Anna Gregoline | August 17, 2004
In your opinion, what invention or discovery has brought about the most far-reaching and lasting changes in our civilization?

Steve West | August 17, 2004
Certainly, the atomic weapon defined the 20th century as the greatest threat to the continuation of man on this planet. The last century showed us the evil face of physics. I'm afraid the current century will show us the evil face of biology. There is a great potential that this may be the last century for man on Earth (paraphrasing Preston and Child).

Anna Gregoline | August 17, 2004
I would have to say electricity. Tied for first place for me would be the gun.

Scott Hardie | August 20, 2004
By "our" civilization, do you mean Americans or humans?

As Americans, I'd say the Constitution. Nothing has shaped our society and culture more than the protections it guarantees and the freedoms it grants. Computers have the potential to shape us even more radically in decades to come, but in 2004 the changes are not "lasting" enough.

Human civilization? Paper.

John Viola | August 20, 2004
By "paper", do you mean loose-leaf or toilet?

Robert Phillips | August 21, 2004
It has to be the combination of Relativity and Quantum Physics...I think that the transition from the classical mind to the relativistic mind has changed us radically.

Anthony Lewis | August 21, 2004
I'd have to say the TV and Television. It seems as though the TV shapes every facet of our daily lives. What we wear, eat, how a lot of people get their news, etc. It also shapes how other countries and their people view us here in America. It can even elect presidents (re: the Willie Horton political ad). By far, I think the TV has affected civilization more than any other invention or product.

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