For all the flack this planet gets, it is still quite a rich and interesting place.
Case in point: the constant evolution of technology, beliefs, philosophies and ways of thinking. Every year since the beginning of recorded humanity, we have made significant progress in these departments (knock on wood!), challenging and updating traditional beliefs and developing and exploring new frontiers in the process.
That said, I’ve rounded up the top 10 ideas in history that have changed the way we think as humans. Let’s get to it!
1) The Internet
Can you imagine a time without internet access? Must’ve been pretty boring, huh?
Well, that’s how monumentally impactful the internet has been for humanity, completely changing the world in almost every conceivable way. And it continues to do so at a rapid pace.
The internet has transformed the way we communicate, access information, do business, and everything in between. Relationships are created and destroyed online.
The same can be said for careers and livelihoods. The internet can even change the way entire populations think and behave, so tread carefully.
To make a long story short, the internet is everything. It has connected people from all over the world and has enabled the split-second exchange of ideas and data.
And now with new online forms of communication like social media, and online industry spaces like e-commerce and digital marketing, the world is fully digital.
But don’t get me wrong, we had to start somewhere. Ideas like the internet wouldn’t have come along if it weren’t for things like revolutionary concepts like evolution…
Before Charles Darwin came along, we basically were making educated (and not-so-educated) guesses about the world and the order of existence. Many turned to their faith for answers, while others were content with the unknown.
The theory of evolution, first proposed by Darwin, has altered our way of thinking about the origins and development of life on Earth.
Darwin’s evolution theory basically explains how species adapt and evolve over time through natural selection. It has had a profound and enduring impact on fields like biology, anthropology, and psychology. It’s been used to explain everything from the development of human societies to the behavior of individual organisms.
And Darwin surely employed the scientific method in his process. Speaking of which…
3) The Scientific Method
Here’s the thing: scientists aren’t just winging it when they come up with theories and conclusions. Unlike some other groups, scientists rely on data and empirical evidence to create theories rather than emotion and make-believe.
In short, the Scientific Method is a systematic approach to problem-solving that is based on evidence and experimentation.
The great thing about scientists is that regardless of their biases, if the evidence says otherwise, they’ll be happy to change their views. Having flexibility and adaptability are key aspects of the Scientific Method.
Every major piece of technology you use on a daily basis from smartphones to the vitamins you took this morning to your car’s engine is a product of the Scientific Method.
It has totally changed our understanding of the natural world. The Scientific Method consists of observing a phenomenon, through trial and error developing a hypothesis, and then analyzing the results.
This process allows scientists to develop new theories and ideas that can be used to improve our understanding of the world around us.
And now that we’re back on the topic of the world…
4) The Big Bang Theory
Do you ever wonder at night…How did the infinite vastness of the universe come to be?
I think it’s perfectly natural and expected for us to ask these questions. Well, with the Big Bang theory, we’ve come a massive step closer to getting some answers.
The Big Bang theory isn’t just a mildly amusing sitcom; it explains the origins of the universe and has had a crucial influence on our understanding of physics and cosmology.
In turn, the Big Bang theory has led to many important discoveries, like cosmic microwave background radiation and the discovery of dark matter.
It has challenged traditional religious and philosophical views of the universe and has forced scientists to reconsider many seemingly fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality.
Ok, so let’s go back to Earth for a second…
Without true, organized democracy, we would have either anarchy or tyranny or some twisted abomination of the two… You’ve seen The Last Of Us by now, haven’t you?
In simple terms, the idea of democracy is a political system where leadership positions are gained through free and fair elections. Democracy has changed the way we think about government (both big and small) and citizenship.
The idea of democracy initially came about by the Greeks in ancient times but wasn’t really put into use until relatively modern years.
Today, there are many societies around the world that practice democracy, or at least claim to..but hey, this is a different bag of worms altogether!
When we talk about the godfather, the GOAT of psychology, we need not look further than Sigmund Freud.
Freud was the founder of the theory of psychoanalysis which explores the role our subconscious has in creating our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Freud’s theories have been used to account for everything from the development of personality to the roots of mental illness.
His theories and beliefs are regularly cited in today’s world, as we continue to learn (and unlearn myths) about mental health.
7) Human Rights
Let’s face it, before human rights came along the world was a pretty grim place. In fact, it still is–particularly in societies where human rights aren’t always respected.
The concept of human rights has changed the way we think about justice, oppression, and equality. Without the existence of human rights, you could be persecuted for your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the list goes on…
Human rights are absolutely crucial to counter the prejudices and inhumanity of the world, promoting social and political change instead.
It has led to the development of international human rights law and has been used to promote social justice and protect vulnerable groups around the world.
And while there’s still quite a bit of work to be done, being aware of human rights isn’t just saving lives but also spreading awareness and changing the way we think. One mind at a time.
And one of those groups that have benefited from this heightened awareness is women…
Feminism is a social movement that advocates for the rights and equality of women. The world has been (and still is to a degree) patriarchal-dominated… in other words, men are the favorites while women are often discriminated against.
Feminism has changed the way many of us think about gender roles and has led to important legal and social changes.
It wasn’t too long ago that women weren’t allowed to vote and had limited opportunities for education and employment. In fact, this blatant sexist status-quo still exists in many cultures. Imagine that.
And though there’s still a lot to do, we’ve made tremendous strides in improving the situation for females and gender equality in general.
From politics to the boardroom, women today are making some amazing changes in leadership positions throughout the world! We are hopeful that this pattern will continue.
Yes, there’s nothing like old-fashioned capitalism to widen the wealth gap!
But jokes aside, capitalism is a profit-driven economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services.
And guess what, we’re all a part of it in our own ways.
There are pros and cons to capitalism but there is little debate that much of Western society revolves around it. We live in a capitalist society, where individual profit tends to be prioritized above all else.
Capitalism may facilitate economic growth and globalization by encouraging business opportunities for entrepreneurs, but it also has a dark side. It contributes heavily to income inequality and environmental problems.
So naturally, there have been ethical concerns about its long-term sustainability. But the facts remain: capitalism has changed the way we think and act in modern society.
Speaking of modern society, one of its trademarks is often multiculturalism…
Let’s be honest here: xenophobia and discrimination tend to exist to some degree in most societies. But with the promotion of multiculturalism, many of us have changed the way we think about it.
Multiculturalism emphasizes the importance of respecting and valuing cultural diversity. This has resulted in the creation of more inclusive societies that celebrate differences instead of avoiding them.
Multiculturalism has made a really important mark on fields like education, politics, and the arts, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of all humans, regardless of culture or background. It emphasizes the fact that we’re all in this together as one world and one human race.
This is why I love big, melting-pot cities. I know the level of road traffic, crime, and overall chaos isn’t ideal but these multicultural capitals have something you won’t always find in smaller towns: diversity and acceptance of differences.
In conclusion, these 10 ideas have contributed greatly to the way we think and our overall development as a species.
From the invention of the internet to the theories of evolution and relativity, each idea has transformed our thought processes and paved the way for fresh discoveries and innovations–a quest that still very much continues today.