The Origins of Modern Progress

» Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Origins of Modern Progress

Prior to the birth of the modern age in the 16th and 17th centuries, Western Civilization was stuck in a seemingly endless loop of narrow, one-dimensional thinking.  The first cracks in the monolithic malaise that characterized the medieval landscape came during the Renaissance when new ideas and the rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman thinkers received wider consideration.  This was supported and even accelerated by vastly expanded routes for travel and trade, as well as by developments such as the Reformation and the movable type printing press.

As the leaders and scholars of European society began to open up to the insights of classical thinkers and new ideas from far-flung parts of their contemporary world, they began to challenge the initial assumptions and pre-determined conclusions that had completely dominated European thinking for over a thousand years. Instead of the blind adherence to the customs and superstitions of previous eras, the early modern thinkers began to base the pursuit of knowledge on objective observation and analysis. Further, they also realized that by systematically examining the evidence and identifying what worked and what did not, they could then exponentially accelerate their understanding of the world as it is, not as some theoretical or theological system of thought dictated.

The recognition of humanity’s ability to discover true knowledge of the real world and the universe led to the inevitable conclusion that we could in fact improve the world around us and discover even greater knowledge, free of the theoretical assumptions and narrow, one-dimensional worldviews of medieval scholars.

This realization empowered great thinkers, scholars and leaders in all disciplines to look for new ways to improve the world around them and to discover even more knowledge. As belief in mankind’s ability to understand and improve society took hold, it led to an explosion of discovery and advancement in all fields from physics and astronomy to political and economic ideas.

This method of perpetual improvement completely redefined humanity’s potential to achieve, grow and expand to ever-greater heights of progress and prosperity. It combined the Age of Discovery and Renaissance with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment to unleash an unprecedented surge in progress and prosperity that has exceeded all previous periods of human history combined and that we all continue to benefit from to this day.

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