Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes XXX: The invention of the idea of progress

Newton showed that the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.

Science industry and military technology intertwined only with the advent of the capitalist system and the Industrial Revolution. Once this relationship was established, however, it quickly transformed the world.

Until the Scientific Revolution most human cultures did not believe in progress. They thought the golden age was in the past, and the world was stagnant, if not deteriorating.

The story of the Tower of Babel, the story of Icarus, the story of Golem and countless other myths taught people that any attempt to go beyond human limitations would inevitably lead to disappointment and disaster.

As science began to solve one unsolvable problem after another, many became convinced that humankind could overcome any and every problem by acquiring and applying new knowledge. Poverty, sickness, wars, famines, old age and death itself were not the inevitable fate of humankind.

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