The Evolution of Technology

Human beings are the pinnacle of evolution. However, this greatness is due to technology, which has evolved symbiotically with humans. Our current standard of living and the future growth of humanity depends on technology. Interestingly, unlike biological species, technology does not grow by itself. In this article, I explore the different evolutionary drivers of technology.

Let’s start with necessity. The first step in human development was the ability to use and manipulate fire. This was the first source of energy and was used for cooking, warmth, and security. The drive to improve this technology was motivated by the desire and need for more convenient forms of energy. This has led to the development of :

The next driver is convenience and luxury. Many things that we consider necessities today were luxuries when first developed  *cough* “iPhone 13 pro ultra max” *cough*. 

My favorite evolutionary motivator is sheer human curiosity. We have developed technologies to scratch a personal itch but these have benefitted society. Consider astronomy. Hunters and gatherers didn’t know what those shiny white dots in the sky were but started using them for navigation. Slowly, great astronomers and mathematicians invented telescopes to study these stars. These were low-resolution scopes that were quickly improved. Planets were predicted and discovered. We started looking beyond our solar system to explore our galaxy and the universe beyond. This needed more powerful telescopes and other technologies such as high-resolution cameras and spectroscopy. Examples are the Hubble space telescope and Kelper which have been instrumental in discovering exoplanets. It doesn’t end here! The next step is the James Webb telescope that launches TODAY!!!!

Evolution progresses via natural selection.

The evolution of technology is driven by very different processes.

Resources: James Webb, Kepler, Hubble Telescope, Dutch telescope, Sextant, a painting depicting Galileo Galilei, astronomical refracting telescope, Newton’s second reflecting telescope, The 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale telescope, ESO’s VLT boasts advanced adaptive optics systems, The 250-foot (76 m) Lovell radio telescope.