People Break Down Humanity's Greatest Inventions

What is a great modern invention? Well, if you ask me what is one of the most impactful inventions made on the last century the first thing that comes to mind is accessible birth control. The ripple effect of women having a say over their bodies has led to vastly increased rates of higher education, workforce development, increased wages, and lower rates of poverty.

In fact, places that have greater access to birth control have less of a wage gap and allowed for long-term career investments. Something we take for granted has allowed families to plan within their means and women to have control over their futures.

Redditor pewpew420420 wanted to know what others thought were the most impactful inventions to date.

They asked:

"What is humans greatest invention?"

The answers really brought out how far the human race has come.

Hold my beer, no really…

“Alcohol. It's a known fact the brewing of beer is actually what made it so humans could build large cities. Before brewing beer and making alcohol, water born illnesses were a major problem."

“But of course after you make water alcoholic, or brew something, it kills all of the bacteria or whatever in water that would get you sick. Civilizations were literally built on alcohol, it was the only method they had to sterilize water, before modern times and methods." JohnTrovolta4RealDoe

It paved the way for freedom of information…

​“The printing pressTheBeardedTinMan

Without it only the richest and more powerful of people could learn to read fluently. All of humanities knowledge would be locked up for only those important enough and rich enough to learn to read. And essential information could easily be lost in a single moment due to accidents.”

“The ability to copy information allowed us to protect knowledge and pass it on to every single person. To add on to it, the bible is probably the single greatest book to have ever contribute to humanity, and not because of the Christianity, but because it was the book that paved the way for all people to learn reading. The church taught the poor and illiterate to read so that they could read the bible. And from there, people branched out to other forms of information.” bshaw0000

Instant access around the globe, pretty amazing when you think about it…

​“I would argue that the Internet, allowing for nigh instant communication and sharing of information to the vast majority of the inhabited globe has done more for the development of modern technologies than one could ever possibly grasp.” Verbophile


“We owe a lot to the invention of the transistor. In under 100 years we went from postal mail to the internet where all of humanity's knowledge is at our fingertips and information travels at literal lightspeed. Its crazy to think that we are the first generations to incorporate electronics in our daily lives.” ​Animus0724

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. Transistors are one of the basic building blocks of modern electronics.”

“It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. Definitely important for all electronics!” pewpew420420

The domestication of man’s best friend…

Siberian Husky Dog GIF by Gone to the Snow Dogs Giphy

Dogs. No, hear me out. I mean, we didn't invent them, in the way that we've invented modern domestic pigs, cows, chickens etc, but the archaeology proves that we've been co-evolving with them for almost as long as we've been human, so in a very significant way we invented them while they also invented us."

Canis domesticus wouldn't exist without humans, and while wild ancestral canids would be fine without us, adapting to live alongside canis domesticus is likely one of the best things we ever did and vice versa."

"Got a dwelling (cave) that'll still be yours if you go out hunter-gathering because you have a loyal friend to guard it? Thank a dog. Got a herd of domesticated animals that won't just wander off, so you can get meat, milk, wool and leather? Thank a dog."

"Or maybe you're fully vegan and know you can survive the winter because mice and bunnies haven't eaten your vegetable patch/orchard harvest/grain store? Again, that's thanks to millennia of good bois and girls, just choosing to hang out with humans."

"And yes, contemporary dog-fashion is an obscenity and a sin, and no we haven't always treated our best mammalian friends well. But seriously. One of my great hopes for humanity is that one day, maybe, we can evolve to be good enough to deserve them." Competitive-Yak-7284


“Soap! Just soap has saved more lives than any other invention.” mopageboy

“That's crazy talk! Now let me just go put my nasty hands inside every woman in this maternity ward...Seriously amazing how transformative this was and how much resistance it encountered.” theMistersofCirce

Waste management systems stopped many common illnesses.

​“The sanitary sewer has done so much to improve human life and health that I have to go with it.” Astoriana_

I don't really think we could reach the population we have now without it. Cities of the density they are now could only exist along rivers and even they would be horrendously diseased. And any large city inland would pollute the river so badly that downstream all the way to the ocean would be all but unlivable.” Fearlessleader85

Vaccines save lives.

Stay Home Fact Check GIF by INTO ACTION Giphy

“Vaccines/Modern medicine.” ​Iwannabeacowboybaby0

“I truly appreciate not having to die from smallpox or an infected blister or a cracked tooth. It blows my mind when I think about how recent a development this is in the span of modern human existence.” theMistersofCirce

Now if only people would listen to the science…

“Medicine and scientific research. Not only has it giving us longer life spans. But doctors and nurses (including scientists) are able to figure out what's wrong and can even cure said diseases. Where would we be now without this research? Unfortunately, most if us would either be in a huge amount of pain or some of us would be dead.” ​CharlotteLouise25

​“Mathematics. It gave us the ability to better understand and define our universe. Not to mention almost everything humans invent and create requires math.” TinCanMan_

Indeed the first revolutionary discovery…

“Fire control. It was the first of all the inventions that caused a f**king revolution" EvanOrizam

Finally one I can get behind…

cheese bread GIF by tillamook Giphy

​“Garlic bread.” Ok_Plantain_7521

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Fair point…

​“The firearm. Prior to its invention every method of injuring another human being (rightly or wrongly) involved the strength of the user to some extent. This meant that the bigger and stronger still had an advantage.”

“The firearm erased that. Now, even the smallest, weakest, and even somewhat disabled have the capability of injuring or killing the biggest and strongest. There is a powerful equality in that.” PromptCritical725

“The steam engine. Everything that came out of industrialization came from the progress the steam engine provided.” Illustrious_Wasabi30

It has allowed for solid construction…

“Has anyone said the screw yet? Archimedes used screws to irrigate upland farms in Greece, they hold cars, phones, computers and almost everything else together and their basic function has been adapted to bottle tops and plumbing. Its in so many things that would be impossible without it, yet its almost never mentioned as one of the greatest inventions.” Smart-Professional26

Genetic modification…

“It's no where near done but, CRISPR. CRISPR is basically a way to genetically modify life. If we get good enough at it, we could have the ability to end ALL DISEASES including cancer and we might increase life expectancy by decades or more. The implications of this are immense and I really hope that humanity will get to use it in the future. We could end global suffering with it, isn't that insane?” Elon_huskx

A love of music…

“Music. We are masters of the harmonic series in a way no other animal can compare. Many things like affection, tools, sex drive, or even societies and governments are not unique to humanity. Birds may sing and crickets may chirp, but only we can lay claim to unlocking the fullest potential of the harmonic series. Our use of music seems to only be bound by the physical laws that govern our universe.” IsignalREI

Social governance…

“Diplomacy and democracy with the advancement of government. Without it we'd just be concerned for the necessities of self preservation rather than community interest. Also without it there is little to sanction the wealth required to invent and sustain such marvelous things.” swaidyMF

Objectively, it's the plow…”

​“Objectively, it's the plow. It created farming and allowed people the time to stay in one place and think about innovations. This led to the type of scholarship where one could read a book about useful inventions and see that humans have already agreed on an answer to this question; it's the plow.” Omniparent

Final answer?

“Farm? I mean most of the things inventions come from are beget from a mindset of invention. When we stopped hunting and gathering to cultivate we became able to tend to our fallen and from there we built cities.”

“Arguably our transition into a civilized people was gaining the ability to mend a broken leg but we could only do that with a reliable food source time and care from an individual sacrificing their own hunting and gathering. Our first farmer would defend the greatest invention as farming until his dying breath, the inventor of something like the toilet would laugh at the assumption of it being the greatest invention. Farm final answermanlymanmanman925

These inventions impacted the human race in many different ways. Now that we have such access to research and technology, the sky is the limit on what new amazing invention awaits us next.

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