how the Nabataeans created a water supply system for the desert city, an artificial oasis, with flood control multiple dams, storage in cisterns, and water transported in conduits from sources miles away. Source for detailed descriptions of Petra's Water supply and distribution.

Image source Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

More information and images for Petra.

400 BCE

The idea of atoms

Democritus - 470 - 370 BCE

Democritus considered all matter was made of atoms, which were small, invisible, surrounded by space, could not be subdivided, and lasted forever. There were an infinite number of them that make up the physical world. They were different in shape, arrangement, position, and magnitude. He also believed space was a void or vacuum that was infinite. Source


A horseshoe is essential to protect the foot of horses if they are to be used productively for agriculture and transportation. They protect the foot from repeated wear and cracking in dirt, mud, and on rock.

Early protection was created with leather or other materials wrapped around the foot and fastened with thongs. Sometimes metal or other materials were inserted inside the boot shaped material. Literature includes early reports of shoes of bronze, silver, and gold being on horses of important leaders.

With the development of iron it would provide a much better material and along with the idea of fastening to the foot with nails. Sine iron was valuable and could be melted and reused, it makes discovery of it in archaeological digs more unlikely.

Sculptures of horses with shoes are rare, but a few are known.

Four bronze horseshoes with nail holes were found in an Italian tomb dated around 400 B.C.E. Source

What are the pros and cons between horses, mules, and oxens as what is best for ... Consider strength, speed, health, and food requirements ...

415 BCE

Hippocratic oath

Hippocrates is a Greek physician who is regarded as the father of medicine. Around 60 medical writings have survived with his name, many probably not written by him.

  • First written information about the flu 412 BCE
  • Best known for the Hippocratic Oath, which bears his name, but he may not have written, and the high ethical standards it sets.

407 BCE

Plato and Socrates

Explanation through Dialectic reasoning or dialectics (Socratic method, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian dialectics, Marxist, Talmudic, and Neo-orthodoxy.), and modern debate. All involve conversations between two or more people arguing different points of view for the purpose of establishing truth with reasoned argument.

Socrates valued truth as the highest value. Truth discovered through conversation with reason and logic (dialectic reasoning). Logic, not emotion, to discover truth for persuasion and make choices to guide one's life. To Socrates, truth, not art, was the greater good to guide one's life. Therefore, Socrates opposed the sophists and their teaching of rhetoric as art and as emotional oratory requiring neither logic nor proof.

480 BCE

Sophists - 480 - 390 BCE

The first teachers of rhetoric, the art (arte) and process of effective public speaking, in the Greek world were known as the Sophists, or wise men. They taught by example skills of civic life and explored a wide range of human experience within Greek culture. Not being of Athens they often clashed culturally and philosophically with the Athenians.

Rhetoric is a method or art of speaking or discourse/ conversation to persuade, inform, or motivate an audience. Concepts of rational appeal (logos), emotional appeal, (pathos), and ethical appeal (ethos) are all intentionally used to persuade and convince people of a particular idea or argument.

They taught art had the highest value in life and it should be used to make choices and to seek it out in all things. To them the artistic quality of a speech or oration was its power to motivate, influence, and please people. Therefore, oration was taught as an art form, which was used to please, motivate, and influence other people through quality speaking. Maybe the historical basis for Declamations which are students interpretations of famous speeches they regive to demonstrate their ability to understand and apply the purpose and power of the speech and skill in public speaking. Samples

500 BCE

Buttress Source

Parmenides, (515-430BCE) Greek philosopher, is known to use logic with an extended arguments for his views rather than just a view of reality. However, he never systematically studied or formed logical principals, proofs, for valid arguments.

530 BCE

Pythagoras lived in Croton, Greece. His work included.

  • Made famous a theorem for the area of right triangles.
  • Explained the similarities between parents and children were caused when semen travels throughout a male body, where it absorbs mystical vapor from all parts of the body to create a blueprint to build a baby when that semen is transported to the mother who nourishes the fetus. Which he wrongly thought was the only purpose of a female in reproduction. This became known as spermism.

1 754 BCE

Water regulations

King Hammurabi, wrote a code to regulate water usage:

  1. The distribution of water based on the acres farmed.
  2. Required each farmer to maintain the canals on his property.
  3. Required the collective administration of the canal by all users.

1 920 BCE

China's Great Flood

China's first Emperor, Yu, is said to have tamed a great flood. Researchers have found evidence of a landslide and flood on the Yellow River around 1920 BCE. Source Finding China’s Great Flood New study finds truth in an ancient myth. By Bridget Alex|Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2 000 BCE

Iron production has been dated to 1500 BC at a variety of sites in Niger where production sites and iron objects were found and dated around 2000 BCE +- 500 years. Source

2 650 BCE

First dentist Hesy-Re's tomb had panels that described him as chief of dentist and physicians. Source

1 000 - 4 000 BCE

Cities founded

  • 1045 Bejing
  • 1100 Kirkuk
  • 1500 Balkh
  • 4000 Faiyum
  • 4200 Sosa

4 000 BCE

Irrigation Nileometer image

Egypt and Mesopotamia (present day Iraq and Iran) used flood water from the Nile or Tigris/Euphrates river to water crops.

The Egyptians used a verticle column (Nilometer) and a series of stairs to measure the depth of water. Several still exist and can be seen today. Source Image source: Baldiri (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3 000 BCE The first reservoir may have been made by King Menes along with dams and canals to diverted water from the Nile into Lake Moeris. Source

Eribil became a city.

DNA records indicate feline domestication began in southwestern Asia through southeast Europe 6400 years ago.

4 000 BCE or ≈ 6 000 years ago

5 500 years ago

Horse domestication might have begun on the Kazakh steppe with the Botai. Riding horses vastly changed human civilization and as humans changed the horse genome changed. Source

6 400 years ago

DNA records indicate feline domestication began in southwestern Asia through southeast Europe 6400 years ago.

7 000 years ago

Breeding of dogs in Siberia. Skulls were measure and their ratios of snout height to skill length and cranium height to skull length distinguished them as dogs. Dogs werebred to be large enough to pull a sled, but not too large to overheat. Source

8 000 years ago

Rock art with dogsRock art the illustrates domesticated dogs use to hunt. Dogs on leash were maybe being trained. Source Science

Domesticate potato in Peru. Paradise lost? catalhoyuk

Catalhoyuk, Turkey found evidence that its early citizens lived in houses that suggested there was equality with no apparent leadership. Also domestication and use of clay appears to have effected the environment in harmful ways: as evidence of deforestation, extensive burning, erosion and of large-scale grazing were found. Source

9 000 years ago

Kennewick man skeleton found in Washington shares DNA that suggests it is an ancestory of the Native American tribes of the Coville Reservation.

Olmec Domesticate maize, corn.

Jericho became a city.

10 000 years ago

Domestication of sheep in the Mesopotamian area for: food, clothing and shelter. The use of wool developed over time as the quality of wool needed to be bred for more fleece with finer fibers and less kemp. Source Sheep industry fact sheets

Hunter gatherers: prior 10 000 BCE

.01 million (10 000) years ago (Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Holocene Epoch .01-1.8 mya )

Measurements of Greenland ice packs show an increase of temperature, as measured by hydrogen chemistry, that shows an end of the ice age.

10 000 years ago ...

One might think that many hunter–gatherer societies stumbled upon domestication and took up farming. However, this seemed to happen in only nine places around the world: Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, Andes/Amazonia, eastern United States, Sahel, tropical West Africa, Ethiopia and New Guinea.

History from now until today includes many tales of hunter–gatherer societies being driven out, infected, conquered, and exterminated by farming societies where farming is possible. Except the Huns and Atilla see 300-400 & 1225.

Hunter–gatherers of the Fertile Crescent domesticated wheats, barley, peas, sheep, goats, cows and pigs to become the first farmers and herders, beginning around 8500 BC. This led to major changes: shorter birth intervals (from four years to one year) political changes (social classes, kings, soldiers, empires, professional armies), and technology (metal tools, writing, ...). These were tools of conquest and allowed them to spread into Europe, North Africa, western India, and central Asia. However, having no other advantages power shifted to Greece then Italy and then to northwest Europe. While human societies in the Fertile Crescent inadvertently committed slow ecological suicide as low rainfall caused deforestation, soil erosion and salinization.

Source Nature, Jared Diamond

11 000 years ago

First Temple?

Gobekli Tepe in Turkey seems to be a temple were hunter gatherers congregated to share in spiritual celebrations. The site seems to suggest religion predates agriculture and possible permanent settlements built while while humans were still hunters and gatherers. Artifacts carved on the surfaces represent images of foxes, lions, scorpions, vultures, and T shaped pilars that some believe represent humans. Questions of what early people believed and how that belief evolves. Human's place in nature.

  • As spirits in a spiritual world among animals, weather, and other Earthly spirits.
  • Humans with nature.
  • Humans as master of nature.
  • Humans as servants of nature.
  • Three skulls were found with red ochre, grooves, circular holes that seem to be cut at time of death or near death as there was no indication of healing. Could have been suspended by cords for ritual situations. Source


12 000 - 13 000 years ago ...

Extinction of Wooly mammoth may have been the last of the large animals that became extinct. Others included: Columbian mammoth, American mastodon, Beautiful armadillo, Stag moose, Giant beaver, Jefferson's ground sloth, Harlan's ground sloth, Flat-headed peccary, & short-faced bear. Source

13 000 years ago and maybe earlier ...

Naia, a 13,000-year-old skeleton of a teenage girl was found in an underwater cave in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. From her DNA it is believed she descended from early Native Americans, who likely crossed the Bering Strait. Source
Learn more about Naia on Nova First Face of America February 7, 2018.

Humans began to farm rather than maintain a hunting and gathering existance. The belief that farming was a step up is probable inaccurate as farming required more work, lower adult status and resulted in worse nutritional conditions, poorer sanitation, and more disease. What ever the circumstances the result was changes in plants, animals, and human behaviour that interacted with each other and lead to humans building of cities . Source Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication, by Jared Diamond.

It may also be possible that the food supply of wild animals was shrinking to a point of unsustainability as 100's of large mammals had been hunted to extinction by humans. Source Sapien

Cooking, grinding, leeching, soaking

Wheat, barley, seeds with non shattering seed pod or head

Goats, sheep, cattle, chicken, pigs, For the species which were not domesticated. Is the reason that it was difficulty to domesticate each of those species?, or Were the indigenous people that lived where the species was native not inclined to domesticate them?

13 200 years ago

Ancient American West coastal dwellers footprint on Calvert Island British Columbia and America's oldest fish hook Cedros Island, Mexico. Source. On the Trail of Ancient Mariners by Lizzie Wade

13 800 years ago and maybe earlier ...

Archaeological evidence of village was found off the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Located on the ancestral grounds of the Heiltsuk Nation. The findings support their oral tradition of their tribe living along the coast in a land that didn't freeze during the ice age. Source

14 000 years ago

Ancient American arrived by boat by island hopping down the west coast. Source. On the Trail of Ancient Mariners by Lizzie Wade

15 000 years ago

Domestication of dogs range to possible 30 000 years ago. Source

Dog breeding and rock art 8 000 years

23 000 years ago

Ohalo II located on the shore of Galilee was clearing land, sowing wheat and barley and harvesting them 23 000 years ago. Ehud Weiss and his team have collected 150 000 specimens of plant remains from the site. The find also suggests human migration to North America was along the coast instead of overland.

38 000 years ago

Beringia was the land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska during the last Glacial Maximum. Sea levels were around 400 feet lower than today and humans may have crossed it before it sunk into the ocean about 20 000 years ago.

40 800 years ago

European cave art in El Castillo cave was dated to 40 800 years ago. Homo Sapien or Neanderthals both capable of artistic self expression. Source Discover Magazine January / February 2013

Cave art

Other old drawings were found on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. at least 35,400 years old. Source

42 000 years ago

Mungo man skeleton was found in the dunes of a long gone lake, Lake Mungo in Australia that was dated to 42 million years old.

43 000 years ago

Flute, maybe the oldest known musical instrument is made from bird bone and mammoth ivory were found in a cave in southern Germany.

60 000 - 70 000 years ago

Humans arrived in Australia and left stone tools which were found at Madjebdebe, Australia and dated to 65 000 years ago. Source A find in Australia hints at very early human exit from Africa

50 000 - 700 000 years ago

Homo floresiensis (hobbit) fossils have been found dating from 50 000 years ago Liang Bua cave in Indonesia.

Other fossils were found at Mata Menge and dated to 700 000 years old.

See Discover magazine stories

100 000 years ago

Remains were found in caves of Qafzeh, east of Nazareth, Israel and classified as Homo sapiens Qafzeh and dated at 92 000 years old. Other remains were found at Skhul, on Mount Carmel, Israel they were labeled as Homo sapiens Skhul and dated at 115 00 years old. These remains indicate lanky slender bodies adapted to hot moist climates and unsuitable for a cooler ice age that arrived around 75 000 years ago, which may have resulted in their extinction. Evidence also suggests Neanderthal, built more stocky, were better able to retain heat and survive through ice ages. While none of these may have meet during this time in this area of the world it does suggest their existence overlapped. Source When Neanderthals Replaced Us by Theodora Sutcliffe.

Remains of campfires were found in a South Africa cave. Source

180 000 years ago

Misliya-1, earliest homo sapien outside Africa. An upper jawbone with teeth was found at Misliya Cave, at Mount Carmel in Israel. Source

“While all of the anatomical details in Misliya-1 are fully consistent with modern humans, some features are also found in Neanderthals and other human groups ... ” Dr. Rolf Quam,

200 000 years ago

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa about 200 000 years ago. Genetic similarities between Eurasians, Oceanians, and Americans indicate all non-Africans descended from a small population that left Africa about 60 000 years ago.

1.8 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Pleistocene Epoch .01-1.8 mya )

Stone tools

Homo erectus intentionally formed stone tools into teardrop shapes. Acheulean hand axes. Creation of these tools required sensory motor control, memory, visualizing an object within an object, and planning. Source

First humans, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats.

2 million years ago

Homo erectus used fire to cook meat many years before Homo Sapien appeared.

2.6 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Miocene Epoch 24 - 1.8 mya)

It appears humans began to eat meat and use weapons, around this time period as stone tools were found at Gona in Ethiopia and dated to 2.6 million years ago.
These tools match tools known as the Oldowan, named after Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where Louis Leakey found similar tools in the 1930s. Those tools were so well knapped that they were believed to have evolved from a less technological tool-making culture.

A strong similarity between marks these tools made and the marks on fossil zebra bones, indicates stone tools were used to butcher animals by at least 2.6 million years ago. Humans and food source

Stone tools

2.8 million years ago

Fossilized jaw found at Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia was dated as 2.8 million years old and classified as Homo genus.

3.18 million years ago


Discovered in 1974 Lucy classified as Australopithecus afarenis. Upright a terrestrial hunter and gatherer that probable spent some time in trees. It has been speculated that fractures she suffered might have been from falling.

"Afarensis was small and completely non-technological. No one has ever argued that they were predatory. They are bipedal, ground-eating apes," Michael Bisson

3.3 million years ago

Stone tools at the Lomekwi site near Kenya's Lake Turkana were found by Sonia Harmand and her team, which were dated to 3.3 million years old . Source

3.3 - 3.5 million years ago

A hominin jawbones was dated and classified as Australopithecus deyiremeda. They were found in the Afar region in Ethiopia. Source & image

Animals bones dated to 3.4 million years ago suggest Australopithecus butchered meat. Source

3.67 million years ago

South Africa Sterkfontein Cave a hominid skeleton named Little Foot a female Australopithecus afarensis or A. prometheus was discovered in 1997 and exposed over the next twenty years. It has become the most complete skeleton of it kind found and dated to about 4 million years old. Australopithecus afarensis is believed to have lived aroung 2.9 million to 4.1 million years ago. Source & images

3.9 million years ago

Australopithecus appears. First sheep, cattle, modern whales, bears, mice, rats, apes, monkeys, dogs, modern birds appear.

5.3 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Pliocene Epoch 1.8-5.3 mya )

23.8 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Miocene Epoch 5.3-23.8 mya )

24 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Miocene Epoch 5.3-23.8 mya)

33.7 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Oligocene Epoch 23.8-33.7 mya )

54.8 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Eocene Epoch 33.7-54.8 mya )

65 million years ago (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Paleocene Epoch 54.8-65 mya )

Cretaceous–Paleocene can be labeled as an critical boundary of 66 million years, as a result of an asteroid strick, wiping out the dinosaurs, which can be measured by the strong trace of the element iridium that can be located in rocks as a result of the impact of the space object.

The asteroid, about 6 miles or 10 km diameter, crashed in Chicxulub, Mexico creating a massive crater about 110 miles or 180 km diameter. The explosion would have released as much energy as 100 trillion tons of TNT, more than a billion times energy than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This event was at the end of the Cretaceous Era and the extinction of the dinosaurs who were among the 80% of life on Earth that were unable to survive during a time know as one of the six mass extinctions. See PBS and what killed the dinosaur?

First deer, cats, pigs, tapirs, and rhinos, elephants, horses, owls, shrews, hedgehogs, and rabbits evolve.

Beginning -
Includes the Mesozoic era, Cretaceous period, Paleozoic era, & Precambrian)

Summary of change

The Earth itself evolved over a very long time, when compared to a human life span, and eventually conditions provided material sources and a habitat suitable for life to evolve complex organisms and most recently Homo sapien.

  • A geological period is a basic unit of geological time in which a single type of rock system is formed.
  • A geological era is a time period of two or more periods.

More information on eras, periods, and evolution of life see Earth science Australia

144 million (Mesozoic Era, Cretaceous Period 65-144 mya )

First flowering plants, snakes, crocodilians.

Mass extinction at the end of this period kills dinosaurs, and others.

Known as the K-T extinction (Cretaceous–Tertiary) and K–Pg extinction (Cretaceous–Paleogene)

Australia breaks away from Antarctica

200 million (Mesozoic Era, Jurassic Period 144-208 mya)

Oceans were full of fish, squid, ammonites, the great ichthyosaurs and long-necked plesiosaurs. Huge plant-eating dinosaurs roamed the Earth that ate huge ferns, palm-like cycads, and a type of seed plant, bennettitaleans. Smaller carnivores hunted the herbivores. Vertebrates took to the air, like the pterosaurs and the first birds.

245 million years ago (Mesozoic Era, Triassic Period 208-245 mya )

First mammals, dinosaurs, frogs, turtles, crocodyloformes.

280 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Permian Period 245-280 mya )

Sail-back reptiles. Amphibians abundant. Pangaea forms. Ends with mass extinction.

300 million years ago

Both oxygen and ozone levels reach current levels with many different kinds of complex land plants and animals.

360 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Carboniferous Period 280-360 mya)

Widespread coal swamps. First reptiles, winged insects.

408 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Devonian Period 360-408 mya)

First amphibians, sharks, bony fish, ammonoids, and spiders. Many fish.

438 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Silurian Period 408-438 mya )

First insects, vascular plants on land.

450 million years ago

The ozone level was close to its present value as land plants evolved.

505 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Ordovician Period 438-505 mya )

First land plants, corals, Nautiloids. End in mass extinction.

540 million years ago (Paleozoic Era, Cambrian Period 500 to 540 mya )

Evolution of many life forms. First shellfish, primitive fish, trilobites, corals, mollusks.

540 million years ago (Precambrian)

Oxygen concentration increased to about ten percent of the current level.

3.5 billion years ago

Cyanobacteria, an oxygen-producing organism evolved. These organisms use carbon dioxide and water for photosynthesis and release oxygen as a waste product. Over time, the oxygen they produced accumulated in the atmosphere where some was converted to ozone, which is important for the development of life on land, because it protects Earth’s surface from too much ultraviolet radiation.

3.8 - 4.3 billion years ago

First life on Earth. Microfossils of tiny creatures were found locked in different samples of rock from northern Canada. One sample dated from 3.8 - 4.3 billion years and another sample dated to 3.95 billion years.

4.5 billion years ago (Precambrian time, 4.5 bya to 540 mya)

The Precambrium as a geologic time starts with the Earth's formation, 4.5 billion years ago and goes to the beginning of the Cambrian Paleozoic Era, Cambrian Period, 540 mya. Since the Precambrian is not considered a geologic eon, era, period, or epoch, it is referred to as Precambrian or Precambrian Time. It spans most of the Earth's history (90%).

The Earth's primitive atmosphere and oceans evolved complex molecules that evolved into the first living cells.

13.8 billion years ago

Big bang ... The creation of the Universe logically has three options: 1. needs a creation that is most likely cataclysmic event, 2. a non creation event with the Universe always being in existence, or the Universe is an illusion and it doesn't exist as a physical entity.



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
homeofbob.com & schoolofbob.com>