Though it’s impossible to know exactly when science began, it’s worth making a wild guess. Science began millions of years ago when the first cave men developed language.1 With a new ability to convey information, they were able to share experiences and observe their world. They spent most of their time complaining about the weather and wishing they weren’t so dumb. During idle moments, however, they began to ponder the mysteries of earth.
Many problems cave men had could be solved with science. The discovery of fire can be attributed to an early version of science.4 As cave culture developed, so did early forms of scientific inquiry. Most cave experiments involved hitting people on the head with clubs. Every scientist has to start somewhere. Once cave scientists made definitive conclusions about hitting people on the head, they began using science to improve their world. One of the first innovations was dividing each tribe into hunters and gatherers. Hunters were strong, courageous men who tracked down prey and provided food for the tribe. Gatherers were the leftovers, and they soon became scientists. It would be centuries until a third group, Butlers, developed the perfect behavior to serve gentlemen of means.
Though science was in its infancy, these gatherers quickly sought a new solution to their problem: Walking around all day gathering berries was very dull. In addition, about half of the berries were poisonous, which was bad for morale. Thus, the quest for advancement began.
Science sprung from early man’s desire to transcend his animal origins and serve basic needs. No more sitting around on rocking horses. As hunting and gathering improved man’s life, he began to understand the value of study and inquiry into the world. It was a common occurrence to find a cave man looking at the stars and scratching his head, though that may have been due to lice.
The boredom of berry gathering and the difficulty of hunting were the impetus for early scientific development. The gatherers developed agricultural practices and learned how plants worked, from the types of soil they needed to grow to the best times to harvest these plants. Meanwhile, the hunters made sharp things. As both sides developed their techniques, both hunters and gatherers began to exceed simple survival and to strive for greater things in life.3 They wanted to live in a world where their goal was not simply survival but understanding. In addition, most of them wanted to try living beyond the age of twenty-five.
From these humble origins, science was born. Documentation was sparse because of the absence of typewriters in cave times. However, in the artifacts of ancient man, we can observe the development of science from guesswork into a discipline. Eventually, one cave man finally invented the razor and shaved his beard. Science was truly born, now that it looked respectable.