Introduction

There is always a sense of accomplishment in understanding something we previously didn't. Whether it's learning how to drive, cook a new meal, or finally figuring out how to program your TV to record Storage Wars, we all get a certain sense of satisfaction out of learning something new.

    Which of my 5 remotes controls the PVR again?

 

Which of my 5 remotes controls the PVR again?

We as human beings are not unique in our ability to learn new things, but we do have one major advantage over all the other species when it comes to learning: The ability to store knowledge outside of our brains. Other creatures are limited to only being able to pass on what they or others in their group know. You however can read a book written by someone in England over 400 years ago and learn calculus, or know how to assemble a bookshelf using only a small booklet of instructions and pictures (and an Allen key of course). It is this ability to store and transmit knowledge through the ages that has allowed new generations to quickly get up to speed on what has been previously discovered and build upon that knowledge. Breakthroughs that took hundreds of years to make can be absorbed by students in just a few years, allowing them to make breakthroughs of their own to pass on.

You then, sitting there reading this, currently have access to more knowledge than literally any human being who has ever lived. We live at the cutting edge of understanding, being able to benefit from thousands of years of trial and error and endless hours of painstaking observation undertaken by those before us. All in hope of understanding the world we live in just a little bit better and passing it on so that our children may understand just a little bit more.

There is a long way to go, but so far we have made enormous progress towards answering arguably the most important question ever asked: Where did we come from? Although there are some small gaps, we have at our disposal all the knowledge required to piece together a continuous story starting from the beginning of time and ending with today; something that our ancestors would have greatly envied. It is my sincere hope in writing this blog series to tell as much of this story as I can, so that others may feel the sense of satisfaction that comes with understanding the world we live in and our place within it.