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CHAPTER 1

HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS IN
WHICH SOCIAL
CONSIDERATIONS CHANGED
THE COURSE OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Introduction
 “If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed,
there would be little to do. There would be nothing to
figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if
we lived in an unpredictable world, where things
change in random or very complex ways, we would not
be able to figure things out. But we live in an in-between
universe where things change but according to
patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature. If I
throw a stick up into the air, it always falls down. If the
sun sets in the west, it always rises again the next
morning in the east. And so it becomes possible to figure
things out. We can do science, and with it we can
improve our lives.” (Carl Edward Sagan).
Introduction
From the beginning of time, man has tried to
improve his way and quality of life. The
caveman discovered how to make and used
tools, developed a logical sequence of
activities, and evolved processes that added
value to his life. The totality of the use and the
application of his knowledge, skills, tools, and
materials, constitute what we today describe as
“technology”.
Science and Technology in Different Periods
 Ancient Times
 As modern humans evolved from their ancestors,
accumulation and transfer of knowledge evolved
correspondingly. Simple stone tools became more
efficient, hence, the ability to make weapons and other
implements from bones, wood, and antlers. Born hunters
were transformed to farmers and fishermen. Naked
humans began to realize the need for clothing. Slowly
but surely, different elements are coming together to the
level of sophistication commonly referred to as
civilization.
Sumerian Civilization
 Sumerian civilization emerged c. 3,500 BC in the southern region of
Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq).
 They rely on agriculture as the primary source of livelihood.
 Created irrigation system by constructing dikes and canals to control
flooding.
 Built large structures from sun-dried bricks made of clay.
 Invented the wheel, sail, and plow improving trade and farming.
 Forged bronze from copper and tin (around 3,000 BC) allowing for stronger
tools and weapons.
 Credited for developing the first formal writing system called “cuneiform”
 Introduced a 360-day calendar
 Developed the sexagesimal number system of counting in units and
intervals of sixty (60) which served as the basis for graduating the
circumference of a circle to 360 degrees and the sixty minutes equal
graduations to an hour duration in time.
Babylonian Civilization
Spans from about 3,500 BC until 500 BC located
in the border of the famous Euphrates and Tigris
rivers in Iraq.
Likewise dig canals and developed earthen
dikes to irrigate their crops and provide water to
their livestock.
Adopted the Sumerian sexagesimal system.
Babylonians astronomers compiled lists of
planets and stars.
Egyptian Civilization
 Historians noted that ancient Egypt began between
5,000 – 3,100 BC geographically situated in the
Northeastern part of Africa.
 The Nile River provided Egypt the necessary water
requirements to support agricultural activities.
 Produced a variety of earthen wares and pottery items.
 Worked on metals to produce tools, weapons and
agricultural implements.
 Constructed dwellings made of reeds and air-dried mud
bricks.
 Built great pyramids
 Ancient Egyptians devised a 365-day calendar.
Greek Civilization

Greek civilization emerged at around


1,100 BC.
Scientific works of wise and gifted Greeks
such as Thales, Socrates, Hippocrates,
Aristotle, Archimedes, and Ptolemy served
as foundation and pillars of western
civilization.
Roman Civilization

Spanned from 102 – 44 BC


The Romans developed infrastructure
networks and constructed roads from
Rome to other places in Italy.
Constructed big permanent structures
such as domes, colosseum, and stadiums.
Chinese Civilization
 The plow was invented and the lunar calendar was
developed in China.
 Chinese doctors started the use of acupuncture.
 Astronomers were able to record solar eclipses.
 The Chinese used natural gas for lighting.
 They used bamboo strips or paper made from barks to
write on.
 Developed the technology of paper making and
invention of printing press.
 Invented “earthquake weather clock” or what is now
known as the seismograph.
2. Medieval Period (ca. 500 – 1500)
 The period of history between the Ancient and Modern Times. It is
considered to be one of the creative periods in the history of
humans and said to be the start of the first industrial revolution. Also
known as the” Dark Ages” since there are few written records from
the said era.
 Vertical windmills, spectacles, mechanical clocks were invented.
 Gothic style building techniques came about.
 Considered as one of the greatest inventions during this period was
the mechanized printing press by Johannes Gutenberg.
 Gunpowder was invented in China sometime between the 9th and
11th centuries, and it did not take long for it to be used in weapons.
It would revolutionize warfare and make previous military
technology obsolete.
3. Renaissance Period (15th – 17th Century)
 The term renaissance refers to the period of the rebirth as age of
preparation for the seventeenth century scientific developments
and achievements.
 Johannes Gutenberg introduced the metal movable type
printing press.
 Isaac Newton made the first reflecting telescope.
 The musket was developed in Spain in the 1500’s.
 Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus
presented the theory of heliocentric where he said that the sun is
the center of the solar system instead of the earth.
 Galileo Galilei improved the telescope, discovered new celestial
bodies, and found support for a heliocentric solar system. He also
invented the thermometer in 1593.
4. Industrial Revolution
 In the 18th Century
 The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing
processes. This transition included going from hand production
methods to machines, the increasing use of steam power, the
development of machine tools, and the rise of the factory system.
 Scottish inventor James Watt’s refinement to the steam engine
began the revolution.
 Robert Fulton invented the steamboat using one of the engines of
Watt.
 Light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison.
 George Stephenson developed the first steam powered
locomotive.
In the 19th Century
 The rise of modern industry was witnessed in the 19th century. The effects of
scientific and technological developments are evident in the areas of
communication, transportation, and electricity.
 Samuel Morse invented the telegraph and the Morse Code.
 Telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.
 Facsimile was invented by Alexander Bain.
 Charles Wheatstone invented the microphone.
 William Burt invented the typewriter and typographer.
 John Tyndall demonstrated the principles of fiber optics.
 Guglielmo Marconi proved the feasibility of radio communication.
 Jean Lenoir invented the internal combustion engine.
 Count Alessandro Volta invented the battery.
In the 20th Century
 In the face of an ever growing complexity, technology has become
more scientific and natural science more technological. It is in this
context that scientific research laboratories were established in
order to cope up with the demands of the times.
 Air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier.
 The Wright brothers invented the first gas motored and manned
airplane.
 Albert Einstein published the Theory of Relativity and made famous
the equation E=mc2
 The very first piloted helicopter was invented by Paul Cornu. But it
was Igor Sikorsky who invented the first successful helicopter.
 Henry Ford revolutionized automobile manufacturing.
 Electro-magnet was invented by William Sturgeon.
 Michael Faraday invented the dynamo.
 Mechanical calculator was invented by Charles Babbage.
 John Walker invented the modern matches.
 Hamilton Smith patented the rotary washing machine.
 Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor and transformer.
 Louis Pasteur invented the process of pasteurization.
 Alfred Nobel invented the dynamite.
 The first safety elevator was introduced by Elisha Otis.
 Jesse Reno invented the escalator.

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