General Knowledge

Technologies That Transformed Humanity

Although we usually think of technology as unique to modern times, our prehistoric ancestors actually created primitive tools and weapons—the first human technologies—millions of years ago.

In this course, you will learn how the fashioning of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the invention of clothing and shelter led to revolutionary changes in the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and triple the size of our brains. You will also learn how the invention of symbolism, agriculture, and technologies of transportation made the first civilizations possible, how the precision machinery of medieval times ultimately created the industrial revolution, and how digital communications are poised to transform human life once again. Finally, you will see how technology has brought humanity to the brink of an environmental catastrophe that might ultimately destroy human civilization.

10 lessons
1h 4m
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Free for 7 days. Then $7.5/mo.
Cancel anytime.


About the author

1 course

Richard L. Currier received his BA and Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and taught anthropology at Berkeley, the University of Minnesota, and the State University of New York.

After pursuing a second career as a high-tech entrepreneur designing and developing interactive learning technologies, Currier has spent the past several years studying the impact of technology on human evolution, human history, and the future of human society.