From knapping to nano
February 13, 2012 6:28 AM Subscribe
How many tool 'generations' has there been since hominids began toolmaking?
posted by Jehan to Technology (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If we took the most sophisticated tools we have (such as nanotechnology), we could identify a range of tools slightly less sophisticated that we would need in order to build them. In turn, there would be yet another 'generation' of tools needed to built those tools, and so on. The process would repeat until we eventually arrived at the hands, brain and eyes of humans.
But just how many such 'generations' would it take? Has anybody written about this or worked out a model of tool 'generations'?
I'm not really looking for technological 'stages' in history, but more the layers of tools which lie between the human body and our most sophisticated tools. I hope this makes sense, but I acknowledge that it may be poorly defined.