Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Secular discoveries

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother when they said that man could fly
They told Marconi wireless was a phony, it's the same old cry
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
The following discoveries and inventions are what helped to develop and transform our secular society, and the people who invented and implemented them are the modern equivalents to saints in our secular society.
  • According to the historian L.T. White, it was the invention of the stirrup that transformed society, allowing armies of men to ride on horseback for days and fight in formation as cavalry.  This brought about the development of feudal society. 
  • The development of the loom allowed cloth to be manufactured, first in cottages, then in factories and finally in huge mechanized textile industries, fostering the industrial revolution.
  • The gun was invented by the Chinese in the 10th century based on their invention of gunpowder.  Many varieties of guns, from small revolvers to huge artillery pieces were developed over the centuries.
  • Galileo developed his first effective telescope in 1608, followed by improvements from Kepler in 1611, Huygens in 1655 and Newton in 1668.
  • Robert Hooke first used a microscope to describe cells in 1667 and this was improved on by van Leeuwenhock in 1675.
  • The first description of the circulation of blood and the function of the heart was by William Harvey in 1623.
  • The first physical law that was established was Boyle's law in 1662 that describes the relationship between the volume and pressure of a gas.  This resulted in the understanding of thermodynamics and led to the use of steam engines in transportation and the industrial revolution.
  • The first steam locomotive railway was opened in 1803 by Richard Trevithick in Wales to haul 10 tons of iron in one run.
  • The first internal combustion engine that uses gasoline (petrol) was patented in 1823 by Atkinson in the US and was greatly improved over the years by Otto, Benz, Daimler, Diesel and eventually Ford.
  • The first ocean-going iron hull steamship designed by Isambard Brunel crossed the Atlantic in 1845.
  • The first major oil discovery was at Oil Creek in Pennsylvania in 1859, and it greatly increased interest in internal combustion engines.
  • An efficient process for the production of steel was invented by Henry Bessemer in 1856 and exploited by Andrew Carnegie to build steel rails and girders for bridges and buildings starting in 1875.
  • The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.
  • Marconi invented the telegraph and pioneered radio in 1897   
  • The electric light, the gramophone and moving films were invented by Thomas Edison from 1876 -1908.
  • Alernating current electricity for general use was introduced by Nikola Tesla in 1886.
  • Ignaz Semmelweis was the first to show that germs are responsible for a human disease in 1847, by having physicians wash their hands this reduced mortality from childbirth from 18% to 2%.
  • Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch proved that microorganisms are responsible for infectious diseases in the 1860s.
  • Proteins as a group were discovered by Jakob Berzelius in 1830.
  • DNA was discovered by Friedrich Miescher in Tubingen in 1869.
  • Walther Flemming was the first to describe the process of cell division (mitosis) in detail in 1879.
  • Max Planck formulated the quantum theory in 1900
  • Albert Einstein was the genius who realized that time is relative to the observer in his revolutionary relativity theory of 1905.
  • Hans Bohr described the first satisfactory model of the structure of the atom consisting of a nucleus and electrons in 1913.
  • The Wright Brothers carried out the first successful heavier than air flight by man in 1902.
  • The first commercial flight took place in Florida, USA, in 1914.
  • The Haber process for the fixation of nitrogen chemically from the air was developed by Fritz Haber in 1918.
  • From 1902-1921 Vilhelm Bjerknes established the basis of scientific meterology.
  • The first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1926.
  • The first electronic television process was invented by Logie Baird in 1926.
  • William Shockley at Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1949 allowing the development of electronics.
  • Alan Turing built the first effective computer in 1943 and described the concept of the electronic computer in 1950.
  • Oswald Avery proved that DNA was the genetic substance in 1944 at Rockefeller Institute.
  • Watson and Crick described the double helical structure of DNA in 1953.
  • Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs built the first personal computer, the Mac, in 1976.
  • Bill Gates introduced the first successful computer operating system from Microsoft in 1980.
  • The world-wide-web or internet was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989
This is by no means a complete list. These advances were attained with great risk in some cases and with great effort.  It shows how many individuals in different areas were needed to give rise to the society we know today.  This secular society is not dependent on belief or religion, but is primarily dependent on science, technology, innovation and entreprenurship.  It is the only society developed by man that can provide improved individual consumer satisfaction and increased affluence.  By comparison those who seek to return to a religion-based society or a non-competitive model of society are doomed to failure.  They need to use the technology developed by this secular society, but they can never advance or improve on it.
The Arabs and Muslims need to develop the concept of toleration, just as we Jews have, so that others can live in peace beside them.  It is this arrogant nonsense that they (Muslims) have the only allowed belief system, as the Christians used to believe before western society became secular, that must be dropped and replaced.  Only when that happens will the violence subside.


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